The story begins with a simple set of instructions left behind by a wealthy employer of the PCs.
* Seek out work with Flaming Fist and build a network of contacts.
Complying with these instructions, the PCs travel across the city of Baldur’s Gate to the Flaming Fist headquarters – the Seatower of Balduran.
Once there, they are introduced to Lieutenant Stonefield and three merchants. The Lieutenant is a grizzled veteran of the Flaming Fist and is obviously accustomed to giving orders and having those orders obeyed (think of him as a military drill sergeant). He briefly introduces each of the merchants and tells the PCs that each merchant has a task that needs to be performed. He expects that all three tasks will be taken care of today, and once the PCs have finished all three, they can return to the headquarters to receive their payment of 12gp per successful assignment, per person. (To be clear, the merchants contract for the services of the Flaming Fist, which then sub-contracts the work to the PCs. The merchants do not pay the PCs directly.)
The Merchants and their tasks are:
Gillian Truesilver – recover smuggled lumber from a warehouse within the docks.
Hurth Blackhammer – clear a nearby cavern of its inhabitants as well as search for raw materials to be used by Hurth Blackhammer.
William Daryl – release a shipment for the Merchant’s League – with urgency