Before landing on Amalthea, Cane made a bunch of scar removal cream which they predicted would sell pretty well -- the ship didn't have a lot of cash, and needed a lot of expensive stuff to resupply. He tried to teach some of the crew enough alchemy to assist, but it was hopeless -- on Ree, alchemy was apparently a laughing stock, in favor of something called 'chemistry' that made things like gunpowder by focusing on precise measurements and careful precision, instead of things like 'always stir the mixture widdershins'.
After watching him do alchemy, Villa (for one) was extremely leery about taking the potion to turn him into a drakivolki, but there was really no choice -- any obvious native of Ree on Amalthea would be enslaved or killed, and give them away.
On approach to Amalfia, they were intercepted by the coast guard and told to submit to inspection, or hand over collateral to ensure their good behavior. Cane (acting the part of the captain) wasn't willing to allow either of those, but he managed to bluff his way past using the names of the drakivolki they'd fought ages and ages ago (but he remembered because of eidetic memory) as references. Villa and Takara did a little private business with the coast guard, and then they started the long, tedious process of docking at the city of Topaz (or something like that) which had towering spires and walkways and spiralling staircases.
Cane: "Do the elves have wings or something? This looks like the sort of city a winged race would build."
GM: "Nope. You have wings right now, though."
Cane: "Wait, aren't the *centaurs* in charge? Can they even climb the stairs?"
GM: "They're very wide, flat staircases."
Cane: "I guess it's a good thing the elves are immortal."
While Takara bartered for the supplies the ship needed, Villa slipped off to meet with the local drug dealers, and they traded samples so that they'd know what they wanted to order in bulk at a later meeting. Villa was especially interested in the magical drugs, in particular in one called 'Shao Lin' or something like that, which was supposed to generate hallucinations that other people could see. For the test, he went back to his room on the ship and took a dose, and sure enough everything on the ship that looked like it could possibly be an animal (patters in the woodgrain, or certain elven letters, for example) came to life and started dancing around and interacting with people in a friendly fashion. It was a good trip!
It might have been better if the radius of the effect hadn't been 200 yards, encompassing the entire port. Apparently, Drakivolki were especially susceptible to the drug, and when they took it it had *very* powerful effects. There was even a specific law against it, which the police eventually came to enforce, despite the best efforts of the port authorities.
The fine was $5000, but the police offered a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the supplier. Cane searched the ship and found Villa stoned in his room, and asked him to pay up, or name his supplier.
Villa: "It wasn't me! I was framed! Someone must have slipped me a mickey!"
Cane: "Well, if you can provide some evidence of that, maybe we can arrange for the guards to find it."
Cane: "I mean, we can plant the evidence to throw the guards off our trail."
Villa: "Yeah, I got the idea the first time, you don't need to spell it out."
With Xerxes' help, they cleared Villa's aura from the very recognizable container the drug had come in, and suppressed Takara's aura so that she could plant it on the guard who looked most like a misfit of the large contingent sent to enforce the law. Cane called the drakivolki members of the crew onto the deck, and made a big production of having Xerxes cast a spell to locate the drug so that he'd know who would have to pay the fine on behalf of the ship. Of course, the spell located the guard they'd planted the drug on... but it also located another member of the crew, who hadn't gotten around to taking it yet.
Cane, to the hapless drakivolki: "Is that man your supplier?" *pointing to the guard*
Hapless drakivolki: "...I don't know, they all look alike to me."
The centaurs all really *did* look alike -- it was the moon of Purity, after all. That accusation, along with the planted evidence, was enough to lead to an arrest and counteract the fine. Any further reward was contigent on the centaur being found guilty or innocent, which they didn't plan on sticking around for.
Later on, Sgt. First told the party that he'd found that the city had a military base which he wanted to spy on -- he wanted to find out where the various sides in the war stood with relation to Morpheus, which was still his home even if he was in exile at the moment. They tossed around various ideas, and finally decided to look for someone that they could replace, using a transformation potion, while the person was distracted, so that no one would ever know that spies had been inside the base.
Kyngeah did a reading with her tarot cards to help locate a target, and then they split up to try to find the person that matched the description -- a disgraced leader of some sort, whose actions were causing destruction on both sides. Takara found a name, but Villa -- in her second meeting with the local drug dealers -- met the target himself, a mage who was taking Draxin and various other drugs to empower himself to keep up with the demands of the war.
He was looking for drugs to 'stabilize' the wild-magic effects of the Draxin, which he thought was caused by stress, so Villa lured him into a meeting with Cane, who offered to make a 'customized anti-stress potion' for a not-really-that-outrageous price. But he'd need some blood, as a component...
Cane did deliver anti-stress potions -- some of the willow bark tea from his stock, spiked with the mage's blood (in case he checked) and a few other inactive ingredients to hide the fact that it was just willow bark tea, in case the mage was familiar with alchemy. The time he spent 'making' them, he actually used to make a potion to transform Sgt. First into a clone. They also needed to forge the mage's insignia (an armband with a magical imprint), but between Nico and Takara and Xerxes, that was doable.
Then they sent the mage off with his drugs, and prepared to go spying -- Sgt. First as the mage, and some other people as elven servitors (they had elf potions already, made from the prisoners' blood) to support him.
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