In the town of Waterdeep, home of Acquisitions Incorporated headquarters, our adventurers arrive looking for work. The 25 gold pieces they each carry isn’t going to last long in and town like Waterdeep and work has been hard to come by lately. They’ve heard there are new positions open at AI, possibly even a franchise opportunity, and interviews are going to be taking place the next day.
For a nervously long length of time, the characters are kept waiting in a conference room at Head Office.
Your inquiries into internships and franchise opportunities at Acquisitions Incorporated have gone even better than you’d hoped. Ridiculous rumors talk about how prospective interns of Acq Inc aren’t always treated with respect, dignity, or care. Even more ridiculous tales of interns dying at an alarming rate are told throughout the city. Thankfully, you don’t believe a word of any of that.
So far, everyone at Head Office has treated you with kindness, and even a bit of deference. You were shown into this elegant conference room, given fine food and drink, and asked to wait to speak with none other than Omin Dran — founder and CEO of this august organization.
It isn’t long before the door to the conference room opens, and an intense-looking half-elf in plate armor enters. He wears a holy symbol of Tymora, the goddess of fortune, around his neck. It’s Omin Dran! With no introduction, the CEO of Acquisitions Incorporated speaks.
“Thank you for answering my call so quickly. When the earthquake struck the city two days ago, damage was limited, but a sinkhole opened up a fissure beneath an abandoned warehouse in Dock Ward. Two City Watch guards entered the fissure to investigate, but never came out. They’re now feared dead, and the City Watch has asked me to take over the investigation. But my schedule is complicated at the moment, so I’m delegating that job to you. As an experienced adventuring group, I have no doubt that you can handle the task.”
Before you have any chance to respond, Omin drops a hefty bag of coins onto the table. “The pay is 500 gold dragons for the group, with a 20 percent commission going to Acquisitions Incorporated as the broker. Go to the warehouse next to Jolly’s Lamp Emporium down by the docks. Tell the City Watch guards stationed there that I sent you. Explore the fissure, learn the fate of the guards who went missing, and then come back to me with the signed City Watch papers confirming your completed work.”
Then without another word, Omin Dran turns and leaves the room.
The group takes a moment to process what’s just happened. They discover 200 gold dragons in the bag – half of the contract amount. After a round of introductions they decide to go ahead and take the contract as if they were the group Omin had already hired.
As they turn a corner to leave the building:
A puff of smoke erupts out of nowhere. As the haze disperses, a handsome figure steps forward. It’s Jim Darkmagic of the New Hampshire Darkmagics! Except he’s wearing a set of glasses that he apparently thinks is an effective disguise as he bows before you.
“I’m no one you know,” he says. “But I couldn’t help but notice that you seem a little flustered. I believe Omin just offered you work. And I also have a feeling you might not be the adventurers he thinks you are.”
Jim looks around to make sure no one else is listening in, then leans forward to deliver a conspiratorial whisper. “You want my advice? Do the job. If you can pull it off, Omin will be so impressed that you’ll have a leg up on everybody else trying to gain footing with the company. You’ve heard the phrase “opportunity knocks?” Well, opportunity is heading right at your door with a battering ram. Stand in that doorway, friends. Let opportunity smash its way in.”
The group takes a moment to chat with Jim to see if they can get directions to the warehouse, but Jim’s really no help with this. Jim does seem to take a bit of a shine to the group though, especially Daja-Kosh (2 people) and gifts them with a spell scroll for “Jim’s Magic Missile”.
Heading toward where they think the docks are, they come across a stall with a sign for “Maps and Poshuns” run by Jerronimous “Jerr” Burntberry. A young looking gnome commoner. The maps are 1 gold piece and the potions are 10 gold pieces. That price seems high for rather sketchy looking maps, and an insight check proves that this “youngster” is actually an older adult gnome trying to make himself up to look younger. The group asks if he can be their guide instead and he happily takes a gold piece to show them the way.
Jerr leads the group down a side street and:
A figure stands in the alleyway, its luminous eyes glowing beneath a dark hood. As the hood is pulled away to reveal a skeletal face, the figure unexpectedly speaks. “Your money or your life!”
The group doesn’t respond kindly to this threat and four bandits appear from doorways and on the roof. After a short battle the group inspects their attackers. The bandits were just humans with no loot on any of them, but the skeletal figure is Jelayne:
Jelayne isn’t aware that she’s undead. Even though the last of her flesh is constantly sloughing off her, she dismisses that effect as “allergies.” The rest of the crew don’t know what to do, since Jelayne has kept her intellect, knowledge, and personality. They have always followed her and done fine for themselves, so why let death interfere with a good thing?
On her they find a potion of healing, 10 gold pieces, and the bones of four of her toes that have fallen off. She used to be really attached to them. A closer look also reveals that the “Raise as undead” spell used on her wasn’t the normal ritual. Something more advanced was going on here to allow her to keep her intellect and ability to speak.
The group turns on Jerr to find out if he lead them into this ambush on purpose. It turns out he did know the trap by the Zhentarim gang would be there. He just wanted to ditch the group to get back to his stall and possibly earn some points with the Zhentarim gang.
To be continued…