The PCs returned to Illmarsh and made arrangements for the remaining townsfolk and children, then set off for Caliphas by land. On the way to the city, they encountered a handful of bandits who set upon them. They were finally able to defeat most of the scoundrels, with the last one running off.
Entering Caliphas, Tattianna used “locate object” to detect one of the WW’s symbols in town. They followed the aura to Marshman’s Oddities, where they encountered both Bartholomew Marshman and his niece Mildred. The symbol they found turned out to be a Moribund Key, an artifact worth 40k gold. The key can be used to open WW-sealed locks. Bartholomew agreed to barter with the party if they would be willing to investigate the recent discoveries of ashy human-like outlines found on the roof of the nearby inn.
The PCs also learned that the large ornate building behind the oddities shop is the guild hall of the Caliphas Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. The inhabitants refused to open the door when Rurik knocked, and then refused to even acknowledge his presence.