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Pirates of the Burning Sea : Lore: Periauger

Posted Nov 24, 2005 by Jon Wood

Pirates of the Burning Sea has recently released some brand new lore. The story itself centers around a single ship. A simple, innocent-looking workboat called "Periauger".

The periauger work boat / scout boat was common place in the southeastern colonies of the Americas and Caribbean islands throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Canoes and periaugers are closely related in the historical record. Any small boat that was carved from a log was a "Canoe" to the English, "Peragua" to the Spanish, and "Pierogue" to the French. Periaugers are larger and most likely got its name from the French or Spanish terms for canoe.

Periaugers came in many sizes and shapes and were Bermuda rigged. The periauger however was intended to be either sailed or rowed, for most had a set of oar stations. Periaugers were used as cargo carries on sounds and river systems, transporting up to 60 barrels in some cases. Some were used by local militias as scout boats, and still some of the larger periaugers sailed long voyages along shorelines. Constructing a periauger was no great feat. They were quickly made and cheap to construct. Most were constructed on the shore close to large fallen trees.

John Lawson, an Englishman, wrote in 1701 one of the best accounts of the periauger's construction and function.

The next Day we entered Santee River's Mouth, . . . As we row'd up the River, we found the Land towards the Mouth, and for about sixteen Miles up it, scarce any Thing but Swamp and Percoarson, affording vast Ciprus-Trees, of which the French make Canoes, that will carry fifty or sixty Barrels. After the Tree is moulded and dug, they saw them in two Pieces and so put a Plank between, and even a small Keel, to preserve them from the Oyster-Banks, which are innumerable in the Creeks and Bays betwixt the French Settlement and Charles-Town. They carry two Masts and Bermudas Sails, which makes them very handy and fit for their Purpose; . . . . Of these great Trees the Pereaugers and Canoes are scoop'd and made; which sort of Vessels are chiefly to pass over the Rivers, Creeks, and Bays; and to transport Goods and Lumber from one River to another. Some are so large as to carry thirty Barrels, tho' of one entire Piece of Timber. Others that are split down the Bottom, and a piece added thereto, will carry eighty, or an hundred. Several have gone out our Inlets on the Ocean to Virginia, laden with Pork, and other Produce of the Country. Of these Trees curious Boats for Pleasure may be made, and other necessary Craft.... This Wood is very lasting, and free from the Rot. A Canoe of it will outlast four Boats, and seldom wants Repair.

For More information on Dungeons and Dragons Online, click here.

 
 
 
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