The Titan's Walk Reefs
"'Twas a horrible wrenching sound as the Caldur May were gutted by the cursed reef. We'd have made it, if not for the blasted sudden wind what drove us right into it. Never seen the wind change that quick, not in no natural storm...
Was the worst, though, when the men started goin' in the water. First one weren't hardly wet when the dagots showed up, like they were waitin' for us. Screams like you never imagined. Good, strong men, beggin' for their lives, not that those snake bastards cared one whit.
Sure I drink a lot. You would, too, if you heard screams like that in your dreams..."
--Recollections of Samel Portsoth, former quartermaster of the Caldur May
If you were to set sail due south of Iirlastor Bay, you would be treated to one of the most beautiful - and most deadly - sights in all of Audalis... the Titan's Walk Reefs.
The Reefs: Just beneath the surface of the crystal-clear waters lie the beautiful reefs themselves. Stretching for hundreds of miles in both directions, and anywhere from a few hundred feet to two miles deep, the rainbow-colored coral is home to a breathtaking variety of fish and other aquatic creatures. As is usually the case, the Titan's Walk is not one large reef, but is composed rather of many, many smaller reefs that grow in a virtually unbroken formation. Further adding to the mystery and attraction of the reefs are the gigantic, broken marble columns that periodically jut upwards from amongst the reefs. However, the beauty is deceptively deadly; the coral itself is hard enough to rip fatal gouges in even the most seaworthy of vessels, and the tides and winds near the reefs are notorious for changing dramatically without notice. So many vessels have foundered here that few captains will risk sailing close to the Titan's Walk, though wealthy travelers will sometimes coerce a ship to anchor at a safe distance, then approach by rowboat in order to study the reefs, or to dive near them. There is no need to mark the reefs with buoys and the like, as the columns easily mark the area as dangerous, and are visible from a great distance.
It is rumored that one or more navigable passes exist through the area, and that these passes lead to the land of Capasha, home of the catlike Kazari. The presence of a handful of the felanoids in Antaron suggests that there must be some validity to these tales, but all sailors know well the cold truth of the dangers of the reefs, so most such tales are discounted as idle boasts.
The Columns: Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Titan's Walk are the columns for which the reefs are named. The first explorers to see the columns imagined (perhaps after a large intake of rum), that a vast giant could use them as stepping stones... thus, the name was born.
The columns themselves are vast structures made of white marble, each are easily seventy-five feet in diameter, reaching two to three hundred feet into the air, and extend deep below the reefs themselves to the the ocean's floor. Excluding the few obvious gaps, where it appears that some pillars are completely missing, the massive stone formations are situated in almost precise quarter-mile increments along the entire length of the Titan's Walk. Without exception, they are all broken, as if sheared off by some incredible force or calamity. If any of the remnants are left, they lie buried beneath the living coral.
One of the great questions of the age revolves around the origins and purpose of the columns, and there are almost as many theories as there are theorists. Most agree that they have some sort of divine tie-in, with theories ranging from ruined gateways leading to worlds beyond, to a great road that once sat upon the marble pillars, but no one knows for sure.
Maur'daegothrim: As if there weren't enough to worry about, sailors near the reefs must always keep a vigilant watch for the maur'daegothrim (sylvari, loosely meaning "shadowy foes from the sea"), or "dagots," as the humans call them. The dagots are a race of intelligent, cruel, sea-dwelling creatures who seem to have a knack for being on hand whenever a ship runs into trouble.
Dagots appear to be a twisted blend of sylvari and sea serpent, with tails and lower bodies covered in scales ranging from dark green, to purple, to black, depending on the individual. They wear no clothing on their upper bodies, which resemble those of muscular sylvari, and have fingers that end in sharp talons. However, they do use tools and weapons plundered from sunken ships, as well as some that appear to be fashioned from coral or bone. Dagots seem to kill for enjoyment as much as anything else, though they certainly have a taste for human flesh.
Dagots are incredibly adept swimmers, apparently without need to surface for air, though they do seem to suffer if removed from the water for lengthy periods of time. They can move surprisingly quickly out of the water, however, wriggling along at frightening speed, but grow sluggish and eventually perish if allowed to completely dry out. This is not thought to be due to breathing, however, as the creatures seem to be able to breathe air and water with equal ease.
Whenever ships founder near the Titan's Walk, dagots are almost sure to attack. They fight with weaponry and talons, and eat many of their victims; these vile creatures have also been known to raid ships at night. The foul creatures work in terrifying concert, usually in teams directed by a superior.
Dagots live in tribes, apparently making their homes in underwater caves along the reefs. They worship Anskar and Tyrannis, and usually have priests devoted to these dark deities. Therefore, they also tend to take some sailors for use in sacrificial rituals. The creatures speak their own tongue, a guttural, hissing sound, though tales of dagots using common speech persist. The origin of the species is uncertain, though it is theorized that they may have been the product of a twisted magical experiment, or the creation of the storm god himself.
#of Att: 1 or 2
XP Value: 400
Damage: 1d4/1d4 or by weapon
Special Attacks: drowning
Special Defences: excellent swimmers
Weakness: prolonged removal from water
Dagots prefer to fight in the water, where they are quite superior to most humanoids. A swimming dagot is so maneuverable that it has an effective AC of 2.
The creatures usually employ spears or similar weapons that rely on piercing impact. However, they are quite adept at fighting with their talons, which deal 1d4 per hit.
A favorite tactic of unarmed dagots is to drown their victims. If the dagot hits on both talon attacks, the victim must make a sucessful dexterity check or be held fast by the creature, which will then dive far beneath the water's surface. A succesful strength check (16 or greater STR needed) is required to break the grip, or the character must be assisted by others. Otherwise, the creature will hold the victim under the water for as many rounds as necessary for drowning to occur. Normal drowning rules apply, see PHB for details.
Out of the water, dagots have a movement rate of 12, and can attack normally. They cannot stay away from water for long, however, and must return after 4 + 2d6 rounds. If they do not, they grow sluggish, weak, and eventually die.
effects applied if dagot does not return to water after the initial 4 + 2d6 round period
||attack at -1
||attack at -2
||attack at -4
Thanks to Olan for this contribution!