Un-sticking the Estimated Prophet from where it was grounded in Lake Calamity was straightforward: the crew used oars to guide the ship while the druid Wild, in whale form, pushed the boat off of the strange piece of castle-shaped coral mid-lake.
Less straightforward was dealing with the three-headed alligator/plesiosaurus that attacked: Kurza was badly chewn up; Wild, in whale form, was gnawed on… basically it started with a bunch of mouths full of sharp teeth then it grew more mouths.
- Quick thinking on the part of Styx prevented Gabro from drowning
- Arrows from Merrik saved Kurza from the jaws of death
- A great deal of lightning was thrown that struck nothing
- A cannon was fired, to little effect
- Garrett the Wizard shot the beast's "chocolate deathstar" right in the "exhaust port"
Ultimately the party fled.
Janys the Phoenix returned, chattering excitedly about having been shot at by someone at Horizon. She was unable to deliver the 2nd note to the Archmage.
Arriving in Horizon, the party was met at the docks by a contingent of wizards representing all three wizard schools. It seems they had heard of the Estimated Prophet, and excitedly asked if Garrett was on board. The Obsidian Child denied knowing any such person, even when the wizards insisted that they had heard he was aboard the ship.
The party then split at the docks, with Garrett remaining on the ship for "wizard stuff", unaware that a gaggle of magic users were on shore excitedly asking after him. Styx, the Obsidian Child, Merrik Frost, Kurza, and Wild heading in to meet the Archmage… who, it turns out, was not expecting their arrival. After some negotiation, it was granted that a short meeting with the Archmage would be permitted while he broke for a meal; the Eye of the Stone Thief would have to remain in a magically shielded warehouse. At this point, much to the confusion of everybody, Wild suggested summoning the Stone Thief and allowing it to devour her.
Ever-grim Kurza, the phoenix Janys and the Obsidian Child (plus Wild, in Snake form, dreaming of a twisting, hungry, insane serpent deep below the earth) and two red shirt crew members stayed with the Eye. In short order, the warehouse grew uncomfortably quiet and nearly a dozen men attacked. The Obsidian Child was shocked to learn some property of the chamber blocked him from accessing sorcerous magic… but Kurza's work is done with muscle and steel. With help from Janys, Kurza Brutally butchered the would-be-thieves to a man, then scalped all 9 of them before stuffing their bodies in the corner of the warehouse. Meanwhile, the Obsidian Child stuffed his pockets with as much precious jewelry as he could find.
Upstairs, Merrik and Styx quickly began to suspect that something was amiss with the Archmage: His Wisdom seemed absent-minded and pre-occupied, and showed little concern when he learned at least two of the magical wards holding the Lich King imprisoned were broken. Though they filled him on the conspiracy, he… didn't seem to care. His assistant, Verrik, continually interrupted the Merrik and Styx until Merrik flipped his lid and put a knife to his throat. As Merrik began to forcefully strip him (abused becoming abuser?) guards were called in.
A lot happened quickly: Merrik yelled that he found a mark of the Lich King, Ruby Guards shot him with electric crossbow bolts, Talos yelled at Styx to unleash Irving the Sack Goblin and push the Archmage out the window. Styx elected to tackle him.
Irving the Goblin's unexpected and enormous ferocity bought Merrik a few precious moments to stagger across the room and spill out the window after His Wisdom and the First of Talos.
Thanks to timey-wimey wizard bends (the Archmage, still dazed, seemed to follow instructions fairly clearly) the party was re-united, and moved magically and posthaste to the docks.
Inside the crate, Wild transformed into a badger, frantically digging through the earth until she reached the Eye. As she touched it, it awoke, shedding the box and dirt effortlessly. The Stone Thief saw where it was. Wrestling the giant emerald free from Wild and scrambling onto the Estimated Prophet, the crew screamed to the Archmage to call winds to blow them out to sea, to create illusionary ships to confuse the monster…
Black Glass Skull emerged from the bay, now a living thing. Opening its mouth, the Skull crunched and gnawed and devoured the magical, shape-shifting docks of Horizon. As the Estimated Prophet skipped across waves and hurtled out to Sea, their last impression of the archmage was of a pudgy, lost looking man standing on shore watching the great pate of Black Glass Skull slip back beneath the waves.