Christophe's sire has him arrange travel with one of Amand du Lac's ships down the coast to Tripoli. The Lasombra arrives with a cadre of servants and matching luggage. He promptly installs himself in the largest cabin onboard.
The characters on the other hand travel light and share two of the smaller cabins. Amand, Hisham and Sven are of course brought along. To everyone's surprise Abraham also joins them.
A few nights out of port, anchored for the night, Aziz hears sounds of intruders climbing aboard and goes to warn the Assamite. Before he rapps on the door he swears he can make out Shahada being proclaimed in a low voice. The Gangrel and Abraham reach the deck, soon followed by Christophe, Colino and eventually Sven, to repel the pirate boarders. The pirates on the deck, who have already killed the night watchman, are cut down to a man.
Christophe and Aziz hear further assailants in a boat tied to the aft of the ship and jump into it, disabling the remaining two pirates for questioning. As their former friends are unceremoniously dumped into the ocean, the pirates are interrogated. It seems they are a band of brigands who have attacked ships seen from land along this stretch for some time. They seem quite ignorant of the Kindred world and appear to have no other master or benefactor. Dos Santos orders the younger of the two be brought below to him, while the other is worked over by the crew and dropped unconscious into the water, a fate far better.
By the fourth night the ship has reached Tripoli. It is a large vibrant city influenced considerably by european interests, both religious and commercial. Abraham sees to the accommodations and the servants and prospect ghouls are sent on their way to it.
The five Kindred are invited to an impressive villa at the heart of town. Its surrounding garden is well guarded. On its second floor Ahmed, Prince of Tripoli, is holding court, of a sort. Dancers and musicians are entertaining the guests. The characters are introduced to the Prince by Dos Santos who relishes in this moment to shine. Ahmed welcomes them to his domain with what can only be described as genuine pleasure. Even Aziz is welcomed without a hint of reproach. There is however a slight moment of displeasure at seeing Abraham. The coterie will later speculate on why this was. Perhaps it is the now public failure of not being able to solve this task for his Sire and Saccarias having to resort to mere neonates no less.
Colino is enticed to recite the story of how the valued gift to the northern Prince was rescued and returned – the revised version of course, not a little embellished for the occasion. For his efforts a dignitary from Constantinople; Myca Vykos, later on the balcony calls him a teller of fairy tales, which flares the Toreador's rage. In the game of social insults however, Colino is no match. Vykos calmly smooths the situation over, still letting the stinging words linger.
The characters soon take their leave of the Prince when the interest wanes, leaving Dos Santos to bask in the sycophancy of a Prince's court.
When they return to the lodgings a gift is waiting for Christophe. It is a bowl of ripe peaches. Its card says: "For little-brother, From big-sister. S" The Lasombra's heart jumps. Could it truly be Sabine?