The adventurers were not eager to spend two days hiking back to the nearest town, but they had treasure to sell and items they needed to purchase to improve their odds of survival. They descended the mountain along the old cart path, overgrown with trees and bushes.
An Orc came up the road, clad in garish armor, wearing rose colored glasses and carrying a muzzleloading rifle. He didn't make any special effort to stay hidden, nor did any of the mercenaries following him.
The adventurers observed from stealth as Cortez the Orc placed an iron flask on the ground, waited about a minute expectantly, then gave it a kick. A cloud of smoke emitted from the vessel, resolving into a genie. The spirit theatrically fell on his hands in mid-air and vomited up a whole tent and market stall. Ishizaka's market was open for business.
The concept was simple. Ishizaka the Genie knew there was treasure in the dungeon, and he was the only person within a week's travel who had the capital to buy it all with currency. He'd take whatever the players brought up from the Mad Marquis' mansion, and they could use the coin they earned to buy supplies to bring up more treasure. And if they died, there would be more adventurers to take their place. All he had to do was wait, and sell useful items at market rates.
Two adventurers took him up on the deal.
- Laguna Tempest, Level 1 Warcaster
- Zigar Kneecapper, Level 1 Thug
They picked up rope, spikes, a hammer and a wax writing tablet for Gowonry the Mutoid, so that he could communicate more complex ideas than just "yes" and "no".
Then they went back to the ruined keep, for another crack at the Mountain of the Mad Marquis.