The characters face down the group of gricks: tentacled, squid-worm creatures that seem to fit well with the decor in the Mist Tiger’s hideout. Kumiko takes out one with her sun blade and Miyo kills the other with a Fire Bolt. They then back away slowly from the mass of writhing black tentacles protruding from the cavern wall.
The characters see light in the distance and decide to investigate. What they find tears holes in their psyches. A large magical circle sits in the middle of a chamber. The chamber is well lit, so they see a workbench at the back flanked by two wooden shelves. However, blood is everywhere — covering the walls, floors, and ceiling. A copper-tinged mist hangs in the air, randomly congealing into symbols associated with blood magic and Kobayashi as the air vibrates to the rhythm of the drone that fills the cavern.
Saeko and Miyo decide that this is too dangerous to leave intact, and want to destroy it right now. Kumiko suggests that they continue to investigate and come back for it, but the passion expressed by the two magic users wins her over. Miyo works her way cautiously around to the workbench, studiously avoiding the magic circle, and finds a set of arcane work notes, written in the Raven’s hand. The notes are fragmented and the subject matter is so alien that her mind has trouble processing them, so she files them away to analyze later.
She also finds a list of names: four of which are crossed out, ten of which have check marks next to them, and six of which are untouched, including the hapless ninja Yoshitoshi who they had trailed to the House of Red Lanterns. Carved into the wall behind the bench are a set of nooks, six of which contain small jade figurines - similar in style to the ones they fenced to the Jade Fist, but smaller and less finely worked. They decide to take them with.
Under the workbench is a locked chest. Asami picks the lock and Saeko uses a cantrip to open it once Asami has backed safely away. Their precaution appears to have been appropriate, as the lid makes an ominous clicking noise indicative of a trap as it is lifted. Inside they find:
- A small cloth pouch containing 1000 cranes worth of gems
- A potion of heroism
- An oil of etherealness
- A potion of gaseous form
- The sheaf of correspondence that they had recovered from the sewers of the Yellow Lantern District and which had been subsequently stolen back from them
- A key carved out of what appears to be human bone
Saeko and Miyo get to work on a purification ritual while Asami watches and Kumiko stands guard. About twenty minutes into the hour-long ritual, Kumiko gets pelted with arrows from out of the darkness of the cave. Kumiko falls back and Saeko responds with a Darkness spell to give Kumiko cover. Arrows continue to fly through the magical darkness but miss their mark. Saeko drops the Darkness to give Miyo a chance to light their attackers up with a Fireball.
They see that their two attackers are more of the undead ninja, and they mange to kill one, even as Miyo gets pelted with arrows. The other runs off into the darkness of the cave, and they choose not to pursue it - preferring to finish their purification of the terrible, horrible, blood magic circle. They take a short rest to recover from the attack and then get back to work.
This time both Kumiko and Asami stand guard, peering intently out into the darkness. It comes as a surprise, then, when Asami is killed instantly by a necrotic, black crossbow bolt.