Duran listens as the others ask questions, suddenly feeling exhausted.
Gaven, whose curiosity outweighs his fatigue, asks Belloc: "any news on the Grey Fox bandits?"
"Not much," replies the captain. In fact, most of what I know comes from you. There have been some robberies on the road near Blackwell, but otherwise nothing you haven't already told me yourselves. The appearance of the 'grey men' that Alanna sent to do you in makes me wonder if she has joined up with them. Odd, since one of my own detachments reported seeing her heading southwest..."
The captain trails off as if thinking.
Gaven then asks: "What of the giant south of here we sent word on?"
"Ah, him," says the captain. "I've dispatched a diplomatic mission on that front. We've had the odd giant in the vicinity before. They're not all bad, some of them are fairly decent creatures. They come in, build a small cabin pasture some giant sheep for a season or two then move on. That type you can talk to and usually come to an understanding with them – making sure they keep off the roads and somewhat out of sight so as not to frighten travelers and merchants. The other type...well, let's just say I hope this one isn't the other type. In a day or two we should know which kind this fellow is."
"Do you know if the halfling merchant Filbert is still in town?" asks Gaven.
"Filbert...Filbert..." says Belloc. "Was he that little fellow with the banged up head back at the Northstar Inn last week? Had a run-in with some grey men too, didn't he? To be honest, I'm not too sure. I haven't much thought of him with all the post-battle refitting and the new situations with the giant and Alanna."
Gaven asks one last question: "Any other rumors or concerns of note?"
The captain says: "Just that Maggie the Moon Witch was spotted again up near the Northstar again, though no trouble came of it. And there was the usual report of wolf – or werewolf – howls down Blackleaf way. With the full moon out right now, I'd say you were fortunate not to run into any yourselves."
The captain reads the fatigue on the faces of the party members. "You men look like you need a rest now. Go on back to the Red Tankard. If that giant turns out to be the wrong sort, and you're not engaged in any other work, you'd certainly be welcome to help us deal with him."
Oloc thanks the Captain for his generosity, and suggests that the party get a table at the inn to divide up the treasure and discuss their next course of action. He wants to see about getting a room, then take a bath, eat, and the hit the sack.
Duran, too, wants only to go to the Tavern, divide up the loot and get a meal, drink, bath and a bed.
With that you leave Belloc's office most of the party head to the Red Tankard, Gaven goes first to the Temple to pray then joins the rest of you at the inn.
Sadie and Sal greet you warmly. Sal starts making you a good hot meal while Sadie runs upstairs to get some rooms ready.
The inn itself is rather quiet this morning – all the travelers have resumed their journeys, and the locals tend to show up only at meal times.
Shortly Sadie comes back down and tells you baths are prepared and your rooms are ready. Since Sal's food isn't quite ready, you go upstairs and clean yourselves off, before returning to the common room for your meal. After that, barely able to keep your eyes open, you head up to your rooms to get some sleep.
After a few hours, the noise of the lunch crowd wakes you and you take another meal in the common room, before heading out to sell off the mundane items and valuables you picked up in your foray against the bandits.
All told, you manage to pull in 1824 g.p, 5 s.p. for those items. Along with the coins you picked up from the bandits, your total monetary haul comes to 2629 g.p., 7 s.p.
By the time you sell everything off, it's the dinner hour, and you head back to the Tankard to take another meal and divide up your coin, each of you taking a share of 657 g.p., 4 s.p., 3 c.p.
You still have some potentially magical items to deal with. Gaven asks to take possession of the vial of pale green liquid, and he and Oloc both look at the scroll you picked up. Gaven finds the words unreadable, but Oloc can decipher it with little difficulty – the scroll contains an arcane variant of a "Protection from Chaos" spell.
With a few hours of daylight left, you decide, at Gaven's suggestion, to go to Cosmo's to identify the potion, and just to look around at any new items the old mage may have in stock.
On the way there, you pass by the temple once more and Gaven steps in to make a donation. Pleased with Gaven's substantial donation, the brothers reward Gaven with an amulet. "This amulet," a brother tells him, "is called the Medallion of the Righteous. It will grant you protection against the dead who have returned to the living (OOC: +1 to AC vs. undead)."
Leaving the temple, you continue on your way to Cosmo's.
Cosmo seems genuinely pleased to see you, and as you walk down the long dimensionally transendental corridor to his back room, you have plenty of time to relate your tale, which is punctuated frequently by Cosmo's "oohs" and "ahhhs" that make you think he misses adventuring now that he seems too old for it himself.
Once in the back room, Gaven hands the vial of green liquid to Cosmo. Cosmo looks at it, swishes it around, peers at it with candle-light behind it, gives it a sniff, then smiles.
"Ha!" he says. "I know what this is!" He sticks the tip of his finger into the liquid and licks it off. "Sure as the sunrise!" he exclaims. "I made this one myself. Distillate of Bezoar, is what you've got there my young cleric. That will cure any poison known to man, as long as the victim drinks it before the poison manages to kill him."
Then he frowns. "You picked that up from the bandits you say? Hmph! I've never sold to any bandits. Harlon and a few other screen my customers carefully for me, as you well know. The rotten no-goods must have stolen it from one of my legitimate customers."
He thinks a moment and then adds. "Tell you what. I'm so glad you took that away from those ruffians, I'll let you have the identification for free – I'd hate to think anything I made or sold fell into the wrong hands!"
Cosmo then glances at the rest of the party members milling around the back room. "See anything you like lads?"
Looking over the shelves, you see that the stock has changed considerably since the last time you were here. You note the following items that could be useful for individuals in your line of work:
Potion of Invulnerability.....250 gp (OOC: +2 to saves; -2 to enemy's attack roll)
Potion of Fire Resistance.....250 gp (OOC: +2 to saves vs. fire; if no save allowed, half damage from fire)
Potion of Cure Light Wounds...200 gp (OOC: cures 1d6+1 hp)
Returning Throwing Dagger....150 gp (OOC: no bonus, but returns to throwers hand after each shot; ROF = 1)
Borland's Shield.....500 g.p. (OOC: Shield +1 to AC)
Hagar's Short Sword....500 g.p. (OOC: Short Sword +1 to hit/damage)
Rope of Climbing....1000 g.p. (OOC: leaps upward, ties and unties on command)
Ruger's Perfect Arrow.....250 g.p. each (OOC: only one use each; automatically hits the target and does double max damage; Cosmo has four in his stock)
Apprentice's Ring of Spell Storing.....300 g.p. (OOC: grants M-U one additional spell slot per day)
Losenges of Healing (Wild Cherry).....50 g.p. each (OOC: heals 1 hp; Cosmo has four of these)
After looking around and deciding what you do or don't want, you conclude your business for the evening with Cosmo, who sends you off with a cheerful farewell.
As darkness begins to fall, you return to the Red Tankard. When you enter the inn, the place seems a bit more crowded as travelers have arrived to spend the night, and the local townsfolk drink and talk. You barely get inside the door before you see a familiar face – it's Filbert.
The halfling jumps up and waves to you from across the room. "Hallo! Sadie and Sal told me you were back in town. Earlier than I expected too!"
Seeing Filbert's enthusiastic greeting, Oloc suggests quietly to the rest of you: "Blackwell Keep, anyone?"
If you wished to buy anything from Cosmo, just let me know and we'll say you bought it while you were there. Simply tell me, subtract the g.p. and add it to your sheet.
Depending on whether or not you use magical healing to bring Varros back up to full hp, you may need to spend time in town to heal him up; Oloc may or may not want to spend some time copying the new scroll; Varros and Duran may want to spend time training, etc. Just let me now what you want to do.
Note that for healing, any "light" activity like running errands, buying gear, etc. is considered "rest," allowing healing to take place. More rigorous activities (like martial training) do not count as rest and no healing takes place on a day when such activity occurs.
So Varros (and anyone else who was down any hp) just healed 1 h.p. today.
Recovery of h.p. is at a rate of 1 per day of rest, unless magic is used.
If you want to buy specific pieces of equipment, just say so, subtract the g.p. and it's yours. Anything in the rulebook is available at price in town.
If you want to talk to Cosmo again, or the Abbot, the Mayor, Belloc, just let me know who you want to speak with and about what.
Remember too, that you did hear tell of a Sage named Bede (see NPC page) who might know things that might relate to activities you wish to undertake (though you'd have to travel out to see him).
Finally, here is the rundown on the new items you acquired/identified in this post:
"Protection from Chaos" Scroll (Magic-User version; chaotic creatures attacking M-U get -1 to hit, and M-U gets +1 to saves)
"Medallion of the Righteous" (given to Gaven for contribution to church; provides +1 bonus to AC vs. undead)
"Distillate of Bezoar" (pale green liquid Gaven had ID'd by Cosmo; cures any poison if taken quickly before death occurs)
Make sure you've made notes of these things on your sheet (along with whatever advantage they give you).