Dark clouds still loomed ominously to the north, but for now the boat was safe. Skagharin pored over the captured charts and cursed the unnatural storm (under his breath; Lady Lassa was a little too close for comfort) for obscuring the sun. Elsewhere on the vessel, Brutarl slept, Parius meditated, Moonshadow studied some tome and Dintari feigned sleep while eyeing the lithe Melisana trim the sails. The wind blew cool, and the travellers had neither food, water nor much clothing. They needed to find a port quickly.
That night, familiar constellations blazed in the clear sky and the moon was bright on the water. Skagharin knew where they were: the islands north of Thuland. Trusting the moonlight and his skills he set a course southwards. After some time, several small dark islands became visible. Melisana suggested the ship drop sails lest it crash into submerged rocks or reefs. Skagharin gave the order, more because he wanted to give the girl a rest than anything.
Brutarl shouted and Skagharin awoke. The ship drifted near a bleak rocky outcrop. Brutarl pointed beyond the islet to where a Thulandian longship was even now altering course toward them. With the sails furled, flight was pointless. Besides, the Thulandians might be friendly.
“Cover the treasure!” hissed Skagharin.
Warily, the six awaited the longship and its armed crew.
The captain of the longship was one Svein Karlssen, a Thulander. He was not hostile and even agreed to trade for food and water. His ship sought Reavers in Thulandish waters. Skagharin had noted that there was an outpost within Thulandian waters marked on his captured reaver charts, and he had no qualms about revealing this to Karlssen. He was intrigued and suggested the group sail to nearby Vorgenheim to inform his master Eorl Vorgen. The two ships parted.
It seemed as good a destination as any. Skagharin set sail for Vorgenheim and Lassa’s Grace (for such he had named their longship) arrived at the village by sunset. As they pulled the boat up the gravelly beach, they were met by a group of villagers on the foreshore. Skagharin hung back. A ship’s captain is master of all the souls on board, but on land in a human town he preferred others to do the talking. Dintari seemed similarly tongue tied, so it fell to Moonshadow to make introductions. When Svein Karlssen’s name was mentioned, the villagers took the motley group to Eorl Vorgen’s longhouse. There the old eorl sat, surrounded by his hetmen.
Both Brutarl and Lorien Moonshadow began to speak but Skagharin tired of their long-windedness and forgot his previous reticence. With Eorl Vorgen’s permission he barked out a summary: “We met Svein Karlssen in the isles to the north. We told him of a Reaver outpost here in Thuland. He suggested we tell you.”
“Interesting,” said Lord Vorgen “BRING ALE!”
Skagharin cheered at that and noted that Brutarl and Parius did too. The feast began. Parius told an approving Eorl Vorgen an embellished version of their tale of escape from the Sea King’s Isle. Brutarl spent the evening with a local lass named Olga on his lap. Skagharin just enjoyed the fire, food and freely-flowing ale. Eorl Vorgen considered the situation. He asked that the crew of Lassa’s Grace scout out the Reaver base. This they agreed to do in return for the outfitting of their ship and ‘fair recompense’.
The next day was spent gathering supplies and loading them on board the ship. Skagharin noted with approval the barrels of water and food, which might otherwise have been quite expensive. That evening, Svein Karlssen returned to Vorgenheim with his ship — having found no Reavers.
Lassa’s Grace slipped out of Vorgenheim at dawn and made good speed towards the isle where the Reavers’ outpost lay hidden.