The party discover’s a small river island named Vend Rapids where there is a small settlement built to accommodate sailors of all sorts. Goblins, orcs, humans and many others mingle in the docks and taverns of the rapids under the watchful eye of an intimidating half-orc named Vend Merk. He is the owner of the island and considers himself judge, jury and executioner for all things that transpire on his land.
The group finds a goblin in the Sordfish (the misspelling is correct) Tavern and discovers that he is the captain of the ship they recently appropriated (The Reaver). His name is Captain Claw and he is a member of the Bloodtide Pirates (a mostly goblin pirate band) operating on the Stillwater River. The goblin tells them that he traded Galvin Droln’s traveling companion/lackey (a human named Daniel Gray) to the Black Skull Pirates in exchange for a new ship (named the Seastar). The Black Skull (orc pirates) and the Bloodtide (goblin pirates) have little love lost between them.
The group also meets and hires William Deskin “Yardarm Bill” (middle aged human sailor) to help them with the ship and possible round up some more crew in Cutter’s Crossing. The party then sets out for Melahnza’s Swamp in search of the pirates who took Daniel Gray. Upon entering the overgrown waterways of the swamp in a rowboat they soon discover a ship half sunken and burning. Numerous dead bodies are scattered in the area and the party rescues the lone survivor of the attack from a small band of Black Skull orcs. The man’s name is Valian Wheir and he is a priest of the Veldic order serving under Bishop Uther Kreth at the Abbey of Drune, in Cutter’s Crossing. He and his crew were sent here to rendezvous with the Black Skull pirates and exchange a ransom for the release of Daniel Gray. Needless to say the plan didn’t go so well and Valian suspects a mercenary by the name of Ashar Shadowblade may have betrayed his plans to the orcs for her own benefit. He had offered her a job on the crew for this trip but she respectfully declined.
The party now explores some caves in the southern side of the Slantrock Mountains that are partially water filled and large enough to harbor the Black Skull pirates along with their ships.