The mound deflates, the top becoming a crater of sorts, and the group collect themselves from their tumble to the base. They look around to see a mob of farmers stood near-by staring at them pale and wide-eyed, torches and pitchforks at the ready. While Felix calms them and says everything’s okay now, Elo has a word with Merri about the necessities of sacrifice where demons are concerned. While Felix is going on, one of the villagers, points behind him, and says ‘yes, that’s wonderful and all, but what about that!’. The group turn to see the remains of the green fog rising into the air from the barrow. For a moment it looks like it might reform, but instead dissipates into the clouds. Elo does a quick Evil check, and sees the sky go from a fierce red to a paling pink, and then nothing; she assures the village then, that it’s gone. With that, they all realize it’s pitch black, cold and wet, and are offered a hayloft to sleep in, as it’s way too late and they are all too tired to go back to the city.
The next morning, after a small breakfast, they discuss the prospect of performing some kind of protection on the mound, and Merri says she can do a Consecration, but she needs some silver powder. So she and Elo trundle off to the local shrine of Farlaghen. They meet a very jolly chap called Father Langen, who provides the required spell component, and says he’ll keep an eye on the mound after they’ve done their work.
They trundel on back, and gather the troops and go about performing the consecrate. When Merri declares it done, Elo has a quick check, and while there is still a tiny pin-prick of evil at the center of the mound, it seems to be being held at bay by Merri’s spell, so she is satisfied.
With that they are presented with a hamper of food for their efforts, collect themselves again and head back to the city. (Note – It is assumed at this point, arrangements are made for poor Farmer Jenson, whether that be to take him to a municipal cemetery, or something else).
They arrive around lunchtime at the house, where an anxious Mrs Higgins is waiting for them. She says there’s a gentleman waiting for them in the front room, a priestly chap, and he’s been waiting for a while. The group grumble a bit, hand over the remains of the hamper they were given, and go and meet him.
Said gentleman introduces himself as Father Eldril of the Grey Surf, a priest of Deep Sashelas. He says that their local iteration of the church doesn’t feel as though the group has been properly rewarded for their services, and has come to offer them something in addition. The group assure him that the items they received were reward enough, but he is insistent and says they have purchased a hall for the group to use as they see fit.
Since Elo has already had half a mind to create a free school anyway, she leaves the others to come up with ideas of what they things should be done with the space, and tells them she will meet them at the hall in a couple of hours. She heads to her precinct to report in on the outcome of the suspect chase, and to try and fob off some of her paperwork onto Officer Cobbleskater, while the others throw ideas out, and then head to the hall as they said.
The group meets back up and they investigate the space. The hall is 50ft deep, 30ft wide and 20ft high, with about 7ft of staging area. It has about 5ft of cobble around the outside, and a small office extruding from the main building, just to one side of the double doors. They look around and discuss things, and decide that they definitely want something that can help meet the needs of the community. To that end, they decide they want to remove the stage, add a second floor to the building for some simple accommodation and an infirmary, and will partition the large main floor off to make a kitchen, training room and schoolroom. There is enough space outside, they think for some kind of small kitchen garden, and for play. The remainder of the space not sectioned off will become a common area.
Elo briefly wonders how they will pay for everything, but decides she can sell some things if required. They then wonder how exactly they’re going to get the work carried out, and Elo recalls that Daraja seemed to have a large number of skilled craftsmen working for him, and to that end proposes talking to Alice, who was one of his lieutenants.
So they trot off and talk to Alice, who is apparently has finally landed herself a man, and is a little less inclined to smother the two sorcerers. They tell her what they’re after, and she tells them that most of Daraja’s ex-work force can be found in the Dog and Kennel – a dive bar not too far from hers. They thank her, with her well and head on.
The Dog and Kennel is almost worse than The Pit, and many of the displaced barflies from that hole in the ground have indeed moved here. Elo gets the attention of the joint by offering a round for the house, and then tells them she needs carpenters and masons to work on their new acquisition, and that any of them who feel they have a useful profession are to show up at 9am at the site the next day. With that the crowd collect their pints, and the group leave for their own beds.
For the longest time, they all have a solid and undisturbed night’s sleep, and wake the next morning refreshed. After breakfast they head over to the hall site where a group of nineteen people meet them. They look like a raggedy bunch, so Elo asks them to put their hands up if they have a trade. A few do. She then asks if those trades are either building, carpentry or masonry and all the hands go down. She asks what happened to all the skilled workers, as that pub was where they should have been, and is told that they got so successful they started taking on real contracts. So she grits her teeth, and they go around the group, learning people’s names and professions.
Of instant note are Waldemar Edle, a dispossessed nobleman and Heinz Bürger, an ex-shopkeeper. Bürger has the real-world planning experience to be the general manager, while Edle – when scrubbed up – makes for a good Face. They find out as well, he can do accounts and his bodyguard, Leopold, is a good guardsman. They look around the area, and show the two men what it is they want done with the building, and Bürger says he thinks he can manage to get a hold of the materials, and order the heavy-lifting types to start removing the stage area. In the same conversation Edle says if he can have an advance, he can get some better clothes and a haircut, then start going around to the craft guilds and find them some competent workers.
At this point, Elo has a panic about money, and then Zege draws her aside and tells her he still has the ~6000gp from when they collected bounty on kobold heads. Her jaw drops, she stop panicking and they decide on 5sp/w for the grunts, 6sp/w for the specialists and 7sp/w for the two managers. Edle is advanced his cash, and trots off to smarten himself up, after agreeing a meet-up time with Felix, who says he will go with Edle to help secure the craftsmen.
While Bürger goes to work on a plan of action, they go back to the group of people. The mercenary and the pit fighter are grabbed by Zege, and they go and talk about fighting techniques. When they have to training room ready, he’d like them to teach a little self-defence – how not to get mugged, raped or beaten. At the same time, Merri and Elo talk to the hedgewizard, Waldemar Hexenmister. The poor man is a bit skittish, but they assure him they want his skills, and not to set him on fire. They go on to explain about the infirmary, teaching, and possible out-reach program they’d like to start, and also show him the small space outside, where he might be able to make a garden for herbs, vegetables and other things. He seems enthused by the idea, and they leave him to his planning, saying to get a list together of what he might need and pass it to Bürger.
Coming back inside they then go and talk to the two initiates, Johann Einleite and Magnus Anbahnen. Elo starts to ask them about them accepting positions as teachers, to help people learn letters and numbers, when they instead tell her they’ve heard her story of becoming a paladin and would like her to teach them about her god-less religion, and maybe teach them in turn to become paladins. She panics a bit, but Merri assures her she can do it, and so she tells them she will teach them.
Then the party splits to go and do their various business.