For those just joining us, this a weekly post wherein I take a quotation from something I read recently and use it as inspiration for three adventure hooks. Let's get this party started:
"It might have been but a deception of the vapors, but, the longer the [strange ship] was watched, the more singular appeared her maneuvers. Ere long it seemed hard to decide whether she meant to come or no – what she wanted, or what she was about. The wind, which had breezed up a little during the night, was now extremely light and baffling, which the more increased the apparent uncertainty of her movements." --Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno"Roll initiative! ...just kidding:
- The ship appears even from afar as though it's seen better days, and does not appear to be steered by any skilled hand. Before long, the ship has rammed against an outcropping of rock and it's taking on water fast. When the PCs arrive on the scene, they discover it's a passenger vessel, and most of the crew (captain included) were washed to sea in a sudden gale. That's not all, though: The captain was also carrying a shipment of newly-minted coinage to the local banks. Will the PCs make off with untold riches, or will they save the helpless travelers and hope the wreck isn't inhabited by something more sinister when they return?
- A strange affliction has stricken nearly all of the ship's crew, leaving only a handful deckhands and passengers to haphazardly guide the vessel into port. When the PCs arrive, those afflicted are already at an advanced state of illness, their skin becoming transparent and their eyes taking a milky sheen. Beside that, even those not stricken by disease seem a bit... off. Will the PCs discern the true threat before another vessel is attacked?
- The "vapors" are no natural mist, but are coming from the vessel itself. It seems the ship employs a steam engine built by the renown inventor Seldin Creywald. However, it seems one among the crew betrayed Creywald to a band of pirates, who sought to steal the technology. Though the crew managed to escape the pirates with the speed of their engine, it was not before the buccaneers managed to kidnap Seldin himself. Can the PCs recover the famed inventor before the pirates force him to use his vast knowledge for their own purposes?