The party rested up at the Sleeping Harp Inn while they figured out their next move. They decided they would investigate the iron situation by finding a buyer for the handful of crates they salvaged from the Ironhills camp, hoping they would find further clues.
They wandered the town the next day and came upon the guildhall of the Emerald Circle merchant’s guild – a name they had already seen in the letters found in Lethhonel’s office. They went in, and while Durina and Gala played the part of iron merchant and bodyguard, Aref took the opportunity to conduct a more clandestine investigation while the merchants were distracted by contract negotiations.
Meanwhile, Aref broke into the offices of the merchants to find more clues. He discovered that one, a Weller Barstow, was well-connected within the town and a member of the town council. What caught his attention however was the next office down, belonging to Hakam Fadel. Aref had crossed paths with them before in a less than favourable manner. And in his office, he discovered a letter telling that the Fadel family had secured an important and locally famous artifact, and were looking for a foreign fence to offload it quietly.
Aref left before he could be caught, and the group reconvened to share their discoveries. As they wandered town, they spotted a pair of men bearing a mark on their clothing they all recognised – the Red Hand. The group tailed these men, following them to the guildhall.
They decided to go inside, and ended up signing on as mercenaries of the Red Hand, again under a fake identity. They also took on a job, guarding one of the Emerald Circle’s iron shipments going to Greenport by barge.
They went straight to the barge and guarded it overnight while the crew hit the taverns. Durina drank with the few crew left on board, allowing the others to investigate the ship. They discovered that the shipment was bound for a further destination.
The next day, the barge set off downstream. The first half of the day passed uneventfully, but the group spotted shapes following them downstream. The captain intended to make a quick stop anyway, so when he pulled over, Gala, Aref and Durina made to investigate while Flynnigan and Namira were below deck.