Decide to use crystals to meet with Etzio Damien and check his motivations before giving back equipment or (possibly) crystal. Leave equipment on ship, travel outside the city. Crush the crystal, and Edagener appears; try to negotiate shard. Requested to speak to Etzio. Etzio confirms through speaking-stone, essentially, that he was working to return Rovagug. During course of conversation Artas reveals that he was a servant of Sidus and had been there at Rovagug’s original imprisonment. Etzio says to forget the previous deal with the crystal, but to bring him Artas Menethar. Party refuses (Drael hesitated), combat is joined, Edagener says how glad he is that he will get to kill Ignomine with his powers restored.
Kill Edagener, death reveals that he is a lich and will return.
Have a second meeting with Alexandra at a swanky restaurant, Polycarp gets all dressed up like a ponce, they explain their plan to have a public announcement to draw out Jezebel’s assassins, use a double to protect her, and have the party placed strategically around them to capture the assassins. She explained that the teleportation indicated that Evil aligned people were able to teleport, and that the deal with the Temple of Abadar preventing teleportation had been modified. Drael’s attempts to teleport were unsuccessful, indicating that only Evil was allowed to move in this way – a bad sign.
Group reveals they might have been followed, Alexandra is exasperated, they leave back to the ship to prepare.
Once there, the group worked to discover how the equipment of Butcher of the Bay, and the proof of Kharlin’s involvement in the assassination attempt, had been snatched away from them. Vyktor surmised that it had been a spell of recall, which required the use of an Arcane Mark placed upon the item. Realizing that Etzio had declared himself an expert of teleportation, the party realized that much of their gear could be taken away from them. They spent much of the rest of the evening scanning their equipment and discovered arcane marks on all of them. Even more disturbing, Vyktor’s practiced eye revealed that just about ALL of the items had curses laid upon them, nasty devices that would detonate the item, or curse the individual using it, or cause nasty and unwanted effects if used for the wrong (good) purpose. The group sequestered the items in the ship’s extradimensional room and let Vyktor work on defusing the marks and the sabotage.
This required a trip to acquire a scroll of Erase and a few other items, which Artas and Ignomine elected to complete. Vyktor was able to get a few items decontaminated, enough that the party wasn’t completely hampered in its combat effectiveness. Drael meanwhile left to contact his information network. Polycarp tries to infiltrate the Magistrate’s location, is unable to make it past his formidable, beefed-up defenses.
Ignomine goes to Templemaster Farn to give him an update, informs him of the destruction of Edagener, his exposure as a lich, and the issues with the Wolf’s gear teleporting and the concerns regarding his control and that the Temple of Abadar had traditionally controlled teleportation access and the implication that he might be complicit. Farn explained he was working with the Temple of Asmodeus.
Some time later, back at the ship, the group realizes they haven’t heard from Drael in quite some time. Unknown to the party, he had been taken captive and was being tortured for information. He tried to bluff them, but was ultimately unsuccessful, and finally spilled that Polycarp was the one that had killed the Wolf. In a bid to save his life, he offered to deliver Polycarp to them if they set him free. They agreed, but made it clear that someone was going to die the next day… they preferred if it was Polycarp, but someone else would do just as well.
Just as the party was about to go out and try to find Drael, he returned. To his credit he explained everything that had happened. Polycarp immediately went out to scout the locations he’d picked up from his own investigation and the place that Drael was told to deliver him. He found what appeared to be the area they had been keeping Drael and an empty warehouse for the drop.
The party spent the rest of their time arguing about how to approach the handoff. In the end Ignomine, Artas, and Vyktor would hang back under a spell of Invisibility while Drael delivered Polycarp pretending to be an unwitting dupe. They approached the warehouse which was locked on all sides except one. Not wanted to be directed into a trap, Polycarp picked the lock for the loading door and waltzed in. The rest of the party took up positions before Polycarp suddenly went on the offensive. The hostage takers were quickly subdued, but luckily not killed, as they realized too late that they were members of the Shivar Guard.
Apparently the assassins had tipped them off about the bounty and were just there as unwitting agents of the group. Some urgent healing (including restoring the captain’s eye lost in the ambush) and lots of diplomacy and excuses were enough to paper over the issue, but there was still the issue of the guard’s report. The group was able to negotiate something agreeable to the guard, a few days’ delay while they investigated the Blades’ involvement.
The next day, as the party recuperated on the boat, they discovered they had a crate addressed to them on the pier. When they opened it, they saw a note saying “We warned you.” Inside was the tortured and dismembered corpse of Drael’s half-brother, Aramil.