Seeing little left to do the day before their big meeting at the Republic Amphitheater the next day, Avaniel Cerelion, Bu-Jinwen Nivaye, and Jozan spent the next half of the day in rest. Upon waking, they took in a meal and went to the Primo Santos Estate to find Sosimo Primo Santos. The house guards remarked that the young master had went to the Republic Amphitheater earlier to wait for his appointment.
The group went to the grand seat of the Tribunal Republic and went through the halls, noting a statue of a man that resembled the same person portrayed in the Fountain of Indomitable Spirit. A clerk at a reception area escorted the group to the waiting gallery where they met with Sosimo to discuss the senators they had rallied to their cause.
With the senators taking their first recess, the group wandered about to find any more senators that might be out to lunch. They learned that typically during public assembly days, the senators take meals in the amphitheater rest areas to avoid angered petitioners. However, the group did track down Horatio the Red once again. After talking a bit with him, he agreed to give support to the Primo Santos cause if they could win a game of Bathort against him. Luck was not on the side of Jozan in the first game, but Avaniel managed to edge of the foreman dwarf in a close match to garner his favor in the Republic of Ailead.
The group returned to the waiting gallery. After a short time, a clerk came in to escort the group to the awaiting Tribunal Republic. Avaniel thought it prudent to use his magic to disguise his heritage. After spending a few moments to clean themselves up in a small preparation corridor, the group was announced and pleaded their case. The group based their arguments on the need for Primo Santos to maintain financial stability through continued exports to Urima. They also mentioned the good works of the family through the knightly orders and the employment of many individuals. A few senators argued that Primo Santos could maintain his livelihood easily on their textile business, a fact that the representatives stumbled upon to answer appropriately.
They decided to shift their argument slightly, stating that limiting trade to the far ports in Western Daramis and Ryin was hindering the growth of Ailead and punishing worker wages. If costs increased due to longer travel distances and prolonged terms between payments, it was reasonable to assume many workers would lose pay or lose work. This particularly seemed to intrigue the Merchant Quarter senators. Another rebuttal was posed. If the exception based on exporting was allowed to Primo Santos ships, then how would the Republic respond to scrutiny of favoritism from the other major exporting concerns. Bu-jinwen stated that the Primo Santos had be honorable in their dealings with Ailead and the affairs of Eastern Daramis and should be rewarded. He also stated that the adventurers should be trusted as reputable judges of character given their writs of recommendation from various people of Ailead. The Republic convened.
The group waited in the wash hall. There, Roger waited in a chair with a pair of guards at the entrance door. The old huntsman remarked that he too was seeking exemption so that he and a friend could meet other friends of his in the far eastern lands. The group found it odd that Roger knew of their arrangement with Sosimo, but they dismissed it readily given how much the man had aided them in this strange time of their lives. Avaniel, fearing the reaction of the senators if his true heritage were known after his magic wore off, excused himself.
Going back into the amphitheater pit, the verdict was announced to the representatives. The civilians, seeing fairly little benefit to their own concerns, judged the cause unworthy. The merchants seemed to have great concerns both directions and were unable to reach an agreement. That left the Tribunal Council member serving the Merchant Quarter, Gazanfer Ulfi, to issue a decree of worthiness. The count was one to one among the assemblies. The adventurers waited to note the outcome of the Noble District vote. The nobles voted the cause worthy. Two to one in assemblies, the only thing left was to see if the Tribunal might vote conservatively to disallow the exemption. A huge elation washed over Jozan and Bu-jinwen as the Tribunal unanimously approved the proposal.
Sosimo was equally excited to hear the news. He thanked the group and issued them their writ, offering a place to work if they so desired. Bu-jinwen declined, stating he needed to return to Urima in all haste. Jozan found the pull of wanderlust to great to ignore, and Avaniel was excited at the prospect of a place focused on magic. Sosimo understood and left the offer withstanding should they decide otherwise. He bid the group goodbye.
The group went to the port authority and turned in their writs. the harbormaster told them it would take a day to settle their affairs and suggested the group find a ship to ferry them. Many ships were stuck in Ailead given the embargo, enough to flood the docks and the surrounding coastal waters. Four ships were available. Three of the were the royal escorts for King Nerod Eldenberry and thus unusable. That left the Steelsnout. The portmaster told the group the captain’s surname of Jacob and suggested searching the bars in the Port District for signs of the crew. After learning a bit about their journey and some of the close northern ports of Urima, the group was off.
After a short foray to the Salty Catfish, the group learned the crew of the Steelsnout frequented the Sturgeon’s Stein. Jozan recalled passing the bar and led. At the bar, the group quickly learned of the captain. Bu-jinwen wasted little time talking with the captain and setting his travel preparations in order. When Avaniel tried the same, he was met with a reply from the captain labeling him a dirty, treacherous drow that he would not speak to, let alone offer passage. Jozan, unknowing of this style of bigotry, was flustered. Going outside, Avaniel spoke briefly about the difficulties of being half drow and what of his history he recalled.
Jozan offered to look for different avenues to Urima, but Bu-jinwen insisted he would not be able to wait. He argued that if his companions wished to go to Urima in any type of speed, they would not be able to wait on Sosimo’s ships to prepare. Jozan was frustrated, but he knew the warlock had a point. He once again went into the bar to speak with the captain. He tried to be amiable to the man, learning he was from Ryin and a sailor for quite a while. the druid said he wished to see the world, but he would not do so while abandoning Avaniel. The captain thought the proposition of befriending anything associated with the drow was foolish, but he agreed to ferry the group for a fee of two hundred gold coins, over three times the amount which the others would pay. Jozan acquiesced, paying the fair.
A new issue was discovered when Captain Jacob stated his boat could not ferry animals. Jozan was greatly saddened that he might lose his good companion, Jang. After speaking about where the group would travel to, it was decided either Conception or Thiminoor would do. The captain would not sail the dangerous waters near Citadel North. The captain parted with Jozan, telling the druid to watch his back around the half drow claiming friendship.
Outside, the group prepared to move out to sell their horses, and Jozan pondered what to do about his camel, Jang. Roger greeted the group as a royal carriage rolled passed the streets deeper into the city. Roger pointed out a spy on a rooftop looking down upon the group. The adventurers tried to pursue. Bu-jinwen was quickly left behind trying to flag down a carriage to chase. Avaniel had trouble finding stable footing to climb up to the rooftops for ease of following. Jozan climbed up a building and jumped about on the rooftops to catch the spy. He read the cloaked figure’s movement tendencies. The druid climbed down and cut into an alley to cut off the spy. Avan finally made his way onto the roof, leaping about the structures. Unable to see where Jozan or the quarry went, he was at a loss. Jozan entered a small area occupied by a crowd of people. He managed to spot the creature trying to blend in at a cafe.
The two continued the chase up an oceanside building. Jozan drew his weapons to threaten the cloaked creature as it was cornered, thinking it might be associated with the dark creepers. He demanded for the meaning of the humanoid’s presence. The creature replied by falling off into the ocean and escaping under the docks. Jozan picked up a note in an unfamiliar language the spy had dropped. Avan found a flier to Renard’s Sextant dropped by the creature as well.
Returning to the Sturgeon’s Stein to a Roger coming out, the group considered their next move. Roger voiced sympathy for Jozan regarding Jang. The veteran said that perhaps it was best that a person should stay where they felt at home and at ease. Perhaps it was time to see Jang off for new adventures. The hunter then was off. Bu-jinwen questioned if he truly was only a hunter. The other companions thought perhaps he was merely a war hero in retirement like Augustin Gonzalo given their relations.