While Yeraa told Aruget about the next leg of their journey – for which her seers had told her that Murkoorak’s Orb lay in the Dhakaani ruins the Calabas district of Graywall was built on – Quentin pulled Othello aside to reunite. Othello explained that he had been working the docks in Seaside on the Day of Mourning, and that he had escaped by the skin of his teeth on an elemental galleon captained by none other than the Kordenga’s Captain Delan – and that they had been together ever since. Operating independently for the last eighteen months, hired by Yeraa for the last five, Othello couldn’t help but bring up the circumstances of Quentin’s leaving House Lyrandar, and suggested that Quentin had nothing to fear if he chose to return. As Delan called Othello over to the helm, the two cousins agreed to catch up more later. Escaping Othello’s notice, but not Quentin’s, Jak had overheard much of their conversation by deliberately striking up one of his own with a nearby crew member, and as Othello saw to the captain’s orders, Jak pulled Quentin aside himself.
Leaning forward on the ship’s rail, Jak rolled up his sleeve and transformed his left arm into its natural, chalky white and considerably skinnier state, revealing a long scar running from his wrist to his elbow. He told Quentin that he’d gotten it when he was twelve years old and running with a gang of pickpockets, and that this was how Quentin would always know that Jak was who he said he was. He expressed concern that running into Othello into the middle of nowhere, with enemies hunting them, was a little too convenient, and that he cared about what happened to his friend. Quentin hesitatingly agreed to try to test Othello to calm Jak’s fears, and left to do what he had been planning to do before Othello found him: send a messenger bird to their old friend, the Emerald Claw scout Jeffin whose life they had spared in exchange for future information, and who was possibly still nearby after the attack on the Kordenga.
While this was happening, Captain Delan decided he’d had enough of Lestok “repairing” the ship after causing some minor damage to its wheel, and sternly ordered him away on pain of being thrown in the brig and fed to the trolls of Graywall. Appropriately rattled, Lestok slunk away. Overhearing the exchange, and already a little bit deep in his cups, Aruget came over after Lestok had left and scolded the captain, telling him not to treat Lestok badly. He then went to find the old gnome to take Zaraani’s Solitaire from him with the intention of using it to contact his dead brother. He found Lestok in a panic, having found a stone in his pocket in place of the Solitaire and blaming himself for its loss. After a frantic fifteen-minute search, they wound up in the galley where Kayde was drinking with a sailor, and Aruget learned that the sneaky elf had lifted the Solitaire right out of Lestok’s pocket, not trusting him with it. After learning of Kayde’s deception, Lestok asked Aruget to show him where the wine was stored. The unusually somber gnome was determined to find a bottle, and whatever lay at the bottom of it. He confided in Aruget that he knew when the party was trying to distract or otherwise get rid of him, and poured out his heart, anguishing over his failures as Aruget tried his best to console him.
Kayde, meanwhile, was enjoying a drink with a handsome sailor named Jalros when Jak found him and decided to help his friend’s luck. Talking up Kayde’s prowess in the theater (and his ability to “give the people what they want”), Jalros listened with renewed interest and a twinkle in his eye. Satisfied that his work was done, Jak got up to see Quentin, Aruget, and Lestok leaving the galley together, and chased after them. It seemed that those three had had an in-depth conversation on how to use the Solitaire, with Quentin suggesting that he try to use it to contact Othello to make sure he wasn’t dead with an impostor in his place, and Aruget – even more drunk than before, and spilling out his heart – was desperate to speak with his brother, whose death remained a mystery to him. With Lestok proposing that activating the Solitaire might have something to do with necrotic energy, they decided to leave the ship before testing it for safety’s sake.
On the ground in the dark, Lestok eagerly made a protective circle out of string, and Aruget stepped inside it while holding the Solitaire aloft as he spoke his brother’s name:
Behind the Scenes
- Question of the week: Which country in the Last War was in the greatest wrong? Why do you believe that?
- Sadly, Jak’s epic wingman support roll (success with five raises!) came to nothing as Jalros had to work the night shift…but maybe he’ll get shore leave in Graywall. 😉
- Lestok’s player just about broke my heart with his revelations and portrayal of Lestok’s pain. Some real top-notch roleplaying and storytelling there.