Centaur Paddle wheel boat Vehicle in Charron | World Anvil

Centaur Paddle wheel boat

The centaurs have developed boats that use their equine body strength to propel the craft. They are able to move against river currents and winds under their own muscle power moving treadle systems that engage gears and turn wheels equipped with paddles at the sides of the boats. The Taurien Republics are land-locked in the far East and have only lakes and rivers for water navigation.

The Esereti frontier sees some trade with the Taurien and the presence of these watercraft. Some have been obtained and are in use with draft animals in the Esereti kingdoms and amongst the Moon People. Centaur crews don't hire out to foreigners.

The human (imperial) attempts to copy the boats have had some success and research is being done at building ocean going ships with draft teams. They promise a high level of speed and maneuverability comparable to galleys. The Centaur driven craft can achieve greater speed and would be formidable on the oceans. The Empire bans such ships and crews in private hands, under penalty of death. The Taurien have refused mercenary offers to bring their ships and crews to serve the Empire. Some suggest employing Necromancers and crews of zombies from criminal, slave and lowest class sources. The Church objects to this idea.

The Paddlewheel is variable sized, from just one centaur and load, to large freight or pleasure ships driven by parallel teams of centaurs working in shifts and running on "treadmills". Small craft reach speed of upto 4 knots while the larger vessels have topped out in bursts of nearly 16 knots in open water but typically cruise at about half that.

The main drive is a chain drive to gears and trollers. The tread is boards linked to the chain and a bed of leather sheets sewn together in a a loop and settled over the rollers. As the centaur walks or runs, pushing off the boards on the loop, the chain is moved and turns gears that lead to the drive of the paddle wheels. The centaur call this a walking mill drive - a treadmill. The gears may be stopped, or halted and driven in reverse by walking backward or turning the drive team around.

Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf


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Dec 5, 2022 09:42

Hell yeah! Fantasy/medieval vehicles rock! My own centaurs were so far always imagined as less advanced in technology so they wouldnt be able to make these. It is a fascinating different approach to these classic creatures!

Yours truly, Nino.
Its Worldember!I am building out a spooky world, which you can read about here! (psst, its a link)
To learn about my main world click on this link! (if you want to ;) )
Dec 5, 2022 20:11

Thanks. Most of my centaurs follow the Honor Path rather than Glory - so more stoic intellectual than wild partiers. I've tended to think of them as leaders in discovery though less technical than Dwarves.

Jan 4, 2023 21:59

I'd like to know the use of these ships in the Taurian militant force. If they're landlocked, do the have much navel power, and how much power do these ships compensate for? I'm imagining a trained force both paddling and using archery at the same time, like a river-bound chariot.   I think the document is technical for how silly the concept appears. I feel you can either lean more into the technicality, for a juxtaposition, or into the ridiculous aspect of a big paddleboat. It feels like it's not leaning enough to one side and doesn't accentuate the visuals it presents.   Do they get some shelter from the elements while paddling? Maybe an awning in smaller boats, the mechanisms in the hull in larger vessels. Has this technology lead to more gear-based things, like a steampunk-esque centaurs.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
Jan 5, 2023 04:38

Excellent points! World Ember articles were mostly about speed and not depth and I shouldn't do any editing until next month, despite the fact I'm unlikley to get any awards or recognition aside from "like" and comments.

Jan 21, 2023 08:59 by Joshua

Some people may argue with me but this vehicle is peak world building. Centaurs get left out of the vehicle tech tree so often. In games they often have deficits in bipedal communities with ladders and stairs. This article sets that right. Vehicles are tools and ships solve a waterway problem. This tool is specifically designed for the centaur's equine strengths. Moreso, it takes a real world example of technology (a teamboat horse ferry) and applies it to a nonhuman race. While the horse ferry may have died out in real world use, you then substantiate the centaur paddle wheel boat in-world by having other factions copy the centaurs. I love it.

Jan 21, 2023 09:59

Thanks for the complementary comments. I had the idea and then went looking - and found Romans had ox drive paddlewheels. Then, after the Romans, the technology died out until the 1700's. Fascinating. Then add the sophont sapient centaur and what is possible? Powered looms and many industrial functions we associate with steam ( but surprisingly were available under water power in some places and times). The paddlewheel boat is just the most unexpected thing and would be remarkable in-world as well.