At the losing end of a long string of bad luck, the Banshee and her disenfranchised pirate crew limp into port at Cape Celesta, their ship damaged, their prospects nil and their morale in the pits. With precious little coin in their purse, the dour Captain Tadalina the Tall sends what crew remains after the failed mutiny attempt about the pirate port, to seek repairs, supplies and any trace of work they might be able to scrape up.
At The Serpent’s Stair in Queensfeet, a notorious gambling establishment, some members of the Banshee’s crew make the acquaitance of Harma Hardscale, a crazed dragonborn beggar who promises to lead them to an island where “the gold runs in rivers.” Skeptical of this claim, they nonetheless bring Harma back to the Captain and, to prove her point, the dragonborn reveals one of her hands, made entirely of sparkling gold.
Scrambling to recruit enough crew to undertake this foolish venture, the Banshee’s buccaneers fail to keep the rumor of this island – Islum Auro – entirely on the sly. A day into their voyage there, the Peryton, captained by the notorious Captain Ringmail, is spotted on the horizon, hoping to follow the Banshee to the coordinates Harma provided.
A ruse is quickly hatched, whereby the Banshee’s crew will pretend to surrender, to make a lucrative business deal with Captain Ringmail and offer him the “correct” coordinates, with the stated intention to sail behind him. Through a few moments of tense negotiation, the notorious Ringmail eventually agrees and sets sail, promising to come back to blast them to smithereens, should be believe he’s being deceived. Happily waving Ringmail away, the Banshee waits until he’s out of sight and sails instead for the real island.
Once there, they discover evidence of the wrecked Gargoyle, the ship Harma once served aboard, as well as stumbling across her starved crew. Their mouths turned to gold, they’ve slowly started to starve, as nothing can slake their hunger. When offered a gold doubloon to eat, the marooned crew went mad, scrabbling for the rest of their money and were quickly dispatched by the fast-acting crew.
The further into the island they trekked, the more and more golden vegetation and wildlife they encountered. Eventually, they came upon the stream itself, turning everything it touches into pure gold. When a crewmember leaned too close to the water, however, to dip in his amulet, a crogoldile – a crocodile made entirely of gold – lashed out and yanked him into the water.
At lightning speed, the crew rescued their comrade and edged away from the crogoldile’s territory – not before their halfling comrade was almost entirely transformed into gold. Still able to move and breathe as normal, the crewmember was forced to consider this an improvement.
Their deck piled high with golden vegetation and wildlife, the crew of the Banshee departed for the horizon, resolving instead to visit St. Oalande, rather than risk returning to Cape Celesta and potentially facing Captain Ringmail’s wrath.