Also about lunch time

Having regained some composure, the army of five released the chains from the goblins former captive human who, perhaps as a form of release, or perhaps because the goblins had been such low-grade conversationalists, proceeded to unleash a torrent of many many words, some of which made sense, others less so. First in the stream of utterances was his name, Sildar, or something. Then followed several phrases that particularly caught the attention of the rescue party.

They learned that the human had been captured while escorting an expedition that had been in possession of a lost map of a place called Fangleberg. This place was legendary for its association with witches and magic and sh*t. Their assailants seized the precious map during the ambush and subsequently handed it off to a group they had referred to as the Rock Seeker Bros. Or maybe they were the Rock Seekers. Anyway, the whereabouts of the rest of the expedition is currently unclear but there’s a distinct possibility that they may have been taken to the town. Which, by happenstance, isn’t so far away, in that direction. But beware, it’s a frontier town, lawless and crawling with bad hombres aplenty: bandits, brigands and the Redbrands, a bunch led by one Glassstaff. But the inn is a nice place to stay. Very clean.

It transpired that a lost, found, and then lost-again-by-virtue-of-being-stolen map was too intriguing for the roving miscreants to ignore, so they gathered up their belongings, bade farewell to Sildar, apologising for the mess they were leaving behind, and set off in the direction of the town, as had been vaguely pointed at by their new friend.

True to his word, the first town that crept over the horizon in the direction he had indicated wasn’t particularly far away, but Sildar must’ve had a bit of a crack on the nut because it wasn’t called Fangleberg at all. In fact the ballsy brawlers were particularly taken with the town’s name on first arrival, so much so that they spent a good number of minutes admiring the beautifully presented Phandalin welcomes careful drovers message skilfully carved into a sign so large it obscured every part of the actual town that lay beyond.

A short way beyond the epic signage, they picked up a track marked as Miner’s Trail and followed it until they found the Miner’s Exchange, a good, solid building of impressive proportions, occupied with all manner of mining-oriented folks and a well appointed tavern. Of course the party needed no time at all to consider their next move, and headed directly for the bar.

They had barely sipped their first round of drinks when they were approached by an exquisitely armoured person of unquestionable combat effectiveness who introduced herself as Halia and, as soon as their introductions were done, she offered them a job; eliminate the leader of the Redbrands.

Halia could see that the five fine warriors needed time to think over her proposition, so she hinted at a very healthy payoff if they were successful, and then left them to deliberate for a few minutes. They gathered their heads together and in hushed tones considered asking more about Glassstaff and the Redbrands, then they considered just taking the job, possibly with a view to carrying it out it as requested, or negotiating a counter offer from Glassstaff as and when they found him. Or he found them, whichever happened first.

“Of course we’ll accept the job” they said, then added “Why not?”

In hindsight, “Why not?” may not have been the best phrase with which to seal the deal because, intentional or otherwise, nothing yells attack me for the LOLZ more effectively than accepting an assassination contract to stave off boredom.

So having secured gainful employment, enjoyed a drink or two and overheard a few snatches of conversation concerning recent Redbrands activity towards a certain local shopkeeper and his wife, murdered and kidnapped respectively, and another discussing the recent discovery of a secret tunnel, the party made its way to the local inn, as recommended by Sildar, intent on finding a comfortable place with locks on the doors where they can scrub up, weigh up their options for the next day then spend the night dreaming of mining and tunnels and maps.

And it was indeed very clean.