Goran hated the smell of taverns. He tried to avoid them whenever possible. But just being out of the militia and not knowing anyone forced him into renting the cheapest room he could find. Even though this had to have been the worst tavern he had ever found himself inhabiting, it still took all the money he had to pay for the room. His only option, he thought, was to start looking for work. First thing that came to mind was the local guard. Many former militiamen were joining up with the guard, which was only logical, so he took off one morning for the sergeant's quarters to ask for a job.
"Sorry no positions available," before Goran even got both feet through the door the sergeant shoved him out with a single statement. Not even a single look up from his desk, all Goran thought to do was avert the eyes and walk out. No luck here, he was thinking as he walked away, maybe some private organization is looking for work.
If there were any local merchants looking for muscle they either were hiding or they already had it. As Goran Strongblade made his way down the docks and through the business district everywhere he looked was some snobbish merchant with two or more big bodyguards, most were bigger than Goran and some looked akin to an ogre or an orc. Not exactly what he wanted to see. The sun began to peak and so Goran decided on lunch if he could afford it. He thought his best bet would be back at the tavern he was staying at, although it didn't seem very appetizing to him considering the smell. He was finally able to see the sign hanging by just one chain and with a few letters missing. He thought it could have been The Strangled Diver or maybe The Single Sailor, something along those lines. Whatever the name, he knew it was home, whatever that meant. He pulled up a chair in the mostly empty common room, "Can I get you somethin'?" asked the barmaid.
"Just whatever food you have," Goran responded.
"We got stew, stew, and more stew, your pick," the barmaid didn't even bother to hear his answer as she left to get a bowl. Goran didn't mind, anything was better than hairy rat or whatever rodent was available during his tenure in the militia. That alone was worth the smell of this tavern. He got his stew and a bottle of whatever passed as a drink in that establishment. While sifting through the grog, he managed to overhear a trio of dwarves a couple tables away. The place was pretty much empty so even their hushed voices still carried the short distance. Goran tried to give them privacy but more than a few words got to him unintentionally, namely the words: work, guardsman, and jewels. He worked it over in his head a bit, mustering the courage to speak to these raggedy fellows.
"Excuse me?" Goran finally piped up. The dwarves turned as one, hands cocked at the ready over their none-too-hidden weapons. None of them answered. "Don't mean to intrude, I just managed to hear something about a job is all," a meager response to such a gruff attitude from the three.
"Who's t'be sayin' we did hmm?" The older of the three replied, one with a brownish-turning-grey beard and a small mithril spike in his ear. "We weren't expectin' no eavedroppin' fools,"
"Sorry, my mistake," not even trying to press it, Goran started to turn, not seeing the other two dwarves conversing silently.
"Hold up there," one spoke up. "We might'n be acceptin' new members to ar' little group here, if ye got the skills we be needin'.
"If a guard is what you need I'll be happy to help," Goran thought he might be accepting an offer before really knowing what he was getting himself into, but what good would it be to wait? He could no longer afford much of anything and he doubted any guard duty with this bunch wouldn't involve much guarding. Mostly watching as they did the work, considering the weapons they carried.
"Have ye ever been in a mine 'afore lad?" the older dwarf asked.
"No sir I haven't but I have been in many trenches."
"Well trenches be a bit different than bein' under a mountain, but least we know ye've been in battle 'afore." The others nodded to the elder's statement, which seemed good enough for them. The dwarves stood and smiled, the older one holding out a hand to shake. "Welcome aboard ah.. . what be yer name human?"
"Goran sir," he took the hand with a smile, the first in a long while. "Goran Strongblade."
"Well Goran, me name's Burl Shieldwielder. These be me sons Bruun and Baen," Both gave a low bow, Goran returned with a nod to both. "We be the best group o' miners t'be offerin' goods to the merchants o' Waterdeep. Now Mr. Strongblade, I believe it be time to let ye know what it is ye be gettin' yerself into."