Where is Vanthus Vanderboren?
The only clues Lavinia could offer the PCs is that she'd heard Vanthus was shacking up with some artist in the Azure district of the city.
With only that weak lead the Azures shuffled over to the Azure district and started asking around. Lots of people knew Vanthus and many had seen him - just not recently. After posting rewards for information about his whereabouts, the party were contacted by a shifty half elf named Sefton Rosk who claimed to know where Vanthus was hiding out. The party was suspicious but with no other leads they accepted his offer to lead the party to Parrot Island where Vanthus was hiding in some old smuggler caverns.
Sefton led them to the island, up through the thick vegetation along a well trodden path. At a small clearing was a trap door leading into the earth. Sefton offered to stay behind and watch the boat and the PCs, though again suspicious, agreed.
Spying on Sefton a bit, the PCs decided it was safe to descend. The half elf was nervous but didn't seem like he was going to betray them. Climbing down the rope ladder the PCs found them in a dark dank smell passage. As they slowly crept down the tunnel, they heard a noise coming from the room with the ladder, like a heavy weight being dropped from a height. They quickly return to the room to find the body of Sefton lying at the base of the ladder. A figure could be seen above silhouetted by the light. He called down, "Say 'Hi' to Penkus' ghost for me while you are down there. Later losers." He then slammed the trap door shut and started moving heavy rocks to cover it.
The PCs took this instride and searched Sefton's body to see if he still had the money the PCs had paid him to take them to Parrot Island. He did so the PCs felt a little better about their situation.
This didn't last long as they started to explore. The whole place echoed with strange noises. Some of was probably a sea cave but some of it sounded like moaning. It didn't take too long to find the source of both. Sections of these caves were flooded and there were a bunch of zombies down here. The PCs quickly figured out how to deal with the zombies - attack them and move away. Zombies are slow. Things got a little more complicated when they ran into the Huecuva but since they'd found a silver dagger then eventually managed to kill it without getting infected by its contagion.
With the smuggler cave's undead occupants all dead, the PCs found the smugglers vault with some treasure remaining. The key item was an Earth Elemental Gem which was used to remove the debris from the trap door and allow the PCs to escape. Just outside the vault the PCs found the body of Penkus. He had been trapped down here and left to die. He has become infected by the Huecuva and had slowly wasted away. He managed to pen a letter begging for revenge.
The gist of the letter is that Penkus no realizes what Vanthus' game plan is: to get in with the Lady of the Lotus and with Penkus out of the way it should be easier. Penkus reveals an entrance to the Lotus Thieves Guild where Vanthus should be. There is a trap door in the Taxidermist's guild hall that leads into the Lotus guild.
The PCs returned to Lavinia's manor to report what they'd discovered and recover. The next day they bought a few supplies in towns and with two late PCs in tow, they strolled over to the Taxidermist Guildhall.
No one greeted them at the front door but a plethora or stuffed beasts all all shapes, sizes and prices. Rather than ding the bell for service they let themselves into the back of the shop area and started to search around.
The PCs quickly found the trap door leading down in the thieves guild. The party found a training room and battled a few thieves but one escaped. They chased after him but between another Rhagodessa and a solidly locked door, the thief escaped.
The PCs had a debate about whether or not it was evil to kill sleeping rogues but then accidentally woke them up. The rogues were killed and the PCs explored a bit more of the underground lair before we called it a night.
Next time: The Lady of the Lotus.
TRAILER 2: Valerian trailer is SO GOOD
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