23rd November (contd.)
Eracen offers to teach Ella the violin. The elf has a go on the instrument but only seems capable of producing a screechy "nee-how" sound. Giving up, the PCs retire for the night in the guest quarters but decide to set watches. While Ella and Sebastian are supposed to be standing guard, both drop off to sleep. When they wake up, the party's boots and armour have been polished; a note under the door reads "leave us milk and cookies tomorrow night."
The PCs duel with the Ravens in the duelling grounds. Sebastian goes first, losing to Josha Migallisti. Next, Saethus and Khuma both draw with the scathsidhe. Krivinn goes next, taking on and defeating one of the other Ravens. Finally, Khuma duels again but this time he loses. Refusing to join the Ravens, the PCs follow Eracen to the stables where Krivinn, Ella and Saethus (the high status PCs) can now see the Black Prince's blue horse, Lazulin, and the shadow hounds of the Margreve. They talk to Kolya the Kennelmaster who asks Ella to deliver the love poem he's written to Maurelle, one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. In the smithy, they meet Tenpound Hammer (aka "Nails"); the goblin is mending the monolith footmen trashed by the party earlier.
Back in the duelling grounds, a monolith footman and empty cloak move to throw Sebastian and Khuma out of the Courts, but Ella takes them both out with a twin shot. In the kitchens, the PCs meet Blazing Barda the cook and ask her for milk and cookies to leave out for the brownies. Barda asks them to pay off his debt to the donkey-headed Fordin of the East and suggests the PCs should bray like a donkey when they do so. Ella isn't fooled but gives Fordin 5 silver pieces to get the milk and cookies from the chef.
Back out in the duelling grounds, Ella defeats Sir Yngress the Red of the River Court in an archery contest. The eladrin presents her with his +3 radiant longsword, “Heartsilver”, and tells Ella that Lady Sorreminx is also here.
Khuma has some violin lessons with Eracen but isn't any better at playing than Ella. The PCs rest for the night but actually a whole week passes. They don't recover any healing surges either.
Krivinn has received an invitation to come and see the Grey Ladies. Eracen offers to take the paladin and the other PCs there. The musician repeats the rumour he's heard that the Grey Ladies secretly worship Mammon – this sets the paranoid Krivinn off, prompting Saethus to tell him to "stop mentioning Mammon, you knucklehead!"
The Grey Ladies welcome the PCs and ask that one of them donates 13 hairs from his or her head to be woven into the loom. Sebastian agrees, pledges allegiance to the Ladies and is given a magical cloak in return. Krivinn trades his memory of defeating the Dockside Crew in the Old Fishery for a future critical success. Both he and Khuma can see through the illusions hiding the Ladies' true nature as spidery fey with six arms. The Grey Ladies ask the PCs to fetch them 20 strands of horsehair from Lazulin. The PCs make their excuses and leave.
Ella asks Eracen to take her to see Lady Sorreminx. The eladrin isn't in, but her door is answered by the flirtatious Sir Yngress who chats to the ranger, telling her that other guests in the palace include an ambassador from the Nine Hells and the Cockroach Demon Akyishigal.
In the Hall of Changelings, the PCs meet the dwarf scholar Narin Poolcryer who tells them about the Firebird that the Black Prince is obsessed with hunting. Krivinn challenges a tiefling, Caleb Quick to a bridge duel. Using the future moment of success he traded with the Grey Ladies, he defeats the tiefling with his first blow, catching him before he tumbles off the bridge.
The PCs' celebration is short-lived though, as Sebastian casts off his disguise, revealing himself to be a shadowy spy of the Moonlit King. He taunts the PCs before teleporting away.