After a dangerous battle the companions find what they are looking for, but will they get back to the ship with their loot before darkness and danger falls?
The Baron's bleeding has stopped because of Megane's powerful magic. Hendryk wishes to examine the automata, but that can wait until after they have explored the ruins.
The wind continues to howl and the sand continues to sting.
The party examine a large building with a domed roof that Alairyn believes could have functioned as a strongpoint. He moves forward with Celeste the panther following stealthily behind.
The interior of the building is ruined. Something glints in the upper stories and Alairyn looks to see if he can climb up to it. Celeste is aware of a low hum. The Duchesse tells her to warn Alairyn, which she does by patting her paws at him. Alairyn stops and listens and hears it too.
It could be another automata. Not wanting to risk the encounter, Alairyn and Celeste return to the others. Hendryk is intrigued and muses over getting some chains from the boat to capture a fully functioning machine.
The party searches the village area below the manor house. Hendryk tells them that there could be a well house down there. Celeste again paws at the group and Duchesse Acasia (despite Vincent's concerns) helps her dig. Perhaps she has found a water source? Bernard steps forward to help, but Megane counsels him against this, considering his wounds. He stands guard with the Duchesse instead while Alairyn and Vincent dig.
Digging ids hard as the sand is unstable and slides back into the pit. But they do strike rock after a few hours. But time is now against the party and the sun starts to dip below the hills on the island. Going back in the pitch dark will be hard. Megane uses her magic to stabilise the sand and after a few more minutes of hard digging a platform is uncovered. Perhaps a well is beneath?
The party hurry back to the ship in the fading light. Opening the platform will be a problem for tomorrow. There is a scramble in the boats and Megane kindly teleports the Duchesse safely to the ships (although poor Celeste has to take her chances with the boats and the sea).
A meeting is had with the Duc. They detail their adventure. It sounds like they have found an isle of metal horrors, although Hendryk prefers to call them wonders. They plan to return the next day with more of the sailors, to help uncover what they hope is the well cover. Getting the water back to the ship (if they find water) will be the next concern. Perhaps it will have to be done the hard way with bucket and barrel.
It is agreed that the Baron will command the enlarged shore party, with the Duchesse also there to represent the Garibaldi family. The Duc also informs them that the celestium on their ships is undertaking the repairs itself, as if it were a living thing. His engineers have been praying and carrying out rituals rather than hammering planks into place.
It is late at night. The others have gone to bed and only the Duc and the Baron are awake.
The Duc is direct. “What is it that you want, Baron? Wealth or a fleet?”
The Baron does not hesitate. He wants his fleet, a shining fleet to sweep Albion from the seas. The other treasures they find, although they should be examined by Arnauld and Hendryk, can belong to the Duc.
Both men smile and more wine is drunk. The Baron wants his fleet and the Duc wants his money. They feel better, both understanding each other.
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