Silver Pool Campaign 1.1.9 : "Back At The Inn"
Posted by darkstar 12 years ago
Below is the Silver Pool Episode 1.1.9 "Back At the Inn". Text was originally appended to Episode 1.1.8 "The Ambush is Sprung".  
All SP episodes and the player character data sheet can be found here.  
Back At The Inn  
The fighting is over.  
You decide that, with the success of the ambush, there is no need to pursue the remaining raiders. To do so in the dark, moreover, would be very risky, as you could easily rush into a counter-ambush yourselves. It seems better to take the bodies back to the village now for searching and proper burial. Leaving them to rot in the woods would be uncivilized and, what's more, might attract predators to the village. It is also vital to get the wounded among you back to the inn for healing. Your party gathers up the bodies and make the short trip back to the village.  
Once they realize you are not the enemy, your fellow villagers let you inside the inn. The doors are barred again and a quick recounting of the ambush is met with cheers from everyone! The bodies of the fallen raiders are deposited on the sawdust-covered floor and two of the village elders begin searching through their effects. Meanwhile, the wounded of your party are ushered upstairs to the room where Mistress Faye is waiting in an makeshift infirmary.  
A few moments later, you are lying on a simple bed in one of the inn's upper rooms. Mistress Faye lays her hands on your shoulder and face and utters incomprehensible but soothing words. Beneath her touch, the blood from your two wounds is stanched and your flesh knits together. You can still feel pain, but where the open wounds once were, now only angry red welts are turning into scars.  
As Mistress Faye finishes her ministrations and prayer over you, you notice an embroidered pattern on her tunic: a familiar sprig of flowers with white blossoms. "Tree of Sorrow", you say, pointing at the embroidery. You swiftly recount the events related to the sudden zephyr during the ambush that may have helped obscure the enemy scout's sense of smell.  
"Yes," she says, smiling. "It is a plant sacred to My Lady Aldrya. I was praying for your party to be successful tonight. Mayhap The Goddess favored you."  
Mistress Faye hands you a small vial of liquid and directs you to drink it, which you do, noting the warming effect of the minty syrup as it goes down. She cleans the blood from your face, neck and arm and collects your bloodied cloths. As she prepares for the next patient, you thank her and gather your things to vacate the room.  
"Be careful not to overdo it for the next few days," she says. "I've only healed the immediate wounds. Your body still needs to recover from the trauma. So get some rest."  
As you make your way downstairs, you observe the village elders conferring in the main hall. They stand around a trestle table piled high with things taken from the dead raiders. Swords, leather armor, spears, daggers, belt pouches, a pack, a pile of coins and some other effects are the topic of intense discussion.  
"Enough," says Elder Milo, raising his hand for silence. "There is still much to consider and we are not yet through this night of trial. Let us secure these things for now and determine tomorrow what to do with them."  
His advice seems to take some of the tension out of the discussion, to the evident relief of many in the room. Milo tells the others to continue to maintain watch, in case the bandits continue their raid, or decide to take revenge for the ambush. The villagers once more take up their positions as Milo and a few others begin gathering up the items from the table.  
It occurs to you just how long a day it has been for you. You hiked over 20 miles today and then wrapped up with a battle after midnight in which you killed two men and were seriously wounded, yourself. A wave of fatigue hits you and you also realize that Mistress Faye must have given you a sleeping draught. Evidently, she is not taking chances as to whether you will get some rest. To be honest, she needn't have worried.  
Mother Gert, passing through the hall, notices your slumped shoulders and drooping eyelids. Smiling knowingly, she comes alongside you and ushers you to the back storeroom where several sleeping pallets have been arranged. She takes your belongings and sets them next to an empty pallet without a word.  
As she eases you onto the thin, straw-filled tick, your last conscious thoughts are of the scent of a certain night-flowering bloom...  
You awaken in a nicer bed than a straw tick on the floor. Evidently, someone moved you while you slept into a simple yet comfortable bed in a small room by yourself. The small window shows the pale golden light of early afternoon. You've slept a while, it seems.  
A moment later, a tap comes at the door and it opens to reveal Elder Milo's youngest daughter with a tray of food. With a shy nod and a short curtsy, the 10-year-old waif leaves the tray on the table next to your bed and quietly slips from the room again.  
A half a loaf of barley bread, a bit of cheese and a small cup of milk breaks your fast. You wash it down with the small pitcher of cool water provided. Your hunger satisfied, you tenderly test your wounds. There is a bit of stiffness in your shoulder, but the pain is gone. You can feel the scar on your face, but there, too, no pain remains of the serious gash that was there.  
As you think of how lucky you were to avoid being killed, another knock comes at the door - more robust this time - followed by Elder Milo. He eyes the empty tray.  
"A strong appetite. That's good. I was going to ask how you feel, but an empty plate is probably the best indicator." He sits on the foot of the bed.  
"You'll be glad to know there was no counter-attack last night, " he continues, anticipating your next question. "It seems our ambush worked."  
"And if what I learned from that defector is true - and we have their leader - it's possible," you suggest, "that we've stopped the raids entirely."  
"I hope so," he says, running his hand over his face and letting out a sigh. His red-rimmed eyes suggest he hasn't had much sleep yet, if at all. "But the Elders are still concerned..."  
"Concerned? Why?"  
He reaches into a pocket in his innkeeper's apron and pulls out a small leather-bound sheaf of papers. "This," he says, brandishing the object. "We got it out of that Bardo rogue's pack. It seems to be a ledger. Marked where he paid his henchmen."  
"Why is that a cause for concern?"  
"Take a look," he says, handing the ledger to you. "Look at the first entry."  
You flip back through the small pages outlining weekly wage payments to the raiders. Each one, paid a silver piece for their week's service, is accompanied by the raider's individual mark. You reach the beginning and read the first entry aloud. "30gp, 250sp from M." As its significance begins to dawn on you, Milo gives voice to it.  
"Yes, it appears that Bardo was paid a significant amount of money from this "M.", whoever that is, at the beginning of the raids. He then paid the raiders out of those funds."  
"But...that would mean the raids weren't simply to gain plunder. Bardo was...hired and bankrolled to stage these raids on Foxglove!?"  
Milo nods with another deep sigh and takes the ledger back from you, slipping it back into his pocket.  
"Yes," he says, grimly. "And that means, despite our victory last night, our troubles may just be getting started."
Expository narration...
darkstar: ...originally appended as comments on the Episode 1.1.8 thread are now collected here. :)