Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nuts & Bolts #67 - Skyward: A Guide to the Great Terraces

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Skyward is all about flying through the Blue, having awesome airborne combat, fighting sky pirates, and searching the mysterious limits of the world. But without the Terraces all of that will quickly fall by the wayside when planes run out of fuel, and crew run out of food. The Terraces provide places for the people of Skyward to get food and supplies, affect repairs, and trade for goods.

Terraces are uniformly formed of large square segments roughly half a mile (slightly less than 1 km) on a side. These terrace squares are joined in various configurations though the most common by far are simply large squares and rectangles. Terraces are not held aloft so much as they are fixed in place. They do not float or drift, and cannot be moved; terraces are fixed in space with no apparent support or mechanism. As a result navigation between terraces is quite routine, provided that a pilot keeps a close eye on their bearings.

The Great Terraces are all those which have a total area of greater than 10 square miles (requiring at least 40 terrace segments). The Great Terraces have the best resources, most arable land, and best defenses making them the ideal places for long lasting governments. A great many more smaller Terraces, often those with less than 5 square miles (20 segments), exist within the world, and make up by far a greater total land area than the Great Terraces, but the political and economic might of the Great Terraces far outstrips those of the lesser Terraces.

Terrace Green

Terrace Green is the single largest Terrace in all of the Blue. It is also one of the few that holds to strict neutrality. The people of Terrace Green are farmers and they live a peaceful life maintaining the land and their animals to provide both food and fuel for the rest of the inhabitants of Skyward. The fact that every other Terrace would band together against any warlord foolish enough to try and take Green for themselves ensures that none ever attempt to do so. In return for their peaceful life the people of Green trade with all parties. They are not self sufficient however, and often take in shipments of refuse to be composted, and water to help ensure the success of their crops.

The Wing Confederacy

Formed of three major Terraces the Wing Confederacy is the single most powerful government in all of the Blue. Consisting of Terraces Iron Wing, Steel Wing, and Wing along with dozens of smaller Terraces the Confederacy is also the leader in flight engineering.
Terrace Iron Wing
If your plane needs repairs and you have enough money to pay for the best, you head to Iron Wing. Iron Wing has some of the best mechanics and scrappers in the Blue, as well as access to the foundries of Steel Wing for new parts.  
Terrace Steel Wing
The smallest of the Great Terraces at just 41 terrace segments Steel Wing is a monstrosity of foundries and factories. Scrap is brought in, and newly forged parts are shipped out. Steel Wing may not be unique in its operation, but it is by far the largest and most capable.  
Terrace Wing
Need a new aircraft? Willing to pay for the most advanced tech? Welcome to Terrace Steel Wing, how may I be of service? Terrace Wing is the place to go if you have the money to buy a new plane. Not a plane newly built from scrapped and recycled parts, but one built from entirely new components sourced from the foundries and factories of Steel Wing.

Terrace Brutus

Brutus is big. Second only to Green, Terrace Brutus boasts a well rounded collection of farms and foundries, factories and more. Brutus isn't specialized in any one trade or industry but does it all. Brutus has a well rounded economy and for a stand alone Terrace is one of the few that can stand alone if need be.

Terrace Scav

Terrace Scav is the closest of all the Terraces to the Black. Located in the deep Blue Scav has claimed all of the extreme reaches of the Blue as its own, a claim that few show interest in fighting. The residents of Scav operate massive scale zeppelins and other large airships and trawl the deep blue with widely cast nets in order to catch debris from above which is in turn recycled or sold to the foundries of Steel Wing and other Terraces. Some say that the Scavs have even found a way to venture into the Black and recover that which was thought lost for good.

Terrace Black

Terrace Black is a rumor, though one that is well founded. It is said that Black is the neutral ground of the various pirate clans that hunt the Blue. A huge Terrace that acts for the pirate clans in the way that places like Iron Wing and Steel Wing do for the other nations and private pilots. Some say that Black is actually in the Black while others say that it is not a Terrace at all but the most massive airship ever built. If anybody knows  the truth or Black's location, it's the captains of the pirate clans, but they aren't talking.