Heading along the shipping lanes is slow and uneventful, and the crew begins to forget the horrors of the island. Milah finally is able to accept that she hasn’t been infected by the plant things, and is able to calm down.
One day, the sail into a heavy fog. Niara, remembering the magic currents running through the freak storm, is suspicious, but she can detect no magic in this. Through the fog, they begin to hear to sounds of a battle. As they get closer to the source of the sounds, they see a big transport ship, wide-bellied and tall. From the ship they hear the shrill cries and shouts of goblins. Lots of goblins.
As they float off the side of the boat, which the can see is named The Purple Unicorn, they are ambushed by a rowboat full of goblins. After a short but brutal battle, they question a survivor. He tells them that Nail Grubstomper, the chief of the goblins who had captured the ship, was fighting against a mutiny by Grub Nailbiter, one of the higher-ranking officers. Each goblin had a powerful magic weapon and the support of a spellcaster, and the crew had split off and rallied around these two leaders.
They also find out that the former crew of the ship had become food for the goblins. Repulsed by this, they let Rothlek throw the bound goblin overboard to drown.
They hear the sounds of combat die away on the Purple Unicorn and decide to board it, leaving the marines behind to guard the ship. They find the deck covered in blood and slain goblins. The hatches to the below-decks are barred from the inside, but between the two brawny men and the hulking shark they manage to break on down easily enough.
The interior is equally gory, and there are goblin symbols and words painted in blood on the walls. They find the captains cabin, but all the charts and logs are painted over, shredded, or soaked with blood such as to be unreadable. Advancing down below decks, they come across the goblins under Grub Nailbiter, a rather tall and stocky goblin with a comically oversized greataxe that hums with mystic energy, holding a barricaded door against the forced of Nail. The crew charges in and down battle, quickly slaying Grub and his sorceror. Grub’s remaining mutineers immediantly fling open the door and plea with Nail to save them. With no time to rest the heroes are set upon by a second wave of goblins, led by Nail Grubstomer, wirey and wicked-looking even for a goblin, and wielding a two-handed hammer. He opens the fight by hurling the hammer over-hand at Jack. To everyone’s surprise, the hammer rebounds and returns to Nail’s grip after it has struck. The goblins swarm over the crew, attacking but doing little damage with their poorly-made weapons. Each of the crew scores several kills. Nail’s witch casts a sleep spell on ignatious, after the Archmage uses his magic to double in size, rendering him unable to fight for a moment, but one of the crew awakens him in time to cleave the last of the goblins in two.
The party finally has time to rest, and they decide what to do with the ship as they catch their breath.
It is decided that they should use the Imperial Navy sailors to to crew both ships, sailing them down to the Jewel Archipelago, and claim salvage for the owners of the Purple Unicorn. It is slow work, and hard, as they sail south. Everyone works long hours on smaller rations.
Luckily, they are met by an Imperial Navy ship whose captain is a friend of Von Margensburg. He offers them some of his crew and supplies and they make it the rest of the way to the island of Entella with little trouble.
On the island they find that the Purple Unicorn belongs to Adir of house Terlago, the local envoy of that noble house, and pay him a visit. He seems unusually worried that the Unicorn had been found, but when they tell him that everyone aboard had been slain he relaxes slightly, and offers the crew a hefty recompense. They also go to see the local representative of the Silk Merchant’s Guild, the group that had hired them, and returned the jade shipment. The envoy promised that a sum of money would be sent to them as payment in the morning…
TO BE CONTINUED!