(Spoiler alert! The following post contains spoilers for Icewind Dale's story and some quests. If that bothers you this may be a good point to stop.)
On an unrelated note, I am going to try breaking things up with a tease break. That means, if you are reading this on the site, just click on the "Read More" link down there. It is just so people don't have to scroll down too much to look at previous posts if Icewind Dale and/or Let's Plays are not their thing. If someone doesn't like it let me know in the comments please. For those reading it on a RSS reader or via e-mail nothing should change. Now back to our usual wall of text...)
With the bugs dead and the booze secured (remember: priorities!) it was time for the party to do their next logical step: interrogate every stranger in the tavern in search for another quest or at least some useful information. Their search for another quest with the tavern patrons didn't bear any fruit. However they did get some interesting information about the going-ons of the town:
- Hrothgar is putting forth an expedition. Several folks of Easthaven, including the town merchant, are joining it.
- There was a messenger from Kuldahar that dropped dead in front of the Temple of Tempus. Since then Hrogthgar has been rather rattled and decided to organize said expedition.
- Apparently only Everard, the temple's priest, and Hrothgar know what the man's final words were.
- The weather has been worse then usual with things being colder than normal for this time of the year and the south pass probably getting snowed in earlier.
- There have been several sights of goblins in the Pass. Some drunkard even claims to have seem orcs outside town.
- One of the boys was playing out and says that he saw a footprint in the snow as big as a man. Nobody believes that possible since a giant haven't been seem in the Pass for a very long time.
- Some caravans from the south have been missing. At first people thought it was the unusual snow burying them but now folks think that it might be related to the sightings of goblins and orcs.
There were a few more things said but this I think are the most interesting bits. Probably the biggest foreshadowings too.
With that kind of business taken care of, it was time to go to town.
Not too far from the tavern, the party found another side quest.
Apsel is a scrimshawer, that is, a sculptor who works with the large huge, bony skulls of the knucklehead trouts that exists in the town's lake. He sells those products to caravans from the south and one should be coming soon. The only problem is a wolf somehow entered into his workshop. To make matters worse he got so scared upon seeing the wolf that he broke the key in the lock. Lucky for him though there is a group of suckers brave adventurers going around town looking for work and not even asking for compensation! Even more lucky is that Godilocks can easily lockpick the door so he won't have to worry about fixing a bashed door.
The wolf was dispatched easily enough. Apsel was thanks them by giving 25 gold and, if my memory isn't failing me, a bone dagger which went imediately to Goldilocks.
Exploring a little more the party found a man humming a song and looking completely entranced by the lake. The man is called Jhonen and upon being inquired he tells the the group that he has been having some trouble while sleeping as of late. Every night he has a dream about a beautiful woman that walks on the surface of the lake. The woman sings a beautiful song but he can't understand any word of it.
The worst part is, the dreams aren't just going away when he wakes up. It is consuming every thought of his during his wakening hours and that is slowly driving him mad. The party is unsure of what to do about it but they promise that if they can find any way to help they will.
Unknown to them the party might be able to solve Jhonen's problems sooner than they thought. Not too far from there they find a strange woman with an exotic beauty singing a song that brings vivid images of the sea.
Despite some initial language barriers they are able to talk with the woman. According to her tale she is called Elisia-of-the-Sky's-mirror and she is in love with Jhonen. The only problem is that if he sees her in the flesh she will disappear for that is one of the laws from under the lake. Anyway, a long time ago she also loved an ancestor of his, a man who fought one of the last white dragons in the area and fell to the lake. Before that ancestor slayed the beast though he asked Elisia to promise him that she would deliver his sword to a descendent of his in case the dragon killed him in battle. That end up happening and now Elisia is trying to keep her promise. Since she can't do it herself Elisia asks the party to deliver the sword for Jhonen and to tell him about her love. They agree.
The party goes back to Jhonen then tell him Elisia's story. He is taken aback but takes the sword and thanks the group for their help. He is also a bit sad that he won't get to see Elisia in his dreams again nor hear her songs as they were beautiful. The party however are just sad that he didn't give them any reward (they did earn some XP though) so they decide to go back to check on Elisia just to see if there was anything to be gained (besides warm fuzzy feelings) from all this. Turns out there was! Elisia thanks them and gives the party a pearl because she heard that "those that walk upon land value such things".
At this point the party wondered what kind of twisted world is this where they just get a handful of coins for risking their lives and limbs to deal with wild beasts while playing delivery boy earns them a pearl. Well, actually they didn't. They were too busy greedily thinking how much that pearl would fetch them to think about such things.
The pearl was given to the care of Goldilocks which made the rest of the group wonder if there was something going on between her and Hansel. After all Goldilocks got the bone dagger in their previous quest and didn't they all agree that they would not ask for any reward upfront because Hansel would distribute any rewards evenly?
Hansel refuted all those accusations saying that the dagger was given to Goldilocks because she was the most proficient with that weapon. As for the pearl the only reason Goldilocks was taking care of it is because she volunteered to do so, claiming it would be safe from any would-be thieves with her. It would be only a temporary thing too until they could find a buyer for the pearl.
The party didn't know if they believed it, much less trusted Goldilocks with such a valuable item. They let it go for now since they still had to explore the rest of the town before meeting with Hrothgar.