Age of Orion
Airships are mostly a thing of a past age. Running on liquefied Residuum, which was harvested from Dragon bones and magic items, the current rarity of both has grounded most Airships for good.
History of Airships
Dragon Fighters were the original pilots. Trained to fight dragons after hunters on the ground injured the dragon enough for it to try to flee. They would either down the dragon for the hunters to finish or kill the dragon in mid air combat. Since Dragons were masters of the skies, the Airships needed to become small, fast, and maneuverable as opposed to the original flying boat designs. So designs closer to World War One era fighter craft like the Hannover CL III, allowing for a fighter that could stand against a dragon.
The Nox-Stahlwacht War was the first war to see Airships deployed. Their ability to bomb artillery like catapults and ballistas made it nearly impossible to lay siege to castles or other fortified positions. Airships, magic, and firearms were the only counter to airships, arrows work as long as the archer is a master archer or there are a lot of them. Magic was deemed the best way to down Airships, as most were wooden frames with cloth covering making them easy targets for fire spells. Airships were rarely used to combat ground forces, the differences in speed kept them separate combatants. Occasional attempts to bomb ground forces were successful, but as the craft tend to be easy to spot and the bombs not exceedingly devastating, most could clear the blast radius if they saw the bomb drop.
Airships in the current age
With the decline in dragons, the sources for Residuum faded, and thus the usage of Airships dropped off. With no fuel to fly Airships, no one built new engines or frames, they started to fade into history. A few companies are doing their best to maintain air travel as a possibility, but with Residuum in it’s current state, they’re fighting a losing battle. Innovations into non-magical engines could bring Airships back into the main stay, but Whale oil engines simply don’t have the power or grace of the Residuum based engines.
Air Travel Companies
The company still manages to run flights but at some rather extreme rates. Rumor has it they have a large stockpile of Residuum which they’ve been depleting to stay in business. Operates out of Chakai, with flights to the capitals of Nox, Kana, The Thirteen Kingdoms, and Orion.