"Ah to town," says the Unshaded Yet Quite Shaded Knight who also coincidentally agrees that it's getting more difficult to find some new way to say BK, although that does bring to mind a Whopper with Cheese, so he adds, "Food and an Ale would be good... if you recall, I missed out on the free snacks and wheely McGreggor over there spilt me ale. Not that I mind that at all Stump's old chap!" So he turns off left with Burt towards not-not-town.
You follow the Cairn road back towards town, leaving the bandit's corpse in the dust. As the afternoon wears on, in the distance you see smoke from the chimneys of Red Larch curling lazily up to the sky. A lone man with a spritely - nay, jaunty - gait approaches headed in the opposite direction to you. He occasionally performs an exaggerated trotting motion or leap-heel-click combo. As he gets closer, you can hear that he's humming and these leaps are timed to the rhythm of the tune.
The man tips his hat to you, pirouettes and is on his merry way off towards not-town, humming and heel-clicking as he goes.
You arrive in Red Larch in the early evening. Little has changed in the sleepy hamlet, though they appear to have cleaned most of Greg's blood off the doorstep of the Swinging Sword. As you make your way down the main street you hear a portentous rumble. It is your stomach, reminding you that it's a long time since you've last eaten, and even longer since you last paid for a meal you ate.
Hmmm....I believe I'm quite hungry. Let's see if that one guy whose name I never fully learned but I wanna say Eric? is still in the Swinging Sword. If not, maybe I can wink my way to a free meal. He steps in through the door and winks at any lady he can see.
Inside the Swinging Sword he encounters 5. He fires each of them a devastating wink.
Incredibly, only the maid seems in any way affected, collapsing into a twitching, moaning heap as her fulfilled desires consume her from the inside like a wasp larva in a caterpillar. The owner, Kay, seems non-plussed, stern Maegla Tarnlar is, as ever, immune to your charms but the elderly frames of both Haeleeya from the Bathhouse and Albaeri from the stoneworks - both of whom having previously submitted more than willingly to the full range of Burt's charms - seem positively incensed. They simply glare back at him and storm out, both idly scratching. It would appear that local gossip is starting to catch up with him.
Kay tuts at Ghileeda's writhing, then sets up 3 ales at a free table and leaves you to it.
I wonder what's up with the old chicks. Oh well....free beer!He again swallows his in one gulp. I wonder where that Larry guy is, that one that sent us after those bandits, just for clarification purposes. And I wonder if he has any more delicious pig flesh.
As if sensing the nature of her guests, Kay wanders by and attaches a price tag to the table so no one can willfully misinterpret it's status as Free/Available and try to steal it.
Meanwhile, the door to the inn remains resolutely closed, almost as if the other villagers cannot be forced to appear just by the force of your internal and external monologuing.
"Well, that ought to fix the grill, Kay" Harbuk announces as he enters from the back door. Shit I forgot to lock the back door. "No charge, but I'll let you buy me a beer and... Oh!" He notices the party sitting at the table. "You're back! I...uh... of course you are! That is good... news. Great! So you took care of that thing we talked about?"
See there, BK, just keep bringing the guy up and soon enough the story forces them out. Johnny! Of course we're back! Those bandits won't ever be bothering the town again, if ya know what I mean. Neither will those pig guys that you may or may not have known even existed. They kinda seemed like a thing the DM came up with on the spot for comedic effect. Anyways, we'll take our payment now. And perhaps a new quest? I can't tell if there's an exclamation point over your head or not.
"Pig guys? I don't... Well that is to say... no, I - yes, they sound like something completely unrelated to the task I gave you, definitely. The kind of thing a bumbling neonate god might dream up in a misguided attempt to impress his peers. Snoutlaws? Who ever heard the like! Almost certainly not natural or, indeed, expected. Ha ha!" He claps Burt on the back a little too hard. "Well, payment - yes, as agreed you no longer owe me 30 gold for all the ham you ate. And of course, any gold or unclaimed properties you recovered from them, you'll have first dibs on. Fairs fair. I trust you did recover any good they'd stolen -and indeed that you brought me back some evidence that you have completed your task and didn't just go across to The Helm and wait the day out?"
I mean....obviously we recovered some sort of evidence that proves we did, in fact, go kill those bandits, and snoutlaws, and that one girl, and did not, in fact, pretend that we were from Bandit High Command and just send them in the other direction because they seemed like ok guys besides the whole banditing thing. Also, they were all apparently Spanish for some reason, which I'm not sure is racist or not. Maybe they were banditos?
But I digress. They are most definitely dead, and BK has literally any and all the evidence you will need. Which is really none at all, right? I mean, why would I, Burt Macklin, lie about such a thing? persuasion10
Harburk considers your words. "I wonder, given that you're making such sweeping assumptions based on a name, who's the real racist here? Probably think with a name like Harburk I'm a flipping Illuskan." He spits. "So... You reckon your word is good enough?"
You smell smoke. It's coming from his ear. But otherwise he seems very relieved. Those bandits must have been worrying him a lot.
"Mr Macklin, all you needed to do was raise an eyebrow. Well, the debt is paid. Here - get yourself a hot meal and a clean bed. I'm sure we can find something else for you to do in the morning." He throws a pouch with 10gp in it on the table, then with a firm shoulder-squeeze, he leaves.
"Yes, uhm... Tommy was it? Let's not forget about the ol' BK here now shall we? So, let's see, that's 10gp there that you're giving Burt, I don't see any ham or tasty swiney treats, so assume my 30gp will be in actual gp. If my math is correct, that's um, let's see now, 10 times 30, that's 500gp would be my take I believe, yes?" Throws in the knight, feeling he needs a wee bit more money if he's to buy any good legs that are a bit less porky. (You know, 'cause he's always thought himself a thin, fit type of knight.) The Knight looks Teddy in the eye as he tallies everything up with one hand being the paper, and the other a fingery pencil to sell the whole calculation. (Deception with a little acting: 24)
It's a very compelling argument. Harburk starts working with his fingers and his toes then stops
"Wait, I never asked you to take care of the bandits, that was between me and Burt. I cannot fault your maths, sir, but as a subcontractor your dispute is with your employer. And believe me, if he ain't doin right by you I know a certain constable who presides over the workers council might be inclined to see your side of things."
He gives himself a double-thumbed point. TBK, you now have a +5 to any persuasion or deception rolls pertaining to labour disputes with Burt within Red Larch and it's demesne. It is also a matter of public record that Burt owes you 500gp.
Hmm...that could be problematic. I really don't want to be sued by the Bureau Affecting Slaving, Toiling, And Restitution Department again. BASTARD can be a real bastard. Well BK, don't you worry your hammy little limbs. We'll get up in the morning and start solving all kinds of crimes. Like, at least 500 gp worth for sure. We can even maybe go to another town if the DM's read that far in the book. My reputation shan't proceed me because we're still in like the middle ages I think, so I can probably get free stuff again.
Recovering from her ecstatic fit, Ghileeda crawls to Burt's feet and claws at his boots pleading "Please don't go to another village, Burt! Not at level 1! You'll end up in that shit-hole Phandelin or that place up the road that looks like it was thrown together by chance, 5049 Landsward!"