Ravenser Odd was a prosperous port town in Yorkshire, England, during the medieval period. It was founded in 1235 at the mouth of an estuary before being submerged by a storm in 1362.
Drawing comparisons to Atlantis, the town was large enough to send two members to parliament.
Scientists hope to find the town’s location using high-resolution sonar then investigate further with an archaeological expedition. They can use the information to highlight the threat of coastal erosion in today’s cities near the water.
Turning this into a story, what if we tell two parallel tales: one about the expedition and one about the inhabitants of the doomed town? Similar to Titanic, but without the connection of Rose, who was both in the past and the present.
The story starts in the past. There, a young man is running for parliament against an entrenched incumbent. He has his eye on a young woman but believes he doesn’t have a chance at her hand in marriage because of her wealthy father.
The next chapter is about the scientist’s goal of finding the lost town. He’s married with children but struggling; he hopes the discovery helps propel his stagnant career.
Through alternating chapters, we see the young man campaigning throughout the town while facing pressure from wealthy members of society. He also meets the young woman he’s fascinated with, and she helps convince her father, who becomes the bedrock in his corner.
Back in modern times, the scientist faces funding pressure and a lack of academic support. He navigates a woman falling for him and trying for an affair, which he rejects—similar to Leonardo de Caprio’s character in Don’t Look Up.
The young man waits anxiously for the final vote; it’s the same night as the catastrophic storm. As the rains fall, everyone abandons the town.
The scientist finally locates the town, and a team of archaeologists descends. They uncover a sealed box of ballots. It turns out the young man won the election all those years ago. Moreover, the young man is related to the scientist; he’s one of his distant ancestors.
The young man goes to another town with the young woman and her father. They become engaged, and he gets elected to parliament.