The swarthy Islander gave a mournful sigh as he drained his flagon. 'What can I tell you? It was something that I'll never forget. There were ten of these monstrous brutes in the water and they started attacking the crew. I'll never forget how the water turned crimson as their monstrous jaws ripped and devoured those unfortunate wretches. I can still remember this young lad trying to scream but too much in shock to do so as one of those vile fish ripped off his arm and swallowed it. That was five years ago. I've avoided the sea since then. Even if I was still willing to face those accursed sharks, my wife would never permit it. There's something wrong with the sharks here, I tell you. A mysterious evil is afoot in the sea and only a fool would dare brave it'.
When I arrived at the little fishing village, I was horrified to notice that it was entirely bereft of its erstwhile inhabitants. The little wooden hovels had long since been reduced to desiccated wrecks by the relentless tides, their remains buried deep within the gritty sand dunes. Meanwhile, a small fleet of little boats lay moldering within the shallow waters of the bay.
Upon hearing of the strange disturbances plaguing the little village of Widow's Cove, I had attempted to arrive as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, the prevailing southerly winds had proven to be most contrary and a journey that should have lasted little more than three weeks, ended up consuming almost an entire month and a half. In the interim period, the situation had evidently deteriorated beyond redemption.
The dominion of Banhosea covers a significant expanse of oceanic territory and a considerable period of time must have elapsed before word reached the nearest DeMadden Company outpost of the calamity that had befallen Widow's Cove. Apparently, the village in question had been repeatedly ravaged by terrifying sea monsters that had frequently laid waste to any vessel that had attempted to leave the security of the bay. At least that was what I could gather from the local scribe who had compiled a report based on what he had heard from the terrified, hysterical fishermen who had stumbled into the little coastal fort, desperately pleading for the protection of the Company. The report itself was barely comprehensible unfortunately. Illiteracy is rampant in this benighted little corner of our far flung dominion and the scribe himself had perhaps received a few years of basic instruction at best. I tried to query him about what exactly the fishermen had told him but he was unresponsive, claiming that his memory could recollect little of the incident. The stench of stale alcohol that he was drenched in , soon overcame me with nausea and I quickly bade him farewell. Such is the caliber of the Company's representative in the more remote areas that we ostensibly claim authority over.
I soon came to the conclusion that our investigative purpose would be best served if we were to make our own independent inquiries among the innumerable fishing hamlets that dotted the coastline of this particular isthmus. Accordingly, I dispatched my marines to the nearest villages and tasked them with finding any of the original inhabitants of Widow's Cove. Our search soon bore fruit when one of my marines reported that he had found a refugee from Widow's Cove who was willing to discuss the nature of the catastrophe that had befallen his original place of residence. In short order, I soon found myself hunched over a table in a foul little tavern that reeked of rotting fish. Endeavouring with all my might not to vomit the contents of my last meal, I listened carefully as the grizzled old fisherman tell his tale. It was a process that took considerably longer than I had anticipated, largely due to the insistence of our informant that we had to buy him liberal amounts of the vile smelling rum that they served in this filthy establishment.
Gradually however, I obtained the crux of his story. Apparently, some mysterious and insidious enchantement had taken root among the local white shark population that inhabited the waters off Widow's Cove. In the past, the villagers had largely avoided the depredations of these monstrous fish by consistently refraining from having a swim. As a result, it was rare for a villager to fall prey to the white sharks. Recently however, the situation had changed dramatically. As our source told us, the white sharks had begun to gather in unusually large numbers off the coast, behaving in a way that was both inexplicable and terrifying. Acting as if they were possessed by a fell spirit of the deep, the brutes would attack any fishing vessel that dared to leave the safety of the beach, ramming it in unison until it was reduced to smithreens. Once the helpless crew found themselves thrasing in the briny water, the brutes would then proceed to devour the luckless crew. Unable to venture out of the relative safety of the cove to play their trade, the unfortunate villagers had no choice but to abandon their former place of residence in order to avoid the terrible fate of starvation. If my informant was to be believed, there was clearly witchcraft afoot. After all, sharks are not exactly known for their cooperative behaviour. Anyone who has ever witnessed a feeding frenzy among sharks, can testify to that fact. Perhaps our resident mage Archidemus could help us discover the truth behind these sinister attacks. If there was indeed sorcery involved, his services would be worth more than those of my entire crew involved.
I was very glad to leave the moment I had concluded my questioning of the refugee fishermen. I had not been remiss in noticing the palpable hostility from the other patrons. If my marines are to be believed, there is great antipathy towards the Company among this unwashed rabble for not having rushed to their aid sooner.
-An excerpt from the personal diary of De Madden Captain Jeremy Harker. It was taken from the stomach of a white shark that had been recently caught by some fishermen.
'What can I say, my lord ? It is an endless nightmare that will never cease to torment my mind. Not a night goes by when I don't wake up,drenched in sweat and screaming in terror as I recollect the maw of that accursed monster about to swallow me whole. Those who say that you can't see any emotion reflected in the eyes of a shark, are utter fools. When I saw those massive black orbs up close as that monstrous white head rushed towards me, they filled my heart with a terror so powerful that I wished for death in that very instant. What I witnessed was not the mindless hunger of a mere fish. Rather, it was the calculated malice of an intelligent, sentient being that could not disguise its sheer hatred for me. Why it let me live, I cannot say. Perhaps it wanted me to act as its messenger and spread unreasoning fear among the remaining coastal villages on that wretched little island'.
-An excerpt from an official transcript of the interview with the mage Archidemus, the sole survivor of Captain Harker's expedition.
The island of Bight is one of the more isolated possessions of the De Madden Company. It has no valuable amethyst deposits with which to draw the attention of the Company. Amethyst is a vital element in any spell that is cast among the magic users of the oceanic world of Acqua and many an island chief or headman had amassed lucrative profits by exploiting the amethyst mines of his people and being bold enough to trade independently with kraken lords such as Big Red who were powerful and determined enough to defy the Company's self-proclaimed monopoly where the acquisition of this precious resource was concerned.
For the islanders of Bight, there would be no such amethyst fuelled bonanza to raise them from the grinding poverty that characterized their hard, paltry existence. Inhabiting an an island that was not endowed with this much coveted resource, the islanders earned a precarious, meager earning by catching whatever fish they could and selling some of it to the occasional foreign trading vessels that stopped to replenish their supplies while en route to the main trading emporium of Banhosea.
Their fortunes however, would soon change dramatically due to an unexpected encounter that none of the islanders could have foreseen. One day as the sun was setting, staining the ocean with an iridescent orange glow, an unfamiliar sight slowly begun to materialize on the horizon. It was a black, sinister shape that initially filled the heart of the lone fisherman on the beach with some trepidation. Fearing the presence of pirates, he ran to the house of the headman and warned him about their unexpected guest. As the large three masted galley with its imposing prow gradually drew into the bay, it found itself being scrutinized intensely by a large crowd of fishermen thronging the beach. Determined to identify the purpose of this alien visitor, a party of village elders rowed out in a boat to approach the foreign vessel. Never had they beheld a ship of such an impressive size. What could have possibility motivated its crew to have come in search of their obscure village?
The ship's captain stood at the bow, awaiting their arrival. A tall imposing man with dark hair, he immediately unfurled a rope ladder and gestured to the elders to come aboard the ship. With the help of an interpreter, he invited the elders to make himself comfortable in his luxuriously appointed cabin for a meal. As his astonished guests gazed with ill-restrained fascination at the richly inlaid silver ware in which a crewman served them portions of stewed cod, the captain addressed them in the lingua franca that was customary in this far-flung corner of Acqua.
He was a merchant captain from Caladin who had come in search of a commodity much prized in his native city of Calan. Among the wealthy trading elite of his nation, as well as among its warrior nobility, there was an insatiable appetite for product derived from the white shark. The old sages of their country had traditionally attributed wondrous medicinal or regenerative properties to every part of this dangerous, predatory fish. But especially prized was the shark's oil rich liver that was a vital component of a reputedly potent aphrodisiac in great demand among Island's wealthy and privileged. Unfortunately, over-fishing had greatly depleted the white shark population that used to be plentiful in the waters surrounding Caladin. More enterprising merchants like him had little choice but to range further afield in search of new fishing grounds to cater to the appetites of his wealthy clients. He had been extremely serendipitous to have recently recruited an Islander of The Pan-Kor who had regaled him with tales of the breath-taking array of aquatic fauna that teemed in the waters of Acqua. It had been the dream of even more lucrative profits that had drawn him here.
Having explained his presence in their bay, the captain from Caladin then gestured towards his richly embroidered silken jacket that was richly adorned with semi--precious stones. If they so desired, they too would be able to indulge in such luxuries. All that he required of them was their cooperation in obtaining abundant amounts of shark livers. In return, they would be richly compensated in gold for their effort. Still awestruck by the ostentatious wealth of their host, the village elders immediately assented to his proposition.
Over the following month the once sleepy village of Widow's Cove became a bustling hive activity. Every day, as the sun begun to set during the hours of dusk, dozens of fishermen would set out in search of the area's native white shark population, hoping to draw their attention. This was not exactly a difficult task to accomplish. White sharks are curious creatures by nature and within moments, the great fish would emerge from the depths, rearing their fearsome heads out of the water to stare intently at the peculiar creatures that had dared to accost them. As the black, eerie eyes of the massive sharks fixed on them intently, the fishermen would immediately respond by hurling hooks into the water that were baited with chunks of tuna. As fishermen, they understood the nature of their quarry all too well. The moment that scarlet streaks begun to taint the water and advertise the presence of an easy meal, the white sharks, dominated utterly by their ravenous nature, would clamp their nightmarish jaws over the proffered offering of food. Once the unfortunate shark found itself transfixed by the viciously barbed hooks that it had inadvertently impaled its jaws upon, the fisherman would proceed to hack at it with their harpoons. They would then laboriously haul the gargantuan fish into their vessels and head back to the beach.
There, amidst the chaotic mass of fishing crews disembarking with their prey, dozens of other villagers would slash incisions in the bellies of the shark and remove their precious livers. Subsequently, under the careful supervision of the captain from Caladin, they would immerse both shark livers and fins in barrels of brine to prevent them from putrefying. The jaws of the sharks were also harvested, intended to be sold as souvenirs during the great island wide trading fairs
But as the relentless hunters went about their grim business everyday, they gradually but inevitably begun to extirpate the local white shark population. The great fish were slow to reach sexual maturity, making them vulnerable to the type of unrestricted commercial fishing that was being inflicted on them on a daily basis. By this point in time, the merchant captain had already acquired enough precious cargo in the form of white shark livers and fins to ensure that he would make a significant profit upon his return. However, with each fly specked shark carcass that was left to putrefy upon the beach, his ambition had grown. If only he could amass more shark carcasses, he would have an adequate fortune to buy himself a title as a noble following his return. Only then would he be permitted to join the gilded ranks of the aristocracy. No more would he be a mere merchant destined to forever roam the ocean with an uncivilized rabble of common sea men for company. He could already envisage the magnificent palace that he would commission to commemorate his social ascendancy.
Engrossed utterly by his visions of grandeur, he ordered the village mage to cast a powerful summoning spell that would compel every white shark in the general vicinity to orchestrate its own demise by beaching itself on the shore. The mage protested vehemently, insisting that he lacked the requisite amount of amethyst to cast such a spell, hoping that by doing so, he would dissuade the captain from going ahead with such an insane plan . To his utter astonishment however, the captain confounded his hopes by returning to his dwelling during the following night with a large collection of amethyst gems in his possession. Determined to put his grand strategy into action, he had personally pried the gem stones loose from the richly adorned jewelry that had been intended as a gift for his wife. Again, he demanded that the mage cast a summoning spell. Once again however, the mage prevaricated, claiming that he feared the wrath of the local deities if he chose to employ such an unorthodox method for such a base purpose as commercial fishing. This was not the answer that the merchant captain looking forward to. Frustrated beyond measure and driven to the point of desperation, the latter offered him a generous share of the profits that he would gain from this voyage on condition that the mage cast a spell that would attract white sharkq inhabiting the adjoining waters. To his bewilderment, this generous offer only elicited a furious response from the mage.
The spell caster begun to scream at the captain in the most vociferous tone imaginable, condemning him for his greed and stupidity. Didn't the fool understand the ramifications that would ensue if his demand was to be granted? If every single white shark within a ten mile radius were to be hunted down and slaughtered, the balance of nature would be disrupted irrevocably. Without the white sharks to prey on them, the resident seal population would increase dramatically, putting a strain on the fish and squid that fed the bellies of the villagers. If such a calamity were to actually occur, it would result in the fishermen losing their primary source of sustenance. But his people were too blind to see the grim fate that awaited them and for that he blamed the stranger from Caladin who had infected them with his own insatiable greed. He would rather die than carry out a plan that would result in his people becoming ultimately destitute.
His words fell on deaf fears. Consumed completely by his lust for riches and status, the captain drew his dagger and swore to stab the mage with it unless the latter carried out his instructions. Terrified momentarily and afraid for his life, the mage gibbered his assent. With the captain's blade still pressed against his throat, the mage was forced out onto the beach where turbulent black waves dashed themselves against the jagged, desolate shore, a reflection of his own frenzied state of mine. He begun to chant the necessary invocation for the summoning spell, struggling to ignore the feel of the cold steel against his jugular. Even as the terrified words stumbled from lips that had become parched with terror, an ominous dark fin arose from the ebon depths and rent asunder the waters of the bay. A large female white shark had already fallen under the compulsion of the spell, her primordial mind unable to fight against the fatal enchantment that had ensnared her. The captain immediately turned his gaze upon this most pleasing sight, eagerly anticipating the great shark slaughter that was certain to take place. It was in that moment with the captain's attention temporarily distracted that the mage chose to break into a run ,determined to seek sanctuary at the house of the head man and in doing so, avert the disaster that the mercenary nature of the captain sought to inflict on his village. .
Aghast at the attempt of the mage to escape his clutches, the captain hurled his dagger at the spell caster's rapidly retreating back, not even conscious of what he was doing. Animated by a dark enchantment which ensured that it would always slay its target, the dagger hit the fleeing mage, penetrating his heart and slaying him instantly. The captain stared in horror at the corpse, unable to digest the magnitude of what he had just done. Fearing the wrath of the villagers, he quickly fled aboard his ship and rousing his sailors from their slumber, demanded that they instantly set sail.
A great commotion quickly ensued as the sailors hastily begun to unfurl the sails, yelling terse orders to one another in their uncouth seamen argot. Awakened by the confusion raging on the beach, a handful of fishermen stumbled from their huts to see the alarming sight of the merchant ship with its sails billowing, ready to make a speedy departure with the aid of a powerful sea breeze. But what occurred next would completely sear their collective memories, etching itself indelibly in their minds.
Before their terrified gaze, a massive whirlpool begun to distort the dark surface of the ocean, rapidly ensnaring the vessel and its unfortunate crew. As the anguished wails of the hapless sailors reached a blood curdling crescendo, the vessel was dragged into the dark watery depths in a huge explosion of brine and spray.
Unbeknown to the avaricious captain, the careless display of magic that he had forced the unfortunate mage to perform, had aroused the attention of a most unwelcome visitor. Ma-O, The Great Demon of the Ocean was held in terror among all the coastal dwellers of Acqua. A monstrous horror of unimaginable strength and power, the sole obstacle that prevented this horrifying oceanic fiend from unleashing unbridled devastation against the inhabitants of Acqua, was the fear inspired in him by the all powerful deity Jove. But at the boundaries of the shore, where the waves mounted their relentless assault against the coast, slowly eroding and incorporating it into the ocean, Ma-O's power knew no bounds. The merchant, blinded by his reckless thirst for power and status, had unwittingly invoked a powerful evil .
In the icy, ruthless embrace of the ocean, Ma-O, stripped the captain of his writhing, frantic soul, leaving a dead, empty husk behind for the fish to scavenge on. Then, espying the solitary female white shark that had been lured to the coast by the ill-advised summoning spell, he proceeded to enact a plan that was truly insidious in its intentions, yet chillingly subtle in its in execution. With one of his cyclopean appendages, he seized the unwary white shark. Alarmed by the assault of a monstrous being so vast that its primitive mind could not even begin to comprehend the nature of its attacker, the white shark instinctively sunk its razor shark teeth into the vile flesh of its captor. A translucent green ichor leaked from the tiny scratch that the shark had managed to inflict on its captor, rapidly coalescing into an eerily humanoid shape. Instantly a murderous looking maw appeared in the wraith's torso. Against its will, the desperately struggling soul of the captain found itself inexorably sucked into into the gaping jaws of the wraith that had been spawned by the spilled blood of Ma-O. Animated now by the soul of the captain esconced within it, the apparition unexpectedly dissolved its almost manlike form, seeping into the gill slits of the entrapped white shark. His devious work done, the demon Ma-O retreated into the icy bowels of the oceanic depths, leaving behind in his wake, a bizarre hybrid creation. As the captain's unfortunate soul merged with the white shark's primordial brain, an entirely new being was brought into existence.
The fearless leader
Dazed and confused, for the first time in its existence, the shark experienced the hitherto unknown sensation of bewilderment . Where was it? More importantly, what was it? It had no idea what it was and even more importantly, what it was supposed to do. Perplexity rapidly gave way to anxiety and the shark begun to swim aimlessly in a panicked way. Its increasingly frenzied movements quickly drew the attention of two other white sharks. They too had initially been summoned to the vicinity of the bay by the ill starred mage's summoning spell. Now, as they beheld the awkward contortions of the large female, they closed in on her, expecting to find her gravely wounded, their instincts triggered by the prospect of an easy meal.
But the moment she found herself confronted by the other two members of her species, the female's confusion instantly ceased. Something buried deep within her stirred into life and she immediately felt a powerful kinship with these two creatures that had approached her. The source of this knowledge was entirely unknown to her conscious mind, but she know that in some essential and fundamental manner, she resembled these two interlopers.
Birthed by the nefarious sorcery possessed by Ma-O, she was was endowed with formidable abilities of her own. In the very instance that the thought materialized in her mind, she spontaneously drew upon her telepathic abilities and peered into the mind of her two fellow white sharks. What she beheld disappointed her. There were no vivid or powerfully developed emotions for her to explore and delve into where their mental capacities were concerned, only heartrendingly crude and unrefined instinctual urges pertaining to their perpetual quest for food. But beneath those visceral, overriding urges, she sensed the tangible presence of curiosity. So they did have impulses other than those related to mere survival. If only she could amplify that sentiment so that she could reach out to them in some meaningful way..
And that is exactly what she did, again intuitively tapping into her potent powers. Unleashing just a tiny fraction of her power, she instilled the roots of sentience and basic self-awareness in the minds of the other two sharks. As their own minds rapidly blossomed into fully developed self-consciousness, she reached out to assuage their fear and confusion. And sheer, unalloyed bliss erupted in their heads as her own mind enveloped theirs, enabling her to see and smell as they did. For the very first time since holy Jove had first created the world, a shark was actually experiencing pleasure in its most unrestricted sense. And recognizing the large female as the source of their intense joy, the two white sharks had already determined that they would never abandon the presence of the one responsible for liberating them from their primitive toper. The female for her part, was also enthralled by the sheer rapture that her presence had evoked in them. To be able to provoke such sublime sentiments in the minds of others of her own kind and immerse herself in them had been beyond her wildest hopes. If only she could seek out others of her kind in order to magnify her pleasure and joy.
Traveling with her two followers in tow, she headed into the vast expanse of the ocean, hoping to find others of her kind and similarly rescue them from the dark dimness of their own minds. Exploiting the ability of white sharks to hunt cooperatively, she and the others would kill large prey such as toothed whales and then would wait in anticipation for white sharks to appear in order to feed off the unexpected largesse. Upon seeing the massive female, the newcomers would swiftly adopt a submissive, deferential posture. Capitalizing on their meekness, she would swiftly insert her presence into their minds, once again unleashing her miraculous powers of mental transformation. This was especially remarkable since unlike certain other species of sharks, the white shark is a mostly solitary species. As her group expanded in numbers, it soon begun to attract the attention of human predators.
She saw the humans approach them one day in their large skiffs. With that inquisitive spirit common to her species, she and her followers immediately raised their massive heads to peer at the strange mammals who had aroused their curiosity. It was then that the nightmare commenced. A bucket of fish entrails was dumped into the water to draw the attention of the white sharks. Unable to resist their ever present hunger, some of the sharks immediately swam straight towards the boats, throwing caution to the winds. It proved to be their undoing.
The unwary sharks immediately found themselves impaled by harpoons. As their wildly struggling bodies were ripped asunder , the agony of their death throes surged into the mind of their leader, submerging her in a sheer tidal wave of agony that ripped apart the very fabric of her consciousness. Overcome momentarily by her own suffering, she could only watch helplessly as some of her other followers, driven into a feeding frenzy by the blood of their slain comrades, ventured within striking distance of the human murderers, only to suffer the same fate as their unfortunate peers.
It was in that critical moment as she beheld her fellow sharks being ruthlessly slaughtered, that another latent ability of hers chose to manifest itself. Their feeding frenzy completely subsumed by the sheer wrath emanating from her, the sharks begun to ram their massive snouts into the fishing skiffs with all the explosive power and force that their powerful bodies could muster. A loud splintering sound shattered the silence of the evening as the weathered wood of the boats finally succumbed to the fury of the incessant assault of the possessed sharks.
Blood billowed in the water, staining its turquoise sheen a dark, rusty red. Terrified fishermen screamed in anguished terror and futilely strove to fight off the horrendous, gaping maws that severed their limbs with savagely serrated teeth. Then, their grim task over at last, the white sharks turned expectantly towards the prodigy who led them.
A revelation dawned upon her as she gazed impassively at the eviscerated human body parts bobbing on the surface like the grisly tendrils of some monstrous, macabre anemone. She would leave the remains for the gulls and lesser sharks. Her people had no particular appetite for the flesh of vile tasting, stringy humans. Nevertheless, it was imperative that the hunt continued. For she had finally become aware of the impending calamity that not just her own people, but the entire ocean faced from the existential peril posed by the humans. Unlike other predators, they slaughtered their prey with reckless abandon, taking far more than they required for mere sustenance alone. As long as the humans were permitted to impudently roam the ocean, its denizens would always be exposed to an apocalyptic peril.
So it was that this most singular predator of the deep resolved to terrorize humans into abandoning the ocean. From that point onwards, she and her followers roamed the coastal waters, sowing terror amidst the fishermen who plied the waters off Bight. Soon, the island's economy ground to a complete standstill as fishermen became too terrified of the possibility of encountering the demonic white shark to take to sea any longer. Gradually, around the hearths of fishing villages, the name 'White Death' begun to be whispered with a horror bordering on a twisted reverence.
And as time elapsed, her powers swelled exponentially. From the horrendously disfigured kraken Sagron as well as other oceanic abominations in thrall to Ma-O, she acquired powerful enchantments that enabled her to overpower and defeat the most potent mages of Acqua. From her hideous mentors too, she first came to know of the existence of her creator, listening to cataclysmic prophecies of how the fallen god would someday overwhelm all terrestrial beings with his unabated fury. However, she is no adherent of Ma-O. While she respects and fears the unchallenged dominion that the great demon holds over the ocean, her prime loyalty is nevertheless first and foremost owed to her own people. Her ultimate aim is to rid the ocean of the scourge of humanity and towards that end, she is willing to cooperate with greater powers like Ma-O.
What might be even more cause for alarm where humans are concerned, is the fact that she has spawned several litters of her own offspring. Endowed with some of her power, her pups strike off on their own immediately after being born, driven by an inherent desire to become oceanic rulers in their own right. She does not attempt to thwart them for maternal love is something that has yet to take root in her heart.
In an ironic twist of fate, a cult has actually sprung up around her. Some of the islanders now regard her as the manifestation of the very wrath of the ocean, sent to punish them for the way that they have abused and exploited the ocean's resources.
White Death is a massive white shark who measures easily twenty feet from her blunt snout all the way to the tip of her vast tail. Her hide is covered with numerous scars sustained from harpoons and other bladed weapons that have been employed in various failed attempts to slay her. Even more frightening to behold than her huge, savage teeth, are her eyes. Rather than radiating the cold, empty expression typical of the gaze of a white shark, they instead emanate a seething rage whenever she comes into contact with a human.
A prodigiously powerful magic user, White Death is capable of dominating the minds of any sentient beings in the immediate vicinity. As would-be heroes have discovered the hard way, she is actually capable of uprooting the souls of humans and inserting her own malignant presence into their bodies. However, this ability is rendered null and void if her target has not entered the water.
The PC's are hired to fight and kill this thinking, sentient white shark before she can inflict even more harm.
The insidious white Death has amassed an army of enslaved fishermen. The PCs must crush this legion of the possessed before it can turn the entire island of Bight into a slaughter house.
White Death's cult has begun to form an alliance with other oceanic terrors to attack passing trade ships and slaughter their crew. The PCs must stop before all regional trade is obilterated.
NPCs • Campaign • Political
Everybody who visited his island knew not to get on the wrong side of Big Red. From a distance you might mistake him for a reddish sandbank for a few seconds, until you saw him raise one or more of his tentacles and glare at you with one of his cartwheel sized eyes...
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? Responses (9)-7
Update: My sentient shark submission. I apologize for its inordinate length, but this is probably the most peculiar idea that I've worked with.
Wow, this is long :)
Could easily have been broken down into several submissions. I'm not sure all these journal entries are necessary in this piece either. As a reader, I immediately guess where they are going. The tale itself is also rather straightforward but stretched out. It just seems like too many words are used to say, 'Greedy guy forces Mage to summon sharks. Ma-O is attracted by the spectacle and magic. One shark is embued with demonic power. Shark becomes a terrible, sentient force that wants retribution and revenge against the two-legged ones that plunder the seas.' Now I know that may sound like i'm taking a cheap shot--Anything long can be broken down into a quick synopsis--but Im not! I just think you could have told the same powerful tale with about 600-700 less words, if that makes any sense. As one small example, you don't need the sentence where you say, 'a shark's teeth are meant to penetrate the blubber of sea mammals'. We know :)
On the other hand, it seems you just gave up at the end with 'Role-Playing Ideas' :) This is the part where so much more can be said! The Shark's ability to control the minds of humans needs be explored further! So many possibilities here!!
On to the good!
The concept is an awesome one. An Eco-Avenger from Hell on steroids! The story *is* engrossing, and I found myself transported to your visceral, watery world as usual! The shark itself is perfectly primal and terrifying. Love the fact that it affects the minds of humans. Love that a cult forms around it. The cult could be another sub! Love the creature's single-minded, relentless drive. Some great imagery and phrasing too!
Ok, this comment is now getting to long lol
Welcome back, Maggot! I do enjoy your aquatic madness!!
I love the approach you took with this, the journal entries and the complete 'in world' perspective to both halves.
I have to agree with Muro. There was a lot extra verbiage that wasn't really descriptive, or at least didn't add anything to an already direct and competent description.
Suggestion: Redo the teaser, but from the shark's 1st person perspective.
Ooooh! That's a great idea! Shark's perspective!
1. I just can't get this visual out of my head...the shark slowly cruising the murky bay at twilight. Fishermen, dock-workers, etc are going about their business. The shark begins to mentally dominate them...
2. The Cult! When they kill, they chop off arms at the elbows, to emulate shark-fin harvesting. They carve out livers and leave them nailed on walls for obvious reasons. They preach a 'return to the sea' from where all creatures once came...
I think there should have been two subs - the fiction this wants to be, and the creature others can use in their campaigns. Such a wealth of detail! Quite the work!
Update: I really want to do a write up for the cult inspired by White Death. (And shamelessly borrow Muro's graphic imagery involving deranged cultists hacking off the hands of their victims). But that will have to wait until I'm done with the short story that I'm writing for the wizard themed E-Pub.
I had my suspicions with Val's comment and you just confirmed it :)
I see an edit had been done to cut down on verbosity but the balance between the fiction and White Death itself is still a bit problematic. Like Val said, this is somehow screaming for separation into 2 subs, 1 being fiction and the other being White Death as an NPC. But the prose is really perfect.