Two roads diverge …
Spies like us.
With the Iveress’s grandfather’s journal secured, Saradoc and Ooga return to the palace to gather more intelligence while Kaloy and Tobias head south with the Gypsy Dawn to treat with Everlund.
Back in the palace, Saradoc, still disguised as Sulfrael, seeks out the Silver Marches representatives to see if he’s able to find out anything about the Zhentarim plot. Ooga hides within the bag of holding. With the palace still in chaos from Ooga’s daring escape with the journal, they come across King Helzhick of Citadel Adbar. The dwarf seems also curious about the strange events going on, and even seems to have interests that line up with the heroes’. Ooga cautions Saradoc not to say too much for the time being.
Saradoc returns to Sulfrael’s quarters. He is visited again by a black cloaked-Zhentarim agent, who questions him about why King Thuenor does not appear to be exhibiting signs of sickness. Saradoc challenges back, accusing him of not sending the proper ingredients. The Zhentarim agent relents and gives Saradoc his next assignment: he is to retrieve another parcel from the mail room and have it delivered to the Assembly Room before the meetings take place the next morning.
After retrieving the package, however, Saradoc’s curiosity gets the better of him. Taking it to a side room unnoticed, he opens the parcel and finds a small, square box inside containing a ring. Putting it on, he discovers that it was a trap all along. The ring was intended as a means of communication, and Saradoc receives a message: “Traitor."
Before anyone else can tell what’s gone amiss, Saradoc and Ooga exit the castle, knowing that the disguise of Sulfrael has been compromised.
A diplomatic mission.
Kaloy and Tobias head southward with Mason and his crew to intercept the Everlund ship, the Argent Mist, before it can reach Silverymoon. Iveress reveals what’s so important about the journal: it details why the Vulpaer family of Silverymoon and the Starlighter family of Everlund never merged: Iveress’s grandfather was gay, and could not bring himself to marry at the time. However, in the fallout of the families’ relations, he ended up marrying and fathering children anyway, all to keep up with appearances and to ensure that his line continued.
The Gypsy Dawn encounters the Argent Mist, and after an initially tense exchange, the men of the Argent Mist board the Gypsy Dawn to find out what this diplomatic mission was all about. Insisting that they needed to speak directly with the First Elder, her guardsman brings her on deck.
Perrah Starlighter, it becomes immediately obvious, has no patience for flowery words and ceremony and insists that whatever the Gypsy Dawn’s purpose is be made known immediately. So Kaloy escorts Perrah to Iveress and the two chat with one another for several hours. Tobias, meanwhile, ensures that everyone is taken care of hospitably.
Back for seconds.
A meeting with fate.
Even though his identity is compromised, Saradoc doesn’t want to end at running away so easily. He and Ooga return to the palace, this time going through the secret tunnel passage beneath a nearby tavern. Arriving within the cellars, they follow a trail of suspicious footprints toward the dungeons. Entering inside as stealthily as possible, they come across a meeting they did not expect.
A Zhentarim agent spoke with two mindflayers—the Brothers, in all likelihood—as well as a beautiful devil. They appear to be discussing a change in plans now that someone is onto their plot. The devil senses that Saradoc is nearby, and his cursed hand tingles. She communicates with him telepathically, taunting him, telling him that maybe she’ll give him a head start before telling everyone else that they’re there.
Saradoc takes the cue to get out as quickly as possible.
Friends at last.
In the earliest hours of the morning, Perrah and Iveress emerge from their private conversation. Perrah pledges her support to Iveress, saying that she’ll have Everlund bring up its military as quickly as possible—she just needs to convince the Council of her intentions first.
The Argent Mist turns and treks back to Overland while the Gypsy Dawn heads to Silverymoon. They’ve secured the support of Everlund, whose powerful military would be an excellent backup, but the Zhentarim plot is to hatch in a very short while.
Dealing with the devil.
The massacre at Silverymoon Palace.
Kaloy, Tobias, Saradoc, and Ooga reunite again in a tavern to share their information together and plan. Trying to secure more support against the Zhentarim, they consider engineering doubt amongst the Silverymoon populace, to say that the Palace has already been compromised by the black cloaks. Unfortunately, they hear a town crier passing by with the morning’s news—the official story is already that the Zhentarim have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the palace.
So they discuss more plans. Tobias suggests that perhaps they should just assassinate the fake Iveress. The group eventually decides to try to get to the bottom of what the Zhentarim are planning on doing, intending to capture Iveress’s Chief of Staff, Arthrial.
Kaloy once again takes on the image of Sir Alyxe of Waterdeep, with Saradoc as a halfling page and Tobias as a Knight in Silver. Ooga hides within the bag of holding.
They enter the palace once again and find that the meetings for the Silver Marches Summit are already underway. They wait in the wings, watching Arthrial’s actions, waiting for him to leave Iveress’s side. When he finally does, Sir Alyxe catches up to him and he leads them to a library of legal documents.
Within, he says that in his infatuation with her, he did some research on Sir Alyxe, only to discover that there is no knight in Waterdeep by that name. Arthrial draws his weapon, revealing his allegiance to the Zhentarim. Kaloy charms him, telling him that he’s to reveal himself to the assembly and to everyone else he possibly can.
Making their way back to the Assembly Room, however, they encounter Sir Dunfarres. Disoriented and confused, he tells them that they need to help—everyone’s getting slaughtered.
When they arrive back at the Assembly Room, they find that the Knights in Silver are massacring the representatives and their delegations. Several are already dead, and the room is swimming in blood. Above them all, the devil that Saradoc and Ooga found the previous night is issuing commands.
Saradoc casts a shroud of magical darkness and launches forward to kill the fake Iveress. The devil retaliates, launching poisoned arrows at Ooga, Kaloy, and Tobias. She then offers an olive branch: she can make this whole thing stop, if Saradoc could just stab the escaping King Helzhick in the back.
Thinking quickly, Saradoc agrees and brings Kaloy to fake the king’s death. Catching up with him, alone in the hallways outside, they tell him what they intend to do—fake his death so they can save everyone else. They don’t know what the devil intends to do, if anything, with his corpse, but they can at least end the massacre. King Helzhick reluctantly agrees, and Saradoc and Kaloy “kill” him.
Bringing the corpse back to the Assembly Room, the devil is pleased with what happened. She gives Saradoc a strange book as a parting gift, then exits the premises, leaving the heroes to do whatever they wished to do next.
Saradoc orders the Adbar delegation to take the king’s body and hide somewhere that the devil won’t find them. Sir Dunfarres announces that the Knights in Silver who participated in the attack will be dealt with at a later time. For now, they needed to get the wounded treated and restore order to the Palace. Arthrial, revealed as a Zhentarim agent, is captured.