After finding Sir Dunfarres waiting for them at the Gypsy Dawn, the heroes splintered with arguments, especially in the fallout of Sir Lyle’s sacrifice. Meanwhile, Saradoc turned to his skeletal hand and asked whatever entity was listening for … anything.
He received a response.
A strategy is born.
Subverting the Zhentarim plan.
Despite their differences, the heroes came back together to figure out how they would strike back at the Zhentarim. They knew the Zhentarim were planning on presenting First Elder Starlighter of Everlund with a first edition copy of the history of the Silver Marches, a book which highlighted the friendship between Silverymoon and Everlund in earlier days. Iveress detailed that her grandfather was supposed to have married into the family of nobility in Everlund long ago, but called the engagement off. The two nations had been at odds ever since.
Iveress suggested that, if the Zhentarim were trying to present a token of friendship, perhaps the heroes could give something of even greater value—her grandfather’s journal, which was kept in the Royal Library of the Silverymoon Palace.
The heroes also still needed to stop whatever Zhentarim plot was unfolding in the palace during the Silver Marches Summit. Sir Dunfarres mentioned he was tasked with transporting a small parcel from the mail room to the kitchen before preparations for the welcoming reception were to begin. He did not yet have the item in his possession and had no idea what it would be used for. However, it was supposed to be passed off to Sulfrael, a steward in the palace.
They discussed several options for entry, but Sir Dunfarres said the palace was even harder to infiltrate now in the wake of the fight earlier that morning, which claimed Sir Lyle’s life. Sir Dunfarres revealed a secret entrance that led to the cellar, connected to a nearby pub that a previous princeling of Silverymoon used to frequent. However, patrols were even heavier and it would be hard to operate without drawing attention.
So Kaloy suggested a more obvious route: going in through the front gate. Kaloy and Saradoc would pose as dignitaries from Waterdeep, under the direction of Open Lady Varia and a writ of passage from the true High Lady of Silverymoon herself. Tobias would wear Sir Dunfarres’ armor and pretend to be a Knight in Silver. Ooga would pose as a cat through his druidic magic. Sir Dunfarres would come in after them, to avoid rousing any suspicion.
What could possibly go wrong?
Passing Sir Crey.
The first major obstacle they encountered was Sir Crey at the front gate. Now that the palace had, allegedly, been attacked, Sir Crey stood with a stronger retinue of knights and was more discerning of who came in and out. He stopped the heroes before they could get too close to the gate and came to meet them.
Kaloy, who used magic to change to pose as Sir Francois, attempted to use dazzling language and superfluous gestures to convince Sir Crey to let them in. He inspected the writ Iveress gave them, suspicious of the party because they weren’t on the list of invitees to the summit. He was especially suspicious of Tobias, who did not lift the visor from his helm as he impersonated a Knight in Silver.
Eventually, Sir Crey allowed them to pass, keeping a watchful eye on them as they entered the palace.
The Royal Library.
Like Sir Dunfarres said, the palace was crawling with Knights and Spellguard. They had indeed bumped up security in the wake of Tobias and Lyle’s encroachment. The heroes needed to be very, very careful not to reveal themselves.
They went to the Royal Library and found Lady Iveress already inside. The fake Lady Iveress, that was, accompanied by a guard of four Knights and a single Spellguard. And she already had Iveress’s grandfather’s journal in hand.
Ooga tried to distract Fake Iveress and the Knights but to no avail. Kaloy also tried to get Fake Iveress to hand her over the journal, through more charming means, but also failed to secure the book. Sir Dunfarres arrived and tried to diffuse the escalating situation by having the heroes accompany him elsewhere, but they stayed on task with trying to get the journal.
Eventually, Iveress told her Spellguard companion to show them the archives, where a book more suited to their interests might be found. Iveress and the other Knights then left the library … with the journal still in hand.
The unwilling agent.
In the archives, a back room in the Royal Library, the heroes and their Spellguard minder went deeper inside until they were sure they couldn’t be heard. Intending to extract information from the Spellguard, they attacked him. He turned invisible and tried to run, but they caught up to him anyway and beat him into submission.
Tying him up, they interrogated him for whatever he knew. They discovered that he had, indeed, been compromised by the Zhentarim, but he didn’t know that the Iveress he was protecting was a shapeshifter. He refused to give anymore information. Shakily, the Spellguard committed his allegiance to the Zhentarim, and Kaloy and Saradoc intended to execute him. Dunfarres washed his hands of the mess. As Saradoc moved to stab the Spellguard, however, Tobias shoved his shield between them—there had to be a better way.
Talking further with the Spellguard, they found out that he was under duress with the Zhentarim. He was following their orders because were threatening to kill his mother if he failed to comply. All he had to do was keep the fake Iveress safe.