With a sudden rush, the fear and grief of the last few minutes are thrust aside by everyone in the tavern. Even with corpses strewn all about everyone reacts instantly to the imperative of fire. When there is a fire everyone must act to counter the common threat or the entire town might be lost.
And so the four new heroes join the other survivors of the fight in rushing out in to the street. There they find several buildings already on fire although in none of them yet have the flames strongly taken hold. Quickly everyone organises themselves into teams of beaters and bucket chains to fight the fires. As all this is going on sounds of shouting carries to the fire fighters from other parts of the town, making it clear that here is not the only part of Brindol to be imperilled by flame.
Most of the distant shouting seems to have died down before the flames nearest the group are quenched, suggesting that perhaps the other fires are almost under control now.
As the group turns from the vanquished flames, dirty, grimy and smoky they see the almost ubiquitous small grubby urchin, for once not the dirtiest person around, talking earnestly to solid and capable looking man in the cloak and mail of the Town Watch and pointing in the direction of the group. Moments later the man is striding towards the group flanked by two similarly attired but somewhat younger looking men.
As they approach Gladys whispers urgently to the rest of the group.
“That is Senior Sargent Balik of the Watch. He is a fair if rather hard man. And a right bastard if you get on the wrong side of him. Odd though – he usually leads a team of five.”
The brief conversation that follows seems to bear out Gladys’s assessment. All three watchmen show signs of being in a recent fight, bearing minor wounds in addition to their covering of soot.
“You lot! I hear you decided to take matters into your own hands just now. Is that true?”
Chenia’s voice takes on a ringing tone as she replies …
“True indeed Sir Watchman. To think that we should wake to such a day as this. A day for spears to be shaken and shields to be splintered. A sword day! A red day! But our bold company did not shirk from the challenge. Indeed no! We took up our arms and we told the hobgoblin attackers No! Your villainy shall not go unanswered. With firm resolve we …”
Chenia trailed off as Balik waved his hands in front of her.
“Stop, stop, stop. I don’t need an epic recital here. Did you, or did you not, fight the hobgoblins who attacked the tavern?”
Chenia stared at Balik for a moment and then visibly deflated.
“Well, fine then. Thank you. Thank you all in fact. It is good to know that there are some in the town who will take up the fight for themselves and not just expect us in the Watch to do all the bleeding and dying. We’ve done more than enough of that today. And with the Freeriders away to help out at Overlook with their Orc problem, there really is only us in the Watch to look out for folks. Anyway, we must be off – we’ve lost more than I like to guess of our number in this filthy raid.”
And with that the three Watchmen make off down the road at a trot, soon disappearing from view.
The four heroes suddenly found themselves standing together slightly apart from the rest of the citizenry in the street.