While the group is discussing their plans for the next day and making sure they are all in agreement Svetlana takes her leave and sees to cleaning up after the meal. While she is away from the dining area Oleg leans in and makes the group an offer.
"I'd like to ask you all to try and find my wife's wedding ring. She says its no big deal to her but it is to me. If you can find it and return it, I'll give you 1,000 gold crowns in store credit. The bandits were the last to have it but they could have lost or sold it by now. I know it's a long shot but I'd sure appreciate it if you could keep an eye out for it."
Oleg shakes his head as Numalar asks about saddles. "I'm afraid modifying a saddle for you is beyond my abilities." The proprietor stands and exits the dining room to walk across the hallway to his office. With parchment and a quill and ink in hand he returns to his seat where he begins making notes. He writes out the items that Numalar requests, nodding his head at the mention of each.
"It may take some time on the saltpeter. That isn't an item that most merchants keep on hand in Restov. I will seek out this Caraduck Thorpe for the wandermeal." With all of the items cataloged, Oleg sets the parchment aside and caps the bottle of ink. "It may be several days before I can make my way to Restov, however. We will need to fix the wagon first and I definitely won't be leaving here until I feel comfortable that Svetlana will be safe from the bandits."
Oleg will show you his store but I'm not going to list out items. Just let me know what you want and I'll let you know if he would have or not. Let me know what your plan will be for the morrow. Heading straight to Bokken's? Or head to another hex to explore? You won't be able to explore on the way to Bokken's as it would take too long then to travel, explore, interact with the hermit, and get back before dark. Also give me a final decision on the horses, please.
Svetlana smiles and momentarily blushes at the thanks for Numalar. "You are most welcome and thank you for your kind words," she says as she begins to clear the table.
Oleg nods to Numalar as he addresses him. "As we've said, you are welcome to stay here and enjoy my wife's delicious cooking without compensation. You are also welcome to look at any of the goods that I currently have on stock and we will work out some arrangement. Whether it be credit or trade in what you find while exploring. I will buy anything that I feel I can turn around and sell at 60% of its normal value. I have to be able to turn around and sell it for some profit after all."
Just remember that Oleg's store at the moment will consist mainly of items for settlers in the area or trappers/hunters passing through. It will be pretty mundane in nature. But, you can ask and I'll let you know if he has it.
"Bokken is a harmless old hermit, but he is just that, an old hermit," offers Oleg.
"He's more apt to ask you for something than he is to be willing to make something for you. It all depends on where his mind is at the time, what he has on hand, and what he'd like to brew up. He's also usually pretty wary of strangers also."
Oleg drinks from his mug of ale and sits back to look the group over, "I'm not tryin' to discourage you from visiting the old hermit, just want you to go in with eyes wide open as they say."
Leaving Zokon to get some much needed rest, the others head back to the main hall where Svetlana has another tasty meal prepared. Venison stew with vegetables and potatoes provides another hearty offering for the group. Once again the ale and wine is brought out and toasts are made to celebrate the victory that day.
"You probably saved yourself some time by finding those horses," begins Oleg a few minutes into the meal, "but I imagine there will be others coming to to find out why they didn't return. Wouldn't you say so, Felton?"
Forcing down a bite of bread, Jon Felton nods his agreement. "I would think so. I wasn't in their camp but a few days but from what I understand Happs and the leader, Kressle, were very close. She'll be interested in knowing what happened to her love, if anything. I couldn't say for sure what she would do, I'm sorry. She could send a couple of men north again to look for them or she could rouse the whole camp. I just don't know." Felton returns to his meal after offering what knowledge he could.
"Either way, they'll be back," picks up Oleg. Turning to take in the assembled group he asks, "So what are you thoughts on what we need to do next?"
"We could tether them here, inside the walls, but it will make quite the mess to clean up in the morning," responds Oleg. "Most wolves and the like steer clear of the walls of the fort so if we keep them close they will probably be ok but it would also make sense for us to keep a watch over them."
"We shouldn't have to do it very long. The one's you all don't want I can arrange to sell."
"I'm open to any other ideas. I'd rather not spend the first hour of my day tomorrow cleaning up horse****
As Celyne, Fronar, Luna, Bella, and Felton make their way into the courtyard, Oleg walks around lighting a few torches placed in sconces around the courtyard.
"We'll leave the gate open for a bit longer but we probably should keep a watch out just in case. Not knowing that you had already found all the horses they probably are stretching out the day and the search as long as they can, offers Oleg.
Walking outside to check on the others, Svetlana looks at the sweaty and dirty Bella and Felton, "Perhaps you two would like a bath before dinner? There is a wooden tub on each of the floors of the guesthouse. I'll bring pots of water over that you can warm to your liking in the fireplace of each floor." The young woman then heads back into main house to gather the pots and draw some water for them.
"We'll have to figure out something for the additional horses," says Oleg with a studied frown on his face. "With the cow in one stall and the gnome's mule in the other that only leaves us with two empty stalls. The pack horses are in those right now so we have no room for these five. Should we run a line outside that they can be tethered to for the night?" Oleg looks to any of the others for suggestions.
The thundering voice of Oleg quiets everyone and turns all eyes on him. Standing a few inches over six feet tall the man appears more blacksmith than merchant at the moment.
"Both of you will remember that you are guests in my home and will speak civilly to one another or you will leave
Turning to Felton he continues, "Jon, you would do well to remember that an hour ago you were facing a death sentence."
"And Numalar, whether you agree with the River Freedoms or not you would do well to remember that many of the folk who will meet here live by and respect them. Perhaps you should show some respect to them. Your charter says you are here to chart and explore, not make your own laws or anything else."
"Now we are done with this."
"Don't insult me, young lady," Oleg says to Valeska. "Give the gold to your friends if you wish but I deal in coin as well as relationships and I pay those who help me."
Initially, Oleg wants no part of the deal in helping out Jon Felton but the wisdom and gentle words of Celyne and Bella finally convince him to give the man a chance.
Initially I was going to roll a Diplomacy check but given Celyne's high Dip and Bella aiding her I figured it would be an easy make if you Take 10 so that's what I did.
"We have a lot of work to do on this place," he says with a glare to Felton. "If you slack up in any way or I don't like the way you look at me or anyone else under my roof you will be out of here. We understand one another?"
Felton nods his agreement and offers his hand to Oleg. The older proprietor fo the trading post huffs and his brow furrows but he takes the proffered hand.
"Daylight is burning," Oleg says after shaking the hand. "Let's see what we can salvage of this wagon and then get rid of the rest."
Felton nods and immediately goes over to look at the wagon with Oleg.
As if on cue, Oleg exits the main house and walks over to the group. He carries a small, wooden chest in his hands that he puts on the floor. Opening it up, he says, "I'll have no man... or woman... shed blood to defend what's mine without taking reward. Here's payment."
Inside the small chest are two small bags that appear to have coins in them along with three potions. Oleg picks up two of the bottles, "All these were crafted by Bokken. These two have healing properties. This third he says will provide protection to anyone in a fight." He puts the two bottles back in the chest. "I figure you all will have more need for them than I will."
"As for the stuff from this scum, I'll buy it from you as well. It will help me to replenish my stock. Svetlana and I would also like to welcome you all to stay here, no charge. As long as you need be."
The gruff proprietor seems to be less tense than he was the day and night before but he knows that all this is far from over.
Chest contains 50 gp and 2 potions of cure light wounds (1d8+4 each). The third is a potion of shield of faith +2. Oleg will buy the items for 60% on the dollar. Feel free to negotiate with him if you wish.
Oleg pulls away from the embrace of his wife. "It's not over now," he says to the others more than his wife. "This isn't all of them. I"m sure the others will come. Either when the horses make their way into camp without their riders or enough time has passed for this group to have been back. And then they will head straight here This is only beginning."
The proprietor of the trading post then takes his wife's hand and leads her back into the common room and away from what must be done with the remaining bandit.
"Don't tell me what to do in my own house," Oleg says as he continues to look through Happs' body. "I'm looking for Svetlana's wedding ring. Bastard stole it the last time he was here."
Finally, exasperated, Oleg gives up the search of Happs. He then moves to the bodies of the other bandits and searches them.