Sinking Ships

Episode 14 - The Vanderboren Vault

Taunting the Devil, and the fate of Lady Vanderboren

The boarding party from the Storm’s Herald decided to get a closer look at the Large Assets. Sending Cromarcky in to scout, she determined that it was lightly guarded by a few Chellish marines. Easily sneaking aboard, Cromarcky was able to steal a piece of the Large Assets for later use tracking the ship.

One half of the task down, the crew decided to try a similar plan on the Dominator. Loading Cromarcky up with some magic, she swam through the air to the mast of the Dominator. After a brief conversation with an unseen character calling itself “Tipzin”, Cromarcky snatched a piece of the mast and dove through the air – gracefully flopping into the water with an enormous splash. The crew of the massive Chellish ship sprung into action, and search lights magically appeared off the bows. With a burst of speed, and a bit of luck, Cromarcky was able to flee the scene – and the crew of the Storm’s Herald escaped safely. After that display, it was decided that ditching the piece of the Dominator was the best course of action.

After a few days sailing, the Blue Nixie and Storm’s Herald landed in Bloodcove once again. Captain “One Boot” met up with the Casino owner Shaduk about potentially selling the Nixie. The meeting went off without a hitch, and Shaduk agreed to meet a few days later with a buyer.

Heading to the Vanderboren estate, the crew learned that Lavinia had left about a week prior with the Lotus Dragons, headed out to the family vault. They did not bring supplies for a long trip, and it had already been longer than they were expected to be gone. Some clever sleuthing by Thomas Bevel led the group to believe the vault was located somewhere within the island chain known as “Dagon’s Jaws”, and that the Vanderboren family spent time in the town of Little Oppara.

The crew met with Shaduk a day later, and brokered the deal for the sail of the Blue Nixie. Most of the goods that were traded for the ship were perishable however, and so the Storm’s Herald stayed in port for another week to sell the goods and boost their reputation.

After another few days at sea, the freshly rested Herald approached Little Oppara on Taldas Island. Investigation led to the discovery of the Vanderboren beach house a mile or so down the coast. The house was easily found, and after some minor breaking and entering it was noted that the house had a recent guest – clearly male, and with a nobles taste in clothing.

From the beach house, Thomas and Brook were able to see a rock formation that matched the one in the picture at the Vanderboren estate. The Herald set sail once more and landed on the small island. Once another ship (and it’s crew) was discovered completely destroyed by fire, the Herald was sent back to Little Oppara while the officers remained on the island to investigate.

Tracking some recent prints in the beach to a mountain pass, the Vanderboren Vault was finally found. The officers of the Storm’s Herald easily bypassed the first few rooms of tricks, finally leading into another small room with a rotating pillar and various creatures carved into the walls. Within one of the Alcoves was a crumpled note, and a small envelope containing both of the family signet rings. The note mentioned that they were too late, but they may still find what they are looking for inside the vault. It was signed Vanthus Vanderboren, and immediately exploded upon reading.

After a few hours of attempts playing with the pillar, the rings, and the wall carvings, Thomas had another moment of inspiration that led to the discovery of the correct combination – involving the number of eyes on each statue and the note previously found on the Blue Nixie.

The vault door slid open, revealing a horrible stench of bodily fluids and blood. The vault was completely looted except for one final chest with a neatly folded note on top. This particular note was shorter, and simply said “Here’s your 10%, no hard feelings. – Tolin Kientai” The chest contained a modest sum of gold and gems, and further investigation revealed a smaller sealed box containing several notes of debt. The notes were from various people and organizations, owing the Vanderboren family a substantial sum of gold.

Lavinia Vanderboren was found dead within from dehydration, her nails and fingers ruined from clawing at the heavy vault door. She had been left for dead, and the crew of the Storm’s Herald had come too late. At least, that’s the story Brook tells.

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