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Han looks at Tilmek: Glad to have you back., he says with a happy voice. It seems as if it had been a very long time that something good happened, like saving one of their friends.
Do you think you can walk alone?
He also looks at the others now:
What should we do now? I think maybe it is better to just rest a bit here so we can discuss what to do next.
Tilmek sits up with a little difficulty, but doesn't seem to hurt himself anymore. He looks down sadly and says. "I'm sorry guys.... I nearly got everyone killed... but thank you for coming back for me." he grabs a handful of dirt and feels the grains of it slip between his fingers. He looks up at the others and adds, "I promise I will be more careful from now on.
Li looks to Tilmek and shakes his head.
Suck it up kid. Everyone screws up, some of us worse than others. Start crying now, and you're too soft for this job.
He turns to the others and sighs.
Yeah a place to rest sounds good. I am pretty dinged up, and I only have two potions left. No sense wasting them just yet. Maybe one of the farm houses are in decent enough shape to use for a few days. At least until we get our new orders.
Tilmek looks at Li with a strange look on his face. "I wasn't going to cry, I just felt that an apology was appropriate." turning to Vir-Sashi he says, "Thank you for your concern, but I'm fine." he smiles and shakily stands to his feet. "I feel like I could sleep for a week."
You continue on without incident until you make it to the rest area. It looks pretty much the same as you left it. It's roughly late afternoon, and there are many hours of daylight left as Sam begins to loose his horse to graze. "Tomorrow," he says with a weary sigh, "we'll finish the trek out to the monastery. I've got a few silver pieces left to pay the highwaymen, but I'd rather get an early start. If we cross the bridge at sunrise, the brigands might not even be out there yet."
He docks the cart and crawls inside it, then pulls on a strange contraption that expands out to form a tent, kind of like a covered wagon. You hear some rummaging around and then he pokes his head out the opening. "This temple is a safe haven... there's a sort of truce between all intelligent beings in the region that no fighting happens here. But beasts don't know that. By sunset, I'll be trapping this cart, so don't go poking your head in here without warning me first so I can disarm them. The cart is secure, and your welcome to sleep underneath it for shelter, if you want."
Exploring the farmlands outside the town center, you find a cozy little farm house... a log run home with a breezeway between the barn and the rest of the home. The barn has some chickens in it, who seem to be picking at the scraps of seed that remain. Rats scurry for cover, and a pig who has gotten loose from his stye is rutting around the horse dung. There is one pony left in the stables, digging around for something to eat. He jumps and whinnies when he sees you approach.
Inside the house itself, you can see that this suited a rather large family. In the main room, there is a large hearth, and all the furniture is large and made of dense wood. An old axe and buckler hangs over the mantle and there is a longbow leaning against the wall. The dining room table appears to seat as many as 8. There are three bedrooms in the house. A master bedroom with a large bed with a thick fur blanket, a wardrobe full of clothes, and a chest. On the far end of the room is a vanity. The room is an odd mix of country elegance and rustic decor. The next bedroom over appears to be a boys room, with 2 bunk beds. and crude, hand carved toys. Across from that is what appears to be a girls room, with 2 more bunk beds, hair dolls and two small wardrobes.
The day passes along slowly and Sam offers little conversation. Occasionally you hear some banging and hammering sounds inside his wagon/cart. As the sun begins to lower, you see a light emanating from his wagon, giving you the silhouette of him hunched over a bench that wasn't there when you guys got off the cart.
A small band of Gnolls approach the clearing. The leader stops his group and narrows his eyes at you, then steps up with his battle axe low. "No fight. Camp," it barks. "No fight." Behind him, four other smaller gnolls are standing wearily behind him, bearing the spoils of what appears to be a successful hunt.
The lead Gnoll studies Coanacoch with a hint of confusion, but observes the gesture as non-threatening and nods his head, then drags his axe across the ground in between you and his group. He turns to his hunting party and issues a series of yelps and barks. They settle in on their side of the dividing line and throw a few pieces of raw meat on the ground, which two hyenas promptly scoop up into their mouths. In no time a small fire crackles peacefully under a spit with the meat of some kind of large rodent skewered onto it.
The Gnolls laugh and drink with each other, occasionally stealing glances over at your group. But as the wine cups refill, their worries fade a away, and soon, they barely seem to know you're there. A couple of Gnolls engage in a scrap over who gets what spot to place a bedroll, but other than that, the night carries on peacefully. The odd company provides an unusual blessing. With such high numbers, even the larger predatory animals pass the rest area by in search of easier game. Still, their late night partying makes for a difficult night to sleep in. Morning comes far too early. But nonetheless, you find old Sam shaking Coanacoch's shoulder hours before the sun has come up, holding out a plate of eggs, a small steak, and some potatoes.
"Mornin'. It's time to get. Want some breakfast?"
In Outer Cliffside:
Tilmek finds a book of Pelor sitting on a small table next to an idol of the sun god. There is a small, but comfortable looking chair there and three stools next to it. Presumably, this is where the mother taught her children about their religious beliefs. A few feet away is a much larger chair with a heavy butt print in it. A hunting knife and a pipe rests on a table next to it on an end table. Wedged into the seat cushion is a tattered and dog eared book of hunting lore.
The pages are a heady but poetic read. Even so, it's been a long day and soon the need for rest defeats the need for spiritual growth. Evening lends a sense of drowsiness to the serenity of the house.
You guys have been through hell. Roll Fort Saves vs. Fatigue if you're not ready to go to bed yet. Otherwise, read on.
Night calls you to slumber, and the beds are warm and inviting. When the sun rises, and tiny song birds sound the alarm to start the new day.
Li passed clean out an the nearest surface that would support him. (I.E the floor). When he hears birds chriping, Li comes boltright to his feet. His dreams the most unpleasant kind. The bird chirps remind him of the signal arrows used on that mission and the dread they meant.
When he realizes all is well, or atleast as well as any of them can reasonably expect, he begins to move about. Going to his pack and removing some of the Dire Weasel meat from the day before. He brings it to the kitchen and leaves it sit in its wrap. He remembers the pigs and chickens. Then he sets out to see if he can find any eggs and grains to help get breakfast started. All of them need a good meal to help recover, and well...he wasn't the one to cook it if moral was meant to imptove.
Li is going to attempt to gain psionic focus as his means to calm himself.
Concentration check vs DC20 (1d20+12)
Before going to sleep Vir-Sashi finds something to feed the poor pony and ays the prayers for the deads, whose house they will sleep in.
"Wake me up for second watch." He tells Han, too tired to argue with him and take first watch.
The Gnolls are snoring deeply. One of them is having a dream about chasing something and howls softly. Sam nods at the appreciative looks on Coanacoch's and Necahual's faces. "You can eat on the road. Hop on the cart."
After you all crawl onto the now-hitched cart, Sam snaps the reigns gently and the horse begins to tug at the strain, pulling the cart out of the rut it had made in the mud. As they pull away out of earshot, he finally speaks again. "Gnolls don't always honor their truce's when they're hungry. Anyway, when you're done eating, I made you something that will help us in case the highwaymen decide not to accept our toll payment."
In Outer Cliffside:
You find Han asleep at his post on the daddy chair, and string of drool forming a small puddle on the armrest. Fortunately... all is well, and nothing has disturbed the house over night, except for a hungry little farm goat that has wandered into the kitchen to forage for food. When Li jumps to a stand, the goat jumps out from an open pantry in response and bleats irritably at him, then goes back to his work.
You all awaken refreshed with no fatigue. Li, feel free to describe your own Psionic Focus.
Tilmek streches as he stands, then cluthces his back like an old man. "I feel like I got hit with a house." he says with a smile. His joy at still being alive was, at least temporarily, staving off the horrors of the last few days.
"Ill milk to goat, milk will pull you round...unless it's a male." Vir-Sashi says. While moving to do as he said (or look for other milk giving female animal) he takes Han and Li for a side.
"There still are all those dead bodies in city hall. If you can search through them, do it, I don't have the guts to face this...this horror. If you don't find anything, we'll burn it down. There's no way we'll bury all those poor people and their souls deserve to rest in peace."
The goat seems intent on the meal it has found in the cupboard and has started making a bit of a racket. But once Vir-Sashi closes in, she pulls her head out of a cabinet to investigate what has entered her lair, then freaks out at the sight of the monstrous form before her.
Li chcuckles to Vir as he heads out of the door intent on finding eggs and maybe some ground oats or corn meal. Weasel steaks with scrambled eggs and grits sounds particularly good to him.
Tilmek, maybe you can go fetch some water. That way we can start cooking, and get ourselves cleaned up abit. We all look rather beat up and a bit bloody.
Survival check to find the food items he was searching for. (1d20+3)
After Coanacoch and Necahual finish munching, Sam pats a small box. "Have a look. I been trying out some things. I been a tradesmen for a long time, and I've had a chance picked up a trick or two in the city. I learned how to make these from a thief in Durgeddonvale years ago when I caught him trying to walk off with my safe. They call 'em tanglefoot bags." He opens the box and you find four little soft leather sacks filled with a gooey substance. "Expensive to make, but I use my own special recipe. Nearly as strong but half the price." He sizes up the monks briefly. "You kids got a good throwing arm?"
Li: +2 bonus since most of this stuff is very accessible
Li comes back with enough supplies to make a small feast by the time Vir-Sashi has managed to pump a half liter of milk out of the goat. Within an hour, breakfast is ready and served on the dining room table. Your loyal carrier pigeon pecks at the remaining bread crumbs. Bellies full and bodies rested, there's naught to do but figure out what to do with the rest of your day. You believe that Coanacoch and Necahual will be at the temple tomorrow evening.
"That was great. Now....What should we do about bodies in the city hall? I still say that we should burn them with entire building, we won't be able to bury all those poor people. Han, Li, if you can search through the bodies, do so, I don't have the courage to face this nightmare again."