A few times Faldak and Felix felt a presence in the back of their minds, trying to intrude on their thoughts; Dacien's detect scrying spell triggered and showed the mage an image of a bald headed monk standing over a font filled with blood, a rictus grin showing on the lower half of a face devoid of skin.
Back at the hideout in Scuttlecove, the party decided to re-enter the city but a bit more discretely. Antony and Felix led a more diplomacy-focussed group, with Faldak as their bodyguard. They tried to sneak back into the city, but were stopped at the gate by a group of thugs. Antony's quick thinking bluffed the groups way past the guards, and they headed straight for the Rusty Shunt inn. The innkeep Lars Landicaster met their entrance with a steely glare and a 'Get out!' - word had gotten around about the attack on the palace, and Lars didn't want any more trouble getting back to him, his inn, and again mentioned that he'd 'seen too many good people die'. Antony and Felix calmed him down and persuaded him to reveal more about what he knew. In the back room of the inn, Lars explained that he hoped the party were good enough to do what needed to be done - if they were smarter about it. Lars knew of the Protectorate - King Koryn's agents in the city - and that they had recently been wiped out to a man. They had a base of operations at Red Foam Whaling - an old pirate hideout that preyed on whalers in the locals seas, but had long since been abandoned for the Protectorate to use as a front. Lars was happy if the King was doing something about the city, curious to see how the party would tip the scales.
They spent the rest of the day traipsing around the city, and avoiding roaming gangs of monks, leaping demons and thugs. The market was an interesting source of potions and magical trinkets, even golems. The queue for the Violated Ogre was greater than the party's interest in seei,ng an ogre being violated. They also stopped by the Rattlebox - a gambling den offering cock fights, rot roulette and five stones run by a grumpy dwarf named Figwater. He'd heard rumours about the palace being haunted but thought it was actually a front for smugglers.
That night the party regrouped, snuck back into the city and made their way down to Red Foam Whaling on the waterfront. The place seemed abandoned, and in a poor state of repair. The party snuck round the side over the water, leaving Mendel on watch outside. On the jetties around the other side, they spotted a dark haried woman trussed up and gagged. Sensing a ruse, Dacien started telekinesing her body towards the party, at which point she turned toward Antony and suggested he kill his mage friend. The fight was on, as three figures - human but with spider-like features to their faces, mandibles, slightly faceted eyes - emerged from hiding and tried to assassinate Faldak.
Gerald summoned a blade barrier to divide the battlefield, having healed Faldak so the dwarf could remain in melee. Dacien hid beneath the piers and cast spells, disintegrating one enemy.His telekinesis held the woman captive until Felix managed to rip her throat out - causing her to vanish. Zhedd summoned creatures to distract the enemy.
As the batle reached a peak, a larger humanoid - a warped combination of spider and man, almost as if a spider was bursting through the skin of it's human shell - appeared in the air and swept down on Faldak brandishing a scimitar that crackled with dark energy. It slashed at the dwarf and grabbed Antony in its jaws, as the summoned creatures dove towards it.
Outside the building, Mendel looked up from the prostitute he was talking to and heard the cries of battle - and wondered if it was time for him to join yet.
Updated map containing locations and information party has collected