The riverboat Crux sets out to Caspia, and the ’Jacks of All Trades fall into a comfortable routine. Gretchin learns what she can about the ship, Loomis tries to learn as much about the ship and some of its specialized improvements as he can, while Kolt sticks to his cabin suffering from motion sickness on the fast paced river. Kreoss spends a lot of time by himself, and Lord Lord Toryn tries to become better acquainted with Captain Horus. Sergei spends his time telling tales of his great adventures to anyone who will listen.
After a few weeks of a very pleasant cruise down the river, the ship is attacked by what at first appears to be just another river barge. Soon, fights have broken out on every deck, and the ’Jacks of All Trades find themselves embroiled in a battle with Satyxis raiders. They set up around the steering house to defend the ship and their precious cargo, being carried by Loomus.
After a quick but bloody battle, the raider ship has been held off and the Crux is back on course, but not before the raiders were able to sabotage the engines. Putting in to the nearby town of Dragons Fang, Captain Horus tells the group that they will be better off traveling on foot from here, as the repairs could take quite some time.
After re-provisioning, the group decides on a simple plan. Everyone spends their time in the local inn, providing misdirection as to their goal and destination and then sneak out in the middle of the night on a carefully planned route that Sergei had come up with previously.
After a week on the road of seeing nearly no one, the group runs into a gypsy camp one night. After a long night of song and story sharing (with Toryn making a contact of the gypsy leader), the group is once again on the road by themselves.
Sergei’s route, with the exception of a pair of wild Thrullgs, is quiet for the rest of the way to Caspia, although it takes them longer than they had originally projected to get there. Once they reach Caspia, the ’Jacks of All Trades quickly make their way to the Golden Crucible chapter house and deliver the necrotite cortex.