The party defeated the warforged pirates and regained control of the ship, but not without sustaining damage and veering off-course. Upon closer inspection, the warforged appeared to be signifacntly decrepit and were possessed of a collection of seemingly random items. One of the dead warforged wore around his neck a leather thong with a gold-metalled finger hanging from it.
Captain Demurrage was severely wounded in the melee and unable to take control of the ship. Without his skill or dragonmark, the party faced the prospect of being adrift in the skies above Valenar. But, fate intervened in the form of Stielo, who appeared shortly after the battle ended. He explained that he and his ever-present halfling companion had booked passage on the Scorpion several days earlier. Being possessed of a Mark of Passage, Stielo was able to pilot the ship and the journey resumed its course.
The party struggled to gain their bearings in the severe storms that were beginning to form along the border between Valenar and the Mourning. Stielo indicated the presence and passage of living spells: mobile discrete agglutinations of weaponized magic that had shown signs of sentience in the days after the Mourning. The sharp eyes of the halfling picked out a flock of distant shapes approaching from the shadows of the Mournland. Giant mutant bats swarmed the Scorpion and Stielo attempted to elude them by flying into a narrow canyon while Stazo and Calzara manned the ship’s spell cannons in an attempt to bring the pursuers down. A combination of skilled flying and accurate shots had almost freed the Scorpion from its attackers when a high-risk maneuver sent the ship careening into the canyon wall and the crew was set upon by giant bats as living spells swept the deck.