On SKT page 156, it says

the Zhentarim forged an alliance with Jarl Storvald. Storvald wants to find Artus Cimber. The Zhentarim will help him by giving him a droplet of the blood of Cimber.

How did they get this drop of blood? Why do they have it in their possession?

I'm probably missing something very obvious here, because it sounds very strange to me that they happen to have a droplet of blood of a random person on the continent.

In case they retrieved it from the NPC after learning that Storvald wanted him, then they also simply could have told him where he was, or captured him themselves.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I mean....the NPC in question is hardly just a "Random Person." He's both quite well known in underworld circles, and quite difficult to pin down. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jun 9 at 0:41

It's not in the book, but...

In some cultures, here in the real world, there are lots of superstitious folks who will collect locks of hair and even items like nail clippings since they believe these items grant power over the person these items came from.

Now imagine what it must be like in the D&D world where this is actually true.

I would imagine there'd be a pretty active (and potentially lucrative) black market in personal items and actual bits of detritus from a person's body.

I would also think, especially among underworld/criminal/spy types, there might even be a requirement that you give up a personal item, lock of hair, drop of blood, or what have you, as insurance when you join certain types of organizations.

Basically, it's a form of insurance that your underworld boss could have someone spy on you whenever he wanted to (with -10 to your saving throw via the Scry spell)

So giving up a drop of blood to your underworld boss might just be business as usual. And if not, I can see underworld types arranging to acquire these things, even from non-minions, as a form of insurance or leverage.

Pure speculation on my part. But the more I think about this, the more the I may incorporate this sort of trade into my campaign.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is pretty reasonable and a neat idea, it is completely unsupported. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 7 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hence the preface "No idea, but..." \$\endgroup\$ – Sum of e D pi Jul 7 at 21:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, but we don't really guess here. This is a specific module question that is looking for a specific module answer. Not for users to generate [really interesting] ideas. I'm honestly not sure how to handle because I like the idea so much, but this really isn't an appropriate answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 7 at 21:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you rather I'd answered, "I ran this campaign, it's not in the book" - Not a helpful answer, The question is clearly speculative (because it's not in the book) so it gets a speculative answer. I'll just add that this sort of gatekeeping, while I can see the necessity of it for certain things, is also one of the least enjoyable aspects of rpg.se for me. \$\endgroup\$ – Sum of e D pi Jul 7 at 21:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be honest, I think this is the only truthful answer one can give: It's not in the book. For that reason I'm also not going to downvote you, because I don't think you deserve that, even though NauthArch has a point that it isn't supported by anything. But you already knew that. I guess it's just something the writers of the module overlooked. \$\endgroup\$ – Opifex Jul 8 at 18:47

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