Alarmed and stunned at the sound of a massive explosion coming from the Fasteway Alley right outside the Spirit Garden, the team springs into action and goes running outside to investigate the sound. They see the face ofa building across the alleyway blown off, dad bodies littering the alleyway, and people running around.. both from the sound and toward it, depending generally on where they were when it happened. Violante takes stock of the casualties and finds about a dozen dead bodies. Lily and Rose run to the aid of the injured, focusing on the critically hurt first, healing and bandaging those in need. Ouss makes a circuit of the sky overhead and sees nothing that would indicate what happened. Dahlia easily determines that the explosion was caused by a fireball, as if the spell had been cast. Chief heads to the bodies in the center of the blast, turns one over and finds that it’s Pasquale, the man they found in the warehouse while they were searching for Enzano. He recovers Pasquale’s belongings, a pouch containing some gems.
Violante questions a couple witnesses. One person saw someone, a hooded figure covered in ash, take something from the body of Pasquale and leave the alley going toward the market. A little boy found a necklace of fireballs in a rain barrel he as hiding behind. Lily questions a bystander, a noble woman who claims she saw a burning skeleton running along the rooftop right before the blast. As the party does a brief bit of investigating, police (civil constabularies, not the Cartellabro) close off the alleyway and investigate the scene for about an hour. One guardsman comes to Lily and asks if she had anything to do with the blast. Rather than just say no, she asks why she would throw a fireball in her own street. So the guard asks her why DID she throw a fireball in her own street? Vexed, she continues to deny having anything to do with it, as Rose and Ouss are questioned by the same constable. Chief and Violante are also questioned, but by a different guard. The conversation goes from the guard asking them questions about the crime, to them inviting him in for a drink, to (cut scene, return back later) the guard lamenting a relationship he never really had a chance in. Lily comes in to speak to Chief and Violante.
A few minutes after the police close off the alley and start investigating, another man is allowed in. He inspects the scene and determines the events of the crime by stepping through it and finding what must have happened. Ouss lightly hovers upwards as the Inspector orders his guards to stop Ouss from leaving. Ouss willingly returns to the ground and pretends not to be able to speak Common, but the Inspector speaks to him in Auran, Ouss’s own language. He introduces himself as Inspector Offydd Ludwig of the Serenzan Civil Constabulary. After answering a few questions, during which the Ludwig indicates that the blast came from high up, and indicates the rooftop it must have come from, Ouss returns to the tavern and to the rest of the team. The inspector soon follows to question the team. He points out that the direction the bodies fell point straight to The Spirit Garden, which indicate the deceased was coming here, and asks how they know him. They reveal to Ludwig that they know Pasquale, and tell him a little bit about the dead man. The party then says “We’ll investigate,” but Ludwig says, “You’re not authorized to do that, and we don’t want you interfering with an active investigation.” So they said “But we can go to the temple and stuff, right?” Ludwig says “I can’t stop you from researching the events from a religious angle.” Lily mentions that she spoke to a noblewoman outside who saw a fiery skeleton on the rooftop, and Violante runs around a pillar and comes out of the other side as a random noblewoman, and then, to Lily’s confusion, elaborates on “her” story about the skeleton. The inspector catches on that Lily has never seen this woman before and is unimpressed with the deception (bad rolls are bad, guys). He tells the party not to leave town while they investigate.
After the inspector leaves, Ouss flies up to a rooftop and finds scorch marks on the tiles of Bloodbath & Beyond, where the noblewoman (the real one) said she’d seen the skeleton. A connection is made to the skeletons the party found in the basement of the sanitarium, but Chief says “But they wuz dumb.” Lily turns into a wolf and tries to track the path of the ash-covered figure that took the item from Pasquale, and they follow a scent trail to the river, wher the person went in and stopped leaving a trail. They ask a few questions of the local riverfolk, but they can’t find any leads to pursue from there.
When they return to Fastway Alley, Sabato has shown up, unaware of what had happened there. They tell him that Pasquale is dead, and Sabato agrees to tell Pasquale’s family, as well as investigating the attack with his own operatives. In a sidebar, Chief tells Lily about his childhood, which makes her feel very compassionate for his lowly birth and childhood.
Rose goes to the temple of Anrahd to get a priest to cast Speak with Dead. As they have two ordained members of the main church of the city, they are allowed access to the bodies. They talk to the corpse of Pasquale, who says he was coming to the Spirit Garden to see Sabato, and that he was carrying the memory stone. He found the stone in the lair of Safiyyah, the succubus who was working with the cult of fire and the Shadowblade Council. The people chasing him were Shadowblades, but he was also being pursued by the Blackscale Assassins as well as Tore Como’s associates.
Then they get the priest to interrogate one of the dead Shadowblades, and they find out how to get to Safiyyah’s lair. The Shadowblade says that they were about to lose Pasquale and then the fireball went off, killing them, and they don’t indicate that they know who threw it.
The group also visits Tore Como in the Arena cells to see if he knew anything, but he was less than willing to help, considering that the last time the party talked to him, his escape plan was foiled. Ouss gave Violante a set of super intricately carved dice, one of which was weighted. She said she appreciated the gesture, but she wouldn’t use them, because she “doesn’t cheat” (giving everyone a flashback to her entering the Lemonjack tournament as two people, but OK), and then he gave Rose a very detailed wooden armor stand, carved with sigils Ouss could see in her temple.
Vowing to raid the succubus’s lair the next day, the team went to bed.