The party enters Balkenport on February 5th and decides to split up. Reeve, Kelani, Tansy, Enoch, and Ethrias travel to the shrine of Glo’ir while Belamdil, Blane, Liathis, and Praxith secure rooms and store gear at “The Regal Gardens” Inn.
At the shrine of Glo’ir, Reeve, Ethrias, and Enoch greet Teressa warmly. Reeve and Teressa share information and a prayer is spoken for the fallen Paladin, Ewen Silverflame. Tansy once again hangs in the shadows, remaining on the edges of the small group, bowing silently, yet keeping one eye open to see if anyone notices her bowing and praying. Even Kelani is focused on the prayer and pays her no mind.
At the “Regal Gardens” Inn, the group is unloading. As they try to move the large mirror upstairs to one of their rooms, an employee offers to assist. With Blane and Praxith at the front, the employee and Belamdil carry the back. They navigate the stairs and doors, inching the mirror into the room. As they begin to set it down, the employee drops his hold, grabs Belamdil’s sack of skulls, and bolts down stairs. Belamdil and Blane give chase. They manage to follow him through a crowd, into an alley, and pull him down as he attempts to climb a wall. After some struggle, Blane pins the thief. Belamdil learns that he tossed the sack to a compatriot in the crowd and that he works for a man named Tethion. Belamdil then releases the thief as agreed in exchange for the information. The thief assures him, “It wasn’t personal, we were hired to get those skulls.”
After all have regrouped at the Inn, Tansy gather’s information on Tethion while Reeve and Belamdil deliver the books and notes to the sage. At the University, the gate guards complain about another late night delivery but reveal that this is usual for Mister Rosenridge. At the office, the PCs are greeted by Isaac, the apprentice. He takes the collection from the PCs and tells them that he expects his master back tomorrow evening. Even under Reeve’s suspicious eye, Isaac seems truthful and sincere.
Tansy learns on the streets that Tethion is a street boss in the thieve’s guild and can be found at the “Thrown Gauntlet” Tavern on the South side of town.
Much to Tansy’s annoyance, the group will not let her investigate alone. Tansy, Ethrias, and Liathis move in to the Tavern to scope it out while the rest of the group loiters outside, periodically sending Enoch in to inconspicuously check up on the inside crew. He fails to remain inconspicuous and unwanted attention is drawn resulting in the entire group being invited in to have a sit down with Tethion.
After much posturing, Tethion agrees to arrange a meet with the boss in exchange for the name of the person who gave them Tethion’s name. Belamdil reveals the description of the thief that robbed him, and Tethion is satisfied with that. At this point, the PCs are aware that the entire tavern seems to be members of the Guild.
Entering from a back door is Riol Wearn, leader of the thieve’s guild and dressed in a Shakespeare style stage costume with floppy hat and feathered plume. He uses large gestures and melodramatic emoting during the conversation. He will not reveal who hired him to steal the skulls nor will return the skulls, but, if they can survive the Gauntlet, he will grant them a favor (which could be information or a requested prize). He reveals that they may only take 3 items each (a pair of boots count as one item by the way). He pulls out a flute, plays a jolly tune, and leads them down into the basement of the Tavern. There he reveals a trapdoor and ladder descending into the gauntlet.
In this chamber they see, Jowan, the thief Belamdil identified, he is wearing only a light grey shift. A robed elf woman, Lortana, wearing a symbol of Faeramriel greets Belamdil in “Dreamspeak” and reveals her purpose to him. She tells him of her quest to assist a farmer in retrieving his daughter from their lord Baron who has taken her as an unwilling bride. Faeramriel revealed to her that she would find the information she needed here to help him. “One of my dreams I interpreted as, ‘the golden winged flower would find the key to release the harried damsel’, but I do not understand it, so I came on faith that all would be made clear at the right time.” Belamdil informs her that he believes his sister is the answer and that Lortrana does not need to enter the gauntlet, they will retrieve the needed information. Lortrana thanks him as she was not looking forward to the gauntlet and doubted her ability to survive it. She offers to wait for them and will pray for their success.
Riol announces, “Jowan, you must retrieve the blue disc of forgiveness; Tansy, you must get the green emerald of favor; Lortrana, you will want the bone scroll case, it contains a map and key that you need.” At that, Lortrana informs Riol she will not be entering and excuses herself. Riol says sadly, “You owe me nothing, so, you are free to go.” To the others, “Let’s begin, Jowan, lead the way for our guests!”