The morning following the inaugural meeting of the “official response squad” (or ORS), the team started out for the caves at the base of Atamaishiyama, inhabited by the lizard-like bakemono. Momoko insists that non-lethal damage be done to the monsters. It takes a day to reach the mountain. Some banter on trip included Amaira complementing Shan on her taste in men, who responds that she doesn’t generally go around licking people.
Upon reaching the mountain, an armoured man approaches and speaks with Momoko by name. After a baffling conversation, the party sets up camp for the night. The next morning, after breakfast, Amaira packs up first and then sidles up to Momoko to ask her some questions about the guard from the night before, who seemed offended by the comments about the lizard folk being monsters. Momoko professes not to know, but Amaira sees through her deception and asks why she lied. Momoko replies that it’s not her secret to tell, and Amaira reminds her that such secrets can be shared amongst those who are supposed to be working with her, especially should becomes important to their current outing.
Inside the caves, a old lizard man carves keys out of wood. Amaira calls out a greeting to the leathery-skinned man, who looks like a humanoid turtle, and he responds with slightly-accented common. Shan takes a key from the turtle man and wishes them good luck. Momoko doesn’t detect any magic in the cave, so Shan inserts the key into the lock at the portcullis. A knife blade inside the lock cuts the key! Shan trades her 50-foot ball of thread for another key. Meanwhile, Zorran tries to disable the lock and fails miserably, damaging his fingers in the process.
Momoko eventually figures out to use mage hand to turn the cut key. The lock opens! Amaira lights one of her torches and Shan offers to carry it. Mage armour is cast on those who need it.