The party quickly clears the warehouse of the guards and makes their way to the suspicious looking raised guardhouse on the eastern side of the building. They are met by a grey-skinned man with a wicked looking blade that has a large smile painted on it. Wiegraf quickly charms one of the two guards and the party engages Mr. Smiles just as he slices Kail's bloody and unconscious body within an inch of his life. Now unconscious on the floor, the charmed guard takes the opportunity to loot Kail's dying body of some its valuable gear!
Luckily the party forces Mr. Smiles into a temporary retreat to heal while they do their own healing and close the gap and get Kail back on his feet. Wiegraf makes his charmed buddy take his pants off for some reason just as a confused and bewildered Kail gets back on his feet. Once back up, Kail seeks his revenge and attempts to deliver a coup de grace to the remaining guard, but he was clearly not thinking clearly as his blade was turned backwards and he does nothing more than deliver a vicious burn to the neck of the enemy.
The other five party members all continue to engage with Mr. Smiles while Kail tries to take care of the sole beaten and unconscious guard. Pointing his blade in the correct direction this time, he loses his grip on the bloodly blade and it slips from his hands when he attempts to deliver the coup de grace the second time. As Kail loses his grip on the unconscious man and he falls to the floor, he hits head and dies of internal bleeding. Satisfied with his mostly successful victory, the strength sapped Kail rejoins his party as engages Mr. Smiles.
After a long and drawn out battle full of mirror images, frightening images and grease lined floors, they defeat Mr. Smile and descend down a secret path to a floor below the warehouse. A quick exploration leads them to discover a hallway lined with guards about to rest from their previous shift. Kyra disguises herself as Mr. Smiles and tricks the guards into thinking that the party is just another set of guards coming on rotation. After blocking the door and heading hte other direction, they discover some halfling assassins training for combat. Continuing with the Mr. Smiles disguise, Kyra walks west and distracts the two halflings while with two excellently placed shots, Leiko dispatches of the haflings using Dignity's Barb.
Continuing to make their way to the west they eventually alert the assassins through the sounds of Leiko's booming musket Numerous halfling assassins led by Wyssilka the Fantabulous, the hafling entertainer from the Exaltation Gala, leads the band who captured Martella. Bound, gagged and beaten nearly to death, Martella sags unconscious in a chair in the far room.
The party engages in a bloody and tricky battle through the fog to eventually whittle the assassins down to Wyssilka. Rather than questioning the leader of the assassins, Leiko executes her with a bullet through the brain as the party finally has a chance to catch their breath. A brief discussion of looting Martella's base ensues, but Martella convinces the team to make their way from the facility and quickly figure out what has happened above.
Martella leads the party out of the safe house and to the Silent Horse inn to recuperate. After a bit of asking the locals, the party discovers the Brotherhood of Silence was the first and only choice to go after your patron, though none can say who hired them. With rumors already reporting Grand Prince Stavianís death in the senate, the Brotherhood of Silence calls off their contract against Martella Lotheed, instead waiting to see how the brewing civil conflict, already dubbed the "War for the Crown," plays out.
Martella meets with Lady Gloriana Morilla, and the two send agents out to try to suss out the situation in the city in the wake of the massacre in the senate. It takes another 2 days to take a final accounting of the dead: a total of 78 senators slain, alongside 102 aides, defenders, family members, and staff, as well as Grand Prince Stavian III himself, in what many Taldans are already beginning to call the Exaltation Massacre.
The attackers appear to have been an assortment of mercenaries and killers from Andoran, Cheliax, and Galt, though arguments rage over who brought these assassins into the heart of Taldor's government. While the Lion Blades believe Stavian himself hired these agents, much of the Taldan citizenry is less convinced, given the emperor's own death in the violence. Many suspect Princess Eutropia or High Strategos Pythareus. With the empires central government in shambles, local governments are doing the best they can to fill the void.
Eleven major claims have been made for the throne by various nobles claiming relations to the Stavian line. Two candidates in particular, Princess Eutropia and High Strategos Maxillar Pythareus stand above the rest, and various nobles and polities have already begun arguing that their chosen scion is the true inheritor of the Primogen Crown.
During their downtime the party visits the nobles they rescued from below the senate building and collect their rewards, the most notable coming from Dame Malphene Trant who delivers a +1 rapier in appreciation of her rescue. On the third day the party is summoned by Martella and the entire group finally meets Eutropia Stavian I, fisborn of Stavian III.
She explains that in her father's paranoia, he formally adopted Maxillar Pythareus in a private ceremony to declare the general his heir. Or so Pythareus claims, and he has presented documentation to support his claim. There are even those nobles who believe the vote against primogeniture could not possibly have taken place, or was coerced by those same elements that attacked the senate. The Ulfen Guard has sealed the palace and refuses admittance to anyone until the question is resolved. Normally this kind of issue would fall to the senate, but with the senate decimated and no emperor to approve new members… this situation is entirely unprecedented.
She thanks each of the party members by knighting them and makes them a true member of nobility. She informs them that they are now her loyal agents and will work to secure resources and allies for her to help her reclaim the throne.