Having learned about imposters performing high profile deeds in his name (as well as Hilbrent’s and Lamila’s), Benquil insists the must act to deal with them. Knowing that Benquil’s face will be known to the imposters, Evren and Leo agree to search in the taverns they are said to frequent and contact him with any news. Benquil, meanwhile, spends his days at House Helicanvil in the city, observing their efforts to produce the enchants which research he funded.
In the second day of seeking news, Leo and Evren are pursuing leads in opposite suburbs of the city when Leo comes upon Benquil, Hilbrent, and Lamila in a tavern at 10 in the morning.
They’re repeating the story of stopping Leviathan’s invasion at Requiem and accepting drinks from the morning patrons, all of which are crowded round to hear. They are cozying up to the most attractive fans available to them and getting fresh.
Leo let’s the others know he’s found the imposters by sensory extension, buys a drink, and moves to the back of the crowd.
Evren, 6 miles away, sets out at a jog around Vardorborg, knowing that in the capital city she will be frequently stopped to show her citizenship papers. Meanwhile, Benquil, at Helicanvil on the near edge of Vardorborg, sets out to the tavern next town over.
In fifteen minutes, Benquil is invisible in the shadows across the street from the tavern. He lets Leo know and Leo urges one if the patrons to ask Hilbrent to use his illusory magic to put on a show.
When the imposter Hilbrent shrugs of the request, Leo starts up a chant that is taken up by the whole tavern. The imposter heroes hurry to excuse themselves with a story about being called to take care of some danger.
Leo manages to tail them without being seen and Benquil does the same, moving shadow to shadow to stay invisible with his double layers of invisibility. The false band of heroes soon arrives at another tavern in the next town over, where they enter to cheers and are soon drinking and repeating the same story.
Both Leo and Benquil remain outside the tavern and Benquil casts a spell of evil detection, learning that they are at the least very evil, probably devils. This information is enough to spur Hilbrent to come in person to deal with what is probably an ongoing consequence of his portals being co-opted by Leviathan.
Evren arrives and reads enough thoughts to confirm they are devils. The party argues through several plans including teleporting the devils out of the tavern before attacking, poisoning their drinks, and convincing Brimahil to strip their disguises. They decide to keep the fight inside the tavern, but to strike quickly and simultaneously to prevent collateral damage.
Their action is decisive, with Benquil positioning himself behind the false Benquil, dropping his invisibility, and shouting “Imposter” as he skewers the devil with both poisoned scimitars. Leo’s mighty arrow through the open door drops the false Lamila instantly, both transform back into devilish form while Hilbrent releases the power of an encharged staff to render the third unconscious.
In the aftermath, Benquil returns to house Helicanvil with the corpse of the Incubus that had been impersonating him, brooding over past events and damage to his reputation while he taxidermies the devil. Leo also stays in Vardorborg to watch over him, but Evren returns with Hilbrent to Fort Gollant to interrogate the captured devil.
It quickly becomes clear that while he knows a few more devils escaped their defeat at Requiem, he hasn’t had contact with them since. He agrees to help Hilbrent track them down, though.
In the days that follow, Benquil continues his vengeful taxidermy and Evren spends time with Benquil’s father, Caedmon, learning elvish.
Then, in the late evening of November 31st, a commotion stirs Vardorborg as a ball of fire streaks through the sky overhead. Benquil casts his life-sight spell on himself, but sees no life in it. In a quick prayer, he alerts Brimahil to pay close attention to what he is seeing.
In Fort Gollant, Evren is out for a night walk with Caedmon when he suddenly turns and looks to the West. Over the horizon, a ball of fire rapidly approaches, paying almost directly overhead. Upon seeing it, Evren starts running toward Hilbrent’s home and Caedmon follows.
Meanwhile, Benquil grabs Leo and they teleport back to Brimahil’s tower in Fort Gollant where Benquil modifies his spell to see magic and sees a definite magical aura on the ball of fire. He and Leo then also rush to Hilbrent’s house. On the way there, they all feel the ground shake.
At Hilbrent’s house, they discuss its direction and quickly determine that their nearest teleport node to it’s likely destination is where they already are. They hurry to gather their equipment and Hilbrent soon has a wind elemental carrying a wagon at high speeds, following the line of smoke trailing the ball of fire.
For 100 miles or so they find themselves over the Glass Gulf, but as the gulf thins to a point at it Eastern end come back over land in the early twilight hours. They catch sight of something large moving in the distance and change course to draw closer and soon become sure they are gazing upon a World Builder with the 2,000 foot long yellow dragon they saw earlier in the year riding on its shoulder.
If you like the idea of the enemy being hidden among the townsfolk, you might like my one-shot investigation campaign: The Cult of the Sleeping God.