Over the course of the week, the storm has raged on, keeping the group and their families busy. Aelita’s parents’ shrine heads work teams with sandbags and shovels, struggling to keep the river in check.
Richard undertakes a Badger hunt in the howling rain, sustaining some brutal claws to the face before he kills his quarry. He spends the rest of the week trying to learn how to cook it. He stays at the Mill, sleeping in a real bed- of all the building in town, the mill has quite a sound roof, and it barely leaks at all.
Marten and his parents tend bar for all the Merchant patrons who have been trapped in town by the storm. Many sleep there, though the tavern has no rooms to let- the captains and all their crews are simply too many for the Inn to accomodate. Others find rooms to let among the townsfolk. Marten overhears a conversation with one particularly unfortunate captain whose ship has been blown completely out of the harbor. Asked what it was carrying, he hesitantly answers “Spices?”, which Marten suspects to be a lie. He begins to hatch a plan to go and explore the shipwreck, certain he can find the wreck along the southern coast.
Sasha spends the week inside with Darryl, who has set up a tent inside the house- there aren’t enough dishes to catch all the leaks. She likewise sets up her hammock and fly, remarking, “I am going to get REALLY stir-crazy.” Darryl responds, “I’M going to get really Drunk!”
Seven days of near-horizontal rain has finally yielded to a light rain, leaving the townsfolk of Berem to begin their recovery in earnest. Farmland has been flooded, windows and rooftops battered, and by the look of the roads, the trading season is going to be delayed for an uncomfortable period of time. Escaping the Inn with his dreams of finding a marvelous treasure fresh in his head, Marten heads to Aelita’s to collect her for an adventure.
She is able to easily convince Seidi to let her go, and to take the horses as well. Aelita begins preparing the horses for the journey, whilst Marten goes back to the Inn and gathers provisions for a few days’ journey.
Richard has prepared a badger meat-pie in a picnic basket, written an awful poem, and is on his way to make an apology to Aelita. He arrives shortly after Marten has left, surprising Aelita and leading her up to a cliffside trail landing above the Shrine, where he reads his awful poem to her and apologises for having been an awful friend. A passerby could watch her infatuation fade with each passing moment. She suggests that they should just be friends- this, of course, was obvious to Richard, but this sort of apology is the only kind that books have ever shown him.
The trio sets out along the coast, working their way southward. Aside from a brief sighting of someone watching them while aswim in the Lake, and Marten recounting the tale of the Sunken City of Katmar, the trip is uneventful until they break for supper. While Richard and Aelita are off foraging, Marten is attacked by a bulbous, watery creature. Aelita aswers his shouts first, and together they drive the creature off just as Richard arrives to hurl a spear at it. Marten finishes it off with a lucky dart-throw into the water, and it leaves behind a fist-sized, pearlike object scribed with arcane-looking markings.
They camp for the night, and though nobody sees anything on watch, come morning they discover two sets of small, webbed footprints which come right up to and through camp. A few strung seashells and freshwater pearls have been dropped by whatever the things were. Their consternation is interrupted by their finding the ship-driven so far and hard up onto a rock shelf by the wind as to shatter the front third of the hull. Investigating, they find a dozen barrels of what seems to be ordinary sand, as well as a couple dozen crates of various spices. Leaving the cargo behind, Marten and Aelita search the ship, while Richard goes looking for the broken off ballista which was mounted to the forecastle.
Aelita finds a private cabin with womens’ clothing that will almost fit her- she packs it all away for tailoring, and tucks in this stranger’s journal and personal grooming implements as well. She explores the other cabins as best she can, but doesn’t find anything she wants to take.
Marten discovers the ship’s paychest, and thinks that some information about that sand cargo would probably be inside.. He jimmies it open, and find that it’s called “Shapesand”, which he has heard of before in rumours that the Drom can control sand with their minds. He tucks the few hundred gold pieces into sacks in the saddlebags, worrying all the while about how much trouble he would get into for it. While thinking of these things, he attempts to shape the sand, and winds up with a pair of manacles which would fit him perfectly. He takes a 12lb. Jug full of shapesand, too.
Richard has searched the bunkhouse and found himself a new set of clothes- rather dread-captain-roberts-y. In the Captain’s cabin, Richard finds himself a rather large oil painting of a ship, which he decides to keep. Marten comes away with a nice spyglass; after all this the party leaves. Richard tries to drag the ballista back to the Glen, but finds it too troublesome, and decides to just come back for it later.
The group arrives back in Berem with little incident, and Marten hides the gold away, to leave anonymously at the next coucil meeting as a donation to the town.