While Sal, Garef, and Sandtongue were distracted by Cletus the cerebric fungus, Petra and Aton exchanged a quick glance. They had work to do.
Traveling back down the metal corridors to the hydroponics lab, Aton held out a hand to warn Petra back. He activated the door and stepped forward into the room. Within, the vegepygmy chieftain sat in his mold-encrusted chair, glowing warhammer in his lap. “The situation has changed,” Aton explained, “And I’m afraid our deal is off.” The vegepygmy nodded grimly, lifted his warhammer, and botled forward on the offensive. His first swing smashed Aton in the leg, causing a good bit of damage, but Aton responded in turn, waiting for Petra to move into a flanking position before swinging down his greatsword, cleaving mightily into the vegepygmy. The vegepygmy was able to get a mold-encrusted claw into Aton’s thigh before Petra pinned it with a brutal blow with her knife, and Aton finished the job with his greatsword. Petra snagged the dead plant-man’s hammer and a handful of silverdisks, pocketing the latter and handing Aton the former. I hope you got a hidden place for this, she said. In his backpack, it turns out he did.
I saw someone do this with a witch, so I believe it works, Aton said, carving the vegepygmy into bits and passing half the pieces to Petra. They ran about the dungeon, depositing pieces in any place where other plants were not currently growing, including Aton taking one to the “magic water bowl” and flushing it (successfully, I might add). As he left the restroom, he spotted a pair of doors closing and the brief sight of a human-sized figure hustling in the opposite direction. Aton quickly alerted Petra, and she moved with astounding stealth to follow the figure. As the hooded figure ran from the Halls of SCIENCE!, Petra gave up on stealth in order to make better time, and when she made it to the hallway where an alien juju zombie once threatened the group, she came across a startled Sanvil Trett! He had a sword drawn, but upon seeing Petra and Aton, he sheathed it, and apologized for exploring the dungeons without their permission. He was cautious at first, but got more friendly and apologetic as Petra dismissed his foolishness. As long as she didn’t have to babysit him, he could die all he wanted in these halls, and Aton mentioned that they would have no way of knowing whether anything deadly would still roam the halls even after they cleared them.
Sanvil accepted these risks, and claimed he was no slouch in a fight (Petra snorted derisively at this), but he hoped maybe he could find a few baubles the group might have missed, and his greed had gotten the better of him. He promised to explore later, after the group had left. In thanks for their understanding, Sanvil dropped the group some juicy scuttlebutt: while he had no concrete proof, Sanvil was pretty sure Garmen Ulreth was up to something in an old Warehouse he owned on the north end of town. Sanvil wasn’t sure what the notorious gambling den owner could be up to, but his warehouse, usually used for illicit deals or holding big-ticket items, had a lot of Ropefist thugs coming and going, and the locks on the supposedly abandoned warehouse were pretty new for a building with boards across all the doors and windows. Aton thanked him for the information, and the traveling tech-peddler nodded and left. Knowing that soon their absence would be noted by the rest of the party, Aton and Petra made their way back to the group.
After dark and once the rest of the party had bedded down for the night (or, in the case of Sal, went to go do whatever it is she does all night- probably cleans her guns too much), Aton and Petra grabbed their things and set off for Garmen’s “abandoned” warehouse. Some initial scouting uncovered light from between the window boards and quiet chatter, proving the warehouse was indeed occupied, and two of its exterior doors were cleverly designed to look boarded shut but were in fact fully operational. Petra scouted ahead, taking a set of rickety stairs to the locked door at the second floor. Deftly picking the lock, she peeked inside and found four Ropefists inside, making patrols around the warehouse. A quiet yet unhealthy hum suffused the air, a noise one more felt in their teeth than heard with their ears, and Petra quickly developed a headache identical to the one Sal had acquired. Something unnatural was indeed going on in the warehouse.
Reporting back to Aton, the two decided to check the second door, which led to an office. Within, Garmen Ulreth sat in a chair with his feet kicked up, quietly snoring. They quietly closed that door, Petra locked it back up, and they formed a plan. The two took up a scouting position across the street in a nearby alley, and three hours later Garmen opened the door, said something bout sending for more thugs once he got back to Silverdisk hall, and departed. Now was their chance. The two booked it across the street. Petra worked her picks in the office door’s lock and readied one of the grenades they referred to as “brawlers”, while Aton took up a position at the other, actually-boarded office door. Aton then dealt the door a solid kick, creating a lot of noise but surprisingly not busting down the door; it was incredibly stout and the boards gave it extra strength. It had its intended effect as the Ropefists on duty in the warehouse began to pour into the room, just after Petra quietly rolled a grenade into the room. As the four figures readied to deal with intruders it went off. It was super effective! Two thugs were knocked unconscious immediately, while the other two were battered but otherwise still standing. Petra took the initiative and bolted to the one at the foot of the office stairs, jamming her not-rapier under his ribs and dropping the poor schlub. The second conscious thug bolted forward and used fancy footwork to distract the canny rogue, hoping to get in an unseen jab in a few second. But Aton’s surprising arrival from around the outside of the building took the thug off guard. “Stop wiggling around, you jackass!” he shouted, and butted her across the head with the pommel of his greatsword. The office fell silent.
Aton handed Petra the steel weasel and went to work tying up the unconscious thugs, while Petra made for the warehouse. There, she discovered all the crates were empty decoys, except one, which the hum easily led her to. Inside she found a bulky technological device, with panels, buttons, screens, and strange antennae all over it. One screen mentioned something about “power transmission” while another showed a kind of map with no geographic features, only three dots: one at the center of the screen, one almost on top of it to the west, and another, far to the northwest. The distance indicator seemed to put the farthest dot at some hundred-and-change miles away. Petra was unable to discover the full purpose of the device, but got the gist enough: it was taking power from beneath Black Hill and transmitting somewhere in Northwestern Numeria. Her splitting headache made it take longer than necessary but eventually Petra located the off button. As the machine powered down, her headache powered down with it.
Petra called for Aton, who had finished tying up the thugs and searching the office (finding a hidden panel behind a drawer, which contained fifty silverdisks in a drawstring pouch). He pocketed the disks and ran into the room. They knew time was short; assuming the Ropefist backup took the direct route, they’d be at the warehouse in minutes. Aton hefted the machine, crate and all, and the two took a longer, more out-of-the-way route back to the Foundry Tavern. Dawn would be coming soon, and with that, a lot of work to be done. But that was for next session because now it was the…