Lavinia pales at the evidence that her brother has been stealing the family fortune. She invites the party members to dinner to discuss these developments.At dinner Lavinia gives the party some background:
I was sent to the Thenalar Academy to live out my next five years of life, and Vanthus was shipped out to work on a plantation. When we returned a year ago we were both changed. I feel I really benefited from my time at the academy. But Vanthus was changed too. Gone was his comedic style, he was always bitter. He spent his nights with inscrutable characters. Eventually he moved out of the house altogether.
I think he took up with a lover in the Azure district. When our parents died, Vanthus returned for one week to live at the manor. He was even more changed than before. Gone was the easy sense of humor I recalled fondly from our childhood. After several arguments Vanthus left. But only after he struck me with his fist. I was shocked, but I think too he was shocked, but then a moment later that bitterness returned and he scowled and he gathered his belongings and left. I haven’t seen him since. I know something profound happened to change him. I think he has fallen in with a bad crowd. Perhaps smugglers or thieves or even killers. I hope to save him before it is too late. I am certain I can convince him to come back after I talk some sense into him before he forever passes out of my reach to help him. Can you help me to track down Vanthus?
The party agrees to help and asks where he may be found. “The only things I know are that he was seeing a girl in the Azure district. I doubt he’s in the Noble’s District as someone would have seen him, same with the champion’s district, but even there might have some clues,” Lavinia replies.
The party asks about Vanthus in a bar in the Shadowshore and learns that he was seen in the company of a known smuggler named Penkus. Penkus and Vanthus were spotted a few weeks ago at a boat shop called “It still floats!” where they got into a huge argument with the proprietor. A dwarf named Panchi.
Panchi reveals that Penkus and his friend bought a boat. “They seemed excited, loaded it up with a lot of lamp oil, lanterns and rope before they left… only thing… they didn’t pay me for the boat! They sailed off to the west, don’t know where; lost sight of them” He adds.
A few people remember seeing Vanthus at taverns in the Azure District, often in the company of a woman named Brissa Santos, a notorious pickpocket turned semi-legitimate artise who’s had her fair share of brushes with the law.
In the Sunrise District the party runs into Shefton who reveals that Vanthus Vanderboren is hiding on Parrot Island. At last a solid lead. For a few coins, Shefton agrees to show the party Vanthus’ hiding spot. Parrot Island is a short row away and as promised Shefton shows the party to a hidden trap door leading down into the island.
A rope is rigged and everyone climbs down into a damp room. As the last person descends to the bottom of the rope everyone hears an exclamation of surprise from Shefton. Then the rope come funneling down from above. Suddenly a familiar figure appears in the opening 40 feet above, it’s Vanthus. He throws down Shefton’s body, a dagger firmly planted in his back. “Say hi to Penkus’ ghost for me while you’re down there!” he shouts.
The island hideout is populated with zombies and undead sailors. One corpse floating in a pool has a tattoo of a lotus flower and a dragon. It is large and covers his entire shoulder.