We catch up to Pax who is a month in on his journey on the pirate schooner the Deth Proofe, under the watchful eye of Alanna, commandeered by Captain Skippyjohn. Skippyjohn has a soft spot for Pax (despite him always getting underfoot), which is hypothesized due to his experience with children before this point. The whole crew in general thinks Pax is an abnormality, but treats both him and Alanna with utmost respect. Due to some situations in the past (namely Alanna losing her temper with Pax and punching him in the face) she has been rather withdrawn, outside of what Pax calls her “babying” him. Nicodemus, Nico, the cook had been teaching Pax how to craft some meals which ended in a horrible pot-roast-in-face of the mostly stoic pirate Davis, giving him potato shaped scars a couple weeks ago. Alanna interrupts the crew’s breakfast and wheels Pax into her cabin in order to give him a serious talk.
She apologized for being so withdrawn lately but it was due to her uncertainty if he was the one that she was sent to find. She almost begins telling him the whys that he had been asking for, when the door slams open, the youngest crew member Dion the perpetrator. He asks them both to come quickly and grab their weapons. Dion points up to the sky at a flock of birds in formation around the crow’s nest. Dion said these were hyper-intelligent eagles who have a proclivity for damaging ships and sails. Sure enough, as soon as he said this, one eagle tears off and rips through the largest sail on the ship. A combat encounter begins, with the first thing Pax tries to do is climb up to the crow’s nest in order to mount one of the birds. He successfully does so as the rest of the birds try and attack the mates on the deck. Eventually, Pax is knocked off the eagle, but successfully grabs the ledge. After watching the head eagle dive and critically attack Dion, ripping off half of his nose in the process with its beak, Pax uses his spear as a lever to spring back on the platform, performs a front handspring, then a whirling attack that kills three of the eagles in one blow. Davis moseys over to Dion with a flask and starts pouring pure alcohol on his nose after Alanna fails in her ministrations to Dion, who is now visibly frustrated. Between Davis and Marcus, the rest of the birds were killed, all except one.
Capt. Skippyjohn and Nico decide to get in the rowboat to go to land in order to fix the sales. After helping Dion and the other injured people, Alanna then decides to call Pax in with her so they can finish their talk. In essence, Alanna told him everything: that the goblins are after them because of how she stole the compass from them (which elicited swears and broken objects from Pax), that she knew of him through the prophecy on the compass, and how—yikes—she actually hears a voice in her mind that tells her what to do. Alanna admitted that she thought she might be crazy, but she thinks after following the voice’s instructions for long enough, that she is probably turning into a prophetess. She also breaks objects due to the fact that she hates this idea.
Alanna reads Pax the prophecy from the compass, which states:
Rebirth is the force from the beginning
that may, in time, keep the planet spinning
However, off its path if planet goes
Words to heed before it slows
North begets south, east begets west
Yet what comes is fear in man’s dark breast
Peace will come and will betide
In whom about it was prophesied.
She said after reading this, she knew it meant Pax. Pax inquires what is next. She told him of a port city, Port of Wendir, that is controlled by the elves, yet isn’t as hostile to humans as the rest of Elanoar is due to its location of being a port city. She said there was an elven temple that was generally friendly to humans. She said she was going to ask the leader of the temple for some insight into the compass as they had to find more of them. The compass continues to point to the west.
Dion breaks in the room, this time with a ridiculous bandage on his face. He announces there are more of them, and Alanna gives Pax supplies to fix his weapon and they join Dion on deck, along with Marcus and Davis. Three more birds circle the crow’s nest, however, one looks absolutely minuscule as compared to the other two. The small eagle brought its parents. The parents take no time and immediately begin dive-bombing Dion and the rest of the mates. These birds are the size of hippogriffs without the horse bodies. Dion takes a chest full of talon damage and is brought to his knees. Pax takes the opportunity to climb to the nest and use his strategy of riding the birds again.
He successfully mounts the birds and hits them, as he watches the crew on the deck below get hammered by the rest of the attacks. Alanna successfully heals Dion, but then becomes maimed herself. This prompts Davis to climb to the top of the nest with Pax.
Like before, Pax is knocked off the eagle. However, unlike before, he misses the ledge by a hair. Davis runs over, tries using both hands, and again misses him. This is the perfect representation of this happening.
Dion, on instinct, post-heal from Alanna, runs over arms upstretched to catch Pax. Pax successfully lands on Dion, automatically rendering him unconscious. Alanna tries to heal him, and is again, unsuccessful. Pax drags Dion’s body out of the line of sight of the eagles and climbs into the crow’s nest again. By the time Pax is on the nest, an eagle attacks Alanna. She collapses.
Pax is beyond enraged as he watches and can do nothing to help his one friend. Marcus tries to help, but Pax and Davis finish off the birds, leaving bits of their brains and guts in the wood. Pax screams for Marcus to grab Alanna’s pack, and he finds her healing kit. Marcus saw this before and administers the EPI syringe into her leg. Alanna is shocked awake. She has her bearings long enough to show Pax how to give it to Dion and he obliges. Dion throws up all over Pax after he stirs.
At this point, Skippyjohn and Dion arrive back with the fixed sail to find a ship covered in eagle guts, blood, shouting “What the hell happened?”
The next day, Pax checks on Alanna and finds her sleeping. After going through the rest of his morning ritual, Capt. Skippyjohn beckons him over to present him with a pirate token. He said that he would receive safe passage on any pirate ship because he had demonstrated that he was a friend of the pirates due to his bravery. Alanna, upon her awakening, said that she knew that it was truly him after all that the prophecy was about.
They reach the docks at the Port of Wendir a couple days later with the rest of the crew finally warmed up to Pax. As they get on the docks and tell their new friends goodbye, Davis told them flatly that the pirate life was not for him anymore and that he would join them for a time.
Eyes full of a new, sleek city, full of hope and promise, they walk up to the entrance and enter…to be continued.