Skysailing lore is a body of knowledge dealing with travelling the 7 Skies safely. Some of it is mundane and some of it is arcane. It is usually orally transmitted between skysailors.
- The Orca Knot is said to be able to hold anything. It is a complex knot taught to skysailors, and most often used in lashing up weakened (or broken) masts and booms.
- After a strong storm, do not rely upon your instruments. The Ship's Master must be assured that the instruments are still properly calibrated. Only visual navigation willl see you through.
- On a four-masted skyship, each of the structures near the "end" of the mast furthest from the hull, which is used as a lookout point, has its own name:
- Crow's Nest: The back (upper) mast.
- Raven's Nest: The belly (lower) mast. (On some ships with no side masts, this lookout is sometimes referred to as 'The Talons'.)
- Jackdaw's Nest: The starboard wingsail (side) mast.
- Jay's Nest: The port wingsail (side) mast.
- A plain paper map of an area of the 7 Skies is only useful in regions sparsely populated by navigational hazards, as one must normally navigate in three dimensions. (And if the region has few hazards, why do you need a map?) For this reason, the most useful maps come with transparencies that are laid across the top of a base map. One might say of an inept navigator that he sails "by paper" — i.e., in two dimensions only.
- Since inter-island travel takes substantial time, skysailors are encouraged to develop any artistic skills they have to liven up these long voyages. Cooking, dancing, pet training, scrimshaw, singing, storytelling, tattoo artistry, and whittling are all common.
- It is said that if you nail a stalk of celery to the belly mast, it will repel Empyrean Wolves.
- Never allow a monkeysquid in the crow's nest, or a parrot in the raven's nest: both are considered bad luck. However, a cat in the jay's nest is good luck!
- When given a biscuit without a weevil, alert the bosun. It's a bad sign.
The Captain's Rutter
Of course, it goes without saying that no sky captain worth his salt would attempt to travel the Seven Skies with just the Vascasi map for reference. Where the Vascasi map shows how each nation is located within the trade routes, a captain's Rutter is required to navigate the skies with any degree of accuracy.
The captain's rutter is a highly valuable book and is much sought after for the, often secret, information it contains. It provides details of the established Vascasi routes and is invaluable for navigating between ports. It is still possible to do so of course, however, a rutter will provide useful information on what to expect on the way.
For more information, see The Vascasi Map.
For PDFs of the Captain's Rutters, The Vascasi Map, and blank national and colonial trade routes see John's S7S Mediafire Folder.
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