The first game they come across is a strange dice game called Bounders, where Taeva manages to catch the eye of a wealthy-looking gnome who quickly installs her as his good luck charm. The others spend less time at the table, as Balekh realizes that the odds are very poor. This doesn’t stop Taeva from somehow inflating her starting stake despite playing little else that evening.
The next game is a strange roulette wheel adorned with a ghoul’s head called, appropriately enough, ghoulette. The goal appears to be to bet on the right insult that the ghoul will utter, and Haggor quickly becomes locked into the battle of wits with the foul beast, losing all of his chips, re-buying, and losing them all again while passing the time with the pretty tiefling girl that invented the game.
Balekh and Veshenga spread out amongst the card tables, deciding to play games with a little more skill involved. Both do tolerably well, and Balekh eventually moves to the high stakes table after realizing that coins that are essentially spare change to an adventurer are a significant investment for many townsfolk. The excitement begins to dull when he intentionally loses to an obsessed-looking young man only to watch him blow his earnings at another table.
As the party has begun to grow tired of gambling and have noticed a wide array of Sihedron marks hidden on various patrons, they decide it’s time to investigate the proprietor of the boat a bit more. Veshenga and Haggor search the boat, noting that they are now well out from shore, and realize the only place the offices could be is through the kitchen, and they somehow manage to slip through the busy room without being noticed. Downstairs, they find the captain’s chambers, what is obviously a magically-powered engine room, and a door that could only be the owner’s office. Listening at the door, they manage to catch a woman’s voice talking about potentially being discovered and putting the next phases of the plan into motion. By the time they decide to kick in the door, they see a room empty of people but full of a newly lit fire and featuring an unlatched, oversized porthole that someone may have just used to escape.
After finding the fire too deliberate to easily put out and braving the fire to search for documents (all taken except for a ledger), they rush upstairs to tell the others. A cook that is asked to keep people from panicking panics herself, rushing out in a billow of smoke and leaping over the side of the boat. They helplessly watch as she is pulled beneath the surface of the lake by some danger or other; meanwhile, the boat begins the first stages of riot.
Balekh hears the news and immediately grabs Shayliss, the two of them heading downstairs. Holding her breath and very unhappy with what is about to happen to her dress, the flame sorceress unleashes Pyrotechnics on the quickly growing fire, immediately quenching it in a tremendous blast of smoke that sends her and Balekh into coughing fits.
With the immediate crisis averted, the party finds the captain, confirms that he’s been Charmed by the missing Lucretia, and inspects the engine mechanism. The boat is clearly out of commission, but the gambling is still in full swing, and the crowd quickly goes back to it now that the fire is out. They seem to all still be happy to keep their Sihedron marks a secret, despite Balekh’s exhortations to come forward to have them erased.
The riverboat is towed back into town in the morning by the ferries, and the party begins to plan what to do next. Unfortunately, their arrival back to town heralds a new period of torrential spring rains, and they’re left with the decision of whether to forge into unfamiliar wilderness during a downpour, or wait to see what happens next…