Hell Gate Geographic Location in The Last Gleaming | World Anvil
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Hell Gate

On his Fourth Voyage to the New World, the ship Tyger of the Dutch explorer, Adriaen Block, burned to the keel ("Tyger, Tyger, burning bright!) after the ship was moored for the winter of 1613 in Manna hatta. With the help of the Lenape people, however, he was able to build a new ship, the Onrust ("Restless"), a 42 foot, 16 ton vessel, and in 1614 discovered Hellegat (Hell Gate) , navigating its treacherous rocks and whirlpools and avoiding the perils of Y’ha-nthlei, and the Deep Ones dwelling there, to emerge into Long Island Sound, sailing onward to name Block Island after himself and "Roode Eylandt" for the red soil he found there.



The East River is not a river at all, but rather a tidal strait. Many salt-water fish inhabit it, therefore, including the American Eel, Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Porgy, Flukes and Smelt, not to mention sharks and skates.   But the most fearsome denizens of Hellegat are the Deep Ones, lurking beneath the waters in what the Lenape called Muscouta, "the sunken land". It is there under the churning waters of Hellegat, the Deep Ones, known to the Lenape as Mexaxkuk, "water monsters" (hideous beings living in a rock den and known for their unwholesome interest in sex) have their dwelling, Y’ha-nthlei, a strange underwater system of caverns in which they worship Dagon, their awful fish-god, also worshipped by the Philistines.   Not all the land-dwelling humans, many of them Dutch, surrounding Hell Gate, are innocent of the Deep Ones' presence. Some have entered into trade or worse trafficking with the creatures, obtaining trinkets of silver-gold, maybe the equivalent of the glass beads used by European settlers to purchase the land of the natives, who had no concept that "Turtle Island", dry land created when a great turtle rose from the deeps, could in any sense be owned by humans.   In the areas surrounding Hell Gate, hybrid spawn of the Deep Ones may also be encountered.

Ecosystem Cycles

When the tide rises on the eastern seaboard it sets New York Harbor and, farther to the northeast, into Long Island Sound. At New York Bay it splits at the tip of Manhattan, one current pushing up the Hudson and through Harlem River, the other entering the East River. Here with the horizontal movement impeded by the opposite flow of the Harlem River and the narrowness of the channel up to the Sound, the huge basin of the Hell Gate begins to fill. The waters, like wild beasts, circle their confines, impatient for the chance to escape.   The downcoming flow of the Harlem River is then stopped by the strength of the escaping currents and sent back up through Little Hell Gate and the Bronx Kills, and the channels to the west, like a sluiceway, is filled with swift seething water racing up to the Bronx shore. This flow builds up for hours, building up to a high tide along the East River shore. Then at a time when other waters settle into slack, the downcoming tide, which has been delayed four hours by the distance and the drag of the Long Island Basin, begins its relentless drive—and the struggle for mastery is on.   Four hours after entering the sound this tide has changed the flow of the river which is down the narrow ‘sluiceway’ from the Bronx and down Little Hell Gate channel into Hell Gate Basin, counterclockwise around Millrock and as far down the river as the upcoming tide will allow. To this confusion of ebbs, add the rocks, reefs, and freakish whims of the winds. At ebb tide the process was reversed, but no less confusing.

Localized Phenomena

Hell Gate is quite difficult to Navigate. Any attempt to sail here must be made with a -20% chance to succeed. A critical failure means the boat is swept on the rocks and dragged down by a whirlpool. If this happens, the captain and crew must spend a point of Determination to survive.   Also, there is a chance, especially if Hell's Gate is hazarded at night, for an encounter with the Deep Ones (10% by Day, 40% by Night). Encounter will be with 1-4 assorted Deep Ones   1-2 Deep One Hybrid 3-4 Deep One Mother 5-6 Deep One Warrior 7-8 Deep One Priest


The Deep Ones in the caverns under Hell Gate are originally from Dutch Guyana, beckoned by Dagon himself to quit their habitations at the mouth of the Essequibo River to follow him northward as he pursued his unholy lust for Iphigenia, the daughter of the sugar merchant Claes Martenzsen Van Rosenvelt.
Alternative Name(s)
Muscouta, by the Lenape, "The Sunken Land"
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