In the silences of the Prospectress laying in the mud with three knives adding to the new wounds in her dead body, the rain poured down. It was only the first of the indignities visited upon the Prospect shop that night.
After some chaotic discussion, it was decided that Jack would use a shovel to try and pry the door open. A line of characters burst into light in the center of the door. The light burned into a fierceness greater than the sun. It bodily picked up Jack and hurled him out the front door, past the dead body of the Prospector, across the street, and into a building.
Miraculously, he was bruised and muddy and wet, but not seriously hurt. The burns under his skin faded, obviously simply an artifact of the light. Even Illyria seemed relatively unconcerned.
That must be why she suggested the Witch Hunter get the Prospector’s body from Burl and use the woman’s dead hand to try and open the warded door into the rest of the Prospector shop. The captain was several feet away, behind the ruins of the main display cabinet. As Gavin touched the corpse’s hand to the door, the Captain’s hands reflexively came up in a defensive gesture – a new set of sigils burned into life, with 3 attachments that looked like names (Jack was later to report). Gavin dropped the body as he, Jack and Alain howled like they were being burned by fire or assaulted by bees. Illyria pressed herself against the outside of the house, almost untouched by the stinging agony.
Done with the obvious trap, Jack shooed the others out, took an axe and applies vigorous strength to the wall behind the ruined display case far from the door. It eventually gave up in splinters.
The back room proved to be a Wardmaster’s workshop. There was an iron-bound oak chest with a cunning dwarven lock that became invisible when tampered with. Illyria pocketed it after they unlocking it. They found calligraphy brushes, blue, various inks and colored powders. Inside the chest were powders made of silver and gold, an artist pallette as for painters, a silver eye talisman, a set of gems professionally wrapped in jeweler’s gauze, and a hoard of coins from the Elven Protectorate and the Old Kingdom – the most valuable and useable currency in all Palladium.
The Witch Hunter, aware of the passage of time, kissed his wife goodbye and set off to hop the Outpost wall and head for a meeting with the Wolfen. Alone.
Upstairs, Alain discovered a single bed and footlocker, quite meager, and a lushly appointed 4-poster bed with curtains and another elaborate chest. While Illyria plied the fine instruments inside the lock that couldn’t be seen, Alain and Jack went over the books. One was a treatise on demons, open to a demon called the Lallu, which appeared over 3 nights to a victim, once as something they loved, then twice as something that terrified them, and then it killed them. It could walk unseen, evidently, and obviously change shape or use illusion to disguise itself. Second book was on Geomancy, opened to a section on locking or unlocking lines of Geomantic energy. The third was a very heady treatise on abstract magical theory that was beyond any of the readers.
Eventually, Illyria opened the chest at the foot of the bed, and it apparently had been a prison to some kind of elemental, bound to the box, that manifested itself as a woman. Without, apparently, the power of speech, she took an instant dislike to Alain, and begged Illyria to release her. To display her nature and power, she pulled a lightning bolt down out of the storm, herself unharmed – not that the same could be said for the roof and much of the rest of the room. Illyria took the gem that seemed to be the focus of the elemental’s containment.
That bit of business concluded, the group gathered what pieces seemed valuable and important and left the Prospector’s shop. Where the other 2 prospectors were, was anyone’s guess.