The new "ally", who calls himself something that T'an translates as "Yates", urges our heroes to get moving before re-enforcements come. Gurthark grunts at T'an while nodding towards the group's new friend. Understanding, T'an lets Yates know that Gurt won't hesitate with his javelin or great axe if Yates tries to cross them.
A few steps into the passage, they hear boots from an intersecting corridor. With no hesitation Arlen gives himself the appearance of one of the torturers they left behind and charges to where the corridors meet. He sees a group of soldiers racing in search of intruders. He points them in the wrong direction and fortunately they race off without question or comment. Arlen signals to the gang, and Yates leads the way through various stone passages and stairways. They emerge on to a large stone square.
Some ways away they see docks and two ships. It takes some moments for them to realize that clouds, not waves, are lapping at the ships. Before fully understanding that they are on an island in the sky, three soldiers are upon them with three more approaching from the direction of the airships.
Our adventurers give the charging soldiers all they've got dealing more than they are taking when they realize that Yates has been wounded and that his situation is dire. Realizing that they have no chance of escape (the gang has never seen a ship — let alone an air ship) without Yates, T'an attends to Yates chanting a healing spell while the gang does battle.
With the first three attackers nearly defeated, Arlen casts a spell against one of the remaining warriors only to find and a magical duel begins. One of the attackers is able to match Arlen and Murmer spell-for-spell — and they turn to see their comrades stunned and unable to move. One of the warriors strikes at Gurthark which frees him from the spell. He kicks and shoves his petrified comrades who decide that it is wiser to make a run for the ships than to finish off their wounded adversaries — Yates is yelling at them not to waste time — re-enforcements can be heard on the stone stairways leading up from the depths.
Our heroes charge the lone guard on the dock and after a few good shoves dispatch him over the edge — his screams fading as he falls — a reminder that down is a long way to go.
Yates yells directions that T'an translates as they get the ship untethered. They speed away in his small ship. Yates warns his new friends that their adversaries will almost certainly send a ship after them. They sail for hours, learning what they can about this strange world and getting some much needed rest.
Yates explains that the land is peopled by tribes who mostly keep to their own territories and have no ambitions other than maintaining their borders. He has friendly relations with most. He is puzzled by their questions about the spire and travel between worlds. "I have no idea what you are talking about, but there is a place where they say strange beasts and little goblins have appeared in the past. I thought these were stories people made up, but maybe not. In any case, it is deep in another tribe's territory. They are not bad guys but I don't go past the trading post — I don't want to test how friendly they really are."
After some discussion, he agrees to land them at the trading post nearest to where he thinks that they want to go.
As they come to their understanding, Gurthark's eagle eye spots a large ship chasing them. Yates spots them, too and tells them that it is only a matter of time before the pursuers catch up. There is no way to outrun them. And capture will not be pleasant.
T'an comes to understand that while this ship can't outrun their gaining pursuer that it can outmaneuver it. Yates comments that he was impressed by the way they fought off the attackers back on the island. "They are not your match."
After a little discussion, they decide that they are up for action. Yates briefs them on what they can expect and turns the ship around. Yates maneuvers and our heroes strap on safety harnesses, buckle their swashes, prepare to leap onto the large ship now below them.