The Blue Nixie
Lavinia Vanderboren had asked the party to recover her ship The Blue Nixie - currently impounded by the harbourmaster for 'unpaid' mooring fees - and find her father's signet ring, hidden on board. The party approached the harbourmaster, a sickly old man named Keltar Islaran, who directed them to a Soller Vark, who was currently responsible for affairs concerning the ship. He gave them a letter of introduction when he understood the party were interested in purchasing the ship. Approaching the Blue Nixie, the guards were reluctant to let them on board, but relented with the letter and called Soller Vark to meet with them. Soller was abrupt, stating that he was interested in selling or having the party on the ship, until tomorrow. The party could hear sounds of animals in the cargo hold. Soller had been appraising the party and thinking they had money, gave the nod for the guards to take them, down. During the fight, as Soller became injured, he shouted into the hold ‘Burn them!’, and smoke was visible coming from below. Investigating further, the party found the hold full of exotic animals, one of which was a large spider that was devouring the other creatures, and set its sights on the party. Once the ship was under control, the party questioned a captive who explained they were to be selling the animals to the Sea Reavers of the Crimson Fleet – the pirates that had chased them on their voyage south. The party recovered the signet ring and return it and the ship to Lavinia.
The Vanderboren Vault
The signet ring was a key for the family vaults, and Lavinia, with the party now on a monthly retainer to work for her, went to recover her family’s wealth. The vault was guarded by two iron cobras, and a complex combination lock, that required the party managed to unravel. The coffers that they recovered, however were largely empty, and there were signs that someone else had visited recently – including two empty potion bottles, later found to have contained a dexterity-enhancing draught. Lavinia was distraught to realise that her brother Vanthus had visited the vault recently and taken the money. However, he had left her parents ledgers and accounts detailing business that owed her parents money, as well as her mother’s journal, strangely written in Sylvan.
Tracking down Vanthus Vanderboren
Lavinia then asked the party to help find her brother and bring him back to her. The only clue that had to go on was that he had been seen with a local pickpocket-turned-prostitute-turned-artist in the Azure district. Questioning the girls at the Sasserine Sleigh Ride brothel resulted in them buying a painting by this Brissa Santos, and finding out she used to live in the Shadowshore district. Further questioning led the party to the Coffinsquatters Inn in Shadowshore, where they knew little about Brissa, but had seen Vanthus recently with a known smuggler named Penkus. The two of them had bought a boat from a local store ‘It Still Floats!’, and there the party also boat a vessel of their own.
Returning to the Market District, the party were approached by a nervous elf named Shefton, who claimed to be able to take them to Vanthus. The next day, the party sailed to Parrot Island, where Shefton indicated that Vanthus had been operating out of some disused smugglers tunnels. Descending into the tunnels, Vanthus himself appeared above the party, crying ‘Serves you right for messing about with my sister!’ before shutting the party in the darkness below and sealing them in.
The dark dank, partly flooded complex was clearly quite old, but there were signs of recent passage – a newly dead body with the tattoo of a dragon and a flower on his back. Unfortunately it was not uninhabited, and a pack of ravenous zombie pirate, lead by a hecueva former cleric of Korotiku, the trickster god. Having fought off the undead, the party were free to explore the complex, and with the magical assistance of the elixirs of swimming, were able to send people to the surface to unseal the exit. They also found three chests that the agreed to recover later. But before the chests lay the body of Penkus – also with the dragon and flower tattoo – who had written a letter damning Vanthus for locking him in these tunnels. The letter also indicated that Vanthus had fallen in with a group calling themselves the Lotus Dragons, which were operating somewhere below the Taxidermists guild in the city, and Vanthus had designs on ‘The Lady of the Lotus’.
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