Report after report of the Sandmaw, a marvel of desert technology, dot the journals of many who have visited Farah’deen. With their huge sails, carrying loads of passengers and their goods across the deserts of Farah’deen, traveling just the same as boats do on water it is little wonder that outsiders are stunned by such craft. The way this travel takes place is thanks to reinforced and powerful skids that withstand miles of sand scraping and scratching against them as they travel while mighty dragon-wing shaped sails catch the powerful desert winds of the continent.
Sandmaws are pieces of technology partly left over by the Sariyd Empire and rebuilt with the knowledge given to the Songaskians by the last of their dragon forefathers. Before the Great Storm, Sandmaws were used by the Sariyd elite for what amounted to pleasure voyages through the sparse, mild deserts of Farah’deen, with the machines being powered by Soul Essence and other mechanics to allow them to work. However, after the birth of the Songaskians, such vessels became key to survival, and the Songaskians rapidly adapted their use by mundane individuals, without the need for technological knowhow. Additionally, the Qadir themselves largely abandoned the design, and so Sandmaws became known as a "invention" of the Songaskian Masaya. Ultimately, the Songaskians designed the Sandmaw as it is in the modern day, crafting it to look like a Dragon moving low across the desert from a distance, with their dragon-wing shaped sails to the ornate dragon heads carved on the front of the ships. Recent conflict has largely seen these Sandmaws either destroyed or held in reserve, the terrain for their use often not a factor in recent conflicts that have plagued the Songaskian Masaya. Additionally, the Qadir have sought to take back the Sandmaw, striping it of it's draconic decorations and design features to instead reflect their design style as well as convey them across the arid areas of Aloria.
Each Sandmaw is constructed by skilled craftsmen and weavers, using wood from the grand acacia trees that remain in Farah'deen lumber gardens at first to piece together these left behind mechanical creations. Once the Songaskian nation established trade with its neighboring allies, it imported wood that was more durable and lighter, thus requiring the Songaskia to have their method of travel repaired less often. The Qadir, meanwhile, use complex metalwork inlaid on their hulls to reduce the need for replacing hulls, while also gaining these materials largely from external sources. The main body of the Sandmaw is usually made of a large hull, a helm located somewhere near or on top of the cabin and depending on the intended purpose of the Sandmaw, a place for goods or other passengers below deck. With a spot on top of the storage area that was inline with the sails so that other wind/air Mages and Songaskia would assist in propelling the Sandmaw if needed.
Sandmaws can be broken into three main sections, the body, the sails and the skids. The body consists of where the passengers or cargo is located during travel and where the main deck of the ship is located. The sails are designed to catch the strong winds while the skids are intended to minimize the contact between the wood and the hot desert sand. Additionally, Sandmaws can be divided into four basic types, based on size and generally undertaken tasks.
- Bammoo Maw: Also known as the Cargo or Lugging Maw, the Bammoo Maw is a large, basic cargo and passenger ship, with a crew cabin able to house up to seven people and two to three passenger cabins to accommodate up to six people for longer trips across Farah’deen. The vessel has a larger sail with multiple smaller sails to help with smoother traveling, and is generally considered the widest of the Maws.
- Taama Maw: Also known as the Travel Maw, the Taama Maw is smaller than the Supply Maw, with enough space for one or two people and a bit of cargo. It has just one mainsail positioned where the user could easily reach it while traveling thanks to this focus on a small compliment
- Kele Maw: Known in Common as Battle Maws, these vessels are large enough to support the mounting of at least two cannons along each side with multiple huge sails for carrying heavy loads of war material alongside enough space for a crew of up to twenty. Up to two Nog’cadan Maws can be housed on the vessel as well as a crude form of life raft or for tactical reasons.
- Nog’cadan Maw: Nog’cadan Maws are the smallest of all Sandmaws and are built to be the lightest and quickest as a result. They can carry a single person, limited supplies and are mainly used in seasonal sporting events or for quick single person travel. This method is also the most physically taxing, as the individual needs to be standing the entire time to operate the craft.
A Sandmaw is pushed by catching the heated winds that race across and up from the sun baked sands of Farah’deen in their sails, thus propelling the Sandmaw forward, along its skids. The skids of the Sandmaw are designed to minimize contact between the hot sand in Farah’deen and the hull of the ship, as their oblong shape and smooth hardened wood decreases the friction between the wood and the sand as well, allowing for a smooth trip.
Sandmaws allow a majority of Songaskians to avoid having to maintain travel livestock like Bakhshuna Jamals and horses within the harsh desert environment. Additionally, the unique craft allows them to travel over longer distances in a shorter amount of time, avoiding the stops and rests of normal animals. These ships have also opened up many trade routes between the Songaskian cities of Farah’deen, traversing some of the more hostile, deep deserts, thus allowing the flow of essential goods throughout the landmass. For the Qadir meanwhile, they serve a similar purpose, of travel, but they also serve as a deeper cultural connection and one of the few piece of Qadir machinery to not use Clockwork, demanding physical lavor to operate.
- Songaskians hold racing events during the windy seasons, taking their smallest Sandmaws to special locations in the Farah’deen deserts for these crowd gathering events.
- Toymakers make smaller versions of the Sandmaws for children and ornate models for collectors, sometimes with moveable parts as well for extra complexity.