Ghost ship carrying cannibal rats could be heading for Britain
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January 23 2014
An abandoned Russian cruise ship, thought to be infested with rats1, may now be heading for UK territorial waters. The ship was originally cast adrift from tow on her way to the breakers and has eluded all attempts to locate her since.


Original Story

1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • In a supernatural campaign, the ship has actually been hijacked by something powerful - Bram Stoker style a vampire would seem appropriate.
  • PCs cast adrift could find the drifting ship a miraculous refuge … until the hordes of starving rats come for them.
  • Prosaically, the ship is at sea somewhere, fully manned - the whole "lost at sea" is a scam and she was boarded and brought back under con within a few hours of being cast off. PCs might stumble on the secret accidentally and find themselves at risk as a result.
  • PCs could be involved in the salvage race - anyone able to bring in a derelict gets to claim salvage rights, and there's said to be a £600k scrap value attached to this ship. Always assuming you don't happen to want a ship…
    • There's still the rats. Stephen King's Graveyard Shift may provide useful inspiration.
  • The idea that she is still afloat is based on the idea that her lifeboat beacons would have activated on contact with water - this assumes that no-one has stolen the lifeboats.
  • Anyone with a "bad luck" based flaw could find their ship in collision with a drifting derelict.
  • In a world with slightly less connectivity - or where the loss hadn't been reported - all sorts of Marie Celeste nonsense might ensure.
  • And then, you could be on land when all those starving rats arrive - say the ship beached in a storm, and come low tide, the local area becomes rat-tastic. Possibly with added plague.
    • That could be quite a good horror scenario, say with the PCs in a remote village on the Irish or Scottish West Coast, unable to flee the rats with ease.
    • The horror story Three Skeleton Key by Georges-G. Toudouze has a very similar plot involving an isolated lighthouse.
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