Choose Your Own Adventure 23: No Good Deed
You chose to go for help, and maybe find the healer… to help clean up after you beat up Corporal Dunscher.
You first move is to duck back into the brewery. It’s the closest place, after all, and you don’t actually know where the healer is. “Javor! Javor! Hello?”
The man in question sticks his head out the side door. “Is there something wrong with your… by Alderik, what happened here?”
He pops back into the brewery, and shouts something at his assistant. The young man comes out the door, stares at the downed corporal for a few seconds, then dashes out the alleyway.
“He’s going to get Gisel. She’s the healer around here.” Before adding anything else, Javor kneels down next to the corporal without touching him. He holds his hand just above the corporal’s mouth, and watches his chest. “Breathing. Good. It’s probably not as bad as it looks, but that nose is never going to be as pretty as it used to be.” He stands back up slowly, and his knees emit a matched pair of creaks.
He looks directly at you, and asks, “What happened?”
You don’t know enough about this town to come up with a story and somebody reasonable to frame. If you tell the truth, they may just think you’re slightly crazy, or slightly dangerous if they actually believe you. For lack of anything better, you start telling a brief story about how Dunscher was showing off, and managed to tumble off the wagon in doing so. You explain that you tried to help, of course, but he did do a good job of face-planting into the dirt.
“Hm. You’d better tell that to Gisel when she gets here. Dunscher isn’t usually that clumsy. Could be something else is wrong.”
Between his insistence and the onlookers who have started to look to see what the hullabaloo was about, you don’t have a good opportunity to sneak away. Unfortunately, from the murmurs you hear, most of the folks here know Dunscher a bit and like him. The truth about your actions and his character is unlikely to encourage them to help you… you hope you can find a way out of this before Dunscher wakes up.
A few minutes later, Gisel, the healer, arrives, puffing. Her brown-and-gray hair is clearly attempting to escape its intended bounds. Her face is lined with care, and her hands are stained by some kind of ink. Her shirt and tunic are plain green and practical. Just ahead of her is Javor’s assistant, is carrying a bag for her.
And not far behind her is Sergeant Berschiss.
While she tends to Dunscher, Berschiss goes to you. “What happened here?” As you tell him the same story from before, his one eye narrows dangerously. Then he goes to speak with Gisel.
The slowly growing crowd gathers around Dunscher. Javor waves them back. You wait for a few minutes, until all seems quiet and no one is watching you. You try to sneak away. Perhaps you can find some bandages for your feet at the healer’s place, and then…
You never have the chance to finish your planning. Around the corner, waiting for you, is Sergeant Berschiss, with two other tall men. The latter two are not dressed as soldiers… but the longbows they carry are suitably dangerous nonetheless.
“I thought so,” Berschiss says. “Most people who’ve been as close to that canyon as you claim don’t remember how to talk, much less what their names are. You’re some kind of agent, aren’t you? Who are you, and why are you here?”
“I’m not an agent of anything…”
Your denials are ignored. “Right,” Berschiss says. “And Gisel was wrong about Dunscher having been in a fight. A very brief fight.”
With the help of the townspeople, Berschiss has Javor lock you in a closet in the brewery.
The door is watched at all times, by Berschiss at the very least. He asks you questions, and doesn’t believe your honest answers. The mention of Dunscher’s unwanted advances gets you a moment of sympathy, but not much more than that. You’re tempted to start making up something… or claim association with the emperor somehow… to get yourself out of this mess.
Unfortunately, you run out of time. After being stuck in the dim room that reeks of old ale and moldy mop for about an hour, Berschiss leaves the door to someone else’s eyes. He’s back after only a few minutes. You can hear him talking with someone else, far outside the door. You can’t hear exactly what they’re saying, but from the tones, it sounds like Berschiss is interacting with a superior officer.
It’s only been an hour, perhaps a bit longer. That’s not enough time for someone to send a message to the fort at Kleriv and then come back to Vendrik. Whoever’s out there must have left the fort much earlier, or have come from somewhere else.
Berschiss returns to the door, and shouts through it, “Stay back from the door. The soldiers here will be taking charge of you.”
The soldiers Berschiss refers to are still talking, but inaudible until the door is opened.
“… to keep. I’m sure they’ll find someone else suitable. She can’t be the only one.”
No one is standing directly in front of the door. You have only enough time to register this fact and stand up before two soldiers in the brewery proper send a matched set of arrows into your chest. “Why… who…” And then the world goes dark.
Oops. That was a death scene.
But, since this is a story, and not reality, let’s back up and try again, shall we?
The (Remaining) Choices:
Option 22: Leave the scene like you had nothing to do with it, and try to find the healer’s.
Option 24: Hide Dunscher’s unconscious form somewhere, steal some supplies, and get out of town as fast as you can.