Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ghost Ships and Cannibal Rats

The companions rode back into the small walled town on the coast at midday. The head of the orc warchief tied to Rathgar’s saddle bounced as they trotted through the gate, passing several overladen carts heading westward along the coast. The peasant families startled as the companions went past.

“It’s alright!” Feris called out to them, slowing his horse. “The orcs aren’t coming anymore.”

“Forget the orcs! Death and disease come from the sea.” The peasant flicked the reins and the cart lurched a little faster out of town.

“What’s going on?” Rathgar asked, wheeling his mount to face Feris.

“I don’t know… let’s find the burgomeister.”

Rathgar held the head by the jaw “So now that she’s no longer your problem, what is? You’ve got people streaming out of town.”

“Two days ago an abandoned ship was spotted out at sea, and headed this way.”

“A ghost ship?” Nimble asked.

“I’ve specifically not been calling it that.” the burgomeister said quietly. The fishermen who spotted it sailed close enough to it to see that it wasn’t crewed, but that it wasn’t empty either. Rats swarmed the deck. Enough to cause the ship to list toward the fishing boat.”

Allianora warded herself “Gods…”

The winds and the seas are pushing it toward the coast… towards us.”

“Can’t you sink it?” Feris asked.

“We don’t have any military ships here, and no one else is willing to get close enough to try.” He paused. “I was hoping that if you came back from facing the orcs that maybe you… could do something.”

Rathgar nodded “Probably”

“The fear at this point is that it’s close enough to land that the rats could make it to shore, especially if they floated in on wreckage.”

“So you want us to… what?”

The burgomeister pursed his lips, looked down at the head in Rathgar’s hand, and sighed. “Take the ship back out to sea, away from the coast, then destroy it.”

“It’s literally swarming with rats.”


“Rats who’ve been trapped for gods knows how long, eating gods know what.”

“Probably each other.”

“Any idea what else is on it?”


Ghost ship full of cannibal rats could be about to crash into Devon coast
or maybe it isn't...
No, an Abandoned Ship Full of Diseased Rats Is Not Floating Towards Britain

Real life, or at least real headlines make for some great inspiration.

Here are 1d10 other things you might find on a ghost ship full of cannibal plague rats:
1. (Rat)Shit Demon aka Golgothan
2. Rat King
3. Ghosts/Spirits/Shadows
4. Vampire/Plague Ghoul
5. Warpstone/Chaos focus
6. Carrion birds
7. Undead Plague Rats
8. Insect swarms
9. Insane crewman w/ ring of vermin protection/control
10. ???

What else should be on this list?


  1. The second link includes a link to another website with theories (rumors) and deck plans. Keen!

  2. Heh. Great minds, and all that.

  3. Figured out a way to use that Russian ship, eh? Rift in the Space/Time Continuum? LOL

  4. I suspect that the rumors about the Lyubov Orlova were partly inspired by the short story/Vincent Price radio play Three Skeleton Key, which is a good place for GMs to follow the inspirational trail --