On the great lake of the Trifork, where multiple rivers meet, Beorthan has joined the vessel Swiftsure on a patrol. From the deck of the ship he greets two elven traders, approaching the city with their cargo....
The Swiftsure is a "Ship of the Isles" commisioned by the city council of the Trifork to patrol the lake, which shores the city stand on. It is larger than the typical "Ships of the Isles", but maintains the speed and grace of the smaller patrolcrafts normally travelling the narrow channels between the Mystic Isles. This was a requirement from the start, as a swift and manouverable vessel with the capacity to sail the lake, as well as the deep sea was needed.
Its speed, together with the shallow draft and sleek hull, allows it to follow most other ships and boats whereever they may go to escape, while the broad fighting platforms fore and aft gives it the necessary punch in a fighting situation. Normally, its main purpose is customs and rescue duty, but if necessary, it will be able to hold its own against almost any other vessel traversing the lakes and rivers of the Trifork.
The Swiftsure is rigged as a Xebec, allowing it to hoist both square and lateen sails on its long booms. Thus, with the right rigging and an experienced crew, it will be fast both before (with square sails), and when tacking close to the wind.(With lateens.)
Further, it has oar propulsion, giving it great speed and manouverability in still weather. The oars are driven by three oarsmen through a clever Mitgardian gear mechanism with leg powered boost function, allowing the oarsmen to really put their backs into it when needed.
At the back, a large rudder gives the vessel the necessary steering power to be effective both at high and low speeds, and allowing the Swiftsure to turn in a very short radius.
Apart from its crew of well-disciplined sailors (and their experienced captain) the vessel is armed with a powerful ballista, able to fire a deadly bolt almost halfway accross the lake with reasonable precision.
Any comments and critiscism is welcome. I quite liked how this one turned out, but I am always interested in improving!
I would like to claim UoP Credit for "Trade and Law": "Shipping by sea/Water".
May the brick be with you