Anaxalitus, Aspasia, Kharon, Kalistala and Azenwal all boarded the black ship, captained by Ormenos and set sail for Crete, leaving Vasilius in Delphi to manage the city. They had smooth sailing until they were five days out, when Kalistala and Anaxalitus had an entertaining sparring match. The lookout spied an approaching ship, which turned out to be captained by the brother of Ormenos. The two had a boisterous reunion, and the brother warned Ormenos about continuing to the harbor at Knossos and pressed him to find an alternate destination due to the turmoil in Crete. Anaxalitus was determined to press on, and Azenwal had to mediate and got the captain to agree to landing in a secure smuggler’s harbor outside of Knossos. Meanwhile, Kalistala arm-wrestled the unsuspecting crew of the other ship and Aspasia tended their wounds… for a fine profit.
Upon landing in the cove, the four non-sea-sick companions ventured inland with Molos the quartermaster, leaving Stavros to guard the ship (now trained to answer to Azenwal’s conch shell horn) and Kharon to acclimate to land once again. They discovered that the plant life was odd – though the soil was not dry, the plants looked as though they were in a deep drought. Strange purple-black vines were twining through the undergrowth as well, the party declined to investigate them further in the oncoming darkness. Birdsong and insects were noticably absent. As they trekked a main road toward the city the plant and animal life improved.
Upon reaching the nearest city gate, Anaxalitus and Aspasia convinced the gate guard Jakros that they were the saviors of Crete, allowing the others to slip inside unseen. Led by Azenwal, they headed to the Goat’s Hoof, a very clean and very innocuous inn run by Penelope, an elderly lady spinning by the fireplace. Azenwal paid her generously and she thanked him profusely. Aspasia also paid well, and also gave Penelope a heavenly rose and fig lotion, and was directed to a room with a marble tub and running hot water, which she had no trouble operating. Anaxalitus was less fortunate with the common showers, luckily Azenwal arrived in time to avoid an incident. Kalistala shared her wine flask and the two stayed up late, drinking and telling raunchy stories by the fire.