Gathela marks Tormgar for extradition and sends him their horrors from deep within the city. The party must deal with Gathela's assault, and then head back to the Fortress. It may be their last footfall on land.
The Minnow was designed for short flights. Its fuel is limited and the longer it sits, cycling on the deck of the Fortress, the shorter the party's chance for making it back to the construction site get.
The party tells Tulsi that they will help and will bring back additional crew, but they need to leave while they still can. They aren't prepared. They don't have equipment or goods. Selene, Edwyn, and Andrazel get back on Minnow, and Andrazel brings it up and over the side of the Fortress and back to safety.
They land back at the construction site.
Marnos has the keen eye. After landing, he catches a glimpse of the Fortress through the heavy cover and notices a small contingent of floating Gathelians heading towards its bulk. The Fortress is too far away to make out additional detail, but they are Dwarves, perhaps diplomats or ambassadors. They have the golden sheen of official robes. Marnos keeps his focus. He watches them float over the top of the wall, down, and out of sight.
Marnos continues to keep watch. Then perhaps a half-an-hour later, a small package is tossed over the wall of the fortress, then a second. Those are followed by a torso, and Marnos realizes what has happened. The rest of the dismembered Gathelian landing crew follow and plunge downward into the depths of the mists.
Orryn shows up and tries to relay all the debauched things he tried while polymorphed. The party mostly ignores him, but does relay events of the last couple weeks.
The workers turn their attention to the ship, and begin the cleaning and re-fueling work. Andrazel sits to describe his thoughts on maneuverability to the chief engineer. Four workers are sent to steal fuel from Gathela. Myrani is at the construction site and Tormgar goes to meet and converse with his leader.
Although they don't reveal their enthusiasm to the party, Tormgar and Myrani are excited. A purge is welcome and they worship the powers that would bring the brimstone.
The next day, three workers come back with fuel, sealed carefully within magic containment canisters. They say they they lost their friend. They don't know how and where he vanished. He never showed up at their rendezvous location near the outskirt of the new Fortress construction.
Marnos, worried, treats his evening scouting run with additional gravity. As he follows an elliptical navigation pattern within the Cauldron, Marnos spots a well-hidden Gathela scout. He moves to get a better angle. On the scout's shoulder is a short, capped tube with a side-mounted eyepiece. The scout is facing the camp. It doesn't look like a telescope, something Marnos has passing knowledge of, but Marnos doesn't know what the Gathela scout is using. He returns to the party to report.
Thromgar and Myrani know. It's not good. Someone or everyone at the site has been marked for elimination or extradition. The scout was carrying a beacon for Gathela's Retrievers, the large constructs Gathela uses to kill or extract people from sites. The Retrievers are merciless automatons. Myrani hasn't heard of anyone avoiding their attack.
There's a chance everyone at the construction site could die. Tormgar and Myrani decide if it looks like that's God's will, they'll take to the air along with select others.
They don't have a change to make the selection. The Retriever dances up towards the site moving up and around obstacles without breaking the synchronized stride of its six legs. The party prepares.
Andrazel successfully casts Slow and the spell gives the party extra time to pinpoint weakness across its body as it approaches. The Retriever fires several beams against Tormgar, its apparent target, and the party fires back.
The back and forth continues, and eventually one of the fiercest weapons in the Gathela arsenal tumbles, inactive onto the surface of the Minnow.
Workers remove the Retriever from the ship. It's body will be torn apart for parts to help improve the Minnow, if it returns.
Tormgar and Myrani say goodbye to the workers. Given that the site is now known to authorities, they can't guarantee their followers safety. They get on the ship, followed by the party and two selected Engineers. The ship has been fueled. They can take to the air and they do.
The flight is smoother this time, thanks to Andrazel's skill. They land on the surface of the Fortress and get off. This time they are greeted by a different Revenant. He introduces himself as Geda. The name is known to Tormgar. He's the Principal Captain of the Fortress. There's a statue of him in Gathela along Captain's Row.
Geda normally wouldn't greet lowly prisoners but he feels like the party is worth his time. He believes the party has sometime to offer him: information about the city. He sets a time for a longer meeting and lets the party get situated.
Marnos wanders around, and pokes around the empty buildings. He runs into a Shadowfell elf and asks her about rations. She leads him to a long storage room, with hardtack rocks of food. She knocks off a piece of one with her hand axe and hands it to Marnos. It's as hard as it looks.
Her name is Aredhel.
Marnos can't eat it. It would break his teeth. He's a scout and has at least some ability to cook. He pulls off his back, pulls out a small stove and pan and tries his best to transform the shard. He does his best. At least it's edible. He hands some back to the Shadowfell and she nods in appreciation. Maybe there are people the party can trust.