Returning to the city of Carlshouse, the party briefly split up to take care of various errands. Kijani tried to shake down a potions merchant, while Solstice and B bought a draft horse. Milicent, still known as Flamantha, attempted unsuccessfully to hawk her ill-gotten silk. Later that night, some shady characters approached Millie and told her they'd noticed her getting up to some unscrupulous activities in town. Claiming they represent the local crime organization, they said unless Millie worked to pay them back for infringing on their turf, they'd kill her. Millie (as well as the rest of the party after being told the details) agreed to do a job for them.
The job was to visit a nearby keep and search it for lootables. The keep belonged to a local adventuring party known as The Men of the Hearth, who had been missing for the last several months. Upon arriving, the party triggered a security system and were beset upon by automatons. After a long and brutal battle, Solstice was able to ensnare a couple of the robots in vines, buying the party enough time to finish them off.
The party began exploring the deserted keep, finding it mostly ransacked already as the guards and servants seemingly took whatever they could as they left. While sneaking into an office, Millie got ensnared by a Rug of Smothering, though she was able to fight her way out with the help of Kijani. The group dispatched the rug and continued their investigation.
The group found a handful of lesser magical items, though nothing like the treasures they were hoping for. They discovered one employee of The Men of the Hearth had not yet abandoned the keep, the head servant Quincy. Doing their best not to terrify the elderly otter, they tried to pump him for information like how to get into the vault in the basement. Ultimately the otter proved not much help, and the group left him to his whimpering.
The group eventually returned to town, without much to show for their ransacking. However, when Millie went to meet with her extorters to turn over what they'd found, she instead discovered their unconscious bodies. Out of the shadows appeared a fishman, who briefly explained that he represented the actual thieves' guild of Carlshouse, the Undercircle, and that her tormentors were mere pretenders. The fishman let Millie go out of gratitude for acting as the bait to capture the wannabees, and Millie quickly fled the scene, now feeling quite like a small fish in a very big pond.