WRAP-UP OF SATURDAY-MONDAY ACTIVITIES
In addition to picking up some new help over the first three days in Fairbrook, the members of the Free Company take care of business: banking cash, handing bonuses to the veteran hirelings (who are most appreciative!), picking up rations and gear, engaging in spell study and acquiring vittles for Karnak.* During his downtime, Gaven volunteers to help out at the temple and visits Elsie Miggins and Bob Barley to check in on them and let them know of the goblins' demise. Elsie seems sullen, depressed, and withdrawn, though her mother is greatly pleased to know that justice has fallen on the heads of the goblins. Bob Barley, though still grieving, is happy to receive Gaven's visit and also gets some small comfort from the defeat of the goblins.
Following his conversation with Cosmo, Gaven wraps the Moon Ribbon around the grip of his club. While he does not speak of his vision and most of his conversation with the Abbot, the cleric does tell the party about Cosmo's trips to Blackwell and about the bandits, as well as the information he gained regarding Brother Abraham and the Ham's Fork werewolves. He reminds everyone that next week is the full moon, and suggests everyone buy some silvered weapons and/or wolfsbane. This prudent course is adopted by all.
When the subject of the bandits come up, Varros fills the party in as well on Belloc's information and suggests meeting up with Alanna and developing a plan to go after the bandits. Upon learning of Brother Abraham, who is also in the vicinity to which the party intends to travel, Varros says: "Perhaps this Brother Abraham may have information on the bandits as well. Gaven, I think we should find him, he may aid us greatly."
Varros also suggests talking to Belloc and letting him know the company's intentions, as he may agree to equip the new mercenaries from their armory in order to pursue the bandits. Gaven, in turn, proposes searching out Dagwood to get more information about the miscreants.
On your fourth full day in Fairbrook, you awake to a downpour and a gray and dismal day. Nonetheless, you set forth to follow up on Varros' and Gaven's suggestions, visiting Captain Belloc and Secretary Dagwood in turn.
The captain has you come right in when you are announced to him, and seems pleased to see you. Karnak is already sitting on his window ledge, watching the heavy rain and keeping dry. Once Belloc learns of your intentions he gives a low whistle, and Karnak flutters over from the window to land on Varros' shoulder.
When Varros mentions the possibility of Belloc equipping the mercenaries, Belloc replies: "As I mentioned the other day, we're still putting ourselves back together following the battle, so I have no gear to spare. However, I just gave Berthold, the blacksmith, an excellent deal on all the metal weapons and equipment we took from the goblins, so he should be inclined to give you a good price on any armor you might want to buy for your men."** The captain quickly writes a message. "Give this to Berthold, and he should take care of you."
"Also," he adds, handing you another rolled up piece of parchment. "Here is Lieutenant Alanna's current location. She's set up headquarters just about a half mile east of the village. Safe journey and good hunting!"
After leaving Belloc's headquarters you walk to the mayor's office to speak with Dagwood. A guard leads you into the building. As you wait for a moment in the vestibule, you hear the croak of a raven within the secretary's office. A minute or two more pass, and the guard then leads you in. As you enter you see Dagwood closing an open window.
Turning around, Dagwood recognizes you from the Red Tankard: "I hear you've been quite busy of late. Not a bad bit of work from a company that was completely unknown a few days ago. I'm rather impressed."
Once you explain your business, he nods: "Ah yes, our bandit problem. My latest information from lieutenant Alanna suggests that the bandits are working out of a hideout in western Blackleaf. We originally thought they were based on Cobb's Hill since there have been bandit camps there in the past. But all the incidents with this band have been between Ham's Fork and Fairbrook. And a number of the surviving eyewitnesses claim that the bandits ran off east toward the forest. Her men have tracked them as far as the edge, and they've seen several trees on the border of the forest marked with the same runes." Dagwood holds out a drawing of it:
"This came in by raven not two minutes before you. It's from Alanna's most recent report. But I don't know what the runes mean, nor does she. They read 'R' and 'S' in the common tongue. But what they stand for is unclear. Apart from that, I have no new information to give to you. I agree with Belloc that you should consult with lieutenant Alanna once you arrive in Ham's Fork. It takes almost a day for information to get from her to us. She can give you the most current details on the situation once you're there."
As he rises to see you out, he adds: "It's a shame mayor Adsul's currently out of town on the King's business. I'm sure when he returns he'll be glad to hear that you've taken an interest in this bandit business. Oh, and one more thing," he says, handing you another piece of paper. "We're putting out a 500 gold piece bounty for the bandit leader, dead or alive. We had hoped to take care of this without a bounty, but the situation is getting worse. I was going to have these posted today; there's no reason you shouldn't get an advance copy."
The rain continues steadily as you return to the inn. When you arrive at the Red Tankard you see Master Filbert standing under the eaves hammering up a poster of his own:
As you approach, he turns and greets you. "You fellows seem to be heading south. I understand you have to do what you have to do, and I appreciate your earlier offer of help. But my stolen gems went north, so that's where I'll have to go, with or without you. If you finish your business down south before I get underway in the next few days, I'll be glad to have you join me. I'll be here at the Tankard until I have enough men to go after the robbers."
*Feel free to double check that I made correct note of the hirelings' gear you just purchased. It's over on the PC information page, beneath the links to your own pages. If you guys choose to buy better armor and/or missile weapons for the hirelings, just let me know so I can add that to the list.
**With the captain's paper in hand, Berthold will give you a one-time 10% discount on any metal armor you buy for the mercs and/or for yourselves.