Beyond The Shore
Herrera's Red Vengeance
Raised from the depths of the ocean by Amphitrite, this ship was originally a Roman Trireme, blow off course and sunk while exploring the coast of Africa nearly two-thousand years ago. Since being raised, the ship has been heavily modified by the shipwrights at Rickety’s Squibs, turning it into truly impressive modern war-machine, with a metal-plated hull, magically reinforced sails, and bank after bank of guns. Which were promptly used to destroy the Squibs.
The Red Vengeance has 50 ship’s cannons (25 per side), as well as Aft, Mid, and Forcastles each housing a 48-lb. “Fiend’s Mouth” cannon. Cannons on these platforms can be swiveled to fire out of either side (as well as fore or aft depending on position).
|Name:||The Red Vengeance||Type:||Modified Galley||Size:||Colossal|
|Sailing Master:||Sandara Quinn||Sailing Modifier:||+20||Ship’s Modifier:||+0|
|Minimum Crew:||60, plus 140 rowers, 220 gunners||Passenger Space:||50||Cargo Capacity:||85 tons|
|Max Speed:||120-ft. (11 knots)||Acceleration:||30 ft.||Check:||Profession (sailor)|
|HIt Points:||3,590 hp||Sail HP:||640 hp||Oar HP:||2,800 hp|
|Boarding Combat Modifier:||+23|
|Port Broadside||+12||534||20/x4||250 ft.||100||1 full-round action||3 full-round actions|
|Starboard Broadside||+12||534||20/x4||250 ft.||100||1 full-round action||3 full-round actions|
|Fiend’s Mouth (single)||+12||8d6||20/x4||150 ft.||7||1 full-round action||3 full-round actions|
- Ram: The ship bears a standard ram, usually sheathed in bronze or iron, mounted on its bow. A ship equipped with a ram deals an additional 2d8 points of damage with a ramming maneuver, and ignores the damage for the first square it enters of a solid object, and all damage from ramming creatures or other objects (such as other ships).
- Additional Weapon Ports (x10): The ship’s belowdecks area undergoes major reconstruction in order to house Large direct-fire siege engines. Each additional port reduces a ship’s cargo capacity by 5 tons.
- Armor Plating: By attaching metal plates to the ship, the hull’s hit points are increased by +15% and its hardness is increased by +4. This modification reduces a ship’s cargo capacity by 15%. The armor plating slows the ship, imposing a –1 penalty on all sailing checks.
- Magically Treated Hull: The ship’s hull is magically treated, doubling the ship’s hit points and hardness.
- Magically Treated Oars: The ship’s oars are magically treated, doubling the oars’ hit points and hardness.
- Magically Treated Sails: The ship’s sails are magically treated, doubling the sails’ hit points and hardness.
- Silk Sails: Few ship improvements are as beautiful as the addition of silk sails. These sails can be designed in whatever color the player desires; they are often embroidered with striking images of the sea. Such sails are usually imported from faraway lands. Silk sails give the ship superior rates of movement, as they capture and displace the wind more efficiently. A ship with silk sails gains a +1 bonus on opposed sailing checks to gain the upper hand. The ship’s tactical speed in ship-to-ship combat is not affected, but its waterborne speed is increased by 10%.
- Ship’s Boats (x2): 24-ft. long, single-masted launches, with 4 rows of oarlocks. Minimum crew 4. Can hold up to 26 medium-sized creatures (including crew) or up to 2 tons of cargo.
- Rowboats (x4): 10-ft. long rowboats, with 2 rows of oarlocks. Minimum crew 2. Can hold a maximum of 7 medium-sized creatures (including rowers) or up to 1/2 ton of cargo.
- Reserve Weapons: 13 additional 18-pound cannons, 5 heavy ballista, 1 Fiend’s Mouth cannon, and 2 Light Catapults in storage.
1 Note: At present, the Red Vengeance has no gunnery crew, and opperating with only a quarter of the necessary number of riggers and rowers, has no troops to spare at all. It cannot fire cannons at all.
|Position||Name||Sailing Bonus||Combat Rating||Level||Experience|
|Captain||Deathshead Ellie Dryden||+12||8||9th||+3|
|Sailing Master||Sandara Quinn||+20||7||9th||+4|
|Master’s Mate||Adrien Tolbert||+9||3||4th||+2|
|Ship’s Cook||Marina Panadero||+7||6||7th||+0|
|Master Gunner||Major Albert Campion||+0||9||10th||—|
|Ship’s Surgeon||Lukas van Kaus||+4||3||5th||—|
|Riggers||Skeleton Crew (x30)||+5||—||1HD||—|
|Riggers||Liebre Sailors (x13)||+5||7||4th||+0|
|Rowers||Savage Sheeple (x47)||+0||4||4th||+0|
|Rowers||Puerto Soledad Convicts (x42)||–||42||4th||+1|
|Rowers||Moonplum Thralls (x5)||?||5||3rd||—|
|Gunners||Strix Buccaneers (x11)||+6||33||5th||+0|
|Gunners||Spanish Soldiers (x30)||–||30||3rd||+2|
|Gunners||Redcoat Thralls (x8)||–||8||2nd||—|
|Riggers||60||60 (including officers)|
|Gunners||220||50 (including officers)|
Deathshead Ellie Dryden
Ellie was born into slavery in the Imperial colony of Virginia. Although born on a plantation, she was purchased at a young age to serve as a household slave by the Locke family of Richmond, to serve as a scullery maid and companion to their own daughter Isabella. When the Locke’s moved to India, they took their household with them. It was thus that Ellie and Isabella were both captured by the Chinese captain known as Soshimira when their ship was attacked off the coast of Madagascar.
Both girls, then around age 12, were made personal slaves of Soshimira, and thus became equals, of a sort. For five years, both girls were subjected repeatedly to the pirates’ cruelty—raped, beaten, and pierced and tattooed for the pirates’ amusement. During the Battle of Mancatcher Cove, in which Soshimira’s ship finally met its match, Ellie got her revenge, and earned her name, killing and decapitating not only Soshimira, but eleven other members of his crew, and making a necklace of their skulls. When Isabella manipulated the sahuagin of Mancatcher Cove into helping her capture and outfit a ship of her own, the Thresher, she made Ellie her first mate, and later, captain of the second ship they captured.
Ellie venerates the drowned, practicing a strange form of ancestor worship that is not officially sanctioned by the Catholic church, but also not proscribed, and happily accepts drowned sailors on her ship. She regularly uses her magic to create lesser, non-sentient undead to aid her work. She makes extensive and regular use of her augury abilities to see which way the winds of change are blowing and tries hard to make sure she’s on the winning side, even if it means accepting a loss in the short term.
Ellie is a pragmatist, used to violence and cruelty, with few personal attachments or loyalties. While she considers all of her crew and her companions to be expendable, she understands that commanding other people’s loyalty is important, and thus has worked hard to learn the languages of all under her command.
Recently her ship was destroyed in a battle with the Red Vengeance outside Rickety’s Squibbs. Knowing that Vengeance was hunting for The Doomplum she was happy to join the crew. She was made even happier when the Doomplum’s officers appointed her as captain of the very ship that destroyed hers, and perhaps the most powerful war ship in the South Pacific. “Vengeance is sweet.”
Role: Captain of the Red Vengeance
Once the head cook aboard the Red Sadness, the original Fishguts Kroop died in battle, gutted by the hook-hand of Captain Nikolaos of Myra. Unwilling to let their friend go, Rummy, after consulting a book titled “Demonologia Sexualis”, gathered up his disemboweled body, and, late at night, hung the corpse upside down, scalped it, and anointed it with gentian and tormentil. He then, while chanting words that should never be heard by the ears of mortal men, cut the body in two, from groin to scalp…
Out of the cleft spilled a transparent cube-shaped mass. The thing was cold to the touch, with Ambrose’s internal organs and purple lotus flowers clearly visible floating within it, and smelled strongly of urine. It was henceforth dubbed, in honor of their departed friend, “Fishguts”.
Since the death of Rummy, Fishguts has regained his independence and free will, but remains as devoted to the crew of the Doomplum as ever. After months hiding in the Doomplum’s bilges, he is ecstatic to be on a ship where his demonic nature is not considered a liability. The fact that he’s practically worshipped by Sandara and Adrien doesn’t hurt either. Given the strange reverenace certain of the crew show Fishguts, and his remarkable knowledge of the sea, Captain Dryden has appointed the strange creature as her first mate.
Job: First Mate
Attitude: Helpful (as long as he’s fed)
Born and raised in Massachusetts colony, Sandara Quinn became, almost by accident, initiated priestess of Besmara the Pirate Queen, goddess of piracy. Impressed on the Red Sadness like the PCs, she left behind a husband and two young sons in Massachusetts. Highly superstitious, she is responsible for destroying Caddis’ father after he drowned, but has no regrets given the ill-luck that the undead can bring to a ship. She is deeply grateful to all of the PCs for saving her during the storm and knows now that she was definitely right to give them the help she has, but is concerned about their recent mutiny, knowing enough to be concerned about the significant loss of man-power caused by their actions. The success against the Ginger Belle and the Reindeer improved her outlook tremendously.
The events at Rickety’s Squibbs made her very concerned about the spiritual health of her crew, and especially of the Dümplom’s officers. Plagued by vague memories of Caddis’ magical manipulation, inexplicable dreams of Rummy and Leopold cavorting with demons, and the real and immediate risk posed by Puritan heathens, she has taken it upon herself to better educate the captain and crew in the true Catholic faith. Despite her concerns, she has a growing friendship with Thaduk, recognizing the large and dangerous orc as one of the few really decent people on the ship.
Sandara recently lost her left leg, just below the knee, in a fight against some horrible bird monsters in Faerie. While she has taken the injury in stride, considering such things a known hazard of her chosen profession, her distrust of the officers has only been magnified by the jaunt into the Fae Realm. However, the death of Thaduk apparently crystallized something in her mind and forced her to come to a decision. She joined the officers in calling on the infernal powers to bring Thaduk back (disposing of their problematic fey prisoners in the process), and is now mystically bound to aid Thaduk in ‘finding true happiness’. Thus, come what may, she is staying with the Dümplom, not that that improves her attitude much…
Job: Sailing Master
Attitude: Indifferent (Helpful towards Demons)
Doña Teresa Pàmies de Cameros
Born is Lisbon, Portugal, Doña Teresa Pàmies de Cameros is an independent noble of the Kingdom of Hapsburg, and a distant cadet of the Crown of Castile. As a Doña, she exercises both military and administrative powers over her lordship, and bears no requisite feudal allegiance or vassalage to the Kings of Spain. Her skill as a duelist earned her the nickname ‘O Intocável’ (the untouchable) in the Spanish court. Despite her youth, her connections to the crown and impressive skill at arms earned her the sole lordship of the Hapsburg colony of New Zealand, though that, at present, consists only of the small village of Tauranga.
Like most of the highly inbred Hapsburg nobility, Doña Teresa is an albino, but also inherently telepathic. She has served as lord of the Tauranga colony for a little more than two years, and has grown used to the absolutely loyalty of her sheeple subjects, leaving her very little experience in dealing with commoners and those not bred to respond to a Doña’s whims. Even among those not trained to respond so immediately to her mental prodding, the combination of her silent, telepathic orders and martial training lends considerable advantages in coordinating military actions (even if the soldiers are unaware of the source).
Despite the isolation of Tauranga colony, Doña Teresa’s noble background still gives her incredible resources to fall upon in times of need, as well as an impressively vast wardrobe of nearly identical white gowns. Her relative independence from the crown makes the management of Tauranga colony her first and utmost priority. Likewise, her Hapsburg upbringing makes her a staunch opponent of the Empire. Her primary goal is to grow the colony and make it as self-sufficient as possible. Thus, when the pirates of the The Doomplum arrived with a new shipment of Sheeple for the colony, she was quite willing to grant them a treaty of safe harbor in exchange for their delivery.
After accompanying the Doomplum officers to investigate an ancient temple near Tauranga, and narrowly avoiding being flayed alive, burned, and sacrificed by a group of demonic orangutans thanks to the officers’ timely intervention, Teresa begged to be allowed to join their crew (as a way of getting off the island). This innocent request turned south when Leo convinced her to let them perform a ritual to “make the sheeple more effective fighters and sailors”, resulting in their transformation into Savage Sheeple. Suddenly finding herself mind-linked with and trying to keep control of more than four hundred demonic sheep was quite the sudden shock to her psyche, turning her pre-existing sense of superiority and expectation of being served into something much more sinister.
After the four-hundred sheeple to which she was telepathically joined were exposed to a second dose of the Savage Tide and then, minutes later, died en-masse, Theresa’s mind has very-nearly shattered. Leaving her barely conscious, spending most of her time below decks on the Doomplum, curled into a fetal position, weeping quietly. The sheeple themselves share their mistress’s near-mindless state, and are only kept functional by the direct domination of Deathshead Ellie Dryden.
After being snapped out of her near-catatonic state by the Doomplum’s officers, the severely traumatized Teresa has become almost as bloodthirsty as the savage undead to which she is bound. Her thoughts are constantly filled with conflicting desires for vengeance — against the crew of the Doomplum for disrupting her peaceful existence, against the demons for kidnapping her, against the drowned and merfolk for destroying her servants — really against all life in general. Her experience and ordeals have also awakened her latent telepathic powers, allowing her to dominate not just sheeple, but all manner of lesser minds, but significantly slowed her reflexes and combat instincts.
Role: Bosun of the Red Vengeance
Attitude: Helpful (in a severely homicadal way)
Born in Telus, France, Adrien entered the Catholic church at a young age, learning about the gods, but never receiving his calling as a prophet. Shortly after taking his vows as a lay-priest, he was assigned to the Cathedral of Saint Eulalia in Barcelona. During his first year of service, Adrien amassed substantial gambling debts and bartabs, and was eventually exiled to the debtors colony in Puerto Soledad.
When the Dümplom came to Puerto Soledad, Adrien finally felt his true calling. The strange, flying ship bore many godlike beings, but one in particular spoke to Adrien—the amorphous, devourer known as Fishguts. Finally, Adrien was a true priest, a prophet of the slimy lord of eating and entrails, and none on the Dümplom crew could ever be more loyal than he.
Role: Master’s Mate and/or Bosun’s Mate
Of all of the prisoners at the Puerto Soledad colony, this young woman is perhaps the most dangerous. Marina was the daughter of Christina and Apolinar Panadero, who ran a small bakery in Barcelona. As a child, Marina was repeatedly sexually abused by her father, often while her mother stood helplessly by and watched. Between these horrible episodes, she was mostly happy, helping her mother run the shop, but always living in fear of when her father would come for her again.
At the age of twenty-one, Marina was found knocked unconscious and her father and mother were found dead in the shop under what the authorities deemed ‘mysterious circumstances’. A manhunt was put on, but the killer was never found. Marina, meanwhile, having thus escaped prosecution for the double murder, had her parents cremated. A year later though, after numerous complaints from her customers, she was found guilty of cutting her flour with bone-meal and exiled to Puerto Soledad.
On the island, at least, her skills as a baker were much appreciated, no matter how suspect her ingredients, or how many would-be suitors vanished. After three years in the penal colony, Marina was happy to get off of the island, regardless of how it happened or how much time she has had to spend swabbing the deck. Of course, after four months at sea as a swab, she was overjoyed to be asked by Ellie to join her crew as ship’s cook.
Role: Ship’s Cook
Major Albert Campion
Major Albert Campion is a handsome, dark-haired young man who was assigned as commander of the Imperial garrison in Moonplum, established by request of Governor William after the colony was attacked by the Dread Pirate Herrera. Albert is young for his rank, having proven his valor in both fighting redskins in the Americas and as an MP aboard the HMS Guardian. Albert is often described as affable, inoffensive and bland, with a deceptively blank and unintelligent expression. He is, nonetheless, a man of authority and action. He has a pet jackdaw called Autolycus.
Shortly after being stationed in Moonplum, Albert fell in love with the lovely young widow Margaret Allingham. When Governor William declared Henrye and the other Moonplummers who went missing during Herrera’s attack dead, the two were quickly wed and Margaret became almost immediately pregnant (something she and Henrye never succeeded at). When Henrye unexpectedly reappeared just three months after their wedding, the two men, legally married to the same woman, quickly came to blows.
Shortly after that disastrous first encounter, the two found themselves to be unwilling shipmates when Albert came under the unbreakable sway of the telepathic taskmistress, Doña Teresa.
Role: Master Gunner
Attitude: Devoted Thrall of Doña Teresa
Doctor Lukas van Kaus
The elderly Doctor Lukas van Kaus, the father of Dietyr, is neither fully sane nor is he a real doctor. He brews simple salves and poultices, and served as a dentist, barber and blood letter to the folks of Moonplum. He has done considerable research into phrenology and enjoys examining the bumps on the skulls of the village youths. He knows only a few words of English, and often relies on his grand-daughters to translate conversations into German for him.
This tough old cook was one of the first of the Moonplum villagers to fall under the sway of the Doña Teresa, and now serves as ship’s surgeon aboard the Red Vengeance. Lukas is ancient, well over five centuries old, and could be a font of knowledge and wisdom, if he weren’t completely senile.
Role: Ship’s Surgeon
Attitude: Devoted Thrall of Dona Teresa
Always a dabler in the necromatic arts, Ellie’s command of the Red Vengeance was granted because of one very important talent — her ability to animate the dead to serve on her ship. Unlike the Drowned, Ellie’s skeleton crew are nearly mindless. They know their way around sails and rigging, and can function independently for the day-to-day running of the ship, but are completely worthless in combat.
Attitude: Mindlessly loyal to Ellie
The colonists in the Hapsburg colony of Tauranga arrived, not as men, but as sheep. How the change happened and whether they began as people before being loaded as sheep is a matter of much confusion. Regardless, the thousand or so colonists do behave in an oddly sheep-like manner — they are tough, sure-footed, readily follow orders, and they coordinate their movements and behavior in a near hive-mind.
After exposure to the demonic energies of a Shadow Pearl, the sheeple have been converted into savage, mind-rending, nearly indestructible killing machines. Kept only barely in check by the telepathic dominance of Doña Teresa, these Savage Sheeple now serve The Doomplum as shock-troops. After the disasterous battle against the small fleet of the HMS Mermaid, the Sheeple were exposed to a second dose of the savage tide, subsequently drowned, and decimated by their foes. The few remaining sheeple, now both undead and demonic, are even more deranged — ever ready to bust of out their oarlocks and go on a rampage.
Attitude: Perpetually Hostile (but held in check by Teresa and Ellie)
These 11 skilled Dutch sailors formerly served aboard the slaver, Ginger Belle. They have zero combat experience, even outnumbering their foes more than two to one, they were unwilling to face the pirates of the Red Sadness, but they definitely know their way around a ship. They clearly understand English and take orders readily, but mostly work out of abject fear, rather than any desire to be helpful. Sadly, they cannot fly…
These men were bloodied in the battle against the Reindeer, losing nearly half their number, but those that came out of it alive are a bit more seasoned, a bit tougher, and a bit more willing to engage in piracy (especially given how lucrative it is proving to be). They have armed themselves and Henrye has started training them in the basics of combat.
Names: Christoffer, Hildebert, Rolf, Boudewijn, Linus, Roland, Casper, Dominicus, Ferdi, Floor, Siegbert Van Hout
Originally members of Captain Pegsworthy’s crew, serving aboard one of the numerous ships under his command, these 11 sailors are career pirates and all natives of the infamous Republic. They have land and homes back in the Republic but their true home is the sea and they are happy to sail aboard any vessel. They know their way around ships, are experienced with cannons and naval combat, and own their own weapons.
Their most recent service prior to joining the Sadness, was aboard the Spanish galleon “Strix”. Having been plied with drink and exciting stories, and offered full shares and signing bonuses to join the Sadness, these buccaneers are happy to serve their new captain and officers.
Names: C.M. Runn, Didhe Doit, Canhe Doit, Ike Leerly, Dale Neverknow, Les Digits, Moe Mentum, Dewey Hafta, Obie Quiet, Igor Beaver, Eamon Lowe
Some three-score menials work at Rickety’s Squibs. Sun-darkened castabouts from across the Empire, the Colonies, Spain, and further reaches, they have all had their time aboard-ship and are well-accustomed to the piracy that Hake’s business enables. These 4 decided to leave their stable, boring jobs as shipwrights and return to a life of adventure on the high seas. Plied with drink and ostentatious displays of wealth, and having previously witnessed the leadership skills of the Dümplom’s officers, they are in high spirits and eager to get underway.
Names: Davie Bonnet, Riby Wallace, Lambert Simons, Mason Brown
Formerly soldiers in the army of Spain and the Kingdom of Hapsburg, these thirty men are highly skilled marksmen, but abominable sailors. While they had no particular loyalty to the army, they resent being press-ganged aboard the Dümplom, which, despite how much they are being paid, is what they are convinced happened. Still, after watching their fellows drown or die in a fire during the very brief engagement with the Dümplom, they are unwilling to cross the flying ship’s officers.
Names: Rubinho, Herberto, Leopoldo, Jaime, Armando, Patricio, Raul, Celestino, Noé, Pato, Polla, Juan, Paulino, Breno, Jerônimo, Graciano, Jesus, Nicolao, Antonio, Menear, Gabriel, Coito, Alonso, Baltasar, Daniel, Federico, Chuy, Camilo, Aturdir, Dinis Medina
Puerto Soledad Convicts
These 43 men and women were, until very recently, prisoners in the Spanish Hapsburg penal colony of Puerto Soledad on the Falkland Islands, convicted for crimes ranging from debt and fraud to soliciting prostitutes and petty theft. Like the Empire, the Kingdom of Hapsburg has some 222 crimes which carry the death penalty—including not only such things as murder, arson, treason, piracy, prostitution, and practicing Puritanism, but also all manner of crimes against property including vandalism, theft of goods worth over 5 shillings, cutting down a tree, or the theft of an animal or slave—leaving only the most minor of offenders subject to penalties of exile or imprisonment. As such, the convicts in Puerto Soledad are largely tradesmen, skilled more in crafts than thievery or violence. Despite their lack of violent inclinations, their generally harsh treatment makes them quite grateful for their new-found freedom aboard the Dümplom and more than willing to join their benefactors in the pursuit of more capital crimes.
Names: Angel, Gustavo, Basilio, Guadalupe, Dantel, Ernesto, Amado, Cristofer, Jerrald, Ramone, Roque, Mano, Hernan, Teo, Tauro, Heriberto, Bartolo, Raulo, Anton, Salvadore, Calvina, Isi, Esma, Emesta, Vina, Lalla, Verda, Arcadia, Juanita, Patricia, Milagro, Cidro, Vincente, Suelita, Rio, Guillermo, Abran, Lobo, Sancho, Milagro, Savanna, Lalia, Delcine
These thirteen able-bodied seamen served aboard the small Spanish frigate, the Liebre, before being recruited to the Dümplom. Having seen what happened to their companions aboard the Esmerelda, they were happy to sign up (especially when they saw the piles of treasure in the hold and were told they’d each get a full share), though they do wonder what will happen to their former ship that was simply abandoned in Fox Bay.
Names: Sergio, Cleto, Marino, Cezário, Frederico, Rubinho, Álvaro, Juan Carlos, Telmo, Eugenio, Manolo, Benigno, Pedro