Baern, now that he’s advanced up to the upstairs landing, closes one of the doors that previously spewed forth bad guys. Bolos advances upstairs cautiously, trying to keep his robes free from bloodstains. Nagarajoss also stands guard against further action upstairs. Thirlim continues climbing as the rest of the group consolidates their position upstairs.
Nagarajoss sneaks up to the door that was recently closed and listens intently at it but hearing nothing he opens it to an empty hall about two yards wide, turning sharply to the left after a short distance. Baern opens the door facing the opposite direction and sees a long hallway, turning sharply right at the end.
Meanwhile, during their scouting Thirlim reaches the first window face. Inside he sees a hallway with doors in it. He doesn’t see any activity but hears something around the corner. He sneaks to the corner and sees Baern moving through the door at the other end. Thirlim motions for Baern to be quiet about his presence; Baern seems to understand and complies. Thirlim then begins sneaking down the hallway the opposite direction.
On the other side Nagarajoss closes his door as there doesn’t seem to be anything to find, and pulls Mathieu upstairs in the corner opposite the stairway. He hands Mathieu the crossbow that’s upstairs and takes a moment to camouflage Mathieu with guards’ clothing, a helmet, and other materials to make it look like a wounded house guard.
Baern begins looking at the doors in his hallway. The first one he comes to Baern carefully wiggles the door handle, opening it gently to find a single person in bed, trying to shield himself with the covers and looking nervously up at him. He begins babbling in Arabic in an agitated voice. Shortly after he begins screaming. Nagarajoss understands him to be praying for deliverance from the demons before him; the man becomes even further disturbed at the site of Nagarajoss. Bolos pokes his head in, takes a look around and announces that this looks to be the chef. Bolos informs the man in Arabic that we’re not going to harm him. When Nagarajoss speaks the man begins loudly shouting for help. Nagarajoss menacingly walks up next to the man, telling him it’s his last chance to quiet down. In the face of a gigantic baby-eating monster lizard the man pales and shuts his mouth abruptly. Nagaragoss instructs the man to stay in his room until he hears nothing but silence; the man seems to comply.
Thirlim uses the disturbance to sneak to the corner and peek around. He sees a short hallway that jogs to the left briefly. He moves up to the next corner and peeks around it too. The next hallway ends abruptly in an alcove overlooking the greatroom we started in. A door appears to both sides of it. He moves back next to the doorway immediately next to the jog in the hallway. He hears nervous, quick breathing inside the room. At the next door, to the left when facing the alcove; from there he hears several voices whispering in conversation, trying not to be heard.
The next room down from screaming chef man is a nicely decorated room, likely formerly belonging to the captain of the guard. A jeweled large knife is on the desk; Bolos grabs it. A nice copy of the Quaran and some folded clothes make up the rest of the goods. Bolos looks through the room but isn’t able to find anything of note. They walk out.
The next room down in line contains an extremely attractive woman in the bed, a jeweled knife gripped tightly in her shaking hand. Her room is heavily and richly decorated. Nagarajoss peeks his head in and scares her further. He tries to quietly tell her that they’re not there to hurt her but her defiant look says she doesn’t buy it. However after looking the beast-man up and down she thinks better of it and shrinks backwards, demanding that he not come into the room. He directs the woman to wait for silence to leave her room.
Around the corner they see something very similar with slightly less fancy decorations and a bit younger woman. She seems to stay quiet when faced with the prospect of her unborn babies being eaten by the monster before her.
At the last door on that side of the house Nagarajoss hears through the door some nervous shuffling like someone trying to move quietly and doing a poor job. When Nagarajoss opens the door to dim illumination from a candle in the room’s corner. Bolos’ light spell sheds additional illumination inside but neither of the two of them see anyone at first. They listen intently but it’s Nagarajoss’ acute sense of smell that points him to an odor of frightened sweat from the other side of the door. Nagarajoss cautions the person not to do anything foolish and bids them come out, that they won’t be harmed. A man dressed as a butler steps around the corner and lunges at him with a knife but Nagarajoss easily parries the thrust, grabbing the man’s arm. He easily redirects the man’s momentum and tosses him to the ground. He makes a futile attempt to avoid it but he nevertheless hits the ground hard. The man quickly begins standing back up and Nagarajoss just as quickly grabs ahold of his neck. The butler wriggles furiously trying to break away but can’t overcome the lizard man’s ferocity. Nagarajoss moves his hands to his arms and demands the man talk, lest he become food. The man responds by spitting in his face. Nagarajoss then returns his hands to the man’s neck and chokes him into unconsciousness while he struggles in futility. A few seconds later he is no further trouble. Bolos tosses the room briefly but finds nothing of interest.
The last door reveals a form underneath the bed’s covers that doesn’t move when Nagarajoss and Bolos try to gain its attention. The room is well-decorated but otherwise not notable. Nagarajoss pulls down the covers to reveal a terrified man who immediately begins hyperventilating. It’s the manager of the store in the front of the compound. Nagarajoss asks the man where his master is but he’s too terrified to speak and only continues hyperventillating.
At the final door Thirlim sneaks over and hears excited whispering from a number of individuals in excited voices, speaking in Tredroy Patois. They seem to be talking about what they think is happening and what they should do about it. They sound nervous. A padlock is on the door. Thirlim begins working on the padlock and is able to open it after about a minute but chooses to leave the lock on the door, preventing it from being opened. Bolos and Nagarajoss come around the corner but can’t make out Thirlim’s gestures for them to be quiet about his presence. Muttering something about amateurs Thirlim finishes with the lock and after some brief discussion Nagarajoss knocks on the slaves’ door to announce their presence. We’re able to convince them to open the door. Nagarajoss indicates that we’re friends of Natara. Edrick takes several of the slaves, who are very excited at the prospect of leaving and pick up weapons from fallen guards and stand by Baern awaiting our exit. Across the hall the servants are less thankful for their freedom and instead mouth off at us, demanding we leave. Thirlim tries to tie shut their door to the nearby railing but can’t find a suitable material to tie between the two points so leaves them to stew in their foolishness.
From the slaves’ room one of the women who choose to remain catches Thirlim’s eye but Nagarajoss and Bolos convince him to leave her, that we need to move onwards towards our objective.
We open the door that Baern has been guarding, revealing a darkened hallway poorly illuminated by moonlight. Thirlim sneaks forward, peeking around the corner to see a long hallway lined with tapestries that eventually turns a corner to the left. Two doors are present along its length, each about a third of the way down the hall. Candles are present periodically in sconces. The second door is slightly opened. Thirlim directs the rest to remain at the corner behind him and wait for him to investigate.
A few yards down the hall a guard pops out and takes a poor shot at Thirlim, flying past him harmlessly. The guard’s door slams shut and we all hear the sound of it being bolted shut. Thirlim tells his companions to move up in the hallway.
The closer of the two doors is open and the room empty with a small guard’s barracks within. Inside is a two-footed crossbow as well as a quiver of bolts. Thirlim takes those, readying the crossbow before stowing it with his gear. While he readies it Nagarajoss and Bolos take a look at the opposite door. Bolos casts a locking spell on it, preventing the door from being opened.
Thirlim sneaks to the corner and sees it comes to a dead end with a series of tapestries around. Thirlim searches for secret doors but finds none; nothing lies behind the tapestries either. He’s initially puzzled by this seemingly bizarre construction. Bolos indicates that likely the area was renovated to close up a doorway. Nagarajoss comes down to the area and gives the wall a solid strike to test its toughness but isn’t able to make appreciable progress.
Bolos decides to cancel his locking spell on the room’s door but the entry remains barred from the other side. After considering our options Nagarajoss decides to knock on the door, offering mercy for the first one to open the door. Khalid responds that we’re all dead men.
Unperturbed from his defiance Nagarajoss begins striking the door to knock it down; Thirlim joins in for a strike with his axe and holsters it for his crossbow, aiming inside the room for when we’re able to blow through the door. Nagarajoss completes bashing the door in, creating a good-sized hole in it. A soldier behind the door looses a bolt through but Nagarajoss is able to get out of the way. Thirlim takes his shot through the newly-opened hole at a heavily-armored officer but the man’s shield is able to block the bolt without issue. Inside the room we see five men with various arms and Ibn cowering in the corner like a trapped rat of man that’s about to have his five bodyguards slaughtered and his house looted as his slaves are freed, all while a lizard man, a barbarian and the sexiest dwarf alive laugh in bloodthirsty glee.
Convenient retcon: in the guard captain’s quarters there’s an unspecified potion that we’re able to locate.
On that we end for the night with character points to come next week.