Charn grimaces. "Oh, aye," he begins, "The next time swords and things begin swishing menacingly through the air, I shall tell them, 'Hold, please. My colleagues and I need to suss things out first.'"
Eryndir nods at Charn's comments. "Agreed. Perhaps sitting in the hallway and meditating on the issue was the incorrect approach to one's allies being attacked." The wood elf purses his lips in a look of frustration before turning away.
He walks to where the monk sits meditating and kneels quietly, at a respectful distance, waiting for the right moment to address him.
"This isn't our home. If we don't think about what we're attacking before we attack, we can be as bad or worse as goblin raiders. At least the objects weren't alive, but we also didn't know what they were doing before we charged in."
Eryndir stands from his place near the monk and walks to where Able is standing. His tone is even, calm, but firm.
"If we had charged headlong into a group of unknown, otherwise non-threatening creatures, breaking ourselves upon their shields, I might agree with you. However, we were merely exploring this room when we were set upon by things that sought to kill us. And while we fought and bled, you sat in the hallway for long enough to harm the odds of us succeeding considerably.
"We don't have to be friends. We don't even have to like each other, really. But for as long as we are together on this venture, I expect that we each come to one another's common defense. If that is not acceptable to you, then we should reconsider whether it is appropriate for us to travel together.
"If you believe there may come another time where we are attacked, but you choose to sit aside and watch your compatriots fall before deciding whether or not you will act, please tell us now."
"I think you're right. I don't think it's appropriate that we travel together."
He turns from Eryndir and finds Darusthanav. "It appears that I am unwelcome here because I do not like to deal in death without deliberation. I do not know what your customs are regarding contracts, but if you would release me, I will return to the surface."
Charn seems genuinely bewildered by what he is hearing. "Death without deliberation?" He gestures to the previously animated objects. "How would you deliberate with those when they attack you on sight?" The dragonborn massages his temples. "Gods in heaven, you confound me. You insult our hosts on first meeting back at the tower without any deliberation, and you hesitate when we are plainly attacked on sight."
Able looks at Charn as he explodes, but he makes no reply, instead waiting on the kobold.
Able nods to the party in turn. "Good luck." Turning then he heads back toward the surface.
Eryndir sighs and returns to his place by the monk's side, kneeling once more.
After a few moments, he speak quietly, unsure about whether or not he should be disturbing the monk's meditations. "As you asked, we defended you. May we ask why it was necessary? What caused those items to animate? What it is you are doing here?"
The monk grimaces momentarily, as if in pain. "Unfortunately, I am . . . infected. Tainted, even. There is a parasite within me that would escape if I do not contain it. Should I be slain, the parasite will be free." The monk grimaces again. As he does so, Eryndir can see one of the monk's veins on his neck move, sliding from the side of his throat to the front and back. It writhes in a motion that reminds Eryndir of a snake slithering underneath the monk's skin.
"I believe the artifact which propels this ship through the stars is damaged. The golden mist you see is likely issuing from that artifact. It is a powerful animating force that allows this vessel to guide itself through the Phlogiston. You can think of the Phlogiston as a sea above your world. The golden mist will animate parts of this ship as it did before, but now it will attempt to purge itself of parasites. This includes both me and you."
Another grimace. Another snake, this time in the monk's deltoid.
Caleb returns as Able is leaving, thinking nothing of his departure. The general tone in the room, however, as well as the look on the tiefling's face makes it clear that he probably won't see Able again. Whether or not this is for the best is disputable; the warlock was pretty handy in a fight. Then again, they don't really know each other very well at all, and what little they do know about one another seems to indicate he didn't really fit in with the others. Indeed, fundamental disagreements about the way the world works or how to proceed were commonplace. And as far as the dangers and rigors of the life of an adventurer go, Able could be unpredictable (which might have deadly consequences in the future).
So Caleb has no real interest in stopping him and elects instead to gird himself for the next day's trials, getting as much of his armor on as possible without needing to ask anyone for help. He listens to Eryndir's conversation with the stranger and calls out, "So where is this artifact? Do we need to fix it, or destroy it?"
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
The monk continues explaining in response to Caleb's question. "The spelljamming helm is on deck four. Our wizard had made some modifications to the helm. We had recently come into possession of a fragment of Hadar, the dark star. The helm would allow anyone to fly this ship, the Always Vigilant, regardless of their spellcasting ability. I believe the Neogi were able to track that fragment of Hadar and thus engage us in battle. If you can make it to the spelljamming helm, you could repair it and claim the Always Vigilant for yourself, or destroy it rather easily. However, please know that the infection I have inside of me is likely elsewhere on the vessel and I do not know how to cure it, merely contain it."
As if on cue, the veins in his calves writhe.
Eryndir looks back at the party from his place near the monk, his expression one of interest.
"I don't know what a word of that meant, other than we need to find deck four and avoid being tainted by parasites."
He stands and walks over to the chest. He tosses the Cloaks of Protection to Charn and Prythurkan, respectively, and places the Potions of Invulnerability near their packs. "You two are our front line. You'll need these. Will either of those suits of plate armor fit you?"
"We'll need to be cautions and take advantage of anything we find in here that might benefit us." He looks between Kairon and Darusthanav, while holding the second Circlet of Blasting. "Which of you will benefit from this?"
He glances to the crossbows. "Are any of you proficient with those?"
Eryndir kneels once more and picks up the L-shaped device. He glances at the bag of black powder. "Well, I'll be..." He carefully points the object away from himself and at a far corner of the room.
"I have seen these before, though never actually held one. They're quite deadly if you know how to use one." He looks to the party. "Have any of you ever fired a pistol before?"
Cor'val's incredibly interested in whatever "firing a pistol" means. He picks up the second L-shape and mimics Eryndir, even pointing at the same corner across the room. With a grin he starts inspecting the device more closely.