Regina was doing poorly. Her health was in decline as a result of the wounds she suffered at the hands of the Uthgardt skinchangers. Mariz's elemental nature protected him from the worst of the symptoms and despite the protests of the Sisters of Selune he stumbled from the temple the next morning.
The mood was as sour as the ale the group drank that morning. Barra had hot-headedly earned the group a payout of 100 gold each, but in doing so had lost them the favor of the Open Lord of Waterdeep, Lord Neverember. His coffers were known to be near endless and adventuring is an expensive profession. There had to be a way to work themselves back into his good graces...
So it was settled over breakfast. Seldra would be delivered to Helm's Hold despite the ongoing seige. Barra, with a nod, slinked into the shadows to find a way in to the fortress other than the beseiged main gate. Furakas volunteered himself to stay near the sick woman and do what he could to help her recover. Dunn, having had enough of the Selunites foolishness, chose to follow Alek and Mariz on a trip to Protector's enclave to pick up some reagents as well as what info they could about Helm's Hold.
While Alek shopped for reagents to aid in Regina's fight against lycanthropy, Mariz sought out Nagda. The Half-Orc had shown fondness to him before and was once a member in good standing of one of the Uthgardt tribes. Before he could make contact with her though a commotion in the market changed what would be the days course of events.
First there was a scream, a blood-curdling thing that ended in a wet gurgle, and a hurried throng of onlookers forming near the edge of the market. When the trio arrived they saw the source of the disturbance. A Mintarn mercenary had been stabbed in the back by another man. The murderer had then turned his own knife on himself and violently opened an ear to ear gash in this throat. Both bodies still twitched as the group took control of the situation. The shoppers in the market were stunned enough to listen to anyone with a look of authority and backed away from the bodies. As Dunn inspected the bodies he saw the briefest glimpse, a faint blue fire laced tentacle fading into nothingness before his eyes. It seemed to squirm once in the pooling blood before vanishing.
A Mintarn patrol arrived as quickly as they could and cordoned the area. Their ranking member, a woman named Telliann, took the party aside to have a word with them. From her demeanor and frank nature the heroes could only surmise that word of their fall from favor had not yet made its way to her ears. Telliann thanked them for their quick reaction in controlling the situation before a panic or worse had spread.
Telliann was hesitant about something and the group was able to ease her mind and help her share what bothered her. Apparently, there were a half dozen random murders in the last 18 hours or so in Neverwinter, seemingly at random, but it had spooked the Mintarns none-the-less. Most chalked it up to the aftermath of the False Heir debacle and that groups that had for one point been unified were now breaking apart - violently. Telliann thought it more than that and asked the heroes to do what they do if they could, find the secret of the murders and put an end to them. She quickly rattled off a list of the locations of the crimes and gave the party a location to meet her if they turned up any evidence. She then excused herself back to her team and took control of the investigation of the market attack.
The party saw this as the perfect opportunity to prove their usefulness to Lord Neverember as well and hopefully regain his favor. It was at least a better option than groveling at his feet...
The Mintarn mercenary cut down in Protector's Enclave was named Turom Cadel. The only clues tying him to some larger plot were the strange visions seen by Dunn in the victims blood.
The group started their investigation with the most recent murders and worked their ways back chronologically. Their investigation took them to the Blacklake District where a woman by the name of Sabel Estwick was found brutally murdered in an alleyway. She had multiple stab-wounds and her throat was slit. Her body was found by a merchant on his way to open his shop that morning. In her pockets were numerous trinkets and even a few coins. Her body was laid out on its back with her arms spread wide from her chest. It did not seem to the group to be the natural position of death.
The next victim was Danas Winterpole, a halfling shopowner whose body was found by an employee in her shop. All doors and windows were locked. Danas was bludgeoned to death with her own walking stick and then the same stick was forced through her chest, impaling her. The act of impaling was obviously done after she was dead due to clues at the scene. Her employees were cleared of wrong doing as all had alibis and all were on good terms with Danas.
Late last evening another Mintarn mercenary had fallen victim to a brutal murder. Credar Longstaff was found by the rest of his patrol after they had lost site of him for a few moments. His body had shown signs of numerous wounds from varied weapons. Locals near the murders complained of violent nightmares the same evening he was murdered, many of the locals had not even known the man was dead when they made these complaints. Credar's body was also found in the same position as Sabel Eastwick.
A thug and extortionist by the name of Riac "the knife" was found face down in a gutter on the edge of Blacklake. He had a cracked skull and a perforated back. Less than a block away a dead homeless drifter clutched Riac's signature dagger in his stomach. Guards paid little attention to the deaths due to the violent nature of the district. Only upon closer inspection was it detected both bodies had been moved.
As the situation was being pondered the group simultaneously fell to their knees in agony. A waling the likes of which they have never heard ripped through their heads and caused their vision to blur. As they attempted to climb to the feet they noticed that the citizens nearby had a distanct look in their eyes. In one voice, despite the number of speakers, the townsfolk bellowed in rage and charged the party in hopes to overwhelm them. Mariz and Alek did their best to incapacitate the attackers without killing, and even Dunn held back for a while, in the end though Dunn cut down one guard brutally adding his soul to empower the Helm of Seven Deaths.
Sensing the malevolent presence was fading Dunn attempted to track it to the source. It seemed to resonate with his spellscar and he managed to feel a strong presence beneath the streets of Blacklake. He and Alek sent Mariz to find the others and notify Telliann of their discoveries while they chose to pursue the presence.