Session opens with Joachim and Elisabet hard at work on repairing and upgrading the barge Eidelwies. Valdric, Barrick, Kurgi and Dietrich, with little else to do go and visit the dock. Standing under the tarp sheltering them from the driving rain, they discuss how to go about the task that the Professor had suggested to them. If they can reassemble the Map Stone and lower it into the river over top the Waystone capping the Nexus, the professer thinks the reassembled map stone will restore the power to the waystone and stop the leakage of Azure energy from the nexus. Maybe after centuries of damp and storm, Stromdorf would finally see sunny days again!.
After joking around that they would just tie the stones to Kurgi and lower the dwarf on a rope to do the work himself underwater, they ask Elisabet the carpenter/boatwright for suggestions on how to reassemble the stone. She suggests binding it to a wagon wheel of the right size might do nicely, which would then make lowering it into the water like an underwater chandeleir easy as well. But the actual placement will need to wait until this storm lets up.
There is a fair bit of debate about why the party should even care about doing this? Everyone is heartily sick of this place, and if the boat were ready today, would probably just chuck the stones into the river and sail north. But if nothing else, they do seem to be stuck in the town for the 3-5 remaining days needed to finish the repairs and laying the new keel.
Heading back into town from the docks outside the North Gate, Valdric goes to the Celestial Wizards room to relieve Kurgi who was guarding it, while the rest of the team heads to the Gaol to interrogate the wizard himself (Nicolas). There they again meet Hugo, the frustrated student of philosophy whose life has stuck him in Stromdorf, where finding someone to discuss theories of justice and individualism is as hard as finding a patch of dry ground. Hugo takes them into Nicolas’s cell and removes his gag. Nicolas is chained to the wall, his arms held away from his body, thus preventing him from making the motions that would be needed to cast a spell. He tries to win the party over to the idea that they help him get released so that he can continue his important work, but Dietrich sees through his lies and finally turns his back and leaves.
Back at the Thunderwater Inn, Diedrich and Valdric proceed to thoroughly search Nicolas’s room. What they DO find, and what they DON’T find, makes it clear that Nicolas’s explanations that he is on a mission from the college and his master is a cover story. He clearly is here in Stromdorf for his own purposes, to make that big discovery that will help him advance in the college, and to somehow gain control over the power of the nexus.
Meanwhile Barrick goes to the Barracks to see if there are any posted bounties. He learns of two, a Martin Wernher, a local farmer wanted for the murder of his wife (40 SP) and a Heinrich Hutmacher, a short, fat, bald lowlife wanted for muggery of little old ladies. (10 SP). Martin hasn’t been seen for a couple months, Heinrich for a couple weeks.
Kurgi becomes more and more concerned about the things that Hugo the gaoler said. His obvious sympathies for Nicolas makes them wonder if he may help Nicolas escape. Kurgi and Wally return to the Gaol, with the goal of both watching over it and keeping Hugo occupied for the rest of the afternoon. Wally and Hugo engage in a battle of wits, with Wally working a con to convince Hugo to part with some of his money, while Hugo fights back with lectures on the economy and the place of greedy peddlars in it. But after verbal jousting, Wally wears him down, not only stopping the lectures but selling him some writing charcoals. Kurgi struggles to hold down his annoyance at the conversation and amuses himself by sticking bananas from Hugo’s lunch into various of his body orifices.
Dinnertime comes and Hugo finally cuts conversation off and insists that they leave.
Nightfall comes, and everyone turns in. Wally in a private room, Diedrich sleeping in and guarding Nicolas’s room and Kurgi standing guard outside. Valdric is across the courtyard in the common room and Barrick in a different tavern, the smoking eel.
Sleep comes easily, for once, until eveyone is woken by cries of “Fire”. Jumping out of their beds, they see flames rising from the brewery across the courtyard. Valdric leaves the common room, which is in the north side of the burning building and stands outside in the courtyard, as memories of Lavina’s death by fire take over his thoughts, leaving him frozen in fear and sorrow. Wally however, seeing opportunity even in disaster, gather’s buckets to take outside to try to sell to the firefighters.
Kurgi and Diedtrich wait in Nicolas’s room. They both strongly suspect the fire is a diversion, that Nicolas has escaped and will appear soon. They have actually been waiting for this to happen. Sure enough, with a crash of blue energy, Nicolas appears in the room, letting loose a bolt of lightning at Dietrich. Following it with a glowing blue shield spell, he prepares himself to hold back Kurgi’s onslaught. But a mere acolyte is no match for a Troll Slayer with two axes and it takes just two blows to dispatch him. Shouting “You’ve ruined everything! You might have killed me, but its not the last you will see! I will follow you to your own end!” he falls dead.