The Panther’s taproom was like almost any other; perhaps a bit seedier. A balding man drew pints at the bar as a barmaid ferried them to the tables. Heads turned at the sound of the door and the occupants scrutinized the party for a few moments.
A burly halfling in a leather apron sat at the bar sipping his ale. A lean man stood by the fire drying his traveling cloak. Another sat on a stool near the hearth, a long spear leaning by him against the wall. Most of the room’s occupants were all at one table, though: Eight hard-looking men in assorted armor playing cards and drinking. The remains of their meals around them.
Judah and Ongewasgone talked to the innkeeper about rooms but decided on the loft as it was cheaper. Judah noticed that the man with the wet cloak and one of the card players kept glancing in the direction of the party. Leaving the others to “check the horses”, Judah and the elf ducked back outside and conferred under the front stoop.
While they were speaking, the storm threw a bolt of lightning that struck the obelisk in front of them. The clap of thunder was nearly deafening, but both Judah and Ongewasgone saw the lightning momentarily trace weird designs along the rock’s face.
Inside the inn, the thunderclap rattled the windows and drew Leo, the spearman by the fire, outside to investigate. There he found our two heroes in conversation. they wove a story about the nonexistent horses bolting from the noise. Judah and Ongewasgone decided that the elf would spy through the window while Judah walked back in to see what the people in the room would do. When Judah entered, he saw that the man with the cloak was not in the room. And neither was Sendaros.
Ralf said that he thought the mage had gone out to use the privy. Upon investigation, Sendaros was nowhere to be found. Ongewasgone found a handprint in the mud outside (possibly a sign that someone was knocked down? ) and a scrap of thread caught in a splinter on the outside wall. The rust-colored strands matching that of the wet cloak from earlier.
Back inside, they questioned Ralf and the innkeeper about what they’d seen. Neither could tell them much, but Ralf did identify the group at the table as part of the “Bronze TIgers” mercenary band. Each of them wore a small bronze medallion with a tiger’s head as an identifying badge. Judah tried to convince Jacob, their leader, that Sendaros would be grateful and reward anyone that helped him, but the mercenary remained unconvinced.
The party spend the next hour or so that night pounding on doors in the town, but with little to show for it. Meanwhile the storm continued. When they finally returned to the Panther, Jacob relented somewhat and said if they were serious about a possible reward, the Tigers might help look around in the morning. With little else to try for the time being. The group decided to get some rest.