Ulric and Hector hang in shackles deep within Greypaunch Prison when a familiar looking gnome approaches them. The gnome identifies himself as Mako Shartop, the brother of Shako; Mako is the warden of the prison. He tells them that he wants them to pay for messing with his brother, and sentences them to execution in the morning. He says that he wants the satisfaction of killing them himself, and they convince him that they should have a fighting chance. He agrees to a gladitorial battle to the death.
That night, they attempt to escape and fail miserably.
First, Ulric challenges a guard to chug the contents of his bottomless flask (which was in his confiscated goods that the guard was plundering through); the guard does so, and chokes to death on the never-ending whiskey. Hector uses his nimbleness to steal the keys from the guard’s corpse, and they unlock themselves. Another guard enters the room, and attacks the escaping convicts. Ulric kills him with the dead guard’s sword. As another guard approaches, they reshackle themselves and convince the new guard that the two dead guards killed each other in a lover’s quarrel. He bought it, but their escape is ultimately thwarted.
The next morning comes. They are forced to fight armorless, with the choice of one weapon. Ulric chooses Hildebrand, and Hector chooses his rapier. They enter the arena, and are face to face with Mako; he just happens to be riding on the shoulders of a minotaur. A harrowing fight ensues. Eventually, Hector kills the minotaur by ramming his rapier through its chin and into its brain, and Ulric slays the fallen Mako, splitting him in half with his axe.
After the battle, they are approached by a wisened old dwarf, who is none other than Marvin Meadstench, Ulric’s mentor from his youth. Marvin is now a part of the duke’s court, and offers them a full pardon. He tells them to visit him at the castle later in the day.
As they are entering the castle, they meet an irate hooded figure who is leaving. He bumps into Ulric, and Ulric taunts him, leading to a paralyzing blast from his eldritch wand. When Ulric comes to, they inquire with Marvin about the mysterious man, who they learn is Jerry, one of the necromancer apprentices. He was at the castle to discuss alliances with the necromancers, but the duke’s refusal angered him, leading to his outburst. Marvin offers his services for free, improving their weapons with silver and fitting and repairing Hector’s new armor. Hector tells Marvin about his search for his real parents, and Marvin tells him about the old Savage house in the graveyard.
They arrive outside the house and meet the ghost of Hector’s grandfather, who died in the house. He’s unsure of what killed him, and asks them to avenge his death. They enter the house. In one room, they’re attacked by an animated armor, which they kill quickly. They travel upstairs, where Ulric’s attempt to use the toilet leads to a mimic attack. After defeating it, they move on to a bedroom, where they see the burned remains of a skeletal corpse in an otherwise immaculate bed. They notice that everything is well kept in the house, given how long it has been abandoned. In another room, they’re attacked by the reanimated body of someone who died in the house long ago. They defeated him and set his spirit free.
The party notices weirdly that everything in the house seems to be alive. They try to escape through the front door, but it has disappeared. In the cellar, they find a wooden barrel that’s beating like a heart. Feeling like it’s important, Ulric tries to open it with his crowbar, which it quickly absorbs. He decides to bring the barrel with him. They go into the basement, where they find a drain downward into the sewer. They’re attacked by a mummy that Ulric sets on fire with Hildebrand. They kill it, and decide to try to escape through the sewer.
They open the sewer grate, and throw the mummy into the sewer to test how deep it is. When the sewer burps, they figure out that this must be the throat of the house, and Ulric tosses the barrel down into the darkness below. It begins to choke and the woke a house rumbles. They deduce that the whole house is a kind of giant mimic, and rush back upstairs. The front door is back, and they rush out of the door and into the graveyard. The house uproots itself and begins chasing them, but it quickly strangles and falls into rubble.
Hector and Ulric made a living house choke on its own heart, and survived for further adventures.
The ghost thanks them, and tells Hector that he has relatives at Pepperidge Farms, east of Finch. They head back to find an inn for the night and discover that a new location of The Crow’s Snatch has opened. When they enter, they discover that the doorway is a portal into Caldmere’s tavern. Philip Crow explains to them that he has hired a wizard to maintain a portal to increase his business; his bar is busier than it has ever been, and the demand for his new beer is astronomical. They take a room for the night.