The party stayed on guard in the subterranean tomb until Morgan and Yashi were conscious again, then let the tick break through the wards. Well, first they let Morgan try to dispel them, but he just got zapped... THEN they let the tick break the door down.
Behind the door was the empty tomb of the 'Shadow Knight', probably the death-knight skeleton of doom they'd fought for a bit before he ran away. There were also some zombies chipping away at a pair of warded stone chests. It was too late to save the missing homeless people.
So they destroyed the zombies and took the chests with them. One of them, the wards had already been destroyed, so they took the inner black case after Nanoman (as John was being called now) dissolved the now powerless stone. The other, the Tick just lifted the fifty-ton block and carried the whole thing back to Dr. Eldritch's house. Morgan had been able to read the runes on the chests, and recognized one of the names as something he'd seen at some point somewhere in Eldrich's library.
So back at the ranch, Eldritch was gone, but that was probably okay. They put the two chests (the massive stone warded chest, and the little black case from inside the chest which the zombies had penetrated) inside a warded circle in Eldritch's ritual chamber in the basement, and Shadow went to sleep on top of the large one to guard it, while Morgan spent the night in the library to find the reference he'd seen and hopefully find out what was inside. The Tick and Nanoman went out on patrol, but didn't find anything new.
In the middle of the night, Shadow was awakened by someone trying to assassinate him. After surviving two attacks, he was awake enough to act, and made big cute kitten eyes to make the attacker fall in love with him. Unfortunately, the attacker was a hired mercenary with a better sense of duty than Shadow could charm him out of, and managed to escape with the small case before Shadow could even get him to tell him what he wanted it for. Embarassed by the failure, Shadow went back to sleep and pretended the whole thing never happened.
In the morning, Nanoman returned to tell them that he'd inventoried the city's homeless again, and they were all still there -- no more kidnappings. This wasn't too surprising, since the chests they'd been getting zombified to break were gone.
Morgan's research had borne fruit -- the items in the chests were the crown and scepter of Angharad, two parts of a trio of items that, used together, could grant some massive power to the user -- but would also cause a huge disaster, and turn the wearer evil. Obviously, someone who was already evil wouldn't be too concerned about those side effects, but it was important they keep the enemy from getting their hands on them.
"Hey, where's the little box?" Morgan asked, noticing that it was missing.
"I don't know, where did you put it?" Shadow replied.
Morgan was sure it had been in the ritual chamber, so Shadow 'checked for tracks' and 'discovered' that someone had snuck into the chamber in the middle of the night and stolen it 'without waking him' (which, by the way, they could easily have done if they hadn't tried to kill him in passing). Fortunately, the security cameras had caught a glimpse of the intruder outside, and Nanoman recognized him as a mercenary for hire. Well, okay, maybe that wasn't all that fortunate, since it didn't really tell them anything useful.
The lead that *was* useful was that the third piece of the set was currently on display at the Freedom City Museum, and as it wasn't particularly valuable if you didn't know about its magical properties, it probably wasn't going to be extra-heavily guarded. "We should go to the museum to --"
"Hey, someone's robbing the museum!" Nanoman suddenly said, listening in on the police radio frequencies. So Morgan teleported them all there without further ado.
The robbers were a band of Hellions, led by Hellraiser and the Red Devil, two powerful leaders. Morgan used his magic to dominate and take control of the Red Devil, and set him to attack Hellraiser, with the Tick and Shadow assisting. It took all three of them to EVENTUALLY take him down, since he kept teleporting around, summoning a fire elemental to harass Morgan (the Tick managed to taunt it off him before it could get past Nanoman and break Morgan's concentration) and the like.
Yashi and Nanoman handled the thugs inside the museum -- Yashi got taken down by gunfire after unleashing a wind scar, though. Nanoman didn't actually fight -- he made a beeline for the amulet while invisible, and took it back to Morgan to make sure he had the right one. Then spent his time intercepting attacks to keep them from distracting Morgan, who was concentrating on his mind control.
But in the end, all the gun-toting hellions were taken out (mostly by Yashi, a few by the Red Devil) and Hellraiser was chain-stunned until he could be knocked unconscious. With the fighting over and the amulet secure-ish, Morgan forced the Red Devil to tell them everything he knew.
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