Jason having successfully determined how to navigate the magical vessel, the Paragons spend several days at sea before they believe they’re about to make landfall. One evening with calm seas, Ivan manages to sound the alarm as scaly intruders climb up the side of the Shadow Galleon. Springing into action, the Paragons leap to attack their mysterious enemies. Dark blue scales covered with armor and more weapons, with leathery fins and flippers slapping on the deck, the toothy-marauders climb aboard and attack our heroes with spear and shield, working together in tight formation to push up onto the ship. As Craig and Josh move to engage, they’re thrown to the deck as a huge sea monster has wrapped itself around the Shadow Galleon! Just wider than a minivan, the serpent rears its ugly head only for a moment as it begins to squeeze the black ship into splinters.
Nylyss has luck holding off some of the ruthless fish-men, and Ivan manages to trick one into plunging back into the dark waves, but Mauldin is nearly outflanked before he manages to claw and gore his enemies and reposition, unleashing his magical nightmare mist.
Eventually, the Giant and go-mar carve into the serpent’s hide and arouse its ire. Firing arrows, Jason tries desperately to convert the hard-wood splinters of the galleon into a more effective projectile, but to no avail. It is Craig who manages to take advantage of the beast’s clumsy attack and strike an artery inside of its mouth. Wounded, the serpent retreats, as do the remaining Sea-Devils. Thinking they’re safe, the paragons re-group only to see the serpent rear its ugly head, carrying more of the sea-devils!
Only seconds later, however, the boom of several cannons firing from somewhere nearby sends the creature tumbling back into the sea. The bright light of gas lamps and the heavy paddling of a wheel rudder drown out the sound of the waves, and a large ship made gilded white birch pulls alongside the Shadow Galleon. Armored men, nearly as tall as Josh leap aboard. Both these near-giants and the Paragons are tense and ready to fight, until the newcomers’ leader boards the ship. Clad in a white uniform and wearing a bronze sunburst mask, the man waves his arms and throws glittering dust in the air. A few moments later, the Paragons are able to speak to this man.
He introduces himself as Marl, commander of a group of Chozar marines that have been deployed to Rezel to help deal with the Sea-Monster problem. He and his men are on their way to the Bulwark, and he offers to tow their ship. The paragons, seeing no way to refuse the magician’s offer, gladly accept, and offer him their per-determined aliases and joining him aboard their vessel, the “Morning Sun.”
Josh is the interest of many of the Chozar marines, as they all have giant blood and are interested to learn more about Giant culture. Faking his way through the exchange, the Chozar indicate that they wish to trade with him. He trades his musical instrument for 1/4th of an ancient giant song written on a cowskin scroll.
Eventually, the Paragons arrive at the Bulwark. The town near the port is dilapidated, made mostly of straw and mud, and filled with starving peasants begging to be let into Castle Caverday. Marl bids the Paragons good luck, and tells them that he’ll be quite busy in the embassy, but that their ship is safely in port.