Fire in the Silkworm Inn is the next part of the Yojimbo D&D campaign following on from Taking Yoichiro Home. Having been bailed out of the local jail, and recruited Kohei to help find Nui the group assemble in the town square to discuss their next moves. The local constabulary keep a close eye on them, and Inokichi appears to have a beef with the brewery guards across the square. Under the watchful eye of the constables he is persuaded to save it for another day.
Using Kohei’s local knowledge the group decide to go seek Tokuemon at the Silkworm Inn. He owns a chunk of it and is known to frequent the plush back room of the Silkworm, where he gambles with Kohei (and others). Oroborus decided to wait outside in case there was any trouble. She’d call the others if there was any problem.
The Silkworm Inn was relatively quiet, six regulars were in, all known to Kohei at least by sight. The bouncer was stood by the door to the back room and a barkeep was behind the bar. The group, less Oroborus, ordered drinks at the bar and then took a table in the middle.
Kohei used the time while the drinks were being poured to chat to a friend and ask about his sister Nui. His friend was nervous about sharing info, but said that he’d heard Nui was back in town. When pressed by Kohei about where she might be he said he ought not to tell, and that Kohei couldn’t tell anyone how he knew, but looking upstairs in the Silkworm Inn might be fruitful.
Sator asked the barkeep about Nui while she was serving up the drinks. He was told Nui was away in the bid city, and that stories she’d been kidnapped were just that, stories. All the while the barkeep looked frequently at the bouncer, and gave the impression of sticking to a script. Needless to say Sator wasn’t convinced by her denials.
Zia chatted to a man at the corner of the bar and asked if he knew anything about the back room and what was upstairs. The man was pretty free with information. He told her that the rich folks, like what Zia obviously was, drank in the back. It was much nicer than the common room, but was about four times the price. She asked about Tokuemon and was told that he often came in, always out the back. On being asked if anyone was out the back Zia was told that there were about four or five people, plus Gonji (the Landlord).
Making for the Back Room
The group sat at their table and had a quiet drink while sharing the information that they’d picked up. Kohei shared that the bouncer was only there to keep the riffraff out from the back. So they decided to go through when they finished their drinks. As they were drinking up Gonji came into the common room from the back room. He took one look at the group, and then whispered something to the bouncer before retiring back through the door.
The group took that as their cue to follow and downed their drinks. When the bouncer realised that they were coming for the back room he banged his club on the door and shouted for backup. The group carried on walking up to him, trying not to look threatening. A somewhat drunk dwarf, sitting near the door to the back room got up and swore at them. The other regulars hurriedly finished their drinks and paid attention to the door.
The drunk dwarf said he was going to kill the $@!* elf. So help him gods. Drawing his sword he lunged at Elgon. Thankfully he was so drunk that all he managed to do was throw the sword across the room, missing Elgon. Sator, who was leading on the way to the door, ducked under a table. This was just as well as the bouncer lunged at him with his club, but missed owing to Sator ducking out of the way. The helpful man at the bar decided to join in the fight and hit Zia over the head with his empty glass. Without thinking Zia spun round and hit him with the flat of her great axe, dazing him.
Harbek spun round too turning on his flaming axe. He pre-emptively hit a dwarf that was going for a club from under the table. This didn’t prevent the dwarf from retaliating. Kohei was grabbed by his friend and they hid between the tables. One of the other patrons also hid between another set of tables when he saw the fight start. The last stood and watched from near the door, as did the barkeep. Elgon shot a magic missile at the drunk dwarf, who wasn’t noticeably affected by it.
Oroborus heard the commotion from outside and came into the bar. As he did the human at that end of the bar hit him with a pewter tankard, spilling beer all over her. Oroborus retaliated, pushing the human into a nearby table and knocking him off balance. Zia traded more blows with the man that attacked her, leaving him unconscious on the floor. Harbek put his opponent down too, and turned towards the back. The barkeep ducked below the bar.
Silkworm Inn burns
At the back of the Silkworm’s common room things escalated. The drunken dwarf persisted in trying to hit Elgon, despite being too drunk for co-ordination. Elgon, frustrated that magic missile hadn’t taken the dwarf out, and worried he was about to be physically assaulted, resorted to Burning Hands. In his panic Elgon put his maximum effort into it.
Unable to dodge the drunken dwarf took the full force of burning hands from Elgon. He also got hit in the rear as it bounced off the stone rear wall of the Silkworm’s common room. Elgon, surprised by the rebound, also took the full force of the cone of fire. The bouncer, Sator, Kohei and his friend all managed to dodge the blast, although got lightly singed despite cover from the benches and dodging. The barkeep popped up from behind the bar with her crossbow as soon as the cone of fire stopped. She hit Elgon square in the back with a bolt. It’s possible the only thing that kept Elgon on his feet was being hit from both sides!
Fleeing the Fire
Most of the people in the bar decided it was time to leave. Oroborus’s opponent pushed past him and ran out the door, with Oroborus in hot pursuit. The drinker hiding between the tables in the middle of the room also dashed for the door. Kohei’s friend crawled under the tables to avoid the melee at the end of where he was hiding. The bouncer took a swing with his club at Elgon as he dashed past. It was a lucky hit, connecting with a sickening crunch. Elgon dropped to the floor. Kohei rolled to put the fire on his clothes out and stop the burning. Everyone else conscious went for the door.
When Kohei rolled back up he spotted Elgon on the floor and dragged him to the door of the Silkworm. Slowed by dragging Elgon, Kohei met Harbek at the door, when Harbek came back in to dowse the flames by creating water above them. This successfully doused the fire.
Outside Orobus strung his longbow and took aim at his fleeing opponent. The cry of ‘Fire!’ went up and people started running. Sator checked the two patrons that hadn’t been involved in the fight were OK, he then went with them to get buckets and water. Kohei attempted to revive Elgon, but without success. Elgon was too badly injured for his healing words to have any effect.
The bouncer and Zia decided that the fight was over and also went to get help for firefighting. Oroborus shot the fleeing man in the back, he fell face down in the street some distance away from the tavern.
Many townsfolk and the local constable arrived with buckets, ladders and a pump. Just in time to find out that Harbek had put the fire out.
[To be continued…]