Our story starts with rumours of a powerful artifact gone missing, the guards of the city are going crazy searching for it. Executions, whippings, etc. The shadow court has heard that whatever was stolen was seriously valuable and has assigned all of it's free agents to search for this mysterious object. Everyone hopes to get to the item first, the city has turned into the world's deadliest scavenger hunt.
Recently families from the outer ring have been bringing sick people (Mostly children) to Alder knowing of his connection to the divine. The only thing that they have in common is that they all work in the Starlit Citidel. However they all have their memories altered after leaving from the building and have no idea of the cause. Without a cure the people with this unknown disease eventually die. Strangely this secret practice reveals a lead, one sick child says that yesterday her friend Riko was on death's door and miraculously recovered. Riko said that she had found something amazing and had asked her to meet her in one of the abandoned houses in the Shades. Riko never showed up and the guards soon after began their frantic search. Kaylie begs the Paladin to find her friend
Alder not knowing who the Shades particularly well makes his way to the people he knows can help him in this department. Arriving at the Dirty Vixen he waits for Xio and Yaya to wake up. When they do wake up, it takes some convincing to get the two women to agree to come along on this mission. At the mention of a mysterious object being in play Xio finally agrees to help Alder look.
Meanwhile, a Firbolg disguised as an aging human meanders through the streets of Sindrillia following his flower that he brought from his home. A darkness has started to spread through his home, the flower not only directs him towards the source of this darkness but it also wilts the more his home dies. It has lead him to this city, but unfortunately the customs of this city are foreign to Orn and he is unsure of how to proceed at this point. At one point while exploring he even comes across a building storing dead bodies, this is strange… but who is he to judge this strange culture?
Alder, Xiomara, and Yaya, begin their search of the shades following the river looking for abandoned houses. They decide that if they should run into trouble that they are simply a group out to do their shopping. Not long into their search they run into three figures standing 'menacingly' in their path.
"What are people such as yourself doing walking so boldly down these streets. Do you not realise that it's dangerous this far in the shades?"
In response Yaya laughs in the elf's face. A little bit perturbed the strangers banter back and forth with the party until the fact that they are slavers/and or bounty hunters comes into the conversation. Their symbol, a pair of manacles crossed with a sword, is tossed towards the rogue. This symbol means that they technically have the power to enslave anyone not already in chains, and they mean to do just that. A confrontation is inevitable at this point.
Orn stops at a corner after overhearing some angry tones around the building. He peers around to see three cloaked figures threatening a party of what appear to be shoppers. Still hidden as an old man he threatens the slavers and tells the others to stand back. He ineffectually swings his walking stick which upon closer inspection appears to be carved into something sturdy enough to function as a quarterstaff. Alder seizes the distraction to cleave through the elf leading the charge. As the elf slumps to the ground Alder growls at the final two enemies, they are definitely shaken but not as much as Alder thinks. Xio swings her sword at the dwarf giving him a nasty gash. Before he has time to respond she follows with a poke with her offhand. Unfortunately for the dwarf, the poke hit areas important for life. He too falls limp beside the elf. The last enemy standing at this point is a tiefling. Xio threatens him by gesturing to Yaya who cracks her knuckles menacingly. Seeing his dead companions and the overwhelming odds the tiefling takes off past the party. Orn tries to swing at him but misses and smacks Alder in the face, interrupting his own attempt to trip the fleeing tiefling. Yaya chases after the quarry but doesn't gain enough ground to catch him at this point. Orn follows and starts to pull out a spell before his concern for his new allies makes him choose a different tactic. He continues to chase followed closely behind by Alder. Alder manages to throw a handaxe during the chase but it thuds uselessly into someone's wall. Yaya and Orn both swing at their target but only the quarterstaff connects, damaging his knee with a solid rap. Xio decides to start looting through the corpses rather than joining in the chase. The bodies, however, have been quite damaged and she only manages to pull up guts. Knowing that a spell might be enough to stop their enemy Alder takes his time to collect his handaxe and walk back towards Xio. Yaya stays back more impatiently. Orn throws a knife formed from ice towards the tiefling's already injured knee. It connects but despite the injury he stays nimble enough to avoid most of the damage. With a loud magic infused roar Yaya yells for their assailant to STOP! Surprisingly he does, turning with his hands raised.
Yaya goes to start dragging the slaver back towards her allies when the old man, now disguiseless lifts the bandit onto his shoulders easily. After a few confusing instructions from Orn's point of view their prisoner is falsely eaten through a height illusion, shaken upside down for valuables, and dropped onto the partially looted bodies of his friends. A joke is cracked about amputating their captives leg which is laughed at nervously by all. After interrogating their prisoner and learning that he is not responsible for their missing girl Xio slits his throat ending his life. Orn suggests dumping the bodies in the river, the party agrees.
Before continuing on their systematic search of the riverside houses, Orn mentions the house of bodies that he found earlier. Everyone decides that that is their next best lead. Again, the customs of Sindrillia confuse Orn and the door to the building ends up off of its hinges to many facepalms. True to his word, the building is full of bodies but not in the way anyone expected.
The building Orn directed the party too certainly fits the abandoned description. It is in even worse condition then any of the other buildings that were passed on the way here. The roof is partially collapsed in and the entire building leans to one side precariously.
The inside of the building hosts a scene that would be disturbing to some of the toughest minds. Several bodies lay across the floor ripped to pieces. Limbs are separated from their hosts, and blood guts and sinew decorate the floor and walls like some disturbed child's finger painting. Any furniture that may have been in this building had been smashed to pieces.
Investigating the room, puddles of water are found on the floor and yet it had not rained recently. A trap door is also discovered and instructions are carefully worded so that Orn can gently remove the furniture smashed on top of it. (Rather than loudly smashing it) The party descends after feeling confident there are no traps and the door is removed happily by Orn. He pleads innocent and says he didn't mean to pull more doors off of their hinges. Alder fixes the front door before descending.
A similar puddle is found in the cellar leaking from underneath one of the wooden walls. Despite there being no obvious door, and despite the lack of darkvision, Orn almost instinctively opens the secret door leading farther into the depths. The party follows Alder for a moment before he is pulled behind a stealthier Xio. After a few moments another body is found, and also the source of the puddle. The two are one and the same, Orn deduces that he must have been frozen to death and is now melting. Just like above Alder notices that this elf is dressed in the garb of the Silver Shield, the guard of Sindrillia. The continue on with one hiccup, a falling net trap dodged by Xio. She remains more perceptive going forward.
The party stops as voices are heard in the distance. Creeping forward a door blocks the way forward. Xio loudly opens the door announcing her presence after listening in for a moment.
A young halfling man with sandy brown hair stands visibly armoured and nervous beside an older dwarf with a fiery red beard and a nose that has been broken in too many times. Opposite them is a young girl with blonde hair and the source of destruction, a silver dragon wyrmling.