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So, I am about to start this AP as a DM now.
I remember from being a player in this AP, that the beginning was kind of a strain, as none of us trusted the queen while bringing her the brooch, and also none of us wanted to be sent as helpers to the city guards and do the queen's bidding.
I came up with the idea to have Cressida Croft receiving a card from Zellara as well. This might happen a couple of days before she gets appointed as the new field marshal of the city guard, giving her time to follow the pcs to the Old Fishery.
She might even be a long-time friend to one or all pcs, making it easier to ask the pcs for help later on.
Gaedren Lamm will not be found in the Old Fishery, but documents show, that he might soon team up with Devargo Bavarsi, in order to start a huge shiver-trade organization. In the end, Gaedren will be found alongside Devargo in Eel's End, or maybe later, when a sister of one of the pcs dies because of shiver. This will lead into the HOUSE ON HOOK STREET, with the sister being the MALNOURISHED DREAM-THING of the first encounter in this module. Knowing that Gaedren has something to do with the shiver trade, this might be enough to get the players invested into the modules storyline.
Has anyone else thought about having Cressida being a part of the group initially before her new appointment requires her to be at the citadel most of her time?!
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I have not done this and went with the AP exactly as written. We are now in book 4 (and have just made the switch to the updated hardcover version.
I like the idea of involving Kroft early. Here are some ideas that might or might not work for your game:
When the campaign starts, Cressida Kroft is a young officer in the Korvosan Guard, loyal to the city but undistinguished in any other way.
In the middle of the King's ongoing sickness, she is appointed to the office of Field Marshall, which raises some eyebrows with the city's establishment since she is basically a nobody. In fact, Cressida was surprised herself when she was promoted and only got the job because Sabina Merrin knows her through Grau Soldado and thought she was easy to manipulate and advised Ileosa that installing her as the Field Marshall would make sure that the Guard would fade into obscurity in the next steps of Ileosa's grand scheme.
Little did they know, that Cressida would turn out to flourish as Field Marshall and become one of the Queen's fiercest enemies...