Maul and Bull
Hessth on the forecastle of the airship Maul and Bull.


The Beginner's Luck was constructed by House Lyrandar as a simple transport, capable of housing a little over a dozen, with decent accommodations for a half dozen men. Designed to be structurally similar to a Keelboat (SW 100), with the addition of a forecastle equipped with a harpoon gun and a sterncastle that's hardly worthy of the name, capable of housing the captain and a small assortment of personal goods. Named The Dart by its Lyrandar owners, it served the House for only a few months before it was reported missing and assume lost at sea, during one of its travels to Xen'Drik with an envoy of adventurers from the Wayfinder Foundation. In reality, the ship was seized by the notorious Crimson Sail Buccaneers, a pirate fleet consisting of a couple large airships and a bevy of smaller ones, like The Dart. The captain of the Buccaneers entrusted the ship to one of his second mates, a gnome by the name of Happy "Scar" Jollybottom. Jollybottom was anything but what his given name would suggest, and had joined the buccaneers after they liberated a Lhazaar prison, where he had been serving time for a double homicide. He earned the name Scar after getting in a bar fight with a fellow crew-mate, who had been making light of his name.

The Captain enjoyed the gnome's integrity, as well as his passion for bloodshed, and so granted him the ship as reward. Unfortunately, and unknown to the captain, Scar had been planning to leave the Buccaneers for the last few months, because he had been sleeping with the captains best girl, and knew that when this inevitably reached the surface, the consequences would be dire to say the least. Fortune had smiled upon him it seemed, and with ship in hand, he bid the buxom lass aideu, and sailed away in the night. After assembling a crew of blood relatives, one of whom managed to actually fly the ship through negotiation with the trapped elemental, who refused to give its name, they met up with the somewhat infamous dashing wizard / retrieval expert Handsome Jack, who was looking to rob the Sharn Express — said to be carrying one of the largest shipments of Brelish gold in the last ten years.

New Ownership

Again, as has become the nature of the ship, it changed hands a third time — from "Captain" Jollybottom to Hessth, the shifter barbarian. After defeating Jolly's crew, pilot, and himself, Hessth and his companions acquired the vessel with zero resistance. The fire elemental, sensing a green pilot, attempted to resist Hessth's initial orders, but his intimidating rage more than kept the spirit in check, and under his control. However, without an actual pilot, it's hungering for an opportunity to break free from its suppression and experience manifestation.

The Maul and Bull

After docking in Wroat, Hessth renamed the ship the "Maul and Bull," and paid to have new papers forged. He then established a new crew consisting of a pair of skilled and talkative dwarves, a hulking hobgoblin with questionable credentials, and an actual pilot: Falko Thul. Although drunk and solitary, he proved to be quite skilled, maneuvering the ship with ease and prowess. Upon arriving in Sharn, he navigated his way to the nearest bar, and proceeded to drink his way into a stupor.

Game Rule Information

Being an airship, the Maul and Bull follows the standard rules for airship combat.

Maul and Bull, small Airship: Gargantuan vehicle (long); Airworthiness +6; Shiphandling -2; Speed Fly 120 ft. (poor), Overall AC 1; Hull sections 3 (crash 3 sections); Section hp 50 (harness 5); Coupling hp 50 (harness 5); Section AC 1; Ram 5d8; SA fire ring; SQ resistance to fire 10, hover; Space 10 ft. by 30 ft.; Height 15 ft. (fire ring has a 40 ft. diameter); Watch 2; Compliment 8; Cargo 15 tons; Cost 80,000 gp.
Hover: Despite its maneuverability raiting, an airship can hover and has no minimum speed required to maintain air travel. It cannot turn in place, however.
Ring: An airship can use either a fire or an air elemental. A burning fire elemental bound into a ring deals 3d8 points of fire damage to any creature or object passing it touches. When an air elemental is used, the damage is bludgeoning.
Aura: Strong conjuration, CL 15th.
Construction: Bind Elemental, greater planar binding, 40,000 gp, 3,280 XP, 92 days.
Price: 80,000 gp.

A blueprint of the Maul and Bull, note that each square represents 5'.

1. Forecastle: A massive harpoon gun, a jury-rigged ballista, the sole armament of the Maul and Bull, is installed on this raised portion of the deck. A movable platform allows the weapon to tilt forward and down, all the way around, giving it a field of fire of 30 degrees above or below the level of the deck and 360 degrees around.
2. Harpoon Gun: This harpoon gun is in actuality a large sized self-reloading ballista, equipped with a bolt and magically enhanced rope. The ballista requires a Profession (siege engineer) check DC 15 to operate before making a standard ranged attack at the target. The ballista has a range of 120 ft maximum, and deals 5d8 damage, 19-20/x2 critical modifier. It self reloads after 4 rounds.
3. Helm: This area on the sterncastle is the focal point for the magic energies laced into the ship's construction. It is from here that one can attempt to communicate with the fire elemental bound to the ship. Carved from dark wood and polished to a lustrous sheen, a Wheel of Wind and Water stands here, allowing those with the Mark of the Storm to control the elemental through their dragonmark.
4. Sterncastle: This small sterncastle houses the helm and sits underneath the binding struts, the fire from the elemental dancing over and around the captain's wheel.
5. Stem: This extended stem has been fortified with steel couplings on the side of the soarwood protrusion, forming a spike that the Maul and Bull can use to ram into the side of another ship. It follows the ram rules from Stormwrack, pg 97, and deals 4d6 points of damage.
6. Supply Hold: Critical supplies necessary for operating the ship are kept here: spare planks of soarwood, replacement fins, two spare bolts for the ship's harpoon gun, and the like.
7. Binding Struts: These four structures hold the bound fire elemental into its familiar ring shape. The elemental itself is held along the tip of the struts, well away from the wooden hull. The Khyber dragonshard that binds the elemental to the ship resides in a secret housing chamber in the base of the upper strut (Search DC25 to find). The magic imbued in the struts allows the elemental to travel along them and back into the dragonshard when suppressed. The housing chamber is sealed with a standard arcane lock (CL 12th).
8. Pilot's Quarters: Located just below the helm, the pilot's quarters contain a simple bunk and room for his or her personal effects. It is the closest bunk to the helm, since the pilot must give the elemental explicit instructions on where and how to fly while they sleep. Should the elemental ever become confused when on its own, the pilot can reach the helm quickly in order to regain control.
9. Cargo Hold: The bottom of the Maul and Bull is essentially a large empty space where what little cargo an airship can carry is stored. A large hatch in the hull allows heavy good to be brought directly into the hold by crane or magical means. All boxes, barrels, and crates are securely lashed to the hull before flight to prevent shifting in the event of a complex aerial maneuver.