The Hand of Destiny rallied together and thought for a moment about possible places of attack, murmuring amongst themselves. They wondered where and how the attack would happen. Athena, who had stuck with the group since finding out about the attack, piped up and said she had also been hired to create a distraction. Hepolita had barged in on her brawl idea and now eight people were dead because Hepolita had interrupted her.
Thinking Athena had killed the eight people, Aleera placed one of the old slave collars they had from their time in Drakenforge on Athena’s neck. She told Athena it was temporary until they figured out how to help her control herself. Secretly, she was planning on turning Athena in, under King’s Crest’s authority. Hepolita had other ideas. She removed the collar and took the group off to the side. She was so excited about her idea that she didn’t notice Athena sneak up to eavesdrop and Zenriel listen from afar.
She told the party that she had accidentally killed those eight people but that it would be alright since everyone thought it had been Athena. She explained how she acted under an invisibility spell to avoid sighting. Aleera and Kariss maintained that it was unfair to allow Athena to take the fall for a crime she didn’t commit. Aleera offered the chance of perhaps bringing all those people back, but it would take time. They were so busy arguing amongst themselves that they didn’t notice until too late that Athena was gone and, upon further searching of the ship, so was Zenriel. There was no sign of them and no way to know where they had gone without expending time and spells that they could not afford right now. There was still an attack imminent in the city!
The Hand of Destiny headed to the Royal District in search of the workers and Kaladrax’s mother. They were worried that an attack would be imminent on the food supply for the city. They found nothing except some left over slave collars that were inert and sitting in old crates. Kaladrax found his mother working alongside the former indentured servants, now equal partners in maintaining the land. They were clueless as to any attack or disruption in the area. Milo looked inward and asked Terra to lend him aid in finding the person who had hired him for such a distraction. He retraced his steps to where the stranger had approached him and followed the impression his feet had left in the ground.
Following these impressions led the party to the Government District and, more significantly, the bank. There was one major holder of the treasury of the city. There, under heavy lock and guard, the money for the running of the city was kept safe. The bank also held most of the accounts of the wealthy in the city. There were thousands of gold and platinum in there. That was when the Hand of Destiny realized it wasn’t an attack, it was a robbery. The mysterious stranger wanted to steal from the city!
The group made their way inside the bank to find it mostly empty. Any other people they saw were mostly guards and all unconscious. Their bodies were prone on the ground but they seemed to be breathing so the party kept moving. Further into the vaults of the unguarded bank they found what they were looking for. Two people in long coats were rummaging around in the city vault. One was throwing gold into their pockets and bags. The other was searching for something among the piles and boxes of treasure. Milo recognized the coat that one of the thieves was wearing and pointed him out to the party as the stranger that had approached him for the diversion.
Aleera and Milo snuck up on the stranger that Milo recognized and the others went for the other trenchcoated person. They got to them at the same time and grabbed each person by the shoulder, spinning them around to face the party members. What they found was so surprising it stunned them for a moment. Instead of the two people they were expecting, there were three. Two gnomes were standing with one on the others’ shoulders. The other was a gnome on long stilts that extended his height. These three were the cause of all the mayhem. The pause gave the gnomes enough time to react and run. Milo and Aleera managed to keep their hands on the gnome on stilts but the other two managed to outmaneuver the other party members and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
The party turned to the one gnome that was left to them and began to ask where the other two had gone. The gnome resisted at first but eventually, after some carefully placed hits from Hepolita, he relented. They found out that the other two were headed for the drop off. They were turning their findings in to their boss. He had hired them for the heist and promised them their own riches for finding a certain object for him. He was located in the desert of the Oasis at a predetermined meeting spot. The Hand of Destiny dragged the gnome along as they prepared to teleport to the location they were given, hoping they weren’t too late to catch the culprit.