Duke Corlo Graves has put out a call for adventurers to investigate a robbery on his estates.
The party arrive at the Graves estates and are met by Duke Graves and his brother Antonio Graves, whose offices have been broken in to. Also present are Antonio's son Eduardo Graves and the sister of Antonio's late wife, Catlotta Darrish, who is a loud and slightly obnoxious priestess of the Warrior. Antonio seems slightly cagey about the whole thing but the Duke insists that the matter must be investigated. Arcus and Gina investigate the crime scene and both notice that the office has been quite thoroughly messed up after the robbery but they also spot a trail leading to the window that whoever has gone over the place must have missed. The party learn from Antonio that all that seems to have been taken were some papers and petty coinage. Questioning the staff they find out that Eduardo was seen by the guards on the day of the theft but claims to have been out drinking at the time.
The party follow the trail in to the gardens, where it seems to get lost amongst the busy street outside. Gina, however, finds some dropped papers amongst the shrubbery, which whilst written in a code make reference to a sister Patience. Lady Rosemile and her servants drop this off at the College of Stars to be decoded, whilst the rest of the party talk to the temples. After some questioning they learn Sister Patience is a priestess of the Tender, who runs a hospital outside the city.
The party travel to Sister Patience's hospital, fighting off woodland creatures and the undead on the way. Before they reach the hospital they are attacked by a group who demands they turn away from their mission. They keep one of them alive to question and find out he was hired by a shady figure in a bar, with whom he has a meeting scheduled late in the evening.
They talk to the sister and her assistant. From her they learn that the hospital was funded by the Graves family. They also find out that she tended to Antonio's late wife, Rosamind, who was frequently sickly and although she was desperate to have a child had a long string of miscarriages and stillbirths. She will also explain that they are not the first to ask questions about this. A trio of individuals came before them, all of whom had partially covered faces. Two of them seems to be heavilly scarred and the third from what glimpses she caught resembled Eduardo Graves. Henry questions her assistant who seems to want to reveal something but is reluctant to do so in front of Sister Patience. Henry asks the assistant for a tour of the hospital to check for remaining undead. During this tour the assistant explains to Henry that on the evening Eduardo was born he was assisting. He went out to deal was some other business and on the way back he swore he say one of the servants carrying a small bundle out of the Graves mansion. He also says that he overheard the three vistors talking amongst themselves. One of them was rather indiscreet and revealed that they intended to split up: some of them to go to the Department of Genealogy in the College of Stars and the rest to go to the White Horse, a bar frequented by noble retainers.
On the way back the party discuss amongst themselves whether Rosamind's death was all it seemed and whether the figure that resembles Eduardo might in fact be a lost twin. They come across a group of flux Royalist but Arcus convinces them to focus their efforts against Acryn's city walls. They plan a sting on the person that hired the mercenaries to attack them on the road but first they decide to head to the Department of Genealogy. They fight off some claw fiends that have escaped from the Department of Zoology and Gina collects the decoded message, which confirms what they learned about Sister Patience's relationship with the Graves. The question the faculty and learn that they were visited by the scarred man and the Eduardo lookalike, who were interested in both the history of the Graves family and in the Royal line of Acryn. Arcus and Henry talk to the Archivist. Arcus is interested in learning more of both his and Lady Rosemile's lineage. He gives the Archivist a hefty bribe to doctor the records so that it appears the lesser House Blacktorn and the Duchy of Blackthorn are one and the same. Henry gives the Archivist a sample of his “essence”, which the Archivist samples and suggests there is something kingly in it (Henry suspects this is probably related to his god). Talking to the faculty the party determine that the person posing as Eduardo appeared to be female but did have a Graves look about her.
Next they head to the attempted sting, which does not go according to plan. The mercenary who they captured gives the game away to the contact, who attempts to leave. Arcus tries to arrest her but she claims they have little evidence against her. Eventually they let her go but Gina follows her and discovers her to be something of a successful middleman. They decide to follow up their remaining lead, the White Horse. On the way their they are attacked by a scarred man and a group of non-descript individuals, who the party cut down. The party witness a number of the non-descript individual features melt away when they try to talk. They take the scarred man prisoner but he is unwilling to talk. They take him to an inn, where Hugo on the orders of Arcus Blackthorn extracts a sample of his “essence”. They take the sample back to the Archivist at the college of Stars, who upon sampling it suggests whoever it belongs to has a distant connection to the Royal line and is probably “old blood”. Arcus speculates that Cargan is most likely.
The party head to the White Horse, where some of the Graves retainers are arguing with the Darrish retainers. Arcus calms them down by buying them drinks. Talking to the patrons they find out that shady individuals did visit the establishment asking about Molly, a servant of the Graves who drank they about nineteen years ago before being sent away by the family. The party begin to speculate about whether Molly may have been pregnant just before she left, which is consistent with what the patrons remember. The party head back to Castle Blacktorn for an evenings rest and are forced to pass through some of the seedier parts of town. They are assailed on their way they by a group of shady individual but these turn out to be regular thieves. Gina makes enquiries with the Graves estates and finds out Molly left to Thys. In the morning the party discuss their next step over a sumptuous breakfast. They decide to try and hire a boat to Thys and search for Molly.
On the way to the docks the party are met by a group of cloaked individuals, who ask them to abandon their mission. Arcus recognises their leader as a poorly disguised Antonio Graves and persuades him to talk with him. Arcus explains he understands his predicament. Antonio fills him in on the rest of the details. Nineteen years ago with his wife failing to give him an heir he slept with his servant Molly. Molly gave birth to twins at the same time his wife gave birth to another stillborn child. He confirms that Rosamind's death was indeed in chilbirth. He exchanged the male twin with Rosamind's dead son and raised him as his heir, claiming that Eduardo was his legitimate child. The female twin was left with her mother and they both went to Thys. He reveals that somehow the Royalist conspiracy has found out about this and is attempting to blackmail him to support their cause. Arcus and the rest of the party agree to help Antonio cover up his indiscretion, framing his boot polisher for the theft from his offices, if Antonio will help them lay a trap to capture the Royalists.
The party lay their trap and they ambush the scarred woman and the woman who resembles Eduardo as they meet with Antonio. Eduardo's sister shows evidence of having the Leader's favour. The party capture both the scarred woman and the Eduardo lookalike. They hand the Graves bastard over to her father after questioning her. She reveals that she is resentful to her father for having “thrown her away” and denied her her birthright but longs for they day when Acryn's true leader will rise. Arcus takes in the scarred woman to be dealt with along with the man.
The party return to Corlo Graves and support Antonio's story that it was the boot polisher who committed the robbery. They are paid the 50 Acra they were promised. The boot polisher, despite his protestations of innocence, is taken in by the City Watch to stand trial. With the word of upstanding citizens of Acryn he is swiftly punished with a jail term. Antonio invites the party to a sumptuous dinner at his house and along with the desert course they are presented with a further 25 Acra, as his thanks for their discretion. Arcus throws a party to celebrate the rediscovery of his Duchy, at which Lady Rosemile is invited to be guest of honour. Gina starts running interference on any attempts by Arcus to woo Lady Rosemile and subtly tries to express her disapproval of the match.
Arcus questions the two captured individual but other than that they are minor Cargan he is unable to gain very much from them. He hands them over to Chiara Walker for further questioning. Henry leverages his status as a hero of the city to find out Arcus has handed the prisoners over to Chara Walker but neither have been able to get very much from them. He correctly deduces that the scars might pertain to wounding magic and talking to a mage at the College of Stars he finds out the scars would match those that would appear on someone if they had had some of their memories willing extracted.
Hugo receives an offer of a position at castle Blackthorn. In the meantime Arcus sends some of his men at arms to Thys to retrieve Molly (OOC: due to the length and difficulty of the journey he can assume this will take some time). He uses Molly as leverage to blackmail Antonio in to convincing his brother to throw the Graves family's weight behind certain council motions.
Henry returns to the Archivist, who reveals that his analysis of his “essence” suggests the kingliness he tasted was a raw primal thing, probably brought on by a divine connection, but that Henry himself is quite common.
Lady Rosemile and her servants enjoy a delightful afternoon tea.