Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Make a Flying Carpet

by Hakim ibn Ali, Master Mechanist, Damascus


The 1001 Nights and other works often mention carpets which fly, yet no descriptions are given on how to create them. This paper is an attempt to supply that needed description.

The Armature

A carpet is a floppy thing, without an internal skeleton. As a Mechanist, when I create a device for attaching a Djinn animal, I look for attachment points where the muscles of the Djinn animal can be connected to perform work. The first step of creating a Magic Carpet is to provide this skeleton, which I call the Armature. The Armature can be any of several designs, but I have found a linked rod armature easiest to construct, with the best combination of rigidity and flexibility.

The Backbone

The backbone is a series of Acrean foot-to-cubit-long rods - wood or metal - with clevis ends, one end having a single tongue with a clevis pin hole through, the other with a double tongue and clevis pin hole. The clevis pin is part of the ribs.

The Ribs

The ribs are also rods. Half the ribs that attach to the backbone have one end with a bearing surface (as a clevis pin) and tapped hole, and a double tongue clevis half on the other end. The other half of the ribs have a threaded portion to match the tapped hole on one end, and a single
clevis tongue on the other end.

Place the single tongue of one rod between the double tongues of another rod. Line up the holes and put the clevis pin of a rib through, then screw the other side of the rib into the tapped hole, sealing the clevis pin into the clevis joint. The linked rods will now be able to pivot on the clevis pin ribs. Link enough rods together to stretch the length of the carpet.

Attach other clevis rods to the ribs to spread the width of the carpet. You will now have a flexible, articulated skeleton for attaching to the carpet and to the djinn animal.

Attaching the Carpet to
the Armature

Lay the carpet over the armature so that all of the Armature is covered. Using strong thread, sew the carpet to the Armature. If you wish, you can turn the carpet over and attach a second carpet to the back in the same fashion.

Enchanting the Carpet

You will need to summon the properly sized Djinn animal for the carpet. The animal must be a flying sort, and at least Rank 3 for a small, one or two person carpet. For anything larger a Rank 4 animal needs to be summoned. Anchoring should proceed as usual.

Option: Seats

If your riders are uncomfortable riding the backbone of the Armature, you can attach disk shaped seats to the ribs on short brackets over the backbone, covering them with the carpet as usual.

from the Outremer Companion, Volume I


  1. I love this. I am so looking forward to the Outremer Companion, and hope to apply some of your wonderful crafting/engineering concepts to other games I run.

  2. Thank you, Lord Drago! I hope it gives you as much joy in the reading as it has for me in the writing. ;D