Gerald leads the group back to the main gate. Evening has come and the market has slowed, people leaving toward taverns and homes. At the gate, Gerald dismisses the other guards.
“Here you are,” he says, gesturing them through the gate. “Constance, will you be staying in the city tonight?”
“No, Gerry. I better stay with my new charges.”
Gerald nods, cheeks blushing a little at the nickname. The group walks into the outer town, the heavy gate closing behind them. Having all their gear, the group decides to head into the forest immediately. Aymer nods, taking the lead, beginning to trace the strange path he and Elzeni took out of the city yesterday.
As the group moves through the alleys, they hear a deep chuckle. Turning, they see three large humans carrying clubs step out of a nearby alley. Before they can say anything, a voice calls out from behind them.
“Thought ye’d escaped us, eh?”
Looking once again forward, Aymer and Elzeni recognize the man now standing in front of the group. Behind him stands Barry, head wrapped clumsily, a bruise on his cheek from his tumble.
“Thought ye could shove Barry down the stairs and all would be forgiven?” the man next to Barry yells.
Constance shoves her way to the front of the group. “What’s the meaning of this? Aymer, did you shove this man down a staircase?”
Before she can negotiate further, the man raises his club. “We’ll teach you some respect, elf!”
The strike misses Aymer as he dodges back, retreating down a side alley. Constance draws her rapier, brow furrowed as the man begins to swing at her. Aymer, meanwhile, looses an arrow that swings wide, hitting the wall behind the man and shattering. The man growls, club slamming into Constance twice.
Elzeni steps to the side, releasing a blast of radiant energy from her hand, lighting up the alley in time for her to bury a crossbow bolt in the man’s arm. The thugs behind Gantar move in, raising their clubs and grinning. Before he can react, the three men swing, battering him from all sides as he stumbles backward toward Elzeni.
“What is happening?!” he yells, clutching at his bruised side.
“Aymer started a bar fight last night trying to reach us,” Elzeni replies, placing her hand on Gantar’s arm, healing energy pouring into him.
“Why did he do that?!” he shrieks as the thugs round the corner.
One thug splits off, going behind Constance and hitting her in the leg, taking her down to one knee. The other two bear down on Gantar again, clubs breaking a rib as they score hits on his torso. As Elzeni raises her crossbow, Constance’s body thuds to the ground, unconscious from being hit on the side of the head.
Barry runs forward, shoving his friend away from Constance. “Grolf! You said ye wouldn’t kill anyone!”
The thugs pause, turning slightly as Elzeni rushes to Constance, letting healing energy flow into her. The wound on Constance’s head closes, bruises slowly disappearing, eyes fluttering back open.
“Is she okay?” Barry asks nervously.
“She will be,” Elzeni says, glaring at Barry.
Barry looks sheepish, standing and shoving Grolf back.
“You said no one would get killed! You said you’d teach respect to the elf, not beat up a holy knight! What’s wrong with you?!”
The thugs sigh, one nudging Gantar. “Politics, eh?”
They gather behind the party, waiting for Barry and Grolf to finish arguing. Aymer and Gantar slowly move in closer, watching as Constance stands back up.
“Barry,” Elzeni says, “let’s put all this behind us. Come, join us for a drink.”
Barry nods slowly, still looking sheepish. He shoves Grolf down the nearest alley. “I’ll calm him down and we’ll meet you there.”
The party gathers together, checking that Constance really is okay before heading toward The Rusty Bucket. When the arrive, Grolf and Barry are already sitting at a table. Constance takes Aymer’s hand, sitting herself between Barry and Aymer.
“Have you heard of Torm?” she asks, pulling out a pamphlet from her temple. “His light guides and saves all who worship him!”
Aymer sighs a bit, leaning back in his chair and waiting for Elzeni to come bearing ale. Barry leans in closer, looking at the images on the pamphlet.
“Guides, you say?” he asks. “I don’t mind telling you, lady, I’ve felt lost for a few years now. Does Torm accept those who haven’t always done good?”
Barry and Constance pass the night talking of Torm. Grolf looks a bit sheepish now that he’s calmed down, apologizing to the group for overreacting.
“It’s hard, you know,” he tells them. “No one in Tereod respects us folk in the outer town. We’re simple folk to them. I let my temper get the best of me.”
They share a drink, proclaiming all forgiven, retiring only when their speech starts to slur. Aymer and Gantar take room 3 while Constance and Elzeni head back to room 5. They lock both rooms up tight, sleeping soundly in their drunkenness. Tomorrow, their quest begins…
Phew! Another update done. We play in 3-hr sessions, so there’s a lot that happens. Thanks for reading!