The kobolds were not well endowed with money. We picked up a few trade coins from them, but we now had an important task to consider. We needed to report the presence of these creatures to the earl.
We headed back to town - while we'd journeyed far, we had meandered like a stream and the route we took back was much more direct. Back in the secure defences of the keep, we made arrangements for a meeting with the Earl by using our contact within his close staff. Alas we're not allowed to take our ethnic friends with us, Bob Frapples the Dwarf and Excretia the Elf are left watching from a distance as we handle the political stuff.
We end up getting hired for what we hope is a well paying job. It turns out that the Earl has a daughter. Not a proper daughter, born to a high-born woman of social standing, but a back-stairs bastard of a daughter who he cares for deeply. It turned out that she had been kidnapped and he was paying a ransom - but he really needed someone to rescue her because he couldn't really afford the money, and didn't trust the kidnappers to release her anyway.
We accepted the job.
The plan was to be hidden among the Earl's staff when the man turned up for the ransom money. We were then to follow him, find out where the daughter was being kept, recover her and the ransom money and be back in short order. There was only one complication. The Earl's wife was not to find out about the daughter, the ransom or what we were doing on their land. We disguised ourselves as work-men (and work-women).
When the man eventually turns up, he's surreptitiously indicated to us by the Earl's man, and we start keeping an eye on him. As he leaves the Earls residence, we mobilize into action. The man, it turned out, was called Jish. And his first call was into the pub on his way out. He stayed there for an hour before heading out of the keep. We followed, nonchalantly.
He heads off over the Serpentine, and along the path. At an quiet place along the path he disappears off into the woods at the side of the road out of site. We sneak up to there - we can hear goblin voices, but we can't see him immediately although they're quite close to the road. He's there in the woods, arguing with some goblins, they pay him and he leaves. The goblins head off deeper into the woods along the track and disappear.
Some searching by us reveals a subtly hidden barrier here, which we open, and move on up a trackway. Further along here there is, to our surprise, and old manor house. During our sneaking we encounter a black bear, but we avoid it, and continue sneaking round trying to find a way into the building without being seen.