Earthday, Patchwall 6, 552 CY (50 AN)
Captain Chandler returns and sits next to Thava. He asks if she knows where her friends have gone; they are not in trouble, but he needs to know what they know. She explains that Croitus is currently disguised as the man sitting in the corner; Chandler summons him over, and once he makes his way to the table, Chandler confirms he is speaking to Croitus and asks if the others are available. Croitus says they probably are, although he is not certain. Captain Chandler asks if he could find them as he has questions; he again reiterates that they are not in trouble, but he needs to know what they know. Croitus wanders away to retrieve the others while Captain Chandler and Thava wait.
Meanwhile, Dhavita, Manny, Marguerite, Quithyra, Resh, and Southie make their way into the Vistani camp. Leolann greets them and explains that Croitus indicated they would be coming. They ask when the Vistani are leaving, and they say tomorrow morning; the former gladiators are welcome to stay until then. Should they wish, they can also travel in the same direction when the time comes.
They do not wait long when Croitus arrives and relays Captain Chandler’s request. They agree and all go to the inn.
At the Addled Alchemist, Captain Chandler is surprised when everyone wanders into the tavern. He suggests they hold this meeting somewhere a little more private, and everyone agrees to relocate to the guard barracks. (The prisoners are being held there for the moment, but he has no plans to bring the former gladiators and their associates back to the holding cells.) Southie idly requests mead. Once there, he gathers everyone in a room typically used for questioning, and asks to know what they know. Dhavita explains her dream, and Captain Chandler indicates that matches with what he knows — the captured bounty hunters are an adventuring party known as the Breath of the Basilisk, based out of Sorgforge. Chandler also notes they have four members, and inquires about the elf. After some conversation, the Scandshar Six obliquely admit that the elf is probably not going to be a problem anymore. Captain Chandler declines to inquire further. Additionally, during the course of conversation, Croitus reveals that they had plans to go public with their suspicions of the Scandshar Six’s residency in Duchy Jepson, and that if they do not return to Sorgforge, the information will be released via a safe deposit box. Captain Chandler notes that might be an issue; if there is ever definitive evidence that Duchy Jepson has housed the Scandshar Six, conflict is the expected outcome, either with the Scandshar military or the Illustrious Menagerie of Peacocks. The logical options to avoid war appear to be either the Scandshar Six leaving town, or quietly making the problem go away. Chandler also notes his legal limitations, that he cannot keep the Breath of the Basilisk incarcerated unless Thava is willing to press charges, which would of course mean that she would not be free to travel. Without that, he can probably only stall them for a couple of days before he will be forced to release them.
After some discussion, they say that they will go on their way but will somehow handle the situation. Captain Chandler ought to let the Breath of the Basilisk go after a couple of days. He agrees, and indicates that he does not want to be informed of their plans further. Whatever they do, he knows nothing about it. They agree, and ask if they can use the room for a bit more to discuss matters. He agrees, and takes his leave as one of the guardsmen delivers Southie’s mead.
The assembled party cycles through several iterations of the plan, trying to determine how to sneak into Scandshar, find the Breath of the Basilisk’s bank, and extract the letter. After discussion, they finally decide to go with a simpler approach — make it appear that the elf’s body was found, the scout having been killed by a rockslide, so that there is no evidence of the Scandshar Six’s passing. Hopefully, with the surviving members of the Breath of the Basilisk having been arrested and having lost a member, they will be discredited in the eyes of any other bounty hunters who might come to investigate. Eventually, it is decided: the group will purchase horses, head north, and assemble about a mile outside of town. Croitus will appear as one of the merchants and return the elf’s body to the guardsmen in town, claiming he was found in the rockslide earlier. Once complete, they will head to the northwest to investigate Southie’s alleged Creation Forge.
Once the plan is agreed, the group leaves the barracks. As Thava still plans to travel north with the Vistani, they bid her farewell. Croitus, Dhavita, Manny, Marguerite, Quithyra, Resh, and Southie travel to the stables to purchase horses — the stablemaster is very surprised and amused to see them again — and then they ride out of town. Dhavita and Marguerite share a horse, as do Manny and Quithyra, while Southie continues to ride his dire boar. Once they are about a mile down the road, the group stops and Resh gets to work building a makeshift cart. Once he’s finished, Croitus removes the elf from his canopic jar and carts him back into Jepson.
The guards at the gate are very shocked and escort him to the guard post. He’s forced to stay there for a few minutes while the guards determine what to do. Once Captain Chandler catches wind of the proceedings, he examines the body in the cart, looks for a long while at the disguised Croitus, and notes that further questioning is probably unnecessary. He lets Croitus go.
On his way back, Croitus is surprised to find Thava trotting up the road on horseback. She evidently thought better of her decision, deciding to travel with the group. Satisfied, the assembled travelers follow Southie’s map to the northwest, leaving the roads to travel where the hills rise wild. They make camp that evening in the shadow of the Hoarfrost Ridge.