After loading the remnants of the dragon hoard, you returned to the Glacier triumphant. Second Mate Spaniel convinced you that it was safer to sail the Herds Against the Seagull into harbor from the air, as a ship of such obviously elven design might get sunk before anybody had a chance to see who was sailing her. For both the theatrical flair and to completely unnerve the crew, Butch took the helm as the Seagull flew into harbor and managed to set it down next to Blacknose’s flagship with barely any damage to either ship.
Your interview with Blacknose was as nuanced and subtle as any you’d had. Hack Weimaraner’s body, wrapped in the preserving embrace of gentle repose, was covered and loaded onto a ship which left harbor immediately. It was listed on the cargo manifest as waste that needed to be taken ashore and burned. Blacknose wouldn’t say which shore specifically it was being burned upon, but you suspect it was Araline, where Hack’s treachery first started. Hack’s name was never once mentioned.
When informed of the shadowkin plot to erase and enslave the kobold ancestor spirits, Blacknose grew silent. For some time, he said nothing, and the silence stretched differently for everybody. Butch saw the spirits of his mothers and Blacknose’s mothers flood the room, seeing them more clearly and feeling them more sharply than he ever had before. Aerin was overcome by a sense of tranquility even as her magical senses knew a spiritual storm raged all about her. Chance knew he was surrounded by the presence of the dead, but where before death had only brought shadow, here there was light and a chance, however small, for salvation that caused his soul to remember it could shine. Even solid Fuerte was touched by the presence of those he had saved, a deep thanks for his strength and protection that he recognized even if he could no longer understand. The experiences were different and private, but the end thought was the same for each of you: there is power in this, and I mean to be part of it.
On the matter of the flying ships, Blacknose was even more circumspect. The spirit presence persisted, and his voice seemed almost to channel theirs: “The seas, not the ships, belong to us. Ever it has been and ever it will be so. Let the elves have the winds. But if ever one of their ships should touch the waves, we will know, and that ship will ever more belong to the sea.” Blacknose opened his eyes and the spirits departed. “Except yours,” he said after a moment. “I don’t think they’ll be sinking your flying ship so long as it be yours.” He silenced your exclamations and questions with a wave of his hand. “The spirits have spoken,” he said, and had his men show you off his ship.
You returned to the Seagull with a discrete gift of even more gold from Blacknose. Afterwards, you spent the remains of the day and the entirety of the next partaking of all the goods and services that Glacial Landing had to offer. But on that second night, as the warm, heavy winds of the coming rainy season rocked the Seagull, you knew the time had come to part ways. In the presence of the spirits, you had each tasted power, felt the pull of destiny, and knew you must answer. All through the night you talked on the deck of the Seagull, recalling good times and bad, laughing and drinking under the stars as your ship’s namesake soared and cried overhead.
The next day, the Seagull lifted off, heading to the southeast for Holy Mount Gela where Chance and Fuerte would disembark. Adain would return at last, for better or worse, to the Temple which now spurned him, since he could once again clearly hear the Light calling him. Arboles would continue east into the mountains where the Seagull could not take him, to search for the dwarves who could teach him to truly protect his friends.
The Seagull then turned back to the west, to the broken continent of Rutoshen. It got as close to the maelstrom at Banaedoor as it could without destroying itself before Aerin disembarked alone. She would return to the destroyed laboratories to study the storm itself, and the wild, untamed, powerful magics that sustained it. Finally, returning to the heart of the continent and the edge of the wild zones found there, Butch left his ship, leaving it hovering over the blasted landscape in the hands of his crew. He set out for the lone mountain on the broken plains, the Mount of Dreams, where the veil between the worlds vanished, where magic ran wild, and where he would finally meet Becky face-to-face.