It takes nearly a full day of travel, but the group finds its way to a nearby Oasis to group up with a caravan headed on a route to Balic. There they meet its caravan leader Orzo the Fat, and his supporting cast of former Balic opera pit player Cantius, and Deacon, the group’s head guard.
The group makes good on its promise to get to Balic quickly. The soldiers aren’t plentiful, but they are well trained, and capably handle any threat without too much trouble. The party does notice they become agitated along the way, possibly from the heat of the sun and the shortage of supplies as they travel further and further. It is a relief when the band finally appears at the gates, getting an opportunity to spend some time apart, and the party finds itself corralled away from them to an interviewing station with a pair of Balic investigators. The human, Verune, seems to hear Vorelixen’s story and understand that she’s more heroic than the press would have him believe. The dwarf, a bitter woman named Quine, accuses Vorelixen of making up tales to return to the city and cause more mischief. Eventually the evidence proves Vorelixen’s point, and with much grumbling Quine acquiesces to Verune’s insistence they be let in.
They call for a meeting of their colleagues, and shortly their allies convene. Notably absent are Captain Husk, fleeing from the law again, and Ared, who’s sold himself to the gypsies as part of a plot that backfired to assist the party. It is quickly determined that the surplus of Raamite pirates recently is far from a good thing, and they move quickly to investigate. They beat the hell out of some pirates and loot their stuff, and hidden away behind a portrait they find a map indicating the location that Gisella’s ship is meant to sail. They quickly charter a vessel to sail out and meet her there, interrupting the ritual with a little boost from a slightly subverting Anguish method acting as a cultist.
While battling pirates, Ul-Athra flails and rises, partially summoned and yet partially unbound. Tentacles crash down around them, smashing the ships and sending them sinking slowly to the bottom of the silt sea and to Ul-Athra’s maw. From out of the blue, a lunatic on a rapidly moving pontoon boat rescues them amidst Ul-Athra’s final flailings, and Rikard seamlessly cuts the ritual short with enough time for them to escape. The Tragic Hero docks at Balic to release our heroes, before Husk once again sets off in to the sunset to flee the law, but save the day.