Chapter 4 summary
The Steamhawke sails into a strange alchemical fog, which makes the crew disoriented and agitated. At this time it is also revealed that Daenelia Bradley received a letter from a mysterious E.A., who seems to be a former lover. Not long after entering the fog, the engines seem to break down. The fog is everywhere, even in the engine room. Wren Tamryl, the War Dog Combat Engineer, and Daenelia discuss how the fog is affecting the crew. It is unclear if it is the fog or just Carol's natural behaviour, but the war dog pack leader starts acting irrationally, picking a fight even with the Captain and harassing Grey. It all culmuninates in a big fight with Lorelei Loewe.
They land the ship in the water near a sandbank, where Daenelia explains to Niles Oscar that they hope to find clues here. It is a long shot, she realises, especially as the crew starts acting more and more mad. McGinty even tries to convince Brem that there are ghosts in the fog. But what they do find on the sandbar is a soldier from the Slavic Empire. Ivan Petrov has some clue as to where his captain was heading, when they went into the fog looking for the treasure. Back on the ship, Daenelia urges Brem to fix the engines as soon as possible.
The ship follows Ivan's bearings and comes across another ship called the Amethyst. On board they find a lone man, Ciprian Cendrars, who claims he is a writer, robbed by pirates and set adrift into the fog in a small boat. When the crew explore more of the ship looking for clues, they find a corpse in the captain's quarters. A note in his pocket explains how this was Purple Pete, who had been betrayed by his brother Blue Barry and left to die. Ciprian decides to take what possessions there are on the corpse, but as he removes the rings and weapons, the corpse seems to come alive and threatens them. The crew leave some of the jewels behind and make haste to leave the ship.
Ciprian offers his services as a translator to Daenelia, offering to help understand the maps and books that could lead to the treasure. They set a course to leave the fog.