On 13 Smôs, they took the walk back to Mīstássun. Caleb wanted to know who was smearing his good name, and wanted to know if One-Off, er, Praidīvós, knew who.
Besides, it was on the way to Kerváron.
Midway through that walk on that hot (110°F) day, a yapping voice from the west of the road yelled out, "Pay up!"
Caleb said back, "Do you work for the government?"
The kobold yapped back, "Pay up all!"
Caleb asked, "Is that a joke?"
The kobold looked at the nine other kobolds and bade them, "Sic 'em, boys!"
And so it began. The kobolds started towards the heroes, with four nocking arrows. Likewise, Kim nocked an arrow and Caleb fired up a Blast Ball. Kôštē, of course, grabbed the horses.
The kobold bowmen let out the first volley, but all that happened was an arrow stuck in Mayhem's armor and another stuck in Ash's shield. Kim didn't get much more, but Caleb did singe some kobolds with his Blast Ball.
And then they get near each other and started fighting hand-to-hand. Both the leader and a big kobold (well, big for a kobold, y'know?) hit Mayhem with sword blows. The leader's swipe did nothing, but the big kobold's blow hurt Mayhem. And when Mayhem gets hurt, Mayhem gets angry. You wouldn't like Mayhem when he's angry.
The fight became mostly two sides ticking away at each other. Mayhem had the two biggest kobolds on him, which only made him madder. Ash after a second felled one of the little guys, and three of the bowmen and the big kobold broke ranks and turned to run. The other kobolds in the fore didn't see this, and they kept missing Kim and Caleb, with Kim breaking one's sword with her parry. Caleb's first Acid Jet didn't hit, but Ash, now turned to bash the leader with his shield, still fighting Mayhem. It looked like the heroes had the kobolds on the run, with only a few nicks and scratches.
Then all their nicks and scratches healed. The kobolds' too. Their midi-chlorian readings must have been high or something. The little guy who fell woke up, and the big kobold felt better, and turned back to fight, and told the bowmen to do so too.
Their leader gave Mayhem a good slash, but Mayhem's anger was the only thing the Force couldn't calm. Caleb took a cut, and Ash went back to stabbing the kobold he had felled. Caleb tried to shoot an Acid Jet at the kobold who sliced him, but missed him another time. The big kobolds nicked Mayhem, who kept missing. The bowmen got off shots again, but little happened from them, other than Kim slipping and falling as an arrow grazed her.
Mayhem, however, at last landed a blow, smashing the kobold leader back a few feet and spurting his blood all over. The leader chose to live instead of win, and bade the retreat. Caleb got one last Fireball on a fleeing kobold, but the kobolds bravely ran away.
They trudged back to Mīstássun, and got into town as the rain started. Caleb, wanting to know who was after him and thinking Praidīvós might know or even be behind it, went to the Scarlet Harlot.
At the Scarlet Harlot, Caleb found not Praidīvós but Kôštē the wizard, who had become Praidīvós's apprentice. She told him to fuck off, and that he wasn't welcome. There were a few other four-letter words that she lobbed at Caleb, and she made sure to tell him that she was the better wizard. After Caleb told her he had been out learning how to become better by fighting kobolds and she had been fooling around with glass tubes in Mīstássun, Kôštē got mad and said that the two had to duel outside in the rain.
They went outside, and Caleb's friends peered out the window as the two threw small spells at each other at twenty paces. They kept missing each other in the rain, until Kôštē yelled at Caleb that they should split lest the Town Watch nab them. She ran off, while Caleb walked back into the bar, where seven Watchmen nabbed Caleb and took him to the town lockup.
That night, Caleb took a drubbing from the drunks in the lockup, until he cast Darkness and scurried out of sight, and bothered each one with a well-timed Apportation to their nether spots.
Caleb saw the judge the next morning, after he had doomed a drunk to a lashing. His friends were there, other than Kim, who had too many bad times in the lockup. The judge listened to Caleb for a few seconds, then fined him 150 silver pennies and asked him where the other duelist might be. Caleb had no trouble telling the judge that Kôštē the wizard might be at the home of Praidīvós. While Caleb talked with his friends about finding the money to pay his fine, the Watchmen brought in Kôštē, whom an upset Praidīvós followed.
The judge told Kôštē that she had to pay 300 silver pennies. Praidīvós, bothered since he knew that he was going to have to pay for his apprentice, said that Caleb and his friends owed him money. The judge leaned over, and listened as he heard how Caleb and friends had not brought payment from a shipment of bread and flour to Dībités Rock. Caleb said that the goons at the keep had beaten them up and taken the breadstuffs, and that the payment was the blood of a demon. The judge bade all of them out of his courtroom, but Ash stayed to watch the next case: a flasher the judge doomed to the Watchmen hitting "his unit until it hurts more!"
As they left and the Watchmen were lashing and beating the hapless drunks, Caleb asked Praidīvós if he had seen the doppelganger. "Thankfully, no!" was his answer. Caleb said that Praidīvós could do whatever harm he wanted to his doppelganger should he see him, something that gladdened the older wizard.
They then went to see Nabbrášus, to see if she had work for them. She said that she had the same answer as when Caleb had come alone: she always needed guards at the mines. They nodded, then left after saying they might go for that work once the weather started getting cold. Then they left to go to Kerváron to see what they could do against the bandits.
I'm starting to welcome Weirdness Magnet. I make a few rolls, and I have at least 20% of the events of the session.
I couldn't find any guidelines for fines, so I went with Cost of Living for a month.