The party leaves Helmut Itelstein’s house and, by use of a growler, take Phon to Kaira Swanwing’s House. Kaira assures them that she will now be safe under the protection of the Knights of the Golden Cross.
Before they leave, Gideon explains to a now revived Phon what had happened to her. As usual, she exhibits utter shock and denial saying that they have Itelstein all wrong and must have obviously misinterpreted the events and drawn a terribly wrong conclusion. It is at this point, having seen such odd responses from her so many times in the past and noting how she seems to be a bit spoiled, but otherwise a rational person until something comes up about Helmut Itelstein, that Maur suggests that Phon may be under some sort of spell or even perhaps the latent effects of a love philter or potion.
Kaira tells them that should this be the case, members of her order will be able to address such an enchantment. The group leaves, with Gideon promising to send word to Brother Fabitor and Phon’s parents that she is safe, but that for Phon’s own protection she will be hidden away as long as Helmut is a threat to her.
The party then takes a growler to Delver’s Square.
Upon arriving at the Square, the party sees many new flyers posted about the area. Not only the central messenger board, but on every tree, fencepost and almost every building has the same flyer posted (see Toman’s Reward Poster).
Maur and Ian, planning on making a stop for a few drinks at the Ghostly Minstrel, decided instead to go the Black Swan. Gideon first wanted to make a stop at St. Gustav’s Chapel to speak with Brother Fabitor, and would join up with them later.
At the chapel, Gideon speaks with Brother Fabitor Thisk, explaining that Phon has been found and that she had been held at Helmut Itelstein’s house. He added that she was now safe and was in a secret place where she can be cared for and kept from Itelstein for the time being. He explains to Brother Fabitor that it is necessary to keep her location a secret even from her parents and that he will try to give him updates on how she’s doing on occasions, so that her parents are assured she remains well.
At the Black Swan, Maur and Ian are both surprised that the barkeep is a half-elf, when the tavern is clearly one that caters to dwarves. Despite this, they are still given some authentic (and stout) dwarven drinks, especially making a point to sample the drink the bar is named for. They ask about Toman’s reward poster, and the bartender (Migos Foraeth) explains that Toman is a personal friend and colleague who regularly runs trade caravans to the varied dwarven lands to keep him in supply of authentic dwarven beverages, “to bring a taste of home to our dwarven customers”. A couple days ago, Toman came into the tavern explaining that his daughter was missing, so Migos took it upon himself to print up some posters and put them up earlier this afternoon. He also mentioned that he had passed the hat around the bar and had collected 240 gold so far as a reward for her safe return. Lastly, he mentioned that Toman didn’t know about the reward and he would like to keep it that way (Toman would object to him doing all this for him). The party was interested, so he asked them to enjoy their drinks while he went to get him.
Toman, clearly just a common merchant and not a man of wealthy means, arrived later. He met the group and added that his daughter, Yara Etherin, was last seen on the corner of Iron and Tin streets two days ago. She stopped at a fruit vendor there, where she bought a peach. She then left and walked down an alleyway headed towards his office (the alleyway was a commonly used shortcut). She never arrived at his offices and at dark, he went looking for her.
He has a friend with some hound dogs that were brought out to try to track her, but they showed she entered the alleyway, but from there the scent was lost. The City Watch was alerted at this point, who investigated the area, only finding a scrap of pink cloth from her shawl. Toman gave them the piece.
Toman explained he had no enemies, that he paid the Balacazar’s faithfully every month (as they required for their protection) and that Yara had not been a girl to get into trouble, being a good girl of fourteen years.
The party then went to the alleyway to investigate.
Other than a foot patrol of the Watch, the streets were deserted at this late hour. A light fog had rolled in from the bay at dark, and a slight drizzle began to fall as the party stood at the street corner where the girl had gone missing. Gideon stood watch at the street corner, while Maur and Ian investigated the alleyway.
In the alleyway, the party finds another scrap of Yara’s pink shawl caught on a stray nail on a barrel. Moving the barrel out of the way, another piece is found stuck to the wall, seemingly wedged between two bricks. With their combined efforts, Ian and Maur find a secret door to a small saferoom. Inside the saferoom, they find the walls covered with countless symbols of chaos (arrows, spirals, etc.) all covered with a random pattern of black painted handprints. On a table they find a life size Hand Statuette. Lastly, in the corner among some trash and hay (perhaps a makeshift bed) they find the remainder of Yara’s clothing piled in a heap. It appears to have been ripped from her body for some reason. Ian also notes Akori Blossom stains on the collar.
At this late hour, the party returned to the rent house in the Guildsman District to plan their next move. They were unsure to involve The City Watch at this point, or to go it alone, but all the evidence seemed to point to the next leg of the investigation being at the Temple of the Ebon Hand in the Temple District. Was she meant to be a part of some sacrifice? Was she sold to slavers? Only by infiltrating the temple would they find the answers to these questions.