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This is the first of a three-part adventure!
While traveling along a highway between cities, you notice a ripple in the air on the road just ahead. If you decide to carefully observe this strange occurrence, a few seconds later a wild-haired old man in a wizard’s robe, bearing a crumpled hat tumbles through it, clutching a tall, gnarled staff. He glances around frantically, then spots you watching him from nearby.
“You there! My name is Ellet Green, a wizard and expert on time and space. Have we met before? No, never mind that now. I have need of your assistance with a matter of utmost importance!”
Should you choose to hear him out, Ellet continues. “A ship transporting a cargo I desperately need is in trouble and I need your help! The vessel isn’t far from here — speaking fourth dimensionally of course — but I will need to maintain several complex spells in order to pinpoint its precise location. I’ll have my hands full, so you’ll have to grab the vital supplies while I’m busy. Sounds easy, right?”
If you agree this does indeed sound easy enough and decide to assist this mad wizard, Ellet brandishes his staff and orders you to stand back. He appears to be concentrating furiously, occasionally sending a shower of sparks from his fingertips as he summons strange powers beyond your comprehension. Finally, he conjures a swirling rift of magical energies, then waves for you to follow him through.
If you go through the magical portal, you suddenly find yourself hovering a short distance above the ocean on a fine, clear day!
“Don’t be alarmed, my magic will keep us from plunging into the depths,” Ellet assures you. “Now then, the ship is called King Charles James, and she’s a modestly-sized merchant vessel. Odd, this should be the place where the ship was traveling. I’m certain my spell gave me accurate coordinates. Perhaps this isn’t the right day? No, that’s correct too. Give me a moment to think.”
If you’re perceptive, you might notice that there is a glimmer of something beneath the waves, right below you in the shallow waters. If you bring this to Ellet’s attention, he snaps his fingers.
“Of course! The ship IS here, she’s just underwater… wait, that’s terrible news! Hold on a moment, we’ll take a closer look.” He whispers some words of power and a shimmer surrounds you for a moment. “I’ve cast a spell that will allow us to breathe and move underwater for a while. Brace yourself!”
Suddenly, you plunge into the water as his levitation spell is dismissed. The chill of the ocean currents takes you by surprise, but you quickly become accustomed to it. You slowly sink beneath the waves, though you are able to breathe normally, as promised.
Below you is the distinctive shape of a ship, resting in the shallows on an underwater ridge. There are signs of damage visible in the shifting patterns of light from above, and there’s no sign of survivors.
“We must get closer and find out what happened,” Ellet says, his voice perfectly clear in the underwater realm. Should you float down on the ship’s deck, you almost immediately sense movement from around you. Huge electric eels emerge from the damaged sections of the hull, making their way toward you with menace in their black eyes!
“Dispatch these beasties while I maintain the magic allowing us to operate here,” Ellet advises. Should you manage to fight off the giant eels, the way is clear for you to head to the lower deck. It’s much darker inside the ship’s hold, but by the light filtering in through the holes, you see something big lurking within! It appears to be the parent of the eels you just fought, three times the size and very angry!
It attacks, using doors and holes in the hull to dart in and out, attacking you from different directions, showing it is a cunning and devious predator. But should you prevail against it, the ship has been secured and Ellet can take a closer look at the ship’s contents.
“All of this cargo is ruined,” he laments, pushing aside crates filled with flour or wine, all of it destroyed from exposure to the salty sea water. You also see a few bodies down here, long dead by the looks of them, yet they seem oddly familiar. Ellet pokes at them with his staff and then gasps.
“Good heavens! These bodies, the equipment they’re wearing — it’s you!” Should you have the courage to look closer, you find the corpse is carrying your gear, and appears to be your size!
“Somehow,” Ellet muses, “we came too far forward in time. You — I mean this body has been dead for several months at least. The cursed eels were feeding on it! Grisly stuff, for certain. But this means… you were somehow on this ship when she went down! We must get to the bottom of this. Come, I will take us back in time to before she was sunk!
Ellet opens another portal and grabs you by the arm, pulling you through to your next adventure!
If the players attempt to loot their now dead selves, Ellet stops them claiming that taking their equipment back with them could cause rips in time and space and that they including himself can’t take that risk. If the players note Ellet came here with the intent to take things from the ship he will huff, claiming that that’s different, he’s an expert after all!
See how the adventure for Sunken King Charles James Merchant Ship Free Multi-Level 40×30 Battlemap & Adventure ends by taking your players to The Place Between which this was written for, as well as 16+ locations in our early access Game Master’s Adventurer’s Guide Bundle, which has over 300 pages of content. You’ll get 74 battlemaps with system-agnostic adventures written just for them, maps of the towns, locations, faction lists, important NPCs (portraits included), more adventure seeds, plus digital item cards with loot your players can find! That’s at least 74 easy sessions of fun for only $28, take a better look here.
Inventor of the SabreRPG system (which we love), Steve's the wonderful GM who hosted many fantastic campaigns for the Seafoot family. He's been writing, illustrating, and publishing his own books for over a decade, and is best known for The Aielund Saga. We're so glad to have him on our team writing these fantastic adventure modules, as well as Adventurer's Guides. His experience as both writer and GM makes him incredible at what he does, and we think you'll agree when you read his work!