Arriving in Vendel the crew drop off the brats, while Sean is quite pleased to be rid of the childish cargo, it’s up in the air as to whether Tom will miss the lass that was ‘attached’ to him. Having heard of the power of Vesten rune work, Sean leads the crew to seek out a Vesten witch. She makes a trade with each of the characters for working a rune into their items…. and well, lets just say whatever trade she negotiated with Tom is not PG rated. Sean negotiates for a offensive rune on his sword, in exchange for killing nobody for the next year. Flavio gets a belt inscribed so he can escape from all bonds, but he must either kill or marry his worst enemy in the next year. And Claudio got a defensive rune on his ring, but in exchange, he must be celibate for a year. The inscription, being particularly harsh on the witch, also had the added price of a year of service in the future.
At some point (probably because they were bored and lonely) Sean and Felix help a fellow hunt down a werewolf (technically a Loup-Garou)
On their way back to the docks a Vendel trader approaches the crew asking them to deliver a ‘critical’ shipment to Ussura. What a coincidence… that’s where the crews is going! After some pressing questions, they discover that it is a shipment of drakeneisen. The price is high, and it is a good cover, so they agree. Back on the boat, much to Sean’s annoyance, the crew discovers that Jaques has been inventing again. Cloth of all colors liter the deck is one giant mess. There are ropes tangling the air, the Angel and the Mermaid are up on deck, attached to custom stands, and a strange structure in the crows nest. The mess turns out to be worth it – Jaques has turned the Escape from a sailing boat to an airship that floats on hot air, heated by his crystal artifact sitting in the crows nest.
The crew take the flying escape on a very low altitude (maybe 5 feet above the water) test flight to a Usurran port. As the spotters yell “land ho” the ballon is lowered and the ship made out to look ‘normal’, the balloon stowed on the gun deck.
The crew sail into port and meet up with some Knights of the Rose and Cross. These knights inform the crew that they need help to extricate fellow knights, Maureen, and the Vodacce ambassador from the capitol of Ussura, a day’s flight inland. They also offer to up-armor the Escape with the Draconeisen from the hold(essentially making it an ironclad), and to help with the acquisition and installation of one of the syrneth engines that drive Ussuran ironclad ships. A few days later, The party travels to the capital, where they have the Escape drop them off at night then go park in a lake where the ship will be less conspicuous. The Vodacce ambassador insists that nothing is wrong, but he is willing to leave after the evenings ‘ball’. The PC’s put themselves on the ambassador’s guard staff and join him.
The ball turns out to be a trap to kill many foreigners as well as nobles sympathetic to the king, a nasty fellow named Joe Stalin leading the massacre, turning into a bear when he is attacked. The PC’s manage to rescue the Ambassador and Sean finds Maureen as well as a number of foreign sorcerers imprisoned in the basement. During the escape, the party takes many wounds, fighting a whole lineup of Ussuran rebels (many of whom turn into animals) and 30 crossbowmen on the mezzanine, and Flavio even passes out. During this Sean’s newest arch enemy, the Ussuran ambassador to Avalon, is erased from existence by Marueen. Stalin, having turned into a bear and set on fire, is disabled. Maureen slits his throat. The PC’s retreat into the town, finding shelter in a abandoned watch shop, hiding until the Escape is due to return, taking the Vodacce ambassador and his staff, the lineup of sorcerers, and a 6-year old princess.