The party returns to Cauln, after losing the trail of the halflings who turned invisible and ran off after their last fight, and the party spend the night in the Silken Boot inn. In the morning, everyone decides to tend to personal business in town; Gormogon goes off to see Master Klanor, the blacksmith he owes debt to; Ashryn goes to see her own master to train in ways to create new poultices; Xander runs off, to where no one knows; and Grog wanders the city. Cutter goes off to Klanor's smithy to buy a buckler shield, but Klanor's prices are outrageous and Cutter can only afford a 7gp steel light shield made by one of the master smith's apprentices.
Gormogon returns to the Silken Boot just before Cutter, who was going to meet back up with Ashryn, but she would be busy for the next few hours creating healing poultices. Gormogon and Cutter then decide to visit the now Mayor Bootlum. The two arrive at the mayor's home but learn that Bootlum is out of town, he's gone back to Alnoth and wont be back for another week. Gormogon wants desperately to get inside Bootlum's office to search for any clues he can find, so he tells the mayor's steward that Bootlum left a package for the dragonborn, and that he'd like to retrieve it. Gormogon gets the steward to lead Gormogon and Cutter to Bootlum's office, where the two search the oom to no avail, Cutter doesn't know what Gormogon is looking for so he just acts like he's looking around. The two then leave, and meet back up with the rest of the party att he Silken Boot.
Xander buys a room at the Silken Boot. Cutter knows something is up, Xander NEVER buys an inn room, ALWAYS preferring to sleep out in the woods (Xander seems to either be a cheapskate, or just an outdoorsy kinda guy. Cutter thinks it's a little bit of both) . As Xander "heads off to bead" (Xander sleeps in trees, not beds), Cutter sneaks up and parks his ears at the door. Nothing. Cutter waits for twenty minutes, then tries the door when the room has gone still, slowly opening the door which is then thrown open by Gormogon. Xander is gone. Cutter runs out of the inn, calling for Ashryn to join him, who doesn't know what's going on so she takes her time finishing up her meal before leaving after Cutter. Cutter finds the alley that Xander would have had to dropped into, but only finds a mass of footprints on the ground and cant follow which ones belong to Xander. The party return to their own beds, Gormogon taking Xander's room for himself.
In the morning, the party question Xander on why he snuck out on them. He says he snuck out to learn some new trick. Pressing him, Xander tells the party he talked to Schmidt, and promised him a fee on any items that Xander fences in Cauln as payment to Schmidt, just so he could learn a few sleight of hand tricks. That would be enough to have Cutter mad at his friend and worried for the party's lives, but Xander goes on to say that he has no intention at all to pay Schmidt his fencer's fees, so Xander openly admits he made a deal with a madman and doesn't intend to ever pay him. Schmidt doesn't like not getting money he's owed, Cutter knows this first hand and warns his party "Schmidt has killed men for less, he threatened to kill me over only 75gp, and he's broken an eight year old's legs over only 10gp". Xander says he's got more things to do, so he splits from the party once more for the day.
Gormogon splits the tension by proclaiming his interest in visiting the tower at the center of the city. The party go, and when the enter they are welcomed by a woman named Sharna. Gormogon asks for a tour, to which Sharna agrees to lead, but only so much as a boring museum tour through old uninteresting antiques. Gormogon fumbles with trying to ask about anything mysterious, and Grog thankfully jumps in and asks the right questions, apparently he's well known here.
Sharna leaves the room, but not through any door as the party had entered. She follows the wall of the tower around the room and disappears, much like Gormogon did back in the tower of glass. As the group round the room, they exit on the same floor of the tower, but in a completely new space. The room is full of rings, cloaks, armor and weapons, all manner of "interesting antiquities", as Grog puts it. Sharna asks the party how they know about this sort of thing, and how they're still alive after learning about it. Gormogon still can't find find the right words to say, most of the party really can't, they've seem to have been backed into a corner. Cutter tells Sharna that she seemingly trusts Grog, who is trusted and trusts Estis, that alone should answer her question. Cutter tells her that the party is at the beginning of a war with the Magisterium, and they they can use any information Sharna has on them. Sharna asks the party if they're willing to risk their lives for this information. Ashryn puts it plainly, there's not much more risk our lives can be put to. Sharna gives everyone a gift.
Gormogon gets a battlestandard, and Cutter and Ashryn each get a metal gauntlet. Cutter's gauntlet can create a shield of force, and extend out to cover himslef and a few feet to one side to act as cover, as well as create an explosion of energy. Cutter at least makes sure to give Xander the news, and tells him to visit the tower when the party next see him. The party are then told by Sharna that they should return to Estis.
The party leave for the white pawn entrance they left when they fled to Cauln. As they arrive at the area, they find three halflings waiting for them, the leader of the three is actually the MC from the party's Rite of Choosing. Cutter knew they had something to do with the Magisterium.
The two parties fight, the halflings creating an invisible wall which Gormogon and Cutter crash into on horseback as they charge. Grog leaps off of Gormogon, now on the ground and standing, and flies over the wall and lands amongst the halflings. Then, the halflings summon creatures, what we would call demons, but the party only knows them as monsters "in the truest sense of the word". Xander and Cutter circle the halflings, trying to find an opening in the wall by keeping a hand on it as they run along it. As the halflings disappear from sight and the wall fades, Xander lets it known to the party, which gets him the ire of the monsters, which gang up on him two-to-one. Cutter helps out Xander, while the rest of the party deal with a third monster and two dark crystaline beings. Some good hits are made from both sides, but the party prevails.
At the end of the fight, the party ready to head back into the Ways, and return to Estis.