As Omar recovered from his exertion in Scrimshaw, the first thoughts that stirred in his head was that everything hurt. His throat felt like it was on fire, his energy was sapped from his spells at the tavern, and the bones of his left arm felt somewhat exposed. Alarmed at the last sensation, he checked his hand and beheld that his flesh had aged a few decades ahead of the rest of his young body. After a quick examination, the boy frantically muttered a spell in an old Krokotopian tongue that reverted the illusion to its proper form. After making sure that it was now normal-looking again, he began to take his bearings.

As he conjured a walking cane to help regain his footing, Omar scanned the deck of the commandeered skiff. It was clearly worse for wear, but considering the circumstances, he wasn’t complaining. As he moved on to survey the surrounding skyway, his jaw almost dropped as his eyes fell upon a giant head made of carved stone protruding from the cliffside. He was awed by its immense size and curious as to who built it. While trying to discern as much as he could from a distance, a voice from behind broke his trance.

”Glad to finally see you awake!”

Spinning around, he saw his hammer-headed escapee steering the wheel. His bags were piled neatly by the side of the mast much to the juxtaposition of Omar’s strewn across the deck in his wake to sabotage their pursuers. As Imps was taking in the situation on deck, he began to walk towards his newfound partner in crime.

“Have those blokes caught up with us yet?” Omar asked

“Doubtful.” Aryan replied, glancing back towards Scrimshaw “Your little act there left half the boat ablaze when we left the docks.”

“Marvellous. I see we’re approaching the stomping grounds of our quarry?”

“Indeed. We’ll be docking a little ways away from the survey camp. Do you know how to land a boat?”

“I’m not the most proficient, but I’m aware of the basic procedures.”

“Thank the skies. The last thing I wanted was a useless shipmate.”

Omar gave him a critical look before begrudgingly setting to work. Aside from some yelling from Aryan and a few sarcastic remarks from Omar, they managed to land their boat on a nearby island behind the survey camp’s vision but with the isle in clear view. As the two scavenged for food and materials, they continued to talk.

“So tell me,” Omar began as he gathered some food and grasses “Who were those individuals that were looking for your head back there? Friends of yours?”

“Friends? Heh, hardly.” Aryan grunted as he foraged for materials. “Those brigands were a former crew that I had parted ways on bad terms with earlier today. Only a little squabble about pay with stilettos and fists. Nothing more.”

“Fresh wounds, eh? Explains why you seemed so unscrupulous about the promise of work. But it doesn’t explain why they were so fervently out for your blood.”

“Nice choice of words.” Aryan restored “But what about yourself? What brought you to a Scrimshaw tavern to take on a shady job like this? You seemed to know just as much as I did and yet you also took it.”

“Oh, I had my reasons. Mostly it's was because of the zealous purgings of a Monquistan sect, among other things.”

The two stared at each other in silence for a while. Aryan’s face was a mixture of confusion and suspicion, wary of this wily new individual. All the while, Omar has an oddly inquisitive and partially amused visage, examining his partner as if prying secrets from his appearance. They were clearly keeping a few secrets from each other but were unwittingly stuck together on a mission for a mysterious benefactor. As the two decided to delay their questions, the conversation continued.

“So what’s your plan on tracking the beast down tonight?” Aryan asked, “We can’t do much without knowing each other’s approach to finding this creature.”

“True. My thoughts were to start by looking into the survey camp’s diaries and logs to read their progress on the creature’s discernment. While I'm in the camp, I might also find a few people to haunt and eavesdrop their conversations on the beast.”

“You can do that without being noticed?” Asked Aryan, perplexed at the seemingly audacious plan.

“I’m not often a fan of undertoned adventures, but I can create an aura of subterfuge when the need arrives. Besides, my talents go beyond spewing flaming serpents and kicking up storms.”

“As you say. I can stalk the island easily enough. Never know if the creature might attack tonight.”

“In that case, you should have something.”

As they returned to the ship, Omar ran ahead and after setting aside his gatherings, rummaged through his bags. After a minute of rummaging, he pulled out a glass jar holding the bloodied horn their benefactor gave them.

“I managed to snatch this pretty before going to the roof.” Omar explained as he tossed the jar towards his partner “However, I’m guessing that you would make better use of it than I would.”

“My friend,” Aryan exclaimed as he caught it mid-air “You have made my job easier in ways I couldn’t begin to explain at this time.”

“Then don’t begin. I sense that our work is going to begin very, very soon.”

The sun was closing in on the horizon now as the blue sky began to turn orange. As it began to dip beneath the clouds, the two boarded a lifeboat after Omar left behind a peculiar circle of stones on the beach. As dusk fell across the skyway, the two landed on their targeted place and begun their respective work.