Last time, having successfully aided Cahl Zephyr liberate the Centennial Raptor from impound in Sigilstar, Cahl guides the airship to the north toward the Thranish city of Shadukar. There, they stop to retrieve the rest of Cahl’s crew. Once aboard, Cahl begins the voyage toward Irontown in Karrnath, a trip he states will take a couple days or so. With the remainder of his crew back aboard, he requests that the party stay out of the way and leave the ship’s maintenance to the crew. With the downtime, they are able to attend to various personal tasks, though mostly they take the time to rest and heal.
The travel is uneventful, and a couple days later, they arrive on the outskirts of Irontown. Cahl explains that given his experience back in Sigilstar, he prefers to avoid entering the town proper, and brings the ships closer to the ground so the party can disembark. As they leave, he hands Quinton a small stone, which he explains is a sending stone that will allow them to contact him— and him alone— when their tasks in Ironstone are completed. He does, however, warn Quinton that depending on where the Raptor and her crew are when they call for him, it could take some time to arrive. He advises against getting into trouble with the locals.
They have been dropped off a few miles outside of the town, and after watching the Raptor ascend back into the sky to disappear among the clouds, the adventurers begin walking toward the town.
Quinton Greymane: Well, guess there’s nothing left to do but find Galrus.
Garl Auraspeaker: Yer, can’t be that hard right?
They arrive at the city’s wooden gates shortly after the sun sets, and after a cursory inspection of their travel papers, they are waved through. The city streets still bustle with activity, and the few shops seen so far are warmly lit and inviting. Off the main road worn paths branch off haphazardly, and they can see a swinging placard painted a murky yellow color, the imaginative name of “The Yellow Tavern” painted in black block letters across its face.
Civic: It doesn’t seem very yellow.
Garl Auraspeaker: Yer, maybe the inside is yellow?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Seems like just as good a place as any to go in get some food and ask questions.
Fenora Finnley: Ughhh….no food…..
Quinton Greymane: Still feeling a bit airsick? Maybe it’d be good to sit down a for a few minutes then anyway.
Further up the main street, a large town hall can be seen. A smaller building stands beside it, several armored figures arranged in loose formation outside it, marking the building as the town watch’s barracks. A pair of the armored figures walk down the street in their direction, making their patrol of the city. To the party’s right, another path branches off, leading to another tavern building, this one a bit less dubious in nature. A wooden board is nailed to the side of the building, with a matching placard hanging outside the door. Both feature a painted griffon shielding an egg with its wings. The name “The Griffon’s Nest” is painted in gold letters beneath the figures.
Quinton Greymane: That place down the road looks a might bit more inviting.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Looks fancier than the yellow-not-yellow tavern.
Fenora Finnley (whines): Can we please just find someplace to sit down?
Garl Auraspeaker: Alright sounds good, let’s go.
They enter the Griffon’s Nest to find the interior to be warm and inviting, the aromas of warm bread, roasted meat, and ale filling the air. The common room is busy with patrons of all races, all eating and sharing friendly conversations. As they enter, a half-elf woman looks up from where she is wiping down a table, brushes a lock of hair from her brow, and calls out.
Half-elf Woman: Just grab a table anywhere you like. I’ll be right with you.
Quinton Greymane: Thanks, Ma’am. Just glad to find somewhere to sit for a few minutes and maybe find out ’bout the goings on in town.
The woman hefts a tray loaded with dirty plates and mugs to her shoulder, and carries it behind the bar and through a swinging door to the back room. A few minutes later, she reappears and hurries over to where the party has seated.
Half-elf Woman: Well, now. I don’t reckon I’ve you see your faces here before. You passing through?
Civic (nods): We’re passing through and looking for someone we were told lives here somewhere. There is some exciting news we need to share with him regarding his past field of study. Once long ago there was… (trails off at a warning look from Gishkaa)
Half-elf Woman: Oh really? Who you looking for? I know most everyone in Irontown, since most of them come through the Nest at some point or other. Can point you in the right direction, I think.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: We’re looking for Galrus Ironfist. Ever heard of him?
Half-elf Woman: Galrus? Of course. He runs the general store up the road. Nice enough sort, for a dwarf. Most of the dwarven folk that live in Irontown are surly old bastards, but Galrus has always been kind to me. Oh, Host help me, where are my manners? I’m Sarel Bankdown, proprietor of this fine establishment. Very nice to meet you.
Quinton Greymane: No worries, Sarel, we’re new in town, we should have introduced ourselves. I’m Quinton, this here is Garl, the little lady over there is Fenora, that’s Gishkaa, and the warforged is Civic. (points out each as he names them)
Sarel (bobs her head in greeting): A pleasure. So did you want to order some food, or did you need a room as well? Have a couple vacancies right now, if you don’t mind doubling up. For dinner, we have some roasted pork with vegetables and bread, if that strikes your fancy. How about it?
Quinton Greymane: That sounds mighty nice, Sarel.
Garl Auraspeaker: Nice to meet ya. It’s probably a bit late to go finding Galrus, we should probably turn in for the night.
Sarel (looks at Garl, puzzled): Turn in? It’s barely past the eighth bell.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (rolls her eyes): He’s gotta get his 20 hours of beauty sleep. Dinner sounds good to me.
Garl Auraspeaker (shrugs): Can’t blame a dragonborn for trying.
Civic: We’ll need rooms as well.
Sarel (nods): Okay, I’ll get some food for you all. Although… (looks at Civic) I don’t think you’ll be needing anything… Civic, was it? We get so few warforged this far out, but I believe I was told that warforged do not require food?
Civic: No. I won’t need any food
Sarel (nods): Very well. I’ll have Gaile bring you over some ale, and I’ll fetch you some dinner. Enjoy your stay. (smiles warmly as she dashes off, gesturing to a young woman cleaning glasses behind the bar)
Garl Auraspeaker: I don’t know why but I somehow expected finding Galrus to be harder.
Quinton Greymane: Well we ain’t to him yet, but I guess I kind of thought he’d be a bit harder to find, too.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat: Me, too. I figured he’d be some weird recluse everyone avoided because he went on and on about the lost fort all day long. (glances at an oblivious Civic)
The young barmaid, Gaile, hurries over with five large mugs of ale, placing them on the table in front of each of them as Sarel returns with a heavily laden tray of food. Their mouths water in anticipation as the aroma of home-cooked food fills their nostrils. They begin eating, and find the food to be excellent. Sarel stands nearby, waiting to see if they need anything further.
Sarel: Well? How is it?
Quinton Greymane: It’s fantastic, Sarel.
Garl Auraspeaker (stuffing his face): Yeeer…
Civic: It all looks very delightful.
Sarel (beams happily): I’m so glad you like it. Tried a new recipe tonight, and so far it’s been a hit.
Garl Auraspeaker: Haven’t had a decent meal since… (munch munch) …I don’t remember.
Sarel: Well, I have other tables, so I will leave you to it. If you need anything else, just flag down one of the girls and they’ll get you whatever you need. When you’re ready to get a room, come find me. Enjoy!
Quinton Greymane: Will do. Thanks.
The party spends a contented hour chatting among themselves as eat and finish off a couple of mugs of ale each. The ale seems to quickly go to the head, or perhaps it’s the weariness of their long walk into the town, but by the time the ninth bell rings out in the street outside, it is difficult to stay awake. They decide to find Sarel and rent rooms for the evening. The half-elf woman is busy looking over a large ledger behind the bar, a pair of delicate glasses perched on her nose. She looks up as they approach.
Quinton Greymane: Alright, well that was a fine meal, but I think we’re ready to turn in for the night.
Gishkaa sleepily nods her head in agreement.
Sarel: Of course. Like I said, have a couple of empty rooms right now, if you don’t mind doubling up. It’ll be 8 silver a piece for the night, but if you’d like to book the room for longer, there’s a weekly rate of 5 gold.
Quinton Greymane: I’m not sure how long we’ll be staying just yet, so let’s try for the night for now.
Sarel: Very good. Did you wish to add the meals to the tab, or pay that now?
Quinton Greymane: We’ll pay for it now, thanks.
Sarel: The meal is 5 silver, so if you wish to pay up front, it’ll be a total of 13 silver each. Well, except for Civic, as he did not partake. (smiles warmly at the warforged)
The party each remove coins from their purse to pay for their share of the meal and rooms for the night, passing them to Sarel, who takes the offered silver pieces and drops the coins into a small chest behind the bar. She then reaches behind her and pulls two small keys off a board on the wall.
Sarel: Here you go. Your rooms are up the stairs, and all the way to the end of the hall, numbers 8 and 9. I hope you enjoy your stay. Breakfast is served at 6, if you’re interested. Good night, friends, sleep well.
Quinton Greymane: Thanks Sarel, much appreciated.
The party find the rooms to be modestly but comfortably decorated. A large single bed in each room occupies much of the space, with plenty of room for two adults to sleep comfortably. The beds are clean and comfortable, and the adventurers fall asleep almost as soon as their heads hit the pillow. The night passes uneventfully, and they wake to the aromas of cooking bacon and coffee, feeling well rested and refreshed.
Everyone but Garl Auraspeaker, who continues to snore loudly in his bed, meet back up in the common room and order breakfast. Sarel has Gaile bring out platters loaded with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, as well as a plate of toasted bread, fruit, and cheese. A carafe of black coffee is left on the table for them to serve themselves, and they happily tuck into the hearty fare.
Fenora Finnley (eyes widen at all the food): I’m still so empty from the ship. (reaches hungrily at each plate)
Quinton Greymane: Well I imagine you’re feeling better after a good night’s sleep. Best eat up because who knows what the day is going to bring. Galrus could be sending us off to a dungeon or dark cave or worse by night fall.
Fenora Finnley nods while stuffing multiple grapes into her mouth at once, smiling happily
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (packing away some choice bits of bacon AND sausage): Probably aboard an airship.
Sarel (comes over, greeting them c heerfully): Good morning, my friends. I trust you slept well?
Civic: I logged a lot of interesting sleep behaviors.
Sarel: Oh really? That sounds…er… fascinating. (looks around, noticing Garl’s absence) Where is your dragonborn friend?
Quinton Greymane: Hehe, you just get used to some fella’s quirks I guess. He’ll be up in about another 3 hours. (smirks evilly as he glances at Fenora) Or 15 minutes if some people have a mind to do something about it, hehe.
Fenora Finnley (jumps up from the table): I’ll wake Garl! (dashing cheerfully up the stairs) OHHHH GAAAARRRLLLLLL!!!
Sarel: Oh, a late sleeper, eh? My ex-husband was like that. Lazy bastard. Can’t tell you how many times we nearly lost this place because he would sleep half the day away. Of course, he was also drinking most of our profits, too, which was leading to the sleeping the day away. Ah, well… that’s old news.
Upstairs, Garl starts turning in his sleep, a sense of impending doom intruding into his dreams. Fenora knocks loudly on the door to Garl’s room
Garl Auraspeaker (growls): Go away! No room service!
Fenora Finnley: GAAAAAAAAARRRRRLLLLLLLLL!!! (wiggles the knob) Oh it’s open. (bursts through the door) GARL! TIME TO GET UP!!!!
Garl Auraspeaker (puts a pillow over his head): If someone was here, I wouldn’t be hearing them, so they should just go away.
Fenora Finnley (climbs on the foot of the bed): Oh really?? Do you not have ears?
Garl Auraspeaker (from under the pillow): Nope, sleeeeeeepppping…
Fenora Finnley: Guess you won’t hear all the fun I’m having jumping on this bed then. (begins to jump up and down on the bed all around Garl singing a song loudly in her native tongue)
Garl Auraspeaker (growls as he sits up): Fine! You win!
Fenora Finnley (stops jumping, grinning widely) Awww… you don’t want to hear my song??
Garl Auraspeaker: By the black abyss of Khyber, I will never figure out what I did to you to make you hate me so much. I want to go to sleep.
Fenora Finnley: There’s plenty of time for sleep later tonight. Now it’s time for breakfasts!
Garl Auraspeaker (glares at Fenora with bleary eyes): So you say. (rubs his eyes as he gets up from the bed, standing there in the buff)
Fenora Finnley (covers her eyes): You could have waited until I left. I…..I didn’t know you had a….tail….
Garl Auraspeaker: Everyone knows that dragonborn have tails. It’s just racists and idiots who spread rumors that we don’t have tails.
Fenora Finnley: Well…I never met a dragonborn before you sooo…
Garl Auraspeaker: And if you keep waking me up like this I might be the last one you meet. Food for thought.
Fenora Finnley (shrugs and runs out of the room ): I’ll save you some bacoooon!
Garl eventually makes his way downstairs to join the others for breakfast.
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (stuffing a bulging package of bacon into her pack): All the bacon’s gone.
Sarel: Oh there you are! I wondered what became of you. Did you sleep well?
Garl Auraspeaker (to sarel): Yes, the bed was very pleasant. (glares at Fenora) That is until a bloody demon invaded my room. And don’t think I don’t know that you all didn’t even try to stop her.
Sarel: A demon?! Surely not!
Quinton Greymane tries to hold back a snicker.
Garl Auraspeaker: Oh yes, one of the most evil creatures you’ll ever meet! With a bright sunny attitude, it races into your room and rips you from the pleasant wisps of sleep!
Fenora Finnley smirks to herself.
Sarel: Oh, I see. Okaaaay… coffee?
Garl Auraspeaker: Coffee, yes, coffee good… and bacon.
Sarel pours some coffee into a large mug and hands it to Garl, then looks at the empty plates on the table.
Sarel: Oh it looks like everything’s already gone. I’ll just go see if there’s anything left in the back for you.(looks at Quinton and gives him a sly wink and she heads toward the kitchen)
Garl Auraspeaker (turns to his companions): Oh by the Host, you seriously couldn’t leave one rasher of bacon?
Gishkaa Khesh’Shaarat (grudgingly pulls out her saved bacon.): Here you go.
Garl Auraspeaker: Thank you, Gishkaa. I’m glad at least one of you is civilized enough to treat their companion with respect.
Sarel (returns with a plate loaded with scrambled eggs and bacon): Here you go.
Garl Auraspeaker: Thanks, smells good
Sarel: My pleasure. So am I correct to assume that you’ll be looking to meet with Galrus this morning, eh?
Quinton Greymane: That’s the plan.
Sarel: Well, the shop’s don’t open until 8, but I know Galrus gets in early most days. You can check and see if he’s in, if you want. His shop is up the road, place called Ironfist Superior Outfitting and Dry Goods. I told him it was too wordy… (shrugs)
Quinton Greymane: A bit, I’d say.
Civic: Are there any interesting sites to see here?
Garl Auraspeaker: Yer, good point. Anything happening lately or any weird stuff?
Sarel: Nothing weird going on in town, not that I have heard tell about. And not much interesting to see really, either. This is a mining town, after all. Other than digging in one of the local mines, not much interesting goes on around here. This far out from the major settlements and cities… you’re more likely to die of boredom than a rampaging owlbear.
Quinton Greymane: Sounds pleasant.
Sarel: Perhaps… if you’re easily impressed, I suppose. If it wasn’t for this place, I likely would have moved on after my husband up and left me, then died in a ditch. But we get plenty of travelers through these parts, mostly by lightning rail on the way toward Krona Peak and parts north. Keeps me busy and brings me some fair amount of coin. So I stay on. You know how it goes.
Quinton Greymane: Well it’s just sometimes I think it would be nice to back to the farm life. So not having rampaging owlbears trying to kill you sounds like a pleasant change of pace.
Civic: So a typical hub town. Probably lots of good people watching here.
Garl Auraspeaker shakes his head at Civic
Sarel: Well, as the saying goes, “The grass is always greener in someone else’s yard.”
Quinton Greymane: Yep, one of my pappy’s favorite sayings
Sarel (looks up as a customer enters the tavern and takes a seat): I need to get back to work. Can I get anyone some more coffee on my way back?
Garl Auraspeaker: I’m good and awake now, thanks, Sarel.
Quinton Greymane: Besides I think we should be heading over to Galrus’ to see if he’s in yet.
Sarel: Very well. If you’re all set here, you can pay Gaile for your breakfast. Four silver. If you need to keep the rooms longer, let me know before noon, else might have to let them to someone else. I’ll talk with you later! (waves as she hurries off to wait on the new arrival)
The party pays for the meal, then heads out into the city to find the sun rising over the distant Ironroot Mountains. Breath fogs in the chilled morning air as they walk up the road, looking carefully at the shops to find their destination. The streets begins to fill with people, some heading off to work in the mines, other beginning to hawk their wares from carts set up along the road. About 500 or so feet up the road from the Griffon’s Nest, they spot a shop with a hanging sign mounted above its door. The sign bears no text, but rather a single armored glove formed into a fist and nailed to the wood. It can safely be assumed that this is Ironfist’s Superior Outfitting and Dry Goods.
Quinton Greymane: Guess this is the place. (knocks on the door, then tries to open it, finding it to be locked)
Civic: Certainly looks like someplace you could find some superior outfitting and dry goods.
Quinton Greymane (calls though the door): Hey, sorry to bother you so early in the morning but are you there Galrus?
Galrus Ironfist (shouts from within): We don’t open for another hour! Come back later!
Civic (calls out): Khundrukar exists and we’ll find it! We brought proof.
A moment passes, then they can hear the sound of a lock being unlocked. The door opens a couple inches and a dark eye stares out at them.
Galrus Ironfist: Who… who are you?
Civic: Gremkyl Silverhelm sent us after he saw what we’d found.
Galrus Ironfist (eye grows wide): You! You’re the ones that damned fool messaged me about! Said you found something about Khundrukar or some such nonsense. But that is… just…a my….
Galrus’s voices trails off as his gaze falls on the scroll that Civic has fished out from his pack and unrolled, holding it out in front of him to show the dwarf.
Garl Auraspeaker: Not anymore, it isn’t.
The door opens fully, revealing a rather portly dwarf with a wild mane of silver-gray hair, and a matching neatly braided beard. His eyes stare at the scroll unblinking, and he absentmindedly gestures for them to enter.
Galrus Ironfist: Get in here, all of you! And don’t touch nuthin!