Ship of Chaos


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One of the first truly game-changing developments in the Blood War in hundreds of centuries, the ships of chaos are reportedly the result of joint operations between the Doomguard and the tanar'ri. While the nature of their construction is still closely guarded, as are the locations of the shipwards where they are being built, their capabilities have been well-recorded since their first appearance near the end of Hashkar 126. A ship of chaos is a truly massive flying vessel, approximately 300 feet long, with a breadth of approximately 80 feet and a height of nearly 100 feet. To the naked eye, it appears constructed of some sort of mottled fibrous material barring the massive skull-like features at fore and aft. Divinatory examination suggests an organoferoxcic construction largely composed of larval matter imbued with the essence of Limbo, but the details of how this was achieved are still unknown as the nature of the construction has been observed to have deleterious effects on the minds of those who attempt to divine it, mortal or otherwise.

The power source for these ships, as well as the details of their motive force, is unknown; the motion of a ship of chaos appears far more reactive than normal helm capabilities, and unlike a helm, antimagic fields have been seen to have no effect on their ability to move. The ship's engine is speculatively termed an "entropic drive", given the weak field of heightened entropy that has been observed to surround it while in flight, but the means by which entropy can be harnessed to impart flight are still known only to the Doomguard. This same field serves to scramble the thaumaturgical connections required for nearly all forms of cross-spatial contact, including telepathic links, scrying sensors, and teleportation. Vessels have been observed moving at speeds upwards of 50 miles per hour, with surprising maneuverability that some have described as almost reflexive at times. When it comes to longer voyages, ships of chaos, while never having been noted as possessing their own innate crossplanar transit capabilities, have been noted as able to reconfigure their entropic drives to allow the ship to distort itself and pass through portals ranging in size as small as humanoid-level. No attempts at transit into Sigil have been noted; it is unknown if this is due to the different nature of Sigilian portals, or merely wishing not to risk the wrath of the Lady.

Offensively, ships of chaos are equipped with eight fore and eight aft ballistae providing for a full 150° firing arc, and four side-mounted ballistae in enclosed sections on either side; most bolts have been recorded as pure silver, though occasionally Abyssal bloodiron or silver-tipped wood has been used, suggesting possible instability in supply lines for the quantity of silver required. These ballistae in fact serve only as secondary offensive capabilities, however, with their primary weapon far more impactful: both fore and aft skulls possess two entropic force projectors apiece that manifest an effect in many ways similar to the disintegrate spell, but far more powerful. These weapons possess a 120° firing arc, with a range of 200 feet and a rate of fire of approximately one two-second burst every ten seconds. The "entropic drive" seems to be able to be put to passive offensive/defensive use as well, with occasional records of the entropic field strengthed to the point that it begins to scramble the minds of those around it, leaving all within approximately 1500 feet with no control of their faculties while the field is in effect.

So far, reports have observed up to five of these vessels simultaneously active in combat across the planes, and they have been wielded against the baatezu to devastating effect, winning over 80% of encounters in which they've been involved. One has been recorded as destroyed following a long and bloody battle on Khalas, but over seven hundred baatezu troops were recorded as lost in that encounter, including three pit fiends — over 75% of the Baatorian numbers. Further, no useful intelligence was gained from this conflict, as the ship imploded soon after its disabling. The size of the newfound tanar'ri fleet, as well as crew requirements and details of inner functioning, are still yet unknown, and actions by the baatezu against the Doomguard have been reportedly high as of late as they attempt to learn more of the nature of this extraordinary new weapon, to yet no effect.

Gallery

Ship of Chaos
Artist's rendition of a ship of chaos  

Reference

  • In the Abyss, pgs.2,22-24
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