“May I sit here Sir?” offered Morrison. “You seem like a person of taste and refinement, and a wonderful poet. But you seem in some distress? Perhaps I can help?” Elrin looked up from his cups and his eyes brightened momentarily, before waving him to sit down. He laughed mirthlessly.
“Distress my dear Halfling?” he replied. “Well. You could certainly call it that.” And here he stifled what sounded to Morrison like a sob.
“Just get on with it!” sneered an elf from the bar. Elrin looked round and frowned.
“Ignore the lout with no manners my dear sir” said the Halfling. “Tell me what ails you, and I will help or advise as I may.”
“The problem is I am Cursed. Cursed!!” he paused dramatically, pulling the back of his hand back across his eyes." I am the last of the De Poes and the misdeeds of my father conspire to visit me with nightly terrors, and send me early to the black, mouldy, corpse ridden………"
“Rest?” volunteered Morrison.
“….. Rest which yawns open for me, like a black maw with the cool, wet scent of cadaverous decay reaching out like a sickly siren.”
“You certainly have a poetic turn of phrase sir” said Morrison, while thinking quietly to himself that the man was clearly an idiot, as well as a terrible poet.
“Each night….and it has been many nights since my father’s death twenty years ago…..my dreams are visited by grotesque and decomposing apparitions of my father and other dead and decayed relatives. . And I fear that these will soon take a toll on my sanity.”
Morrison refrained from saying the obvious thing, and merely frowned and nodded.
“The genesis of these apparitions I fear can be traced back to my father, a moderately successful adventurer named Arin, and his pilfering of the De Poe family mausoleum found south of the settlement here.”
Here Elrin nodded conspiratorially at Morison and drew three items out of his cloak, shielding them from the view of the other patrons as best he could. Morrisons eyes widened.
On the table before him were an exquisite ruby bejewelled dagger, a valuable looking diamond wedding band, and a wizards scroll case decorated with gold fittings of excellent workmanship. This was suddenly looking very interesting.
“It is my belief that my fathers soul is being tormented by the long dead relatives these items were stolen from, but I lack the courage to put right this wrong!” Here again Elrin put his head in his hands.
“Don’t distress yourself my good sir” offered Morrison helpfully. “I think I see what you are driving at: you want these things returned to their proper place. is that it?” Elrin nodded.
“It is my firm belief that if these things were returned to the mausoleum and replaced within their respective sarcophagi, the spirits of the dead would be appeased and the ghastly nightly visits would cease. I could sleep peacefully once more.” Elrin let out a wistful sigh.
“And would you offer a reward to a Halfling who did not fear to enter such a place?” asked Morrison.
“A reward? Why certainly” replied Elrin. “But are the two of us enough do you think? My fears would be much lessened by more stout hearts at my side.”
“How much?” asked the Elf at the next table, who had clearly been listening.
“Err…. 100 gold? Each?” suggested Elrin.
“I’m in” said the elf.
“Me too!” said several others from around the bar.