Hephastus made his own way to Brightmoon and a fun tavern called the Witch's Teat. There he fell into gambling in the ring for hot bowls of gruel and fisticuffs with merchant guards.
Meanwhile, the newer party members, Thursday, Kali and Xtapa, went in to grab the local trophy, a large axe on the mantle above the bar, for the list of goods to take to the thieves.
Xtapa snuck up behind the Innkeep, who was talking to the ladies, but when he put his hand on the axe he found it was enchanted so he could not let go. The magic deposited him in the ring, which glowed with runes and summoned a horrific creature shaped like a man covered in boils with horns on its head. Xtapa would have to fight for his life!
The others jumped into the ring, as did Hephastus (for love of a fight, or ont he advice of a wiley old man from the far east). They creature fell to their combined might. As the last blow came, Oonagh arrived, identified the two parts of the group as mutual friends of hers, and recruited Hephastus to their nights' efforts.
The next stop was the Order of the Chain's chapterhouse. The party moved through the streets towards the walled compound, finding it guarded both on the front gate and on the walls by armored guards with pikes; each guard had access to a glow-ball, a floating mote of light like a torch, a sure sign of the Order's wealth in these hard times.
Xtapa moved quickly to climb the wall, before the party had even formulated a plan. The others came by to argue as well, climbing up with him. They noted that the bonfire in the middle of the yard beyond was in fact a massive hound made of fire. Following this discovery was a drawn out and heated discussion of tactics to follow.
When the guards attacked, they did so by surprise. Still, the adventurers had enough muster within them to win the battle; this included using one of the guards to feed the Hell Hound below, so it wouldn't leap up and eat the party.
Thanks to the commotion, the Captain of the Guard, an Ogre named Gaurog, emerged with his mighty flail, the same one the party had been hired to steal. Using some form of tactics, Hephastus attempted to trip Gaurog, while Xtapa, Thursday, Oonagh and Kali hacked at his hands to get him to drop the flail. Drop it he did, and the party fled with it as fast as they could, convinced of their cunning in getting it away.
With the flail handy, they took to the sewers to get into the Baron's dungeon; Kali's prayers must have been strong, as not a single wandering Undead (who were known to haunt the sewers thanks to the entrance there to the Temple) was to be found. Using much trickery and stealth they convinced the guards to lower their weapons and open a door; half the party had snuck around back to get in a hole in the wall.
Two prisoners were in the cells: one, wearing an Iron mask, was their target to save. The other, a dragonborn named Bahamus, pleaded to be rescued; Hephastus opened his cell as well, earning the dragonborn's respect and help. The guards attacked, and after a drawn-out fight, the party fled up the tower stairs to the Hippogriff stables. They removed the iron mask of their target prisoner, discovering a pale-skined woman who, after a moment out of the mask, turned out to be an Eladrin; there was some tension between her and the men, Xtapa and Hephastus, but time was of the essence and they could not delay action for their escape.
The the group stole every one of the Baron's hippogriffs, and flew off into the night.
When they arrived at the meeting spot for the thieves' guild, they found all their belongings in place and the guild masters more than happy to hand over everything, especially the girl Lanu. Thursday, among others, also noted injuries upon the thieves, though Lanu seemed fine. So disrupted was the mindset of Mr. Talon, in fact, that he allowed them to keep one of the hippogrifs, and didn't think to ask Thursday for the copy of the book from the Temple.
With their wagon and the statue-man on it, their magic items, gold, and belongs returned, the party decided to hit the road once more.