I added a pair of benevolent drunks during a prequel/character gen session that led up to the Night of Ashes. One goes by "Dom," and the other is called "Blind Tiron." I endeared them to the party, and the pair eventually functioned as eyes/ears of the Silver Ravens halfway through book 1. Repeatedly, I dropped hints that Dom and Blind Tiron are retired pirates who have their own local legend (that the party learned was true, eventually...)
Dom was pirate captain Dominic Smythe, known as the Red Crane due to the tattoo on his torso. I envisioned his youth as a Han Solo-esque, gone sour as he and his first mate (Tiron) abandoned their ship for their favorite city and the bottom of a bottle.
In part 2 of book 1, it was Dom and another well-loved NPC who were doghoused by the CCG (I love the name "The Loyal," btw). Dom died of his wounds, and the other suffered physical (d% table) and emotional damage from both the encounter and surviving it.
I also created an inn/tavern in Villegre called The Pen and Paper. (I know, I know.)
It functions as a normal tavern or inn, though it offers an expensive members that allows access to the closed-doors Members' Common Room, as well as other benefits. A dwarf in a nice suit stands as host and bouncer, making sure all guests sign their name in the guest ledger as they arrive and sign out with a 'secret' of some kind. (Most being riddles or jokes with their answers, many others being fairly inane stuff.) But mostly, this inn serves as a trading post for information, and occasionally, magic items.
Oh, and a magical tattooist who secretly serves with the Church of Abadar in the House of Golden Veils. He's an aged Tengu Oracle with scrimshaw on his beak.