The heroes returned to their new patron, Lavinia Vanderboren, finding her engaged in a friendly dueling match with another young noblewoman, Rowyn Kellani. Lavinia fought with style and grace, but Rowyn came out on top, thanks to her creative interpretation of the rules.
In an attempt to prove his own swordsmanship, Crow took it upon himself to challenge the winner of the competition. Despite jumping to an early lead, Crow was bested by the quick-witted Rowyn as she did not fall for his antics-infused fighting style.
After the “friendly” competition, Lavinia invited the heroes into a more private audience chamber to conduct their business. Once there, the group explained the enormous success of the previous night’s events. Not only did the companions successfully release the Blue Nixie from the grasp of smugglers, they also recovered the key to the Vanderboren Vault, they captured the leader of the smuggling band, and managed to retrieve the missing platinum pieces reported stolen. Immeasurably pleased with the group’s success, Lavinia offered the crew a 50% bonus in addition to the agreed upon compensation. Not only that, but Lavinia also offered to finance the crew indefinitely as their benefactor. Our heroes quickly accepted the steady-paying job.
The only stipulation standing between the economically-challenged adventurers and their much deserved payday was a simple walk to the bank as it were… except in this case, the bank is the Vanderboren Vault which has never before been accessed by anyone other than the Legendary Adventurers. Even Lavinia, daughter of those same adventurers, has no idea what to expect in the dungeon. Anxious to help recover their hard-earned gold pieces, the heroes agree to escort Lavinia through the potentially treacherous underground chamber.
After briefly traveling through the familiar streets and waterways of Sasserine, the heroes and Lavinia arrived at the underground vault. Using the Vanderboren signet ring recovered from the Blue Nixie, Lavinia opened the vault entryway revealing an antechamber. In this antechamber, several pillars released stone-crafted serpents which proved to have a disagreeable attitude towards the crew. Esel proved to be very effective at smashing the lifeless cobras; dispatching of his opponent with his magical axe. Crow was bitten viscously by one creature, and only through the fabled luck of the Finches was he able to avoid being perhaps fatally poisoned. His survival hinged upon a timely healing from Belial who was stationed next to Lavinia should any of the serpents get passed the combatants. Crow battled with the second construct around a large pillar using it as a shield from his smaller adversary. Lazarus blasted the third and final serpent with bolts of lightning and fought the beast head on, unafraid behind his airtight armor and broad shield. Through flanking maneuvers and simple tactice, the group emerged victorious and relatively unharmed.
Once passed the antechamber, the heroes put to use the “key” found the previous night. It turned out to be a combination that, once entered correctly, opened all of the Vanderboren riches.
Much to Lavinia’s surprise, the Vanderboren wealth was already tapped. Six of the seven vaults were already emptied by a pilfering thief. The only other person allowed access to the chambers is Lavinia’s younger brother, Vanthus Vanderboren. Realizing that the proposed riches were now only a fraction of the expected loot, Crow discreetly returned half of his personal earnings to the stash.
Alarmed and perturbed at the news that her brother may indeed be the one who has broken into the vaults and lifted the untold fortune, Lavinia quickly assigns the crew to find Vanthus and bring him back for a sibling discussion.
The quickest way to both find information and spend recently earned money, according to the Crow, is his home town of Shadowshore. He quickly finds the black market therein and, after procuring some goods and potions for the group, makes contact with the most reliable source of underground information in Sasserine: The Fin. Parting with a few pieces of platinum, Crow receives a few solid leads as to where the young Vanderboren may be and what he was up to. After the group was informed that someone is looking for Crow Finch personally and a brief skirmish with Fin’s combat specialist, the group continues the Vanderboren investigation through Shadowshore to a dumpy ship store owner who reluctantly divulges the direction the Vanderboren was headed and that he was accompanied by a known smuggler.
In addition to this investigation, Belial has also received a direction from his Milestone to an unknown island 13 miles off the coast of Sasserine. Belial did ask Panchi, the boat shop’s dwarven owner how much boats cost, to which the dwarf replied “500 gp.” Later that night, Crow let the cleric know the dwarf must have been trying to get them to leave, as a rowboat would cost only around 50 gp, but cannot make the voyage this heading would require. Crow further elaborated by saying that the cheapest ship that might take them this far from shore would be a keelboat, but they start at around 3000 gp, and that doesn’t include the cost of finding and paying a crew and gathering the necessary supplies. They might be able to but passage on a ship, but then the heroes would be left up to the captain’s good graces as to whether or not he would kill them and dump their bodies in the ocean once they were far enough away from shore. Further investigation is required.
After a long day of varying travels and questions, the crew decided to call it quits and sleep in for a change.