"You are either a very good liar or there is only truth in your words." Trench says. "It is true that I have more than I can handle at the moment, which shows me you know how to gather private information... Very good. Nonetheless, I do not know you and it is my business' reputation that would be damaged should you fail."
He sighs: "But alas, I am not in a position to decline help. If ALL of you want to help, then I shall give you an easy task at fist as a trial. Again, only if you ALL agree. I will not sub-contract halfhearted investigators."
(I'll go ahead and assume Mokiakia agrees as well)
"Very well," Trench says. "Outlying farms are being terrorized by a scarecrow come to life. It has slaughtered livestock, chased horses, and spooked farmers. No people have been killed as yet, so the City Guard is dragging its heels. Something must be done! Please go to the Undercliff fields and try to find this menace and destroy it. Bring back proof."
LORE BOX (NORTH WARD - PART 2 OF 2)
As the servants spread out to knock on doors and begin their work, the residents of the ward take their exits, parting fondly with spouses and children, their footsteps tramping along the sidewalks or taking them into rattling hire-coaches. In the span of just an hour, the North Ward comes to noisy life and then settles again into quiescence, until later in the day when the process reverses itself, as residents return from work and servants leave.
The liveliest, and perhaps the loveliest, part of the ward is the Cliffwatch. Here, the plateau upon which Waterdeep sits features cliffs so steep and high that the city wall is interrupted to either side of them. Some of the most lavish residences and most luxurious taverns and inns of Waterdeep stand along this space, boasting terraces and balconies that allow one to take in the beautiful sight of the countryside to the east. Yet you need not pay their high prices, for a public walkway along the cliff’s edge offers pedestrians ample opportunity to enjoy the view.
The North Ward’s colors are green and orange, and its mascot is the gentle white dove, depicted in flight. Many North Ward homes have dovecotes on their roofs, and the great flocks of the birds that circle over the city at dawn and dusk are a delight to behold.
Trench shows you in your map of the city where the three scarecrow sightings occurred. They were all in the fields of the Undercliff, which are just outside the eastern walls. Based on the map, there seems to be very little of special note out there in the immediately surrounding farming areas...
The detective then warns: "I suggest you have a plan for attracting or spotting this scarecrow. There is no guarantee of which field it may choose to haunt next."
"Good point about the fire, Adra. All right, gang, maybe our first move should be to head to the Undercliff Village so we can interview as many eyewitnesses as we need to in order to learn more about this creepy scarecrow's habits. Do we need to make any stops before we go? I think I'm all set."
To Trench: "What can we expect in terms of payment for this first case?"
(@Adrasteia: Are you asking Trench if he left anything out (persuasion) or trying to read in between the lines (insight)?)
"Payment?" Trench seems a bit surprised by Sim's question. "I was under the impression you were doing this to gain my favor... But, I guess that if you are putting your lives in danger I should indeed offer you some pay." He thinks for a moment: "Bring me proof of a job well done and I'll give you 50 golden pieces. We can talk higher sums for potential new investigations later, if this test one goes well."
Turning to Mokiakia, the detective simply says: "Farmers."
“No, Lady Adrasteia. I’m afraid I know nothing else apart from the fact that reports about the sightings have been quite... inconsistent. I still can’t piece together what the creature looks like. At any rate, I wish you luck!”
Indeed! With all your maps and fantasy compass, you can get mostly anywhere in the city without a problem, given enough time.
It takes the best part of two hours for you guys to make your way to the Undercliff Village. You are not far but you have to circle around through the River Gate, the closest eastbound gate to Trollskull Alley. Additionally, the traffic of farmers and merchants coming in and out of the walled city in their daily business slows down your pace. Other than the trek itself, not much else happens.
The village is not very large. It is, in fact, mostly a set of merchant buildings selling farming supplies, homes of laborers that do not own their own farms or can't live in their lords' lands for one reason or another, and a central shrine to Chauntea, the goddess of grain and agriculture. People are going about their own business. It is around lunch time now an the savory smell of leek stew fills your noses from one of the houses nearby. A line is forming at this house's door, which is currently closed.
You can also see a handful of City Watch watchtowers peppered in the distance, letting the people know they are still within the purview of the great city of Waterdeep, even if outside its walls.
People waiting in queue are usually happy to be distracted with small talk, so I head over to the chow line and pick a friendly-looking target. "Hello, friend. Has the goddess been good to you today?" If I can get a conversation going, I'll bring up the scarecrow. Persuasion: 8
"Aye, she's always good to hard working folk." she spits on the ground. "Not like you, city rats." She spits again, a bit closer to Sim's boots this time.
While this conversation starts, Adrasteia spends the next five minutes or so removing her beautiful armor. It is loud and clumsy, and really not the ideal setting for this task. Nonetheless, she braves on. Once done, she lowers her breeches and moons a tower far in the distance. Whether they even notice it, remains a mystery. The cleric then begins the arduous task of donning her armor once more.
I don't flinch or acknowledge the rude gesture. "Some of us city nobles are sympathetic to the difficulties you face," I say, letting my amused gaze fall on Adra. "For instance, we're here today to investigate talk of a scarecrow terrorizing the farms. Do you know anything that could help us?" I try again. Persuasion: 25