September 13, 2009: Off the coast of Malaysia and east of Singapore, there is a vast fleet of "ghost" container ships who have been anchored there without cargo because there is not sufficient demand for them due to the current financial crisis. There are almost 500 ships in this ghost fleet.
'We don't understand why they are here. There are so many ships but no one seems to be on board. When we sail past them in our fishing boats we never see anyone. They are like real ghost ships and some people are scared of them. They believe they may bring a curse with them and that there may be bad spirits on the ships.'
Game and Story Use
- Who knows what might be hiding on those ships? Pirates and their loot or other treasure, hostages… and the ships themselves might also be worth stealing or buying.
- There might really be evil spirits haunting these ships, and the PCs might be hired to exorcise them.
- They might be the spirits of the ships themselves who object to their mistreatment.
- How about tying them together and making a giant raft that might become its own community?
- In an economic collapse dystopia, those ships might stay there until the bottoms rust through and they settle, or they might be scuppered by owners unable or unwilling to pay the upkeep. If they are anchored in less depth under keel than their height above water the ships will remain protruding from the water … if not they create an artifical reef. Either is the basis for a new island, but the ships as Islands provides quite a good venue for a lawless, unofficial settlement - or even just a criminal hideout (like the packing boat from Without Remorse).