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The Bone Breaker

The Bone Breaker is an unusual pirate ship run by Captain Hundur Bloodtooth, that operates in the far northern Canin seas. Despite being an incredibly effective and successful pirating operation, it purposely avoids other Canin vessels and instead prefers to prey upon the other races in the area, in particular the Iesmin Raiders of The Cold Sea.  

Ships Name

The vessel was christened "The Bone Breaker" after its first battle. Upon seeing how the double ram crashed through an enemy Iesmin Longship and broke it half, the captain envisioned countless identical successes. He foresaw his vessel breaking through ship after ship after ship, as a hungry predator breaks through bones to get at the marrow. His ship would be that predator on the high seas and break the bones of its enemies.  

History

The Bone Breaker was originally built in 737 A.S. by the eccentric shipwright, Jahos Armador. He was trying to create a new class of ship to help in the fight against the Iesmin Raiders of the Cold Sea. His idea was to blend aspects of both the Canin bireme and the Canin galley into a fast and maneuverable fighting vessel that would turn the tide of naval warfare in the Canins favor. However, upon completion and testing, his design was ultimately rejected by the naval authorities. They believed that the new hybrid ship was too heavy to act as a bireme replacement and too small and lightly equipped compared to their galleys. Heartbroken, Armador was forced to dock the ship and await auction in an attempt to recover his loses.   It was at this time that Hundur Bloodtooth devised a quick plan to steal the ship from dock. He had witnessed the testing and recognized the new design as a fast traveling, nimble combat ship with the potential to become a very successful pirating vessel. He snuck in with a small crew, killed the few guards, and animated their remains as his first undead rowing crew. He set sail for the nearest unsavory port and took on a full crew with the promise of wealth and revenge against the Iesmin and humans of the north.   On the first day out of port, the ship literally ran into an Iesmin Longship, the double ram did its job remarkably well, smashing the ship in two. After boarding the vessel and a quick fight, Captain Bloodtooth was victorious and the enemy ship was destroyed. He christened the ship with the blood of his enemies and named it "The Bone Breaker". He then raised up his defeated enemies as undead warriors that he would later use in future battles.   A few quick upgrades were made over time and the ship became a terror on the high seas. Despite his vicious nature and ruthless pirating, Captain Bloodtooth refused to attack any Canin ships and focused mainly on the other races surrounding the area. Because of this, a bargain was struck in which he would aid in the great naval battle of Bluice Bay and receive a partial pardon. The conditions of which allowed him to continue his pursuits as long as he didn’t make port in any government run coastal city. He would also not be hunted by them and he would not attack any of their ships.  

Ship Map

The Bone Breaker
This is a map of the pirate vessel, "The Bone Breaker". Its owned and operated by Captain Hundur Bloodtooth and operates in The Cold Sea in the north and the coastlines of The Hladno Ocean.

Deckplan/Design

This ship consists of 4 levels or decks. The bottommost deck is the Hold with the double ram, followed by the Mid Deck above, then the exposed Weather Deck, and finally the uppermost Castle Decks, aft and fore, with the elongated prow and figurehead. Each deck contains several important rooms with essential or valuable components.  

Layout

The Hold contains several important areas. The central area contains various containers of standard supplies and recent plunder and is flanked by an elevated, port and starboard bank of undead rowers. Just forward of this is the holding area for the undead infantry shock troops. These troops of various skeletons and zombies wait for the captains or healers orders to attack a neighboring ship. Beyond this area are two very small prison cells that taper and become part of the unique double ram. At the back of the hold is a storage room for important goods and at the very rear of the ship is the treasure vault.   The center of the Mid Deck contains a bank of port and starboard undead rowers, similar to those in the hold. The forward section here contains the crew’s quarters and sleeping area, while the officer’s quarters are found in the back of this level. Just beyond the officer’s quarters is the armory.   The main deck of the ship is the Weather Deck, named so due to its exposure to nature and the elements. The central portion here is where most of the crew and officers can be found running and maintaining the ship. The 4 port and 4 starboard heavy ballista and much of the sails rigging is located here. The front of the ship contains the kitchen, galley, cafeteria and lounge area for the crew and officers. At the rear of this level can be found the war/meeting room and magic research/surgeons rooms. Beyond them are the personal quarters of the captain and healer.   The uppermost Castle Deck is broken into a forward and aft sections that are not connected to each other as they sit above the very front and back of the ship giving better vantage points than the other decks. The Forecastle contains two chain laden, heavy harpoons, one on each side of the ship as well as a forward catapult. The ships prow and undead giant, skeleton figurehead reaches out above the sea, toward the horizon. The Aftcastle contains the steering wheel as well as the similar heavy harpoons and a rear catapult.   The two masts extend up through the ships levels and are fitted with triangular lateen sails, as well as lookout crow’s nest.  

Upgrades

As a relatively new vessel to sail the seas, The Bone Breaker has had few upgrades so far. However, one of the first things that the captain did to the ship was to paint the entire outer hull with a fireproof black coating and then paint the image of a white, long bone snapped in half on both sides of the ship.   Soon after acquiring a sizeable undead assault force, a system of tilting grates on the weather and mid decks was constructed, that allows the skeletons and zombies access to the weather deck where they could then be used to easily board other vessels.   Finally, after raising an undead ice giant skeleton, Captain Bloodtooth incorporated it into the very prow of the vessel as a fearsome figurehead and warning to all who looked upon the black ship. So frightening is the figurehead, that it projects Fear upon any who have a clear view of it.  

Propulsion

This ship is propelled by either wind or oars. The two masts consist of triangular lanteen sails, that enable it to sail into the wind, as well as having the mid deck and hold contain a set of rowers on both of the port and starboard sides. Thirty-four rowers easily propel this ship, having 17 on each side with 8 on the mid deck and 9 in elevated positions in the hold. The oars are manned by the tireless undead, and commanded by the captain and ships surgeon.  

Weapons & Tactics

The Bone Breaker is equipped with a variety of useful weapons that can be deployed depending on each unique scenario. One of the more unique and unexpected aspects of the ship is the intense Fear projected by the undead giant, skeleton figurehead on the prow of the ship. When in view of the gruesome horror all but the most hardened of sailors weep, scream, and cower in panic and fear. Most vessels are easy prey when in this state and Captain Boodtooth takes full advantage of it.   While pursuing a target, the ship will often launch an undead zombie onto the enemy ship with its forecastle catapult. The ensuing chaos aboard the ship will inevitably slow it down and allow it to be overtaken. Similarly a rear facing aftcastle catapult can also launch an undead zombie onto ships that are chasing them, slowing them down, and allowing an escape.   When approaching a vessel on a parallel course, the Bone Breaker can fire its chain laden, heavy harpoons from either side of the forecastle or aftcastle, impaling the enemy ship, overpowering it, and dragging it alongside. The undead, that are stored below deck, are called forth to storm the enemy vessel, eliminating the crew, which then allows the pirates to finish off the survivors and ransack the ship.    However, one of the captain’s favorite tactics is to attack on a perpendicular course, using the steel tipped, double ram to smash into the hull of enemy ships. The fast speed and tremendous force of the impact often cleaves the victims ship it two, sinking them within moments. The Iesmin Raiders are very familiar with this strategy as Captain Bloodtooth greatly enjoys the “Smash and Sink” approach, due to the Iesmin’s long, narrow hulls.    Additionally both sides of the ship's weather deck house four heavy ballista that launch either razor sharp, spear tipped or ceramic, chemical tipped projectiles into enemy ships. The chemical tips often contain flammable materials or are filled with acid, sleeping gas, or poison.  

Armor and Defense

Outside of it's construction materials, this ship has little in the way of defenses. The ships frame, walls, and sides are made from Grey Ironwood and covered with a fireproof, black paint. The decking and oars are constructed of waterproof, Bloodwood Cedar, that becomes stronger and redder as it absorbs more and more blood.

The Bone Breaker Flag

Flag Bone Breaker 2.jpg
Owner:  Hundur Bloodtooth
Motto
"Surrender Before Us Or BreaK Upon Us"
Price
20,000 gold pieces.
Rarity
This is a unique ship that blends the Canin bireme and galley designs together.
Beam
20 feet wide.
Length
Total length 110 feet. 90 feet long tipped with a 15 foot double ram and 20 foot prow and figurehead.
Speed
Approximately 7 knots.
Complement / Crew
Minimum 24, Maximum 150.
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
90 tons or 150 passengers.

Hunting Grounds

This ship originally operated in the coastal waters near the Canin area of Longhowl Point, it now traverses The Cold Sea in the north and the many coastlines of the Hladno Ocean below it.  

Notable Crew

 
Hundur stand (3).jpg
by by me from HeroForge
Captain Hundur Bloodtooth is a Canin pirate and necromancer that owns and operates the pirate ship known as The Bone Breaker. He has perfected an ingenious way to use his dead victims as a vigorous undead resource for both ship propulsion, in the way of tireless rowers, and as a low maintenance and expendable attack force.     Frezni Swamper is the half-orc 1st mate.  He runs the ship when the captain is occupied, serves as a liaison with the crew, and enforces the captains will, often very harshly.      Lennoc Darkswell is the ships healer and surgeon and devoted cleric of Azvorkoltull, Demon God Of The Depths. He is responsible for providing basic medical skills to the crew and assisting in raising and controlling the ships undead occupants. Unbeknownst to the captain, he is responsible for the deaths of two of the four members of the Barkbite family, the former Navigator (Napal) and former Master At Arms (Pagal).  His reasoning is that the family had too many members serving aboard the ship and represented a potential threat to him and the captain.     Occar Barkbite is the ships quartermaster and is responsible for the ships stores and provisions and is often the crews advocate to the captain.  He is also the elderly father of Napal and Pagal, the former navigator and master at arms.

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Cover image: by adjusted by me from pixabay

Comments

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4 Oct, 2021 14:13

good job overall. one thing I found a it strange is that in the beginning of the article you make it seem like the rams (and to a lesser extent the ice giant Skeleton) would be, if not the main form of attack then at least used often. but then in the weapons section they are not mentioned at all.   I also imagine that the oars (a point of vulnerability on any ship that used them) would also be constructed of bloodwood cedar, especially being manned by undead rowers, as any piracy victims could supply them with more blood.   great job overall, a lot of fun concepts to play with and expand upon if used in a TTRPG or story.

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8 Oct, 2021 01:53

Thank you very much. I hadn't realized that I had left those out of that section. I made some edits and additions to address those point. Thanks again. I appreciate it.

6 Oct, 2021 09:11

What I really like about this article is the history section of this article. It talks about how the ship was designed and rejected, how it was stolen, how it immediately got its name and how the ship is used.   One thing I find strange is that the giant skeleton projects fear on those who look at it...only within 250 feet. If I'm 251 feet away, it must not be that frightening I guess...

8 Oct, 2021 01:49

Thank you so much. I realized that I had over thought it and assumed that I needed to have a specific number, but it makes more sense now to just be in clear view of it rather than a particular number. Thanks again.