After entering the inn, our heroes come across Hanan who is as chipper as ever. She greets everyone, including Yenamros. She then hands everyone a sack of 100 gold. She says she has another present, and gives everyone save Lady Alma a scroll of parchment with a blue ribbon and a wax seal. It is an invitation to the home of the Nameless Elf, leader of the assassin’s guild. It’s for the festival to Sabanti and the lunar eclipse is to occur that night. The party will be proceeded over by the Head Priestess Leah.
The invitation states that weapons are forbidden. As are backbacks, sacks, coats, cloaks, and anything with excessive pockets.
After Calamira discreetly casts Detect Evil and determines that there is only faint traces of evil in the Inn, and none when traveling with Hanan away from the Inn. The party goes out shopping, and Digitalis and Calamira help convince a pushy sales lady at a book store to ease up on the price of a dusty volume supposedly from Salbik called “the legend of the tower.” Of course, it was after Digitalis succeeded in reading the odd text (the strange abilities of “winky priests”) that he insisted they needed to purchase it.
The party then went to the temple of Sabanti to the east of town. Throngs of merry worshipers were making their way as well. Many were carrying baskets containing offerings of food or flowers. The temple itself contained no true ceiling. The floors were made of mosaics of dark hues and murals along the walls of the night sky with stars. It clearly has been repainted many times. They talk to a priestess who tells them that most will be attending service at the temple during the lunar eclipse but that a few individuals get to celebrate with the Head Priestess at Renald’s party (a name commonly used for the Nameless Elf).
The group then heads to Renald’s estate (after dropping off their belongings at the inn with Lady Alma). The first row of security consists of silent figures in plain black attire that check each invitation. They pat down Digitalis (who changed into clean Lunatan clergy robes that he “acquired” from the Bendalla Caverns). They then let him pass, and after harassing Chiku’s tiger and seeing the tiger react calmly they let her pass as well.
At the second check line are silent figures dressed in plain black that peal open the invitation (the parchment was too thin to know that it was two pieces) and a mark is in each one. Once inside, the party notices how sparsely decorated everything is. Some people are milling about in fine clothing and others in everyday clothes. After sometime, the party notices that the floors are made out of inlaid pieces of petrified wood in intricate patterns. It’s difficult to steal floors.
The party then makes their way to the central courtyard that is open to the night sky. To the far side are two thrones made of white interlaced vines. On the larger one sits a human woman with jet black hair, green eyes, midnight clergy robes, and a silver necklace with the symbol of Sabanti. She is the Head Priestess Leah, and she greets Hanan as the party approaches. At her feet are bowls of offerings, similar as at the Sabanti temple. She greets everyone. Later, Hanan drags Renald about and introduces him to everyone. Chiku is the most suspicious because “he kills people.” Renald offers her a yellow stone. She lets it drop, eventually takes it and gives it to Digitalis.
As the sun begins to drop below the horizon, the party truly begins. Harp music gives way to flutes which in time is replaced by drumming. When the lunar eclipse begins, everyone falls quiet and the Head Priestess Leah gives a moving sermon of the freedom that Sabanti grants everyone. She turns upward, and everyone turns to face her gaze as the moon is eclipsed by a red ring and the bonfires at the edges of the courtyard go out. When the moon starts to emerge again, the fires are lit.
A scream pierces through the night air. It was Leah who screamed as she stands above Renald’s motionless body lying on the ground in a pool of blood. She calls to the goddess to bring back her great follower, but nothing happens. She tries the ritual again calling out to Sabanti on her most holy of nights… but Renald does not stir.
Leah then calls for his body to be burned and the killers found.