Under Feet of Clay
For any coastal cities, the Naval Fleet is the backbone of trade, defense, and communication. There are many kinds of ships available to Calopenes, ranging in size from one man rafts to the great trireme. Without a doubt, Periandropolis is the reigning force on the seas, with Solonos and Biasophoros not far behind. Cleobonomos ranks next, with Dikethaleos and Pittacae fielding the smallest navies. With 140 triremes to their name, Periandropolis fancies itself the guardian against a new barbarian invasion. With all these ships, longer sailing across the high seas is risky; most ships put to anchor in the shallows every night or those without cargo often even drag the ship up to ground to camp on solid ground.
Types of Ships
The mighty Trireme is the king of the seas. With two masts each bearing a square sail and three decks for rowers in its hold, the Trireme is unmatched for speed and power. Each row of oars requires thirty men, meaning 180 rowers are needed for a fully-stocked ship. Beyond this, there is usually around 30 crew to man the rigging and guide the rudder, 20 marines, 10 archers, and 5 support personnel. For this and many other reasons, a trireme is often known as an Aquapolis. In battle, triremes have two major options for attack. First and most favored by traditional captains in the battering ram. Each trireme is outfitted with a great metal ram that lurks below the waves, ready to crack the hulls of the it catches. Others prefer to utilize the archers, often coupled with mages, to pelt flame and lightning onto the enemy deck to cause chaos and havoc. Ships from Pittacae utilize a specialized and weaponized ladder to link the decks of the ships so that the infantrymen can engage in hand to hand combat. Rowers are often equipped with axes or short swords in the event of a docking maneuver, though oars themselves make formidable weapons. As a protective charm, most Triremes are painted with a pair of eyes facing forward, as if to watch where the ram is headed.
The slower, smaller, and more maneuverable Bireme was the uniquely Calopene ship that was innovated by early humanoids. While it lacks the raw speed and power of the Trireme, the Bireme requires significantly fewer men and supplies and is easier to turn and ride out. It has just a single mast that hangs a square sail, with two rows of oars. Biremes come in two sizes, known as the Mikron and the Megas. The Bireme Mikron is shorter, with a row of oars seating 15 rowers. Thus only 60 rowers are required to propel the vessel, with 12 top deck crewmen and 8 mariners or archers. The Bireme Megas has a full bank of 30 seats per row of oars, requiring 120 rowers with a crew of 15, 20 soldiers, and a few support staff such as carpenters or a dedicated cook. The Bireme also has an underwater ram mounted to its front, with ramming and archery as common tactics. With the dominance of the trireme, fewer and fewer cities are building new biremes, though mercenary groups are increasingly interested in building independent navies with these stealthier and more maneuverable ships.
A Galley is really just a de-militarized bireme, often with the lower deck of rowers moved out to add more cargo room. With only a single deck of rowers, usually 30 per side, these vessels are slower but reliable ships with multiple decks for transporting cargo. Many galleys can restore a second deck of rowers for more speed, but will hike the fees substantially to cover doubled wages. Galleys in Calopius have a single mast, much like the biremes.
The smallest standardized ships in Calopius is the Keelboat, a single deck ship with a flat bottom. The Keelboat has a very small mast, and is run by 40 rowers and a rudder. These vessels are not sent on trips as far afield as the Galleys, which might travel for weeks at a time, the Keelboat is a trusted if often overlooked force on the seas. For protection, Keelboats often employ four to seven warriors with bows or crossbows and standard melee weapons.
For the common fisher, Rowboats are the means of travel, exploration, and most importantly for fishing. These are often just single person rafts or rowboats, while others may be slightly larger boats, more like a Keelboat. These rarely have a mast of any size, and rarely even have a rudder.