Vani rushed forward and stabbed Wesson; the young man barely flinched. He unleashed some sort of hypnotic spell on the party, but Yuna and Vani were able to resist whatever its effects were. They called to Uli to help, but found her unwilling; she seemed to have been enthralled by Wesson and seemed deadset on protecting the stairwell back up to the theater.
An extensive battle began; Ireni and Vani engaged the swarm of creatures under Wesson's command while Yuna was caught up in a life-or-death grapple with the playwright. He seemed to dislike Yuna on principle, citing that elves had all the time in the world to hone their craft. Wesson also claimed to know who had sent them, and said that it was Elavor's decision to 'embrace and free' him, and that he had sent the Rift Walkers to kill him out of petty jealousy and possessiveness.
Uli grappled and tied up Jade, while Yuna was carried by the throat across the ceiling of the basement by the clearly undead Wesson. Irini and Vani struggled against his regenerating spawn, who were pinning them in place and feeding on their blood. Irini was able to use her grasping vine spell to catapult her and Vani to the top of the stage, while Yuna rolled past Uli after a well-placed spell from one of Vani's arrows pinned Wesson briefly to the ceiling.
Yuna ran for the door, screaming for help, while Vani and Irini fought against the vampire spawn that had given chase using their uncanny climbing abilities. Wesson threatened the party by grabbing a restrained Jade, who used his wand of the pact keeper to beseech Belial for one more spell. As Wesson bit him, Jade released a hellish rebuke that severely harmed the previously confident Wesson. Uli caught up with Yuna and grabbed her, prompting a drawn out struggle.
Irini began incinerating vampire spawn with moonbeam, using her magic to fry Wesson and allow Yuna to finish him off with a desperate firebolt. Wesson turned into mist and began sinking into the basement of the theater while the party dispatched the rest of the vampire spawn. Irini and Vani tracked Wesson down to his coffin-crate and brought a moonbeam to bear, destroying him completely and leaving only a skeleton behind.
Yuna and Uli pantomimed an argument when a guard and a concerned passerby arrived at the theater. The party found a strongbox inside of Wesson's coffin with a large amount of gold and several items; a magical dagger with the artists' guild crest, a magical raven icon, a hat of disguise, and a ring of mind shielding.
The party returned to their room in the Velvet Voice and tried to get some sleep, only to be interrupted by a mangled corpse getting hurled through their window. It had a present-style bow on its head and a coin pouch stuffed into its mouth. A strange magical sigil was carved into the corpse's hand, emanating a magical aura in Jade's magic eye.
Fearing another magical explosion, the party evacuated the building and called Brunnar. Yuna followed him back up to the room, striking up conversation about the Artists' guild. He revealed that a cleric, upon learning that the Guild was run by vampires, barged into their headquarters and was ripped apart. Kaneza had a lengthy meeting with Fringilla Corvi, and things managed to settle down. Brunnar did not approve of the Artists taking control of the rift; Fringilla could spend 500 years studying the rift at her leisure, consolidating power slowly until she was a true danger to everyone around her.
Brunnar searched the corpse, noting it had concealed weapons and was missing a tongue, a clear calling card for the assassins. The man's throat was ripped out and all blood was drained from his body. The pouch in his mouth contained a pouch with 25 platinum pieces; the rest of Elavor Corvi's payment. Brunnar checked the hand, hoping it was inert since the assassin did not use it to defend himself from his attacker. The party removed the hand and took it with them.
The party chose to sleep in the basement of the adventurer's guild, asking Arrold to identify the magic items for them. Yuna attuned the ring of mind shielding to find that it contained the soul of Barvoril, the late husband of Fringilla Corvi.
Barvoril's story was a sad one; a moon elf artisan hailing from Issylria, he met Fringilla through her architectural studies. They had a whirlwind romance and wed after a year, having two children. Fringilla was the descendant of the man who tried to rebuild the Lost City of Junia, Fiernzo Holland. She was a passionate architect, and her dream was to restore her dissipated family name and status by properly restoring Junia, succeeding where her ancestor had failed. Her dream of witnessing her children set foot in the corrupted city became an obsession, one that led her into the embrace of a Vampire. Before Barvoril could stop it, she had turned his children as well, entering into the creature's service.
Barvoril crafted the ring of mind shielding to combat the creature, but was unprepared for its might and was slain. The ring passed into the posession of his vampiric family until their master was presumably destroyed, granting Fringilla and her children freedom from his thrall. They then began establishing a power base in Priem, slowly collecting wealth, power, and magical items for their work ahead.
Barvoril said he dared not communicate with his undead family through the ring that had trapped his soul, and so remained in isolation for over 400 years, waiting for someone else to come into possession of the ring. Yuna allowed Barvoril to see through her eyes ,and was amazed to recognize the features of the Queen of Issylria. He explained that he refused to depart for the afterlife while his family was still 'alive'. He hopes to one day see them released from their terrible curse so that their souls may find peace.
Yuna filled Barvoril in on the details of their quest. The next morning, the city was abuzz with the news that An'seath, the green dragonborn who ran the poison shop they'd visited, had been killed. The shop had been looted, and her drow assistant Invoro was nowhere to be found.
Putting Wesson to rest, the Rift Walkers have unwittingly confronted a tragedy four centuries in the making.