Figuring It All Out
The next day, Drake is invited by Sorcerer Zephros to have nice long chat. There he reveals that he has always known that Drake is not from the Empire. All Masks created for Imperial Sorcerers are magical and are arcanely marked by their creator. Drake casts detect magic and can see the glowing symbol on Zephros’ Mask. Zephros admits that he admires Drake’s daring. He reveals a bit of his own backstory. He was taken from his native Tribe here on the islands and sent to be indoctrinated by the Empire. He cunningly resisted the brainwashing and eventually gained a modicum of freedom as lord of Sweetwater Bay. Drake then asked Zephros if he could teach the ways of the Empire to better enact his disguise. Zephros questioned Drake’s motives for wanting to pretend, and suggesting that he not seek to be something he is not.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party meets Uichi Mercury of the Mercury Transport company. He says that he runs the only healthy group of rickshaws in town and is looking to corner the market by getting an Imperial Seal from Sorcerer Zephros. Ko finds this a little shady, since the Coward’s Tears plague is affecting the entire town. Uichi explains that he has a lucky totem that all of his drivers touch at the beginning of his shift and that none have been stricken by the plague. More curious, Ko asks how he came upon this totem. Uichi says that he went to the Seer when his business was failing. The Seer gave him a totem that would bring him luck.
Ko evades making a date with Uichi and fills in the others of his story. Quincey suggests to check out the Mercury Transport company in the warehouse district. When he pays for the party’s drinks, Aminta notices a snake scale fall from his pouch. The scale reminds them of the same scale found at the Guardian Tower of Emerald. Being tight on his purse strings, Quincey remembers the Seer reaching in his pouch to retrieve his payment.
The party goes to the rickshaw company, defeats some hobgoblins, and searches it. There they find the totem, which is the Plague Staff. They continue to search and find the Plague Stone hidden in one of the rickshaw’s storage compartment.
The evidence points to the Seer and the party goes to confront him, without Drake. They walk through a dense smoke fog and begin to fight the Seer, who shows his true form as a large snake-headed Rakshasha. The party fights and narrowly wins the battle. Though bloodied, Aminta admits that she felt the battle was too easy. Indeed it was, as a smoke fog rises and clears. The party is still in the Seer’s home. The snake-headed Seer stands before them. He congratulates them on their deduction, but says that he sees they are no real threat to him. He disappears, promising to see them again soon.