Waking up in the morning, Rani sought out Ghilani after finding a crudely drawn image depicting Ghilani with one of Porysis' swords. Rani offered to include Ghilani in her morning training session when he said he'd like to learn how to wield a sword. After "borrowing" some crew members clothing, Ghilani followed Rani through her morning training steps. Who knew that shortswords were so... heavy. Moira sought out The Widow, who was angrily tying ropes on the deck. Either momentarily ignorant of The Widow's grumpy mood or blatantly choosing to ignore it, Moira opened with a good old: "Hey, so you're good at talking to your god...". And then told The Widow about her conversation with Caliban – he actually spoke to her! But she never knows what to say it seems. After asking if The Widow was okay and realizing that he clearly wasn't ready to talk about what was bothering him, The Widow shoved the tankard at Moira, telling her not to let him have it. The party then descended into the brig to speak with Porysis. Despite his circumstances, Porysis seemed incredibly calm. He's already a "slave of his own making" and thus imprisonment doesn't bother him. Although his empire may fall, he's had his fun and can settle for five rather than his allotted 10. If the party is willing to send him back to his Mistress – instead of turning him in at Port Oceana – he'd be more than happy to fail a Zone of Truth and tell The Deep End whatever they wish to know. Approaching Moira while the others were talking, he told her to twist one ring, push another, and tweak a third. On impulse, Moira did what he requested. He thanked her and informed the party he estimated that they had 10-15 minutes until his Mistress came to collect him. Rani asked why he couldn't just simply do that himself. As he's been seeking a challenge, it felt only right that those who defeated him be the ones to send him back. Porysis serves Mistress Eight, a blood witch who travels in the Neg'Varos Bay area. After he requested time to roam and be free, he made a deal with mistress Eight: after 10 years of freedom, he would return to bind himself to her for the rest of his days. Before he departed from her house, she requested that Matron Seven forge him swords and then bound them to him. He described mistress Eight as a beautiful woman with long black hair and eyes like coal. She seems to have only recently begun interacting with humanoids again. The Mistress harbors some lingering ire for what happened during the Purge. Porysis is aware of how long-lived blood witches can be, but has never once heard her speak of the Dread King's War. Porysis revealed that Janos is in the Southern Seas, but it is unlikely that the party will find him. He has acquired something that allows him to remain invisible while aboard his floating Fortress. Given that Janos wanted Porysis to steal armor, the captain suspects that the Pirate Lord does not plan to carry out his usual pranks during the Namakan Games. The Pirate Lord is looking for something, but Porysis knows not what. However, Janos certainly is trying to upstage his grandfather, the Scourge of the Sea. Porysis believe sit is revenge for the old man abandoning everything to serve the dead up north. The Yuan-Ti captain is not fond of secrecy. He and Janos used to be quite close, but Porysis doesn't appreciate how little he's been allowed to know. This blond woman - Olivantha - seems to listen to Janos, but she puts the Pirate Lord on edge. While drunk, Janos confessed that she is possessed by the Dread King, though Porysis seemed doubtful given the Pirate Lord's tendency towards theatrics and exaggeration. Porysis doesn't know who specifically Janos answers to... but Jaakobah was sent from the North. While Porysis is mildly saddened that his empire may fall, he is not not sure he wants to see the Pirate Lord succeed anymore. Finding Madame Hai Rong would be a task, though Porysis has had the "pleasure" of working with her. She seems to follow her own whims, drifting beneath the waves. Her hunting grounds appear to be the Southern Sea, but he knows not what her specific orders were. In fact, he didn't know what any of the other captain's orders were and he's only heard the name "Meera", nothing more. Porysis wished the party good luck before a large black shadow of a woman simply engulfed him. The party interrogating Azhi afterwards, forcefully holding her down so that The Widow could show Ghilani how to properly extract blood. She seemed distraught and upset that the man she loved so quickly abandoned her. Azhi continued to ask that they simply throw her into the sea... if she happens upon the shores of Carmenthia, she'll beg her goddess for forgiveness. The party arrived in Port Oceana and obtained the reward for Porysis after showing Captain Faumea the three rings, a scale, armor, and six swords. After picking up their upgraded vessel, The Deep End headed towards Varoona Proper. The Widow stayed up to learn how to sail. Moira checked in with Jeramy: it seems he graduates soon! Moira also cast to Yue and asked her about the kalashtar women. She also mentioned Vorgar. Yue promised to look into it and warned Moira that the green dragon clan is not to be trusted. Arriving back in Varoona Proper the following evening, Rani went to meet with Ezra and they spent the night relaxing under the stars. It seems Marigold is in quite the frenzy as the theater prepares for a new run of shows and performances. Marigold almost had his head for stepping within three feet of a painted backdrop! The other three traveled immediately to Chaos Reigns. Having received blood from a pirate captain and his first mate, Four appeared to be in a good mood. She walked Ghilani and The Widow through some blood magic secrets as Moira watched. Ghilani assured her that it's really cool! They then asked about the blood witch situation. Are the lower numbers more powerful? Four said it depends on the perspective. Generally, the numbering keeps track of "who came before". It seems Primus One is somewhere in the jungle of Therarask and they're responsible for training the new initiates. And of course there's Matron Seven, Mistress Eight, and Nana Nine. The Widow spoke with Five about a tattoo to make him harder to hit. When he asked for no roses or hearts, Five responded that she cannot help whatever inspires her... Before bed, Moira cast sending to the kalashtar woman she saw. Voices and gibberish and nonsense pervaded her senses alongside visions that she couldn't make out... before she parsed out a set of words spoken rapidly and overlaying with one another:
"Descended of two gods, despised by one, beloved of one, fueled by hunger and blood."As The Deep End settled down for another night of rest... The Widow woke up on the golden platform. Therarask sat at the edge, facing away as they drank a glass of wine. Nothing was said for a couple of minutes until Therarask broke the silence. After The Widow's response, the god seemed irritated and sent the Widow plummeting downward. Seems Therarask hung up. Moira's vision swam with gold that night:
For a moment, all you see is gold... and then your vision discerns shapes in the gold and figures... until the form of a familiar silver-haired woman takes form. She is seated on a bench, back straight with her hands on her knees, palms up, and her head tilted slightly upward. Her eyes are rolled back. For a moment she is still... then her eyes twitch and her body begins to jerk. Her fingers randomly touch her palms. Her nose begins to bleed. There is movement in your peripheral, but all you can discern is a wave of a dark armored hand and the other movement stops. The woman begins to convulse, spitting blood from her lips as she falls forward to the ground, shaking. Suddenly, there are hands on her, holding her and grabbing at her.Moira made some food in the morning while The Widow ran to Dragolée to order some creme brûlée. Rani traveled with Ezra to the theater where she dropped off the swarm to help Marigold paint some new backdrops. Rani visited the Temple to ask Erwin about Tellatrix - the student from the University who had sent in an application. Erwin agreed to help Rani review her application in the near future. For now, he's being used as painting practice for Zephus. Moving through the temple, Rani overheard some of the priestess' gossiping. It seems the volcano on Therarask is acting up. The smoke is increasing and the temperature is rising. How will the tourism there be impacted if they have to close the borders? During Vith's hours, Rani swapped out swords, Vith agreed to begin working on The Widow's six cylinder dagger, and Vith presented plans to Newt for an item. After picking up the creme brûlée, The Widow went to apologize to the High Priestess. Although mildly taken aback, she agreed to meet with The Widow to speak about gods in the near future. She provided her perspective on the issues of gods and their use of avatars. The Guild Council has her quite busy at the moment, but she'd be more than happy to speak again. On the way out, The Widow also overheard some gossip. Imagine how it'll affect Pleasure Row! A shame, really. Oh? You haven't heard? The volcano on Therarask is acting up again! Ghilani found the Widow screaming "REALLY?" at the sky outside the Temple of Varoona. Wanting to help, Ghilani mentioned that he's a guy and he likes flowers and cheese and chocolate... and maybe you should give your boyfriend that? After The Widow informed Ghilani that he doesn't have a boyfriend and that it's the other guy who needs to apologize, Ghilani offered him a tulip. The Widow left Ghilani in front of the Temple. Walking inside, Ghilani looked at the statues of Ah'Shal and Tel'Rhea - a dryad woman with a swollen belly and a child in her arms. He apologized to Ah'Shal for what happened. Moira also found her way to the Temple and prayed to Varoona... about Caliban and everything else going on. The Widow did some research on Therarask in the library. To no one's surprise, Therarask sets fashion trends and tends to change their formal appearance every 1-100 years or so, but when on their island, they tend to take the form of whatever the person viewing them desires most. The largest legend associated with Therarsk is simply titled "Szere". It documents the tale of the woman who claimed to be the "other half of a god" and remained devoted to Therarask, even when tested by the god themself. In the end, she died in the god of Devotions arms. Rani found The Widow and took him to the beach where she had set up a spread of foods and gelato. When Tatya was going through heartbreak - which he did frequently - he would eat his feelings and braid Rani's hair. Rani tried to braid the Widow's hair as he began talking about the situation with Belle. Eventually, Rani mentioned the volcano and the Widow seemed irritated. After slowly opening up about the situation further, Rani exclaimed: "Did you fuck your god?" Did The Widow tell or yell? How does The Widow feel about THerarask? Did he have any romantic feelings before? It's a shame to lose a friendship over an odd romance. Rani suggested writing out his feelings in a letter and giving it to Therarsk, if words were failing. And do let her know if The Widow can take the letter into the dream dimension. She needs to talk to some gods as well. Ghilani cast sending to Azhi asking her how she was and what she would do fi she was free. She wishes to go back to Carmenthia, but what does that matter now? She's guilty on all fronts in the eyes of the Port. Moira sent to Olivantha, who sounded confused and disoriented. The Dread King? What woman? He speaks of power. She doesn't want to die. Rani asked if Lark was there. Can he even speak? Almawt seemed to perk up. Moira happened to have another odd golden dream:
For a moment, all you see is gold... and then your vision discerns shapes in the gold and figures... until the form of a familiar silver-haired woman takes form. She is standing, with her hand outstretched towards your vision. The edges of your vision are blurry and although the details of her outfit obscured, you can see her face clearly; you see the glittering of gold trinkets in her hair and around her neck and wrists. A large, masculine hand with pale skin takes her hand and the vision's point of view shifts from being level with the woman's shoulders to well over a foot above her. Holding the hand, she seems to move through the room – the shape of figures slipping past along the periphery. The faint sound of music begins to emanate from somewhere; a beating of drums. A figure, blurry, moves past pausing behind the silver-haired woman, who flushes as her eyes turn to directly stare into yours as it all fades.
Returning to Port Ocean with armor, six swords, three rings, and a scale... the party was able to collect the bounty (1000 gold) for defeated Captain Porysis Sozsatos. Captain Faumea claimed the galleon for the navy, but The Diving Board has been upgraded and 100 gold remains on credit for future use.
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