Watching Weyland deal with his new emotions helped them pass the time while waiting on Besmara and Akane. Watching Kaledith acknowledge her existing emotions was even better. The two logically concluded that a dance was certainly customary given the situation. Afterwards, she gave him a gift and skirted away with a well-hidden blush. The lacquered box contained an authentic Drumish blackjacket. The guys nudged and winked for Weyland to “reciprocate,” so he made a Knowledge (engineering) check.
Alcades was poking around with the musical conch shell when Akane finally came out of Kaledith’s quarters. The resulting shanty sang, “Leave her, Johnny, leave her.” Akane reported immediately to Captain Samdi in his bilge cabin. Confused, Alcades looked inside Kaledith’s quarters per chance to speak with Besmara, but she was already gone. Instead, there stood a horse-sized bundle wrapped in paper. Alcades opened it without much forethought and uncovered a priceless jade dragon carving!
Kaledith welcomed the distraction and, together with Araris, they froze at the sight of it. Kaledith nearly fainted before yelling for Weyland to secure it immediately! A piece of jade this big doesn’t exist. The workmanship is exquisite. Nations would go to war over something like this. These were her thoughts. When Akane strolled into the room with Papa and saw a contingent of Hellknights and Sailors preparing to move it under Weyland’s command, she lost her six-tailed mind.
Once her voice grew hoarse and she could find no other vocabulary to vent her lifetime of familial rage, Akane listened to Captain Samdi. He agreed that the jade dragon was given to Akane by Besmara to clear her debts with the church of Abadar and the city nation of Goka, Tien Xia. It was off the table as venture capital and stowed safely in the bilge. However, Araris entered it on the ship’s papers. Kaledith felt the statue was worth far more than Akane’s debts and still has a hard time accepting the loss of profit. Of course, there was far more to Akane’s private meeting with Besmara than the jade dragon…
In more than a day’s travel, the Maelstrom (ship) sighted the Axian Line – Ships of the Line providing a border defense for the city plane of Axis. Eager to speak with the Axian naval captains and return the bottled Halcyon, Araris, Atz and Scandrannon flew peacefully to the line’s flagship. He was invited on board to privately debrief with Captain Linear, discussing recent activities near Ssilla’Meshnik’s lighthouse. Suitably impressed by the crew, Captain Linear eventually learned about the lighthouse beacon installed on the Maelstrom (ship). He agreed to summon an Axiomite mage to perfect the beacon and restore the Halcyon post haste.
Papa and the others had little time to plan their next move. Araris would fly back any minute! According to Akane, they failed to truly eliminate the false pirate queen, and Besmara presented her with an opportunity to make good. All they needed to do was swap a special crown in Second Vault 17-E in the city of Axis with a look-alike and one day bring it to Besmara. Akane produced both a special map of the location and the crown’s replica to prove it. The task would be dangerous and illegal in part because of the plane, and in part because of their resident paladin! They tossed out ideas like distracting Araris while exploring a thief-god’s secret passages!
Araris returned to the Maelstrom shortly before a powerful Axiomite mage teleported over to work on the beacon. Together with Alcades and Atz, they fully repaired it and restored the Halcyon. After a long glowing handshake with the mage, Captain Modron of the Halcyon was fully updated on his crew’s hundred year absence while inside the bottle. He even had new orders, the first of which was to escort the Maelstrom (ship) to port. Captain Boniva had somehow already arranged docking passes in Axis. Second, Modron invited the officers to Second Vault 17-E where a member of the Waybringer’s crew would give them a letter from Lord Abadar himself! Third, Captain Modron was ordered to take leave and restore his station.
To be continued…