DM Note We didn’t play last week as most of my group went on vacation at a rental house on a lake.
A quick look down to where they had moored their boat showed that the villainous Vanthus had taken it when he left. Another swim, and they had a boat to load the old treasure into and take home. The next morning, there was much buying and selling of equipment.
During the shopping spree, Seamus was able to find out that the Lotus Dragons are a thieves’ guild that seems to have been able to hold off all its competitors and that they got their start with smuggling dangerous animals. There were also many stories floating around about how the Harbormaster, Keltar Islaran, was murdered while they were stuck in the smuggler’s tunnels. The two pieces of information set off a round of speculation on how everything the group had been through until now was connected. Soller Vark using a Vanderboren boat to smuggle exotic animals, the Lotus Dragons being involved in smuggling exotic animals, and Vanthus seemingly trying to get close to the Lady of the Lotus.
The group visited Lavinia to check in and let her know her brother is a full-fledged scoundrel who left one of his partners to die and tried to leave them to die. She was very dismayed, but still thought she could turn him around. She asked the party to find her borther and bring him back, preferably alive. If he were to make that impossible, however, they should not let him suffer.
Desmond was dispatched to talk to Soller Vark to get some information about the Lotus Dragons. After being made to wait, he was informed that Vark has been murdered in prison. He tried to insert himself into the investigation, but was politely rebuffed.
Meanwhile, in a second prong of attack against the Lotus Dragons, it was decided that Seamus would approach the taxidermist and attempt to get a meeting with the Lotus. Nemian Roblach, the taxidermist, was, however, less than helpful. While the others staked out the shop, Seamus went to the Pelican to see what would happen. Sparrow kept an eye on him as backup.
A few hours later, a man approached him and took a seat at his table. “So, you know Penkus?”
“Maybe, who are you?” Seamus answered.
“I’m your answer. When did you last talk to him?”
“I didn’t really…talk to him. He just gave me something that said the Lady of the Lotus might be in trouble,” Seamus answered, trying to be evasive.
“Trouble? What did he give you?” Seamus handed over the crumpled piece of paper that contained Penkus’ last wishes and the stranger read it quickly.
“I thought that might be worth something,” Seamus explained.
“Not really. Vanthus did make his move, but not in the way you are thinking. You would do well to stop asking questions about the Lotus Dragons. Things will go better for you.” The man stood up and strode out of the tavern.
DM Note The original plan was for Seamus to try to join the guild, which I was going to let him try, but when the time came, he didn’t ask about that, so I had the Lotus Dragon give the warning in person instead of hiding a note on one of the party.
A moment later, Seamus left to follow, and then Sparrow to keep an eye on Seamus. It didn’t take long for Sparrow to completely lose Seamus, however, so she just went back to the taxidermist’s to watch with the others. Seamus followed the man’s winding track through several neighborhoods until he went behind the taxidermist’s hall and disappeared down a well. Seamus found the others and showed them.
As they dropped into an irregularly shaped chamber, a pipe started spewing water and a growl came from around a corner. Suddenly, a crocodile rushed out of a side passage and crossbow bolts started flying. Leland was able to put down the hungry croc in short order, and they went up the passage, looking for where the man went after he dropped down. The bolts kept flying from different directions as Desmond slowly kept a rear guard. A secret door was found near the chain that had held the crocodile.
Leland started up the narrow hallway, but a door at the other end opened and a Lotus Dragon thief started shooting crossbow bolts. Just as Leland dropped one, another found his way to the door and attempted the same tactic. The third one, however, realized the futility and charged down the hallway. Different tactic, same result.
The party was inside, but the guild was obviously alerted. Things were about to get interesting…