Baldasaar, Atticus, and Uuri — having been impressed into an uncomfortable servitude on the pirate ship The Greedy Gull — finally made their escape as the ship docked in the small port city of An'Dorat, to avoid being caught out at sea in an approaching storm. Although it seemed at first their captors had allowed them to leave unremarked, two members of the crew attempted to break into their room at The Salty Swine later that evening. Atticus surprised them by opening the door and felled one pirate easily, but while Baldasaar was attempting to drain the second of blood, armed members of the city guard arrived with suspicious haste and arrested the lot.
The surviving pirate snuck away unnoticed at some point in the confusion, and Baldasaar, Atticus, and Udi were brought before Guard Captain Tristane, who seemed completely uninterested in their pleas of kidnapping and self-defense, and gave them a curious offer — he will drop charges of murder and association with acts of piracy against them if they will break into Baroness Adelaide's manor while she is away and retrieve a certain winged helmet. If they do not do this and return it to him without being traced, they will be prosecuted — or, he said, they can choose to leave the city freely and won't be followed, so long as they do not return.
After some disagreement about the best course of action, the three secured a room for the night further inland at the much more inviting Welcome Inn. In the morning they will have decisions to make, and that storm is still coming.