This week saw the return of the original paladin player, bringing the party back to its full original strength.
Karik (?) - Sorceror
Rhogar (Dragonborn) - Warlock
Salderban (Human) - Paladin
Skins (Kobold) - Barbarian
Torric (Human) - Bard
Zook (Gnome) - Ranger
Skins and Salderban led the way back into the main chamber and made straight for the walkway and exit to the skyship. Whilst Torric and Karik rounded up the remainder of the old elf's now ex-slaves the two giant constructs carried Okzar's body and guarded the party's retreat. The paladin and barbarian worked out how to operate the elevation device and so the party came face-to-face with the skyship that would get them off the Magnaroc.
The huge hangar opened out before them and the natural rock shelf led the adventurers to a ramp and onto the flying machine. The party rapidly advanced into the hold wherein they met with captain Harlott, his last remaining crewman and the rest of the ex-slaves from the Caraway. After a brief reunion and introductions the party went their separate ways throughout the ship.
Whilst Zook stayed within the forge and Skins made herself busy in the armoury the rest of the party either hunkered down for a rest or made their way to the bridge. The shaking from the erupting volcano spurred those making their way to the bridge into more haste and so they followed the plan that Karik had secured previously to ease their way.
Whilst they passed what turned out to be the power plant room they spotted behind thick glass, through a small port-hole, a solid flame being fed by blocks of jet. Karik read up on this and how it was used to propel the ship. He was dragged up to the bridge and when there he made his way straight to the only seat available. He sat in the command chair and realised through a trick of design that he had an almost 360 degree view around the ship. He realised he could control many other things from the command chair and so pulled the lever to close the loading bay ramp. He fired up the engines and more through luck than judgement glided the powerful skyship out of its birth and into the open sky.
During the next few hours, whilst the others explored the ship and rested, Karik got to learn how to pilot the advanced skyship. A few of his manoeuvres, however, did not go down well as he only very narrowly avoided some of the floating rocks and made rather too many tight turns for his companions' liking.
Salderban and Torric were able to work out that the ship was surrounded by some kind of magical force shield that stopped the crew from being battered by the elements and also allowed the ship to glide smoothly through the air. This smooth running, along with the powerful engine, meant that the skyship could travel at least three or four times faster than the fastest of sky frigates.
Whilst the party travelled through the air at unbelievable speeds, the tasks that everyone set themselves slowly came to fuition. Everybody healed from their encounters on Magnaroc, Zook began work on forging his own weaponry and Skins, messing around with the forge fire and Okzar, managed to bring the construct to halting life; but he could only sport a small beard and short crop of flame hair. The look on his face as he entered the bridge conveyed pride in his ship and happiness that the party had figured out how to pilot the flying machine.
After many hours of travel, the lookout spotted a small floating island settlement. It turned out to be a small trading settlement with many strange ships docked. The ships were identified as water gatherers; this trading settlement gathered cloud water to barter for trade goods and victuals.
The great skyship docked beside the water gatherers and the ramp was lowered. The party strode down the ramp, leaving Zook, the two fire giants and ex-slaves as guards, to be met by Elissa, an elf ranger, and her militia. The welcome party was overawed by the appearance of the adventurers, their ship and the fire giants in the hold, but held their nerve enough to escort the party to the local tavern, The Broken Drum.
The vista from the veranda of the inn was breathtaking. A grand man-made lake shone with light from the setting sun. The party put themselves at ease and caroused the night away, telling their tales of derring do to a captive audience.
The following morning, the adventurers went to the various traders and re-supplied the ship with food, drink and sleeping materials; the ship was not designed for a humanoid crew, only constructs. Elissa put her case forward for joining up with the crew on their onward journey, but the adventurers did not trust her fully and decided to go their own way. Much to her chagrin, Elissa bade the strange crew goodbye and waved them off on their journey.
After a three day flight, the skyship crew finally espied their original destination - Methredhel. The grand capital city of spires, towers and elegant stone buildings glowed in the sunlight; a truly magnificent sight. Karik steered the skyship towards the main docks. On the way in, the great ship was guided past a great carved statue of a Platinum Dragon and the Aerodrome (an outlying rock where aerosports appeared to be played). Skins saw the young people dive from a platform, plunge helter-skelter towards the clouds below and then float back to their starting point with a tail of fire. She thought this was some kind of magic so plunged over the side to see what would happen. She did not realise that each person was equipped with a jet pack on their backs and plunged ot the abyss below. Luckily she was spotted by a flier, Ace Cloud Diver, who caught her and returned her safely back on board the skyship.
After the ship had docked and the ramp lowered, the party disembarked only to be greeted by an official and his well-drilled men-at-arms. They were quickly intimidated by Zook, the fire giants and the size of the ship. What should have been a tax-taking exercise and a laying down of the law turned out to be a nervous welcome and an invite to explore the grand city.
The party split to explore the various areas of the city that interested them, and the reason they were headed to Methredhel in the forst place. Arathea, the rescued half-elf, explained that she was taken as a slave as a young girl and kept in the Aer Dominicum where the High Council abide.
Zook headed to The Burrows to look for his loved one. Skins went down to Hang Town, the seedy downtown area of Methredhel, where she was mobbed by kobolds upon her arrival. Torric, Rhoghar and Arathea made their way to the main town where they managed to sell some of the loot found in Magnaroc to buy some decent weaponry, armour and clothing for all. Karik and Salderban descended to the Forbidden Gate where they met with two suits of magical armour that guarded the way in. Hidden in the shadows, following their every move, they spotted Ace Cloud Diver.