The Sinking of the Obsidian Dancer

Disaster / Destruction

October 12, 1618

An account of the explosion and sinking of the Obsidian Dancer compiled from first hand reports.


All was quiet on the deck of the Obsidian Dancer save the sounds of ropes creaking and the water sloshing against the side of the ship. Captain Rupert Whitmore was below decks reviewing accounts. Third watch was on deck tending to the operations and most passengers were asleep. By all accounts it was a perfectly normal night at sea and a relatively uneventful journey to Torakand so far.   Below decks there arose a hum that grew to a whine and turned into a whistle that lasted for about 20 seconds and was followed by a sudden explosion of decking timbers, fire, and sound. Sailors and passengers, crates and barrels were all thrown away from the ship and into the waters. Within moments the Dancer had broken into two pieces and sunk beneath the surface. There was a momentary return to silenceā€¦ followed by cries for help, the splashing of people in distress, and the clattering of debris.   Nearby the Wellspring was sailing when those on deck first saw, and then heard, the massive explosion of roiling flames leap from the deck of the Obsidian Dancer. The night sky was briefly illuminated with the sight and then as darkness returned to suddenly blinded visions the air carried a smell of burning wood and metal. Those on the Wellspring were momentarily shocked by this development. However, they recovered quickly and ran to get ropes. As the Wellspring drew close to the area of the wreckage the sailors and passengers organized themselves and threw the ropes with all their might in an attempt to rescue as many as possible. Some of the victims reported being approached by sharks. Others arrived half dead and unconscious. Many were lost to the waves and never seen or heard from again.   After a time it was clear that no more could be rescued and with a heavy heart the Wellspring turned towards Flint to complete its journey. For a Gallery of pictures taken at this event, please visit our gallery.

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