Rushing away from the scene caused by the plaugechanged Dragon’s attack and subsequent defeat by the Lost Heir, our heroes stumble into Travok Bearfriend; as he is leaving yet another merchant. He has determined that another party has been seeking excavation equipment in the city, and that the Dwarven expedition he seeks passed through a dangerous part of the city to save time.
On their way back to the more rundown streets of the once-brilliant Blakelake district, the heroes are held up by a bridge checkpoint. Accosted by New Neverwinter troops intent on extorting money from the crowd, they manage to avoid a scene and the soldiers manage to keep their lives. It is decided that without Seldra’s patronage, staying in the very expensive Driftwood Inn would not be recommended. Before leaving, The heroes pay the Inn’s proprietor, Madame Rosenne, for information regarding the suspicious Ashmadai cult and for falsified identification to make crossing the Winged Wyvern bridge a much less expensive affair. Rosenne informs them that there are rumors of cultists being active among the squatters holed up in the old House of Knowledge, a once beautiful temple to Oghma that is now full of the destitute looking for any roof overhead.
While daylight remains, they investigate some of the abandoned mansions and steads of the district, finding a relatively intact first floor to make camp in. The night is interrupted, however, by the arrival of trained dire rats and their masters: a pair of were-rats associated with the infamous Dead Rats gang. One of the thieves escapes, shouting a threat that only Filtch and Biri are able to understand – the Dead Rats know that someone is after them, and that this home is in use by their foes.
Agreeing that the safe-house is not-so-safe, the heroes seek cheaper lodgings further into the district at the brightly light and well adorned “House of 1,000 Faces.” Thaliar is reluctant to go, though he does not say why.
On the way, Asharoth splits from the group, wishing to investigate some of the graffiti that she thinks may bear a clue to the activity of the Ashmadai cult in this district. Having directions to the inn, she bids her friends a farewell, assuring them she will be fine with Ciroth to watch her back.
Greeted at the door by a blonde Eladrin woman the heroes pay for room and board. But it is not long before Filtch has a run in with an old associate: the halfling Charl – a member of the Dead Rats who left Luskan to help establish the gang in Neverwinter’s alleys and sewers. Filtch attempts to negotiate with the hot-headed ganger, who reveals a relationship between the Dead Rats and the Sons of Alagondar: The insurgency movement against New Neverwinter’s leader, Dagult Neverember. Despite Filtch’s calm, Charl picks a fight, brining his ruffian friends into the scrape. While two of the lesser thugs survive, Charl falls to Filtch’s blade, and Thaliar is revealed to the inn’s proprietors, who are none to happy to see him.