Luskan, "The City of Sails", is a city run by the high captains of the Five Ships. Little more than glorified pirate gangs, they enable a thriving criminal underground that specializes in everything from smuggling to assassinations to hiding those who have run afoul of one or more of the Ships. Information brokers, shady businessmen, and gangs all operate under the High Captains' noses, all the while knowing that if the Ships ever want to catch them, more than gold may be required to escape them.
After your escape from Sundabar, Roccar learned all he could of your time with Fumbles and released you to the city, though he detained the half-elf that you saved for further questioning. "Celebrate your escape from Sundabar as you would like. All I ask is that you keep your ears open among the criminals of the city. While I was away, an important prisoner has escaped. Her name is Sal; a human woman with mid-length brown hair. She always wears orc tusks. Should you hear even her name mentioned, please report it to me. You might start at the One-Eyed Jax," were his last words before you departed for the seedy tavern in the city.
It becomes obvious at first glance why Roccar thought you might learn something here. The One-Eyed Jax Tavern contains many lively and colorful scoundrels. As the second brawl of the night peters outs, a fat half-elf man waddles into the common area from a side room, absent-mindedly replacing a jewel in a dark velvet sack. His companion, clearly the muscle, quickly pulls him back behind the doorway. They and their hired guards soon hustle the half-elf to the back exit, nervously looking around, though their eyes never fall on you.
For Gruun, Hox and Zane:
Common talk in both Sundabar and Luskan is a rumor that a powerful mage in Silverymoon, Trelanna Amour, recently had a set of jewels stolen from her out of a jewel encrusted music box. One of the jewels was a prized family heirloom. Its description almost exactly matches the gem that you saw the half-elf pocket.
Gruun Dendweller: Bugbear Barbarian (Path of the Totem Warrior) Hox: Kobold Rogue (Assassin) Killian Joy: Human Paladin (Oathbreaker) Zane: Tabaxi Bard (College of Lore)
OOC: There's no need to re-introduce our characters to each other, so we're jumping right into the first "social encounter" mechanic of this adventure, specific moments where character responses can significantly change the direction the story takes. How does each character respond to the sight of the half-elf and his retinue, in either first or third person?
(OOC: Checking a few things for specific stuff here. Did this happen within 30ft of Zane? (for Locate Object) Also, was either the half-elf or any of the muscle distinct or familiar enough for Locate Creature at some later point? )
Zane motions to the group something along the lines of "I've got this"'', stands up and heads over to the barkeep. "Hi there, I think I recognized the big muscle guy that just headed out that way. Had a small fat half-elf assistant with him. I believe I saw him win a strong man competition a couple of years ago. It was glorious! Do you happen to know where he would perform next?"
Hox oddly felt more at home here, various shinies about the place, on the people or adorned on the ships. He was giddy with anticipation, quickly forgetting the pains of his new wings upon his back. He sees the man play with the jewel before putting it away and all he can think about is getting his claws on it. Hox quickly melts into the crowd to follow the half elf.
Gruun let's out a small sigh seeing his Kobold friend vanish. Knowing how small friends be behind moving to the door the half elf was pulled through looking for him. He tries to catch Zane's eye and motions to the door
OOC: Each character has received 100 XP for the first "social encounter" mechanic.
The object was not within 30 feet of Zane, but the half-elf is definitely recognizable enough for Locate Creature. He fat.
Hox is there one moment, and the next he is simply gone. Zane speaks with the bartender, a gruff man who simply sighs and says, "You don't have to make up a story, I think the whole town saw that. Danice is an idiot. Probably going to sell that to some agent of the black market and get in over his head. Whatever you do, just...don't kill him please. That man is a quarter of my business."
OOC: Waiting to advance for Hox until we see what the others are doing.
Zane nods to the bartender and says, "Thank you and understood." Then he heads back to others and says "The name is Danice and he's an idiot. Most everyone saw what just happened. Lets just wait until Hox gets back."
Hox follows Danice and his thugs through the shadows of the side streets and alleys of Luskan. The men only walk for around a minute before coming to a stop in a closed off alley; they stand and shift uncomfortably, obviously waiting for something or someone. The fat half-elf makes an attempt at conversation before he is cut off by his muscle. "You ain't payin' us to listen, Danice."
There is only one exit/entrance to the alley, which Hox is currently outside of. The only other potential route of escape that he sees is a gutter system along the buildings that flank the alleyway; it would be difficult, but possible, for a kobold to use to climb to the rooftops.
Hox expertly moves unseen to the rooftops. In the alley below, the husky half-elf continues to shift uncomfortably. "I'm sure he'll be here any second, boss," one of the thugs around him suggests. "He's probably making us wait this long on purpose, just to have fun at our expense," the half-elf whines. "If anyone finds out about this..."
Nearly an hour passes before the scene changes. A thin, hooded figure appears seemingly from nowhere at the entrance to the alley. The half-elf nearly drops the box in his surprise, before he straightens and speaks. "You've kept us waiting long enough. I did your dirty work. You will keep your end of the bargain?"
The hooded figure waves a dark blue-skinned hand toward the box, and the half-elf rolls his eyes. "It is one and the same. All of the collection we could find," he says, opening the container to display the collection of gems.