No one really knows how the long sliver of metal wound up in the hands of Baran the Shipwright. There've been many inquiries into the matter, many attempts to decipher the crazy code that he kept his final notes in. As of yet, there have been no satisfactory explanations.
What is known, however, is that as soon as he carved the place in the keel of the newly laid skeleton of what would prove to be his final creation, the rains started. Despite the soaking the finely seasoned wood absorbed, Baran took up his overseer's lash, screaming and exhorting his men into continuing work. For five long years they labored, slowly driving the master shipwright's business into bankruptcy, in both the fees for wood and waterproofing, and the price of funerals for the workers struck by the lightning.
As the last board was laid, Baran climed through the whipping wind to the Crow's nest, where he took it upon himself to crow forth his triumph to the winds. Ironically, it was the winds who had the final triumph, a powerful gale sweeping him over the railing to his death on the main deck beneath. It was to be the last death upon the Winter's Bounty in its making.
The Winter's Bounty was purchased by a merchant of more superstition than sense from the grieving widow. A month of sacrifice to the storm later, he set sail with a great cargo of spice and silks, the full fury of the winds filling his sails. Ne'er before had a boat crossed the Great Western Sea with such alacrity - nor with such casualties. Fully half the crew was slain by the cold winter voyage, gaining the ship its name.
Holding the largest shard of Monsoon in its keel-board, the Winter's Bounty is 'blessed' by the touch of the storm. Any waters that the Winter's Bounty plies are always storm tossed, at least a perpetual light storm in its vicinity. Fierce winds claw frequently at the deck, forcing sailors and navigators to learn their trade to the utmost.
The howling storms however, have their benefits to join with the dangers. With winds rising from brisk to near gale force, the ship is capable of reaching incomprehensible speeds for a sailing ship, the vast power of the Shard keeping it from being torn apart. These storms frequently serve as the first line of defense against pirates: Few have the skill to sail near the Winter's Bounty. More, at the will of whatever poor soul stands in the Crow's Nest throughout, the storm can actually be directed to strike at other ships with vast sheets of hail, ice, and lightning! This individual, however, is faced with all the chaotic, stormy tendancies that the Shards of the Storm visit upon their users, in addition to having to survive the tearing, graspy wind that swirls about the crow's nest: A far more difficult task than most sailors are capable of.
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? Responses (15)
Very good. I can imagine it.Such a vessel would make a very good warship. 5/5
I love the whole 'Shards of the Storm' idea, together with their backstory. Do read the linked articles - they are just as good as this one and really flesh it out.
Building off of Cheka Man - yeah you could definitely use this as a kamikaze type ship, except the ship wouldnt have to die.. it would just bring the storm to other ships.
Question - you say that many crew people die... I assume the ship also gets VERY damaged... or is it somehow protected from, for example, having the mast break, the sails rip, etc...?
While not explicitly mentioned, I would say the ship stays mysteriously in a good shape, despite all the storms. Minor things will happen (especially when another poor sailor has an accident), but the ship is seaworthy.
Remember, the Winter's Bounty rides the storm, it is a part of it, and won't break easily. It is the fragile beings manning it that should be careful.
I really like this. I really like the way that danger mixes with outstanding speed and durability. The crew for this ship would be considered the best in the world, renown for their cuning and Daring alike. They would also be the best paid in the world, since the ship's fast speed would make for very good bussiness.
Plus, the ship would start getting contracts to send important messages long distances through pirated waters.
Ingeniously Wrought! So many ideas spring to mind. Very nice Siren.
This is great! I love the image it paints.
Makes me regret that I have never run or played in a high seas game.Though having this ship in such a game would make for kind of a limited setting. But if opposition had it...well that would be something
Happily, I DO GM a game with heavy nautical elements, which is how I've stumbled across this one. One of the outstanding subs on this site and a terrific idea.
Grant him a boon then, a hall of honour nomination, so that more may experience this wonderful submission.
Here is another HOH from me..
This is brilliant.