The Giddysprout

The Giddysprout is the most famous of the floating farm ships that sails the Uferbrech Archipelago. It is owned by a tribe of Roving Vintners called the Congregation of the Sodden Fleet.   It is the largest of the farm ships owned by the Sodden Fleet, reaching nearly 200 foot long, the massive trimaran is topped with lush vineyards and seasonal vegetable plots and domianted by its 160ft tall mast with three layers of square-rigged sails.   The Giddysprout is a welcome sight in many a port and trades its wares with the Protectorate forces at Sudengard and Badenton, the Master Mechanics of the Stoneforged Assembly, the goblins of Motu and Telela and with the many who call in at Camp Thrifty.  

The Spinplot

The most striking element of the Giddysprout, is it massive rotating top-deck known as the Spinplot. The Spinplot is teaming with crops, including the rarest of seasonal fruit and vegetables that have been kept alive through uncounted generations since before The Destruction and the long ages of Shadowfire.  

The Plots

The spinplot is divided into quadrants, each dedicated to specific crops. The most prized being the pepperberry vines from which the Vintners make the Firewine they are most renowned for. The other quadrants change with the 'seasons' as the Giddysprout travels from Sunside to Shadowside and back again.   The spinplot is rotated as needed to ensure that all quadrants get the sunlight they need as the Giddysprout travels across the oceans.  

The apiary platform

A raised platform at the centre of the Spinplot surrounds the Giddyships's mast, and houses the ships bee hives - essential for the propagation of many of the crops being grown, and a prime source of sweetened honey for the crew.  

The Stormsheets

Below the rim of the rotating platform are housed the stormsheets. These are large sections of waterproof canvas that gets brought out in rough seas or inclement weather to ensure the crops do not get damaged by the salt water. For the worse of weather, the Giddysprout will seek shelter amongst the many islands and coves that it travels, however - disasters have been known to occur amongst the many farmships of the Sodden Fleet.  

The Seasons of the Vintner

  The Congregation chases the Seasons of the Vintner from the shallows of Dead End Drift, across the Tangled Fathoms to the Uferbrech Archipelago. A full curcuit for the Giddysprout takes four cycles of the moons (approximately 12 months) which mimics the ancient calendar of the seasons.  

Spring

The Giddysprout will spend its 'Spring' on the Sunside coasts of Tokaru, often anchored in the coves near Camp Thrifty for a number of weeks, before heading to Badenton and onwards to the Protectorates coast near Sudengard.   During this time, spring fruits and vegetables and are grown and sold in great abundance, as are the last remnants of the winter root crops. The Congregation will also sell the matured wines that have spent the previous year ageing in the barrels stored in the lower hold, while the newest Pepperberries ripen on the vines.  

Summer

When the pepperfruits get to a particular size, the Giddysprout moves into the warmer climes of Dead End Drift and the Tangled Fathoms. While over the Fathoms, the Sluice and Desalinator are adjusted to harvest as much of the concentrated polyps that are found in the warmer waters. The pepperberry vines are drenched in continuous sunlight and heat while the Ship's Bloodmage ups the concentration of Uhd fed to them through the irrigation system.   The summer season also sees a continuous cycle of harvesting lush fruits and greens, and a healthy trade with the Tangled Fathoms for kelp, which replenishes the Giddysprout's composting system.  

Autumn

During the autumn leg, the Giddysprout will head back towards Shadowside, calling in at the islands of Motu and Telela. The main harvest of the Pepperberries happens while moored off Telela, and the annual crushing of the berries, and the building of the barrel from the trees that grow on Telela.   The Giddysprount will also trade with the Mothers of Motu for the Coral Glass used to bottle and sell the firewine.  

Winter

The winters are usually short, and involve a quick visit to the islands just shadowside of Tokaru where the Giddysprout will trade dried and preserved fruits for blubber, furs and oils from the clans from Torik.   The cold snaps experienced during winter are essential for the germination of some of the spring crops, and the time is spent managing the fermentation of the Firewine and its bottling for sale in the coming year.  

The crew

The Giddypsrout houses a permanent complement of around 20-25 people as well as a small number of children at any one time. This includes sailors and farmers, vinters and wards.  

The Bloodmage

Even more important than the captain is the Giddysprout's Bloodmage. They are responsible for the management and maintenance of the Allseason engine and the intake and storage of power through the Sluice and Desalinator.      
Giddysprout
Map created in Dungeondraft, using assets from Forgotten Adventures.

Power Generation

The Giddysprout's spinplot, Allseason engine, breaker and magical weaponry all draw their power from a unique application of blood magic. This involves the sifting of coral polyps and other micro-organisms from the waters of the Tangled Fathoms and Uferbrech Archipelago, and extracting the Uhd concentrated within them.    The waters are brought into the Desalinator that sists in the lower hold via the Sluice, which is where the Ship's Bloodmage extracts both Uhd magic and other impurities from it.   The magic is stored within the Allseason engine, and syphoned off as needed to power the Spinplot, the Breaker and the powered weaponry as required.   The process also removes the salt and other impurities from the waters, which are then used to irrigate the Spinplot and assist the ship's composting process.   The blood magic rituals and stone-magic mechanics involved in the Desalinator process are a close-guarded secret, known only to the Ship's Bloodmage and their apprentices.

Propulsion

The Giddysprout is predominantly wind-powered with a single mast holding a series of square-rigged sails. It moves at a leisurely pace across the shallow seas of Uferbrech and the Tangled Fathoms.   In those times when power and speed is required, the Giddysprout also boasts an engine, dubbed the Breaker, at the rear of the vessel. This engine converts magic power generated from the desalinator into jet propulsion that can provide powerful thrust for the Giddysprout. This rapidly depletes the stores of magic on board and will only last for short periods, so it is used only as a last resort in times of danger.

Weapons & Armament

The Congregation rarely needs to defend itself, but when it does, it boast 4 ballistae hosed on the fore and aft gunner decks on each of the outrigger hulls.  These shoot massive iron bolts at targets, optionally trailing ropes as makeshift harpoons to tether other boats or ocean prey.      Under rare circumstances, magic energy captured by the Desalinator can be diverted to the ballistae for more dramatic results. This is used to send either firebolts to burn down enemy ships, or icebolts to freeze the waters and slow down pursuers.

Hangars & docked vessels

Suspended beneath the Garden Deck, between the hulls are held the skiffs that the Giddsprout deploys for quick deployment.  These are used for their relative speed, and for transporting passengers and goods when visiting ports.
Owning Organization
Rarity
Unique
Beam
160"
Length
200"
Height
180”
Speed
Avg 5 knots (10 km/hr)
Complement / Crew
20 crew and their families


Cover image: by Ken Kistler

Comments

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29 Sep, 2021 21:51

A garden ship, very cool. I like that the captain is not the most important person on board, but rather it is the person(people) that keep things running, the "engineering department", for lack of a better term. And you included a desalination plant, which many have overlooked the importance of for ships that always stay at sea. You have come up with several very cool and creative solutions to ensure that they can still grow the crops while essentially surrounded by salt water.   And AMAZING work on the map.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
1 Oct, 2021 01:01

Thanks for the feedback DrunkenPanda! I'm glad you picked up on the desal... I still think inclement weather would cause some serious problems, but magic is on our their side thankfully. The map was fun to make... but so fiddly... glad you like :-)

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
2 Oct, 2021 08:08

I love the unique idea of a garden ship. very well executed. Your map is fantastic! Loads of detail, it all makes sense. I love the dirty footsteps around the compost pile.

2 Oct, 2021 12:52

I'm glad you noticed the dirty footprints! Thanks Jacob!

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
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E. Christopher Clark
5 Oct, 2021 12:27

Nice work! I really appreciated the idea of the spinplot and that you thought to include a section about bees. That might seem like a small thing, but in my experience it's the small things that make the difference between a good article and a GREAT article. You've got a great article here.

Check out the Bekiskpan — originators of the chain mail bikini and my entry for “On the Shoulders of Giants.”
5 Oct, 2021 19:41

Thanks ECC! Glad you liked it, and very encouraging too :-)

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress