Dennis Detwiller

The Secret of the Black Galleys

In Art, Gaming, Writing on April 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

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The Black Galleys

These huge Galleys are the Moonbeasts’ vessels, the source of legend and intrigue in all lands of trade. When in foreign ports, only the Men from Leng interact with Humans, and then as quickly as possible, as the ways of Humans do not agree with the Satyrs. It is not known to the general public exactly where the men who pilot these ships come from, nor that they are Satyrs at all, as they wear voluminous robes and turbans to cover their inhuman features.

The ships rowers are the source of much speculation, as the tireless rapid movement of the oars is the envy of every sea captain.

At full speed the Black Galleys can top forty miles in an hour, faster than any other ship known. No one has ever seen whom or what powers the ships, but the oars move in an unnatural unison, as if one giant moved every oar at once.

In truth, convict Moonbeasts row the ships. Torture machines force the convicts to row in unison, if they resist or tire or row out of order they are electrocuted, if they halt too many times in a single day, they are horribly and finally electrocuted. Many Moonbeasts perish despite their exceptional strength and constitution, and the rowers only rest when in port, a rarity. They do not leave the ship ever, until dead, and are fed and excrete through tubes. Those characters foolish enough to go below deck, although physically safe will suffer a loss 1/1d8 SAN, confronted with the terrifying forms of the Moonbeasts trapped in their torturous prison. Such service is the penalty for the only Moonbeast crime, the failure to worship Nyarlathotep as their lord and master (even so many still choose to worship Azathoth).

A simple panel on deck controls the direction and speed of the rowers, besides that, there is only a single extremely large hatch leading below. Most of the interior of the ship is made up of storage space, cargo holds and slave galleys (where the Human slaves bought at market are kept). The huge hold of the convict Moonbeasts composes most of the lower decks.

The crew quarters for the Lengian Sailors are a room of strange hammock like hanging bags (they sleep standing) with an adjoining galley. The ceilings on this level are low and difficult for Humans to get used to.

Each ship is loaded down with supplies of food and fresh water enough for a journey of several months, and will leave three days after the characters awaken, for the dark side of the Moon.

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