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General Organisation of the Order -- 10. A Quick Overview of the Navyby Bruce Heard
The Heldannic Order operates a traditional navy, and a force of flying ships called warbirds. On seafaring vessels common crew are equivalent to indentured infantry. Officers are knights, with a Knight Bachelor acting as ship Captain (Herr Kapitän). Seafaring ships are used to haul merchandise or military supplies, and patrol coastal waters in the Heldannic Territories. The head of the sea fleet is a Grand Knight with the title of Admiral (Herr Admiral). The Heldannic Knights are not a traditional seafaring people. Their navy is likely to remain limited in scope and ability. For combat, the Heldannic Knights rely on warbirds.
Warbird personnel is treated differently in that all crew must have taken their Oath of Service before being allowed onboard. Common crew are squires trained to work on warbirds. Otherwise officers are knights with an Abbot drawn from any of the three clerical branches, acting as ship Captain (Herr Luftkapitän). All other clerical crew aboard is drawn from the Hammer. The Commander-in-Chief of the warbird force is the Grand Master of the Order himself. Grand Knights in charge of garrisons harbouring warbirds may commandeer these skyships.
Warbirds are used as emergency troop transports or as warships. Some patrol the skies above Heldannic Territories and link far-flung colonies to the capital city of Freiburg, others are a part of important garrisons (in particular Freiburg, the Holy Citadel, Oceansend, and Landfall).There is a fixed number of such vessels because they draw their flying power from a magical artifact located in the Holy Citadel. Its ability to lift and move objects tops out at 5,000 tons anywhere on Mystara and vicinity. The air fleet traditionally includes 28 light warbirds and two larger, heavy warbirds.