The heroes determine that they should try to track down what has happened to either Lina Oakfriend or Elwynd Tavasqa. Before they can further discuss this a messenger arrives from The Respected Poet carrying a message for Kara. She moves a short distance away to read this while the others try to decide what to have for lunch, then with a shout she begins jogging off, declaring that they they need to leave immediately and something about Rannon’s Hill. The others are left a little confused by this.
Nortrix, who had just almost caught up with everyone was also confused when Kara went running past him for some reason. She didn’t even seem to notice that he was there. When he reaches Zentoun Fortress the others are all glad to see him and ask where he had gotten himself to. He explains that he had wanted to see his uncle about some family business, but he had found out that his uncle had already left for Feneris. A note had been left to let him know that, should he want to take up his family responsibilities, his uncle would be staying in Feneris for some time and could be found there. The others then brought down his mood by explaining what had tampered at Zentoun Fortress the previous night.
It s at this point that Selinda returns to say that she will be chasing up a lead on Lina Oakfriend and asks if they could help her out by searching for Elwynd Tavasqa. She thinks it unlikely that Tavasqa was a traitor since the armoury had been untouched. The heroes agree to help out in his manner and so go to seek out Cleric Symon for his specialised assistance once more.
They find Cleric Symon easily enough and are then able to locate the body of Lott Fireleaf, who had worked as Elwynd Tavasqa’s assistant in the armoury. They reasoned that Lott Fireleaf might very well know about Tavasqa’s movements of the previous night. It turned out that Tavasqa had been fairly secretive and Lott Fireleaf didn’t know much about the gnome outside of his duties within the fortress. However he did recall Tavasqa mentioning that he would be having dinner at The Silver Crest the previous evening. Thanking Cleric Symon, and Lott Fireleaf, for their assistance, the heroes headed off.
At The Silver Crest the speak with the bartender who remembers a gnome of Tavasqa’s appearance visit the inn the previous evening. The name Elwynd Tavasqa means nothing to him, as he knows the gnome by the name of Corwin. He remembers that Corwin spoke at length to a merchant named Allos who is at that time eating meal in the common room.
Allos the Merchant proves to be helpful, if a little expensive. He confirms having met with Corwin the previously evening but does not mentioned of what they spoke. After they have parted way with a few gold, he also mentions that Corwin was headed to a dive called The Grey Hood after leaving The Silver Crest. In passing, Allos mentioned that Corwin had mentioned meeting up with wizards.
At The Grey Hood they speak to a man who is cleaning up the general filth and spreading new sawdust. This man also recognises Tavasqa from their description (Tavasqa’s distinctive moustache was proving very useful), though he knew the gnome as Synath. He knows that Synath was in the tavern the previous evening, but suggests that they should speak to the barkeep as they were on speaking terms. As the barkeep is not currently available, the heroes go in search of wizards.
They ask around and are directed to a strangely shaped house near the banks of the river that seems vaguely familiar. When the wizard in residence, Altous, opens the door they recall that they have had dealings with him before, as he was able to determine the use of some of their mystical items fro them. Altous recalls meeting with Elwynd Tavasqa the previous evening, but does not disclose of what they spoke. He says that Tavasqa was planning on heading to The Silver Crest after they spoke.
Returning to The Grey Hood the heroes find that the barkeep has arrived for his shift. He says that Synath had been in the previous night (as the cleaner had already mentioned); he had sat in the corner and spoken with a procession of people for a couple of hours. This was kind of usual for Synath. When pressed, the barkeep remembered that one of those who spoke with Synath got into an argument with him, it was a filthy street dweller called Sarrack the Gutter Wizard. This was not long before Synath had left the tavern for the evening.
Suspecting that this Sarrack may have had something to do with Tavasqa’s disappearance, the heroes then began asking questions of the locals to determine where they could find him. Sarrack was apparently fairly well known (or at least distinctive). Several people remember seeing the gutter wizard attacking a gnome (with his fists) the previous night, before dragging the hapless gnome away for some purpose. No-one had felt inclined to interfere. By continuing to ask questions and passing around Sarrack’s description they were able to track the beggar across the city to where he lived: the old Lanarell mausoleums.
Within the necropolis, Hoatzin questioned some filthy beggars who gave an “address” for Sarrack: he could be found at the old Alvenwoad Crypt. Being familiar with the Alvenwoad crest, the heroes found it easy to locate the crypt in question. Here they also found Sarrack.
Sarrack was a twitchy looking fellow who wouldn’t look at anyone straight on. He was also filthy and a little raving. They asked him what he knew of Synath and he claimed to be able to help them in exchange for remuneration. Despite them paying him, he then lied to them about where Synath was (as Hoatzin could easily tell if he told the truth or not). In frustration Kysmer began to raise his crossbow and then Sarrack unleashed some of his magic (which was anything but gutter level). With one gesture he felled Kysmer and things looked briefly grim. Luckily Grax was able to stabilise Kysmer and Hoatzin was able to strike down Sarrack before he caused any further damage.
They then decided to investigate the crypt that Sarrack called home and, sure enough, found Tavasqa bound and gagged in the interior darkness. Soon they had freed the gnome and, somewhat reluctantly they had healed Sarrack of his more grievous injuries (and taken back the money they paid him).
On the way back to Zentoun Fortress the heroes found out, from Tavasqa, that he was a “gatherer of information” for Ranger-Commander Jorlas Braveheart and he had been making his rounds the previous evening. Sarrack had taken umbrage at the amount Tavasqa had offered to pay him for information and had decided to take it out of his hide. The heroes then informed Tavasqa of the events that had befallen the fortress in his absence. He was visible taken aback to learn that his world had so swiftly and terribly changed.
Back at Zentoun Fortress the heroes met up with Selinda again. She had chased down a few leads concerning Lina Oakfriend and it now seemed all but certain that Lina Oakfriend had in some way been behind the recent attack. She had probably been behind the rangers being captured all the weeks ago a well. Selinda said that she would be held up here at the fortress for some weeks yet as they tried to get things back in order.
As the heroes made their weary way back to The Respected Poet they were met by Kara who was confused as to why none of them had followed her earlier. They pointed out that they had been in the middle of helping the Imperial Northern Rangers and, also, she hadn’t explained herself. She then explained that she had received a letter from Garl Heatherblossom in Rannon’s Hill. He had written to say that some catastrophe had befallen the town and she insisted that they should make all haste to return home.
Hearing this the heroes agreed and they all determined to leave Lanarell at first light in the morning.