Overheard in The Bronze Lion Inn, as Skillet talks surreptitiously to a beleagured customer.
The 30th day of Hammer in the Year of the Sudden Journey.
“It’s like I said, y’know. They can talk about plans and initiatives as much as they like tomorrow, but the whole town is gettin’ a bit scared of these goblins, like. Now there’s these ‘kobolds’ to contend with as well, don’t y’know.”
Skillet paused for breath, and concentrated on cleaning a tankard with a grubby hand towel for a moment.
“I’ve got all these tankards to clean, an’ all the good plates and whatnot to sort out, jus’ so the Council can talk about their plans for the future. Well, I tells you, we ain’t got much future if we don’t sort them there goblins and kobolds out. Send Valino in with a few boys, I say, that’ll sort the little buggers out.”
There was a slight pause, nearly enough time for the customer to politely withdraw. Not quite enough, though.
“And another thing,” Skillet continued. “This snow gives me the chills, and I don’t mean that as no pun, neither. It ain’t right all this snow, so close to the sea. Up on a mountain, that’s fine. But down ‘ere? It’s all wrong and no mistake. It’s been goin’ on for nearly a month now, and I’m sick of it. My brew’s going to be ruined by the cold, and there’ll be no boar in the woods left at the end of it. Midwinter Festival the Council call it tomorrow! Well, Deadwinter most of us workers say – slap bang in the middle of winter with all this snow and nothin’ growing.”
Skillet looked down at the endless amount of tankards still yet to be cleaned. Slowly, the customer took a step back, edging away from the bar. Skillet leaned over the bar, closer to the customer, completely oblivious to the movement away.
“I hear that there’s reinforcements on the way, too, anyways,” he whispered with a sly wink. “‘The Guiding Fire’ will be ‘ere in a few tendays, laden with goods an’ fresh adventurers to strike out into the wilderness an’ all. Then we’ll see what plans are made.
“Of course, they’ll need somewhere to stay to begin with, and they’ll be looking for a reputable place to stay, The Bronze Lion fits the bill of course!
“Well, I can’t stay here and chat to you all day,” exclaimed the halfling, not noticing the puzzled look – a cross between relief and confusion – on the customer’s face. “I’ve got to get everything ready for the morrow. You take care now.”
With that Skillet turned and headed to the other side of the long bar, to serve another customer.
“Brr, chilly out, eh?” he exclaimed to his new victim. “Me old uncle never used to like the snow. Seems these kobolds don’t like it too much, either, eh? You ‘eard about the Council meeting tomorrow?”