The night passes uneventfully in Nebalich and the group awake the next morning, ready to make plans about what they should do next. However, Riari and NeeHi are first awoken by a mysterious stranger in their room. The stranger pleads for them not to yell out or panic and reveals herself to be an old colleague of Riari’s from Ghan – one of the King’s Guard. Riari confirms this and Ommer tells them that she believes Riari’s innocence and that when she spoke up for her, and spoke out against Riari’s persecution by the guard captain, she found herself equally framed and, fearing for her life, she fled, leaving her family behind.
She tells them she has sought out Riari because she believes she is the only one she can trust, the only person who is truly loyal to the king and that the guard captain, having now consolidated his control over the guard and gotten closer to the king will retry the assassination attempt and this time succeed unless they can find a way to expose him and his plot. She appeals to Riari to come back to Ghan and help.
After some deliberation, Riari agrees, but NeeHi is highly suspicious of Ommer and isn’t keen on the idea of heading back into the jaws of those they were chased away by, suspecting a trap or ploy at work. Soon, Ommer is introduced to the others and they agree to help.
Running low on money, and with the impeding risk of the guards wanting to question them further, they start thinking of ways to get back to Ghan. Ghan is at least a few months travel by foot, in the opposite direction the various characters have been heading thus far. They can ferry up the canals to the Welbyway or perhaps find some kind of powerful artefact that they could use. Perhaps they can hire the services of a powerful Nano to teleport them, or convince an Angulan Knight to fly them there. In any event, such things cost money, something they are in short supply of, so the first port of call is to find work. Ananth and Ommer ask the barman about work and Nanos, and learn that work can usually be had on the docks and that there is a club for Nanos just down the road from the inn that opens in the evening, known as the Corner Club.
The party split up, Mafidan approaches the local Angulan Knight eyrie which is built into the castles outer walls. Whilst he doesn’t make friends of the Knights with his attitude, he does convince the ground guards to allow the party the privilege of being able to talk to and request a ride from the Xi-Drake bonded Knights for a ‘donation’ of 100 shins a head. Mafidan also learns that there are Rasters nesting in an abandoned castle in the Slated Marshes nearby that have been attacking passing ships. They would likely be rewarded or sponsored by merchants to rid them of the nuisance or might even be able to capture and sell them, or perhaps even train them and fly to Ghan.
Meanwhile the rest of the party investigate the sea-port, looking for work opportunities. The docks are bustling with activity and several ships are looking for workers, though most are more interested in long-term hires. Two ships in particular are of interest though, a ship run by an ex-Ghanian merchant who, assuming a group mostly comprising of women looking for sea-work are fellow Ghanians, is happy to hire them, as having more women on ship than men is good luck according to Ghanian superstitions. Ananth also find a curious machine loading cyphers, components and curious objects in glass cubes onto a highly unusual and advanced sailless ship. The machine has little time for fleshlings or crew but Ananth, upon learning the machine is heading to the Weal of Baz, asks if there is anything he might do to secure passage. The machine sets him a task to find to items it has yet to be able to procure and tells him if he can attain such items by this time tomorrow, he will grant him passage.
NeeHi spends the majority of the last of her money on pies, purchasing an enormous one, which in an unfortunate incident gets dropped on the floor and ruined when Mafidan meets back up with the group. They exchange notes and after some discussion and Ommer’s urging to try and be out of the city as soon as they can, the decide to travel to the Marshes in the morning to pursue the Rasters.