Before the party can even finish counting the gold coins they found within the sea hags' lair, a vessel is upon them. The sky pirates are on The Last Breath with only a brief moment to take stock of the situation. Quickly coming up with a battle plan, the party readies for the assault. These sky pirates are not here for friendly conversation. They are here for blood and booty. A whizzing arrow and the horns of a grappling hook attaching to the arm holding the elemental ring in place is the first thing the party sees. A kobold fist-fighter slings himself across the gap toward Dorian's ship while a human archer fires arrows from the black airship's helm. Dorian yells out for the party to defend themselves against Dravago's crew while he handles Dravago himself. Two more pirates make their way aboard The Last Breath, a young female sporting pigtails and a shortbow, and a humanlike creature with horns and cloven feet.
An epic sky battle takes place with the pirates ultimately retreating after everyone who boarded the ship is slain. Temper slays two of the enemies, and the party is victorious, although not easily. Much of the party is wounded, and Dorian seems more shaken by his battle with Dravago than he has ever been. The party heals and rests the duration of the night. Everyone discusses the party's course of action during the next few days, and that is to remain as close as possible until the assassin is revealed. Dorian takes to his chambers to mend his wounds, but he seems not just physically wounded. Something else is bothering him and he tells Castel to man the ship while he remains in his cabin for the next few days.
The next morning, Cade and Temper do some further investigation involving the assassin Lakashtai claims to be aboard the ship. Cade witnesses Melchoir holding a blade after the battle with the pirates below deck. But, he claims to merely be protecting Lakashtai. Cade and Temper also have a verbal scuffle with Cosmo, the Thranish brute, in the cargo hold. It's apparent Cosmo has no respect for the Silver Flame and what could even be described as disgust for the warforged, Temper. Cade doesn't find any evidence of foul play in the cargo hold, but he does find a half-empty bottle of wine. So, he assumes Cosmo is just a surly drunk.
Shigure and Naaman take the morning to survey their treasure and identify magical items recovered from the hags at Covey Island. Later, they decide to speak with Dorian about the situation with the assassin. Upon visiting Dorian at his private chambers, they find he is in awful shape. His appearance is unbecoming and he seems distant and aggravated. Naaman convinces him to let Aureon help with his wounds, and Shigure asks about his crew. He seems defensive, but offers further assistance if necessary. They return below deck to meet up with the rest of the party and until they finally arrive at Stormreach, everyone maintains a low profile, sticking together and preparing for the journey ahead. Lakashtai explains that once arriving in Stormreach, the first order of business should be to find a thunder guide that knows of the monolith they seek.
The long flight from Sharn is finally over and the party gets its first glimpse of Stormreach. It's a bit ramshackle compared to the glorious Sharn, but it appears quite possibly just as diverse, with a ample population of adventuring types. The party should fit right in. Before leaving the ship, Dorian pulls Shigure and Naaman aside and apologizes for his lousy state the other day and tells them to contact him via a House Sivis message station when they return from their journey.
The party has a minor interaction with the Stormreach arrival guards, where Naaman costs the party a few gold coins, but entry into the city is relatively easy. Shigure uses her charm to befriend a worldy regular here in Stormreach named Harald Chlodwig. He claims to be an Eldeen Ranger and a veteran of these streets. He takes a liking to Shigure and offers to help the party find a thunder guide. Harald leads the party to The Chapterhouse, a tavern slash hostel slash entertainment venue run by House Ghallanda and House Phiarlan cooperatively. There, with the help of a few drinks, Harald uses his local knowledge to find out what the party is after. He tells them to find Worren Ulbright, a former Paladin of the Silver Flame, at The Ship's Cat tonight.
The party finds The Ship's Cat easily enough. It is run by a female shifter by the name of Harysh who apparently loves cats and familiars. Harysh offers anything in her inn to Achava, and then explains that Worren Ulbright is the wickedly drunk fella losing the arm wrestling match nearby. Worren loses the match and falls to the floor. When Shigure and Naaman try to approach him, offering assistance to get up, he seems incredibly abrasive and rude. Obviously beyond drunk, he doesn't want to have anything to do with these strangers.
The party has found their thunder guide, but could this really be the person they are to entrust with their lives in the jungles of Xen'Drik, where dark elves stalk, slaying anyone foolish enough to tread their homeland? This fella, an obnoxious, drunken former paladin?
To be continued...