Human and a Dwarf walk into a Bar
This Story is based on the published Wizards of the Coast advetnuter The Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
A young man and a dwarf arrive in Waterdeep as the town begins to close for the night.
The young man is in his 20’s. Tall and slender with dark brown hair that he keeps short and neatly slicked back. He has brown eyes and light brown skin. On his back he carries a quiver full of arrows and a finely made bow. His clothes aren’t new, but they are well kept with a few patches of dirt that have settled from their travel. His partner is a stout dwarf with grey skin. His black hair is fixed up in a neat pony tail and his beard is neatly braded. He wears plated mail armor and a hammer swings at his side. On his chest, a small silver symbol of Paylor bonces against his chest as they walk.
They walk through a street where tired looking vendors carry boxes and crates into shops or load them onto large wooden carts. One vendors smile at the newcomers and tries to make one last sale. The dwarf buys a couple apples and asks for directions to the Yawning Portal.
They continue through the streets of Waterdeep, twisting and turning through alleys as directed. The citizens of Waterdeep sit on their porches and watch the pair as they have loud exchanges of stories, jokes and the town gossip. The pair are hit with the smells of industry mixing with the sweet loving smells of traditional dinners. There is laughter as kids chase each other through the alleys. Lanterns begin to go up as the sky darkens.
Finally they turn the corner see the old face of the Yawning Portal. It is an older building made from ancient stone. It looks out of place here, yet it is the center of it all. It’s old wooden doors let out loud screeches that echo off the buildings around them. The pair step over a drunkard, careful not to step in his vomit. A group of rowdy adventures stumbles past the pair, singing the incoherent song of inebriation. And as the sun begins to set over the skyline, they can see the light of the flickering hearth that casts the wild dancing shadows of its patrons on the surrounding buildings. They can hear the murmurs of singing chanting and shouting. The bar is alive and the two are unable hide their excitement.The dwarf takes a deep breath, the smell of stale alcohol and cheap tobacco fills his lungs. “Well boy, we made it” the Dwarf says with a giant grin on his face.
“That we did my friend” says the young man as his hand clasps onto the dwarfs shoulder. The pair take in scenery like one would a sunset. A man stumbles to the corner of the bar and throws up against the wall but they don’t seem to notice.
Finally the Drawf taps the young man at his side “Come let’s have a drink!” The Pair take an eager step towards the bar.
Without glancing at the sheet the young man responds “Well if you think if it’s a good idea, count me in. I’ll follow you anywhere brother”
The Dwarf nods as he pats the young man on the shoulder “It’s settled then, let’s go find this Dil-Jar-Us or whomever” the Dwarf says as he walks towards the bar. “But first, a drink!”
The young man follows the Dwarf to the bar. The barkeep is busy handing out drinks and doesn’t notice the pair. The Dwarf pulls up a stool and places his hands on the sticky counter and waits patiently. The young man watches the crowd and laughs at the jokes he overhears. Finally the Barkeep comes to the dwarf “What are ya havin?”
“We need food, drink, and information” says the Dwarf as he pulls up a stool to sit at the bar. His feet dangle over the stool. The young man stands besides him, watchful of the room.
“Food and drink we have. As for information? That depends on the kind you need” The barkeep starts filling mugs.
“We are looking for the person who put this up” the Dwarf places the flyer on the bar and pushes it gently towards the barkeep.
The barkeep reads it. He chuckles and places the mugs on the sheet. “That’s an easy one. They’re sitting over there” he points to the corner to Diljaris and Roakala.
“Do you know anything about them?”
The barkeep shakes his head and shrugs “They just came in today. The dragonborn girl wants to start an adventuring party. That’s all I know”
The Dwarf nods understandingly and places a silver piece on the bar. He thanks the barkeep and move towards the Diljaris with drink in their hand. “Howd!” Says the Dwarf Loudly, trying to get their attention. “My associate and I are here to inquire upon this here job listing” The Dwarf places the piece of paper on the table. “Might it be alright if we join you for a parlay? We don’t mean to impose of course” The young man watches the Dwarf in clear bewilderment.
“Of course you may, we would be delighted. My name is Diljaris Eshbis and this is my friend Roakala”
“We’re not friends” murmurs Roakala
“Oh right, excuse our rudeness, we’ve been on the road for a while now. My names is Drugnar Oathhammer and this is my companion Gorak Truthseeker. The pleasure is all ours of course” the Dwarf nudges at the young man’s side.
“Nice to meet you” Gorak replies, clearing his throat. He seems watchful of the pair and eyes over the Roakala suspiciously.
“Is there a problem?” Roakala asks aggressively, slamming her spoon down on the wooden table.
“Why are you all the way out here? Shouldn’t you be with one of the clans?” Gorak asks.
“I’m a half Orc. I never joined a clan. Is my presence going to be a distraction?” The vein on her temple begins to throb. She grinds her teeth and begins to reach for her sword.
A blue scaled hand reaches over the table. “Now Roakala, there’s no need for that.” Diljaris turns to Gorak who is also reaching for the dagger at this side. “And you need to be more sensible about what you say. That was rude and uncalled for. If you want to join my team you will need to be respectful of your teammates”
With a worried look on his face, Drugnar steps forward. “Please excuse my friend. We’ve been away from civilization for so long, he’s forgotten how to interact with people. You won’t have any problems from us, isn’t that right Gorak?”
Gorak’s hand tensely hovers over the dagger as he continues to watch the Orc. He remains silent as he studies the orc before finally relaxing and responding “Yes, we won’t cause any more trouble” Gorak sounds defeated as he sits down at the end of the table and begins to eat his bowl of stew without speaking
Diljaris smiles and responds “That’s quite alright, we understand” Roakala stares down the Dragonborn who doesn’t seem to notice. Diljaris flips to a new page in her journal and continues “Well down to bussiness. Why do you think you would be a good addition to our team?”
Drugnar brushes his beard as he ponders before finally saying “We are great warriors and have travelled quite a distance to be here. We have successfully escorted merchants across the country. We saved a small mining village from goblins. If I continue to list our achievements you will find we are quite an impressive pair”
Diljaris diligently takes notes. Gorak peers over at the page of neat yet quickly scribbled draconic symbols. Diljaris turns to him “Do you have anything to add?”
Gorak is stunned for a moment as he ponders “I’ll shoot anything you need me to and this old man right here is the best medicine man you’ll ever need” he turns to look at the Roakala “What do you do?”
Roakala, who was in the midst of drinking her ale, puts down her mug and responds dismissively “I kill things with a sword”. She continues to eat her stew in silence.
“I’m not surprised” Gorak sneers
Roakala stands up, shaking the table almost spilling the bowls and plates that shake violently as they settle. “Are we gunna have a problem?”
“Only if you want to have one orc” Gorak says as he stands up, again reaching for his dagger. A grey heavy hand comes down on his shoulder and pulls him back. He attempts to resist but he wasn’t prepared and the hand pulls him back slightly, breaking his aggressive stance for the moment.
“This isn’t the time for that Gorak!” Drugnar says angrily. “These ladies have done nothing wrong except invite a couple of brutes to join them for dinner. Now apologize and act right.”
Gorak clenches his fists. He stands motionless at the center of the group, staring back at the Orc. Roakala mirroring his aggressing, her nostrils flare as she is ready to attack if given a reason. He takes a deep breath as his eyes meet with Drugnar who looks back angrily and disappointed. Gorak sighs as he moves his hand away from his weapon. “Sorry” he finally says sullenly and sits back down.
Drugnar turns back to the pair “Please don’t this incident affect your decision, he’s just not used to people”
“You mean Orcs?” Roakala scoffs.
“Look we can do better, let’s start over. We would love to join your party, how much does it pay?”
“Well” Diljaris replies, examining the pair “if I decide on your eligibility, everyone in the party is subject to an equal cut to all treasure and payments we receive during our time together. That is of course if they are able to earn it?
“And how do we go about becoming eligible?” Drugnar continues, looking over the notes she continues to scribble neatly into.
“Through a simple trial. The first step you are already a part of. The next step I, if you move on, will be trial by combat. We will go down into the dungeon and you can properly showcase your skills there. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Why are you here? What do you want to achieve?”
“Well my friend, I need the money and any amount helps. My young excitable friend here wants to make a name for himself. They say those who are able to explore this dungeon in it’s entirety will gain access to unimaginable riches and become legends in the process. Is that reason enough?” Diljaris continues to fill the pages with notes. She mumbles to herself in draconic. A few moments of this pass when the dwarf turns to Roakala and asks “Is your friend ok?”
Roakala shrugs “She’s not my friend, I just met her today”
“Oh hush Roakala. We’re friends, you just don’t know it yet” She says as she shuts the notebook with an audible thump. “Well after careful review of all of the potential candidates I have come to the decision to move you all to the next phase.
“Aren’t we the only candidates?” Roakala asks.
Diljaris ignores the Remark and continues “You have proven to be the most promising of the lot. Congratulation. Now eat up, get some rest we start tomorrow morning”
“Err what are we doing?” Gorak asks, breaking his brooding silence.
Diljaris perks up and smiles sweetly. Her tail wags back and forth slowly. “Isn’t it obvious? Down into the Dungeon”