The Eagle Carrier is one of the largest ships used by any human nations. Very few groups can afford to operate these craft, which serve much the same purpose as elven Armadas. The reinforced wings of the Eagle Carrier are flat on top to provide a landing surface for the Sparrows and Birds of Prey that it was intended to work in concert with. The earliest designs set the landing platforms almost 40 feet above the battle deck, but later versions have lowered the platforms to only 10 feet above the deck. This has improved both efficiency and safety.
Like any naval vessel, Eagle Carriers have a strong chain of command and a rigid military crew. Because they are often at the heart of naval actions, Eagle Carriers are more likely to carry higher-ranking officers than the average war bird. An Eagle Carrier will typically carry a full crew of 100 men, not including the pilots of any carried vessels. While this does not quite provide enough men to operate the vessel and all of its weaponry at full efficiency, it does allow for extended operations. Typically the jettisons are loaded prior to battle, and only used if the Eagle Carrier needs to flee, and as a result they are not usually manned in any case.
Ship Uses Edit
Military: The main function of the Eagle Carrier is to act as a base for aggressive action against an enemy. Each Eagle Carrrier typically carries 3-5 Birds of Prey or 10 to 40 Sparrows (or some combination thereof - the total tonnage of carried vessels is dependant on the power of the Carrier's major helm, up to a maximum of 40 tons of carried ships for the most powerful helms), at least 3 of each being equipped with standard spelljamming helms. The remaining craft usually operate with non-magical engines, boat helms, or other cheaper methods of propulsion. Sometimes other small craft such as Blades or Flitters are carried by Eagle Carriers, but this is uncommon. The Eagle Carrier often serves as the head of offensive fleets, being backed up by about 10 Warbirds and around 100 Birds of Prey and Sparrows.
Explorer: A very small number of Eagle Carriers work as exploration vessels, pushing out into new spheres and making contact with other races and cultures. These craft return home every few years to report their findings. Eagle Carriers are not commonly used in this role, due to the great cost of equipping and operating such a vessel. Despite this, the few groups who have used Eagle Carriers in this capacity have found them to be excellent exploration craft, since they are capable of quickly exploring star systems in concert with their carried vessels, while at the same time being able to handle almost any threats that might be encountered.
Other Configurations Edit
Flagship: Eagle Carriers that carry a fleet commander and his staff may be fitted with a special command center-structure between the wings, in much the same way as command versions of the elven Armada will typically be fitted with a command citadel. The command center comes equipped with everything a fleet commander needs: a battle room, chart room, communications center, lounge, and lush accommodations. This modification increases the tonnage of the Eagle Carrier to 115 tons, with a corresponding increase in HP, and a decrease in the number of ships that may be carried.