Cass, Hal and Joll are pushed backstage at the Wild Eye Revue, a series of short entertainments put on at the Stonefell Opera House.
Cragthorn, Meave and Jarrek manage to push themselves through the crowd up towards the stage.
Hal talks to one of the other entertainers backstage, learning that the best performers at the Opera House never seem to leave. This is disconcerting for the party.
First, they see a very sad and somewhat short half-elf sign an incredibly sad song. It moves the whole house and moves some of the party to tears. The thousand half-orcs in attendence are all weeping and swooning.
The sad half-elf is led back stage under watch of two guards, which is very suspect.
The trio is pushed out on the stage. Cass decides to do her best to bore the audience and promptly begins to make bird sounds and mime biking. Joll, however, decides to do her best and begins a racucous comedy routine. She shoves Hal around, teasing him. Hal, panicky, casts Enthrall on the audience and begins to sing.
Cragthorn passes Joll her lute. She starts playing phenomenally well: it would appear the lute is heavily charmed. The audience has fogotten all about the half-elf and is now cheering and screaming in joy. Cass quietly slips off the stage.
They finish their number with a burst of dancing lights. Hal attempts to hop off the stage and rejoin the party but Joll grabs him and pushes him backstage, informing him that he and the party are going to help her rescue that “poor, beautiful” half elf or else she’ll turn them into Elkul & co..
Jarrek intimidates a sleepy door guard and gets the party backstage. They catch up with Joll and Hal as a very fancy half-orc, Blake, is leading them to Adoben’s office for an “interview.” Cass casts “Hold Portal” on the door, preventing Blake from getting into the office and buying the party some time.
They pull Joll aside while Blake is trying to get through the door (A gruff female voice accuses him of having “weak actor arms” from the other side). Joll reiterates her threat and demands help.
The party is peeved at Joll but are forced to admit that clearly something very Evil is happening here and rescuing the Half-Elf is something that they should at least try.
Cragthorn is a tiny bat.
Cass’s spell dissolves and Blake tumbles through the door. Joll strides in and the party follows. Inside is the half-elf, now clearly in shackles, a tall and strong half-orc bodyguard and Adoben Wyvernjack himself. Blake leaves to get back to the Revue.
Joll and Hal begin negotiations. Adoben wants them to sign a “contract” that would require them to perform, essentially indefinitely, for free while “living” at the Opera House. Hal mage hands Adoben’s quill off his desk and agrees to sign, prompting Adoben to now have to search for his quill. The party moves backwards and discusses in hushed tones. The party notices a trap door in between Adoben and the half-elf, through which they assume the half elf will be taken. Cragthorn decides to take action, re-assuming human shape and casting Entangle.
Vines burst from the ground. Cass takes advantage of the distraction to loot the nearest chest, finding some gold, trinkets, and two magic items. Cragthorn wood-shapes the trapdoor, wrenching it open. Adoben makes smoke cloud and disappears down it. The half-elf begins screaming.
The body guard makes a move for the door, but Hal makes her woozy with a Lullaby spell, allowing Jarrek to tie her up. Guards knock at the door, and Hal disguises his voice to sound like Adoben and instructs the guards to leave. Cragthorn opens the door and causes a woosh of wind, extinguishing most of the lights backstage. This terrifies many people.
In the ensuing panic the party is able to escape the Opera House and get back downtown. They get to the SLF and rest for the night and restock on supplies.
Benedetta is thrilled about their success at Elkul’s and she processes all the papers the party stole, finding two important pieces: one, a letter confirming details of the next corpse shipment, and another showing that, evidently, Elkul is trying to court Unakain.
Grigori (the rescued half-elf) gives much information to the SLF. He is from Boccob’s Isle and fled wizarding school to be a travelling singer. He was captured in Tollgren’s Pass by Unakain and led through tunnels into a basement prison. He overheard about the SLF and about Elgood being taken prisoner.
Benedetta is now tasking the party with finding a way into Unakain’s basement and releasing all the prisoners, allowing them to take shelter with the SLF and hopefully convincing them to contribute sword-arms to the upcoming direct action.
The party spent their day gathering information. Cass’s rat was able to infiltrate Unakain’s basement from the surrounding grounds (with the help of native wild rats) and bring back structural information about the prison. Cragthorn and Jarrek interviewed several old gaffers, including one who told them about the exceedingly haunted graveyard in front of Unakain’s mansion. Hal asked around the SLF, learning about some ruined guard towers to the north of the city that might have a secret entrance into Unakain’s tunnels.