From "Adventure Summary and Background:"
Senator Okpara val’Inares of Toranesta was indulging himself in the marketplace, examining the wares of the city’s finer cloth makers. At the same time, Dardanus, a wealthy landholder from outside the city had brought his stock into market, and was attempting to purchase silk cloth for his wife. The two met while examining fabrics and Dardanus accidentally bumped into the Senator, who, despite the farmers’ polite apology, roughly shoved the farmer and berated him for his clumsiness. Dardanus shrugged it off and continued to search for the elusive fabric while the Senator went elsewhere. This otherwise unremarkable chance meeting sets in motion the events of this adventure.
Shortly thereafter, the fabric merchant, Aljandros, found a velvet pouch. Looking within he saw that it contained a small golden rod. Pleased with his good fortune, he left his booth to the care of his son to try and sell it before the owner returned. In his eagerness and haste to make good on his fortuitous discovery, he neglected to remove the item from the pouch. If he had, he would have discovered that it was an imperial seal, the seal of Senator Okpara val’Inares to be precise.
He took the object to a pawnbroker known to be somewhat… flexible… in her buying habits. After examining it, the pawnbroker refused to purchase it. Instead she informed her contacts in the Cafelan Cartel of its importance. Shortly thereafter the word was on the street and the race was on.