Skull and Shackles
The Family Vault
The next morning, I found a bag of gold in front of my door (from Lavinia, no doubt), and took it to the bank to deposit it on the Vanderboren account. Lavinia asked for everyone’s presence and I went to get Ilona. As I entered her appartment building, I did not want to disturb her, so I waited half an hour debating if I would knock or wait until she came out. In the end, my impatience got the better of me and I knocked. Ilona opened the door in a see-through sleeping gown, and I could not help but blush at her good looks and prominent features. I think she did not notice, however, and I told her Lavinia requested her presence. She told me she would come over in a short while.
Lavinia gathered us all and offered everyone a job to work for her as mercenaries. She would pay every one 100 gold coins per month. Everyone agreed, except for me as the question was not addressed to me, and Lavinia immediately asked to do two things. First, they had to accompany her (and me) to the Vandenboren family vault below a castle near the city of Sasserine. She did not know what safety measures would be in place, since her parents had designed the vault. There could be traps or worse. Secondly, she wanted to know what her brother has been up to, since his departure a few weeks ago. She worries for him and thinks he might be involved with the wrong crowd.
As we go to the vault by ship, we arrive at the castle with ease. We enter the vaults below and enter the Vanderboren vault by using the key secured from the Blue Nixie. In this first room are three pillars with snake reliefs cut from the stone. Ilona is able to detect magic coming from the pillars, warding magic and transforming magic. Bullet discovers the middle pillar is an opening device and pulls it. The vault opens, and the two other snakes flare to life and attack us. The group draws their weapons and enter the fight. I do nothing but keep Lavinia safe from harm. This is the first time I see Kaya in action. Her sturdy build is somewhat lessened by her feminine form and beautiful looks but she cuts through one snake with relative ease, since the attacks of Martin seem to be unable to harm the snakes. She uses her greatsword to its full potential. I notice the other snake almost hits Lavinia but recoils from making the attack. Somehow, they do not attack the Vanderboren family. I tell Lavinia to order the snake to withdraw, and it does.
When we enter the other vault – after Bullet and Ilona had already went in during the fight, we notice a pillar in the middle with on top of it a compass. On the walls we see different creatures, some of which I can identify – a monstrous spider, a gray render, and a cyclops. But the rest I did not know. Bullet had a list of five creatures as well on a note that came with the vault key. We figured out soon enough that the key was in the number of eyes of the creatures. The creatures in the wall had 1 to 7 eyes in order of how they stood, and the key gave us creatures with a number of eyes, looking to the west or the east. Ultimately, we discovered what creatures were on the list and how many eyes they had and turned the number of eyes with the compass, to the right and left and right and left again, to open the vault.
When we entered the vault, we discovered the harsh reality: it was empty. Save for one chest containing numerous gold pieces – but hardly enough to make a payment to Lavinia’s debts – all chests were void of money. One chest contained diaries in a language similar to Elven, but not quite the same. With the money and the diaries, we left.