Phraxships were the primary form of sky travel during the Third Age, and were invented by Xanth Filatine using technology reverse-engineered from Lentil Spume's Phraxfire globes. Phraxships shared many similarities with the sky galleons of the First Age, but differed significantly in their functionality and size.
Phraxships drew both their lift and propulsion from shards of Stormphrax, contained within huge spherical Phraxchambers somewhat reminiscent of First Age flight rocks. Whereas sky galleons of the First Age were generally confined to the same basic layout, Phraxships could have their phraxchambers mounted at almost any point on their hull. Commonly, the phraxchamber was mounted either on the top deck, raised up so as to give its propulsion duct clearance, or underneath the craft with its exhaust funnel mounted on one (or both) sides of the hull. Some phraxships had two phraxchambers rather than just one, giving them superior speed and lift, though likely at a significant financial cost.
Whereas sky galleons were limited in terms of their size - the largest being the unwieldly Great Sky Whale and the unnaturally-created Bringer of Doom - phraxships came in all shapes and sizes. The smallest, single-occupant phraxsloops and barges, were no bigger than a cart, while the largest - such as the sky-taverns - were comparable in size to the Great Sky Whale, or perhaps even larger.
Phraxships of all shapes and sizes were used for many different tasks across the Edge. Some were the famous sky-taverns, such as the Deadbolt Vulpoon and the Xanth Filatine, which operated as a kind of leisure cruise and battered their way slowly through the skies over the Deepwoods. Others were working ships, used by merchants to transport their goods to and fro, while others still were warships, such as the huge troop transports of the Great Glade Phraxfleet. Some, like the Archemax, were smaller and more aerodynamically designed than most lumbering phraxships.
Types of Phraxships (by size)
Phraxflight was achieved in the closing days of the Second Age, when the Most High Academe of the Lake Landing Academy, Xanth Filatine, came into possession of a device called a 'Phraxfire globe'. The Phraxfire globes had been designed by Lentil Spume, the son of the deceased Hemuel Spume, former master of the then-abandoned Foundry Glade, and were functionally a high-yield grenade - able to vaporise flesh and armour alike.
Xanth Filatine was able, through extensive study, to reverse-engineer the Phraxfire globe into an artificial flight rock. The design was scaled up, and brought about the dawn of the Third Age of Flight.