"Big family!" Norman observes.
"Small house," I add dryly. There's no door, and we can see inside.
"It's not that bad," Norman says defensively. "It's just ... rustic."
"No beds," I observe.
"Well, they got a ... cupboard over there," Norman points.
"Nice. You think it sleeps five?"
"This just proves my point," he says testily. "These people are obviously destitute. Imagine the hardships they must be going through, given the recent troubles. War always hurts the lower class first."
"It's a shame," I say. "Stomping the peasantry is the best part of war, but it's always over so quickly. Then all you have left is mop-up with the nobility, and that's always so boring."
"Hush up. Let me do the talking," he says as we approach one of the ladies in front of the house.
Norman puffs out his chest, "Greetings madam! Do you need help? Are you in danger? Don't be shy. I wield mighty magic and my ... friend ... here is also quite skilled. Tell us, what is your trouble? Wolves? Spiders? Robbers? We've seen these and worse in these lands, and we do not fear them. We're here to make things right in the land."
"Oh! I'm so glad you're here! I need your help!" Bernice cries. Norman looks down at me and gives me a smug I-told-you-so nod.
"That's why we're here!" Norman booms.
"I can't find my necklace and I think that guttersnipe Billy Maclure took it!"
"You ... a necklace?" Norman stammers. He looks around the bedraggled farm and out over to the spiders and bears prowling on the edges of the land. Then he looks back to the ramshackle one-room house. The boss can't very well refuse the girl after that big intro speech, but taking this job is like summoning the will to swallow a bug.
We learn that there are really only two farms in this area. The Stonefields and the Maclures. The two families hate each other. They have a long-standing feud going, and trade petty injustices on a regular basis.
We stroll over to the Maclure farm and find billy standing just outside the barn. Norman puts the question to him.
Billy gives a mischievous grin as he explains his side of things, "You lost a what? Well I didn't take no necklace, because I ain't no thief! I might know who did but I'm too hungry to remember! Maybe if I got a pie, I could tell you who has that necklace. And you know, I think that old Bernice lady at that other farm makes great Pork Belly Pies ... "
Norman is adamantly against my suggestion of simply roasting the kid. Instead, he marches us back to the Stonefield farm and asks Bernice for a pie. She sends us out to get some hog meat. Five pieces of hog meat.
"So did Bernice really want you to slaughter her entire supply of boars?" I ask sometime later.
Norman scratches his head. "It is a little strange, isn't it?"
"Aren't we gathering meat to make one pie? For a child?"
"Yeah. That's odd too."
I shrug, "Well, there's nothing left to do but leave her entire herd of slaughtered pigs in the middle of her watermelon patch to rot so we can give her this meat for the extortion pie."
"Wow. It sounds evil when you say it that way."
"This is our best job so far," I nod.
"I guess we have enough to make the porkbelly pie now.", Norman says.
"Porkbelly pie? Is that what we're making? Why aren't we taking the bellies out of these pigs, then?"
"I don't know. I'm not a cook," Norman admits.
"From the sounds of it, I don't think Auntie Bernice is either."