Drink mead, fight an ice demon, binge some TV
This story takes place after the events in the novel Sidequest: In Realms Ungoogled. I highly recommend you read that first as that starts the story where I always felt it had to start, and it changes things too much to enter this world at any other point.
But I’m not your boss. You do what you want.
It was a cold, dark afternoon in July. The wind howled, perhaps as displeased as the citizens of Goldenleaf with the freezing weather. The wind was wiser than them, though, for it was quickly seeking elsewhere to go.
Jarl put another log on the fire hoping this one source of warmth might give the customers in his pub some cheer, but none of them noticed. There was no joy left with these people. They simply came to the Singing Sparrow Pub to forget for a while — the closest thing there was to happiness. Just for a moment, they wanted to not think about the one who resided in the castle in the Dead Forest.
It was hard not to worry about him, though, especially as there was talk that the mines would soon be tapped out. And then what would happen to them? They all remembered the fate that befell the dwarven village of Harendean when it was no longer of use.
Jarl returned to the counter. Business was good for him, at least, but he hardly had a smile left in him. And he had the best of it.
The door burst open. Jarl immediately knew it was not a regular — no one in Goldenleaf had that kind of energy. In walked a young man with a dumb grin. He wore a bright, puffy red jacket with the label “The North Face” and cloth pants of the color indigo. He was a relatively unthreatening figure, even with the sword strapped to his belt. The other patrons of the bar regarded him with fear. This was something different. This was trouble.
“Oh man, it is cold out there!” said the stranger as he took the sword and sheath off his belt, placed it on the counter, and took a seat across from Jarl. “I mean, I brought my winter jacket, but I still don’t feel quite prepared for how cold it is. What’s the wind chill factor out there right now?” The man took off his glasses, pulled a cloth from his pocket, and began to wipe away the pieces of snow that had melted to water now that he was near the fire.
“It gets colder,” Jarl said gravely.
“Oh, well that... well, that sucks.”