Returning to the Keep, the Company stables the horse and mules. The bandits have taken many of their mounts. They now have three riding horses and four mules. The supply of grain is still intact. In all, they have thirty seven days of grain remaining.
Arden meets with the Bailiff and discusses the events of last adventure. The Bailiff is concerned about the hobgoblins in the area and also the bandits. He will make note of this and speak with Sir Kent (the Castellan) about this. The Bailiff also made an inquiry on the death of Scoggins. He takes Arden’s statement at face value. Arden spoke the truth about the man’s death and the Bailiff, having a favorable reaction to the fighter, has no reason to doubt his account of the events.
Martin and Handsome take the body of Jacob Scoggins to the priests of the Chapel. They will prepare him for burial. Martin will give them an offering of 5 silver pieces for this. The funeral will be in the morning.
The rest of the Company make their way to the Traveler’s Inn to get cleaned up. Corwin needs a bath. Thane and Arden need a drink. Arden will settle up with the hirelings.
Loyalty checks for all…
Catamont, the young thief that Arden rescued from the Keep’s dungeons, has been brave in his duties as lantern bearer. Arden noted that he even took up arms and fought bravely. According to the terms of his contract, Arden is under no obligation to pay the young man other than provide room and board. Catamont had agreed to work for Arden for one month as a reprieve from rotting in the Keep’s dungeon. He gives the young man a stack of silver coins (10sp). [Loyalty roll for Catamont is 5 on 1d6. He will stay loyal.]
Meklin, the foreign born, has always been ready to fight. In the front lines and ever watchful, he has a quiet way about him and oft times a faraway look in his eyes. Perhaps he is thinking of the ones he left behind in some distant land. Arden once asked him if he would ever return to his homeland. Meklin smiled sadly and said that only memories were left behind. Arden gave Meklin 10 silver coins. Even if the last mission to the Caves gained no coin, Meklin should be rewarded for his valor. [Meklin rolls a 5 on 1d6. His loyalty is unquestioned.]
Handsome Brune spent some of the last mission watching the horses. He missed out on the battle with the goblins and the ogre. But he took orders with no complaint. He has been a good man-at-arms and a hard worker. He will stay with the Company. He joked that the Company had too many handsome faces and he brought to it an intimidating look. Arden laughed and had to admit Handsome Brune might even make a goblin shudder. He was a hard man and even harder to look at. But Handsome was a damn good man-at-arms. [Loyalty roll=6. Handsome is staying with the Company. Arden gives the man a 10 silver piece bonus.]
Yardley Muggins was hard pressed in the goblin caves. First he had his bow sundered by a goblin javelin. Then his weapon hand was injured by a goblin axe. This, compounded by front line combat and the ogre, caused his nerve to fail. Arden had seen it happen before, even to battle hardened men. Some shook it off and were able to fight again. Others broke down and never again had the will to go back into the fray. [Yardly’s loyalty roll=3.] He considers staying on as a lantern bearer. He has been treated fairly by Arden, but the attacks made him rethink his career path. Arden has watched the man and noted that he tends to be lazy and only doing things he’s been told to do. Arden would hire him again if the man seemed to have initiative, but Yardley Muggins has too many things wrong about him. Arden gives him 5sp and wishes him well. Yardley thinks about finding work as a teamster.
Sideways Carlin is another of the archers who didn’t make a lasting impression on Arden. He did his job, no more, no less. [loyalty roll=2.] With the pay he’s received and fair treatment, he would stay on. Arden decides to cut him lose. Something reminds him of Scoggins. Arden gives him 5 sp and wishes him well.
Goat Bentley is an ex-criminal. He is grizzled and has a long beard. Perhaps that is the reason for his nickname. He also smells a bit. He is a tavern rat, but a good archer. He nailed the ogre in the throat with an arrow. Arden and the others were able to finish him off because of this. Thane started call him “Ogre’s Bane” and Arden could see the man beam with pride. Goat also turned down the evil priest’s bribe, unbeknownst to Arden. [Goat’s loyalty roll=5.] He will stay on. Arden gives him 20sp for his good shooting.
Egg Barkley is a better cook than an archer. The man is older but tough. He makes a good camp man and Arden will have him stay on if he wishes to. [Egg rolled a 3 for loyalty.] He is happy to stay unless he gets a better opportunity. Arden will continue to pay all the men-at-arms 2sp per day. With this, they can take care of their room and board and food. Egg will still be expected to fight when asked, so he still gets the same pay.
The hirelings are paid and most will stay on. Arden will wait to hire others, but keep his eye out for any exceptional candidates.
The funeral of Jacob Scoggins is held the next morning. Martin helps with the ceremony and one of the chapel priests is there to lead it.
Sir Kent sends a messenger to request Arden meet with him later in the day. The Castellan asks for a retelling of Arden’s recent visit to the Caves. He asks many questions about the inhabitants, the ogre, and the hobgoblins. Arden gains some insight into the military mind of Sir Kent. The Castellan offers to provide support for the next mission to the Caves. He will send the Corporal of the Guard and 12 bowmen to provide cover fire for the Company. They will not enter the Caves but will be stationed outside to drive the Hobgoblin archers back underground. Arden gladly accepts the help. It will save the Company some coin. He tells the Castellan that the Company will need a week or two to rest and to allow Corwin to research his spells. Arden plans on hunting the bandits that stole his horses before the Company returns to the Caves. They drink on it.
Corwin is in a foul mood. He is frustrated by the lack of arcane resources at the Keep. Florian’s spellbook is rather limited and Corwin has yet to approach the bank scribe about his spellbook. Florian has the spells read magic, web, and charm person. Of the three, Corwin would like to write the web spell. It would be helpful in the tight corridors of the Caves.
To copy the spell, Corwin needs time. He has already paid the price of a Fire Bolt scroll to Florian. Now he just needs to take the time to write the spell into his own book. A well lit desk and a quiet location. Florian allows Corwin to use his study. The elf agreed to share his book with Corwin, but will not allow it to leave his tower.
I hope my solo adventure is an enjoyable read to all of you. Send me a note here or on Google+ with any questions or comments. Thanks–John