I had a look on Wikipedia, and found something called a Louchuan:
Then XstarkillerX found a great page called: The Tang Dynasty`s Transportation and WeaponryLouchuan article on Wikipedia wrote:Louchuan (楼船, lit. tower ships) were a type of naval vessel, primarily a floating fortress, which has seen use in China since the Han Dynasty. Meant to be a central vessel in the fleet, the louchuan was equipped for boarding and attacking enemy vessels, as well as with siege weapons including traction trebuchets for ranged combat.
There is a great picture there. The page had a citation for the picture, and it was a deadlink. But I fed it into the Wayback Machine and found an amazing forum topic, called Ancient Chinese Arsenal. There are some great pictures there and they are actually scans of a book by Stephen Turnbull, called Fighting Ships of the Far East, Vol. 1: China and Southeast Asia, 202 BC-AD 1419:
Stephen Turnbull also wrote two other books: Fighting Ships of the Far East, Vol. 2: Japan and Korea, AD 612-1639:Amazon wrote:
Fighting Ships of the Far East (1) adds enormously to the hitherto small corpus of knowledge about a fascinating and little known subject. Using detailed descriptions, accurate cutaway plates and reliable historical examples, this book covers the history of Chinese ship design and naval warfare from the beginning of the Han dynasty to the first few years of the Ming dynasty. The epic battle of Lake Poyang in in 1363, won by the man who was to become the first Ming Emperor, is also detailed.
The third book is called: Pirate of the Far East: 811-1639:Amazon wrote:
Over the centuries, naval relations between Japan and Korea appear to have alternated between peaceful trade and outright hostility. However, this impression can be misleading, as much of what passed for mercantile activity was in fact conducted by Japanese pirate fleets, who pillaged the coasts of Korea and China in a long-lasting tradition that culminated in the greatest pirate raid of all: Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea in 1592. This was the conflict that involved Ming China and almost dragged in Siam. It also led to Korea developing East Asia's most famous warship: the legendary turtle ship, which is described for the first time in full technical detail in this book.
It looks like these books are fairly small, but have some great cut-away pictures that show you how these ships work.Amazon wrote:
Osprey's survey of pirates of the Far East, from 811 to 1639. For many centuries, international relations between Medieval Japan, Korea and China were carried out by means of the 'inseparable trinity' of war, trade and piracy. Much has been written about the first two means of interaction. The third element, which combined the other two in a violent blend of free enterprise, is the subject of this original and exciting book. It is written by Stephen Turnbull, who has visited all three countries in search of the elusive pirates of the Far East.
I've never seen most of the Asian ships in the pictures from that forum topic. And, as I said back in the Birthright topic, I had never heard of a tower ship before.
Do any of these ships appear in any of the products for the Kara-Tur Campaign Setting? Are there any books that feature Far East style pirates? Are there any deckplans for any of these ships?