Once outside the walls of the Citystate, the party find the horses Huggy procured for them, and set off south. While traveling along the edge of the Deepmurk Forest, they were accosted by a band of brigands. Before they could decide what to do, the would-be thieves were ambushed, shot with arrows. Looking around, Ophelia spotted Brakki the goblin, who waved at the party before disappearing into the wood.
The heroes arrive at the bustling mercantile port town of Blackport. The town itself nestles in a low bowl of land surrounded on three sides by low cliffs, on the crests of which are built watchtowers, ballista defenses and a fine lighthouse. Sea birds wheel overhead as a half-dozen ships lie at anchor, teamsters and crews busily moving crates and kegs.
Pushing their way past hawkers, tinkers, merchants and craftsmen, the party winds its way to the docks. They are brought up short by a garishly-dressed halfling with a pipe in his mouth. He is Davin Stoute, the first mate of the Sea Sprite. He points the way to a weathered-looking vessel being loaded with cargo, and explains that she sails with the next tide, in two bells’ time. The captain, he says, will be along presently. In the meantime, Davin shows them to their bunks and helps them stow their gear.
Once at sea, Davin shows the ship’s routine, and invites the party to join him at the Captain’s table for dinner. He seems hesitant as he does so, and does nothing to encourage them. When Cora asks, he explains that despite her mastery of seamanship, Captain Valyra “… can take some getting used to.”
At dinner, the captain is already sloppy drunk. She slurs her words and tells off-color jokes, and Davin looks genuinely apologetic. He explains that Valyra is an excellent ship’s captain, but when there is little to do, she tends to drink. He begins clearing dinner plates, when…
The alarm sounds!