Having defeated the bandits on the road to Northamlet, the party crosses a bridge into the hamlet. They are greeted at the bridge by Ozruk, a mage and one of the leaders of the Northamlet community.
The party arranges lodgings at the Mist in the Morning inn. Elgar successfully negotiates with Ozruk to provide free board while the party investigates at the Countess's behest. Ozruk is sceptical at first, but is convinced by Lilly presenting Jon's letter from the Abbott, after fishing it out of her bag of books. Meanwhile, Jon fails to achieve the same ends by using a charm spell on the innkeeper.
Later that day, Lilly talks with the traders passing through the inn to learn more about the local bandit problem. Another group has been recently active Drakeward from the hamlet; and while the trader reports his group being outnumbered two to one, Lilly suspects he's exaggerating to save face.
Meanwhile, Jon goes to investigate the local church, speaking with Canon Bryar. Bryar is unhelpful toward the outsider cleric at first, until under the influence of Jon's charm spell. With Bryar under the spell's influence, Jon discovers that a local named Edwin is suspected of being a cultist. Jon also arranges a lunch date for the following day.
The following morning, the party steps out into the hamlet for market day. Local farmers hawk produce, trading between themselves and resupplying the traders for their journeys. Several of the passing traders also hold stalls, mainly plying their wares to each other.
Seizing upon the idea that the most well-off trader must be in league with the bandits, Jon calls on Zorica the Fallen for guidance. His guidance spell becomes the grandest of spectacles in the market square – a winged apparition circling through the crowd and coming to a stop above the head of one of the merchants: an alchemical vendor named Lim.
Lim is at first displeased with Jon for driving away his business, but is quickly calmed with a touch of magic from the cleric. Lin divulges his secret for evading the bandits: the use of night vision potions for safe travel under the cover of night. Jon splashes out fifteen coins for a potion*, then spies suspicious activity across the square.
Jon pursues the suspicious figure: first attempting to follow surreptitiously, then later following at a run to tackle the fleeing farmhand. While grappling with the farmhand (and before Dessima's arrival on the scene), Jon again puts his charm spell to work. He briefly exchanges pleasantries with the farmhand before leaving him to go about his business.
Back in Northamlet, Elgar and Lilly watch a performance by some local players. The troupe acts out the tale of Lanareth (a figure of local legend) and her seduction of the handsome blacksmith's son. Consulting her tomes, Lilly discovers that Lanerath's home is rumoured to be close to Northamlet; and that accounts of this legendary figure speak of lovers being taken into the house and never seen again.
Later in the day, Jon keeps his lunch date with Bryar and then goes on a tour of Ozruk's tower. From Ozruk, Jon learns that Lanareth's home was understood to be surrounded by water. Ozruk suspects an abandoned nearby (warehouse? mill?) may be the location of the house.
With Lim out in the square, Dessima attempts to break into his room. Failing to pick the lock, she then recruits Lilly and Elgar for a second attempt. Lilly picks the lock with magic, forcing air into the lock to set the pins inside. Once in the room, Elgar and Dessima search Lim's possessions. Elgar finds a single magical playing card, while Dessima finds an expensive gem set in a fine cloak. Dessima elects not to steal the cloak, instead taking a letter revealing the name of Lim's supplier; and then she hides away on the ceiling to keep watch on the room overnight.
Lilly keeps watch downstairs for Lim during the search, and sees Jon drinking the merchant under the table. Jon takes Lim upstairs to pour him into bed, and then the party discusses strategy for the next day before retiring for the night.
Jon thinks the party should follow the guidance of his deity and escort the merchant Blessedward, seeing what transpires along the way. Lilly is keen to spend the day tracking down the bandits for some civilised conversation, which may or may not follow some uncivilised bloodshed.
Quote: "These are glassless windows. For the underglasses." – zee GM
*And also some derision, for needing a potion to see in the dark