Valyrian Syr fails to show up on the same day that the party arrives so they decide to stay at the inn for the night. The party wakes up in the morning and is approached by a hooded figure. He simply asks, “Koil?” When Koil answers, the man pulls back his hood and shows himself to be Bishop Corver. He informs the party that Valyrian is unable to make it out of the city safely and that he has been appointed to discuss the next course of action with the party.
Bishop Corver lays out two courses of action: Either deal with the leadership of the cult in Arcanum or intercept the group headed to Arkalia in search of the artifact. After some discussion, the party agrees to handle the group headed toward Arkalia while Valyrian and Bishop Corver assemble those loyal to them in Arcanum. Aldon and Hermi go along with Bishop Corver to prepare for the fight to retake control of Arcanum.
Little did the party know, two half-elves were listening in on the conversation and saw it as an opportunity. They decided to wait outside for the party and offer their services once they had begun to set out.
Koil spent a few moments questioning the local innkeeper. He was able to learn that the fastest way to their destination would be across sea and the best place to book voyage would be in the Vorrik capitol of Aerith. After getting directions to Aerith, the party made their way outside. Sela Dathier and Kele Nightwhisper introduced themselves and asked to accompany them. Koil approved since the party was now shorthanded. After gathering the necessary equipment and purchasing some scrolls, the party headed west toward Aerith. The journey to Aerith would take a week, even on the favorable roads.
When they arrived, Aerith was covered in a light fog from the sea. Four soldiers and Aerith’s massive stone walls blocked their passage into the city. One of the guards asked the party what their business in the city was, to which they replied that they sought passage on a boat. The guard then informed them that there was a tax of five silver pieces imposed on all those without business that was necessary for the operation of the city. The party questioned him as to why a tax was necessary. He informed them that the city’s Marshall had imposed the tax to prepare for war. He wouldn’t say with whom, even after some protests. In the end, the party decided to pay the tax and make their way through the city.
The party searches the docks for a captain to take them to Arkalia. This proves difficult since Arkalia and Vorrik have strained relations. Still, everyone who offers an answer points them toward Kellorun, an old man with only arm and the only person dumb enough to make the voyage. The party locates him fairly easily and he introduces himself as the captain of The Silent Runner.
After listening to the party’s request, he offers them passage for the fee of 200 GP. The party was appalled by the outrageous price. The old man then pointed at his non-existent arm. “See this arm? Of course you don’t! Lost to the damn Arkalians last time I tried this. 200 gold is as cheap as you’re gonna get with me taking this kind of risk.” After some consideration, he offers to lower the price to 150 gold if the party can do some repairs to the boat during the trip. The party finally agrees and Kellorun leads them to his boat.
Kellorun’s ship is in horrible condition and even has a sizable hole on its left side. He gives the party a big, toothless smile. “There she is! Isn’t she beautiful?” Kele says “It’s a piece of junk,” and Kellorun cautions “Don’t say that where she can hear you. She gets upset easily.” Kellorun cuts his admiration short and has everyone board the ship.
The party spent three days on the ship, performing menial tasks and socializing with the four man crew on their time off. The crew consisted of two half-orc brothers with sizable muscles but questionable intellect, a human male that couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen years old, and a strange gnome named Trashe that began questioning Aarissa about baskets for his pet rat. The two proved to be an odd match.
As the ship grew close to the Arkalian shore, Kele spotted a ship approaching them fast. As it grew closer, Aarissa was able to identify the flags it was flying. It belonged to the Arkalian navy. Kellorun spun his wheel as fast as his one arm would allow him while Trashe screamed “Faster Captain McNubbers!” from the deck. No matter how hard he tried, the ship continued to gain ground. Finally, the party accepted that combat may be inevitable and took up fighting positions on the deck.
When the ship got within firing distance, the crew of the other ship hoisted a white flag into the air. Kellorun stopped his frantic maneuvers and breathed a sight of relief. The other ship sailed beside The Silent Runner and its captain shouted out “Kellorun? I never thought I’d see you raiding out here again.”
With some quick thinking, Trashe was able to convince the other captain that the ship was merely transporting some passengers and not taking part in some coastal raid. The other captain cautioned Kellorun not to show his face around these waters again and then sailed away.
Within hours, the ship arrived in Strathon, capitol of Arkalia. Kellorun said goodbye to the group and also to Trashe who decided to go with them. Kellorun didn’t seem the slightest bit upset that Trashe was leaving, especially since his rat ate so much. The party spread out to find directions to the ruins of Iquro on Mountain Top Isle. The citizens of Strathon gladly pointed out a ferry that would take them out to the island. After attending to some personal business and restocking, the party made their way to the ferry that would take them to their destination.