The crew awoke the morning after the battle with the Iron Circle ambush squad including the large drake to a cool wet farm. The fog was gone though and the light made clear the bountiful garden just outside the house they’d slept in. Everyone took part in picking the various vegetables, fruits, and herbs (including cabbage, lettue, rosemary, bell peppers, apples, pears, plums, and even a few berries) which made for a substantially better meal than their standard trail rations. Still they all were looking forward to something a bit more substantial in Albridge.
Little more than an hour later, around 10am, they arrived in the mid-sized town. They headed straight to the stables owned by Dar Gremath. A worker led them to a stable where Dar was shoeing a horse. By now it was quite clear the man was good at running a tight ship of a rebellion, and he used the legitimate cover of his stables to his advantage. When Eldan mentioned the Iron Circle crews they’d taken out, Dar was not the least surprised. He had already heard of our team’s exploits and close calls, though how exactly he would not say. Even so, he was pleased with their progress. Lia asked what more could be done and whether it might be wise to contact her people to ask for their support. Dar agreed that contacting the Woodsinger Elves would be wise. Other than that, though, he only suggested that the team perhaps start a fight with the local Iron Circle squad and see if running them out of town might lead to the Iron Circle’s supposed leader, Nezeem Redthorn, to show himself publicly. This led Berend to ask about whether they should be trying to do anything about the rumored real leader, Lord Vannyk. This took Dar by surprise. As soon as the others provided the little they knew of Vannyk, Dar quickly sent two of his men out to seek more information.
The meetup concluded, the team walked through the streets to the local inn’s tavern where they knew they’d find the Iron Circle thugs. They sent Jixin in disguised first, though with all the rowdiness he was unable to get any of the thugs to talk about anything of importance. Lia and Velos entered next. One of the brigands demanded they leave their weapons at the door. Velos conceded, but Lia faked a limp and suggested that she needed her staff as a walking stick. A few minutes later Berend and Eldan came in. They also were made to lay down their weapons, though of course Eldan kept many more hidden daggers. Malagar stood ready by the door.
Berend had some words with Velos to make it seem as if they would start a fight with each other. The Iron Circle thugs were already more than ready to brawl and were just waiting for that one straw to light on fire, as it were. As soon as the fight broke out, Malagar found that he was not alone as he was sucker punched by a cut throat. Inside the rest of the team made short work of the rabble, though the brigands put up much more of a fight. One of those brigands went outside to take down Malagar almost right away. Lia stuck to providing distracting assistance to the others, feeling no need to get her hands dirty. Velos and Berend worked the other Brigand until he finally got out between the two of them. Once he was the only enemy left standing, the others rushed out to assist Malagar, who was being hounded now by the cut throat and brigand, plus an additional cut throat. He was getting hurt, but was laying his own smack-down on the cut throat who’d sucker punched him.
Velos heard the others call out that Malagar could use a little help (though Malagar didn’t bother to say anything himself, he’d already gotten a few good cuts and bruises), so he left the other brigand to Berend. Berend was having a grand time messing with that brigand, who eventually went to get behind the bar and then used the barmaid as a shield. She escaped his grip, and when he tried to escape out the back, Berend charged him and landed a massive dwarf/superman punch to knock him right out, dropping slack to the floor. Outside punches continued to fly. Lia, having had enough of this, began to whack the thugs with her staff.
Soon enough it was over. The team tied up all of the Iron Circle crew, took their money (giving a reasonable bit of it to the barmaid for the trouble), and took a short rest to recover and prepare for the interrogation.