The Lily Cantor wasn’t fast enough. Captain Akhmatov tried to squeeze one last trip in before the Storm hit, and he almost made it. Almost.
Only a handful of the ship’s passengers and crew survived. Following the scent of spices, they floated to Windfall Island, home of the beach elves. One of the beach elves offered to take them to an old man who lived in a manor house who might be able to help them get a boat. There they met Lord Winterblossom Bramblethorn, or at least an eladrin who claimed to be him. Lord Winterblossom professed some difficulty in procuring a vessel, and the party returned to the beach, worried shipless.
As they arrived, the party managed to foil a company of sahuagin pirates who had come ashore to abduct the beach elves, but not before many of the defenseless surfers had been taken. Lord Winterblossom taught them to surf in a training montage, and off they went. After surfing to Spider Skull Island and defeating more sahuagin raiders, the party managed to talk their way past a force of drow and into a sales pitch for timeshares hosted by Machalla d’Escriton, a drow real estate agent with a penchant for the hard sell. The party battled her forces and mercenaries from Rennermark Security to free the beach elves from her mind control. Defeated, Machalla escaped aboard a pirate going-under-the-water-safely-without-drowning-or-asphyxiating-due-to-a-buildup-of-inert-gases machine. The victorious party returned to Windfall Island with the recovered beach elves.
Lord Winterblossom, seemingly amused by this turn of events, offered to ferry them to New Port Chalmers in his ship, the East Wing. After detaching the East Wing from the rest of stately Bramblethorn Manor, Lord Winterblossom sailed the ship to New Port Chalmers, the chief city of St. Melchett Island. There he bid them adieu and sailed home.
The party hit the town, tried some of the local cuisine, and started to look for their own paths forward. Caelynna found the location of a local magician who might be able to get her back to her home in the Feywild. Eventually, the party arrived at the dark and foreboding tower of Barry the Wizard, where a forbidding gargoyle demanded three answers to his questions so that he could finish his crossword puzzle.
The party managed to survive their encounter with Barry somehow, and he did offer to pay them if they would help him investigate a strange sort of portal that he thought might be linked to the disappearance of Port Chalmers. They procured a boat, and Barry sent them all through to a vast ocean. They proceeded to investigate an islet with a tall, rickety tower. The tower turned out to be the base of a cult of primordial worshippers intent on remaking the world, and they were as hostile as cults of these sorts tend to be. The adventurers defeated them and managed to close another portal before Barry brought them all home. Barry was unable to assist Caelynna, but he swore to keep trying. After that, it was off to the Rusty Beagle for some well-deserved local beverages.
Mayor Thor Branson suggested that Wulfric spy out some of the West Ocean Spice Trading Company’s operations during the off-season, when the facilities were only lightly manned. He noted that the Isle of Spices, so named due to the abundance of all kinds of spices, would be the best target for an initial reconnaissance. The party made contact with Captain Anastasia Akhmatova, who agreed to ferry them to the island and back if they worked as her crew, as she did not have one at the time. All parties agreed, and soon they were on their way.
Captain Akhmatova landed them at an old and disused dock far from the main operations. Right off, the party found a magic circle which may once have led to the Feywild but was now broken and powerless. Further exploration netted samples of spices for Wulfric, as well as an encounter with a tiny fairy called Mint. Being cut off from the Feywild herself, Mint was lonely and offered to show the party around the island. After exploring one of the nutmeg mines, Mint conducted her guests to her “palace”, a large, rambling house that looked utterly out of place in the jungle. The group rested there, and the next morning Rolen brought back a live tiger for breakfast. Mint ended up in possession of the tiger instead, and the party made their way back to Capt. Akhmatova’s ship.
Filibert “Quick-Dagger” Dale ran down some rumors about the location of the dagger Rabbitslayer, and he convinced the party to come with him to find it. One brief stopover on Windfall Island later, the party learned from Winterblossom that Spider Skull Island was not a natural formation, and that no one knew who was responsible for it. They also recruited the drow who had worked for the real estate agent to serve as Capt. Akhmatova’s crew. They left for Spider Skull Island with Filibert’s boat and a map stolen (accidentally!) by the halfling.
After descending into a narrow cleft in the rock of the island, the party found evidence that others had preceded them. Crates littered the floor of the cleft, and a new door blocked off access further into the cavern. Pushing further in, the party stumbled on a number of very old drow corpses and some very organized, very violent looters (and their kitchen staff). Further investigation revealed that an artifact, presumably Rabbitslayer, had recently been removed from the site. One tense discussion about compensation later, the team agreed to clear out the remaining caverns and find out more about what happened to Rabbitslayer. After interrogating one of the surviving treasure hunters, they found that Auguste Rennermark himself had taken possession of the item for delivery to an unknown party, leaving his right-hand man, Arnaud de Vries, behind to finish extracting valuables from the caves while he himself personally carried the item to Noviy Sendai. An investigation of the rockslide where Filibert swore the dagger had been buried revealed that the rockslide was artificial, the caves ended there with no way for the drow they found to have come up, and that the entire room smelled of spices.
Laden with riches, the party returned to Windfall Island, where the beach elves were celebrating with fruity drinks and roast pork. Filibert returned the purloined map to Winterblossom, who forgave him and invited the party to brunch. He also provided them with a map showing the quickest route to Noviy Sendai. The team sailed back to New Port Chalmers to rest and resupply, then hired Capt. Akhmatova to transport them again. Capt. Akhmatova thought the route on the map was unusual, but decided to test the route anyway and see if it really was faster.
Unfortunately, the channel proved to be the home of krakens, one of which attacked the ship. The adventurers managed to kill it quickly enough, but not before it had severely damaged their vessel. Treble’s magic repaired the worst of it, but all hands still had to act quickly to keep the ship afloat. They limped into port at Noviy Sendai two days later. Capt. Akhmatova announced that she would see to the rest of the repairs and wait for the party to return.
Now our heroes must search this new island for Auguste Rennermark, Filibert’s reputed family dagger, and the unknown party who commissioned its retrieval.