Five Fathom Sages
The Five Fathom Sages are a crew of Scavenger Lords plying their trade in the Western Ocean. They have been sailing for a couple of years now, and have had a few notable successes that earned them both a wide-reputation and many rivals and enemies. While they seek to make their fortune through scavenging, they fill the long time between hauls with various other duties, including serving as a passenger vessel and transporting (and even smuggling) goods.
Galan Wavewalker: Founder and leader of the FFS. A former Imperial Navy officer, he defected after seeing firsthand the devastation his ship and crew wrecked on innocents as a "warning". A Water-aspected Dragonblooded, he forsook his House name (V'Neef), stole certain Artifacts during his defection, and is now Wanted by the Realm. He has no illusions about his current status in life, and deliberately cultivates an informal, relaxed atmosphere among his comrades, but still insists on discipline and obedience in emergency situations. In addition to being Captian, Galan is also Kubernetes.
Circi: The sole survivor of a ship that found itself in a sudden Wyld eddy, Circi found herself inhabiting a body no longer human. Amphibious, covered with iridescent scales and with a large dorsal fin in place of hair, the effect is actually quite beautiful, although she doesn't appreciate it. She is still adjusting to her new "condition", and is prone to long bouts of depression. Circi serves in the capacity of Purser.
Ranidas: Like Circi, Ranidas is not entirely human, and bears a definite frog-like cast to his appearance. Unlike her, he was born that way, as the result of having a minor water god in his family's ancestry. Thus, he is used to his appearance and the reactions it gets, and is trying to help her come to terms with her mutation. The fact that he is developing strong feelings towards her, however, makes him doubt his own good intentions. Ranidas serves as the Sages' Cook.
Charyb: A Sea Serpent Totem Lunar of the Changing Moon caste, she acts as the teams' intelligence-gatherer and liason with most supernatural forces of the Western Ocean. While she prefers using her Heart's Blood forms for intelligence-gathering as an albatross, dolphin, or pelagic phantom, she is certainly not above becoming a sea dragon, octopid or giant eel to act as the groups' heavy artillery. Charyb provided the Sages with their underwater Manse headquarters, a gift from her Mentor. Charyb has a Clawshell Familiar and also serves as Surgeon.
Bloody Foam: Rather unusually for a Siaka-Man, Bloody Foam is fairly intelligent and self-controlled, at least by sharkman standards. He sought out the Sages after seeing how efficiently they outwitted his brethren, turning his back on his own kind in the process. Wanted dead by the other Sharkmen, he now has little where else to go. The others don't fully trust him, suspecting some elaborate Fae trick, but he has proven useful in a fight and has saved their lives a few times, so he's been given the benefit of the doubt. Bloody Foam serves the crew as Arms Master.
Role: Deep Sea Submersible
Length: 71 feet
Beam: 30 feet
Draft: 11 feet
StandardHandofOmega/Minimum Crew: 6/2 (or 1 Exalt)
Soak: 25L (as per First Age Ships)
Health Levels: 25/65
Description: The Sword-of-the-Seas is a First Age vessel that the Five Fathom Sages gained early in their travels. It was given to them by Zhuziao, lord of the deep waters, for favors to be claimed later, if at all. Unused since the 1st Age, and kept in good condition by Zhuziao, it is in better shape than most ships from that time, although still not fully fuctional.
The Sword is made from a pearlescent substance in the shape of a giant (and obviously artificial) swordfish. While it has Essence engines like other 1st Age craft, it also mimics the swimming motions of its model, which is mostly unnoticable from within. Intended for deep sea reconaissance and salvage operations, it is equipped with extendable manipulator arms, a large cargo deck with built-in Cargo Preservation Spindles, and high-powered beams allowing it to penetrate the darkness and silt of the deepest oceans. In addition to providing its passengers with fresh air and warmth, it also automatically evens out pressure differences such that there are no ill effects from resurfacing quickly. To aid in steering, the Sword's pilot may don a helm with an umbilical cable that allows him to "see" everything within a 30 yard radius.
The Sword is armed, although its front and rear Light Implosion Bows (normally concealed) need maintainance. The sword-like protuberance that gives the ship its name is more than just ornamental, and makes a ramming attempt do Piercing Damage (15 levels). The crew can also cause an Essence Feedback that shocks anything touching the vessels' outer surface for 10 levels of damage, although this strains the engines.
The Pearly Retreat
The Pearly Retreat is a level-1 Water Manse belonging to the Lunar Charyb, who allows the Five Fathom Sages to use it as their home and headquarters. It appears to be a circular formation of glowing coral the size of a small building, 450 feet beneath the surface of the Ocean, near the Coral Archipelago. Inside, it is dry and warm (though humid), and has all the amenities one might expect of a 1st Age Manse, including large rooms and a workshop where the Sages may store and study their finds. It produces a Gem of Injury Sense, which Charyb uses in her capacity as Ship's Surgeon.
Allies and Enemies
Bashixun: The Sages often go to the crustacean god in search of some hint to the location of a rare artifact, or to pore over his immense collection of manuscripts for some clue as to the significance of their random finds. As a fellow collector of knowledge, the Lord of the Surf is only too happy to allow them to do so...so long as the lusty old god gets to dally with their female crewmates while they do so! This task usually falls to Charyb, who really doesn't mind his attentions (besides, it gives her an excuse to play around with her shapeshifting Charms), but its only a matter of time before he wants to spend some time with the shy young beauty with the bright scales...
Tako-Ika, The Thousand-Armed: A No Moon Lunar of Ikth-Ya Rank, Tako-Ika is one of the most hostile Lunars in the West, attacking any, even other Lunars, who cross into his territory. As a result, few do so, except when desperate for treasure or a shortcut, and they may only go unmolested if they bring a sizable number of fertile women for the Thousand-Armed to breed more beastmen with. Of those few, only the Five Fathom Sages have repeatedly dared his territory with no tribute, and escaped his schools of squid-men, and so they have earned his especial wrath.
Silken Wave: A Raksha Luminary ruling a large underwater Freehold for the Pearl Court. The Pearl Court revolves around Willpower, and Silken Wave wills it that Galan willingly become a permanent ornament to her bedchamber. She could care less about Bloody Foam's desertion, but as his advice to his captain led her into swearing an oath against directly harming them (which she works around furiously), some punishment is in store for him, too. The rest of the Sages will simply make for fine dining...
The Bottomless Voice Drowning in Sepuchral Depths: A Deathlord who only recently emerged in Creation, and who seeks to challenge The Silver Prince's apparent monopoly on the West for the Dead. Normally appearing as a hideously discolored, enormously water-bloated corpse, The Voice is steadily building a massive armada consisting largely of Nemissaries animating War Machines made from siaka, squid, river spiders, pelagic dragons, whales, and even Great Sea Elk. His greatest ambition is to capture, kill and animate the Behemoth Tahamoku, and use the Island Beast as his personal fortress as the Mask-of-Winters uses Juggernaut. Unfortunately, the Sages rendered invaluable aid to The Voice when he first appeared, and have been trying to rectify their mistake by frustrating his plans at every turn since.
Pelagials: These inheritors of a once-great underwater kingdom have a definite grudge against the Sages, mainly because of their refusal to sacrifice live humans as the fee for doing business. Galan is a shrewd negotiator, however, and still finds ways to do business with them for their impressive collection of lost Artifacts, but sooner or later, he'll push his luck too far...
Pelagothropes: These underwater dwellers, on the other hand, simply want the FFS dead. When asked about the exact circumstances that provoked the Wyld-mutants' near-psychotic crusade against them, the crew will simply sit under an awkward silence, until the captain waves it off as "a misunderstanding"...