Curse of Strahd
Shahar is a Merchant that works in the sword coast. He has contacts with several farmers and artisans who always have interesting materials. The Orcs and Gnolls have been so active that Shahar is loosing 35% of his share, he has to pay for guards and food for everyone.
Mr Zhou owns a caravan and was lucky that Slate and Uthred were present at his last trip, trip who made him stay where he his. The Orcs managed to surround the caravan and for some reason let everyone who wanted to scape go. This unexpected behaviour made people flee leaving just few warriors behind, providing advantage to the orcs.
Recently he has been staying in Daggerford, this way he saves some gold and is safe. Away from the roads, eventually the Duchess will request him to fetch products and since they have mutual interest she always sends some guards or adventurers on her own cost.