As the episode begins, we discuss what Khorvus got up to during the trimester break, having taken part in a Dragonsguard Reserve Corps endurance weekend. Deep in the Lorehold Badlands, we come across Khorvus trying to keep up with a small group of students being led by Lilianna Flametounge. Khorvus struggles in the hot, arid environment, and begins to question his beliefs on what life outside his Triton colony is like, and the superiority complex that Triton’s have towards the land-dwelling species. After sometime, when the rest of the group is far ahead of him, Khorvus begins to smell salt in the air, like that from near the ocean, and follows the scent.
Inside a nearby cave, Khorvus finds relief out of the sun and sees a small pool of salty water. As he begins to approach the water, a hooded figure in the shadows asks him how he finds himself so far from his Triton homeland. Khorvus excuses himself for a moment, engulfing himself in the water, before coming back to the surface. He speaks with this figure, who encourages him to keep up his journey, and reminds him to stay true to his faith. As Khorvus takes another dip into the water, he realises the hooded figure has disappeared. Gathering himself, Khorvus exits the cave, and finds himself ahead of his peers, who are bewildered by his apparent speed to get ahead of group. Khorvus looks back at the cave entrance, which has since disappeared, and continues the march back to campus feeling refreshed, both physically and spiritually.
Sometime later, as the new trimester has begun, we focus in on the party studying away. While they are continuing their shared, year-long class: Magical Physiologies, they each have chosen electives based on their interests:
- Arth: Beginning Computational Magic (Quandrix) & An Overview of Magical Notation (Silverquill)
- Edolkar: Techniques used in Combat and Dance (Prismari)
- Khorvus: Introduction to the Magic of Complements (Silverquill)
- Trix: Guidelines on the Successful Exploration of Historical Sites (Lorehold)
Further again into the trimester, Arth is working away at the student store in the Biblioplex, accompanied by Groff Lundquist. As he is tidying, Arth catches a glimpse of a small group of people walking with tomes, scrolls and dusty books, chatting with each other, which catches his interest. He “accidentally” drops an inkwell on the floor, and under the guise of finding equipment to clean it up, sneaks off to find the group that ventured further into the Biblioplex. The group, having set up in a circle, begin with their members going through stories, sonnets and readings of works they have collected. Arth continues sitting in the back, until he is eventually the only one who has not presented something, many of the people looking toward him. Arth looks through his bag, and presents the book Zaneus gave him when he left Portsmouth. He explains that he has only started reviewing and understanding its meaning, and asks for anyone present who is interested, to join him in uncovering its origins. An Owlin, dressed in Silverquill professor robes, stands, who Arth recognises as Shaile Talonrook, the Dean of Radiance. Shaile expresses interest in this mystery text, and welcomes him to their organisation of lore bards to further unravel its mysteries.
As Arth returns back to the student store, he finds Groff combing through piles of inventory in a frantic panic. Arth asks what the problem is, and finds out that a Quandrix professor robe is missing from the inventory. Reviewing his ledger, Groff indicates that access to the storeroom, where these robes are kept, is accessible only to himself, Arth, and a few senior clerks in the Biblioplex. Arth denies any involvement, so Groff hastily proceeds to speak with someone.
Meanwhile, Trix is working a shift in the Biblioplex, tidying away and sorting things. She sees Groff and Arth walk up Elandra, the Eladrin, nodding off at the clerk desk, and joins them. Trix asks if Elandra is aware of any missing items, and Arth prompts her to check that she still has a copy of the storeroom key. Elandra searches through her bag, but finds that the key is missing from her key ring. Arth prompts her further, where she reveals she may have mentioned having access in her dormitory, but that her bag, and key ring, is usually with her at all times, and only she and her roommate would have access to the dorm room. Arth asks who her roommate is, to which she replies: Vestan. Elandra invites them to join her back at her dorm, where they can review further.
Arth and Trix seek out Khorvus and Edolkar somewhere on campus. On an open field in the central campus, Khorvus is engaged in “combat” as part of his LARP guild, fighting against a shape-shifted Professor Rixy, the changeling professor. Arth and Trix get his attention, and ask for him to join them on their investigation. In a few fields over, Edolkar is practising with his Intramural Silkball club, preparing to catch an incoming ball. The party ask for his help in investigating “Rodane”, to which he readily accepts and departs. A small gnome, Jeremus, complains that the team will never make it to regionals with Edolkar’s laziness…
A short time later, the party arrive at Quandrix campus, and walk to a senior student dormitory housing block, where they find Elandra waiting outside. They travel up the geometrically-designed layout, and arrive outside her dorm room, the names: Elandra Fandriel and Vestan Zinlaer displayed in clear text on the door. Inside, Elandra’s side of the dorm is a mess, with the bed un-made, books and scrolls laid about, and clothes intermixed everywhere. Vestan’s side of the room is neatly arranged, aligned and clean. Elandra apologies, explaining this fatigue has been a cause for her.
The party begin to explore the dorm, with Trix checking under Vestan’s bed. She finds and pulls out a small notebook, hidden between two slats, Opening it up, she sees a list of twenty names, but only one she clearly recognises: Darius Zadelwort. Trix makes a copy of the list in her own journal, then places the book back where she found it. The party continue investigating, but are unable to find anything that looks out of place or suspicious. They ask Elandra if she knows anything about him, but she indicates:
- They became dorm mates at the start of this year
- Vestan comes and goes at all hours, with all the noise making it hard for her to sleep.
- She thinks Vestan spends a lot of time coordinating a club that he founded.
Edolkar asks Elandra to explain his physical appearance, which he recalls lines up with what Edolkar remembers of “Rodane”. The party debate on what they should do next, agreeing to wait in the dorm for Vestan to return next and try to get more information on him. Due to the size of the dorm, and concern that Vestan may remember Edolkar, Khorvus and Edolkar leave to find a neighbouring room to hide in, while Arth and Trix remain with Elandra.
Edolkar knocks on a neighbouring door, and is surprised to find a smartly-dressed, soft-spoken Minotaur inside. They greet each other in a traditional Minotaur handshake, and on Edolkar’s request, the figure invites them in. Within the interior of the room, they see a custom-fit dorm room, designed for 1 large creature. The minotaur introduces themselves as Drazhomir (who goes by “Draz”), and Edolkar informs him on what they are doing next door. Draz brews some tea, and pulls out some of his poetry which he offers to recite to pass the time.
A half-hour passes before Arth and Trix hear noises coming from the hallway, with the familiar stuttering voice of Darius speaking to an unknown figure. The figure pulls out a set of keys, moving to open the door to the room. As the door opens, Trix pretends she and Arth are helping Elandra to find a lost book. They meet Vestan Zinlaer, who while surprised to see Arth and Trix in the room, quickly finishes introductions and moves to find some documents in a desk. Arth informs Vestan they are also looking for some keys, and tries to gauge his reaction. Trix, noticing a set of keys in Vestan’s back pocket, takes a look and sees what she believes must be the missing storeroom key. Vestan moves to leave with Darius, so Arth discusses with the party to see if they can secretly follow Vestan and Darius to find out more about this “club”.