The Bottomless Sea
Explore the World of Song of Sins
A domain of the Land of Sins, this is where envy goes to fester. The Bottomless Sea is ruled by Irinia, the Green-Eyed Mistress of Envy, and some might expect a treasure trove of luxury to be amassed by this covetous Ruling Sin, but her realm is one of emptiness. An immense ocean plagued by the reeling of titanic waves and endless tempests, the Bottomless Sea captures any sailor unlucky enough to get Irinia’s attention.
Like the other Domains, once you are inside there is no hope of finding land again… At least no one has been able to achieve this feat. A soul locked inside this plane will have to contend with the unrestful sea trying to claim them, the yearning of phantoms, and the presence of a Monstrous Sea Serpent that has made these waters its home.
A Day in the Bottomless
The Bottomless Sea is a powerful ocean with no land in any part of it – or at least, no real land. The waters are ever-changing and dangerous, often posing a real challenge for sailors, especially if they have drawn Irinia’s attention. She has the power to control the waters and if her eyes take interest in what you have, you will suffer until you lose it.
The Echoes of the Sea
Although it might feel like a barren landscape at first, the Bottomless is inhabited by several creatures. The most common inhabitants are the ghosts of those who have perished on these waters, the echos of the seas. These ghosts are not bound by the physical restraints of the living and may cross the waters aboard the memories of long sunken vessels.
You will also have the misfortune of meeting the many monstrous creatures that make the waves their home, be it the Abyssal Merfolk, Walking Reefs, or other creatures of the seas.
Finally, the most infrequent of its inhabitants are the living creatures brought here from the mortal realms. Rarely will they have been here for longer than a few months and it’s likely that the majority of their crew would’ve already perished. They all travel in the vessels they arrived in and have learned to distrust anyone they meet.
You can use the following lists to create NPC names on the fly.
Female Names. Adda, Antoanette, Bianca, Celine, Cerise, Clasina, Dores, Gertruida, Helene, Hilma, Ines, Joanne, Laiana, Lenoor, Magda, Marte, Odette, Rika, Sanne, Serafina, Telma, Victoria.
Male Names. Alejandro, Algustin, Alphonse, Ambroise, Bartol, Blaise, Clause, Hannes, Henk, Hermes, Igge, Jeroen, Ludovic, Marcellin, Odilon, Petrus, Rafael, Ramiro, Ramon, Rudolf, Tomaz, Valentin, Vasco, Wilhelmus, Xavier.
Last Names. Dominguez, Dubois, Durand, Espinoza, Gies, Groote, Guerra, Hofstra, Janssen, Lefebre, Martinez, Moreau, Nieto, Roux, Smit, Van Tarp, Vink.Nicknames. Ash Maps, Blue Fingers, Golden Devil, Green Copper, Mad Dog, Ol’Beast, Salty Eye, Sea Maiden, Silver Tongue, Soft Hands, Thirsty Rat, Ugly Fish, Wee Liar, Yellow Patches.
Sailing the Bottomless
The following section will cover the main features of the Bottomless Sea and the rules for sailing and exploring it.
We have chosen to portray the Bottomless Sea as a hexcrawl, a map made up of hexes that lends itself to a type of adventure where the players lead the exploration. They choose where to go and where to explore, being free to go anywhere on the map.
Hexes. Each hex is 24 miles across and is completely composed of the dark bottomless ocean unless stated otherwise.
Bottomless. As its name suggests this ocean has no bottom, it just keeps going deeper and deeper until the darkness of the water devours any light. This means that any non-location hex has an infinite depth, while other underwater locations have structures that keep such places afloat. Unless stated, locations in the Marks of Envy have no bottom. All location hexes in the Ruins of Rivenia are supported by a non-linear mass of coral that keeps them in place, at a depth of 500 feet. All hexes in the Serpent’s path go along a ridge made of coral and are 500 feet deep.
Visibility. Although this is the open seas, the visibility of this environment is limited by weather, fog, and a magical effect that allows the waters to absorb any light. Under normal conditions, any character is only able to see up to 6 miles around (meaning the hex you are on and the border of adjacent hexes).
Of Ships and the Sea
Since this is an adventuring location set completely in the sea, we assume you will be using the 5e Unearthed Arcana “Of Ships and the Sea” which can be found for free on the Wizards of the Coasts website. We will be referring to the rules of Crew Quality, Hazard Checks, and Ship Statblocks can all be found in that supplement so you should get acquainted with those rules before running an adventure in the Bottomless Sea.
Player Characters. This is a location that involves quite a bit of underwater exploration, if a group doesn’t have a way to breathe underwater they will have a hard time exploring some of the locations of the Bottomless Sea. If none of your characters is able to do so however, consider having them meet the Mourning Castaway and grant them the Castaway’s Boon (See delve 5 under Adventuring Locations) as soon as they enter the Bottomless Sea.
Weather in the Bottomless
The weather here is extremely unpredictable and changes constantly. To determine the condition of the weather, you must roll on the Weather in the Bottomless table once per adventuring day, once you sail to a different region than the one you are in, or any time you do something that attracts Irinia’s attention to your vessel. The weather rolled will be the weather for every hex you visit during that adventuring day unless something triggers a change, but events that happen due to a roll only occur a single time.
|2d6||Weather in the Bottomless|
|2||Fog surrounds your vessel, giving you visions of a desired location. Reveal one location on the map.|
|3-5||The sea is peaceful, and the wind is in your favor. Your vessel can move one extra hex during this adventuring day.|
|6-10||The waves and wind pull you towards Irinia. Your vessel may move one extra hex during this adventuring day if you are going towards her lair.|
|11||A tempest hits you, rogue waves fighting to capsize your vessel. Make a Hazard Check and move into a random hex next to you.|
|12+||Pouring rain hits the deck as your ship draws Irinia’s full attention. The crew loses 2 quality and each player character makes a DC 17 Charisma saving throw or becomes charmed by Irinia for 1d6 rounds. While charmed, a creature becomes hostile to anyone else, knowing others wish for what is theirs. For as long as they are charmed, they can move but can take only the dash action or make a weapon attack on their turn.|
“Gather ye, seadogs! Yet ye be sunken.”
The X on the map marks the spot for this location. This is where the Death Whisper broke the barrier between the planes and entered the Bottomless Seas. In this part of the sea, there is a colossal maelstrom that is swirling against its normal course, expelling anything that comes close to it and trapping it in the outer rim of its current, which throws everything back into the whirlpool.
Escaping the Breach. A ship that is trying to escape the current of the whirlpool must make a Hazard Check with a decreased threshold of 45 (this shouldn’t be an especially difficult task).
Marks of Envy
“The waters where envy goes to fester”
The Marks of Envy is a stretch of ocean with pearl dark green waters and a feel to it that is immediately unnatural to any living creature that enters it. No matter what you do or where you go, you feel like you are being watched. This is the largest region of the Bottomless Sea and where Irinia’s power is the strongest. Here not much escapes the purview of Irinia, since her eyes are everywhere, be it the ghosts of the sea who are all secretly under her control, the abyssal merrow that compose her guard, or her magic that is carried by the waves.
Threats. In this location, one will be able to find ghosts belonging to the Pirate’s Sunken Grove, Abyssal Merrow (CR 6) in small hunting groups, and Drowning Horrors (CR 9) either in small groups or alone. If you’d like to build a random encounter with these creatures, it should be made up of a number of any of them whose summed CR is equal to one-third of the sum of the party’s levels.
“The mark of adventure”
A delve is a location of danger, adventure, or reward. The positioning of each delve is determined randomly (by rolling 1d6) or chosen by the Dungeon Master. There are six possible Delves to be found within the Marks of Envy:
1 – Pirate’s Sunken Grove
“A point of respite and of mourning.”
Throughout the ages, thousands of crews and their ships have been bested by the Bottomless Sea, their remains carried away by the currents. Here is where those currents eventually spat them out, a ship graveyard of uncountable vessels piled one atop each other floating in the ocean. The Sunken Grove is inhabited by the spirits of those dead pirates and sailors, some still retain their memories and minds, while others have lost themselves through the years. These echoes are generally not aggressive and report everything they see to Irinia. A ship can find a place to stop here and will be met by Amelia Soothwave when they arrive. Here they should be able to find a safe place to stay and information about the Bottomless Sea from Amelia Soothwave (NE female ghost), the echo of an elderly woman who used to be the First Mate of The Silver Storm. If Irinia is actively punishing them, the ghosts, led by Amelia will urge them to leave immediately, if they don’t the seas drag the whole grove underwater.
Amelia Soothwave. Amelia has been on the Bottomless Sea for a long time and has sailed all over it while she was still alive. She can inform the Players of any Delve location, but if she is pushed (DC 15 Persuasion or Deception check or DC 20 Intimidation Check) she will give them the following information:
- The Monstrous Sea Serpent is a powerful creature made from her captain’s soul and it is under Irinia’s control, if they hope to defeat her, they should take the serpent down first.
- They can discover the current location of Irina’s Lair by visiting the Surfacing Statue, the location of which she will divulge). She enchanted that statue long ago and it will show them what they need to know.
- If they find the Memorie’s Haze it will tell them much, but they shouldn’t fall for its call, other they will be lost forever.
Carousing in the Grove. The players and crew are invited by a pair of twin ghosts, Johan (CN male ghost) and Steva (CN female ghost) for a night of partying and carousing around the pantries of the sunken ships. Other ghosts join them in this partying, but none of them partake in the drinking since they are unable to do so. As a part of this pub crawl, every member of the party is able to perform the activity Raise Morale even if they aren’t the First Mate. If the crew’s quality score is over 3 it automatically is raised by 1.
2 – Fishman’s Ambush
“It’s a trap!”
Deep under this location, is the home of a cluster of rogue Abyssal Merrows that left Irinia’s guard to try to fend for themselves. The murky waters of the Bottomless obscure the underwater huts that these people live in and store humanoid flesh for consumption, the huts are kept in place by trapped air bubbles. The merrow are incredible hunters and they have grown used to employing ambushing tactics above their homes to lure in sailors to serve as food. A ship sailing these waters will only be able to see various parts of destroyed vessels floating, gold and silver presented expertly on top of them, luring unsuspecting sailors into a trap. If the characters somehow manage to convince these resentful creatures they are an overwhelming treat but don’t wish to fight, the merrow will bring items they have plundered to trade (they sell one common item under 50gp found in the Player’s Handbook, although they are heavily waterlogged and in disrepair).
Encounter. When one or more characters leave the boat to inspect the gold laid on the ships, 3 Abyssal Merrow (CR 6) will rise from the waters and attack them. They leave as soon as they have killed or captured at least 2 creatures or when they are reduced to half their numbers. The treasure on the wreckage is equivalent to 300 gp.
3 – Great Pearl’s Dive
“The most valuable pearl and it’s not Irinia’s”
The light of a beautiful pearl shines deep under the currents of the sea. This is a priceless gem that was formed by the gathering of envious energy on one of the giant oysters that inhabit a lonely underwater ravine. Unbeknownst to most the ravine is a gigantic oyster that floats in the sea. Many have tried to retrieve it, but none have succeeded due to the ravine’s treacherous nature. Irinia knows of this gem and longs for it, but the magic gathered here impedes her from obtaining the pearl. If someone gets the pearl for themselves they will feel the Ruling Sin’s wrath, and a vessel rolls on the Weather in the Bottomless table with a +2 until its crew gets rid of the gem. If Irinia ever gets a hold of it, the pearl will melt and be destroyed, she will be content with the result.
Acquiring the Pearl. The heavy currents, rugged stone edges, and tight passages pose a real challenge to players, the gem is 200 feet under the water, and getting to it requires a skill challenge. The group of players must succeed three non-successive DC 15 skill checks to get to the pearl, the players will propose the skills they deem useful for the situation (that can’t be repeated by them or other players), and the GM will determine how effective they are (choosing if they roll normally, with advantage or disadvantage depending on the skill). Leaving the place is a far easier task, requiring a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. Failing either check will result in 22 (4d10) slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning damage to whoever failed the check.
4 – Heartgaze Isles
“You’ve fallen for the call of the Heartgaze, eh?”
The only vision of dry land in all of the Bottomless, the Heartgaze Isles are a sight of temptation. At the distance, a paradisiacal archipelago can be seen, it inspires wanderlust in the hearts of all who lay eyes upon it. The isles will feel like a safe location and will mirror the deepest desires of those who see them, but they are an illusion made to lure in desperate sailors and destroy them and their vessels with a gigantic magical wave.
Approaching the Heartgaze. If the players in this hex choose to go after the Heartgaze isles, they will meet with a gigantic wave on their path and only see the islands getting further away. Make an unmodified Hazard check, if the players succeed they find themselves where they had left off, not any closer to the isles. If the players choose not to pursue the Heargaze the first time they reach it, they must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check or lose 1 Crew Quality.
5 – Castaway’s Stream
“A friendly face rolls up in the ocean.”
In the middle of the ocean, a scraggly ghost sails the waters on his phantom raft, this is the Mourning Castaway, a familiar face to those who sail the Bottomless. The Mourning Castaway is a goodhearted individual who seems to be the only one attempting to preserve life here. He will try to help the players in any way he can, and even though he has almost no resources, he will willingly give them all the information he knows. The Mourning Castaway can be controlled by Irinia at her will, but he doesn’t know that, believing he is a free spirit. Every nightfall he will report to Irinia anything he sees and not remember doing so.Castaway’s Boon. The Mourning Castaway has been here for longer than almost any other spirit and he understands the workings of the sea. He will grant a boon to a single character who shows him they are willing to go against Irinia. A character with his boon will be able to cast Water Breathing as a ritual once per long rest. His boon lasts until he chooses to take it away or is destroyed.
6 – Medusas’ Bloom
“A beautiful display, a terrible death”
Under the water, hundreds of colorful lights glitter, filling the heart of all who see them with jealousy as they flaunt their beauty on the face of such a terrible place. All Player Characters present must succeed a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or become charmed until the end of their next turn, while charmed this way their only wish is to jump in the water and put an end to this beauty. Creatures that can’t see or hear the event are not charmed.Encounter. If a creature jumps in the water 2 Drowning Horrors (CR 9) attempt to drown them in the water. The Drowning Horrors will not climb onto the ship and leave if they have no living targets or reach half their hit points (75 hp).
“Beware the leviathan of these waters.”
This is the path carved by the Monstruous Sea Serpent in the Bottomless Sea. This creature was created by Irinia when a captain and prodigious hunter of sea creatures managed to destroy one of her tails. The tail, together with this captain’s soul, was made into this Gargantuan creature, a beast that retained the captain’s hunting instincts together with the Ruling Sin’s powers. Now, the Monstruous Sea Serpent has taken this part of the ocean, marked by a long stretch of coral reef, as its hunting ground and longs to destroy everything on its path.Threats. Not much survives in this location. here you will only be able to find the powerful predators that swim in these waters, like the Monstrous Sea Serpent (CR 15) and the Ghostly Hammerhead (CR 13). Occasionally Walking Reef (CR 10) will also grow out of the coral ridge. If you are going to make random encounters in this area be careful to add only one of these creatures and allow the players a way to escape combat.
Blighted Sharks’ Ridge
“Death and decay follow its path”
The stench of this location wafts up from the maroon colored waters, indicating the presence of blood. Underwater is a sanctuary built on top of floating coral formations to host Irinia’s beloved sharks, but since her favorite between them was brutally killed it hasn’t been the same.
Now this place serves as a hunting ground for the Monstruous Sea Serpent and is haunted by the ghost of Irinia’s Albino Hammerhead.
Encounter. Anyone crossing these waters must roll a d20, on a roll between 15-20 they find the Monstrous Sea Serpent (CR 15) and the Ghostly Hammerhead (CR 13) fighting each other. If these creatures notice a vessel approach they stop fighting and attack the vessel. If the vessel attempts to flee they go back to fighting each other.
“It comes to slumber at Devil’s Gap”
The bloody ocean gives way to a descent into the tail end of the great underwater coral reef the Monstrous Sea Serpent inhabits, this location is its lair. The Devil’s Gap is a cave inside the reef, it is known by the ghosts of the sea as a place to be avoided unless you are seeking a quick death.
This cave is also the place where the Serpent hoards its prizes, all things taken from its kill, be it their decomposing remains or the treasures that sunken ships leave behind.
Encounter. If you dive into the cave you will find the Monstrous Sea Serpent (CR 15), or it will find you first. While in its lair the Serpent is camouflaged against the cave’s walls, the party must make a DC 18 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice it on the walls. If it’s not noticed, it waits for the moment the interlopers are separated to attack.Treasure. The cave holds a trove that amounts to 60 pp, 1500 gp, and 4500 sp, it also has 5 red garnets worth 50 gp, 4 pearls worth 80 gp, and one diamond worth 1000 gp. Amongst the treasures, there are also the following magic items: a Necklace of Adaptation and a + 1 Rapier.
Ruins of Rivenia
“Irinia’s greatest evil, displayed for all to see.”
The ruins of the sunken city are dispersed all around this location. Above water, not much can be seen from the city of Rivenia, but underwater the pieces of the marbled city floating in the sea can often be found, held aloft by magical coral formations. This was a great underwater metropolis ages ago but was destroyed by Irinia and her forces. What is left of it has only been kept from sinking into the darkness of the Bottomless by Irinia’s magical powers.
Threats. In this location, you will be able to find any number of ghosts controlled by Irinia both above and underwater. Walking Reefs (CR 10) may be found underwater anywhere there is a coral formation and both Abyssal Merrow (CR 6) and Abyssal Merrow Chief (CR 9) can be found protecting places that are important to Irinia. If you’d like to build a random encounter with these creatures, it should be made up of a number of any of them whose summed CR is equal to one-third of the sum of your party’s levels.
“A statue stands above the sea.”
Resting above the sea, held up by a coral formation, is a marble statue depicting Irinia, Green-Eyed Mistress of Envy. It has been weathered by time and looks like it would topple with the slightest touch, the statue is, in fact, held up by magic.
It was raised from the underwater city of Rivenia at the time of Irinia’s conquest and later enchanted by Amelia Soothwave, the first mate of The Silver Storm.
Touching the Statue. A person touching the statue can harness its power to cast scrying targeting Irinia. If the scrying is successful it also reveals Irinia’s current location. Once the statue is used it cannot be used again until the next dawn. If the statue is removed from this location it crumbles and is no longer magical.
“The haze rises to reveal… memories.”
A thick bluish-green mist coats the waters, the further one goes inside, the higher the mists rise. This location is the magical manifestation of Irinia’s greatest objects of envy, and many a sailor has crossed this fog never to be seen again, preferring to be lost in the past than to try to survive in the Bottomless Sea.
Irinia comes here sometimes, to remind herself of her long-lost former life, if the players find her here she will not attack them until attacked, giving them a chance to talk with her.
Memories of the Past. Going into the fog reveals various motes of light in the shapes of bubbles. If you stare into them you see memories of a dead past. You’ll see Rivenia in its full glory, and hear the beautiful voice of Marea before her sister killed her. If a player is watching a memory it will beckon to them, gently asking if they would like to die and leave the Bottomless Seas, if they agree, their character vanishes never to be seen again.
Heart of Rivenia
“Corals gather to keep aloft a city of beauty, fallen.”The city of Rivenia was once a great place, but now it rests dead in the water. The remains of the city are 1000 feet under the water and are kept from sinking deeper down by a coral reef created by Irinia. No one other than Irinia and the mists of Memorie’s Haze know the true location of Rivenia.
Here people can find the last pieces of Irinia’s story, carved on the walls of the old palace, they discover Irinia and Marea’s story, how Irinia became a Ruling sin, and learn about the artifact that can let them escape the Bottomless Sea located in Irinia’s treasury.
Encounter. While crossing the Rivenia streets, the players may come across one of two encounters (both can be deadly depending on your party, be sure to communicate that):
- Two Walking Reefs (CR 10) who are patrolling the streets and attack on sight.
- Four Abyssal Merrow (CR 6) are protecting a location under Irinia’s orders, they attack anyone trying to get inside.
“A melodious tune bursts from the bubbles.”
Bubbles rise from under the sea, and they carry with them a beautiful song. The voice that is singing is that of Marea, Irinia’s sister whom she killed. Marea speaks to anyone who would listen to her, urging them to fight and kill Irinia so that they may leave the Bottomless Seas. The voice is lying, however.
This is the place where ages ago Irinia came to learn her dark powers and the voice who is singing is the very one that gave her magical gifts. It has a shard of Marea’s musical talents and uses it to direct sailors into their certain doom. Irinia knows nothing about this location, if she ever comes here, the voice will remain silent and the music stops.
“The Ruling Sin’s throne.”
A living creature that approaches this location will sense its dark presence much before it understands what it is. The feeling of being watched that is everpresent all throughout the Marks of Envy region is heightened the closer one gets to Irinia’s throne room.
From here she controls her foul army and scryes over the whole of her domain. Laying atop a gigantic coral formation, her castle is a sight to behold, it was constructed using broken-off pieces of Rivenian buildings. Inside, she and her elite guard of Abyssal Merrow watch over the Bottomless.
Meeting Irinia. If the players have not gotten on Irinia’s bad side yet and wish to meet her, they will be brought to her throne room. Here she will explain their predicament and toy with them until she gets tired and orders them to leave. When they leave she will send a troop of her Abyssal Merrow to test their skills. The troop is made up of 1 Abyssal Merrow Chief (CR 9) and 2 Abyssal Merrow (CR 6). They fight them until the chief or half their number is killed. They were ordered to not kill the players.
Encounter. As they are approaching this location, the players should understand that it is a dangerous place. If they have come here to face Irinia and she sees them as a threat, she will not hold back. First, they will face her honor guard, 2 Abyssal Merrow Chief (CR 9), in the castle’s main hall. Then they will fight Irinia, Green-Eyed Mistress (CR 16) in her throne room, if the Monstrous Sea Serpent (CR 13) hasn’t been destroyed until now, it also joins the fight.
Treasure. Irinia’s treasure room is a hidden fortified room located behind her throne room. All of her treasure is cursed, and anyone who steals a single piece of her treasure while Irinia is still alive will feel the Ruling Sin’s wrath. A vessel rolls on the Weather in the Bottomless table with a +4 until they get rid of all cursed treasure. Amongst the treasures, there are also the following magic items: a Sentient Shield and an Instrument of the Bard (Doss Lute). The trove also holds a beautiful green gem called the Voice of Marea, if this artifact is destroyed, Irinia can no longer sing like her sister and the group who destroyed it is able to leave the Bottomless Sea (if you are playing the next bundle in Loot’s Song of Sins season, this is a Carnival Ticket instead and will take you to the next domain of sin).
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