Ghost Prison Ship - HMS Hades:
Captain Eileen Bryne of the Ley Line Schooner Egret spotted something in the water below. It was a ship. A wooden vessel much like hers although much larger. Masts were down and she though that the crew might be in trouble. After a few moments of hesitation, she decided to investigate and see if the crew of the ship needed help.
Gently, she landed her ley line schooner on the water. It was surprisingly calm, especially for off the eastern coast of what had once been Canada. Once the small ley line vessel had landed, she adjusted sails to head for the much larger vessel.
As she brought her ship up close, there was something dark and spooky about the other ship. The only thing moving aboard was a ragged British ensign flapping in the light breeze. Otherwise, the rigging was in tatters. Even the hull looked rough and there was peeling paint. Obviously, no body had maintained it for some time. There were closed gun ports so she could not see if there were any guns inside through her spyglass.
Should she board the ship or not. If it was abandoned, perhaps there would be something worth salvaging. As she approached, there was an unnerving sound. It sounded like somebody, or many somebodies, moaning. Perhaps it was a trick of the wind. That was the most likely explanation. She had heard the wind make some extremely odd sounds in the past.
Eileen commanded for a group of mystic power armors to launch and then fly over the ship. Four did a slow flyby of the derelict. After a few minutes, the came back and landed aboard her boat. The commander informed her that he saw nothing moving on the main deck. There were no guns on the main deck at least he added. For the moment, the moaning sound seemed to have died down.
She had her own mystic power armor and decided that she would lead a team of half a dozen to explore the ship. This would remove the risk of docking with the derelict and leave the Egret in the capable hands of her second in command in case something went wrong. The schooner would stand off. The four that had did a flyby would join her in exploration along with the shifter that was part of her crew.
It took her only a few moments to don her own magical armor. It seemed like it took too little time before she lead the team to land on the deck of the derelict ship. The howling sound was much louder on deck and raised the hairs in the back of her head inside of her armor. For a moment, she though about just leading everybody back off the ship but she was this far and she might as well explore it.
Captain Bryne decided that they would stay in pairs, one protecting the other. There was a hatchway leading below decks. Tow of her team refused to go any further. Deciding not to argue, she told them to stand watch on the deck just in case something happened above.
Cautiously, she turned to go down the stairs with the three remaining members of her scout team that had elected to go further. The stairs creaked as if about to collapse but held. Being that she could fly, she was not overly concerned. As she descended and looked at the deck, she thought it was most likely the upper gun deck. It appeared filthy and the air was stuffy. More than stuffy actually, it was hot and there was something of a red glow. Looking at the filth, she did not think that any crew would let there ship look like this. Still, she was gratified to see that there were no guns visible and the ship was not an apparent threat to the Egret.
There was movement in the periphery of her vision. When she turned her head, there was nothing there. A careful search showed nobody was here other than the other members of her exploration party. A slight red mist seemed to hang in the air though. There was a set of stairs that went deeper into the boat. There was nothing valuable her so the best choice seemed to be to go deeper into this derelict.
She descended down to what she thought might be the main gun deck. Only her and the shifter went further in. The others just did not have it in them to go further. It was even hotter as she headed down there and the red glow further intensified. There was a red mist that was hard to see through. The deeper she got, the stranger this ship became. Suddenly, a figure appeared out of the mist. Insubstantial but thicker than the red mist. It appeared to be a man dressed in ripped and filthy rags. There were sores all over his body. Looking closer, these were manacles around his wrists which were connected by chains and he wore leg irons as well. More figures appeared out of the red mist. Some grabbed at her, pleading.
A ghost ship. She decided to get her people out of here. There would be nothing worthwhile onboard. Finding herself quivering in fear, she had to fight in order to not bolt and instead climb slowly upward.
Prison ships were ships converted to intern prisoners. In some cases, these were converted merchant ships while other times were converted warships including ships of the line. In some cases they carried prisoners of war while at other times carried criminals. The conditions on these prison ships were horrible with overcrowding, starvation, contaminated water, heat, and disease being endemic. During the American Revolution War, some 11,500 men and women died aboard prison ships on the East River of New York City.
HMS Hades was one of these prison ships in New York harbor during the American Revolution. It is believed that the ship was built in the Seventeen-Thirties. Stories tell that up to eight men often died per day aboard this former ship of the line. They were buried in shallow pits near the boat along the waters edge. Many ended up being disturbed and floating around the boat and were grizzly sights. The ship was abandoned t the end of the war. No records exist of exact what happened to it. It is as if the ship just disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Wherever the ship went, with the coming of the Rifts it came back. Periodically, adventures will find the ship floating in the water. Where and why the ship will appear is unknown although usually somewhere in the Atlantic along the North American coast from what was once North Carolina to Canada. Sometimes it will be close to the coast while at other times several hundred nautical miles out to sea. It is only ever seen floating, drifting slowly without any clear course. It is believed to have run aground while drifting. It might sit there on the beach or on the rocks for a day or so but then just seems to disappear.
Stories vary about what is found. In all cases, the ship looks abandoned with just poles for mast and otherwise just tattered lines. In some cases, the ship is found surrounded with ghostly corpses floating in the water. In other cases, there are scenes of men carrying bodies to the deck and dumping them into the water. In yet other cases, it appears as if there is nobody aboard. At night, the ship appears to be surrounded by a red glow with red glowing mist seeming to rise from the various hatchways and gun ports.
In any case moans and even screams can be heard. In some cases, it sounds like a trick of the wind but there is just something eery with the sound. Many who manage to land on the deck go no further but quickly flee the ship.
A few more brave adventures have managed to go below decks. There are not some many ghosts on the upper gun deck, mostly shadows although in some cases full apparitions can be seen on this deck. Otherwise, the deck is filthy and stuffy. It is also unpleasantly warm with a red glowing mist. Relatively light, there are still comments that it is like descending into hell.
The next deck is even more spooky and far fewer ever have made it down to this deck. The heat becomes more intense and the red mist thickens. Out of the mist, there are ghosts that appear. They are dressed in rags, often covered in vermin and sores. They have manacles and leg irons. The will often grab onto those who manage to venture that far down.
The next deck down is even less well known. It is said that only one individual has ever made it down to the that deck. That individual is rumored to have been a baby fire dragon. Others who have tried to descend down there have complained about immense heat turning them back. The dragon is said to have told about the deck that that the red mist is so thick that one can only see a foot or two away but that one could feel hundreds if not thousands of spirits or presences pushing against you. She seems to have decided that there was little benefit in going any further.
The only cases that these spirits / presences aboard the vessel have attacked anybody is when they have been attacked themselves. Even then, most are far more likely to cower away from anybody trying to attack them as a captive on a prison hulk might after having been beaten by a guard.
It is said that Coalition naval units have encountered this vessel more than once. Each time, they are suppose to have fired on it and even sunk it several times. It seems to have returned after being sunk however. Even when being fired on, the ship does not seem to teleport away and just seems to absorb the damage. It is quite likely that the vessel is in reality unable to be destroyed. Other groups, of they recognize the ship tend to give it a wide berth. Ony a few are foolhardy enough to try to explore it.
Model Type: Prison Ship (Originally "fourth rate" Ship of the Line)
Vehicle Type: Ghost Ship
Crew: Approx 2000 (Haunting Entities)
Horror Factor: 12 (outside or main deck) / 14 (upper gun deck) / 16 (main gun deck) / 18 (below main gun deck)
M.D.C. by location:
|Gunports (60 - Sides):||66 each|
|Main Mast "Stub"||466|
| Main Body:||6,666|
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the vessel's structural integrity, causing it to sink. The ship will sink however will rise back from having been sunk after several days.
Note: The Ghost Prison Ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged.
Ocean Surface: Drifts slowly on the ocean at the mercy of the winds at a maximum speed of around 2 knots (2.3 mph / 3.7 kph.) The ship has no real control over the course it travels. It can however teleport.
Range: Effectively Unlimited. Ship is driven by wind and magical energies. The Ghost Crew does not need provisions to survive.
Length: 144 feet (43.9 meters) at gun deck.
Beam: 41 feet 5 inches (12.6 meters.)
Draft: 16 feet 11 inches (5.2 meters.)
Displacement: 1,052 tons (954.3 metric tons.)
Cargo: Theoretically 100 tons (90.7 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. It is extremely unlikely that the ship would carry any cargo.
Power System: Magic energies.
Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the haunted nature of the ship it is doubtful anyone would want the ship and the ship is completely independent.
WEAPON SYSTEMS: None but haunting entities have various abilities.
Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:
- Teleportation: The ship has the ability to teleport up to once per day with a range of up to 500 nautical miles (575.4 miles / 926 kilometers.) Where and why the vessel teleports to is unknown although the ship stays along the Atlanic coast of North America from where was once North Carolina to the Canadian coastline. In some cases it can be found right next to the shore including having run around. In other cases, it can be up to around 200 nautical miles (230.2 miles / 370.4 kilometers) offshore.
- Ghost Crew: The ship itself is crewed by over two thousand haunting entities. The haunting entities have
taking on the personalities of the various prisoners who were embarked on the ship over the years. Unlike
some haunting entities, they will not defend the boat and will only defend themselves. In many cases they will
not even defend themselves, preferring to cower if attacked. Most look emaciated with disease and vermin, in
rags, and usually manacled and in leg irons. Boarding the ship, you will not see ghost often on the main deck,
only occasionally on the upper gun deck and often felt more than seen. On the main gun deck, many will be
seen coming out of the mist, and below that there are huge numbers that seem to fill every
These haunting entities, if they do fight, have three attacks per melee and an average of 50 M.D.C. each. They can use their various physic abilities and tap into the ship’s magical energies.
Anyone attempting to do a Read Object, See Aura, or telepathic communication will feel the impression of multiple voices/presences, all attempting to communicate at once, and too numerous to make out individual distinctions or traits. Only the most general impressions can be made out in attempts to communicate with the vehicle's essence. Interestingly, the ship does not seem to much of a will of its own unlike many ghost vessels.
- Natural P.P.E.: 1,000, The ship virtually fairly hum with magical energy. The energy regenerates at the rate of 100 P.P.E. per hour. Double P.P.E. and regeneration on ley lines and triple P.P.E. and regeneration at a Ley Line Nexus. Magical energy can be used by the ships ghost crew for powering psionics.
- Regenerates Damage: The ship will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Even if a hit location (including the hull) is completely destroyed, it will slowly regenerate until completely restored.
On the main deck, this is barely even noticeable and there is not much heat
On the upper gun deck, it is visible but is more of just a swirling mist but does not create any strike / parry / or dodge rolls. The temperature starts becoming warm, around 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C.) But otherwise has no ill effects.
On the main gun deck, it becomes much thicker and anybody inside the cloud will be at -5 to strike, parry, and dodge. Temperature starts becoming extremely uncomfortable - around 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C) with a 50% chance that victims will have a 40% chance of passing out if not immune or protected.
Below the main gun deck, it becomes basically unable to see at all and there is a -9 to strike, parry, and dodge. If unprotected, the effects are far worse than the decks above. Takes 2D6 S.D.C. per melee round of exposure and will be blinded with the red mist effecting their eyes similarly to a cloud of ash. If they manage to get out, they will still be blinded for 1D6 melee rounds.
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Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2013, Kitsune. All rights reserved.