Expeditions to the surface are very dangerous because of the horrible monsters there, so why do people from the skylands go there? Why co to all the trouble, expense, and danger?
All monsters and many
plants contain reservoirs of magical energy, which can be harvested
and, through alchemical processes, rendered into usable form. Alchemical
Ingredients derived from the surface are far more rare and expensive
than those derived from ingredients found commonly on the skylands.
Ruins of the Ancestrals
of Ancestral buildings are sometimes found on the surface. Usually they
have been looted at least once, but such run and grab oprations are
seldom are thorough, and even looted places can be worth investigating.
the paths of the floating skylands being determined by the winds, it is
not uncommon to be driven out of familiar territory, and into unknown
lands. A land pushed south from the Great Northern Gyre through the
Grand Processional and into the Southern Gyre would find itself in
utterly unfamiliar lands. Finding out where you are and where you are
going can be of paramount importance.
Trade with the Natives
natives are uncivilized, but not stupid. They understand trade, and the
value of things. You can sometimes trade with the gives for goods such
as artifacts, or alchemical ingredients, or for services. They make
expert guides. Natives, however,will not put up with mistreatment, or
force..They share the surfacewith horrific monsters, and are not scared
Food Gathering and Hunting
There are many,
many food animals on the surface which are not found on any skylands.
This is even more so of food crops. Foods found on the surface and taken
back could be very valuable and may be sold to inhabitants of the
skylands if proven healthy.
may attempt to claim mountains they perceive to be in the process of
breaking away or even about to begin that process. Typically, they will
change or anchor a floating castle to the land in question and staff the
floating castle with aerial troops and giant birds, in order to protect
this land from claim by others. This new undeveloped land, when it does
break free of the surface, must be cleared and tamed. This entails
hunting down any monster on the surface of the land claimed or hidden in
caves in the surface or along the sides of the flying mountain.