Following the events on the bridge over the Starwater, the Ebon League is left in a precarious diplomatic situation between their friend Lauritz van Aken and their benefactor Reardon Cormaeril. Lauritz's daughter Mina is dead and was returned to life as a ghost, and Reardon's son Liam has been cursed, an aged husk of his former youth and vitality. Each of them is angry with the other, believing his own child to be innocent and the other completely at fault.

Mina van Aken's funeral is planned to take place at the House of the Morning, to be presided over by the Patriarch Charisbonde "Trueservant" Belon. Lauritz requests that the Ebon League do him a personal favor and bring him a shrubbery (NI!), Mina's favorite flower, the mountain laurel. Unknown to the Ebon League (unless they're particularly clever), he intends to use the poisonous shrubbery to kill Reardon and Liam Cormaeril. Finding the plant isn't extremely difficult, but not long after they do the Ebon League is attacked by a hobgoblin scouting party. They are able to sneak up on the hobgoblin soldiers (followers of the lieutenant Shagrat) with Stealth (DC 13), but eluding the archers is harder (DC 21). The archers will themselves sneak up on the Ebon League if their Stealth checks fall between 13 and 21.

Mina's funeral is a tasteful and teary-eyed service. Belon delivers the following eulogy:

"It is truly tragic when death calls to one so young, but do not dwell on tragedy and instead revel the miracle that was life. Like the immortal sun which rises in the east, life is eternal and is to be celebrated while we bask within it. So warm is love, the sunlight of life, that we long for it in its absence, even knowing full well that the sun will always rise again. So too is loss, that though our lives go on, we are left longing to feel that warmth just one last time. As we lay this little one to rest, know this: Amaunator, the sun incarnate, had long known this child was to be called back to the eternal sun, a peaceful realm of unending goodness. I say to you again, nay, worry not, for surely she is in a far better and safer place than we here."

Lauritz gives a slightly less cheerful speech:

"Many of you have known the pain of losing a child. It happens every day; the world is full of goblins and orcs and far more wretched beasts which plague us to no end, but yet we endure as a people. And as a people, united, we protect ourselves from these evils. As a people, united, we find peace and prosperity. But this peace is threatened—not by hobgoblins or demons—no, we have warriors such as the Ebon League to deal with these threats—our peaceful way of life is threatened by the continued lordship of corrupt noble houses, like those of your very own House Cormaeril."

At this point, the Cormaerils in attendance look offended, and the Purple Dragons move to stop Lauritz, but Belon waves them off and comforts Lauritz. Lauritz shrugs off Belon and continues, breaking down and weeping:

"My daughter was a loving and kind girl, whose death is a tragedy. Please… please… oh, gods, please…"

Belon (or one of the Ebon League) must help Lauritz down from the pulpit. At this point, if any of the Ebon League wish to make a speech, they may. Afterward, a wake is held within the church, and during this time it would be appropriate for the Ebon League to speak with Belon regarding the prisoner Shevaril Starcloak. Belon (and possibly Sir Rodrick) lead the heroes to the library, where they can speak openly and privately. Belon's primary goal is to protect the church from Reardon's reprisal, but he was also a friend to Tessaril Winter and had always liked Shevaril. They may talk at length regarding plans, but Belon's requirements for requesting Shevaril be released into his custody would also include the Ebon League's guarantee that they will act in the church's behalf in dealings with Reardon, as well as performing a favor for Belon and the church as an act of good faith, to be determined as needed.

During their conversation (and the wake) bugbear assassins try to kill Belon and the Ebon League, but are (presumably) defeated. Leaving the library, they find that the church's paladins are battling bugbears, and it is revealed that Sister Maria has been taken hostage. The Ebon League (and Sir Rodrick) follow into the temple fields, and find a bugbear with Lauritz thrown over one shoulder and Maria held before him like a human shield in front of him. The bugbear (Gargan) might reveal his mission (kidnap the King of Cormyr and kill the Blessed Brotherhood), but at some point mid-conversation, the earth shakes violently, and an Earthwrought Bulette emerges. Gargan catches the bulette's jaw, releasing Lauritz and Maria, but the bulette overpowers him and he stumbles away. The bulette soon turns his attention to the Ebon League, and a battle royal ensues between the bulette, the bugbear, and the Ebon League.

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