Oliver notices a small squirrel skittering about on the rooftops while heading back to the Nihilistic Beggar but brushes it off, while Catherine and Xanthus write a story about a cool bird man that escalates alright and turns out pretty solid. Shortly afterwards, everyone turns in for the night.
Keidrann is visited in the night by a beautiful thief (possibly a Succubus) and has his money, eventually, stolen. He allows her to walk off with his money in exchange for no more trouble, however he immediately regrets this decision. Keidrann wakes up Catherine, banging wildly on her door until she opens it. Catherine questioningly follows after the thief with Keidrann but quickly becomes sidetracked with a trail of blood leading around the inn. Being the altruistic type she is, Catherine suggests they instead turn their attention to this possibly unwarranted display.
They follow all the way to the obvious source, finding an albino bird woman hauling an animal carcass to gods know where. They approach her and she introduces herself as Eupraxia the Maggot. She explains she is transporting the corpse to her ‘clients’ to town. She has clearly has no idea where this supposed thief has gotten to, but she offers her assistance regardless. Unfortunately, no one has any real clue where to start looking for this woman and they quietly give up. Returning the favor, Catherine offers her help to Eupraxia, Praxi “for economy of time”, though at the moment Praxi has no need of help. She does, however, recognize the two from the Albemarle town competition and eagerly offers her services in the future. Slightly dejected, they head back to the Nihilistic Beggar wondering where the money got off to.
Concurrently, Vaunders is sauntering over to a nondescript part of town tossing a large sack of coins cockily in the air. She arrives at an unassuming little house and walks in. She greets a sort of receptionist and quickly realizes she has forgotten the password. She wracks her brain for a long while and stammers out the bets she has ‘Serah Osha’. “Eh, close enough.” The receptionist scoffs and leads Vaunders to a sort of hidden door down into a glorious, gold-plated casino. Droves of folk litter the playing floor, money and chips loped on tables with cards and roulette loudly clattering and idle chat overwhelming her ears. Excitedly, Vaunders buys her way into a table for 500 gp but quickly realizes some of the other players are hustling up a storm. After reading their minds, she deduces two are cheating; One counting cards and one quietly slipping himself a better hand from his stash. She reports the latter man, and while the man is dragged away by the bouncer she approaches the dealer.
She asks about a certain information broker: Vendrick Sloam. Apparently this Vendrick is a smooth operating gnome who is certainly not nocturnal and thus not currently working. Vaunders thinks about getting the dealers name but thinks better of it but makes sure he remembers hers. She climbs the stairs, to the information broker section, and tries to find some answers. Some of her questions include preventative measures against Contract Devils and general info on the player party. The only thing she learns is that Quentin still has possession of their souls, despite them successfully completing his task.
Before she can whittle down the price of the party’s files, the info broker is violently killed by an invisible force while Vaunders is chided for having a big mouth. Apparently telling anyone of the progenitors of the world isn’t allowed by this voice, who identifies himself as the great great… grandson of the creator of the progenitors. He has her give as much information as she has on the subject but seems unsatisfied. Believing she’s out of options and having been called a coward, perhaps unfairly, she becomes angry and resigned to her apparent death. She is ‘allowed’ to live as long as she aids the party in cleansing the progenitors. He gives her a card and says it will give the party a reason to keep her around.
Vaunders trudges back to the inn, remembers the door she unnecessarily chopped down, pays the bar keep in interest, and flops down on a bed to sleep. Several hours later everyone awakes and meet up, exhausted, for breakfast. Perhaps as a result of this, they prank the bartender into thinking they’re drinking something utterly disgusting when in fact it tastes delicious. Vaunders awakes remembering she has to give something important to Catherine and does just that. The card has but a name on it: Marie Somthngorothr. Catherine is skeptical what Vaunders knows about this person, and has her recount what happened in the night. Catherine paces, focusing hard on a single question: What could Marie have to do with the progenitors?
Catherine’s vision sparks and she has flashes of faces, and names to the faces. She sees a flying castle, strong beast being transported there, powerful spirits residing there, five statues falling to the earth, an evil wizard responsible for it all, and four infant animals used as mediums for the statues.The names were Erevel Somthngorothr, Taldun Rellz, and Jarik Albion while the four infant animals were a dragon, a phoenix, a tiger, and an octopus. Catherine tries her absolute best to explain what she envisioned but everyone mistakes her as rambling and borderline crazy.
They ignore her and turn their attention to Keidrann’s apparent visit in the night. Vaunders explains that Keidrann seems to half-believe what he saw but that there’s something untrue about the experience, which she suggests might be related to illusionary magic. Catherine suspects Vaunders of confusing the issue but Vaunders quickly changed the topic to the fact of the group seemingly having been shadowed by someone. How else could the information broker have so much costly information on the party? This intrigues Xanthus and he asks if they could visit the information broker. They also discuss the matter of the hunter Catherine and Keidrann met last night. With the exception of Oliver, who has been quite distant since Vaunders showed up, the group agrees to asking Eupraxia to tag along for a period of time to make up for their loss of 153.