The cleric is able to severely hurt the dragon, and after Henry creates a ring of fire, the dragon’s chances are gone. Once it’s dead, the cleric claims the head for proof while Pel discovers a scimitar in the pile of bones. It is the scimitar of the dwarf that hired them, and his skeletal hand is still partially grasping it. The group leaves the cave with their treasures.
Back at the tavern, the group gets paid, but things go bad when Pel gives the skeletal hand back to its original owner. Stumpy is not happy about this, and prepares a fireball to throw at them. All but Monty get out of the tavern. Monty easily ducks the fireball and leaves to find Malaria to proposition her. Malaria Niger laughs in his face and then ends up accepting a date with Ashen. A few days pass while Malaria specially makes items for Ashen and the rest of the group shops, drinks, and steals. At one point Lavatica gets drunk and starts table dancind in Stumpy’s tavern.
Ashen asks Malaria about the keys, but she doesn’t know anything. She suggests to show up the next day at the local marionette theatre where Toulon Nightshade might be able to help them.
The next day they enter the theatre, and Ashen proceeds to the back room. He asks about the keys, but at first is so vague that Toulon doesn’t quite understand what he’s asking. When Ashen becomes more specific, Toulon looks frightened and a little threatened. He warns that nobody who looks for the keys ever truly has good intentions. He says that he will never tell a soul what he knows and his puppets attack. There are seven of them, and the dwarf is quickly surrouned, but his allies are quickly there to help out.