Night time is fast approaching. The party convenes to break into the mansion through the cellar. It is agreed that once they’re in, Olivie will make the decisions (the party is the security detail, after all).
The back side of the ruins is built onto the edge of a small cliff face of the hill. Large windows are at the top of the cliff. Besides, the labs are supposed to be downstairs. Clarion summons a greataxe to break down the boards against the door. Yish and Hnng are not sure why Clarion decided to make so much noise. The boards happened to be mostly rotten wood, so Clarion’s swing causes the wood to crumble. Clarion pulls on the door knob, which falls off. So Clarion pushes the door open. The party enters the cellar.
Everyone is overwhelmed by the stench of compost decay, except Marda. Hnng and Clarion hear breathing. There are littered boxes all over the floor: it’s a storage room. One side used to hold wine, but the entire room seems to be filled with gnawed pieces of wood. Olivie begins rummaging around.
Hnng shoots his crossbow against the far side to see how far it might be. Clarion lights a fletch on fire with magic so that they can see how far the bolt goes. Within a second, the bolt hits the far wall, making a loud sound of bolt on stone; the fire goes out. At this point, Hnng regrets his decision, and everyone hears growling from the darkness from somewhere in front and to the left. (Meanwhile, Olivie was looking at the rotting curtains, which caused Yish to ask Hnng whether he wanted to take some soiled curtain; Hnng asks Yish to forget the past and claims that he is turning over a new leaf.)
Olivie immediately reacts, puts her back against a column, and feels slime. Hnng lights a torch; Clarion summons a magical lantern. Lilith moves to protect Olivie. Yish shoots into the darkness; the bolt sticks into something not stone, based on the sound. Olivie also shoots into the darkness; there is sound of breaking glass. Hnng uses his torch to light the torch on a pillar. The party then hears a scuffle come from the direction where growls were first heard.
Marda is the first to see something suspicious. It is behind the far right pillar. Hnng approaches where Marda points out, and a monster jumps to attack him. The creature has a vaguely human face, the body of a lion, the wing of dragons, and a spiky tail. It is a manticore. Lilith asks Olivie to hide behind the pillar and stay out of combat as she strides out to join the combat. Yish prepares his souper soaker. Marda charges forward with her trident, although she misses with her attack. Lilith magically lights some kindling under the monster, which causes it to get spooked for a second. This is enough for Yish to take advantage of the situation to charge the monster and then squirts the sleeping potion into the monster’s. The monster shakes its head, wipes its head with its paws, and then prepares to growl at Yish. But the monster succumbs to sleep. Marda delivers a coup de grace; it dies immediately.
Clarion searches the room. In the far left corner is the monster’s nest, which completely blocks the stairs up. The far right corner also has stairs going up, but all sorts of stuff blocks the way.
There are many books in the boxes. Olivie finds one that has been ciphered; she doesn’t totally understand it, but she does understand that the lab is not at this mansion.
Yish offers to spend the night in the cellar to let Olivie dissect the corpse. Olivie suddenly finds Yish attractive. The party reasons that the bandits are probably still scared of the basement and so agree to spend the night.
There are taxidermied flamingos in the cellar. Most are mutilated (thanks to the manticore). Marda notices on one that there is a precise incision. It must have been killed for science.