The (low class) PCs come into possession of a worn, but extremely-well-cared-for magnum revolver. While undeniably very old, it's functional and very elegantly balanced, obviously the handcrafted product of a true master of the gunmaker's art. The only identifying marks are an almost invisibly worn-away Imperial sunburst on each buttpiece. Naturally enough, they'll assume that the weapon is some old veteran's service piece. The GM should not encourage them to make any connection between acquiring this weapon and the increasing number of peoples becoming interested in them. At least, not at first.
Possible directions for this seed to develop:
- Whenever this weapon is worn "firearms enthusiasts" who just have to ask to see/handle the revolver approach the PC. Never a moments peace around any former military. Any Noble who inspects the weapon will react poorly, (think arrest/detention) until the matter is fully investigated. The weapon must be returned to the proper family. If no criminal intent can be proven the PCs are free to go.
- As #1 above, however if the PCs volunteer to escort the weapon to its rightful owner they may gain a noble patron.
- The escort job is offered, however the arresting noble is very greedy and has a hidden agenda. His people will forcefully take the revolver and allow the PCs to escape. They will then report the dishonorable PCs as fleeing with the revolver. The nasty noble will then keep it in his personal collection. Meanwhile the PCs are fugitives wanted for assault and theft of Imperial Icons.
- As #3 above, but the PCs escape WITH the revolver. They are now in a race with the nasty noble's people to reach the rightful owners. (Think the Gauntlet with Eastwood.)
- As #1 above, however the revolver is an obvious fake/duplicate when examined in a laboratory setting. Apologies offered, local law level might determine the issue of proper recompense to the PCs.
- The revolver is even older than thought! It is from the First Imperium; the faded starburst grips came from a later owner. This truly is an Imperial Icon. Smart PCs will ask about a "finders fee".