The party continued out of the woods of the Dryad, avoiding a town nearby and continuing an easier path to the north and west. Over a number of days, subsisting mostly on owlbear meat, the party reached at length Reyen. The weather, which had been unseasonably cold, grew warmer and more seasonable.
On the road outside the town, Captain Orable was stationed, blocking the road with cards and a number of men. He came out and had a brief conversation, telling Vikram that as far as he knows, his wife is nowhere to be found and his house was destroyed, and saying that he merely needed to have a long, apparently tense conversation with the group before letting them in. He was to prevent refugees and sellswords from entering the city.
In the city, somethings were the same, some different. A number of refugees, some recently arrived and others who have found hovels and temporary housing, were about. In the new city were many new buildings, wood still covered in sap, beside the burned structures. Despite the destruction, the city felt crowded, seeming surprising until the group realized they had wandered into what seems to be a festival. Through the festival wandered men that smelt of rum, looking to have fun or break an ankle.
Vikram, Kalyani and Raymond broke off for some of Vikram’s errands and to return the book, while Narayan and the Lizardfolk went toward the docks to seek out a ship going north.
At his own house, or perhaps a new house built where it was destroyed, Vikram found his wife, Carella. She seemed unhappy: “Decided it was time to come back, did you?” were her opening words. The three came in at Carella’s invitation, and there they found her and Vikram’s daughter, Rekha, or Mabile, who opened her conversation with Kalyani with: “Are you a bastard too?” Carella let Vikram to know that they were better off without him, and that she had found a local lord to take care of her and their daughter. She criticized him without rest, to which he merely replied that he was glad someone was looking after them, before saying that he needed to explain to Rekha about something. Furthermore, he said, he thought that Carella and Rekha would be safest coming with the group, but that if he had his way, he wouldn’t be going anywhere. Finally Vikram asked about his books and papers, which Carella declared she’d burned, before they left, only when Rekha had given Kalyani his ears back. Vikram left some hundreds of gold worth of money on the table and they headed out from the house.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group descended toward the docks. In the docks more buildings were standing, since the fire hadn’t reached there, but the buildings were rickety and unstable, and the place smelt awful of the stink of the smell. Twelve or so ships were to be found in port, of a number of sorts and sizes. Right on the water was an inn, taller than wide and leering dangerously outwards from its moorings, known as the Sea King, where Vikram had told the group to rendezvous. Inside the inn were a great variety of sailors of various races and nationalities, as well as a goblin in the corner and more Tieflings that might have been expected, some not sailors, by their looks. The innkeeper, Gui, informed them that the Arcenne has blockeaged the Riggish coast, and that nobody who does not pay a tithe can pass. He let them know, however, that a “half-mad Pried,” Andikona den Maura Wavecaptain, who runs the blockade and seems to be planning to take out some aggression against the Arcenne’s forces. Additionally, the slaver Goblin downstairs is known to pay the tithe and might be a passage north as well.
Gui also gave the following news:
Flight of the Arbellans: Armies of the Cantor had been doing well, pushing into the Arcenne’s territory, doing well against the scattered tribes under the Arcenne. When the news of Lycon’s destruction reachted the forces in the north, most of the Arbellans and all of the Lyconians left the fighting. Only Sir Isore of Lycon could rally some of his countrymen to continue the fighting, but it wasn’t enough when the Riggish armies redoubled their attacks and it was a slaughter. Gui expresses hope that the neutrality of Reyen, the city will be able to ride this war out.
Vikram, Raymond and Kalyani sent a message up to the archivist and then ascended to the old city, and to the badly burned archives. There they met with Jordis the blind, who paid them and demanded 150 gold per horse they’d borrowed. Vikram refused outright, and the conversation ended tensely.
Back at the inn, Kinaa and Hillalum conversed about the Dragon Gods, with Kinaa questioning Hillalum on the power of the Dragon Gods and the power of other Gods, and Hillalum questioning Kinaa’s faith.
The three went down to the docks, where Raymond noted signs on the placard outside the inn that suggested this was a Loyalist meeting place. Raymond displayed his holy symbol prominently as they entered, and they were shown up by the innkeeper, who spoke to Raymond in a gutteral language, the Duat Tongue. They discussed the place and stature of the Loyalists in Reyen, and Raymond asked after the Loyalists of Lycon, and specifically after Sir Baudouin, his liege, but Gui had not heard of his whereabouts.
The party debated whether they would continue together, with Vikram apparently not desiring to travel north to the Eyrie. Because Kalyani desired to continue farther north to the City of Red Glass, though, Vikram agreed to continue. Narayan declared that he would like to see the inside of the Eyrie, and would therefore come along. Hillalum then shared that an envoy from the City of Red Glass had come to the Eyrie soon before he left on this quest, and that they had been installed in apartments and in conversation with the High Priests.
A crew unafraid to speak to the Goblin slaver, Sebum gar’Tonaz, went down to the common room and inquired about his plans. After some negotiation by Raymond over price and some discussion between Kinaa and the slaver about his destination and plans, they settled on 65 gold for the group’s passage to Riggsland. The rest of the party, however, wanted to see about the Pried, and so they went out to look for her and ask her price and her plans. Vikram lead them through the disgusting streets of the shore district to a prison where they suspected the Halfling might be kept. They asked for Andikona den Maura Wavecaptain, the name of the Halfling captain. For a bribe the guard let the group in all together, and they went into the ill-constructed jail, which held mostly drunken human sailors.
The Wavecaptain already had a visitor, another female Pried, Onatia den Maura Wavecaller, her kinsman. The Wavecaptain explained that she had been framed for stealing the keys of the harbormaster, and that that was why she was in jail. She suggested that the Goblin had framed her, in service to the Arcenne, in order to prevent her from freeing her kinsmen from the Arcenne’s forces. The group offered to gather evidence that Andikona had not stolen the keys, and in return Andikona offered passage to Riggsland. She sent them off with Onatia to her ship to look for evidence, with warning that the Harbormaster had been drunk on duty, was looking for someone to blame, and might be hard to convince.
They went back to the docks and, with Raymond distracting an ogre servant of Sebun, Narayan and Onatia went aboard the Wavecaptain’s ship. Below, with Narayan ducking everywhere, he discovered signs that the lock of the location that had previously held the keys had been picked and that there were signs of someone climbing in. Needing an effective way to convince the harbormaster of the captain’s innocence, the party considered 1) Theft, 2) Blackmail, 3) Assault and 4) Telling the Truth.
At last, the group headed over to find the harbormaster and told him about what they’d seen in the cabin. Vikram convinced him that it was probably a framing by the goblin, and the harbormaster agreed to look in the ship. Having seen the evidence of the break-in, the harbormaster agreed to let the Pried out of prison if they would convince her not to cause any trouble or make a stink. With this agreement made, the party seemed to have a way out of town that didn’t involve sailing with a known servant of the Arcenne, and contingent on fair winds, things were moving northward.