This was the wrap up/maintenance meeting - something that hadn't been done for about 5 months or so, so there was much bookkeeping for the party to do.
However something happened during the few points of role playing that went on. One of the players was very impatient (a trait that had been more and more prevelant as the years have gone on) and was saying, to the count, "Less talky, more healy." There were other comments made and normally in the interests of keeping the game flowing and the players happy, I don't attack those sort of 4th wall shattering instances, but here was the first time that the party was ever in the presence of the count - and they had done the big thingy successfully.
The count was going to pay them, heal them, and then further reward them. Instead I ended up taking the party down a peg and banishing them from the town. Yep - 3rd city they've been thrown out of. And if things continue this way, they won't have any safe harbors left to go to.
I don't normally like to do this, but the party had lost their rudder and this was a shock to them that enough was enough. In real life for about a week after the game, there were both group email conversations and private ones between the players and everyone is of the mindset that this was the last time they ever screwed up like this and it was not an option to happen again.
Write up follows:
The group picked themselves off the ground, trying to call out to one another, blinded and seeing only white. Rahyk backed himself up, tripping over spilled pews and other debris, ending up against what he thought was the back wall. Detheron tried to shift into animal form, but his sight was still not working even then. Norris walked out to the front door after much groping and called to Hammerhand who arrived at long last.
We waited some time until Corporal Weyrith and a half dozen of the Cymbarton guard showed up, lured to the group by their calls and took the time to escort the party out. There was no more any sign of Brother Beren and the Sun Sphere had been destroyed, only some scraps of wood and about 2/3rd of the cracked stone remained. The Corporal did say that there was another body on the ground and had its head removed. An older male, past 60. We suspected it was the mortal remains of Aaron Skelt and told the Corporal to leave it.
Eventually we were led blind out of town, about a mile or so to the encampment where we rested , ate, and fell asleep. Eventually there was almost a 2 day ride back to Cymbarton where news had reached before us to the county capital and we were brought to the Sedaris Demesne where we were met personally by the Count himself, a small group of his high advisors, and even Kazak Falconhand.
However, our presence at the count was quickly soured as our blindness still hadn’t been resolved on its own and we were hoping to get some magical healing. The count was very willing to help and was talking about getting a healer to help out the group and that he was willing to pay for it as well as give us the reward (which turned out to be 650 crowns per share) when Rahyk began mouthing off to the Count. “Less talky, more healy.” Thodrek the dwarf was joining in as well, the two of them alternating between insulting and pitiful in their haranguing of the nobleman.
Even though Count Cedric was always an even tempered man, beloved by the people, popular with all guilds, and one of the few uncorrupted and unifying forces of Northern Daro, it was getting awkward for him to continually ignore the crap being spewed in his direction. Eventually he blew up, wondering what the hell the party was doing. Yes they did the job, big thanks and what not. They did it 6 days before the other group that had been commissioned to do it, also thank you. He gladly paid the group their share of the reward, was going to have them looked after at his own personal Hospice with the costs of curing their blindness being picked up by him. Was going to name them County Protectorates and knight two members of the group as well as award them the titles and land currently unclaimed by the Sunderstone Clan of the environs around Fulgore Keep.
But not anymore.
He grew wroth at the group and they realized that they had seriously made a gigantic error in antagonizing the Count. He had Rahyk’s vision cleared and then had him taken from the city where he was banished from the Capital for the next year and a day – on the knowledge that if he came back into the city he would be stripped of his belongings, locked in the stock, given 10 lashes, and then remain there for the rest of his incarceration. Rahyk took the money, bad naturedly went with the guard escorts, and bought a horse at Northgate from the stablery there.
The same thing was told to Thodrek, the dwarf apologizing profusely, but the Castellan wanted nothing to do with the dwarf’s cries of injustice. Thodrek joined up with Rahyk and the two of them mounted up and rode north, hoping to get back to BrokenHills to do some potential looting.
As for the rest of the group – they too were healed and rewarded and then the Castellan SUGGESTED that they leave and Count Cedric also held them in some part responsible since at no time did they rebuke any of the other party members and possibly correct them of their crude outbursts. The party was devastated – run out of another town.
This was becoming a serious problem as they have been making a negative name for themselves: Dragonhole, Eider, Cymbarton. Something was going to have to change or they would find themselves outlaws before too long.
With heavy hearts we went to the adventurer’s guild where Dumethian Dracowulf was very surprised that the group had pissed off Count Cedric as the lord was never known for his outbursts and unhappiness. They party must have been terrible rude and ungracious and the group said nothing on that matter. We got a few things identified, sold off a few treasures, squared up with the hirelings who all gave glowing reviews of the party, made sure that Brother Beren’s share was given to the Tyrian Cathedral, got a blank charter for us to fill in in the future, made sure Cadassial’s share went to the thieves guild (earning Norris a good hand clapping and thanks for his efforts) and made our way to Westgate.
What now? It was decided that we would go to Ponyboro as it was only about a day and a half from Cymbarton and we could rest there, regroup, meet up with Lord Daernhorse, and train before deciding what was to happen next.
It was with a heavy heart that we arrived at the pastoral town, getting really nice rooms at the Rampant Griffin and giving ourselves a good night sleep on a bed for the first time for some of us since almost 28 days ago. The next day we visited with Lord Daernhorse, made our rounds to various guilds and shops, and started to make ourselves feel at home. It was two weeks plus of training, commissioning, grooming, fixing, repairing, buying, and overall convalescing before the party felt more than ready to go back out there and see what the world had to offer.
We did meet up with two adventurers that had been directed to us by Dumethian Dracowulf from the adventurer’s guild: Havic, a dwarven barbarian and holy man from the northern wilderness from a town known as Grimsfold, and Thurin, an grey elven sage and wizard whose family currently resides in Ponyboro. They were met with much enthusiasm as they both had separate but personal griefs with Vanir and were directed to the party from their own past dealings with the wizard/slaver.
At the end of the two plus weeks, Norris was volunteering to travel south with Hammerhand to Daro and Kurtsville to see what became of Hammerhand’s family down there as well as Norris resolving a few things he had left open in Daro. We did heard from Dollius from the Platinum Pestle in Eider, the alchemist sending us three poultices of Stone to Flesh in payment and thanks for all we had done for him. And as for Mebali, the brogue speaking wheelwright was happy to spend his time with the party and volunteered to not only be our teamster and cartwright should we want him, but to look after whatever our home would be and affairs should we want him to.