The next morning, the party were busy.
Artur was up early to seek out the leader of his order, Lady Protector Varma Nikkonen. He found her at prayer and breathlessly told her everything that had transpired regarding the Braalite cult lurking in the vicinity of the Scythe. She prayed on the matter, and came to the conclusion that Darlen himself had placed this great trial in Artur’s path. Clearly, this was his test. Artur was less than pleased with this pronouncement as he had hoped for help.
Meanwhile, Colzo had returned to Low Gate. After enjoying a morning mug of ale with watch members finishing their shift he met with Elina Keto. She related to him that the alleged cultists had denied everything, and had even accused Grand Silvertongue of being a witch! The two had been transferred to Castle Languard where they would be “enthusiastically” interrogated by the duke’s questioners. She could offer Colzo no additional help beyond a small patrol of three watchmen to lend legitimacy to Colzo’s investigation of the Scythe’s cellar.
With the watchmen in tow, Colzo returned to the Fiddlers Three to regroup with the party. Here he learnt Luther had returned with news that the butchers shop—Kaleva's Cuts—had been suspiciously busy overnight. He also noticed that the shop was now open, but that two vigilant apprentices were selling meat outside the door. The canny ranger suspected the two were more lookouts than apprentices.
Colzo and Luther led the patrol to the Scythe, while the rest of the heroes—none of them members of the watch—lagged behind. Initially, the landlord, Arva Outila resisted the group’s demand to search the tavern’s cellar (on the pretext of searching for stolen goods). Eventually, Arva relented and allowed the group into the cellar.
All seemed normal in the cellar, until Luther spotted what looked like a half-high secret door in the cellar’s east wall.The door looked like it hadn’t been opened in years. At this development Colzo called for his friends (who had been lurking outside) to join him. Arva vigorously protested this, until Colzo slipped him a couple of gold coins. At this point, Arva also worked out that anything (not of an evil nature or stolen) beyond the door was still under his tavern, and therefore technically his!
The party briefly made preparations before Grand Silvertongue and Horsa both used mage hand to push in the door’s switch. The door clicked, releasing a cloud of dust as it popped open.
The heroes surged through the door to discover another cellar! Although the series of rooms they explored were mainly unused, Luther did spot obvious signs that people had been here recently. Disturbingly, one of the rooms featured four iron manacles set into the walls while another held bins of old, dusty clothes of the sort worn by the commoners of the city decades ago.
Another secret door, protecting a passageway running eastwards—towards Kaleva's Cuts—was quickly discovered. The passageway sloped downwards and ended in the butcher’s cold store. A ladder led upwards to the shop, from where sound filtered down. Another door opened into a further sunken room. Here a wooden ladder led downwards into a natural cave. Dried wax, covered the walls here and many half-burnt candles nestled in the wall’s natural folds.
A single sloped passageway led away and downwards back to the west. Following this—and ready to smite any cultists they should find—the party plunged deep into the earth. Eventually, they came to a cave. Again, dried wax and candles festooned the walls. A single oak door—black with age and banded with iron—pierced the opposite walls. A leering wrought iron skull protruded from the door and protected the fell portal’s lock…