Atop the Shoulders of Giants
The Sentinel Ship
A magically automated war galley that polices the Bay of Halfarn
The Sentinel Ship is a marvel of modern magic and one of the Nada’Athi empire’s best kept secrets. The ship, a 44 gun, 5 mast war galley, patrols the Bay of Halfarn outside the port of Lalsim, firing indescriminantly at any ship entering the bay without a special magical token, only available through an imperial registration office in the near-by city of Jalven.
The ship is completely devoid of crew and follows an erratic pattern around the mouth of the bay, smart enough to avoid other vessels, but never slowing or stopping and never seeming to proceed in a set route of any sort. The magics of the ship apparently allow it to load, aim, and fire its cannon with the accuracy of an exceptionally experienced crew, as well as allowing it to move at speeds much faster than would normally be possible for a ship of its size.
Once a year, the Nada’Athi empire test that the Sentinel Ship still works by taking volunteers out of the dungeons to crew some old, failing ship and sail it into the bay with no Vessel Token. Those who survive are pardoned.
The ritual used to create the Sentinel Ship is an incredibly well guarded secret of the empire. The ritual is so well kept, in fact, that some people entertain the theory that all paper records of the ritual were sealed away in a secret vault while all the researchers, shipwrights, and ritual performers were executed to ensure its secrecy.
Regardless of the true situation, no one since has been able to replicate the Sentinel Ship in almost any way.