When the newly appointed Captain Malik Shale and the crew of his as of yet unnamed ship reached Aramshar harbor Lorelei bid them farewell for the time being. She intended to stay at her favorite inn for a couple of weeks – enjoying all the luxuries civilization had to offer – and then secure passage to Salt-founded Glory. Preferably on a privateer ship as they were both far cleaner than any other ships sailing the pirate coast and served far superior food.
Her plans changed when she received a message from an old friend; Valeria, one of Fat Queen Bonny’s more agreeable daughters. Shortly after the strange light phenomenon had appeared on the shy over the Vilyani archipelago Valeria’s ship the Scarlet Swan was stolen. In the middle of the day, right under the noses of Queen Bonny, Valeria and the other daughters, the up until then loyal mercenaries Raegys and Minnys had captured the ship and sailed off towards Vilyani. The whole affair bore the fingerprints of Tamaris, especially with the strange magical event in Vilyani.
So Lorelei finished her business with the handsome sailor she had picked up and went to find Malik Shale, Captain.
She did not have to look for long as she noticed a great commotion near the castle followed by a sudden burst of gunfire – but no screams of pain and no alarm being raised. She quickly turned and headed for the harbor and sat down at the dry dock where Shale’s galley was being inspected and repaired.
Before long a crowd of respectable size, led by a moderately intoxicated Captain Shale, arrived at the dock. Shale gave a short but effective speech and christened the ship “King’s Tithe” with a flourish display of his skill with firearms. He then proceeded to announce that the maiden voyage would be to investigate the strange events at the Vilyani isles. Lorelei congratulated him and informed him she would be sailing with him after all.
As soon as she had unpacked her scarce possessions in her cabin she joined the other officers in the captain’s quarters. Shale informed them that a friend of his, an arcanist, had gone to Vilyani to investigate the strange Lighthouse on Witch’s Stone. For some reason she had left explicit instructions for her college to contact Malik Shale if anything were to happen to her. Shale showed them a vial of what used to be the arcanist Amrit Saithya’s blood but which now contained swirling energy of the four elements; Salt, Stone, Storm and Sun. Lorelei sensed the sympathetic connection was still active, indicating that Amrit was still alive… ish. Lorelei informed the others of the events in Mother-of-Pearl and that Tatalya, another of Queen Bonny’s daughters, was sailing to Vilyani aboard her ship the Argent Swan in the company of Captain Hamsun aboard the Sable Drake. She did not mention Tamaris.
They arrived in Vilyani two days later and made a short landing on Waikiti’s Eye to gather information from the locals and the alchemist Thanagar. Lorelei did not like the way Thanegar looked at her. They gained some information on Amrit’s activities and sailed on to Witch’s Rock. Shale and Sabine knew of a nobleman who had, ironically enough, been exiled from Exile that lived on the island along with his daughter. They decided to grace him with a visit.
Just as they were arriving Lorelei spotted some shady figures sneaking towards the keep in the cover of darkness. Shale and the crew argued that dealing with these bandits would be an excellent way to break the ice with their intended host and decided to intercept them before they reached the keep. For the occasion they brought Lovinar and made off for the shore in a rowing boat. Their improvised ambush/intervention went as well as could be expected: lots of confusion among the bandits, a few minors injuries among Shale’s crew, a few casualties and some captives among the bandits. Just as the surviving bandits were laying down their weapons Lord Zarohno and his men emerged from the keep. In accordance with their calculations Zarohno was quite grateful that they had dispensed of the bandits before they had time to set fire to his keep (and his gunpowder stores). He graciously offered his hospitality and a discount on a barrel of black powder.
Though he fulfilled his duties as host impeccably he seemed a bit tart until Lorelei produced a bottle of fine vintage wine from her bags. Suddenly he warmed to their company – particularly Lorelei’s – and let them chose their lodgings freely. Lorelei requested a view of the sea but scoffed when Zarohno suggested she stayed in the room at the top of the tower, a somewhat derelict and drafty structure. She explained that she did not value the quality of the view over the comforts the room suggested, a room on the second floor would suffice. Instead Zarohno offered her his daughter’s room (which was available since she had snuck out of the keep, again) or his own if she wished to join him. While Zarohno was a handsome and well mannered man Lorelei had no intention of sleeping with him. Ever since she had heard about Tamaris she had been a bit unbalanced and was not at all in the mood for that sort of entertainment. She quickly bid him goodnight to end the discussion.
The next day the set out to capture the Lighthouse from Lombardo the Green who had sent his men to attack Zarohno’s keep the night before. When they arrived they found Lombardo’s men fully occupied with building barricades and other fortifications around the base of the Lighthouse. Shale spotted Kahlia – Lord Zarohno’s daughter – in a tree overlooking the site. Lorelei used a spell to talk to the girl but had not counted on her action startling the girl so much that she fell from the tree.
Sabine, the ninja employed by Captain Shale, reacted instantly and rushed to the girl fast as the wind and positioned herself between the girl and Lombardo’s men who were now alerted to their presence and approaching Sabine and Kahlia. Shale calmly approached their leader Hadari and suggested that she’d abandon the site permanently and leave it in his care. Meanwhile Lorelei cast a spell that caused half of the Lombardo men to suddenly scream out in agony and pain. All but one of them decided to flee and Lorelei dealt with him by paralyzing him.
The captured soldier was recruited to Lord Zarohno’s “army”, as was the custom on this island, and sent back to the keep along with some of Zarohno’s men. Kahlia was not at all bothered by the injuries she had sustained when falling from the tree – she was too busy gushing over meeting the famous Lorelei of the Sea and the brave hero Captain Malik Shale! Lorelei was quite astonished as this was quite different from the reactions people would normally have after witnessing the effects of that particular spell. She candidly sized the girl up while casting a spell to heal her injuries before they sent her back to her father with instructions to attack Lombardo’s castle on their signal.
They summoned some of the crew from the King’s Tithe to man the barricades, and by all means finish the work, and then set out towards Lombardo’s castle in the company of Bardo. On the way there they met a flamboyantly dressed man who Lorelei recognized as her friend Kendrick, bard by profession. Shale threatened him while Lorelei suggested he might find it more profitable to find a new employer and promptly hired him to compose a song about their future meeting with Lombardo. The thoughts of having his heroic exploits immortalized by a professional bard seemed to appeal to Shale.
Thus they marched on to the barred gate of Lombardo’s castle. Shale expressed his disappointment with the welcoming he was receiving upon which the guards promptly opened the gate. They stepped inside and were greeted by Lombardo, as well as all his men – including Hadari. After a brief conversation in which Shale chastened Lombardo for desecrating ancient architecture Lombardo made the unfortunate decision to order his men to attack them. Shale was prepared and quickly dropped an item on the floor in front of him, took off his hat and tossed it out behind him just before the gate closed.