Saturday, October 17, 2015
The Tavern closes its doors at 2 a.m. and the cleanup begins while those of us who stayed behind mill around in groups, talking quietly. As the last straggler walks out and the doors are locked, Jeb gives me a look and I make my way to the front of the room.
The sorcerer is doing something that requires much gesturing but little if any speech. I'm told he's reinforcing the Tavern's shields so that no one can eavesdrop on what we say here tonight. That rigmarole being dispensed with, I get a nod from the hooded man and I turn on the microphone to a squeal of feedback. There's some uneasy laughter and then I speak.
"I'd like to thank you all for coming here tonight." I Wait till all fall silent, then continue. "I don't think I have to tell anyone here about the events of last night... all of us who have children have already been warned, and many of you who have no children - or none at this time - have come here by way of support.
I'm not a politician, thank the gods, so I'll get right to the point. The Drow are going to keep coming. We only have to decide what to do about it. Do we sit on our asses waiting for the next attempt, or do we carry the fight to the Drow?"
That's all it takes to open up the floodgates. Everyone has a chance to speak his or her piece, but the opinions are pretty much unanimous. The only real bone of contention comes from those who want to proceed with caution versus those who want to march into Underdark and begin kicking Drow ass.
In the end, the cautious ones prevail. The Drow are the masters of Underdark; it's their turf. They know the terrain, they know the dangers. By contrast, we know Exton, and we know that if we wait long enough, there will be another attempt at the kids. What we have to do is to make them come to us at a time and place of our choosing and then beat them so decisively that they won't come back again.
In short - we need to bait them. Nobody likes that idea, but no one has a better idea either.
In the end, we agree to meet back here in a week with practical suggestions on how to proceed. In the meantime, everyone will keep a close idea on their kids and watch for suspicious strangers in town, these to be reported to Tori in the usual way.
It's a worn and weary group that wends its way home around 5 a.m. - but we have a plan now, and the resolve to carry it through.
Let the Dark Elves beware.