High Seas and Fallen Stars
Customs and Traditions
- Cormyrs official naval vessels are named for the monarchys rulers.
- Some are given fanciful like Valashars Bane while others sport actual names names such teers as Queen Besmra.
- Cormyr’s corsairs and privateers (which unofficially fight the pirates for reward from Cormyr) use lesser known titles for weapons used by Cormyrs rulers as ship names, such as Drakes Tooth (after Shiningbite, Queen Gantharlas sword) or Undying Gaze (after the eye-studded war shield of King Draxius the Never-Dying).
- Sembian vessels, whether naval or commercial, are all named for various coins around the Realms, such as Three Falcons Volant, Yulthaari Hunter, or Bicentan Sail.
- Official Thayvian vessels (those owned by the zulkirs or tharchions and Thays navy) are named after spells, types of magic-users, and specific spellcasters (Lightning Bolt, Black Tentacle, Alkammar, or Enchanter).
- Other Thayvian vessels have varied names still somehow linked to magic.
- Ships of Mulhorand, Chessenta, and Unther are named after various creatures, monsters, or myths of the sea, often mixing them with familiar terms, such as Sea Hag or Unthalasshark.
- The god-kings name their government vessels using elements from their own mythologies, for Eye of Horus or Purse of Nephythys.
Impiltur, Thesk, Altumbel, and Aglarond
- Ships of Impiltur, Thesk, Altumbel, and Aglarond tend to name vessels after their uses or the products they carry, such as Spicesail or Timberhold. Some ships gain colorful names that outstrip their own opulence, such as the rag-tag ore-hauler Dragonjaw’s Bounty, the spice trader Golden Wayfarer, or the farmer- and miller-owned Chaunteas Blessings.
- Ship colors have traditional rules as well, both for the paint of the hull and the color of the sails.
- Most sails are made of coarse, drab canvas. A sign of wealth among seafarers is for the captain to have the sails dyed or made of fine materials such as silk or muslin. Cormyr objects to any who use purple sails, as they use it themselves and most folk assume that ships with purple sails are Cormyrs ships.(Some pirates count on that to disguise their vessels).
* Most ships hulls are painted in dull colors. Black, however, is reserved for official vessels owned by heads of state. (Such ships are often sent ahead of the actual vessel upon which a ruler sails, to attract the attentions of both pirates and assassins).
- Cormyrs official Blue Dragons navy paints the gunnels, mainmast, and the bowsprit a bright blue so pirates and blackguards know that the eye of Cormyr is on them.
* A tradition exists among disease-bearing ships is to stain the sails and mainmast of a plague ship with blood or red paint, signaling a port or passing ship for either clerical aid or a merciful death by fire arrows (or fireballs) to burn the ship to the water.
- Finally, the flags or colors a ship flies immediately mark the group or state to which the ship owes allegiance.
- Ships can signal other ships with their flags.
- Cormyrs ship flags all have the Purple Dragon facing away from the mast, the opposite side of the flag holding the captains (or highest-ranking officers) personal mark.
- To turn the flag around and have the dragon face the mast signals that the ship wishes to come alongside and talk.
- Most ships flags have a symbol on one side that. when reversed, sends a similar message to passing ships.
- Multiple flags on the main mast and from the stern of the ship communicate numerous things, though most powers wish to keep such codes secret so their enemies cannot decipher their meaning.
- Cormyr and Thay, most of all, use an elaborate system of no less than four flags beneath their main colors to signal other ships.