The Nevru Halius is a phase-one style airship, a literal ship fitted with a lift rig balloon and propelled by ignition-driven engines. Unlike most phase-one airships, the Halius cannot land on water. This aerostat vessel is not seaworthy due to hull damage of a type that does not impede its flight characteristics.
The Halius has a large lift rig; its balloon is twice the length of the craft. The size and composition allow the Halius to increase altitude at a very fast rate and travel above the clouds. Normally phase-one airships cannot match the maximum altitude of phase-two airships like dirigibles. But the Halius’ lift rig uses a compartmentalized balloon; half the lift is provided by lift gases and the other half is provided by vacuum. A vacuum-only lift rig would be more efficient, but the Farrani are unwilling to chance that something would dispel the magic necessary to maintain the rigidity of a vacuum-filled balloon.
For armament, the Nevru Halius carries five Grainville cannons on each side. Grainvilles are long-32s. They fire 32-pound shells from long, highly-accurate rifled barrels. Their carriage frames are suspended from a steel trellis on the gun deck that allows them to be run in and out with speed and ease. When out, the carriages can be angled forward or backward for nimble placement of the broadside. They can even be angled up to lob shells as mortars against fixed targets.
The Halius is the size of a light galleon. It is equipped with cabins for her captain, Nicolas Béhuchet, ten junior officers, and up to 90 crew. The vessel can fly with as few as one or two crew, but landing or lifting off requires magic or ten more crew. With a full compliment aboard, the holds can take 450 tons of cargo. With a minimal crew of a dozen, not counting officers, the vessel can load 600 tons.
Amenities on the vessel are few. A good deal of room is taken up by ignition-driven engines and by external combustion-cooled tanks that store inert lift gas. But there is a fully functional laboratory at the rear of the vessel. And a small, enclosed capsule on top of the lift rig, accessed by climbing the exterior of the balloon, works for making astrological observations.