Following the meeting with the Red Mantis leader Chivane, the party begins to discuss what to do, during the raging thunderstorm. After a close encounter with a random lightning the group continues their discussion in a relative safety of a nearby canopy.
The group fairly quickly decides to agree to the Mantis terms as long as Eugene receives a letter from Sasha by morning and that they get to have her as a travel companion during the expedition. Ishirou and Eugene return to the bar and give their message to the barkeep as instructed earlier by Chivane. After a harrowing wait of close to an hour the man they were meant to follow earlier comes to Eugene at the bar and tells them the deal is agreed and that they should return the following day by noon to the Blackened Seabass. Eugene and Ishirou return to the group with a little bit of relief. The group agrees to return to the inn to wait until the next day, but Imbasa takes a detour seemingly unnoticed and makes his way to the Pathfinder accomodations to discuss with them.
Imbasa is greeted by a dwarf introduced as Kaptra Dorethain, a cleric of Torag. Amivor is now present and regrets them missing him by just a few minutes earlier. Imbasa quickly explains the party's situation and Amivor promises to try to help however he can, posibly to secure their aid to the coming expedition.
Imbasa returns to the Dancing Piglet after that, bypassing a couple of suspicios lookouts and climbs in the second story window to Glendemicks room. The party ten quickly gather to Eugene's room where Eugene quickly excuses himself as he wants no knowledge of any possible betrayal of the Mantises. Imbasa explains that the Pathfinders will try to help but the party agrees to go to the meet the next day.
The following morning, Glendemick and Imabasa head out to do a bit of trading while Tom, Ishirou and Eugene try to remember what they learned from the journal of Ieana in the first place. When Imbasa and Glendemick return a runner just arrives with a message to Imbasa. The Pathfinders have found where Sasha is! The rest of the group agree to go to the meet while Imbasa takes off to meet the Pathfinders.
Upon arriving to the Pathfinder lodge, he manages to negotiate their help to free Sasha while the rest of the group is meeting the Mantises. Amivor encourages him to get more help as he doesn't have enough men to handle the Mantises. Imbasa heads to meeth the Free Captains to hire some pirates to help him in the fight as they don't like the Mantises.
Imbasa manages to find a way to discuss with the captain of the Last Hurrah, captain Kassata Lewyn, after flashing a few gold coins around. The negotiation is hrsh with the captain but Imbasa manages to hire four pirates in exhange for 2800gp worth of gold, of which he left a number of his own items as collateral. After acquiring the needed muscle he proceeded to meet the Pathfinders near Sasha's hide out.
As Imbasa is arriving to the location of Sasha, the rest of the party arrives to the Blackened Seabass. They wait a little while until Chivane and four of her men follow her, including the man Eugene met last night. Eugene quickly points out to Chivane that they can't trust the Mantises as they did not receive the agreed letter from Sasha, to which Chivane sumggly replied that she thought Eugene would rather see her instead. This caught Eugene offguard and promptly agrees to go with Chivane to meet Sasha and the rest of the party remains in the tavern, which is currently empty of customers and employees.
At the same time Imbasa, Amivor, Kaptra and the four cutthroats meet in the Fat Bastard, a small street diner near. Amivor tells them that there is one lookout that he and Kaptra can deal with while Imbasa and the rest attack the appartment. They quickly split up and proceed to the back of the building to wait for Amivors signal.
A thundering boom is sounded, result of a thunderstone being triggered. Sounds of fighting erupt from the nearby alley, apparently the Pathfiders ambush of the lookout failed. Imbasa and the men rush up to bust in the door of the appartment. The door of the appartment proves to be more resilient than expected but finally the cutthroats manage to burst in. In the meanwhile Imbasa rushes to help the Pathfinders who are struggling against the underestimated Mantis.
Eugene and Chivane also hear the echoing boom and Chivane looks at Eugene with a curious look. Eugene literaly not knowing anything looks equally worried but the pair continue to move on. A little bit later the faint sounds of combat rouse Chivane worry and she begins to jog towards the hideout, with Eugene trailing behind.
With Imbasas help the Mantis is quickly dispatched and Imbasa rushes to help the cutthroats in the appartments. Wild sounds of fighting and laughter is coming fro mthe appartment, apparently the fight is not going in the cutthroats favor. As Imbasa rushes in, Chicane sees him and draws her weapons and shouts to kill Sasha. Eugene noticing this as well runs past Chivane and leaps up to the second floor and together with Imbasa into the room. Ehat they see are the cutthroats completely messed up, fighting each other, babbling incoherently nonsense and hitting themselves, clearly under the effect of some spell.
At the same time the Pathfinders engage Chivane in the street. A quick exchange of of blows though bring the Pathfinder captain down and drives the dwarf cleric to a maddened fury to avenge him. At the same time in the appartment, Imbasa engages an invisible Mantis who repeatdely tries to strike at him and Eugene desperately rushes past all of them and miraculously also past the Mantis, determined to go cut Sasha's throat. Eugene deftly cuts Sasha bonds and she grabs a dagger from Eugene's belt and thrusts it to the thigh of the Mantis assassin while Eugene pierces his throat with his short sword. At the same time Imbasa and the one surviving cutthroat engage the second Mantis. The Mantis prayes Achaekek and a wave of pain wracks everyone as the negative energy corrupts and twists everyones flesh. Finally though Imbasa impales the man and he slumps dead on his knees.
As Imbasa heads to help Kaptra with Chivane, Sasha and Eugene embrace each other. Chivane seeing Imbasa joining the fray, gulfs a potion and becomes invisible, dissappearing from the fight.
After the fight Imbasa quickly examines Amivor, but he is beyond normal healing, Chivane did strike true and slew Amivor. After that Imbasa and Eugene exhange some words:
Eugene stares Imbasa calmly, :"so tell me how much you paid for those cuthtroats? And would have been the outcome unless I arrived with the last minute .."
Imbasa replies with a shrug. "700gp a head. I didn't have enough cash, so I had to pawn some of my magical items to the pirates. But I thought it was worth it to rescue your woman, wouldn't you agree?" He then flashes a quick sharkish smile at the timing issue. "Then Chivane wouldn't have been here either to command them to kill her, nor would Amivor have died fighting against Chivane. Both Amivor and Catra [?] would have joined me in the fight against the two Mantises and we would have taken them down without any harm to your woman." He then sighs fatalistically. "I admit, I had higher hopes for my piratical reinforcements, and I am sad about Amivor's death. But Our Lady giveth and taketh away. Today, She granted Sasha life, and Amivor death. But I will tell tales of Amivor's valor; his name will be famous throughout the Mwangi Expanse as the slayer of dozens of assassins for the love of a beautiful woman." And he winks at Sasha.
"Alas Amivor and Catra indeed fought, where pirates were on each other throats, at least they seemed to entertain those who were to keep Sahsa in bonds. After days of worrying Sashas fate and having now some what fortunate ending of this marathon, I am too tired to discuss of Sashas body and her needs with it. It is her to decide, if she feels she has something to repay you. I'd be happy to pay of the pirates first and then buy you whore or two, but that will have to wait till we find our fortunes or death at the jungles of Mwangi" Eugene replies with depressed sigh. "Do you think the Pathfinders are now able to gather exploration group at all? And I bet our tortures with Chivane and Mantis are not over yet either. So options might be fewer than we expected, the tradesmen or government officials.. I sort of hoped we went with Mantis, it would have been wise to watch your most dangerous enemy from close, not to fear them to appear from shadows when we will not be ready. But Sasha is safe, it is all that matters."
"Alas, we will need to reclaim my equipment as soon as possible from the pirates... even now, I worry that they might not honor the accord I made with them. It cannot wait until we come back, for surely by then they have already sold off my equipment. Instead, let us see if our valiant compatriots can be induced to loan some of their gold for this good cause. Surely it is to everyone's advantage to have magical items with us rather than heavy gold." Imbasa opinions, and then waves a hand in dismissal at Eugene's talk of whores. "My friend, let us not use such coarse terms for the nightingales of the cities. Nor would I deign to offer comparisons between the lush charms of your dear Sasha here to those songbirds, nay, not even the rather fetching piece that attached herself to you at the inn, as the memory serves... Eh? You don't remember her, with her soft arms around you neck? It is of no matter... If an idea of an amorous celebration is distasteful to either of you - may I remind you that I did encompass you both in the invitation - I would surely not seek to make you uncomfortable. It is simply that it seemed that you and Sasha felt the battlelust give way to other lusts, and I am not a stranger to such things happening, either. Why, I remember when I tussled with the warrior princess of Urat, whose ferocity was that of a she-lion, on the battlefield or in the bed... or off it for that matter..." Imbasa pauses for a moment to smile beatifically at the memory, before shaking his head to clear it. "But perhaps that is a story for another time, since I must dash to warn our compatriots of the perfidy of the foe. I shall see you at the Pathfinders... post-haste!" And then he dashes off to bear warning to their friends waiting at the Blackened Seabass.