Strayway, really this time [Vheshrame; 18 Trandary 4385]
Strayway is my new sky-yacht.
I had been planning to buy a used sky-yacht of some fairly ordinary design, probably birdy or dragony. I was going to paint it blue as a minor concession to vanity. Not quite my own shade of blue. I'm not that vain.
I made the mistake of mentioning this at dinner in Castle Wrong.
Everyone:"We gasp in horror, Sythyry! Such a tedious ship would not fully express the crucial message, of Behold! Here comes a mighty yet deviant wizard! Your sky-yacht must be a gaudiness -- a spectacle -- a wonderment -- a flamboyance supreme!"
Me:"I suppose so..."
So I got an ordinary transvective skyboat, used, and started doing nighttime enchantments on it. Some illusions, some transformations, some other things, and some rather tricky Locador stuff.
Strayway is now in the form of a seven-armed silver and amber candelabra, with seven burning candles in its radially-symmetric spirally arms. The body is a big silvery vase, some fifteen feet tall and ten in diameter (Don't worry, it's much bigger inside.) The vase depicts certain selected standard and ordinary scenes from mythology and history which, while undeniably standard and ordinary artistic themes, if taken together, might suggest a certain interest in some topics which I am in fact interested in. A bouquet of greatly magnified flowers sprouts out the top -- or, rather, a greatly magnified illusion of anything placed in the centerpiece vase on the high table of the Grand Dining Hall inside. I plan to stick with flowers. Strayway is drawn by three three-headed antelopes made of green glass and green copper and green emerald, with scorpion tails ending in lampy gems. (Yes, of course they breathe fire. (Yes, it's real fire. Why would I make fake fire?))
Everyone:"Oh, no, Sythyry ... you didn't!"
Me:"Um, actually I did."
Everyone:"The Doom! The utter and highly characteristic Doom!"
This sort of thing is why wizards get a reputation for being eccentric. Wizards are not actually eccentric. Wizards simply listen to their friends.
(But I didn't dare show her in public for a decade after that.)
Some notable features of Strayway include:
- The hull is plated with real silver. Not a lot of real silver, but not such a little either. I have a somewhat complex arrangement with the Smith's Guild about how much metal I can create. (Most members of the guild can create as much metal as they can. As a skilled enchanter, I can make a talisman which creates unlimited amounts of metal to sell. As a loyal and honorable Smith's Guild member, I do not create unlimited amounts of metal to sell. ... but I still have the talisman, and I can use it for things which I promise not to sell for a thousand years. Actually it's not unlimited creation, just a pound and a half a day, but it was enough to turn a thirty-year full-time apprenticeship into a three-year afternoon-only one.)
- The doors are not evident from the outside.
- The candle flames are real fire. They are provided with braziers for burning nice woods, and fireproof cushions for lounging, if one is inclined to sit in one and meditate or watch the landscape without much company. One of them has a lectern which renders books fireproof, in case one wishes to read.
- The Grand Dining Hall is pretty grand. I was trying to see how long I could make one room be, and ... it's about three-quarters of a mile long. And thirty feet wide.
- I did an extremely poor job with the interior geography otherwise. The interior is best thought of as being divided into eighteen regions (corresponding to the eighteen space-expanders I installed). Within a region, geometry works as one might expect: if one goes through a door from one room to another, walks ten feet, and goes through another door into the first room, one ends up about ten feet from where one started. This is unlikely to be true if one crosses between regions, and one can get thoroughly lost while one is building it, and have to spont Go Home to escape from one's own sky-yacht. I installed a regiment of signposts and maps. That still proved insufficient for me to find my way around. A certain part of the delay in actually leaving for the vacation is the necessity of constructing and providing guides.
- Accordingly, each room has a sentient, mindful item of furniture, capable of giving directions and other useful advice. The Grand Dining Hall has one by each door.
- The pilot's room is an utterly standard and ordinary any-species sort of control room. It is not one bit rococo. I did not modify it, except to add a scrying device. Oh, and I replaced the quick-escape device. The original Strayway (which was called something tedious at that point) had a one-use teleporter for escaping from danger. (She got into danger, got badly clawed up, teleported away, and got sold second-hand.) I can do better, and I did do better. And my "better" even works with all the other Locador on the yacht ... though we shouldn't use it too often.
- The pantry is provided with a device that prevents foods from spoiling. It does not prevent them from aging, though, so we can make our own cheese and wine, if we want.
- I didn't make any animata or other mindful servants, though. I thought about it, of course. One rarely sees an eccentric wizard without an animated floating teakettle with seven leather whips as tentacles, or something like that, where a less skillful nobleman would hire a Khtsoyis porter. I decided that -- as with Castle Wrong -- I would rather bring friends and people from my community along, especially ones who have trouble getting jobs elsewise.
There's more, of course. I have been tinkering with Strayway for two dozen years or more, in my spare time.