This is a creature for fantasy and horror scenarios.
Note to reader: I am currently over halfway finished reading The Fisherman by John Langan. It is very incredible and seems to me to be like a weird-fantasy or Cthulhu-esque horror scenario with what is going on in the book. I won’t spoil it, but something that is talked about as just a very minor thing at the moment, not even being the big monster or the grand antagonist is a black ocean. The ocean seems incredibly terrifying especially to me, as it can be a vast entity of terror that fills any shape that can dare to hold it. This monster write up is partially inspired by the black ocean where the fisherman casts his lines in Langan’s book.
An unending rage
There are times when the adventuring party will go out to sea or to any body of water and will find a rocky section. This is not the black ocean. The fiercest hurricane’s waves are nothing compared to the depthless rage that is contained in this oceans waters.
How you can tell you have are at the black ocean:
- Crashing waves that quake across the coast and over the water. Although there is no sign of bad weather or winds as there is a clear sky.
- Peering into the waters you sense endless depth. Like looking into absolute darkness, you can sense the endlessness of it but cannot see past its walls.
- On the edges of the water, off the coasts on the rocks lining its edges will be bone dust and shredded flesh. Any fish that is in this water has high chances that it will be shredded apart by its waves until it is entirely unrecognizable. Just bits of rotten fish flesh on whiter than any sands coasts.
Interacting with the water
No vessel can go over the black ocean, any that even attempted to would be likely destroyed or crushed within its grip. But, rumor has it that sacrifices to the ship of the dead may bring forth a vessel that will carry you to its opposite shore. Travelling on this ship is also rumored to take from you, because if the sacrifice is not large enough then the ship will crash itself on a pile of stones in its center. The water’s waves wiping whatever doesn’t starve off the rock in a single day, no blood even appearing in its dark waves.
When a creature not of the black ocean treads even a step into the waves. The waves will lick and grasp at the individual dragging them from an inch of water into the ground. Breaking bones with every wave’s crash, pounding their form into the rocks underneath the yellow foam coming from each pillar where waves meet. It appears like the sea is foaming at its mouth when someone touches it and is consumed. The body will very shortly, after screams and drowned words, be visible as the water retreats. All blood and liquids within the form have been removed entirely, a dried and desiccated corpse remains. Then a final wave will splash along the shore, dragging what remains into the depths below.
If anyone goes under the waves, it is absolute darkness. It is impossible to see through even using magical means. Anyone trapped under the waters will be spun and disoriented by the undercurrents. Unable to sense until the hands latch on, the murmurs of the dead bodies that have sunk below ring true as they reach up to latch onto those who find themselves with their head submerged. These bodies are lifeless, but the black ocean’s currents manipulate their forms so that they twist and snap to take perform its actions. Treat this as you would a very difficult grapple.
Learning about the ocean
The black ocean is only mentioned in the most obscure texts, and even then only mentioned in passing in reference to when the world was born. An ocean that was primordial and later enraged as it sunk below the world into a land filled with darkness, bare forests, and beaches that hold its edges in.
When the black ocean is discovered or comes up in play, here are some questions that could be worth answering or finding answers to:
- What beast is rumored to live trapped beneath the black ocean’s waves?
- Who has forged a path to the black ocean in the past?
- What warnings are found carved into the stones at the black ocean’s shores?
- What happened when a sample of water was taken from the black ocean?
Black Ocean – Stats
Type: cosmic force,
Armor: why even ask? This is an ocean.
Intelligence: Unable to be determined. Any sign is incomprehensible as it is a force of energy beyond our scale. It has a sense of scale like looking and gazing at a night sky full of stars.
Align(ment): all are destroyed in the black ocean except for the Sea King Mary and the Ship of the Dead.
- 1+(1 per character in the ocean) attacks / round
- Crashing Wave (1/round per character caught): any characters in the black oceans water will lose 25% of their HP for every round in its grasp. No roll is made, attacks always land. A prepared defense will halve the damage dealt.
- Dragging Maw (2/round): any characters in the water will be pulled 3x their movement speed further from the shore or any safety.
- Truth Trance (1/round): target will hear disturbing truths and secrets about their lives. Secrets only the dead or themselves may know, these are dark enchanted words spoken in a speech that resembles the sound people make when they are drowning. Coughs and gurgles. This trance makes it so a character cannot move on their turn or act, the trance is broken when the target is touched or shook.
- Attacks against have no effect.
- Any items that touch the water have a 90% chance of being pulled in with unmatched strength, characters who hold these items will find letting go in time before being pulled a medium difficulty check. Items cannot be pulled from the water and have a 65% chance of being completely destroyed.
- Entities that are aligned with the black sea have 6x their normal speed when moving under its waves.
- Characters caught in the water cannot defend any attacks made against them. Any defense made will double damage done by the black ocean against them.
- Character caught in the water cannot escape it without assistance from an outside force. Even that task would be treated as incredibly difficult, and any success would come at grievous costs.