The Silver Pool Campaign 1.1.10: Please read the first comment (click on View Results) below and THEN choose your preferred action.
Of course I'll do it. And I recommend we start with the market trip to Amberlake. We can get more funds for the reconstruction and I might be able to find some information in the larger town. And I can always say I'm checking out the livestock market.
Of course I'll do it. And I recommend we start with the trip back to the raider's cave. It will be important to get any information there before they can regroup. I can claim I'm tracking down animals in the wilderness.
Of course I'll do it. And I recommend we start by going to see Brother Owen. He may be able to give us valuable information on Bardo and perhaps who was putting him up to these raids. I can say I'm consulting him on where the missing livestock may be.
Perhaps. But I'll need more than two silver pieces per week. That's barely enough to buy a few tankards of ale!
No, I've already been too involved in all this as it is. Someone could get killed!
Some other creative solution? (please comment)
An Interesting Job Offer.
darkstar: Milo then reaches into another pocket and withdraws a small, green vial. "Now, what do you make of that?"  
"It looks like the bottle of sleeping draught Mistress Faye gave me last night."  
"Yes," he confirms. "It's identical. Only this came out of Bardo's pack, too. He had two of these green bottles, both full."  
"I asked Mistress Faye about them this morning," says Milo. "She confirmed it's the same kind of bottle she has. But these are not sleeping draughts. According to her, one is a minor curing potion: the effects are similar to what she is able to do when she lays on hands. Basically, it stops the flow of blood and closes the wound. The other is a potion used to create water. According to Mistress Faye, a few drops poured into a cup will fill the cup with drinkable water."  
"What was Bardo doing with Mistress Faye's potions?" you ask.  
"Well," says Milo with a wry smile, "I asked her the same question. She was not pleased at the implication. Still, she explained that the bottles are not hers. She gets them from the same place she believes Bardo got his."  
"And where is that?"  
"Evidently, a nature priest named Brother Owen. He tends a grove a couple of day's trek into the wilderness, Mistress Faye knows where. I've lived in Foxglove all my life, and my parents and their parents before me, and I've never heard of this fellow. But according to Mistress Faye, who was somewhat reluctant to tell me about him, this druid is well known and respected by others of his ilk. Nature worshippers come from far around to trade for his potions, in these distinctive green vials."  
"So, Bardo got his potions from Brother Owen..."  
"Or someone else who got them from him," Milo says. You both pause, ruminating on this idea. "Well," he goes on, looking you squarely in the face, "all this brings me to why I'm here talking to you now."  
You shift up in the bed, suddenly aware that Milo isn't just sharing this information with you to satisfy your curiosity.  
"The Elders met this morning. We talked about all of this and much more. There's a lot to consider." He pauses, before continuing. "But the safety of our village is our primary concern. And it's clear that just sitting here passively isn't the best way to keep us safe. Last night proved that."  
"And this involves me, specifically...?"  
"The Elders decided we need someone to take the initiative to track down what all this means. Someone who will actively try to uncover what's behind these raids and so forth. Give us some information we can use to defend ourselves. It's no good just rebuilding and waiting for the next raid, especially if there are larger forces behind this."  
He goes on. "There is much to do now. We need to take many of the raiders' belongings to sell in Amberlake. There will be a market there for the weapons and armor. With the money from the sale of these goods, we'll help rebuild the village. We also need to send someone back to the raider cave to see if more can be learned there. It will be very dangerous, but there may be something important we can learn. Finally, the Elders have agreed to send Mistress Faye as an envoy to this Brother Owen to ask him whether he's ever done business with that Bardo rascal. Perhaps he'll have some information we can use. But someone needs to go with her as an escort - with the raiders still out there, we don't want to take any chances."  
"And you have me in mind for one of these tasks?" you ask.  
"I've known you since you were a baby," says Milo. "Your parents were close friends of mine - they were well loved by everyone in Foxglove. When the Plague took them, it was a huge loss to all of us. I've seen you grow up from that tragedy to be a strong, mature adult. The way you help folk out - aiding Widow Porter with the chores, sharing your food after a hunt - everyone trusts and respects you. And as last night showed, you can handle yourself in a fight. If it hadn't been for you, I think I'd be lying dead in the woods right now..."  
"That probably goes for both of us," you say.  
"True enough," he agrees. "We were both outmatched. But if it hadn't been for your skill and cool thinking, I think we'd have been in serious trouble. Which, with everything else I've said, is why the Elders have agreed to ask if you will take on these tasks for us. We'd like to hire you as a...tracker."  
"A special tracker. Technically, we can't hire you as an official law enforcer without getting the Reeve to deputize you as a Beadle - something that almost certainly would never happen. The Reeve has already ignored our plight, claiming to be too short-staffed with so many of his yeomen having gone to war. So we have to take matters into our own hands. And it is within a village's authority to hire trackers to hunt down missing livestock." Milo stands up and turns to face you.  
"You'd have to be especially discreet. Officially, you'd just be tracking down lost animals. Unofficially, you'd be investigating everything you can about these raids: who is behind it and why. We've agreed to pay 2 silver pieces per week, plus expenses." He smiles and winks, " Oh, and plus one silver piece for each cow returned to the village..."  
He pauses a moment before continuing. "I know this is short notice, but the Elders have decided that speed is of the essence if we are to take advantage of our victory last night. So what say you? Your friends and neighbors are in need. Will you take on this role for their protection?"  
You consider all Milo has said. Finally, you tell him...
FoolProof: We don't get to keep any of the brigands gear? Bah. I had my eye on that crossbow. :) Hopefully, the items are nondescript enough that nobody will know where they came from when we try to sell them. We don't want to bring negative attention to the village.  
Brother Owen has probably been face to face with Bardo but what useful information he would have gained from such an interactions seems rather questionable.  
Any of the townsmen should be able to sell the armor and poke around town a bit.  
Bardo may have left important clues back at the cave and maybe even some gear too. With the raiders still out there, this sounds like the most dangerous of the jobs. We'll take it!  
We should use our hero status in the town to see if someone would be willing to give/loan us some gear - maybe a bow or something.
FoolProof: We'll need a small party to go to the cave, oc.
Fluffy: werd to teh cave. If there's more gear, money, supplies, and information there, it makes sense as a first stop. I would say that it is actually the least dangerous of the three trips. For all we know, the rest of the bandits have moved on. If they have, it's a cakewalk, and the longer we wait, the more likely it is that some other threat might set up using anything we're just leaving to sit in a cave. If they haven't, it makes more sense to go take care of the most immediate threat to the village first.
Previous episodes...
darkstar: ...and player character data sheet here.
I think I prefer going to see Bother Owen
pdxpogo: the raider cave is too dangerous for a single sortie they will be suspicious and alert if they hung around. I would return by way of the town if it is on the way.
FoolProof: It'd be good to silence the lot of them so retribution doesn't fall on the townsfolk. If they tell the rest of - whatever organization they're working for - what we did, it could spell trouble.
You accept the job.
darkstar: "Outstanding," says Milo with a grin.  
"Of course, I'll need a few stout comrades to go with'd be too dangerous to go back to that cave alone, now," you say.  
"Of course," says Milo, "of course. I have a good idea who'd like to go with you, too. I'll talk to them and let you know."  
A tapping at the door draws both of your attention. The door opens and Mother Gert enters with a large bundle wrapped in a cloth.  
"Kit's agreed to do it, " Milo tells her.  
"I told you," she retorts with some asperity. "Kit always did the right thing." She lowers the bundle to the floor and begins to unwrap it. "And a few things you'll be needing when you go, too...First of all, your armor has been mended and cleaned. A little cantrip made it good as new." She sets the magically cleaned and repaired studded leather coat on the floor by the bed. "And you'll be needing these more than that rogue captain, now, " she says, lifting out Bardo's longsword and dagger. "May they be put to nobler use in your hands than they were in his." The black leather scabbards and belt glisten with new oil as they come to rest on top of your armor.  
Mother Gert stands up again, draws close and gives you a kiss on the forehead. "You just take care, hear?" Her eyes twinkle with maternal affection and concern as she touches your cheek tenderly, then turns and leaves.  
"We'll be sending a few other things with you, too," says Milo. "These two potions, first of all. They may come in handy. And an advance on your wages...ten silver pieces should be a good start. I know the wage isn't much, but these weapons and potions are worth far more. "  
"What plans do you have for that hand crossbow Bardo pegged me with?" you ask. "I had my eye on that..."  
"Yes, I imagine you did!" Milo says with a laugh. Carvao says it's a fine piece of the weaponsmith's craft, too. In a market like Amberlake, he thinks it may fetch a hundred gold pieces or more... Kit, that gold will go a long way toward helping with the reconstruction." He goes on: "Plus, Bardo only had a few bolts with him. And you're not skilled with such a weapon, so I'm afraid it wouldn't do you much good, anyway. We decided it would be better to sell it..."  
"I understand," you say, and immediately begin to consider the mission before you. "When shall I go?"  
"Tomorrow morning, if you feel up to it. The raiders trekked 20 miles to get here last night. According to your information, there are only four of them left. They have no leader and may just be on the run. They probably slept the night in the wilds and may be heading back to their cave tonight. I don't think you could catch them even if you left right now, so there's no point in trying to. But we also don't want too much time to pass for them to regroup or get a message to their patron."  
"Tomorrow morning, then," you confirm. "In the meantime," you say, climbing out of bed, "care to help me find out what this sword feels like? From the good end, that is...I already know what the business end feels like!"  
A couple of hours later, you've worked up a good sweat sparring with Milo. The Elder, obviously out of shape compared to his younger days as a castle guard, huffs and puffs loudly but his skill is still in evidence. The sword isn't a weapon you're very familiar with, but you're not completely ignorant of its use, and the session with Milo is a big help in getting familiar with the new weapon and getting some tips on how to use it. It is, in fact, very well made, nicely balanced with a sharp edge. It appears to be a bit narrower and lighter than a traditional longsword, making it a much faster blade.  
The dagger, obviously made to be a matching set with the sword, has been silvered. Judging from Bardo's weaponry, he evidently had a taste for finer things. Wearing the sword and dagger even makes you feel more deadly. You place your old knife in your pack as a back-up, just in case.  
The Elders have another meeting -- still much is to be decided about the reconstruction -- so Milo leaves you. He appears relieved to have been called away from the strenuous physical training. "I'll have your comrades meet you in the morning at the Inn, ready to go."  
You decide to get an early night's sleep and return to your hut, a thatch-roofed A-frame on the edge of the village, to prepare for the morning. A quick meal and then to bed...tomorrow will be another long day.
AB: A job is you! :D
darkstar: HAHAHAHAHA!  
After a two-year hiatus, I just started playing my KoL character again about a week ago. :)
FoolProof: KoL?
darkstar: Kingdom of Loathing, an online game. Funnay!
FoolProof: Lousy village, having needs. Bah.  
The crossbow would've been tight. :)