We tried doing the ritual again in the Sleepless Agency, but were not successful. Instead of transitioning to that dream desert, we instead brought something forth from our nightmares. The "Tatterman" floated before us yet again and he immediately came for me. It scared me; I had to step away and leave him to the others for a few seconds before I reengaged. We did destroy him again, but considering how much stronger we are now, I can say for certain this was not the same creature we fought weeks ago, which only gives me more nightmares. We lightly explained the situation to those at the Agency and agreed not to try the ritual again until we were on the ship.
We met a new friend, another cat (I think) who knows Drago. He called out for help during the fight with the Tatterman and this floating showed up; it glowed with a holy light and spoke with a keen intelligence. His name is Cataco and he said he came from one of the planes of Heaven, Nirvana. Despite his intelligence and nature as "not a cat" he still possess many of the same mannerisms. I joined him on the sofa and pet him like I would Shade or any other household pet. They put me at ease – and knowing this thing knows my name confirms more than Milani is looking out for me – for us. Cataco said he cannot stay around for long, but will come when he is called every day; I hope we see lots of him.
With our failure fresh in my mind, I hoped matters with the town would turn out better. I do not enjoy politics, but I am glad the town voted the way it did. I told my companions days ago, when we first suggested the town vote for their own leader, whomever is placed in charge of this place is someone I will revisit, especially if they are corrupt. We did not cleanse this place of evils beyond nightmares just to have a mortal monster take charge. Again. Before we went to the boat I paid a visit to Lenk Marris, the new leader of Thrushmoor. After the amount of blood my friends and I spilled in that place, it is littered with roses. Milani blessed me twice, bringing me back so that I may continue redeeming myself for the sins of my past. I hope the foundation of blood is a growing place for better days ahead. Milani watch over them.
We went to the boat that evening after saying our goodbyes. It worked out well because the ship was already moving by the time most of us woke up the next morning; I hope the captain was pleased with our choice considering the days we made her wait. She seemed nice enough, though I suspect Wyn is trying to get her to be a friend and not just an ally. She carries some impressive equipment, especially her sword, so I'm confident she would make a valuable ally at the very least. She gave us a room on deck that we share with two other travelers, who seem innocent enough, but I fear Argo's mouth will get away with him. The others are taking measures to make certain he does not.
During the day the others would study in our room, wander the deck, and talk with the captain and crew. At night, Wynzo would tell stories to entertain the crew and keep us painted in a pleasant light. I know Yusei immediately made his gifts as a healer known to the captain, which was wise. Andrea and Argo spent more time speaking with our roommates, while Drago would spend his time with Cataco. The majority of my time was spent up top in the sails, acting as a lookout and avoiding the stares.
A foggy day when our ship was close to shore, I noticed a red-bannered ship following behind us. It disappeared into the fog as soon as I noticed it, but was distracted when I saw swimming figures moving very quickly from their ship toward us. I notified the Captain and she called the crew to arms. They were creatures we had fought in the past, normally used as scouts because of their speed, stealth, and intelligence. We destroyed them easily enough; I dropped down from the sails onto one of them and killed several more. I finally got to see the Captain make short work of another, while Shade and Drago took care of many others. Yusei's healing assured we all survived. The Captain moved us away from the shore following the attack.
I don't know everything Wynzo said to the Captain, but he checked with us before making final arrangements. He asked her if we could use her quarters for our ritual, though he was not entirely forthcoming with all the details. She eventually agreed, but only when we made the concession it would be done at night with her in the room with us. I would much prefer one of us awake standing guard, but with the dangers inside the desert I agreed we needed to journey together. The captain seems trustworthy enough, and she's seen some displays of our power, so I don't think she wants to make us enemies.
Fortunately, our next ritual was successful. After the others used their magic or cocktails to prepare, we headed into the Caravanserai once more. We did not waste any time with the "merchant", and while he did score several powerful hits on the others, we were able to position him into a flanking position. I remembered one of my companions telling me the balm I kept in my pack would allow me to strike at the vital parts of a spirit, which normally isn't possible. It felt good feeling my steel sink into his essence as he cried out. But I know our success against him was largely due to Andrea blitzing him with powers beyond my understanding. She mentioned being drained of energy, but I think we might continue on a while longer while the magic lasts.