Prologue: Digger’s Last Dive
Dashell Langander, First Mate of
, stood at the ship’s rail, awed as always by the power displayed by the ship’s Hantig magus, Stormcanter. A strange nimbus of eldritch light flickered around the enchanter as he drifted in midair, his mystically enhanced senses reaching down through hundreds of fathoms of murky seawater. The man’s voice seemed sepulchral and distant as he spoke. “Ah…. I feel it… Some sort of ruins lie below us. I feel… metal: Gold and some sort of latten that I’ve never felt before. This is the place that the fisherman described, all right!”
With a cheer and a vision of sunken treasure, the sailors began to work without even being ordered. Unlimbering the construct they called “Digger”, a spider of enchanted oak and iron, they rigged the cage it needed for its long descent. A device wrought of scratched and battered wood, with blackened iron claws and hooks, copper antennae and “eyes”, Digger was built to rifle around on the seafloor and dig up the relics found below.
Very few magical constructs could be described as bright, and Digger was not known for its wit. Perhaps a wiser construct would have thought to check with its masters before prising the golden binding sigil from the massive statue it found in the antediluvian city below. It certainly never anticipated the massive leg of ancient bronze that swept forth from the darkness to crush it.
The Gingiviere was a two-masted brig of outdated mode, purchased and restored by Captain Acnash after he and the magus Stormcanter had the idea of outfitting the ship to unearth sunken treasure. Heavily armed for a non-military vessel, it was equipped to handle the rough seas and uncertain navigation found where other ships had gone down.
The true difference between The Gingivere and other vessels lay not in the vessel’s equipment, but in its officers. Stormcanter and his apprentice Bragi Colomb were skilled in remote sensing and similar divination magics, with some knowledge of the hazardous animation enchantments of the Archmagus Kantele Weathercombe. Their skills made it possible to build “Digger” and “Climber”, magical constructs designed to survive the rigors of the ocean’s deep places and locate the treasures hidden in the depths.
The Beginning: The Juggernaut of the Ancients
Kohath Harbor, one of the many small ports that line the Warm Sea, would be unremarkable if it weren’t for the rare culinary treat its fisherman harvest from the deep waters just off the coast there: The colorful Vie Fish, one of the sea’s most beautiful and delicious denizens. Carefully captured alive and transported in barrels of seawater, these hardy creatures bring a great price from nobles and wealthy merchants. Properly prepared, they are rightly prized as some of the most succulent seafood in the land.
“A whole day’s fishing wasted!” complained the frustrated fisherfolk as they gathered the empty nets back into their small vessels. It was as if the fish had vanished! The fisher folk grumbled their frustration as they worked, the more superstitious of them muttering of omens and signs, the ignorant folks’ tales of angry spirits and divine judgement.
They had no inkling of the doom that would soon descend upon them…
The Vision of Proffet Pillernack
When Iron stands for naught, then will the Juggernaut stride the land! Within it waits the might of forgotten eons, forever waiting!