After preparing and resting, the Party sets off late the next morning. Though “on the job” from this moment on, there is really nothing for them to do for many days yet except relax, and enjoy the trip down the coast, then across to Ceata.
The days pass uneventfully, and a ship heading for Ceata is quickly found. This leg of the trip is a bit less comfortable, as, for many of the Party, this is their first time out on deep water, much less out of sight of land. While by no means a rough voyage, the rolling and pitching of the decks is far more pronounced out here.
On the thirteenth day from leaving Pecs, the Party arrives at the port city of Chania, on the southeast corner of Ceata. It will take the better part of a day to reach the city of Konaros on the opposite side of the island. Even this late in the year, the weather here is hotter than in Kalifaa, and the day’s journey is a bit dusty and uncomfortable.
Arriving in Konaros, the Party gets right to the business of finding a place to stay for the night and passage to Buecopolis as soon as may be. Eventually, they find a vessel planning to embark for Buecopolis in the morning. Having done this, the Party heads to bed.
In the morning, the Party rises early and begins the process of loading into the ship. In addition to cargo and us, this vessel, the Golden Mare is also booking other passengers heading to points north and/or west. We set off northwards in relatively calm seas. Captain Ecks tells us that better progress will be made on this course due to the winds being in a more favorable quarter, in two days we’ve traveled nearly 250 miles. (The westbound legs had only covered about 180-210 in the same amount of time.) During this time, we see only a few other sails, but Captain Ecks assures us it’s not terribly unusual for the time of year. In fact, we’re coming into the season for very rough weather on the Mare Mercuria, which is why he wants to get north and west quickly and off-load his cargo. Then he can sit safe and snug in a good harbour for the storm season. For three days all is normal, on the third day the sea was a bit rougher, but settled during the night. The level and type of traffic was normal as well.
The fourth day at sea began with light airs under a gray sky, and a very calm sea. Still, there was enough air for the sails, and, as the morning progressed, the breeze freshened and we picked up speed. We are roughly 100 miles off the coast of Pelpos. Around eleven in the morning, a Kunac flagged vessel is spotted to windward (on our port side). It turned onto a course that brought it closer, but not directly towards us. As it neared it was identified as a light galley, a naval vessel. It continued to close, and, at 1 o’clock, suddenly lowered the Kunac flag and turned to the attack. Ballistae fire began to pepper us as soon as it was in range. Captain Ecks ordered return fire (The Mare is lightly armed), and a change of course. It quickly became clear we would not be able to outrun the galley, so Captain Ecks used what time he could to allow the crew and passengers to arm themselves and prepare for a fight. Once all were ready, he suddenly reversed course and counter attacked.