The party where traveling to Sanuus with Zanthon, Thia had narrowly avoided destroying part of the village at iron pass with A Winter Ball and it was time to travel on. In the dead of winter the mountain passes quickly become dangerous and confusing, fortunately for the party if the re was one thing Rolan was good at it was navigating natural environments, leading the party almost supernatural well as they made it back down the mountain. Past the mountain the path was not as direct as it had been as they avoided what had been the longing camp outside of the city but the trip was relatively safe and soon enough they arrived. Moving openly through Sannus the party did not seem to encounter any assassins yet, what they did encounter was some strange damage to nearby buildings leading back to the guard barracks and prison, hearing reports from locals about strange rampaging monsters the group soon had a clear suspect. Further investigation and a visit to the warden confirmed their suspicions and told of four such creature one dead the others gone along with the other prisoners, this was bad but not actually pressing enough to stop their journey to deal with.
Mara had received from Gaius a bottle of wine to be delivered to a friend of his in town. The wine carried a message and so after Gaius’s friend revealed it Mara snuck back to read it “ZANTHON arriving with strange party. ESTARIAN FONDUE”. This not making any immediate sense to Mara or Moosa they decided to ask around other Estarians in town. About the fondue Mara found only a decent deal on cheeses and an encounter with Tilo Viera an Arconan merchant acquaintance she did however hear that many ships had been caught in large, sudden and violent storms, Moosa had a conversation which he decided to interpret as a warning that the fondue reference could refer to a poisoning. To deal with the perceived threat Moosa enlisted the aid of the priest they had rescued previously to see if the food at “The Captain’s Respite” was poisoned (it wasn’t). Spending a little time with the priest did lead Moosa to discard his earring (until Thia recovered it), Rolan while back in town purchased another fortune telling which (if you take it as accurate) was a little more revealing than previous visits.
In the morning the party set off with Zanthon’s ship deciding to travel along the coastline rather than risking the rocky region they had ventured through previously the weather apparently disagreed. The wind blew towards the rocky region and when they tried to adjust the wind and currents seemed to counter, eventually they gave up and headed in that direction. As before there where many sharks, this time the sharks seemed to be (trying) to block certain paths and guide the ship somewhere. Among the more or less impossible structures that made up the region they found a lone apple tree. Rolan saw nothing to worrying about a tree that produced almost perfect apples that regrew on the tree within seconds, Rolan and Thia tried the fruit and found them not dissimilar to goodberries.
The ship arrived at what was eventually a small island with a rocky cave system. At the top there was a large statue likely old-imperial but the face had apparently been changed to a twisted and disfigured form. At first the party wanted Zanton to stay with the ship but he wanted to come along and so he did. moving through the caves the group found traps (which where disarmed), a man with a wide fishlike mouth (who was killed) and at least fifty of the fish men they had fought previously (which where avoided). They did eventually make it to a room packed full of all kinds of things ( many of them rotting fish ) and a filthy ugly old woman presumably the “sea hag”. The creature ( Who was apparently known as “Sally Sharkguts” not that the party knew at the time ) asked what they had done to start the storms, the party asked the same of the hag who responded that that information came at a price, thus the negotiation begun. In the end the deal was relevant, needed information about what was happening at an island apparently involved, safe passage away, and a “Magic sword” in exchange for Thia’s “Staff of Staves” (and its box), and Moosa’s “Claim on the Spider-Bear”. The information gained was that after the party destroyed the raider camp on the island and left the surviving crew there without a ship, another vessel had arrived and settled themselves and that was around the time the storms begun.
While the wording of the deal could be interpreted to only give the group passage out of the cave itself the voyage out of the area was more or less uneventful. Word about the island and the storms would be sent back to Sannus and Avissium when they could, Rolan had a “Magic” sword for better or worse and Moosa had finally disassociated himself with the Spider-bear incident. Whatever the consequences of this would be ( and there would be consequences ) what lay ahead of the party was Zanthons keep there would be time for looking back after but new threats lay ahead…