After leaving the bookshop, the party boards Rod’s carriage and returns to the DeloSiren estate. Rod makes the final arrangements to escort Lady Tanis, his late brother’s wife, to her Parents’ estate. Murad, disguised as a chatty parrot, accompanies them. Lady Tanis’ young daughter is enamoured with him. Once there, Rod informs his newly-hired guards that they will get a very handsome reward upon completion of the contract.
Upon their return, Rod discusses the war situation with his butler, Kent, and that he wishes to liquidate some of the estate and holdings. Rod assures Kent that he will be taken care of, as will Rod’s niece.
This whole time, Quintin has been poring over the Journal of Jarith Rellor that they acquired at the bookshop. About two-thirds of the way into it, he finds some intriguing entries:
Hielyr 7, 11888 After only two days on this island, three of my men have become gravely ill with a sort of febrile disease. The ship’s physician cannot determine the cause. It is odd considering that they had been with me for more than a year and had not taken ill since that first month of the voyage…
Hielyr 11, 11888 The afflicted men grow sicker still. I fear that the others are going mad from some other affliction. The men claim that some of the large bats that inhabit the island have displayed some strange behaviour. They say that these animals have been seen watching them at night and appear to be communicating with each other. Madness! Only one more week here and I will have my maps completed…
The journal describes the island and the water around it as extremely rocky and that, after some searching, they found a small area on the western shore to land on. Jarith Rellor decided to leave the island after one of his crewmen died. Three more men died after they left.
Quintin determines that the island referred to in the journal is the same one that is today referred to as “Jarith’s Island”. Quintin and Murad debate whether they should investigate this island or to keep with the current plan to investigate the Starbirth Sea. Quintin decides to speak with the High Archmage, Gralius Kurn, about it.
Rod and Murad search the house, and find part of Rod’s brother’s gun collection – 1 masterwork pistol, 2 regular pistols, a musket, 36 bullets for the pistols, and a case of shot for the musket.
Quintin leaves for the Tower of Stars at the Academy of the Stars’ Children. The High Archmage’s assistant, Navin, intercepts him. He brings news that some of the items the party requested are available. He also informs Quintin that the two tokens that Rod and Murad left with their researchers have disappeared. Quintin assures him that the tokens have a habit of returning to the owner.
Up in the tower room, Quintin shows Gralius Kurn the passage in Rellor’s the journal. He mentions that another fellow had wanted this book and that he had asked the shopkeeper to have any other copies of it destroyed. Quintin speculates that the illness that afflicted Rellor’s crew may have been caused by fallen star metal. Quintin also feels that the firebats may be significant. The Archmage tells of another group in West Hanum that is already investigating the island. Two of them, including Cornelius Grey, are members of the Stars’ Children and are believed to be trustworthy. Quintin thanks Kurn and bids him farewell.
Word arrives at Rod’s estate that Quintin requests that they meet him at the Astronomers’ Guild. Rod arranges for Saladin and Yulando to bring the Portable Alchemy Cabinet to the house. Rod and Murad leave to meet up with Quintin.
Quintin has gone ahead to the Guild of Astronomers, housed in an old converted tower. He meets Yolen Gert, one of the Master Astronomers. Quintin asks if it is possible that star fragments may have fallen on the West Hanum Islands two-thousand years ago, just before the One Hundred Year Winter. Gert answers that it is possible – most of the falling star is known to have fallen in Lettan, but some of it may have broken off and landed in other locations.
Murad and Rod arrive. Master Gert takes the group to the top of the tower and shows them his “Stargazing Apparatus”. They use it to look at the moon at many times it’s normal size. Gert swivels the device to show them the new star in the sky, near the constellation of Zepha. It appears to be a little brighter than when they last looked at it. Finally, he takes the group back to the main floor, where he shows them the “Portable Stargazing Apparatus” that he has made for them to take on their journey to the Starbirth Sea.