While they discussed what to do next, Malidar, Rhio, Rangrim, and Ginni all smelled a nasty scent of burning blood. The bodies of the dead prostitutes began to writhe and bubble with some arcane presence. One of the bodies burst open and large dog-like paws began reaching out.
The party gathered the remaining girls from Madame Smoothbottom’s and hustled them out of the building. Then they returned and Rhio, Malidar, and Rangrim slew the hounds as they were being born. Far in the distance, they heard a hellish howling on the wind. Ginni shuddered.
When that messy work was done, the party took the girls to a nearby hospital. The hospital was crowded with refugees, so Ginni tucked Rangrim’s cloak under her dress and faked that she was going into labor. They bypassed the refugees, slipping several gold into the hospitaller’s hands when they handed over the real patients— the six Smoothbottom girls. The party also left the girls with enough gold to get by for a week or so, and a contact among the less seedy of the underworld who might take care of them.
As they left the hospital and were working their way through the streets, the party heard howling hounds. Suddenly, a familiar (and very dead) tiefling, two hounds, and two soldiers arrived, tracking them down. Spotting the party, the tiefling nodded with satisfaction and the hounds howled, disorienting Malidar and Rangrim. The fight was on!
Need it be said that, after a very close fight, with Rangrim actually succumbing to his wounds for a brief moment, the party was victorious? Very well: they won the fight.
In the morning, they left town quickly and on horseback, taking the supplies Rangrim identified as necessary to surviving a mountain journey in winter. The plan is to head first to Hesperus to check on Mortimer, then onward to either the dwarven mountsins, or possibly a shortcut through the Shadowfell.