The party hired a guide, Hugh Bryskett, and his Shire Mastiff riding dog, Abernathy (thanks for the dog’s name, Janaki!) to guide them around the farthings. Shire has strict no-weapons and no inciting adventure laws, so if you hire a guide for 10 gold a day, you can keep your weapons on you because he’ll just explain to the shirriffs that you were just holding old Hugh’s weapons for him, you see.
Big Shire is made up of a dozen farthings, each ruled by its own mayor. It is the Los Angeles of Shires, spread out over the hills as far as the eye can see.
I got to roll on my Big Shire encounter tables. Since the party travels at night, they usually run across folks who have made camp. This time they walked around a few dozen mercenaries, deciding not to engage. Smart move, I thought.
They went to Hugh’s cousin, Bil Niner, an honest merchant halfling as played by Bob Hoskins:
They sold the whereabouts of the Deadshire, after some deliberation for a thousand gold with an extra 200 for accompanying them into the Silent Peninsula and showing them exactly where it is.
Gorgolog continued to work it as a gladiator in a Big Shire bare-knuckle fight:
Tonight Gorgolog, my orc fighter and gladiator, beat up an elf in a pit fight and won the championship belt.
Roleplaying is done. I won it all.
Also, Gorgolog cornered a goblin who was fighting a halfling. The orc’s advice had the goblin bitting and clawing at his opponent. Yes, the goblin will be traveling with them from now on.
Crow cages are set by every road in to Big Shire and are in front of every Shirriff’s office. I had a table for figuring out who was in each cage. Most of the time it was just some halfling thief but last night there was also a dwarven adventurer. When they talked to him, he told them that he had figured out that the surface world’s calendars were years off and there was nothing stopping an enterprising individual from going into the underground world and looting it silly. We are going to start our next game in front of his crow’s cage, several characters thinking about freeing him and having him join up.
I was kind of worried about the game. The two hour time slot is fast, though I’m keeping it fast-paced and there hasn’t been any delving as of yet. I’m making peace with the fact that I have stuff on the map and the players are exploring it at the pace they want to explore it and having fun in the process.
P.S. Dev’s character has named the sun. It is now known as the Hate Star.