Hanging on a peg in the corner of the tavern was a crutch. Siegfried Einfub, it’s owner, sat next to it in a rickety wooden chair. The howling of his laughter poured through the unshuttered windows and out onto the street at Wormy’s tale. “Well boy, I’m glad you made it safely back to town. Sounds like with that crew it was a lucky thing.” he said, wiping the tears from his eyes.
“I don’t think I’ll be joining them again…" Wormy said sadly, rubbing the single coin of his pay "the gold is nice, but…”
“Aye, they’re green, and not just ‘cause they’re fey. But look, let me give you some advice, as someone who’s seen a thing or two. If you do decide to go again, make sure there’s enough of ‘em going. The more bodies, the better. Helps keep ya from be’in outnumbered. And for goodness sake, make sure everyone’s armed, especially the sword swingers.”
“What about the woods with the bandits?”
“Them? Oh they’re magic all right. The woods, not the bandits. At least usually. Attenhood Vox enchanted them so that he could safely watch the comings and goings of the canyon. He was particularly interested in a pair of owlbears that had taken up residence there. He wanted them to mate and lay some eggs, as I recall…” Siegfried’s face droops as he looks off into the middle distance.
Wormy waited what he felt was a respectful amount of time before asking “You knew him?”
“Knew him? How do you think I lost this leg? Damned sleep enchantment wore off on the mother while I was collecting her eggs. Attenhood was pissed too… ended up killing the mother, and broke all the eggs.”
“Is the other one still there?”
“Don’t know... but if it is, and you see it, run.”
“What about the bandits?”
“Oh, a new band moves in there every once in awhile. The Castellan will usually pay a bounty for proof they’ve been taken out, especially if they’ve been hitting the caravans.”
“What about Stonehell itself? You ever go in?”
“Oh sure! I used to love sneaking through the Quiet Halls and drinking with big ears and redcaps in the tavern. Avoid the blue stuff if you know what’s good for ya. Bring a priest or two if you go that way. Keeps the skellies away. Don’t piss off the knockers. They run the joint. They’re the smallest, but unless you want to find your way trapped to the 9 heavens and down to the 7 hells, it’s best to stay on their good side.”
“Oh lots… but I find my mug empty, and my leg is itching to stretch. Worst thing is it ain’t there to stretch. Ah well…” Snagging the crutch from the wall, Siegfried levered himself up and waved at Wormy as he headed out the door.
The waitress came over to wormy. “Shouldn’t have let him get away like that… it’s a silver for his drink.”