The Rift Walkers rested in Edna's office for an hour. Brunnar said he would try and keep himself around other people and went to delay the closure of the case against Annah Sylveste.
The party stopped by the Rift and spoke to Illokas, who explained that the Rifts were behaving like portals, and could be entered. Ireni and Vani teamed up to send a giant vulture probe into the rift, with Ireni summoning and giving it orders to return while Vani used her ranger magic to see through its eyes. The vulture indeed made it through, and was in some sort of semi-physical space of existence, but it was so difficult to comprehend that Vani was hit by a wave of psychic damage trying to hold images of the Far Realm in her mind. She had the impression that there were entities existing out in the Far Realm.
Illokas heeded the party's warnings and promised to teleport back to his study in the Wizards' citadel instead of walking. He admitted he had no safe way to travel back to the site of the rift, but promised he would cast protective magic on himself when traveling.
Next, the party stopped by Ireni's ship. She found some of the crew scheduled for guard duty away from their posts (Vani saw several fresh from some sort of wild party at a nearby tavern passing by). Ireni befriended Jaxon, one of the older sailors still holding down his post, who was confused by her lack of disciplinary measures. He promised to be careful and tell the crew to stay cautious.
The party then met the hulking goliath Lavhik Irongrip, head of the Shipwrights' guild. Lavhik valued forthrightness and wasn't receptive to the party's attempts to win him over. However, he did seem interested in speaking to Kaneza, whom he respects, to learn of the party's deeds and get a better picture of them.
After stopping in to warn Kaneza and Arrold that the Assassins may be hunting them down, the party went to the Healers' Guild and managed to gain access to its leader through their reputation for rooting out the source of the plague that had created the Untouched district of Priem.
The Rift Walkers were surprised to find that Mira, the head of the Healer's Guild, was but a young girl of 12, completely blind. She looked human, but from head to toe the coloration of her entire seemed washed out and ghostly, like she was in the process of fading into a black and white silhouette. Mira was able to fix some of the head trauma Vani had sustained looking into the rift with a single surgical maneuver.
When asked how she could detect injuries and perform surgery, she explained that a being called 'Saniel' communicates with her, and that she was gradually learning to master his teachings herself. Saniel claims to want to help people, and had chosen Mira to help her do so. When asked how she became the leader of the guild, she said the previous leader, Amo, chose her to succeed him before he passed away, claiming that he knew she would do good with the guild.
Mira was greatly disturbed by Vani's doomsday vision, but was calmed down and agreed to help the party if Kaneza called a guild meeting. Belial asked Jade to get a drop of Mira's blood, but grew irritable when he told the rest of the party about his request and turned it into an order. Jade negotiated him down to getting a drop of blood before he left Priem, instead of immediately. The warlock was not optimistic after failing to persuade Mira to give him a drop of her blood voluntarily.
The party spent an hour traveling to the temple of Waukeen while doing a double-piggyback atop Yuna atop Uli. A scrying orb appeared and seemed rather confused at the situation, dissipating after the party waited out its duration. Yuna stopped into the temple of the elven gods and meditated, with Uli trying to join her but having trouble controlling her rage. The Rift Walkers secured an audience with the head cleric of the Temple of Waukeen, the Earth Genasi Keri Vas'Kai.
Keri was less eager to help than Mira. While she acknowledged that the devil Opal's attempts to bring Priem under Mammon's sway was a grave threat, she wondered if the Rift could be used for good as well. She said she would not be against the party's efforts to deal with the Rift, she couldn't support something like locking it down to only specific people; each guild would demand some sort of access and the delicate balance of power in Priem could break down. Keri also promised to send a well-armed team to investigate the site of the Assassins' Guild hideout.
Keri also filled Irini in on her origins; she was the daughter of a human woman and a Dao, an earth Djinn that ruled over a portion of the actual elemental plane of earth. She was surprised to learn Ireni was not the child of a Marid, a water elemental djinn. She did not know genasi could be created by other means, and asked if Ireni was a conduit for elemental chaos or some other powerful force.
Keri also spoke of Sigil and the Great Market, two planes near the center of the multiverse through which she traveled to escape the stifling rule of her father. She became a cleric of Waukeen after encountering her clergy at the Great Market, and was deeply interested in the impartial nature of coin and trade she espoused. Keri claimed that you could get anywhere in the multiverse through Sigil.
The party then headed to The Respite, a small, tenebrous bar that overlooked the Long Market. After some time, a handsome and extremely foppish half-elf (moon elf) approached the party and introduced himself as Elavor Corvi, son of the head of the Artists' Guild, Fringilla Corvi. Elavor seemed very concerned with discretion, even offering to pay 25 platinum pieces in advance to bind the party to secrecy. He claimed his close friend Wesson, an actor and playwright, had possibly started murdering people. He claimed to have seen Wesson taking fans into his home and leaving without them.
He informed the party that Wesson recently bought a theater in the Bard's Guild's territory after the owner had mysteriously disappeared. His latest play, written, acted, and directed by him, "An Accidental Lunch Break on Mechanus" is currently being performed at this theater. He and a halfling named "Danna Thatchwell" were billed as the main actors.
The Rift Walkers didn't think Elavor was telling them the whole story, and that it was suspicious that the young man no longer cared about Wesson's safety. When pressed, Elavor admitted that he may have let Wesson consume or absorb some sort of family artifact belonging to his mother. He admitted it was possible the formerly scrawny and non-confrontational bard had been embolded by a newfound power of regeneration and had begun acting maliciously. It is possible he is now resistant to physical damage, and even some magic. Elavor said he didn't trust that Wesson would be convicted by the Bard's guild, as he was very charismatic, and that Elavor selfishly did not want any of this to blow back on his family, the Artists' guild, or get him into huge trouble with his mother or sister.
The party eventually accepted the payment and promised Elavor they would deal with Wesson within the next 3 days. Irini, ticked off that Elavor seemed to be underestimating her, tried to scare him by turning her head into a wolf's. Elavor did not seem phased.
The party slept and returned to the temple of Waukeen, paying 50 gold each to have Death Ward cast upon them in preparation to fight the Catoblepas. They departed for the swamps with a team of 8 trained scouts provided by Kess to watch their perimeter.
In the meantime, a double of Vani had lured Kaneza into her room. Kaneza realized just in time that the double was not the genuine article because of a detail in the imposter's speech. That did not save her from several venomed crossbow bolts from a second murderer waiting by her window. Unlikely, a surprised and scared Arrold was able to distract the skull-faced assassin with a powerful fireball, scorching the rest of the rift-infused assassin's face off. The assassins were forced to retreat as Kaneza stumbled into the main lobby of the now burning Adventurer's Guild, barely alive.
Have the Assassins simply scattered, or are they consolidating elsewhere? Is there anywhere safe from them?