Business owner Eustace Glass funded the expedition and is counting on it to pay the mounting debts that are about to swallow his family business. The trip was hastily assembled after the discovery of "dragonshard sand", or minute Siberys shards, within the Demon Wastes. Though the finely-grained crystals would be all but useless individually, in bulk they would be useful for a variety of constructions, and the expedition could theoretically bring in millions of gold pieces' worth of profits.
All of the PCs at the time were contracted onto the expedition, primarily to get out of Sharn and away from the tantruming Eugene d'Cannith. Ray is an essential part of the expedition due to his finding abilities and is to be paid 1500 gp for his services; Weld is serving as a resource-light engineer and will be paid 500 gp for his services; Jovir is being taken on for his sailing experience and as security for 150 gp; Rose was hired for security and wilderness survival and will recieve 150 gp; and Hedisus is simple security, getting 50 gp for his troubles.
Unfortunately for the expedition, a changeling stowaway impersonated one of the ship's crew and sabetouged the ship's navigation records, causing her to go far off course. By the time the work was discovered, the ship was floating in the northern oceans close to the Frostfell. Thinking quickly, the player characters discovered the Bowl in the ship's holds and tracked down the changeling, but before he could be adequately interrogated, he jumped overboard. Soon after, the hull of the ship caved in, and quickly sank.
The ship's crew and passengers quickly boarded the emergency lifeboats, until only Ray, Jovir, Weld, Hedisus and Myril remained on the sinking deck. They watched as the changeling, moving quickly under the water, sunk the first lifeboat far from the shore (leaving no known survivors). Using Jovir's mind blade, the player characters detached the crow's nest from the mast as a makeshift raft, taking the Bowl with them.
At this point, the changeling attacked the next lifeboat, closer to the shore. Rose, a passenger on the boat, was able to summon several porpoises and drive off the changeling. In doing so, she saved herself, Katara (who was knocked unconscious in the attack), the ship's captain, a miner and a sailor.