Note: This is part of the setting of the world that our Steampunk personas come from, which is also content for the game we are working on.
When the Aether Explosion first happened, there were rocks that were ruined to the point of being unable to sustain proper life. Despite the many people killed in the explosion, there were not enough habitable rocks to accommodate the amount of survivors. Families had to resort to living on their own airships. Families who didn’t have an airship typically found refuge on their friends’ airships. Some airships took on families they didn’t know simply because those families had nowhere else to go. These airships grew over time, and as generations brought more families, these airships expanded in physical size to become large colonies. These ships are known as Colonial Airships and they are governed by the Ships’ Captain.
Colonial Airship Captains are often seen as a political status within society. They are akin to City leaders, and though they have final say on all things regarding the ship, the people are often friends and family… and out number the Captain. Life on a Colonial Airship is a lot like life on the Rocks, except that every member of able age has a job in order to remain on board. Although the Captain’s view on what constitutes as an acceptable job is what really matters. Airship Colonies are often closer than Colonies on the Rocks due to the difference in how their colonies were established and how the Captain’s run their ships. Anyone knows that messing with one’s Colonial Ship Mate will harbor ill will from nearly (if not all) of the community on board. Smaller Rocks are sometimes tethered to Colonial Airships to provide counter balance and support the weight of the people; however, this makes them slower and more vulnerable to Pirate attacks, so you don’t see these types very often.
Other Zeppelin’s are Private Airships owned by individuals or business groups that are not colonial grade ships. There are also Zeppelin Ferries that solely function to carry passengers between the Rocks (the floating land masses). Other smaller Zeppelin’s and Aeroplanes are often used within a city for mundane purposes, such as sky advertisements, city announcements, and often times just for entertainment during festivals.
Aside from the Airships and Zeppelins, there are also many Aeroplanes that travel the skies. A majority of Aeroplanes are owned or rented by private parties, or by small businesses that cannot afford the expenses of the elaborate Airships and Zeppelins. Most explorers and adventurers prefer the small quaintness and controlability of Aeroplanes. Before the Aether Explosion, Aeroplanes were a primary source of travel along side of trains. Today they are still very common, but they are no longer the primary mode of transportation and are fairly outdated in the technology industry (despite still having there place in this world).