While the heroes are in port, they discover that Naji really does know what he is doing when it comes to ships and seamanships. He quickly established himself as captain and the crew overall loves him, but there is an exception or two. The heroes also discover that the Spirit of Suleiman was recently purchased by members of the Brotherhood of Sinbad after the prior captain/owner was killed in an accident.
On the morning the Spirit is set to sail, Naji’s past once again catches up to him. As the port authority closed in on the ship, Naji yells out “all aboard that’s coming aboard” and orders the crew to cast off.
Menivis was a few piers over finalizing the last few supplies for the ship. Upon hearing Naji’s call, he dropped to all fours and sprinted along the docks, up the crates, and made a huge leap to cover the rapidly widening gap as the Spirit pulled away.
Salim, unfurled Sirocco the Flying Carpet and ordered him to fly to the ship. Sirocco grumbled at first, but surprisingly did what he was told. But lulled into a false sense of security, Salim was not ready when Sirocco suddenly accelerated at the last second. Salim bashed his head on a spar, and that left him sprawled on the deck (and a wound).
Tabari had spent the last couple of days writing up the hero’s tales under the sea to send off to the universities of Qarah. Fortunately, Tabari heard of the pending raid on the Spirit and slowly strolled onto the ship just as the gangplank was withdrawn from the pier.
Araceli, as usual, was a bit of a curiosity draw from the locals. The crowd was proving problematic as they were between Araceli and the Spirit. Thinking quickly, Araceli gracefully swung through some rigging on another docked ship to land gracefully on deck.
Naji gracefully and skillfully maneuvered the ship our of port, but not before several near misses with other ships in his haste to get out to sea. Travelling south, the Spirit came to the Isle of Outcasts. It was quickly obvious as to the naming of the island, – most people have a physical hindrance of some sort. They were discarded by their original society, but formed their own here on this pleasant island. Approximately 500 souls live in the town.
Not long after docking, a one-armed man of obvious authority (Captain Rafiq) invited the heroes (and Naji, as captain) to dine with Pasha Kutaiba. At the pasha’s house they are greeted politely by a servant, a cakali with a withered right arm and only two fingers on his left hand. He indicates where weapons and armor may be securely stored, and then leads the guests to meet his master. The house is richly appointed, but without being ostentatious or garish. Kutaiba Pasha is the wrong side of middle age, and his face, bald pate, and hands are vividly disfigured by deep burn scars. A banquet more befitting the table of an emir has already been laid out. During the meal, Kutaiba Pasha makes small talk, inquiring about the heroes reasons for visiting, their previous exploits, and news from the mainland. Once the characters’ bellies are full, he gets down to business. He invites the heroes to follow him to an adjacent room.
Laid out on a bier is a young woman of perhaps 20 years. Her face is relaxed, and she appears to be sleeping. What catches the hero’s eye is the girl wears a large, colored crystal lens as part of a necklace, identical to their amber lens other than the color.
“This is my daughter, Shana. A stranger came to our town and, on seeing her, desired that she become his wife. I refused such a marriage, for the stranger was of sinister disposition and my heart told me that he was full of wickedness. Oh, by the fates, how right I was! Angered, the stranger revealed himself to be Jabal, a wizard of the dark arts, and calling upon fell charms, he placed her in the magical sleep in which you see her now.
“The wizard said that unless I changed my mind within a year and a day, my daughter would never wake yet never truly die, condemning her soul to limbo for all time. That deadline is midnight a mere two days from now, and I fear I must make a decision no father should be called upon to make.
“I am a man of peace, but I now ask that you aid us. Kill the wizard and break his charm. There is no other way.”
After promises are made, the Pasha gets a bit conspiratorial. With the group’s permission, he wishes to “scare straight” Naji. Naji has been to The Island of Outcasts (or Home as they know it) in the past. And like most places he left quite an impression. He does not think about it until Captain Rafiq grabs Naji and the following proclamation is read:
“Whereas one Naji ibn Shakir did attain entrance to the quarters of the court vizer and made off with a prized Hooka and associated paraphernalia. Whereas one Naji ibn Shakir did use said stolen items to corrupt the virtue of a young maid or three of the realm. Whereas the fathers of said former maidens did capture one Naji ibn Shakir and threaten bodily harm, at which time Naji instigated a great commotion and inflicted monumental damage upon the local market. Therefore be it decreed that one Naji ibn Shakir shall be imprisoned in the dungeons of Pasha until such time that the Pasha decides to grant mercy upon his retched soul.”
After stern looks and Naji dragged off in chains, the Pasha and Rafiq laugh and assure the heroes that Naji will only spend a night or two in the dungeons for his past crimes.
The next day with a humbled Naji in tow, the Spirit departs for the nearby island of Jabal the Black. Despite ill winds, Naji and the crew do a masterful job. The Spirit arrives that the dark, gloomy spit of a rock capped with an ominous tower with 24 hours to spare.