It’s the morning after Sharzad’s disastrous accidental date…Riaeki sneaks into Afa and Nalia’s room and tells them Sharzad got back late and very drunk! They then go downstairs for breakfast. A halfing couple come in and riaeki notices that afa tenses at this, but then she relaxes. Sharzad is very hungover when she comes down and the group make some goofs about it.
Once they’re done eating, they decide to visit master ynaris’ shop. they pass through an industrial sector that seems in a state of decline. once in the shop neighborhood, things are more lively. afa notices a theatre and stops to look. a girl selling tickets sees them and tries to sell them on the show. they make plans to see “THE FOLLY OF STEPHEN” later that night and continue on through the entertainment district.
once in the shopping district, even among the nice shops are signs of decline (boarded up windows, a burned out shop, etc). the gang finally reach master ynaris’ shop and go in. if it was possible for them to know he looks exactly like stage and screen actor Steve Buscemi, they would, but they can’t, so they don’t. He is initially suspicious of them, thinking they are city guard, but relaxes when they assure him they are not.
when ynaris looks at the pendant, nalia notices that his expression changes before he begins examining it more closely. but he isn’t very forthcoming until nalia offers money for information, at which point he tells them the engraver is employed by the local mob, the stoneheart family. so it appears that lar za must have a connection to the stonehearts, since the engraver is not allowed to do unsanctioned work. ynaris gives them some instructions and directions about the city. they are to go to the cliffs and find stairs down, and then go two levels down. he warns them not to go deeper down.
sharzad seems nervous about the prospect of maybe using the lifts they saw in the industrial district. nalia says she can hold onto her tail if she wants, which sharzad is very doubtful about. afa says she will cast feather fall if anyone falls down and everyone better be super nice to her because of that. in any case, when they come upon the staircase it is very precarious looking. at some point they are only inches away from the edge of the clifface. one of the cranes lowers down one of the lifts as they descend, and a man holding onto one of the cables waves to them. sharzad’s anxiety continues. afa is hopping down the stairs and slips, but sharzad leaps immediately to break her fall…by jumping on top of her. meanwhile the people of mistfall seem pretty adept at going down the stairs and righting themselves from slipping. eventually the gang gets to the bottom.
they enter a tunnel in the cliff face although it’s unlike any tunnel any of them have seen before. the ceiling is up to 20 feet high in places; it is an impressive feat. there is an air of destitution and neglect everywhere they go. people give the party hard looks as they pass by. as sharzad looks around, she notices there isn’t any city guard down here and there are a lot of shady deals going on.
finally, they arrive at the address that ynaris gave them. sharzad waits as a lookout outside while the rest go inside. inside, they follow some signs and go in a room with a door that is slightly ajar. inside there is a fog spread over the floor. as they enter, the door begins to close behind them. a hairless, humanoid figure with glowing eyes appears in the doorway before closing the door and disappearing into the fog— it is still in the room with them.
the fog has strange properties— the smell is bothersome to afa and she takes psychic damage from it. afa plays a high note to get sharzad’s attention from outside. sharzad does hear the note and enters, beginning to cautiously approach the second door. the creature— a foglet— slashes out at nalia. nalia casts gust of wind to clear the room. riaeki ATTACKS the HECK out of it and it does not like that at all. afa, now that the room is clear, hexes the foglet and attacks as well. sharzad, having heard all the noise from the fight, now runs to the door. taking her new gun, she blows open the door with a huge burst of flame. then she shoots at the foglet, who staggers but doesn’t fall from the blow. it starts to cast a spell (mirror image) but nalia interrupts it with counterspell. it seems disturbed by this and begins to try to flee. nalia casts ray of frost but it dodges. as it scrambles away, riaeki pursues it and lands some good hits. then afa casts eldritch blast and the foglet absolutely dies, all of its energy drained…it’s pretty gruesome. sharzad hurries forward to try to chop off one of its hands. from the body a little orb of light emerges and floats here and there before whooshing out the door. riaeki heals nalia’s wounds.
they all inspect the creature and speculate on what it might be. afa goes back in the hall to look at the sign. she casts magic mouth on it so the next time anyone sees it for the first time, it will say “hello, i am a liar!”
riaeki uses detect thoughts to try to sense if anyone is in the house, and gets nothing. looking in the room across from them, she finds it is in a much deeper state of disuse..there’s even a skeleton inside. sharzad figures out that someone was having the foglet kill/devour people and then coming to the room to dispose of the corpses.
they all decide to wait around for someone to come find out if they died. after about three and a half hours they hear footsteps approaching. nalia casts mordekainen’s private sanctum, hiding the party…but also keeping them from seeing or hearing anything. they decide the cease the spell and when they reappear, they see a shocked looking human woman. she turns to run but afa casts hold person. sharzad and riaeki drag her back into the room.
while questioning her, and with riaeki having cast detect thoughts, they discover that they were sent here because they were “marked” — they “pissed off the wrong person.” Also, it’s clear that The Family are the people behind this. In her thoughts, Riaeki does see a human woman who seems to be the one who runs the family. Beyond that though, this woman doesn’t seem to know a lot.
meanwhile, sharzad goes back outside to take a look around. she notices a hooded figure across the way keeping an eye on the house. back inside, the woman offers them the chance to make a deal with the family, and she seems sincere. but when sharzad mentions that they are being watched, she seems alarmed. more conversation and threatening reveals that the family does business with one pirate company and when she describes its leader, it is clearly lar xa. the gang decide to take the deal. afa, to distract the person watching them, casts dissonant whispers, startling them and causing their hood to fall back. she is a tiefling woman with solid gold eyes, and when the woman with the party sees her, she immediately tells them to RUN! As the woman runs away, the tiefling woman calmly throws a HUGE spear and throws it at her, and it hits, going thru her thigh.
Sharzad quickly pulls out her gun and takes two shots at the tiefling, and she staggers. she is enraged and demands to know who they are. it ends up that the tiefling doesn’t work with the family or the city— she works by herself, for the people. afa and sharzad manage to convince her that they don’t work with the family and had only wanted to take the deal to hopefully trick the family. riaeki partially heals her wounds, and sharzad goes to heal the woman if she can.
the tiefling woman asks again who everyone is. she says the group she’s part of isn’t a rival gang as they thought, but part of a group trying to become a political force. she then introduces herself as ratha, and she’s running for mayor against the current mayor joradi anesh. she is impressed with the party’s explanation of their mercenary group and their interest in protecting people, and says that they should talk.