The purpose of this quest at first seems to be to gently prod the player towards areas and goals which will advance the main storyline. It eventually becomes a "proper" quest in Chapter 2, and is completed in Chapter 3.
You begin collecting rumors about Troubles in the Region in the Friendly Arm Inn area. You can hardly avoid hearing at least the two rumors from Bentley Mirrorshade, the proprietor of The Friendly Arm:
- Triggered By: Speaking to Bentley Mirrorshade
- Journal Section: Quests
- Quest Title: Troubles in the Region
- Entry Title: Troubles in the Region
Bentley, the owner of the Friendly Arm Inn, told us that the iron trade has slowed greatly over the past few weeks.
Bentley told us that there has been some sort of trouble in the south. Perhaps we should go to Nashkel.
The rumors of these troubles mostly concern the shortage of iron and the poor quality of such iron as is available, but a few touch on related topics, such as banditry and the equipment available to local troops.
The villagers of the Friendly Arm speak of bandits who make the roads unsafe to travel.
The Flaming Fist is in danger of losing its ability to protect the region. The condition of their weapons and armor is suffering, just as it is for everyone else.
More rumours of these troubles can be heard in Beregost when you go there, although they seldom offer anything you didn't know already.
There are many rumors around Beregost about the scarcity of iron.
The raiders include both humans and hobgoblins, groups of bandits that previously never worked together. Something has caused them to cooperate.
These rumours continue in Chapter 2 after you reach Nashkel. The rumors that you hear here are basically "more of the same" until you speak to either Volo or Berrun Ghastkill.
Volothamp Gendarm, usually called simply Volo, is found in the Belching Dragon Tavern. His tale contains more substance, if no more verifiable fact, than previous rumors.
|“||Rumor from Volo: The word is that all across the expansive Sword Coast, from the Cloudpeaks to Baldur's Gate, an ore shortage is severely crippling local trade. Bandits, purportedly both human AND demihuman, raid caravans, whilst ore reaching its destination becomes brittle and useless following smelting, strangely afflicted by an odd, iron-weakening plague. As though this were not cause for alarm in itself, production at the mines outside of Nashkel has fallen, with the substantially lower yields being blamed on nervous workers. Mysterious disappearances of several miners have set the whole area on edge, where something must shift the balance to one side or the other.||”|
When you speak to Berrun Ghastkill, the Mayor of Nashkell, on the road outside the Temple of Helm, he asks you to investigate strange events in the Nashkel Mines. The journal entry for this encounter suggests for the first time that this is actually a "real" quest.
|“|| Troubles in the Region
The mayor of Nashkel, Berrun Ghastkill, has asked for my help. I am to go to the mines southeast of Nashkel, and find out why the miners have been going missing. Something has also been tainting the ore, causing items made from it to be easily broken. Finding out what is down there is the first step in slowing the effects of the iron shortage.
The quest is completed once you return either Mulahey's Holy Symbol or the letter, adressed to him and found on his body, to Mayor Berrun Ghastkill (2365,1308) in Nashkel for your reward. In case you have both on you, both will be taken; it is possible to keep the symbol or the letter with the same rewards by dropping either beforehand, though none of them can be sold afterwards.
|“||I successfully cleared the Nashkel mines, and was rewarded handsomely for my efforts. 900 gold from Berrun Ghastkill, and the thanks of the entire town. Iron will slowly filter back to the coast now, though transporting it is still a treacherous business. The bandits on the roads will have to be dealt with.||”|