Zhedd started summoning a band of air elementals to try and grapple the foes, and the rest of the party moved to try and join the battle on the roof. Gerald took a chance and called down a flame strike that engulfed the trio fighting on the roof, hoping Mendel would evade the damage. He did - but the foes didnt as they were bathed in fire, which narrowly missed Felix as Dacien telekinesed him to the roof. The final assassin was grappled by the elementals but had enough breath in him to utter the word he needed to dimension door away.
The party gathered the loot from their foes, including 400 gold in skimmed coins suggesting ties to the Eighth Coil, and explored the abandoned building. They found equipment, make up and clothing used to make the building appear haunted, and bunk beds that hadnt been used in some time. A conference room had signs of an attack - chairs overturned, blood spatter and disembodied fingers on the floor. The final room was more disturbing - strips of shed spider skin and exoskeleton hung from the ceiling to fill the room. The party pulled these down from afar to reveal a grotesque effigy depicting Demogorgon - made from stitched together parts from human bodies, and animal parts. Piled hurriedly at the base of this were some treasures and a sack containing the clothing and gear of a female pirate - and the tell-tale earring the party recognised from their adventure in Kraken's cove from Harliss Javell. Perhaps it was her sewn into the effigy... In amongst her belongings they found a scroll, broken seal depicting a harp, from King Koryn's agent that read
Esteemed Tyrlandi, The bearer of this note is a friend and associate of mine. If you could aid her, I would once again be in your debt. Please extend her every courtesy - Zimon Alveneer
The party recovered and next day stopped off at the Rusty Shunt. Lars said he'd just heard that Zimon's body was hanging in the plaza. Tyrlandi, he explained, was a bit of a mystery, but that any visitors would have to per her the proper tribute.
Zhedd scryed for Harliss, clutching the earring as he leant over the pool. A view of a woman, lit by the rising sun, unconscious and badly beaten and dehydrated, lying on a straw-strewn cage floor. This reminded the party of a structure they had seen in the city - the Birdcage, run by the harpies that called themselves the Sister of Lamentation. The party toyed with visiting the Birdcage or Tyrlandi first - and fearing that Tyrlandi may have double-crossed Harliss, decided to explore the Birdcage first. They wandered through the city and found the crooked spire - its walls covered in graphic lewd images of debauchery, pain and pleasure. They mulled around outside, indecisive as Zhedd eventually asked some gulls to fly and and peer in the glass top - but they couldn't see enough to report. Felix caught up with one pirate patron as he was leaving and persuaded him to share some of the details - the brothel was not for the faint-hearted, but that if Felix had the stomach for it, 'Vivisecta' was the one to ask for.
Walking through the city, Felix spotted a passer by try to leave a scrap of paper in one of his colleague's pockets. He grabbed the pickpockets hand and shooed them off - it turned out to be a warning that 'one of the party was not who they seemed' and to come to the Deacon's Aria at midnight to find out more. This building turned out to be a theatre, in the grand guignol style, putting on bloody and visceral displays including a striptease and a play about a doppelganger. The theatre owner, Abethany, was intrigued by the party's tale and interested in having them as consultants to make some of their displays more technically convincing and graphic. Gerald mooted the idea that the party could hire out some of the actors for a private job, and suggested returning once the plans were more concrete.
The party remained in two minds about what to do next, so to stall for time went looking for a suitable 'gift' to give Tyrlandi. They went to the market, but left empty handed after Mendel insulted the perfumer, so went to the docks looking for other ideas. It seemed a city where pirates came to relax rather than sell off their goods, but a word in the right ear might reveal someone more desperate to be rid of their spoils.They were stopped by a nervous street hustler with a large coat lined with trinkets he tried to off-load to the party. As the party were distracted, some invisible assassin slipped form the crowds on the docks, along with some disguised leaping demons. They pounced on the party, Mendel and Faldak receiving knives in a variety of vital organs, and the demons tried to abduct the others. Antony laid low an assassin with the Cymric Dirk - and was struck by the mental image of the minting House, the assassin's hideout and heart of the Eighth Coil, as its deepest secret was revealed. A passing wizard happened to see the shadowy dagger in action, and uttered a short prayer before attacking the party and trying to claim the dagger for himself. The party later found a holy symbol of Masauwu on him, confirming his interest in that immortal's unholy artifact. The party fought off the attackers in quite public display of power that caught many bystanders in magical effects and drew a larger crowd. Antony was abducted by a leaping demon to an abandoned warehouse. Before the demon could pummel Antony into the ground, he used the bracelet of friends to call Mendel to his side, who dispatched the demon with ease. They left the warehouse to ifnd themselves in the eastern quarter of the city near a dark austere orphanage. Back on the docks, Zhedd's solid fog and Dacien's wall of force kept people at bay long enough for the party to gather themselves, the loot, and escape back to their hideout.
They resolved to rest up and return in the morning. They had three targets - Tyrlandi, the Sisters of Lamentation, and the Eighth Coil. Finding a gift for Tyrlandi was to be first on the list.