The Praedian Records

J.G. Phoenix

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Naval Safari

by | Aug 30, 2021 | Lore, Praedia

I love it when weird concepts come together in a setting just right. At some point I really want to write a short story exploring the idea from various peoples’ perspectives rather than just leaving it as something seldom mentioned in lore. What I’m talking about are wealthy families or large organizations taking their privately owned ships and going out on naval safaris to hunt sea monsters. This idea applies more to Calig than any other nation in the Praedia setting at the moment. Their perspective is the one this naval safari concept has been developing from, but I’m sure the concept is going to blossom into something more historically relevant and regionally distinct. Praedia already has hundreds of groups, organizations, tribes, and specialists dispatching monsters on land for a variety of reasons. The same is bound to apply to the oceans.

The sky too for that matter, but that’s a wacky brainstorm for another day.

Originally the idea centered more around some of Calig’s biggest noble houses, Tenebrae and Krieger. They’re the ones that held onto a lot of old warships and modernized them for their own personal use. Since militaries in Praedia are just as likely to have to fight enormous creatures from the depths as each other, things like dreadnought style ships aren’t quite as obsolete as they look, at least in this setting. If it can shoot straight, is affordable, and can be upgraded enough to push 30 knots, you can bet there’s religious obligations that can be met and money to be made.


A Krieger example:

At the time of this writing, House Krieger has at least one battleship that’s been preserved from before one of the bigger wars Calig took part in. It’s theirs, no strings attached, just straight up theirs to do with as they please. (Calig is one of those countries where the nobility have a worrying amount of self sanctioned firepower). Now Calig’s state religion is Lethelism. The shortest possible description of this religion is ‘Destroy Evil Things.’ Being a religion, it’s much more nuanced than that, but in the modern era, this does lend itself to the wholesale slaughter of various monsters in the wild. The naval safari helps the less capable in House Krieger fulfill their spiritual obligations by being part of a crew. A warship’s crew acts as one to control the ship. An engineer or a navigator are no less combatants than the men loading the guns or operating the rangefinders. Not to mention the captain, the ship’s ‘mind.’

With that in mind, houses that do this, like Krieger, plan excursions well in advance, I’d say six to twelve months depending on the target and the waters they’re searching in. They even help fund the monster hunts by allowing citizens to come with them, acting as crew. They have to pay, and if they’ve got no experience they also have to take some major courses before the ‘crimson cruise’ starts. The numbers are also limited to prevent the ratio of dedicated crew members to temporary ones from becoming dangerously unbalanced. As for the targets, those would be scouted out and tracked by the military. That’s another reason this was so specific to Calig starting out. The nobility and the military are more or less joined at the hip. In peacetime, scout flotillas will keep eyes on any monsters that aren’t threatening trade or civilian traffic and even run escort for the naval safaris when they start … just to make sure no one important gets hurt. A naval safari might be fun, but it is by no means safe.

So house Krieger prepares their ship or ships and sets sail at the appointed time, then spends a few days chasing down the monster(s) they want, along with their escorts. People are happy, taking pictures, drinking, socializing, chatting naval and monster hunting history, etc. Eventually the big one appears and the scout flotilla gets into a defensive formation, making sure the monster can’t get close enough to threaten the nobles, their crews, or their paying guests. Krieger’s safari ship then proceeds to blow its target out of the water. There might also be some ceremonial ship honking, I don’t know. The customs on this are less than a day old. When all is dead and done, the Krieger battleship is escorted back into Calig waters and then released to return to its home port. Everyone except the dead monster are better for the experience.

Just a rough example, and it’s not necessarily going to be a thing done only on battleships or old dreadnoughts. I can easily see smaller noble houses, or big companies who have a similar business sense, using smaller ships and more of them. The state religion is Destruction, so giving people even more direct or communal ways of doing that is good business sense. The Lethelist Priesthood approves.


I want to touch more on the monsters involved before closing. As far as optics go, there are definitely some similarities here to whaling, which I view as criminally overdone. Some things nations and states do in Praedia are good for the world, and others aren’t. I need to state unambiguously in this specific case of monster hunting that the pros of these naval safaris do outweigh the cons. The very term ‘monster’ actually applies to flora and fauna that aren’t a natural part of the Praedian environment. They are not just invasive species from another part of the world, they are essentially hyper-antagonistic biological terraformers. The more of them there are in a region over a long period of time, the more the environment is warped to suit their needs. Calig in particular may have made a sport of culling them, but it truly is a do or die war for the entire world in the long term.

And I’m afraid it’s not a war they’re currently winning ….


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