Although a strange pair, they get along well and eventually find themselves working for the Darkwater Smugglers. Their boss is the skilled rogue DARUSA. Other members of the group include DAN (a master lockpicker), PHIL (not really sure what he does...), and HANS (runs the smuggler's front business). Business has been slow but Darusa is preparing for a huge shipment of shivel to come in which will give the group a good injection of funds.
Finding several aggravations in not being a citizen of the Empire, Early goes to the forgery expert MELON in the Undercity Market to obtain forged citizenship papers and a forged firearms permit. He later visits the Pale Tower, home of the celestial residents of the city of Elan, but he is sent away when it is determined he has no real business there.
Later, Emeris and Early are contacted by an old friend of Early named GARETH. He too is a former Vigoor mercenary who once worked with Early. He has recently taken a job as an administrator with the Commissar's office. He tells them he has been informed of a mysterious hit to be carried out on a seemingly mundane woman named PHON. Gareth asks them to find out who wants her dead and why.
They encounter an old man talking about seeing "blue gnolls", and they find a wanted poster for the dark elf SHILUKAR, posted by House Abbadar. They also hear of a Republican rally that is supposed to take place soon.
They find out little about Phon, asking at St. Gustav's Chapel (where they meet BROTHER FABITOR) and Santo's seamstress place where she works. Luckily, the manage to run into her...being assaulted by Pale Dog thugs who are clearly intending to murder her!
After a brief fight and a violent interrogation, Emeris and Early kill the hired murderers and drop the bodies down into the sewer. Using a clue found on one of the bodies, they find a note from someone named DOFFEL. They follow the lead to a warehouse where they battle the goon who hired the Pale Dogs, who is actually a guy named VAGGER who used a fake name and never intended to pay his boys. Emeris and Early fight Vagger and his henchman, a elf sniper named LAUCIO, and two dobermans. They find no evidence concerning the attempted murder -- their only lead is the identities of Vagger and Laucio.
Next time: The characters follow the trail of Phon's enemies!