The party began telling the man who had approached them - a guard captain called Radley - who they were and why they were there. He gave them a nominal welcome and began to suggest what they should do. Alina was sent to The Hall to aid in tending to the wounded and he asked Tisroc to have his guarding help with the digging effort - breaking up the rocks and moving them out of the settlement. Tisroc also alerted the captain to a particular shelf of rock above that looked as though it might break off soon.
Radley also lead Tisroc to a place above the settlement where he had seen a strange print and asked him if he'd seen anything like it before. In truth Tisroc had. He told the captain that he'd seen the print in the mud a few days ago, but wasn't sure what it was. The captain seemed concerned because the location of the print happened to be a perfect overlook of the settlement - almost as if whatever it was was watching them.
Later, as Glitch and some of the other men of the down are picking through some fallen rock, Tisroc notices a hissing sound that he alerts Radley to. Before they could return to the scene, however, a large section of rock crumbles and falls down into a hole and steam begins to bellow out, burning everything it touches. With it came strange partially-visible steam-like creatures that began attacking those present. Glitch fought them off fairly well, but could do little about the steam rushing out of the opening. It was nearly an hour before it stopped. Inside they could see the remains of a house which seemed to have collapsed through into and angled tunnel heading down into the mountain.
Meanwhile, Alina had been assisting in the Hall, tending to the wounded and using her miracle capability on the most gravely injured. During this time, she met a young girl called Senya who was also helping treat the injured. Senya was upset because she was concerned about her grandmother who lived near an old shrine inside the mountain. Unfortunately the tunnels leading in had partially collapsed, no one could get in and excavation priorities were elsewhere.
The group decided they should try to get in to help her - she may be someone they would want to talk to. Glitch was assisting with the primary excavation efforts during the day, but decided to begin clearing the tunnel at night - still, it was going to take some time. Tisroc used his gaseous form ability to float in through some of the cracks to bring food to the woman and to inform her of their intentions. Eventually, the whole party is able to meet with her.
The woman was called Melna. She was a short, broad woman and was a keeper of the shrine in the main chamber of the caves. The shrine was a statue of a large, winged, female figure holding a disc over her head. Well, not "holding" exactly -he disc was simply suspended in the air between the statue's raised hands. The shrine was dedicated to Nephthys.
Tisroc tells Melna of his problem and, after taking some time to think about it, offers him the following information:
Melna says she thinks there is hope for his future. The oath that was made was sort of "bent" or "stressed" on its binding. As such, it is perhaps more pliable. It may be possible for the oath to be "bent" again, or even completely undone. To do this, however, would require "unsaying" the words of the oath in the presence of the entity with which it was made.
She also told him she knows of a man called Emeric who resides in The Deep. He knows much about the denizens of the Hours of Night and she believes he has even had dealings with them. She warns them to be careful, however - he is not the type she would trust.
Melna then asks to speak with Alina privately. Tisroc begins to head down the tunnel with Glitch, pondering this new information. Melna and Alina meet up with them at the tunnel entrance just in time to hear the canyon in which the settlement resides fill with echoing sound of dozens of horns from the surrounding mountains.