The Sea of Thorns lies to the east of Gaoia in the dark heart of Davokar. Roughly 60 kilometers in diameter, the great mass of spines run deep enough to ‘drown’ the unwary. Yet here, as in the rest of the forest, lie the ruins of ages past, sufficient in potential and power to attract ambitious treasure-seekers. The Sea holds such potential that Queen Korinthia has commissioned two ‘ships’ capable of sailing upon the surface of this savage, biting sea.
Simple nature aside – though doubtless transformed by the seeping corruption of ancient Symbarian magic – the Sea of Thorns homes plants with what appears to be some semblance of intelligence or, at least, aggressive intuition. Also, the Iron Pact have agents afield here in the form of Bramble Patch Keepers who ride the backs of sturdy colossi that cut a path through the navigable shallows up to a mile or two from the ‘shore’.
Bramble Patch Keeper
Race Elf (late summer)
Accurate 15 (−5), Cunning 12 (−2), Discreet 10 (0), Persuasive 8 (+2), Quick 11 (−1), Resolute 13 (−3), Strong 8 (+2), Vigilant 13 (−3)
Abilities Beast Lore (adept, abominations), Man-at-arms (adept), Marksman (master), Quick Fire (novice), Steadfast (novice)
Weapons Bow 5
Armor Lacquered Silk Cuirass 4 (flexible, man-at-arms)
Toughness 10 Pain Threshold 4
Equipment Herbal cure (two), Bow, Arrows (score), Cuirass
Shadow Russet green (like the burgeoning brambles of the Thorn Sea, corruption: 0)
Tactics: The late summer elves of the Bramble Patch favor the bow over any other weapons, seeking mastery even as they feel the ebb toward autumn. Riding astride their great colossi mounts through the prickly wash of the Sea of Thorns, they seek out and destroy beasts gripped by the stranglehold of corruption. Capable archers, they can focus their actions on arrow fire alone, foregoing any other activity.
Quick Fire (novice)
When firing an arrow as a combat action, the character can sacrifice their movement action to fire an additional arrow. The attacks roll separately and can be used against a single target or two separate targets.
Traits Alternative Damage (I), Poisonous (I), Poison Spit (I), Swarm (I), Web (I)
Accurate 12 (−2), Cunning 5 (+5), Discreet 13 (−3), Persuasive 13 (−3), Quick 9 (+1), Resolute 12 (−2), Strong 15 (−5), Vigilant 11 (−1)
Weapons Poison needles 3; poison ‘spit’ reduces Resolute rather than Toughness
Armor None, half damage from most weapons [per Swarm (I) Monster Trait], normal damage from fire
Toughness 15 Pain Threshold —
Shadow Holly green, speckled with red-brown of dried blood (corruption: 0)
Tactics: The bramble-like Needle Bite appears like rough-barked spirals of dark wood freckled with dark red fruit and bristling with thorny spines. Exhibiting a beast-like intelligence, the Needle Bites react out of defense more than malice, protecting their delicate fruiting seeds from harm. If disturbed, they launch a spray of spines that cause distracting irritation – the needles themselves harm Toughness, but the poison they inject depletes Resolute.
Removing the needles – and stopping the poison – not only requires a successful Cunning test, but also the removal of armor in the affected area. Effectively, the character loses the benefit of part of their armor – losing half their Armor value, rounded down, for the next round. During that time, they can use no Active Abilities.
Anyone who falls into the embrace of the Needle Bite or becomes tangled in looping spirals can quickly find movement extremely restricted – thus the Web trait.