We stay in the sky this week with the very array that sent men tumbling through the clouds in the first place.

This week we give you the First Steps Array

Notation: Create a Containment field ten times as wide as the array with a depth a tenth of the array’s circumference that excludes Air if Air is present. Apply the effect of negativing gravity on Wood to this Containment field.

Description: Its notation is quite a mouthful and it certainly isn’t the prettiest thing around, but then the most practical of things never are. The First Steps array is counted among the oldest of arrays still in use in Alfresia and around the world and for very good reason: it works remarkably well. Runesmiths and Runecrafters predominantly follow the philosophy of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” and while this may stifle innovation, it has meant the First Steps has served humanity well for over fifteen centuries. In saying that, it is only in the last two years that this array has come into its own and went from a half forgotten dream to one of the most valuable arrays in the world.

The reason for this is simple: First Steps require a phenomenal amount of energy. What it does is create a containment field around the ship’s hull that negates the effect of gravity on it (or at least the wooden parts of it) making it nearly as light as a feather as well as destroying all air that comes close. All of this means is, when this runic containment field is active, that the airship floats through the air almost as if through the vacuum of space. There is nearly no weight to it and there is no drag and air resistance. It makes airship travel quick and efficient (and therefore desirable), but it takes a monumental amount of energy negate the effect of gravity on nearly an entire ship for the whole duration of a flight as well as destroying how many thousands kilolitres of air that the ship passes through.

For the fifteen centuries this array existed, it has worked… technically speaking. It did, as still does, exactly what it is meant to, however there has never been a reliable enough power source to feed this array until the discovery of the Lightning rune and the invention of the runic batteries. Before this, folks had to precharge these arrays with heat and light and hope that the arrays held enough energy for the entire trip. More often than not, they didn’t, and so the proto-airships fell from the sky one by one until it was unanimously, and unspokenly, decided by everyone with more than two braincells that airtravel was too dangerous… until the Lightning rune changed all that. Now, the race to conquer the skies has begun and already there are dozens of airships sailing on the clouds above Alfresia.

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