Randoon, Slide and Shadow go about the business of securing the Jaundiced Jellyfish and establishing connections in the neighborhood. Randoon invests his energies looking into the power structures of the city, learning of the Great Houses and the many guilds, corporations, associations and militias that they employ.
The Dominium is ruled by the Dominex Timaeus, whose palace — the Pillar of Atlas, constructed of red, white and black marble, towers over the Citadel quarter of Dominium City. The Hall of Hermocrates, houses the “The Heart of Atlantis”, the city council.
The halls of government are occupied by the Silentiarios — a group of courtiers responsible for the maintenance of order in the palace.
There are twelve great houses in the hierarchy of the Dominium:
- The House of Aerides — alchemists, artificers, and magewrights of great skill
- The House of Eleftherios — bodyguards, scouts, sentries, and seers
- The House of Ellinikos — protection and mercenary services
- The House of Gvinardon — innkeepers, chefs and restaurateurs (Their coat of arms, three black swans on a gold band across a black field)
- The House of Kerameikos — bankers, moneylenders, and security. (Their coat of arms, a crossed gold key and silver sword on a blue field)
- The House of Lykavittos — weather magic, shipping, and transportation
- The House of Meletios — alchemists and healers
- The House of Monastiraki — entertainers and artisans, diviners and illusionists
- The House of Patisias — couriers and transportation
- The House of Spyridon — communication, mediation and advocacy
- The House of Thission — prospectors, detectives, and bounty hunters
- The House of Votanikos — teamsters, trainers, and stablekeepers
In addition to the great houses, there is the Legion (the militia), the Protectorate (the church militia), and the Watch.
Shadow visits his friend Daylain, owner of the Wonders of the Fey shop, in order to send some communication to their former patron, the Lady Alekto Kerameiko. He outlines their plans to “clean up” Dockside, and solicits her help in avoiding entanglements with the city watch, who have been shown to contain corrupt elements. The party hopes to arrange a meeting with the Lady to discuss further arrangements. Shadow’s letter is eloquent and persuasive.
Daylain examines the cloak the party recovered from the Shades of Typhon thugs they fought on the Dockside rooftops, and reveals it to be a Gloaming Shroud, a powerful item. But he also discovers that it is “signed” by the Shades’ “eyes and arms” sigils embroidered on the hem.
Slide meanwhile gathers his young halfling “irregulars” and instructs them on security and defense. He urges them to be self-sufficient, while assuring them that he will reimburse them for information discretely gathered. The party rents a nearby warehouse as a refuge for those of the small gang who live on the streets.
Back at the Jellyfish, the trio are visited by one Pericles D’sdayne, of the “House of Monastiraki”, and alleged “landlord” or service-provider of some sort for the Jellyfish. The party assures the eladrin fop and his two associates that until they see evidence of D’sdayne’s markeing efforts, they have no intention of paying him. D’sdayne negotiates a two-month moratorium, and promises to return to collect his fee after such evidence is provided.
Finally, Barnabus, a disciple of Ioun and associate of the priestess Elysia (with whom the party had previous business) arrives at the inn obviously distraught. Elysia has been infected by some plague that she was exposed to while investigating the catacombs below the shrine. And now the Protectorate and the Church of Erathis are threatening to kill the exposed disciples to prevent the “amber fever” from spreading. Protectorate soldiers have been dispatched to deal with the source of the plague, but have gone missing in the catacombs. The party has been called upon because of their previous experience with the labyrinthine tunnels, and Elysia hoped to enlist their aid based on the goodwill generated by their previous association.
At the Shrine, Father Darius Eleftherio has imperiously ordered the deaths of the infected, and that the shrine be shut down and sealed. However, he is attacked by a squad of his own soldiers who have been so infected by the plague that their “amber fever” has accelerated to an “amber rage”, a murderous zombie-like frenzy. The priest flees, locking himself into a side room, and leaves the party, Friar Cappa, and a pair of Protectorate soldiers to face the frenzied plague-bearers. The ragers break into one of the sick rooms, killing the infected there and generating still more ragers. One of the soldiers falls, and the party is nearly overwhelmed, but they fight off multiple waves of ragers, and free Elysia.
Elysia informs them she can brew a cure to the fever, but only with the crystals gathered from the catacombs below, which appear to be the source of the disease. Some force has been unleashed there and she fears it. Time is short for the sick disciples and the priestess. If the party is to help, they must do so quickly!