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.