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File: tavernkeeper.jpg (55 KB, 564x491)
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You are Paul Aleman, a retired adventurer turned Tavernkeeper. This is your story.

Let's begin with a bit of background. How did you come to be the (not necessarily proud) owner of your very own tavern?

>As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure to favor yourself, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern is all you have left now.

>It's your father's old place. His dying wish was for you to take over for him--you said no--but he put the tavern in your name anyway. Now you're just waiting for a buyer with deep pockets to come along.

>Serendipity mostly. Your last job had you track down a murderer and kidnapper for a local lord. You found him and killed him--but he was already dead. Late stage lungworm disease. He had a little boy, no one to look after him, so you decided it was good a time to retire take up a more peaceful trade.
>>
>>5009140
>As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure to favor yourself, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern is all you have left now.
>Serendipity mostly. Your last job had you track down a murderer and kidnapper for a local lord. You found him and killed him--but he was already dead. Late stage lungworm disease. He had a little boy, no one to look after him, so you decided it was good a time to retire take up a more peaceful trade.

It was only after we retired that our investments fell apart. We got lucky with the tavern.
>>
>>5009140
>As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure to favor yourself, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern is all you have left now.
>>
>>5009140
>>Serendipity mostly. Your last job had you track down a murderer and kidnapper for a local lord. You found him and killed him--but he was already dead. Late stage lungworm disease. He had a little boy, no one to look after him, so you decided it was good a time to retire take up a more peaceful trade.
>>
>>5009147
This but the tavern was a reward for one mission.
Other companions were not interested in this, we boughttheir share back
>>
>>5009140

>It's your father's old place. His dying wish was for you to take over for him--you said no--but he put the tavern in your name anyway. Now you're just waiting for a buyer with deep pockets to come along.
>>
>>5009140
>>It's your father's old place. His dying wish was for you to take over for him--you said no--but he put the tavern in your name anyway. Now you're just waiting for a buyer with deep pockets to come along.
Might as well fix the place up, while passing time
>>
>>5009140 (OP)
I like this combo. >>5009147

But if not possible, then just

>As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure to favor yourself, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern is all you have left now.
>>
>>5009140
>As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure to favor yourself, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern is all you have left now.
>>
Dead in a week, just you watch
>>
>>5009147
>>5009198
>>5009204
>>5009211
>>5009221
>>5009263
>>5009268
>>5009270
Your last job had you track down a murderer and kidnapper for a local lord. You found him and killed him--but he was already dead. Late stage lungworm disease. He had a little boy--no one to look after him--so you decided it was good a time to retire and take up a more peaceful trade. As a shrewd adventurer you always made sure to divide up the treasure in your own favor, and always saved more than you spent. Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern was the only thing left, a reward for a mission some years back. You had wisely bought up the shares from the other party members whenever you had a chance and had forgotten all about it. Now, it serves as a refuge for you and the kid. It's dirty, dusty, and dilapidated, but it's a league better than the hovels you grew up in.

Now, let's get a few details about the tavern itself.

>A small two story building in a lonely keep, Kinch Castle, far away from the beating heart of the kingdom and surrounded by ancient wilderness and ruin. A refuge for outcasts, criminals, enterprising adventurers and other such undesirables. Your kind of people.

>A cramped three story building sandwiched between two others, and lost in a sea of such buildings in the fabled city of Walzer-Yost. Tens of thousands pass through its gates every day and yours is but one tavern among many that service them.

>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.

>>5009271
seethe
>>
>>5009335
>A small two story building in a lonely keep, Kinch Castle, far away from the beating heart of the kingdom and surrounded by ancient wilderness and ruin. A refuge for outcasts, criminals, enterprising adventurers and other such undesirables. Your kind of people.

I'm fine with any other option all of them sound different kind of fun
>>
>>5009335
>A small two story building in a lonely keep, Kinch Castle, far away from the beating heart of the kingdom and surrounded by ancient wilderness and ruin. A refuge for outcasts, criminals, enterprising adventurers and other such undesirables. Your kind of people.
>>
>>5009335
>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.

I'm not married to any particular option, they all sound fun. But this strikes me as the 'unusual and out of the ordinary' option, as opposed to the first being 'rough and tumble but sharp personalities' and the second being 'grab bag, but a varied supporting cast.'

I was hoping our place to be not necessarily a inn of outcasts, but rather an inn of the strange, where normal rules and methods of operation don't necessarily apply.
>>
Fucking love this kind of thing, let's go for the bar at the ends of civilization. A real frontier to work up our customer's thirsts. Here's hoping for a long thread.
>A small two story building in a lonely keep, Kinch Castle, far away from the beating heart of the kingdom and surrounded by ancient wilderness and ruin. A refuge for outcasts, criminals, enterprising adventurers and other such undesirables. Your kind of people.
>>
>>5009335
After moment of thought and this >>5009345 reasoning I change my vote from >>5009336 to >An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
>>
>>5009335
>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
>>
>>5009335
>A cramped three story building sandwiched between two others, and lost in a sea of such buildings in the fabled city of Walzer-Yost. Tens of thousands pass through its gates every day and yours is but one tavern among many that service them.
The comfy quest is heree
>>
>>5009335
>A cramped three story building sandwiched between two others, and lost in a sea of such buildings in the fabled city of Walzer-Yost. Tens of thousands pass through its gates every day and yours is but one tavern among many that service them.
>>
>>5009335
>A small two story building in a lonely keep, Kinch Castle, far away from the beating heart of the kingdom and surrounded by ancient wilderness and ruin. A refuge for outcasts, criminals, enterprising adventurers and other such undesirables. Your kind of people.
>>
>>5009335
>>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
I wouldn't mind the other two, but this sounds special. Also, merchants and pilgrims has me selling trading opportunities. Gotta feed the kid and renovate this crumbling ruin. At least we have good opportunities for expansion, and little in the way of competition.
>>
>>5009335
>>A cramped three story building sandwiched between two others, and lost in a sea of such buildings in the fabled city of Walzer-Yost. Tens of thousands pass through its gates every day and yours is but one tavern among many that service them.
>>
>>5009335
>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
>>
>>5009335
>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
>>
>>5009335
>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.

Darkest dungeon but it's a tavern instead of a manor.
>>
>>5009335
>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
>>
>>5009335
>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.
Sounds interesting to me.
>>
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>>5009335
>>An enormous and ancient manor house located on a hill just a few miles from the Walzeran Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims.

Muahaha the seat of some ancient house
>>
File: manorhouse.png (6.1 MB, 3310x2206)
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>>5009336 >>5009340 >>5009345 >>5009391 >>5009434 >>5009437 >>5009455 >>5009460 >>5009463 >>5009484 >>5009521 >>5009588 >>5009791 >>5009849 >>5009855 >>5009891

An enormous and ancient manor house sitting on a hill just a few miles from the great Walzerian Road. Partially burnt down, and with an ominous and foreboding air (and quite possibly a history to match) it is nonetheless a welcome respite from what would otherwise be long and arduous journey--one frequented by merchants and pilgrims. A signpost directs such travelers to a thin dirt path, flanked by leafless, thorny brambles, proceeding through a cavernous tunnel into the hill, where on other side, an ancient stone path snakes its way up to the manor gate.

In the month or so since you and the boy settled, you've had about a half-dozen guests. The manor-house accommodated them easily. So easily, in fact, that you have not yet explored all its numerous rooms and nooks and closets and secret passageways (and possibly secret chambers) and have restricted yourself to one of three buildings on the premises, the one least damaged by the fire which has wrecked the other two. To your credit, this building is in a far better condition then when you first found it (the family of red-ringed raccoons that had moved in were unrepentant hoarders), the furniture has been dusted, the beds repaired, the storehouse cleared of molevoles, but much work--and many complaints--remain to be addressed. The one silver lining is the two casks of aged Yosteni wine you found in the cellar, which better palettes than yours have claimed is an "excellent vintage", but which is unlikely to last very long with the way you've been going through it.

Of the numerous complaints from your guests, one of them stands out as the clear favorite and should probably be addressed first.

>A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts, of which there are wide variety in Walzer and on which the travelers entirely depend.

>The poor bill of fare available to the guests, both in variety and quality, as you have neither a well-stocked storehouse nor a chef to take advantage of it. Good wine only goes so far--and goes nowhere when it runs out.

>The appalling lack of basic furnishings--blankets, bedding, mugs, cutlery, towels, facilities for washing and bathing, and other such ephemera expected of such an establishment.

Pic related is the rough floor plan of the building you're in. The other two buildings will need major repair before you can use them and are bigger as well. Also, since I'd like to keep updates short and to the point, feel free to ask questions--which I will try to answer outside of the update post.
>>
>>5009972
No stables is a death knell for any establishment that makes its business off travelers crossing large distances. We might be able to build our own, though.
Shit food might open up opportunities for trading down the line considering merchants are apparently a significant part of our clientele. That said, it probably won't be cheap.
Crappy rooms and generally shit QoL might not be the worst thing ever, as it sounds like customers will stay here anyways out of necessity. They definitely won't be very happy, though, and while bad food is still food, lacking the things that make an inn actually worth living in is pretty fucking bad for business.
>The poor bill of fare available to the guests, both in variety and quality, as you have neither a well-stocked storehouse nor a chef to take advantage of it. Good wine only goes so far--and goes nowhere when it runs out.
Just seems like it'll offer the most opportunity for interaction and might draw in more merchant customers. Worth a shot.
>>
>>5009972
>A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts, of which there are wide variety in Walzer and on which the travelers entirely depend.

Traders need a safe harbor from the terrors of the night on the road.
>>
>>5009972
>A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts, of which there are wide variety in Walzer and on which the travelers entirely depend.

The other 2 are Quality of life. First one is essential.
Also, stablehand might be able to manage a little herd of cow and sheeps to provide wool and milk. As we're isolated, self sufficient might have importance

[SPOILER]And I definitely don't want us to grow to a village or little town or anything[/SPOILER]
>>
>>5009972
>>A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts, of which there are wide variety in Walzer and on which the travelers entirely depend.


The moment anyone loses their beasts of burden or mounts, we'd be screwed, especially if it was due to gross negligence.
>>
>>5009972
>A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts, of which there are wide variety in Walzer and on which the travelers entirely depend.
>>
File: packrabbit.jpg (77 KB, 1200x675)
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>>5010139
>>5010118
>>5010028
>>5010013

A lack of a proper stables and a stablehand to manage the pack animals and mounts--of which there are wide variety in Walzer and upon which the travelers completely depend, seems a good first step toward improving the establishment. Last time you had to tie the animals outside and it was only by luck that the weather was fair and that the pilgrims did not stay for long. The stables you can build easily enough but you will need a stablehand to guide and help you with the construction and with the tending of the animals afterward. The nearest village, Beldingboro, is four miles away and the nearest town, Wnuk, fifteen miles. The nearest city, the great city of Walzer-Yost, is nearly two score miles from the manor, a trip too long to make on foot (for the boy at any rate) and too dangerous to make alone, even for you.

What will you do?

>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin

>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.

>You've sent word to Walzer-Yost of your need through some of the merchants that passed through here a few days ago; you expect a response any day now, though you'll be hard-pressed to turn away whoever comes. You'll save an expensive trip but have to take in whatever man you get.

Note that we won't be sweating mechanics too much in this quest since I find it difficult to keep track of numbers. Instead decisions related to resources will impact the quest through narrative. And rolls will be used sometimes to determine how good the outcome is. If you spend lots of money on an expensive trip for example, you may not have enough later to take advantage of an enterprising merchant. Likewise if you come into sudden wealth I'll try and move the quest toward spending that wealth. In anything you're not sure about you can always ask me and I'll (usually) give you a straight answer.
>>
>>5010163
>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin
>>
>>5010163
>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.

We ain't looking for extensive experience, just enough of a variety not to be confused by what to do with each mount.
>>
>>5010163
>>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.

In such situations, generally experience pays for itself over time.
>>
>>5010163
>>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.

As I'd love the manor to get its own milk, eggs and wool, someone with proper training and experience is required
>>
Didn't really realize *all* of them were issues plaguing our business. Shit.
>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.
>>
>>5010253
Well, first we fix the stables. We get a few rabbits, a couple cow, some chicken. We train the boy to cook well, homegrown products as delicacies and get a steady food supply chain.
>>
>>5010163
>>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.
>>
>>5010163
>>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.
>>
>>5010163
>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin
I'm cheap.
>>
>>5010163
>>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.
>>
>>5010163
>>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin
>>
>>5010163
>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin
>>
>>5010163
>Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply.
>>
>>5010696

>There's sure to be a farmhand or two in Beldingboro experienced with animal husbandry and bored of tending sheep, hogs and dull-eyed steers. Granted, there's a difference between caring for a flighty pack-rabbit and a herd of cattle but a farmboy will not need much persuading in the way of coin

We have a lot of stuff to fix, and I'm not keen on getting the nearby officials aware of our existence just yet. Lets get a stable patched up real fast and later on we can take our time once our other problems are tended too.
>>
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>>5010163

>5010167 >>5010173 >>5010188 >>5010212 >>5010266 >>5010332 >>5010341 >>5010374 >>5010408 >>5010421 >>5010696

Wnuk has a stables and therefore must have stablehands. If you solicit the castle of its lord, you may even find someone with considerable experience in the trade. Many of these older hands become, over time, surgeons, farriers and even skilled riders of the mounts they tend, but such skill will not come cheaply. Nonetheless, an inn so remote will need to be self-sufficient eventually and a man with such a varied skillset will become a good investment in time.

You wake well before dawn on the morning of the trip (old habits die hard) only to see a line of light settle on the bottom crack of your door. The slim, old finger of a handle slowly ticks down and the door creaks on its hinges as it opens. The assassin has left the candle outside by the door but his drawn knife reflects its light--and his face, which you know--briefly as he slips in. With one fluid movement he charges the cot upon which you sleep and slams the knife down on the thick woolen cloak which you use for a blanket. He stabs again and again, in righteous fury, not realizing that you are, in fact, standing behind him by the door. When he realizes his blunder, when he finally throws back the cloak and begins feeling the straw-filled mattress for you, you pounce on him. One arm catches around his neck, settling it nicely in the crook of your elbow, the other, his thin, delicate wrist--the knife-hand--pulling it away from his body. He struggles, but when you stand to full height the boy's feet--for it is the boy, Rordan--dangle above the floor.

"Lemme go!" he says, choking.

What do you do?

>You laugh and joke and tease him a little, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries that you have suffered.

>You scold him and hector him on his approach--the candle, not going immediately for the throat, panicking when caught and so on--because how else will he learn? The world is a hard and cruel place and one survives by cunning and skill or not at all.

>You twist his arm a little, a bit of pain to remind him of his place, of the cost of violence, and to discourage him from this path--a path which, having followed yourself for many years, you would not wish on your worst enemy.
>>
>>5010815
Honestly, I don't blame the kid. We killed his father and basically forced our way into his life. Why we didn't just toss him into an orphanage remains to be seen, maybe out of guilt or something, but I'm not too torn up over his anger.
If he can learn to set it aside to prioritize customers, that's enough for me.
I like the third one because it implies a growth and maturity on MC's part, but a personable, upbeat innkeeper is probably better for business than a blatant cynic.
>You laugh and joke and tease him a little, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries that you have suffered.
>>
>>5010260
Tell me about the rabbits, George.
>>
>>5010815
>>You laugh and joke and tease him a little, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries that you have suffered.
>>
>>5010779
I don't care.
>>
>>5010815
>You laugh and joke and tease him a little, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries that you have suffered.

>You scold him and hector him on his approach--the candle, not going immediately for the throat, panicking when caught and so on--because how else will he learn? The world is a hard and cruel place and one survives by cunning and skill or not at all.

Nice try kid, but if you're going to kill me you gotta do it right.
>>
>>5010815
Abandon the child.
>>
>>5010865
>You laugh and joke and tease him a little, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries that you have suffered.
>You scold him and hector him on his approach--the candle, not going immediately for the throat, panicking when caught and so on--because how else will he learn? The world is a hard and cruel place and one survives by cunning and skill or not at all.

Supporting >>5010865
>>
>>5010865
>>5010884

My vote
>>
>>5010815

>>5010822
>>5010850
>>5010865

You laugh and joke and tease him a little before letting him go, for yours has always been a sunny disposition. It is the only solid defense you know against the horrors and miseries you have suffered. Besides, this is isn't the first time he's tried something like this. As usual, he chafes at your banter, reddening, pushing past you, wiping away hot tears, and storming down the hall like an elephant.

"Don't use a candle next time!" you call after him cheerfully. "And always go for our throat, yeah?"

He has breakfast waiting for you when you come down, the packs and sleeping bags you prepared last night leaning by the door.

"Are we going to stay the night there?" he asks, stirring his oatmeal.

You wink at him. "Hoping to get lucky?" The last party of merchants had come from Wnuk's famous bathhouses and were very vocal about the "services" they had enjoyed. Rordan was supposed to be asleep, but the color in his cheeks now says otherwise. "We'll be sharing a room, my lad, so no funny business, yeah? I say that for your sake. They don't kiss murderers good night up there, if you catch my drift."

He glares at you, not daring to say aloud what he means with the glare, which is: "you'd know wouldn't you?", just stirs and stirs.

----

Down the stone path and through the tunnel and past the dirt road and the signpost, the Walzerian highway extends for fifty miles front and back, tying the north and south borders of the kingdom in one long knot. The land around here is mostly level, so that you can see your foreboding manor house from where you stand, but dense clusters of trees blanket the horizon. Very soon you are in the midst of them.

Midway through the forest you encounter a carriage--not merchants, too poorly dressed for that--but travelers, women and a few children. They are all waiting by the side of the road, as their carriage has run itself into a ditch. One of the steers pulling the cart is also missing from its yoke. The menfolk in the party are trying to push the carriage out but are having a hard time of it with just the two of them.

>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way

>Let them be, go on ahead, but then stop a while to see if you can find that missing steer. He'll make a good addition to your tavern--milk, cheese, meat if desperate--and keep the new stablehand busy in the meantime.

>Go on your way and when you get to Wnuk in a few hours, you can send back help. These innocent looking unfortunates are not always what they seem, in your experience, so better safe than sorry.

>>5010879
Careful not to fall off that edge
>>
>>5010908
I meant cow, not steer. Steers don't produce milk.
>>
>>5010908
>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way

If these were bandits, there wouldn't be any kids with them. Plus, we could use the friendly rep buff when we get to the castle.
>>
>>5010908
>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going thevsdtj same way
>>
>>5010908
>>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way
>>
>>5010908
Fuck off.

>kid wants to kill us after years of hospitality and decency
>keep him around anyways

Not edge, just practical. Dump him at an orphanage. What do we need a liability for. Gonna' raise him like our own son only to find his dagger in our belly one day, fuck 'em. I don't care if he has a good reason. Fuck him.

>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way
>>
>>5010958
Bro we can just tell him if he is ever going to kill us and is serious about it, let us know so we can make arrangements.
>>
>>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way.
>>5010958
>not edge just practical
Okay, but why is practicality important anyways? It's a narrative-based quest, keeping him around will make things more interesting, which is what's important. Don't often get to play stories where we care for the child of someone we've killed.
Also not sure why you think we've had years to spend with him, if anything I'm pretty sure the inn was a very recent development for us or we would've taken care of most of its issues by now.
>>
>>5010908
>>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way

Meh, we can take a crack at it.
>>
>>5010908
>>>5010922 >>5010925 >>5010928 >>5010936 >>5010958 >>5010998

Update tomorrow (trying to keep a 2 updates/day limit so I don't burn out), but for now let me get some rolls. As stated before the rolls are there to add a bit of randomness to the outcome, to keep the quest a bit unpredictable. With that in mind, we'll be using a bo3 d6 system (with the occasional modifier), with doubles giving you a bonus (regardless of outcome) and triples triggering a special event.

>Roll 1d6
>>
>>5010993
>Over the years and through numerous investments, it added up--then it fell apart. The tavern was the only thing left, a reward for a mission some years back. You had wisely bought up the shares from the other party members whenever you had a chance and had forgotten all about it.

>over the YEARS
>FORGOT about it
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>5011003
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>5011003
>>
>>5011014
>Your last job had you track down a murderer and kidnapper for a local lord.
>The tavern was [...] a reward for a mission some years back.
The kid is a recent development, separate from the tavern. Can always just ask QM to verify though.
>>
>>5011014
>>5011019
see: >>5009972
>In the month or so since you and the boy settled
you've only been together/retired a month, not years.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d6)

>>5011003
>>
Rolled 2 (1d6)

>>5011003
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>5010908
>A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble, since they appear to be going the same way

>>5011003
Rolling!
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

Been lurking,now I'm rolling
>>
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>>5011015
>>5011017
>>5011054

A third pair of hands--and ones as strong as yours--would make light work of it. You decide to help them, hoping to get a free ride for your trouble since they appear to be going the same way. And indeed both your guesses prove right. With your help the carriage is easily pulled back to the road and the travelers and the man carting them are so thankful that they offer you a free ride. A good thing too, as the boy was starting get winded (not that he would ever admit it) and having risen so early in the morning, soon falls asleep on your lap.

You wake him as the town walls come into view. The stone walls rise a height of four men standing on each other's shoulders. On either side of the great arched gate are two towers almost thrice the height of the walls. Two guards are perched on each tower, leaning on the crenelations in a bored posture. A bridge extends over the creek or moat whose stink is at once familiar and horrible. As you pass over the bridge you sight a brown pig rooting through filth on the banks, while two shirtless men dump large buckets of human excrement from a cart into the waters of the creek.

"Shitbrook," says one of the travelers to the boy, smiling. The boy however is too busy staring at the pikes atop the gate, upon which the blackened heads of murderers and traitors are being pecked at by crows. You watch as one of them flits away with a fresh eyeball in its beak.

Thanks to the cart-ride you've arrived well ahead of schedule and still fresh to boot.

>By spending the extra time looking for a stablehand, you hope to get a better deal and a better man for your trouble and might even be able to return home without spending the night.

>The last time the boy passed through a great town like this he was too small to remember it, to rob him for the opportunity now seems cruel--especially when you have time to spare.

>This seems a good opportunity to spread the word of your establishment and drum up some future business. Many of the merchants plying their wares and travelers at the inn will be going your way soon enough.
>>
>>5011511
>By spending the extra time looking for a stablehand, you hope to get a better deal and a better man for your trouble and might even be able to return home without spending the night.

>The last time the boy passed through a great town like this he was too small to remember it, to rob him for the opportunity now seems cruel--especially when you have time to spare.
>>
>>5011511
>The last time the boy passed through a great town like this he was too small to remember it, to rob him for the opportunity now seems cruel--especially when you have time to spare.

I prefer not to risk being stuck on the road when dark comes. Even if we can 'leave early', not gonna budge from our schedule.

Likewise, considering how many problems we still have, probably don't drum up support just yet. We can find better prices from farmers close by then the city vendors when it comes for materials, food, and most drinks anyway.

So voting for kid. Not really because I like the bugger all too much, but its the safest option.
>>
>>5011511
>By spending the extra time looking for a stablehand, you hope to get a better deal and a better man for your trouble and might even be able to return home without spending the night.
focus is on better man and better deal
>>
>>5011511

>The last time the boy passed through a great town like this he was too small to remember...

Could be fun for the boy and for us! And you never know, be may cheer up and stop trying to murder us in our sleep too
>>
>>5011511
>>By spending the extra time looking for a stablehand, you hope to get a better deal and a better man for your trouble and might even be able to return home without spending the night.
>>
>>5011533
>>5011551
>>5011553
>>5011556
>>5011557

Going for a bit both it seems. Let me get a roll for the stablehand--with a +1 for the extra time spent searching...

>Roll 1d6+1
>>
Rolled 5 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5011562
>>
Rolled 1 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5011562
>>
Rolled 4 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5011562
>>
File: warlop.png (1.15 MB, 1200x1009)
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>>5011511
>>5011571
>>5011627
>>5011633

By spending the extra time looking for a stablehand, you hope to get a better deal and a better man for your trouble and might even be able to return home without spending the night. Furthermore, the last time the boy passed through a great town like this he was too small to remember it, to rob him for the opportunity now seems cruel--especially when you have time to spare. So you let the boy go exploring while you visit the stablehouses near the gate for a prospective hire. The boy is at first surprised that you would give him such liberty, as to go alone. The town has many guards and the rule of law holds strong here, so he is no danger. "But what if I run away?" he says. But you simply smile and tousle his hair (which he hates) and tell him to be back near the gate before supper time. He runs off but not before shooting a thoughtful glance in your direction when he thinks you're not looking.

----

By supper time you've walked the whole length of the town and seen to every stable with an extra hand. The word spreads around of its own accord and you soon have your choice of the litter.

>A swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles who does his work well enough (and cheaply) but has something of a somber and depressing air about him, not so much grim as comical. He is willing to work just for food and board as he has "Gotten right sick of this town life".

>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.

>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.
>>
>>5011671
>A family of three....

If we're going all in on the stable route, we could invest in a cow or two from the outset (perhaps they already have them.) It's hitting two birds with one stone here by updating some of our fare with fresh dairy. There's a diverse skill set here and having a friend for our young lad could really calm him down. A wholesome family would be worth the investment and easy to get along with as we're a cheerful fellow. I'm a many hands, little work kind of guy.

I'd like to interview them. If it doesn't seem a good fit I'm down for the old veteran hand.
>>
>>5011671
>>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.
>>
>>5011671
>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.
>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.

If Quincy Mckelly is also willing to take the job as our Groundkeeper we should take all of them. Breathe some life into our place, get a cheap cook and some extra help around the place.
>>
>>5011671
>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.

Call me old fashioned but I rather not have any one family be more than half our total workforce. Furthermore, trouble has a habit of spreading across a family.

Lets just settle for the old timer.
>>
>>5011671
Hmm...I'm EXTREMELY tempted to get the family. That knocks out a number of upcoming issues at one shot. Question is, though, can we afford it? As >>5011683

said, if we get them, we're gonna need to go all in for the cow and whatnot to make it worthwhile. I think.
>>
>>5011671
>A swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles who does his work well enough (and cheaply) but has something of a somber and depressing air about him, not so much grim as comical. He is willing to work just for food and board as he has "Gotten right sick of this town life".
>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.
>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.

Fuck it, grab all three of them. We've got experience and strength, and the boy need some friends his age to hang around. Plus, if Shankles is willing to work for just room and board, why not grab him I say.
>>
>>5010908
>>Go on your way and when you get to Wnuk in a few hours, you can send back help. These innocent looking unfortunates are not always what they seem, in your experience, so better safe than sorry.
>>
>>5011671
>A swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles who does his work well enough (and cheaply) but has something of a somber and depressing air about him, not so much grim as comical. He is willing to work just for food and board as he has "Gotten right sick of this town life".

>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.

Master and apprentice.
>>
>>5011671
>>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.
>>
>>5011671
>>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.
The little bit of money can help greatly with getting either an herd animal or food supplies.
Plus, Killinger reminds me of Burrich
>>
>shit my pants
So do I roll for initiative or what
>>
>>5011715
Supporting this one. All three seems greedy, and likely to leave us strapped for cash short-term, but the family of diverse skills and an old man who we're PAID to take? Score.
>>
>>5011792
supporting this
>>
>>5011878
As much as I'd like to agree, Shankles is a steal here
>>
>a family of three...
>>
Frankly, we've not been told how much dosh we have. I take that as "we have enough, so spend it wisely later"
>>
>>5011792
Ooh, I'll support this. The family is less likely to tolerate our inn's current shitty state.
>>
>>5011671
>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.

>A swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles who does his work well enough (and cheaply) but has something of a somber and depressing air about him, not so much grim as comical. He is willing to work just for food and board as he has "Gotten right sick of this town life".

Better to secure our future workforce now while we can, as it’ll save us time later on.
>>
>>5011671
>A family of three, the father, Quincy Mckelly, is the groom in question, but the mother (though currently ripe with child) is a cheesemaker's daughter and can clean and cook and milk and make cheese. Their first child is a little girl, about the boy's age or a little younger, and is clever lass, good with her hands, and supports her parents by selling little baskets she weaves from discarded straw. Of course, to support such a dynasty requires more than usual coin and the family Mckelly will not come cheap.

>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands.

i think this would be the best combo
>>
>>5011671


>>5011864
If able, this too
>An aged, veteran hand, Killinger,
>>
>An aged, veteran hand
>A swarthy, brawny youth
I like the idea of Master and apprentice. One works for free and the other gets us a sum of cash to further fill the stables. I bet the young lad could not only use advice, but also stories that come from Killinger's age, possibly helping him with his grim mood.
>>
>>5012112
We are playing the "Rag tag band of misfits" I see.
>Retired adventurer, skilled at fighting
>Edgy gloomy boy which have been adopted by adventurer after aforementionned adventurer killed the boy father
>Aged, with old wound, stable man. The stable man of the band
>A Medieval Doomer
>>
>>5012121
Hell yeah, if we have an unusual place for a tavern then we must have an adequate team to operate it, no ? Now that I think about it the boy might fit to the old manor very well, stalking it's halls after dark when not looking after the animals, possibly meeting some spirits after dark after wandering off or making a little cubby for himself in the dark tunnel.
>>
>>5012112
Supporting this, sounds like it could be fun!
>>
After tabulating all the results, it seems that things are a bit all over the place. The veteran is a clear winner (plus he's basically free) so we can take him off the table. The remaining choice seems to be between:

>A swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles

>A family of three

>Both

And of those it seems Shankles wins. Note that you could get both by using the money from Killinger to pay for the family of three, but as some anons pointed out that would lead to some problems with space and not having the money for other things. The family isn't going anywhere immediately (pregnancy makes it difficult to travel) so you can potentially hire at a later point if you're so inclined.

P.S In future, please quote the update post when you vote, it makes a lot easier to tally.
>>
>>5012330
Hooray for the old veteran and the young medieval doomer !
>>
>>5012350
I'm glad my medieval doomer meme is taking out
>>
Naisu, our crew isn't looking half bad. Can't wait to meet them.
>>
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>>5011671
>>5011683 >>5011694 >>5011715 >>5011720 >>5011732 >>5011744 >>5011792 >>5011864 >>5011871 >>5012010 >>5012014 >>5012016

In the end, you not only acquire the men you need, you actually make a little coin off of it too. At the lord's castle, you pick an aged, veteran hand, Killinger, of just the kind you were looking for, with many years experience caring for the lord's warlops and warhorses--both in town and on the march--and with many skills beyond mere grooming. Age has robbed him of his vitality and he walks with a limp from an old wound so that the lord has no more need of him, but, in light of his long service, the lord is willing to give you a modest sum to take him off his hands. You are only too happy to take him, but his debilities required another man to pick up the slack, so you also hired a swarthy, brawny youth called Shankles who does his work well enough (and cheaply) but has something of a somber and depressing air about him, not so much grim as comical. He is willing to work for just food and board as he has "Gotten right sick of this town life, boss".

The boy returns a little later than agreed. But you do not have the heart to scold him as he is filled to bursting with stories and adventures from the day and is smiling for the first time since you took him in. You invite the new hires to break bread with you in the inn that night and the four of you make a strange party indeed. The boy and the old man are fast friends, sharing stories, each listening to the other with twinkling eyes, the one thrilled by the outlandish, the other by youthful exuberance. Even Shankles, eating his bland porridge in dismal silence (on which he insisted, complaining of chronic indigestion), must pretend indifference, leaning back suddenly when the others catch him listening intently to the conversation.

The journey back takes longer without the cart and with the old man's limp, and even with you and Shankles taking turns to carry Killinger (over his colorful protestations), the stars are out by the time you arrive. More interestingly, there is light coming from a window on the second floor. The boy shakes his head that he left no lamps burning when you left, besides which the footprints on the dirt path gave away the intruders. Three or four pairs of feet in all.

What to do?

>You sneak around the back of the manor to the eastern side and climb up the balcony via one of the wooden posts. Meanwhile have Shankles knock on the front door to distract them with Killinger and the boy waiting out of sight.

>Have everyone wait hidden out of sight while you go alone to investigate the intruders--if they indeed are intruders, they may after all be potential guests

>Send the boy and the old man in first, for even worshippers of Bezzlebub, the patron god of crooks and criminals obey the laws of courtesy toward children, the sick and the elderly.
>>
>>5012441
>>Have everyone wait hidden out of sight while you go alone to investigate the intruders--if they indeed are intruders, they may after all be potential guests
>>
>>5012441
Are write-ins allowed?
>Check for signs of forced entry and see if these intruders have left horses or something else to identify them by.
If not:
>Have everyone wait hidden out of sight while you go alone to investigate the intruders--if they indeed are intruders, they may after all be potential guests
Glad to see gramps and the kid are getting along at least.
>>
>>5012467
Write-ins are definitely allowed, I just keep forgetting to put that option. Just assume it's implicit for each vote.
>>
>>5012441
>>Have everyone wait hidden out of sight while you go alone to investigate the intruders--if they indeed are intruders, they may after all be potential guests
If they are allowed then I'm picking this option, but I agree that first and foremost we should check the outside for any more tracks or clues
>>
>>5012441
>You sneak around the back of the manor to the eastern side and climb up the balcony via one of the wooden posts. Meanwhile have Shankles knock on the front door to distract them with Killinger and the boy waiting out of sight.
>>
>>5012463
>>5012467
>>5012476

Let's me get a roll here--with a +1 for the added precaution of investigating for more clues.

>Roll 1d6+1
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5012599
>>
Rolled 4 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5012599
>>
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5012599
Here's hoping.
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5012599
>>
Rolled 4 (1d6)

>>5012599
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5012599
>>
>>5012441
>>5012668
>>5012671
>>5012678

You have everyone wait hidden out of sight while you go alone to investigate the intruders--if they indeed are intruders, for after all they may be potential guests looking for their missing host. Nevertheless old habits dictate that you examine the perimeter for any clues. There is a pack-rabbit tied to the post, scratching its ears in the midst of sleep. It has an elaborate saddle, almost like a throne.

There is no sign of forced entry--nor should there be since there is no lock on the door--and whoever they are, they had the courtesy to wipe their shoes before they entered as there are prints all along the steps. One set of prints is smaller than the others, a child or a woman. And there are two other sets, heavy and large, denoting men carrying something burdensome, either luggage or themselves. Pressing your ear to the door, you can sense no hint of anyone or anything inside and so, cautiously, you enter.

Two men are sitting at the table. The fireplace is out but you can still smell the remnant smoke. The two men are sound asleep and on closer inspection you see that they don scarlet cloaks and well-polished mail. Swords, still in their scabbards, lie on the table, as well as their helmets, which have the image of a leaping warlop on a black background--the crest of a Walzerian knight. Two draughts of your wine in two of your wooden mugs sit before, half full. As you approach, you hear a creak above you, the patter of light footsteps on the stairs in the next room. A young woman in a bright yellow and white dress, in a broad-brimmed hat with a veil that covers her whole face appears, and seeing you, freezes. She's dragging a heavy trunk on wheels and appears to be in a hurry.

"Drat!" she says and even by her voice you can tell that behind the veil lurks great beauty. "I don't suppose you'd look the other way this once?" She nods to the knights. "Tell them you didn't see me slip out?" Then before you can answer she walks up to you in quick steps and reaching into her cleavage she retrieves something--something hard, sparkly and expensive--and places it in your hand. "For your trouble? Answer quickly, they'll be awake any minute!"

>Bar her passage--or escape--there's trouble afoot and you'd rather her ire than the knights'

>Let her go, even by the weight of the jewel you can tell it is worth the paltry price of your silence

>Offer to escort her yourself to the main road, playing along for now
>>
>>5012783
>Offer to escort her yourself to the main road, playing along for now

A noblewoman, running away? Ohhh, you must tell me the tale!
>>
>>5012783
>Offer to escort her yourself to the main road, playing along for now
>>
>>5012783
>Offer to escort her yourself to the main road, playing along for now
>>
>>5012783
>Walk her out of earshot of the guards then ask her what is going on before we make a decision

If she goes missing and we have a priceless jewel that belongs to her in our possession guess who is getting the blame for her disappearance!
>>
>>5012836
THIS
>>
>>5012783
>Let her go, even by the weight of the jewel you can tell it is worth the paltry price of your silence
yeah nice to meet you and bye
>>
>>5012836
>>5012783
+1
>>
>>5012783
>Offer to escort her yourself to the main road, playing along for now

>Give her back jewel it's not worth the trouble
We ain't selling that without heat on our back
>>
>>5012912
+1
>>
>>5012836
Supporting this very pragmatic approach.
>>
>>5012783
>>Bar her passage--or escape--there's trouble afoot and you'd rather her ire than the knights'

We're an upstanding businessman, we don't take bribes.
>>
>>5012783
>>5012790 >>5012806 >>5012809 >>5012836 >>5012855 >>5012909 >>5012912 >>5013007

You escort her outside, depositing the jewel in your pocket as you go. The others are still hidden among the wreck as you instructed. You can see them but only because you know exactly where to look. The lady thanks you at first, lugging the trunk to the pack-rabbit and mounting it, but then, seeing you holding on to its reins she realizes she's not quite out of the woods just yet.

"What more do you want?" she asks.

You grin. "Stop me if you heard this one. Man goes to a carnival yeah? One of the performers has this chicken and a little green flute. Plays a little tune on the little green flute and this chicken--it's the damndest thing-- starts singing and dancing. Not a human song and dance you see, a chicken song and dance--a magic chicken--a mighty sight."

"What on earth are you talking about?"

"So this man, seeing the crowd, all that money going into the hat that gets passed around, goes to the performer after the show, the chicken-man, yeah? And he offers to buy the chicken. Man plays a mean fiddle, why not add the chicken to the show? The chicken-man says no. The man insists, offers everything he has but his fiddle, figure he'll make it back twofold lickety-spit, yeah? Chicken-man folds, sells the chicken. Now what do you think happened next?"

"You're mad. You're utterly mad." She struggles with the reins but it's no use.

"No matter how the man played that fiddle, the chicken would not sing nor dance. You see princess, the chicken wasn't magic. It was the little green flute all along. In our trade we call that misdirection and the people who fall for it we call suckers. Do I look like a sucker to you?"

She goes still. "No," she says quietly.

You show all your teeth. "Why thank you. And since I'm not a sucker, you'll tell me why it is your absconding in the dead of night without your burly escorts--who if I'm not mistaken--you've sedated. Yeah?"

"I have a rendezvous with a certain gentleman."

"And who is this prince charming?"

"Just tell those ogres you arrived after I had left. They won't stay long enough to harass you and the emerald more than covers our stay. Please, I may never see him again." Two tears drop from under the veil. "Have a heart."

>Just a lady in love then, which the knights can sort out once they wake (and pay for the wine). But bury the gem somewhere just in case they get handsy.

>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.

>Let her go, but follow her in secret. Her rendezvous may prove more valuable than her bribe
>>
>>5013109
>>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.
Nice act young lady, but do you take me for a fool?
>>
>>5013109
hahahaha... NO.

If she warrants an escort this is something way above our head. Anyway, fencing off a jewel like that is gonna be a pain in the ass, we'll end up hoarding it for years anyway. Better have the knights pay up.

If anything, we can rely on Killinger to know who they are and vouch for our legitimacy.
>>
>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.

>We'll give her the jewel back though
>>
>>5013109
>>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.
>>
>>5013109
>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.
>>
>>5013109
>>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.
NEED MORE INFO
>>
>>5013109
>Let her go, but follow her in secret. Her rendezvous may prove more valuable than her bribe
anons are a bunch of assholes ruining a sweet romance subplot
>>
>>5013109
>Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere.
>>
>>5013109
>Let her go, but follow her in secret. Her rendezvous may prove more valuable than her bribe
If forcing her to stay wins then
>>5013134
This
>>
>>5013134
+1, keeping the jewel could discredit anything we say regarding our innocence. A woman with the ability to sedate two trained men is hardly some budding flower.
>>
>>5013109
>Let her go, but follow her in secret. Her rendezvous may prove more valuable than her bribe

Anons, fencing the jewel won't be a pain in the ass, as these people don't have serial numbers to prove it came from the princess, so that's autism #1 out the window.

#2, since this is royalty or nobility, why would we choose to piss off someone whose going to inherit the power to make our lives miserable? Why not play along to really see what's going on? Are we not an (former) adventurer?

It's those two autisms that frankly bug me the most.
>>
>>5013134
I think its a given that if we hand her back we won't be accepting the bribe.

>>5013288
We're an adventurer that managed to survive till retirement and also managed to build up a sizable nest egg before it all went to hell. That sounds like a guy who knew when to be cautious.

Furthermore:
1) Guess who has even more power then the Lady? Her parents, and her future husband - who by the way is definitely not her alleged paramour. Considering the amount of knights they have under their employ they'd make a wonderful client for our tavern.

2)Just because there are no barcodes doesn't mean it'll be easy anon. While I'm sure it won't be impossible, but we can't just walk into a random pawnshop or jeweler. We'll need to sell it off the black market and we don't know this area yet.

Plot hooks are not compulsory, and right now I want to build a damn tavern, not explore the seedy underbelly of a medieval kingdom. We've retired damn it.
>>
>>5013109
>Let her go, bury the gem
>>
>>5013304
I think keeping the bribe is very much up for debate. We ain't playing a lawful good paladin here.

The cautious option would be to follow the lady into whatever really is going on, not to send her back to someplace she obviously doesn't want to be.

1. I think you overestimate the care the parents/husband will give us, while underestimating the resentment that this future lady of influence may hold over us. I think we need more info on both before we come to a decision.

2. Just because you expect a free ride doesn't mean that the jewel isn't worth the trouble. Like you said before, our nest egg went to shit before we came to the tavern, and we need all the cash we can get to start building up this place into something tolerable for our guests, so if it comes to a vote I'll vote to keep that gem.

I want to build up our tavern too, but we ain't getting anywhere by not keeping our cash flow options open.
>>
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>>5013109
>>>5013114 >>5013131 >>5013144 >>5013149 >>5013163 >>5013172 >>5013224 >>5013246 >>5013288 >>5013312

Two things are never to be trusted: you can never remember the first one, but the second is woman's tears. She's not going anywhere. She protests and throws a fit, lots of weeping and begging, but you meet it all with cheerful courtesy, directing her back into the tavern. It's about then that you whistle for the others come out of hiding and join you. "Right good turn you did there, boss," says Shankles, moving his head in little nods. "Nought but trouble could've come of this." Killinger is silent for a while, then wonders aloud how prince charming will take it. "Break his heart, no doubt, thinking she's abandoned him. Rather tragic." The old man's more of a romantic than you thought. "Nah, sir, nah sir, the tete-a-tete's is all clandestine innit? Nothing tragic about it--adultering little bint--just goes to show you what I've known for years, boss, it's a universal truth: All women are harlots." And Shankles...is Shankles.

You and the boy work on starting up the fire and heating up some cold pottage while the pair of stablehands see to the pack-rabbit.The boy occasionally glances over at the lady, sitting now on one of the seats by the fire, her hands rubbing her eyes under the veil as she weeps into them. "Not too close, my lad," you whisper in his ear. "A fair maiden's eyes are dangerous enough without her being a princess, yeah? One look costs a hundred lashes--even if this one mightn't exactly be a maiden in the traditional sense of the word."

"I heard that! You horrid beast of a man! My maidenhead is quite intact!"

You wink at the boy. "Hence the weeping." Even the boy cannot help but crack a smile at this and must hide his mouth. The knights soon wake, not at all pleased by their impromptu slumber. The taller of the two appears to be the head of the party and is rather more harsh on the lady than you expected, nearly striking her before the other knight points out your presence. You explain everything and even return the gem, as token of your goodwill and honesty. The knights are appreciative, the gem is apparently a royal heirloom and its possession would have brought more trouble than it was worth--trouble of the kind that ends with your head in basket. Instead they reimburse you with golden coins worth far more than the little they ate and drank. They are, however, reserved on the matter of prince charming. And as they are still a little woozy from whatever the princess slipped in their wine, they ask to remain the night.

>Not for free of course, not with the freedom which with they handle their gold

>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers

>Make an excuse and get rid of them, aristocrats always make you nervous
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers

A good reputation among the "middle class" social circle of knights could be just the marketting this place needs.
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
>>
>>5013351
>>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers

A heirloom. Oooffff...
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers

>>5013431
Guillotine: avoided. Glad I lost the last vote.
>>
>>5013351
>>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
>>
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
lol Shankles is an incel
>>
>>5013351
>>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers

>>5013483
A midevil incel
>>
>>5013606
>New side-quest: Get Shankles laid
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two nights stay...

Let's build up that good rep when we get this kind of opportunity.

Also we can see if we can sneakily get some more info from the guards about prince charming. maybe if we find out who he is we can get a message to him about what happened. Let's play both sides until we see who is the most valuable to us as an asset
>>
>>5013351
>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
>royal heirloom
Jesus fuck, good thing we didn't try selling that.
>>
>>5013351
Based Shankles.

>They already paid more than two night's stay, you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers
We're a good host.
>>
>>5013619
I can get behind this. Adding this to
>>5013435
Which was also me.
>>
>>5013619
Supporting this
>>
Thank god the romantic coomers lost. That could've been our head on a pike.
>>
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>>5013351
>>5013386 >>5013387 >>5013397 >>5013431 >>5013435 >>5013443 >>5013483 >>5013606 >>5013619 >>5013632 >>5013668
As they already paid more than two night's stay and you'd rather not a reputation for fleecing customers, you allow them to stay the night without asking for more money.

"Such generosity is appreciated," says the shorter knight, named Fletcher.

"Especially with accommodations like these," mutters the other knight, Howell, looking up at an ancient, web-covered chandelier.

You admit that you have only just established yourself here and as consolation for his more moody companion, Fletcher promises to spread word of your tavern among his people. "Though what do you call it? I saw no name nor sign upon the place and took it for abandoned at first."

>Choose a name

After the short meal the knights and princess--who you learn is called Heloise--retire upstairs for the night. You assure Howell that you'll personally keep guard over the pack-rabbit and the princess's room to ensure no funny business. The princess, having missed the appointed time for her rendezvous, does not seem enthusiastic about another escape anyway.

The walls of the 2nd floor chambers are thin and while patrolling the hall you are able to pick up snatches of conversation between the knights: "...almost gave away the game with the heirloom, the miserable wench"--the gruff, deeper voice of Howell; "...woman's nature is fickle...would've come back probably"--and the airy, soothing voice of Fletcher. "...yet think on the life she'll have...ingratitude!"; "...about the life left behind...her child"; "bah! ...better off than I was as a lad...won't starve..." Then silence for a while.

Then Fletcher speaks again and you press your ear to the door. "Taverner's a good enough fellow. Could've kept the gem."
"Probably knew it was [he whispers this word]. I've seen his type before, what do you think he's doing out here for? And no women?"
"If he could figure it out what hope does our poor duke have?"
"It'll be their heads then, not ours."
"Hold your tongue sir, that's near to treason."
"Oh get the stick out your arse you fussbudget. You know what I meant. Would've preferred a proper war to all this skullduggery, if I'm honest."
"Barbarian."
"Lily-liver."
Silence again followed soon by the sound of soft snoring.

>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning.

>You can hear the princess weeping in the other room, perhaps her tongue will be looser now that her hopes were dashed.

>The rendezvous cannot be far, you might be able to nose it out if you take the pack-rabbit, so long as you return before morning
>>
>Choose a Name
The 3 Palaces

>You can hear the princess weeping in the other room, perhaps her tongue will be looser now that her hopes were dashed.
>>
>>5013991
>>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning.

We're just a humble tavernkeeper now, we have no time for intrigue.
>>
>>5013991
>Talk to the princess

Name: The Rest Well-Earned
>>
>>5013991
>Name:
The Horny Pack-rabbit

>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning.
We do not need to trouble ourselves with the intrigues of nobles, we have a whole damn manor to clean up and get in order
>>
>>5013991
>Adventure's Rest
>You can hear the princess weeping in the other room, perhaps her tongue will be looser now that her hopes were dashed.
>>
>>5014049
+1
>>
Considering the briar patch and tunnel you have to go through to get to it?

>The Sleepy Rabbit Hotel

>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning.
>>
>>5013351
>>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning

Brace of Coneys
>>
>>5013991
Sounds like the lady is being married off to help stop a war or something. Shit sucks, and I do feel bad for running away from QMs obvious plot hooks kek.
>The rendezvous cannot be far, you might be able to nose it out if you take the pack-rabbit, so long as you return before morning.
>Ask the woman if she has any words you should deliver to her would-be lover.
Taking a look can't hurt, right? Can at least deliver one last message.
>Greenleaf Inn
>>
>>5013991
>>Leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning.

>name
Voyagers rest
>>
>>5013991
>>5014043 >>5014049 >>5014068 >>5014120

You can hear the princess weeping in the other room, but better leave well enough alone and return to your patrol. You're more than happy to wash your hands of them come morning. And when it does come and the gentlemen--and the princess too it seems--are better rested and in better spirits you part without much of a fuss. Killinger, wakened by the throbbing of his old wound went early to the pack-rabbit and spent some time adjusting its saddle and removing burrs, thorns and dried mud from its fur and speaking to it in a low, pleasant voice. For this he is repaid with playful nudges from the--ordinarily shy--beast and given a gold coin for his trouble, which in his magnanimity he shares with Shankles, having little use for money in his old age. Shankles is mostly confused by the gesture, unable to conceive of such selfless generosity. he spends the entire day thinking up schemes to try and repay the imagined debt, brewing tea somehow from the thorny brambles along the road, washing Killinger's socks, even offering to wash Killinger's feet--at which point Shankles finds out that even the old man's patience has limits. (His tea is not half-bad however).

At any rate, the knights and their ward leave in peace and you spend the rest morning in bed, sleeping off the accumulated fatigue of your trip and your guard duty. There's no telling when the next customer will arrive, the road is always busy but your tavern not yet well known. Only the most desperate and exhausted will stop here. Still, there is much to occupy you meanwhile, your sudden surplus of coin--from Killinger's lord and from the knights--not the least of it.

>Explore the ruins of the other buildings in the manor. Not all parts of them have been wrecked by the fire and despite the chill in your spine whenever you go near them, there may be useful things within.

>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.

>Merchants use the main road often and even if they do not stop at your tavern, they are more than willing to stop for impromptu trade. Hail them and buy some much needed sundries.
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.
>>
Also I'm calling it for write-ins for the name. Let's now vote for the names (feel free to pick more than one--and I also threw my own hat in the ring):

>The Three Palaces - symbolized by three houses
>The Rest Well-Earned - symbolized by a gold coin on a pillow
>The Horny Pack-rabbit - symbolized by a rabbit's head with a horn
>Adventure's Rest - symbolized a nightcap crossed with a sword
>The Sleepy Rabbit Hotel - symbolized by a sleeping bunny head
>Brace of Coneys - symbolized by two rabbit heads bound in rope
>Greenleaf Inn - symbolized by a green leaf
>Voyager's Rest - symbolized by a pair of boots, one fallen down
>Aleman's - symbolized by a frothy mug of ale
>>
>>5014298
>Adventure's Rest - symbolized a nightcap crossed with a sword
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.

>>5014298
>Adventure's Rest - symbolized a nightcap crossed with a sword

Mainly for the logo and to break the tie when everyone votes for themselves.
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.
>>5014298
>The Horny Pack-rabbit - symbolized by a rabbit's head with a horn
>Adventure's Rest - symbolized a nightcap crossed with a sword
>The Sleepy Rabbit Hotel - symbolized by a sleeping bunny head
>Greenleaf Inn - symbolized by a green leaf
>Voyager's Rest - symbolized by a pair of boots, one fallen down
>Aleman's - symbolized by a frothy mug of ale
>>
>>5014298
>>The Sleepy Rabbit Hotel - symbolized by a sleeping bunny head
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.

>The Rest Well-Earned - symbolized by a gold coin on a pillow

>Aleman's - symbolized by a frothy mug of ale
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.
>>5014298
>Adventure's Rest - symbolized a nightcap crossed with a sword
>Voyager's Rest - symbolized by a pair of boots, one fallen down
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.

>>5014298
>The Three Palaces - symbolized by three houses
>Voyager's Rest - symbolized by a pair of boots, one fallen down
>>
>>5014284
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.
>>5014298
>The Three Palaces - symbolized by three houses
>>
>>5014284
>>5014298

>The wine will eventually run out...

>The horny pack rabbit
>>
>>5014298
>Voyager's Rest - symbolized by a pair of boots, one fallen down
>>
>>5014298
>The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. It may have run dry, in which case you'll have to go down and dig.

>The Sleepy Rabbit Hotel - symbolized by a sleeping bunny head
>>
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>>5014284
>>5014310 >>5014334 >>5014346 >>5014349 >>5014369 >>5014373 >>5014483 >>5014514 >>5014525 >>5014588

The wine will eventually run out and it would be good to have a reliable source of water. There is an old well in the premises, a part of the ruin from long unuse. In fact, it's mouth has been boarded up and as a first task you must remove all the planks (and some of the debris which has fallen around it) before you can check inside. Shankles helps you with this, while the boy and the old man work on making a lamp and a harness in case the well is dry and you have to go down to dig. As it turns out, the wash bucket you send down does come up dry and you must descend into the well after all.

Luckily it does not take long before you strike water again (though it does it take some time to cart out all the dirt) but in the process you encounter something you've never seen before. The water is blood. Or at least, shares the color of blood. It feels and (according to the somehow disappointed Shankles, who seems to have preferred it was poisonous) tastes like water and certainly the color does not linger on anything, not on your hands or clothing or any surface--indeed it cleans them just as water would--yet it has the distinct dark-red tint of fresh blood.

>Perhaps the well was sealed with good reason, one beyond it merely running dry, and perhaps it would better to seal it up again and dig out your own well somewhere else.

>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.

>For all intents and purposes it is water and you see no reason why you should not treat it as such, at least for the purposes of cleaning, cooling and bathing. As for drink, perhaps it can still be used to brew spirits.
>>
>>5014985
Oh and it seems "Adventuer's Rest" is the name of the tavern.
>>
>>5014985
>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.

Lets get this verified and checked. At the very least so we can blame our 'expert' if things go wrong with the well.

Speculation on the knights coversation:
Number 1: Princess is being married off to prevent war
Number 2: The heirloom is probably enchanted or magical - probably to make the Duke infatuated, or maybe something even more morbid.

That said, if it means our tavern isn't going to become situated near a warzone, the happiness of a princess is a sacrifice I'm willing to make (:V)
>>
>>5014985

>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.

Here's hoping its just red clay in the soil.
>>
>>5014985
>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.
>For all intents and purposes it is water and you see no reason why you should not treat it as such, at least for the purposes of cleaning, cooling and bathing. As for drink, perhaps it can still be used to brew spirits.

Crimson Manor would've been a quaint name.
>>
>>5015004
>>5013991
crap, that bit about the heirloom should have been "replica". i.e

>"Probably knew it was a replica. I've seen his type before, what do you think he's doing out here for? And no women?"
>>
>>5014985
>>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.
>>
>>5014985
>>Perhaps the well was sealed with good reason, one beyond it merely running dry, and perhaps it would better to seal it up again and dig out your own well somewhere else.
>>
>>5014985
>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.
>>
>>5014985
>Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even be the kind of novelty that attracts customers--beyond which it may even be useful or valuable. Maybe you can pay someone from town to examine it.
its important to understand resources we got at hand
>>
>>5015419
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like

>Help and advise them for upcoming fight with goblins.
>>
>>5014985
>>5014987 >>5015004 >>5015040 >>5015049 >>5015177 >>5015376 >>5015404

Such a strange phenomenon bears some investigation. If the water is ultimately harmless, its color may even prove to be the kind of novelty that attracts customers. Perhaps you can pay someone from town to examine it. And so, a few days later after sending word to town (via a customer heading that way) a man proclaiming himself to be an alchemist arrives at the manor. He takes samples of the water and the soil and even a chip off one of the bricks from the well. He claims he will need some time to study it all and that he will be back as soon as he has something to report. As for money, he takes a few silver pieces as a matter of course, mostly (he claims) to buy the materials he will need for his experiments but it is the oddity of the phenomenon itself which seems his principle motivation. In the meantime, he judges the water good enough to use for any purpose other than consumption, though he advises a hold on any plans for constructing a baths.

While waiting for the results, you are kept busy by a sudden influx of customers. Word has spread of the Yosteni wine. It has attracted members of a less than reputable crowd--the kind that sport a hook for a hand or carry a spare knife in their boot--rough, rowdy, rebellious men, but men who are well traveled and know the area and its people well and whose lips become looser with a little wine. Few of them stay the night, most having come only for the drink and preferring to camp out in the wilderness in the fair autumn weather.

One party, however, petitions to use the tavern as a kind of base of operations. They are investigating some old ruin or tomb nearby which has been overrun with redcaps, a type of especially nasty goblin that drinks the blood of small animals (and sometimes even children if they can get ahold of them). They've been stealing ewes and lambs and pack-rabbit kittens from the nearby village, Beldingboro, and now some children who strayed too far in their play have gone missing. The party is no motely crew of adventurers but merely a handful of peasants who have decided to take matters into their own hands, as the Duke of Wnuk is too busy with other schemes to hear their pleas.

Their petition entails giving them room and board in exchange for the shortest lay (i.e one-eighth) of anything they might find in the ruin, for though goblins are not nearly the hoarders their lizardly counterparts are, the deeper parts of the tomb are said to be bursting with treasure.

>The rooms are vacant anyway and if they are willing to suffer the poor accommodation you are willing to accept their petition defer payment.

>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like

>They're likely to get themselves killed in such an enterprise. Refuse their petition for their own sake.
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like
>Petition them instead for us to help them out with their problem personally for the shortest lay of whatever is in the ruin.

Frankly, having goblins around stealing food and children from the local area isn’t good for anybody, and this will help develop good relationships with the village as well as help promote our tavern to the locals. It’s a win-win, as I doubt they would have seceded unharmed without our help.
>>
>>5015428
>>5015429
Linking.
>>5015440
I'm not sure about helping ourselves I don't want the running to us with every issue
>>
>>5015442
While I do agree, if the village is setting up a base of operations in our tavern, it stands to reason that we’re closer to the problem than the village is, which means we got goblins running around our figurative backyard, nothing but trouble for our business. Add in to the fact that we’d be developing our relationships with the village, and improving our rep and visibility with what will likely become regulars at our tavern, and I think a bit of hassle now will pay off dividends in the future.
>>
>>5015429
>>The rooms are vacant anyway and if they are willing to suffer the poor accommodation you are willing to accept their petition defer payment.
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like
>Help and advise them for upcoming fight with goblins.
>Petition them instead for us to help them out with their problem personally for the shortest lay of whatever is in the ruin.
We were an adventurer/assassin, we should be able to help here.
More stuff to fill the everhungry maws of taverngoers is always welcome.
Advice and intel should be given freely when the matter is peoples lives and well being.
Putting our own health at risk tho deserves its own share of spoils, not to mention they seem like they could use such help.
>>
>>5015451
+1
>>
>>5015451
Comfy tavern where you can get more than just a beer from the barman. He's already seen his fair share and can advise!
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like

I vote that we don't go along with them on the mission, rather we advise them on how to deal with goblins, the traps they use, how to navigate the caves and not get lost etc. We are getting too old for this shit!
>>
>>5015485
inb4 we go full Darkest Dungeon and slowly level these guys up to legendary fighters
>>
>>5015429
Supporting >>5015485
>>
>>5015451
Support
>>
>>5015451
+1
A fight or two should get the rust off. It's not bad for an innkeeper to have a reputation for a strong hand, too.
>>
>>5015429
>he advises a hold on any plans for constructing a baths.

wait is the water hot? A blood red Onsen would be metal as fuck!
>>
As a side note, we urgently need to get us a buxom bar maid. People are starting to suspect that we fuck each other in the ass up there.
>>
Theory: the red water could be due to rust from a nearby iron deposit... Or structure
>>
>>5015683
naw, if that was the case it would not wash clothes properly, they would come out red as well. This is some spooky shit.
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like
>>
>>5015705
In addition, I also support >>5015677 re:
>get a barmaid
and >>5015485 re:
>advise them on how to deal with goblins, the traps they use, how to navigate the caves and not get lost etc.
>>
>>5015675
The water is not naturally hot (it's not a hot spring or anything).

>>5015671
>>5015451
While I have no problem with you advising (or even training) the party--or procuring help for them from somewhere else--I will draw the line at going with them since I feel like it goes against the spirit of the quest. The main character is, after all, retired from adventuring.
>>
>>5015705
Ok then, a HAUNTED iron deposit
>>
>>5015849
Oh man! We could do some Mr Miyagi shit with these guys, train them to fight by fixing up our buildings! Wax on, wax off, paint the fence, sand the floor...
>>
>>5015849
Aww. That's fair, I guess. World-wise mentor it is.
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like
>Help and advise them for upcoming fight with goblins.
>>
>>5015429
>Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like.
>>
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>>5015429
>>5015440 >>5015442 >>5015447 >>5015451 >>5015485 >>5015545 >>5015675 >>5015774 >>5015895 >>5016003

Rather than the promise of uncertain riches, you'd prefer the sure promise of their farm goods--vegetables, grains, cheese, milk, ale and the like--and they are more than happy to oblige, this being a good year for the crop and the villagers--except for the matter of the missing children--in good position for such an arrangement. In addition, you also offer to advise them in their quest, if only because the spread of goblins will not be good for business.

The party is eight men strong, all young, strapping lads used to long toil on the fields if not in battle. If there were a war going on they would no doubt be among the very first conscripted into the duke's army, but in a time of peace they have grown restless and bored. For many of the this outing is a chance for adventure, to return home as heroes in the eyes of the village girls. For others, such as their leader, Van Keely, it is more personal and urgent. His own little sister is among the missing children. it is he who eventually convinces the others to fall in line and listen closely to your counsel.

As time is of the essence you must forego any training and come up with a swift and effective plan. It has been a day and night since the children went missing, but you assure Van Keely that the redcaps will not harm them if they can help it. Judging by the quantity of livestock they've already stolen, they have food enough to delay.

"Delay till when, Master Aleman?" asks Van Keely.
"Till new moon; in three days time." And you explain to them how their dark gods are strongest and most hungry for sacrifice when the goddess moon is spent of her power. You also describe their general strengths and weaknesses. "They sleep morning to noon yeah? And they're all but blind in the dark but that's nothing because their smell's as keen as a pack-rabbit in heat--for blood most. And they fear smoke, the smell of it hurts them, and the smell of anything sweet and strong--flowers, cinnamon--they hate. They're wily yeah? But predictable and easily trapped. And cowards too, when they're alone."

>The plan is to take it slow and steady, gather as much information as you can about the ruin with the remaining time, its points of entry, the redcaps within, and, if possible, about the condition of the children. Only after these scouting missions should they assault the tomb proper.

>The plan is to launch a series of lighting delves into the tomb during the day with the aim of killing as many redcaps as they can and capturing one or two for interrogation and to serve as bait for traps, thereby keeping them too busy to bother with the children.

>The plan is to search for a hidden entrance to the deeper parts of the tomb and avoid battle (and whatever traps the tomb has in store) as much as possible, using smoke and scent to misdirect the goblins while the party makes stealthily for the children.
>>
>>5016165
slight correction on the last option, the implication is that they would have to face the traps in the deeper parts of the tomb but would be able to avoid battle with main goblin host.
>>
>>5016165
>>The plan is to take it slow and steady, gather as much information as you can about the ruin with the remaining time, its points of entry, the redcaps within, and, if possible, about the condition of the children. Only after these scouting missions should they assault the tomb proper.
>>
>>5016165

>The plan is to search for a hidden entrance to the deeper parts of the tomb and avoid battle (and whatever traps the tomb has in store) as much as possible, using smoke and scent to misdirect the goblins while the party makes stealthily for the children.

Some casualities are gauranteed but my best guess is this has the highest likelyhood of getting the kids back.
>>
>>5016165
>The plan is to launch a series of lighting delves into the tomb during the day with the aim of killing as many redcaps as they can and capturing one or two for interrogation and to serve as bait for traps, thereby keeping them too busy to bother with the children.

Leaving any goblin alive is bad for business.

>>5015849
I don't know man, letting children die if these lads fail leaves a bad taste in my mouth, even if we're retired.
>>
>>5016165
>>The plan is to search for a hidden entrance to the deeper parts of the tomb and avoid battle (and whatever traps the tomb has in store) as much as possible, using smoke and scent to misdirect the goblins while the party makes stealthily for the children.

This, then when the children are safe, we can recommend the farmers eradicate the goblins and get their glory/treasure.
>>
>>5016165
>>5016168 >>5016190 >>5016191 >>5016237 >>5016256

Let me get a roll for the quest--with a +1 for giving them advice and a plan.

>Roll 1d6+1
>>
Rolled 2 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5016325
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5016325
>>
Rolled 1 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5016325
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5016165
>>The plan is to take it slow and steady, gather as much information as you can about the ruin with the remaining time, its points of entry, the redcaps within, and, if possible, about the condition of the children. Only after these scouting missions should they assault the tomb proper.
>>The plan is to launch a series of lighting delves into the tomb during the day with the aim of killing as many redcaps as they can and capturing one or two for interrogation and to serve as bait for traps, thereby keeping them too busy to bother with the children.

So long as we manage to actually eradicate the goblins, I'm ok with whatever plan. I'm leery on the stealth mission tho, it can really screw over both the children and farm hands if it fails.

>>5016325
Rolling
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5016165
>The plan is to search for a hidden entrance to the deeper parts of the tomb and avoid battle (and whatever traps the tomb has in store) as much as possible, using smoke and scent to misdirect the goblins while the party makes stealthily for the children.

>>5016325
>>
>>5016342
>>5016347
Damn, I legitimately wish that we could have waited.
>>
>>5016326
Its a good thing we didn't go along.
>>
>>5016364
I'd rather us take the dagger than the kids, anon.
>>
>>5016165
>>5016168 >>5016190 >>5016191 >>5016237 >>5016256 >>5016325

The plan is to search for a hidden entrance to the deeper parts of the tomb and avoid battle (and face whatever traps the tomb has in store). Smoke and scent misdirect the goblins while the party makes stealthily for the children. You describe some of the common defenses that the ancient tombmakers employed in the hopes that it will help them avoid those traps, but every delve is different. The laws of reason and order which constrain ordinary reality are quickly eroded the deeper one goes, and more than the traps, the terrible monsters, the true danger is madness.

They leave on first light of the second day. Though they do not have any coins to afford the Yosteni wine and though you are running low on it now, you pour each of them a mug and when you toast to their health you cannot help but feel an old ache in your bones and an old deadly fear, and you smile and make merry, as you have smiled and made merry since that terrible day long ago.

That night you can hardly sleep. You sit down on the balcony like a child, with your legs between the balcony posts hanging in the air. Killinger is out too, his sleep is strange and broken in his old age and, as there are two Quarter conies in the pen--diminutive creatures (as far as pack-rabbits go) with fat, floppy ears, he busies himself with their grooming, being so gentle that he does not wake them. Yet he too, you notice, glances occasionally at the slopes beyond, in the direction of the tomb.

They do not return again till the next evening--the children with them, four in all, frightened terribly by the ordeal but none worse for wear. Van Keely's little sister is with them in Van Keely's own arms (himself now in an ancient cuirass), but you count only five men of the eight and none of them will speak of what happened to the others--or speak at all. It is Delver's sickness, which has no cure but time and rest. They stay the night, suffering--you're ashamed to say--from a lack of sufficient bedding and blankets and a sudden cold spell. In the morning you feed them as best you can, ashamed again by the poor fare, and a few days later your promised supplies arrive on a loaded cart.

----

It has now been a few months since you arrived at the manor and business is starting to pick up. With all the money you've saved, it's time to start thinking about some improvements.

>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.

>It is starting to get difficult for the boy and yourself to serve all these new customers (Shankles was, predictably, a disaster) as well as tend to all the other duties. The place could also use a more feminine touch.

>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.
>>
>>5016386
Damn, how many kids went missing before?

>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.
Hypothermia is a cold and insidious killer.
>>
>>5016388
Four. They got all of them out.
>>
>>5016386
>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.

Good beds make repeat customers.
>>
>>5016386
>>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.

Pretty solid idea here.
>>
>>5016386
>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.
>It is starting to get difficult for the boy and yourself to serve all these new customers (Shankles was, predictably, a disaster) as well as tend to all the other duties. The place could also use a more feminine touch.

Time to grab that family.
>>
So many more possibilities for the future.

Barmaid, Housekeeper, Farmhand, Cook, Carpenter, and an Armored Mercenary from a trustworthy company and we'll be set.
>>
>>5016386
>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.
>>
>>5016386
>It is starting to get difficult for the boy and yourself to serve all these new customers (Shankles was, predictably, a disaster) as well as tend to all the other duties. The place could also use a more feminine touch.

>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.
>>
>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.
>>
>>5016386
>As the winter approaches you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either.

This is priority one, for a place purporting to offer rest. As for priority two...

>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.

Ideally a lady if we can; get that feminine touch at the same time!

Diversity hire, here we come
>>
>>5016480
I'll change to this. Its worth multitasking
>>
>>5016480
Yeah, worth multitasking.
>>
>>5016386
Supporting >>5016480
>>
>>5016386
>>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.
>>It is starting to get difficult for the boy and yourself to serve all these new customers (Shankles was, predictably, a disaster) as well as tend to all the other duties. The place could also use a more feminine touch
>>
>>5016386

If we can chose two I would like to support >>5016480
>>
>>5016386
>>Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook.
>>
>>5016480
supporting
>>
>>5016386
>>5016388 >>5016403 >>5016408 >>5016412 >>5016430 >>5016456 >>5016480 >>5016530 >>5016555 >>5016578 >>5016613

Supplies from the village have no one skilled enough to put them to good use, and much of its potential is being wasted. You need to hire a good cook. Furthermore, the winter is fast approaching and you'll need thicker bedding and warm blankets not only for the customers but for yourself and your employees. Some winter clothing wouldn't hurt either. As neither of these things are likely to be found in the immediate vicinity you must once again plan a trip outside your walls. This time, however, you have someone to look after the boy and enough supplies (and companionship, in the form of Shankles) to afford a longer journey.

>It's time you visited the great city of Walzer-Yost, your long absconded home. There you will find all that you desire and more besides, though such a journey in wintertime will not be trivial.

>Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some light reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work.

>There's sure to be an alewife's daughter or two in the village enterprising enough to join you in the manor as a kitchen wench. They will be cheap so you'll be able to make up for quality with quantity. And the woolen knittings the villagers make are itchy but very warm.
>>
>>5016858
>>Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some light reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work.
>>
>>5016858
>There's sure to be an alewife's daughter or two in the village enterprising enough to join you in the manor as a kitchen wench. They will be cheap so you'll be able to make up for quality with quantity. And the woolen knittings the villagers make are itchy but very warm.
3 for the price of one, and some comfy wooly Christmas sweaters, what's not to love?
>>
>Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some light reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work.

We have enough money for that now
>>
>>5016858
>It's time you visited the great city of Walzer-Yost, your long absconded home. There you will find all that you desire and more besides, though such a journey in wintertime will not be trivial.
I'm quite curious as to what our hometown is like.
>>
>>5016858
>>Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some light reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work.
>>
>>5016858
>>Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some light reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work.
>>
>>5016858
>>5016865 >>5016926 >>5016938 >>5016949 >>5016984

Die time. Let me get two (2) rolls for what you find in town.

>Roll 2d6
>>
Rolled 2, 3 = 5 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 5, 1 = 6 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 4, 3 = 7 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 5, 1 = 6 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 1, 5 = 6 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 5, 3 = 8 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
Rolled 1, 5 = 6 (2d6)

>>5017009
>>
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>>5017009
>>5017032 >>5017047 >>5017110 >>5017132 >>5017161 >>5017183 >>5017198 >>5017285

Better to revisit Wnuk and buy what you need from their merchants. There is also that family of three (perhaps four now) who were interested in moving to your manor but whom you could not at the time accommodate. It will require some reconstruction of one of the burnt buildings, but between three strong men it should be light work. And so, waiting for a lull in customers, you once again make for town, this time leaving the boy in the capable hands of Killinger and Shankles. He wanted to come with you but caught a cold from the sudden change in weather and is barely well enough to stand up let alone make a journey of several miles.

Wnuk in early winter is a barren sight. The merchants are no longer out in force in the crossroads but must sell their wares from their very homes--if they are selling anything at all. Farmers from nearby villages are busy hunkering down with fuel and food and there are few of them roaming now in town--and those few with the same purpose. Even the beggars have moved on. Some have taken refuge in the church, some in shelters paid for by the wealthy and the rest in unmarked graves.

You find the McKelly family in not much better condition than the beggars. They reside among the shelters in a hovel half as large and twice as foul as the one you saw them in a season ago. Father McKelly apparently has a secret, inordinate fondness for dice and cards--without the requisite skill--and with Mother Hen preoccupied by the newest McKelly member, the cocky patriarch strutted unchecked towards financial ruin. And now in the winter, with few traveling, and with many tightening their purse-strings, Quincy McKelly is also out of a job. The little girl, Lily McKelly, has even fallen ill with fever and a hacking cough and is faring much worse than your lad at home. With no money for medicine or a doctor or even a decent coat, the parents are at the end of their wits and their rope.

>Perfect conditions for a prospective hire. You can pay them less than half of what they wanted before and they'll accept it with sincere gratitude. They expect as much and would do the same were they in your position.

>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.

>You sympathize with their plight, but at this rate they'll only be a burden to your household and your purse. Buy them a hot meal if they will accept it, but seek your employees elsewhere.
>>
>>5017319
>>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.

Loyalty is often costly, but here we find it available for a bargain.
>>
>>5017319
>>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.
get supplies still
>>
>>5017319
>>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.
>>
>>5017319
>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.
>Have the McKelly father promise to never gamble again, or at least not without supervision. There's not nearly enough luck in the world to waste it so freely.
>>
>>5017319
>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.
>>
>>5017319
>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.

>>5017360
Are we not worldly enough to know that a man compelled by avarice or the thrill of risky business cannot keep such a promise? How many adventurers have we seen narrowly evade death, seem to learn a lesson, and then plunge right back into death's own maw for a fist-sized ruby or some such?
>>
>>5017319
>You sympathize with their plight, but at this rate they'll only be a burden to your household and your purse. Buy them a hot meal if they will accept it, but seek your employees elsewhere.
hiring a degenerate gambler will only cause trouble.
>>
>>5017319
>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.

We're giving the Mother the money though.
>>
>>5017319
This
>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.
>>
>>5017319
>>5017371
+1 for giving them the same deal and giving the money directly to the mother. Better keep any valuables locked away too.
>>
>>5017371
+1
for money to the mother
>>
>>5017319
>>5017371
+1
Maybe buying medicine for a child so we don't have to start cemetery near our tavern
>>
>>5017371
Supporting. Where the family will be staying, the father won't get many opportunities to gamble his salary away, anyways.
>>
>>5017319
>>Offer them the same deal as before without a single change in terms and get them winter coats (as planned) and a ride to your manor with all haste. It will cost you, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy.

Also buy medicine for the child if we can.
>>
>>5017319
>You sympathize with their plight, but at this rate they'll only be a burden to your household and your purse. Buy them a hot meal if they will accept it, but seek your employees elsewhere.

Avoid gambler.
>>
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>>5017319
>>5017325 >>5017342 >>5017344 >>5017360 >>5017361 >>5017365 >>5017366 >>5017371 >>5017376 >>5017401 >>5017519 >>5017579 >>5017685

In his desperation, Quincy McKelly offers to work for a lesser wage than before. "No," you tell him. And in his desperation, he offers to work for half those wages and then a quarter. It is not easy for him to swallow his pride like this, but he remembers his daughter and his newborn son and then is ready to suffer any humiliation, any insult. "You name the wage, sir," he says.

So you offer him the same terms as before, not one penny less--with the condition that the wages go to his wife--and you get them winter coats and medicine for the child and a ride to your manor with all haste. It costs you the greater part of your savings, but there are few opportunities in life to purchase what money cannot buy. The silent, choking tears of gratitude--and more than this, the disbelief that anyone would deliver them to such an extent--is almost worth the cost, but what you are really purchasing is loyalty. It is a pragmatic play--never mind the tears you quickly brush from your own eyes.

As for the coats, the ones for the McKelly's represents the last of the stock. The tailors are busy with orders from the duke himself. "Don't you heard?" One of the apprentices, a doughty little girl, tells you. "There's gonna be a wedding! Duke Wnuk's daughter, Heloise, is marrying the prince of Yobshire--they were betrothed as children and he's been waiting all this time for her. Seventeen winters and summers! So romantic!" Consequently the best you can do are some extra wool and quilts to serve for bedding. You cannot help but wonder if this isn't the same Heloise of the fake royal heirloom some months ago; seems she'll be a princess after all.

>Doubles event
On your way back, you meet a traveling merchant--not one of those regulars shuttling goods from port to port--but a "collector", one who deals in the weird, the mystical and the illegal. His name is "Alphonse Charbenu, at your service." And he comes neither from town nor from the city but from a thin trail threading to some secret place in the wilderness, of which he does not speak one word. Weary and cold, he offers one of his treasures for a ride in your hired carriage, his little Quarter coney walking beside it.

>You take the small bucket of steaming stones (which Charbenu claims were taken from the bowels of a dragon). Pouring water on them produces boiling hot steam--though the stones themselves are freezing cold to the touch.

>You take the "mechanid" (Charbenu's word for it), a heavy bronze orb about the size of a roc egg, with a little depressible button on the side, that, when pressed, opens the orb into a kind of mechanical spider, about the size of a hog, which can apparently obey simple commands.

>You take an ancient recipe for brewing a special kind of nettle beer from otherwise useless brambles of the kind near your manor
>>
>>5017772
>>You take the small bucket of steaming stones (which Charbenu claims were taken from the bowels of a dragon). Pouring water on them produces boiling hot steam--though the stones themselves are freezing cold to the touch.

>Say, merchant. If you agree to let me copy that recipes too, you can have bed and bread any time you stop at my Inn
>>
>>5017772
>>You take an ancient recipe for brewing a special kind of nettle beer from otherwise useless brambles of the kind near your manor

The other two items would invite thieves into our inn. The simplest option is the best.
>>
>>5017772
>You take the small bucket of steaming stones (which Charbenu claims were taken from the bowels of a dragon). Pouring water on them produces boiling hot steam--though the stones themselves are freezing cold to the touch.

Heating, sauna, and or a refrigerator if we set it all up properly.
>>
>>5017794
The plan would be using the stones for the future bathing facilities
>>
>>5017772
>The Beer Recipe

We're a man named Aleman with no ale, man.
>>
>>5017772
They are all so tempting and have potential, I'm especially torn between the stones and the mechanical spider (it could clear the place up, climb the roof and fix it etc) but I'm gonna say...

>Steaming stones
>>
>>5017794
>>Say, merchant. If you agree to let me copy that recipes too, you can have bed and bread any time you stop at my Inn
i really like this idea. a sauna with cold beer would be amazing.
>>
>>5017794
Supporting this
If that's not possible I'll go with the beer, since we'll have a unique brew with little to no issues and costs with logistics.
>>
>>5017794
Sorry QM I'm changing my vote to support this
>>
>>5017794
Yeah if possible try this, if not just the stones. Blood Onsen!
>>
>>5017772
>>5017794 >>5017795 >>5017796 >>5017820 >>5017821

You take the small bucket of steaming stones (which Charbenu claims were taken from the bowels of a dragon). Pouring water on them produces boiling hot steam--which Charbenu demonstrates--though the stones themselves are freezing cold to the touch. You can think of a myriad of uses for the stones, not the least of which is a means for warm baths. The recipe for nettle beer however, also catches your fancy and after some brief negotiation you manage to snag it as well. In exchange, you welcome the merchant to stay at Adventure's Rest anytime he wishes, free-of-charge. This seems agreeable to him--even more so than coin--possibly because an unscrupulous merchant like himself often gets into trouble with the authorities and cannot always find easy shelter.

----

The family McKelly make themselves at home in your manor, moving into the rooms on the third floor, vacant now in the winter months, when few travel. With the medicine you purchased and with guidance from Killinger (who seems to know as much about human disease as he does of rabbit), both the girl and the lad make a speedy recovery. The pair are year apart in age (the girl 12 and the lad, 13), and are instant enemies, constantly getting into arguments that end in tears or sulking and sometimes even blows (the lad always on the receiving end, being too chivalrous to strike a woman). It's all you can do to keep the both of them from each other's throats. Luckily there's plenty to do. The McKelly's cannot stay in the guest rooms come spring, when business picks up again, and so it's time to expand.

>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.

>Completely strip both ruined buildings and attempt to build a small, cozy house from scratch. It will a lot of time and effort and you probably won't be able to finish until mid-spring but you can build it to your tastes and it will free up the main house entirely for guests

>Hire some laborers from Beldingboro to clear out the ruins and build a generous addition to the main house. It'll mean a few days (perhaps weeks) of discomfort, as well as the expenditure of your remaining savings but you'll be rid of the blight of those wrecked buildings and make a fresh start.
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up one building with supplier from another.

Glad we didn't go with The Three Palaces.
>>
>>5017979
>>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.
i think we should save money this winter and then build something nice come spring.
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.

We can amend this before next winter comes.
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits
Damn, I expected to rebuild all three of them. Maybe later we'll get the opportunity.
>>
>>5017979
Oh no, belligerent sexual tension! In a few years time we'll have to give the boy the Talk, won't we? And then he'll go off on his own journey with the McKelly girl as his tsundere childhood friend romance, who will obviously lose when pitted against the dark-skinned loli beastgirl or high-elf ero princess, but is still supported by a diehard part of the waifufag readership.

I should probably stop reading shitty Japanese webnovels, but it's like crack.
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.

I did want to explore both ruins btw
>>
>>5017979
>>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.

Good short term option.
>>
>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.


>Leave the second ruin in a fixable state too, even for a cost After all, ifoundations and bearing walls might be reusable
>>
>>5018247
+1
>>
>>5017979
Supporting >>5018247
>>
>>5017979
>Patch up the wrecked building

It will do for now untill we can do a nicer job. As someone else said we should leave the other building protected from damage so it is repairable in the spring
>>
>>5017979
>>Patch up one of the wrecked building using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits.
>>
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>>5017979
>>5017987 >>5017989 >>5018004 >>5018058 >>5018069 >>5018085 >>5018101 >>5018152 >>5018273 >>5018307 >>5018716

You patch up one of the wrecked buildings using materials from the other. It won't be pretty, but you'll save considerably on costs and probably able to finish before the worst of winter weather hits. Furthermore, since you're only going to be patching things up enough to house the McKelly's there is no need to tear down the entirety of the second ruin. That leaves the possibility of restoring it at a future time, perhaps in winter, when things are not so pressing and you have a little more leeway with your money. The ruins are massive structures that dwarf the "main house" in comparison. Whoever its last residents were, they must have lived in one of them (or both) and used the main house only for their servants. Because of its sheer size you focus predominantly on the corner that is most intact and just patch up the holes in its walls and floor and roof, insulating them from the approaching cold, as well as clean out the accumulated debris inside.

The children make the most of the work, taking the opportunity to skulk around the mansion despite Mother McKelly's admonishings (applied equally between the two, for she treats the lad like her own son, to his frequent embarrassment). One day they come running to you, frightened out of their wits by some painting hanging on the second floor hallway. It is an old family portrait depicting a pale nobleman and his golden-headed wife and their newborn child. The paint is peeling off like skin in many places, but there is nothing otherwise frightening about the contents of the painting. Rather, it's the way the figures seem to move out of the corner of your eye, the baby fingering her mother's hair, the mother craning to whisper something in the man's ear, the man scowling. But when you look back, everything is as it was. You chalk it up to a trick of the painter's hand, but the boy claims he heard the figures talking to each other in the dead of the night.

>Dismiss his concerns as the phantoms of childish imagination and darkness, and scold him for sneaking out at night without permission

>There might be something to the lad's claims, but in that case the best solution is probably to leave the painting alone. Cover it up with something and forbid anyone from approaching it

>This bears some personal investigation. In your own travels you've seen stranger and more wonderous sorceries than this, it would not surprise you if the painting was alive somehow through one of them.
>>
>>5018831
>>This bears some personal investigation. In your own travels you've seen stranger and more wonderous sorceries than this, it would not surprise you if the painting was alive somehow through one of them.

What, if anything, do we know about the manor's previous owners?
>>
>>5018831
>Investigate the painting
Leaving haunts to fester is how you get dead guests in the future. We're an adventurer, retired or no. We've no doubt seen what happens when darkness is swept under the rug: it grows, in darkness and in might, until someone like us is called to deal with it.
>>
>>5018831
>>This bears some personal investigation. In your own travels you've seen stranger and more wonderous sorceries than this, it would not surprise you if the painting was alive somehow through one of them.
>>
>>5018831
>>This bears some personal investigation. In your own travels you've seen stranger and more wonderous sorceries than this, it would not surprise you if the painting was alive somehow through one of them.
>>
>>5018831
>This bears some personal investigation

Who did we buy this place from anyway?
>>
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>>5018831
>>5018839 >>5018840 >>5018866 >>5018885

This bears some personal investigation. In your own travels you've seen stranger and more wondrous sorceries than this, it would not surprise you if the painting was alive somehow through one of them. The history of this manor is also mostly unknown to you. It was given as a reward by a wealthy merchant many years ago, who never actually used it. Before that you've heard that it was the seat of some ancient house, far older than the Duke. They were involved in the occult and the superstitious villagers do not discuss them for that reason.

Regardless, you decide one night to sneak into the hallway, as the boy did, and see if there is any truth to his words. The first night all is silent and you almost abandon the idea as silly, but something compels you to persist and you wait two more nights. It is on the third that you hear the voices--distinct in the dark silence--the woman speaking softly to her husband and the pleasant burbling of the baby between them.

"What shall we do dear husband? How many years has it been since--"
"Nothing we can do, my pet. You know the nature of the curse as well as I. Nothing we can do."
"But the painting--"
"Shall be destroyed sooner or later by these newcomers, and then perhaps we shall find rest."
"If I could but speak to them...I say it for your sake, do not rebuke me! What rest will you find when we are released? You will not speak of that!"
"You are frightening the child, my pet. And speak to them how? The sorcerer was too crafty for such an escape."
Then you hear the sound of sobbing, but when you approach the painting, silence returns in an instant. Holding a candle up to the figures, you see them no different than before--except for a drop of dew running down from the woman's eyes. The ceiling gets a bit leaky on damp days.

>Destroy the painting, as the voice suggested, burning it outside in the day time to release whatever is trapped within. No good can come from keeping it.

>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse

>Have an appraiser come and look at the painting. They may reveal something of its history but more importantly, they may want to buy the painting for a modest sum, in which case you rid yourself of the problem with profit
>>
>>5018910
>>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse
>>
I probably won't be posting tomorrow or the day after, but we'll pick up again on the weekend. I guess it's a good time to do the usual "how's my qming" poll. I'm mostly interested in where you guys want/plan to take this quest (for any lurkers, this is your chance to contribute) I have some ideas of my own of course but I'd like to know the kinds of things you want to explore. I already know my writing is shit so need for comments on that. Thanks for playing so far.
>>
>>5018910
> "I may be getting in on years, but I'm no fool, and my ears aren't so far gone as to have failed me. Nor do I doubt years of my own experience. Speak up, and tell me how you've come about this arcane malady so that I might better solve it. I'll not have guests in my inn for free without recompense."
>>
>>5018910
>>5018917

>Well, first try to speak to them upclose, and if they don't respond, try again from a distance.
>>
>>5018910
>>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse
>>
>>5018917
Dont think they can respond when near them.
>>
>>5018910
>>5018917
>>5018918
Support. If they don't respond then
>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse
>>
>>5018917
"Fuck you lmao curse or not it costs money to stay here, I'll free you and have you work for me to repay gods know how long you freeloaded on my property"
>>
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>>5018927
Jesus chirst man
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>>5018926
+1
>>
>>5018916
Enjoying everything so far, personally I would like to have options in the type of place we turn our business into (posh spa, cheap dive, refuge for outcasts and people on the run, trustworthy ask no questions high end place for nobles to their dirty business etc)

I wanted to ask is the art work your own?
>>
>>5018947
Yeah I'm trying to approach that by a series of choices instead of just one. The types of customers that you'll attract will then come from the kinds of things you focused on in the tavern--e.g the initial wine attracted adventurer's but if you build the hot springs that might attract a different breed.

Artwork is just stuff I pulled from pinterest. I'm not an artist.
>>
>>5018910
>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse

Yea, we're helping them out.
>>
>>5018910
>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse
>>
>>5018910
>>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse

Regarding QM-ing, I really like the slow and narrative approach, with a couple post a day. It gives you lot of time to keep coming with fresh ideas and interesting choices
>>
>>5018910

Support!
>>5018917
>>5018926
>>
>>5018910
>Have an appraiser come and look at the painting. They may reveal something of its history but more importantly, they may want to buy the painting for a modest sum, in which case you rid yourself of the problem with profit

>>5018916
Doing good work so far boss! I think "stationary" quests like this are hard to pull of because it's harder to build a great narrative arc and they turn quite slice of lifey. But so far so good, I like the spooky shit.
>>
>>5018917
I think that the curse is not responding when eyes are laid upon them, lad. Probably won't be getting a response from them.
>>
>>5018910
>>Keep it for the time being. In the meantime write to an old friend who specializes in such matters, he may be able to shed some light on the aforementioned curse.

Wonder if we'll ever hear back from the Alchemist about the red water.
>>
>>5019661
Science takes time.

>>5018916
Really enjoying this. This scratches the itch Shopkeeper Quest left me with, but a bit more serious and fantastical.
>>
>>5018917
+1
An innkeeper at heart.
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>>5018917
Supporting this lmao. Fuck freeloaders. Work or pay to stay.
>>
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>>5018910
>>5018915 >>5018917 >>5018918 >>5018921 >>5018926 >>5019050 >>5019323 >>5019325 >>5019336 >>5019341 >>5019661

Turning away from the painting and speaking aloud to no one in particular. "I may be getting in on years, yeah? But my ears aren't so far gone that I'd miss all that. Now if only those voices could say how they came to this arcane malady, I might be persuaded to rid them of it."

"He can hear us husband!" says the wife.

"Would you do this service for us, stranger?" adds the man, "If indeed you can hear us?"

"Well, as to that: I'll not have guests stay in my inn for free. Freeloaders, I can't abide."

"Freeloaders! How dare he! 'Tis our house and has been in our keeping for generations! He's the freeloader. Him! Tell him, husband!" says the woman.

"Peace, my pet. The land may well have passed into his hands and if so, he is within rights to ask recompense from squatters. It is a small price besides. But, my good fellow, we have no ready money in hand, as you can plainly see, but only a few of pieces of knowledge--or nothing, for time may have destroyed even their value."

"Tell me your tale at least."

So they tell you. A wizard called Drom the Dragoneater imprisoned their souls as a punishment for defying his worship. The family were sorcerers in their own right, though not nearly as powerful as Drom, who was said to have obtained his powers from eating the heart, liver, lungs, brain and pretty much every other major organ (yes, even that one; he really left nothing to chance) of a dragon. They tried by occult means to destroy Drom and failed. It must have happened in a foregone age, as you can recollect no sorcerer by that name, living or dead. That, or they are lying.

At any rate, only Drom himself--or someone more powerful--can undo the enchantment. Even then it would require fresh hosts to body the released spirits, for their own have long since rotted away in the family tomb, located not far from the manor. But the wizard was not totally without mercy (or else his sense of aesthetics compelled him) and made it so that the spirits inhabit a kind of dreamworld based on what is depicted in their painting and can even traverse to the worlds in other paintings--if other paintings are hung near them in a certain way. Needless to say the family has grown sick of their current setting.

Count Molostroi only asks that you burn the paintings so that his wife and child might be released back into the Ether; he is resigned to his own fate (whatever it may be, he won't speak of it). In exchange for this service, he offers some ancient knowledge.

>Directions to a secret chamber in the family tomb which--if it has not been pilfered already--contains some valuable family heirlooms.

>The summoning incantation for an old hellion, one of the small winged denizens of the Netherworld; frequent servants to sorcerers and Archdemons alike.

>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars
>>
>>5023962
>>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars
Certainly sellable stuff, unlike others
>>
>>5023962
How about we turn them into entertainment - like a local attraction. Buy a few extra paintings to keep them occupied and tell them that maybe one day a curse breaker might come. We are an inn after all.
>>
>>5023962
>>Directions to a secret chamber in the family tomb which--if it has not been pilfered already--contains some valuable family heirlooms.
>>
>>5023988
i like this
>>
>>5023988
That's a good idea! Well, provided they're okay with it. I'd feel bad torturing them any more than they already have. Otherwise the vault sounds pretty cool.
>>
>>5023962
>>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars

Do we want to know the wife’s opinion on destroying the opinion?
>>
>>5023962
>The summoning incantation for an old hellion, one of the small winged denizens of the Netherworld; frequent servants to sorcerers and Archdemons alike.

We need a server, and he may turn out to be a grand cook with his flames!

We'll buy them some paintings so they're surroundings can entertain them while we see what we can do to get their bodies back.
>>
>>5023988
I, too, would like to propose this.

>>5023962
>Directions to a secret chamber in the family tomb which--if it has not been pilfered already--contains some valuable family heirlooms.
>>
>>5023988
>>5024088 >>5024100 >>5024211
Let me get a roll for this (mainly their reaction to this proposal).

>Roll 1d6
>>
Rolled 3 (1d6)

>>5024216
>>
Rolled 5 (1d6)

>>5024216
>>
>>5023962
>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars.

I thought about the attraction angle, but now that it's actually possible, I feel uncomfortable actually DOING it. At least not without some new paintings to offer them. Even so, I want more money and a cool questgiver hook, so.

>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars
>>
>>5023962
>Directions to a secret chamber in the family tomb which--if it has not been pilfered already--contains some valuable family heirlooms.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d6)

>>5024216
>A concise history of the Age of Drom, which may attract certain collectors and scholars
>>
>>5023962
>>5023979 >>5023988 >>5024055 >>5024141 >>5024179 >>5024211 >>5024307 >>5024406

You counter their offer with one of your own. Curses of this nature are not infallible, someone may along eventually that can destroy it. You have contacts you can write to and they may know someone or know someone who does. In which case, there's no sense in wasting a perfectly good opportunity for additional revenue--and one that takes up little space and may even serve as a spectacle to attract guests. In the meantime, you'll see about getting a few more paintings to make them more comfortable. But you give them your word that one day, so long as you live, they shall be free.

This, for the Countess at least, is more than she could have hoped. The Count is less enthusiastic but is eventually persuaded by his wife. As a gesture of your good intentions you move the painting to the main house, where it now hangs over the fireplace, looking down placidly at the sofa chairs. When winter passes you plan on hiring a painter from the city to fix up the painting and perhaps paint some new ones as well. Strangely, only you and the boy can hear the figures (and that, only in the dead of night, while you are looking away from them as before). The others in the household hear nothing, even when the conditions are the same.

Regardless, the Count is true to his word and delivers a concise history of the Age of Dram (which he had been working on before his imprisonment) containing many amusing anecdotes and tidbits of forgotten lore which may be of interest to passing bards and scholars. He has more knowledge to share but these will come when the promised accommodations are satisfied.

----

And so the house is repaired without any more incident. The McKelly's move in just before the start of real winter snow and are warm and content.

One evening, as you and boy and all the other employees lie swaddled in great woolen blankets, huddling by the fire, nursing hot mugs of nettle tea (courtesy of Shankles), there comes, amid the howling of a blizzard, a sharp knock on the tavern door.

It is Van Keely of Beldingboro, the peasant that led the rescue of the children from the clutches of redcaps. You invite him in, place him by the fire, put a hot mug in his hands and ask his business at this untimely hour.

"Tombs," he says, "Will ye teach me to delve 'em, Master Aleman?" And then he reveals how the three missing men were left behind so that the rest could escape. They may yet live or if not, their families deserve to bury their bodies upon their own land. He has come as a representative, for himself and for two others brave enough to chance the tomb a second time.

>You refuse to do anything which would encourage their own demise.

>You're no teacher, but for the right price you can be persuaded to try

>Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time.
>>
>>5024506
>>Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time.
Nearby adventurer means local force to deal with various nearby dangers and make the place safer
>>
>>5024506
>Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time.
>>
>>5024506
>>Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time.
>>
>>5024506
>You're no teacher, but for the right price you can be persuaded to try
not for free you chumps
>>
>>5024506
>Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time.

I wouldn’t mind giving him a couple of pointers. If he wants to sent up his base of operations here again, it’ll be 1/8th the loot you find. I figure it’s a small consolation to their families, but generosity in grief may help lighten the ache, is only slightly.
>>
>>5024506
>You're no teacher, but for the right price you can be persuaded to try

But let's not ask for simple gold, I'm thinking a favour for a favour. For example a recipe/local knowledge/people from the village helping to fix up our estate after winter etc
>>
>>5024506
>You're no teacher, but for the right price you can be persuaded to try
Agreed with the other anon, favour for favour seems good.
>>
>>5024506
>>5024652
Support.
>>
>>5024506
>>5024514 >>5024515 >>5024522 >>5024537 >>5024548 >>5024652 >>5024821 >>5024854

Why not? Winter was getting dull anyway and this will pass the time. Van Keely offers a handful of coins, the collected savings of himself and the two others who wish to train with him, but this you refuse--not philanthropic grounds so much as the promise of good relations with the village and the possibility of cheap (or free) labor come spring. You furnish a room for Van Keely's use on the upper most floor, where he and his two companions (who arrive the next day once the blizzard has quieted down) can rest.

The first week you spend in observation, studying each of the three men to understand their strengths and weaknesses, to better allot them to the roles they will have to play in the dungeons. The stoutest of the three by far is Van Keely, strong and patient as the oxen he has tended all his life. But his nature is also simple and honest and therefore lacks imagination. In this area, it is his second companion, Godfrey, a short, stocky and chatty young man, the son of a butcher and an alewife, who reigns supreme. He gets winded easily, even from the lightest work, but often makes up for the slack by cunning ploys--tricking others to do his work for him, or coming up with novelties that spare him the brunt of the work. He will be the quickest study. He is also the one most motivated by greed.

As for the third, Mordric, he speaks seldom and is of average build, but possesses an unparalleled sense of sight and smell. He is the tall, dark and handsome type that women croon for in the cities, attracted to his aura of danger, for the Delver's sickness has not passed from him but has awakened something far worse: a thirst for blood.

>All winter long you drill them in basic knowledge and physical exercise, laying the foundation for peak performance

>For the remaining winter you give personalized training to each man, focusing less on fixing weaknesses and more on developing their strengths

>The best teacher is experience and they can do no better than to mount small expeditions into the tomb; you'll advise them, house them and treat their wounds but there's quite nothing like risking life and limb to speed up the learning process.
>>
>>5025067
They kinda need all of this
>do your best to point out and eliminate(or have them themselves work on) their personal pitfalls and most glaring/dangerous weaknesses
>train them to their specialties and strengths
>small expeditions as practical part of training
>>
>>5025067
>>For the remaining winter you give personalized training to each man, focusing less on fixing weaknesses and more on developing their strengths
>>
>>5025067
>>All winter long you drill them in basic knowledge and physical exercise, laying the foundation for peak performance
>>
>>5025067
>>do your best to point out and eliminate(or have them themselves work on) their personal pitfalls and most glaring/dangerous weaknesses
>The best teacher is experience and they can do no better than to mount small expeditions into the tomb; you'll advise them, house them and treat their wounds but there's quite nothing like risking life and limb to speed up the learning process.
>>
>>5025067
>Teamwork is ultimately what makes or breaks the Delving business, and these three men will need it in spades if they are to successfully retrieve those bodies.
>Have them learn to cover for each other's weaknesses and be very aware of their limits, hammering into them the importance of being able to fight another day. Quick raids into the tomb following a short period of physical reinforcement should provide them a balanced mix of necessary training and actual experience.
>>
>>5025067
Yeah, basically what >>5025078 and >>5025219 say. I'd say, in order:

Some basic training.
then specialty/teamwork training.
then tomb practice,
and from there swap between the latter two.
>>
>>5025067
>For the remaining winter you give personalized training to each man, focusing less on fixing weaknesses and more on developing their strengths

D&D is not a solo game.
>>
>>5025067
>For the remaining winter you give personalized training to each man, focusing less on fixing weaknesses and more on developing their strengths

with >>5025256
>Teamwork is ultimately what makes or breaks the Delving business, and these three men will need it in spades if they are to successfully retrieve those bodies.
>Have them learn to cover for each other's weaknesses and be very aware of their limits, hammering into them the importance of being able to fight another day. Quick raids into the tomb following a short period of physical reinforcement should provide them a balanced mix of necessary training and actual experience.
>>
>>5025499
>>5025067
Supporting this.

We have a strong simple minded guy who is easily lead, a work dodging master manipulator and a greedy bloody thirsty killer. What could go wrong?
>>
>>5025698
The average DnD party... playing as themselves!
>>
>>5025067
>>5025078 >>5025088 >>5025099 >>5025104 >>5025219 >>5025256 >>5025309 >>5025499 >>5025698

Let me get a roll for the training with a +1 for focusing on teamwork to shore up individual weaknesses.

>roll 1d6+1
>>
Rolled 4 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5026236
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5026236
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5026236
>>
>>5025067
>>5025078 >>5025088 >>5025099 >>5025104 >>5025219 >>5025256 >>5025309 >>5025499 >>5025698 >>5026236

For the remaining winter you give personalized training to each man, focusing less on fixing weaknesses and more on developing their strengths. You also emphasize teamwork as what ultimately makes or breaks the Delving business, having them learn to cover for each other's weaknesses and to be clearly aware of their limits, hammering into them the importance of being able to fight another day, that wounds are more easily treated than death. Quick raids into the tomb following a short period of physical conditioning provides them a balanced mix of necessary training and real experience. By winter's end they are ready to begin their first serious dive. You have taught them all you know, the rest is up to Flukismet--better known as Lady Luck, the patron goddess of adventurers.

Occupied with their training, you feel the winter pass by in a flash. With the thawing snow come new travelers, as well as word from the alchemist you hired to investigate the strange red water. Impatient to share his discoveries, he shows up one day at the inn, his clothes and hair all disheveled and his eyes sunken as though he had not properly slept in months. None of this is enough to discourage his excitement, however, as he hurriedly explains how he was able to separate the "ectoplasmic reticulum"--some kind of sentient red slime--residing in the water. He suspects the slime is part of a much bigger organism, perhaps living inside an underground lake in the caverns below, and that the well-water merely contains an inert residue--harmless, probably even beneficial, if imbibed. Adding sugar and heating the water separates and concentrates the slime into a kind of living gelatin--a sample of which he has brought with him in an emptied lantern. A gallon of the water is only enough to produce a thimbleful of the gelatin, which produces a faint, heatless light and may have other properties yet unknown. And it is for this the alchemist has come. His funds have run out (sugar is not cheap) and he wishes a considerable lump sum to travel to the city and consult with the learned academics there and use their instruments.

>You pay him the sum--though it means clearing out the rest of your savings--hopeful the investment will pay off later

>You thank him for his services but express your disinterest (in no uncertain terms) on further research. It is enough to know the water is potable.

>Merchants from the city come through the tavern all the time now, perhaps you can spread word of the phenomenon and encourage the academics to come here--even if it does rob the alchemist of his potential discoveries.
>>
>>5026321
>>You pay him the sum--though it means clearing out the rest of your savings--hopeful the investment will pay off later
Love this shit QM
>>
>>5026321
...Actually, being honest, I was hoping to improve the inn somewhat. Having USPs (Unique Selling Points) like this is good, but I dunno how I feel on taking this gamble. We know that it's drinkable, possibly healthy, and that's a pretty good USP right there itself. But if something bigger comes out of this, of course...egh. Tough decision.

>Merchants from the city come through the tavern all the time now, perhaps you can spread word of the phenomenon and encourage the academics to come here--even if it does rob the alchemist of his potential discoveries.
>But namedrop him as the dude who started the discoveries.
>>
Rolled 1 + 1 (1d6 + 1)

>>5026321

>Merchants from the city come through the tavern all the time now, perhaps you can spread word of the phenomenon and encourage the academics to come here--even if it does rob the alchemist of his potential discoveries.
>But namedrop him as the dude who started the discoveries.

Also suggest that he spread word himself to financiers--maybe he can get funding from someone more science-minded and less cash-strapped? We could allow access, conditionally, for a fee.
>>
>>5026321
>You pay him the sum--though it means clearing out the rest of your savings--hopeful the investment will pay off later

Nice!
>>
>>5026321
>>You pay him the sum--though it means clearing out the rest of your savings--hopeful the investment will pay off later
>>
>>5026321
>>5026337 >>5026371 >>5026397 >>5026402 >>5026456

You pay him the sum--though it means clearing out the rest of your savings--hopeful that the investment will pay off in time. After all, you own the land and all that lies beneath it, if the slime turns out to valuable the price of the land will go up accordingly and your fortune will (re)made.

Nonetheless it is painful to part with so much coin on so uncertain a venture. You have at least made sure to pay all your employees in advance but many of the plans you had for improving the inn must now be delayed and with the Yosteni wine now finally finished there is nothing in particular to attract customers to your establishment--except perhaps the expert care of your two stablehands, the one guiding and instructing the other. With your savings now also gone, you need some kind of hook to stay in business.

>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.

>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.

>You spread word of the histories you learned from Count Molostroi to all that pass by. It will take time for it to reach the right ears but scholars are sure to flock to your tavern once it does.
>>
>>5026485
>>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.

(Harmless) Blood pools. Easy.

Might be able to do

>You spread word of the histories you learned from Count Molostroi to all that pass by. It will take time for it to reach the right ears but scholars are sure to flock to your tavern once it does.

as well, but I think those are the important ones.
>>
>>5026485
>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.
>>
>>5026485
>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.

>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.
>>
>>5026485
>>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.

Gotta get that beer flowing
>>
>>5026485
>>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.

You can't have a tavern without good drinks.
>>
>>5026485
>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.
>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.
>>
>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.

Need to provide for customers after all.
>>
>>5026485
>>You spread word of the histories you learned from Count Molostroi to all that pass by. It will take time for it to reach the right ears but scholars are sure to flock to your tavern once it does.
>>
>>5026485
>Since the water is safe, you begin digging out the baths you've been planning. You can create a kind of artificial hot spring with the steaming stones you bought from that traveling merchant last season.

>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.

Blood Onsen + Buxom barmaid
>>
>>5026485
>>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.
>>
All things considered, nettle is some pretty good shit for a weed that grows wild literally everywhere.
>>
File: Spoiler Image (2.65 MB, 480x368)
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Theory:Red slime is an addictive drug, hence the scholars disheveled appearance. We just gave our last savings to a junkie.
>>
>>5027156
>worth it
>>
>>5027156
Hopefully our onsen is also addictive, then.

The nettle ale will be, when we add that to the mix, and people get drunk about three times quicker in a hot tub.
>>
>>5026485
>>You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors.
>>
You ok QM?
>>
OP is kill
>>
>>5030176
I hope not. This was one of my favourite quests on the board.
>>
>>5030439
Same. I hope OP is alright and willing to continue.
>>
]>>5026485
>>5026497 >>5026519 >>5026525 >>5026542 >>5026566 >>5026577 >>5026623 >>5026642 >>5026772 >>5027477

You expand your selection of beverages, starting with that recipe for nettle beer. Perhaps an alewife from town (or one of their daughters) will be willing to help--your relations are good enough now to ask for such favors. And so you make ready for a trip to the village. The lad comes with you. The lass wanted to come with him, but her mother wouldn't allow it, and it is only when she began bawling that the lad relented in his teasing and shyly proclaimed that he might bring something back for her. This gallant gesture was met mostly with confusion. Ah youth!

The village in early spring is full of hustle and bustle. The fields are fallow and naked and must be planted again. The farmers are out with their hoes and their oxen working the earth. Their wives and sons work beside them. A few wave at you as you pass by. Some even shout your name, for they know you from Van Keely and his party, and they welcome you for helping to rescue their little ones.

You meet with the old mother of the village, head of the all the alewives, half-blind and bent in two by the burden of her years, but still with all her wits about her and without any of the grumpiness that sometimes accompanies the approach of death. You read the recipe for the nettle beer aloud to her (suddenly fearing you'd been cheated by Charbenu) but she seems intrigued by the recipe, enough that she is willing to lend one of her own daughters--for nought but room and board--in exchange for the girl learning the recipe and teaching it to the other alewives in the village. The nettles are abundant here and to make beer from them would be a great boon for the village, though would perhaps reduce the novelty of your own offering. She assures you her daughters (all seven of them) are the most skilled brewers not only in Beldingboro but Wnuk also. Four are already married and will not go, but the others are maidens, ages ranging from your lad's age to your own, and the old mother offers you the pick of the litter.

>Alice, the mousy, chestnut haired prodigy and the youngest of the seven and the most skilled of the seven (and consequently the most prideful and serious of the seven) will serve you best. It is a tavern after all, second rate brews will not do.

>Matlida, the sultry, curvaceous beauty who seems more interested in drinking--and drinking partners--than in making drinks, will certainly attract a crowd--even if not for her brews.

>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis

Got busy with work, sorry for not giving notice...
>>
>>5030642
>>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
>>
>>5030642
>Alice, the mousy, chestnut haired prodigy and the youngest of the seven and the most skilled of the seven (and consequently the most prideful and serious of the seven) will serve you best. It is a tavern after all, second rate brews will not do.

If we are going to share our recipe we had better make sure our nettle beer is THE BEST AROUND! I'm sure we can find a way of convincing her to stay around too.
Glad you are back OP! Loving this quest
>>
>>5030642
>Matlida, the sultry, curvaceous beauty who seems more interested in drinking--and drinking partners--than in making drinks, will certainly attract a crowd--even if not for her brews.
this is what we need.
>>
>>5030642
>>5030671
Support.
>>
>>5030642
>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
The young one will be a pain to have around, the middle one might bring in a bad crowd.
>>
>>5030642
>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
>>
>>5030642
>>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
Can we make a veil for her face so she feels better?
>>
>>5030642
>>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis

Take this from someone in southeast asia: when running a small enterprise, having to deal with employee turnover is the most frustrating and potentially business damaging thing to do. Prodigy might seek a better opportunity, Hottie might get whisked away by a prince charming. Disfigured will stay.
>>
>>5030642
>Alice, the mousy, chestnut haired prodigy and the youngest of the seven and the most skilled of the seven (and consequently the most prideful and serious of the seven) will serve you best. It is a tavern after all, second rate brews will not do.

>Matlida, the sultry, curvaceous beauty who seems more interested in drinking--and drinking partners--than in making drinks, will certainly attract a crowd--even if not for her brews.
>>
>>5030642
>>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
>>
>>5030642
>Alice, the mousy, chestnut haired prodigy and the youngest of the seven and the most skilled of the seven (and consequently the most prideful and serious of the seven) will serve you best. It is a tavern after all, second rate brews will not do.

For the boy.

>Matlida, the sultry, curvaceous beauty who seems more interested in drinking--and drinking partners--than in making drinks, will certainly attract a crowd--even if not for her brews.

For us and the crowds. Without the beer, we'll need some sort of draw for the village lads to come by.

>>5030739
The young one will teach the lad her skills, and the only one that'll come around will be boys and men from the village, hardly the crooks and villains of a seedy city.
>>
>>5030642
>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis.

She actually might fit in well with the atmosphere we're sort of cultivating.
>>
>>5030642
>Alice

Long term investment into the reputation of our beverages. We also have magic sauna rocks and a haunted painting. It's not like we're too boring a venue to keep a prodigy.
>>
>>5030874
Don't forget we are a resting place for travellers so there will be people from all over
>>
>>5030879
>the atmosphere we're sort of cultivating.
it does seem that anons are more looking for some kind of somber/mildly spooky manor experience, rather than the soapland/Onsen partyhole I wanted to slowly turn the place into, lol.
>>
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>>5030642
>>5030649 >>5030671 >>5030715 >>5030737 >>5030739 >>5030748 >>5030764 >>5030768 >>5030807 >>5030808 >>5030874 >>5030879 >>5030968

Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried). The tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she soon feels quite at home in its still somewhat melancholy atmosphere. The McKelly girl takes a liking to her (for lack of female companionship if nothing else) as well as the old man, who begins to care for her pox-eaten flesh, treating her with same tenderness as one of his warlops. Even Shankles, usually so full of grievances, respectfully holds his tongue when she's around. The disfigurement does not bother you in particular, having seen far worse in the deep places of the world.

But she does make the customers uncomfortable and Mother McKelly does not like her, fearing her for the disease she has survived (as most do not) and frequently tries to prevent her daughter from interacting with her. By Agatha's own request, you build the stills in the cellar beneath the main house, where she works dawn till dusk and where she takes her meals and where she would have also slept if you had not insisted in preparing a room for her upstairs, next to yours. Her experience makes her a quick study and it is not long before she, not only learns, but improves upon the recipe and travelers from miles around come to brave the "doleful inn" for a taste of its "blutlager", so called because of its blood red color and its sweet and refreshing taste.

And so your coinboxes and purses slowly fill once again, as the customers roll in one by one. Then one week, there is a sudden horde of them, coming from nearby Yobshire to attend the wedding of the Duke's daughter to their own Lord Pinchbutter. Among the broad-nosed Yobshiremen, there is a handsome, flat-nosed youth, bearing an unstrung bow nearly as tall his himself as well as the immense musculature needed to draw it. He pays in gold coins of an ancient mint and eyes the Yobshiremen--and you, it sometimes seems--like a crow that has been wronged.

Then one night Count Molostroi informs you that he saw the young man steal away with a warlop--one of the Yobshiremen's--and return before morning and the old man, checking the warlops' pads and whispering to it in his own special way, confirms the tale.

>If he were caught, there would go the reputation of your inn. There's no need for a confrontation but, whatever his purpose, he cannot stay.

>He pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard, and considered innocent until proven otherwise.

>You'll not have lop-rustling going on under your own nose. Lay in wait for him and catch him in the act, he'll not escape justice, whoever he is.
>>
>>5030642
>Agatha, oldest, quietest, and most experienced of all the daughters will be best. A childhood bout with Solomon's pox has left her horribly disfigured on one side of her body (for which reason she has gone unmarried till now), the tavern is her best hope for a respectable life and she is willing to remain on a permanent basis
>>
>>5031048
>>If he were caught, there would go the reputation of your inn. There's no need for a confrontation but, whatever his purpose, he cannot stay.
>>
>>5031015
I would say less 'somber' more 'spooky but welcoming'. Kinda like the Addams Family or Halloween Town. Frightening on its face, but otherwise very welcoming.
>>
>>5031048

Requesting a combination:

>You'll not have lop-rustling going on under your own nose. Lay in wait for him and catch him in the act. Still, he pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard.

I suspect this dude is the guy we stopped the princess from seeing. My concern is that if we keep cock-blocking him flat out, he's gonna be pissed at us and cause more issues in the future, and more importantly, his girlfriend- also soon to be known as Duke's Wife- will be pissed at us, too. I'm concerned she might go from Sad to Vengeful, and start costing us clientele via whispering in Lord Pinchbutter's (PFFTHAHAHAHA that's a fucking sad name) ear. I think we can find a way to split the difference- but I forget if we have a warlop of our own.
>>
>>5031055
You currently do not have any mounts of your own, though you might be able to buy some from town when the opportunity arises.
>>
>>5031048
Do we have a warloop of our own?
If we do, I see no reason not to take the bowman to the side and just tell him that if SOMEONE had to go for a nightride, for whatever reason, we would be willing to rent out our beast.
Of course that someone would have to deposit dome additional gold coinage, just in case something unfortunate would happen and we would never see our mount again.
Joyriding on guest mounts however is absolutely out of the question tho.
>>
>>5031056
Dang. Well, that kills my idea. Anyone got any ideas for how to resolve this? Otherwise I think we'll just have to take a risk.
>>
>>5031056
>>5031048
Where is your trip

>He pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard, and considered innocent until proven otherwise.
Yup Gotta feelin that this is the guy we cockblocked
>>
>>5031055
+1

And a veil for our ale maid
>>
>>5031048
>You'll not have lop-rustling going on under your own nose. Lay in wait for him and catch him in the act, he'll not escape justice, whoever he is.
we already sorta established that we're a rather nosy type.
>>
>>5031048
>He pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard, and considered innocent until proven otherwise.
>>
>>5031015
I'd like to turn this place into a soapland/Onsen partyhole desu, I assume anons are going for the spooky/somber vibe because it's close to Halloween.

>>5031051
Spooky but welcoming isn't the vibe I'm getting from our choices.
>>
>>5031048
Lads, this is the princesses true love she was trying to slip away and see before we caught her! We should take him to one side and let him know we know who he is and tell him what happened. Then maybe we can resolve this a better way that leaves us out of the firing line
>>
>>5031048
>>He pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard, and considered innocent until proven otherwise.
>>5031048
>>
>>5031396
how would that take us out of the line of fire? We basically fucked that guy.
>>
>>5031430
What I mean is take him to one side and say "past I know who you are. I had to stop the Princess from seeing you because I was scared her guards would hold me responsible for her disappearance."

Then see how he reacts, may be understanding may be angry etc and see what we have to work with. What if he paid us some gold to give us a black eye so the guards will believe we tried to stop him stealing a mount and leaving on it? Something like that?
>>
>>5031452
>What if he paid us some gold to give us a black eye so the guards will believe we tried to stop him stealing a mount and leaving on it?


We're a respectable businessman, not a crook.
>>
>>5031463
Nothing crooked about helping true love, nothing crooked about it being worth our while either
>>
>>5031048
>He pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least such good patrons deserve to be heard, and considered innocent until proven otherwise.

and depending on how that goes:

>>5031452
>>
>>5031048
>>5031050 >>5031055 >>5031057 >>5031067 >>5031084 >>5031334 >>5031396 >>5031400 >>5031507

Let's a get a roll for his reaction...

>Roll 1d6-1 (n.b use +-N in options for negative modifiers)
>>5031067
i left it in my other pants
>>
Rolled 1 - 1 (1d6 - 1)

>>5031631
>>
>>5031636
literally no reaction, roll machine broke
>>
Rolled 2 - 1 (1d6 - 1)

>>5031631
Rolling save.
>>
Rolled 4 - 1 (1d6 - 1)

>>5031631
>>
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>>5031048
>>5031050 >>5031055 >>5031057 >>5031067 >>5031084 >>5031334 >>5031396 >>5031400 >>5031507 >>5031631

You'll not have lop-rustling going on under your own nose, what will the customers think! Still, the man pays in gold and pays better than all the other Yobshiremen combined. At very least, such good patrons deserve an audience to defend their innocence. You decide to lay in wait for him and catch him in the act. You begin by sleeping downstairs by the fire. You make no attempt at a pretense of sleep, your plan is a little more clever than that. And so one night, as you lay softly snoring on the couches, you are awakened by Count Molostroi shouting. It is something of a curiosity that only you and the boy can hear him--neither your employees nor your patrons can hear the painting talk; it is some feature of its enchantment perhaps. At any rate, that feature is to your advantage now. You are alerted to the bowman's departure without alerting him in turn.

You grab the poker by the fireplace and surprise the bowman through the side entrance. He freezes at sight of you (he was readying the saddle of a warlop) and instinctively grasps his bow--now strung and carried on his shoulder, and a quiver of well-made arrows on his hip. You talk him down, telling him you're not here to fight or take him in. You want to hear his story. He relaxes.

As you suspected, he's connected to the princess and at first you think he might be the Prince Charming she was fleeing off to, come here to stage a gallant rescue. But the truth is more sobering. He's brother to the man who was her husband. Not Lord Pinchbutter, but a simple hunter and trapper from the north. The princess is not a princess at all, not nobility, and certainly not the Duke's daughter. In fact, the Duke's real daughter has been dead for last five years. The woman who stayed at your inn was an impostor, a look-alike that the Duke hopes will fool Lord Pinchbutter and maintain the tenuous peace he had arranged with Pinchbutter's father years ago.

"And you're here to rescue her, yeah?"
"I'm here to kill her," says the bowman, named Peter. "And the Duke, if I can help it. Only fair. She broke my brother's heart, the wretch, and if that weren't enough, she had him killed--on the very night they elope!" He grinds his teeth and smiles the smile of the dead. "Can ye forgive a trickery like that? Nay, but the greed in woman's heart has no measure on this earth."

>His mission is far more criminal than you had first thought. He cannot be allowed to go free. The Duke's men must be alerted and the wedding go off as planned.

>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her; she is innocent.

>Frankly this is an opportunity. You offer to sell your silence and indifference to his quest for what's left of his gold. What do you care for the games of nobility?
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>>5031818
>Discourage his vengeance, tell him the truth
But remind him of how many will surely die if he pursues this vendetta and exposes them--including his (innocent) sister-in-law most likely.
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>>5031818
>Frankly this is an opportunity. You offer to sell your silence and indifference to his quest for what's left of his gold.
>His mission is far more criminal than you had first thought. He cannot be allowed to go free. The Duke's men must be alerted and the wedding go off as planned.

War is bad for business.
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>>5031818
>>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her; she is innocent.
>>
So I just checked and it seems it takes me about an hour to write up a post now, and that's about all I have to spare at the moment for questing (due to work obligations) so I'll be doing post-a-day schedule from now on.
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>>5031818
>>Frankly this is an opportunity. You offer to sell your silence and indifference to his quest for what's left of his gold. What do you care for the games of nobility?
>give him some free advice
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>>5031818
>>His mission is far more criminal than you had first thought. He cannot be allowed to go free. The Duke's men must be alerted and the wedding go off as planned.

Am I the only player here who actually wants to be a good businessman and not a bribe-taking kike?
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>>5031818
>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her; she is innocent.
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>>5031818
>>His mission is far more criminal than you had first thought. He cannot be allowed to go free. The Duke's men must be alerted and the wedding go off as planned.

Right, lets do what we can to prevent this war from breaking out.
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>>5031818
>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her; she is innocent.
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>>5032126
Several of us are trying to be overtly honest without taking his coin, you jabroni.
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>>5031818
>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her; she is innocent.

I think this is some Rashomon thing were everyone tells his version of the truth and we have no way of knowing what really happened. But let's try to puzzle this shit out together.
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>>5031818
I'm rather late in reading this, but:

>His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: you were the one that stopped her, and in quite the similar situation; but when pressed in confidence, she told nothing of the situation as he did just now. You were of the impression that she was royalty indeed, and merely desired to get out of a marriage she found distasteful.

I'm not certain how the brother was killed, mind. That I couldn't quite parse from the post.
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>>5031818
>Frankly this is an opportunity. You offer to sell your silence and indifference to his quest for what's left of his gold. What do you care for the games of nobility?
>>
>>5031818
>>His mission is far more criminal than you had first thought. He cannot be allowed to go free. The Duke's men must be alerted and the wedding go off as planned.
>>
>>5031818
>>5031834 >>5031861 >>5031868 >>5031911 >>5032126 >>5032160 >>5032173 >>5032175 >>5032236 >>5032269 >>5032518 >>5032682

His vengeance might be discouraged by the truth: that you were the one that stopped the princess; that she is innocent. You tell him the whole tale. The bowman does not take your confession well. At first, he thinks you're lying, just covering for the princess, someone else she and Duke have paid off. His brother was definitely killed by the Duke's men for he had fought and took two of them with him to the grave and they bore the Duke's mark. He waited at their agreed upon meeting place for two days and on the night of the second they had ambushed him. It was a secret spot known to none other but the pair. How could the Duke's men have found it if Heloise had not colluded with them? At the same time, he seems partially relieved by his newfound doubts. Perhaps he was not looking forward to his suicide mission or to killing his sister-in-law. In either case, his priorities have changed. In the last few visits to town he arranged passage into the castle and tonight will surprise the princess--now for parley rather than blood. He will hear the story from the princesses own mouth and if yours and hers matches, he will go without a fuss. But if it does not, he promises it will be your head as well as hers.

Then he rises and goes to ready the warlop again, issuing a silent challenge for you to stop him. Even on your best day it would be a hard fight, for he is of your kind, a survivor, and even if you have more experience, his is in recent memory.

>You let him go. You have nothing to fear for you told the whole truth and the princess will do the same.

>You make him stay, with force. You'll not bear threats from anyone--not in your own home.

>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth
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>>5033070
>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth

shiieeet now it's our head on the line. That's what we get for sticking our nose in other people's business I suppose.
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>>5033080
>>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth
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>>5033070
>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth

Saving the princess will do wonders for our brand.
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>>5033070
>>You make him stay, with force. You'll not bear threats from anyone--not in your own home.

He's still stealing one of our customer's horse-equivalents. We can't let him do that.
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>>5033070
>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth

To avert war if necessary, and to make sure the warlop is returned.
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>>5033070
>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth
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>>5033070
>>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth
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>>5033070
>>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth

Bah, dragged into it at last, but I see no alternative
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>>5033070
>Go with him

It's the most neutral stance we can take. Sure he is taking a warlop but we can always say we went after him after seeing him ride off on one
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>>5033213
>we can always say we went after him after seeing him ride off on one

You want to lie to our good customers?
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>>5033070
>You let him go. You have nothing to fear for you told the whole truth and the princess will do the same.
Get me out of this Rashomon shit
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>>5033070
>>You'll go with him to ensure that all goes smoothly and to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth
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>>5033219
Only if you promise not to tell your boyscout leader
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Bad news friends. Just got a great opportunity for advancement at work but it's going to eat up what's left of my free time (which went to this quest) for a while. So I'm going to discontinue the quest. If anyone else wants to take a crack at it, you have my blessing. Otherwise it's been fun, catch you on the flip.
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>>5033860
Welp. The good quests always die young, eh?
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>>5033860
So, it's great news!
Congrats, QM. Thanks for the quest.
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>>5033860
Rest in peace, oh you good quest
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>>5033860
Congratulations. It sees like most of the good quests always have short life spam.
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>>5033860
Thank you for running, QM, and good luck with your work!
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>>5033860
Good shit QM. remember us.
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>>5033860
It was fun while it lasted, thank you QM! Best of luck with the new job
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>>5033860
NOOOOOOO

Do your best anon....





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