The PCs were contacted by an old friend, Sergeant Sammel Colworn, and asked to meet at the estate of the Brelish Foreign Minister, Lord Caston ir’Soras. Lord ir’Soras explained to them that he had hired Colworn to search the estate for a family heirloom, but as soon as the item was uncovered, the minister’s guards turned against him. Two of the thieves escaped with the minister’s property, crippling Colworn in the process. Colworn killed the third burglar, whom he then discovered was Captain Waters, head of Lord ir’Soras’ guards. As the guard captain died, he was revealed to have been a changeling. Lord ir’Soras tasked the PCs with avenging the wounding of their sergeant, and gave the task of finding his lost property to the well-known detective Victor Saint-Demain.
The PCs began their investigation at the barracks of House Deneith, Captain Waters’ employers. There they discovered that the true Waters had never served the minister, having been abroad for years on a long-term contract. The minister’s contract was revealed as a forgery as well. House Deneith‘s records did reveal the Captain’s address, however, and the party set out at once to search it.
En route to Waters’ apartment, the party interrupted a gang of half-orc thugs beating a trio of halflings within an inch of their lives in the middle of a city street. They intervened, killing some of the thugs and allowing others to flee. The halflings identified themselves as members of the Boromar Clan, and their attackers as employees of the rival syndicate Daask; gang warfare between the two groups has undergone a sudden and violent escalation in recent months. The halflings’ leader, Gillen Boromar, gave the PCs his thanks and swore to repay the debt owed to them before fleeing the approaching Sharn Watch.
The PCs arrived at Waters’ home, a small apartment above a weaver’s shop, to find that the imposter Waters had clearly been living there. A thorough search revealed an unusual masterwork staff made of densewood, a very exotic material native to the elven nation of Aerenal, but little else. Moments later, a ragged band of ruffians attacked the party, setting fire to the weaver’s shop in the process. A prisoner taken during this fight revealed to the PCs that he and his associates were dreamlily addicts hired by a Daask drug runner to destroy any evidence left behind at Waters’ apartment. He directed the party to his employer, a dim-witted gnoll named Fang, who operated a dreamlily distribution center beneath an inn in Tumbledown.
Arriving at Fang’s door only to find it tightly locked during the day, the party then attempted to determine the origin and significance of the densewood staff recovered from the apartment. A local elven merchant named Teranas identified the staff as part of a cargo of lumber and wooden goods stolen a few weeks earlier, and made it clear to the PCs that he would be interested in acquiring the rest of the shipment, should they happen across it.
Returning to Fang’s at dusk, the party was greeted by Gillen Boromar, seated at a table in the inn with a pack of halfling rogues. The PCs stated their desire to question Fang regarding the events of the previous night, and Gill explained that his mission was to put the drug lab out of business. The Boromars provided the party with disguises to help get them through the door, asking only that the PCs unlock the door for them once they made it inside. The party questioned Fang at length, learning that he received his orders from a man named Malfus Terick, and that both the elven cargo and the minister’s stolen property were being held in a warehouse in the dockside district of Precarious.