In which we meet our party
Our first meeting takes place at a local tavern that has seen better days, The Old Boar. When Asra and Denna stop in looking for a place to perform while in town, they discover that the place is doing very little business. It would seem that the “Old” in the name is fitting, as the clientelle is mostly retired folks sipping at ale and sitting quietly. Beggar’s can’t be choosers, however, and the girls decide to play a show to test the waters. After going about town advertising (or at least self-promoting) the two blow the evening audience away with the greatest tavern show seen in the district in ages. The noise and merrymaking draw crowds from the street and other nearby establishments. Even some of the staff take time away from their normal routine to see the change in the crowd. Droost, a tenant of the building and part time bouncer, keeps an eye on the room from his roof-top garden. He is vigilant with so many new faces in the bar, but pleased to see it doing so well. The tavern’s resident stew maker, “Cookie” pokes his head out from the kitchen to do frequent head counts as he scrambles to whip up food to keep this sudden hoard satisfied.
Seeing the crowd and hearing life filter back into The Old Boar, the tavern-keep cannot deny things any longer. Running a brew house in this city is a younger man’s game, and he simply does not have what it takes any longer. With a wish to see his beloved building restored to glory, he approaches Asra and Denna with a proposal: Should they clear up a small issue regarding the proper deed to the tavern, and agree to bring in Droost and Cookie as partners, they can have the tavern. He’d rather leave with the modest amount of money in the safe and know that the Boar is in good hands than stay and sink every last copper he has into trying to recapture the glory days. A tavern is a fine reward for a small bit of legal leg work and paper stamping, so all parties agree.
The only catch? The dispute surrounding the deed is with Tom Holden. Yes, that Tom Holden, head of the Dock Workers’ guild and very well connected overseer of unsavory acts of questionable legality. Until Tom signs off with his blessing that the tavern (originally lost by him in an old gambling wager, though he would deny the wager took place) does now in fact belong to the newly acquainted business partners, the previous owner will not hand over ownership for fear that Tom will take it back by force. So our group of entrepreneurs sets off to make a deal with a devil.