There is an inn just outside the walled town of Greenwell called The Grinning Dwarf Inn. The proprietor is a retired adventuring dwarf. His beard has gone gray, and he wears a black patch over the socket where his left eye used to be. Most people don’t remember his name and just call him The Dwarf. Since he is the only dwarf many of the Greenwell folk have seen, there is no confusion. The Dwarf runs a comfortable establishment, brewing his own ales and porters, and importing the best single-malt spirits in the land. The Dwarf keeps a small smithy in the back, where he can sometimes be found whiling away the hours pounding out a new piece on the anvil. Adventurers can sometimes have armor and weapons repaired here.
The Grinning Dwarf Inn also has a permanent cook, a halfling. The Halfling and The Dwarf used to be traveling companions. The Halfling is actually a full partner in the inn, but he prefers to work from the background. He is content to spend the winter of his life cooking and playing with trinkets collected in his travels. The Halfling still has a magic Spatula of Sharpness acquired so many years ago. The village children love The Halfling. He regales them with adventurous tales of Fire Giants and Ghost Bridges. He teaches ‘gifted’ children sleight of hand tricks, and encourages them to use these tricks to play jokes on their families and friends.
The Inn is also home to an old bard. The Bard spends most of his time sitting quietly in the back of the great room, smoking his pipe while working out new tunes on his six-stringed lute. Most people think The Bard is just an old gray beard, but in truth, he was an old adventuring companion of The Dwarf and The Halfling. In younger days, the gray beard Bard was a ranger known as The Redbeard. Through a series of unfortunate events on the road, The Redbeard suffered grievous injury and an evil curse to his back. Magic has not been found that can erase the curse. On a good day, The Bard needs a cane to limp along. On a bad day, The Bard doesn’t move much at all. The Bard lives in constant pain, and music is one way to ease the reminder of his unfortunate past. Music…and a particular blend of tobacco in his pipe. The Dwarf gives The Bard a hard time over his ‘skunk weed’, but heaven help any other inn patrons complaining about the pungent aroma from The Bard’s pipe.
Only one member of The Dwarf’s original adventuring band cannot be found at the inn. The half-orc of the group passed from this earth long ago. A half-orc’s life span is not nearly that of a dwarf or halfling, and The Bard is said to have Elvish blood to lengthen his days. Their half-orc companion’s natural life span passed long ago. However, many of the children who play games with The Halfling bear a striking resemblance to the nine-fingered Half-Orc who used to steal The Halfling’s biscuits from the griddle as he was cooking them. These children, to this day, remain special to The Halfling, The Dwarf, and The Bard.