Upon their return our heroes discover the immediate WildSpace around the Rock to be filled with ships. The Bralian Navy and allied forces patrol the area, while numerous traders, freebooters, and others wait for docking space. Theridon is greeted by an escort from House Seven Stars who whisk him away to a meeting of the Council of Captains (Renting property on the Rock and having five ships makes him a member now).
Drake sets about researching the status of their holdings and touring the facilities of House Seven Stars. He finds that Deldrick K’Tel (the gnome who bought in during their absence) has left for Ironpiece on family business. He also begins reinsinuating himself into the upper crust party scene and greasing palms in the Land Bureau in an attempt to rent space for a high end art gallery.
Ozzy heads for the pits near the docks and starts getting back into the swing of things with the fights, Tavist (of course) is taking bets. Kaolin meanwhile is summoned to the Temple of Celestian where she is appraised of the fact that she must now take on a novice priest as a student. After surveying her choices she picks Cyril Cartan, a son of Diadan Cartan (adviser to Prince Durand). Drake is thrilled at the idea of having a “servant.”….
Dugan negotiates with Balic’s Blades and arranges a trade off- while on the Rock he will work for them producing weapons of quality in return for use of their forge and facilities during the off hours for his own projects (i.e. magic items).
Meanwhile all of them are keeping their ears peeled for news of the current state of alert. The Fireball Alliance is mobilized and their Mages are visible on all the Ballista Towers in the city. City Guard are seen in increased numbers, including patrols in LowTown (where they are usually never seen). It seems that it has recently come to light that the scro haven taken Spiral and have maintained the secret until a few weeks ago. A scro squad also broke the peace of Bral and pursued a fugitive through the streets, chased him off Rock, and pursued him with a fleet to Ironpiece where they battled the Gnomish Navy.
Drake discovers that one of the House ships, a Dragonfly class ship called Random Access, disappeared recently. It was last heard from in Redeyes, where it reported the sighting of a black and violet Elven Man O War. The Random Access was captained by Hoopaka the Hadozee (the rest of Clan Zarcrat was also on board). With Drake’s help Kaolin attempts a scrying to find them. Using the holy water font in the Temple of Celestian they are able to summon an image of Galas, the grommam, and communicate with him via a message spell.
The crew of the Random Access are marooned on a planet called Armistace. They are battling not only the tempestuous environment and it’s local humanoids, but also gravity triple the norm. It is decided that Tavist and the Capt. will go to Ironpiece in the Turtleship to find out more about the mystery man the scro were chasing (and rescue K’Tel, whose SideWheeler has broken down en route) while everyone else takes the Door To Excess to Armistace to stage a rescue. With help from Elmandar’s Starcharts Kaolin plots a course to Armistace (SpiralSpace to GreatSpace to GrommSpace to WinterSpace) Preparations begin for departure.