After learning the spells she was seeking and helping the elf Kina connect with her cousin Sado, Lucia takes her mother back to Roderick’s Cove. While there she hears some curious news about Sorshen and teleports to Korvosa to check up on Vicky.
The wizard has been busy augmenting herself with ioun stone implants. Vicky confirms with Sorshen that the Runelord is able to be in two places at once, which she is doing to draw the attention of Runelord Alaznist.
Vicky shows Lucia the personal demiplane where she has been storing the gold that was transformed from lead via the Philosopher’s Stone. It is too heavy to transport, so she is storing it there.
Rita has a private commune with the nalfeshnee demon Thizgumen about the best way to turn Lucia into a demon. They decide to do it piece by piece, like the Ship of Tarsius, to make her into a work of art.
Vicky later goes to her demiplane to confer with her patron, the mysterious Heart of Winter. It wishes her to clam two black gemstones from Inkariax’s palace in the Shadow Plane.
With Audrahni’s help, Udrexa questions the Lord-Mayor’s body. She gets six responses:
- He was attacked from behind just after speaking with Ashlin, something agonizing that touched the back of his head.
- He believes that the architect of the sewers, Staunton Vhane, might have built more than sewers.
- He was interested in the Forever Man both to stop his manipulations of the city and discover the secret of his immortality.
- He has an informant in the Night Scales. Udrexa should talk to Siov Cassimel about his daughter Risa.
- He has money stashed around the city. One such stash is at the Fox’s Blades. Ask Tilli for the private cask.
- He knew Ashlin was spying on him and used her to pass misinformation back to her employer, Zalel Moghadam.
Udrexa collects the stash from the Fox’s Blades, which has gear suitable for their companions. She then heads to the Friendly Merchant to talk to Siov. While there, Lucia teleports in. She gets caught up on what is taking place and then asks to inspect the abyssal residue that was left behind at the crime scene.
Lucia concludes that the power is the byproduct of an abyssal artifact used to extract and store the Lord-Mayor’s soul. An artifact that could only be made with an abyssal runestone like the one Udrexa gave the Night Scales.
Udrexa also realizes that the woman in the red insect armor was most likely a member of the notorious Red Mantis Assassins, who are said to have all sorts of tricks to ensure their targets stay dead.
From there, they go to the Rat Piling to check on the monk Opal who Udrexa had left to watch over the empty coffins. The six coffins now contain six staked vampires and Opal is guarding a bound captive dhampir and her pet parrot.
The prisoner, Jane, reveals that the “Vampirates” are trying to corner the market in Thassilonian artifacts while demand is high. She insists that the vampire members of the crew only drink enough blood to survive and don’t kill anyone; her task for the crew is to keep an eye on them to make sure they behave.
Audrahni identifies Jane as a cleric of Besmara, the chaotic neutral goddess of pirates, but thinks that the dhampir is being duped by her “family.” Audrahni warns that vampires cannot restrain themselves in this manner, certainly not for long. Udrexa suspects that one of the artifact buyers is the Forever Man.
Vivi decides to question Jane’s parrot, Polly, and manages to get the location of the next auction out of her — Twilight Isle.
Lucia uses dominate person to compel Jane’s loyalty as the group decides they will bid in that auction when the time is right. The party prepares to take Jane to talk with Captain Sursha and Shira so they can locate Twilight Isle.