After a good night’s rest, the Gatecrashers wake to find themselves hungry and wander down into the common area of the Sand Dragon Inn for breakfast. Gerfried and Clarice arrive first, followed shortly after by the others in no particular order. Shortly after settling in, the proprietor Shaheen arrives to invite the group to share the story of their arrival on Golarion. Chouko blanches at being put on the spot, but agrees a few moments later, whereupon the entire Guild are escorted down to Shaheen’s private quarters to share their story.
Chouko’s performance truly astounds the jann and his attendant formian secretary, who takes detailed notes of Chouko’s tale of planewalking and worldhopping. The group are invited to partake directly of the jann’s table, an exotic feast unrivaled by any most of them have ever enjoyed. During the meal, Vash takes caution to mention that formians are natives to Mechanus, the place of origin for the Mahrus… a fact which makes Olias take immediate notice.
After the meal, the group hastens upstairs to kit up in preparation for departure, expecting a Mahrut to arrive momentarily and make another attempt on Olias’ life. Instead, Olias and Chouko find one of the formians in their room waiting for them. The formian offers forth a deal, which Chouko intuits to involve hundreds more formians somewhere beneath the Inn itself. She is sent forth to let the rest of the Guild know about this possible deal, and after gearing down a bit the rest wait. Olias soon informs them that one stealthy person is requested to accompany him and their potential employer to a private meeting. Sophone joins Olias in the meeting and the two are led beneath the Inn. They are led through a secret door into some tunnels and almost immediately encounter a brass dragon – not yet fully grown but obviously still dangerous. The dragon seems to obey the formians, however, and does not attack. Olias and Sophone are brought before the taskmaster for a discussion of their potential employment in helping the formians return to Mechanus.
Meanwhile, bored once again, Chouko lets Tamlyn draw from the Deck. Tamlyn draws the Euryale card, but no one is certain what happens as a result. This does offer a highlight of recent behavioural changes in Tamlyn, as she nearly strikes the cards with Chouko’s soul-stealing blade – a gift which Chouko bestowed on her earlier in the day after remembering its effects on her.
The group otherwise bides their time while Olias and Sophone hold palaver with the taskmasters of the formian colony. The taskmaster requesting Olias’ presence dominates Sophone’s mind and tries to do much the same to Olias, but fails. Olias grows very upset at this attempt to coerce him and declares that any dealings are over and that he will destroy them if they persist in trying. A moment later he opens combat with an ice storm spell and instructs Sophone to run for the exit while he negotiates to free the brass dragon from its domination.
Olias’ familiar is sent to fetch the rest of the Guild and does so before any further Deck-inspired mishaps occur and the group in its entirety charges forth to do battle. Tamlyn does so with a certain glee and a great chaos is brought to bear on the the Inn and its patrons as the lot of them rush through the halls, common areas and kitchen. Chouko darts ahead magically to pave the way to the secret door shortly after Sophone opens it on the tail end of the dragon’s roar shaking the foundations of the Inn.
The group en masse rush through the door to the aid of Olias and Sophone shortly after Olias teleports the dragon to relative safety in the streets above – whereupon it immediately vents decades of pent-up wrath upon the populace of the city. He phases back through the soil in time to join the fray against hordes of formians of all shapes and sizes. Several of the party are bitten, stung or struck with spears during the extended battle, but in the end Gerfried gets to show off his newly found command over plasma in an explosive display of power and ends further combat by casting a cloud kill spell directly from his spellbook.
The party evacuate and meet with the very angry proprietor who explains that he has been working for the formians for centuries and that the bound dragon provided many of the famous amenities of the Inn. After some tense sword-point negotiation and a binding contract, the jann agrees to serve the Gatecrashers and by proxy the Arcane in the future.