The campaign starts with the characters commanded by their respective superiors to attend a special meeting of the Lords Court, where they are given a mission to investigate a menacing element in the Dock Ward. They aren’t given much info, being expected to root it out themselves, but they do manage to make a salary of 50 dragons in advance.
The party invokes their relationships to try to find out some info. Nina and Rhialla the Enlightened succeed; the temple leaders have heard rumors of their patrons attending a big underground event in the Dock Ward that night. The Harpers have found even more info—the main event is a cockfight with exotic creatures held at a gambling den called the Lucky Monkey. Not only that, but the menace the Lords were talking about is surely a Zhentarim sect starting up in the city.
The party decided to not go in guns blazing, but to infiltrate with disguises. Whereas you might expect them to play the part of the rogues they’d be around, they instead go the ostentatious route. Nina dresses in rich clothes and the rest of the party pretends to be the entourage to her “out-of-town dilettante.” Making their way to the party, they are ambushed in the Dock Ward by a group of thugs who are a little too interested in the ritzy people walking down their street.
Unfortunately, the skirmish is plagued by terrible rolls for the PC’s, so it takes longer for them to deal with the bandits than it should have. Pressing on, they arrive at the Monkey as a match between to cockatrices draws to a bloody close. While most of the party settles in at a corner of the establishment, Nithas Wartanran asks the barkeep, Pete, a few questions, including mentioning needed to talk to the Zhents. Pete’s interest is piqued when he mentions them, but he does point the soldier toward a dark-haired man near the fighting cage. At the same time, Nina has caught the attention of Kurt, the owner of the establishment, who plans to meet with her later in the night.
Right after that, the main event is announced: two owlbears from the Savage North. The party bets on one of the monsters, the older one which Gwen Sylvari predicts has the advantage. However, as the party watches the match closely, they don’t notice the cage itself, as the bars swing open and free the owlbears into the crowd. Most of the party moves to subdue the creatures, while Xander Xixor sneaks over to the bookie to try stealing all the prize money. He’s suprised to see the supposed Zhent also attempting this and agrees to release the gold in exchange for a meeting in the alley behind the gambling den.
The owlbears taken care of and most of the patrons waiting outside the Monkey for their money, the party goes to the rendezvous with the Zhents…only to find the rogues have fled altogether. The party’s animal companions track them easy enough, while they decide to bring the crowd’s anger upon the thieves. They find the back entrance locked, but not for long with Xander Xixor‘s handiwork. They open the door to find eight Zhent awaiting an assault through the front door. The armored leader is the first to go down, despite managing to curse Nithas Wartanran for the battle, and the rest are short work for the party, who use everything to bring down their enemies. One of the men does manage to escape amid the chaos, however, and he picks up a scroll on the way out. He doesn’t make it very far, however, as the mob ensnares him, giving the party enough time to clean the battle up allow Nithas Wartanran to arrest him. He refuses to give any info up, but they do take the scroll, which does mention a few members of the City Watch being paid off by the Zhentarim. Nithas Wartanran refuses to divulge any other details of the letter to the party, stating it’s Watch business from now on.
We ended the session by giving the party a full-heal up an an incremental advance.