As Gorthaur, Mira, and Calderón leave T’s office, T tells Gorthaur to read the dragon book as soon as possible, with a wink. The group leaves the underground area, on their way to the Manhole, a tavern known to Mira to be friendly to the Thieves Guild. As they enter into the back alley behind the warehouse, they see a commotion down the street: a barbarian and a ranger (Grognak and Arvi) have been surrounded by a pack of ash-wolves, unnatural abominations that have volcanic glass teeth and who seem to make no sound.
The group enters the fray, and together the party of five defeats the wolf pack. Notably, Gorthaur is finally able to activate his quarterstaff, creating a wraith of an ash-wolf for a short while. It later disappears in his arms. Post battle, the two parties unite, partially out of gratitude for being saved, partially out of desire to have a good beer at the Manhole, and partially because Calderón thought his patron told him to. A patrol of town guards walks by; Calderón, Mira, and Gorthaur duck into an adjacent alleyway, while Grognak and Arvi get harassed by the guards about whether or not they know anybody with a magical glaive. A few lies later, everybody departs.
As the now-enlarged party makes its way to the Manhole, they hear occasional screams coming from other places throughout the city, followed by running guards. Gorthaur has been reading while walking, and notices a note left by T, telling him that they are being watched and to meet him at the Manhole at noon the next day. The group makes it to the Manhole, which is tended by an old black man named G’hotezhe (pronounced “Goatse”). They dick around there for a while before taking rooms for the night. Gorthaur continues to read the dragon book when not trancing. The next day, Mira and Calderón sell some stuff in town before returning to meet with T at noon.
T tells the group that there’s a burn notice on Mira, given by Jule. He cautions the group against trusting anybody and gives them several magical items: a longbow, a greataxe, and a bag of holding. He wishes them luck and heads upstairs to the rooms. Quickly on his heels is the single other proprietor of the Manhole at that time. Not trusting him, Calderón attacks and grapples him, but before anybody can ask any questions, Arvi pops him in the head with an arrow, dropping him dead. Gorthaur uses this opportunity to cast animate dead and throws his newly-acquired zombie-slave (renamed Z.C.U.B.A. Steve) into the newly-acquired bag-of-holding.