"Drinks or info chummer, both cost. One costs cred and the other costs favors. Too much of the former will give you a killer hangover, and too much of the latter might just kill you altogether."
A bartender contact/info broker for the Shadowrun rpg setting, can be easily adapted to any cyberpunk or other high tech campaign.
The lengthy process to do something necessary or a magical scroll needed is inscribed on the other side of a great tapestry and can't be removed. For more fun it could be in the kings throne room. Try to hide in shadows with a 20*5 (yards/meters) monstrosity!