As the team searched for Modra, the one who ordered the hit on them earlier, they met Reniss, a half-elf ranger in search of her sister. Rhayn was able to tell her that her sister Jen was slain in the Nexus fighting the encroaching orcs. She, in turn, was able to give the team the name of the tea-house, The Happy Beggar.
At The Happy Beggar, the team met the husband and wife, Prashant and Ausma, who ran the establishment. Retired clerics, they serve the down and outs of the Tradetown district. They also met Brenat, an old adventurer, who had at one time ran Modra out of the tea house. He was quick to tell the team not to trust the shifty dark-one, who would stick a knife in their back given the chance.
After searching the cellars, Alia found a secret passage and called the team down stairs, while Rummy distracted the folks in the common area. Squeezing through the passage, the team tumbled down the hole, landing in a pile at the base. There, they were quickly attacked by giant bats. They were able to kill the bats before they alerted the next room.
Which was good, because the next room was occupied. As they approached the chamber, a savage howl echoed up the stairs. A lantern burned somewhere beyond, giving a glimpse of a finished stone chamber set with marble flagstones. This odd-shaped chamber extended outward in three sections, and it was about 60 feet wide at its end. Though its frescoed walls suggested a sort of temple, it now resembled a storeroom, with boxes and crates stacked in piles.
In the center of room stood an enormous open stone archway. Adjacent to it was a large steel cage on a low cart, somehow obscured in shadow. Within the cage, two fierce hounds appeared to be wrapped in darkness as they snarled and clawed at the door.
A short figure all in black threatened the snarling hounds with a spear through the bars of the cage. Two more dark creepers pushed the cart toward the arch. Farther along, a tall, gray-skinned female was inspecting a stack of crates. None of them noticed the team.
It was a tough fight but the team was able to defeat the dark ones and the Shadar-kai witch, but not before they release the shadow hounds and were forced to deal with them too. Sitting back, the group took a short rest.
XP = Just shy of 5th level.