We couldn’t decide on one or the other, so you get two encounters for the price of one in this post (still free).
My Ships Don’t Lie
An old mariner nicknamed The He-wolf (for his lycanthropy ailment, real name Teef) finds the party and lets them know about a terrible vision he’s had. His face is gnarled from years of transforming back and forth between his human and wolf shape and he has fisherman’s scars all over.
Teef has been watching the coast for over 10 years since retiring from his duties as captain of the “El Jefe,” a ship used primarily as a fishing vessel. In its later years, Teef used his boat as a way to smuggle in goods to the town. When he was caught he decided to give up his life at sea, spending time instead watching the waves as a volunteer lookout.
Lately he noticed that one out of every ten ships did not return along its expected route. He was only slightly concerned by this until one day, when the “Try Everything” was ripped straight out of the sea. He describes it in detail to the party as, “there one minute, gone the next!”
If the party decides to help investigate, Teef will loan them El Jefe so they can take the boat out to the very spot of Try Everything’s disappearance.
Once there, they could find anything from this d6 table:
- A juvenile kraken searching for food (is only taking out ships hauling mutton, and meat of any variety)
- A team of sirens working on their synchronized swimming routine. They kick in unison at a certain point in the routine and have accidentally kicked a few dozen ships hulls. Their forceful legs from years of training shatter the hull, collapsing the vessel into the depths.
- An angry band of 2d8 Sea Lions who are just trying to get some sleep on the nearby rocky outcroppings but some of the ships hold sailors singing sea shanties. They take offense to the off-key singing and ram the boats until they go down.
- If you’re playing The Ghosts of Saltmarsh, this could be the first time the party comes upon the Maw of Sekolah, a two-headed shark and the physical manifestation of a hungry Sahuagin god. Basically this storyline would be something similar to Meg and Meg 2.
- A pleasant group of Locathah are trying to evangelize the one true fish god, but when enrollments are low, they take to submerging ships in efforts to scare the non-believers into believing
- Teef himself is a Fathomer (Ghosts of Saltmarsh cultist who sealed a pact with Olhydra, elemental Princess of Evil Water) and has used this ask for help to finally get rid of the party once and for all. Whether the party brings him or not on the El Jefe won’t matter, Teef will attempt to rid the Realm of the party.
My Hipps Don’t Lie
The party is interrupted by a man named Wide Cleft John, the head of an espionage ring in the city. He requests the party’s assistance after getting word from one of his Hippogriffs (which he calls Hipps) that a string of murders in the city (including one of the Hipps) can be tied back to a female werewolf, or a She-Wolf, as Wide Cleft notes.
Throughout the conversation, the Hipps will be overly truthful, giving the DM a chance to lean into brutal honesty about the look of the party, good or bad things they do, with no filter.
If they help the Hippogriffs, they will run into several potential She-Wolf suspects:
- Sh’a Keera – A female tabaxi owner of an undergarment store called “Just Butt Stuff” that has been acting suspicious lately. In reality a new fabric she started using is causing her to sneeze as she is severely allergic. Her face has swelled up quite a bit as well, leading folks to believe she is slowly turning
- Bridgette Toofhar – An out-of-town architect contracted to fix the main stone bridge that exits the city. The Loxodon bridge expert spends her nights doing hard math in her inn room, but the innkeeper insists that he hears awful transformation noises coming from her room. In reality it is just Bridgette getting mad about the shoddy design that left the bridge in this shape.
- Linda Lombster – A Kua-toa woman that runs a seafood stall in town. The stench of her wares managed to cover the scent of her fishy transformation into a werewolf for some time, but the fish-wolf hybrid is beginning to get reckless. She is angered by the townsfolk that say her stall is too fishy, causing her to lash out. It started as an accident, but over time she found she couldn’t help herself. With business not doing well regardless, she would stalk anyone that passed by with a negative comment, transforming into the hideous fish-beast and unaliving them.
The party is welcome to bring one of the Hipps with them as they investigate, who will continue to be overly truthful, leaning into how fishy some of the crime scenes smell, and generally giving clues so the party dips toward Linda as the primary suspect.