Lavina was overjoyed with the group that they managed to recover the Blue Nixe and find her father’s signet ring. So pleased that she in fact offers to hire the group at the rate of 100 gp per month to act as her personal troubleshooters, agents and bodyguards. She implies that there may be other benefits given their service to one of Sasserine’s noble families beyond this monthly wage.
Lavina informs the group that she already has a task; she needs an escort to her family vault located beneath Castle Taraknian. She has never been to the vault and does not know what to expect, but she has heard rumors that some family vaults are quite extensive and guarded by traps – based on things she overheard her father say through the years, she suspects that the Vanderboren vault is relatively small and safe, but that there may be a construct guardian. She would like the group to accompany her to Castle Teraknian and provide protection and aid in investigating the vault contents in two days.
Two days of shopping follow, and the group meets at the Vanderboren estate. Two coaches are awaiting the group, which are then taken to High Market in the Noble’s District, and then by ferry over to Castle Teraknian. They spend little time in the castle itself; stopping only to speak to a clerk who verifies Lavinia’s identity and her signet ring, and who then escorts the group down a spiral staircase into a large circular chamber under the castle.
Over a dozen five foot wide hallways radiate out from the central vault chamber; each of these hallways is ten feet long and ends at a single iron door—the entrance to the family vault. The clerk does not accompany the group and Lavina into the vault; he bids them a good day and ascends the staircase. The Vanderboren door bears a strange 8 pointed star and a silver nameplate with the name “Vanderboren”.
Lavinia inserts her ring into a mark on the door, which swings upon slowly. Within, a small chamber with five pillars, all snakelike in appearance. While searching the room a metallic snake slid out from behind a pillar and moved to attack. Cursing Glimnock the whole time, the group beats down the snakes. After a short search, a secret lever is found that caused the pillar in the north of the room to animate and writhe out of the way to form a short passageway.
The newly exposed room was octagonal in shape, supported by a single large pillar with dozens of deep grooves along its sides. The seven walls of this room each bear fantastically detailed bas-relief carvings of exotic monsters in threatening poses. Staring with the wall immediately to the west of the entrance, the carvings depict a tentacled monster with a glaring red eye and a mouth full of teeth, a looming dragon, a fish-like creature with three eyes and four tentacles, a two-headed giant wielding a pair of immense clubs, a spherical creature with four eyestalks and a bulging central eye over a drooling maw, a gorilla like beast with a fanged maw and six eyes, and finally a towering black spider with seven eyes. Each monster’s eyes consist of a glittering red stone. The ceiling above is only ten feet high, with a now-familiar eight-pointed star pattern radiating out from the grooved pillar. The arms of this star are black, save for the one pointing south towards the entrance, which is red.
Rua quickly hits on the solution and the pillar retracts. In the room that is revealed stand 20 chests. Nineteen, however, are essentially empty and one is filled with gold, gems, some ledgers and a chest containing a journal. The ledgers show that Lavinia’s parents did many jobs for local merchants. They did not collect the rewards though. The debts therein should pay off Lavinia’s debts. In the chests are a series of scientific journals, written in Sylvan, that contain maps of tropical climes as well as sketches of exotic animals.
On the way out, Lavinia asks the clerk if anyone else has visited the vault and finds that her brother Vanthus-
who was supposed to be missing for a month-had visited many times.