When walking in the marketplace of [CITY NAME], your party sees a man scurrying around nervously, looking at the ground and checking under tables and behind crates and such. If confronted, he will be defensive and swear he’s not a thief or anything; he’s just looking for his master’s daughter’s lost teddy bear. The wealthy parents insisted on replacing the lost plushie, but she has whined and demanded her original returned.
The man is exhausted and defeated, and he says he needs to head back to [MANOR NAME] to get back to work and report the disappointing news that the bear remains lost.
If you have downtime, the servant expresses that he and his employers would be most grateful, and award them handsomely, if they can find the bear. He then provides the party with a description of the item: a simple brown bear with a red ribbon and the letters AM stitched into the left foot.
Retrieving the “Bear”
Searching the market reveals nothing, but a shop owner might comment that she saw a mustached man with a similar bear walk into the “Finders Keepers” curiosity shop in one of the side alleys.
Once you enter “Finders Keepers”, you see the owner of the curiosity shop. The man is not mustached, but bald with glasses. He has assorted bizarre and relatively useless trinkets; the bear is one of them, situated on a shelf.
If you buy the bear, you can do so for an outrageous 8 Gold.
If you explain the situation, the shop owner will be suspiciously heartbroken about the poor rich girl and her family, offering up the bear to you for free.
A close inspection or some sort of revelatory magic will reveal that this bear is actually a polymorphed thief (working alongside the curiosity shop owner). This could be revealed now and a fight can happen, but more likely, it will happen later.
Returning the “Bear”
You go to return the bear and are invited into the mansion. You are told to set the bear in the window at the front of the mansion so that, when their daughter arrives home from school/music lessons/whatever other activity you’d like, she will “see her bear waiting for her and be thrilled.”
You get a small reward, likely smaller than what the servant had suggested, as well as 8 Gold if you bring up what you had to pay for it.
As you say goodbye and leave, looking back at the window will reveal that the bear has transformed into a mustached man, who sees you before quickly closing the window’s curtains.
Confronting the Thief
You can choose to return to the house to investigate.
If your party sneaks into the house, they will find the thief in one of the side rooms, robbing the place of various valuables.
If your party asks the butler/family at the door and explains the situation, they won’t believe you but escort you anyway to the room. Upon arriving to the room with the family/butler (in a very not sneaky way), the party will see that the bear is still there.
The family is now suspicious and insists that the party leave at once, fearing that these people are either crazy or attempting to scout out the place to rob it themselves.
If you attack the bear, the family will scream and be furious, but the bear will transform into the thief, spilling stolen coins and items everywhere.
Battling the thief is relatively easy.
- Killing him will result in a bigger reward from the wealthy family and them saying that they have “fixers” to take care of the body so everyone can save face and not be connected to a murder.
- Grappling him or otherwise stopping him can bring about an easy confession: his brother runs “Finders Keepers”; they copied the bear to rob the house, but the original is still being kept at the curiosity shop.
Retrieving and Returning the Bear
Return to curiosity shop (the family will help bind the thief and insist that they will handle contacting the authorities). The owner will deny what’s happened, but threatening him (or showing him his battered/bound brother, if you took him with you), will earn you the actual teddy bear from beneath the counter.
When you return to the mansion, the little girl has already arrived home. You can hand her the actual bear yourself and see her eyes light up with gratitude.
The family will now give you a proper reward for going through so much trouble.