The Party regained themselves. Carric, after being healed by the healing melodies of Althea, realized the situation: The being was Ixthoth, a lich who was imprisoned in his lair by Carric’s friend’s ancestor. The doll was an effigy of Ixthoth, and the pins held in place the swords and spears that bound him to the place. After the terrible battle that brought the victory over the wizard, the lair was sealed and all records were purged, lest no-one try to release him. The doll was guarded by Carric’s friend, who passed away childless. That is why it was in Carric’s possession, where it was then used to release the lich.
Disappointed and now suspicious of the Patron of Shadow, the Party returned to the Huntress, aiming to rest and tackle the situation on the following day. Borel, regretful over releasing Ixthoth, asked Carric for what he could do. In anger and frustration, Carric spat that he should find the lich’s phylactery. That is what Borel left to do.
Meanwhile, things were stirring. Glinish Furear, a servant of the Patron of Shadow, was collecting the wizards that the crime lord had collected to present to the Party when they would finish the task. Glinish organized a further meeting with his trusted joint, the Running Dwarf. On the following morning, the 21st of Reaping, the Party met at the dwarf brothel, from where Glinish took them to meet the wizards.
The Wizards were a pair of artificers, craftsmen of magical items. They knew relatively little of the kind of power the Party would require to find Edessa, the demon’s intended gate, or now, Ixthtoth. But they had heard from Sunder, Althea’s mentor when she was at Bowmeet, of a mage, Adalrik. The powerful diviner had lived in the Age of War and legend told that he had constructed wondrous, truth-seeing artifacts. While these artifacts were never found, Sunder had apparently learned of the place where Adalrik was buried in.
As luck would have it, Glinish had met Sunder. The elf had been moved to the northern coast and it would be a trivial task for him to arrange a meeting. But further assistance from the Patron of Shadow would necessitate another task, a show of trust: The indebtment of a shipping company that the Patron would then sweep under his wings.
This act of vandalism, while alluring in its directness, ran afoul of the Party’s moral cores. They instead presented their view: Thanks to the Patron’s request, there was now a lich free to terrorize the world, and it would be his benefit to speak with the Party directly. Glinish accepted this and arranged a meeting. The Patron would arrive to claim the now-empty smuggling cave for himself the following night. Meanwhile, Glinish decided to help out the Party, perhaps as a further bargaining chip with the Patron, perhaps because of his own motivations.
Meanwhile, the Party decided to free the wizards imprisoned by the Paladins for additional information. It would be a difficult task, but with luck, the Party wouldn’t even need the demanding and vague Patron of Shadow: Perhaps one of the imprisoned wizards would know more. They decided to infiltrate the Temple’s dungeon with magical invisibility and prepare for a diversion when the wizards would be free. The infiltration worked fine, but the amount of wizards and personnel was more than Glinish and Dulkan could feasibly handle. The Priests were alerted to something happening in the dungeon, the diversion panicked the ground floor, and the anger and confusion amongst the now-free wizards was getting to the boiling point…