Sigrid's summit begins.
Much boring small talk.
Sigrid meets Verrik representative Kaperi and Kaperi's human companion, Khariim.
Soern is late, but arrives. Aed is off doing apprentice-like stuff. Ghalib was invited as a Litorian representative, and, lacking anything better to do, is preventing the drowning of small children. ("Where are your fathers and why are they not watching you?")
Younger twins (Anika and Halden), Captain Blank, and misc. npcs are surprisingly not around.
This turns out to be because Captain Blank is holding his own party in Xanadu's Pleasure Dome. Sigrid is Not Amused. Particularly when it becomes a public nuisance. She yells at both Captain Blank and Halden, who was apparently "supervising". Halden gets sent to bed without supper, poor kid. Janan tries to introduce himself to Captain Blank, but his claim of kinship is not nearly as interesting as rum.
The official dinner of the summit is interrupted first by Captain Blank's ship being caught on fire, and second by the loud entrance of Stavros Xanthis, representative of the human resistance to Harrids on Skaraven.
Blank and Soern discover that Blank's ship was set on fire by Anika and a young man named Janan. After disturbing Janan and Anika's makeout session, Blank finally finds out that Janan wanted his attention because his dead mother claimed Blank was his father. Blank is Not Amused by Janan's choice of methedology.
Soern tattles on Anika to Sigrid, with much added embellishments--"Completely naked. With explosions." etc.
Sigrid is Not Amused, but plans to deal with this later.
Soern tells Gannen & Sigrid that "something" is wrong with the Heart of Sea, wondered if there were other artifacts like the evil sword that might help.
Sigrid decides to ask the closest scholar of Xanadu library (Ghalib! You're knowledgeable! C'mere!) if he has read anything about similar artifacts.
Ghalib is confused by the question, and by the Emperor & Empress talking to him, but answers to the best of his ability.
From what he's read, there are at least three other artifacts of similar origin, one a cup with powers of healing, killing, and prophecy. (lots of power for one cup) They may also be evil.
Sigrid creates a task force to go forth and investigate the matter.
Blank is sent due to his dubious contacts, Leif to make sure the task force actually investigates, Halden to get him out of trouble (and to make he & Leif get along), Stavros to prove Skaraven's intentions, Kheriim to prove Verrik intentions, Aed to provide magical assistance, and Janan, mainly to get him out of her city and away from her daughter.
"It's like Texas. If Texas were a jungle." -Oddysey, re: Verrik lands
"Do you know how hard it is to ride a horse in a dense jungle?" -Artemis, Kheriim
"Do you know how hard it is to save a horse and ride a cowboy?" -Qwerty, Captain Blank
"...You're not allowed to talk anymore." -Artemis
"I don't know where you've been, but mafia bosses are totally good people." -Qwerty, Captain Blank
"Does she understand the younger kids?"-Maggienotmegan, re: Sigrid not understanding her weird older kids
"Yeah, totally. She used to be a terrorist." -Artemis
"The Verrik are all New Yorkers." -Oddysey
"From Texas?" -Qwerty
"Yes...Wait, I can't condone that." -Oddysey
"Okay, Mister Pirate, what is the greatest danger at sea?" -Artemis, Sigrid
"Kraken." -Qwerty, Captain Blank
"Fire!" -Artemis, Sigrid, re: fire safety
"Is there a problem here?" -Rae, Sigrid
"No, no problem. Just that he's never going to catch himself a velociraptor." -Qwerty, Admiral Axe
"But they have caught velociraptors." -Artemis, Sigrid
"Have they? Or are the velociraptors luring them into a false sense of security?" -Qwerty, Admiral Axe
"Well, I don't know about that. I have seen them riding velociraptors." -Artemis, Sigrid
"And I've seen them being eaten by velociraptors." -Qwerty, Admiral Axe
"Ah, he'd float. He's a witch!" -Foole, re: throwing Captain Blank into the ocean
"You're human. You can eat fish if you like." -Foole, Kaperi
"It tastes funny. Like death." -Artemis, Kheriim
"You're the one who set my boat on fire!" -Qwerty, Captain Blank
"And you're the one who let your boat be set on fire!" -Maggienotmegan, Janan
"We were totally just necking, mom; it's okay." -Oddysey, Anika, re: Soern's assertion that Annika and Janan had been sexing it up on a burning boat
"I scratch your back, you scratch mine, except with no actual scratching of backs, instead we do favors." -Qwerty, Stavros
"Stavros is available for all backscratching that is not actual backscratching. All metaphorical backscratching." -Qwerty, Stavros
"I don't get it." -Saganatsu, Soern
"It's nothing. They're pirates." -Artemis, Sigrid
"It's called innuendo. It's when a remark, seemingly innocent on the surface, is actually a reference of a sexual nature. Or about drugs, or death, other adult topics, but usually sex." -Maggienotmegan, Janan
"...Yeah, that flew right over my head." -Saganatsu, Soern
"Well, you are a biter, aren't you?" -Maggienotmegan, Janan
"Well, hello again." -Maggienotmegan, Janan, looking Halden up and down
"...Janan, meet my son, Halden." -Artemis, Sigrid
"Son? Good to meet you. Like the name. Anyone ever tell you you look very like your sister?"-Maggienotmegan, Janan
"No, really?" -Qwerty, Captain Blank, re: twelfth night twin syndrome