Deek and Simone find Drew, circling the Knave’s Slaughter, watching for the Orcs. Simone heads inside the inn while Deek and Drew head back to The Crusty Bulkhead to meet up with the rest of the crew. Once there, Mike heads upstairs to search for traps/hidden items in their rooms and to leave a small surprise (poison ivy) for Simone, in payback for teleporting him in front of the dire bear in the arena.
While there, Deek is surrounded by sycophants who try desperately to please him, and as part of the entourage, he meets a small gnome who gifts Deek with an invitation/entry coin he needs to head to Kjess (Prince 6) on the morrow, and be seated in an area nearby some overly-pompous priests flaunting their artifacts and other items. Jake overhears a conversation that leads him to some info concerning The Three (Priestess 6) and a blue dragon that needs assassination. Drew, Durn, and Aazon eat quietly by themselves in the corner, resting and trying to avoid the limelight.
In the other inn, Simone puts on a wench’s outfit and works her magic and sidles up to most of the gentlemen in the bar. She hears lots of information about the town, and tries to get the lay of the land. She discovers the Orcs were here, but they haven’t been seen in quite a while. The inn does have a set of rooms downstairs and double the number upstairs. Eventually she heads outside to the stables to look for some stableboys to chat with. On her way out, she gets confronted and told to murder Calyphos (leader of a cult of the Diabolist, the traitor at Boltstrike Pillar), take his heart, place it in this chalice, and this will allow the Crusader (Crusader 5) to identify the location of the Diabolist’s closest nexus of power.
Once that memory fades, she continues on and meets 2 stable boys, Jimmy and Lex. They are flabbergasted by Simone, and information is revealed that the Orcs did arrive at lunch time, but they wanted to unload their own wagons. Simone discretely discovers the wagons are full of nothing but left-over hay. She asks the boys to come find her and tell her where the Orcs might be, and heads back to The Crusty Bulkhead.
After a couple hours, the evening starts to wind down, Lex comes running back to inform Simone that the Orcs are still there, and that they never left the inn, and are staying downstairs in room 115. He gets a very flirtatious thank you from Simone. Simone relays this information to the crew, and Drew and Mike head back to The Knave’s Slaughter to investigate. They spent a couple hours reconning. Drew eventually turns into a bird and flies into an open window, trying hard not to make noise and make his way downstairs to find room 115. After some confusion with his shapeshifting forms and how best to acheive his goal, he heads into the common room, finds a candle, and heads down into the hallway to discover room 115 is on his left at the end. He exits and lets Mike know, who then stealthily gets into the room to look around. He finds no traps, but does find a trap door in the floor of the room, beneath a bed. They peek inside but it’s very dark, and Mike can’t convince Drew to turn into a cat and go explore solo, so Drew flies back to The Crusty Bulkhead to wake the rest of the party, who’s just falling asleep.
Everyone wakes rather grogily, except Simone. Simone had quite a tough time getting to sleep and is now covered in itchy, red blotchy spots and her skin feels like it is burning. As Drew notices this, he realizes there is some poison ivy rash and whips up a poultice for Simone. The one trick is how Simone must apply the poultice…
After the quite heated exchanged between Drew and Simone (ahem!), they all head back to The Knave’s Slaughter and arrive by around 11pm. Tired and worn out, but still ready to go, they proceed down into the trapdoor. Deek fires up his dancing lights and Drew has a candle and holder and they dive into the unknown. They begin to descend a very old, dusty set of stairs and travel 50-60 feet before coming to a tunnel entrance. The tunnel appears to have caved in, and a hole was dug into the ceiling to provide access. The stairs don’t go all the way to the floor, but rather stop at the cave-in and some rudimentary rocks/steps were put into place for the last 10 feet or so to get to the floor. Here they discover an old mining tunnel, with a set of dusty tracks for a minecar. There is only one way to head, so the crew proceeds.
Mike, leveraging his time underground, and Durn, leveraging his Dwarven heritage, analyze the tracks and surroundings and discover there has been some foot traffic through here. They move forward and eventually run into a swarm of rats that Deek contemptuously blasts into rhodent goo with a lightning bolt, killing all 40-50 rats in one swoop. They discover another cave-in at one end and a small elevator shaft that had collapsed, and so begin heading in the other direction. There they discover a small room full of old supplies miners would have used (food stuffs, tools, ropes, etc). While they were busy investigating, they were attacked by a rather large looking ratman (Ratling) and another swarm of rats, but the crew quickly overcame the creatures with a minimum of effort. They left off having just finished the battle, ready to search through the rooms to the north and see what the Ratling was hiding…