While design for the upcoming Calidar gazetteer, CAL3 Wings over Alfdaín, is proceeding, I felt the need to draft a new skyship. It's been a while since the last time I toyed with deck plans, so now seems as good a time as any other. For sure, this will have something to do with Captain Isledemer's next skyward adventure. This can obviously be retrofitted to Spelljammer without difficulty.
I cropped the image posted above from a 12”x18” poster rendered at 600 dpi. Click on it and use your browser's enlarge function to see the full-res image. I’ll add armament, individual launches, and other deck details in the final draft. The other decks are positioned to its right and left on the original image, including the lower deck, the hold, and the aft castle (the latter covers the main deck’s stern section in the image above to give a complete “top view”). It’s the reason why parts of the sails are transparent, since they overlap adjacent floor plans.
The bridge is located at the fore (with a clear canopy, like in a modern airplane), concealed within an illusory deer head. This enchantment is invisible from the bridge. Though it appears like any other skyship helm, the wheel can be tilted forward and back or sideways to maneuver the ship in a 3D environment. Helm “commands” travel through the hull’s mycelium network to a large gimbal-like device located amidships, below deck. Calidar skyships hold enchantments providing lift and a movement bias along their centerlines. The gimbal controls this dweomer’s orientation, forcing the ship’s hull to progressively match its exact alignment. It’s what enables skyships to sail against the wind (like a keel on a sea-going vessel). Without it, skyships would only drift with the prevailing winds. Sails below deck also prevent the vessels from rolling over.
Elven skyships are partially alive. Sap vesicles fitted inside their holds provide the vessels with their “life blood,” so to speak. Because of this, elven ships need to land when they run low on sap (usually at a giant tree used as docking tower and supply source). This biological feature enables various types of weapons to be grown from the deck when needed. One such device is also located on the bridge, so as to “shoot” out of the figurehead’s mouth. Theoretically, the vessel’s mycelium network enables a single crew posted at any one weapon to operate all of the others simultaneously. Although the image posted above does not show ropes and pulleys, they are nonetheless rigged to the masts, yardarms, and sails. The ship’s latent awareness helps manage the complicated sail arrangement, substantially reducing total crew numbers aboard.