The party had finally reached town and had a small pile of coins and goods they had gathered from the K'Tharkian caves - not enough to cover training - but enough to outfit themselves. And that they did! Had to take a bondsmanship to Sir Watler which meant that they were effectively shackled to Orihalcus - except Zoltan who wrangled out of it. Took an oath of fealty instead - which so far I haven't had to call on him yet.
Write up follows:
We were treated to baths (under guard) at the Blue and Dancing Minepick Inn, given cots to rest on in the Courthouse (under guard), and fed both a late supper and a breakfast the next morning (under guard) at which time, Hedonim was summoned to private council with Sir Walter Slaine and his council of advisers. Sheriff Phozarn had some conversation with you about the slavers and the K'Tharkian's privately and off the record ;after which time you were summoned to speak to Sir Walter and escorted there (under guard). Leaving Detheron, Puck, Fodder, and Ringo behind to watch your stuff.
There was a small delay and you waited patiently until you were allowed into the council chamber. Sir Walter was there, along with 5 advisers - 3 were identified: Marzen Orihalcus, dwarven guildmaster of the Metallurgy Guild, Frau Gail, headspeaker for the Greengrocer Commune, and at Sir Walter's right was an old man identified as Adeptus Bjorn Icingson, high advisor to the local lord.
You were then asked about your exploits in greater detail - Bjorn asking a few pertinent questions. They had you tell of the day you were captured, your trip over land, and even the time you spent in the caves. Little was missed and many questions were asked. Then the council spoke amongst themselves with Bjorn making noises along the lines that your group might be of use - which led to Sir Walter offering to sponsor your group. A bondsman agreement was to follow for a period of one year and one day - but Sir Walter would cover your living arrangements as well as training - plus getting your troupe a discount regarding outfitting. Plus there was going to be some effort on his part to help your party learn what they could about the slavers in question that captured you: Specifically that Djohrgahd and/or the circleburst and wolf standard on the scrap of contract you've carried with you. As a final plus and bow, he was going to make sure that a charter for your group from the Adventurer's and Antiquarian's Guild in Cymbarton would be drawn up and sent here - officially having your band a part of the guild and allowing you to be treated as a whole unit - giving your party some weight and potential marketability.
There was a wrinkle as Zoltan said he could not take a bondsman agreement - as his people had only just been freed from indenture - and willingly going back would be to unpalatable for him. Instead, Sir Walter accepted an oath of fealty from Zoltan - with the understanding that he is representative of Sir Walter and Orihalcus - and as long as both of them have similar goals - there would be no reason to work at odds.
The party talked and touched upon the Tabards found - 5 of them, and the strangeness of their appearance in the K'Tharkian warren. You learned that Orihalcus has a standing militia of fifteen, including Sheriff Phozarn - and can muster another 50 if pressed within a short period of time - after that the quality of skilled fighters drops considerably. No guards have been reported missing, and there was some worry over where these tabards came from. You learned that the material is made in Cymbarton and sent here - where a local clothier named Yrrg cuts, hems, dyes, and embroiders them - chartered to do so roughly 3 or 4 times a year. You were told to keep the Tabards as you are now representatives of Orihalcus and sponsored by Sir Walter - and then you were told that you were free to visit your new home (for the next year and a day) and make what shopping or purchases you needed to - and personages assigned by Sir Walter to you to handle your room, board, and training would be contacting you soon.
Group went back, split up the coins and goods - happy to see a large pile of money - and then decided to kill two (or three) birds with one stone: Sell the 2 Bolts of silk that Gwyn said would be worth at least 50 crowns a pop, Talk to Yrrg about the tabards and learn what we could from her...and buy clothes!!!
Karis made friends with an impressionable guardsman who told the half-ogre to contact him if he needed anything and then the group left the courthouse and went to Yrrg's Skeins. Yrrg was a dwarven woman just into the middle years of her life, and had a quartet of seamstresses working with her in her crowded yet neat shop. She admitted the tabards were not forgeries and were made by her - but she had no idea where they came from as she makes them and gives them to her lordship's reeve. The silks she bought from you for 65 crowns a pop - which netted the troupe 130 crowns - AND she admitted that she had ordered the self same silk bolts about a year ago but they were lost in some raid and she never got them - needed to order them again.
Party started with underwear and then went out from there: pants, shirts, gloves, belts, hats, vests, jerkins, baladrana's, cloaks, and dyes of all colors from black to white and everything in between (of which I think Zoltan is wearing at least ONE of each color!). Karis turned the eyes of a buxom twenty-something 6'9", 250 lbs half orc girl and everyone had some good jokes and high spirits in here. Yrrg did go on that the party should not shop for clothes at the other clothier in town named Dellia as "she is a cheat, a shrew, horrible, and has crotch lice and the pox!" After selling the silk and buying tons of clothing that would be finished over the next couple of days - we still had about 60-odd crowns to our names which we divided up and went next door to Korag the Cobbler to have shoes and boots commissioned.
Shoes. Sweet wonderful shoes. Nothing quite like owning a set after spending days and weeks without them. While there, Zoltan was talking about having some sheaths built into his boots and Korag gave him a queer look. Turns out that the cobbler has some ties or contact with the local underground and the two of them engaged in some Cant-ing - Zoltan was recommended to talk to a woman named Keohn to just "make himself known". Good advice.
After this we were met by various representatives from Sir Walter Slaine and we began our training in earnest. Turns out that Sir Walter's pocketbooks were going to need to be deep as training would take 3 weeks on average or more - and would cost us just short of 200 crowns - each! We met with what would be considered our teachers and masters for the next period of our life (maybe a year and a day - chuckle) and began to hone our skills. Weaponplay and swordwork was almost constant, oral and practical demonstrations were expected. The extent of your skills and breadth of your knowledge was challenged at every turn and you were pushed to the limits and beyond all the while becoming more confident and capable under the tutelage of your mentors.
In addition, during the many weeks of work and diligence, you spent your found coins on much needed armor and weaponry - outfitting yourself for the expected date and time when your training would be complete and your wounds a thing of memory. At that time there was much talk that you would like to find out what and where the slavers are who have done what they have to you - and face them with bow, sword, spell, and spear.