The Ship that Carries Doom

There are many ships that sail the seas around Partum and a good many of them are nothing great or particularly notable. The coasts of the entire continent are dotted with settlements as small as a fishing village to the sprawling port cities of kingdoms and empires that rely on them for commercial traffic as well as hubs of military activity. This is especially true in the south of Partum where the great Forzarrean Sea sprawls like a massive lake between continents. Dozens of realms claim some level of dominion over portions of this vitally important body of water and there are literally thousands of ships that ply it from end to end and along all of the coasts and islands. None of these are more notorious and fearsome than a ship known as the Soul Razer.

A product of dark sorcery, cunning shipwright design, and blending enchanted wooden materials with the bones of undersea horrors and the skeletal remains of those slain trying to defeat this terrifying ship, the appearance from a distance can be misleading. The captain of this ship is the Dread Admiral, a member of the Diosian Lodge and one of the most aggressive liches ever encountered. Foul magic is frequently used to disguise the Soul Razer or even to render it completely invisible. It is rumored to have the ability to slip beneath the waves and sail submerged, surfacing only when it is ready to attack. It is also believed to be able to fly among the clouds during storms, dropping like a dragon to pounce upon its prey. While the nature of the Soul Razer makes it impossible to categorize among other ships it is arguably closest in appearance and function to the large galleases that form the backbone of some of the greatest navies in Southern Partum. The Soul Razer is indisputedly larger than these, however, and its crew of mostly undead and enchanted individuals makes it far more dangerous the closer it gets.

The Soul Razer has four masts and is rigged in a lateen-style. The sails are a distinctive blue and green striped pattern with the emblem of a shark wreathed in fire prominently featured. The Dread Admiral is able to control the weather and as such his ship always has favorable winds. Even if these winds were to be somehow negated, there are undead oarsmen that never tire nor need food or water that can row the ship at inhuman speeds for as long as is needed. In battle the Soul Razer has a number of options both at long range and when within boarding distance. If the magic of the Dread Admiral is put to use, then the ship’s options are further multiplied. It is armed with a number of large bombards that can hurl massive explosive charges great distances, smaller cannon that can spray enemy ships with shrapnel or hull-piercing spheres, and ballistae that can be rigged for roping other vessels in order to make boarding easier. The Soul Razer also has a long ram right below the surface of the water that can split another ship open like a spear being pushed through a watermelon. Anytime that the Soul Razer is able to get that close to their quarry, though, the battle gets very messy extremely fast. Undead marines swarm the enemy ship, and they take to slaughtering all that they find.

Under no circumstances does the Soul Razer engage another ship unless it intends to destroy or capture that ship. There is never an intention to take prisoners because anyone unfortunate enough to be caught aboard a ship being attacked by the Soul Razer will simply be killed and animated to serve in the undead navy of the Dread Admiral. Cargo isn’t looted because there is rarely anything aboard any other ship that the Dread Admiral would even care about. The purpose of the Soul Razer is to control the seas as the Dread Admiral sees fit.

As if this isn’t enough, the Soul Razer is almost never alone. The Dread Admiral will have anywhere from three to eighteen other vessels in formation around his flagship. If a target isn’t especially dangerous then these lesser vessels might be dispatched to deal with them rather than to put his precious Soul Razer into action that he views as “beneath its attention.”