on the nature of the red coins
It was maybe 4 or 5 years ago, one or two moons before the Harvest Festival. Around that time the Blackwaters opened the city named after them to public visitation. They are filthy rich, you know, and everyone is in need of some money. So I took the move as an opportunity: I am talented, and had some coins to spare, to buy props and stuff. Well, every artist has a whole lot of will to fall in the graces of some rich noble. Wilbur was just a kid, I don’t know, somewhere between 14 and 16 years old. His parents were killed by goblins - both were traveling merchants, and the halfling roads are not good as everyone tells. Well, I met him and he knew some tricks – some minor illusions, nothing arcane or elvish, you know, just making a card burn or blowing some candles with his mind. He need money to afford a place to live, I need someone to help me put up a show. Blackwater Port was open, and I was trying to impress some rich people. Business as usual. So we headed that way.
To make a long story short, the visit was a blast – mind you it was in that visit that Lord Blackwater himself bought golden strings to my lute, just so he could say that my chords sounded like true gold. Wilbur and I worked well together. I got money from the Blackwaters to build my own theater and took Wilbur as my partner. We didn’t want Garrotten, but it was a smart business move: the town was pacific enough to keep us out of trouble, and important enough being the bridge between Phandalin and Restenford – building our theater here was a safe bet. It was agreed that I would perform to Lord Blackwater at every the Harvest Festival until he wanted me to stop. The Harvest Festival at Blackwater Port is not as big as the one at Owen’s Pride, but actually I think it's better: the city is smaller, so there are not as many bad folks in the streets, and the nobility of that town just pee liquid gold. Good deal.
Back to the main problem, you know how things are: the one with the lute gets all the spotlight, and probably more coins. It’s not my fault; it’s not Wilbur’s fault – life is just that way. So in the last week of our trip, after the name-making was done, Wilbur was slightly drunk and wandering the taverns of the city. So, as he tells, a pretty lady with fancy red clothes approached him. She knew who he was: knew his name, some of his tricks, and that he was important to the show as much as myself. She is right, you know. That night she gave him the spotlight he deserves. So, when the night had come to an end, she asked him if he, just like myself, had found a patron to pay for his services. He had not, you see, he was working with me. So she kissed a golden coin and tainted the yellow with red. She asked him if he wanted a job, and that the job was just to tell her when someone died at his feet. The kid took the coin.
So that’s why we try to keep things peaceful. That's the reason no one dies in the theater. If they die, and Wilbur is near, someone or something appears – and it appears with the knowledge that someone died. The thing takes the corpses and leave a piece of gold: a red one.