The Starving Starling

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A boarding house named “The Starving Starling” opened up in the hive not too long ago, run by two half orc brothers– Braax (NG Expert L4) & Braan (NE Rogue L2). Braax runs the front of house and is the only face patrons associate with the place. Braan does the finances, organises supplies, etc and is rarely seen. Neither of the brothers are especially bright but Braax is quite likeable and outgoing. Braan by contrast is surly and snappish if spoken to and avoids contact with patrons where possible.

The Starling is simple but clean, charging minimal rates – 1 green per night. Clean water and bread are available for the same price. If questioned as to how the rates are kept so low Braax explains that the flop-house is sponsored by a number of NG temples around the city. Rooms hold 8 medium sized beds each and guests may be required to share a bunk if space is short (and it often is). The boarding house is decorated with many small art objects depicting birds and a few live ones flutter in cages around the Starling, Braax is fond of avians although he has limited knowledge about them.

PC’s may learn of the Starling by staying there or possibly in their search for a missing person who they were told used to stay there. Braax has also noticed Cranium rats in his cellar (1 Swarm) and may have hired the PC’s to clean them out before their numbers become un-manageable.

The Dark

Braan has acquired an Elysian thrush (Planar Handbook) which he periodically places in the rooms of regular patrons. Reasoning that no-one will miss them Braan robs them and sells the dazed patrons to a mysterious buyer (A representative of Illithid house although Braan is unaware of this). The thrush is kept in a cage draped with a heavy blanket to keep it quiet. If PC’s do see it the bird is so badly cared for that they need to pass a DC 20 Knowledge (the planes) check to recognise it for what it is. Braax is able to recognise it immediately once he is told of the effects of its song and will be appalled at its poor condition.

If Braan notices the PC’s poking around he will try to arrange for them to stay a night and will place the thrush in their room. He will then wait for the PC’s to fall asleep and will attempt to use his sneak-attack on any PC who is unaffected by the Thrush’s song before finishing off those who are enthralled.

Braax is completely unaware of these goings on although he is becoming quite upset that many of his regular patrons, some of whom he considered friends are disappearing without so much as a note. If he is told the truth he will at first disbelieve the PC’s although if presented with hard evidence he will be horrified and disown his brother (assuming Braan is still alive) and help the PC’s any way he can short of assisting in his brothers death.

Should the PC’s uncover Braan’s scheme then they must also decide what to do with the thrush. Certain merchants will pay a hefty price for the creature although this is considered to be an evil act given the likely buyers of the celestial animal. If released in Sigil the bird wings it’s way upwards, chirping happily until it is brutally snatched out of the air by an Executioners raven. If the PC’s go to the effort (make it reasonably easy) to take the thrush back to Elysium their kind act is noticed by the Guardinals who may reward them on the spot or merely look more favourably upon them in the future.

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