Much later, a human appears at the door. His fancy clothes caked in swamp filth indicated he took the hard way to reach the shanty. He looked puzzled at the scene inside the shanty and seemed unsure of his next action. In return, the gathering of swamp folk went silent and considered the man for a moment and then returned to their drinks and food.
Rempi, being a fine hostess, approaches the obviously confused human.
“What’cha want here hooman?”, she looks him up and down either measuring him up for a tryst or working out how much meat he would dress out to. Is there much difference with a goblin?
Startled at being approached, let alone spoken to, the man considers for a moment and asks after Granny.
“Went to sleep one night, didn’t wake up the next sunrise. Me n Stym run the place now.” Rempi calculates a bit, “How bout some jerky? It’s well aged and flavors like you wouldn’t believe.” She produces a hunk of questionable looking dried meat from her waist pouch. The concerned look on his face only makes her want to get him to eat it while standing in the tavern. “Free sample,” she tosses the jerky at him.
“What’cha doin out here in the deep swamp, not many friendlies for your folk out here.” she ushers him to a seat near the door and hastily rakes all the left over food and dishes off the table.
He tentatively sits while considering the jerky and this room of creatures. “Granny sometimes provided the King assistance with difficult matters. I seek adventurers to undertake a quest.
“We summoned all known groups to Castle Calda to receive the royal edict,” he trails off seeing the quizzical look on Rempi’s face.
“The King of Caldamis will reward anyone that completes a royal quest to relieve a noble village that has been stricken by a miasma.” Recognition blooms on Rempi’s face. “Just a second”.
She turns to the kitchen tossing stale bread at a few others apparently to draw them into a meeting. Another goblin, a salimar, a lizardman and a swamp karhu gather and confer. After a few moments of gyrating and gibbering in goblin the two goblins approach the messenger.
“Whaz dis I hear bout a reward?” asks Stym.
“Of course, whomever undertakes and completes this quest will be handsomely rewarded. Are you and your… friends, interested?” It’s the human’s turn to evaluate the goblins intentions.
“Our friends and us wanna know if we can get sum cattle, chikuns and some seed to expand our tavern operations here, can the reward be that?” eyebrow raised and pointed ears twitching.
“I, I’m sure the King would be willing to grant you such a boon if you can complete the quest.” the man stammers. He produces a scroll from a fancy case and unfurls some of it to read, “Should you accept this quest, you will have my blessing and, should you succeed, I will offer you rewards of renown and, if necessary, gold.”
The siblings glance at each other and over their shoulders at their crew. “Aight, we’ll do it. We be professionals.”
The man digs into his satchel and produces a map, points at a marker and says, that’s the Village of Brookhollow.” Tracing a line beyond Brookhollow he ends on a mountain. “This is Dragon Spire, the source of the miasma.” He hurriedly re-packs his satchel and exits the tavern with no further conversation.
An adventure is afoot, Rempi turns and screams “EVERYONE OUT! Tavern’s closed! We gonna get us fresh meat for a change.”