The group puts all their efforts into fixing up and staffing the bar. With the High Summer Festival coming at the end of the week, and the town filling up with people of all social strata, Lily feels that she’s spent too long in the same outfit. Realizing she can get into her family’s home in town now for some of her clothes, she turns into a mouse to do just that. Once inside, however, she is detected by the home’s magical defense system, and pursued by an animated suit of armor, until she drops her wild shape disguise and becomes herself. The armor recognizes her and stops attacking, returning to its post by the fireplace. Its activities, however, alerted her father, who used the magical painting in the great hall to talk to Lily as she is trying to leave. They have a brief conversation in which her father tells her to wait there at the house and someone will come to get her, and bring her back to marry Tristan. She refuses and leaves the house, to return to her new home in The Spirit Garden.
While doing market research for the tavern, Dahlia encounters a white Dragonborn at another bar, and she immediately thinks to hire the brute as a bouncer for The Spirit Garden. Rose finds her way back to the forge of Munya Ostergaard. Munya has been working on the suit of plate mail that Rose plans to buy when she has the money. Rose tries it on and Munya looks wistfully at her and says “Oh, you look so much like her.” Rose asks who and Munya says “My daughter. She’s gone now.” Rose asks how she died, and Munya says she died in a shore raid back home. Rose offers condolences, to which Munya laments, “Yes, someone must have warned the village they were coming..” Rose kind of takes that in and somewhat awkwardly keeps modeling the armor until Munya is satisfied with the fit, then she leaves.
Ouss set out to carve a bunch of figurines for the Hugh Summer Festival and Rose gives him the idea to make some wooden tokens offering a free beer at The Spirit Garden. So Ouss designs, carves, and stams about 50 chits offering a free mug of the Golden Lager. Rose spends the later part of the day going around town handing them out to the crowds. During this time, Chief shows up at the bar with a young-looking elvish woman in tow. “This is Nika. She’s gonna help us run things.” Nicolette is an old friend of Chief’s from the Quays and he views her as a big sister. Her talent for managing a business will be put to use in The Spirit Garden. Violante has a reputation to uphold and doesn’t want to be associated with the bar, and so she invents a new persona. Thus enters Vanna, a tall blonde human woman new on the scene who becomes a rival of Violante’s in the local Lemonjack parlors. Rose also recruits a grumpy old gnome, a former bard named Grub, to be a janitor of sorts. Ouss brings in a tiefling named Lionel to help with the books.
After the group spends a few days getting the Spirit Garden ready, Sabato comes in to check on their progress. He arranges with them for him to have a “private” table (really just a table in a dark corner) that he can claim whenever he needs to talk to an associate. In the conversation, Sabato promised that Como would be the main attraction in the Arena on Festival Day. He had a particular “treat” in mind for him.
Finally, now that the bar is set up and running, we are free to spend the night resting and attend the High Summer Festival in the morning.
Wait! No! Stop! Go back. Still the day before the festival.
Dahlia wants to get information from Tore Como. She figures if he dies soon, she won’t be able to, so she takes Lily, Rose, and Violante to the Arena. The manager, Osvaldo, recognizes them as working for Sabato, and so allow them to speak to Como, warning them that Sabato has all but given up on getting more from him. Dahlia uses strange newfound fey charms to win Como’s trust, and he intimates to her that his fight on Festival night will be a “magic trick they won’t soon forget.” He says he isn’t worried and he’ll be out that night. Como has no memory at all of the heist in which he stole Sabato’s gems, nor of where he hid them, nor even of planning the heist. Unable to get any information that way, but intrigued about his escape, Dahlia further charms him into giving her the name of his fixer, one Flavio Felix, who can be found by talking to the maître d’ at the Seagarden.
The group goes to the Seagarden after freshening up in nice clothes. Violante uses her name to con the Triton maître d’ into giving them a table, while Dahlia tries to speak. Violante shushes her and smugly walks to their table, where Dahlia politely reminds her that it was the maître d’ they were supposed to talk to.
They speak briefly with him about meeting with a MIster Felix and after a short time, a Triton woman joins them at their table. This is Mister Felix. Dahlia, in disguise as a human woman, attempts to convince Felix that she (Dahlia) is a girlfriend of Como, and she knows he plans to escape at the festival. While Dahlia is explaining, they hear a distant chime, and Flavio says “Hold on, I have to take this.” She removes a stone from her pocket and listens to it a moment before responding, “Yes, everything is in place. Proceed with caution.” Felix, while somewhat skeptical, warns them of getting too close to this plot, but also offers to meet them at a new bar, the Spirit Garden, where her business associate has a private table, at 10am the next day. They leave the table, but not before Violante, assisted by Lily’s fake-clumsy attempt to spill wine on Flavio’s outfit, picks the sending stone from Flavio’s pocket.
The next day is the High Summer Festival. Lily wakes up to the sight of a beautifully carved wooden bear in her room. Overcome with joy and gratitude, Lily bursts from her room to go thank Ouss, unwittingly revealing her Aasimar nature, as ethereal angelic wings spring from her back and she flies up to Ouss’s loft in the spire. Also revealing how edgy Ouss is, as waking him up from his half-drunken slumber results in a punch in the face. It’s a mild punch, however, and they both get a pause to briefly consider their life choices up to this moment.
The group is amazed, an Dahlia asks if Lily’s mother was a goddess. Violante signs up for the Lemonjack tournament as VIolante and as Vanna. Sabato arrives at the inn and takes his private table and sees a series of guests over the course of the morning. Dahlia warms up the morning crowd with a lively tune, and eventually sees Flavio enter the Spirit Garden and sit at Sabato’s table. Dahlia leaves the bar and returns in her human disguise, at which point Flavio stands up from the table and walks over to her, stealthily hands her a ceramic tile, and returns to Sabato. Dahlia makes as if to approach the table, but Flavio gives a subtle shake of her head, and Dahlia leaves with the tile. Examining the tile, she finds that its face is painted with a yellow flower like a black-eyed Susan. Baffled, she pockets it for later. When she shows the group, Chief recognizes it as a tile that signifies an address in Magella Quay, where each house has a unique tile.
Eager to start the festival, Lily explores the city, trailed by Dahlia, and heads for the tent in the market square that holds an exotic menagerie. Approaching the gaudy tent, she sees a small brown shape moving away from it and toward an alley, and she pursues it. She finds a tiny beast digging in the trash, and it turns to face her, revealing a baby owl face on a baby bear body. As Dahlia observes, she offers it food, repeating the lure until it uses its claws to climb her dress and nest in her arms. It devours all the food she has and falls asleep. Unaware what this creature is, she brings it back to her room in the Spirit Garden, where she realizes it must be a BABY OWLBEAR!!