It’s just become nighttime as you enter the village of Easthill, in Harkenwold’s north. You have traveled far since you set out from Hammerfast and seek a soft bed for the night. As you move through town towards the Inn you see many soldier’s. More soldier’s than ought to be for such a sleepy little burgh.
You are a Halfling traveling the roads for whatever reason it is. A rogue by nature, and a cheeky one at that. Your name, is Graydon.
Pushing through the door to the tavern you are fronted by a group of soldier’s. Obviously not on watch tonight, they are getting settled in for a solid night of drinking. There are several other patrons in here, mostly townsfolk you wager as they keep their heads down, solemnly. Behind the bar is the taverner while the barmaid takes out the drinks. Standing by the fire is a many smoking a pipe cautiously watching the scene unfold.
You think that some of the soldier’s may have had a head start on their comrades. 2 of them harass the barmaid, saying some disgusting things and miming rude gestures.
“Oi! Who the devil do you think you are?!” Barks one of the soldiers, noticing you for the first time. “No one in this miserable little town’s allowed to carry arms! Set ‘em, down if you know what’s good for you!”
Taken aback at first, the Halfling doesn’t know what to say. Some of the guards stand up and ready themselves.
Finally realizing the gravity of the situation, you speak: “Listen, fellows” a cheeky smile springing across the Halflings face, “why don’t I buy you all a round of ale instead?”
The man holding you arm relaxes. You notice that the other guards do as well somewhat. They look to the man holding your arm.
“That would be good” he says, slurring his words somewhat.
“HUZZAH!” The other guards shout and your arm is released.
And so you buy the guards a round of ale and they seem to forget about you for the moment.
You polish off your first beer with a smacking of your lips and set the stein down on the bar with a thud. Drawing the bartender’s attention. As you are about to order another for yourself the door opens and in steps 3 guards. They all wear their full uniform and one carries a lantern.
They scan the room and quickly notice you sitting at the bar and look at the off duty guards. Who are all quite inebriated at this point of the night.
“What are you doing?” the guard with the lantern says in a deep, commanding voice. “Who is that?” he gestures to you sitting at the bar.
One of the more drunk guards lifts his mug and says, “oh, he’s alright. He’s a Halfling, and he’s bought us some beersh!”
Slapping the beer out of the man hand, the guard with lantern shouts to the room “get him! Get the Halfling!”
The Harkenwolders in the room know what is going to happen next. Several at the back fade into the shadows to escape detection. Behind the counter, the bartender disappears. Around the rooms, guards stand up and move towards you.
“Wait. Wait, wait wait wait. Can’t talk about this?” You ask, pleading almost.
“It’sh nothing personal you know” says the closest guard. “Just doing our jobs.”
“Oh” you say and leap over the bar top from a sitting position on a stool. Removing your short bow and notches an arrow, you fire at the closest guard before hitting the ground.
The arrow hits him square in the chest and he falls as the guards move in faster. Two more fall are they move up and swing at you over the counter. Ducking and weaving you avoid their attacks. You remove your sword and stab at them taking down two more just as a guard appears at the entrance behind the bar. Seeing him appear, you roll over the counter top. Swiping at an enemy on the other side and ending with your sword sticking through another’s chest.
They both fall.
The bartender climbs up onto the barrels of beer and escapes through the chute on the side of the building. All of the Harkenwolders move towards the door.
The guard who followed you around the bar attempts to jump over and follow you. But, being as drunk as he is, catches his foot on the counter and lands head first in a bar stool and lands prone.
One of the guards, previously too drunk to notice what’s happening now awakes to the noise of the room. He sees the Harkenwolders running out the door way and into the night.
3 guards advance on you. One being the drunken one, who has just noticed your handiwork of his fellows laying about the tavern floor. Seeking vengeance, he stands and stumbles towards your position removing his weapon.
He swipes at you as you jump up on a table. But he misses. Doing your tumbling trick once again, two more guards fall, leaving just the drunken guard and the guard at the bar who fell.
At this point, the man by the fire who has thus far simply watched the action moves behind the bar. The guard who fell stands up, but just as he does, his hair is grabbed from across the bar. His head pulled back, exposing his throat. The pipe smoking man reaches out over the bar and runs a dagger across the guards throat. Sending a spray of blood out as the blade cuts across.
Dodging another blow, your foot slips in a puddle of ale and landing prone on the table top you see the drunken guard lining up for another shot. As his mace reaches it’s peak in it’s backswing you thrust your sword forward into his chest.
His mace drops and he looks at you as he drops.
The pipe smoking man walks over to you, cleaning off his blade on a cloth. He extends a hand to you, which you take and you are pulled upright off the table and onto the ground.
He says: “Greetings, Halfling, I am Adalbar. As you can see, our Baronet of Harkenwold is currently subjugated by these cretins. I organise the resistance here in Easthill as our village Elder has been thoroughly cowed by the Iron Circle.”
“But, really, we should be quick. This ruckus will soon be reported. Head to Albridge, straight away. There, seek out a man named Dar Gremath. He will help you get through Harkenwold unnoticed. But knowing him, he’ll put you on the path to help the rebellion. Tell him that I sent you. He will understand. Now go. I will mislead the guards that come. Give you some time to hide at least.”
You thank Adalbar and quickly loot the guards finding little of value.
“You really should be going, the guards could arrive at any moment.”
You leave through the front door and head in the direction of Albridge.