A little after the sea serpent, while everyone was steadily getting sicker from eating rancid meat, the Promethea sailed into a floating sea of debris. Apparently, the enemy fleet had had a falling out amongst itself, and had split into two groups, one heading east and the other south. The easterly group had the ship that was putting up blue sails... obviously the part of the fleet they'd seen the pirate-mode Promethea sailing into the middle of in the one vision about it.
They tried to salvage any food and water they could find from the wreckage, but all they managed to find was gunpowder and alcohol, and broken bits of magitech. While most of the crew got stinking drunk, Wayne took the opportunity to fix the broken magitech to see what it did (since the style was much subtler than his own, which means it could be used with less worry about what the crew would think) while Perrel and Jardin started making cannon. Or rather, Perrel helped Wayne out a bit until the ship had a magitech propulsion system attached to the rudder (the sails and oars were useless with the crew (a) lazy and (b) drunk), then decided to 'enhance' the gunpowder to make Jardin's cannon more powerful.
Perrel saw Balthazaar traveling past underwater in what looked like a tunnel... unfortunately, he apparently found his way onto the ship while all three of them were doing various magitech tasks, and hypnotized them into continuing those tasks until they ran out of materials while he went to steal Jeff. They awoke form their fugues to find Jeff gone and the ship five minutes away from a suicidal attack on the entire pirate fleet. The fifty cannon Jardin had made were set up on the deck, loaded with Perrel's enhanced gunpowder.
Wayne tried to talk them out of their stupidity, but there were too many of them and not enough time. So instead, they decided to not be on the ship when it was inevitably destroyed -- Perrel took back the propulsion system (which controlled water currents) while everyone else gathered atop their danger-room box in the hold (which they figured should float, being neutral bouyancy in air). A stolen cannonball smashed a hole in the side of the ship just as the battle started, and after snagging Perrel out of the water (they'd been a bit behind schedule, so he'd still been ouside getting the device) they used the current to leave the scene of the crime.
The crime being, apparently, 'making exploding cannon'. Because, you know, cannon rely on their powder charge being of a predictable potency, and not 'as powerful as possible'. The fireworks were kind of pretty from a distance...
At any rate, they tuned the current device to make them go faster (since they didn't need to affect as large of an area with it) and headed east until they hit land. After an unseasonably sleetstorm at noon, they saw a city with plumes of smoke rising from it (not enough for the city to be burning, so they figured it was just signs of industry), and landed nearby on a beach.
Everyone was really hungry and thirsty, so Wayne was easily convinced to go hunting. Of course, his 'hunting' was more 'setting snares and gathering edible vegetables', but he decided to use the will-o-wisp cloak (taken out of storage, now that they were on land and able to open the box without instantly sinking to the bottom of the ocean) to try and charm any animal he saw close enough to sting.
The only animal he saw was a grovarg (a giant weasel), which looked kind of gaunt and vicious. The last grovarg's they'd fought had only been a threat by virtue of being numerous, so he decided to give it a try. Of course, grovarg's weren't *hypnotized* by the wisp cloak...
He ended up leading/chasing the grovarg back to camp, where it attacked the largest, meatiest centaur it could find. Jardin blocked the first blow, barely, before being bit on the flank, HARD. Meanwhile, all their attacks seemed to do nothing to it... well, most of them missed. Wayne managed to sting it, finally, and it was paralyzed at least. Jardin chopped off its head...
Apparently, grovargs were like trolls, only worse, regenerating quickly into whole new animals from even a single drop of blood. Fortunately, Wayne's fugue-project had been bottle-magic style storage bottles (they'd suck in about 120 pounds-or-magic-aura-units and keep it in stasis), so he managed to clean up all the stray bits and the head. The body was too big for his rather pathetic bottles, though, and so he had to keep stinging it while Jardin repaired the forge so that they had something to incinerate it in.
Perrel, of course, worked on the rabies inoculation that Jardin needed, since to him the thing had been obviously rabid. Not that regenerating weasel was edible even without that.
The groundhog Wayne's snare caught was enough for a meal for everyone, when combined with a bunch of edible plants. Rested and fed, they decided to head into the town too see about trading or tracking down Balthazaar (who they figured had Jeff) or whatever.
But everyone in the town was dead.
Apparently, they saw using one of the prophecy potions, the unseasonable sleetstorm and smoke had been the army's magitechnician -- the same one they'd spared and left tied up on a rooftop -- somehow having control of a horrible weapon of war which could instantly incinerate a person. It took him a long time to kill everyone in the city, but apparently, he'd had that much patience. He was going off a map marking what was obviously their projected path according to *his* prophecies, with cities marked along the way.
W: "Well, I can't remember what I saw, but I hope I told you enough details to know what the next date is. If we can get there ahead of him we can set up some sort of defense to save the city and bounce his attack back at him."
J: "The next date was *today*. He's doing one city a day."
They were about a day behind schedule, since they hadn't rescued Ka'sa, who could have gotten them to land faster. And now they were another day behind, since they'd stopped to hunt. Oh, and there on the horizon was the fleet coming in, sooner than expected, so they didn't even have a lot of time to sit around and plan.
At that point, Perrel's sister appeared and led them to an enchanted fortress, which she thought would hold off the army with its automated defenses, if they sealed off the hidden entrance she'd bring them inside through.
"But we need to catch Balthazaar before he gets to his goal..."
"Oh, I think he'll come back for us. We have Jeff, you see." Apparently, she and her 'associate' had kidnapped Jeff before Balthazaar had been able to, and hidden him in the enchanted fortress.
So they went to the fortress, and went to work on a self-propelled vengeance golem to stop/kill the crazy magitech person, and tried to come up with some plan of what exactly they needed to do next, while the army laid seige to the fortress with limited effectiveness.
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