While young Jules is quickly growing into a woman much like her mother, Joseph is still haunted by the memories of his dead wife, Julian, and slips into doing little other than work. So when he’s approached by the Master Shipwright to design something for a wealthy client, he locks himself within his study trying to meet the client’s demands. Months of toiling, researching, and designing tick away as Joseph sees his daughter less and less, her new singing career taking her further away from home.
Finally the design is finished! The vessel, made to hold a series of four orbs in specific relation to each other, is one of his greatest designs. So much so, he already commissioned an artist to start carving the mermaid, wearing a crow mask, who would grace the bow. Expecting to just hand the plans over the the Master Shipwright, Joseph is surprised to learn the client is on her way to their office. A tall, slender woman dressed in black silk & iridescent feathers steps into the room and Joseph smiles at his choices of carvings. She looks over the plans in silence, running a bony finger across the lines and smiling softly…almost…knowingly.
“It is perfect,” she states without taking her eyes from the paper. “We will begin construction immediately. I want no time wasted.” With a wave of her hand she dismisses Armentiers, the Master Shipwright, and turns towards Joseph the moment he exits. “Has your daughter seen these yet?” she asks indicating the plans on the desk.
“My…? What? No. Do you know my daughter?”
“Oh quite well, actually. Though she doesn’t know me,” the woman responds walking up to Joseph till they are only inches from each other, “not yet at least.” A smile brilliantly transforms her dower face to that of something akin to motherly and Joseph takes a step backwards. She looks him over as her smile changes to bemusement. “Don’t worry, Joseph, Jules has nothing to fear from me. As a matter of fact, her and I will get along smashingly, I think.”
“And why is that?” Joseph’s voice was unwavering despite his sudden concern.
“Because she has a destiny, my dear, and I want to see her fulfill it.” She strides back to the desk, picks up a quill, scribbles “the Morrigana” on the back of the vessel design, stands up and admires her handiwork. “Yes, she has quite the destiny,” and with a flourish of silk and feathers, she exited the office, leaving Joseph’s head spinning as he wondered what the hell just happened.
Four “Soul Spheres” are embedded in the ship; two in font, two in back but only one would be above the water when sailing. These spheres act as means of propulsion as the souls of those lost at sea pass through or remain within them. Souls that refuse to leave or are paying a debt of servitude, become part of the spectral crew that can sail the Morrigana without the aid of the living. However, without a Captain, the ship remains idle and the souls eventually slip through the orbs, leaving it stationary.
Therefore, the ship cannot moved by anyone but her captain and must set sail before the last soul leaves the orbs. Well…that is unless someone dies within range of the orbs and sparks her back to life.
Located in the lowest part of the ship is a large mechanical, ever moving “plane chart” that tells one of their current position and allows for a course to be set. However, the ship has a destiny of it’s own and when not given a heading, will travel as needed to fulfill it.
The orbs on either side of the Plane Chart” act as a magnetic field around the chart so that it can always keep it’s exact bearing in relation to the plane on which it was created. This keeps the ship from ever becoming lost or corrupted, so long as both Soul Spheres remain intact and in position.
The Morrigana has four decks in total: top deck (which has the captain’s quarters), the crew’s quarters, a cargo bay, and the “engine” or chart room.
The captain’s quarters features a large window that mimics the style of the Soul Spheres, giving the impression of a fifth orb but actually acts as an escape route and telescope (when looking through different areas on the glass). A large king-size platform bed sits under the window which can be lifted with a lever to allow access to hidden storage space. At the foot of the bed is a padded chest that doubles as a seat. There is a half-round table built into the wall with a sun pattern inlaid with gold in the surface. On the wall opposite the sun table is a smaller table with the phases of the moon inlaid with iridescent shell, and two plush chairs. There is a fully functioning bath and large walk-in closet in the cabin as well.
The entire ship is lit from within with small half orbs in the rafters that give off varying amounts of light depending on the time of day. Called “fairy stones” these softly glowing lights will shine brighter at night and are almost not glow during the day. To dim them, one simply touches them with a bit of silver. Therefore, there are long silver tipped sticks that hang from a wall not far from the orbs. The stones “reset” themselves each morning.
The crew’s quarters features a storage space at the head of the ship, followed by sleeping quarters, the galley with several eating/cooking areas, storage space towards the back of the ship surrounding a Soul Sphere. There is a sliding bay door in the floor to load cargo and stairs leading up to the top deck or further down into the cargo bay.
The cargo bay is a fully open area save for barrel storage that runs along the front of the ship surrounding a Soul Sphere. A corner panel acts as a door or could be unhinged to open the entire wall that faces the rest of the storage space. This allows for a more secure and easily accessible storage space. There is a grate in the floor to access the Chart room.
For such a large ship, the Morrigana has quite a small crew…or so it would seem. Save for the captain, no other member of the crew need to be living. Those that struck a deal or pledged a form of servitude to the various sea gods/goddesses now crew the vessel. The spectral crew is unable to leave the ship save for being released by the Soul Spheres after fulfilling their duty, pledge, or punishment, depending on what brought them aboard. However, they can chose to remain and serve the Morrigana and her captain.
But they act as far more than means to sail the ship, for souls need not be of the same plane, and as the Morrigana sails the stars her crew becomes widely diverse and all the more…interesting.
But perhaps most interesting of all, is the First Mate, Julian Cantwell Doonagan, Jule’s mother.
The Morrigana has a mind and destiny of her own. When she is not given a heading, or when she must complete an objective, she will set sail the moment her captain is on board. She communicates directly to her captain via the First Mate who can only be someone who is no longer living.
Though the Morrigana will not say exactly what her destiny is, she will tell you that one of her purposes is to allow certain souls to pass into the next realm or to bring them there herself. Because of this, her alignment seems to be that of chaotic neutral as her only focus is that of her destiny. The only influence she seems to consider is that of her captains, of which she seems to have a bond with.