Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Walrus Channel

The Walrus Channel is the main body of water that sits in the middle of the Walrus Freehold. It is dangerous, but at the same time it is the lifeline by which the civilized folks can trade with and travel to the rest of Toutus.

The Walrus Channel has many natural hazards, including pack ice that moves back and forth with the seasons, sometimes trapping and crushing ships that don't move away fast enough, icebergs that can wreck ships with ease, freezing fog that hides other dangers and sudden storms that can rise up in a matter of half an hour or less. In a bad season, as many as a third of ships that travel these treacherous waters can fall foul of these dangers. 

On the pack ice that extends into the Walrus Channel every winter, there are various dangerous denizens including giant polar bears, arctic hydras (as other hydras, but amphibious and immune to cold attacks) and white dragons. Frost Giants are rare on the pack ice, because not many of them know how to swim.

The famous great walruses are found on the shores and icepack north of Walrus City. They provide meat, leather and most importantly very valuable ivory.

In the sea there are slow but vicious arctic sharks (treat as mako sharks but half speed), as well as narwhals, killer whales and various minor marine life.
Just to the south of the Walrus Channel there are several settlements of merfolk, and patrols can sometimes be seen observing the ships going in and out of Trislem harbour. They have little contact with humans but some merchants speculate they could provide valuable goods such as the very rare golden pearls, if properly persuaded. 

There are a number of piratical raiders who will attack both shore settlements and any ships they catch at sea.

The Ice Reavers - Human barbarians, like vikings, equipped with chain mail, round shields and battleaxes. Some of these have connections to fences who know the Red Hand. They are based in tribal villages in the north of Cortacus Island, west of Najask and Fjordport.

The Drowners of Sorrow - Undead pirates who are more interested in inflicting misery on the living than gathering treasure. Survivors who have evaded or outrun the Drowners of Sorrow have made out at least four different ship names - the Frostfire, the Icy Banshee, the Curse of the Kraken and the Bonehulk.

The Aggrakkatt Clan - Gnoll & hobgoblin pirates who use captured human ships. Although they will initially use human slaves to work the oars and rigging, they will also treat the humans as fresh meat when they get hungry, so the human slaves will be depleted the more the voyage carries on.

Wilderness Encounter Table in the Walrus Channel

Roll 1d12+1d8
2 White Dragon, Large
3 Pirates - Drowners of Sorrow
4 White Dragon, Small
5 Pirates - Ice Reavers
6 Pirates - Aggrakkatt Clan
7 Giant Walrus
8 Pack Ice
9  NPC merchant
10 Narwhal
11  Fog Bank
12  NPC Fishermen
13 Arctic Shark
14 Storm
15 Iceberg
16 Giant Seagull
17 Wereshark
18 Arctic Hydra
19 Severe Storm/Tempest
20 Sea Serpent

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