Escape from Deck 4, or Something
Exploring deck 4, we find well-stowed cargo and one room that is a complete MESS, filled with rubbish piled high. It’s dark & I light a sunrod, but it’s knocked from my hands by Something-fine, I’m able to see in the dark now anyway! The others will just have to deal. I find the strange creature in a tunnel leading into the rubbish and after much bargaining I (and Sorroway) convince him to lead us out, in exchange for one of several amber-colored rocks we found (somewhat like the red one Drevington used, but not active?). (P.S. Squirting Teryx with a waterskin is FTW.) Something takes us through a series of passages—going first, I overhear a conversation between Drevington and a dark elf (Alaire, as we now know him).
Elf: “The Zenith will not be too pleased.”
Drevington: “Sounds like you do not have much of a choice. Why do you offer so much for the Keeper?”
Elf: “He’s important to us.”
“Lads, Take a Walk”
Eleazar hears us sneaking off, casts Waterbreathing from a wand the dark elves gave him; we walk along the bottom far, far away. Eleazar reveals that the dark elves don’t want Drevington to be turned in or Dresden won’t sail, and they want Dresden to go (mysteriously important). Sorroway explains that he serves Paragon—his father was a Keeper, supposedly an honor, but Sorroway didn’t believe until Paragon spoke to him directly and told him he needed to sell everything and buy a ship in the Aaridon fleet. Other Keepers instructed him to bring the Sword of Rapture and the Spire of Aethys.
We convince Sorroway to keep Drevington’s name out of the story at the guard station (while clearing us, hooray!)…until Drevington appears and asks to be arrested! The dark elves appear with cobra-headed Slith guards. The dark elf we spoke to before reveals himself as Lord Prefect Tu’ath Denaan, Midnight of the Radial Council. The Midnight extends his diplomatic immunity to cover Drevington. The guard captain is WAY above his pay grade and leaves us to work it out—the dark elves also leave.
The Whole Story (Who Has It?)
Drevington tells us we don’t understand, he’s the GOOD guy (mmhmm): the Midnight doesn’t have the full prophecy. Drevington does, and if Sorroway goes to Aaridon all life on the new continent will be destroyed. He calls me Acaesia, which makes me feel…something…and says I’ve been recently motivated by prophecy (?). He tells us to speak with Jaren regarding missing pages of the book, to search his quarters. But where did the prophecy come from? He says that’s a good question.
Does Jaren Have It? (He Says No.)
Back at Sorroway’s ship & office, Jaren claims not to know anything about missing pages (after we bust him out of jail)—we’re welcome to search his quarters! When we get there, though, they’ve already been trashed, sometime during the past few hours. Sorroway accepts our help in a journey to investigate missing shipments from the north (supplies we need to sail).
Do The Dark Elves Have It? (They Think So)
The dark elves claim their prophecy is original & correct, given by “someone you should trust.” (Thanks.) They’re still concerned with Drevington & Dresden sailing. Have we heard of a Conduit of Fate? Why the prophecy is dangerous, at least when people know about it? They explain: a Conduit is a channel in which a choice or action is performed. When those involved learn of it, they are forced into action and reaction—if they don’t know, then it doesn’t necessarily come true. Most prophecies have only one conduit, but our Book is different, dangerous—it creates new conduits. Some questions’ answers are changed when the questions are asked, the Midnight says. The Shaddar-Kai (nice spiders) knew about this but didn’t tell us—why did they trust us with the Book? The two dark elves flanking the Midnight are increasingly furious at what he’s telling us—one of them starts to speak but is quashed by some threatening elvish from the Midnight and, in common, “We are all allies.” Midnight continues: there are other elves on Aaridon, in trouble. The Keepers are a form of priests, following Paragon; they are few and without sway, though he and the Radial Council recognize their wisdom. Paragon himself is the First Keeper, the Keeper of Balance—he does not seek worship as other gods do, but it is said that in ancient times Argandris gave Paragon the stewardship of this world, Nexus. Meanwhile, Dresden is a devout follower of Rapture.