Having reached Vulyar, the characters were guided to Heart & Hearth by Dawkens who said he wanted to discuss something with them. However, first Belenthidas sought out the widow of the man he had executed and gave her what her husband had sent her before his death. He had also added a dozen extra gold pieces since he was the killer of her husband, after all. When he tried to explain the situation, the widow burst in tears and seemed to lose consciousness of the world around her. Belenthidas left her be, his conscience echoing her crying far longer than it should have reached him. Meanwhile, Theo attempted to find someone who could help him forge the signet on the binder he had stolen. His queries were met with silence.
At Heart & Hearth, Dawkens and Destir ordered something to eat. While waiting for the meal, they discussed relatively trifle matters. Theo was first to arrive at the scene, followed by Belenthidas after the meal of rye bread and pea stew had already arrived. While they ate, Dawkens proposed that the characters follow him to Korth. He had already learned to trust them and knew that the man in golden armor had not given up. His offer was 200gp and the gratitude of House Kundarak to each man helping him. Belenthidas agreed to accompany the rest to Vedykar since he would need to go through the city in any case to track his quarry. The others agreed to come with Dawkens as long as he would go through Atur. Theo managed to reveal the glamered nature of Dawkens’s armor and he became interested in the warforged attending to the hearth. He discussed the possibility of Bombard joining them with it but was told to speak about with the halflings.
The next day, Dawkens told the characters that he would sell the swords they obtained during the train raid and use the money to buy horses and supplies. The first Belenthidas did that day was sending a message for Flamekeep about the mysterious man in golden armor, wearing the insignia of the church. After his return, their breakfast was cut short by a hobo stabbing Destir since Theo reacted ever so slightly late to his dagger. Destir managed to stave off the poison but Theo’s call for help from Bombard caused the Warforged to launch a pair of magic missiles at the assailant, killing him and triggering the elixir of reckoning which caused Theo to suffer terrible wounds. The explosion was also used as an excuse by the guard captain whom Ryle Galt had already bribed to rush in and claim a warrant on the characters and the illegal artifact they were carrying. While Theo and Belenthidas realized that the captain was clearly lying, Theo failed to fade into the crowd and was taken into custody with the rest. Destir badmouthed the guards, calling them filthy, and was silenced by a backhand from the captain. They found the condemning evidence since Dawkens ended up surrendering it to them, seeing no other way out of the situation. When the characters wanted to come to the barracks alongside the box, they were “temporarily” arrested.
After spending a few hours in jail, the characters received confirmation that the captain’s warrant was fake. They were released due to not having committed any felonies, only to find that neither the artifact, nor the guard captain was nowhere to be found. They heard that a man in golden armor had recently ridden out of town with a big saddle bag fastened on his horse. Dawkens rushed to buy them horses for the chase while the rest used the time he would take to buy supplies and gather further information. Belenthidas went to buy healing potions and was pointed to Salvetion where Emnoti tried to sell him poisoned potions. He realized that she was actually attempting to kill them but assumed that the gnome was overreacting to his haggling and let it be in the end. Meanwhile, Theo and Destir attempted to receive healing from a priest of the Six only to learn that there were no miracle workers in town. They ended up buying basic necessities such as rations, winter blankets and waterskins. Just before they left, Theo was attempting to persuade Bombard to come with them but there was no time to discuss in the necessary depth. When they rode along the main lane of Vulyar, someone found the guard captain’s corpse and made a ruckus about it.
The party pushed their horses to their limits to close the gap between them and the man in golden armor. Eventually they became within a few hundred feet of him but Theo and Destir lost control of their horses when they tried to squeeze even more out of them and Dawkens fell off his steed. Ryle Galt managed to escape by accelerating his pace when the characters needed to rest their mounts in turn. However, they eventually reached Vedykar without further trouble. Within the city, Theo finally found another changeling to forge him the signet for 150gp. Destir scouted the city for possible libraries but found out that they all belonged to private people such as nobles and were off limits as a result. Belenthidas was unsuccessful in locating the shrine of the Silver Flame he only knew about. They stayed in Hospitalital and Dawkens shared his intuition that the enemy would most probably use the lightning rail to leave city. There had been no trains in the time since the enemy’s supposed arrival so he would have to take a train the party coild board with him. Theo went to buy elements for a disguise to conceal their identities from the enemy. Belenthidas actually received a letter which summoned him to the shrine and was marked with the seal of the Order of Illumination. Once he reached the shrine of the Silver Flame, a man by the inn next door, Fireplace, beckoned him to come there. The man was wearing a ring with the Order’s symbol and Belenthidas followed him inside.
Inside, he was taken to Lukar the Hearty who revealed himself as a Shadowbane Infiltrator. Lukar had information about the beastmen Belenthidas was tracking. Foresters had found them in the Nightwood and his sub-ordinates had managed to gain the location of the beastmen’s camp from them. Lukar also told Belenthidas that the beastmen were led by a half-orc. He then questioned the templar about his companions and whether they would help or hinder him in his quest, the priority of which he reminded Belenthidas. According to Belenthidas, they would probably end up helping him (he was not aware of Dawkens’s plan to take the next train towards Atur). Lukar believed him and used his scroll of atonement to return Belenthidas in the light of the Silver Flame. He also shared two vials of silversheen with the once again blessed paladin to use against the beastmen.
Before returning to the inn, Belenthidas questioned the people of Vedykar about the man in golden armor. Luck seemed to be on his side – he learned that a man matching his description had actually enrolled at the Hospitalital inn. After his return, Belenthidas bribed the halfling barkeep to reveal to him the room number of the man in golden armor. The halfling did tell the paladin that a man like that was inside room number seven and that he had asked not to be interrupted except at designated times for his meals to be brought in. Theo was still away, retrieving his forged signet. Dawkens, Destir and Belenthidas came up with the plan to ambush their enemy. Dawkens would wait outside and Destir and Belenthidas would sneak to his door. While Destir tripped on his robe, Belenthidas did manage to avoid Ryle Galt’s notice. He knocked on the door to be answered with a familiar, harsh voice speaking with a Thranish accent. Belenthidas spoke with Galt and Galt realized he was being ambushed. He provoked Belenthidas by revealing his identity and connection with the Order. Had the Order lied to Belenthidas about what happened to brother Galt? Besides, was Galt not fighting evil by pouring resources at other evildoers? In the end, Belenthidas ended up breaking the door to Galt’s room down. His success was where his luck ended. Galt had already readied himself for the attack and hit Belenthidas with his smite. Destir successfully attacked his mind before he could attack again but it did not even cause him to flinch. He injured Belenthidas one more time before the paladin managed to ready himself. His smiting counterattack was ineffective and he withdrew to the doorway and alarmed Dawkens. Galt activated his armor, followed behind Belenthidas and struck him dead, flinging him down with his weapon’s special ability. Destir panicked since he was alone and already weakedned by overchanneling. This allowed Ryle Galt to escape through the window with the box.
Dawkens rushed to Galt’s doorway but he was too late. The halflings alarmed the tavern to not allow them to escape. Three men took up the job and told Destir to stay put. He was too scared to obey and attempted to escape. The men chased him down and one of them downed him with a critical hit. Luckily the man was only trying to knock him unconscious with that blow to the side of the telepath’s head.
When Theo returned, he was greeted with the sight of guards questioning Dawkens who was openly telling them that it was about House Kundarak business and the retrieval of an item stolen from his care. Destir was still unconscious. Theo also saw the body of Belenthidas, covered in a bloody tablecloth, and he knew something had gone terribly wrong while he was away on business.