By the gods! Sea serpents have been sighted off the shores of the island, known as Egg Rock*. The keeper of the lighthouse there has also reported strange howls in the night, and black creatures close to the shore. Several local fishermen have also disappeared, along with their boats, leaving no trace behind!
Whatever is going on, the locals are terrified, and merchant ships are stearing clear of the local port for fear of the creatures. Will the player's characters be able to uncover the cause of these sightings, and defeat what dangers they are certain to face?
|Public Domain Image - A wood engraving from the early 1800's|
This adventure seed can be played one of two ways, the sea serpents are real and have returned to Egg Rock to mate and spawn, or these are fake stories surrounding an elaborate hoax made up by smuggler/pirates in the area to chase away the curious from their operations.OR.. you can have it start out being smugglers using a hoax based on an old legend, only to have the real sea serpents show up during the adventure!
If you do use actual sea serpents in your adventure, depending on what version of your favorite rules you play, you can use giant gar, giant aquatic snakes, or any other creature you feel works best. I suggest giving the creatures a limited ability to walk on land/climb rocks to avoid having the players feel "safe" standing on shore attacking the creatures in the water.
If you use smugglers/pirates, I suggest adding a spell-caster that can create the illusion (or summon even) sea serpents. The smugglers are using large floating baskets (filled with booty), covered in oiled leather, to give the impression of smaller monsters approaching the shore to scare off any witnesses. They use shell horns to make the frightening "serpent" noises to enhance the ruse.
The missing fishermen were victims that strayed too close and were either captured or killed, and their small fishing boats scuttled (sunk). You may have some of the captured men, held in the smugglers' caves until they can be shipped off to the slave market.
For added depth to the adventure, the smugglers can be using underwater caves, with entrances that are only visible during the low tide, and even then only to nearby observers. If you desire a more robust smuggler plot, I suggest Dead Kraken Anchorage, a free map and adventure seed of its own, from Dyson's Logos.
|Cartography by Dyson Logos|
* - Based upon tales of sea serpent sightings near Egg Rock on Frenchman Bay, Maine.