On a peaceful ocean trip transporting cargo seven months ago, the noble Earl Mephis ignored the captain’s warnings to pulg his ears when sirens were spotted. “I’d sooner set her on the grill and squeeze some lemons over one of them than bed down with one of those fishy floozies.” were his last words above the waves. All thought he had perished untill recently when he was spotted by a albacore diver. The person spotted was presumed to be Earl Mephis, after all, how many men in noble dress does one see walking on the ocean floor?
Now the Earl’s family is theatening the mer-people who live in the waters where the Earl was spotted, demanding his release. The mer-people were quite surprised to learn that they had kidnapped him. Being the decent people they are, they avoid the sirens as much as land dwellers do nymphs and dryads, as the mer-people are no more immune to their songs than the land dwellers. The mer-people have asked for help from the local ports, but haven’t been able to find any sailors willing to sink deep beneath the waves with no sure way to get back.
The players are approached by a desperate mer-man with a proposal. He will supply them with a special seaweed that will allow them to breath underwater if they rescue the Earl. If the players succeed, they will have the gratitude of the mer-people and a nice chunk of treasure to boot.
Provided they agree and head off to rescue the Earl, they will even be led to the siren’s abode (lair) by a guide, a guide that swiftly departs after pointing the way. If the players enter, they will easily spot the Earl sleeping on a kelp bed with his back to them.
When they try to rouse him, they are in for a shock. As he turns around, they can see his shirt is open to allow room for his distended belly. Four fish tailed infants are visible in the translucent membrane that has formed on his abdomen. When questioned, the Earl is quite lucid and not the mindless thrall most charmed victims become. He explains that he has decided the land dwellers world hold little to delight him and he wishes to raise a family here with Aria, the siren. Sirens, like seahorses, have the males birth the young. If the Earl leaves the waters now, his children will be born two months premature with little hope of survival.
While the players are contemplating infantcide vrs genocide (didn’t forget the mer-people did you?), the siren comes home and is blocked from slaying the players by the Earl interposing his body in her way. After an heated argument, they look to the players for a solution that will spare the mer-people and thier own children.