When D’artagnan and S. Danger, Human Ranger found after leaping into the first Coffer was a seemingly endless expanse of Ocean, though Cher Chang Gu was nowhere to be found. Luck was on their side, however, as they spotted a ship with a lovely red sail. They managed to attract the attention of the crew, were pulled aboard, and were then introduced to Captain Meara Quickblade and her sorcerial first mate. A tiny amount of investigation revealed that Meara was an adventuring privateer who spends most of her time retrieving treasures (which often seem to include cursed items that send giant sea monsters after her ship.) Her current mission was to voyage to a moderately obscure island to plunder the shipwreck that allegedly claimed the life of her old employer, Captain Razorbeard (a pirate named for the majestic beard that he filled with dozens of scabbards for swords and daggers, ensuring that he would always be well armed as long as his beard was nearby.) In time D’artagnan and S. Danger (human ranger) told Meara most of the pertinent details of their quest, and while she was technically running a job on the side for Kundarak she would certainly be willing to give what aid was convenient. She also looked over the “map” that had fallen out of the lid of the first chest, and recognized the writing as being that of the Ixitxichitl, a race of monstrous aberrational fish that resembled Manta Rays (and were, in fact, occasionally called Devil Rays by those who did not know their true name.) She hypothesized that the large word on the map, “Ixichitoporox”, was likely the name of an underground city (as pictured in the rough drawing of coral on the map), though she also said it was rare for Ixitxichitl to ever stay in one place long enough to find it worth their time to name their cities.
When the ship landed, the natives turned out to be friendly (ships docked here frequently and brought enough amusing and exotic items from other lands that they had set up a modest economy to make the smugglers, pirates and sailors feel welcome.) Meara took her first mate and the other two adventurers to locate the shipwreck. Three monstrous crabs later and the treasure within, vast and ill-described as it was, was theirs for the taking.
With time to explore the village, they discovered that there was an odd House Kundarak “outpost” (really just a fishing shack) that was occupied by a dwarf who loved to spend his time fishing. Periodically, he would swim (or row, though he’d found that less enjoyable lately) out from the beach where the shack was and, after some time, return. The villagers who had witnessed this had never been able to keep up with his swimming or his magical self-rowing boat, though they had found a red buoy in the ocean in the direction he swam to, anchored by a chain that descended into the depths below the waves.
Hearing from the natives some stories about missionaries sent by St. Cuthbert every so often who would suddenly decide to leave without a reason, D’Artagnan and S. Danger, human ranger, the two adventurers went to the missionary compound deep in the forest. The compound was largely abandoned, with nearly all of the supplies taken years earlier. There was a journal left behind by the previous leader of the expedition talking about increased nightmares, strange dreams, and a building sense of dread in all of the missionaries. He also seemed to think that the well in the courtyard of the compound was particularly terrifying, and that those who drew the water seemed more likely to have the nightmares and horrifying visions.
Intrigued, S. Danger went to listen to the well, and it did sound eerie. He listened more closely, and almost thought he could imagine whispering words in the odd, echoing noises come up from the well. Listening a third time, and he almost felt like he had lost some of his senses. Using the bucket to lower themselves, the two adventurers slowly descended into the well. Rather than being a tube all the way down, the two found that the well opened up into a dome-shaped room before hitting the water below. The walls of the cave had tiny holes and odd carvings in them (though no passages to other areas, at least not above the water.) The holes were allowing wind to enter the cave, and the odd carvings interrupted the blowing wind in just such a precise way as to create eerie noises that could resemble moaning or whispering. Suspicious of the well’s cave, but not quite willing to dive deeper to explore the mystery further, the two adventurers rose back to the compound and went to sleep (taking shifts, naturally).
Near midnight, the chief of security that almost stopped the adventurers in the 13th Floor of the bank, arrived. He attempted to battle the two, but was overcome due to their flanking maneuvers. He was knocked out, tied up, and relieved of his weapons and armor before a quick interrogation session could be held.
It was revealed that he was hunting them for their crime of breaking into House Kundarak’s vaults, killing two members of the security staff who were not senior enough to gain Resuscitation Benefits, and conspiring to continue to search for the other Coffers of Kundarak. He also revealed that he did qualify for the Resuscitation Benefits and as such death held no terror for him (and, in fact, torture would cause him to be paid a hefty bonus.) Deciding that his life as a slave might win them some favor with the local Ixitxichitl, and thinking that the well might be related to their schemes, they left the dwarf tied up by the well and left the compound to return to the village.
With the village surprisingly awake and lively (a late-night luau was being held for the visiting ships), the two adventurers contacted Meara and, with the knowledge that House Kundarak was actively scrying for them, asked if they could sail out to the buoy to inspect it to see if it marked the position of the next coffer. Meara agreed, and said that they could leave at dawn.