The Dancing Devils turns out to be a tavern... of sorts a few miles from the pits. You walk into a lavish common room with a floor of rosewood and dark walnut tables. A stage is framed by two stairwells that curve up to an upper floor and upon it a half dozen scantily clad Tiefling women are performing something that might be referred to as a "dance." As they undulate and gyrate to the music from a band beneath one of the stairwells, the patrons at the tables seem to be spellbound, their eyes fixated on the stage. The patrons are mostly males, though there are a few females scattered through the audience. The audience largely consists of non-humans, though tieflings make up less than half their number and there are a few humans, and one or two dwarves, scattered about.
The adventurers were a bit bewildered at first by the scene, not quite sure what to do is such a boisterous environment, and Dwaric (freshly recovered from his sermons) began to wonder just who he was traveling with that they would bring him to such an establishment. Ulrick filled him in on the happenings at the Pit.
You show your token to the tiefling bartender who tells you to wait for a moment and nods to a servant who ducks through a door. A moment later a mature and particularly boxom tiefling woman appears from the same door and approaches the bartender who points to the four of you. "You must be Andred's latest contestants then? Welcome to the Dancing Devils. You may call me Madame Bezzri. You may not speak to my girls or any of the patrons, do you understand?" <let them answer> "You are here as guests and I will expect you to behave accordingly. Follow me." She begins walking towards a door on the other side of the common room, not looking back to see if you follow. "We have a particular variety of clientele here that does not require the attentions of menial pit fighters. That may change if you show some success in the Pits, but do not expect to live that long." As she speaks she leads you through a door into a short hallway and through another door down a narrow stairwell leading down to an underground level. The rosewood flooring gives way instantly to shoddy stone and pine and meager candles set in the walls to dimly light the way. She stops by a door in the dingy hallway and holds out her hand towards it. "You may rest in here. We do not prohibit other activities so long as the room and its contents are not damaged. When you die any possessions you have left behind will become our property. You may expect a meal to be brought down at the eighth, thirteenth and eighteenth bells but you should expect no other services. It will be your responsibility to tidy after yourselves and ensure you are at the Pits at the appropriate hour." Without any further word she tucks her hands behind her back and sweeps past you and back up the stairs.
The room is dank and dim, lit only by a pair of candles. Six cots fill the room with barely enough room left to stand between them. One of the cots is already occupied by a halfling fighter who eyes you each as you enter but refuses to speak.
Seeker tried to sit on one of the cots nearest to the door but when it creaked alarmingly he leapt back to his feet and opted to lean against the wall instead. Keirsyn scouted around before setting in and, managing to pass through the establishment apparently undetected she returned to advise the rest of the party on the layout and essentially confirmed that the "tavern" was in fact a bordello. After that she flopped on her cot and promptly went to sleep. Dwaric and Ulrick attempted to speak to the Halfing Fighter but he stubbornly ignored them. Dwaric eventually got up and walked over to the halfling's cot to nudge it with his foot. A nudge from a dwarven boot was all the cot needed to collapse into a disheveled wreck though and the Halfling stomped out in anger without saying a word. After he was gone Ulrick revealed that he'd noticed the halfling was wearing the clothes of one of the tribes that traversed the plains near the Darha border but he didn't bear the mark of a clan. He therefore deduced that the Halfling must have been exiled or banished.
Meanwhile, Surma, apparently bored by the game of Guess-the-life-story and cutlery impervious to the Madame's core directive of "don't cause trouble" decided to poke her nose into the other rooms in the hallway. As it happened the very first door she checked happened to be locked and despite her pounding she could get no response from the brooms and pails on the other side of the door. She did however rouse a half-orc fighter from across the hall and she promptly insulted the 8' tall gladiator as soon as he came out into the hall. It was only through an earnest apology from Ulrick that the party didn't wind up in a fight and a whole heap of trouble. Eventually the Shifter gave up on discovering the riches of the broom closet and went back into the room to curl up on the floor and sleep.
In the morning Dwaric tried going door-to-door down the hall to find converts to Hanseath. He went unanswered until an orc opened his door and slammed a meaty green fist into Dwaric's nose before slamming the door in the dwarf's battered face. Deciding they'd be better off leaving the other fighters to their rest, the party headed up the shabby stone stairwell and back into the common room. The throngs of patrons and dancing girls on the stage were gone, as was the bartender, though a few of the waitresses still bustled about. Ulrick approached one and inquired after an ale. The woman seemed very nervous but said she'd see what she could do. Then Ulrick pulled a gold coin out of his purse and the waitress, perhaps misunderstanding his intentions, shouted and ran off before she got into trouble. Dwaric laughed and found a silver piece beneath one of the tables when he promptly tossed to Ulrick.
After the dwarf had partaken of his morning imbibing the party departed the Dancing Devils and headed back to the Pits. They were escorted back in front of Andred the Pit Boss who informed them they'd be fighting in the group bouts due to a shortage of fighters willing to fight as part of a team. Their first match wasn't going to start for a little while so he suggested they go watch their first opponent who was currently involved in a bout.
You push your way through the crowd to find a stone pit in the city of the room, barely 25' deep and inside your Halfling roommate, already yet bloodied, is facing a fearsome looking Ogre. As you look on, the Ogre raises its club and brings it down with enough force to shake the room. The halfling, slowed by its wounds, is unable to avoid the blow and as the blood and bone splatter out of the pit the crowd goes wild.
When the party faced the same Ogre not an hour later they managed to avenge their would-be roommate by eventually parting the ogre into itty bitty bits. They only had a few moments to rest though before their second opponent was released into the Pit: a large troll. The troll regenerated damage almost as fast as they could doll it out, but Ulrick managed to keep its attention while Seeker and Surma worked to counter the infamous Troll regeneration and Dwaric tried to impair the giant anyway he could. It was a long fight, and Ulrick came close to buckling under the onslaught of the Troll's claws but eventually he finished the fight with a slice that nearly severed the troll's head. Reaching up he dug his hands into the wound and bodily tried to tear the wound wider; just shy of tearing the troll's head clean off. The troll, what was left of it, fell to the stone with a thud and the adventures either started their victory lap or trying to catch their breath. Not a minute later the troll was already regenerating and resetting its head to its shoulders before a pair of bugbears came forth, dug some meat hooks in the trolls shoulders and dragged it off through the gate.
The party has managed to best their first two bouts and won a fair amount of acclaim, at least among the Blackhearts. They return to the Dancing Devils, not as heroes, but at least the glares they receive are not quite as cold any longer.