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Yes, yes, this sounds like a SyFy Original Movie. But bear with me here.
The climax of Skull & Shackles involves going to war with the Chelaxian navy and (as I recall) a battle with the Hurricane King.
A couple sessions ago, while we were doing the earl stages of Plunder & Peril, my players nearly got TPKed by an elder nirento. This has left my players really, REALLY paranoid about trees that might try to kill them.
I flipped through the Pathfinder plant critters. If my players are going to be paranoid about trees, I want to play with that a little. Then I came across this fellow: The Bodythief. It is a tree devoted to order that eats people and turns them into pod people.
Which gave me an idea for a new Big Bad. What if I rechannel the AP so that the Big Bad is a bodythief, or a cabal of bodythiefs that want to bring order to the Shackles by wiping out piracy?
If I slap the Aquatic template on them, I have underwater trees, and they can have underwater pod-spawned critters as minions. (I imagine pad Adaros and such swimming around).
Might this work?
It became a running joke in my Skull and Shackles campaign that the true danger and the eventual bbeg would be a jellyfish. The party was nearly tpk'd by jellyfish monsters a couple of times. The joke was that the day they became the new rulers of the Shackles an army of jellyfish wearing above water breathing apparatuses would march on the lands of men and start a terrible war that would be the next stage of the campaign.
Personally I would avoid changing the scenario from a classic Pirate Tale to a Horror Story.
Roleplaying-vice I think greedy/power hungry humanoids are more fun as the main villain. They are easier to talk to and their goals are easier to comprehend. This will make roleplaying more fun and engaging in my experience.