Several days later on The Nessus, Captain Alais has adjusted to her new duties as Captain. The small crew now includes Villi, Salas, Derek, Ramas, and Stan. At Derek's suggestion, Alais decides to inform the Jade Bear Company of Yuldra's death, postponing their journey to Swindlandcoat. They make heading for Abysrem, an island which houses the nearest post of the company.
As they sail toward their destination they are attacked by a hoard of Sea Hags- horrible slimy sea witches with seaweed hair. A long battle ensues as more Sea Hags appear on a crab-shell boat. The Nessus blasts the hag boat with cannon fire, but the Sea Hags remain powerful and attack with even more effort. Derek instructs Salas to swim beneath The Nessus and hang lanterns which signal to allies that they are in need of help. Eventually Naval vessels with purple flags appear in the distance, firing their cannons at the Sea Hags and demolishing their shell ships.
After this encounter one Sea Hag is left barely alive on the ship. Salas speaks to her and says they will spare her life if she allows The Nessus safe passage in Sea Hag territories, should they need to venture this way again. The Sea Hag says she will speak to "The Mother" about this, and swims away.
After this the main naval ship puts down a plank, and a dashing female officer named Erin Wake boards The Nessus. She hugs Derek and says, "We haven't seen those lanterns in years! It's good to see you old friend!" She takes out a strange hourglass filled with gears and informs the crew that the city of Abysrem will arise out of the waters shortly. In front of the crew, a fully populated city does indeed rise up out of the water, sparkling in the sun. "The cleansing is finished and Abysrem rises again." Erin says.
The Nessus comes into the city's harbor, and the crew go to the Jade Bear Company. As they approach the outpost, they see a gnome getting thrown out of the door by a human male. The human male yells, "And STAY OUT THUNDERMASTER!" Derek notes that Thundermasters are the Jade Bear Company's primary treasure-hunting rival.
They enter the outpost and are greeted by a female with a faint, angelic glow to introduces herself as Cefrey Reign. She takes them back into her office where there is a very handsome human man named Sifa, the mayor of Abysrem. Alais recounts to Cefrey and Sifa Captain Yuldra's deadly betrayal at the hands of Solgor, their narrow escape from Watford, and their instructions to head north for Swindlandcoat. Ceyfrey notes that they didn't expect Yuldra to last long as Capatin, but at the time she was the company's cheapest option. Mayor Sifa inquires about Ramas, asking how she is doing. Salas informs them that she is fiercely independent, but she is alive, strong, and doing well.
Cefrey asks if Alais would like to continue as captain of The Nessus. Alais pulls Villi and Salas aside and asks what they think. They come to the conclusion that it is best to continue on as is, with Alais as acting captain. Alais formally enlists in the Jade Bear Company, signing a one year contract.
Sifa offers to show them around the town, and they agree. The crew notice how much the townspeople adore him, as he stops to small talk with the townsfolk. He explains that Abysrem's supports have become weaker and weaker over time, which is why the city is submerged underwater every three days when the tide is highest. Alias asks if there are any other high elves in the town, and Sifa points them to the marketplace. Villi asks if there is an Artificers Guild in the city, to which Sifa replies that 6 months ago their only Artificers Guild outpost was burned out. The artificer's seemed to cut their loses and leave. The crew members give each other looks of suspicion upon hearing this news.
The enter the market and enter a small shop. Behind the counter is an older female half elf, in which Alais can immediately sense Illysari blood. The woman insists that she does not even know who the Illysari are. Alais describes to her the plight of the The Sickness in the Illysari. She tells the crew to come to the back and puts up a "closed" sign in her shop. The woman introduces herself as Aelyn. says she has been looking to the answer to her heritage for a long time- that she was born in Abyrem and her mother, Ahshen, was full high-elf. Aelyn thanks Alais for solving the mystery of her bloodline, and as Alais touches her reassuringly, she senses that Aelyn's blood is untainted by The Sickness. Alais asks if she would come with them on their journey, but Aelyn declines.
Aelyn then takes out her hour glass, and says, "Look at my dial! I've never seen the gears and dials move so quickly- it seems the cleansing is coming in just a few hours! Do you have a place to stay?" The crew agrees to stay in her shop. Villi examines Aelyn's dial and determines there is something happening with barometric pressure.
As the last spec of dust falls from within Aelyn's dial, water begins to fill out oustide the shop's windows. Soon they are completely submerged under water. Aelyn goes to take a nap. Only ten minutes pass and the crew notice the water level is already starting to go back down. Outstide the shop now stand three guards pacing back and forth. The crew are all alarmed that the cleansing happened so quickly and ask the guards what has happened. The guards respond that all four of the crew (Derek included) are now under arrest. They come to find out that Derek's naval officer friend Erin Wake, has assassinated the Mayor and has taken over control of Abysrem.