Curse of the Crimson Throne

Into the Dark (Droskar)

With the emperor fallen, we attempted to impose some order on Old Korvosa. Slow work but necessary. Questioning Salvatore Scream we learned that Vencarlo and seneschal Neolandus were last seen at the Arkona compound. Despite the guards on the old fort wall we managed to get to their compound without issue. Once escorted in to see the lord of the house the house guards abandoned their post – curious?

Once inside we spoke to Glorio in his bathing chamber where the decadent noble admitted that it is Meliya who really rules and he has been manipulated against his will to do her bidding. He revealed to us that she did in fact have both Vencarlo and the seneschal held in captivity in a labyrinth under the house, and that her intent was to torture them for her personal amusement. Glorio was nice enough to explain how to gain access to the labyrinth and warn us that it is dangerous; however, he declined an invitation to join us. The more physical natured members of our party were not interested in forcing him to accompany us into the unknown, siding with Adian that it was unnecessary.

Finding the entrance to the labyrinth was easy; moving into its depths was not. We were immediately set upon by strange giant undead seeming creatures who appeared out of thin air, were immune to fire or fear, could fly about the room, and left stinking clouds of disease in their wake. We survived, but barely. Aubron has been magically shrunk, our spells have been depleted, but our injuries healed and we prepared to journey into the unknown depths in order to save our friend and perhaps all of Korvosa.

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The emperor and his new grooves

The Blood Veil still runs rampant in Old Town and the queen has left her subjects to fend and scratch for themselves in the streets. There is no food, water, nor fuel for many of the residents that still live there and with the Grey Maidens guarding every way in and out, it is no wonder that a fool’s idol like the Emperor was able to secure some power and take charge of the area. While he has no royal blood within him, given the amount of innocent blood that he and his lieutenants spilled while in power, perhaps he is related to the queen after all. In the end he was as hollow as the people that rule this city, the nobles that fight for the queen’s scraps, and a plague that needed to be dealt with like the one we had just recently conquered.

His men were a joke, one of them was finally able to lay a hand on me, or at least I think he did, his punch merely tickled my jaw, once 20 of them laid dead before us, and not a scratch could be found on any of us, the rest of his “army” turned tail and fled. While the sport of blood pig was a great time and Reka made a great showing of what a large eagle looks like, in the end the emperor, like all the other pigs before him, will be offered up to his starving wolverines. More fodder for the city and yet another sacrifice made in blood to the dark gods that have turned their eyes on this place.

Edelwulf

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There's something strange in the neighborhood... (Eldwolf)

The plague is over, yet a new disease has spread to Old Town…

The way she looked at me, the toss of her hair, and the grip on her steel, reminds me so much of my lovely Elandra. To hold her one more time, to see her in my arms, one last time…I thought these thoughts to be the pining of a fool…someone who was lost to be so long ago, a fool’s delirium, a past taken away from me too soon, too fast. Yet there in the throne room of this cesspool’s heart, while our queen was moving faster than I have ever seen any other mortal move, was my vision…that reminder and hope of a day that I thought I would never feel again.

As the captain of the hippogriffs lay dead at the feet of the queen, the panic and noise that followed just melted away as our eyes locked as if we were the only two left. AS I approached her to take her from the noise and despair, Sabina interrupted us. For now she gets to keep her head, however, the next time she flashes her steel in my direction, she will no longer have the means to grasp her sword!

While I have scoured every Gray Maiden I see hoping to once again catch sight of her, our mission to Old Town has reduced my chances of spying her as there is no order here ’cept for the gangs of grunts ordered around by the “emperor”. It seems that no matter who is in charge…once they get a taste of power they go mad with it…perhaps I should have abandoned my lot and gone with the Shanti to raze this place to the ground….yet if that would have occurred, would we have never met…perhaps there is more that needs to play out.

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Blood Veil Requiem (Carne)
Session II Wrap up

With the defeat of Davalus and Lady Andaisin defeated, Blood Veil begins its slow decline. The swift and random spread of the disease slows to a trickle, but doesn’t stop altogether. Death continues to slowly vex the city as the Korvosan Guard and city priests get the matter under control. Over the next couple of weeks, a skilled alchemist, Russo, compiles the notes of Davalus, Arkminos, and Rolth and comes up with a cure. There is a brief moment of chaos as the citizens of Korvosa embrace their fascination with anarchy once more in a rush to gain the cure for themselves and their families. The Gray Maidens rather quickly put down any troubles with brutal efficiency.

In a formal ceremony, Cressida Kroft arranges to bring in Reka from her sojurn with the Sable Company, and deputizes all the members of the party as official members of the Korvosan Guard. Grau, Tayce Soldaldo, Ishani, and Vencarlo are in attendance. They cheer and wave small flags in your honor.

Shortly, thereafter in the palace, Queen Ileosa gives a short and somewhat bland speech in your honor, praising your work, and granting you each a 5000 gp writ before a small gathering of somewhat blasé nobles. As soon as Queen Ileosa is finished, she doesn’t pause to ask for any words from you, she waves and guards to escort you away with, almost rude, brusqueness. On your way out of the palace grounds, you come across an incredibly attractive, well dressed couple engaged in some heaving petting. They look somewhat less than surprised at having been interrupted and introduce themselves to the guards as Lord Glorio and Lady Melyia Arkona.

“Please, excuse us, but when your Lady is as exquisite as this,” he seductively kisses her hand, “It is difficult to resist when the mood strikes!! Please, guards, leave us. We know the way to the gates and we would like to extend our thanks to the heroes of the day……personally.” With fluid quickness, Glorio takes Reka’s arm while Melyia takes Droskar’s arm and they walk you to the gate. Glorio never ceases a rapid stream of praises and honorifics in your name, never allowing you to get a word in edgewise. When you get to the gates, Melyia hands Droskar a silken purse, “Take this as a token of our personal appreciation. Once this business with blockades is over, do come pay us a visit.” She bats her eyes slowly and seductively as they turn back into the palace and head back to court.

Rumors begin to spread once more people catch word that Dr. Davalus and the Queen’s physicians were up to no good. Queen Ileosa stands by the assertion that she was tricked by the duplicitous Doctor Davalus and that she sent a special team to end his activities once she began to suspect his nefarious nature. Most people can’t be bothered to worry about such deep levels of corruption and are just glad to be alive as they slowly piece their shattered lives back together.

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Hospice by day, Doom by night (Droskar)

The hospice was an obvious spot to start, and apparently end, the search for Dr. Davaulus. Having been infected after a one of our number’s poor hygiene lead to a minor infestation, the group opted to go into the hospice as patients. This ended up being a mistake as we were quickly made and attacked by both the grey maidens and the plague doctors. This, sadly, led to the death of several plague victims, and less sadly several grey maidens and plague doctors. One of each were taken alive for information and eventual trial.

As we made our way up through the building we found what appeared to be Dr. Davaulus’ office but no sign of the good doctor.

Checking the basement lead not to the smuggling warehouse we suspected, but a large complex apparently dedicated to Urgathoa, a goddess of the undead, plague, excess and the grotesque. After disposing of several of her priests along with a few more tongueless plague doctors, we came to a “plague brewery”. Here we came face to face with the preeminent Dr. Davaulus and the elusive Rolth.

Rolth got away, Davaulus drowned in a vat of the filth he created. We found several prisoners of varisian decent who were apparently uninfected. Additionally we came across a very polite vampire who agreed to leave if we paid him for his trouble. After Eledwulf unsuccessfully tried to “ax” him a question we agreed. He also left behind our missing ocarina player.

Finally we came to the chamber of horrors. A vast room with a stone door leading deeper underground but within this room we find ourselves face to face with the very otherworldly plague beasts that would rain ruination down on Varisia. Although inactive, the terror of them has Droskar ready to leave the continent. As a result we are awaiting the arrival of agents from the university who can properly sent the plague steeds back to the hell they came from.

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Fall of the house of Davaulus (Droskar)

The next day brought more news – a mysterious letter from a “friend” hinted that a warehouse had to be investigated, the bridges to Old Korvosa were destroyed, and a mysterious summoning to the Bank of Abadar reveled even more.

The warehouse we sought was once used as a smuggling warehouse of house Arkona (rivals of Carwyn) but was donated to the plague doctors to use as a hospice.

At the bank of Abadar we meet the Queen in disguise, she too had begun to suspect that factions within her house, specifically the Grey Maidens and Plague doctors, have been corrupted. She told us a tale of a family spurned, a rebellious daughter, and now it seems her city is made to pay for her independence.

The chief plague doctor, Dr Davaulus, was sent here from Cheliax by her family, she assumed as a peace offering after all these years. Now she suspects that not only was he responsible for the king’s death but for the plague as well. He has always been obsessed with disease, thus he seemed a natural choice to head up the effort to combat this plague, but now….she suspects she has made a grave mistake in trusting him.

With no one else she can turn to, she looks to us to determine what the Davulus is up to and, if necessary, stop him. He has been in her family for years and she holds him with great affection but understands that if he has betrayed her he may not come peaceably. Any Grey Maidens or Plague doctors helping him have betrayed their oaths and must pay, either in the courts or by our hands.

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Field note corrections

Entry 33 – we have already established the plague was intentionally brought to Korvosa via a plague ship laden with dead rats tied to bundles of ballast and silver coins, all of which floated, to end up at jetsam on the shore after the mysterious ship was sunk.

We went to the Carowyn estate looking for a missing person (and to escape the plague ridden poor sections of town), but it was a HE not a SHE as recorded.

Unreported – the cause of the pandemonium in the Carowyn estate was captured and revealed that the Necromancer Rolth had sent her to the party to spread the plague looking for any who showed resistance. The young man we were sent to seek did indeed show such resistance and was turned over to Rolth who was in the presence of a pair of Grey Maidens. The harlequin they stayed to “play” with the dead.

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Field Notes (Aidan)
Carowyn estate

Journal entry 33

Our field excursion to the Carowyn estate may hold the key to the source of the mysterious plague. I hypothesize that the source of the plague must be some form of cargo, or perhaps a passenger, from the ship sunk near the city only days ago. Still, no discernible delivery system has yet to be identified. We follow the trail of a possible infected host (if infected, still within the short incubation period) to a party at the Carowyn estate. Intentional or not, I believe this young woman we seek may know more about the plague’s source and perhaps its nature. My hypothesis is that the plague is magical in nature, but displays characteristics that make it either resistant or outright immune to current conventional, divine, or arcane treatments. If I can only study a pure strain (safely, of course), perhaps I could discovery a cure (or at least a treatment)

Journal entry 34

A quick note as our more martially-inclined companions deal with the immediate threat. This form of the plague seems to have spread much faster than previous reports. Curiously, these victims seem to display some remnants of their mortal memory as they appear to be re-enacting events immediately prior to their death. I am unsure if this is conscious or the result of some fugue-like state. Unfortunately, they become aggressive immediately upon contact with the uninfected, making further examination quite difficult. I must away, more to follow.

Journal entry 35
Despite my injuries, I believe we’ve happened upon an important discovery. A peculiar box with the remnants of a rodent and a curious crossbow bolt. I hypothesize this rat is acting as a carrier and the bolt is perhaps one of many delivery systems. We will look for further clues and continue our investigation in detail upon our return.

Journal entry 38
We have returned the box to the priests of Abadar, but I hope to return soon for further study. I still hold to my theory that this plague is arcane in nature, perhaps some form of necromancy unknown to its common practice, which is unfortunately a field I am less familiar with. Still, the magical aura the box displayed, albeit faint, provides some credence to this theory. However, I must tend to my wounds first, with the hope I have not contracted this disease as well. More to follow.

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Do a little dance, Make a little love, Get dead tonight... (Droskar)

We returned to Trail’s End to confer with Grau’s sister and found that her daughter had in fact brought a bundle of silver coins from the river bank the day before she became ill. With confirmation of the werrats story we moved to inform the authorities.

At the citadel, the guards were just pointing a young lady in our direction, afraid it was another one of Aurbon’s paternity issues we sent Adian and Eldwulf on to see Croft, the former to explain our findings and the latter to push for the exploration of the murky depths. The city, like the church of Abadar, seemed concerned with the idea of tainted coins but dismissed the idea that they, being mere inanimate objects, could carry the plague. They claimed to have checked their silver vaults but detected no sign of magic or disease there. Unsurprisingly, both were reluctant to fund an aquatic adventure but confirmed the need to not spread the cause of the plague yet.

The young woman however, one Deyanira Mirukova, was looking for investigators and a guard pointed her to us. Her brother Ruan, the city’s premier ocarina player, was hired by the noble Carowyn family to play an event three days past but never returned. When Deyanira went looking for him she found the house shuttered and a foul aroma emanating from the place. With the thought of a pretty girl and an unoccupied noble’s estate Aubron was apt to help, Droskar is always interested in getting a noble in his debt, Eldwulf, Karne, and Adian, having nothing better to do that day, decided to come look into matters as well – besides the air must be cleaner in south side.

Southside

The house seemed to have indeed been hastily boarded but the smell of decay was overpowering. Letting ourselves in we found a macabre scene; piles of dead and not so dead dancing about in a mockery of life. In room after room, the remains of party-goes and servant alike forced to act out a parody of their living selves and all enraged at our encroachment. Above all the sound of mirthless laughter echoed though out the great house.

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Sewer Adventure (Karne)
Girrigz learns the ugly truth about UFC....

While continuing to research the origins of Blood Veil, we have come to a dead end. Beginning to feel a little helpless in the face of the plagues ravages, the party receives a strange visitor. The rodent-like Eries Yellow-Eyes is part of the resident wererat population of Korvosa and she needs our help. A wererat in her community was recently beaten to death in the streets as some of the town’s citizens blame the verminous lycanthropes for the spread of Red Veil. A particularly angered wererat, Girrigz, is organizing the wererats into an armed force to attack townspeople in retaliation. Yeries begs the party to put a stop to him before war breaks out and her people are slaughtered.

Forearmed with silver weapons, the party journeys into the sewers. Finding a starved, trapped otyugh, the party soon comes across the wererat army in their den. Following a series of displays of power by our resident mage and sorcerer, the wererats are prevented from overwhelming the party and they are kept in check.

Realizing that Girrigz is the main threat, Edulwulf and Karne focus on taking him down. Seeing that melee attacks are not getting the job done, Karne simply manhandles the rat-terrorist and holds him securely while Edulwulf carves into Girrigz with a silvered battle ax. Seeing their leader fall, most of their comrades helplessly suspended in magical webbing or dazed and blinded, the remaining wererats lose their morale and fall back.
In the interrogation of the remaining wererats, we learn that there was a yellow light on the plague ship which brought Blood Veil to Korvosa. Wreckage from the ship contained dead rats and silver coins. Wisely, the wererats left the coins. Another piece of the puzzle is revealed.

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