After looting the necromancer's lair they returned to Barunus's ghost, gathered up his bones, and made their way to the surface. Almost immediately there were spotted by a patrol, which could have easily overwhelmed them had a pair of newfound friends not shown up; a dwarf named Braynor Stoneblood that knew Maximus from awhile back on one of his tours, and a bizarre crystalline entity that could manipulate objects whose named escapes me. After defeating the guards and stealing their uniforms, they decided that the best way to safely get out of Balic would be to get in touch with House Wavir due to Jiga's connections.
Unfortunately, they had to cross the Market Precinct to get there.
I ran the same skill challenge as before, asking the group to tell me how their characters would try to get there, and got some different--but still impressive--results; Maximus wanted to try the backstreets, Jiga and Braynor tried to mingle with the crowd, and Sardis, well...he got spotted pretty damned quickly by guards on the lookout for "anyone with a mysterious halo". He legged it, I prompted him for an Endurance check, and he managed to get some distance between them. They split up, trying to surround him, and so he made an Athletics to get on the roof. Maximus tripped one of them, but a botched Athletics roll caused both the guard and him to fall. The guard recognized him pretty quickly, but was silenced by a dagger in the throat (though Maximus lost a healing surge during the scuffle). With Sardis on the roof, Braynor and Jiga rallied the mob against the guards by tricking them into thinking that they'd killed their baby while chasing Sardis. As Sardis moved from rooftop to rooftop, Braynor managed to take the handful left out with a well thrown rock while they were scaling a wall after him.
Again, things flowed really well and seemed much more cinematic. The players didn't just spam whatever skill had the best bonus, and they seemed to enjoy it a lot more than usual.
At the Wavir estate, they made a deal to help retrieve a prisoner from a minor noble in exchange for safe passage out of the city. Supplied with fresh clothes and an actually balanced party, they staked out the estate for a good while--during which Sardis detected a steady pulse of evocation magic underground--before just storming the walls, which was still pretty effective. It was a fairly lengthy melee briefly made worse when someone got knocked onto the ground and a pair of jhakaars showed up, but ultimately no one got hurt that a few healing surges couldn't fix. We had to wrap things up there, but next session will be actually getting into the house and figuring out what is going on.