The party quickly recovered from their time in the food dimension and set about opening Tim’s bakery.
The bakery opened, with some competitive arson from Jimmy. El Gaupo, an importer/exporter approached the party with a product called Java that could be sold for a large profit and paired well with baked goods, but his shipments from the Wild Reaches had been interrupted by a large band of pirates. The party was hired to accompany a contingent of soldiers from Efrafa into the Necrid expanse to track down the pirates and return the trade goods in exchange for access to the product.
On the way to Efrafa the party was attacked by three strange demons and some human cultists of the still unidentified cult they had continuously been running into. Upon defeating these killers, a thin man in black was seen observing the party (obviously in league with the attackers), but he departed before being confronted.
In Efrafa while waiting for the skyship to depart, the group saved a gnomish orphan boy from a Night hag after a near fatal battle. The boy, Ruttiger, soon latched himself to Gnolan and began work as a squire.
The ship departed into the black void of the Necrid Expanse where the ship discovered a base built into a floating rock. Three smaller pirate ships attacked, unloading pirate Bugbears and a puppet dressed like a captain onto the deck. The pirates fled and the party investigated the base, while the war ship pursued the brigands.
The base was a strange toy castle where they were attacked by a doll vampire, huge teddy bear and doll princess. Barely defeating their foes, the party encountered a frail old man, apparently the creator of these toys, who promised no more piracy if the party allowed him to leave in peace. They agreed and he left on a small flying vessel with his remaining sentient toys.
The group found the missing trade goods and burned down the castle, awaiting the military vessels’ return.