At the conclusion of the short yet remarkably destructive Romillian-Slothjemian War there were a number of military secrets that were taken from the otherwise reclusive dwarven craftsmen and handed over to the goblinoid realm. The most spectacular of these were the designs to the Romillian aircruisers that had enabled the dwarves to get a jump on the Slothjemians at the onset of the war. While no match in combat for the dragonriders they did prove themselves terribly useful at hauling troops and supplies over great distances with relative ease.
While the Slothjemians did succeed in finding the plans for the aircruisers and a partially constructed vessel during their initial occupation of Romilmark it took the courage of one of the dwarven captains, an intrepid fellow named Peregrine, to deliver one of the fully operational craft to the Slothjemians. In the final days of the war and in relative secrecy Peregrine and a handful of renegades staged a mutiny and flew their aircruiser, the AC-032, over the border mountains and into the plains of southern Slothjemia. The bulk of the crew then fled for better lives elsewhere, but Peregrine and a handful of others stuck around to make sure the vessel they had commandeered fell into the hands of the correct authorities.
The Slothjemians were thrilled with this new addition to their forces, but there was some debate how to best put the ship to use. The Herzgraf eventually decided to relegate the vessel to something other than straightforward military use. He had the heavy weapons stripped from the AC-032 and converted it to use as a fast freight hauler. He then turned control of the ship over to the Crescent Import & Export Company as a way to expedite the ability of the Office of Exterior Investigations to fulfill their missions. In this new capacity, and renamed SV Kapriolen, the airship runs a monthly route to Maelonbourg in the Wenigzustand as well as a monthly run to Kugahloo.
Peregrine remains the captain of the Kapriolen although his crew now consists of a motley assortment of characters that are more adventurous than they are sensible. With some upgrades to the power plant of the Kapriolen (the original dwarven steam engine has been replaced by a small golemotive) the airship can manage just over eight miles an hour for nearly indefinite periods of time. Although not as speedy as a proper Spelljammer craft the Kapriolen can nevertheless outrun a good many airborne threats. It tends to fly at higher altitudes than Romillian aircruisers are capable of and while not armed it has a number of defensive devices that have thus far kept the vessel and its crew out of harms way.
The Kapriolen isn’t a large vessel and it doesn’t require much of a crew to run its routine routes. When it “lands” it does so on solid ground because the Kapriolen might look like a ship but it isn’t anywhere close to being seaworthy. The main cargo (1) hold has two large sliding doors in the hull of the vessel to allow freight to be loaded in to the belly of the ship by way of sturdy wooden ramps that can be lowered down to the ground. Large containers or bulk items can be stashed here as well as livestock if need be. Aft of this is a secure storage area (2) for more valuable or sensitive freight. On the cabin deck is where passenger berths can be found. The most elegant and spacious cabins are at the front of the vessel (3 and 4). The remaining cabins (5 through 14) are of varying sizes but there are bunkbeds crammed into every available space. The ship’s engineer and their assistant bunk in a cabin (15) near the rear of the ship next to the golem room (16). It is in the golem room that the golemotive sits and provides the power to the single four-bladed propeller that gives the vessel its forward propulsion. On the main deck is the bridge (17) where the captain of the vessel is able to view everything in front of and below the Kapriolen with an unrestricted vantage point. The captain’s cabin (19) and the navigator’s cabin (18) are right behind the bridge. The crew is housed in two separate cabins (20 and 24) on the port side of the ship. The ship’s junior officers share a cabin (22) between the crew cabins. There is also a secondary cargo area (21) on this deck, accessed by a sliding double door nearly identical to the one in the cargo hold on the bottom deck. A crane swings outward on an arm and allows freight to be hauled in from below. The ships galley (23) is near the rear of the vessel next to the dining hall (25) that also serves as a lounge for passengers. The Kapriolen carries enough food and fresh water to remain aloft for an entire month at a time should the vessel be called to perform above and beyond it’s routine flights.
One of the primary tasks of the SV Kapriolen is delivering mail to and from Maelonbourg, Slothjemia, and Kugahloo. It only costs 1gp to ship a letter or package as long as it weighs less than five pounds. Passenger travel between Maelonbourg and Slothjemia costs 10gp per person and does not include meals for the trip although they can be added for another 5gp. The cost to ship a horse is 30gp. The trip between Slothjemia and Maelonbourg takes six days, a significant time savings over travelling the distance by horseback which is twenty-five days at best.