Our heroes arrive at last in Phandalin, so arduous was their journey. After stopping to tie up Boirin’s wolves, the motley wagon-load of adventurers trundles into town.
They first meet Gwendalin, the local mad-woman. She believes herself to be the “queen” in disguise (though over what she is meant to rule is anyone’s guess). Among other things, she gives the party directions about the town, pointing out Barthen’s Provisions, the Stonehill Inn, Lionshield Coster — and warns them to avoid the nearby sleeping giant (which is really just the name of a ruffian taphouse).
The party’s first stop is Barthen’s Provisions, a small trading post on the north end of town. They deliver Gundren’s supplies to Elmar Barthen (after Boirin mistakes the balding proprietor for a woman). Ander and Thistle, Barthen’s hired hands, in the midst of unloading the wagon, note that some of the supplies are missing. Boirin begins to explain, but settles for, “It’s a long story, but we needed the pork.” Regardless of excuse, Elmar deducts the missing value from their pay.
Suddenly, the party realizes they still need the wagon to return the captured Lionshield goods. Elmar consents to lend the vehicle and ox team as long as Thistle goes with them, withholding their wages until the wagon is returned.
Boirin and Rana (and Gnerx) visit the Lionshield Coster. The dwarf cleric takes a fancy to the sharp-tongued Linene Graywind behind the counter, entreating her to Marthammor Duin, though he is rebuffed by the worshipper of Chauntea, goddess of agriculture. He flirts with her, but she’s no easy catch. She does call him handsome for a dwarf, however. She agrees to play cards, best two out of three, for a chance to court her. He loses, but is hopeful, and intends to persist.
On the party’s way back across town, Boirin passes the shrine of luck and wonders if it might not help him with Linene…
Sildar, rescued but road-weary, retires at once to his room at the Stonehill Inn as soon as the party’s business is concluded for the day. Rhogar and Roden join him presently.
Boirin, Rána, and Gnerx pass the evening in the inn’s common room, mingling with the varied and lively patronage. Freda the Weaver and Petunia Pleasantbaker introduce quality wares to their new customers, and Elsa the barmaid (speaking in quite the animated falsetto) serves fistfulls of drink and gossip while Trilena (the innkeeper’s wife) dispenses local rumor.
Rána goes to the bar. Gnerx follows on his heels, clambering onto the barstool next to the blue elf. Perturbed at the sight of their captive asserting his volition so freely and openly, Rána grunts and mutters imprecations under his breath. In spite of himself, the sorcerer kindly buys the goblin a drink and a crust of bread (courtesy of Petunia Pleasantbaker), earning him an enthusiastic, “Rána the Generous!” Rána assuages Trilena’s apprehension at the presence of a goblin by claiming responsibility for him — as a pet of sorts.
The elf treats himself to a gallon of ale and a bowl of mystery stew while negotiating prices with Trilena for a private room and bath, willing to spend nearly double the going rate for the added luxury. Boirin places an order for new nightclothes with Freda the Weaver before renting a bed for the standard fare.
Rána slides his bowl over to Gnerx, letting him feast on the dregs, and then goes upstairs, telling Boirin to keep watch over the foul creature. Freda makes a yellow cap as a gift for Gnerx, as well as a yellow goblin-bjorn.
Rana returns to the common room in his PJ’s, and joins in the conversation. While explaining, for what seems the thousandth time, why his skin is a vibrant shade of blue, he offers to demonstrate his Wild Magic. He channels his innate magic and suddenly feels the buzz of the ale leave him; he is certain that alcohol no longer affects him, at least for the time being. Narth the Farmer overhears his claim and challenges him to a drinking game, ordering upwards of 10 gallons of ale.
Soon, the old codger is passed out, and Rána shares the remaining gallons of ale with the common room patrons: “Drinks all around!” This endears the strange adventuring party to the town. Gnerx joins in the celebration with a hearty “Huzzah!” Rána, inebriated with fraternity, shares his secret past with Boirin, Gnerx, and the other patrons before retiring to his private room.
Boirin soon follows with Gnerx as the common room empties. Before he goes to bed he quietly divests himself of the goblin by slipping him into Rána’s room. Gnerx passes the night curled up at the end of Rána’s bed.