The Quad of Thay is a unique ship design. Instead of having a defined helm and helmsman, the whole external ship (above and surrounding the living quarters) is part of the spelljamming helm. This Grand Helm allows up to four mages to sit and concentrate their magical energies toward motive force. The level of each mage is added together and divided by four, rounding up all fractions. This gives the ships SR.
The four ram-like appendages above the ship's upper deck are used to concentrate both the mages' power and light from surrounding fire bodies and other sources. This magical energy and light is focused through two-inch triangular prisms inlaid on the four claws. This focusing effect causes the entire ship to be bathed in bright, colourful light for as long as at least one mage sits on the Grand Helm. This light causes all who attack the Quad of Thay to do so at a -4 penalty unless somehow protected from the bright light.
When in combat, the Quad of Thay generally attempts to run away, since its only attack form is a ram using the magic-focusing claws. If these claws are used as a ram, and the attack roll is a 20, there is a 25% chance that 1d4 of the rams break off. For every ram that is broken, the ship loses 25% of its SR. Once all four have broken off, the ship is immobile.
When in wildspace, the Quad of Thay can travel at double spelljamming speeds (ie. it can travel 200 million miles per day). Unfortunately, due to the magical phasing that the ship goes through in order to achieve this, the Quad of Thay cannot enter the phlogiston under its own power, nor can it travel in the rainbow ocean. Only by being carried by another ship able to navigate the flow can the Quad of Thay be transferred to another crystal sphere. Because of this limitation, Quads of Thay have only been sighted outside of Realmspace on a handful of occasions.
When travelling at spelljamming speeds, a Quad is unaffected by the gravity planes of bodies smaller than 200 tons. Normally a spelljamming ship encountering a body of 10 tons or larger must drop to tactical speeds, but due to the magical disturbance which allows the Quad of Thay to travel at such great speeds, the ship actually phases in and out the border ethereal, so it passes right by gravity planes created by smaller objects as if they (or it) did not exist. Likewise, a spelljammer travelling close to a Quad of Thay would not be dropped to tactical speeds unless the Quad itself drops out of spelljamming speeds. Very large ships, and other bodies of 200 tons or larger will drop the Quad of Thay to tactical speeds. When this occurs, all the mages (and priests if present) will band together to increase the ship's SR, and attempt to outrun any attacks.
The cramped living quarters of the Quad of Thay are located below the gravity plane. The majority of the cargo space (and very nearly the majority of all of the internal space) on board the Quad of Thay is taken up with a large research library. Mages living quarters fill up most of the rest of the ship, with only a small space reserved for the ships mundane sailors.
The minimum crew requirements given above assume that 4 helmsmen are manning the Grand Helm, however it can be operated with as few as 1 helmsman, so the ship could actually operate with a crew of 7 men without suffering any maneuverability penalties. The crew of a Quad of Thay typically includes only 6 sailors, all of whom are usually trusted (often Charmed) warrior servants of the captain. The remainder of the crew is made up of at least 6 wizards, and in some cases as many as 20. The captain will be a high-level wizard (no less than 12th level, and usually greater than 14th), as will the first mate, and the chief navigator (no less than 10th level each, and usually greater than 12th level). These two officers may be firm political allies of the captain, or they may be highly experienced apprentices, but in any case they will be individuals whom the captain feels he can trust (as much as a Red Wizard of Thay can trust any potential rival). The rest of the mages will typically be 4th-9th level apprentices of the captain, and possibly of the other officers. Sometimes one or more priests will also be aboard, although such priests will always be devoted to whichever god the captain venerates.
Ship Uses Edit
Research: The only real purpose of the Quad of Thay is to travel throughout wildspace to perform research, track down new sources of spells and artifacts, and otherwise increase the magical might of the wizard captains, and their sponsors amongst Thay's Zulkirs. Those few ship captains who encounter Quads of Thay (usually commanding truly massive ships such as dwarven Citadels, or else encountering the Quad near a planetary body which has caused it to drop to tactical speeds) are usually smart enough to leave the ship alone, since the crew can generally wield a remarkable amount of magic. Those who are foolish enough to attack frequently do not survive to make the same mistake again; if they are even able to get close to the Quad in the first place.
Other Configurations Edit
The Quad of Thay is too new and specialized to see any modifications, although there has been some discussion amongst the Red Wizards of Thay about the possibility of arming the ships with either bombards or accelerators.