The party meets with the bursar, who passes on two things from the Dean. A 60gp reward for capturing the Thranish intruder and assurances that they will not need to testify in the resulting murder trial. Furthermore, a gnome has offered to sell the University information about a clandestine excavation in the old goblinoid city Sharn was built on top of. Rather than pay him, they’d rather employ the party to track it down. Since none of the party speaks Goblin, they were introduced to Professor Danid Vieran who brought his warforged assistant, Elf Beastro Grande.
The party split up, with Zane and Jesmet hitting the bars again, while Erdvar, the Professor, and Elf went below the city to the Ashblack district. Jesmet was surprisingly well-behaved. Erdvar’s chief tactic seemed to be to test for structural integrity wherever he went. Neither had any success.4 Olarune 998YK
The party sticks together this day, minus the Professor. They all go to the other industrial district below Sharn, Blackbones. Nothing is found relating to the mission, but Elf visits the warforged community center, The Red Hammer. Zane notices that they’re being followed by a halfling, but is unable to catch him. He also checks in at the inn where he looks for messages as Zane Black and finds that someone has been asking about him.5 Oralune 998YK
The only deep part of the city left to investigate is Khyber’s Gate, but Professor Vieran warns that it’s too dangerous, and they’re better off looking for leads in Malleon’s Gate instead.
On the way down the elevator, the party meets a goblin girl who may nor many not have been fleeing from the person yelling “Stop that goblin!” She was just hurrying to catch the elevator for perfectly innocent reasons don’t you know how long it takes until the next one comes along? The employ her as a guide.
They investigate by looking to hire a digging crew, but find nothing about any crews currently employed, save that one crew has gone missing. They again spot a halfling following them, but when he tries to duck away, he bumps into a bugbear who doesn’t take it well. Zane quickly steps in and buys the halfling, then whisks him away to a tavern with a private room for questioning. The halfling quickly confesses to following them at the behest of Vorj Slystep but doesn’t know why. They pay Gemma to keep him occupied for a few days and he’s never heard from again.
Following up on the missing goblin crew, they’re told to ask Jergash, Commander of the Ja’khor (Blackbloods). They find him in the Bloodstone Inn. Zane smartly brings him his favorite booze, but is still told to invite up his friends so that they can prove that they’re strong enough to make proper use of the information. The Blackbloods pick up cudgels and approach…
I should have let you investigate the shaft near the Cannith facility, battle some monster, recover the warforged and convince yourselves that this wasn’t what you were looking for.
I like a big bar fight, so I’d prepared the encounter with the hobgoblins as the way to find the information you needed. I don’t like railroading, though, so I let you handle the investigation with only a couple of prods along the way. But I’m wondering if I was too subtle. Did you like playing out the investigation, or would you have rather had a montage of Sharn and then end up at the bar? I would not have done it differently in this instance because I thought important to have the role-play time to let Greg Minor establish his character, and I wanted to introduce Elf to other warforged to give his character a path towards more independence.