The party wipes the floor with the remaining baddies at keshan inod. Aeisgir gives them a crown he forged in his youth as a symbol that they may vote in the council in his stead. The return to Hammerheim is uneventful as the party met up with a returning army. The party passes carts of corpses from the town of Brand, victims of the gang war the party helped instigate by supplying weapons to Hurag, on behalf of Logrim. In a tense confrontation in the dwarven council chambers, the party chose Logrim as the next king of Hammerheim. Logrim then committed to sending 3,000 troops to defend Valena.
Upon leaving Hammerheim, the party learns that Gwyddis has imposed exile on himself, rather than remain. the party retrieves a message from a messenger hawk from Alevar that warn of a plot afoot in Peran, and to hurry. The party encounters the remnants of a trade caravan that was attacked by people in demonic masks and robes. The party elects to rescue the survivors rather than immediately heading to Peran. The party reaches the ambush site and tracks it back to the survivors, one of whom is about to be sacrificed by cultists. The party defeats the cultists and rescues the survivors. One tells them that an animal messenger arrived and informed them that someone named Du’Cell "cannot help us, his condition prevents him from lying and he has found his own way of escaping (full wording in to-do list wiki).
the party rendezvous with a river barge and travels to Peran. Before arriving, an unnatural fog rolls in, out of which a sloop emerges and assassins attack. Voronwe detects another assassin “Tuladin” hiding and observing the battle. Eventually “Dlotho” (another assassin) begins calling to his master to help. Tuladin eventually emerges, but soon abandons the fight and leaves Dlotho to die. On the sloop, the party find a man chained to the wheel who says he was forced an knife-point to pilot the boat.
The party arrives in Peran and negotiates a reward from the merchant who owns the sloop (it was to be 100gp in amber, but a high diplomacy check and some bluffing and thievery by Brood and Voronwe push it to 2,000).
The party does several streetwise checks and learns;
- a guard was murdered at the palace. The assassin was apparently targeting Duchess Dylena
- Mercentius of house sevelda (relative of Ezren the wizard) is in charge of the investigation
- Mercentius smuggled a large crate from out of customs without it being inspected.
The party also meets Rynley, Alevar’s agent in Peran. He tells the party about the plot in peran, and fills them in on more details, particularly that a number of suspicious deaths have occurred recently, and the nobles are all terrified.
The party visits Dylena, and has a tense confrontation where a particularly insightful observation by Kalkanesh that Mercentius looked guilty when the river-pirates attacked. After he stormed off, the party is informed that the nobles have elected Mercentius as they have faith that he can protect them.
As mercentius is in charge of the investigation, the party will take a -2 on all checks during the ensuing skill challenge (they cannot help but feel they woulnt be dealing with this if they had only arrived earlier). To rid themselves of this penalty, they decide to attempt to expose mercentius as a criminal. They break into his house, get the staff to leave by bluffing them, and then voronwe sneaks into Mercentius’s office (a servant is still around). After failing to pick the lock, a servant walks in and offers to open it for 1,000gp, so that he can buy himself out of indentured servitude. The party bluffs him, making him think they will pay off his debt, but will instead leave him ruined and penniless. the desk contains a scroll protected by an obscuring ward. the office also contains a coffin containing Ezren’s earthly remains. The body is missing its skull.
the scroll turns out to be a contract twixt Mercentius and Dlotho to kill off the party for 5,000gp. this is enough evidence to have Mercentius arrested by Dylena’s guard.
The party then proceeds to the skill challenge. they capture all 4 assassins. They learn the location of the assassin’s hideout, a cave called rockshatter. The party arrives at the cave and brood distracts a large group of assassins by pretending to be one of them. At the same time the rest of the party is setting up a rockslide. the party is successful and kills the assassins in the ensuing rockslide. the party invades the cave and gets into a pitched battle with a dozen various assassins.