The day begins as the party wakes up at Lilith’s house. Yish Garj can’t remember why he’s here. Clarion feels that it would be better to visit the warehouse instead of taking on jobs that Yish Garj had lined up from earlier. Everyone agrees.
On approaching the property, the party sees that the grounds are very well kept for a supposedly abandoned mansion. The warehouse, more like a barn, is off to one side of the grounds, while the mansion looms up before them. Hnng notices that the garden has been tended in the last three days. Yish Garj leads the party up to the door of the warehouse.
Marda notices that someone is on the roof; she can’t tell any details, but the signs of movement were undeniable. Leaf volunteers to climb up the wall of the barn, while the others are worried about finding a ladder (none were found); the warehouse is three storeys high. Hnng proposes to shoot crossbow bolts up onto the roof, but Clarion thinks it would be better to try communication.
The party decides to go through the front door; Yish Garj begins strategizing (Clarion stays by the doors, Lilith takes point, Hnng is put on watch out). Leaf is eagerly waiting at the door. Clarion volunteers to set traps. After much debate, Marda decides to push the door open; it gives easily. Yish Garj holds back Marda from rushing in and asks Clarion for light (dancing lights). Clarion then ties a bell to the door (to hear if anyone comes through the door).
Hnng shouts out into the darkness: “Hiiiii!” Nobody responds. Hnng surmises that the warehouse is abandoned; Leaf suggests that they may be lying in wait. But everyone immediately notices that the location is unusually well kept for being abandoned. Leaf climbs up the ladder to the hay loft. Yish, Clarion, and Marda follow up. There is nothing up on the loft, but they find a side room where cloth was draped over three bales of hay (or bail hays, as hipsters would say) pushed against each other. Yish senses the motive of the sheet and has a good hunch that the sheet is nothing but cloth. Further investigation confirms Yish’s hunch.
There is a latch and trapdoor leading from the loft to the roof. A stick holds the trapdoor open just enough for someone on the roof to open it. Yish orders Leaf to go through. Leaf bursts through the trapdoor but sees nothing on this side of the roof. Climbing up to the other side, Leaf sees a man taking a nap with a red cloak rolled up as a pillow. As the rest of the party approaches the sleeping man, Yish and Marda notice a group of people moving across the grounds, approaching the barn. There is clearly a gagged and blindfolded captive in the middle of the crowd; they are all casually walking.
The party decides to hide. Lilith and Hnng get notified of the approaching group and so hide as best they can in the hay loft. They overhear the men speaking of their captive as “the princess”. The rest of party takes cover on the roof but do not hear the men.
The princess is put into an animal stall, un-blindfolded, and ungagged. She is a tall, slender human wearing a green and gold dress. The leader of the group approaches her and speaks in a low enough volume that Lilith and Hnng cannot hear him. The princess does not respond. The leader is clearly not trying to harm her; quite the contrary, he seems to be attempting to convince her of something. 14 guards are on the ground. After an hour, the floorboards underneath Hnng creak as some loose straw near Lilith drops onto the floor. Meanwhile, Marda slips on some roof tiles and slams onto the roof (although she doesn’t slip off the roof). Yish curses loudly. At this, the leader silently points his men to the ladder.
Lilith and Hnng push a hay bail off the loft at the ladder as Lilith lights it on fire. The men congregating at the base of the ladder scatter. The leader tells some of his men to move the princess to safety and others to stand guard around the ladder.
The leader then demands to know who they are and what they are doing up on the hay loft. Hnng immediately responds by telling him that they are the extermination company V.E.R.M.I.N. The leader asks why they tried to light his barn on fire. Hnng blames Lilith’s haunting. The leader then demands to know how many of them there are. Hnng answers that there are about six of them. The leader demands that all of them come down and surrender weapons to have a discussion. Hnng immediately comes down and gives up his weapons. Lilith informs the others on the roof of the situation. Lilith then comes down and surrenders her weapons. Neither Lilith nor Hnng are left unbound, but guards are posted over them. The leader orders some more men to go outside and make sure that no one goes down from the roof.
As the others on the roof do not seem to be coming down quickly, the leader demands the others to go down the roof. Marda inquires after Lilith and Hnng. The leader looks at the two expectantly, at which Hnng reassures Marda that they are unharmed.
The others on roof notice that the man on the roof is now fully awake and alert. He informs the leader that there are four on the roof. They all eventually submit.
(Hnng has had experience being arrested.) Like Hnng and Lilith, the others are obliged to hand over weapons (even those which they were attempting to conceal); they are allowed to retain their packs. When everyone is captured, Hnng asks whether the leader knows about Vallan Dallinheart. The leader becomes very interested and asks Hnng whether he knows of Vallan. Hnng spills everything he knows about Vallan.
The leader then asks why the party is here. Lilith responds that there was an anonymous tip of hauntings in the area for them to exterminate. The leader asks for identification to verify that they are truly extermination company employees. Meanwhile, Lilith attempts to communicate with Yish; since the captives were lined up in the order they submitted, this required playing “telephone”.
Leaf doesn’t have identification (he never carries such things). Marda offers her PETA-MOO (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Magical Or Otherwise) card, but the leader demands proof of employment at the extermination company. Marda procures the appropriate documentation. Yish prominently displays his middle finger as he hands over his identification. After verification, all of the documentation is returned. Marda encourages the leader to keep the PETA-MOO card, but he hands it back as well.
The leader now asks what they have heard. Hnng confesses that he overheard something about a princess. Yish claims that Hnng is mentally unstable. Hnng declares that “the kingdom sucks and has terrible social health care.” Lilith reveals that Hnng likes tentacles. One of the guards looks rather deeply at Hnng. Hnng is intimidated.
The leader then has a conversation with the second in command.
Second in command: “What should we do, sir?”
Leader: “Well, they’re definitely lying, but there isn’t much we can do. We’ll have to move headquarters. You know what to do.”
At this moment, Yish’s bag begins to glow blue. Only Hnng and Clarion notice the glowing. As Hnng begins to make noises, the leader turns and also sees the blue light out of the corner of his eye. He orders his men to back away, at which moment Yish casts unnatural lust on the leader. The spell does not take effect on the leader, but he knows that Yish has cast a spell against him. He advances angrily at Yish and says “You have it!” At this moment, a blue portal opens where Yish’s bag was and sucks the entire party through before closing.
They pick their brains trying to figure out what is going on. They ascertain that they are not in immediate danger. The party finds themselves on a platform held up by ropes attached to pillars all around. Underneath is rocky shallows very far down. The rope is too thin to climb up. All party members are facing the same direction. They see a bridge far off; one side has many creatures (troglodytes and orcs and such) chasing women and children. The women and children are on one side of the bridge, but the monsters are on the other side; they will soon cross the bridge. The ropes on the platform are clearly attached to the ropes on the bridge. Yish jumps on the platform, which visibly shakes the bridge. This causes the monsters to slow their advance.
Hnng makes a case for the orcs doing the right thing by killing the evil women and children, to which Yish orders Hnng to jump off the platform out of his sight. Hnng moves out of Yish’s view but decides to stay on the platform.
Yish allows Lilith to check the sapphire. She knows many things, including the fact that the sapphire is currently activated.
As the monsters advance, one sees the party and slashes one of the ropes, which causes one of the supporting ropes of the platform to come loose. The monster happily sees the distress of the party.
Thinking a little bit, the party begins to believe that the sapphire is linked to the owner being in a dangerous situation. Leaf volunteers to punch Yish; Yish asks for a slow punch.
Before Leaf can punch Yish, the monsters advance some more, and another rope gets cut. At this rate, it becomes obvious that any five ropes cut would cause the platform to collapse. Since the platform acts as counterweight to the bridge, the collapse of the platform will cause the collapse of the bridge. Somehow, Hnng convinces the party that the situation is such that they will inevitably fall to their deaths one way or another: they can choose to die now by cutting the ropes to the platform and thereby break the bridge, which would save the women and children from the monsters, or they can let the monsters reach the women and children and let the monsters cut down the bridge, which would cause the platform to collapse and thereby cause them all to fall. Yish, Marda, and Clarion hack away at three ropes with their daggers (which they find from their packs). They all attempt to stand as close to Yish as possible. Everyone except Clarion holds on to the platform as it swings to crash into the pillars. Clarion falls and disappears right before she hits the rocky shallows; everyone else disappears as the platform crashes into the pillars.
The party reappears at the barn. All of their weapons are left; no one is there. Yish notices a note nailed to the door. It says: “The stone is mine. Next time we meet, just give it to me.” Yish promotes everyone to outrank Hnng so that Hnng must obey orders from everyone else. All investigate their weapons to make sure that they were not tampered with. It seems that they were not gone longer than a half hour.
At this point, Yish recalls that the princess is known throughout the city. In the upper city, she comes out to events rarely and is often quiet. In the lower city, people are not happy with how the king treats the princess, keeping her away from the public; however, some seem to recall fond memories when she was newly born, but they didn’t reveal more than this.
The party would like to visit the mansion later, but are afraid that there will be more bandits there still. The party checks the roof to make sure no one is there. Yish believes that hunkering down and keeping a lookout until the evening would be the best option. The party chooses to leave the barn and spend the day on the hillside.