Still under Parrot Island, the adventurers set out from their makeshift camp in order to find a way out of this watery grave. During their travels, they found the body of the double-crossed Penkus... bloated and betrayed. He had with him a note explaining the mutiny of Vanthus Vanderboran and calling a curse upon his head. In addition to the body, the group also found three chests filled with treasures beyond the scope this crew has known in their time together. Beyond simple monies, the chests also contained a magical Wand and a gem of Earth Elemental summoning.
After collecting the goods, they eventually located an underground waterway leading out. It proved treacherous, but swimmable.
Not one to dwell on lost frivolities, Crow led the group back to Shadowshore and the den of the Fin to lick their wounds and divide up the booty. While here, the crew began to spread a rumor of Crow’s demise on Parrot Island. A, hopefully useful, diversion for Vanthus.
While there, they found out that the Harbormaster in Azure District had been brutally slain. Eviscerated, in fact. Perhaps there is a connection with the brutal animal killings in the Noble District- Belial then informed the group that those killings are related to the ancient civilization of the Turath. Is there a thread connecting all three?
Without a set course, the crew headed back to Lavinia to explain the situation. Along the way they found out that Crow has been made to blame for the murder of the nobleman as his boat was the scene of the crime.
The group then spent the day finding information on various leads and resupplying. Crow laid low and purchased various hats and cloaks to better aid a disguise. He continued with much ferver the rumor of his death on Parrot Island. At night they had traveled to the Cudgel District to find the person who has been apprehended in Crow’s place. Instead of finding the intended information, the group stumbled across a man who turned himself in for the intended rape of a woman. It is here that the crew felt a watchful presence. Not one to play into a stacked deck, Crow used a few tricks of the trade and departed from the rest of the group. He moved as silently as death, from rooftop to rooftop, trying to spot the mysterious hunter. The group stumbled upon the victim of the rapist and attempted to comfort her. Simultaneously, Crow, aware of his own expertise in avoiding detection, realized that there was a presence stalking him from behind. The scoundrel quickly spun, drew his pistol and fired while leaping off of the building. Crow’s shot was flawless. His aim was sure. The shot hit mist as the mysterious figure clad in black evaporated into nothingness.
The group retreated for the night and attempted to gather their information after sunrise. Returning to the Cudgel District in daylight, they found out that the mysterious darkly clad predator is The Crusader: a silent guardian of the Cudgel District. In addition, they found out the man in custody is the innocent merchant that Crow stole the boat from. The poor wretch still sits in the jail cells of the Sunrise District awaiting a swift show of justice by the authorities.
With few options left to him, and unable to let an innocent man die on account of his brash actions, Crow decided to dispel the rumor of his demise and fired off his pistol in the middle of town. He taunted the authorities for their incompetence at arresting the wrong man and took under the effect of a recently acquired potion of Expeditious Retreat.
The group met at the Taxidermist’s Hall in the Sunrise District, supposedly the location of Vanthus Vanderboren. Through with the game of espionage and tired of running, Crow walked in front door, basically pistol drawn, demanding Vanthus…only to find out that the Taxidermist may not have anything to do with Vanthus.
Instead, the group went around back and climbed down the well in the courtyard, finding it to be a secret chamber of some kind. Despite their best efforts to silently climb down, the crew was had. Some watch had triggered a failsafe that simultaneously began to flood the chamber as well as released a giant crocodile. The ambush was sprung.
With arrows now sailing from thin slits in the walls, the group engaged. Crow blasted the huge beast with his firearm, and after a vicious exchange in which the Croc eventually got the better of him, Crow was knocked out of the fight. Esel quickly dispatched the creature, though, and Lazarus got Crow right back on his feet with some timely healing.
With time short and the water rising, the group split up. Crow ran to the Croc pit. Lazarus helped Belial swim to shore in all of his armor. Esel waited patiently at an arrow slit… and as the archer peeked up to fire, Esel’s skull-splitting axe lived up to it’s reputation and relieved the pirate of his life.
Meanwhile, Crow had discovered a secret passageway in the Croc pit and entered it. He found a door and opening it slightly he was able to spy another of the ambushers with crossbows, this time unaware of the adventurer. Crow blasted a hole in the side of the scallywag’s head the size of a fist.
After discovering the hidden exit, the group (some more quickly than others) climbed through the tunnel and joined with Crow.
The crew explored the passages within and found this installation to be something of a Fortress/ Den of Thieves. Finding one more secret entrance the group moved into the Lap of the Lotus Dragons.
During the dangerous exploration of the dungeon, the group came upon a very large, very angry, sentient wolf-creature. The K-9 tore into Esel who hefted his great axe, waiting for an appropriate opening in its defenses. An opening was provided when Lazarus called upon the powers of his benefactor and Commanded the creature flee. As it made its move to turn, Esel’s Grand Axe of Dwarvish Lords came down as a warm knife through butter. The only resistance the powerful dwarf felt was the stone floor halting his swing after having beheaded the creature.
Stealthily continuing through the halls, the group stumbled upon a body of four men gurading what seems to be the main water entrance to the secret cove. Without much sport or excitement, the four rogues were caught unaware as Crow hurled a flask of alchemist’s fire that blasted into their ranks: killing three instantly. The fourth was run through by Lazarus’ trident.
The crew continued through to a bay, presumably for incoming ships. Lazarus was asked to swim the bay and find out where in Sasserine this waterway led, but while attempting to do so he was attacked by a pair of rays. Esel with all of the grace of a belly flop, lept into the water bringing his axe to bare, and split one of the rays in twain. Following the dwarf’s lead but with significantly less effect, Crow also dove into the water stabbing the other water creature with his cutlass.
Two more creatures entered the combat and the three swimming adventurers soon dispatched them as well, due in no small part to Belial’s summoning of sea creatures to battle the rays.
After the aquatic skirmish, the group quickly rose out of the water and prepared for what they expect to be the big brother of those creatures.