House Lyrandar, despite its frequent protests, was not unfamiliar with smuggling. They knew the value of a good shipment, down to the last copper piece, in most cases. What troubled Fathein d’Lyrandar, First Secretary of the Windwrights Guild in Fairhaven, was not that goods were potentially being smuggled via Lyrandar vessels, but that the House wasn’t getting its cut of the profits.
That was inexcusable.
Adamai and Khair were dispatched to the waterfront in Fairhaven to locate the suspicious shipments and figure out what was going on with the customs duties. Their path led them to the Whiteroof ward in Fairhaven, where the direct method of investigation let to an altercation with some riverfront bravos. They were easily dispatched, but they gave the adventurers their first lesson in bluffing the watch (and hiding the bodies).
Khair made some contacts with the criminals of Fairhaven, reasoning that the competition would keep the closest set of eyes on the smugglers. After proving their interests were only with the smuggling and not with any “ordinary decent criminals,” the pair were directed to the River Elf tavern by Kreelo, the boss of Fairhaven’s Dark Dagger gang. Kreelo has few friends in Aundair, and decided that an ally in House Lyrandar could be useful at some point.
At the River Elf, the adventurers encountered a vicious smuggler named Killian, who had coerced a Lyrandar captain into handling his goods. However, when Adamai questioned Killian more stringently, the pair met a conflict that they were not expecting: far from being cutthroats and thieves, the smugglers were well equipped with eldritch power, hurling spells and minor magical weapons at the pair. Adamai and Khair prevailed through superior spellcasting and force of arms, eventually beating the captain’s name out of Killian before dispatching him.
“Cutting him down like that didn’t bother you?” Khair asked.
“Of course it did, but it doesn’t make sense to leave him hanging around so that he can eventually come after us,” Adamai answered.
Khair shrugged. “Suits me.”
In the understructure of the River Elf, they discovered the smuggler’s stash, and Khair discovered something disquieting: The contraband goods were all consumables, cheese and wine for the most part, and had all been dosed with an arcane substance that, when taken in enough quantity, would cause a normal person to begin attracting, then producing symbionts, and eventually transform into an aberration.
Obviously there was more to this smuggling than just profit. The two resolved to continue their investigations.