The Kobratov family’s ancestral estate has lain in ruins for many years. Family members hire the pcs to journey there from Nesstlehaven to search for a diamond they believe has never been removed from their lands which will restore the family to greatness.
The two brothers, Dimitri and Sergei, and their two sisters, Irina and Katerina, buy the pcs tickets on the barge, the Rock Bottom, run by the dwarven captain, Dugmore Graves (L4, +36 adds). Some pcs are hired by one sibling, some by another, all for a handsome fee, trebled for success. The pcs are provided with amethyst amulets which allow communication with the Kobratovs – but it is the Kobratovs who control the amulets and who can see through them.
The journey through the underground canals is some 7000 miles and should take 45 days. The one-way ticket price is 1000 GPs. The contract price per pc varies according to who hired them but is in the range 500-1000 with board thrown in, with the expectation that up to 2 weeks searching of the ruins is part of the agreement.
Graves has mate, Mason Dixie (L2, +12 adds), to help him run the barge. Dixie is a gemcutter and Graves trades in gems as well as carrying passengers (the fare is GPs one way). Dixie is mute. The other crew member is Gnarla Root (L2, +1 adds), an elderly woman who acts as cook and cleaner. She is reputed to know a range of spells but will be very slow to warm to the pcs.
Graves has been warned of trouble on this trip, for he has a particularly valubale diamond he has transporting to the Lord of faraway Portree. For this reason, he has hired two minotaurs as extra secuirty, one named Hornpipe (L3, +30 adds), the other Bullwhip (L3, +30 adds), as well as their controller, a leprechaun called Biddlecombe (L2, +20 adds).
The truth if this voyage is a little different. The Eye of the Kobra contains the spirit of the first Kobratov, Uri, who is quite mad and who can manifest in semi-physical form. The Eye has been in the possession of the family matriarch, Olga, who has hired Graves to take it home to the ancestral estate. She believes once there, Uri will regain sanity and solidity and will join with her in forging a realm to surpass Portree itself.
Her children have learned of her plan. They either wish to take control of the Eye and Uri themsleves or see it destroyed or made safe.
Uri has managed to separate from the Eye – although – he cannot go far from it - but has kept this from Olga. In fact, the Eye can be used to control him. Graves has realised some of this and has driven Uri into the very bottom of his boat but the strain has told. Finally, fearing Uri is becoming too strong, he has given the diamond to Dixie to hide amongst all the others he is working on, thinking it best to prevent Uri from taking possession of the Eye himself.
All this has happened before the Rock Bottom leaves Nesstlehaven.
- The mission – being hired in the Crippled Sphynx Tavern by the half-uruk, Gratz Fulmer, receiving the amulets; each pc receives a contract from a particular Kobratov
- Meeting the captain and seeing the boat
- Attack by goblin archers from a bridge (need 13 to hit from bridge, 3d6 damage)
- The captain falls into a coma at the tiller
- The pcs find out about the Eye from Biddlecombe (who has limited telepathy) after 2 shivans attack (MR70), climbing onto the boat from the wate
- The traps set in the captain's quarters – gas, darts and a ferrethog (MR30) under the bed
- Losing control of the boat - the rapids (flat but fast and dotted with dangerous rocks)
- The amulets speak
- The race for the diamond as Uri stalks the Rock Bottom – WIZ SRs to use Eye to control Uri, CON SRs to survive his touch, INT/CHR SRs to survive his mad wails and hypnotising eyes, LK SRs to strike him while partially solid