The party travels with Icathar (the head gaurd) to Scalanta to sort out this Hassad matter and maybe score some free equipment. On the way they meet a very suspicious gem peddler who won’t sell any gems but is collecting them. He wears a heavy cloak, has an aura of magic, won’t give a real name (O’Brian is all he offers), and doesn’t want to give much away. He is seeking a stone that is rumored to have shown up in Iota. It sounds like the gem that Jim lost. They mention Caliban and the stranger warns them against him, vehemently. The party, not willing to admit any knowledge of the gems, dispute the rumor of a gem in Iota. Jim gives everybody’s real name, Caroline reminds him of her fake name and he covers. The stranger says he’ll check in within a few days to see if they got the gem.
The party send a message, by bunny courier, to those they left in Cain’s Mountain Cut-through.
In Scalanta, Icathar heads to visit king. The party visit a knickknack shop where they learn the clerk has sold a gem like the ones they cary (but transparent/bluish) to the shady gem peddler (along with the magical cloak). Jim guilt trips him into helping them.
Then they hit the weapon shop where Jim commissions two custom blue steel long swords with gem slots to fit the special gems. The swords will be done in two days. Snakeskin buys a bastard sword and gets hooked into buying a blue steel dagger (1d6 damage) as well. Seeing the chance to guilt a shopkeep into giving her a cool deal, Caroline asks for a similarly discounted dagger and gets it.
Then the party decides to take a break from the intensity of adventuring and bowl. Snakeskin makes up for his childhood bowling inadequacy. Jim cheats his to second. CaroLION wins handily. Tieflings are very bad bowlers. ( The Scorecard ) Jim makes a lot of bowling jokes; The dragonborns laugh.
After bowling it occurs to Snakeskin that his Mom might still live in his childhood home. He rushes home only to find another family living there. His mom has moved to a home. He rushes to get her flowers, managing to find a nice little store where he gets some lilies. Heading to the home he and the party meet Ms. Jones who doesn’t seem to remember Snakeskin. She tells some funny stories about him not being potty trained. Snakeskin writes her a letter and leaves it with the attendant at the nursing home. The party is called to the kings chamber.
The king asks the party to kill the red dragon nicknamed ‘Smokestack’ who lives on a cliff in the Mulberry Mountains. He fears that the dragon will be seen as a violation of the treaty of the post despite the Dragonborns’ disaffiliation with that treaty. He wants to kill the dragon but Hassad and his supporters do not. He wants the party to take care of it which gives him enough political leeway to avert a rebellion (a terrorist one at that). The party agrees, intending to resolve business in the city and head back toward the mountains.