The Last Drop

A proposition

On a brisk afternoon General Sabine and her honor guard walked into Anchor tavern like a nail enters wood. She announced her need of adventurers to assist the city of Neverwinter in stopping various ongoing issues. Chief among her concerns were an influx of drugs and a string of disappearances among the nobility.

Lo-Kag Wolfbrother, a tribesman from the Craig, was immediately enticed by the opportunity to track down his missing brother. A monk from Waterdeep, Byron Brushgather pined for excitement, and took the serendipitous offer as an omen from Kord.

Sabine was pleased with the volunteers, but felt the need to squeeze more resources out of the Anchor’s patronage. She spotted a slender cloaked figure near the bar. She pointed, “You! Over here with this lot. There’s plenty of reward to go around.”

Izhan the Earthwalker stood with hesitation, then joined the group. Once everyone had been gathered Sabine laid out the details. The drugs have no known source, but the rumor is it has something to do with the orcs that have taken up residence in the River District. She also noted that Lord Neverember is in negotiations with the orcs for a peaceful resolution to the looming territory disputes. The general also claimed ignorance on where to locate a lead on the drugs, but advised that they would be relatively easy to find.

Byron asked Sabine for some documentation proving the party was on official city business. Sabine flatly refused. “If you are killed or captured, Lord Neverember will disavow all knowledge of your actions. If you can resolve the drug crisis peacefully, all the better. If not, Neverwinter will not be marked by your folly.”

And so the group set off to the Protectorate, discreetly asking shifty characters where they might acquire ‘D.’ Eventually they came upon a man garbed in the uniform of Sabine’s mercenaries. This guard led the group to an alley, and three of his friends appeared from their hiding places to jump the group.

The battle was quick, the team was able to dispatch the ruffians without much effort. They quickly went over the bodies and found a small stash of drugs. After a brief analysis Izhan determined the compound is made by some combination of natural and arcane sources. The arcane component seemed to act primarily as a binding agent.

Byron suggested they take the potion to a nearby alchemist to obtain further details. The party moved on, allowing the corpses to fade into the noise of murder and indifference that boomed from every home, shop, and wagon in Neverwinter.

They met the well spoken half-orc, Alchemist Hathgar. He was not able to provide much information about the manufacturing process of the drug, but after some research he was able to identify a property of the elixir – the imbiber would feel a slight pull, a whispered calling, to some location. Hathgar suspected this would be the location of more drugs. He also identified its primary effects: a short term burst of strength, with a long withdraw period.

With some hemming and hawing, Lo-Kag downed the drug. His muscles tightened with a surge of power, while a generally pleasant feeling shrouded him. In a moment of reflection, he noticed that glowing sensation was slightly stronger in the direction of the Blacklake district.

The party played a game of ‘hot and cold’ for a few hours, until they found an Import/Export office near the river, slightly east of the nobles’ main holdings. Lo-Kag kicked in the door without a moment’s consideration. Splinters flew over a waist high counter intended for clerks to pass invoices and inventories to legitimate customers. Inside, a startled Charles Fynn stood and approached the brute, empty hands held up clearly for all to see.

“Where are the drugs?!” Lo-Kag boomed, steel leveled directly at Charles’ throat.

“Woah, friend. Let’s lower the blade,” Charles stalled.

Meanwhile, Charles’ guards approached from the back room. A pair thugs peaked out from behind the counter. Weapons were drawn on all sides.

Izhan sized up the situation and placed a layer of ice over the northeast corner of the office, effectively separating the back groom from the lobby. It took the three guards standing there by surprise, causing them to slip and and fall. Two of them cracked their heads open, and the third braced himself awkwardly, causing his sword to shiv through his own stomach.

The fray was quick and brutal. Charles called for reinforcements, but Byron and Izhan were quick to seal up entrances, the former by viper-striking any who entered, and the latter by creating a fog of magical razors. A few of these guards had the wherewithal to get in via windows. Their cleverness was rewarded with a swift death.

Lo-Kag and Charles squared off. Charles quickly unsheathed his sword and stabbed at the ranger. Lo-Kag deftly stepped aside and countered with a well placed stab of his own. This process repeated itself a few times before Fynn realized he was outmatched. He dropped to his knees and yielded. The few guards who hadn’t been slaughtered promptly fled the scene.

Not in a charitable mood, Lo-Kag repeated his question, “Where are the drugs!?”

“In the drawer, over there!”

Byron opened the drawer and removed the false bottom. Inside he found twenty vials, a small fortune in illicit goods.

“Smash it,” Lo-Kag demanded.

With a slight pause, Byron complied. The three adventurers congregated around Charles and extracted all the information they needed.

“I get the product from a dead-drop at the Scepter Tower. It’s on the east end of the river district.”

Lo-Kag was tempted to coup d’é·tat, but Izhan intervened. “We’ll need him to get past the guard line that keeps the undesirables out of Blacklake.”

Byron saw the light, and supported Izhan’s decision. It wasn’t easy, but eventually Lo-Kag agreed. Byron quickly bound Charles and tied him to Lo-Kag, in chain-gang fashion.

Before leaving, Lo-Kag noticed a crest behind Charles’ desk. A golden shield with a raised tentacle. He knew this brand belonged to the Cult of Cthulhu.

Comments

Nicely done, Mr. Bill.

A proposition
brianprubin

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