At this point, the player characters may notice that there are no more land birds seen. Only far ranging sea birds. This is an indication that they are out in the deep sea.
The three ships officially leave the edge of Rukemian waters and head for "deep sea". This is significant. In other words, the three ships reach the edge of their maps. The ships are now heading out into uncharted waters. Dolphins seen riding the compression wave at the bow. This is a good sign. Also, an albatross is seen flying over head. Another lucky sign.
Ship heads out into deep, deep sea. No encounters.
A large below deck poker game develops. High stakes gambling. Lots of opportunity for role playing.
By this time, boredom is probably settling in. The player characters have to find ways to occupy themselves day after day. Even with various ship board duties assigned to them, there is a lot of free time.
In the early afternoon, a horn from the Vanguard is sounded and the flagger is seen on deck waving frantically. The flagger on the Third Wind reads the flag signals and calls out the message. They signal: “Danger! Danger! Check your… “ That is interrupted by an explosion aboard the Vanguard which buckles the deck. Flaming pieces of wood shower the water. Flaming crew members are seen hurled into the water.
As Captain Drabbyn orders the Third Wind to close the distance to the Vanguard for assistance, crewmate Jenersen runs up from below deck with a nasty gash on his chest and a burned hand. He is screaming : “Fire in the hold. Fire in the hold”. This is followed by screams and battle below deck. At this point, the player characters and crew will probably rush down to see what's the matter below deck.
[During the loading of supplies back at port, a trio of Duthelm spies snuck specially prepared barrels on board each of the ship - one per ship. Each of these barrels contains a special kind of “mechanical automaton” sitting in a barrel full of ale. It’s kind of like a robot or mech. It’s programmed to “wake up” on Day 9 and begin destroying supplies and attacking the hull at critical points.]
When the players race down, they find the automaton destroying everything in sight. One crew mate is already dead, lying in a puddle of his own blood.
Each mech has a special gem embedded in its body, underneath the chest plate. This is a failsafe. If the mech is destroyed, this gem detonates as a 20d6 fireball - a tremendous fiery cloud about 40 feet in diameter. This makes the automaton particularly dangerous as the explosion below deck might breach the ship's hull. If the player characters can somehow get it up on deck or off the ship before it detonates, the damage will be less severe.
The crews of the other two ships battle and defeat their automatons. On the Titan, they manage to get the mechanical beastie onto the deck before it blows up. On the Vanguard, it detonated below decks (this was the explosion that the player characters saw at the beginning of the encounter). The Vanguard suffers moderate damage, the Titan suffers minimal damage.
On his morning, one of the crew mates up in the crow's nest yells “Captain! Captain! Rogue Wave!”
The PCs see the wave coming. It's a great, single wave... a rogue wave... thirty feet tall. There's a slight ripple in front of it which some people may notice. The sailors leap to their tasks. Most of the crew has seen rogues before and they lash things down. The PCs have got about 10 seconds before it hits the broad side of the ship. Ask them what they're doing. Anyone not lashed down has a good chance of getting swept off the deck.
Anyone with certain "detection" spells or abilities might notice an odd energy signature coming from the ripple. Possibly a life form. Possibly magical.
The Rogue Wave hits with devastating effect. It completely engulfs the ship. Reflex rolls from everyone. Hand out hit points damage. Things inside fly about. Things on deck fly about. Several people have been swept clean off the deck.
The characters feel the ship roll almost on to its side. You can feel the keel rolling underneath you. There is a certain point of no return for any ship. The point at which it rolls too far and never rights itself. This was VERY close. Another five degrees and the ship would have rolled. With a violent lurch, the ship rights itself suddenly.
Aftermath includes minor damage to the rigging, cleaning up and getting the people back on board. While this is going on, a mere two minutes later, a second rogue wave comes from the direct front. Two rogue waves in the space of a minute is unheard of. Mathematically 1 in a billion. Again, there is an odd ripple preceding the rogue wave.
The second wave hits and you hear the cracking of wood. You also hear the distinctive sound of taut ropes snapping. This time, everyone was braced for it. Most everything that could be swept away was by the first one.
After word, Captain Drabbyn hails and flags the other two ships. Moderate damage aboard the Titan. One crew member killed aboard the Vanguard.
After a moment, the sea rises up. It's a water elemental. It assumes its surface form and begins snatching people off the deck of the Third Wind and dragging them to their deaths. The water elemental attacks with "pressure spikes" on hapless victims inside. Automatic hit, severe damage, deafness, blindness, choking, gagging sensation, etc. Will stun victims.
[While the players are traveling to Aggradar, Duthelm has sent its own fleet of ships to Aggradar. Basically, it’s a race. Duthelm’s ships are behind and slightly north of the player ships. Duthelm sent this Water Elemental to try to sink the 3 Rukemian ships. This water elemental is a tough opponent, but it can be killed with enough fire power. One interesting tactic might be for the player characters to lure or maneuver it in front of a cannon and then blast it to pieces. One cannon hit will destroy it.]
This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.