D&D 5E: The Road Not Taken

The Offer
New in Town

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The date is 1485 DR, the year of the Iron Dwarf’s Vengeance, inside the walls of Waterdeep, the City of Splendor. A young boy dressed in ceremonial robes holding rolled parchments. He scurries through the city, delivering messages to four unsuspecting and unacquainted individuals. The invitations invite each of our, would be adventures, to meet with Jhoadil Zulthind of the House of Inspired Hands. The letters are signed by Hemil Greggur, Observer of the Watchful Order.

Our party meets for the first time at the Holy Reverence Central Court Service Tower in the Castle Ward of Waterdeep.

You stand in front of the tower, the streets are not as busy as other parts of the city, but people pass from time to time. After what seems to be a lengthy wait, you hear iron latches move from behind a set of heavy oak doors. The doors open and two young boys in muted ceremonial robes emerge. They approach the party and offer their hands and lead each of you into the entrance chamber.

As you enter the meeting hall, you are immediately overcome by the smell of a variety of spices, fragrances and freshly cooked meats. A large ashen table sits in the center of the room. A selection of meats, cheese and wine sit atop the table surrounded by plush chairs. The young boy motions for you to sit and eat.

After a few moments several men enter the room. A thin and pale servant steps aside and announces their entrance. “The High Seeker Jhoadil Zulthind“. Through the doors your eyes are met by a slim black and gray bearded man. He is dressed in luxurious but tasteful lavender robes adorn with silver accents and jewelry. Behind him is a heavier well-dressed man of obvious station holding several books and papers who is humming a familiar local traveling tune to himself. Servants position themselves by the walls behind the two men.

“Please be seated, my apologies for the formalities and odd location but I assure you it is not without purpose. I am Jhoadil Zulthind, High Seeker of the House of Inspired Hands. I represent a large majority of the merchant’s guild in Waterdeep and have called upon you today to ask for your help.”

“I have been assured by my closest and most trusted council, Hemil Greggur, that you all hold the appropriate skills and reputation to suit our needs. Before I explain I must be sure that you understand that this is of a sensitive nature and discretion will be critical to the success of this venture. I hope I can I trust that you will hold these conversations among yourselves?”

“Good, very good. Well then, I will leave you in the trusted hands of Hemil to explain further. Please enjoy your food and may that gods look upon you in favor.”
Jhoadil rises, smiles, bows and walks out with two of the servants following. Hemil excuses the other servants and he remains.

“Some nights ago, someone was seen entering Waterdeep from the northern gates. He was seen making his way to the High Seeker’s primary place of business. He was then seen leaving the same area several hours later that evening and made his way out the same northern gates. The next morning two of our servants found windows broken and rooms overturned. After we took inventory of the damage we found some very important ledgers and journals missing. We also found some items that must have been left by the would-be thief.

The ledgers and journals hold a wealth of information critical to the trade district of Waterdeep. Contact information, supply routes, calendars and other details are all housed within the pages. In the wrong hands, this information could be leveraged to work against our best interests. It could also mean placing innocents in danger. An unscrupulous person could use the information to setup lucrative ambushes and robberies, targeting the most valuable supply routes at their most vulnerable locations. Such activity could undermine our reputation and all of Waterdeep would suffer from such undoing.”

“What we need is for someone to locate the thief, return the ledgers and find out who is behind this. You must understand how far reaching the effects of this could be. If certain parties would become aware, it could cause huge disruptions in our ability to provide for the city. We would be greatly indebted to you if this could be set right quickly and quietly. “

Hemil provides information of rumors and sightings, answers questions then directs the party toward the Ardeep Forest region. He alludes to a valley that would be easy for a thief or raider to hold up in. He sends Geth, an assistant, with the party as a guide.

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