The party arrived in Denerim and set off to find a lead at The Pearl. They arranged a meeting with a member of The Nine Fingers, pretending to be interested in selling qunari horns with Talan being a traitor to his people. While at the Pearl they saw Zevran Arainai but did not approach him, and also there was totally a guy there who looked like King Caillan. Eustace also collected useful gossip about goings on in the city.
While they awaited the appointed time, the party visited the Denerim Alienage so that Brinn could find out what happened while she was away. The dalish elves climbed the Venadahl tree and got yelled at by Bann Shianni, who gave Brinn the bad news that her mother had died during the Blight. The party also found out about Loghain selling elves into slavery at this time.
Brinn visited her old home one last time and took a trinket for remembrance, and the party super awkwardly tried to comfort her and wasn’t very good at it.
They met with Varoth in the Denerim market and managed to convince him through intimidation and seduction (Moli even getting his messenger bird number) that they were legitimate qunari horn traders. Varoth directed them to a warehouse at the docks where they could find his superiors.
The party brought the tal-vashoth pirates with them and sent Alvar, Brinn, and Moli to sneak in the back while the others came in the front. Brinn managed to steal Darion of the Nine Fingers’s logbook before the front party triggered a fight. They had a bag of tea they were pretending was their qunari horn “sample” and, when Darion demanded to see it, Riesa lit it on fire and threw it in his face. Combat ensued.
After driving off the last of the brigands, the party looted some coin, the stuff on the dead guys, and illicit substances. (Talan found the coin and divided it up, but Alvar successfully rolled seduction to get a better share.) Most interestingly, they found a letter in Darion’s log that seemed to be a tip telling him qunari horn could be sold as dragon horn for a tidy profit. It was not signed, but stamped with a rose symbol.
Honora and Astrild were very impressed with each other’s success in the fight and Astrild tried to make a move on her, but finally ran up against Honora’s homophobia. Honora was shocked by the idea and even more shocked that the rest of the party is SO INCREDIBLY GAY. Not that they’d been hiding it. She bailed from the situation and went back to the Aban-Ataashi to wait, and the rest of the party decided to go drinking at the Pearl. Astrild in particular had some sorrows to drown after that.
At the Pearl they ran into Zevran again. While some of the party (read: mostly Alvar) had an intense discussion about goats, elven gods, and old dalish stories, they (Brinn and Riesa in particular) began to notice something was weird with Zevran. He seemed to be watching them, especially Talan. They aggressively grilled him about his duties and the queen, and he was extremely defensive of Gisele. They showed him the letter too, on the chance he might know some of the shady sects running in Denerim, and Zevran failed to hide that he recognized it and that it had something to do with Gisele.
Brinn and Riesa, very unimpressed with Gisele after hearing she spared Loghain after the slave trading incident, really got him upset. Brinn noticed as he became more and more ardent in the queen’s defense his eyes were beginning to flash strangely pink, and she drugged his drink while Riesa distracted him. The party successfully kidnapped Zevran, explaining to any concerned onlookers that he was drunk and they were taking him out for fresh air. This also worked on a city guard that noticed, and it helped that Moli’s seduction roll success continued there.
Now they have the queen’s own assassin passed out and are taking him back to the Ataashi where, perhaps, Honora can tell them something about the enchantment he seems to be under…