Lan’Lei helped piece together what had happened by having Laylen’s man identify an item that Laylen had last touched- his hairbrush. She then was able to magically sense that Laylen was somewhere with salt in the air in a basement. Phaerun, after examining the bodies of Barnus and Royce, deduced that they must have been poisoned by basilisk ichor in the tavern the previous night.
Tallendryl and Phaerun next returned to the Fighting Pawn to try and recall more details of the previous night. Tallendryl remembered that he had seen a black dragon on the roof, and had thrown a shoe at it… maybe. In any event, he retrieved his shoe, (which was now somewhat melted for some reason?) after climbing up to collect it. Phaerun learned from the barkeep that some strange men had ordered serpent’s scales the previous night- a curious, somewhat eyebrow-raising choice.
The next move was made- the group reunited and went in search of Laylen in the dock district. On their way Phaerun noticed that they were being followed by numerous individuals. The party went down an alley to wait for a confrontation, and were ambushed from the opposite side and the roof by a group of bounty hunters known as the Snake Eyes, who were looking for Tallendryl’s head. They were summarily slain with the exception of two survivors, who were let loose to warn their friends not to try anything again.
They arrived next at the Old Fish Eye, a tavern built on a series of stilts near the sea. Although entertaining, Captain Coster and his group of regular salty ex pirates couldn’t yield any useful information for the missing Laylen.
They next thought to try the Dropsy Mermaid, a much nicer-looking establishment with wealthier clientele. Tallendryl strolled in and casually ordered a serpent’s scale with a knowing wink. The bartender paused, and invited him downstairs to have a special reserve of the drink. The rest of the party, meanwhile, very conspicuously attempted to follow him downstairs, or circled around the back, discovering that there was enchantment at work disguising something in the basement.
Before any words could be exchanged between Tallendryl and the bartender, the party attacked just as a group of naga and a hooded figure in a black robe revealed himself as a black dragonkin. The ensuing battle was fierce, but in the end the party killed all of the followers of the Three. The final dying words of the dragonkin heckled the party, mocking their purpose, and telling them that their victory was small, and that his fellows would carry out their purpose and deliver a truly devastating blow during the main event of the Festival.
After the fight Laylen was discovered alive, and only a little worse for the wear. Weiss healed him with the power of Ashquay before sensing a holy presence. As if possessed, he went into another room in the basement and dug up a shallow hole containing a reliquary of St. Tenderfoot.