Linora healed Devon with her magic so that he would be able to walk on his own for the trip back to the keep. Linora agreed with JohnM on the likelihood of being attacked on the way back. Four humans that had been digging ditches against the kobold killers, a warder, and the elven archer. Even without Bex’s holocaust cloak, they would have to be stupid to try anything.
With Devon awake, CB put him to work immediately and found all of her magic sling bullets. This time Devon didn’t feel so bad about it, having taken part in the battle. It was like he was part of the team and not just the little fetch-things bitch. He also helped Mark police brass. It seemed that he didn’t need to know exactly what it was that he was looking for. It was like he would channel the picture in Mark’s mind and just know where that item was.
With the priest on a makeshift stretcher and the chest with as many weapons and shields as would fit on the other stretcher, the Benders headed back to the Dead Dragon Zone. There they filled the wheelbarrows full of dragon bones and tossed a few onto the priest’s stretcher as well. Fully loaded with loot, they picked their way to the east until they were back on the road. Once on the road, even carrying the stretchers, they were able to make fairly good time and the keep really wasn’t that far away.
The walls of the keep that had seemed so foreign on the first day on this plane now looked inviting and safe. The guards let the Benders pass without a word.
As they pass, Bex speaks to both the guards. “We have an important message for Lord Pedraig, and I’m very certain that after hearing it, he may want to speak with certain people… I’m not sure who they might be, but I’m also certain he would be very upset if you were to allow anybody to leave the keep before he speaks with you. Would you please prevent anybody from leaving, until we have spoken to him? We will be back as quickly as possible.” (Diplomacy: 11, no effect)
The guards listened to Bex and then looked at each other before one of them became the spokesperson. “Um, we’ll ask people not to leave but until we hear from Lord Pedraig, the gates will stay open, and um, I don’t think we can stop anyone from leaving. You know? Until we hear from the Lord and all. You understand?”
It was obvious that the guards didn’t want to disappoint the kobold killers, especially since every time they returned, they brought back another nearly dead kobold. This time, in addition to the kobold, they had a bunch of a weapons, shields, and a chest, and it so it looked the kobold killers had been doing some serious killing. Pedraig was still the boss though and if they started taking orders from the kobold killers, it might piss Lord Pedraig off.
“I understand completely,” says Bex. “In that case, don’t bother asking people to stay… We’ll head directly to Lord Pedraig’s to see what his orders are. As a personal favor, could you try to remember the names of people who leave? That would help as well.”
When they got inside the keep, where the entrance to Wrafton’s inn was, Leisha broke off from the party.
“Thank you all for coming after me,” she said. “I have no desire to become a goblin’s bedmate. Now I think I’ll wash up and get some rest. It’s been kind of an exciting day.”
(Unless there is some kind of objection, Leisha is going into the inn.)
The guards at the inner keep were familiar with the drill and didn’t have the Benders wait while one of them went to see Pedraig wanted to grant them access to the inner keep. When they saw the nearly dead kobold, one of them just took the lead and said, “Follow me.” The guard lead the Benders to the audience room and had them wait there while he went to find the lord.
It wasn’t long before Lord Pedraig came briskly striding into the room. He smiled when he saw the Benders and shook hands with all of them saying, “You all look like shit.” He patted them on the shoulder warmly with his free hand while he was shaking their hands, letting them know that he was joking with them. “I remember those days. It seems like a lifetime ago but seeing you now brings back some memories. Yes it does. I’ll bet you are ready for a hot bath, some warm food, and a tankard of ale. And you shall have it all, right here. I want to hear your tale and spare me no details for it has been so long since I have been in your boots. You shall be my guests for the evening and we will swap tales.”
He turned to his manservant. “Petre, have hot baths and clean clothes prepared for our guests. Tonight they dine here. Tell the kitchen that I will be having guests.” Petre gave a nod and left the room.
JohnM said, “Thank you very much, Lord. We do look like hell. It has been a long day and we have much to tell and will surely relish the telling. But there is one thing that must be told and acted upon before the rest. We found this,” as he handed him the note they found in the mattress of Irontooth’s bed, “and it makes clear that there is someone in or associated with your village who has been actively feeding information to the kobolds and their master, Kalarel. There’s obviously more to this plot than just some kobold highwaymen. We believe that the militia should try to keep people from leaving the keep until the spy can be found, but they are yours to command not ours. Someone has sold the safety of your people for their own gain, and we need to unmask them before they do more harm.”
Johne leans over and taps(gently) the incapacitated Kobold on the forhead, “Does anyone know if this little shit can speak English? Otherwise, we should send for Valthrun. I’m tired and need to get cleaned up, but finding out what this guy knows should be a high priority.”
“Yes, this one does speak English,” said Bex. “I heard him say ‘I get the warder’ at the beginning of the battle. But we still need Valthrun to look over what we found at the dragon’s grave. The note speaks of a ‘gate’ being opened in a few days. We are pretty sure that we have thwarted that plan because we stole some very important magic from them… but we need Valthrun to tell us what it is.”