With the hobgoblins fallen and the Ogre driven off, the townsfolk started to appear out of hiding. In between shouting thanks and congratulations at the four heroes who had so bravely battled the monsters threatening the town, the townsfolk set about once again fighting the fires that had sprung up.
And so begins a long and wearying night for all. Most of the night is spent fighting fires or nervously standing watch on the walls of the town. Twice during the night the call reached the heroes that more goblins had been seen and both times the group reacted to rush to help. Both times however the goblins were not to be found, either having left, or having been an imagined sighting.
In the end, in the small hours of the morning, all four adventurers just found themselves a place on the floor in the tavern where it all started, and dropped into an exhausted slumber.
The next morning everyone awakes to the smell of fresh baking and hot kaf (the local caffeinated drink of choice, served hot and bitter and very invigorating). Maird, the owner of the tavern has organised loaves of fresh hot bread and kaf for everyone, including the four adventurers who slept where they fell earlier in the morning.
There is some brief discussion about payment, but it soon becomes clear that Maird is not going to accept money from those who defended his tavern from goblinfolk, nor those who helped douse the flames that threatened to destroy it. Not today at any rate.
Having dragged a table outside the bar to sit in the sun on the street, it is a peculiarly surreal scene in which the adventurers find themselves eating their breakfast. All the buildings that can be seen from their location show some degree of fire damage and all around is the strong smell of burnt timber. At the intersection at the far end of the tavern is a pile of dead goblins and hobgoblins, mounded up roughly and waiting to be hauled away by the town guard and disposed of. Meanwhile, on the other side of the street and laid out with considerably more care are the townsfolk who were killed in the attack, waiting to be found and collected by family who may only just now realising that they may not be coming home. The townsfolk are covered by tarpaulins to keep them out of the heat of the sun, pleasant now but already working it’s way up to the high thirties that have marked the last few weeks.
All four of the adventurers are either applying themselves to their breakfast with a will, or quietly watching the latest group of worried townsfolk drifting past, hesitantly lifting the tarpaulin to check the bodies below, desperately hoping not to see a missing and much loved face below. As a result, none of them saw the figure approaching until it was upon them.
Looking around, the adventurers find they have been approached by a young woman. She is a short slender half elven woman with blond hair, dressed in ordinary looking clothing but with a tabard bearing the crest of Brindol. She clears her throat nervously as she stands looking at the four. For a moment everyone stares at her, trying to figure out why she seems familiar, and it is Chenia who speaks up first.
“Weren’t you a barmaid last night?”
The rest of the group stir with sudden recognition.
“That’s right,” says Gladys… “the one with the lethal serving tray. Well done that girl!”
The young woman looks slightly flustered for a moment before speaking. “Umm, yes, that was me. My name is Alys, and I am here as a duly appointed messenger of the Council of Brindol…”
“But hang on…” interjects Okidoki, around a mouthful of fresh bread “if you were a barmaid last night, how are you a duly appointed messenger etc today?”
Alys stared down at the ground beneath her feet for a moment before replying. “Oh, well… after you killed all those monsters…”
“We, girl, you killed one too” said Gladys
“Ah, yes ..well … after we killed all those monsters, I ran off to check on my gran. She lives on her own you see. Has no one with her. Doesn’t really need no one either, most of the time … but I worried, with all these things running about the town. She was fine, but I ran into some town guard who were rounding up people to help them out. They’d lost quite a few of theirs to the goblins, and couldn’t spare guards for the running of messages. So I got called to duty. Me and a few others. Being running about town all night since.”
Alys glanced about the street with it’s carnage and corpses suddenly clearly realised that she hadn’t delivered her official message.
“Anyway, I have a message for you, from Councilmember Eoffram Troyas. He would like to meet you. To discuss the events of yesterday, and an opportunity for you all.”
The group all exchange glances. An official summons.
Seeing that nobody else was about to speak up, but that equally nobody seemed particularly set against the idea, Chenia said “Yes Alys, we will come.”