In the next morning, the group packs up and heads back to town. You take advantage of the open gates to walk in unhindered with your scarecrow bits, which easily pass off as a bunched up set of goods for sale or just matted hay. With you maps and magical orb, you can easily find your way back to Vincent Trench's office.
Upon your arrival, Trench goes straight into business, just as he did the first time around: "Back so soon? Was one night all you needed to complete the task, or are you holding some hay bunches in an attempt to pass it off as the culprit?"
I say to Trench looking into his eyes, "We are pretty effective as we take very seriously all our jobs. But if you want to check, there were plenty of people at the hamlet that can corroborate, plus villagers surely slept safer last night after we took this scarecrow down" Persuasion: 22
Trench watches each of you respond to his prickly question. Mokiakia shows conviction in her delivery, but Adrasteia's voice breaks for a second as she is left momentarily incredulous by the implied accusation. None of it seems to matter though. After hearing the responses, Trench opens a smile and appears to instinctively believe both of the answers. "I can tell you are telling the truth. Very well!"
He opens a drawer and drops some coins on the table: "Here are the 50 gold pieces I promised you. You may share them as you see fit."
He then scratches his chin: "You were quite efficient... Are you interested in another case?"
LORE BOX (INFAMOUS ALLEYS OF WATERDEEP - PART 2 of 3)
BrindulAlley. This is the lair of the Hand that Sings, a magical phantasm of a hand with a mouth in its palm. The hand is said to snatch valuables it fancies — especially magical ones — when it encounters them, and to occasionally attack folk in the darkness, strangling them or tripping them into fatal falls. Most often, though, it takes no notice of those who don’t bother or follow it, eerily singing fragments of old Sword Coast ballads and love songs as it drifts through the night.
ManycatsAlley. This passage crosses two city blocks and winds through the interior of a third, running between and (for the most part) parallel to Julthoon Street and Traders’ Way in the North Ward. It is, unsurprisingly, home to many cats that feed on scraps from the surrounding butchers’ shops, but it is also known for the many carved stone heads of people and animals that adorn the alley’s buildings. Individuals who have walked the alley alone report that some of the heads whispered cryptic messages to them.
Gondwatch Lane. Found at the southern entrance to the House of Inspired Hands in the Sea Ward, this alley serves as the testing ground for inventions considered too dangerous to operate inside the temple. The locals are generally unconcerned about the risks, though, and stand watching while food vendors circulate among them.
"Very well," Trench says while smiling. "Two rival nobles have been squabbling for years now but the way they choose to undermine each other is nothing but petty. One of them has apparently stolen a handkerchief from the other. The victim says that it is a family heirloom that must be recovered. Our client is overpaying for this retrieval, if I am honest, so you can have a fair share if you succeed."
He then leans a bit closer and whispers the rest of the instructions: "Our client doesn't want to be identified either, so they have hired a middlewoman. I’d like you to recover this silk handkerchief from the thieving Waterdavian noble and give it to a tiefling girl who lives in a crate at the corner of Net Street and Dock Street, by the wharf. Simple enough, isn't it?”
Trench nods: "Yes, indeed. You are looking for a young gentlemen name Henkett Pearcaster. The Pearcaster Estate can be found just south of the intersection of the Street of Bells and Lamp Street, in the Castle Ward. However, I wouldn't recommend trying to break into the manor. I'd suggest you study your target. Learn his routine. Hit him whenever he is most vulnerable... Just a suggestion."
Trench then shrugs: "Or kick the door in and take what you want... Up to you, really, but the City Watch may have something to say about that too."
You guys know the Castle Ward pretty well, and your navigation tools also come in handy. Nonethelss, it is not a short walk. It takes you guys three quarters of an hour to arrive at the intersection mentioned by Trench. Identifying the Pearcaster Estate is fairly straight forward too. A large mansion takes most of the block one street over. You can also easily deduce that the image of a shield enveloping a pear tree, stamped in many columns on the fence around the mansion, serves as the Pearcaster family's coat of arms. In fact, Adrasteia can even remember it from her studies on local noble families now that she sees the sigil.
A handful of guards are posted by the main gate. You can see many more doing their rounds within the fenced area.
(Those were some rough perception rolls... sorry.)
Sim's looks around but can only find a few storefronts in this area, no pubs or taverns. As for Adrasteia's quick study of the guards, she quickly realizes that she would need a better vantage point than the one she currently occupies by simply standing on the street in order to be able to identify meaningful patrol patterns.
Adrasteia then shares these details with the group: The Pearcasters were once a numerous and proud noble family in Waterdeep who made thier fortune on the back of large agricultural lands and profitable grain production. A few generations ago, they felt slighted by the Open Lord of Waterdeep at the time, who did not pick a Pearcaster maiden as his wife after allegedly promising to do so. The Pearcasters threatened calling their banners, but were quickly put off the idea after some behind-the-curtains negotiations and the disappearance of a few cousins and uncles here and there. The Pearcaster family has been away from the political spotlight since then, focusing instead on maintaining their grain-based fortune. This mansion is only one of many that belong to the family both within the city and out in the outskirts of Waterdeep.
I feel like a higher vantage point may help us locate any deficiencies in the guards' patrol patterns. Are there any alleyways where we could attempt to get to the top of one of the buildings around? Failing that, any buildings that are clearly abandoned?