After a night’s rest, the party sets about some investigation. They receive no help from Wayne, however, as the real Grayson Dent appears, and informs him there is trouble in Riverslye. Wayne calls on Dengar and Aelle to accompany him to a Moonblade conference to determine a course of action.
In the meantime, companions Skelly, Aponi, Tristana, Adrie and Zhael decide to ask the locals some questions of Mumford, a known friend of Dengar’s. Thanks to the wonderful reputation of Aponi’s Paladin Order (the Knights of the Silver Sword), they are granted the keys to Mumford’s old flat (the man himself having disappeared months ago). The flat is rather spartan, and appears to have been vacated in a hurry. On the table, however, is a chessboard with pieces on it in an endgame position. A pair of papers depicting the notation of said game are next to the board. The chess players in the party quickly determine that the position on the board could not come as a result of the moves on the paper. The moves on thge paper, in fact, reveal a stalemate.
The combined effort of the streetsmart Skelly, accompanied by the trained mind of Zhael determines that the chess grid matches the configuration of the Daudale sewer system. The stalemate square happens to the location of the Inn of the White King, an imposing castle built by famed courtesan Belle du Fayne.
The group immediately heads that direction. Thanks again to the Paladin’s sparkling reputation, they gain entrance to the heavily guarded castle, and are granted a tour by the head butler, Enkidu. As the hours long march continues, they discover a warded art room that features a massive tapestry depicting a great, stitched wheel. The wheel mirrors the shape of their crosses. They find out the tapestry was given by an anonymous donor over a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Tristana decides to do a bit of her own investigation. After convincing Enkidu’s assistant, Gilgamesh, that she is interested in sampling the “wares” of the castles more “risque” sections, he leads her to what can only be described as a hidden harlotry. Using her minor spell abilities, she befriends Gilgamesh, and plies him for information about the castle, its environs and who the anonymous donor may be. Of course, Gilgamesh has no trouble telling his new BFF exactly what she wants to know. Further, when Trista convinces him to visit his own favorite room in the harlotry — the one that features “the Eunuch” — he happily complies. Left alone to investigate the area, Trists begins knocking on doors.
Meanwhile, the group finishes its tour. They are led back downstairs by Enkidu, where it is discovered that Gilgamesh has left his post. When the grinning assistant appears, Enkidu chastises him, then inquires about Trista. Led by the enraged Enkidu, the party (with guards in tow), rumbles to the hidden harlotry, where they shove open one of the doors to find Tristana standing over a half-naked man strapped down to a bed. She evidently is preparing to pour wax from a lit candle on him.
The party is tossed out of the Inn. Gilgamesh is fired. Still charmed, he leaves with the party. Between the tour, the charm on Gilgamesh, and a bit of information obtained from the S&M expert Gray (whom Tristana insists she as “playing along” with to gain information), the group determines that Dennek donated the tapestry, and that the best way to get into the place is to crash the winter ball being held that very night. With that in mind, they set about gathering as much information as possible on the ball and the invitees.