[Players not present: Richard Meen]
After Roy and Burton helpfully led the party to the Halfling town of Sita Dulip, Purposeful and Corbus sequestered Thea in the local inn. With Purposeful happily charged with her safety, the remaining three struck out for the center of town.
The main square was nearly deserted and they only just caught Mikhael, a merchant from Maretford, trying to lock up his shop: the promise of wealth kept the doors ajar and Tibauldly finally acquired a pair of boots. Upon reemerging, the town seemed even more sparsely populated. But the tavern was open!
The wooden tavern was empty but for the nervous barmaid, three shifty-looking men in cloaks, and an enormous half-orc drinking alone in the corner. Corbus attempted to make conversation, but spooked the creature: it tipped the oak table over on him and disappeared into the back.
Dax’s attempt to introduce Tibauldly to the wonderful world of inebriation was thwarted when the barmaid disappeared down a trapdoor and five hobgoblins and a grimlock burst into the building, searching for the rotted meat the villagers had stashed behind the bar. In the ferocious battle that ensued, several people passed out, Tibauldly twice lit the tavern on fire, and the half-orc re-emerged to assist Corbus. It was a close thing, but our heroes prevailed (unlike the cloaked men, who collapsed during the fight) and emerged triumphant just as Thea and Purposeful raced to the scene to carry Dax and Tibauldly out of the burning building.The villagers were delighted that their setup had worked and that they were free of the grimlock, but seemed reluctant to reward the party on account of the burning husk of a tavern behind them. Mikhael, however, stepped forward and offered to let the party peruse his more valuable items. They might have spent some time in the back shop, but upon hearing him speak, Mikhael recognized Corbus, sending him fleeing back to the inn. Thea collected the rewards – a Scroll of Major Healing and a mysterious mirror that reflects the background but not the image of the gazer – and they retreated for a well-deserved rest before getting on the ferry.
Or it should have been a rest. Apparently anger is a powerful motivator for Corbus: he crept into Purposeful, Dax and Tibauldly’s room and pinned Tibauldly to the bed, blaming him for the fire and his recklessness. Dax woke and attempted to threaten Corbus, to no avail. Fortunately, Corbus retained some semblance of his usual self and retreated to speak with Ada, his friend from the monastery via his Scroll of Summoning. (As he completely failed to be in any way stealthy and as Ada is a fairly loud person, Thea overheard the whole thing.)
Even afterwards, Dax couldn’t sleep – he was troubled by distressing dreams of faces and events that seemed troublingly familiar.
And so, ill-rested and ill at ease, the party prepared for the next leg of their journey.