- Human wizard has a dark recurring dream
- Awakens to find himself on the airship Fair Winds but can't remember why. An empty vial of sleep draught, Sweet Solace, lies beside the bed.
- Goes to the Blue Giraffe, the strangely-named pub for passengers aboard the airship
- Meets other travelers, including
- Temeraire Narrows, tiefling investigator
- Lady Izkierka Zofia Swiecący Córka Maekrix, dragonborn
- Nicodemus Narrows, "no relation"
- Splug, his courtly manservant
- Nimozoran the Green, ancient elf wizard
- Rolen Emerand, Elf
- El'lirian Di Leoni, Elflord
- A Tomeheart, a magically animated suit of armor out of times of legend
A squabble ensues when the Tomeheart, strangely dedicated to its concept of justice, tries to carry out its sentence of capital punishment upon Zersh, a gloriously-maned half-orc warrior, for the crime of lying about killing a dragon. The wizard, unbeknownst to most in the room, settles the dispute by magically disguising himself as the ship's captain.
After several hours, the airship lands and passengers disembark and go to the Wayward Wanderer, an inn established by retired adventurers in a ruined tower on the edge of the ancient region of Vrakis, now more commonly termed No Mans Land.
A large group of harried-looking dwarves, humans, and halflings shows up, wounded and exhausted and starved from making the trek from Stonebridge on foot. A horde of wild dwellers from the Stag Fens overran their settlement, driven by a griffon rider that looked for all the world like a knight of the Winged Legion.
The dragonborn lady instinctively takes charge of the disorganized rabble, using her experience ordering a noble household to get the travelers settled and their needs tended to in short order. Several of the passengers from the Fair Winds decide to go investigate what happened at Stonebridge and promise to try and recover a relic from the temple of Vymera.