Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Quick Adventure Inspiration - Mellicent's Mermaid Manor

Off the coast there exists a small, beautifully landscaped island. Attached to the island is what appears to be a small castle, connected by a bridge. This castle is not all it appears to be.

Hundreds of years ago, a mermaid by the name of Mellicent grew skeptical of the longstanding discrimination that went back and forth between her people, the merfolk, and the surface dwellers. She was amazed by all of the ingenuity the land-people showed through their numerous inventions.

Looking from the water she should see tall, beautiful castles built upon the land. Passing sailors would talk about their wondrous parties, and social gatherings. How enemies could lay down their differences to attend a wedding in one of these castles, and the once warring families could become one. Mellicent, paying in pearls she scavenged from the ocean, hired a great human architect to help her design a castle sitting inside of the ocean, but connected to the land.

The castle itself descends far beneath what is visible above the water. The lower levels are submerged in water, with an entrance near to the sea floor for merfolk to enter. Living quarters for all shapes and sizes of surface and water species exist throughout the castle.

The goal of this castle was to serve as a meeting point between the alien cultures, hopefully fostering a new age of peace between the land and the water. Many were opposed to Mellicent's ideas. The merfolk were frightened by the large ships, and the men with harpoons aboard them. The humans were frightened by myths and legends of mermaids beckoning sailors peacefully, tricking the ships into crashing upon hidden rocks or shallow waters. Throughout this there were still a precious few on both sides who saw through the discrimination and fought for peace.

The noble goals of Mellicent, sadly, were not enough. The night of the first big ball, designed to start peaceful negotiations, was a disaster. A human named Bered Thaull hired a group of mercenary wizards to attend the party as his entourage. Bered's father had died years before when his boat came upon dangerous rocks. Since his father was a skilled sailor, merfolk trickery was suspected. Bered waited until late in the night, and then had his mages evaporate the water in the castle. They sealed the water, and captured the merfolk for scientific research, who were helpless out of the water.

Now the castle is filled with the descendants of Bered Thaull. They have become the leaders of this bay, and the island off of the coast. The Thaulls have had a hard time living in this castle. Although they have long forgotten the history of the castle, the merfolk have not. Whenever fishing boats are sent out, few of them return, having been attacked by the denizens of the sea. This has caused even more hatred between the two races. Lack of food and money have caused the Thaulls to believe merfolk are an evil race. All of them except for one, a teenage girl named Mellicent. Perhaps by fate, random chance, or divine intervention, the daughter of the Thaulls has the same name as the castle's old owner.

The human Mellicent has been paying attention to the old runes on the walls of the lower levels. She has found sealed doors and strangely shaped rooms, and started asking questions that no one can answer. When a group of adventurers visits the castle looking for work, she secretly asks them to investigate, not trusting her family's discrimination of the merfolk. If she learns the truth, she will need help to join the two peoples, and anyone who helps her would likely find an alliance between the two to be very profitable, being able to put themselves in the trade deals, as well as the lives they will have saved.

Much later, it is discovered that some of the merfolk captured on the tragic night hundreds of years ago have been experimented on and kept alive in the furthest reaches of the lower levels of the castle. A level far below the sea level, that few knew existed. The mage college that mages belonged to have had a secret arrangement with some of the Thaulls, experimenting on the merfolk, posing as servants as they make their way down there. Mellicent is still alive, and although many of the merfolk have become deranged and angry, she still wants to make peace.

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