Frohike, Liam, Qin’haed, and the Shadar’kai of Benyar conclude their discussion and determine that there are still several needs that need to be followed. Benyar says he will pursue Frohike’s clan-mate, Qin’haed says he will accompany him. When Liam points out the irony of a God hating zealot working with a dead god, Qin retorts that Benyar is already dead. If they can work together to make another god dead, then it is all the better.
As they split way from Frohike and Liam, Zedd walks into the barrows and is surprised to see his two companions. He asks who the two walking into the woods are, and is surprised to discover that it is a member of the Brotherhood of Malice and the Shadar’kai of Benyar. He’s dumbfounded. When Frohike asks him what he’s doing here, Zedd says he felt a disturbance and came here to investigate. They decide its late and to return to the Inn. Zedd returns to the Temple.
After a few drinks, Liam decides he should probably get the Elven clothing he borrowed from the suite in the Gran Emperial refitted. He finds the a tailor who is both still awake and willing to do it, after a bit of violent negotiations. Liam returns to the bar, to find a Gnome Warrior complaining that he was beaten by the weakest fighter in the Pit, a gladiatorial arena here in Talimport. The fighter, Tagon, is a bugbear who used to be considered the weakest among the regular competitors, but suddenly has become much stronger. A half-elf at the bar also seems interested in the man’s story, however, before he can relay any relevant information, he passes out from the booze (and possibly his wounds). The barkeep says he’s probably too heavy to move and asks them to turn him on his side. They oblige, and then turn in for the night.
Zedd awakens the next morning earliest to give prayers to Lathander, however he is a bit annoyed by the Elven priests, whose prayers are slightly different than his. After finishing, he heads to the bar to meet with the party. Liam wakes up around the same time as the half-elf, and after some bickering, the two head down for breakfast.
Frohike fills in Zedd about the Vessel and how he believes Elder Zazzil is in league with some dark power and makes a comment about warlocks. The half-elf takes offense to this, having made a pact with a Fey spirit. Frohike apologizes. Liam recounts the Gnome’s story about Tagon and says he wants to investigate, the warlock says he does too. They leave while Frohike and Zedd decide to see the market and sell some of the mundane equipment they recently salvaged.
At the Pit, which is a large dirt arena dug into the surface with bleachers forming a semi-circle around it, they see a line at a booth for placing bets. Liam places one hundred gold on Tagon decapitating his opponent. Both sit down seperately, and Liam notices several cloaked figures moving about the area. He buys some guys drink, and begins to stagger like a drunk. He stumbles into one, and reveals that he’s a feline shifter. The shifters’ companion kicks him, and tells him to leave them be.
He returns to the Pit, and watches as an Elven fighter comes out, wielding an axe and a sword. Liam tries to taunt him, but fails to get much of a reaction. Soon, the massive bugbear comes out of the tent near the Pit. His hair has several bald patches and his armor seems to have a symbol of a smaller humanoid juggling a monster etched into it. The warlock realizes its the Strength, one of the Arcane Runes of the Tarot. Liam realizes it’s much like his own Chariot card.
Tagon begins to call for his opponent, and hears Liam taunt him. The massive bugbear begins a charge for Liam, who takes off into the crowd. In order to get to him, Tagon begins to cleave through the others in the crowd. He manages to slip into a nearby building, but can still hear the screams from the people running in terror.
Zedd and Frohike see the crowd of people fleeing the Pit from the Market and begin to head that way. To get a better view, Frohike climbs onto an overturned cart. The two see the Bugbear and the symbol on his chest and decide it’s likely that this Bugbear has the Strength Rune that Zazzil was asking for. Zedd begins moving through the crowd of Gnomes and Frohike begins firing magic missiles at it, as anything else might hurt the fleeing civilians.
The Warlock joins in blasting Tagon, and uses his magic to confuse and weaken the berserker. Liam joins the fight by ambushing Tagon from behind. He is surprised how powerful Tagon is, as a powerful kick sends him flying to the ground some feet away. Zedd wades closer and begins to work the heal Liam and use his divine powers to further weaken his foe. With great effort, Tagon is slain. His brightly polished mail suddenly fades and rusts. Liam rolls him over to find the Rune of Strength. The party begins helping in triage to help the wounded.
Frohike analyzes the card after their work is complete and determines that it give the weaker an edge over foes with greater power or size. He says that it has a greater power that has been expended for the time being. They see the man in a green cloak watching from a building’s balcony. Liam asks for the Wallwalker boots found among Nexull’s equipment. He runs up the wall, while the others give chase into the building.
Liam follows him into a larger room, which turns out to be some sort of Deli or cafe. The man, a human, is sitting at the table drinking something. As the rest of the party arrives, he offers them lunch, calling Liam by name. They sit down and ask him who he is. He says his name is Duren Kateral after the others have introduced themselves. He gives Liam his incomplete map back, saying that he needed it in order to get more familiar with the Feywild. Most of them recognize the name as the Leader of the Ember Claws, a powerful mercenary guild and ask why he’s in the Feywild. He informs them that he’s looking for something. Frohike guesses its the Mantle, which Kateral confirms. Frohike realizes that he’s hungry, though not as much as he is around Benyar or Diana Fuselighter.
As they finish lunch, he hands the Card as payment for using the map, the Wheel of Fortune. He says he was attacked by a group of Eladrin who were carrying it. He says that he’ll see them around, and walks down the corridor with the balcony, and vanishes with little fanfare.
After filling in the warlock on who Kateral is, they decide that the day is young. They travel to the Temple of Jupiter (formerly known as Zeus) to ask about the settlement of Bariel, which the priests are shocked to find out was destroyed. They refuse to tell the party anymore because of their association with the Cult of Malice.
They decide to travel to the now empty town and leave. After travelling the rest of the afternoon, they find an old pavilion to use as shelter. They take watches and turn in for the Evening. Frohike, on first watch, uses the powers of his goggles to see into the woods. He sees a group of Eladrin hiding in woods. He uses ghost sound to wake Zedd and the Warlock, however Liam already seems to have been awakened and has left his pack in his place.
He ambushes the two bowmen in the back of the group, while Frohike teleports through a dimension door and summons a wall of flame between the front group and the back group. The robbed leader of the group tells Frohike that he shall give him the Runes that belong to his master, Eliphix, a Wyldprince. Frohike says that they have the advantage and wants to see them take the Runes from them. Zedd suggests they surrender and leave in peace. Liam collects their weapons and they leave, promising that their prince will send more powerful foes against them.