The quick, epic version of this week's events:
The party decided that it was time to return to lord Aldenmier, sell off their looted equipment, and restock supplies (especially healing potions). Lord Aldenmier was waiting outside the dungeon when they emerged; he looked approving when they all emerged alive, and even more approving at the pile of loot. "A successful first expedition, I see." He turned to the serving boy beside him. "Please inform the Seneschal that the Ivory Scimitars have emerged from the dungeon."
He then led them back out of the inner keep and onto the streets, surrounded by a small group of servants and guards. People stared and gaped and whispered as they passed. They went to the local Adventuring Supply store, which is run by a young-seeming half elf (nice coat, white shirt, breeches, boots) who looked over the group and the looted equipment and raised an eyebrow. "We have a new Banner Company, I see."
The dragonborn stepped forward, and the haggling began.
By the time they were done, they got a pretty fair price for their haul. They took it back outside, combined it with the gold they'd taken from the hobgoblins and ghouls, and divided it with Lord Aldenmier. Then they went back inside, and bought a couple of things: another healing potion, and studded leather armor for the halfling rogue. That left them with a decent amount of gold and no real expenses, so after checking over the local mage's tower (which doesn't really sell magic items, as such) they returned to House Aldenmier. By now it was mid-afternoon: time to bathe, eat, relax, and eventually go to sleep.
The Dragonborn Sorcerer was the first one awake. He stepped out into the garden, yawned, stretched, and wondered why there was a crossbow bolt sticking out of his leg. Looking up, he saw a figure on the garden wall, heard guards yelling, and started cursing at the top of his lungs in Draconic. As everybody else spilled into the yard, the figure vanished over the wall.
Barrith (Ghostwise Halfling Rogue) immediately gave chase, scaling the wall and slipping past the guards to follow the assassin into the streets. Kaz (human monk, raised by wolves) followed him to the top of the wall, but stopped there to call directions for Barrith. ("Keep going! Now left! LEFT!")
Barrith skidded to a halt, having caught a glimpse of something strange to his left. There was a narrow alley there, too narrow for a human to stand comfortably; the assassin had slid into it sideways, and was now... not quite wedged in, but not in a position to fully face his pursuer. He'd intended to hide there while Barrith ran by.
Too narrow for a human, but not for a halfling. Barrith drew his short sword and stepped right in. The assassin drew a dagger, but kept backing away, side-stepping down the alley. Kaz arrived a moment later, took in the situation, and went running off again.
The assassin was just nearing the far end of the alley, with Barrith following him but not attacking, when he realized the monk was waiting for him there. And that was when Shadow arrived as well, crossbow out.
With enemies on either side and no room to maneuver, the assassin elected to climb. This may not have been the worst escape plan in the history of escape plans, but it was probably in the top ten somewhere. Barrith shot him in the leg with a bow, Kaz put a pair of darts in his other leg, and Shadow put a crossbow bolt in his arm. He didn't so much fall as scrape his way back down to the bottom of the alley.
The group tied him up and brought him back to House Aldenmier; a pair of the city guard caught up with them along the way. When they reached the garden gate, Lord Aldenmier was standing inside and the cleric was over at the far end of the garden, healing the sorcerer. Lord Aldenmier acknowledged the guards with a brief nod. "Inform Sherrif Mourn that we will hold this man until he brings the wagon around." He looked at the other guard. "You may remain to observe until he arrives."
Barrith had already begun looting the assassin's equipment. (Ahem. "Checking for hidden weapons.") So the assassin was laying there in his smallclothes when the Dragonborn stalked over and asked, "Why did you try to kill me?"
"Do as you will," said the assassin. "I tell you nothing."
Lord Aldenmier sniffed and gestured to his own guards, who removed the assassin to a cell. The city guard followed along with them. The other guards went back to their patrols, and Aldenmier muttered something about having the wards on the house renewed.
It was about twenty minutes later that Sheriff Mourn showed up: a solidly-built human wearing a leather coat that was probably fashionably cut armor, with a sword at his side. With him was the cart: a small, enclosed carriage pulled by a single horse, with bars over all the windows. He and his men loaded the assassin into the cart, and he left after promising to deliver Lord Aldenmier a full report.
Lord Aldenmier then called the adventurers in for breakfast. "My apologies," he said once everyone was seated. "I did not expect the other Houses to move against us so soon. I thought that you would be able to enter the dungeon several times before anyone reacted. I advise you all to be exceedingly careful, and not leave House Aldenmier alone."
Everyone agreed that this was sound advice, so they finished breakfast and then split up to spend a day within the manor: reading, resting, practicing, cleaning equipment. Tomorrow, they would try their luck with the dungeon again.
The Mousefolk Cleric's player wasn't here today (Avengers: Endgame is a very long movie) so I was playing him; but that's also why he doesn't have a larger role in the action.
Trying to roleplay the interaction with the shopkeeper didn't go terribly well; everybody was very excited and they kept talking over each other.
Money: The party currently has 135 GP, plus leather armor that they can sell off. The monk is keeping the light crossbow, and the halfling thief is keeping the two daggers.
Advancement: I've told everybody to go ahead and level up. Now I just need to remember to make time to do it with the boys.
We're still having some issues with the monk's player and myself being much more familiar with 3e than we are with 5e. The monk was making suggestions about buying some minor magic items to help us along, and that... apparently really doesn't happen in 5e. At least, I can't find anything resembling a table with GP values for magic items, and I'm getting the impression that such items are much more rare than they were back in 3e.
The assassination attempt was completely off-the-cuff. It's not part of the pre-published campaign. We'd finished selling things off and buying new equipment, and I felt like the group wasn't going to be really satisfied unless they had a chance to defeat something. So... I introduced a bit more intrigue. Plus, now they have to wait until next session to find out more about the assassin.
On a related note: I can't believe they caught him. He had a good head start, Barrith's perception checks for trying to spot him aren't so great, and he really should have escaped. But Barrith's player rolled a natural 20 on perception, and saw him hiding in the alley. The rest of that setup was just to give everybody else a chance to feel like they did something to bring him down. And they were into it.
This is an awesome little group.