Sellek and Potestatem enter the tavern and look around suspiciously. They tried talking with a few characters to see if they could find work and end up talking with a hooded figure who takes a look at them and states that they are too inexperienced to do any good. Sellek tries to show off his rougish abilities but fails and almost gets in a fight with a drunken dwarf. The hooded figure Arden finds this ammusing and decides to give them a chance. Leaving the tavern, Arden directs the two over to the slave autions in an attempt to gather more recuits for this adventure.
They arrive just as the first wagon finishes selling their wares and out come the second. Keteel is brought before the crowd where after an impressive display of lights and some close bidding, Arden is able to purchase her. Suspicously she joins them and finds out about the quest and her freedom. Meanwhile, Selleck notices that they won’t be able to buy all the slaves with the limited funds that Arden has and goes around releaving various persons from the wieght of their gold.
Next is brought out Aotiyane who looks furoius and able to break the auctioneer into two. Of course the City Adminstrator notices this and wants to send her to the lumber camps to help with the logging operations. Since the city had near unlimited funds the price was going higher and higher so Potestatem distracts the City Admin with sounds behind him and the city loses the bid and Aotiyane joins the party.
Finally Salutara is brought forward, not one to wait for prince charming on his white horse to arrive and rescue her, she casts a cloud of darkness and escapes into the arms of the party where Aotiyane convices her to stick with them and quickly leave the premises. Arriving back in the tavern they are met with a group of thugs beating up some people. Quickly the party springs into action and dispatches these thugs leaving one for questioning. The one mentions a Lord Argee and that there is a monk and a dwarf in his prision, but before he can tell more a berserker enters and garrots the man, killing him. The berserker gives the group a packet, telling him to deliver it to Lord Argee to force him to step down and stop his experiments and then leaves.
After the Berserker and his cronies departed the tavern, your party stood in the unexpected silence, muscles starting to shake as the adrenaline of combat wore off and you had to deal with the aftermath.
It was, predictably, Potestatem who broke the silence: “Let’s see if they’ve got anything cool!” Keetel winced at the callousness of his suggestion—these were people, many of them just teenagers who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. Did they deserve to die? Why should her new companions profit off of murder? She looked down at the blackmail packet in her hand and shuddered again. Even if this ‘Lord Aurgie’ guy was as bad as they said, the whole business was sordid.
By the time she looked up again, Sellek, had already stripped the thugs and was placing his infamous calling cards over their eyes with a handwritten note on the back gently reminding the recently departed that ‘you can’t take it with you anyway’. The greater good demanded that people on a noble quest have priority over the general public in the procurement of equipment. Besides, most of public didn’t watch their possessions very well as it was. Things got ‘lost’ so easily nowadays. It was just easier this way.
Arden began handing out equipment to the party, his first offering was of armor to the ex-slaves. To Aotiyane he presented a set of studded leather armor. Ever the survivor, she accepted the armor without a second thought and brushed off the flecks of skull and fajita. When the party next rested, she would scrub out the rest of the blood and take in one of the hems.
Salutara also accepted a set of leather armor, shaking her head tragically at the loss of life. She knew what it was like to be those kids, after a sort. Her own “troubled” childhood and her distinguished military career had culminated in her laying gashed upon a field of battle as her hit points ticked toward -10. She wished that she could have done something for this lot. Even if she could have healed just one of them it would have been something. But the memories of what it meant to be a brigand, or a soldier, or an adventurer, had not left her and she knew that to dwell on the scene overmuch would only cause reciprocal harm to her, and would in no way help the dead. She also walked past the dead, closing the eyes of those who had faces left.
When Arden offered the final set of leather armor to Keetel , she stared numbly at the small holes in the back where Potestatem’s rat (or was it a weasel?) had been gnawed through to extract a kidney to serve as a reagent for one of Potestatem’s bizarre experiments. She broke down in tears. Arden rolled his eyes and muttered to himself ‘What have I gotten us into? The pup bears up well under Thayan slavery only to break down in a simple tavern fight. This’ll be fun."