Xanth does not follow the group to what he calls the city of men and tells them that he will meet them at the logging camp and stay until the next full moon, in three days.
They arrive late in the evening and find that there is a long queue of wagons outside the gatehouse. Maree ignores the queue and directs Dain to move ahead.
They are stopped by guards who turn them away but Maree shows her signet ring.
After so altercation, they are finally let through after paying the toll of 25gp. The inside of the city is bustling with a festive spirit. Market stalls line the streets as the populace prepares for the Feast of Love the next day. Bree spots a young halfling, Quinn, and hires him as a guide. After some confusion, they head to Maree’s home estate in Bluelake District.
Maree’s family wealth is apparent. They pull up into a long driveway and are attended to by muscular male servants, all no shorter than six feet and dressed in nothing more than a bowtie, cuffs and short shorts. They respond to the name Fabio. Everyone including Quinn are conveyed to their rooms for rest and room service. Maree goes to see her mama, Lady Angelica, after she is refreshed. She learns that Halia Thornton is no longer a problem and that the head priest has been replaced. She off-handed mentions that her blue friend has the Lathander weapon, Lightbringer, that she has been looking for (at this, Lady Angelica looks meaningfully at the attending Fabio). She also tells her mother about what had happened while she was away.
Rae steps out of the room and a Fabio immediately appears. She feels his muscles. Bree gets her orcish Fabio to bring her a map with the major religious buildings marked out. Redspear is advised by his elvish Fabio that the House of Knowledge usually requires a contribution to their library in return for access to their library. Kavier refreshes himself and enjoys his Earl Grey tea. Six Fabios enter Oohye’s room to retrieve his weapons under Lady Angelica’s orders; it is later returned sans the Lightbringer. Annoyed that his mace was taken away, he asks the tiefling Fabio to ask Lady Angelica to recompense for the weapon.
The next morning, the attending Fabios present Lady Angelica’s invitation to the evening’s masked ball and ask for their costume preferences to which they replied as follows:
- Bree: Hedgehog
- Rae: White Dragon
- Kavier: Multi-coloured Dragon
- Redspear: Owlbear
- Oohye: Wolf
They meet again at the breakfast table where Quinn was already stuffing his face full of sausages. Fabio advises Maree that Lady Angelica expects her back by 5pm. They decide to head out to the House of Knowledge (despite Fabio informing that nothing is open that day) in Maree’s carriage. On the way across and along the river, they spot various festive stalls of interest. Maree gets six corndogs, Rae & Kavier buy a pound each of candy (mixed bag and Earl Grey candy respectively), and Oohye a rapier with an intricately crafted basket hilt.
On arrival, the Oghmaian acolytes standing guard only repeats that the House is closed for the feastday, until Rae threatens violence on the dimwitted acolyte. The other acolyte rushes away and comes back with the Deacon. He demands to know what is going on and Redspear manages to persuade him of their great need to learn more about dragons in order to defend Phandalin. He allows Redspear and Bree to enter the House of Knowledge and brings them to his office. The small office is filled to the brim with books.
Deacon Spivey Liethennson relates some of his knowledge about white dragons. He also informs Bree that reviving the dead is more up their magic department’s alley and he would need to consult with them on both information and services available. He grants Redspear a six-month library pass after he presents Eldon’s treatise on goblins. After Bree offers the House a consultation with a night hag, he defers the decision to his superiors and asks her to return two days hence.
Quinn tells Oohye that the mercenaries who patrol Neverwinter’s streets usually hang out at the Moonstone Mask. They find that the feast hall is on an earthmote tethered by great chains to the island below. They enter the place through a portal. The feasthall is run by scantily-clad young women and they are led to a booth seat. Maree palms 25gp for a male & female performer to dance on their table. The place is packed with rowdy groups and snogging couples. In the centre, risque dancing is followed by a bard taking feastday song dedications. Oohye asks the waitress Marnee if any high-ranking guards are present. She tells him that General Sabine isn’t around and agrees to pass on a message for them. Redspear & Oohye spot a solitary customer who heads straight for the bar and chat him up. The man, Kael, is a guard who has just come back from patrolling in the city. They share the troubles in Phandalin and learn that they can seek an audience with Lord Neverember at the Halls of Justice. Kael lets them know that he usually hangs around the bar and has rooms upstairs. The group depart and return to House Marielle estates to prepare for the masked ball.