After about a week of travel, the players finally reach the city of Harken. By this point they are weary of both the incessant chattering of Omar and the superior and constantly displeased Charilus. The wizard sets up lodging for them all in a local inn and sets about looking for a house to rent. He instructs the party to find a suitable boat to take them to Land’s Edge. So the party is left to their own devices while both Omar and Elan accompany Charilus to search for housing.
Time to encourage paranoia!!!! During their down time encourage the party to explore the city and buy a few things with their hard won gold. Have a merchant offer a player a unique item, examples orcish war banners, inscribed axes of the Ironheart dwarven clan, a scale from a dragon (fake most likely), some interesting jewelry, a stuffed baboon, etc.. While they are negotiating for an item, tell one of the players that he finds a small note in his pouch. The note reads:
“We all hide our true intentions behind masks of sorts. We need to meet, you and I, perhaps over a drink? The Leaking Sieve …tonight, 8 p.m. no violence necessary.” The note is signed Blackthorn.
Asking around the player will find out that The Leaking Sieve is a dockside tavern. If the player or players go to the tavern, it is filled with different people, mostly swarthy sailors types, foreigners, or dock workers. At one table is a well dressed half-elven male. As the players walk into the tavern he watches them for their intentions. He appears to be unarmed and un-armored
If the players start a fight he will defend himself and since he has paid off the owners already the bouncers will assist him while someone calls the watch. Likely the players would lose or be forced to retreat if they start a fight here, make up enough bouncers to beat them for their lack of patience. If the players act civilized, so will he. Blackthorn presents a refined manner and enjoys it in others. He will make some short pleasantries, “How was your trip?” “What do you think of Harken?” “Try the imported dwarvish lager, I hear its full bodied.”
Eventually he will come around to the point. He is in the employ of Baron Ganth and here to offer the players a reward for turning over the masks they posses and whatever information they have concerning the other masks. Blackthorn is quite willing to sit and discuss whatever the players want also. Possible subjects of conversation:
The Baron- “A boorish man but he has paid for my services, so here I am.”
Dylan- “An incompetent fool who only knows methods of brute force to get what he wants.”
Shar’s Marauders- “Fellow mercenaries, most incompetent morons like that cleric fellow, but Shar has some class as well as competence.” “Also no they are not employees of the Baron, I don’t know who they work for.”
Himself- “I am no one of consequence, I am here as a simple procurer really, nothing more”.
Blackthorn really does not care at this point about the mask’s abilities or what anyone else will do with them, he is just here to do a job. He is authorized to offer a large sum of gold but lets assume the players say no. He will ask if they are sure, then sigh, say “very well, we will have to do things the hard way.” He will look at the concerned looks and drawn weapons from the PCs, he will then appear insulted or perhaps hurt. He would not think of ruining a social occasion and will leave them now once he pays for the drinks and such.
Following Blackthorn will be difficult, the bouncers will stop anyone at the door for a few minutes to give him time to leave. Those who use magic to follow will be in for a surprise, since he can see them with his lenses of invisibility detection. He will duck down an alley and hide. If a lone PC stumbles across him he will ambush them, but will try not to kill them this first time. Leaving the unconscious body as a warning.