In the immediate aftermath of the Ringing of the Nixor Lux (the tale of which is already becoming the story of legend and song), our various heroes went in their separate directions, to help the city recover, to repair the Lost Quarter, to report to their various superiors what they had discovered inside the statue, and to plan for how best to protect it.
Pooling their resources and knowledge, Domr, Jasper, Kiran and Fazial conspired to create a number of false crowns and deposit them in the Crown Repository. However, when they gathered at the underground tunnel entrance where Patir had let them out before, not only was the door completely missing – nary a seal to be seen – but the group was surrounded by men in black robes in a failed ambush attempt.
While Fazial managed to convince to of the men to wait the fight out on the promise of extra money, the rest of the attackers proved to be fanatics devoted to the Tauron secret – personal assassins for Mateen Kadari called the Brotherhood of the Black Knives. This fanatic devotion did not, however, prove to be helpful against an enraged weather god in an enclosed space. While Jasper quietly dispatched one of the enemy minotaurs after the brute beheaded his own companion for desertion, Domr loudly dispatched the two dwarven enemies with a blast of electric fire, instantly frying them and rendering them into ash.
From this encounter, Kiran managed to find a new devotee, a human Brother of the Black Knives named Mishtal, who had heard her name from his own friend Kazan, the man she had healed at the Nixor Lux almost a week ago.
Now thoroughly annoyed, the group headed above ground to get the decoy crowns into the statue, but on the surface they found a cadre of city guards waiting for them at its base – including their leader, Dromos Kagano, who had been among the Thrice Faithful inside the Cathedral of the Three when Domr rang the bell. As Jasper snuck the crowns into the chamber (which involved stealing an Opening Stone from the sleeping Patir), Fazial, Domr and Kiran spoke with Dromos about the current affairs in Arafel, and he led them to a private room inside the Cathedral.
There, Dromos revealed that he wanted the group to dispatch Mateen Kadari once and for all, while they told him about the assassin’s branch of the Tauron Unification Church. Dromos explained that he had tried every political, economic and violent trick he knew, but that Mateen had been evading him for years.
Kiran promised Dromos that she could get Mateen in trouble in an actual court, because she could use Mishtal as a witness. However, she wasn’t quite sure whether to use the Dragonkin or Dwarven legal system.
While Domr set his cultists to look for Mateen, Fazial asked Dromos about rebuilding the Lost Quarter, and Dromos explained that with local Dwarven politics standing as they did, Fazial would need to find and convince Marina Tragalos, the second most powerful dwarf in the city, that it was in her best interests to assist with this plan.
The group then decided to retire to the Hole in the Wall to mull over their situation and plan for the immediate future – including what to do about Mateen’s amateur assassins. Real assassins attacked them, then, right in the restaurant as they ate, showering the group with illusory bugs and throwing poisoned daggers at them from the shadows.
In the ensuing fight, Fazial and Kiran tried alternately to hide from their attackers and to confuse them, while Jasper rendered two of them into a catatonic state, and a third chased Domr into the kitchen.
As Maggie the Waitress chased out all of the offending patrons and cleared the room, Domr froze the kitchen in a small wintry storm, but when the last assailant attacked Maggie (or rather, defended himself roughly while she hit him with a frying pan), Domr released another blast of elemental power, freezing the gnome solid, before shattering him.
Interrogating the dreams of the would-be killers made it clear that these assailants were not sent by Mateen this time, but by Abbas Shivin, the notorious Gnome terrorist and leader of the Termites, a group of rogue gnome assassins who no longer play by the conventions of the other families, and that he was apparently working on behalf of the Dragonkin Prince.
As Kiran, Jasper and Fazial used their influences and resources to draw the infamous killer out into a meeting, Domr discovered that Kadari was hiding in an underwater grotto in the northern Underborrough, in a place that had been submerged by the slow rising of the water level beneath the city. However, before that could be dealt with, the group managed to finangle a meeting with Abbas.
As the four of them established a base of operations in an abandoned warehouse in the southern Underborrough – Domr gathering his brooding thoughts on the roof, and Kiran arranging for a meeting below – assassins gathered in the streets and alleys outside. As it turned out, however, they were not only enemies. Fazial’s friends with quiet knives had come to his aid (and also to take down the Termites, who were ruining the business).
At the meeting, Kiran managed to find out that she was the target of the Dragonkin assassination attempt, but when she tried to negotiate with Shivin, he revealed that he was not interested in peace, and in fact wanted all of the other powers to be at each others’ throats and killing one another. Thus, he had attackers poised to kill dozens of key players throughout the city, loudly on behalf of other groups who might plausibly have a reason to see it done. The goal, for Abbas, was total war.
With this in mind, Kiran declared the fight begun, and her elven bodyguards (sent by Fazial’s halfling employers) covered the windows while she and Jasper took out the leader and Fazial’s friends and Domr between them destroyed the enemies outside – while also summoning forth an army of watery ghouls and flooding the area with brackish water.
After the battle, though, the party discovered that Abbas had been a dupe, and the real assassin was still at large.
Finally, Domr went to warn the Mountainborn to gird themselves for attack, and Kiran and Fazial went back to her embassy to gather a party of diplomats to confront the Dragonkin Prince. Jasper, however, went early to Mutazzim’s bedchamber, where he discovered not only that the Prince had no knowledge of an assassination attempt, but was quite distressed about it and planned to see Kiran that very night.