The capture of the Amandine has given the crew a strong call to the horizon. Katey thinks it best to go after an item of legend and searches within Roack for a library at which to research, soon finding the small but well-appointed home library of an old wizard named Aethelfirth. Inside, Aethelfirth seats them in a beautiful wood-paneled library, lights the candles with a wave of his hand, and goes off to get them some tea. While Aethelfirth is absent, the adventurers get their hands on the old tome Forgotten Items of Yesterday, which contains large, full, beautifully illustrated pages devoted to 30 powerful items lost to time. Turning at Homer‘s suggestion to the section on instruments, they find descriptions and illustrations of the Golden Harp, a harp all of gold whose dulcet tones are sweet and perfect, and the Mandolin of Yelm, an instrument played by a famous bard of ancient times named Yelm who founded the City of Yelm. Ripping out the instruments page and mending a new one back in, they decide to find the Golden Harp somewhere in the mountains of central Isle Tagus, just as Aethelfirth comes back and, inspecting his book, apologizes for the lowly state of his book’s pages.
Aethelfirth looks forward to the concert that night, asking whether The Commodores would be playing, and showing his age and absentmindedness a bit in conversation with the group. He speaks about the last time he left his tower with his wife, who has been gone 20 years, and the party is inspired to invite him along on their adventures. He packs a wand, his clothes, and several books, and is ready to go.
Later that night, a roaring and wild concert takes place aboard the Amandine, heard from the docks and shore, as Katey raps confidently, Homer does drummer’s sleight of hand tricks, and Blath rocks the crowd with “Malintended Poultices”. Before they are able to leave the poop deck which they’ve been using as stage, a lone man all the way from Pemberton shouts out for an encore of Free Bird, a song only our group knows how to play.
After the lucrative concert, the crew leaves on their search for tomorrow. Aboard, Mira and Aethelfirth bond over their love of reading, while Homer bonds with him over books as well, Homer himself being an author and Aethelfirth being quite experienced, even having written the introduction to the tome Murdrick’s Tales. Katey bonds in a different way with Aethelfirth, showing him a good time in the boudoir and sharing meaningful, intimate glances with him for the rest of the voyage.
After reaching the mouth of the Vëarainë Channel, a week into their two-week journey, the party goes ashore a night into the town of Ethir at the advice of Captain William and enjoys food and drink at Bard’s Inn, while learning that the Golden Harp is of elvish make, later possessed by the dark elves in the mountainous region of central Isle Tagus, before being lost to time when the centaurs drove the elves out of the region. Katey also adds to her number an elvish woman named Lorrean, who will command a high price in prostitution owing to her beautiful elven countenance.
Heading out again onto the river toward the Vëarainë Sea, the party sails a couple more days and stops where the river meets the sea, again on William’s advice, for he sees no ships on what is normally in his experience a perfectly busy sea. Going briefly onto land to find someone to speak with, he learns that a great sea monster is active in the sea of late and ships are staying in port. William drops the Amandine’s anchor and the party decides to go around on foot.
An hour into their walking journey, and heading into a dark, twisted swamp of dead trees and awful smells, the party hears a voice ahead of them, appearing to belong to a beautiful Sylvan woman, who is lost and needs help, but who knows the location of the Golden Harp and will inform the party if they will please her by killing Aethelfirth, whom she immediately hates. The party, with a shout of “Time to die, harlot!”, draws weapons and advances, whereupon it is revealed she is a night hag. Aethelfirth, still cowering and then unable to find his wand, is useless in the battle, but Manus, Mira, and Blath cleverly pass the sword of Andre back and forth amongst one another in order to overcome the hag’s tough skin, almost defeating her as she cackles and intimidates Katey. Just as they would have swung a killing blow, the hag reaches to a necklace upon her bosom and, grasping it, disappears.