The group arrives back at their home, having been teleported there by the warlock; later in the morning, Orad arrives back from his quest; as he arrives, he sees that the house is being guarded, oddly, by two of Del-Dorren’s guards; the rest of the party doesn’t seem to notice. Genn looks out the window, and sees them; neither appear to be Three, and they seem to be attempting to keep people out, not in. There also seem to be more people on the street than usual. “Our reputation proceeds us,” Miriana says quietly.
We keep in the house, and decide what to do with the new items. We decide to sell the ring, kopesh, and the rune plates. Miriana keeps the enruned scepter. As we discuss our next options, there’s a knock at the door. It’s Three, bearing a basket full of fruits, bread, meat, and other breakfast goods. “Three!” Miriana sqeeals with deight, hugging the assassin. (Kirmaul goes more for the ham.) Three waves at us, hands over a scroll of Del-Dorren, and leaves. It is a note of congratulations, and a request to meet him for a meal later today.
We leave the house to sell our items; the two guards stay behind, making no attempt to move. Orad notices a third guard on the roof as we leave. We go to Boren’s; we are noticed on the street, but we’re not accosted or held up in any way. At the gate between the Dragon’s Wing and the Giant’s quarters, we are just waved through.
At Boren’s, he greets us, and asks us where the rest of the metal from Stompy is. We tell him we took the valuables (including the head and sword Kirmual took), but that it’s only been a few hours and we haven’t been back for more. Boren tells us he was at the site at dawn (he has his sources, too) and there’s nothing left.
We proceed to sell the items; Boren doesn’t have enough gold to cover everything we want to sell, but is willing to take it out in trade. We buy the Burdenless Stone, upgrade Genn’s armor and cloak, Kirmaul’s shield, gloves of dex, cloaks of resistance, an enchantment on Orad’s bow, and other items.
We head to the Guard Tower (the posh inn that Del-Dorren frequents); the giant is at his usual table, with three guards — one of them being Three. As soon as we enter, he immediately stands up and applauds us. We sit with him and are offered drinks and food.
“Well done!” he says boisterously. “The heroes of the hour; well done indeed!” Miriana informs him that unfortunately, we have bigger plans. Del-Dorren mentions that Tol-Bandari may be displeased about us usurping his fame. Udyr asks his purpose in inviting us, and the Count tells us simply that he wishes to congratulate us. Udyr presses him about calling in the giants for a favor, possibly involving battle. “It depends,” he says, looking around the room. There aren’t a lot of House politics in Serathis, but there are still many factions in the city. He expresses some concerns about where we are going with this, and Miriana suggests we meet in private later this evening at the house. With that, the Count leaves, and tells us that he has informed the innkeeper that been told to give us lunch on his tab for the forseeable future. One merchant in particular comes to us and thanks us for destroying Stompy.
We head back to the house; upon approaching, we see a dozen or so moja and drakka; “”/campaigns/serathis/characters/78414" class=“wiki-content-link”>Krovacatharis the Seeker requests your presence," one says. Genn steps forth and says, “Of course; we welcome an audience with the Dragon.” We recognize both the Dragon’s spymaster and his guard captain in the party. Abilard presses a bit, and we find out the audience is regarding “our activities this morning”. We are escorted back to the Dragon’s Wing.
We are escorted to the audience chamber, in the presense of the Dragon. “Hello!” he says, in something of a metrosexual lilt that he has always had. “So! The Stormfront . . . what is it you have done this day, and how, hmm? I only know a few of you — perhaps two.” Miriana chips in, “We’ve met before!” she says, “with my father. I remember it! I’m Miriana, daughter of Arkith.” The dragon is puzzled at this.
We introduce ourselves in turn. The Dragon is terribly well informed, knowing of the death of Udyr’s party, and recognizes Abilard as the Lifekeeper initially. We gain the Dragon’s full attention. The Dragon and the Stormfront speak; Miriana claims that she is part of an individual named Mirinith. We discuss Xarthran, and while the Dragon is forthcoming with information, he is unwilling to commit resources to our cause, though he won’t seek to stop us, either. The Dragon also makes us an offer; in exchange from providing us a manor and some degree of protection from the many people that are now watching us (including a decoy party living at our old home for a while). He gives us a couple of days to decide, and several guards for our home in the interim. Genn askes about the Master; Xarthran and the Master are not the same, the Dragon says — he also tells us that the latter lives in the Forest of Towers. He also mentions that the Bloody Hooks are almost certainly under his control. Finally, The Dragon tells Genn that the soul he is carrying is on the verge of becoming a runechild, and many people would be interested in having it.
We return home and discuss; Genn is convinced that his soul has been repurposed for a reason, and that it has something to do with freeing the demon, possibly yet another plot by the Master.
Del-Dorren arrives, and Miriana begins to tell him what we learned from Headtaker and the Maze. Del-Dorren says he doesn’t know who among the Giants might be favorable toward Xarthran; Udyr and Genn don’t buy it, and we question him further. Miriana, also suspicious, casts Hightened Read Mind psionically; the spell fails. Tensions flair as we attempt to call his bluff; Genn diffuses the situation with some diplomacy (bluffing that we believe Xarthran’s soul to be in the Forest of Towers, and that we are heading there), and Del-Dorren takes his leave, with the Stormfront promising to call in a couple of days. Three, as they are leaving, looks at us — Miriana attempts to touch her with a Contact spell, and discovers that the person that looks like Three . . . is something else. As Del-Dorren and Three leave, Miriana casts Dispell Magic on Three. As she moves, we can now hear her; her constant Silence effect is no more. Moving quickly, Miriana follows to the door, motioning for the group to follow, and casts again — this time, an area of effect Dispell. This time, Del-Dorren winks out of existence — he was an illusion. Three turns into a familiar figure with two finger metal gauntlets and a cloak.
“Thanks for getting my cloak back,” he says as the steel-gloved assassin activates Dimension Door and vanishes. The party acts quickly and orders the remaining ninjas to check Del-Dorren; they return quickly, and inform us that he’s not in his chamber. Miriana uses her abilities, and determines that Three is sleeping in the Forest of Towers. The other guards apparently interacted with Del-Dorren this morning, but they are as surprised as we are about the deception. We tell them to go to the Giants and alert them that Del-Dorren may be in danger; we tell the guards from the Dragon to continue to look at our house.
While we’re discussing this, someone fires a crossbow bolt and hits Orad’s hawk; there’s a note with the same hand as the note we received earlier from Del-Dorren; “Your friend Three is alive; if you wish to keep her that way, the Stormfront is to meet me in the Cathedral at midnight. Just you. – Del Dorren.”
Genn flies over to the rooftop and recovers a crossbow; between him and Miriana, they discover the last owner was “Assistant Number 16” — oddly, this name comes in Verrik. A clue pointing to the Master?