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The ITAV Luciniusby Rodger Burns
A new innovation in aerial warfare, the Imperial Thyatian Airship Lucinius is intended not as a mainline warship but as a mobile, airborne support craft for a full company’s worth of soldiers of the elite Retebius Air Fleet. With stables, landing ramps, living quarters, and storage for weapons, food and other supplies, the Lucinius is intended to give the Retebius Air Fleet a long-range strike capability unmatched by any other force in the Known World.
The truth of the matter, meanwhile, is somewhat less impressive. While the design and deployment principles behind the Lucinius are sound, the theory itself has never been tested – the Lucinius is an experiment in every sense of the word. Any of a dozen things could potentially go wrong with it – from flaws in the enchantments that keep the ship’s hull airborne, to difficulty with the griffons and pegasi based aboard taking off from the ship or landing on it, to keeping the vessel repaired and resupplied so it can fulfil its mission, to conflicts between the Air Fleet personnel aboard and the ship’s crew. The Emperor has agreed to fund the project, and take the risk, but if anything goes wrong the Lucinius will likely be not just the first ship of its type but also the last.
Overview of the Ship
As a vessel designed purely for travelling across the sky, the design of the Lucinius is noticeably different from any seagoing vessel. Its basic hull is shaped like a standard ship’s only as a nod to tradition, and while the vessel will float in water – barely – it will never set any speed records while under conventional sail, nor stand up well in even moderate chop. Current deployment recommends landing in water only if necessary – in storm conditions that would wreck the ship if it were airborne, for instance, or during the Day Without Magic.
Departures from traditional aspects of shipbuilding are obvious from just one glance at the Lucinius. To begin with, the ship has no forecastle or sterncastle on its topdeck – such structures are fairly useless in an airborne environment, where flying enemies can easily attack from above. Instead, a long cabin runs down the centre of the topdeck, providing a space from which marines can attack in potentially any direction while having cover against most enemies. The ship’s masts and sails are also notably different – three masts extend straight upward from the topdeck, but a pair of smaller masts also jut out sideways from each side of the hull, serving not to catch the wind and move the ship forward but to allow extra manoeuvrability in the air. Finally, a pair of long, thin ‘runner’ decks extend outwards from the ship’s sides, several feet below the topdeck; these are intended to serve as takeoff and landing points for the ship’s flying beasts.
As a mobile support base rather than a front-line warship, the Lucinius has never been intended to carry much in the way of heavy anti-ship weaponry. Its main firepower is intended not to come from siege equipment, but instead from the Air Fleet soldiers stationed aboard. If ever threatened by a large enemy force, the Lucinius is supposed to manoeuvre to avoid action and rely on the Air Fleet contingent to overpower the opposition.
Principle is not the same as practice, though, and so the Lucinius has been equipped with several light catapults, mounted fore and aft of the vessel, for use if the situation requires it. In addition to standard-shot ammunition (intended to be replenished as needed from any convenient stone-quarry), the Lucinius will also carry a small quantity of special-use magical canisters. These include flameseed, which explodes with the force of an 8d6 fireball on impact; muddlemist, which functions as a confusion spell, and spellkiller, which dispels magic at range as a 12th level caster. Use of such special canisters is not to be indulged lightly, due to cost and difficulty of resupply, but may serve to change the tide of battle in many an engagement.
Crew and Logistics
As a vessel designed to support a strong striking force of the Retebius Air Fleet in locations far from the centre of the Thyatian Empire, for months at a time, the Lucinius is both well-crewed and supplied to ensure success on extended deployments. All sailors and ship’s officers aboard are experienced in their craft and trained in the best Thyatian military tradition, and morale aboard ship is expected to be high. The only concern lies in possible friction between ordinary crewmen and the officers of the Air Fleet, but the Imperial Staff intend to pay close attention to the Lucinius during her shakedown cruise in order to identify any interpersonal problems early and reassign the offending parties.
Supplies aboard the Lucinius are handled with a mix of the magical and the mundane. A sizeable ship’s hold provides storage for hardtack, barrels of water and Machetos wine, spare leatherwork, canvas and timber for ship maintenance and repair, and similar items. The foodstuffs here are intended mainly for emergency use, however, as day-to-day food supply is provided with the aid of a magical Altar of Vanya’s Bounty. This construction, the result of long and expensive work by the clerics of Thyatis’s patron Immortal, is capable of conjuring up sufficient food and water to feed well over 200 people each day, every day – by itself sufficing to keep the entire crew of the Lucinius in good health. In order to remain in Vanya’s favour, however, the crew and officers of the Lucinius must remain valiant in battle and ever strive to further the glory of Thyatis. Needless to say, the Imperial Staff considers this to be no real drawback.
Life aboard ship is governed by watch shifts. A watch covers a period of two hours, and most crew are expected to serve four watches a day; these are generally run consecutively, though a crewman who’s drawn punishment detail may find themselves working two hours on, four hours off for a few days straight to run them ragged. Officers serve five watches, always consecutively – the first watch alongside one’s predecessor, then three watches alone, and the fifth watch with one’s successor. This insures a smooth and orderly handover of duties and command responsibilities. Of course, in an outright battle all matter of ‘watch shifts’ goes out the window – all able-bodied crew are expected on deck, either manning a post, ready to step in to take over the tasks of someone who falls, or actively fighting off the opposition.
Deck Plans - Topdeck
1. Pilot and Charts Room
This large room acts both as the control centre for piloting the Lucinius, navigation and strategy centre for planning manoeuvres and combat, and as a command post for ship’s officers to observe battle or magically contact key individuals on the battlefield. Many magical items usable for tactical intelligence and communication are kept here, including a set of scrolls of communication, another individual scroll of communication whose mate is kept in the Imperial Navy headquarters in Thyatis City, a crystal ball, a helm of telepathy and a quill of copying. All these items are carefully secured with magically-enhanced locks; only Captain Actavius and Magistrianos ben Aasim have keys. Chart-books kept by Tuong Deng-Phe are also in this room.
Three large windows provide an excellent view both ahead of and to both port and starboard of this room. The windows are made of magically-crafted rock crystal, and are virtually unbreakable; curtains hung inside the room can be drawn to insure privacy. Ship’s officers generally are found here, at any point when on duty; an honour guard of four marines is also stationed in the corridor outside, to prevent unauthorised entry.
Piloting the Lucinius – The Lucinius is a flying vessel with an air speed of 120’ per round and an MF of 1/2 (a). It can be controlled by use of the Piloting (Airships) general skill, based on Dexterity. Piloting checks are often required in combat situations, and may also be required when attempting tricky manoeuvres outside of combat.
2. Catapult Turrets
Each of these turrets houses a light catapult, which is usually kept unwound and unloaded when not in actual combat use. The duty of manning the catapults in battle generally falls to the ship’s marine contingent; Captain Actavius reportedly has plans to train some of the rank-and-file crew as assistants. A small box of catapult shot is kept near each turret, but ammunition for extended engagements (and magical ammo of any type) must be fetched from the armoury.
3. Captain’s Cabin
This room serves as quarters and office for Captain Flavius Actavius, ship’s master of the Lucinius. As yet, it is still somewhat spartan, with military-issue furniture and not much in the way of personal touches. Some mementoes of the captain’s prior Navy service, past campaigns and knick-knacks from the captain’s home island of Actius are present, however. A set of banded mail +2 is kept in a wardrobe here, which Captain Actavius will don only when expecting action ashore. Note that the marines on duty outside area 1 will also act to prevent intruders from entering this cabin.
4. Officers’ Cabins
These cabins are set aside for use by ship’s officers, military visitors or other passengers, and similar special uses. Bunking is generally two to a room. At present, four of these cabins are in use – three as quarters for officers and specialists, the fourth reserved as a storeroom for rare, valuable or dangerous items of magic and similar curiosities that may be discovered by the crew of the Lucinius.
5. Ship’s Armoury
Weapons, spare arrows for bows and catapult shot, racks of heavy mail to be donned during ground actions, and other tools of the soldier’s trade are stored in this securely locked room. Though most of the equipment here is of normal, non-magical potency – the enchanted blades available to officers are generally kept on their persons, or in their quarters – a decent supply of arrows +1 are kept here to be issued to archers in times of need. Magical potions and scrolls of low power, suitable for general use, may also be kept here. Equipment for keeping weapons and armour in good repair is also present, and a duty period maintaining the armoury is often imposed on crew and marines who have committed minor infractions aboard ship.
6. Officers’ Mess
In principle, this room is reserved for dining and socialising by the officers and favoured crew aboard the Lucinius. Captain Actavius has already asserted that on-duty crew will be allowed access to this mess rather than having to go below to take their meals, though. The overall response to this decision has been a positive one, though Magistrianos ben Aasim disapproves on principle.
This smoky room allows for the preparation of food for the Officers’ Mess. It is one of the few places aboard ship where open flame may be lit. Dylan son of Conn, a sailor originally from the Hinterlands, has established himself as chief cook aboard the Lucinius and master of this kitchen; he is sometimes absent, asleep in his bunk or taking a turn in the halyards, but when present he rules over all activity in this kitchen like a veritable tyrant.
8. Cargo Access
A large hatch in the bottom of this area allows access down into the bowels of the Lucinius. All such hatches are normally kept shut except when not in use, but walking on them is still not recommended; the latches are not the sturdiest, and may give way if a heavy weight is placed upon them. (Chances of a closed hatch effectively acting as a pit trap are roughly 50%. The DM may wish to modify these odds based on circumstances.) A set of winches in the ceiling allows for the raising and lowering of large cargoes.
Deck Plans - Maindeck
9. Runner Decks
Each of these long, narrow decks extends outwards from the sides of the Lucinius, buttressed by the ship’s side masts and by beams attached to the hull below. The decks are intended to be used for takeoffs and landings by griffons and hippogriffs, a prospect which seems feasible enough but may be tested if tried during a windstorm, or if attempted when the Lucinius is manoeuvring in combat. Landing while the ship is hovering, however, should be safe enough.
Takeoffs and Landings – Each of these actions is treated as a flight manoeuvre, and can be accomplished with a successful Ride check – or no check at all, if only one manoeuvre is conducted in the combat round in question. Takeoffs are easy – the rider can either fly level, Climb off the deck, or even Dive off the side.
Landing is a bit tougher. The flying beast must generally be above the Lucinius, and either approach it from directly ahead or behind (not from the side, in other words), then Dive in such a way that it ends the round on the ship’s runner deck. If the Lucinius is moving when a landing is attempted, a Riding check is automatically required – even if the landing attempt is the first manoeuvre in the combat round.
10. Ship’s Stables
These stables are designed to hold the pegasi and griffons of the Retebius Air Fleet officers assigned to the Lucinius. Pegasi are in the majority aboard the ship, as they can be kept in smaller stalls and are less temperamental overall than griffons. The ship’s full capacity allows for stabling of sixteen griffons and sixty four pegasi. Current deployment plans involve allowing both types of creature ample time in the air when the Lucinius is deployed, to keep the beasts fit, healthy and to avoid restlessness.
11. Denitherion’s Quarters
This room serves as an office and bedchamber for Alcareos Denitherion, commander of the Air Fleet contingent aboard the Lucinius. Like other officers’ quarters aboard the ship, it remains somewhat spartanly decorated at present, but is beginning to acquire personal touches. Of particular interest are the many maps spread across the walls, showing areas both within and bordering the empire where Denitherion has either campaigned in the past, or expects to campaign in the future.
12. Common Area
This space serves as a mingling ground below decks for Air Fleet officers, marines, and crew. This sometimes means brawls, but more often involves good-natured contests, challenges or revelry. Lieutenant Ritterberg has reportedly begun considering moving the ship’s wine casks to the aft-most areas of the cargo hold, in response…
13. Marines’ Quarters
Bunks and lockers issued to the ship’s marines can be found lining the walls of this room. The centre area is mostly clear, and is used sometimes for sparring practice and similar contests of strength – while other areas of the ship are available, the centre of these quarters does allow for some degree of privacy and allows the marines to go all-out with less concern for what others aboard might think appropriate. Fergus son of Conn, the ship’s lieutenant of marines, maintains a bunk in the foremost part of this room.
14. Marine Commander’s Quarters
This room is presently empty, save for some very basic issue-furniture. While the Lucinius is due to receive a commander of marines before she deploys, no such officer has yet been assigned.
15. Cargo Access
This room is usually empty when not in use. Its main purpose is as a staging point for transferring cargoes aboard, or in removal of provisions from the ship’s hold. Crew not wishing to brave the stables may cut through here en route to the aft part of this deck.
16. Altar of Vanya’s Bounty
The altar kept here is arguably the lifeblood of the Lucinius – a magical altar that dispenses food and water three times a day, when the proper invocations are pronounced by a disciple of the Grey Lady. Each use of the altar’s power creates one meal’s worth of food for 240 people and 80 riding beasts, as well as 500 gallons of fresh water; the bounty is produced slowly, over a period of about an hour, so that it can be distributed as needed among the crew. Foodstuffs are primarily a mix of grains and raw meat; pegasi can consume the former, griffins the latter, and humans eat both with proper cooking and preparation. Fruit and vegetables, along with spices and seasoning, must be provided out of more permanent stores. The small chambers off the side corridors leading to this room are available for waste elimination and bathing, as needed.
Deck Plans - Crewdeck
17. Officers’ Quarters
These small, below-decks rooms are in use by junior officers serving aboard the Lucinius. They are notably more cramped and less prestigious than the staterooms on the topdeck; they do offer privacy, however, as each has only one occupant. At present, the rooms are assigned to Annalise Ritterberg, Koliradai Nuar, and Virynyl Treeshield.
18. Crew’s Mess
This room is filled with long trestle-tables and rough-hewn benches. Sawdust is strewn liberally across the floor to soak up spills and stains, and spare crockery and cutlery are piled haphazardly in bins in the room’s corners. During mealtimes, this room is generally packed to capacity, but otherwise is only likely to be inhabited by crewmen looking to run a quiet dice-game or otherwise get a bit of privacy from their fellows.
This room serves as a place to prepare food for the crew’s mess, and does so in a manner that is fast, efficient, no-nonsense, and not even remotely likely to produce anything elegant or refined. The twin scents of grease and garlic are omnipresent in this room, though other odours do mingle with them from time to time. Even with the Lucinius not yet formally commissioned, there’s rumours that certain members of the ship’s crew have set up a alcohol still in one corner of this room. If such is the case, Captain Actavius and the Bosun have chosen to ignore its existence for now.
20. Air Fleet Quarters
Bunks, lockers and space for other personal effects for the complement of Retebius Air Fleet officers aboard are here. A total of eighty officers can bunk in this long room, in somewhat cramped conditions; though there has been some suggestion towards putting up a dividing wall between fore and aft of this room, splitting it in half with one room for males and the other for females, such measures have not yet been taken. For the moment, simple egalitarianism seems to hold sway – helped, no doubt, by the argument that combat efficiency is greatly enhanced by allowing pilots to exit either fore or aft to reach the stables above and fly into action.
21. Crew Quarters
This room is home to the sixty crewmen who serve to work the sails, handle repairs and routine ship maintenance, and otherwise keep the Lucinius in fighting trim and ready for battle. The mood of the ship’s crew towards serving aboard an airship and fighting alongside the Retebius Air Fleet has not yet been fully assessed, but is expected to be positive overall – all crew being accepted for duty aboard the Lucinius are volunteers, with pay, combat bonuses and military pension benefits a cut above those offered to most Navy personnel. All that’s required for ample esprit d’corps is for the Lucinius to prove herself in battle.
22. Support Staff Quarters
This room has been set aside to house non-combat support staff working with the Retebius Air Fleet. These individuals include stablehands, trainers and healers to keep the animals in good fighting condition, and though none are career military or experienced aboard ship they are not expected to cause difficulties for the regular crew. First Officer Tuong Deng-Phe has, however, mentioned a few idle thoughts about getting the support staff cross-trained up in duties more directly related to the operation of the ship itself. Captain Actavius has neither approved nor denied such suggestions, as of yet.
23. Upper Cargo Hold
This area is used for temporary storage of ship’s supplies; the goods here are usually those items that are expected to be needed shortly, such as timbers for use in ongoing repairs or foodstuffs soon to be fed to the ship’s flying beasts. The relatively large amount of open space also makes it a place for crewmembers to meet when off-duty, in those instances when meeting in a mess, crew quarters or on deck is inappropriate.
Deck Plans - Holddeck
24. Cargo Hold
The space in this part of the Lucinius is generally packed as full as reasonably possible with supplies and consumable sundries. Open space is allowed only to the extent needed to manoeuvre through the tightly-cramped space, and lighting is generally at a minimum. Entry into this area, though not prohibited, is generally discouraged unless on actual business important to the smooth functioning of the ship.
Flavius Actavius – Captain of the Lucinius
At thirty years of age, Flavius Actavius is one of the younger ship’s captains in the Thyatian naval forces, and widely viewed as a rising star in the military service. Rarely spoken of is his relationship with his father, the Count of the island of Actius; difficulties are rumoured to exist between the two, and Flavius rarely speaks of his father.
Regardless of his parentage, Flavius has more than earned his rank within the Navy; he’s extremely capable as a seaman and a leader, and has both the mental flexibility to quickly accept new ideas and the decisiveness to hold to an unpopular but necessary command decision when the situation requires. He’s cheerful, quick to make friends and win admirers but also careful to keep his innermost thoughts and feelings masked by a cloud of inconsequential banter. He only truly opens himself up to those few individuals he’s shown he can trust.
Appearance: 6’, 180 lbs; black hair, cut short and clean-shaven but with long sideburns, brown eyes; square, honest features with scattered laugh-lines; dresses in well-cut Navy uniforms and always has a weapon on his person.
Combat Notes: 12th-level Fighter; AC 4 (leather armour +2 and Dexterity bonus); hp 53; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d8+3 (sword +2 and Strength bonus); Save F12; ML 8; AL L; S 15 I 14 W 12 D 13 Co 12 Ch 17. Languages: Thyatian, Nuari. General Skills: Artillery (I), Military Tactics (I), Detect Deception (W), Law and Justice (military law) (W), Piloting (Water Vessels) (D), Leadership+1 (Ch). Owns a sword +2, leather armour +2, and a rope of climbing.
Annalise Ritterberg – Second Officer
Hattian by ancestry, Annalise Ritterberg is nonetheless considered to be wholly loyal to the Thyatian Empire and a capable and effective officer. Though she apparently joined the Navy without her parents’ consent, she has proven herself to be a very skilled warrior, and a natural genius in matters of battlefield supply and support of fighting units. It’s widely expected that she’ll be reassigned to work directly under the Imperial Staff, once her tour of duty aboard the Lucinius concludes.
In addition to her duties as a Navy officer, Annalise is also a devoted follower of the Immortal Vanya, arguably to the point of fanaticism. She’s recently been accepted as a paladin of the faith, and spends much of her off-duty time seeking to proselytise her chosen patron… with more enthusiasm than tact, in many cases. The only member of the ship’s crew she has an issue with is the ship’s healer, Theodosius Kalithenes, due to the latter’s worship of the Traladaran Immortal Petra; the older priest tries to avoid confrontations with Annalise as much as possible.
Appearance: 5’5”, 135 lbs; dark hair, worn to mid-back and usually coiled into a tight braid. Strong features with thick, prominent cheekbones – not a classical beauty, but arguably handsome enough to another Hattian. Dresses in standard-issue Navy uniforms, and displays her holy symbol prominently.
Combat Notes: 9th-level Fighter; AC 5 (leather armour +1 and shield); hp 46; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d6+2 (war hammer +1 and Strength bonus); Save F9; ML 9; AL L; S14 I16 W13 D11 Co12 Ch9. Languages: Thyatian, Alphatian, Hinterlander. General Skills: Military Tactics (I), Profession (Quartermaster)+1 (I), Signalling (Naval Flags) (I), Bravery (W), Ceremony (Vanya) (W), Piloting (Flying Vessels) (D), Leadership (Ch). Owns a war hammer +1 (returning), leather armour +1, and a ring of remedies. Annalise is unaware of the specific nature of her ring; she considers it a minor magical trinket of no real value, and the powers it grants to be a direct expression of Vanya’s favour towards her.
Koliradai Nuar – Ship’s Bosun
One of the older members of the Lucinius’ crew, Koliradai Nuar spent much of his adult life as an itinerant wanderer and adventurer, and joined the Thyatian Navy only a few years ago, under circumstances he is reluctant to speak of. Some rumours say that he was the only survivor of an ill-fated raid against a dragon’s lair located in the forests of eastern Karameikos, and that he joined the Navy in an effort to find meaning in his life; others, that he offended a sheik of Abbashan and went to sea in order to avoid the knives of holy assassins from the Ylari desert. What isn’t questioned, though, is the way in which his rough-and-tumble lifestyle and experience made him ready for dealing with other crewmen and life aboard ship. The Navy has recognised and rewarded his experience, and though he has reportedly refused to take an officer’s commission his talents are greatly appreciated by his superiors.
Koliradai’s day-to-day activities aboard ship centre around keeping the crew in line and ready to obey its captain’s commands – by whatever means necessary. He’s perfectly willing to cajole, bribe, threaten, or thrash other sailors, as needed to keep order aboard the Lucinius – though he’s careful not to do anything that would require Captain Actavius to take official notice of any disciplinary efforts. In truth, Koliradai is arguably a bit of a bully, more apt to intimidate potential troublemakers than reward good service… but as long as he gets the job done, the officers of the Lucinius are not likely to ask any questions.
Appearance: 5’3”, 140 lbs. Standard Nuari skin-tones, keeps his scalp shaven but often leaves his chin unshaven for two to three days at a time. Has several scars across his body. Dresses in Navy duty-uniforms, but often strips to the waist when working aboard deck or dealing with troublemakers.
Combat Notes: 11th-level Rake (Thief); AC 2 (leather armour, ring of protection +2 and Dexterity bonus); hp 44; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d8+5 (rod of parrying); Save T11; ML 8; AL N; S14 I9 W10 D18 Co16 Ch13. Languages: Nuari, Thyatian. General Skills: Intimidation (S), Profession (Sailor) (I), Gambling (W), Acrobatics (D), Escape (D), Deception (Ch), Persuasion (Ch). Owns a ring of protection +2, a rod of parrying and a scroll with hold portal and levitate spells.
Virynyl Treeshield – Air Fleet Officer
As one of the oldest and most experienced officers currently serving in the Retebius Air Fleet, Virynyl Treeshield is generally considered to be an asset aboard the Lucinius. Get one of her superiors in a pleasant enough mood, and perhaps they’ll even say so out loud. The difficulty with Virynyl is that while she’s a superior rider aboard pegasus-back, and an able administrator and training officer, her personality is waspish and her leadership skills almost nil. Keeping her in line and insulating her from the rest of the Air Fleet command is a daily challenge.
Though she’s not a combat commander, when guided into an adjutant and strategist’s role Virynyl’s capabilities are amazing. She has an incredible attention to detail, near-perfect memory and excellent qualities of analysis. Though her advice is rarely tactful, it is often accurate, and she has literally decades of Air Fleet experience – having transferred in shortly after the Alphatian Spike Assault, after distinguishing herself in regular army service. Though she will likely never rise in rank, in partnership with a capable front-line commander she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Appearance: 4’11”, 90 lbs; straight, silver-blonde hair and hazel eyes. Has pale, almost chalky skin that never tans or pales, no matter how much time is spent in the sun; wears uniforms or other clothing that covers everything below the neck, even in midday in the tropics.
Combat Notes: 7th-level Elf; AC 2 (chain mail +2 and Dexterity bonus); hp 26; MV 90’ (30’); #AT 1; D 1d8+2 (sword+1, +3 vs dragonkind) or by spell; Save E7; ML 7; AL L; S13 I18 W9 D15 Co10 Ch5. Languages: Elvish (Vyalia), Thyatian, Alphatian. General Skills: Alternate Magics (I), Knowledge (flying monsters) (I), Lip Reading (I), Military Tactics (I), Veterinary Healing (I), Animal Training (pegasus) (W), Riding (pegasus)+1 (D). Owns a sword +1, +3 vs dragonkind, a set of chain mail +2 and a wand of polymorphing with 20 charges.
Tanalorian – Aaslan Wizard
The very image of an absentminded academic, Tanalorian is one of the junior Alphatian wizards participating in the construction and enchantment of the Lucinius. As such, he spends much of his time aboard the vessel, and is due to depart with her on her final shakedown cruise to provide a professional’s viewpoint of the ship’s capabilities and overall prowess. Though Tanalorian is not yet sufficiently skilled in his craft to manage the complete enchanting work needed for an airship – his more powerful superiors are, alas, needed at the University at Aeria, and cannot devote their full attention to the construction of the Lucinius – he is still a wizard of no small talent, and is best not crossed.
Tanalorian’s day-to-day attitude is one of perpetual, careless detachment that exasperates many of the duty-minded Thyatian soldiers that have to work with him on design of the Lucinius. He seems to give no thought whatsoever to concerns of politics or current events; the Imperial occupation of the Aaslan islands might not have ever happened, as far as he’s concerned. Some aboard the Lucinius consider this a careful and clever ruse, to hide Tanalorian’s true feelings towards Thyatis; Captain Actavius has openly stated that anyone clever enough to maintain such a façade at every opportunity probably deserves a chance to rebel against the Empire.
Appearance: 5’7”, 180 lbs; typical Alphatian coloration. Curly red-brown hair, shot through at intervals with dashes of electric blue (either a magically-coloured affectation or the result of an old rival’s curse, depending on who and when you ask). Slender build, generally wears travelling robes of green, brown or deep indigo.
Combat Notes: 15th-level Magic-User; AC 6 (ring of protection +3); hp 22; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d4 (dagger) or by spell; Save M15; ML 6; AL C; S10 I17 W12 D9 Co8 Ch14. Languages: Alphatian, Elvish (Shiye-Lawr), Thyatian. General Skills: Alchemy (I), Alternate Magics (I), Knowledge (Air Magics) (I), Magical Engineering (I), Planar Geography (I), Shipbuilding (I), Piloting (Flying Vessels) (D), Riding (Pegasus) (D), Music (Harp) (Ch). Owns a ring of protection +3, a staff of dispelling and a magic-user scroll inscribed with power word stun and force field at the 20th level of ability.
Bolgrim Maksyrats – Dwarven Engineer
In spite of his thoroughly Thyatian upbringing, Bolgrim Maksyrats is almost the stereotype of a ‘mad scientist’ Syrklist dwarf. His hair and beard are perpetually frazzled and coated with soot, his large hands are gnarled and burn-scarred from one too many accidents in the workshop, and his eyes gleam with a frightening intensity as soon as he spies a new toy to disassemble or a new puzzle to solve.
As a civilian expert assigned to observe the construction of the Lucinius and offer advice on how to improve the ship’s handling and combat capabilities, Bolgrim is not in the chain of command, and he takes full advantage of this. He is absolutely willing to dive head-first into any sort of ‘improvement’ he feels is needed, asking for forgiveness only when the change is a done deal, and can be pried loose from such work only by main force or a direct order from Captain Actavius. Somewhat surprisingly, Bolgrim has become good friends with the Alphatian wizard Tanalorian – the two have very different approaches to their craft, but seem to collaborate well. In contrast, Bolgrim’s relationship with his cabinmate, Theodosius Kalithenes, can best be described as ‘strained tolerance’.
Appearance: 4’3”, 160 lbs. Heavy-set, bushy deep-brown hair and beard, blue eyes. Stocky and heavyset, but can move surprisingly quickly when necessary. Hands are constantly in motion – gesticulating to emphasise comments, toying with some mechanism, or twitching with the need to work on something.
Combat Notes: 8th-level Dwarf; AC 8 (unarmoured, Dexterity bonus) or 0 (plate mail +1 and Dexterity bonus); hp 47; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d6 (crossbow); Save D8; ML 7; AL N; S12 I15 W7 D13 Co14 Ch11. Languages: Dwarven, Thyatian. General Skills: Artillery (I), Engineering (I), Science (Metallurgy) (I), Science (Physics) (I), Shipbuilding (I), Caving (W). Owns a set of plate mail +1 (not worn unless combat is expected), 24 crossbow quarrels +1, and a helm of teleportation (which is always on his person).
Hakiem ben Aasim – Magistrianos and Imperial Representative
Magistrianos ben Aasim, though not in the official chain of command aboard the Lucinius, is possibly the most powerful person aboard the ship – and he knows it. As the personal representative of Emperor Eusebius, Hakiem ben Aasim has the authority to report on the competence and political reliability of anyone on board, up to and including Captain Actavius. While ben Aasim’s reports may not be promptly acted upon, if at all, any charges resulting from his testimony will certainly have the burden of proof placed on the accused. Officially, ben Aasim is just an observer, in place to help expedite the commissioning of the Lucinius. In actuality, his job is to entrap and neutralise any ‘subversive’ elements that might cause problems for the project, or the Empire as a whole.
Not surprisingly, Hakiem ben Aasim is somewhat less than universally beloved by others aboard the Lucinius. A small number of hangers-on among the crew have latched onto his presence, and volunteer ship’s gossip and other dirt; an equally small number of reckless souls pretend to be his cronies, but then cheerfully offer him misinformation and nonsense. Most of the rest of the regulars aboard the Lucinius work around him as much as possible. For his own part, ben Aasim has openly voiced suspicion of the wizard Tanalorian, the ship’s first officer Tuong Deng-Phe, and the marine lieutenant Fergus son of Conn; he also detests the mere presence of Annalise Ritterberg and Viryndyl Treeshield as women aboard ship and in a uniform. Whether he will actually be able to cause trouble for any of the above remains to be seen.
Appearance: 6’2”, 165 lbs. Quick, penetrating eyes, sallow features, short-cut oily brown hair. Dresses in rich fabrics cut in the latest fashion, with many ribbons, tassels and similar adornments not really suited to life aboard ship. In spite of his lean, gangly frame, seems to perpetually have a thin sheen of sweat and shortness of breath.
Combat Notes: 14th-level Thief; AC 0 (leather armour +3, ring of protection +2, and Dexterity bonus), hp 25; MV 120’ (40’); #AT 1; D 1d6+1 (short sword +1, +2 against spellcasters); Save T14; ML 6; AL N; S11 I14 W15 D17 Co10 Ch12. Languages: Thyatian, Ylari. General Skills: Disguise (I), Lip Reading (I), Detect Deception (W), Law and Justice (Thyatian) (W), Cheating (D), Escape (D), Deception+1 (Ch). Owns a suit of leather armour +3, a short sword +1, +2 against spellcasters, a ring of protection +2, and a medallion of ESP 30’ radius.
Design commentary: This was originally available to PCs as background material for their time spent helping the Thyatian Navy get its first-ever Air Fleet carrier sky-worthy; what isn't included in these notes is how the ship was due to be grabbed and taken to SpillWorld during its commissioning cruise. This is why certain officers - XO Tuong Deng-Phe, ship's healer Theodosius Kalithenes, Air Fleet commander Alcareos Denitherion, and marine lieutenant Fergus son of Conn - get nothing more than namedrops. (They were all scheduled to die off-camera during the initial attack, putting more pressure on the PCs to be heroic and take responsibility for leading attacks and getting the ship home.) Anyone wanting to use the Lucinius in a different role in their own campaigns is, of course, welcome to make up details on these characters or replace any of these NPCs with characters from their own campaign.