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The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara


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This build is specifically inspired by the novel "Ilse Witch", the first in a trilogy aptly entitled "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara". These books are part of Terry Brook's classic "Shannara" series of novels (some of which were adapted into a popular TV series as well) - this was the series that proved fantasy could be accessible and commercially successful with mainstream audiences after the breakout success of Tolkien's Middle Earth novels. Unlike many other fantasy series, it's set in a world which sees substantial technological and magical innovation over the course of 32 novels and thousands of years.

The Jerle Shannara is the fastest and most advanced airship ever built, and her crew of the Jerle Shannara are voyaging west from the Elven capital city of Arborlon, across the Blue Divide, to the uncharted continent of Parkasia, in search of the lost Blue Elfstones, guided only by a mysterious map washed ashore with a lost prince, their last known user.

The crew have been selected from across the many races of the Four Lands, for their unique talents.
  • From Paranor, the Druid's Keep, comes one-armed Walker Boh, the last of the druid order.
  • From the Southlands, comes highlander Quentin Leah, heir to the mysterious Sword of Leah, and his childhood friend Bek Rowe.
  • From the Eastlands, comes the dwarf woodsman Panax, and the mysterious shapeshifter Truhls Rohk.
  • From the Westland elves, come Prince Ahren Elessedil, Captain Ard Patrinell of the Home Guard, the tracker Tamis.
  • From the Wing Hove, the elf Hunter Predd and his mighty roc, Obsidian.
  • From the Rover communities of the Westlands, the ship's captain Redden "Big Red" Alt Mer, his twin sister Rue "Little Red" Meridian, and the mysterious seer Ryer Ord Star.

The airships of the Four Lands are solar-powered and require active thrust to stay aloft. The sails, called "light sheaths", absorb solar energy, which is channeled through special rigging, the "radian draws", into the parse tubes which house the diapson crystals. It is these crystals which store the solar energy and distribute it through the ship's thrusters.

The Jerle Shannara comes with many play features, making it not only a display piece for adult collectors, but also a fun playset!
  • The captain's cabin in the front of the ship has been converted into two smaller cabins with folding bunks to account for the unusual crew. Captain "Big Red" shares the port cabin with Prince Ahren Elessedil, and his sister, "Little Red", shares the starboard cabin with Ryer Ord Star. A privacy curtain separates the two cabins on the aft side of the mast, and sliding panels allow access to a shared washroom in the fore of the cabin.
  • A removable platform between the main hull and port pontoon provides landing space for Obsidian to roost between scouting flights.
  • Other crew members can wrap themselves in their cloaks and sleep in the pontoons.
  • The ship is armed with a complement of ballistae to defend against hostile airships, and the ramps may be lowered to send over a boarding party.
  • The galley occupies the center of the ship and features a long table where the crew can dine together, or study their maps and charts.
  • The storage room in the aft of the ship has fresh water, food, the armory, and spare parts to make repairs on the long voyage.
  • The rope ladder may be raised and lowered to take on supplies and passengers.
  • The ship's wheel in the pilot box really controls the thrusters on either side of the ship's rudder, and the capstan hauls up the dual anchors!
  • The masts are grippable so crew members can climb up into the rigging.
  • Obsidian's wings fold and unfold realistically to move between flying and roosting positions.

Set consists of approximately 2700pcs, including 12 minifigures. The ship is quite spacious and this number of figures does not feel crowded - as you can see from the renderings, they spread out quite nicely.

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