The festival has arrived, with all of its madness and frivolity. Runa, Lina, Ra’s and Shil meet clandestinely up at the Healwud Temple of Ehlonna, and solidify their plans. Runa, and her performance, are to be the primary distraction for guards, townspeople, and Xavhorn alike; Lina will make sure that Xavhorn, his steward, and as many of Xavhorn’s personal guard are away from his mansion as possible; Ra’s and Shil will infiltrate the mansion, and find out what Xavhorn has been hiding.
At the Xavhorn mansion, Lina engages all of her charismatic, sultry wiles in convincing the Steward, and Xavhorn, that there may be fringe benefits to attending the festival. Xavhorn reluctantly leaves his work; the Steward is love-struck.
Meanwhile, Runa sits tensely offstage, tuning her lute and trying to practice. A crowd begins to amass out front, as vendors set up selling mead and ale and meat roasting on spits around the fringes of the Aldeon Ehlenestra. Guards and servants from the Soulaxe manor start to arrive, along with Lina. Lord Xavhorn has gone all out for this performance, hiring local gnomes to do pyrotechnics, dancers, and percussionists… and suddenly, someone runs by and snatches Runa’s lute from her hands.
Outside of Xavhorn’s manor, Ra’s and Shil notice a decrease in guards along the grounds. First, Shil and Ra’s start to climb over the outer wall, dropping in surprise as a sleep rune explodes in their faces. Luckily immune to its effects, they continue, jumping to the roof of the warehouse. Thunk! The bolt of Shil’s custom crossbow with rope attached wedges into the wall of the manor proper, allowing the two to aerially traverse the gap between the warehouse and the main building. Slipping through the window and then cutting and removing the rope from the bolt to hide their traces, they enter Xavhorn’s manor.
Ra’s, having been at the manor before, leads the pair quietly up the stairs to Xavhorn’s private study. Reeking of luxury, the room is woodpaneled with mahogany desk and bookcases, brightly colored tufted rug from Tellzmala and fine leather furnishings. Quickly casing the office, the pair identifies the safe (emptied in opportunistic fashion by Shil), and a book which seems to hold account information. Shil breaks into the desk, finding what appears to be the real ledger, and pockets it in his satchel. Ra’s opens the book on the desk and…Boom. An explosion rocks the room, nearly burning Ra’s face off and splattering blood and embers of the book across the wall.