This adventure is a good option when the heroes are in a maritime settlement or a city by the sea. An eccentric wizard stole a ship from a group of well-reputed seafarers and they want it back. The adventurers can help the seafarers for a hefty bounty, or perhaps they owe them a favor. This adventure is intended for a group of four to six players of 5th level.
The vast Sea of a Thousand Winds is one of the most dangerous waters. Monsters and aquatic beasts lurk in the darkest parts of the sea and attack those who dare cross its. However, it’s five times faster to cross the water than to go around it by land. Travelers and merchants who navigate through here often hire sellswords or mercenaries to protect their shipments.
The job of taking care of ship owners and other travelers is so popular that a group dedicated to that only purpose emerged. The Black-Tooth Seafarers, led by Frailden Black-Tooth. This group of sailors and fighters joined forces. Their goal is to monopolize bodyguard contracts in the area. More and more people join their numbers every month. Now travelers don’t have to hire outsiders and bring them with them to cross the sea protected, the Black-Tooth Seafarers are always there.
However, there is an individual who isn’t very fond of the seafarers. His name is Ibarin, he is a wizard. He has inhabited the Sea of a Thousand Winds for decades. Since he was a child, Ibarin felt an unquenchable curiosity for the sea and all the creatures that live in it. He became obsessed with collecting shells and other rocks, he enjoyed dissecting animals and exploring their innards. Ibarin was always a smart boy, but his thirst for knowledge kept him buried in books and away from other people and society.
As an adult, Ibarin left the noise of the cities and towns and settled down on a small island in the middle of the Sea of a Thousand Winds. He considered himself very lucky when he stumbled upon an ancient structure built in one of the rocky formations of the small island. He found the place abandoned. He thought it probably belonged to an aquatic elven civilization of yore. There, he could continue his life-long studies of the sea in peace. He researched the wildlife and learned about the deepest secrets of the sea. The presence of hostile creatures and other submarine beasts were welcome to him.
He has spent forty years of his life here. He has witnessed how the transit through the sea increased. People used to shun the area because of its dangers but, little by little, the presence of mercenaries and hired muscle has diminished the feeling of threat. This eventually led to the creation of the seafarers. Their presence caused most of the sealife near the mage’s home to leave. Plus, his kuo-toa goons, driven by their territorial nature, looked for trouble often. This drew unwanted attention to the island.
The aquatic creatures are loyal to him mostly out of fear. Nevertheless, this influence is enough to command them and to do his bidding. The seafarers are used to dealing with the usual threats of the sea, but Ibarin doesn’t think like a fish. He and his goons managed to ambush one of the seafarers’ ships and steal it. He plans to steal a ship every full moon. After stealing three or four, he thinks this might cause the seafarers to consider dismantling their organization.
Ibarin shrunk the stolen ship and made a scale model out of it to keep at home. He plans to steal a second ship in about two or three weeks. However, the wizard is unaware of the fact that the seafarers will retaliate. Frailden Black-Tooth, the seafarers’ leader, was present in a nearby ship when their ship was stolen.
The attack surprised Frailden and his men. The monsters fought with unity and a shared purpose. That had never happened before. The aquatic beasts created a diversion to draw the leader’s attention while the rest took over the other ship. A man commanded the attack. A skilled wizard shouted orders to the finned monsters and cast spells from under the water. The presence of this aquatic wizard startled the seafarers, who could not drive the monsters off and lost a ship. Frailden and his men never saw something like that in all their lives.
Frailden doesn’t want to risk his men fighting the mage. The Black-Tooth Seafarers know how to handle the usual threats of the sea but a wizard casting spells underwater goes beyond their capabilities. Furthermore, he cannot spare any of his men; the amount of travelers requires all of them. This is why he offers 1,000 gold pieces to a group of adventures who can track the aquatic creatures back to their lair, find the mage, and recover their ship. He also provides a group of four skilled sailors with a small boat for eight to ten people.
If the heroes accept the job, they must travel the Sea of the Thousand Winds. Frailden and his men know these waters like the palm of their hands. They know every corner of it. This is why Frailden suspects of an island right in the center of the sea. He claims the largest concentration of monsters gathers there. And it is the only place they haven’t explored in its entirety.
Frailden Black-Tooth, leader of the Seafarers
Chaotic neutral human (age 43)
The leader of the seafarers is a man of the sea. Frailden has spent all of his life on a boat, sailing and traveling the seas of the world. His years under the sun have turned his skin brown and with his diet based on fish and several instances of scurvy, his teeth are a mockery of a healthy set. One of his upper front teeth is black as coal, hence the nickname for himself and his seafarers.
Personality Trait. “Those who are stronger must protect the weak, and of course, charge for it.”
Ideal. “The Sea of a Thousand Winds is my realm, and I must keep it safe.”
Bond. “The seafarers are my life now, we must prevail.”
Flaw. “A good bottle of rum can make me forget my ideals.”
The following descriptions of areas 1 through 9 correspond to the wizard’s hideout.
Terrain. Ibarin’s home is an ancient stone structure. Despite being in the middle of the sea, the humidity and salt of the breeze can’t reach the inside of the building.
Doors. All the doors in the building are oak and locked unless stated otherwise. Ibarin has set up some magic doors to deal with intruders.
Light. There are magical sconces with continual flame spells on their torches. The flame dies in 1d6 minutes if the torch is removed from the sconce.
Smells and Sounds. The building smells of salt and seawater. The sound of the creatures swimming in the central pool in area 2 echoes all around.
When the heroes reach the island, they must walk a few hundred feet to find this door. It is incrusted on a side of a large rocky formation. Two kuo-toa and four sahuagin fight the heroes just outside this door. The main door is locked. A successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check allows a character to force the door open. The door leads to a small lobby with a 15-feet-long corridor that ends with another wooden door.
2. Central Pool
This area is 35 feet wide and about 50 feet long. There is a square sea pool in its center. This pool connects to the open sea through an underwater tunnel at the bottom. The west door leads to a 30-foot-high balcony overlooking the area. By the north wall, five stone columns support a half-moon terrace. Under it, there is a door with a mirror on its front.
Two sahuagin and a shark swim in the pool when the heroes enter. The sahuagin attack the heroes and five kuo-toa use their nets and shields to attempt to restrain the intruders and take away their weapons. From the balcony, two sahuagin throw spears to the heroes below. Ibarin (mage) overlooks everything from the terrace (area 8) 30 feet above. The wizard uses the spell command to make the adventurers walk into the pool. If that doesn’t work, he casts hold person so the kuo-toa can them to the water instead.
If the heroes flee to either area 3 or 4, the sahuagin and the kuo-toa on the first floor chase them. The sahuagin on the balcony stand guard to attack them again if they come back. Ibarin stays on the terrace as long as he is safe. He retreats to area 7 if the heroes manage to reach him.
If the heroes defeat the sahuagin and the shark in the pool, another couple of sahuagin and a shark arrive from the tunnel 1d10 rounds later.
Mirror Door. Creatures within 15 feet of the door are affected by the mirror door’s magic. Those affected must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma save or become charmed. Charmed creatures are immobile from looking at their reflection in complete awe. They see their reflection as a horrid version of themselves.
The reflections attack their real counterparts by harming themselves. The heroes can see the injuries in the mirror happening to their real bodies. Each turn, charmed creatures take 2d8 psychic damage. A charmed creatures can repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn.
If an ally moves the target away from the mirror, the affected creatures have advantage on the next saving throw. If a creature’s saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to the mirror door’s magic for the next 24 hours. Ibarin and the aquatic creatures are immune to this magic.
Treasure. There is a silver key attached to one of the walls of the pool on a chain. This key opens the chest in area 10 without triggering the trap.
Ibarin has a small laboratory here. There are several flasks with colorful liquids on a table. A small shelf displays other containers with strange organs and strange ingredients. A detect magic spell reveals that four of the colored potions are magical. If any of the heroes drink a potion, roll 1d4 on the next table to determine the result.
|1||The creature grows fins and scales all over its body. It gains water breathing for the next 24 hours. However, it loses the ability to breathe air.|
|2||The creatures’ eyes turn dark and become three times as large. The creature gains darkvision of 120 ft. However, it also suffers from sunlight sensitivity. The effects end until a lesser restoration spell or similar is cast on the target.|
|3||The creatures’ hands and feet become webbed like a duck’s. The creature gains swimming speed of 30 feet. However, it cannot wear regular shoes or gloves any longer; it is too painful. The effects end until a lesser restoration spell or similar is cast on the target.|
|4||The creatures’ arms become tentacles. It cannot hold weapons but it can use its tentacles as a melee weapon and grapple its enemies with them. The effects end until a lesser restoration spell or similar is cast on the target.|
A successful DC 16 Intelligence check allows a character to identify what things from the laboratory can be sold as treasure.
Treasure. Some of the crystal containers and chemical tools are rare and hard to find. The heroes can obtain 532 gold pieces by selling them.
This area has a small cabinet with dried fruits and other long-term edibles. A small round table with two chairs leans to the south wall. A passive Perception score of 16 or higher reveals there are some notes written in pieces of paper hidden under some plates on the table. One of the notes says “A key attached to one of the walls of the pool… Ibarin, you’re such a genius”. It is evident the wizard wrote this himself; it is written in common. The other notes talk about his studies, the mutation potions in the laboratory, and his desire to know more about the kuo-toa’s head.
5. Dissected Head
The head of a kuo-toa lies immobile on a circular stone pedestal in the center of this circular room. Ibarin has meddled with this head too much. In his obsession to learn more about the kuo-toa and their people, he casts spell after spell on the head to know more about it. Ibarin threw so much magic at it that the head has become a sort of artifact, the beginning of a sentient being. The moment the heroes enter, the kuo-toa head messes with their minds and torments them. The heroes must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become confused as if affected by the confusion spell.
Ibarin keeps lots of books and ancient tomes about marine biology and the life of a sailor. There are three full shelves and a comfortable reading chair. A small rug lays at the feet of the stairs that take to area 7.
7. The Lost Ship
When the heroes come up the stairs, the first thing they see is their reflection in the elegant mirror on the west wall. It has a nice golden frame with copper and silver decorations. On the opposite side of the room, Ibarin placed the miniature lost ship of the seafarers. Besides the fact that the ship is not its normal size, it looks intact. The south door’s inner frame appears to be made of water. The water layer is translucent and it allows the heroes to see through to the other side. If the heroes cross the door through the layer of water to get to the other side, the door teleports them to the pool in area 2.
Ibarin avoids confrontation if the adventurers follow him here. He uses misty step to retreat to the terrace (area 8). He joins the sahuagin downstairs, if any, or waits for more to arrive.
Treasure. The large mirror on the wall can be sold for 350 gold pieces.
This half-moon terrace has an 18-foot-radius. If the heroes manage to climb up here from area 2, Ibarin retreats to area 7 with misty step. If the heroes cross the door and go through the layer of water to get to the other side, the door teleports them to the pool in area 2.
9. Ibarin’s Chamber
This room has a single bed, a wardrobe, and a small wooden chest. Ibarin only comes here to sleep. There aren’t any signs of activity in here. However, a passive Perception score of 14 or higher reveals there is a small steel box under the bed. It contains some of Ibarin’s most valued possessions.
Treasure. The box has a collection of shells that Ibarin has kept since he was a child, a letter from a woman, apparently his mom, and a leather pouch with three beautiful pearls (135 gp each).
10. Treasure Room
A mirror hangs from the door like the one in area 2. Heroes who were affected by the mirror door in area 2 aren’t affected by this one. Otherwise, the mirror functions in the same way. Inside the room, there is a single wooden chest. If the heroes don’t have the key to open it (retrieved from area 2), they might trigger the trap. A passive Perception score of 17 or higher reveals the chest has small holes on its lid. Casting light on the holes reveals a pointy sharp end.
Any creature that opens the chest by force or without the right key triggers the trap. Poison darts fly in a cone, affecting all creatures standing 10 feet from the chest. Affected creatures must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take 14 (4d6) poison damage and become poisoned for one hour.
Treasure. The chest contains 243 gold pieces, 1,315 silver pieces, a beautiful fur cloak with pewter clasps (55gp), an antique granite circlet (50gp), and a +1 dagger.
Once the heroes beat Ibarin and his clever tricks, he surrenders and begs for mercy. He promises to take the ship back to the sea and return it to its original size. He tells the heroes they can keep everything they found if they let him live and escape. Ibarin keeps his word if the heroes accept, and the mage leaves the Sea of the Thousand Winds forever. The Black-Tooth Seafarers celebrate at night with a large bonfire at the coast if the heroes return with their ship. They pay them and tell them the seafarers are their allies whenever they need them.
However, if the heroes kill Ibarin, they must find another way to bring the ship back. If they fail, Frailden and his men aren’t happy at all when they see them return empty-handed. Frailden tells them he’ll pay half what they agreed; the cost to rebuild a lost ship is on him after all.