|Used Primarily By||Humans|
|Crew (Min/Max)||4/12 (total weapons crew: 5)|
|Man-Days of Fresh Air||1,440|
|Landing - Land||No|
|Landing - Water||Yes|
|Saves As||Thin wood|
|Power Type||Minor helm (65%), furnace helm (20%), boiler helm (15%)|
|Ship's Rating||As per helmsman, or 2 (furnace), or 1 (boiler)|
|Standard Armament|| 1 Medium Ballista (crew: 2)
1 Medium Catapult (crew: 3)
|Source||SJR1 Lost Ships|
An earlier, cruder version of the lamprey, these slim vessels were popular for planetary defense. Many of these ships are used by pirate raiders unable to get anything better, or to conduct stealthy hit and run missions for hire. The eel was one of the first ships designed specifically for spacefaring by humans, and was very popular in its day.
The usual fighting crew for ship of this type is 10-12 men, although it can sail with as few as 4. The ship is quite spartan, and as a result larger crews are rare even on short voyages. A typical crew will have few officers, usually just a captain, a first mate, and a spelljammer/navigator.
Raider: Primarily used as a short-range combat craft, the eel was popular amongst pirates and other raiders. This is a function which many eel ships still serve, primarily because the simple design of the craft means that almost any group, even under-funded pirates, can construct it, with only the most basic ship-building skills and tools. The weaponry of a raider eel frequently varies from the norm, based primarily on what is available.
Defender: A more lawful use for the eel ship, and the one for which it was originally intended, is that of escorts and planetary defense ships. An escort will typically be equipped as described above, but a planetary defender will usually carry heavier weaponry, and will often be topped out. Planetary defenders so equipped will usually carry about 20 crew, but only for extremely short voyages, usually less than a day.
Trader: Many eel ships once served as traders, before being supplanted by larger ships, such as the tradesman. Some few eel ships still serve in this purpose, usually in similar roles to the dragonfly.
Heavy Defender: This planetary defense version of the eel ship features a hull which has been thickened and plated, topped-out rigging, and armament consisting of 2 heavy ballistas, a light catapult, and a blunt ram. The resulting ship has a minimum crew of 6, a total fighting crew of 15, is MC C and AR 4, but cargo space is non-existent, resulting in a ship which cannot afford to stray more than a few hours away from its home base.