The Hell Drill

While most Spectres are content - or perhaps driven - to leap into the Maelstrom's winds and go flying towards the enemy, there are times when special engines of war are called for. And so, much in the same way It can gird Its soldiers for war, so too can Oblivion equip them with monstrous vehicles to carry them into battle, if need be.

Some Spectres see being assigned to these hulking contraptions to be a demotion of sorts, while others relish the chance to do a lot of damage, and don't care how "cowardly" they might look while doing it. There's also the fact that the engines of war their master gives them may do a lot of damage to them as well, but this often goes unsaid {No one really expects to survive, anyway...}



A recent, and horrifying, creation from the armories of the Labyrinth are giant, drilling machines - ones specially designed to blast through the barrier between the Tempest and Shadowlands. If used correctly, they can be used to breach even the most "secure" of citadels, allowing troops and the winds of the Maelstrom into them. The survivors of these attacks called the war machines "Hell-Drills," and that's about as good a name as any.

These monstrosities look much like a high-caliber bullet the size of a large corn silo, and are made from gigantic, interlocking plates of soulsteel. The length of the "bullet" is a bloodfire-fueled drill. Before the corrupted and seeping machinery that holds the bloodfire, and runs the drill, is a cargo area. That area can hold up to a hundred warriors, or perhaps a medium-sized Hekatonkhire.

The drills are also like bullets in that have to be shot from equally gargantuan "cannons." These sky-high things seem like hollow, bulbous anthills, and fly apart like fragile toys when their payloads take flight. Almost everything within a half a mile from the launch site is destroyed by the explosion, and the Hell-Drill rockets up from the Labyrinth, heading for the Shadowlands.

Once it gets there, it has to make "contact" with a homing device to breach the Shadowlands. The vehicle can make minor adjustments in its course to home in on the object, but it must cross its path. If it doesn't, the engine will fly right past its target, and will have to return to the Labyrinth for another try.

The homing device is a strange, bloodfire-fueled object that is somehow linked with the huge bloodfire crystal that powers that Hell-Drill. The usual method of deploying it is to have a Doppleganger sell the homing beacon to an unwitting wraith, or else secret the thing on the fool's person, somehow.

That person then goes back into the targeted Citadel, the Doppleganger gives a signal to the Labyrinth, and the cannon is fired. So long as the carrier doesn't move around too much, the operation is usually a success. But there's no guarantee the homing device's owner won't leave the Citadel in a hurry, or sell the "lucky trinket" to someone else for a quick Obolus.

If and when the Hell-Drill and the homing device "meet," across the worlds, the drill activates, making an enormous - and permanent - Nihil. This rip in space allows those within the cargo space to disembark {provided they survived the trip} and, worse, lets in the winds of the Maelstrom, all but destroying the effectiveness of the Haunt.

{It also guarantees the destruction of the homing device, and whomever was carrying it, but such is war.}

After the breach has been made, the drill reverses its motion, and falls back down to the Labyrinth. With any luck it will be caught en-route and returned to the plains for another use. However, it might also spiral down into the Void, or be attacked by a pack of Shades, hijacked by a rival Malfean's soldiers, or destroyed outright for scrap parts. Such, also, is war.

While the hit or miss ratio tends to be a little discouraging, the spectacular results of success are more than enough to keep these monstrosities in use. Recently, though, it seems that the tactics for the drills' use have changed, somewhat. The Hell-Drills are still shot up to the Shadowlands, but they are no longer striking under Citadels, or within Necropoli.

Instead, they land in some desolate place, and rather than fall back down to the Labyrinth after releasing their payload - or what little remains of it - they remain stuck, there, in the "earth." Behind them, stretching tautly down into the Storms, is a massive chain - one that seems to have been forged from black steel and viscous, frozen mud.

And if one were to listen to the chain, itself, one might hear the far-away sound of a motor, winding away...


Structural Integrity: 150

Maneuverability: The Hell-Drill flies itself, and has 3 dice to roll to home in on the beacon {Difficulty 9}. Each failed roll takes away one die. Botches cause the Hell-Drill to go terribly off-course, possibly ending up right in the Void, itself.

Personnel: No crew is needed. 70 - 100 human-sized crew can fit in the cargo bay, or 50 large Shades, or one medium-sized Hekatonkhire.

Weapons: None

Arcanoi: Tempestos 3, Tempest Weaving 1

Special Rules: All inside the Hell-Drill 's cargo bay take 5 dice of Bashing damage when the Hell-Drill surfaces, plus one for each maneuverability die lost while homing in on the beacon. {If the drill failed two rolls, then all the cargo would take 7 dice of damage}