There’s An Adventure In That: The Mermaid’s Curse

I listen to a lot of music. A lot. Where some people like to have the television on for background noise, I prefer to have music playing. I’ve found it helps to focus my attention to the current task at hand without distracting me. As such, I often run across songs that inspire me to various gaming related feats, and sometimes there’s an adventure just waiting to be pulled out of the lyrics. And so I gift them to you GMs of the Gamer Nation – the seeds of adventures just waiting to be taken and adapted to your games. 

Legend has it that those poor souls who see a mermaid are cursed to end their days at the bottom of the sea. And of course, as luck would have it, your party is on a ship to another port of call when a mermaid is spied a short distance away. After some rumination on this ill omen, the journey continues. As evening falls, a storm, seemingly from out of nowhere strikes the ship. Winds tear at the sails as waves pound the ship. The sailors (and the PCs) valiantly fight against the weather, but it proves to be too much. The mast splits, the hull cracks, and the briny waters rush in to flood the lower compartments, dragging the ship and it’s crew to the bottom of the sea.

The PCs slowly regain consciousness, finding themselves in an undersea cavern, inexplicably able to breathe and speak. As they explore the cavern they find treasure scattered about from various lost ships (maybe even finding something useful in their new environment) when they are attacked by a group of nasty undersea dwellers that arrive from a side tunnel in one of the caverns. After the battle, they see the same mermaid they saw at the start of their journey swimming deeper into the cavern. If there’s anyone that can provide some answers to their questions, it would probably be her.

What secrets does the mermaid’s curse hold? Only the brave deserve to find out the truth.

But travel through an undersea cavern is no easy feat, especially for those that have lived their entire lives on dry land. Some of the dangers are similar – oceanic predators and other attackers, while some are entirely foreign, such as having to pass through a tunnel intersection with a strong and dangerous crosscurrent.

As they get deeper into the cavern, they find the mermaid just a few steps ahead, disappearing around a corner or slipping into another tunnel, drawing them deeper and deeper in. What does the mermaid’s curse hold for these heroes in a strange land? Is she leading them towards certain doom and merely toying with them? Or does she need them for some yet unknown purpose? And if they survive, will they be able to go back home? Well, that all depends on where you decide to take the adventure as a GM.

The song this adventure seed is taken from is The Mermaid. Here you can see it performed by Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy.

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