The Flaming Frog Inn

Thin Lizzie took pride in keeping her tavern as clean as possible and that was especially true of the long glossy smooth bar. She didn’t look like much of an intimidating hostess, but this was one establishment in the city of Manfredonia where starting a fight was going to end badly. No outsiders frequented this particular tavern, and the only people that took a room in the inn were ones that had been specifically told that it was highly recommended. From the outside this didn’t make any sense. The Flaming Frog Inn looked to be as common a place to stay as could be scrounged up in any squalid waterfront neighborhood, and yet it still held a place of almost mystic value in this city of Forkanzan misfits. It boasted a large number of regular customers in the tavern and catered to the same sort of people that routinely passed through on their way north or south along the eastern coast of the Forkanzan peninsula. It was because of these regular patrons that Thin Lizzie kept her tavern as clean as she did.

Her name was no accident, nor was it an ironic moniker. Thin Lizzie was painfully thin, frequently described as gaunt or even somewhat horrifying. It wasn’t that she was particularly unattractive, she just didn’t have much in the way of curves or muscle. She could at any time pass as a ghoul if she had to, and while she had never been known to feast on the bones of the newly dead that hadn’t prevented the rumors from circulating. An excellent deterrent to anyone starting trouble in her tavern. “If she bites you, you turn into one of…. them.” It didn’t even matter what they were referring to, it was ominous enough to do the trick.

Quite a number of ships had arrived in Manfredonia this pleasant day so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the door to the tavern opened and a guest stepped in. He smiled and with a wave acknowledged the patrons seated at the bar and the tables inside. Many of them were of goblinoid descent, but they smiled readily at the charismatic human as he walked confidently into the tavern. Some of them recognized him and laughed with delight as they exclaimed “Welcome back, Trey!” and more than a couple clapped their hands. A couple of orcs at the bar made room for the newcomer and paid for his first drink before he had even sat down on the stool.

With a sly, crooked smile Thin Lizzie said quietly, “What can I get you, Trey?”

The warrior set his rucksack down at his feet and stood his longsword in its scabbard against the bar between his knees. “Miss Lizzie, I’ll have tankard of whatever ale these fellows are drinking.” he said as he motioned to the orcs on either side of him. The orcs grunted approvingly, and one of them clapped the newcomer on the back.

Lizzie poured the ale from the keg behind the bar and set it down in front of Trey. With her smile still in place, she asked quietly, “What brings you back to the city?”

Trey took a long drink of ale and wiped his mouth. With a great big grin he said, “Pirates. They gave me passage and on the way here we freed a ship full of slaves. I was hoping you might have ideas for giving them a head start in this brave new world.” He took another drink. “Oh, and one of the pirates stabbed me during a fight. Pretty sure it wasn’t intentional, though. They seem to be a decent group.”

Thin Lizzie snickered a little and said, “So you brought the city more freed slaves? That all you came for?”

Trey shook his head and replied with a chuckle, “No, I’ve more than that in mind. He looked around the room and with a laugh said, “I think there is a good deal of adventure to be had bashing this new Imperium. I aim to take a crack at it anyway. A couple of my new friends said they’d join me, so we’ll see what mischief we can rouse up.”

Lizzie shook her head and said with a snicker, “I guess your father doesn’t have any idea you’re here, then.”

Trey slid two platinum coins across the bar to Thin Lizzie and he said, “Nope. Like to keep it that way for awhile, please.”

Lizzie pocketed the coins and shook her head again. “Whoever you are, your room is available.”