Adventure Seeds
Jev's Shadows for Hire
Part 3 of 6
By Sean K. Reynolds

Jev is the oldest of three changeling siblings. Born in Sharn of a changeling courtesan and an unknown father, he was orphaned at age eight when his mother was killed in a fire. He and his sister and brother were forced to live on the street in the slums of the city, scrounging for food and evading human and animal predators. Over the next few years they managed to avoid being gruesomely killed and developed the skills needed to provide a meager income--enough to buy clean food once a week and enough scrap wood for a semi-permanent shelter. Jev, his sister Duv, and brother Mot, hired themselves as spies for the watch and local investigators and sometime guards for the few possessions owned by their allied street folk. Among the street people Jev made a name for himself as a kid who could trail a mark from one end of the slum to the other without being noticed, and an honest but tough bargainer.

Jev's life changed about two years ago when an investigator hired him to follow a black-haired man through the city and report back wherever the man went. Jev did so and unknowingly discovered the hideout of a newly-founded group of assassins (which the investigator was trying to locate). This success convinced the investigator, a woman named Lorem Sumat, to hire him several more times, each time making a lucky success. When Lorem died a year ago (coincidentally in a fire just like Jev's mother), her assistant read in her will that the house and office should go to "Jev, the lucky shifter boy who has helped me these past thirteen months with my work." Out of the blue Jev (and his siblings) found himself owning a floor in three adjoining towers far above the ground in a middle-class section of town, plus a small amount of money for upkeep and several hundred coins worth of investigative equipment. No longer homeless and in poverty, Jev threw parties for his old friends, spent the savings Lorem left him, and found himself almost penniless again. Jev sold some of Lorem's gear he didn't understand, kept what he felt he could use, and got to work using his knowledge and his old employer's remaining resources.

Jev's Shadows for Hire is a small business run out of the spare level of their home. Jev, Duv, and Mot specialize in following people, interfacing between the middle class and the slums, and sometimes brokering information. Jev is wary of slipping into any traps his new clients might set for him and avoids emotional entanglements, dangerous jobs, and anything that appears illegal; he often requests a day's notice on deciding whether or not to accept a job so he can talk to a local law expert about questions of legality. Jev's family maintains contacts with street people and has a network of bums, courtesans, and urchins who pass them information about the goings-on in the dirtier parts of town.

The Shadows' Home and Office

Lorem's property is three connected levels on three adjacent towers in a middle-class business/residential area. The changelings use these areas in much the same way that she did: one for an office (open to the public during daylight hours), one for residence, and one for storage. The south tower is the largest, with a spacious waiting room with external doors for sky traffic. As there are only three people in the business, most of the doors are kept closed and locked. The middle tower is their home, and each member of the family lives in luxury compared to their old home. Each has his or her own bedroom with a real bed, though they all still sleep with doors open so they can her their siblings calling for help. The north tower contains most of Lorem's remaining property, locked away and collecting dust. Among her property is a journal of her investigations over the years, which would be valuable to an inexperienced investigator as an example of the methods and techniques of an experienced person of that trade.

Adventure Ideas With Jev's Shadows

You Looking For Someone? PCs trying to find information in the slums may spot Jev, Duv, and/or Mot (in their natural form or some other guise) talking to one of their contacts or facing off against a belligerent person of interest. Alternately, one of the changelings may intervene in a conflict between the PCs and a slum resident, cautioning the local that the PCs "aren't worth it" or "look dangerous to me." After the other NPC leaves, the changeling suggests talking to someone who knows the streets rather than stumbling around.

I See You: The PCs in Sharn eventually suspect that someone is trailing them. With a few good Sense Motive and Spot rolls they manage to locate Jev, who has been hired by an unknown group to keep an eye on the PCs. Jev doesn't know the motivations of his employers (though he may have his suspicions based on his own ability to Sense Motive); it may be a friendly group hoping the PCs stay out of trouble or a more nefarious group hoping they don't get in the way of their devious plans. Jev's employer may double-cross him or the PCs at some point, forcing the PCs and the Shadows to work together.

Where's the Fire? Two significant people in Jev's life were killed by fire, and he wonders if they're related. Any PC who displays or appears to command fire magic attracts Jev's interest, either as a potential suspect in his ongoing investigation or as someone who might point him in the right direction. The PC may be responsible somehow or have information that provides another piece to the puzzle Jev is trying to solve.

Jev, Investigator CR 2
Male Changeling Expert 3
N Medium Humanoid (shapechanger)
Init +1; Senses Listen +2, Spot +8
Languages Common, Dwarven

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10
(+1 Dex)
hp 10 (3 HD)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +3 (+2 on saves vs. sleep and charm effects)

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee mwk dagger +2 (1d4-1/19-20) or
heavy mace +1 (1d8-1)
Ranged throwing dagger +3 (1d4-1/19-20)
Base Atk +2; Grp +1
Special Action minor change shape

Abilities Str 9, Dex 13, Con 8, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats Alertness, Urban Tracking
Skills Balance +3, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +3 (+5 acting in character), Gather Information +6,
Hide +7 (+8 in shadowy or dark conditions), Intimidate +5, Jump +1, Knowledge (local) +5,
Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +3, Listen +2, Sense Motive +7, Spot +8, Tumble +5
Possessions darkweave outfit, ID papers, 120 gp worth of coins, letters of credit, investigator tools

Minor Change Shape (Su) Alter appearance as if using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not possessions. This at-will ability is a physical alteration rather than an illusion and lasts until the changeling changes shape again. It grants a +10 to disguise checks when used. Using this ability is a full-round action.

Personality/Description: Jev is part con man, part helpful ruffian. He was the sort of street urchin you'd pay a copper to distract someone you're tailing, and eventually learned enough to become the urchin you pay to follow someone so you don't have to. He's glad to be off the street and out of the slums, and really can't believe his luck that he miraculously inherited a home in the middle-class part of Sharn. Jev puts himself and his family first and won't take a job if he thinks it's dangerous or illegal. He knows he has a good thing going and doesn't want to spoil it by landing in jail, in court, or in a coffin. He dresses in simple nondescript clothes, sometimes with a reversible cloak so he can disguise himself better while tailing someone (using clothing- and body-shifts to throw off the appearance of a consistent pursuit). He only uses his darkweave outfit if he has to follow someone at night. When traveling the slums he takes only enough money for small bribes, but when circulating in middle-class society he carries more.

Duv, Sneak CR 1/2
Female Changeling Expert 1
N Medium Humanoid (shapechanger)
Init +1; Senses Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages Common

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10
(+1 Dex)
hp 5 (1 HD)
Fort -1, Ref +1, Will +2 (+2 saves vs. sleep and charm effects)

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee dagger -1 (1d4-1/19-20)
Ranged throwing dagger +1 (1d4-1/19-20)
Base Atk +0; Grp -1
Special Action minor change shape

Abilities Str 8, Dex 13, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 12
Feats Stealthy
Skills Bluff +7, Disguise +1 (+3 acting in character), Hide +3, Intimidate +3, Knowledge (local) +4, Listen +4, Move Silently +7, Open Lock +5, Sense Motive +2, Spot +4
Possessions rope, grappling hook, lockpicks, sunrod, tindertwigs (2), smokesticks (2), tanglefoot bag, 5 gp.

Minor Change Shape (Su) Alter appearance as if using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not possessions. This at-will ability is a physical alteration rather than an illusion and lasts until the changeling changes shape again. It grants a +10 to disguise checks when used. Using this ability is a full-round action.

Personality/Description: Duv is the twin sister of Mot and the only sister of he and Dev. Like her brother, she doesn't enjoy talking to people, but when she uses her changeling ability to take the appearance of a demure and exotic-looking man or woman she can get the weak-willed to bend her way. Of the three siblings, she is the sneakiest, having practiced her skills at a young age evading enemy street gangs. Now she uses her abilities to shadow Jev's more dangerous clients, or even sneak into forbidden areas to learn a target's better-protected secrets (though he strongly discourages her from doing so, for fear of her safety). She never carries more than a handful of coins in case she is ever pickpocketed.

Mot, Thug CR 1/2
Male Changeling Expert 1
N Medium Humanoid (shapechanger)
Init +1; Senses Listen +1, Spot +4
Languages Common

AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 9 (1 HD)
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2 (+2 save vs. sleep and charm effects)

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee dagger +1 (1d4+1/19-20) or
club +1 (1d6+1)
Ranged throwing dagger +1 (1d4+1/19-20)
Base Atk +0; Grp +1
Special Action minor change shape

Abilities Str 12, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 8
SQ +2 racial bonus to Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks
Feats Toughness
Skills Bluff +5, Disguise -1 (+1 acting in character), Gather Information +3, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (local) +2, Listen +1, Sense Motive +2, Spot +4
Possessions --

Minor Change Shape (Su) Alter appearance as if using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not possessions. This at-will ability is a physical alteration rather than an illusion and lasts until the changeling changes shape again. It grants a +10 to disguise checks when used. Using this ability is a full-round action.

Personality/Description: Mot is the thuggish younger twin of Duv. He doesn't talk much, but uses his natural skill and racial ability quietly to influence the people he interacts with. After years of having to stand up to bullies because he was "the little one," he's particularly fond of using his minor change shape to make his face hideous or scary to intimidate or repulse unwanted visitors. Now that the three of them aren't living on the street, Jev is trying to mellow Mot's aggressive attitude, though when he needs to negotiate he likes to have his little brother put on an angry face. Like his sister, he rarely carries more than a few coins at a time.

About the Author

Sean K. Reynolds lives in Las Vegas and works as a world developer for Upper Deck as well as running his own small press d20 company. His D&D credits include the Monster Manual, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and Mysteries of the Moonsea. You can find more game material at Sean's website.


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