The first target, they decided, would be the elemental/ooze in charge of 'district 4', the one they'd already robbed and spied on. Max had been casing the joint previously, and told them that as far as he could see, the main new security measure had been to put bars on the window so that people couldn't sneak in. Although they weren't airtight, so Max could still have turned gaseous and snuck in if he wanted to.
But instead of sneaking in, the plan was to use Magic Jar. If the victim was in humanoid form, or an elemental, then Liliana would be able to cast dimension door to get away. If he was an ooze, well, the window still opened a little and a crack would be enough to ooze out. Then step 2 was ???, then profit.
So while Liliana's body was left back in Calvin's mansion...
Calvin: "You said we could make up the details of our background, so I live in a giant mansion."
Me: "Okay. You live with your parents."
Calvin: "No, my parents are dead! It's all mine."
Me: "Right. You live in a *haunted* mansion..."
...with Hef and Patsy (the name of the captured, dominated, and charmed archer, since no one could keep straight whether he/she was supposed to be a man or a woman), the rest of the party hid in an alleyway out of range of the magic jar spell (which is... poorly targetted) while Hadriel, invisible and protected from evil, carried the jar with Liliana's soul inside within range of their victim.
Liliana saw six targets on her 'soul radar', all about the same power level (ie, within 4 hit dice of herself). Picking one at random since she had no other choice, she found herself crouching on a rooftop looking down at the alleyway where Hadriel was hiding. Oops, wrong body. Also, apparently the bars on the window weren't the only improvement he'd made to security.
She didn't feel right just slitting this body's throat, so instead she had it jump off the roof as she switched back to the jar and tried again. After bouncing off Hadriel's prot-evil, she ended up in the intended target, receiving a Message cantrip from the ex-rooftop-lurker warning him that someone was using magic jar, and maybe he should move out of range. Too late!
The district boss she'd kidnapped *was* still in humanoid form, so Liliana had him pick up all the paperwork and documents she could easily reach (much of it research on who could have been behind the earlier robbery; the party was mentioned as a low-probability option since they were last reported hanging around in Rally -- did I mention they were all wearing hats of disguise?) and dimension doored back to the party.
Talon stepped out from cover to signal Hadriel that it was time to pull back.
Message Cantrip: "I see them! They're in the next alleyway over! I'm calling the others and --"
The party dimension doored again, out of range, and met up with Hadriel on the way back to Calvin's mansion, where they found Liliana's body walking around and ordering Patsy and Hef around like servants. It turned out to be Calvin's dead mother possessing her body, unaware that she was dead... they managed to convince her to teleport to Crossroads for 'safety'. Crossroads, of course, having a bunch of priests who could do an exorcism. It took a couple tries, but they managed to get her out so that Liliana could return.
While they were doing that, they set up a magic circle in the church basement and moved the kidnapped creature there for questioning. The circle held -- he was, in fact, extraplanar -- and he didn't appear to have any non-physical attacks or spells to fire across the boundary, which meant he was pretty much fucked. Sam tortured him until he spilled his guts to Liliana (who was playing the 'good cop'), and they got the rest of the story.
The ten district heads were elementals that came through a natural portal in the 'blue mud' mine, brought there by the charmed members/victims of the blue metal cult. There was no one above them *per se*, but of course they all had a sort of hive mind thing going to 'Lord Smooze'. However, the communication was one-way -- Lord Smooze knew everything they knew, but not vice versa, so the other elementals would only know that he was missing and not the details on how or why (except that the adventurers guarding him, which the party had bypassed, would be able to report what they'd seen).
The gnollish territories were almost completely under Smooze's control, but Silver Sails wasn't as bad off as they'd feared -- if they could remove the elementals, then... maybe they could think up some way to do a mass dispel of the charm effect on the population. Or else herd them into protection from evil rooms like the priests in Crossroads and hold them until it wore out.
As thanks for his cooperation, Liliana had him banished back to the plane of Mud instead of killed.
There was no point removing the elementals if they could just be replaced, so the party decided to destroy the blue mud mine, currently in possession of the gnolls. Again. This time, they made sure to bring along enough explosives (and an Earthquake scroll) to collapse the mine and make sure it couldn't easily be re-opened.
With those secured, they set out for the black run canyon.
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...so for next time, they're going to assault an entire army of gnolls. I'm pretty sure this will, in fact, involve some fighting.