Following the initial job at the McMannis estate, Gabril went and inspected the ruins of the house. He had a feeling about the basement that he could not shake. Sending in his familiar to scope the ruins, he find there is a safe and a large door in the rubble but it is more than he can move out of his way. So he opts to include the rest of the crew to investigate it further the next day.
As the day breaks, Taru and Grageon start their mornings early. Taru is running about her usual errands and animal caregiving. Grageon is training and exercising to keep his skills honed. Mid-morning comes about and Taru and Grageon return to the Valkyrie for breakfast and upon entering they see Khar sitting getting his breakfast and Gabril coming down the stairs. Everyone sits seperately. Seeing this Gabril very intentionally sits at a table with three empty seats and then using his magic, speaks telepathically with the rest saying, "IF you are interested, I have something to discuss." The others acknowledge the message and come and sit with Gabril.
He quickly informs them of his venture back to the McMannis estate and what he found. He sees if there is interest and the others agree it is worth inspecting further. So they agree to meet back at the Valkyrie in the early afternoon to undertake this adventure. They all run various errands or bask in a bit of leisure until that time.
Once mid-afternoon arrives, the crew assembles and departs for Newport. Using similar tactics, they survey the area and when nothing seems amiss, they go around to the backside fo the property and enter into the estate. Upon approaching the ruins, they find the house seemingly deserted and gone. All that remains are charred timbers and rubble. They see it has not been disturbed other than some cat paw prints. They decide to clear the rubble to get at the safe.
After some heavy lifting and strategic removal of timbers, they are able to quickly make the safe accessible. Upon further inspection they see it appears to have been a wall safe and given its placement in the basement it would have been in McMannis's study on the second floor. Despite its fall it is intact.
Gabril quickly sits down and attempts to crack the safe. During the initial attempt, Gabril can hear tumblers falling into place but is unsuccessful. Khar, decides he wants to try but in frustration quickly resorts to punching it to no avail. Gabril tries again and is successful. Inside he finds a cantaloupe-sized bag of gold, that he pitches over his shoulder to the group. Grageon waits a beat then bends down to snatches the bag. Gabril also finds a large folder of what appears to be business documents for McMannis and two books. One seems to be a journal and the second is a ledger. He takes and puts them into his backpack.
The group then turns their attention to the alcoved door behind the safe. Grageon and Khar lift and toss the empty safe to the side and then they find that the reason teh door survived the fire is because it is a metal door.
Gabril looks them over for signs of a trap and not finding any pushes it open. Behind the doors is a set of stairs leading down. The group decsends the stairs adn find themselves in a small chamber with a hallway leading away from the stairs they just came down.
Gabril proceeds down the hallway followed by Grageon, Taru, and lastly Khar. Suddenly a human carrying a short sword jumps out narrowly missing an attentive Gabril. Grageon seeing his companion attacked, quickly steps up adn in one deft movement takes the man's head right off his shoulders.
The group progresses further now even more. They quickly realize there is another bandit in the hallway ahead of them. Gabril moves out of the way and Graegon advances followed by a large wolf spider and Khar. Grageon hacks at the bandit who is joined by a second bandit. The spider drops down and bites the bandit. Khar rushes at both bandits and levels the first one, snapping the bandit's neck and knocking the second one down hard. they make short work of the remaining bandit.
They advance further and realize there is a large number of bandits ahead and quickly are in full-blown battle with multiple opponents. Khar quickly resets the odds into the crew's favor when he levels the majority of the attackers with his fire breath. Taru engages into a battle with the bandit leader and bites and poisoning the captain multiple times. She even successfully chases him deeper into the cavern. The group makes mincemeat of all the bandits and then assess the remainder of the cavern to ensure they will not be jumped again.
Once they realize they have eliminated any and all threats, they see a stack of shipping crates nearby. They seem to have been dragged out off the water that is at the head fo the cavern. Taru, still in spider form, scurries out and finds the passage leads out to the open sea northeast of the city proper. Opening the crates reveals that they are filled with mid-grade quality goods found throughout the city and what McMannis is known to trade in. They quickly surmise that this is how McMannis was able to get rich as quickly as he did as he smuggled goods in to avoid paying the tariffs on imported goods.
Having scratched the itch of wondering about the basement and its secrets, the group decides to leave the estate and return home. as they are leaving Newport, Gabril feels as thought hey are being followed. He starts to lead the group with Taru still in spider form on his shoulder and take a very zig-zag route back to the Hells' Kitchens area. The others realize something is up and question him about it.
He decides in Dogtown to try and catch the tail. He and Taru turn down a side street and then hide in a small shed, while Grageon and Khar go to the STEAKHOUSE and wait for their companions. Gabril sends his familiar, in Raven form, up to see the streets they just came down. He sees an elf in a dark green cloak walking the same path. The elf turns down the side street he ducked down and stops to investigate the area for signs of Gabril.
The elf curses, "Damnit!" and turns to follow Grageon and Khar. At this moment Gabril cuts tie with his familiar and pops out of the shed and casts sleep on the elf. The elf crumples to the ground and Gabril pulls the elf into the shed. once there he conjures a metal band around the hogtied hands and feet of the elf.
A few moments later, the elf awakens and Gabril removes the hood fo the cloak revelling a female elf. "Why are you following me?" he asks coldly as Taru, in spider form uses her front legs to lightly claw at the elf's face. The elf ignoring Gabril is more concerned by the large spider in her face and quickly rolls to squash the spider. Doing so depletes the spider form and Taru returns to her halfling form, laughing.
Gabril repeats his question, "Why are you following me?" The elf defiantly says, "You'll have to do better than that to get me to talk."
Gabril sighs and draws his dagger. "Look I do not have time for this. Tell me why you are following me or I'll just kill you here and go. Your choice."
The elf looks into his eyes and sees he is not mincing his words and says, "Look I was hired by McMannis to watch his estate and to follow anyone I saw there."
"How long have you been watching the estate?" Gabirl asks.
"How much is he paying you?" asks Taru.
"Hundred gold a day plus expenses."
"So what are you going to tell him now?" Gabril asks.
"… I saw no one." she replies.
"Good answer. So where would I find you if I would want to hire a tail in the future?" responds Gabril.
The elf reluctantly says, "Send word to the Leaf and Flower for Nynaeve."
With that Gabril again casts sleep and he and Taru leave the shed. The two move quickly to put some distance between themselves and Nynaeve before she can wake up.
The two talk and Taru asks, "Do you think we can trust her?"
"No. but I don't think she is going to be able to give McMannis much if she does talk." Says Gabril.
They go to the STEAKHOUSE and find Khar and Grageon sitting in the back and share the encounter.