The Firstborn, having been greeted by Torrin Ashe, Captain of Nights’ End, are given a tour of the airship. Akran Halfhand, a teacher at Kihan’s, is on the ship. He gives the badly wounded Dorgen a healing potion to repair the damage, and Dorgen is escorted to his father’s cabin to rest.
Still shellshocked, the party is informed that the captain and his crew are all members of the Riders of Rey’leiar, the largest Free Company in the Empire. The leader of the Riders, Okne Pahk, sent Torrin and his crew to Last Stand, knowing there was something significant expected to happen. Dorgen was sent into the city to scout things out, and the Firstborn fell into his lap.
Torrin explains to the Firstborn that due to situations in Last Stand, and all the feathers the group has ruffled, there is no home anymore. Knowing this was on the horizon from the start, the Firstborn willingly climb aboard the ship. While the party is boarding the ship, they notice an albino crow land on a branch in the clearing, and fly towards the captain. The crow turns into a scrollcase, marked with the albino crow: the symbol of the Riders.
Torrin reads the message, and disappears into his cabin.
That evening, Jayvin arrives in the clearing, accompanied by a few of the Firstborn’s loved ones. Tearful goodbyes ensue. Jayvin assures the group that they are in competent hands, and that he has no doubt that he’ll see them again, down the road.
Late that night, Nights’ End is finally ready to depart. Destination: High Barrows.
The Firstborn have breakfast with the Captain, where he tells them a little bit about the Riders. He also tells them that the message he recieved was bad news. Okne Pahk, the Riders’ Leader, has died. Torrin hopes that somewhere in Okne’s personal effects, there will be some documentation as to why he wanted to meet the Firstborn.
During the afternoon, Dorgen becomes very ill. He passes out on deck, and is tended to by Halfhand and Cro. Using his medical skills learned at Kihan’s, Cro determines that the wound recieved from Ceros’ dagger must have infected Dorgen with an extraplanar parasite. The wound fills with tiny worms that multiply and grow, trying to take control of Dorgen’s extremities. Through skill and determination, Cro manages to keep Dorgen stabilized. Torrin sets course for a nearby town that has a professional healer that should be able to neutralize Dorgen’s ailment.
The only problem is, the crew has a “kill on sight” order on them in the town of Shade Cove. Being the moral opposite of Last Stand, Shade Cove is awash with pirates, cutthroats and Tide soldiers.
Belias, Cro and Ashen venture into the town to locate Torrin’s contact, the owner of the Cracked Head, a tavern. After bribing a guard, and charming the leader of the Eels, a street gang, the party makes it to the tavern. While waiting for Thomas, their contact, to meet with them, they take in the atmosphere of the bar.
A halfling street gang, known as The Shrimp, come in, and start trash talking to a group of Tide soldiers. Thomas tells the group that this is nothing new. Cro spies something suspicious in the storeroom behind the bar. Upon investigation, he sees the body of their serving girl.
Across the room, the serving girl approaches Ashen and Belias, and after a moments distraction, stabs Belias in the chest. The disguise drops, and a cloaked and masked figure draws its blades.
Simultaneously, the trash talking between the Tide and the Shrimp erupts into a bar fight, with blades being drawn. Using their arcane arts, Ashen and Belias manage to defeat the would-be assassin, and the barfight ends abrubtly. The Firstborn deduce that whoever planned the attack on them, used subtle magic to escalate the fight, hoping to use the chaos to kill them quickly and quietly.
The three depart the tavern, meeting the healer on the road to the ship. The healer treats Belias’ wounds, and is able to cure Dorgen of his worm infestation. As the party is preparing to board the ship to leave Shade Cove, they notice two modified housebreaker harnesses, fastened to the sides of the ship. On opposite sides of the ship, both harnesses were set up to hold someone safely and semi-comfortably on the hull of the ship, undetectable from above, or each other.
Two sets of footprints, one from each harness, go different directions into the darkness.