Thanking them for rescuing him a second time, Duke Bren ir’Gadden revealed who he thought was responsible for the attack against him: Clan Boromar had recently made an offer to increase the stipend that the Captain of the Sharn Redcloaks would receive, so long as certain shipping activities would be “overlooked.” A man of honor, Bren refused the offer, and believes that this was retaliation against him for his refusal. On top of that, there were rumors that there were some magical components smuggled in by Clan Boromar; if they were reagents, they could have possibly been the suppliers for the attack. He then made an offer: find out who plotted against him, and he would give to them one of his personal land holdings: an inn in Upper Dura. His belief was that the party, as a neutral third party, would be able to be more reliable than watch guards who may be on the take.
Before deciding to investigate, the party decides to inspect their possible reward, and found that the inn was in some state of disrepair. From the barkeep, Karhak Elfkicker, they learned that a group of Boromar thugs had trashed the place the same night that Bren refused the bribe. They then met another adventurer, Morgran, a scion of House Vadalis, and his snake, Mr. Slithers. As he seemed interested in adventure, as well as the possibility of free beer/ale/stout/etc, they added him to their ranks, and followed a lead from Karhak; Clan Boromar was centered in the Little Plains district of Sharn. Karhak believed that if they started there, they might be able to track down who in Boromar was responsible.
In the Little Plains district, Grandma Poobody led the group the the House Jorasco enclave in the city, learning from the receptionist (after clonking him on the head) that Saidan Boromar, the patriarch of the clan, was wed into House Jorasco, giving his thugs access to medical services. In addition, he gave directions to an area where Clan Boromar agents frequented. Arriving there, Morgran’s impeccable sense of smell was able to make out the scent of Dreamlilly, an illegal and addictive substance, covered by the scent of a fishmonger’s stand. Morgran immediately approached the dealer, and with the help of Arcus, Grandma, and Mr. Slithers, was able to distract the fishmonger long enough for Vani to steal a box, which happened to contain a box of dreamlilly. Regrouping, Vani then approached the fishmonger, using the Dreamlilly as a bargaining chip to be able to speak with the man in charge. The fishmonger then led them to The Lanky Shark, the current restaurant that was holding Saidan Boromar’s attention.
As patriarch of the Boromars, Saidan became immediately angered at the idea that he had anything to do with the assassination attempt of Bren. He admitted that he would not attend Bren’s funeral, but with the problems with Draask, Saidan made it clear that it was currently in his best interest to have a captain of the Redcloaks that is above reproach; he knows that, though he might go after Boromar shipping operations, he’s more than likely going to investigate the activities of Daask, especially since their violent operations are much more visible to the public. He made it clear that he was very upset with the idea that someone used a shipping irregularity to implicate his organization.
He gave the party information that there may have been a shipment that would have caused issues with the wards and alarms that protect Sharn from the illegal import of magical items, and asked that, should the group be able to secure the payment for the items, he would be willing to give them a 60% cut of that payment. He then gave them a clue that they should snoop around the Precarious Docks to find out who may have handled the shipment when it was taken off the ship. The fishmonger, not in the room, didn’t realize until hours after the adventurers left that they had not traded the dreamlilly back to the patriarch.
Asking around, the party found that the only person who was foolhardy enough to be involved in anything that would piss off the Boromars was Sigor Thul, a Karnn that worked as a taskmaster on the docks. When they finally found Sigor, he was being attacked by a band of thugs. Throwing a majority of them over the sides of the airdocks, they learned where Sigor delivered the magical components, and also describes that the person who took the shipment, which was arranged by members of the Emerald Claw, had some sort of aberrant dragonmark, and was able to cast some sort of lightning bolts at the Emerald Claw agents when they attempted to take the medallion that seemed to be part of the arrangement for the shipment.
Tracking down the shipment, Arcus realized, to his horror, that the magical energies coming from the building implied that there was some sort of “thunder bomb”. From the way it was situated and the fact that one of the support column was going straight through the middle of the building, he deduced that the “thunder bomb” was an attempt to destroy the support column, causing Morgrave University above to crash down into the lower portions of the Menthis Plateau, causing extensive damage and death.
Barging into the house, the adventurers were able to slay the operators and disable the bomb (not before Morgran was knocked unconscious from his attempt of dwarven engineering, aka “I hit it with my axe”). Disabling the machine and retrieving the magical components therein, they signaled Bren that they had just saved a large portion of the city. They also found evidence of who was responsible: Alric Greentree, Bren’s former advisor, had arranged their capture four years ago.
He had hoped that his prolonged exposure to the Prophecy Mark would allow him to manifest a Mark of Detection, but his quest failed, instead forcing him to manifest an aberrant dragonmark. His mind filled with fragments of Prophecy, his ranting letters and notes became focused on one line:
Let the temple of Aureon fall into the plateau below, and revel: for the storm will come, razing the earth and the sky with his power. A sign unlike any other on his chest, he shall be the Herald of a new Age. He will hold the key, and open the path.
In his insanity, Alric decided to interpret this passage of the Draconic Prophecy as a calling to destroy Morgrave University.
Taking an air taxi to get back to Bren, the party was suddenly attacked by a group of goblins and Alric Greentree, who was in a complete mad rage that his plan to fill his prophecy. After a hard-fought battle (DM Note: this was a level +5 encounter for four PCs without a defender, pretty darn impressive.) on the air taxi, the group managed to knock Alric out, and are on their way to hand Alric over to the authorities.