Sea of Blood (1997)

The climactic chapter of the Monstrous Arcana sahuagin trilogy is Sea of Blood (1997). It is better than the previous chapter, but is still marred by questionable design choices. Like the fact that the NPC who guides the party to the sahuagin city betrays the players, leading to their imprisonment. At which point they are sort of rescued by a faction of sahuagin who oppose the suspicious schemes of their king, in a manner reminiscent of Vault of the Drow. A lot of the adventure is designed to be a sandbox, so these narrative shackles feel particularly strange.

There’s a lot of Lovecraftian stage dressing, which culminates in the big reveal that the sahuagin were created when an elder species of elves experimented on a weird kind of fish monsters. Plot twist: elves are assholes!

At least there is lots of Arnie Swekel art?

Oh, worth noting that while still technically a generic setting, this trio of adventures is less generic than the beholders, as it is set in the same world as Gates of Firestorm Peak and other Bruce Cordell adventures, a place called Neverness. That world never became a fully fledged branded campaign setting, but its locations and lore were nevertheless naturally developed across a number of products.

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