“Drop to Sail-shift and prepare to fire.”
The Avalonic Starship is a thing of terror, beauty, and over-wrought elegance. A recreation of ancient sailing vessels that once plied the seas of Elys and Aru. These combinations have changed over time as the need for design and defense have further evolved the ongoing standardization of solar sailing vessels throughout the Sea of Stars. The power to design, produce, and regulate starships in the Avalon Cluster falls under the purview of the Artificer’s Guild. An ancient band of ship-wrights who have held a monopoly on Starship production for centuries. Only the Arconeer’s Guild is said to be older, and only the Great Guilds are as mysterious.
The Basics of Solar-Sailing
All propulsion in the Triad when done between planetary and colonial bodies is always conducted via the “Sail-shift” or the usage of the solar-sails. When in Sail-shift is engaged it disrupts the ability to use Fusion speed or “Fusion-Shift.” The speed in which a starship travels is split between the standard fusion speeds (quarter, half, three-quarter, and full) and the factors of speed achieved when in the Sail-shift. Measuring these speeds is known as a ships “Furling factor” (a reference to the old term of unfurling the sails). Under the guidance of the Dregyr Cabal the standard of travel and speed were standardized (a subject beloved by the Artificers Guild.
The Furling Scale (standardized by Truthseeker Alecia of the Dregyr) provided a system of simple advancement and measurement for speed across the Sea of Stars. Beginning at Factor 1 (standard speed of 2,500 KPS [Klicks Per Second]) and increases at a constant average of 250 KPS with each numbered Factor; Factor 10 is then the maximum at 5,000 KPS. Fusion Shift speed in turn begins a minimum speed of 250- KPS to a maximum of 1,000 KPS.
To calculate time traveled is distanced to be traveled / (Factor # x 250)+ 2,500 KPS 3,600 (seconds in an hour) = total travel time in hours (divide by 24 to get the time in standard days).
Navigational Technology in the Triad
The width and breadth of the Avalon Cluster has been charted, recorded, and noted. Yet, still in the depths of the Sea of Stars there exist anomalies, unknowns, and rumors of monsters that lurk in the dark. First it began with Desmond Starwalker and was completed during the Reach Reconquest. The result was a veritable swarm of half-broken and full working navigational buoys, relays, and much more. A massive net of information when enhanced by the SysNet formed one of the most accurate navigational networks in known history. Originally navigation was controlled by the various factions of the House Senate and the Imperial Bureaucracy. Something which easily stuck in the craw of the Artificers guild. With the assistance of the Dreygr the Guild was able to hold the contesting powers within the House Senate and gain a monopoly on the technology.
Problems still remain however, buoys and relays can be moved a problem often faced in the Marches (especially near the Line). Other problems persist such as roving bands of Corsairs to mysterious colonists known as “Wreckers” who purposely cause the active breaching of vessels by waylaying them into debris or asteroids. Usage of the SPN is conducted in concerted with constant connection with the SysNet and the reading of active gravity wells (both the Stars and planets) themselves to produce an actively changing map of the Avalon Cluser. The information can then be extrapolated to produce a series of “headings” on an x-y-z plain for navigation. This technology thus allows a vessel to chart a destination while tracking its own position in the Sea of Stars. Technology allows most lost Astralines to find their way, or even the most distant drifter colony in the Reach to locate itself in orbit around the gravity wells of either Reach.
Classification of Starship
Possessing a complete monopoly on design and manufacture has historically lent itself to mass standardization and regulation by the various Guilds, the Artificer’s is no exception. All ships within the Avalon cluster from Gwarish Nest-Ships to the massive Sovereign Carriers all under a base designation of vessel. These can easily be broken down into three major categories: Transport Craft (Cargo Vessels, Personnel Transports etc), Strike Craft (Fighters and Corvettes), Capital Craft (Ships-Of-The-Line, Carriers, Bringantines etc). All of these designations give a basis of factors include speed, purpose, and the general armament / defense of a given vessels. Transport Craft unless modified are rarely ever armed, and often only carry defensive armament to deal with raiders, corsairs, and other enemy targets. Strike craft cannot, only with the exception of Light Corvette Class vessels, achieve Sail-shift. Each class of Capital Craft has a different purpose, speed factor, and general size limit imposed upon them (and a set number of sails).
Ship Classification however does not cover facts such as general strategy and the shape or overall design of a vessel. It sets a standard for crew complement; what a ship can and cannot have; and the general size of the vessel in general along with speed. Clipper Class starships while being considered the fastest vessels can serve multiple purposes such as long range raider, exploratory vessel, or mobile relief hospital. Even the most complicated vessel can be filed neatly into the system (or the Artificers will discover some convoluted solution to the problem).