Savage Tide 5e

Session 3
There Is No Honor, Part 3

The party entered the hideout of the Lotus Dragons through a trapdoor.  An observant rogue identified and warned her allies of a simple yet insidious poison needle on the ladder.  In a large cave split by a deep crevice, rowdy thieves and pirates enjoyed a meal.  The group moved in and dispatched them quickly.  They discovered a tiefling in a smoky haze who identified himself as Namunatl Sesk, the leader of Sasserine's Inkers Guild.  He was being forced to give magical tattoos to guild members.  Dispute his situation, he was content to sit with his hookah and smoke while the group continued with their mission.

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Session 2
There Is No Honor, Part 2

Shadowblade and Mei escaped the zombie-infested caves of Parrot Island with another soul they discovered: a dragonborn ranger who insists he is an elven prince named Immeral.  They immediately met with their friends at Shadowblade’s tavern.  Mei told of the recovery of the Vanderboren ship the Blue Nixie, and of Vanthus’ disappearance and betrayal.  The only clue to his whereabouts was left by a dead sorcerer in the form of messages magically recorded on rocks, instructing the listener to “seek Vanthus ‘neath the taxidermist’s hall”.

In a potentially related story, the harbormaster who handled the sale of exotic animals found on the Blue Nixie, the nobleman and council member Keltar Islaran, had been found dead.  The rumors vary, but all seem to agree that old Islaran was left in his bed in an especially gruesome state of evisceration.  The Kellani family, nobles with a reputation for piracy, seemed to be the likely successors to Islaran’s seat on the Dawn Council.

Before approaching the taxidermist’s hall, the party visited Lavinia Vanderboren, the sister of their betrayer.  Lavinia had not been idle; among the paperwork recovered from the vault she discovered a number of ledgers detailing debts owed to her parents by various individuals and businesses.  She was in the process of having those debts settled to pet her household back in black.  When presented with the evidence of her brother’s nefarious deeds, she asked that they bring him to justice.

The taxidermist, Nemien Roblach, was unhelpful and evasive when questioned about Vanderboren.  Destructive violence was averted thanks to the persuasive arguments of the bard Miri, and Roblach was allowed to flee Sasserine in exchange for information.  Roblach confirmed Vanderboren’s involvement with a secretive gang calling themselves the Lotus Dragons, who maintain a hideout beneath the taxidermist’s hall.

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Session 1
There Is No Honor, Part 1

Our heroes were recruited by Vanthus Vanderboren, a minor noble in the city of Sasserine, to help him recover his family's last ship.  Vanderboren's parents had recently perished in a fire aboard a newly-purchased boat, and he was desperate to recover a item that has belonged to them.  The Blue Nixie was being held by the harbormaster pending payment of dock fees, which Vanderboren claimed to have paid.  At night, the group rowed out to the ship and confronted a band of smugglers who had been using the Nixie as a platform for their illegal operations.

With the Nixie back in his possession, Vanderboren recovered a signet ring from the cabin and instructed the group to protect the ship while he ensured the payment was received by the harbormaster, Councilman Keltar Islaran.  Vanthus never returned.  The next morning, the group was roused by Kora Wistlegap, a halfling employed at the Vanderboren Manor.  She demanded the group accompany her to the manor.

In the courtyard, the group found Vanthus' sister, Lavinia Vanderboren, beset by creditors, all claiming Vanthus had borrowed money from them, and all demanding repayment.  The group negotiated fair arrangements with all three parties, but Lavinia's position has not much improved.

She invited them inside, where they reported on their dealings with Vanthus.  The ring he sought on the Blue Nixie was a key to the family's vault in Castle Teraknian.  Vanthus apparently wanted to access the Vanderboren's wealth without asking his sister, even knowing she had a copy of the signet ring.  Lavinia immediately took the group with her to the vault.

The vault had been emptied of all material wealth.  Some paperwork was discovered that would later prove useful, but for now, Lavinia feared that her brother had fallen afoul of one of his creditors.  She begged the group to seek him out, and a search of Sasserine commenced.

Inquires in well-to-do areas revealed more debts owed by Vanthus, and in less-reputable areas they found rumors of Vanthus hanging out with lowlifes, but no one knew anything useful.  The next day brought more creditors, lawyers, and authorities to the Vanderboren Estate; word of Vanthus' disappearance had spread, and everyone who had loaned him money sought to collect before there was nothing left to claim.  Many pieces of art and trophies from the elder Vanderborens' adventuring days changed hands.

Still, the group's inquires were rewarded when a half-elf named Shefton Rask arrived with news; Vanthus was being held on Parrot Island by someone he owed money to, and he needed help.  The group entered a cave through a concealed trapdoor on the rocky island, but once they all were inside, Vanthus stabbed Rask and pushed him through the opening.  He taunted the group, then sealed them into the cave by rolling a boulder over the trapdoor.

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