The day after the ogres, when everyone was still out of spells and a few people were still a little hurt, the party finally caught up to the Vampire's carriage... at sundown.
Everyone: "Oh, crap."
Silas: "We're really not ready to fight them right now."
Zeffy: "Maybe we could just, like, kill their horses and break the carriage to slow them down?"
Efneisian: "Why don't we just ride past and pretend we aren't chasing them?"
At that point, the carriage accelerated, as they were spotted.
Zeffy: "So, chase them now or go back and tell the secret service we failed. Which is it?"
They decided to attack! It took a couple minutes to close with the carriage, because their horses were only a little bit faster, even at a full run. And then... FOOSH, fireball! And wolves! The vampire had a mage on the carriage casting fireballs at them, and had summoned wolves to scare their horses!
The fireball took down the useless quasi-rogue, and Efneisian (the cleric, with the protection from evil scrolls) stopped to get him to keep him from being eaten by wolves. Fortunately, the horses kept running in more or less the right direction even while panicking, so while most of the party (none of whom had any ride skills) lsot control of their horses, they didn't get knocked out of the chase because of that, and eventually they were able to get close enough to jump onto the carriage.
At that point, the mage flew off and turned invisible, while the vampire (presumably) turned to mist and fled, but they killed the horses and burned the carriage anyway, since it was somehow going to take them a half hour to chase down the dometicated horses they'd been riding for a week, which they'd set loose twelve seconds before to jump onto the cart.
So they got to the city ahead of the Vampire, they were pretty sure, since they still had fast horses and the Vampire would have to run in wolf form, which was slightly slower. Asking around about the only clue they had about why the vampire was running to Trollinport pointed them at a masquerade ball that all the nobles in the city were invited to, but which somehow required DC 25 gather information checks to find out about the existance of, and which a DC 25 diplomacy check was not sufficient to even *see* an invitation.
So Zeffy charmed her way (not literally) into one of the nobles' bedchambers, then fascinated him (literally) with a performance while the useless quasi-rogue found the invitation and studied it in detail, allowing him to forge one for the party.
The plan was for them to put on disguises, go to the ball, and... um... and then take the captured vampire back to Sharn for their reward. No one really had any idea what step 2 was.
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