Noticing the intense look Praxx is giving the party, Utar leans over to Neya. The odd smile on his face remaining in place, but his eyes betray a sense of worry. "I don't like it now he's making eye contact."
"Chaotic Relief... Chaotic Relief... Let's us hope your opponents, not your benefactors, are the ones facing the chaotic part. I rather deal with the relief portion" she says, completely unaware of whatever intentions Praxx is expressing behind her back.
Upon hearing a couple of recognizable names, Liela shares what she can now that you are officially hired by House Sokol: "Lord Igan Sokol is the only representative of the noble house who still lives in Phlan. He honorably decided to stay behind after his relatives moved out of town, and to look over the lighthouse himself as its quartermaster. He selected me to take care of all other matters related to their interests here at the docks. The Black Fist decided the lighthouse was too valuable to leave it in the care of just one man and so they assigned Guard Sergeant Grim and his men to provide security at Thorn Island. He is a foolhardy man who is usually in debt to the wrong sort of people and spends his off-duty time trying to come up with ways to get money quick. I advise you to not trust him, but do encourage you to speak with his counterpart here on the docks, Guard Sergeant Hurn, a much more helpful man. Once in the island, seek Lord Igan instead of Grim. Or you can approach one my Lord's caretakers. There are three if I am not mistaken. Darvag, Shandra, and... one more... whose name escapes my mind at the moment. I do not know much about them but they have all worked at the keep for a long while."
Now with most of her poise regathered, Liela concludes: "Anything else I can do for you before you jump on your boat and solve my little problem?"
Utar, dropping the smile, steps forward. "I hope you don't find this too odd of a question, but your dockworkers made mention of a ghost on the island itself. Could you give us a little more information as to why they would be so concerned?"
Praxx approaches Liela again "Come on Liela, if there is something that is possibly out there wouldn't you think we would need to know? Have there been any reports even from some of the soldiers? I know what it sounds like to people like you and I but it may be something we need to watch out for in case someone is trying to pull a fast one on us... You can tell me". Praxx then gives her a wink
"I have no reason to hide information from you, Master Praxx, if indeed you are to provide me relief;" she says, with a deadpan serious face.
Graxx has been keeping a close eye on Liela for some time now. She is business to the core. Everything in her small office is meticulously placed to make her job more efficient, and that is surely a reflection of her personality. She seems the type that speaks brusquely; stupifyingly economic in her mannerisms and facial expressions. What Praxx did earlier, was surely as close to an adventure as this half-elven lady has ever come/felt. She does not look like a woman who would lie, but indeed looks like someone who would not pay any heed to rumors.
"Now, please, go fulfill your contract. I have other business to tend to." She gently gestures towards the door.
"Farewell. I'll wait for your return here once the job is completed." Praxx can swear he sees a hint of a smile in Liela's face as the group walks out of her office.
Following her instructions, the five of you can easily find the Black Fist guardpost on the docks, just a stone's throw away from House Sokol's administrative office. The simple stone structure is larger than Liela's office and the door is open. You see a couple of Black Fist guards walk in and out.
As the group enters, they see an old, stout, beardless male dwarf sitting behind a desk that is way too big for him. A little placard reveals his name and title: Guard Sergeant Hurn. His office is a mess, with guards coming in and out constantly and documents spread everywhere. A not so faint smell of bodily odor permeates the air.
"How may I help you?"Hurn says in a tired voice. "Here to complain about your merchant venture being stuck in town because of the darn lighthouse? Bahrrg... join the queue!"
Graxx steps forward to Hurn. "A friend of yours, Aravele sent us your way. She told us you were having some trouble with your lighthouse and thought we might be able to solve this problem for you. Something about the Black Fist hiring a bunch of folk to try to guard it but clearly that's not working. We can see that on your face. If you want help, tell us what's going on and what you're willing to pay to make it go away."
"Aravele, you say... Hahaha. It would seem she is one step ahead of you boys," he says, ignoring Neya's presence in the room. "Whatever gold I could have offered for some mercenary work has already been used to contract that savvy lady and her companion Keria for the very purpose of figuring out what has happened at the lighthouse. If you are quick, you might still be able to find her bargaining for a lower fee at the ferry down the third wharf.... Hahaha."
He pauses for a moment then adds: "Two days of not a single soul wanting to go investigate and now I have people raining down my office for a bite. Oh Tymora, you are a cruel mistress." He slaps his belly. "And no, little wee one, whatever stock of potions I may or may not have is for the exclusive benefit of the Black Fist. So are the rules under martial law, boy."
"Aravele and Keria who were busy drinking your gold away at the Laughing Goblin and who are now licking their wounds after a bar fight with some irate dockers? I'd say they aren't in any position to investigate anything past 'why does my head hurt?' for a few days."
Utar lets the statement hang in the air, conscious this dwarf might need convincing.
"I'd say you could contract with us. Same rate and if we return first, we get paid."
Utar furrows his brow before adding, "Unless you weren't savvy enough to insist on payment on completion. In which case we could come to an arrangement to exchange goods in kind. As my new friend here said, the Black Fist likely has a number of healing potions or other magical artifacts that could serve as payment."
Graxx following Utar's lead says, "Or we could just leave right now and let those angry dockworkers know that we tried to help with their troubles but were turned away by a Guard Sergeant Hurn. We were there to save your weak Merc's from the dockworkers wrath. We won't be here for you."