Many conversations between heroes and former prisoners take place over the two-day journey downriver to Graybanks. It’s nearing dusk when the party arrives. Graydon sets out to take Caelonna to the local temple to the Higher Nine, and the rest follow Abbron to the White Rune, an inn in the trade-heavy Crossways district. The White Rune caters to the rare elven travelers, and although those elves in the main room regard Honora suspiciously, Baden buys their courtesy with a round of drinks.
Over dinner, they learn fairly little. Mostly they go over what Caelonna’s already told them of the routine at Fivesaints Abbey, and Abbron makes a few subtle inquiries about brandy that confirm that the latest batch was not as good as usual. They also confirm that a merchant named Calkin acts as middleman for the abbey’s trading, and that a pious ferryman/fisherman named Cader Hooks takes the regular donations to the abbey. Once the meal’s over, Honora and Diedra strike out for another inn (choosing the Pious Man in the temple-heavy Southfalls district) and Abbron moves on to begin a round of pub-crawling and information gathering. Baden chats a bit more with Belderai, gaining the (mistaken) impression that she’s sending out signals of attraction. He deftly makes a few subtle inquiries in that direction, and discovers that although she might not have previously been considering such a liaison, she’s certainly not against it. The two retire for the evening.
Abbron moves his way through various Downriver taverns into the night, subtly inquiring as he goes. A well-off fishwife informs him that she saw the abbey’s boat one night at Felsen’s Quay, the hangout for a dangerous dredge-gang led by Corbran Goss. Corbran is apparently the only surviving Goss brother, having lost the other three in a “boating accident” after they crossed the Come-When-Called clan.
The next morning, Abbron spends a little time observing Felsen’s Quay, then collects Baden at the White Rune. The two of them meet with Honora where she’s been spending time speaking with Brother Waymark at the Valysan House of the Vigil. Waymark answers a few questions about the watch-captains, stating that he believes Downriver’s Captain Braddeth seems to be a good woman, if a little testy when she’s overworked. From there, they move on to the temple of the Higher Nine and speak with the high priest Oreian Palestone. Palestone is certainly concerned about the Abbey, and as much so about the tome-and-broken-rosary emblem on the roll of arms. However, his contact with Abbot Felderose is limited to the occasional letter, and he has no greater information. He expresses his gratitude for having the effects of Arlithane returned, and contemplates what to do about the sword.
The final religious stop is the Temple of the Unshrouded Sun in Northfalls. There they find Radiant Mother Brennarae arguing heatedly with a somewhat fatigued Graydon. The Radiant Mother takes a softer tone with the group as they approach, and offers to help however she can. She finds an illumination in a book on pacts that hints at Kyrophast’s resurrection, and the group spends some time musing about the nature of the White Rider and how many of those villains depicted on the roll of arms may have received a similar “rebirth” to Klogis. Graydon mentions that he’s discovered there was a criminal clan called the Sons of Judgment in the Shades, and he intends to inquire further. The four decide for their part to approach Captain Braddeth about Corbran Goss and the Abbey, and Mother Brennarae gives them a letter of introduction.
Captain Braddeth turns out to be testy when stressed, as advertised, but also cooperative. She mentions that she’s been suspicious of Goss for a while, who seems to be doing good business despite the loss of his brothers, but has been too pressed with inter-clan conflict to do anything about it. The Black Owls have apparently been expanding from Crossways, hitting the local Clan Shaddifor fairly badly, and the affair has taken up most of her attention. Honora, Baden and Abbron volunteer to help her with the clans in order to free her up. (Diedra, for her part, is a little lost amid the urban intrigue but offers to help as best she can as well.) Braddeth is somewhat surprised, but says if the group can “knock some heads” together and get both clans lying low, that would free her up significantly.
That evening, the Black Owls suffer a series of unfortunate surprises. Their strongpoint at a riverside warehouse is quickly overrun: one sentry is flattened by a thunderclap, a pair of sniper/lookouts are drubbed into unconsciousness by Baden, and Honora smashes open the main doors and tells the eight men inside to start running. The leader actually manages to steel his bowels and threaten her before Abbron stuns him into submission with a small lightning bolt. The remainder flee — though not far enough. After dropping off a pair of captives with Crossways’ Watch-Captain Callorick, the heroes catch up with them at a second strongpoint where the Owls are awaiting a Shaddifor counter-attack. These “owlets” are sent scurrying like the rest, and when the Shaddifor arrive a few minutes later, they receive an equally pointed (and electric) incentive to go lie low and lick their wounds for a while — “unless you need a few more wounds to lick.”