- Continuing the next morning, the party is led for several hours by Skeezix before he tells them they are near and that they must split up. Sophie give Forte the homing device to monitor them.
- When the party agrees he reveals a secret passage, atop a ladder. Marquis, Forte, Derp, Rikki (who was knocked unconcious climbing from their resting space, and the associated pets stay behind and Andrei and Sophie continue upwards with a very nervous Skeezix.
- Communicating only by signs, they are led to a room where Skeezix gives them each a sort of brooch in the shape of a gear. Walking through the path Andrei spots a trap but it does not activate. Instead each of their pins emits a dull glow.
- Andrei secretly summons a ghoul, because that’s what Andrei does.
- Walking down a clean and small hallway with many open doors they come to one which Skeezix bids them stay away from. He enters and they over hear a conversation which quickly devolves into yelling and then screaming. Someone is upset.
- Storming into the hallway another kobold, obviously Xander, begins screaming at Sophie and Andrei in a multitude of languages before Andrei recognizes one. (Oddly enough, Andrei was not aware he knew Draconic until he heard it. The ancient Whiskey of the Dragon Blood, which he had drank at the whiskey temple, conveyed that ability to him.)
- Andrei and Sophie demand that they be shown the Artifact, of which Xander claims to know nothing. Letting them into the office, she tells them they much leave but after much talk of the Flute, which she brushes aside, and the fact that she has never met a race other than hers, she leaves to “make a phone call.”
- Sophie and Skeezix trade tech talk and Sophie is excited to find several fire arms in the clutter of the room. None are quite like hers but their purpose and design is obvious. Evidently this room is a sort of clearing house for technology brought to Xander.
- Xander returns to tell the party that they must follow her. Their presence has been demanded by someone called the Navarrix.
- Meanwhile, the rest of the party argues as Derp decides to go after Andrei and Sophie, encountering them just as they come back. After much arguing Xander gives everyone gear brooches and Andrei commands his ghoul to “enter” Rusty in the most horrendous was possible.
- Following Xander, the party eventually comes to a secret door which is guarded by two Illish-kikai soldiers who begrudgingly let them in.
- Touring a complex series of tunnels and compounds, no other kobolds aside from the few guards are present. Xander and Skeezix both remain highly nervous as they proceed and at one point Rikki is excited by the presence of a “Weasel Breeding Complex.”
- Though bare, the place is clearly lived in and occasionally a kobold will be glimpsed for an instant before scurrying away. Finally, they are led to a large open sort of atrium with windows on all sides before coming to an immeasurably ornate construction of gears and cogs which is soon shown to be a door.
- In a large, bare room shaped as a giant gear they see a complex chair covered in various apparatus and sat upon by a strange, very elderly kobold which appears to be more machine than organic.
- As they approach, it speaks:
In times of old, was a fire god stolen.
And captured then, left to us—his powers tamed.
So that through the years, still his totem broken,
He’s upheld the that city, and all the same.
But a time will come, when the god’s not needed,
That an evil force, the totem shall claim
And all our warnings, and knowledge unheeded,
’Til time of flying fire, then will reign.