After a few more days of recovery, Taeva hears a rumor one morning in the inn that a Hellknight has been seen with a retinue heading up the road from Magnimar. She goes to gather the rest of the group over this information, sampling the flapjacks that Haggor has made up in his cave. Finally deciding amongst themselves that anything unusual probably concerns them, and is at least something they’d like to know about sooner rather than later, they head down to the southern gate and wait as the city welcoming committee. Not too much later, a very imposing looking young woman—built like a gladiator and wearing spiked plate that is both apparently functional and aggressively sexual—rides into town with a pair of henchmen and another pair of what could only be lawyers.
Surprisingly, she barely spares a moment for the party, even on hearing their names, simply asking them direct her to the mayor. She and the lawyers enter the city hall, while the henchmen wait outside. The party questions them, learning that they’re simply hired help to carry baggage; apparently, the lawyers are there to present a subpoena, and there’s a chance Mayor Deverin will be going back with them. Taeva has, meanwhile, climbed a nearby roof to look in the mayor’s office, and can make out an argument inside.
Soon after, the knight and lawyers exit the building, and the party suggests they have a meal at the Rusty Dragon before leaving town. The knight volunteers that they will be wintering in Magnimar if the party can convince the mayor to change her mind. They quickly question the mayor to make sure nothing unacceptable has just happened. According to the flustered woman, they had come to deliver a summons all the way back to Cheliax to work out some ancestral land claim. She’d told them that they could just have it, as her family had no intention of ever going back, but apparently their arcane laws required the presence of the landowner. The party is uncertain if they can contribute further at this point, but checks back in at the Rusty Dragon. Ameiko says that she didn’t see them doing anything shady while they were there. The knight did, however, ask about Haggor specifically, and Ameiko thought the tone was more of appreciation than business interest.
Another few days later and Veshenga remembers that she wanted to try to get another Harrow reading from Madame Mvashti. The old woman offers her tea, but then encourages her to come back the next day with all of her friends. Apparently, the seer feels that their fates are so intertwined that she will have to do individual readings for all four to allow Veshenga a glimpse at a future unmuddied by the party’s overall fate.
So, the next day, they all assemble in the Varisian matron’s house and are given readings from her deck.
- Haggor’s reading comes first, seemingly focused on himself: a past of luck, performance, and strange secrets, a present balanced on a knife edge of making the most of or squandering his gifts, and a future where secrets are revealed at the hands of a tyrant after a great journey.
- Balekh’s reading comes next, seemingly focused on his growing relationship with Shayliss: hints abound that encouraging her to pursue the magical arts has unlocked a transition that he must manage carefully, lest she succumb to the power inherent in a Chelish bloodline steeped in infernal pacts.
- Taeva’s reading is third: it seems to speak to strange dreams she’s been having lately, and tells of a woman of great valor and power brought low by evil, caught in a dark web, but with the potential to free herself with Taeva’s help.
- Veshenga’s reading comes last, and is perhaps the most confusing, centered on a card of loss: it calls back to the past of a dancer, a birth, and a terrible tragedy, a present of secrets and danger, and a future where a survivor, a bear, and a keep can lead her to the solution of the mystery.
Before they leave, Niska gives them one last piece of advice: their talents have outgrown easy learning opportunities within Sandpoint, and they must venture elsewhere to find training to improve their skills into the specialized adventuring roles they’ve assumed. This is yet another hint to the party that finally confirms their intentions: they’re going to Magnimar.