>Ships

>Telelelene ships are always named. Some common names are:

  • Beggar Thy Neighbour (particularly for pirate ships)
  • Revenge, or variants such as Queen Anne’s Revenge or Wanderer’s Revenge.
  • Liberty and the Amity
  • Scourer
  • Snapdragon
  • Delivery
  • Mermaid
  • Fair Isle
  • Cloud-Horse
  • South Wind, North Wind, Fair Wind, Monsoon, and the like.
  • Flying King, Flying Empress, and so forth.
  • Indigo
  • Dancer
  • Rose
  • Dolphin

Ships are also frequently named for

  • Places; for example Forthead, Isle of Sky.
  • Gods, particularly The Lady of Charity and Numen Mari. Star of the Sea, another common name, is a reference to the Lady of Charity.
  • People, particularly the captain’s spouse or children.
  • Diseases. It being thought that naming a ship after a disease will keep that disease at bay, there are ships with names such as Scurvy, The Crots, Red Ruin, and Bloody Flux.

Types of Ships

There are three main classes of large ship: the argosy, longship, and trireme.

The argosy is the largest class of ship, with much space for carrying cargo and a large crew. It is powered by sail not oar.

The name ‘argosy’ means ‘merchant ship’. Ironically, this type of ship is also used by pirates. Ample cargo space and many crew, equalling many hands for battle, are equally useful for them as for their prey.

The longship is powered by both sail and oar. It has a single row of oars on each side, usually around 10, but up to 25 or more. Unlike on a trireme, the rowers sit in the open air.

It is, as the name implies, long and thin, having no spare space. It is thus unsuitable for carrying cargo.

It is, however, capable of extended voyages. Thus it may be used for small-scale military use, voyages of discovery, and the like.

Some longships may be fitted with benches. In others the rowers will sit on chests, which perform the double duty of holding their belongings.

The trireme has three rows of oars on each side. They also have sails, but they only augment its speed.

There are usually 10 to 12 rows on each side, making a total of 60 to 72 oars. However large ships regularly have as many as 30 rows.

Since each oar has its own, single, rower, the crew of a trireme must be quite large. The conditions below decks, where over a hundred rowers may be sitting encased in airless darkness, are hellish. Some poor wretches have been known to cut off their own thumb, or even a hand, to ensure that they may not be trireme rowers.

The combination of the large required crew, and the terrible conditions for rowers, mean that the trireme is mostly used by governments and armies, particularly those who practice slavery. They are not, however, used to carry slaves, having little cargo space (captives may not immediately be set to rowing: it requires a surprising amount of training).

The trireme is not suitable for extended voyages. Indeed its light wood may become waterlogged if left in the water overnight. Thus it is usual for the boat to be dragged ashore at the end of the day (an operation which will usually require over 100 crew).

Miscellaneous Notes

Argosies, and less frequently triremes, may be fitted with diving equipment, allowing interaction with the denizens of the sea. Generally only one or a few crew will dive at a time. However if battle is expected the entire crew may go, leaving only a few dressers on board to maintain the machinery.

Although sail and oar are the most common means of propulsion, some ships also have a propeller attached to a giant rubber band, which is wound up before the journey.

Generally the longer a ship is the faster she will be, but the less easily she will maneuver.

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