In the wake of the attacks against the city of Xairus the group begins moving to assume a number of positions of power within the government. Marcus Vermithrax, in the guise of Hakon Sind, approaches Llorenc Midac, an elf who coordinates the relationships between Xairus and the Arien Taur. Marcus pressures the man to step down in the wake of the violence, revealing that there is a mysterious force at work that must be opposed. Llorenc, for his part, knows he must step down, but is reluctant to appoint Hakon as his successor. In the end it is decided that the councilor will relinquish his position to Hakon, but that once the darkness has been defeated he must in turn hand authority to Llorenc’s desired successor, Sorina Astri.
Lord Ember’s efforts take him to the residence of Tzal Basaj, the highest ranking member of the Illumina mercenary organization in the city. Tzal proves to be a crafty man focused on the good of the Illumina above all else. His eventual decision to back Lord Ember’s political aspirations comes at the cost of 20 Illumina being in the genasi’s active employ (@ 500 gold a month per mercenary), another 100 on retainer and a vow to forge a bond between his family and the Illumina both here and back in Saijn, the home of both.
With Tzal on one side and Isabella Garrard, the highest public ranking Reaver in the city, on the other, Lord Ember takes his case to Fransa Mari. Her response is less than enthusiastic. First she speaks to the mercenary leaders, attempting to convince them to stop backing Lord Ember. And when that fails she tries to convince Ember himself to simply leave the city. Unable to budge either party she simply promises to oppose Lord Ember in any way that she can.
Faced with a tough campaign Lord Ember recognizes that he cannot publicly live out of an inn, so the group searches for a residence suitable for his goals. In a turn of good luck they discover that the residence of the deceased Shari Tir is still considered part of the Brais Muryo estate, and is available for sale. Encouraged by Hakon, the deal is closed quickly. Exploration of the estate turns up enough secreted gold to cover what they just paid for the property as well as a number of magical items and a well secured basement similar to that of the Stigand Estate.
Unfortunately, during that first night in the new estate of Lord Ember, Larisa Katian’s agents finally move on the safe house. Entering from multiple directions they quickly breach the defenses and move through the home, but not before two of the attackers are identified: Adelle Callum and Elim Horn. In less than ten minutes they have discovered the secrets of the safe house, pierced all of the internal defenses and taken Rojzar Loic prisoner.