Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Miscellaneous => Topic started by: Iovas on 08 February 2014, 04:37:53

Title: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma Longship
Post by: Iovas on 08 February 2014, 04:37:53
Feared in northern waters for their compactness, stealth and unsavoury payload, the Delma are the signature ships of the Kasumarii navy, the Black Wave Pirates - the Tscoiarans. Compared to more conventional ships, the Delma seems impractical and, indeed, on cross ocean voyages there are very uncomfortable, even dangerous, but their stealth, speed and remarkable resilience are perfect for the often dark work of the Kar-ii Stormsons. These are not trade ships, or passenger ships, and have only a single, nefarious purpose. Get in, get the job done and get out.

Lying low in the water, with its mast torn down and a seacloth tarp pulled over the deck, the Delma seems to disappear from sight, as crew, cargo and equipment settle down into the hull. Against a dark sea, the poor prey of the Kar-ii will never see them coming, their first warning being the sudden failure of their ships hull, or an unexpected deluge of Echilianii warriors appearing from nowhere...

The ultimate stealth ship, the 'standard' (there are actually two styles of Delma, differing only in their size and application) Delma is almost 10 peds long, and 1.2 peds wide, while the smaller Delma, which are used primarily by two man crews for smuggling or short range missions, is only 1 ped wide and 6 peds long. The body of the ship curves slightly, and the highest point is its bow, which is a sharp, upward sloping spike - which cannot be used for ramming, as the Tscoiarans interviewed pointed out at every available opportunity - that cuts through the surf, allowing rapid launching. The sides of the hull curve in slightly, affording some extra protection from the sea, and have small bronze loops bolted to the exterior to tie down seacloth. The interior of the hull lacks benches and is covered with glued down seacloth that is even cut to fit snugly around the flexible rudder and the bronze base for the mast. The mast itself is thin, surprisingly light and pre-rigged to rapidly fly a square sailcloth when a hasty retreat is necessary, or when travelling open waters.

The seacloth 'flooring' of the boat serves two important purposes. One, it insulates and keeps the interior of the boat warm and is a much beloved luxury of Stormsons who've been out to sea for too long. Second, and most importantly, it helps save the interior of the ship - changing the seacloth lining once every few years or so is fairly cheap, allows a chance to inspect the skeleton of the ship for defects, and is preferable to having the beams of the hull rot. A few Delma have been passed down the generations, and are over a century old and still in top shape.

Although a luxury, many Tscoiarans spend large amounts of money to buy dark blue paint for the outside hulls of their ships, to afford some extra camoflague. The exact hue is often personal choice or belief, but cannot be too light, or too dark, otherwise it would stand out during the night or day. As salt water tends to erode paint, few ships are always painted, save those crewed by prolific pirates or highly successful smugglers...

Delma hulls are made from a series of overlapping planks, held together with prodigious amounts of glue, that are gently bent into shape around what the Kar-ii call the skeleton, which is simply the keel and stems of the boat. The secrets of building a Delma are passed down within families of shipbuilders, who are often unassociated with any of the Orders, and there are peculiar tricks associated with each family. The Tscoiarans were happy to share what little they knew of the construction, but the exact nature of the materials, any special procedures and the exact order in which the ship is built are closely guarded by the shipbuilders.

Delma are the unique property of the Kar-ii Tscoiarans, who have an unofficial monopoly on their construction. The old shipbuilding families, while not members of the Order, respect the wishes of the Stormsons and (usually) refuse to craft the longships for any other than Cyhalloi's sea lords, and closely guard the secret to their craft. It seems not to be much of a loss, as the Delma are tailor made for stealth and rapid delivery operations, which, as it happens, are really only useful for those with the peculiar skillset of the Tscoiarans, smugglers and pirates - often the same men, as it happens. The larger boats are generally crewed by 4-6 men, and propelled either by sail or by 2 pairs of rowers. The captain is the primary rudderman when the sail is used, and shares this responsibility with the second-ranking Tscoiaran, who is generally working towards obtaining his own ship. Smaller boats are often 2 man crews, and usually rowed.

There are so-called false Delma crafted throughout Sarvonia, which the Kar-ii laugh at as being subpar, pathetic imitations of their beloved longship. The Avennorians, working with the Erpheronians, in particular seem to craft many of these ships, which the Tscoiarans insist is an attempt to match their superiority... It is best to take this with a grain of salt, though, as many, if not all of the false Delma are actually shallow water ships and riverboats that simply bear a superficial resemblance. It is less a statement on the quality of the Delma than a testament to Kar-ii arrogance that they believe so many cultures, with vastly different needs, have tried to imitate them. There are cheap imitations, often marketed as legitimate Delma, but as most serious shipbuilders are too proud (and rightfully paranoid of the Kar-ii) these are often crudely altered boats meant to look like the popular image, including, famously, a painted Ducraer ship with the sides shaved down that an unscrupulous merchant tried to sell to a Kar-ii expatriate!

Like so many other things unique to the Kar-ii, the origins of the Delma lie in their bloody, unending conflict with the Cyhalloian orcs. Historical records gives us the name Korias, a late contemporary of Kasumar who is universally accepted as the inventor of both the Delma itself, and the core tactics associated with its use. Touched by Tscoiaru, God of the Frigid Waters, the decider of naval combat and Lord of Dark Waves, Korias is said to have had an innate understanding of the sea that bordered on the supernatural. His original designs are said to be unmatched, and popular folklore states that his vast tome of ship design and nautical knowledge lies in the possession of the Cyhalloian orcs.

The introduction of the Delma, tailored to fit the unique needs and skillset of the Kar-ii people was directly responsible for the birth of the Tscoiarans, and, later, the re-establishment of connections with Sarvonia. Korias himself never closely affiliated with the Tscoiarans, despite being offered an honorary position of Deepmaster, and simply remained a shipwright for the rest of his life. Today, Korias has become a folkloric figure among fishermen, Stormsons and other sailors from the icey isles, praised for his genius and lamented for the loss of his skills and knowledge, for it is commonly agreed that even the greatest of modern Delma are but mediocre imitations of the master's original work.

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Iovas on 08 February 2014, 04:42:40
As I was looking over various history tables to place the invention of the thing, I noticed that the Second Sarvonian War started in 550 b.s, while the people who would become the Kasumarii left Nyermersys in 602 b.s. There is mention of a Deepmaster and fleet and Tscoiarans participating in a naval battle during the Second Sarvonian War, which means the Kasumarii morphed from a Sarvonian culture into the Kar-ii in less than half a century.

This confuses me - I understand Nyermersys has a rather shady reputation, but I find it hard to believe a group of refugees suddenly changed into the formidable Kar-ii in 50 years, let alone develop the tactics the Tscoiarans are said to use. Even assuming the action they took part in occurred near the end of the War, that's only 100 years. Any thoughts? (And is this the right place to ask this question?)

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 08 February 2014, 07:40:48
Sounds not convincing. Could you please quote that Tscoiarans participation? Couldn't find it. If it is so, we can surely do something about it. History is a difficult subject.

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Iovas on 08 February 2014, 07:57:43
Here it is;

"There is a famous instance in Sarvonian War II when a Tscoiaran Deepmaster and a small cadre of his fellows were hired by one of the human kings to assist his fleet. As the time of battle drew closer, the king's admiral was astonished to see that all the Black Wavers had brought with them were three of these ships with seachests aboard. When the admiral asked to see what was in the chests, and all he saw was food and Deepgrasps, he asked "And you expect to cripple the enemy with this?" The Deepmaster's response was legendary. "Cripple? You wanted us to leave some afloat?"

The Deepmaster, incidentally, was as good as his word, with his men sinking half of the enemy ships before an engagement was even made. Unfortunately, when it was discovered that the king did not have enough money to pay him in full for his services, the better part of the king's fleet met with a series of tragic accidents just offshore, in one of the most dramatic demonstrations of just why you should always pay the children of Guldor in full."

It's only mentioned in the Fighting Styles page, under the main entry on the Kasumarii, not on any actual history table.

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 08 February 2014, 08:10:46
Oh, I searched in the history tables... ;)

I'm to tired right now to look into the matter, but as I see, you could easily exchange Sarvonian War II with the III or any other war. It would be good to name the opposing parties though.  Let's look into the matter tomorrow. Maybe Art has a good idea or I'll try to drag Terra back to have a look.

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Myralden Tomesmith on 08 February 2014, 12:02:10
Why hello there Iovas, my wonderfully bearded compatriot! I like that you've created a boat; I was actually looking for unique ships to use for my article but couldn't find any...(I might not have looked hard, however.) Anyway, let us see what we can do!

The (not-so) famous longships of the Kar-ii Tscoiarans, the Delma, these low riding, narrow ships are colloquially known as Black Waves, referencing both their surprising stealth, and the unsavory reputation of their Tscoiaran users.

Right so the grammar here is a little off. I would like to lay the blame on the these after Delma. You could probably split it into two separate sentences.

Is Delma both singular and plural? (One Delma, two Delma etc)

and dangerous - but their stealth You'd want a comma there, rather than a hyphen. A hyphen generally denotes an independent clause or a substitute bracket.

resiliency Resilience ;)

Lying low in the water, with its mast torn down and a seacloth tarp pulled over the deck, the Delma seems to disappear from sight, as crew, cargo and equipment settle down into the hull. Against a dark sea, the poor prey of the Kar-ii will never see them coming, their first warning being the sudden failure of their ships hull, or an unexpected deluge of Echilianii warriors appearing from nowhere...

Right so a note on the size of these things. There are two types, a smaller, 6 ped ship and a larger 10 ped. The smaller boat is about 1 ped wide, which is actually really small for a boat. I get that it's a stealth boat, but a boat that size in any sort of rough weather wouldn't fare too well. Furthermore, the larger boat is only 1.2 peds wide, which is again very small. Furthermore, I don't see how so many, including cargo and equipment, could hide under a tarp, with the mast, AND still rowing. So I'd say revise your measurements a little.

many Tscoiarans splurge to buy ...that word, I'm not sure it fits the medieval theme of Santharia too much.

 and the order has an  If you're referencing a group of people (the Tscoiarans?) then you'd capitalise Order.

rapid infil-exfil operations Again, probably too technical of an expression to use in the setting.

littoral Literal* (correct me if you were going for something else... :buck:)

popular image - including, famously Again, the hyphen here would be replaced with a comma.

I don't know near enough history on this section to be able to comment on that, so I'll leave it to my superiors.

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Iovas on 08 February 2014, 12:43:02
Addressed the grammar issues (hyphens are cool!  :grin:) and the too modern terms, but I left the size alone. I'm no expert on boats (being from the American Upper Midwest, I am most familiar with frozen water) but this is roughly the size of an ocean going canoe. They are not meant to be comfortable, and I did not mean to imply than the boat is rowed while the tarp is pulled over the top. I took the tarp thing from the original Kasumarii entries, and assumed that it was pulled over the top in heavy storms and when the Tscoiarans were closing in on their objectives. But, I don't know. The Delma, in my thoughts, is very business oriented, with comfort as a distant after thought.

Also, littoral is the part of any body of water that is close to the shore. But, I hadn't thought of it before, is this term a little too modern? It's basically a fancy way of saying 'shallow water'. What do you think?

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 09 February 2014, 17:16:20
Ok, comments ahead, Iovas!

- The title should usually contain the full name of the entry. In this case it would be "The Delma Longship". That way you can spot immediately by reading the title that we're dealing with a ship. This title will then also show up in the menu that way, so that's why the precise title should be given.

- Make sure to use British spelling (e.g. unsavory --> unsavoury) in your texts, as this is also the way of spelling in the Tharian tongue (our equivalent to English), after all we try to make things look a bit more medieval.

- I would also suggest to explicitly mention somewhere that the Tscoiarans are the synonym for "naval Kasumarii", because apparently this is only briefly hinted at in one single entry at the site (and then even in an entry on Fighting Styles!) and therefore is practically unknown. So the clearer you make that straight away to counter confusion, the better :) Further down you interpret the Tscoiarans actually as an "Order", which is not really explicitly mentioned in the Fighting Styles entry, but that's of course also a possibility on how to see them. At any rate it should be made clear from the start who/what we're dealing with here.

- "littoral" - This seems to be more of a technical term indeed. There's a German equivalent as well for that word, but regular German speaking mortals like me haven't heard that one either. So why not just use "shallow water" instead? ;)

- "Tscioaru" could be explained briefly when you mention him ("God of the Frigid Water"), so that people who read the entry and have no knowledge whatsoever of Kar-ii culture get a better picture. In general this applies to all kind of stuff when you write something. Always try to make sure that key things are at least briefly explained, so that entries can pretty much stand alone as they are.

- The history thing clearly must be a mistake, that's correct. SW III would be more logical, especially as we find the following the history tables already:

298 b.S. The Karii Stormsons trade with Sarvonia
A detachment of Stormsons finds its way back to the Sarvonian mainland; low-grade weapons trade is established.


So this is pretty clear and I'll therefore will fix that accordingly in the Fighting Styles entry.

- Corrections:

... their first warning being the sudden failure of their ship's (or ships') hull ...

...Delma is almost 10 peds long, and 1.2 peds wide...

... and is much preferably (should probably be: is much more preferable) to having the beams of the hull rot ...

... to afford extra some camoflague (--> to afford some extra camouflage) ...

This event cannot be verified, but it is known that by... (by what? Did you go for a lunch break at this point? ;) There seems to be something missing...  :cool:)

Okeydokey, that's it, Iovas. Just a couple of smaller corrections to do. :D - Truly a well thought-out first entry! Apparently a lot of research went into this one as well to get various details right, and you even uncovered an inconsistency in our history tables...  :shocked: But what you have here really leaves nothing to be desired, even some nice touches with the false Delma and historical details that give it all the extra grounding are interspersed. Excellent! You definitely deserve your aura +1. Hope to see more along this line, Iovas, great work!  :thumbup:

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma Longship
Post by: Iovas on 09 February 2014, 22:28:11
Alrighty! I have addressed your comments, Artimidor. New changes are in red. The history trailed off because I was writing that when I came across the inconsistency, and I shrugged and left it alone until I knew what was to be done with the history.  :D

And thank you for the compliments!

Title: Re: Misc - Gears and Tools - the Delma Longship
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 02 March 2014, 16:41:55
I gather this one's done and ready for integration, Iovas, eh? Next update coming up, so I'm collecting stuff :)