The docks here are bigger than Bral by at least triple. This is only one of 7 quarters to this City, so it’s clearly large on a scale we are not used to. We wander into Madame Syziki’s whore house because….because of course. Also, apparently Kenari is thirsty from all the walking.
We walk in and get our bearings. Ef Utan notes that a lot of the waitstaff look more like bodyguards than waiters. Fyn and I notice Klasath sitting at the bar. It’s been a while since we’ve since him. Four years or so. Klasath showed up with Ozzy when he returned home from Athos after being missing. Klasath is a skinny githyanki who dresses like a pirate and wears a mask. Fyn suggests inviting Klasath for dinner and goes over to talk to him. I follow along. Fyn starts in his usual way and Klasath cuts him off asking “you offering me a job?” Fyn says “or maybe a fee for information?” Klasath says it’s fine as long as the “puppets” stay away. Turns out he doesn’t like priests. Wait, does he mean me too?
Fyn arranges for a private dining room and coughs up extra for magical interference so we have true privacy. Klasath picks up on the fact that Ef Utan is a “cager.” Says he goes there too. That takes me a bit, but he’s apparently referring to the fighting pits on Carrigmore?
We give Klasath a brief recap of our mission. We ask about getting an appointment with the Dockmaster. Klasath mentions that the people here are law abiding because the city is run by diviners who deploy guards before anything happens. The Dockmaster runs everything and his faction is the Foreseen. He thinks we should talk to one of them. Kenari asks about chronomancers going missing and Klasath mentions that his friend – the Sapphire Mage – is missing. [Well, that’s a coincidence.] Kenari tells Klasath that we’ve been chasing mindflayers because we think that they are somehow responsible. Then she veers back to the Sapphire Mage and how he went crazy and Klasath wonders if he was implanted by the Illithid.
We’re interrupted by a knock on the door – a waiter who brings Klasath a 900 year old bottle of Elven Scotch from Casimir’s private collection from Madam Syziki.
Klasath veers back to the topic of the Sapphire Mage and tells us that he had just heard about the disappearance but he hasn’t seen his friend in at least 10 years. Kenari shows Klasath the book – who points at some of the passages and says they are “math.” Then he points to other passages and says they are Qualith – Illithid writing. I try to read it and get “Quantum”, “Oerth = Earth” and “Earth Prime” a few times. We talk about whether the Illithid need to do their “spell” or whatever from Earth Prime and I suggest that we get there first. Try to get ahead of them.
Klasath asks about the matching tattoos many of the spelljoined have, then asks Fyn about the Illithid tech buried in his hand. At some point, Ef Utan realizes Klasath is an Athor – a githyanki sect that is anti-god – believing that gods are, somehow, just more powerful than regular people but not divine. So, of course, Melchior decides that now is the time to spread the Good Word.
The Captain tells Klasath that Melchior is an American and the conversation haltingly moves on. Eventually, dinner done, we decide to head outside and explore. Which is a great decision as everyone seems to be drunk on Elven Scotch.
As we are heading down the street, a woman in full robes – with only her showing – approaches us, salutes the Captain and calls her “my lady.” There are men – Foreseen – on large floating rocks, directing air traffic in and out of the dock. As one of the rocks floats in for a shift change, we decide to approach the guy disembarking. His name is Pakiru and he is unfortunately cursed – as he starts letting loose with explosive flatulence due to the presence of “adventurers.” It does help move the conversation along. We tell him we are looking for the Dockmaster and he says the Dockmaster tends to appear where he needs to be. But if we want to hurry this along, we may find him with the Death Master from Chirowell (oh, the corpseberg) and they like to visit at the White Lotus tea room. So we head there and get a table outside on the square. There’s a party of fey – true fey – on one side of us and a party of lizard people on the other. Lenata casts a zone of silence on the table for more privacy. We’re there for about an hour when we are approached by a woman with red tinted skin who asks to talk business. Her name is Alyssa Starbow and – addressing Kenari – says she is a member of the faction of Bookbinders. She says they know Kenari has a rare book in her possession and they want to buy it. Kenari politely refuses, but inquires as to how they knew. Alyssa dodges the question and asks if they could copy the book. She mentions “Steamwalkers”-another faction – who may just decide to take it. Alyssa keeps pouring it on and she seems sincere, but we’re hardly about to sell the Sapphire Mage’s journal or let it be copied. Though Kenari does hedge and say if the Bookbinders have someone who could actually translate it – we may be able to talk.
I’m watching the room and up and down the street trying to see who may be interested in our group. About a half block down, I notice a man on a balcony who’s watching us intently. I call Ef Utan’s attention to the guy and Ef Utan notes that the location is a solid tactical choice. I tell Ef Utan I’ll be right back and dimension door over to the balcony. I hold my empty hands out – trying to look non-threatening. The man hands me a scroll and leaves. I watch him walk away before I dimension door back to the group and hand the Captain the scroll. The scroll is an invitation to meet The Dockmaster at the warehouses owned by the Spelljoined. Which is news to this group.
We follow the directions and head towards the warehouses. We find a large warehouse – 1 city block in size with a plaque that says “Spelljoined. Official business only.” The door opens for Kenari – but wouldn’t for Fyn. We go in and it’s pretty empty. There’s an office to the side with a flickering lantern. Ef Utan opens the door and scares some skinny Mulhorondi boy near to death. The boy is confused – because apparently we’ve been dead for 300 years or some such nonsense. He says the Captain’s great grandson runs the place. Lenata notes the rain and thunder that starts suddenly and loudly outside. The kid takes off to find a superior. We’re above his paygrade apparently.
Ef Utan goes out to see if anyone else is there. Floating outside is the Dockmaster. He tells Ef Utan to bring us all out, so we troop outside. He stares at us for a moment and it’s like I’m being analyzed in and out. Then he says “Good. The threads have come together. Now that you are here, various forces including myself – we have done our best to keep you away from the fates and fortunes so you can fight the mindflayers. But they are breaking through everywhere. Events far from now are reaching a head. Be careful. Watch each other’s backs. Lots of probabilities have been juggled to get you here.” Kenari asks about their tattoos. The Dockmaster says forces have brought you together – including the spelljammer and even The Lady. “After all, it’s the rarest of things to hear The Lady speak.” Directed to me. He tells us that we are one group among many but that we will face the mindflayers in arenas where we can do the most damages. He tells us to watch each other’s backs and always look for the rule of three.
The rain starts to slow down – it was the rain that he was using to hide us and this conversation – but the rain is slowing and three strikes of purple (!!) lightning hit the ground. We see a giant kaiju off in the distance but don’t run. The buildings flicker around us and when they settle – they are different than before. And we see that the warehouse plaque now reads “for sale” but also – the Captain and Klasath are missing.