The title of this translates to The Black Pig and is the name of a sloop raiding the northern coastline of the Melos peninsular. It could of course be any coastline in any world. The language is Aioskoru Orcish courtesy of Ken Wickam (check out his blog for all things Aioskorunian).
The nature of these orcs is very much raid and move on. They are not interested in pitch battles but they pick on weak and defenceless coastal vilages where they can run amok. Occaisionally they will hide their sloop in a cove or natural harbour and raid in land. This is where the characters are to first encouter them.
How big an adventure you want to make this is rather up to you. If you want one pitched battle and done then allow the orcs to be caught easily and quickly, if you want to taunt your characters then they can be much more elusive.
The Rolemaster Creatures and Treasures book gives standard stats for a lesser and greater orc but also the rules to easily shift the creatures up and down in level and this is what I have done to create the crew. The orcs of the Kukiav are all greater orcs and one of them is also a spell caster (a 7th level sorcerer).
So first of all lets look at the crew of the Kukiav.
I am not going to name them because they are orcs and orcs exist to be killed not for their conversation.
First up is the sorcerer. There is one major consideration for the GM here. I use the optioal rules for Ritual Magic. If you allow this then This orc can call upon much more powerful weather magic, scrying and illusions at not much risk given enough time and preparation. The ship will have ritualistic markings on the deck where these rituals take place and the sorcerers quarters will be protected using waiting phantasms. the scale and magnatude of these are very much up to the GM. I now use the RMU ritual rules but the original ones were from Companion III. If you allow the use of rituals then this orc will have made his foci (a harpoon) and should be considered to have a +60 skill in ritual magic taking into account he skill, level and stats.
This orc is 7th level and has the following spell lists Fluid Destruction (1-10), Soul Destruction (1-10), Weather Ways (1-10), Essence Perceptions (1-10) and Lesser Illusions (1-10). He has 40hits, is AT1 and has 21 powerpoints.
The orcish captain is also 7th level is AT18 and has 92hits and an OB of 120 also with a broadsword and an OB of 80 with a Harpoon (thrown). He carries a +5 non magical large shield to give a DB of +45
Subordinates. There are two greater orcs with the standard RM stats (4th level, 70hits, AT17, 40DB) What makes these two stand out is their armour and shields. They killed a pair of soldiers once and both have matching bronze breastplates and large black shields embossed to look like screaming faces.
The crew. This is another five greater orcs armed with broadswords and bucklers and harpoons as back up weapons.
The entre crew are competent sailors now, having raided successfully for a coupleof years. This has often been added by the use of illusions such as a barn fire away from town that draws all the men folk away before the orcs pull in to the harbour. The ship looks well cared for and in good condition, work carried out by captives before tey are eaten. The orcs are also partial to a bit of piracy if the opportunity presents itself and will use any advantage they can get. They will given the choice fight on land as they are all wearing metal armour and are fully aware that they sink!
- The Wheel Deck. The Orcish leader is here when active otherwise one of his subordinates will take the wheel.
- The main deck. The ritual circle is bewteen the masts in fron of the hold hatch. These are normally performed looking back down teh length of the ship.
- The Sorcerers quarters. These are pretected by a pair of waiting phantasms that will attack once before their ‘touches’ are expended. One phantasm is of a wicked axe swinging down from teh ceiling into the doorway and the other is of a trap door opening in the floor to reveal a trapped crocodile rushing up to attack. Both will attack with a 60OB on the MA Strikes Rank 1 table for x4 concussion hits. These take the sorcerer days prepare so to protect his privacy he has create a neurosis in all the other orcs making them too scared to enter his quarters.
- The subordinates quarters. These two orcs share these quarters in an uneasy truce. They are never on duty at the same time and if they are forced be in here and off duty then they normally duel for the right to use the bed with some kind of feat of strength such as all out wrestling or by gambling for it wth dice. The rest of the furniture in here is completely wrecked due to their vioolent life style.
- Captains quarters. This cabin is in surprisingly good shape considering the ocupant is an orc. Our orcish leader considers himself a bit of a master and commander or pirate king and consequently likes to live like one. All of the furniture is miss matched as it has been stolen piecemeal from coastal towns or other ships up and down the coast.
- Below decks. The rest of the raiding party have their hammocks hung here. The floor is strewn with leavings from meals past and the general detrius of a orc raiding party.
- The hold. This is where the raiding parties spoils are kept as well as spare weapons and armour. The hold holds 5000tp, 350bp and 60sp. In addition their are coils of rope, barrels of pitch and bundles of sail cloth.
Playing the Kukiav and its crew.
This could easily be a single one off encounter or a device for giving the characters a boat if the greater plot calls for it. i think it works better if the orcs are allowed to out fox the players. Let the sorcerer use rituals to spy on the characters once they know they exist and maybe over hear plans and then take advantage of that knowledge. If the characters have no way of following the ship out to sea then allow the orcs to escape on their ship and taunt the characters. If the characters try and use magic to attack then the sorcerer will try and use spells like neurosis to create an irrational fear of orcs or of water. If he is able to possess a character and start an in fight that way then that will serve. He will resort to throwing waterbolts as an absolute last resort as he knows he does not have enough power to last in that sort of fight.
If the characters become a major threat to the orcs then they will do their best to be where the characters are not but at the same time will try and taunt the characters by leaving a victim alive and then saying the raid is retaliation for the characters actions. remember the sorcerous orc loves fear and deception and with soul destruction and illusions both are very very real!
All of my Aioskoru content is made available under the Open Gaming License.