The return to the Keep is a joyous one, especially for the freed prisoners. All cares are set aside as Egg welcomes them back to camp with a warm fire and some hot tea. Rations are broken out and the half-starved prisoners eat. Martin cautions Egg not to overdo it. They have been on short rations for who knows how long in the hobgoblin’s lair. Supping too well now may worsen their conditions. A simple broth is made of wild leeks and tubers with some bread to sop it up.
The fat merchant, Alton Haldrin, is soon revived and chatters on happily about their rescuers and the great good fortune that has come their way. The hobgoblins were intent on feasting on the fat merchant before too long. His wife, Erdene, is not as boisterous. Her tears of gratitude speak volumes. The company breaks camp and moves westward to the Keep. They travel for a couple hours to arrive at Overlook Hill (it’s what I’ll call it until inspiration hits me). Arden thinks it best to make camp a little distance from the Caves. A heavily armed watch is set and several fair sized fires are lit. Strength in numbers may help to discourage any encounters.
Morning comes early and all is well. The company breaks camp and returns to the Keep in the morning. The corporal of the guard returns to the inner bailey of the keep to report to the captain. Arden stops at the outer bailey to speak with the bailiff. [Rolled to see if the bailiff is present. Result=no] Arden learns the bailiff is at the Keep Fortress meeting with Lord Kent, the castellan.
Arden and Company see the merchant, his wife, and the two men-at-arms to the guild house. The guild master is happy to hear of their rescue. Arden and Company make their way to the Traveler’s Inn to store their gear and freshen up. Arden places the treasure (the gold and silver tapestry) into the iron bound locked box they recovered on a past foray to the Caves of Chaos.
Calculating XP, I figure about 221xp per PC. Martin advances to 4th level.
Arden and Company are invited once again to the Keep Fortress. Sir Kent has a feast for the Company and those they freed. Even the archers that accompanied them are invited to the great hall. The merchant and his wife look much improved after a hot bath and some new clothes. Other important persons are there as well–Florian the advisor, the curate, the bailiff, and more. The Company is honored for the rescue and all are eager to hear the tale told by Arden. His charisma and charm make for rapt listeners.
At the end of the evening, the merchant gives Arden a sack of 100 silver coins as a way of gratitude. Erdene, his wife, places a finely crafted blade in Arden’s hands. “It is said to be enchanted by the very elves themselves. May it guard you in your perils, good sir.” Arden will keep it at his side as a secondary weapon. [It is a +1 magic dagger.]
In a private moment with the merchant and his guardsmen, Arden and Martin ask them about the orcs tale of humans moving to the west end of the Caves. [Do they know anything about this? FU dice=5, yes, they were interrogated by the hobgoblins and asked if they belonged to the “profane worshippers” in the western caves. That is all they know…except the hobgoblins seemed nervous about mentioning the western caves. Arden informs the Castellan about this but learns nothing new.
Corwin and Arden approach the jeweler to sell the silver and gold tapestry. The jeweler has seen valuable treasures from the Company on past occasions and eagerly watches as Arden unrolls the tapestry. It is a depiction of a rearing stallion and Corwin believes it is from a king lost in the ages of time. Corwin begins to haggle with the jeweler. Roll=8, I rule that Corwin makes his merchant roll and gets a good price. Arden uses his charisma to get more…roll=4, His atttempt to improve the deal with his charm fails. d6 roll=1, I rule that Corwin gets 10% more for the tapestry. The jeweler counts out 9 gold crowns and 90 silvers and takes his new possession.
Arden owes the men-at-arms 2 silver pieces per day. It has been 5 days since last pay. He gives each man (Catamont, Meklin, Handsome, Goat, and Egg) 10sp with admonishment to save some of it instead of buying cheap wine and good times at the tavern. He is seriously considering signing a few of them on as henchmen (I reason that they would no longer be hired, but would earn 1/2 xp, progress as fighters, and get a 1/2 share of treasure). Meklin, Handsome, and Catamont have all proved invaluable in combat. He will discuss it with the other PCs. The rest of the treasure is divided up among the Company. [Including the 250sp reward from the bandit camp, they have earned 1,293sp. Arden, Thane, Martin, and Corwin each get approximately 323sp.]
More to come…