When last we left our motley crew of misfits, they had just been outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned by Sabato, a very rich and powerful man in the city, when he revealed that he knew Lily’s true identity. The party briefly argues with him that while the wanted poster says “kidnapped,” clearly Lily is here of her own volition. Sabato doesn’t care, and it’s quickly established that he’s more interested in having the party carry out deeds or tasks for him in exchange for not revealing Lily to her parents and claiming the reward. He specifically and briefly mentions that there’s a person he might have them find. “But enough business talk, we can discuss the method of repayment later,” he says, ushering the group to his box in the arena so they can watch the fight.
There are a few opening acts for the fight, and Chief bets on a gladiator. Ouss bets that the other gladiator will win. Chief’s gladiator ends up winning and Ouss begrudgingly gives him his payment. A bard performs and does terribly, much to the chagrin of Dahlia, who claims she could do much better. Ouss reminds her that the intention is NOT to go into the pit, no matter what the purpose. Eventually, the main event occurs. This is the fight between the dinosaurs and Tore Como, who is a hardened criminal who Sabato holds a personal grudge against for stealing a great deal of wealth from him. One smaller dinosaur from the pack appears first, and Tore easily dispatches it. Sabato remarks to Violante that her suggestion of sending out one dinosaur to raise the suspense and then overwhelming the man with the rest of the pack was appreciated, and may have changed the game when it comes to arena strategy. The other dinosaurs from the pack are released, and Tore is having trouble. However, despite taking deep injuries from the pack as well as from the larger dino, he manages to stay alive past the time that V said he would… and then, to everyone’s surprise, he barely manages to take down all the dinosaurs. Sabato is understandably upset as Tore is re-chained and dragged back to the holding area, and he storms out of the box and out of the arena. The group follows him, but he gets in a carriage and rides away. Violante jumps in another carriage and follows him, leaving the rest of the group behind. They debate what to do regarding Sabato, and decide he’ll call for them when he’s ready. Most of the group goes to a nearby tavern, while Chief goes to his day job of working in the Quay.
Violante arrives at Sabato’s house, and after many failed attempts at convincing the butler to admit her, she is finally allowed to enter. She has a back and forth conversation over a game of Lemonjack with Sabato, basically saying the group could be of use to him after also threatening to tell his wife that he’s blackmailing them. The threat doesn’t seem to work.
Eventually, it’s time for Rose to go to evening services. Dahlia and Lily tag along like they did that morning, and the group decides to meet back up in that tavern afterwards. They attend the services, and then Rose is beckoned by Father Warmond, who explains that Rose will need to prove herself before she is fully accepted as a paladin of Anrahd. He tells her that he believes her vision of Anrahd saving her life, but is cautious because there have been others with less hopeful visions. He tells her of a priestess by the name of Persis who had such visions; ones where everything was consumed by flames. She was so distraught by these visions that she was not able to function, and the temple sent her to the Freejus Institute for the Restoration of Equilibrium, a place for restorative healing for those who are plagued by imbalances of the mind. However, they haven’t heard from Persis since, and are getting worried about her. Father Warmond asks Rose to check out the institute and bring back word from Persis. Rose promises she will do this.
The group of three return to the tavern and reconvene with the other party members. Rose asks them all to accompany her on this recon mission to the Institute, but fails to mention that it’s to potentially rescue a priestess (a detail that will be important later). The group travels t othe building, but are rebuffed by the assistant at the front desk. However, they eventually manage to get someone from the building to give them a tour of the facilities. The tour guide specifically steers them away from the basement, which makes the party suspicious. While the guide is distracted, Dahlia changes her appearance to look like the assistant from the front desk and comes around the corner, telling the guide that she’ll handle the rest of the group. Ouss guides that tour guide up the stairs, pointing out the instability of the wood in the building, while the rest of the party sneaks into the basement. Here, they come across two guards who are playing cards in front of a door, and Violante suggests to Dahlia that they play-act that V is a new prisoner being delivered to the doctor (whom they’ve discovered does most of her work in the basement, which is the reason they were barred from entering). They try this facade, but it doesn’t work very well, so V ends up escalating the conflict. The rest of the group runs in and quickly dispatch the two guards, keeping one alive, but while they open the door, a trap is triggered, which knocks the guard unconscious. Rose quickly brings her back to consciousness by laying her hands on her (1hp) and hogties her, leaving her bound outside the door. The group retrieves Ouss without alerting the tour guide, and enter the hallway, traveling further into the basement. Lily turns into a wolf to hone her senses.
The group finds an octagonal room filled with smoke, which upon further investigation holds the skeleton of a fire giant in the middle on a platform. Some sort of energy seems to emit off the skeleton which is being siphoned away somewhere. There are orbs of fire that are too hot to approach in some of the corners. Lily in wolf form scatters the bones to try and disrupt whatever is going on. The group continues into a hallway and enters a room, where there are four guards lying in wait for them. They manage to pick off all these guards and notice that there are three grates in the ground. Ouss hears voices coming from a closed door at the far end of the room. Rose calls into one of the grates for Persis, and a male voice calls back “Well I could be!” Rose finds Persis in another grate, and the party pull both Persis and the man up from the pits. The party takes a few seconds to reconvene and begin to ask questions of these new people, keeping in mind there are more people in another room, as we end the session.