The Artificer stood before the Duke. She said she possessed a marvelous power. The Artificer knew the secret of crafting magic items in bulk. Instead of a single sword, the Artificer produced hundreds. No, thousands. In a short time.
Let’s assume for a moment the Old Man is not an altruistic lover of villagers and hater of all goblinkind. Nor is he sitting in the same Inn with the same offer of 4000 gold pieces waiting for the level-correct Murder Hobos to wander in for his health. What’s in the side quest business for the Old Man?