Dirgibles of the Larkspur Combine

From Beacon Space

One of the most outstanding facets of Combine engineering, magic, and design are their unorthodox implementations and designs of starships. The vast number of Combine star and spacecraft are advanced and heavily armored Dirigibles.

Before the Larkspur Revolution, the Technocratic government often struggled with their needs to manufacture the infrastructure for Mos and the company towns beneath them adopted an innovative yet unusual solution. The adaptation of Dirigible designs were invaluable for their ability to operate without need of airports or spaceports and ownership of the assets was nationalized under the colonial government until the overthrow of 128 M.C (888 TTGI). In the aftermath of the Revolution, the Combine liberated and encouraged new designs that elevated the operation of such vessels to the stars.


While the form of these craft generally appear in the shape of the less formed balloon vehicles of millenic legend, only vessels within an earth-like atmosphere or other similar environs would lack the needed adjustments for space flight and travel.

Within planetary gravity wells/atmospheres, the vessel leverages its uniquely designed super structure and myriad of systems to manipulate the quantum locking effects between the superconductive vessel and the planetary magnetosphere. This empowers the vessel to attain shocking speeds provided the propulsion mechanisms and energy systems are sufficient to do so.

In combat scenarios of space the Combine has tended to favor mass use of M.I.T.S (Multiple Interspatial Torpedo Systems) or to deploy various “rods from god” when dealing with more terrestrial problems. This doctrine follows from the ship's unique magnetic/gravitic technology being able to possibly defeat smart munitions through localized EMP bursts and circumstantially transform direct impacts into glancing blows as long as they’re from kinetic projectiles susceptible to magnetic manipulation.

Detailing the crafts, they usually comprise a core, inner shell, outer shell, engine, and deck.


The “empty” core of the vessel primarily contains the space for cargo, living areas, and most command systems such as; Engineering, Command deck, the Cargo Bay, Living Quarters, etc. The scale and size of most designs offers larger real estate than vessels of similar class so both structure and navigation between these can sometimes be a journey or challenge of its own.

Inner Shell

Here, the vessel’s frame and superstructure house many of the technological and magical systems. It is generally filled with liquid nitrogen to maintain the elements of the vessel’s superconductive skeleton. The structural rings, though their actual shapes can vary from simple geometrical to helical, begin here, integrating antrigravitic magic and technology alongside supporting mounts for microthrusters or other systems.

Outer Shell

Encapsulating the inner framing and core is this heavily armored exoskeleton. Here panels, sections, mounts and many other integrations serve the needs of the other designs. This particular section is most easily reduced or ignored in an earth-like environment for sake of cost; however, the most expensive asset of this section is the Orichalcum amalgam plating.

Orichalcum is an expensive-to-produce magical material that is able to both metamagically and technomantically adapt and adopt the properties of any metal it is bonded with before “casting,” especially while retaining approximately the original mass and volume of the beginning sample. In the case of this vehicle, Orichalcum is often amalgamated to the superconductive inner structure and plated to the hardest alloys available to strengthen the vitality of the bulkheads and transfer the superconductivie and magnetic designs to the armored outer shell.


The engine section is generally where conventional aeronautical guiding fins are replaced with plasma ion engines when having access to TL4, or, more affordable varieties in the event the vessel is intended for flight lower than FTL.


This is the exterior platform, traditionally located on the “bottom” of the airship that supports the more luxurious and comfortable arrangements. Lounges, Aquariums, misc travel amenities, or other means. Should the vessel ever enter into a state of conflict, the deck is generally evacuated to the core and strengthened bulkheads are sealed to protect organics from environmental exposure. In some variations, this section is altered or substituted for weapons systems, flight decks, or other schemes dependent on retro, refit, or original design.


While some variations and others notes have been made in the detailing of the archetypal vessel, the following is a not-all-encompassing list of features or functions that the design can or does accomplish. Generally, these answer questions of parity in relation to other technology for starships and airships or highlight the versatility of such vessels.

  • While the smallest dirigible would still be too big to qualify as a ‘personal ship’ and would be too expensive to own/operate unless its an explicit display of wealth, small vessels could be the equivalent of a small villa in the sky, or for reference to earth, an airborne Mississippi paddle boat casino.
  • Commercially, dirigibles make for excellent ships for moving freight in space or in atmosphere, acting as both pleasure cruise and luxury barges similar to cruise liners from earth. They also naturally perform as large scale shuttles/personnel transport ships meant to move large numbers of people in relative comfort.
  • Militarily, they’re notably durable, and can use numerous weapon platforms. The smallest could act as moving airborne bunkers and the largest could act as airborne air-craft carriers/mobile military bases.
  • Given the structure of these designs, most can be upgraded or downgraded to or from space travel capacity without taking much of the core space with FTL engines. This same versatility can also have them function as submersibles with correct design; especially on the many water planets out in beaconspace.
  • The bulk nature of design also especially enables it to function as a mobile hospital, an intermediate power plant or workshop, and various emergency response platforms.