Mysterious Places01/18/2005

Jungle of Lost Ships

Wild rumors describing a legendary graveyard of ships, their holds brimming with treasure are rife amongst adventurers, sailors, and idle gossips. One such rumor currently spreading throughout the taverns, taprooms and marketplaces of the Flanaess is gaining some credibility. It seems that such a place does indeed exist. Storytellers and rumormongers have dubbed it, "The Jungle of Lost Ships."

Reputed to lie many hundreds of leagues eastward, hidden somewhere within the trackless waters of the Solnor Ocean, this maritime graveyard is said to have ensnared many vessels.

Covering several square miles, the Jungle of Lost Ships is little more than a floating reef. Colloquially, it is named the "weed-sea." The weed-sea is an incredibly-dense patch of seaweed and ocean-borne debris. Sitting on a confluence of several vast, powerful,l and deep ocean currents, the entire mass slowly rotates. It is navigable at its fringes although a vessel’s crew must stay alert to keep their vessel free; pushing beyond the fringe, only ship’s boats have a good chance of remaining un-entangled. Towards the center, the weed-sea is very dense and no vessel is able to penetrate the interior.

Sahuagin, lizardmen, kelpies and kopoacinth have all been encountered here, as have a race of barbaric, half-mad humans thought to be survivors of ancient shipwrecks. The reef is also teaming with unintelligent life. Squids, octopus, sea-water crocodiles, sharks, barracudas, sea snakes and other vicious predators all cruise the waters below and around the weed-sea. Life also abounds on the reef itself. Birds, crustaceans, eels and weird and exotic plant life all thrive here.

CORS5-01 The Jungle of Lost Ships
By Creighton Broadhurst and Pieter Sleijpen
Hundreds of leagues to the east, hidden within the trackless wastes of the Solnor Ocean lies the mythical Jungle of Lost Ships. Thought to be nothing but a legend, proof of this fabled place recently surfaced within the Flanaess. Most startling of all, several of the hulks languishing within this graveyard have been identified as belonging to the legendary Lost Treasure Fleet of the Sea Princes. Will you join one of the expeditions attempting to reach the site? Will you be the first to set foot on vessels thought lost for centuries?

This event is a one-round core special event for APLs 2-16 premiering at Winter Fantasy. CORS5-01 The Jungle of Lost Ships will also appear at select regional conventions. The procedure for applying for this event is explained in the Expanded Premier Application article.

All details of the reef and its inhabitants are hearsay however, gleaned from oft-repeated accounts of previous expeditions espoused by drunken mariners deep in their cups. Exact and factual details are hard to come by.

Many of the derelict vessels are little more than rotting hulks. Others seem to have survived more or less intact. Chief amongst these are warships belonging to the Legendary Lost Treasure Fleet of the Sea Princes, identified by a sea captain lucky enough to escape the area. His whereabouts are currently unknown, although several groups are energetically searching for him. Many other ships are thought to be caught in the morass; some are reportedly of types not known in the Flanaess! One such vessel is reputed to be crafted entirely of metal and contains charts of unknown waters.

The veracity of these accounts is such that several nations are now readying expeditions to reclaim the treasure that undoubtedly lies forgotten and unclaimed in such a place. The United Kingdom of Ahlissa and the Kingdom of Keoland are just two of the powers preparing vessels, crews and provisions for such an undertaking. Both nations are seeking honest, brave and reliable guards to ward the questing vessels and their crews.

Rumours from the south also speak of the Scarlet Brotherhood’s preparations. Their vessels are seen slipping through the Tilva Straits at the dead of night on a course bound for the Solnor. Coupled with this are reports from several ports along the Azure of powerful adventurers mounting their own expeditions; obviously they intend to seize this treasure for their own.

Heightened Brotherhood activity in the Tilva Straits, characterized by extremely aggressive patrolling of that vital waterway gives credence to the view that the Brotherhood seeks to keep the Jungle of Lost Ships out of the reach of others. Their reasons are unknown. Perhaps they simply covet the vast wealth said to lie there, or perhaps they have a darker purpose, seeking something lost to the Flanaess for centuries.

Several sages have reported that old books detailing the maritime history of the Flanaess have disappeared from the libraries. Many of these books contained lists of lost vessels and the treasures they were reputed to carry. Others were little more than treatise on the Solnor Ocean, its currents and hazards. Both types of tomes would be of great use to any potential expedition.

It therefore seems that at least three powerful expeditions, not to mention the no-doubt hordes of adventures attracted by tales of the boundless treasure lost by the Sea Princes, will explore the reef in the coming months. What they find and the perils they face however remain a mystery to all but the Lady of Fate herself.

A Word on Motivation
Before this adventure begins, the PCs must determine by their groups employer. Several of the major ocean-going powers of the Flanaess have prepared expeditions to the weed-sea. They have readied expeditions with the direct goal of stymieing the Brotherhood’s scheme (and of course recovering the treasure). The PCs have the option of working for one of the following powers:

  • United Kingdom of Ahlissa
  • Kingdom of Keoland

In addition, it is possible that some PCs may own their own ships and may wish to use tehm to reach the weed-sea. Whichever choice they make, they must inform the GM who will note their decision in the Campaign Consequences.

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