Dalinar was once a sailor. This was true until Poseidon called him. Few have heard the voice of the gods for many years.
He traveled to Aiginia to seek out Demetrios of Athene, an old hero. He took ship. On that vessel were two Northerners, Valius, an Elven Journeyman Wizard, and Umberto, a morose swordsmaster from Festril. While sailing, a creature of legend, the dread peryton, dove out of the sky and attacked the ship’s captain, killing him instantly. Valius, sharp-eyed, saw it and discharged magic missiles into it, but it opened the captain’s chest and tore out his heart. Valius launched more magic missiles, but the peryton launched itself into the sky and escaped. Dalliance took over the ship and steered it the rest of the way to Aiginia. There they went to sacrifice so that the shade of the dead captain would not haunt them. Petrus, the priest of Poseidon, seemed very genuine and wrote a letter for Dalinar to take to Demetrios.
The next day in the inn, as the group were getting ready to go out in town to figure out how to get to Demetrios’, they witnessed an argument between a dusky skinned half elven woman wearing a bow, shortsword, bearing a lyre, and a heavily veiled younger woman attended by two servants. It was clear that the younger one was a legitimate woman, while the half elf was not. Berenike proved to be Demetrios’ half elven daughter. She was in Aiginia to escort her father’s new wife (aka “mother”), Briseis, back to Demetrios’ estate, about a day out of town. She hired Umberto, Valius, and Dalinar to accompany them.
On the path to the estate, they spoke of various things, and heard bits of Berenike’s story. She was Demetrios’ daughter by an elven companion, now deceased. Briseis is her stepmother, and is several years younger.
During the journey, however, the band encountered a pack of gnolls. A tough fight ensued, with Dalinar locking blades with the gnoll champion in a deadly duel, while Umberto, Valius, and Berenike fought off the pack of hyenas and other gnolls attacking. The party was victorious, but one gnoll escaped.
Eventually they arrived at Demetrios’ estate. He was an old hero, now missing an arm, an eye, and with crippled legs from a fight with a dragon that killed his elven companion, Berenike’s mother. After welcoming Valius, Umberto, and Dalinar, he spoke to them about how the gods no longer listened and heard his entreaties, and how that worried him greatly. He felt that the spawn of the Titans was returning. In the end, he passed his spear, the Spear of Athene, to Dalinar….