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January 12, 2008, 1:15 am

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Cloud Hopping

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In the land of Epoa, Cloud Hoppers are some of the craziest people you’ll meet. Cloud Hopping is their job.

In a more modern setting, they’d be working as skydivers or paratroopers. In Epoa, they’re Cloud Hoppers. Adrenaline junkies one and all, it takes a special kind of person to grab a cloudboard and jump ship into empty air.

Cloudboards
The essential tool of a Hopper, this device looks like nothing less than a surfboard. A significant portion of the board is Pantarbe, which is what allows it to hold up both board and rider. Cheaper versions simply strap the rider to the board and require him to handle any sail that might be used to ride the air currents, but some of better ones have a built in minimast.

Altitude is changed by reducing the amount of sunlight that the board gets, whether by flying into a shadow nearby, or by using your sail to cover the board.

Uses
Cloud Hopping is interesting, but also highly useful. It is used by a few pirates and military forces alike; thanks to the quick altitude changes possible with a cloudboard, a special strike team can drop down and assault a target in a fraction of the time it’d take to do so with an airship.

It also makes for an interesting teen passtime, though a mildly expensive one, even using low-grade pantarbe.



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