Subsubsection: 8 October 2014 (into the lair) Up Subsection: The Possibility Chalice Subsubsection: 5 November 2014 (fighting the sea-drake and ramming the longship) 

22 October 2014 (the Death of the Four Colours, rescuing Babbage and chasing Amethyst)

The group proceeds down the stairs; a pair of mastiffs is on guard outside the “Vikings’ room”, but Thorfin’s able to quiet them. In that room are four beds, each neatly made and with a backpack resting on or next to it; it looks as though they may be preparing to move out.
The room the party’s heading for has a sliding stone door separating it from the corridor. There’s another one on the other side, but it’s otherwise empty. Thorfin looks out on the far side, and sees what’s clearly a torture chamber, but before he can get more than a glimpse both doors slam shut. A strange voice, constantly varying in pitch and timbre, calls out: “The fates are mine, and what is prophesied is about to take place! Behold the Death of the Four Colours!” From nozzles in the walls, four coloured smokes start to spray out, red, green, blue and yellow; where they mix in the middle of the room, they turn black.
Diamond reckons that “accept the defeat of the four colours”, as found on the wall of the Temple of the Map, must mean that the team should do nothing about this. Stephen blocks up one of the nozzles, and she removes the plug. The other three eventually concentrate on the door they came in through: it’s very hard to shift, but with all three of them pushing there’s a loud crack and it opens.
It wasn’t until that point that the smoke was unpleasant to inhale, but now it certainly is: David’s nearly unconscious, and everyone’s somewhat injured. They get out into the corridor, Thorfin dragging David; only a little of the smoke spills out after them, and they close the door.
The other door that might lead into the right place has a very audible buzzing behind it, as of insects: not over-large, just lots of them. The group decides not to investigate further.
Diamond insists that the “defeat” has to be “accepted”. She goes back into the smoke room, while the others work from the outside to repair the door mechanism under David’s direction (it’s a matter of hooking the door back onto the lever that pushed it closed). She holds her breath for several minutes, but eventually has to inhale, and is knocked unconscious by the gas.
Shortly thereafter the doors open; Thorfin fetches one of the Vikings’ beds, and wedges it in the gap. As he and Stephen are looking through into the torture chamber, David at the rear sees a group of four Vikings, shoulder to shoulder, marching along the corridor, probably with at least one person in the middle of the group; like any good bodyguard, they’re preventing him from getting a clear view. The Vikings ignore the Storm Knights, and move off down a corridor which (when the party glanced down it earlier) apparently lead to a dead end.
The torture chamber is a large area, divided by metal grillwork. At the far side is a bearded figure hanging in manacles; he’s unconscious, but appears to match the description of Babbage. They take him down (noting the silver wire braided into the chains), and with Thorfin carrying him and Diamond, and Stephen carrying David, they get out to the surface.
The guards are mostly still there, though they’re distracted by a darkish grey fog bank around the base of the white tower where the dog-robot thing was waiting. The team doesn’t hang around to see what’s happened, but heads out, cutting through the fence and returning to their horses.
Babbage is in a bad way, but he’s able to do a bit of healing of himself and the party, and more the next morning. Amethyst has been torturing him to get information about the cup, and is probably taking it by longship to Norway, where the Dark Lord Uthorion will doubtless find it useful.
The team heads for Whitby, only a few miles overland. They install Babbage in a convenient inn (“Beer! Food! Beds!”), and ask around; several locals mention the strange storm down the coast, and they go that way, soon finding wreckage in Robin Hood’s Bay where there had once been a small marina. Various yacht owners and crews (with boats of both Ayslish and Core Earth tech) are making repairs, and the team leaps aboard the one that looks fastest, Cassiopeia. The owner objects, and Stephen says he’s requisitioning the boat for Her Majesty’s Navy; the owner shouts something about a receipt, and Thorfin scribbles one and tosses it over the side as they pull away.
She’s a pretty capable diesel yacht, and makes about thirty knots at full throttle. David connects his cyberdeck to the navigation and weather radars to try to pick the longship out of radar clutter. Diamond takes the wheel, and Stephen checks stores. There are no weapons on board apart from a flare pistol, and someone’s drunk all the rum, but otherwise everything appears to be in order. He passes out gin and tonic all round, then thaws and cooks some steaks.
Cassiopeia is clearly overhauling something; it seems to be an unnaturally small storm. Thorfin notices seals in the water alongside, trying to keep up; he asks Diamond to throttle down, and one of them leaps onto the deck, shifting form into a beautiful woman (if somewhat green-skinned and web-fingered). She introduces herself as Ciannait of the Uvwe, and explains that while her people aren’t great fighters they are certainly foes of the vikings.
The team invites them aboard; five others join her, both male and female. Stephen plays host as the boat gets back up to speed.
As the gap continues to narrow over the next several hours, binoculars reveal the scene aboard the longship (a very substantial vessel, with a full deck over the oarsmen). There’s a narrow area of wind at the base of the storm, and it’s staying within it to move at a good fifteen knots. Someone in wizardly robes is visible on board, and he spots the pursuers and starts casting spells. The effect, if any, is not immediately obvious.
 Subsubsection: 8 October 2014 (into the lair) Up Subsection: The Possibility Chalice Subsubsection: 5 November 2014 (fighting the sea-drake and ramming the longship)