Taking the guard posted outside the Wizard’s Guild’s advice, the party tracked down Arrold, a former instructor of Transmutation magic at the Priem’s academy. They found him washing windows at a small bar called The Foamtop on the edge of the Academy’s campus.
The party shared their concerns over the Rift to the Far Realms in Priem, and examined their possibilities. Helping the Kenku and working out some kind of deal, attacking the messenger’s guild in force, and stealing the guild’s sending stone archives from a vault in the Banker’s Guild were all brought up as options. Arrold said he had a few friends that would help the process the group decided on, but only if the party could drum up some support and coin themselves. It was made clear that no matter what the party chooses, there could be serious consequences.
Arrold also claimed to be having a recurring nightmare of Priem sinking into a boiling lake of gold. Doubtless this hasn’t helped his drinking problem.
The party also inquired after the Wizard’s Guild expert on planar summoning and demonology, Illokas. From what Arrold knew, he was interested in the Rift and might be able to identify whatever “The Great Cat” that Fossa had spoken of in Vani’s village was. The party went to the messenger’s guild and sent a message to Illokas at the Wizard’s Citadel, using both Jade’s contact with Belial and Yuna’s royal status as potential incentives for the elf to meet with them. (They also met an endearing mailman pigeon.) If Illokas accepts the meeting, he will send a message to the Adventurer’s guild.
The party then registered at said adventurer’s guild, meeting the Guildmaster, a scarred, older halfling woman named Kaneza. Vani was very much flustered upon meeting her. Uli was equally absorbed with the quest board spanning the entire western wall of the guild hall, and came back with 3 requests that hadn’t been taken yet.
Yuna inquired to the statue of a cleric of Lathander sitting in the middle of the guild hall courtyard, bearing the signature of a “Fernanda Corvi”. Kaneza explained that it was a ‘gift’ from the Artists’ Guild in the likeness of Andros, a cleric and former guild member that was killed on Artist’s Guild premises. Kaneza said she’d received a large body of evidence that Andros had started the trouble, and negotiated with the Guildmaster to make sure the violence stopped there. Kaneza insisted that the Artist’s Guild was not to be trifled with, despite their unassuming line of work.
The party took one of the message board quests and met man named Ennio in the Courtesan’s Guild. Ennio was sure some sort of monster or demon was stalking him. The party found out that his girlfriend Deena had disappeared around the same time as when she went missing. The party looked into Rosa, a friend of Ennio who used his services as a courtesian in a non-sexual capacity. They also met and conferred with a half-orc bounty hunter named Brunnar Ulk, who said he had witnesses who claimed to have spotted Ennio and Rosa near a run-down bar near the docks. The party learned Deena was very displeased with her boyfriend’s profession, and had spied on him with a sending stone after he joined a host club to ensure he wasn’t offering any sexual services.
The party broke into Ennio’s apartment and noticed water damage on his floor; they also found a well next to his building. They honored their promise to protect Ennio and let him get some sleep in his place while they staked out both his apartment and the well. The party encounter the drowned ghost of Deena, who kissed Uli (draining her strength as well) and shared her memories; she had been arguing with a very drunk Ennio and kept getting in his face as he was stumbling home from the dockside bar. He shoved her away, sending her careening into the water from the raised dock. Deena’s last memory was looking up at a motionless Ennio gazing down on her, certain that he could swim and save her.
After jogging his memory about what he’d done when drunk, the party turned Ennio over to Brunnar, who in turn fulfilled his commission as a bounty hunter and pried a confession out of him. He was brought before Rommeni, the guildmaster of the Courtesan’s Guild. Possessing otherworldly beauty and some sort of magical, flaming sword, she was revealed to be a planetar of her goddess, Sune. She placed an agonizing brand on Ennio’s face, severely burning half his face and, in her own words, ‘binding him so that he will never do something like this again’. What sort of magic she inflicted with him is unclear.
Both Rommeni and Brunnar were well disposed to the party for their aid in helping bring Ennio to justice. Rommeni forced Ennio to reveal the location of his life savings to honor the monster-slaying contract he placed with the adventurer’s guild. The party found his stash of 350 gold, and opted to take their promised payment of 250. Vani scattered the rest around Ennio’s apartment to make sure what was left was troublesome for him to recover.
Not everyone in Priem is what they seem to be.