Having waited for hours you finally encounter Beltram. His manservant is with him and all in the large tavern seem to respect the presence of this woolbearded man. After some banter with Beltram you learn that he indeed has a job for you: find the missing Jarlastey Caravan trains. Jarlastey has been trafficking goods between Suzail and Arabel, but within the last month, all of his secured wagon trains have disappeared. Each train was guarded by 8 highly trained warriors. Beltram reveals little else about the caravans but gives you 100 pieces of gold up front, with the promise of 200 pieces of gold upon completion of the quest.
As it turns out, a small man, or rather, a Halfling, listened in on your conversation. Fentel “The Tradesmaker” he dubs himself, as he crowds your table, spinning and throwing an electrum coin all the while. He offers you information in exchange for some loot from the Caravans. But, he is not the only one with information. The eldest of the barmaids, a fiery haired woman in her mid-thirties, offer a tryst and information in exchange for gold. You settle for the information. Through these sources you learn that the best place to hire freeswords is at the Wharf. You also learn that the caravans carried significant amounts of gold, and that they were guarded by the Zhentarim, A legendary organization whose members supposedly disappeared during the Spellplague. You also learn that the caravans carried something else than gold, some blackish metal. Fentel wants you to collect this metal for him.
You leave Hollerim’s Tap with renewed purpose and head to the wharfs, only to find that Oren Meusell is only hiring for ships, he has no mercenaries for hire. Instead he directs you to Buran the Horsetrader, who also houses the Warriors Guild. At the Guild you find that you need a signet ring in order to enter. As none of you are members of the Warriors Guild, you find yourself at a loss, but only until a large man clad in the garb of a Warpriest of Tyr comes to you. He introduces himself as Tarken Van Sell and offers to join your party.