The party found itself with a bit of time for themselves at last- most threats had been dealt with, and everyone had something he or she wanted to do.
Weiss and Lan’Lei headed over to the Spiked Tail once again to speak with Elandra. Outside a cat approached them, and Lan’Lei picked it up and stroked it as she informed the minotaur of the recent developments with the machinations of the Three, and again asked to speak with Parthax. Elandra assented, and invited them inside her office, where the cat jumped out of her arms and addressed them in a deep booming voice, introducing himself as Parthax!
Lan’Lei was finally able to ask the dragon about the egg she’d recovered from Verlin, and the dragon informed her that it had been tainted. He speculated that it would be difficult to purify, but it could be possible with an item of sufficient holiness. With that, she produced the scale of the Great Gold Wyrm she’d found in the Stone Thief to Parthax’s astonishment. With that, he transformed into his true form and performed a ritual with the help of the scale to cleanse the egg. The cleansing was successful, but the egg had become bound to Lan’Lei’s life- if she died it, too, would die. This process also turned her tongue silver. He explained that even after it hatches its lifespan would be accelerated in light of its syncing with her lifespan, so it would grow quickly and die much sooner than an ordinary dragon.
Lan’Lei pledged to protect the egg with her life, and to raise the silver dragonling once it hatched, and Weiss expressed his desire to aid the Emperor by replacing one of the poisoned gladiators in the Festival of Spears’ main event. All were in agreement to these developments, and Weiss then set out to find one more champion for Axis in the arena, and found his man in Rusk.
Meanwhile, Tallendryl and Phaerun had sought out the Black Garden. Both being acquainted with this kind of thing and with the city, as well, they located it and got in with little effort. Once there they split up- Phaerun buying several poisons from Rendrin Borgen, and Tallendryl stumbling across Edwards Cervesa and securing some more black spice. After some more shopping Tallendryl passed by Zolick the Game Master’s casino. The two exchanged verbal jabs challenging each other’s merit and bravery until Tallendryl could stand no more, and put up his own staff for Zolick’s cane in a game of chance, which Tallendryl won. Earning a new cane and the eternal hatred of the Game Master, he left with Phaerun.
The party was worn out from their recent battles and everyone returned to Laylen‘s estate for some rest… except Tallendryl, who wandered the streets in the neighborhood until he found a fancy party of very wealthy socialites at the Vanlief estate. He let himself in by bypassing the doormen and promptly located the most attractive and refined lady he could while making light conversation and enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. With the help of a newly acquired gift from the Diabolist, Tallendryl excited and seduced the young miss Lily Vanlief in mere minutes, much to the chagrin of the group of gladiator suitors who were trying to politely call on her. The couple retired to her room, and Tallendryl then left before she woke up early the next morning.
He returned to Laylen’s, but there was soon a knock at the door- Laylen’s man informed Tallendryl that someone was looking for him- a man with a yellow hat. Instantly Tallendryl remembered that this had to be the intended recipient of the package he’d agreed to deliver for the people in the mist on the road to Axis. He therefore gave the package over to the Courier, but then surprise attacked the man as he turned to leave. Instead of a smoldering crater where the man was, Tallendryl saw him contort and grow until he transformed into a grotesque devil who promptly summoned a pair of female devils, as well.
Hearing the ruckus from outside, the rest of the party joined in the ensuing fray, though Tallendryl drew all of their fire. The monsters were defeated, and all that was left behind was a scroll that had been in the delivered package, which Tallendryl quickly and quietly pocketed. He would later read it secretly, and learned that it contained a powerful spell designed to render Parthax helpless.