The empire of Madvar is very large, it covers about one fifth of the northern continent. About 9 million people live in Madvar, and it its ruled by a very old family, the Ragonians. The emperor, Ragonian IV, has been recently showing signs of madness. He gives out unreasonable orders without any good reasons. Argonian I has already denied religion in Madvar, and now this… A mad emperor.
And now the Gems, the heirloom of Argonian family, have been stolen, and the emperor is in a situation where he would start a war against all other nations to find his gems.
The characters arrive in the capital of Madvar, Von Madvar a night or two before this accident, at night. The gates are closed right after them, and the guards tell them, that nobody will be let in, because the emperor ordered the gates shut, apparently fearing an attack of some sort. The players will now find a tavern. In the tavern they meet the thief who will steal the gems, a skinny man with a tattoo on his cheek. He will ask do the players know the city, what kind of place is that, and so on. Nothing to set off the little alarm bell in their heads, though.
When time passes the robbery takes place. Nobody knows exactly how this happened, though. The emperor’s captain will summon the group and question them very carefully about what they have been doing in the city etc. etc. If they don’t tell the captain they met the thief, demand a very careful explanation from them, step by step. That should do the trick, and after all the captain would be suspicious, because after all, they were the last ones to enter the city. Now they will propably tell the captain about the man they met. The captain will look surprised if the man is described to him. Apparently he knows this man. The captain will now tell the group that this tattooed man, Ferian, is a wanted thief. He offers the group a lot of money, if they can catch this man, because he now believes that Ferian was the one to steal the gems. He might also tell the group that the emperor already demands that his troops be readied for a strike. Most alarming, indeed. So the group will propably accept the mission to find this Ferian and the stolen gems. The captain also gives them a paper for the guard, to assist the group and not get in the way.
Ferian did steal the gems, correct. He also managed to get out of town, and the local barkeep could tell them, that Ferian did come by briefly last night, but left almost immediately. He just spoke to a short man briefly and then they left together. The short man is a local customer at the bar and the barkeep tells that the man’s name is Sirion. They can easily track Sirion to his home and if they question him carefully and look very dangerous (DM’s desicion here) he might break and tell them. Else he will fight with a short sword, and he is well versed in the use of it. Nevertheless, he will tell (for the price that they don’t give him to the guard) that he had discovered a secret way out of the town and Ferian had left that way. The way was in a house, built next to the wall, on the east side. The building is abandoned and they easily find the way, because it was left open. It is a tunnel under the wall. When they arrive outside, they are out of the town and they can see the tracks of the thief. The hunt may begin now.
Actually Ferian is a part of a secret organization, rebels some might say, that actually want the war to take place, and so they decided to steal the gems. Of course they were paid for this, but they had their own interests in mind as well.
The group will propably follow the tracks and can propably find the hiding place of the thieves in the woods without any real danger (DM’s desicion again). They go in and may then stumble around the two-floor house. The thieves are on the second floor. There are five of them and they may have heard the group coming in. They all have long swords, except Ferian, and they all are at least mid-lev at using them. If the group wins, they may kill them all and find the gems on Ferian’s body. They may then search the room and find papers, which may contain hints about who the men who paid them, were (another possible scenario/campaign here…). Nevertheless, the quest is now over, and the group can return to Von Madvar.