Having sent their mounts back to the stables, it takes two full days of marching before the party sees Hawkmoon in the distance. Circling the city proper, they eventually spy Coalstone’s Baubles and think of bed. Entering through the back door, they hear a ruckus in Sigrida’s office. Finding a Veiled Society goon guarding the door, the party kicks past the goon and interrupts a shakedown in progress. The leader of this gang is obviously the halfling wearing the veil standing on Sigrida’s desk.
The halfling takes one look at the party and says, “Oh Shit, Get ’em men!”, confirming the party’s suspicions that its none other than. While Skin may have been a tough fight on that first night of guard duty, the risks they have taken and the experiences they have endured have made the group much stronger. The Veiled Society didn’t stand a chance. This time Skin wouldn’t face a magistrate, nor would he return to bother them again.
The next morning, the party is woken by the sound of footsteps on their stairs, expecting an attack or some other they are surprised by Ondath, who apparently while looking for the missing runes to unlock Alaron’s Journal has also decide that he is their valet as well. He explains that the pantry has been stocked and he worked with Coalstone to update the furnishings in the apartment. He had narrowed the list from the Green Feather’s Auction House down considerably, but has a few places he is unwilling to investigate.
One of the items on the list was a painting entitled “The Seeker” by Maravono Erdenti, an legendary Arvanoran painter, but it was purchased by the eccentric and highly magical d’Amberville family. Another case of potion bottles were purchased by a mage named Sargona of the Arcanum. He had just located the third rug sold at the auction to Duald Carylon who pawned the rug at a shop down in Dockside called Souf’s Paraphernalia, and still had about half a dozen items to check.
Having some free time, Diego, Fix and Elias chose to head down to Souf’s to find the rug. Imagine their surprise when Souf turned out to be a lizardfolk dressed as a typical merchant. Unfortunately, Souf was being targeted by a group of swashbucklers looking for a fight. Unluckily the swashbucklers found a fight that was a bit beyond their ability to handle. The three party members ran off the leaders of the group and cowed the three deckhands into surrendering. Soon the watch gathered the three of them up and tried to find the others. The three deckhands told a story of being shanghaied in Tarnauld and forced to work on a pirate ship called the Bloody Hand. By the time the watch got to the docks with enough men, the Bloody Hand had set sail. Souf did have the carpet with the rune, and freely gave it to the three men who jumped to his defense.
Meanwhile Brost visited the Temple of the Gods, Eridok’s Expedition Provisions and Finn’s Smithy to resupply and provision. Speaking at length with Amatheon, the High Priest of the Temple of the Gods, Brost exchanged a hefty donation to the Temple for a chance to copy down a few rituals that Amatheon had amongst his scrolls. Not dealing well with the half-orc smith Grimbor, Brost still agreed to purchase his kopesh from the smithy, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Torra found herself back at the druid’s grove in Nollingswood, here she finally met Duana, head shaman of the Circle. Wishing to transfer the enchantment from a magical totem she had found adventuring to the totem gifted to her by Dal’Anegra. To work the ritual, Duana asked that Torra purchase the ritual components, which ended up costing more gold than Torra possessed. Duana asked for a service to be performed later.
Diego made a point to find Sergeant Calbraith Morcom and invite him out for drinks at the Greenbriar Inn. The two spoke and drank, though Calbraith was due to go on duty and partook lightly. Diego asked the sergeant if he knew of the d’Ambervilles or could arrange an introduction. Calbraith said that it would be arranged in the morning.
The second day the entire party chose to approach the d’Amberville mansion, they were expected. After explaining to the butler that they sought to speak with Beylard d’Amberville (who had bought the painting at auction), they were ushered back to a stunning overlook. There, a wild-eyed man with long, unkempt hair sat on a set of benches overlooking a sand pit that seemed to mimic a small arena. When the party approached he began to scream "Dragon! Dragon!, as a large white dragon appeared behind the party and attacked.
While the party fought the dragon, they began to hear a woman’s voice in the background yelling for Beylard. As the dragon fell, a stern older woman with gray hair tied in a bun reached the arena and began to reprimand Beylard, who only looked down sheepishly and said, “Yes Mother” when he was told to “Go to your room”.
The Lady Vivienne was upset at her son’s actions, explaining that the gift of sorcery, in particular a type of sorcery she called “porte’” or portal magic ran strong in her family, but often resulted in bizarre behavior from the “younger generation, who are not as able to contain the power”.
She graciously showed the party the painting they sought and even poured them some fine Elteare wines to “sooth their nerves”, explaining all the time that the family would like to avoid any difficulties and that a group of adventurers who could be trusted to be discrete could find the d’Ambervilles a fairly generous and well connected sponsor and that the family sometimes needed such people for tasks unbecoming of a noble house.
Returning to their apartment, they realized that with the Runekey found at Ondath’s, they now had three of the five runes needed to unlock the diary.
It took much of the next day for Fix to arrange a sale of cheap horses that Torra could approve of. While not the best horses out there, Torra knew she could take these creatures and with care and nurturing they would be fine, and a good deal better off than they were now. With that the party set out again for Rivermeet.