The party have experienced shipboard life as passengers before, and soon they all settle upon a certain rhythm; some spend time practising their weapon skills, some spend time reading and others find time to spend time gambling with Patch, though the astute Solimara makes sure that her roguish comrade does not play for money nor cheats, so they merely lose beans legitimately. A few days into the journey however, things take a more dangerous tone, as a mighty autumnal storm batters the ship for a day and night, with the captains formidable sailing experience (and more than a few roared prayers to Satrom and Sensu) seeing the ship through. Abbas Jalil, Bucephala Clangula and Cassio of Padiha fare well, with bruises and poor sleep being the worse that they suffer, but the Altai pair of Czerlai and szletko fare poorly, covering their cabin, themselves and each other with vomit and worse. Patch, Solimara and Taturii Asamakiiro bear the conditions with admirable fortitude.
When the storm blows itself out, the battered ship resumes its journey onwards without significant encounter and 9 days after leaving the Empire, the first small islands and shoals of Velicca are seen. The vine, tree and plant covered ruins visible on the first few small islets and islands still bear the signs of the city-states violent end with walls and stone appearing to have melted from great heat. They see signs of life however, from birds and arboreal critters in the trees and on the land, all the way up to the enormous 6 metre saltwater crocodiles that hunt the inlets and waters of the archipelago (the latter cause some concern to all aboard the ship, with good cause). The most important sign of life they encounter appear in the early evening, as they encounter a hide covered canoe paddling slowly towards the main island where Velicca is found. Drawing closer, they see that it is manned by a wizened and ragged old woman, all wild snarled hair, layers of dirt and ragged furs and clothing. Her flimsy canoe is full of fruits, nuts and berries and after some exchanges of words, she is allowed aboard (her canoe is also brought aboard as well). Thus the party and ship encounter Selii.
They talk with the old woman, and quickly establish that she is slightly unhinged and odd, though not dangerous. She reveals that she lives in the old ruins, and the party offer to take her home. She tells them on the way about the ruins and the various threats that dwell within, from the weeping and crying spirits of the dead that still roam at night, to the howls and roars of the Ghouls who serve the powerful and terrifying Hag Hyldra.
Karragas advises that he will anchor the ship off the coast of the ruins and opposite the remains of the Sensu temple, the better to attempt much needed repairs on the ship. The view in the early evening sunset of the ruins is magnificent yet sombre, as the signs of once imperial greatness reverting to nature fall slowly into shadow. The party row their way to the shore and the temple of Sensu with Selii, and make themselves at home in the once splendid temple walls. The signs of Selii’s life are all over the temple, with rattles, wooden chimes and other rude decorations adorning the premises. The pitiful sight of 2 makeshift and old wooden grave markers with a crude man and woman image on each one sits in the former temple garden. Selii soon has a fire lit and is using her best (and indeed only) kettle to prepare a meal of smooshed bananas and berries for the party.
As the meal is eaten and the last light of the day gives way to the night, the sounds of the ruins are heard, and it is harrowing to hear, with the howls of the Ghouls being somehow less sorrowful and terrifying than the multitude of moans, weeping and cries of the dead of Velicca.
A watch is set for the night, and during the watch of Czerlai and Abbas, they note that Selii is sitting bolt upright. What follows is a strange conversation, with her telling them that they shall find the one they seek atop the highest mountain in The Wyrm Peaks, a mountain called Her Throne in the variety of languages. They are also advised that it was Varrax who slew the dragon whose remains lie at the centre of the ruins, apparently punishment for the sack of the city and the death of its people. The possible threats they must watch out for are Wyrms, Dragons, Griffins, Giants, Orcs and worse, according to Selii. The best place to make landfall and seek help is a small port/township called Cold Eye Water within the Peaks, and there they may find help and guides amongst other things.
The rest of the night passes uneasily with what sleep is achieved being troubled. Now, a morning in one of the most haunted and supposedly cursed areas of the Inner Sea follows, and whatever exploration their courage allows…