After several days of keeping the airship on a course towards Iomedae, they finally spot land and adjust their course to fly overland towards a city. When they near the city, they see the skydock, and try to slow the big ship down in order to dock there. This does not earn them any jury points, as their speed was still to high, but they manage to fix the ship to the skydock without damaging either the ship nor the dock. The people present at the dock did get a bit of a scare though. The harbourmaster approaches the airship, looking somewhat surprised.
Preen explains briefly what has happened, and the harbourmaster tells them to report in more detail to Father Brant in the temple. The fee for mooring their ship at the skydock is 1 goldpiece per day. “Welcome to Asteroath” the harbourmasters says before returning to his office.
They leave the ship to go to the temple. There are very few airships in the skyport, and also in the streets not many folks are about. When they find the temple, they see two guards in full plate armour standing at the entrance: these are acolytes of Iomedae. They ask to see Father Brant: “A large injustice has occurred!”
They are led to Father Brant. As they walk through the temple complex, they note the militaristic style. The ‘monks’ wear white robes, but it is very clear they wear at least mail shirts and carry weapons underneath. The acolyte who accompanied them stops in front of a plain wooden door, knocks and after hearing an affirmative answer from within, opens the door to let Lini, Preen and Jonathan in. He then leaves them in the care of Father Brant.
After brief introductions and a welcoming word by Father Brant, Lini tells him what has befallen them, backed up by Preen and Jonathan. Father Brant explains that the survivors in the case they describe – so the three in front of him – automatically become the new owners of the airship, if they are willing to swear to the truth of their story on a certain stone. Father Brant opens a drawer in his desk and takes out a green stone. Preen puts his hand on the stone and swears that what they have told him is completely true. Satisfied, Father Brant says that the ownership papers of the Freebird will be transferred to them. Father Brant tells them also that the fleet that was assembled to fight the Sky Pirates, has already left Iomedae. They thank Father Brant for his time, and leave the temple. Near the exit of the temple they leave a small donation (2 gp) in the sacrificial bowl.
On their way to the airship, they discuss what to do. They could sell the airship, or hire a crew to man it. But first they go look for the ownership papers. After a little searching in the captains room, they find the documents, and also a sealed letter to a lady in Cloud Eagle. Preen opens the letter to read it, and it appears to be a letter of farewell from Captain Liam.
For two gold pieces, the ownership of the Freebird is transferred to Preen, Jonathan and Lini. Then they go look for a nice inn and find The Roaring Lion to meet their requirements. The inn has good rooms, and Preen haggles the initial price of 5 silvers down to a price of 4 silver pieces per person per night, including a hot meal. A lad of about 12 years old leads them to their rooms, which can be locked. Also in the inn it is relatively quiet – it appears that many people have decided to go with the fleet to fight the Sky Pirates. In their rooms, they each freshen up, and put on a change of clothes. They have their dirty clothing washed – this is picked up by the same young lad who brought them to their rooms.
Then they go down to the common room to have a drink. There are seven other patrons now. They order beers at the bar and ask the barkeep, an older woman, where an airship crew could be hired. After some talking back and forth, she comes to the conclusion that the trio are no sailors, nor have much experience with sailing. She refers them to the Seagull Tavern where she surmises a boatsman can be found.
When they finish their beers, they go look for the recommended tavern.
In the Seagull Tavern more people are present. They notice a relatively large group of men, about 20 people, sitting together, clearly belonging to a single group. Each of these men has a knife on his belt. They also notice a man the others defer to, their presumed ‘leader’. This man has a face full of scars, and his skin is darkly tanned.
Wanting to start the conversation in a positive way, Preen orders a round of drink for all present in the tavern, which is greatly appreciated. They then invite the man with the scars to sit down with them. He introduces himself as Jeremy. They ask him what is commonly done with mutineers on a ship. He says that they are thrown overboard with their weapons if they are still alive, and without weapons if already dead. When asked why this distinction is made, Jeremy squints his eyes and says: You really don’t know, do you? Clearly you are no sailors. Let me tell you, when you fall overboard, you better have a knife on you. The alternative is gruesome beyond words. There is no bottom to the fall you see? You just keep falling and falling and falling… For days and days, until you die of thirst!
Slightly shocked by this account, they then ask Jeremy about his situation. He tells them that the Captain of the ship he and his men have served on has lost his ship and his life to boot in a bet. So yeah, he and his crew are available for a trip manning a ship. They get to the negotiations, Jeremy expects the trip to Iomedae from Asteroath to take five days. They settle on a total price of 20 goldpieces for the whole trip for all the men. They also need fuel bricks. The prices for the fuel bricks are standardized by 1 gp per piece, and they will need 45 of them for a single trip. To feed the crew and the ‘captains’ during the trip, another 5 gold pieces is required. They decide to also get fuel bricks for the return trip from Iomedae to Asteroath.
They take Jeremy to the Freebird to show him the ship. They then hand him the required money and he assures them that everything will be in order for departure in the morning. The crew will also do the necessary repairs on the ship (fix broken locks etc.).
They then return to the inn, where Lini decides to retire early after the evening meal, for some prayers and meditation – they will have to leave at the crack of dawn. Preen and Jonathan do not feel like an early bed, and decide to check out the different taverns and bars in the city. In one of the taverns, Preen tells an exaggerated story full of his own heroism, and is then challenged to a fight in The Pit. The fights there are bare-handed, which Preen accepts with a sly grin. After only a few bouts Preen is knocked unconscious however. When he recovers, he goes back to drinking. He also gives his opponent a healing potion, to help heal the slashes on his chest…
Being a loyal friend, and drinking far less, Jonathan stays with Preen al throughout.
The next morning, bright and early, although not so bright for some of them, they are all aboard the airship, ready for departure to Iomedae.