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The Crusty Sailor

Crustacean-powered Vessel

Written by Endrise

Everyone expects the giant pinchers. But nobody expects the water cannon!
— Elisabeth Saltfroid VII

On the Crescent Sea, one of the more well known vessels sailing the seas is the Crusty Sailor. While neither the biggest nor the fastest ships on the ocean, it withstood many battles throughout its service. Of course, thanks to its unusual method of moblity.

Owned by the Crescent Queen Elisabeth Saltfroid VII, it is an unorthodox vessel with unorthodox strategies. And thanks to the captain, it somehow finds a way to win any fight they throw it in.

Crab-Powered Piracy

The Vessel

A moderate-sized three-masted ship, fit for an average crew with a few passengers. It isn't the most spacious vessel out there, but for sailing it does the job. Give it the 12 cannons on board, and it provides enough firepower to take down most ships.

Most of the regular crew sleeps in the lower decks, while the captain has her own cabinet to stay in. While there is room to walk around, the beds have little head room to sit up right. The decks below them get used for the supplies: ropes, food, cannonballs, etc.

The captain's cabinet is a bit more roomy, with Elisabeth sleeping in a hang mat. Piles of maps, drinks and other equipment scattered across, including a big chest with personal goodies. Nobody on the crew knows what it holds, but nobody is stupid enough to try and find out.

Jeremy The Crab

While not always with the Crusty Sailor, the ship does have a trusted animal companion: Jeremy. A gigantic Goliath Crab, several tons worth muscle strength and armoured up with centuries of coral coating its outer shell. And according to some, the reason why such average ship actually survives the sea fights it gets thrown into.

To hook itself to the ship, Jeremy caries a harness on its back which the keel can slide right into. With the ship's weight, it forces the whole mechanism to raise additional supports to secure the sides as well. Once locked into place, Jeremy takes control over steering the vessel.

What the ship might lose in speed it makes up with mobility, allowing rather unorthdox movement across the sea. Whether it moves forwards, backwards or even sideways.

The benefit of Jeremy is that his presence prevents ships getting too close. Any ship sailing near the Crusty Sailor gets grabbed by his pinchers, crushing most wooden boats in half. And if needed, he can fire large quantities of water against the enemy, making a swift retreat in the progress.

The Life of the Crusty Sailor

History

The Crusty Sailor began its use by Elisabeth Saltfroid III, who won the vessel in a gamble against a fellow pirate. Ever since, the ship has been in use of her bloodline.

Small adjustments to the hull, repairs after big battles, and personal customisation gave the ship a distinct nature to it. And with it surviving for so long, many saw it as unsinkable... until it did.

During one sea fight, Elisabeth Saltfroid V lost the ship in combat, having it sink to the bottom of the sea. When the rival pirate group pulled her in to capture her, they witness the Crusty Sailor suddenly rise from the depths again. Using the sudden surprise, she pretended to play a role in its unsinking, acting as if she possessed supernatural abilities.

Through sheer panic and fear, she tricked the crew to giving their treasures, less they'd be cursed by her. They obliged, and she escaped. When she got back to her ship, she realised what made it rise up again: a Goliath Crab. Trying to communicate and thank it, she rewarded it with some fish she had on board, letting it bring the ship to land to fix. Only a day later did she find him back, after which Elisabeth called the giant Jeremy.

Jeremy is a gentle soul, but one very territorial crab. One time he didn't even allow a crewmate to board the Crusty Sailor because he didn't trust him.   Tried to shake the bastard off, everything almost flew overboard!
— Elisabeth Saltfroid VI

Seeing an opportunity, she trained Jeremy while redesigning the Crusty Sailor. Producing a harness for the crab, she mounted the ship onto his back, learning to sail with him carrying the vessel. With a few months of practise, Elisabeth trained Jeremy to be her mount in combat.

With a new crewmate, she made the name Elisabeth feared amongst the Crescent Sea. Using Jeremy for surprise attacks, people spoke of the ship that moved sideways or that crushed others between its claws. And with each descendant, they'd be taught how to command Jeremy as well.

Battle Tactics

In combat, the Crusty Sailor is a rather unorthodox vessel. With decent speed and firepower, it can maneuver itself between enemy cannonfire, all while putting fire under the enemy's feet.

In more dire situations, the ship can hook itself onto Jeremy's harness, allowing more extreme maneuvers. Sharp turns and sideways movement are the tactics the ship excels at, if not tilting itself for angled shots. In shallower waters, it even is able to maneuver on land thanks to Jeremy.

Any close-combat naval fights are also in its favour thanks to Jeremy. Heavy claws and stirring the sea with his body it can make the waters a threat nearby. And if those don't help, spitting large amounts of water against the enemy's hull can drown any gunpowder they might have.

Giant Crab Ship small.png

Beam
32 ft. (120 ft. including the crab)
Length
60 ft.
Complement / Crew
20-25 crewmates

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Cover image: GoldGreen Set - Vehicle Cover by Vertixico

Comments

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5 Sep, 2021 20:23

Awesome! \o/

5 Sep, 2021 20:31

Good article! Jeremy the Crab is the best!

6 Sep, 2021 12:03

This really is a wicked article, I like how Jeremy's been around for 3 generations already.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
12 Sep, 2021 23:54

This is a great concept. Jeremy sounds awesome!

Don’t miss The Antagonist, my entry for The Shipwright’s Challenge!