In the week or so since B&T’s first successful venture into Jourdain’s house, words of their having successfully lifted the curse had spread throughout Khanbaliq. A small crowd gathered around the party as they passed through the outer city, and once outside the city walls, they found a larger crowd, perhaps two hundred people milling about on the flood plain between Khanbaliq’s walls and the river, with Jourdain’s house the focal point. They spectators kept a safe distance; many perched in trees or in the remains of other buildings at least one hundred yards from Jourdain’s compound. Likewise, the hangers-on fell away as the party neared their objective.
As they reached the gates, however, they met another group, about a dozen men, armed with swords, spears, and an abundance of bravado, patrolled the area just outside the gate. They were making sure nothing comes out. “And to keep everyone safe, no one goes in.”
“No one” did not mean Tetsukichi and Beatriss. Of course they could go in. And maybe they’d like some assistance. The leaders of the group, Ho-Jun and Chong, were accepted to accompany the party.
The party revisited some rooms on the main level, this time looking especially for objects of value. Ho-Jun and Chong were willing to open doors, and took first choice from Jourdain’s liquor collection. The party went upstairs and went wandering around, looking for locked doors to open. Behind one, they heard a woman’s voice: “Jourdain? Please. I forgive you. Let me out now. Please?”
When Beatriss answered, “It’s not Jourdain,” the voice inside turned angry, and a vengeful spirit stepped through the wall. Between Cair’s magic and the swords of Beatriss and Tetsukichi, they made short work of her and, with nothing left to talk about, opened the door. Here they found the look dead body that had once belonged to the angry spirit. After removing the body’s jewelry, they decided to leave the house. Ho-Jung and Chung loaded up on more alcohol on the way out, and all were greeted as heroes by the gang outside.
The party returned the very next day, this time determined to take a more methodical approach, and to make a map of the upstairs rooms. The tough guys outside had adopted a new strategy themselves. There were two guards outside the now padlocked gate. After paying a small courtesy fee, the party passed through the gates and entered the house where they found Ho-Jun, Chung, and the rest of the guys, several of whom had invited dates. Having drunk most of Jourdain’s alcohol, they had found his opium. Chung did not seem to be in any condition to do anything that required standing upright, but Ho-Jung was invited to once more assist the party. One of the women insisted that she wanted to see upstairs, too, and no one objected.
It was a short trip for Ho-Jun and his friend. Both were killed in the explosion triggered by the opening of a secret door in the library. And in the little room behind the door, the party found the dead, but well-preserved corpse of Jourdain, a collection of magical implements and, sitting cross-legged inside a chalk circle, Bayemon, the demon.
Beatriss refused his request to erase the circle, and while Tetsukichi was curious, he acquiesced to Beatriss’s command. Likewise, Beatriss wouldn’t allow anyone to search Jourdain or take anything from the room. The demon became threatening. Someone, he suggested would erase the circle eventually, and wouldn’t they rather be his friends than his enemies?
They hurriedly left the room, and closed the secret door, intent that no one else would see where it was.
They explored most of the rest of the upstairs, and looted the belongings of a dead wizard after dispatching his invisible guardian.
Finding themselves both wounded and semi-encumbered with treasure, the party decided to leave the house. Downstairs, they were confronted by Chung. They admitted his friend was dead and offered him 10 taels. He wanted more—he demanded “that whole bag.” The party backed out of the room; Chung and his men followed them. When they reached the gate, Cair cast a spell to knock of the lock, and the party fled successfully.