Full Item Description
Designed and built by the Gnomish inventor and scholar Lezarde Kurye, the Characon is a marvel of clockwork engineering. It stands 14 feet fall with the legs extended and is nearly twice as long. It is fully capable of an articulated walk on its six steel legs, but it can tuck the legs up and ‘swim’ via a mechanical rotator. In neither mode is the Characon particularly fast. It is primarily made of double layered brass plated steel and adamantium. It has thick port windows of an alchemical crystal that was specially formulated for the bathyscape, as Kurye was found of calling it.
The Bathyscape has room for a gnomish crew of five who mind the navigation of the vessel and the operation of its leg systems. Two are dedicated winders who keep the tension spring that drives the entire contraption under sufficient tightness. For a human, the craft would be cramped as a coffin.
Kurye was an avid gnomish mariner, having learned the trade of engineering from designing rope block and tackles, and studying the workings of organic creatures, namely insects. Given the value of pearls, and the popular desire for them in the royal courts, it wasnt difficult for Kurye to find a noble to finance the construction of the Characon and to pay for its crew. In exchange for this donation, the lord would reap a profit of 50% of whatever was returned from the expedition.
Construction ran into the hundreds of thousands of gold pieces, but after three years of steady work, the bathyscape was completed. The Lord had a whaling ship tow the slow thing to a place near the reputed location of the Peace Pool and released the craft. Eight days later, the craft returned laden with a fortune in pearls.
The pearls compensated for the cost of the expedition, as most all of them were of signifigant size and excellent quality. Of the crew of the Characon, within a week two had been killed in bar fights, one choked to death on a large piece of lobster, the forth was lost at sea, having simply vanished off the deck of his newly acquired yacht. Kurye would go on to hastily write his account of the event, and mention that he wished he could return the pearls to where they belonged.
According to the tale, Kurye was left where he hung himself for nearly a week before he was found dead. In his room were his notes, his pearls, and a signifigant amount of gold coinage. He died a wealthy man…
The Characon has since been removed from the water and sits as an oddity on the lands granted to Kurye’s bloodline for the expedition. It is now in rather poor condition due to constant exposure to the rain and weather.
The Characon is a clockwork submarine/crawler and has no inherent magical attributes. It does have a set of observation glowstones that were later removed and placed in the home of the Commisioning Lord. the contraption also had a rebreather that purified the air within the ship so it could stay submerged longer, and Kurye took the secret of its construction to his grave. The rebreather no longer functions.