The Saint Alessia is a modified hackle-lo clipper owned and captained by privateer Count Lysander Porphyry Spiros IV. The Alessia is a unique vessel in that in addition to being sea-worthy, she has also been modified to function as a voidship, and apparently is capable of "sailing the Waters of Oblivion". For this reason, her crew under Captain Spiros have become known as "The Mananauts".
During the height of The East Empire Company's period of dominance of Tamrielic trade, a relatively safe and stable market led to a brief obsession with the speed of shipping vessels. This fad was ignited in 3E 395 by a claim by Queen Blubamka of Rihad, that not only were Redguard sailing ships superior to the Cyrodiilic, but she had in her possession a ship that was capable of making the famed Niben Run (The Imperial City to Solitude, the major trade route of the Septim Empire) with a hull full of cargo faster than any ship in the East Empire Company's possession. In the following years, many other parties took up the challenge, most famously House Dres in Morrowind, Queen Morgiah of Firsthold, the Roycroft family in Wayrest, and a cartel of various Ra'ga merchants and (reputedly) corsairs calling themselves The Restless League. Over the next three decades various new records were set, The East Empire company routinely finding themselves out-sailed or out-engineered by various challengers, despite persistent calls of foul-play. In 3E 415 a commission was set up by the head of the EEC in order to design and construct a merchant vessel capable of making the Niben Run faster than any competitor in order to restore the wounded prestige of the company. After several prototypes, the result was a new breed of sailing ship, commonly referred to as Hackle-lo, or Ebonheart Clippers, that were capable of making the Niben Run with unparalleled times. Slimmer, lower slung and with a larger sail plan, these ships sacrificed tonnage for increased speed. The first Hackle-lo clipper berthed was EES Jill. Exhaustively expensive to produce, only a handful of clippers were ever made.
The final Hackle-lo clipper ever designed and built was EES Nightingale, launched in 3E 429. Nightingale was particularly admired amongst shipwrights for it's elegant design, variously described as "voluptuous" and "refined", and was reputedly the fastest of her class, although the frenzy for the "Niben Run" had by this point died down. However, her career as a merchant vessel was short, lasting less than a year, as the economic depression of the time caused EES Nightingale to be auctioned off, eventually finding herself bought by the Imperial Blades at a heavily discounted price. During the next year she was outfitted with experimental technology by the Order of Imperial Battlemages in order to serve as a voidship. Her sails were replaced by those woven of highest-quality Soul-Silk, said to have been entirely woven with the histories of emperors and kings. The Blades themselves unable to cover the costs of running her, Nightingale was sold to the mananautical privateer Count Lysander Porphyry Spiros IV in 3E 331 and renamed The Saint Alessia, with the agreement that Count Spiros would operate a number of contracts with The Blades and the Imperial Battlemages in order to part pay her worth.
The Saint Alessia's first assignment was a failed military expedition into Emperor Uriel Septim VII's dreams in order to defeat the daedra that had plagued him during his entire reign. Although The Alessia was successfully able to navigate the Dreamsleeve thanks to her Soul-Silk rigging, the compliment of Blades aboard were unable to close the marble jaws of Oblivion within their Emperor's mind, nor stem the blood tide. During the next ten years Count Spiros ran a number of contracts, both for the Imperial Battlemages and the Blades as well as the Temple Zero Society, and the Order of the Moth Priests. Count Spiros and his crew missed the entire events of The Oblivion Crisis of 3E 433, due to being adrift in Moonshadow at the time on an errand for the Temple Zero, the length of the mission exasperated by the fact the entire crew was forced to wear blindfolds throughout in order to prevent themselves being blinded by Azura's realm's beauty.
Count Spiros' various exploits with The Saint Alessia in the ten years he has owned her are too numerous to mention, and so many stories abound of alleged achievements that Count Spiros himself sometimes cannot distinguish between the two. Most recently, due to the lack of work from Imperial sources due to the rapid decay of all Imperial institutions since the apotheosis of Martin Septim, Count Spiros broke his own golden rule and went "Against the Company", accepting a contract from a Colovian pretender-Emperor to steal an Imperial Battlespire in First Seed of 4E 8. The disastrous end to this mission (apparently due to the warlord's failure to receive the stolen Battlespire) led to the confiscation of The Saint Alessia and the temporary imprisonment of all of her crew.
Four months later, Count Spiros was able to reaquire The Saint Alessia through a heavy bribe, and set sail from The Imperial City, escaping the same night the City was sacked.
She is halfway between the Baltimore Clipper Rainbow and the barque HMS Endeavour. Her plan is more or less the same as Endeavour, she has the same berth as Endeavour but is far lower slung, possibly one less deck to her, as she has the slip-streamed shape of Rainbow. Her length is somewhere inbetween the two, she doesn't appear as stout as the Endeavour due to being longer. She has the exact same sail-plan as the Rainbow.