You visit the various merchants, selling your plunder, and depositing much of your cash at the royal banking house.
Varros gives Stan and Ollie 5 gp each from his current funds as a bonus for a job well done. Gaven also turns to Ollie and gives him 5 gp, "Spend it wisely lad."
The cleric then accompanies Stan to the armory, "Hold on to that spear, I think it will come in handy. Here is coin to purchase some chainmail. It will likely serve you better." Once Stan is fitted out in his new armor, his old leather protection is passed on to Ollie.
The two hired hands are quite happy that they get to share in their bosses' good fortune.
While still at the smithy, Gaven leaves his club to have it silvered. The smith assures him it will be ready by the time the party is prepared to depart the next day.
From the general store everyone buys rations, and various sundry items. Amongst Oloc's purchases are parchment, quill and ink, and Gaven picks up, among other things, a case for the map given to the party by Belloc. Varros and Duran also acquire several items, and in response to Duran's queries, the owner gives Duran the name of a fletcher in town whose services he retains for his shop. If Duran has any custom needs for his arrows, the general store owner assures him that his man can provide it.
Varros looks to Duran and says, "Friend, I will accompany you to visit the fletcher, assuming you don't mind a stop for a few supplies. I could use your keen eye, as I need a fine longbow."
Once on the street Varros nudges Duran and laughs, "After we complete our errands Duran, I believe you should buy the first round of that wonderful local ale they have at the tavern," Varros looks serious for a moment, "Hopefully, our next mission won't call for another archery contest."
Duran gladly accepts Varros’ company while buying supplies. Duran is not
use to the larger towns like Fairbrook having only grown up visiting
villages as small or smaller then Ashwood.
Varros purchases a longbow under Duran's guidance as well as 20 of the best arrows available and five silver arrows. Duran also obtains some top quality archery equipment.
As the rest of the party continue their preparations for the next day's mission, purchasing rations and gear, Gaven returns to the temple to speak with Abbot Cuthbert, "We return from Lover's Grove with both good and bad news Abbot. We rescued Elsie Miggins, but were too late to also save Bill Barley. To add to the bad news, hoblin-led bands of wood goblins plan on raiding the nearby farms. Please be sure to warn the citizens to be vigilant and careful."
The abbot listens thoughtfully, and tells Gaven that he and his companions have done much good in the service of the Light this day. "Since you and your comrades must depart again with no rest," says the abbot, "take this ointment. It is a blend of herbs that should soothe their wounds quite nicely."
Gaven then makes sure he and the Abbot are alone before asking about the mayor. "Captain Belloc mentioned that Mayor Adsul wanted any goblins brought directly to him for questioning because he had a 'special' method of gaining information. I find this highly questionable. What can you tell me of the mayor and his character and do you know anything of his methods?"
"Ah," says Cuthbert. "Of this special method I had only hear rumors from unreliable sources, though I knew the Mayor wanted goblins – or any other enemies – brought to him for questioning. I had hoped the rumors were just that and nothing more. But coming from Belloc..."
The abbot thinks for a moment. "You should not trouble yourself with this. It is a delicate matter, that I will look into quietly. In the meantime, you and your companions have rather important matters to deal with. I shall pray that you may find the goblin host you seek."
Once the discussion is over, Gaven gives the Abbot 150 gp. "Here is my tithe to the Light. Good evening, Abbot."
Gaven then spends some time in prayer and meditation before returning to the tavern for supper.
After visiting the various shops and helping Varros select a stout looking long bow, Duran heads to the Red Tankard. Oloc is already resting on the front steps and, soon after, Gaven return. Reunited before the door of the inn, you all also recognize Karnak sitting on the edge of the roof, patiently waiting for you.
Varros clicks for the raven to come down, and offers him a few crumbs of rations – the bird seems to appreciate the kindness, and almost seems to nod in gratitude before flying up to the roof once more.*
Gaven hands the ointment provided by the abbot to Varros and Duran, and the stiffness and soreness of their wounds is relieved greatly.**
Inside the inn, the regulars, who by now have heard of your adventure, treat you with a fair degree of celebrity. Not that they haven't seen adventurers before, but this time your band brought back one of their own to safety, and that counts for something.
Duran buys the first round of drinks, and says to Varros: “A drink well earned by a new friend and brother in arms. I hope to learn more from you as we go about our business for the Captain,” he says to Varros. With that he orders some dinner and settles in for a relaxing evening.
Knowing that the party's new mission will take them into the vicinity of the Blackwell ruin, Varros tries to glean any information he can from those he encounters in the common room.
The people at the inn are all too happy to feel that they can be of service to the new heroes of the common room, though much of what they tell you regarding the ruins seems too far fetched to be believable or of much use – almost certainly material made up by the wild imagination of non-adventuring story-tellers. But some of it rings true, even if a bit strange. You hear from them that:
1. At night high winds blow through the ruins atop the hill, so strong that torches and lanterns are blown out and cannot be relit;
2. An ogre lives on the first level of the dungeon, collecting tolls from adventurers in exchange for passage to the lower levels;
3. The dungeons are haunted by the undead soul of an ancient, malevolent wizard.
Of course, with the warm light of a summer evening coming in through the common room windows, it's easy to not be too troubled by such stories, true or not.
*Let me know if I overstepped here, and I can edit. I figured this might be a good way of starting a connection between Varros and Karnak (taking charge of Karnak really isn't possible, so I figured to substitute a good rapport or potentially even a future friendship in its place).
**Same thing, let me know if I overstepped here, and I'll edit. I assumed that Gaven (being lawful and a generally good guy) would quickly provide his comrades with relief for their wounds.
Also, generally, I recapped a bit in order to work in some of the statements and actions from the recent comments. In addition I edited the previous post to include some of Gaven's statements to Mrs. Miggins, Bill Barley and Belloc.
Finally, I held off on Gaven's return to the temple in the morning, and on Varros' suggestion that the party meet half an hour before daylight to eat and plan for the scouting trip, just in case there was any more post-dinner evening activity or conversation anyone wanted to make.
Time-wise we are still at the same point as at the end of the last post. It's now just after dinner, and still daylight. Let me know anything else you'd like to do in town after dinner; if nothing, let me know that you're ready for the party to leave town.