|Used Primarily By||Thri-kreen|
|Crew (Min/Max)||11/40 (total weapon crew: 21)|
|Man-Days of Fresh Air||4,800|
|Landing - Land||No|
|Landing - Water||Yes|
|Power Type||Crystal throne|
|Standard Armament|| Piercing Ram
4 Heavy Ballistas (crew: 4)
|Source||SJA2 Skull & Crossbows|
As its name implies, the thri-kreen Leaf-ship resembles a long leaf. There are stations around the hull at which up to four Thorn-ships can be docked. The vessels are grown from living crystal in a manner known only to the thri-kreen. The colour of these resilient ships is usually a delicate translucent green or yellow. Leaf-ships use a power source called a crystal throne, which is grown as an integral part of the ship at the same time that the ship itself is grown. Crystal thrones can only be used by thri-kreen, since all other races lack the correct mental architecture. Any thri-kreen can use the throne, regardless of any spell casting or psionic ability. While any individual thri-kreen can use a crystal throne for a maximum of 12 hours before requiring a full night's rest, there are no spelljamming after-effects. The SR of a ship powered by a crystal throne is based on the design of the ship itself, and not the abilities of the thri-kreen (although a helmsman with the spelljamming proficiency and a good THAC0 for the ram is preferred). The design of the Leaf-ship has been unchanged since it first appeared thousands of years ago. This can be explained largely by the thri-kreen's unusual concept of time as a fixed and immutable thing, which has led to strange and contradictory beliefs regarding technological progress. These beliefs are incomprehensible to all but the thri-kreen.
At the height of the thri-kreen empire in space some 4,000 years ago, the Leaf-ship was extremely common. When the thri-kreen's religious crusade brought them into conflict with most other races in space, Leaf-ships began to be attacked on sight, and hundreds (if not thousands) of the ships were destroyed. In the intervening millennia thri-kreen religious beliefs have changed many times, such that in modern times Leaf-ships are seen by most spacefarers as being simply enigmatic vessels to be treated cautiously, rather than aggressive ships to be attacked. The fall of the thri-kreen empire, however, also led to many thri-kreen colonies being lost. These colonies reverted to relative barbarism, and relatively few colonies remained which retained the secrets of spelljamming, and of growing new Leaf-ships. It is believed that roughly half of the Leaf-ships that ply the spacelanes today are survivors of the ancient empire which have had many generations of crews, while the other half are new ships that have been grown in the intervening years.
Thri-kreen crews tend to see themselves as religious pilgrims, and will be organized as such regardless of the current mission of their Leaf-ship. These crews will almost always number 44 thri-kreen, since this provides enough crew to operate the vessel and its weaponry, as well as provide 3 crew for each Thorn-ship carried. Since the 4 Thorn-ships increase the size of their parent's air envelope while carried, a crew this size will not strain the air. Crews of other races are virtually unheard of due to the nature of the ship's propulsion. Those extremely rare non-kreen crews will invariably use an alternate power source, and could be organized in virtually any manner.
Workhorse: Leaf-ships serve as the workhorse for thri-kreen in space. They maintain contact between the spacefaring colonies, explore in an attempt to re-discover lost colonies, trade as needed to support other endeavors, defend thri-kreen interests, and work to spread their religious beliefs amongst thri-kreen (the frequently changing nature of thri-kreen religion leads to large numbers of missionary expeditions to spread new ideas to other thri-kreen) and non-kreen alike. The function of any given Leaf-ship may change at any time, making it virtually impossible for other spacefarers to tell how a given Leaf-ship is being used.
Thri-kreen modify their vessels only under extreme circumstances, and as a result there are no other significant configurations for the Leaf-ship.
- Spelljammer reference: SJA2 9286XXX1401
- TSR reference: TSR 9286
- ISBN: 0-88038-845-5