Transport vehicles are made up completely of mechanical parts and fueled by steam powered engines of varying internal configurations. That or they are driven by combustion engines customized from salvaged parts left behind following Inse’s destruction. New parts are easy to acquire and fuel sources are in relative abundance considering the severely reduced population still alive and demanding them. Owing to that advantage, many are able to gather enough resources to power basic jet engines for times of emergency when speed becomes vital to survival.
Alternatively, some transports are completely independent of fuel, instead functioning off a multitude of intricate combinations of specially designed gears, suspenders, chains, pulleys, pistons and the likes that allow the users to travel as if on semi-or completely-automated stilts or bikes. Relying on momentum, some of these bizarre contraptions almost drive themselves forward and over the mounds of debris and dead, giving the users an elevated means of travel.
In the beginning it was relatively easy for survivors learned in a branch of magic to manipulate their powers over long periods of steady travel. Whether manipulating a platform with unseen forces, utilizing raw power to soar or launch themselves forward and over obstacles, or outright teleporting short distances, the slow rate of Inse’s turn allowed for brief recovery stops, enabling continued travel through magic. However, the extended traveling time and increased pace of Inse’s turn have since forced such means into extinction ten years later, and although a select few are still able to keep up, many have reverted to combining their magic with technology.
Mechanical and Magic
Many survivors able in magic presently use combinations of fuel combustion to drive a magically manipulated platform, magic to heat and power advanced Stirling-esque engines attached to motors, and everything else fathomable in between. As long as on side of the trade is able to make the other move, it exists in the world of Whatslef.
The Railfolk Tracks
Over the years, some of the more practical of survivors, eventually coined Railfolk, situated in the End-lands started creating train tracks that would run from the East Peripheral to the West in order to give the Eastern dwellers a better chance at getting away. The train, running on whatever was best recovered from the region, would be placed a distance from the edge of the East Peripheral while the tracks, built the last time they were there and since rusted away, recovered under Inse’s gaze. Upon the beginnings of Inse’s shift, the train would leave the East Peripheral without any stops until it reached the West. The rest of the way is independent to the survivors.
Air-based vessels often band together in allied clusters that travel and dock together. Usually, this would consist of:
- The ‘leading’, most prominent ship, usually an airship, who will typically lead the others in their travel route and determine the Docking Grounds.
- Allied ships who make up the rest of the cluster and link the crafts together during times of stillness. These include the air balloons who in more organized clusters help to carry additional cargo
- Signalers who track the movement of the cluster and measure the speed of Inse’s turn in order to relay any changes or problems to the others.
- Rear guards; fast and more able ships who deliberately hang back in order to come to the aid of any cluster member in danger of falling behind.
Airships had already been used prior to Inse’s arrival, and over the years after, advanced into the massive-sometimes mini and private-air faring vessels that fill the sky in allied cluster fleets. Propelled by advanced jets, magic propulsion, etc, they are the main and most reliable means of transport in Whatslef, anchoring down during times of stillness and forming temporary ‘cities’ in the sky from their ties to each other.
Their interiors transit from the more industrialized, important parts of the ship (main deck/maintenance/fueling sectors) to the more communal sectors, which in larger ships can even include a market where allied air-farers and their passengers set up trade.
Air balloons are mocked as the lesser rulers of the sky by ground travellers, but in reality, are respected as equal farers to the airships. Relying on alternative fuel sources or more intricate and complicated mechanics, they are less dependent on magic and considerably more maneuverable that the looming airships. Although less matched in speed, their abilities to serve as passenger, cargo and resource carriers earn them a place among selective airship fleets.
A common and some times only means of travelling from one air vessel to another during both times of transport and docking. Colored according to affiliation, they are permitted to glide down to lower flying crafts and are inbuilt with simple jets to enable fly up to higher ones. Similar to hang gliders, they take on multiple forms and are best used for short distances (or for fun when airfarers have nothing else to do.).
Boats are extremely rare and risky in the world of Whatslef, as the waters demands its own rules in navigating which do not always comply with the nature of Inse’s gaze. Rather than directly running away from the Blindlands as Inse turns, they have to go around and sometimes under at the cost of precious time and ground needed to be covered.
Of the boats that do exist however, they are automated to take a specific pre-determined path in order to ensure a higher chance of getting between two locations in times of stillness. In times of travel, they are usually packed up for the road or abandoned altogether.