We left off from our last session with the party trying to decide on their next steps. Having made a positive contact with Breylor, they obtained a key to the church and the name of an insider at Aces & Tails called Sanmoor, along with a bottle of poison to be used for either target.
After much deliberation the party decided to try and conduct an assassination on Graves Tailsman. They did not seem excited about poisoning a member of the church, despite his possible corruption. Unfortunately, they did not know where Graves' current whereabouts were, so they decided to split up and complete some reconnaissance.
Gruid, Boroth, Ysln, Can and Arjune decided to stakeout Aces & Tails to try and observe the people coming and going, and to try and find their contact Sanmoor. Gruid and Boroth went to the back of the building to see if there was access to the kitchens or any staff.
They observed on the back of the building a locked door along with two open windows approximately fifteen feet off the ground that could be accessed by climbing the drain pipes. Next to the locked door was a large trash pile.
Arjune positioned herself at the front of the building and began to preach loudly, accosting the various patrons as they entered or left the building. She wanted to keep an eye out to see if Graves would enter through the front door.
Ysln and Can both went inside and got themselves a place at one of the common room gambling tables to see if they could garner any additional information. Ylsn was moderately successful while gambling.
Cwingeld took a different approach to the information gathering endeavor and designed to try and seek out any henchmen in the market district to observe them while they were collecting their weekly "taxes" on the merchants. He was able to observe the henchmen accost a shop owner and he ultimately followed them to a warehouse on the edge of town. Upon looking into the warehouse he found that there were seven henchmen in the building but there was no sign of Graves. Inside the building the henchmen were counting the week's money and Cwingeld clearly observed a large desk awaiting an occupant. Cwingeld overheard one of the henchmen state that Graves would be along later this evening, but they did not know when.
Happening simultaneously, the party members back at Aces & Tails did gain their own information. Gruid and Boroth were able to befriend a young kitchen boy named Kyrin as he was taking out the trash from the kitchen. Gruid paid the boy three gold coins to keep the backdoor unlocked.
Inside Can and Ysln tried to gain information from the waitstaff on when Graves might be in residence. The waitstaff did not have knowledge of his arrival, but did indicate that he typically came in the evenings to a private room upstairs to receive his supper. Ysln attempted to gain access to the second floor by indicating she was interested in the sexual services provided by establishment. She was brought upstairs and shown to a private room, but was quickly ushered back down to the main floor when she indicated that she could not afford any of the services offered (ranging from 5-15 gold).
The information finally broke when the doorman to Aces & Tails confronted Arjune. The doorman asked Arjune to please leave the area because he was disturbing the guests. Boroth rounding the corner from the back of the establishment asked the man if his name was Sanmoor. It was and they found their man inside. Sanmoor indicated that he would not move on Graves himself, but he knew Graves' schedule this evening and could provide chefs clothes if the party needed them.
Graves was currently on his way to Aces & Tails and was expected to arrive around 10:00 pm, wherein he would take his supper. After supper he would leave and head over to the warehouse district to complete a final tally of the week's earnings, after which he would finally retire to his private residence around 3:00 am.
The party did not yet know where Graves' residence was, but they now had his schedule and knew two of the locations where he would be. Both locations would likely be heavily guarded. Access inside Aces & Tails was fairly easy, at least to the public areas, but the downside is that any action taken in this location would be seen by a lot of people. A full on confrontation would likely not be the best course of action and the party did not know how to get to the second floor.
The warehouse on the other hand would have very little visibility to the public, but the party did not have much information on the location. They did have time if they wanted to gather more information though.
After much deliberation the party elected to attempt their assassination at Aces & Tails. Can and Ysln remained inside on the ground floor to monitor the situation from the inside. Graves was observed arriving through the front door of the building right on time, and immediately headed up to his private room on the second floor.
Gruid entered the kitchen area through the backdoor, wearing the newly acquired chef's clothes and was able to succeed a Dex saving throw to act as a sous chef. He then slipped the poison into the drink on the silver platter for Graves and quickly left the building and heading right back to the inn the party was staying at.
The tray of food was brought up to the second floor and the party now waited. Time went on with seemingly nothing happening until Mr. Stillman eventually came down the stairs. He quietly talked to two henchmen who locked the front door to the establishment and blocked the exit from the gambling room. Can and Ylsn observed Mr. Stillman head to the kitchen, lock the door. Moments later screams poured from the kitchen all Stillman was killing all the chef staff.
Panic arose in the gambling hall, but the two henchmen prevented anyone from leaving, trapping Can and Ylsn inside. Can and Ylsn had to make a decision. Do they attack the henchmen to try and get out? Do they rally the scared gamblers in the hall or do they wait it out? Thankfully, it did not come down to violence.
Arjune had a spellbook of "Knock" on her possession and used it on the front door from the outside to open it. The loud noise distracted the henchmen and a rush of people burst out of the gambling room and onto the street.
Graves Tailsman was dead and the party made their way back to their inn to regroup. Later that evening Mr. Stillman visited the inn. Mr. Stillman knew the party committed the assassination since Gruid returned to the inn with the chef's clothes still on. It was established in an earlier session that the inn was being watched by henchmen of Mr. Tailsman.
Mr. Stillman appluaded the party's gumption, but warned them not to interfere again as he now presumably took Tailsman's place inside the crime syndicate.
And that is where we ended Session 8.