Sunday, March 1, 2009

Campaign: Sunday Night At The Pig

The evening begins to wear as our five companions make their way back in groups to the Pig tavern. First, the assassin, fighter and cleric; then not long after, the bard and thief. They find that the tavern is full of guests, as it is nearly every Sunday night, but that their beds have been faithfully kept by Helmunt. By the time they grow comfortable on their first ale at their usual table, the market stalls and goods are completely gone from the square; all that was being sold in the Merchant’s Hall is packed up and carried away until the following Sunday.

But the town is not quiet. A scaffold and stage have been set upon on the front steps of the cathedral facing the square. A small crowd has gathered to watch some of the preparations - a crowd that grows steadily larger, and includes both the poor and wealthy citizenry. While the party discusses the matters of the day (and they shall find the time to do that for themselves, while all that is described below will occur after, during or before their tale telling), a performance is staged.

It is a “mystery play.” Promoted, in this particular case, by the brewer’s guild of Dachau. The thrust of the drama is quite simple, and follows the tale of the good Samaritan. Only in this tale, a man is beaten for his goods by Turkish bandits on the road leading from Dachau to Augsburg. He begs for help from a Frenchman, who ignores him. Then he begs for the aid of an Italian, who likewise ignores him.

Finally, the man is found by a German, who immediately puts the poor fellow on his horse and takes him to his house, where he cares for him. And the robbed victim is discovered to be tremendously wealthy--he gives everything he owns to the German before parting from this world and finding salvation.

When the play ends (assuming it has not been interrupted by a thief thinking he will filch a purse or two), it is quite dark and the square is lit by torches alone. These are extinguished as the audience departs, until the only active place at all near the square is Helmunt’s humble abode. Soon, within an hour or so, Helmunt will close the tavern in accordance with the law, and all its residents will find their way to their beds in the common room upstairs.