Just as Cham, Rit, and Tekh get ready to enter the grounds of Willi Longbeard’s mansion, Cham manages to convince them to wait until Ferasar gets back from talking to Dugan Goldhammer. Blaise, while they waited, got into her left-over ale from the previous night, and was shortly passed out in Cham’s pocket.
Ferasar, meanwhile, gets a lukewarm reception over at the Goldhammer mansion. After being let in by the butler, Dugan is, at first, reluctant to talk to this stranger who shows up out of the blue offering to “help” find his lost property. Dugan is, however, quite eager to get back the Pentacle, so he lets Ferasar’s clerical garb and apparently helpful demeanor convince him to allow the stranger to help. He tells Ferasar that the Pentacle, along with the rest of his collection, was under a very strong anti-magic field which affects both arcane and psionic magic, and was surrounded by extensive mundane anti-theft devices. During Ferasar’s questioning, however, it becomes clear that Dugan is unaware that effects that affect arcane and psionic magic have no effect on divine magic, and the method, if not the culprit, of the theft becomes clear.
Upon further questioning as to who may have taken it, Dugan reveals that there had been one bidder other than himself and Willi Longbeard at the auction, but that one had dropped out early. The other bidder had kept mainly to the shadows, and had been dressed in a concealing black cloak, but had probably been a dwarf. Dugan knows nothing else about the mysterious figure.
Ferasar makes his goodbyes and heads back to Longbeard’s estate to find the rest of the party waiting for him. He brings them up to date, and the party decides to split up. Ferasar and Tekh head back into town to question the auction house proprietor while Cham and Rit, with Blaise still sound asleep in Cham’s pocket, decide to question Willi Longbeard, though at this point, the party had decided that it was unlikely that he had actually committed the theft. Tekh had been reluctant to leave the possibility of getting to beat some answers out of Longbeard until Rit mentioned the possibility that there may be ale at the auction house. She set off at speed with Ferasar following behind.
Cham and Rit were let into the mansion by the butler. While Cham waited for the master of the house, Rit slipped away to do some exploring. Longbeard was unable to give any new information. He, too had seen the shadowy figure at the auction, but had also not been able to identify the mysterious bidder, having been too intent on bidding at the time. Cham left the house after only a short interview. Rit, in the mean time, had come across Mr. Longbeard’s art collection and been captivated by several shiny objects. She was so engrossed in looking at the shinies that she was caught after a short time by the butler and ejected from the house. The pair then met back up and headed for the auction house.
Back at said auction house, Tekh arrives first and demands ale from the proprietor. The bemused proprietor points hesitantly to a building nearby and tells her, “There’s… the inn is right over there.” Tekh starts to leave, but turns back and asks if there are any ‘good looking men’ in the auction house. The proprietor, still quite bemused, shifts his pointing finger to a building a little further down the street and informs her that be believes there is a brothel there. Tekh leaves happily for the inn just as Ferasar arrives and begins talking to the proprietor. Upon questioning, the proprietor reveals that he also had not found out the identity of the mysterious bidder, and hadn’t really paid it much attention, since whoever it was did not buy anything, and did not appear to have stayed around for any more items after the Pentacle had been sold. Ferasar asked if any servants, someone who may have been more focused on the bidders and less on the items being sold, may have seen the shadowy figure up close. The proprietor summons a young dwarf woman named Milli, who had been serving drinks at the auction.
Milli definitely remembers the figure. She had been afraid to approach it, though, as she had recognized the robes as those belonging to a priest of Vicdak, the god of trickery, who’s priests are as much assassin as anything else. She was fairly certain that whoever it was had been a dwarf, but had not dared to look closer than that, since such a one would think nothing of ‘eliminating’ anyone who could possibly identify them. Thanking Milli and the proprietor, Ferasar leaves the auction house and joins Tekh in the inn.
Cham and Rit arrive at the inn shortly thereafter. As they walk in, Cham, thanks to the good luck granted to him by the good deities, just happens to hear a group a patrons at a table discussing how a bunch of black robed figures had been seen coming and going out of the city toward a tunnel which goes further into the mountain. Further questioning, accompanied by Cham buying a round for the table, reveals the location of that particular tunnel, as well as the information that it goes toward Safehome and passes by the old Underminer estate. Upon joining the others, Cham passes this information on, and Ferasar remembers that the proprietor of the auction house had mentioned that the Pentacle had come from the estate of Grogan Underminer, and old adventurer who had died recently, leaving no heirs. The name had also been mentioned by Dugan Goldhammer and Willi Longbeard.
The party then decides to head for the Underminer Estate, which is far outside of the city, several hours walk away, after getting directions there, of course. The estate, being underground and built into a cavern, appears only to be a high wall that truncates a large cavern when seen from the outside. The wall is lavishly decorated, however, and the door into the estate is large and ornate.
Instead of opting for stealth, the party decides to ring the doorbell by pulling the rope outside the door. There is no response to the ringing bell, but it is obvious that anyone who may be inside would certainly now be aware that someone is on the property. After waiting a few moments, Tekh goes to open the door and finds it is unlocked and apparently unguarded, so the party goes into the darkened house.
The find themselves in what was once an antechamber, though what objects had not already been taken away have been smashed by someone. Moving through the only door takes them into a hallway which stretches off to the left and right into the darkness. After going only a short way to the left and around a corner, they come across a dead end which has a cleverly concealed door which leads to another passage. This passage makes its way around a large room, which the party is able to look into through a set of peepholes, and access through another secret door. The continue on down the secret passage, where they find another set of peepholes and another door which leads into another room. Both rooms had once been waiting rooms, but like the antechamber, their few remaining pieces of furniture have been smashed. Eventually, the hidden passage ends and opens into a huge hallway through another secret door. The huge hallway has a more obvious entrance directly across from the passage which the party took. The party decides to take the larger hallway, which had once been a grand entrance hall leading to the main part of the estate.
Just as they are about halfway down the hallway, a sudden blast of unholy light strikes Tekh from behind. The blast stuns her, but does little real damage to her and serves mainly to piss her off. The party turns around to find a demon behind them, now clearly visible as it bursts into an unholy flame and sends another blast of unholy light at Ferasar, missing barely. Ferasar responds with the blast of holy sunlight gifted to him by the good deities. While he, too, misses, the demon is still burned by the holy light as it passes nearby. This distracts the demon long enough for Cham to pull his gnomish firearm and put a shot into the demon, hurting it, though not seriously, while Rit sends an icy blast with her own deity-granted power, though her efforts have little effect on the demon. The combat continues like this, with the demon and Ferasar exchanging blasts of holy and unholy light, neither hitting the other, but Ferasar’s blast still burning the demon slightly with every miss. While this is going on, Cham crouches back against the wall and reloads his weapon, and Rit turns into Reixelia and advances. Then Tekh recovers from the effects of the first blast and activates her own deity-given power, becoming very heavy and very strong, while charging screaming at the demon. She plows hard into the demon, barely feeling the touch of the unholy flame surrounding the demon. The demon is hit so hard that he is knocked back several meters, and one of Tekh’s hand axes are broken, which only serves to anger her even further. Reixelia then reaches the demon and makes her own attack, but misses. The demon at this point begins to realize that he is overmatched, but then realizes that he has been pushed into a corner and cannot escape, so in a desperate attempt to gain the upper hand, he slashes at Tekh with his claws, causing a great gash in her side, but it is too little, too late. Ferasar’s blast finally connects and the demon screams and falls unconscious. Tekh, in her anger, then makes short work of the prone demon, which evaporates once life flees the body.
Once Tekh calms down sufficiently, the party continues down the great hall to where it branches to either side, apparently leading toward the east and west wings of the estate. Directly ahead, though, a pair of ornate double doors sit. The party opens the door to find a pair of black-robed dwarven priests, each with a summoned imp servant. The priests immediately begin to cast spells while the imps attack the party. Neither priest is able to finish his spell as first one then the other fall to Tekh’s whirling blades and Ferasar’s holy blast.