Having survived the ambush of the Ashbound fanatics, the party discusses the possible meaning of the ambush and wonder about the identity of the person who signed the note they found on the druid who led the attack. Thinking about who knew where they were going, they conclude that there are two main possibilities—either someone in the Reeve’s household is responsible, or it’s someone at the arcane guildhouse (the latter is a possibility because the guild sent Sorashana to the Reeve in the first place).
Further discussion with Lord Blacktree en route earns the party little more information, as he sticks to his story about studying at Arcanix and wanting to find the Staff of Earthen Might to impress his teachers. Both Shalyn and Sorashana remain convinced that there is more to his story that he’s not sharing.
Upon returning to the village, the party and Lord Blacktree meet with the Reeve to discuss the adventure—the successful retrieval of Lord Blacktree means avoiding political tensions with Aundair, but the lord’s motivations are somewhat suspect and it turns out that his identification papers are illusory. Since Blacktree has no proof of who he is (except for the one guardsman-turned-bullywug that the party captured but has not been able to fix yet), the party convinces the Reeve to detain him under house arrest in the keep until the matter can be properly settled. The Reeve agrees, and Lord Blacktree is taken away to chambers under guard.
Then, the party discusses with the Reeve the fact that they were set up—someone was waiting to ambush them on their way back. The Reeve claims to know nothing of this or the identity of the person who signed the note they find, and the party believes him. There is enough evidence to suggest that something sinister is going on at the arcane guildhouse, however, so the Reeve agrees to “request” that the guild master come to the keep for dinner the next night, and invites the PCs to join them as well, so that they can all get to the bottom of things.
Afterward, Shalyn goes out among the poorer parts of the village to use her healing skills to tend to people who need such help, and Ukkovigda goes with her to keep her safe. The rest of the party takes their ease in the common room of The Stumbling Giant for drinks, discussing the events of the past couple of days and getting to know each other a little better.
As Shalyn and Ukkovigda return, they see a flash of ruddy light and smell sulfur, as a group of demons appear out of thin air and charge into The Stumbling Giant! They rush forward to help as the demons rush into the common room, shouting for Sorashana and trying to kill her.
[TO BE CONTINUED – battle ensues, secrets are revealed, and alleged Aundairan nobles are tortured for more information…]