The clanging chime of the alarm bell continues to toll, heralding the coming of battle and foes.
"There's no time to leave," Lodge grunts.
"Well then what do we do with this bastard?" Darcarus complains, gesturing to the bound Kylvin. " I've already looted him. Can we ransom him?"
"Probably not," Taebin replies.
"NO," Taebin cuts in, already sensing where Darcarus' thoughts would lead. "You cannot DO anything to him."
"Well then he's useless!" Darcarus declares, supported by a chorus of nods from his companions.
"Pelor will judge his life," Taebin says solemnly, bowing his head in prayer. As he prays, a glow begins to emit from his holy shield. Suddenly, a flare erupts from the sky, engulfing the bandit leader in blinding light.
"What's going on?" Nelly gasps.
"Oh, just divine punishment or something," Darcarus replies offhandedly. "Come on, let's loot the room." Adventurers, after all, have priorities.
But moments after the body of the bandit leader slides to the floor, the party is interrupted by the sound of pounding feet. Six straggling bandits burst forth into the courtyard, then skid to a stop at the sight of the triumphant warriors. "Aw, shit," one of them curses.
"GET THEM!" Lodge roars. Arrows fly from Lodge's bow, fire engulfs a foe from Mavrus' Eldritch Blast, and Nelly saunters forward to finish the job. "Expelliarmus!" she cries, shouting the incantation for Melf's Acid Arrow. "Oh, damn it! I rolled a 1! I mean... MAVRUS, LOOK OUT!"
An acidic, spinning green arrow bursts forth from Nelly's fingertips, and before Mavrus can so much as blink, the spell spears him through the back. The unfortunate warlock is engulfed in acid.
Despite the unreliable wizard and the fuming warlock, the party makes short work of the remaining bandits. The last of the vengeful attackers have been slain, and Lord Gilford's manor lies in shambles.
"My books..." Nelly says forlornly, glancing toward the desecrated door to the library.
"Here Nelly, I know dragons like gold," Mavrus says, not one to hold grudges. And besides, he has a soft spot for fat dragons. Mavrus extends his hand and offers a golden pendant on a chain. A gleam alights in Nelly's eyes and she eagerly accepts it.
"It does kind of suck about Lord Gilford," Darcarus states.
"You know..." Mavrus begins slowly. "Nobody knows that Lord Gilford is dead... And Darcarus here is a master of disguise. What if WE become Lord Gilford?"
Silence descends across the party. "That... that just may work," Darcarus finally states. "It WILL work! I can pose as that guy with no problem! We'll have his estates, his income, his title... we'll be rich!"
Excitement spreads through the adventurers like chain lightning. It's been a rather profitable day, by adventuring standards.
But still, the adventurer's sacred duty calls: "NOW can we loot the manor?" Lodge asks.