Travel through Aetheria is understandably difficult, considered impossible for your average sentient. An average sentient will find themselves floating with little to no control. They are reduced to having to rely on less ideal swimming motions. However for those gifted with flight, magic or a rare innate ability movement is more ideal. These sentients will move through the Aether as they would usually fly, swim or as if drawn along by a strong current without apparent exertion. This method of travel rarely indicates a likelihood of survival.
The hazards of travelling through Aetheria are numerous and often very deadly. Other beings are one issue, there are many sentients not above basic piracy and slave labour. However the main issue is the unpredictable aether, which can spawn live creatures of varying hostility, landscape features such as a mountain right where a sentient is and even odder anomalies. Those with experience in Aetheria can develop an instinct for these changes which will help them avoid the worst. For this instinct to develop they must survive for a period beforehand, a difficult task indeed.
Those who have mastered travel in Aetheria alone are highly sought after as guides.
Navigation in Aetheria is incredibly hard due to the lack of many fixed landmarks, but there are a few tricks to rely on. One being that objects at rest tend to align themselves in a particular way, even the realms do this. This definite sense of “down” in Aetheria can aid when travelling in what is essentially a gravity-less 3d plane. It is also possible to map the personal time needed to travel a certain distance, creating maps, this is not effected by time distortions as distances remain the same. The final trick is using compasses made within realms which will always point to their realm of origin.
The kit of any “sane” navigator will usually include:
- An Aetheric Gyroscope to ensure no local anomalies are messing with their sense of ‘down’
- At least 3 aetheric compasses to allow for the triangulation of current location
- An aetheric map, which is a 3d representation of known realms to scale
- Aetheric compasses to moving to moving realms (such as realmfish) that are of interest.
Generally one of the three triangulation compasses will be for Corazon, which is considered the centre of most maps of Aetheria. The other two will be of the furthest realms the navigator can afford.
Aetherian Passenger Ships
The great Aetherian passenger ships are the mode of transport for the average sentient, there is no one way for them to look but they will often look something like a boat. In addition to the ability to move at reasonable speeds they offer navigation services, hazard detection and sometimes even protection. The standard crew of an Aetherian passenger ship will be:
- Helsmen, these sentients are experienced travellers with heightened Aetherian instinct to detect most changes in the Aether.
- Lookouts, to watch for hostiles.
- Mages or Aetherian Druids, these magic users propel the ship, they are often the weakest or most inexperienced of the Aetherian Druids.
- Captain, to organise trip, crew and passengers
Generally most largish ships will have 3-4 helmsmen, lookouts and propellers to cover shifts.
The danger of Aetherian ship travel is that larger hostiles, (which will ignore individuals) will challenge a ship. Passengers must be ready to defend their ships as necessary.