Tyranny of Dragons
The Compass Rose is a massive trading ship owned by Sir Kevan Theowin of Waterdeep.
Produced by the patronage of Sir Kevan Theowin, the Compass Rose is the first and largest of a class of Waterdhavian trading ships known as Leviathans. Running 170 feet from bow to stern, displacing a total of over 2000 tons and able to hold more than a thousand passengers, she is by far one of the largest ships ever to sail from the Sword Coast. Cormanthorian duskwood makes up the bulk of her construction, with additional strength provided from rare metals such as mithral and adamantine.
A young Sir Theowin commissioned her construction in 1447DR, envisioning the vast wealth to be made from trade runs between Sword Coast cities like Waterdeep, Neverwinter, and Luskan and distant lands such as Returned Abeir and Katashaka. Due to the high profitability but extreme length of the voyages (roughly between 90 and 120 days), he believed maximizing the size of ships traveling the routes was essential. His plan was to build an armada and, with enough time and effort, eventually force all the other major Waterdhavian nobles out of the sea trade.
Groundwork for the undertaking was lain several years prior, with large swaths of suitable duskwood located and secured in 1445DR. Though various contacts on the inland tradeways, Sir Theowin was able to determine that the only woodland in all of Faerun which could provide the some 2,000 timbers he would need was Cormanthor. After a lengthy set of negotiations between himself and Ilsevele Miritar, the elven ruler of Cormanthor at that time, he was able to strike a deal for the material.
Large amounts of Cormanthorian goods moving to the far west did not go unnoticed, however, and the construction faced delays not only due to the time consuming transport but attacks that beset several shipments. At first, Theowin believed that these were random acts disconnected from one another, but he eventually learned that the Zhentarim we involved due to some longstanding hatred between them and the elves of Cormanthor.
He was able to travel personally to the the Zhentarim holds of Dagger Falls and Hillsfar in 1446DR to discuss terms for the ceasing of hostilities against his shipments. Ever the opportunitist, he was able to turn enemies to allies by hiring them to protect his goods. A contract was drawn up, guaranteeing the Zhents a certain percentage of his armada’s profits in perpetuity.