Having secured the moon dragon's Scale, the party boards their ship and heads towards Kharak-Rhun, with one eye on the stars due to Jhota's ominous warning.
On route, Zook begins to study some of the rubbings and artifacts he collected from the Arcane pyramid on the small planetoid. For the most part they depict the stories of the arcane buried there,but a few things stick out in the scientist's mind.
First, a description of an unusual diamond-shaped stone called a flowstone. Though he can't decipher it's exact powers, the drawings suggest it has something to do with the naturally occurring flows or currents in the phlogiston that connect the crystal spheres. The hieroglyphics also suggest that these flowstones were stored in these pyramids, but no such item was discovered during their search.
The second item of note was a mural carved into a wall in one of the pyramid's main chambers. This mural depicted a group of crystal spheres, but in no stellar formation Zook could recognize. A handful of these spheres also contain pyramids, suggesting there may be other such locations scattered throughout space. The pyramids have thin lines drawn between them in the rough outline of a manta-ray like shape... Hunter suggests the may have found a clue about the original Spelljammer!
But first, the party returns to Kharak-Rhun. The mighty citadel sits motionless in space, a short distance away from the seemingly infinite obsidian wall that is the crystal sphere. They dock, and Jaggs points out that the Golden Fin, the ship of the information trader Valerande, is in port.
They return to their bar to discover it ransacked! Their brass guardian is missing, and furniture and cabinets have been overturned and searched. Ledgers, notes, valuables and the brewery’s magic casks have been taken. Worse yet, Wilco and the barmaids are nowhere to be found. They rush out to find the nearest guard post to discover what happened, but are stopped by their neighbour Benedict. The gregarious svirfneblin’s shop has a gouge cut out of the roof, and Benedict explains that thieves attacked the tavern in the night. The brass golem fought back, damaging some of the surrounding buildings in the process. Volkin Hamlin’s soldiers later arrived, doing their own investigation. Before they leave, Benedict pulls Blackfist aside and speaks to him in private. He warns that though the dwarves may be blind with loyalty for Volkin, he says not to trust anything the guards say. He says that they were searching for something in the tavern too, and should be trusted no more than the thieves.
In the central guard station, the party speaks with an officer who explains the situation. Members of the notorious Duergar gang the Deep Dark, apparently ransacked the place in the night. Isabella later discovers that her shop in another district too was attacked, and several of her prized components and ingredients stolen. The staff of the Garnetcask Brewery were brought into the station to give testimony and have since been released; with the exception of the brass golem which was being kept as evidence, and Wilco Garnetcask himself. The officer explains that Wilco was still being questioned, and wasn’t to be released until they could clear up any chance of him being involved with the Deep Dark. The officer explains that this attack is similar to other cases where the Deep Dark have attacked someone who failed to fulfil a contract or otherwise betrayed the Deep Dark’s expectations.
Unable to accept that answer, the party debates what to do. Tempers are high and they consider marching straight into the underdark and bonking heads until they get answers. Cooler heads prevail, and they decide to investigate more first. They decide a visit to the knowledgeable Valerande might give them something to work with, and meet with the Captain in his ship.
Valerande meets the party with his usual smile and friendly demeanor, expressing his joy at seeing his old clients. Yorick, in his dwarven form, takes on a pseudonym hoping that Valerande won’t recognize him. The party asks for information about the Deep Dark, about a legal expert they might employ to get to Wilco, and for general rumors, and in return relate info about the planar rift on the arcane pyramid. Valerande says that the big gossip right now involves the citadel and what exactly Volkin is planning for it. The citadel was recently in elven space, where volkin apparently met with the Elven War Minister and temporary regent Cabbot. And now, the citadel sits motionless at the edge of the system. Valerande says that his sources suggest the citadel was planned to travel beyond the crystal sphere, but scouts have discovered that the flow had disappeared, making travel to the systems beyond impossible. Just like Golarion. He also gives the name of Hugran Lockbeard, an advocate that lives in nearby Hammerfast that might be able to help them get Wilco out of trouble. Regarding the Deep Dark, he says his business on the citadel involves the Underdark and thus he has discovered a way to get in touch with the Deep Dark, but this valuable information will come at a higher cost. When the party struggles to offer something of equivalent value, he asks a question of his own: whatever happened to their old captain, Yorick Morack? Hunter X offers a half answer involving Yorick and Capo’s fight over the cursed Senro dagger. Valerande seems satisfied, and gives them the name of a tavern in the Underdark and a codephrase to give to meet with members of the Deep Dark.
Yorick has his concerns about Valerande. His questions about Yorick and his current dwarven alter ego leads Yorick to think he might suspect something… but there’s nothing that can be done now. The party prepares to meet with Hugran Lockbeard in Hammerfast to discuss their incarcerated friend Wilco.