Lady Moonfire spared no expense at the dinner. Zin sat at the end of the table nearest Siluele Taemelson and her son Jondelar Taemelson. Elias procured a seat close to Gheselle Dameral and Phillipe d’Amberville. Diego and Torra sat next to Alidar Farrian, while Fix made sure to sit by the Princess Adrianna Hawkmoon. Brost sat nearest Amatheon Pentraith. During the courses, most guests engaged in small talk. One awkward moment occurred when Christoph Martinev‘s daughter Lena began berating the staff because one of her dishes was not hot enough. Also awkward was Adrianna’s sudden stiffening and silence after Fix whispered something in her ear.
After dinner, the musicians began playing local favorites to entice the guests to dance. All was going well until an altercation in the courtyard spun everything around. The party ran to the courtyard to find Alidar grappling Fix, obviously at the Princess’ command. Fix managed to free himself and dodged past the guards out to Ambassador’s Row. Zin ran to the wall, fey-stepped to the parapet and provided a distraction that allowed Fix to gain his freedom. Diego, Torra, Brost and Elias exchanged words with the Princess in the courtyard before their carriage was ready and they were driven home. Lady Moonfire appeared livid. Fix got over the outer bailey’s wall and disappeared into Coppers, followed by Zin.
Though it ended poorly, the ball was not a waste. Zin was invited to Taemelson Manor in Groveside to speak more with Lady Siluele, Elias obviously made quite an impression of High Councilor Gheselle and Alidar left word at the Hawkknight’s Citadel that Diego was to be granted passage. But Fix had disappeared.
The next few days, the remaining party members used all of their resources to find their missing companion, but to no avail. While they carried on the search, Diego and Torra went to the Hawkknight Citadel to speak with Alidar. After narrating their exploits in Thunderspire Mountain and giving Alidar a copy of the duergar research, the subcommander decided to call Diego and his allies back to meet with a higher authority. Elias also used this time to meet with Loremaster Theodosia at the Temple of Learning in regards to the “Argent” clue, while Zin pursued the same inquiry with Lady Siluele.
At Hawkknight Citadel, Torra and Diego meet with Alidar, Princess Adrianna and Bodvar Fairvoice. Convinced of the potential threat, the two leaders agree to send out scouts to determine the truth of these stories. Of the gnolls inhabiting the Westbrook Ruins of Westbrook, Bodvar strongly objects to any Hawkmoon units being deployed that close to the Iron Hills, but agrees to talk with his people and launch a joint venture to clear the site. Bodvar also agrees to give the party a letter on introduction to the clan chieftains at Tijino, providing a guide to the lost dwarven canton of Krongard. Bodvar went on to suggest that he may contact the Jendarri and see if any settlements had someone who wanted to sted in Westbrook. After some confused looks, Bodvar explained that in Jendarri culture, young heroes often set out from an existing settlement to found a new stedding, or settlement. Usually these young heroes had allies and procured enough followers to start a new settlement. After clearing the nearby area of threats, the work became establishing and managing the new settlement. Unlike the Arvanorans, new steddings were not part of an “Empire” or “Kingdom” and thus were seen as allies to the dwarves, not expansionists. Alidar and Adrianna suggest that the party warn their northern neighbors in Berwyn of the threat while their scouts determine the threats closer to home.
At the Temple of Learning, Elias sought information about Argent. Theodosia directed Elias to Derwyndal’s Tower, living near The Halls of Books. There, Elias encounters an old codger that charges him 500 gold for an answer to the Argent question, and forces him to wait three days for an answer. After attempting to barter with the old coot, Elias laughs at his stubbornness and pays the price.
And at Taemelson Manor, Zin meets with Lady Siluele, Jondelar and hios twin sister Freylan. It is obvious that the Taemelson’s have not been on this side of the Veil long enough to know much about this Argent that Zin raises, but the Lady suggests that Zin meet with the Tuath-nir, the elves of the Tuathwold east of the Iron Hills saying, “Though the Tuath-nir slay humans on sight, they have been in this world for a very long time and may know of this Argent you ask about.”
As the party sits around the table in their apartment and shares their information, Ondath, speaking in Fix’s voice chimes in. Reunited, the group makes plans to travel to the Jendarri settlement of Berwyn.