Kali Skiff

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The Skip and Ferryman

This is a powerful magical item owned by Kali the Nameless.

This magical lantern (Lamp of the Shadow Ark) can be used to summon a dark, enchanted, skiff, piloted by a pale, skeletally-thin man. Using the skiff can dramatically reduce the time required for a sea-voyage - but the passengers will risk their lives and sanity in making the voyage.
It takes anywhere from 15 mins to 150 mins for the skiff to arrive. The pilot will stop the boat at a depth of four feet and wait. He stands at the back, leaning against the rudder pole. He will not acknowledge anyone - he just stares off towards the horizon.
The pilot begins his journey as soon as the lantern bearer gives him a destination - anyone who has not yet boarded will have to swim after the departing skiff or be left behind. If the lantern bearer fails to board and give a destination within 5 minutes (or if the destination is not a legitimate one - e.g. not within 1 mile of a large body of water) the pilot and skiff leave, and the lamp goes out. It is strongly recommended that anyone on board when the lamp goes out immediately disembark. The lamp must then be relit and the summoner must wait again, before the Shadow Ark will return.
The pilot appears to be a living thinking being, but is not of this world. He has 100% magic resitance and is protected by a mysterious and powerful protective field that turns all damage against him back on the attacker/caster. The pilots mind cannot be read, and the entire boat is protected by a powerful scryguard.
Once the destination is named or described, the pilot immediately knows how to get there, unless the destination is more than a mile from a major body of water. Other than obeying this command, he will not respond to or acknowledge the passengers in any way.
The skiff is low and narrow. It is 2 hexes wide, narrowing to 1 hex at the stern and bow, and 10 hexes long. There are 5 wooden planks laid across the skiff for seats, each one hex apart. Small cargo can be stowed beneath the seats (and apparently panic'd party members if they are suitably thin). The skiff can seat 10 persons besides the pilot.
In rough weather (high waves, storms, etc.) the skiff is tossed and drenched, but the pilot never leaves his position, nor does the skiff sink, capsize or take damage. It cannot be set on fire or crushed. The skiff does not protect the passengers from the outside environment. Passengers can be hit by arrows from shore, they can be battered by wind and rain (and may be swept overboard in a typhoon), and enemies can swim to the skiff, climb aboard and attack.
The skiff has no visible means of propulsion. It moves at a constant speed of 6 miles per hour. Only the pilot can control the direction of the skiff - no magical or physical force can alter its course.
After about 30 minutes magical mist rises from the water, completely hiding the skiff from any watchers, the skiff then begins to cross over to the shadow realm. In the shadow realm, the sky is black, but there is a red-black illumination like a very stormy day. The sea the skiff travels on is thick, colourless and choppy. Snaky, tangled tendrils of fog surround the vessel. From out of the fog come visions of the passenger's darkest fears, enveloping and receding from the skiff like waves. (2x WP check or roll on the Fright Table.)
ANyone falling from the skiff has a normal chance of drowning. If a swimmer drinks the water they are affected by a Rank 20 Sleep Spell. (A swimmer must make a 4x WP roll each minute to avoid accidentally swallowing any water.) The victim can resist the Sleep Spell normally. The boatman will not stop for a man overboard.
Passengers never see anything in the shadow realm except waves, fog and the skiff, even if they swim or fly away from the skiff. Magical scrying will not work in the shadow realm. If a passenger is away from the skiff when it passes back into they world, they are irretrievably lost.
The skiff travells in the shadow realm for what seems like 10 minutes to the passengers, but which is only 1 minute in the outside world, then crosses back 30 minutes from the intended destination. Once the skiff reaches its destination the pilot will stop for 5 minutes, then the skiff leaves, travelling its customary 30 minutes from shore before the fog takes it. No one on board at this time has ever returned ...

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