The 'Varteran' is a legendary Ghostship of Avennorian origin, which - though its origin is claimed to have been nearly two millenia ago - is still said to sail the Adanian Sea today, occasionally appearing to unsuspecting traders or fishermen. Rumour says that it is steered by its dead captain, who was left at the ship to suffer a cruel and certain death. You will still hear the legend of the vandrek 'Varteran' along the eastern coasts of Santharia today, especially in the Manthrian region.
Legend/Myth. Below is the narration of the Ghostship Legend of the 'Varteran' as told by a Neprisian local, Andulf Isthvin, who gladly allowed the use of this old sailor's lore by the Santharian Compendium:
"Thomgeir was a captain a long, long time ago, even before
King Santhros united the realms to form the
Kingdom of Santharia, back when the lands
we live in now bore the name
Avennoria..." [Note that the narrator inhabits the
Manthrian region] "...Thomgeir travelled
often and far, from Marcogg to
Strata and even far to the south to the
deserts of Aeruillin. He was a well-known trader and proud of it, renowned in
all those lands and he brought the most exotic goods from afar to the shores of
Another ship approached, which soon turned out to belong to ruthless pirates.
Thomgeir's ship was only a small one, a vandrek, not the big barek he was used
to commanding, and small was his crew and also the treasure.
Stories like these are common among the
Avennorians, a folk often said to
be overly superstitious, but also good at inventing certain "additional details"
of perhaps originally not-so-dramatic stories. Be it as it is, the story of the
'Varteran' has certainly kept many
Avennorians from becoming traders, and made those who did into heroes, those
few who valiantly set out into the danger of the seas where cruel pirates await.
Aside from the selfmade heroism of the Avennorians for which the story of the Ghostship 'Varteran' may be mainly responsible, the ship became even more famous due to the "Ode to the Heavens" written in this context, done by theunforgettable Marcoggian poet Monsonius.
In his ode Monsonius describes the last moments of the dying captain, nailed to the mast, half-consciously watching the sky, being carried only by the waves. The ode is written from the perspective of the dying captain, who slowly returns to the world of the living from an initial unconsciousness. He realizes that he is tied to the mast and only bit by bit begins to discover his complete inability to move and to think coherently, finally also realizing the broad nail driven through his forehead.
Nevertheless the poem is not about the realization of this cruelty, but quite to the contrary, an extraordinarily well-done piece about a man learning to love the beauty of the endless sky and the waves which support him, even though he is doomed to a certain death. The rhythm of the poem finally lulls the reader into a wonderful dream, which - for the captain tied to the mast - may be equivalent to his death (though the author leaves this interpretation open).
Since Monsonius' re-discovery in the 15th century this remarkable poem stands also for the difficulties of the individual to deal with a world around him he cannot control anymore and where the Gods, for many, have lost their guiding or comforting role. It appears that Monsonius when writting this ode in the 13th century was indeed far ahead his time.
Information provided by Artimidor