The group returned to The Stone Circle. Weary despite the rest they got in the secret room, they had a solid meal and then retreated to the common room upstairs. Most were asleep before their heads touched the floor.
Late afternoon saw several of the group stirring. Barrett was awake and doing some strange exercises involving deep breathing and stretching. Karn and Dankhan were both sharpening their weapons and checking their armour. Derwyndal was deep in prayer, almost absentmindedly playing with a caterpillar that was crawling across his knuckles. Abner was polishing the sapphires the group found and studying them in minute detail. Berek was carefully cleaning and praying over his clothes and armour, preparing himself for assisting Garron with the burial the next day.
Almost as if they had planned it, each finished their tasks at approximately the same time. Speaking barely a word, they trooped downstairs for the evening meal. Many were the admiring looks, pats on the back and handshakes as they walked to a table. Murmurs of doing the lad right, helping the town and being good souls reverberated around the room. Caermore came around the bar, carrying tankards and glasses on a large tray.
He placed frosty tankards of ale, a dusty bottle of wine and a jug of mead on the table, along with enough cups and goblets that all were able to partake of whatever they wished. When they all had a glass in their hands, Caermore lifted his own mug high. “To these fine young people,” he called out. “May Tymora smile upon them and my Cyric never take notice of them!” The cheer that followed from the people of Cahervaniel shook the rafters. Food soon followed, albeit with many interruptions as grateful townsfolk thanked them repeatedly. Surprisingly, they found that Caermore would not accept their coins for the meal and drinks. The celebration lasted until well after dark, before the farmers retreated to their homes.
The next day dawned cooler and wreathed in a thick fog. Grateful that the heat wave had broken, some even said it was the gods granting the valley a reprieve for the actions of the group. Berek was up before dawn, preparing himself for his self-appointed task. Solemnly, he led the others to the home of Garron and Kurt. There, he helped clean and wrap the body while Karn and Dankhan dug a grave beside two other markers behind the house. Berek had them line the hole with stones, and they placed Thiel within. Kurt wept openly while his father stood stoic beside him. The only hint of his pain was in his eyes. They held no glimmer of life, only the bloodshot veins and broken look of a man who has lost too much.
When the group moved to leave, Garron stopped them. He presented Berek with a cloth-wrapped bundle. It belonged to his late wife, and would do them more good than sitting on a shelf in the house. Berek accepted on behalf of the group and they left Thiel’s family to their grief.
Back at The Stone Circle, Berek unwrapped the bundle at their table. Inside was a small wooden box with an old latch that had clearly been broken some time in the past. Within the box were two small glass vials marked with the symbol of Selune, Goddess of the Moon. Recognizing them as holy water, Berek put them in his pouch. Underneath them was a small golden locket on a fine chain. The locket was closed, and resisted all attempts to open it. As it was clearly a feminine item, Berek handed it to Abner and mentioned that it was time to look at their loot and split it all up – including the sapphires!