This is a building-ship I'm not looking to win with, and am honestly struggling to write it.
  The oldest intact building of Port Frostfind sits at the top of a hill overlooking the harbor and the North Sea beyond. The Nordrivordr looks like a ship turned into a building, and most historians agree that it was not a building made to look like a ship and was instead a ship made into the building it is now.   Ever since Norrasjo seceded from Vetheriss, the Nordrivordr was the seat for the Arles of Norrasjo, making Port Frostfind the capital of the Arling.


The origins of the ship-turned-building are known to be ancient, predating the Adrakian Empire and built to be large or to potentially accomodate large beings. Stories have told of a Goliath standing in the main hall, and still being unable to reach the ceiling - but the stories about Goliath companions of heroes also describe people traveling through time or doing impossible things no mage could dream of achieving at the time or presently, and they're often dismissed.
The ship was beached up onto the hill after a waterspout threw it from the North Sea and the survivors either flipped it, or it landed that way and they just made their home there.
— historian
Alternative Name
The Ship-Keep
Keep, Capitol Building
Parent Location
Port Frostfind
Owning Organization
Ruling/Owning Rank

While I disagree with the use of the term "capsize" as the ship was not likely flipped in water, the beaching was clearly done in an attempt to protect the ship from the storms the region is known for. The only question is why the Nordrivordr is the only ship left.
All along Theydim's northern coast, we see ships repurposed into homes and buildings after a ship is no longer seaworthy and assuming it reached shore, but those are generally near the harbors.
— historian
The Nordrivordr is one of the pre-Adrakian structures scattered about Theydim, suggesting it was used by the ancients before the Empire took over, and the Empire had no interest in taking it town. From what we've put together of pre-Adrakian Thydian runes, the name has survived mostly intact, as "Northern Watch."
The prow faces the North, where we believe the building once had eyes painted along the sides. There were threats to the north we may not know of now, or threats we no longer deal with or fear to the same extent, that the ancients were concerned with.
— historian
In the preserved histories, the once-ship was used as a meeting hall and as a defensive position for uncountable generations before Port Frostfind became a city. Where the oars would once have been when they would be needed, inhabitants of the region have built up ramps and steps to repurpose the openings into sources of light for the upper level or shuttered mostly closed into arrowslits.

Structure, Modifications, and Adaptations

The ship is build of wood, though the type has been hard to identify. Some speculate it is from timber before the wood became salt timber though other argue that the wood is not the same type and pieces of the Nordrivordr broken off over time have different properties from salt timber in regards to floating, lichen-growing, and some other uses.
Over time,

Historical Inhabitants

Current Design

Cover image: North Sear Arling Artbreeder by Artbreeder


Author's Notes

Happy to take in questions and the like as I am floundering on ideas of things to write about - ships don't usually come to mind as something I worldbuild often.  

I think you could/should go into what the ship is currently used for, maybe go over its past tenants, have different people use it for different things over time, myths surrounding it, etc.
— Timepool of Qet
What is it being used for now? I mean, sure, it's a building, but have they modified the ship internally? How many rooms are there? What are they being used for? Is the ship of similar design as modern ships of the time or is it outdated and old?
— Toblin of Celenia

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20 Sep, 2021 04:43

What is it being used for now? I mean, sure, it's a building, but have they modified the ship internally? How many rooms are there? What are they being used for? Is the ship of similar design as modern ships of the time or is it outdated and old?

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
4 Oct, 2021 22:50

*scribbling notes to consider all of these* I have a hard time believing the rooms within were not broken down into smaller rooms, but anything further is currently still in the fog of "to be considered" XD.   This ship is considered ancient, but an impressive craft "for its era" and most shipwrights in the region keep its build in mind while constructing the more modern ships because it was structured to break through small ice chunks floating on the North Sea. For IRL considerations, both this ship and the "modern" ships of Corive are outdated and old if not basically novelty ships built to try and be historical.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
1 Oct, 2021 10:46

I like the quotes you have in the history section, especially the couple of theories about why the ship ended up where it did. I'd love to know more about what the building looks like now, especially on the inside. :D

4 Oct, 2021 22:46

The interior is what I've been mulling over between what a keep would need and what a ship would have already, so I'd love to know what the inside looks like as well! XD   I enjoy presenting conflicting lore as an explanation for why things are where or why they are the way things are. the Unreliable Narrator is a tool I need to work at using more.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
4 Oct, 2021 20:01

It's a really cool idea to have the wrecked ship being used as a building. I'd love to know more about its use before it was wrecked, it seems like it had a really crazy history even before it was "beached." Good job!

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4 Oct, 2021 22:43

The challenge about knowing how the ship was used before it was wrecked is that there are conflicting theories that are plausible as to how it was wrecked due to the age of the structure. I'd not gotten too deep into the details yet, but the early middle era of the Adrakian Empire's history is about as far back as currently readable/translatable written history goes and historians haven't found a "Rosetta Stone" parallel with the scraps of writing that may or may not predate the Empire's earliest preserved writings.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
4 Oct, 2021 22:44

All being said, I'm really glad you enjoyed reading the concept!

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
5 Oct, 2021 10:32

A ship turned building is a fantastic concept, especially that it was once used as a defensive position in years gone by. It's reminded me of such an instance occurring in a town local to me centuries ago. Where a beached ship was dragged onto shore and turned into a pub, or so local legend tells. The quotes are great, it's always interesting hearing a settings own historians take on events and landmarks.

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5 Oct, 2021 23:11

I generally try to worldbuild from within the perspective of the world, and having quotes is another handy tool to help me with that.   Turning ships into a building makes sense if you ask me, so your local town's pub sounds like an awesome place to go! I'm glad to remind people of places they know of in real life. =D

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Oct, 2021 12:47

I like the idea of turning a building into a ship :D First question I have is about the height of the ceiling. I'd imagine them to be rather low in most ship, but since you said it was probably made for large being there must be a lot higher. You say that the paintings of the eyes is gone, did they repaint the rest walls over time (inside or outside, keeping the same colours or wanting to change them for whatever reason)? What about sculpture? Are they upside down now? Now that the empire has taken over, I imagine the region is more peaceful. Would they just use the building as a kind of town hall or meeting place?   I like historians' opinions, that would be interested to see more of those, especially if they have different opinions or are contrasted with local people speaking about what they think.

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8 Oct, 2021 00:00

*makes notes* The Adrakian Empire was overthrown about two thousand years before the current day in the setting (thanks for letting me know that I need to make that more clear as well! I forget so easily what *I* know that I forget what everyone else may not know!)   The eyes were engraved on the outside, but the inside likely has been repainted and redecorated in the ages since it became a building. Any structures (I currently have no idea what they would be - whoops on this worldbuilder's part!) that were part of the original construction would be upside down, if they've been preserved/restored at all.   It is currently being used as a keep where the Arle (in the absence of a High King, Arles are the highest authority over their regions) lives, and where the Arles of the past have lived ever since the region split from what is now the neighboring region.   The historians of this time period are mostly dependent on local lore and lining up the local lore with what they've studied in the larger whole, and the local lore mostly consists of the three theories presented because they're backed by wreckages in the past and sailor tales, though there may be some more fantastical stories from those sailors the historians ahve toned down ... hmmm, something to consider.   That you so much for the comment, and I hope you don't mind this long comment response. =D

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive