Synopsis: Lagadins Legacy
Gulliver Crow, a treasure hunter for hire haunted by the specter of his disapproving late father, fails to retrieve a diamond from a temple in the Amazon. After reporting such to his employer, Crow is summoned to a meeting with Marco Grosslin, a descendant of the disgraced Salviati family. Grosslin believes the Salviatis to be descended from an ancient line of elven kings, and wishes to use this information to restore the credibility of the family. To prove it, he needs to recover the legendary necklace of the elf kings, supposedly an object of immense magical power. This is Crow’s mission, to travel to a Mediterranean island where the necklace is located, and deliver it to Grosslin.
But upon arriving at the island, Crow and his sidekick, Boris Palenik, run into two young archaeologists, Eve and Carl Rider, who are there by happenstance, and Crow arrives just in time to rescue them from men trying to steal the necklace that they found. Eve insists on keeping the necklace to deliver to a museum, but Crow needs it to get his reward, and so the group flies to Budapest, and arrive at the Hotel Gellert, where Grosslin is to meet them, and Eve can discuss the ownership of the necklace after Crow is paid. But while there, an assassin attacks them, killing Carl in the process. Sometime later, Crow manages to kidnap the assassin, and brutally tortures him for information. When the man begins to mock Crow for his arrogance, Crow kills him, which Eve strongly objects to, as she despises violence.
Later, the trio goes to Florence, and meets Dr. Vincent Conlon, Eve’s sponsor who had sent her to the island, to get more information. He explains the legend of the elf kings to them, and how supposedly the last king was buried in a secret tomb, the location only known by his descendants: the Salviatis, and therefore Grosslin. It is revealed that Conlon is in fact a criminal mastermind who is working with the Chechen mafia, and wants the necklace as part of an elaborate scheme to gain control of the mob. But Crow, Boris and Eve escape, in the process shooting Conlon in the face, but before they can escape the country they are recaptured, along with a child that helped them.
Conlon is revealed to have survived, but is now terribly scarred and mentally damaged, now a sadistic sociopath with a black sense of humor. He interrogates the captured trio, trying to find out where Crow hid the necklace, and when Crow refuses to talk, the child is brought into the room and threatened to be killed. Crow still refuses to talk, thinking the child’s life is not as important as the necklace, but when Conlon ends up finding the necklace hidden in his boots and then murders the child anyway, Crow suffers from powerful remorse. He realizes that his ego and pride made him unwilling to save the child, and becomes determined to be a better man.
Conlon takes them to an oasis in a desert, the location of the tomb as told to him by the dead Grosslin. But just as they are about to open the entrance, mercenaries appear, subduing Conlon and his Chechen henchmen, and then Boris reveals himself to be the employer of these men. He explains that he is the true mastermind behind everything that has happened, as part of a gambit designed to give him a chance at getting the necklace and finding the tomb of the elf king, for the necklace’s powers can only be activated with the blood of the king. He plans to use the necklace to destroy humanity, as Boris is a misanthrope. He orders his men to hold Crow and Eve, while he forces Conlon to come with him through the doorway. But Crow and Eve convince the mercenaries to let them stop Boris, and so travel through the portal, which takes them to a large castle on a rocky island during a storm. In the climax, Crow battles Boris, while Eve fights with Conlon, and while Eve manages to kill Conlon, Crow is defeated by Boris. But Boris hesitates to kill his friend, and that is when statues of the elf kings come to life and decapitate him for his desecration of the tomb. Crow and Eve reunite, and he destroys the necklace, while vowing to change his ways.
A year later, Crow and Eve have written a novel fictionalizing their adventure, and have also become quite close, thanks to Crow’s dramatic reformation. As they travel to a train station for Eve to go to London, they finally admit their feelings for each other, and share one kiss, before Eve leaves. Then Crow is confronted by his father’s ghost, who throughout the novel had occasionally appeared to either advise or mock Crow, but this time the specter tells Crow that he is moving on, now that Crow is at peace. After the apparition disappears, Crow drives away from the station, a changed man.