Several years later, the party is called together by circumstance before trouble. Wasp and Tradak Ironhouse have designed a canal system to run all the way from Cormyr to Baldur’s Gate, Waterdeep, and Neverwinter. The canal would be quite expensive, but the economic benefit it would bring would outweigh the cost before long. Jerinar Onyx invited leaders from all of these nations – and Cormanthor who would be able to access it through Cormyr as well – to Arabel to discuss the possibility. While eventually all participants agree to the construction of the Canal, the discussions of specifics are cut short by an assassination attempt. The food and drink at the meeting were poisoned. The party chased the fleeing suspect through the streets and nearly lost him, but instead a stranger gave chase to the same suspect and brought him down with magic bolts – ones quickly identified by Jerinar as Shadow Weave.
Van is the name of the stranger, who identifies the attacker as his brother – an agent of the Shadovar. After he defected from Order of the Dark Moon himself, he tracked his brother here. After learning of the party’s past heroics, Van offers to join them, but the party is terribly suspicious of his motives, knowing that he is a Shadovar, and that his defection could be a cover. They decide to allow him to stay nearby, so that they can keep an eye on him. They are hesitant to simply execute or exile him, as he did help capture (well, kill) their assassin.