I have expanded out my last writeup for this to take us up to getting to the barren islands. Feedback welcome please. Will do now the last writeup to cover what we found at the islands so if we ever pick this up again I'm up to date.
The party returns to the Comte’s house. The engineer Hendryk makes a very valid point. If there is a technology that can upgrade ships like the Duc's, then why has nobody seen more ships like this? It would be quite strange that the wonderful Setward isles people had only ever upgraded one set of ships.
Brandy for everyone. A discussion. The Duc does not seem overly apologetic about his attacks on the Empire. But, given the forces they have, making a prize of the celestium craft is unattainable. The artillery battery on the headland is insufficient as are the Baron’s dragoons. If the Duc should summon the storm again, it would go badly.
The Duchesse speaks to her father. Why did he destroy the Imperial settlements? He flips the argument back onto her; what would you have done if you thought I was in danger? The Duc says he was misled by someone feeding him bad intelligence. Nevermind, the wealth of the family will fix the the problem with the Empire.
The Comte, the Baron and the party go to visit the Duc on his ships. His men cry, “Announce yourselves” in a breach of etiquette. The Duc’s presence is requested.
The Duc appears and apologises for his men’s actions. Too zealous. All are invited aboard for breakfast tea.
A tour of the ships. They can be duplicated, especially if the Duc makes good on his promise of financial recompense. But there is a faster way as well. The Duc suggests a voyage to visit the Setward Islers who retrofitted his ships to start with.
The Baron is interested. This sounds like an adventure!
A discussion is had as to how best to proceed. Should some Imperial ships be brought along to be retrofitted when they reach their destination? This is decided against, as normal ships would only slow down their progress. They can make much better progress with these wonderful celestium craft alone.
Another consideration is the mysterious ghost buccaneer. That would surely make driftwood of normal ships.
So, provisioned and provided for (the Comte has provided two bottles of excellent brandy) the company is ready to head out in the care of Duc Garibaldi.
The voyage is amazing. The ship lifts out of the water and sets sail on the air alone. A true marvel of celestium technology. The crew do not really know how their ship now functions, but the celestium does not really need any human intervention. So, to some extent, the ship is now sailing itself.
However, even the most advanced technology can be subject to the vagaries of the weather. The ship is being pushed to Nistral. The company land at a small group of islands to get supplies. These are a garden paradise with friendly locals. But the Duc is worried. It's the month of the Arrow now, the start of the windy season. Travel could start to become a little bit bumpy.
A few days later, a howling gale hits the ship. The crew are forced to descend and the two ships battle against waves that crash over their decks. It is chance that they do not collide with each other in the storm. Shelter from the storm is needed and some barren rocks are spotted. The ships make for them, hoping to get into their lee side.
Morning finds both ships afloat, but one has hit submerged rocks and is damaged but not sinking. More seriously, however, vital supplies have been washed overboard. Also, the ships are running low on fresh water. They need to resupply.
There are ruins on these barren islands. People must have lived here once and that means there most be a spring, the Baron muses. A shore party is formed and our protaganists step once more onto dry land, ready to start the quest for water.