Maintenance Meeting. A time to stop rolling 20's and clean up the sheets, train, buy stuff, sell stuff, chat, and get a little down time.
When I was younger we would gloss these meetings over. As I got older I fleshed them out, often times too much, roll playing every shopping experience and iron spike. I now have a smoother softer experience with it, trying to not exceed more than 2/3rds of a meeting. I know it destroys some of the illusion and the group doesn't get the immersive feel of wandering the world, but not everyone can participate in the haggling over flasks of oil.
Maybe I'll bring it back once or twice and see how the group likes it.
I didn't want the group to assume they had to go back to the temple complex to finish off the adventure - they don't have too - it's up to them. So I dangled an adventure for them - again, they didn't have to take it. It was a half paragraph idea and if they took it, I would flesh it out and write it up - if they didn't, it's no problem either.
I was happy they took it as I have some interesting ideas for this.
Write up follows:
We slept well and awoke the next day somewhat refreshed. We went to the kitchen where we made a quick meal (Norris) or what foodstuffs we had as well as what he could drum up. Some of the locals chatted with us and eventually Rigil Blackshadow came in and sat down, sharing our meal and talking with us of what he had learned.
Vanir had spent another 20 minutes with Baronet Wodenlach before leaving, going to the docks where he met up with two men that had come in on a ship of unknown origin. The three of them then clambered on horses that Vanir had already had with him and they rode out the main gate, assumingly riding west towards Dilabria. The Baronet was no longer acting odd and from what could be gathered, he was affected by a potion of domination or some sort of suggestive poison – both very suspect, very rare, and very difficult to make/procure.
At this point there was some purchasing by Gwyn of poison from Blackshadow’s toxologist and then the party took the boat back to the mainland with Norris getting a thumbs-up from the thief master for his actions, efforts, and the commendable way he’d been handling things as of late (even though Nelia died).
The group then spent the next couple of weeks resting, relaxing, healing, and training – having local artisans make new items for gear that had worn out, or ordering new gear to be imported on the trade caravans from Dilabria and Cymbarton. We also decided as a party that spending night after night at the Sunken Boardwalk was fine for short term; if we were going to live here we needed a more permanent residence.
We settled after looking at real estate at a modest 2 story structure south of Raised Road, just off the main street. The interior was a sparse but the walls were in good shape and the roof was slate shingled and doors stout. We went back and forth to the carpenters and smiths, buying furniture, beds, linens, shelves, chairs, tables, chests, cases, pots, pans, knives, cutlery, dishes, and mugs. There was a large main common room adjoining the kitchen area, an indoor water closet, two bedrooms downstairs, and 4 bedrooms upstairs as well as a large closet space. Many of the party then purchased locks for their doors and chests and spent some free time settling in.
A few small jobs came our way, helping to dig new shoring pilings at the docks, guard duty for some persons of importance, longshoreman work when the big ships came in, even some time at the Hospice helping to entertain those lying their sick. Our efforts against the lizardmen, Haydin and Kazak’s wagging tongues, the subtle nods of approval from Blackshadow’s thieves guild and Wodenlach’s manor house, and the fact that we had slain a dragon and had some of the beast’s claws/teeth to prove served to give the group some notoriety. Even Arnog joined in, adopting the last name of Dragonslayer and giving himself the title of Sergeant.
There were some things still left out there. Where was the real Zoltan? Lost in the lizardman temple complex? Dead/Alive? What about the threat “below the temple” that Kazak had talked about? Should we take care of it? Was it our responsibility? And the dragon, it was slain, but did it have a horde? Treasure? Was it out there in the swamp waiting to be claimed? According to the rumors about town, there had been a few 6-figure lizardman patrols seen within ½ mile of Eider, larger than normal and closer than the people would like. Were they looking for us? Something else?
It was Firemonth the 2nd, the heat of summer was sinking in claws and the days had been hot and humid as of late when we had a knock at our door. A man was there, early 20’s, brown hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, nice clothes but a bit worn and last year’s cut and style, a silver hilted rapier at his belt but a few of the bigger stones missing. He introduced himself as Bendern Skelt and wanted to talk to The Sundered Chains about a job. We invited him in and listened to his tale over lunch.
He was from Broken Hills, a trading town some 50 miles from here known for their bronze and quarries, and word had reached his home about the group and their exploits. He was a minor noble family, rich in lands but poor in money and income and there was a problem.
His grandfather was a notorious gambler and after squandering much of the family’s money passed away about a year ago. His father had taken over the holdings and was desperately trying to pay off the many creditors his grandfather had failed to pay. It was tough work and there was still some to do. So in an effort to garner some cash, his father had the family crypt opened and began looting the dead to sell the Skelt heirlooms from the bodies within. Bendern was uncomfortable with this practice but his father continued anyway.
It was about 2-3 weeks ago when they had gotten to his grandfather’s coffin and opened it to find the old man was undecayed. It had been about a year and he looked the same, there were even scratches on the inside of the coffin. The local priest had a traveling brother come in and looked over the body, declaring it to be a nosferatu, a walking dead. He performed a ceremony and had the head cut off, some sort of blessed bread put in the head’s mouth, a stake driven into the heart, and the head replaced in the grandfather’s hands in his lap. The body was declared “at rest” and that was that. The grandfather’s heirloom helm, brooch, sword, and shield were then taken, the coffin sealed up, replaced in the tomb, and over the next couple of days the items were sold.
Things were fine until the person who bought the helm, a Master Potterson, was discovered a few days ago in his workshop with his head cut off, bread in his mouth, and a stake in his heart. And the helm was missing. Bendern’s father was terrified that the other 3 buyers of his grandfather’s heirlooms would learn of what happened and discover that the grandfather might have been an undead – seeking his lost treasures. Frozen with indecision, Bendern took it upon himself to ride to where the heroes were here in Eider, and ask them for their help. He is willing to offer 150 crowns up front, 150 crowns on completion, and should the group reclaim any of the heirlooms the right to keep one of them – except for the sword. The party haggled for the potential of 2 of them and the nobleman agreed.
Then said he would meet them at 11 tomorrow morning outside the Sunken Boardwalk for the trip back to Broken Hills and Soren showed him out.