The group reconvenes at the Tawny Lion, and trades stories about their discoveries. The debate begins about which job to take. The general consensus is that it would be best to use the most efficient means to find Deanna. Unfortunately, there is little agreement on what the most efficient means would be.
Eventually the group is split between Echos and Mara (who believe it best to kill the abbott and guard captain) and Ailith and Dawnis (who believe it best to kill Shroder), with Hope as the undecided tie-breaker. In an attempt to put off a decision, Hope suggests that the group brings the issue to Bergen, to determine whether it would even be feasible to take on Shroder, one of the first generation of noble humans.
Returning to the temple of Teufhar, they are escorted by Abbott Lux to speak with Bergen again. Ailith studies the abbott and decides that he might be a bit of a challenge, but still not as great a challenge as Shroder. Speaking with Bergen, it is determined that Deanna may in fact be “the talent of the empire”. Echos tries, discretely, to discover how upset Bergen would be if the group were to kill one of his abbott’s in pursuit of their ultimate goal. The arch bishop, surprised by Echos’ scruples, states that the group should do whatever is necessary, no matter the cost. At mention of Shroder’s name, Bergen becomes quite upset. He admits that Shroder is a problem, and that if the group is arrested by him Bergen will not be able to help. He also suggests that Shroder would happily stand in the way of the mission, out of spite. In closing, Bergen requests that the group return the following midnight, to report on any progress.
With nothing yet decided, the group carries on to meet with the guard who spoke with Dawnis, to see what might be discovered. Upon reaching the meeting place, they are greeted by a room full of human guards (with only a few pact-altered humans about). Hope opts to linger by the door, rather than join the group at Captain Helmut Luther’s table.
Dawnis, in rare form (although still nervously) does the talking. Helmut argues that everyone in the group has reason to help the human resistance. Hope and Echos as a chance to take out Shroder, Ailith and Dawnis as a chance to serve the “true humans” (altho Ailith seems more than slightly confused by this), and Mara because . . . she probably has some reason to be here. The captain says that if the group kills Shroder, he will give the location of Shard and Deanna. He requests an answer by the following night and, at Echos’ urging, gives the location of one of the resistance’s safehouses as a meeting place. It also comes out that Helmut knew Dawnis’ father, which comes as quite a surprise to the long-orphaned wizard.
Still undecided, the group agrees to sleep on the matter, in hopes that the following day will bring clarity.
Meeting for lunch, it appears that clarity is in short supply. The debate resumes. With Hope as the undecided holdout, again, the group goes to talk to Bergen once more. Although it is decided to keep as much information from Bergen as possible, this plan soon falls apart and the arch bishop is told everything. More than slightly bewildered, Bergen eventually says “if you need to kill the guard and abbot, do so, but kill Shroder as a favourite to me; if you need to kill Shroder, do so, but kill the guard also”. He also suggests that if the group decides to go after Shroder, he may have some way to help.
With this distinct lack of guidance, the group adjourns to the hallway to discuss the issue for 5 more minutes, leaving Lux to speak to Bergen (perhaps for the last time). Hope goes off by herself to ponder the matter, quietly flips a coin, and returns to declare that she has decided they will target Lord Shroder.
Entering the room to speak to Bergen once more, and passing a slightly confused Lux, the group informs the arch bishop of their decision. Bergen seems pleased by this, and grants the group access to a cache of magical equipment that Lux has been pilfering from the paladins’ stores.