Chapter: The Black Ship

Information relevant to the 5th chapter of The Masters

a map of the Hold
the Hold on the Isle of Golden Trees

The Hold is a fortress built on the shore of the Isle of Golden Trees, an island in the far north where Carnelian and his father, the Ruling Lord Suth, live in exile with their household

barans—the black ship

A baran—one of the few uses of Quya that has been retained in the text of the Stone Dance—is a type of warship galley as shown in the first page of diagrams

constructional diagrams and calculations for barans

The diagram below shows how I derived this class of ships from a comparison with ancient oared warships—specifically, triremes and quinqueremes. Among other things, this allowed me to deduce speed and handling characteristics

barans compared with triremes & quinqueremes

Barans are formed into squadrons attached to one of the three Cities of the Sea of which the greatest, Thuyakalrul, has perhaps a hundred

Each baran has three masts and can also be driven by oars—for which purpose a complement of more than 400 sartlar is permanently maintained in the lower holds. The masts can be ‘shipped’—that is, lowered—to allow the vessel to be manoeuvred into confined spaces

The purpose of the barans is to keep the sea lanes free from pirates, so that the merchants of the Cities of the Sea can obtain the rare and exotic merchandise that the Masters covet and consume