After the beloved scholar Rittarch is found murdered in his chambers, a posse gathered to bring the suspects—the drifter Al Lovejoy and his pals— to mob justice. A bounty of over a thousand gold stood on his name, dead or alive. Al was to be brought before the magistrate, Gymm Jones, when it was discovered he had hastily left his apartment. The others, a slow-talking bullywug, a large, bushy-eyebrowed man, and a stern half-elf priestess, were to be hanged, but they too had left in hurry.
As a last ditch effort to get of town, Al raised his friends in the middle of the night. They stole a canoe, and made their way up river. It was tough going at night against the current, but a full moon lit the way. Hours passed, and then— the sound of men echoed down the river valley. They were being pursued.
Al, Bunk, Martiff, and Myrrah ditched the canoe in a shallow sandbar, and ran into the jungle. In the darkness, they make out some ruins in the distance and make their way toward them. Walking through thick webs and underbrush, it appears as if no one has been here in some time. Al remembers Rittarch sometimes referenced the Olmac civilization that once thrived in this region, and then mysteriously disappeared. This must have been what he was talking about.
Bunk attempts to jump his friends to safety, and causes a cave in!
When they awaken, they find themselves in a large chamber filled with dioramas. Choking on dust and nursing a few scrapes and bruises, they disturb one of the scenes depicting a group of red and black painted warriors violently slaying each other. The scene repeated itself again and again, before Bunk could see no more.
Bunk uses a spear from one of the figures to leverage the door to the chamber, where they discover that they have fallen into a much larger complex than that which was visible from the outside. Giant, grandiose bronze doors worked to resemble a forest of seaweed open into a cavern below. At the first sign of light, a crayfish scurries away in the shallow water trickling through the chamber, and then re-emerges chattering a warning and clicking its tiny claws. A large boulder rolls over, revealing—a giant hermit crab! Al, Martiff, and Myrrah stand poised for battle, but Bunk attempts to communicate with the creatures. The dialect is a bit off, but Bunk is able to translate well-enough. It is intelligent! The giant crab reveals his name is Bosnaz, and the crayfish is his friend, Pplipp. They have been down here for some time, but haven’t moved from this spot. Al asks for directions, and Bosnaz sends them to what appears to be a dead end. Al knocks over an urn of fine, fine oil that spills on the floor.
A false door, and another door covered in caustic slime are their only two options, or back to Bosnaz for a very awkward conversation. Al tries to work on the door, and gets burned. They decide to backtrack, and go the opposite direction. Bosnaz greets them, and admits he may have mistakenly sent them the wrong way, he suggests they head west. Al gets the sense Bosnaz doesn’t really know where he is, or how to get to the surface in general.
Al reveals a door behind a statue bearing many gifts, where they hear the sound of melodious singing. They enter a large cave dwelling filled with soft, white sand and bathed in a soft blue glow. A nereid serenades them and tried to lure them into the water. They resist the urge to join her. Frustrated, she calls on her minions to strike. A snake head rises from the water’s edge, as well as an elephant man with a spear (which was, obviously, really an electric eel named Chac).
Al disrupts her spells with arcane missiles, while Bunk impales the nereid with his trident. Martiff takes care of the eelephant, and Bunk discovers a horde of treasure in a bed of kelp. Among their take, a potion of treasure finding, which leads the group back toward the lye plug.
Bunk and Myrrah wash away the lye, and Al discovers the door is trapped and goes to work disarming it. Once inside, the friends discover a large stone slab covering a tomb. Glyphs and depictions of men with sickly pallor on their faces line the ceiling. Inside the tomb, a man who must have held much influence lies with his skull cracked, surrounded by jewels, beads, and gemstones. An impressive looking axe, lodged in the wall, will not budge. Al, Bunk, Martiff, and Myrrah split the grave-goods, and leave.