Following months spent on the lam after inadvertently killing the Duke of Merenthia, the party finally reunited. Gan and Sid had been holed up in Knott, performing oddjobs for Lana and following up on their own leads in an attempt to plan their next move. Arden and Maz, meanwhile, had stayed behind with the druids of the Roivelle in an effort to help them solve their own issues and center himself.
Upon learning from their contacts that Orenwell had spent time in Westings as a youth, and that his political philosophies leaned towards establishing a benevolent dictatorship, the gang decided that the most expedient thing to do would be to journey to the Free Cities to track down the plate of the golem Safa. The plate was in the possession of a noble lord, the Comte de Sandre.
The party set sail for Westings, befriending the colorful folk on the boat and learning more about the nature of Westings’ black market. Upon landing, the party set out for the Comte’s mansion to speak with the man about possibly purchasing the plate of Safa from him.
Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan. After knocking the Comte’s porter unconscious, Sid quickly quaffed a Potion of Glibness and charmed his way into the Comte’s good graces. Gan and Arden (unwillingly) posed as Sid’s man-servants, as Sid and the Comte discussed matters mundane and supernatural. Sid ultimately convinced the Comte to hang the plate above his manor door so as to frighten away superstitious peasants, where the party easily retrieved it later. As a final step to ensure that the party would escape in the confusion, Sid convinced the local peasants that the Comte was giving away free gold.
However, the magic in the plate was weak, as if it had already been tapped or was being redirected elsewhere. Sid focused on divining the direction in which the plate’s energy was being drained, leading the party deep into the woods…