Lord Pedraig listened to the Benders explain that there was a spy inside the keep and read the scroll. He waved for the guard that had showed the Benders into the keep to leave saying, “See of Valthrun will join us and tell the guards at the front gate that no one is to leave tonight and to report anyone that protests too much. We will record all that leave in the next few days until we are safe or the spy is found.”
While they were waiting for Valthrun to return, Pedraig looked at the kobold in the wheelbarrow. “What shall we do with this one?”
“I’m not reviving him,” Sister Linora said in a surprisingly stubborn voice. She changed her tone and added, “I need some rest first.”
“I can put him in a cell with a couple of guards watching him until we are ready to interrogate him,” Pedraig said.
“This one is a powerful Priest, My Lord,” says Bex. “We saw him use magic. I’d suggest binding his hands and fingers, and it might also be prudent to gag his mouth so he cannot speak. I saw him use fire and acid; I don’t know if he can charm. But please note: he might be the only kobold alive who knows what is going on, and he knows it. Given the chance, he might try to kill himself, just to spite us.”
Mark left the others to decide that and said that he would return shortly. He went to check on Thair and the progress of the new crossbow. The dwarf updated Mark on the progress (not much yet) but he was busy working on it. He was short with Mark as usual but this time it was less out of impatience at being interrupted but more just out of busy-ness. The dwarf found a project that captivated him and didn’t slow down to speak much with Mark.
JohnM said, “Lord Pedraig, I think that your preparations are good and sufficient for the moment. Let us secure the prisoner in a cell as you suggest. Then I for one need to clean the gore off myself before I can think about eating. May we have an hour to refresh ourselves and before joining you at your table? Thus refreshed, I’m sure we can engage yourself and Vathrun with what we have learned and experienced. Then after a nights rest we will be more than ready to deal with the issue of the prisoner with clearer heads.”
“An hour should be plenty for me,” said Bex. “I’ll be happy to finally get this blood off of me.”
“Of course, of course,” Lord Pedraig said. “Petre will show you all to your baths and fresh clothes.” As if on cue, Petre returned to the main room and showed the Benders to rooms where large tubs of hot water had been prepared. Pedraig’s inner keep wasn’t huge by anyone’s standards, even the Benders, but it did have half a dozen rooms for visiting dignitaries and special guests. While the Benders were cleaning kobold guts off of themselves, Petre went about laying out fresh clothes.
When they were clean, the Benders were taken by Petre to the dining hall. Valthrun was there, smoking his pipe, and visiting with Pedraig. Linora was there as well, clean and in fresh clothes.
“Sit! Eat!” Pedraig said, waving to Petre to start the kitchen staff with bringing out food. Petre disappeared.
Over a fine dinner, the Benders took it in turns to tell of their day’s adventure. The gnome, the excavation, the cave, Irontooth himself… It was hard to believe that so much had occurred in so short a time. But the Benders also had questions of their own. JohnM asked Devon if he would tell them more about how he wound up entangled with the gnome.
“Well,” Devon said after swallowing a bit of game hen, “my father and I were going from town to town helping people with small things, you know, finding things that had been lost. We were making a bit of coin to support the family. We would do this opening show kind of thing to get people interested and then we would go with people that could pay and help them find stuff. Agrid was at one of the shows and paid us to find a goblet. It was in a mansion. We had good business in the city so we stayed a couple of nights and then we were going to go back home. One night Agrid showed up at our room in the inn. He showed us the goblet that he had been looking for. He said that he wanted to hire me for another job. We thought that he had stolen the goblet so my father didn’t want anything more to do with Agrid so my father told him no. Agrid shrugged and left. In the middle of the night, our door was kicked in and a bunch of men ran in. They grabbed me and my father tried to stop them.”
Devon stopped and put down the game hen that he had been munching on.
“Now I’m here and I need to get home to my mom and sisters so I can take care of them.”
Johne looked around at the group and then back at Devon, “Devon, we would be happy to help you in any way we can, but we also need to understand just what is going on around here before we make any more promises.” He turns to look at Valthrun, “Well? What do you have to say about everything that’s happened?”