The Spotted Custard was commissioned by Lord Akeldama and gifted to his adopted daughter, Rue. It is the peak of engineering technology for its time: lighter, better, faster, and more deadly than even the ships in Her Majesty's float force. It is capable of operating both on helium and hot air. Most of the boilers and steam engine controls were designed by Quesnel Lefoux.
The exterior of the ship is large, with a gondola the size of Lord Akeldama's house, and is made of a light, flexible wood from China (most likely bamboo). Its balloon is red with black spots. The gondola's trim, railings, and other details are painted black.
The ship includes crew quarters, officer's quarters, lavish captain's chambers, a mess, a galley with refrigeration boxes and every kind of pot and pan, a stateroom, a smoking room, a sickbay/laboratory, and guest berths. The hold is at the fore of the ship, and a massive engineering chamber (with coal bunkers, boilers, and tea kettle shaped steam engines) is at the aft.
Technological Components Edit
- Boilers ~ There are two boilers in engineering, both shaped like tea kettles, a large one (the main boiler) and a smaller one (the second boiler). Main boiler (AKA the Big Kettle) runs all ships mechanics, engines, heating, and galley. The second boiler can be used as back up in case of main failure, and also runs the propeller. It can sometimes be called the propeller kettle.
- Duck Horn ~ The Spotted custard has a duck horn: which lets out a resonating quack that shakes the deck boards and permeates the entire airship. Three blasts means the officers are to assemble (Imprudence, Chapter 15).
- Prudence Akeldama—captain, skipper, Lady Captain
- Tasherit (officer) - First Mate
- Primrose Tunstell (officer)—ship's purser, head of staff, handles supplies and finances
- Percival Tunstell (officer)—navigator and helmsman
- Quesnel Lefoux (officer)—chief engineer
- Anitra—interpreter & cultural liaison
- 3 Deckhands
- 6 Decklings
- Spoo—sootie (becomes head deckling, occasional gunner)
- Nips—lookout, often in the crowsnest
- 4 others
- Aggie Phinkerlington—senior greaser
- 2 Firemen
- 2 Greasers
- Cook - male
- 2 Kitchen Staff
- 2 Quartermaids
- Ship's cat (Footnote)
- Valet (Virgil) also assistant helmsman and gunner
- The decklings have a chant while in combat: "We are The Spotted Custard! / From the crow's nest to the tomb! / Spotted Custard is your saviour, / or Spotted Custard is your doom!"
- Tasherit is made first mate in Imprudence.
- At the beginning of Imprudence, the Spotted Custard is moored off Worple Road in Wimbledon at the All England Croquet, Lawn Tennis, and Airborne Polo Club.
- With the use of one of Primrose’s dresses and Percy’s bathing suit, the crew cobbled together an American Flag to trick the desert city of Khartoom in Imprudence.
- "I commissioned her several years ago, before some of the technology was even ready. Now she has all the very latest of everything, from navigation to habitation to mechanics to munitions. She's lighter, better, faster and more deadly than anything, even Her Majesty's floatforce." (Prudence, Chapter Two)
- “If only, she thought, we really were a ship of exploration and not a ship near constantly under seige.” (Imprudence, Chapter Fifteen)