Upon exiting the slums of the ex-Beggar King, the party met with Black Shet, spymaster for the Man of Smoke.
With his smarmy congratulations, he also passed a secret message asking for their help in rooting out the Poisoned Shadows spy within the Thieves Guild. He suggested they start with the gnome, Lockhart. He owned an Inn called the Welcome Wench over in the Devil's Thumb district. He also kept residence there…
The Man of Smoke had also provided them with a key to the same house on Squalor Court in which they had awoken. He would be meeting with them sometime soon, Shet informed them.
Returning to the house, they found the door unlocked and a man in black dismantling the warforged they had briefly met their first moments in Punjar!
Tension crackled in the air as weapons were gripped and words exchanged, but even the barbarian saw the wisdom in talking instead of drawing steel…
The man in black, who called himself Olen, told his strange tale…
The party informed Olen that they truly had no memory of what he saw, and for now, he accepted this. An uneasy alliance was formed…
Setting out into the crowded and dangerous streets of Punjar, the party made their way to the old sage they had rescued from the slavers beneath the Beggars Palace.
They found the befuddled old Lorilass owned a small cottage in the Northside District on the Street of Scribes. It was wedged between a parchment, ink, and quill supplier and a seller of rare books.
With help from the ancient scholar's lovely caretake and apprentice, Neverill the Half-Elf, they coaxed enough information from Lorilass to find they needed to visit the Great Library in the Overlord's Palace.
If they could get Lorilass access to the Library, he knew his way around since he had once been the Master Archiver many, many, many, many, many years ago.
The problem was…How to get an invitation into the Palace?
Leaving the Sage's home, Dorn, Greymalka, and Oriel made their way to the High Quarter and the manor of Lady Constance Dev'shir, the noblewoman rescued alongside the sage and his assistant.
Fang, Olen and Lisp travelled to the Bizarre of the Gods in search of a taxidermist in order to preserve the multitude of grisly "trophies" the barbarian had gained in their recent battles.
During this transaction, Olen examined the spiked chain used by the Shadar-Kai killed by Fang in the chambers of the Yuan-ti Shadow Witch. The assassin remembered a weapon like this from the attack that killed his band of brother assassins.
Another flash of memory confirmed what Olen already suspected…the Shadar-Kai chainfighter was not the one who struck the final blow that sent him spiraling into darkness…it was someone from behind!
The bard, druid, and half-orc found the Lady in distress, having returned only to have her husband fall to his death from their tower bedroom balcony. One of the Ladies-in-Waiting they had rescued with Lady Constance whispered them the truth when alone.
The Lord Dev'shir had secretly hired the slavers to take his wife and get rid of her. Her family was one of the oldest in Punjar and she controlled the Dev'shir fortune. She found him in the arms of his lover and her best friend, Geneve Farod, of the House Farod.
She pushed him to his well-deserved fate, while she forced Geneve Farod to scrub every surface in House Dev'shir to cleanse the Farod smell. Lady Constance couldn't kill Geneve…she was her best friend, after all…
She couldn't get them into the Overlords Palace, but she did tell them that the Celebration of the Forgotten King began in a few days and the Overlord always held a grand ball on the first night. If they knew a powerful figure in the city who could secure them an invitation…
From the Dev'Shir estate, they all moved through the city to the entertainment district called The Devil's Thumb and found the Inn of the Welcome Wench.
Keeping watch, they finally slipped inside once the gnome Lockhart had departed.
While the barbarian, the fighter, and the Deva drank, gambled, took all comers in feats of strength, and generally kept the kobold out of trouble, Olen and Greymalka slipped stealthily to the upper floor in search of Lockharts room.
Searching the chambers found several interesting objects of value and majicks, but the Assassin was careful not to disturb anything while the Shifter kept watch in tiny cat form.
The most interesting item found…a silver dagger bearing the image of the Goddess Zehir, patron of poison, shadows, and serpents.
It appeared to be a companion piece to the silver skull found in the Beggar's Palace, but this couldn't be confirmed since the skull was hidden back in their house.
Leaving the Inn of the Welcome Wench, the investigators begaqn to make their way back to the house on Squalor Court as night approached.
Soon, the Dark Market would come alive in the Court, and they had much business to transact…
To Be Continued…