Friday, September 2, 2011


From the late Roman (4th-5th cent.) military work  De Rebus Bellicis regarding an experimental idea for a new warship:
“In its hull, or hollow interior, oxen, yoked in pairs to capstans, turns wheels attached to the sides of the ship; paddles, projecting above the circumference or curved surface of the wheels, beating the water with their strokes like oar-blades as the wheels revolve, work with an amazing and ingenious effect, their action producing rapid motion. This warship, moreover, because of its own bulk and because of the machinery working inside it, joins battle with such pounding force that it easily wrecks and destroys all enemy warships coming at close quarters.”

And thus a new sub-genre, Ox-Punk, is born.  A right-brained tangential thought from Porky's developing seaborne adventure series


  1. Just think how much more power you could get if you used gorgons (the bullish variety)? Of course, wooden decks might not be sturdy enough...

    And I wonder if you could build a spelljamming vessel this way?

  2. This is a tribute to the power of your imagination more than mine I think, and to your research - great pics and a very intriguing quote.

    It's an idea that could run and run, to risk a pun. Trey makes a good point though - there are lots of details to ponder, like wear on the decks too and possible lateral movement. As for optimal creature, maybe something winged could generate lift and get the ship skimming?

    They adventures are seabourne only temporarily - we'll be hitting the land pretty hard next time, and it'll be a few adventures after that before there's a boat to steal.

  3. Lol, Yeah I was thinking steam punk, or my favorite- diesel punk, and how much silliness ox punk would be. I guess Ox punk is just a slight step up from dino punk introduced to us by the flinstones.

  4. Skeletons and Zombies make great galley slaves. You don't have to feed them and they never get tired.

  5. Oh no! It looks like the golem cranks, gnomish windmills and elemental steam engines of the old Book of Wondrous Inventions might be about due to re-enter the popular consciousness.


  6. Wasnt that passage the very source of inspiration for the space-hamster-wheel powered gnome ships in Spelljammer?