The Department of State Parks, Entertainment and Recreation seeks willing individuals for a task that may involve a certain amount of foreign travel.
The party are briefed by Felip Caulson. Their mission is to go to Moveria, a province of Serradis on the Western coast, and aid the revolution which is forming there in any way they can. The civil service are hoping that if the revolution is successful, Serradis will have a more permanent distraction from any grudges against Acryn, and Acryn will gain a new ally to the West. He cannot stress enough the need for Serradis not to discover Acryn's involvement here. Noting that several of the cult of Tuireann have decided to come along on the mission, he suggests to Prim that perhaps they might make a good scapegoat should Serradis take notice of outside involvement.
Before the party leave, Evan surreptitiously takes on the appearance of Felip Caulson, using Identity Theft. He is able to procure a file on the Serradic venture from one of Caulson's subordinates, giving a summary of the situation - and names of all the party. There are several symbols next to the names. Using Taste of Knowledge, Evan is able to determine that the symbols nexts to the names of Nice, Selphina and the fake name of Darius, mean 'they are expendable'. Next to Sev's name, and also next to a string of numbers, is a symbol meaning 'these people are useful'. Prim's name is nowhere on the list, leading Evan to conclude that the string of numbers is her codename.
He shares some of this information with Marian - and both voice their suspicions about a Department of State Parks possessing the power to authorise a mission like theirs.
When the party arrive in Moveria, they meet with one of the revolutionary groups. Initially, the group is somewhat distrusting of the new arrivals - particularly as they appear to have brought a tyrant lizard, a paper golem, and someone who is rather unhinged. During the conversation, the reasons for the revolt emerge - Moveria has a tradition of magic - mostly scribing - which has been pushed underground by the Serradic occupation. Even more terribly, the taxes on whiskey are now so high that no-one can afford a drink. Also helping the Moverians is Albrecht Tannenbaum, The Tyrantsbane, a Valyddi godling of rebellion and uprising.
To prove their loyalty (and get them out of the way), the party are sent to disrupt a rally being held by a Serradic priest, urging the people away from revolution. The party knock the priest out, stick him in a cupboard, and have Pig impersonate him using the powers of the splintered man. When Pig takes the stage, this goes about as well as can be expected, and the display of near madness and showers of blood are very effective in turning the crowd against the Serradic forces. Pig is briefly arrested, but manages to escape with relative ease. As word spreads through the city, and the people's fervour rises, the town guard begin to crack down. The revolution begins.
(Meanwhile, Selphina and Darius return to where the real priest has been hidden. After mugging a nearby urchin and extracting enough blood to fill a vial, they exchange it for the vial of blood around the priest's neck. Darius then proceeds to fill the priest's pockets with Acryn coin, for good measure - whereupon he is taken to the town guard.)
The riot eventually stabilises into something a little more organised, as a miracle of the Tyrantslayer allows barricades to be erected around areas held by the rebels which will stand up to anything the town guard can throw at them - assisted by rituals from Sev to strengthen the barricade, and Selphina and Nice calling forth the vines of Tuireann (content to feast on the Serradic forces, for now). However, as the rebels regroup and form their plans, the main force of the Serradic army arrives. Their alchemical artillery makes quick work of the barricades, and quickly pushes the revolutionary force into a rout. As they escape the city, the vines spread, and Tiureann's forest grows, devouring the Serradic army, and anyone else unfortunate enough to still be in the city.
The party pause for the night to recuperate behind the barricade. Evan attempts to seduce a few rebels using Prim's appearance; Pig manages to severely traumatise several with its propensity towards collecting the intestines of the fallen Serradic guard. Marian, sensing that goodwill towards her compatriots is waning, using a minor Leader miracle to organise a whiskey-fueled party for their allies, managing to temporarily suspend their doubts - in addition to spending the night constructing outlandish schemes for the revolution's success with an exceedingly inebriated Valentina Harrison. Darius, meanwhile, takes the time to discreetly sew little 'made in Acryn' tags to some of the Moverian national flags decorating the barricade.)
Eventually, despite being led into an ambush by one of the less competent revolutionary generals, the party regroup with the revolutionary forces. Their commander, Bartlett, lays out their situation - they don't have the people, the resources, or the weaponry to take on the Serradic army directly, but they might be able to make it cost the Serradics more to retake Moveria than they would ever earn in taxes - hopefully encouraging at least a stalemate, if not peace. The party come up with a plan - they will steal a caravan full of the Serradic artillery shells, and hand it over to the revolution. Once that is done, they will infiltrate a Serradic command post, and Evan will use the blessings of the Splintered Man to impersonate a Serradic general, and order the army to overextend, striking the rebels at key points in a series of fights which the rebels will retreat from to add to the narrative and ensure that noone looks to closely at the orders. Once the army is extended, and concentrated into a valley, the revolutionaries will strike - severing the supply lines, and using the stolen explosives to being down the sides of the valley, sealing the army within. To coordinate this, Valentina Harrision, a firebrand revolutionary and a scribing mage, creates two pairs of books - one which allows communication between herself and the party, and the other between herself and General Bartlett.
There is a certain amount of dispute within the revolutionary camp - with some, like one of their Serradic allies, lobbying for peace talks with the Empire, and others insisting that revolution (and the bloodshed that will inevitably follow) is the only way to save their country from destruction. Prim and Bartlett discuss these issues, and find they both share a distinct ideological preference for doing what needs to be done.
In response to the debates, Valentina and some of the other rebels have enacted a contingency plan - sending a messenger to Serradis, with instructions to spread word that the whole thing is an Acryn plot if it all goes south, in the hope that the rage of Serradis can be redirected from their colony to their old enemy.
Darius, learning of this, secretly sends a letter to the Serradic messenger, informing him (erroneously) that the revolution has already failed.
Whilst travelling to the Serradic camp, Selphina, Nice and Darius realise that, once again, small pieces of flesh are attempting to escape from their bodies in order to report back to Ghita Darrish. Whilst Selphina and Darius manage to kill theirs, Nice's escapes and makes its way back to Acryn. Evan, however, using Taste of Knowledge, is able to sample Darius' dead golem in order to learn of all that Darius has been doing throughout the adventure - including the letter he sent to the Serradic messenger. He informs Marian of this - and the two conclude that at least one member of their party is attempting to start a war between Acryn and Serradis.
The party capture the explosives without issue - but when they attempt to communicate with Valentina to arrange the handover, there is no response. After a short while, they get a hastily scribbled message than she has been captured, with a rough map. They march in to free her - leaving the caravan under guard by the reanimated corpse of the Serradic priest who they took it from. With the explosives delivered, the party make their way to the command post under cover of darkness.
Meanwhile, Marian and Evan have been sharing a series of fraught debates about the loyalties of various party members. It is concluded that Marian will leave the group, and head for Serradis in order to apprehend the rebel messenger - who, as Evan has learned, has been given a letter falsely claiming that the rebels have fallen, thus triggering the plan to blame Acryn. Prim also learns of this, and helps style Marian's clothes so that they resemble the robes of a Serradic Leader Priest.
Evan, meanwhile, confronts Prim about her Traiterous affiliations. (This is confirmed after he consumes a piece of her hair.) He announces his intention to make her loyalties widely known. Prim now realises that, although Evan is no friend of the Tuireann cultists, he is no ally. The confrontation ends in fake tears and mutual homicidal intentions.
After sneaking their way past guard salamanders, the party battle the Priest of the Raging Tide who leads the Serradic army. As Nice Lizard attempts to puppet him with the vines of Tiureann, the priest calls down a miracle to break the vines, and give him the strength to battle the enemies of Serradis. It's not enough, and the battle is soon over, but the saltwater which flows through the priests veins following the miracle is consumed by Nice Lizard, and clearly still considers them an enemy.
Evan takes on the appearance of the Priest of the Raging Tide. Soon after, he finds himself cut down by Prim, who has 'accidentally' mistaken him for the real Priest - and is only able to escape a fatal blow through the aura of the Splintered Man. Prim feigns contrition.
Once the battle to take the command post has been won, the party split off into several groups. Evan, disguised as the Serradic general, tells both Darius and Prim to go and hide; both, suspicious of this command, take the opportunity to promptly hightail it out of there. Evan then gives two orders to the Serradics: firstly, that the rebels are retreating to a particular area, and they are to send all forces there; secondly, that the rebel heading for Serradis with his message is a traitor to the empire, and must be immediately eliminated.
The Serradic forces head to where the rebels are stationed (and armed with explosives galore). The battle is brief and one-sided. The Moverians carry the day.
Meanwhile, a traveller on the way to Serradis is apprehended and killed.
Back at the Serradic camp, Evan uses his fragment of mirror to find a way through the Lost Spaces back to Acryn, and arrives ahead of the rest of the group.
There is some dispute amongst the others as to whether they ought to wait a day for Evan/Michael to join them, or if they ought to decamp for Acryn immediately. Eventually, with much insistence from Prim, the latter course wins out, and the rest of the party begin the long journey back from Serradis.
Evan, meanwhile, heads directly for Ghita Darrish. He falls on her mercy, telling her everything he learned of Serradis, Moveria - and, chiefly, the divided loyalties of his erstwhile compatriots. Ghita, aided by knowledge gained from Nice Lizard’s renegade flesh golem, is able to confirm the truth of these claims, and assures him it shall be dealt with. Evan is particularly eager that she use her influence to prevent Pig and Sev from attending a potentially disastrous sleepover at Casa Tuireann. She sees to it that a letter of warning is sent.
This done, Evan flees to Marian’s mansion, whereupon - unable to gain entrance through conventional means - he disguises himself as one of the servants, with the intention of hiding until Marian’s return.
Meanwhile, the party return to Felip Caulson, in order to report the success of their mission. After questioning them on the circumstances of this victory - with particular emphasis on the discretion part of the mission brief - Caulson, seemingly satisfied, presents them each with 70 Riel. At his mouthed behest, however, Prim stays behind.
Prim gives a slightly more detailed report of events, explaining the situation with the rebels’ messenger to Serradis - reassuring Caulson that Marian has been dispatched to deal with this. Caulson appears mollified.
Marian, meanwhile, has reached Serradis, and successfully located the messenger’s house. Unbeknownst to her, however, the messenger is no longer available for comment. Instead, she is seized by several Serradic guards on lookout.
Marian claims to be a merchant who has been cheated by the man in question, and refuses to diverge from this story - even in the wake of obvious scepticism that she will ever be getting redress, or even an answer, for her grievances. This prompts her to realise that Michael has already dealt with the matter. She is taken in for questioning. However, owing to the lack of any concrete evidence whatsoever against her, she is soon released, and taken - at her request - to the local Leader Church.
Here, she manage to gain an audience with several of the higher-ups, and regales them with a blood-curdling tale of treachery. That is to say, of the Traitor Church itself - and a plot to stir up tensions with the Serradic Empire on the part of Acryn’s corrupt Civil Service. She uses her remaining Leader Miracle to lend eloquence and weight to this tale, and the rumour, consequently, spreads like wildfire through Serradis.
Meanwhile, back in Acryn, Evan attempts to send a letter to Jimmy Hoskins, warning him that Pig may be in danger from the Tuireann cultists.
Back in Caulson’s office, Prim explains some of her difficulties. Michael - or Evan - has managed to get past her cover, and is determined to go public with all he has learned of the Traitor Church as consequence. He is a high priority for reclamation. Another issue: the Tuireann cultists were doing all they could to alert Serradis of Acryn involvement in Moveria’s rebellion, and, despite all their efforts to circumvent this, may have gained some traction. She is told to do all she can to twist the blame back on the cultists themselves.
Prim also highlights Marian as a risk, saying that she, Prim, will potentially need a new cover. She will return in a couple of days if this proves to be the case. However, her cover with the Tuireann cultists remains strong.
In the meantime, Sev and Pig have devised a plan together: namely, for Pig to NOT return home to Jimmy Hoskins, but instead come and live with Sev and the Archmage. Pig plans to keep stealing different faces in the meantime, in order to maintain cover.
Meanwhile, the Archmage receives a letter of warning against the Tuireann cultists from Ghita Darrish - however, owing to slight ambiguity of phrasing, has not yet concluded that these people ought to be specifically dealt with. Therefore, how dangerous can they really be?
The letter from Evan, meanwhile, goes into Sev’s pocket for later perusal.
Sev asks the Archmage if Pig can come and live with them. Despite many a heartrending plea on Pig’s part, the Archmage demurs, on the basis that Pig is a) a mess, and b) a distraction. Disheartened, Pig elects to go stay with her three other friends instead.
Therefore, with the Civil Service keeping close tabs, Pig and Sev attend a much-anticipated sleepover - though not without a certain amount of trepidation, given Ghita’s warning. Somewhat anticlimactically, however, nothing of a particularly nefarious nature appears to transpire. The visitors are given a guided tour, and much fun is evidently had by all.
On the other side of the city, Marian and Michael confer. It is determined that Prim must be dealt with.
Prim, meanwhile, learns from the Civil Service that Michael’s divine aura is that of the Splintered Man - hence her earlier inability to kill him.
Marian invites Prim to tea.
During the process of this fraught and lightly disturbing tete-a-tete, Prim reveals under the effects of Cease Your Deceptions that she feels very deeply for Marian, who is merely misguided in her antipathy. Now, she knows the true extent of Prim’s admiration. Also, she’s not going to drink this tea, as it’s clearly poisoned.
Cursing herself for a fool, Marian squawks for her guards. It is too late, however. Prim flees.
Back at the Civil Service, Prim confirms the necessity of taking on a new identity. She is established as a novice in the Brotherhood of the Closed Eye, and gains permission to contact both Silvio and Astraeus Cargan-Graves in order to allay suspicion with regards to her disappearance.
Elsewhere, the Civil Service have managed to get word back to the Archmage - however, instead of warning him against the Tuireann cult (and risking the devastation his reaction might cause to the city), they elect to send him to deal his destruction elsewhere. Therefore, when Sev returns home with the intention of asking for mana with which to meet her new friends’ landlord, she finds the house deserted.
Repulsed by her encounter with Prim, but nonetheless determined to see events through to their conclusion, Marian hosts her newfound friends from the Serradic Leader Church in Acryn - and, in doing so, manages to spread the word that Acryn’s Civil Service is merely a cover for the illegal Traitor Church. The Council, consequently, is called upon to organise a purge.