Curse of the Crimson Throne

Encroaching Darkness
Scarwall - Karne

The evil of this place is nearly palpable. Here, in this foul place, we are faced with a powerful servant of Zon Kuthon, the thin tapestry of trust we had formed became unraveled. Laori Vaus has been our ally in the past. She helped us against the Emperor of Old Korvosa, she saved Aubron from the otyugh, and she took care of the artist and got him out of Old Korvosa. On the other hand, Sial provided us with shelter in the Shadowlands. In that balance, my trust is with Laori. The struggle we all knew was coming finally came about. I made my choice.

I avoided Sial’s foul magics as I attempted to remove him from the fray. His chain demon was the primary threat, but she would back off if Sial was in danger. Watching her deadly chains, I missed the foul touch of the death priest. I fought the vile magic coursing through my body. As the darkness encroached around my vision like tenebrous, tendrils the last thing I saw was Sial’s sneering face; and then, darkness.

“No! Irori! Why have you forsaken me!!?!?” I cried out in despair. I thought the sound echoed in the chamber, but it wasn’t my voice. Laori was sacrificing herself to become the new caretaker of the Star Tower. How did we get here?

Escaping the shadow dragon, we entered the actual crypt of the Zon Kutha hold. There were ghosts of the dead priests wandering the halls. We ventured down into the base of the structure and found an ancient, dead creature of power. Sial engaged the creature and they spoke in the guttural tongue of the creatures of the dark. I don’t know what Sial discussed, but we were granted passage to continue. We entered the deep crypt and found the Star Tower caretaker. He barred our passage until one of us agreed to take on the mantle of caretaker.

In a moment of strong character, Edelwulf, volunteered to become the caretaker for all time if he could be reunited with his daughter. I am touched by his willingness to sacrifice and his love for family. I am proud to be one of his many companions. But the caretaker refused. And that is when the dark priests went to war. The chain demon tricked noble Edelwulf into attacking Laori, Reka became a giant beast, and Aidan faded into the shadows. Laori’s fell powers were no match for Edelwulf’s steel and she fell first. Fleeing to accept the caretaker’s offer.

In the aftermath of Laori’s sacrifice, we prepare to move deeper into Scarwall. I sit on the floor, meditating; trying to keep myself from wallowing in despair. A white tiger appeared to me in the darkness. Shining brightly the tiger only looked at me. I pleaded with it for my sight. I begged to be whole again. The tiger just stared. And that was when it occurred to me. I was marred for failing to be perfect. This is my penance for failing to keep my faith strong in the face of a test. I nodded in understanding. The tiger nodded and padded off into the darkness. I could feel the power of Irori washing over me. I will take this test and I will pass it with pride.

Hopping back up to my feet, I nodded to my companions and prepared to proceed. The curse of this place will not defeat me. Irori is my guide now. I will trust in his strength.

A crumpled note that looks like it's been eaten... (Aidan)

Journal entry 96

The keep continues to provide new macabre horrors. As we trudge forward (the rest of the page is damp, torn, and – if one inspects closely – appears to be eaten… as if by a half-wit barbarian or savage…

I Grow Tired of Death and Pain... (Eldwulf)

Once again…the dead rise…

The pile of bones in the corner…another tormented creature. This castle is never ending both in size and the magnitude of its evil. Every room stinks of rot and death…and nothing….nothing is as it seems.

Karne made the mistake of moving too close to an oven…only to have the entire room engulfed in flames…

We go up a set of stairs and we are met by skeletal Minotaurs…and at least these creatures are solid…my blade and flail can strike something real…the apparitions, specters, ghosts of the dead are on every hallway, in every corner, and constantly watching us…always watching…

Aidan is visibly shaken, it would appear that his magic has little effect here. Aubron has been lost to the shadow realm…and now…NOW while we are knee deep in bones, and ghasts, and ghouls…it appears that Sial does not trust Laori and she does not trust him.

Sial says Laori is a traitor…so he confided with me, Karne said Laori confided in her and told her as much about Sial…so perhaps…perhaps there will be more new corpses in this tomb of the dead before we make our way back to Korvosa.

And as we trudge forward, still the image of my daughter haunts me…I continue to see her…once again I heard the cry of that little girl…I knew it could not be her…but she seemed to be in so much pain…never ending pain…I fought my desire to go into that room, I fought the desire to rush in and save her…I knew better…but I could not help myself…I had to help her.

Again…another pile of bones…another tormented soul…I grow tired of this pain and death!

Seriously... the worst.

While I welcome the chance to fight alongside my companions again, I fear for the safety of Jeggare, and feel a sense of urgency to finish this and return to Korvosa. Together though, I believed we could defeat the blight of evil and rescue our fair city.

Unfortunately, I had not accounted for the blight to be quite so… blight-y.

From our first steps into the Scarwall, across the bridge, we were set upon by an army of undead. Corpses marched across, led by an even stronger undead, mounted upon what must have in its day been a magnificent horse, though it was constrained under the yoke of oppression. The skeletons were faster and stronger than we expected, quickly surrounding Karne, Edelwulf, and Black Moon. My spells, while appearing to work, had little effect. I worry that it is the miasma of undeath that pervades this place, perverting the natural order of things and weakening my magic. Honestly though, the creepy dude seemed to have little luck, and even Edelwulf wasn’t able to hit enough of them to contain the onslaught, driven forward by their infernal leader. It was only through judicial channeling of his god that Black Moon was able to kill the majority of the undead while the rest of us attempted to unhorse the leader. It wasn’t until Karne was able to knock the lance from his hand that we were able to subdue him and release the poor horse from its unnatural life.

From there it was a frantic run through what seemed a killing chute – running through corridors full of arrow slits as Edelwulf, Karne, and Black Moon attempted to break down or lift door after portcullis after door.

When we finally made our way out of the killing chute, we entered a room of death. It was full of corpses – fleshy, recent corpses – though those corpses bore a layer of dust. Extremely unsettling, the others began to note that the corpses were moving! Before I could get a sense of what was happening, the pile of corpses reached out and grabbed both me and Black Moon and began dragging us in, apparently to consume us and add us to the pile. It was disgusting, anathema to everything I am. I did the only thing I could think to do, and call upon the power of nature to grant me the form of a fire elemental. The corpse pile did not like that, but it was not as damaging to it as I had hoped. It was a near thing, but we managed to kill (? again?) the pile and escape the room.

This whole place needs to be set on fire and cleansed by a storm.

The Journey to Scarwaul Begins (Karne)
Into the Shadowrealm

Following an evening of insightful dreams and shared experiences, the party sets out on their journey to the Belkzen to find Scarwaul. Aidan was somewhat more, put out by the harrowing experiences, and needed some extra time to recover. Black Moon Stands Against the Tide has joined our group. He is a Shoanti warrior with a mighty hammer of power. I look forward to having him join us.
" Irori spoke to me! I had a vision! I am on the right path! The Master of Masters approves of what I am doing and is guiding my hand! I will not fail!"
Aidan brings us all into the Shadowrealm and we cross leagues in moments! In the actual shadow realm, we come across some denizens of the Shadowrealm. Edelwulf is somewhat upset by the unusual scenario and we engage the beasts. They are insubstantial and we decide it is best to flee. Edelwulf , on the brink of rage, is not reasoning well. I save him from himself. Tying him in a lock of limbs, I bring him along. We flee across the dark plane until we find a tower. It is the home of the worshippers of Zon-Kuthon. Their goals are similar to ours. The two gods are on the same path! Surely, our success is guaranteed! Sial is somewhat mysterious, but Laori is as generous as always. They give us some advice, which is mostly similar to what Reka already told us. It is good to have allies in the struggle against the Fel Queen!

We continue along our path and arrive at the edge of Skarwaul. Immediately on arrival, our position is given away by the human’s need for light. BAH! Glorious battle is joined! Arrows rain down on us from the ruins. Orcs are upon us! We engage them and the arcane powers begin to mix. A thick fog appears in the middle of the battlefield. This is the cover we need to turn the tide! Then, there is a second cloud of fog, but this cloud is full of noxious fumes! Surely these orcs have a shaman among them! We flee to a secluded section of the building and continue the struggle. The mighty Edelwulf was laid low by the fumes! He will be cleaning that armor for many hours to come. The orcs were dispatched, I didn’t identify which of them was the shaman. Surely, the shaman perished in the acid pit. Foolish shaman undermining his very own companions with such fel magics! I am so glad we have Magisters as talented as Aidan!
The area was clear of orcs. Their face paint is unfamiliar to me. I am of mixed emotion, being around villain orcs. I have lived in Korvosa my entire life, this is….different. These orcs are definitely villainous, and I feel no fault in slaying these orc savages. I will meditate on this as I center myself for the trials ahead. I have to calm myself and think clearly if we are to discover what has happened to Aubron. He failed to return with us from the Shadowrealm. I suspect his dealings with the shadows have finally brought him a comeuppance, but we must pursue our friend to know for sure.

Shoanti legend (DM)

Hundreds of years ago, a Shonti warrior returned from a great battle with a relic of evil. The foe, a dragon, would not die, even when struck down by a holy sword and burned in a pyre for days. The bones of this beast rattled on with a vile life still. There were split up and taken to the ends of the earth so that they could never be reunited again. The Shoanti were trusted with the fangs of the great serpent. Taking them to the southern tip of their land and entombing them in a great pyramid that rose on the shore since time immemorial, the broken fangs were interned for all time. Or so it was thought. 500 years ago the Cheliax came from across the sea and with conquest in their eyes and bloody thoughts in mind; they seized the lands from the Shoanti and raised the city of Korvosa on the very spot – constructing their seat of power, castle Korvosa, atop the ziggurat. The Shoanti failed to take back their sacred place and feared the day would come when the evil with in would be unearthed. That day has come now, unleashed by the Queen Ileosa of Korvosa.

To Belkzen we must now travel, to find the citadel of Scarwall and hopeful the sword Sitheral, that we may cut the crown of fangs from the queen and stop this doom before it spreads.

Celebrations and Omens (Edelwulf)
What a Party!!

After finally passing all of the trials and tribulations that were necessary to become Shoanti and later on members of the Skarclaw clan, the time finally came to throw one hell of a party and to finally eat and drink…hell with the last three days holding up ridiculously large pillars and minimal rest it was good to sit, enjoy the fire, and drink.

And what drinks they were…I swear after staring at that pyre for what seemed to be an eternity, I began to see figures dancing in the flames…almost like a vision of things to come…a darkness that will come across the land from the north, dragons rising to the south, and a three eyed raven saying something about winter is coming…which is a good thing as far as I am concerned…it is scorching here in the cinderlands...we could use a cooling down…but as I said…there must have been something in those drinks because before long I swear I saw my daughter dancing amongst the throngs of Shoanti.

But it could not be…I saw her cut down by that butcher, however, I have seen enough wonders and magics to know that this life is not the final stop but merely a beginning, so I looked for her…then I ran after her…then I finally saw her enter a tent and upon stepping in…I was back in Old Town, on the docks by the warehouse…the ware house where the riots first started, where I had lost my joy. There I was finally able to speak to her again…but she was not at the great gilded hall with my ancestors. No…she was trapped in that wretched sess pool of a city, Korvosa, trapped on this plane by thequeen, or more likely, by that ancient evil dragon which she now serves and seems to control more and more each passing day. She was scared and alone. As if taking her from me was not punishment enough, as if making her suffer at the hands of that mad man was not enough, no…the gods have truly spit upon me and my daughter…

So, I will spit in the face of their plans…on the spirits and by the strength of my ancestors, I vow to release my daughter from this plane, and I swear upon her soul that my sword will cleave the head off the queen to get it done!

Kravan McShittles (Droskar)

Deep into the Cinderlands, a hard ride from the last Shoanti camp where a Truthspeaker agreed to accompany us we found the feeding grounds of Cindermaw – the mountain that moves! Along the way we faced the dangers of area as well as finding the remains of the ever determined red mantis assassins who were not up to the challenges presented by the Cinderlands.

Although Cindermaw was truly a magnificent beast of terrifying proportion it was a beast none the less and was no match for Eldwulf’s brawn, Karne’s agility, and a healthy dose of magic to supplement them. After literally emerging from the belly of the beast our party made way to the Sklar-Quah tribe to have our claim made to be worthy to join the Shoanti.

The word of our Truthspeaker was accepted we were welcomed into the People. However, the tribal elders felt that even after the feats performed by Karne Blackfist and Eldwulf the Inedible (the Truthspeaker told the tale of Karne being eaten, satisfying the mighty worm, until Eldwulf dove into the beast and was shortly spat forth with a half digested Karne holding tight to him- Truly the mightiest of heroes!) . It was decided we would have to join the Sklar-Quah as well to gain that which we sought. A challenge far lesser than the one we had just accomplished, and not even the interruption from a mob of land sharks could sway us (although Aidan decided it was not worth his while and went about seeking the knowledge thought arcane means)

Now we are Shoanti, We are Sklar-Quah, and we are entitled to the secrets to undoing the cruse laid upon our queen.

Oh yeah, and Karne eye fucked Kro-Jun; she eye fucked the shit out of him….not really sure why?


Sand Storms, Seething Shoggoth , and Secret Spheres (Droskar)

The journey across the Cinderlands was harsh but no more than expected. Our supplies held and Silent Wolf and Gregor brought in a little game some days. Eliza was a better cook that expected and Droskar and Two Moons told tales of the Shoanti at night (or Eliza sang). In the end we arrived at the acropolis well rested but just ahead of a fierce sand storm. Taking shelter in the mouth of the ancient edifice our retainers made camp while we sought the mark of Desna.

We found that the ruins were in fact Thessalonian far predating Korvosa or the Shoanti. And it seemed to have a pest problem – Krojun followed us but seemed to mean no harm, being trapped by the same storm we were sheltering from. He also meant us no aid and did not help when we were once again set upon by the red mantis assassins – whether they were here, waiting in ambush for us, or followed us in un-noticed somehow we will never know as they all fell in battle.

Exploring the depths of the crypt we found active magics despite the passage of eons. Finally, a large sphere carved in the likeness of the land expanded our thoughts and gave us great sprit visions (except Eldwulf who’s lack of spirt was shown to all). Upon returning to the mundane world those of us that were found worthy were marked by the goddess. Our task complete we wait only on the storm to break so that we may proceed.

The final personage to appear to us in this apparently teeming ruin was a worshiper of Zon-Kuthon with his bound …furry? In any case he requested that we stay in his magical fortress of bones and that he be permitted to follow us to " observe" our deeds. We politely declined on both offers but agreed to meet him when we return to Korvosa.

Oh, and Aubron awoke a terrible elder thing not of this world within the black depths of the penis pools.


Really...This is the barbarian horde?!?! No Wonder they lost Korvosa (eldwulf)

Weeks of travel have brought us once again to Thousand Bones and the sacred mounds that his clan protect for the Shoanti that have passed to the next world. While it was good to once again speak to Thousand Bones and hear his wisdom, his clan did not have the necessary information that could bring down “our” queen and had little knowledge of the teeth of the dragon. While it was disheartening to hear that we had endured so long a journey for limited insight, we were told that the Sun Clan could better assist us and perhaps had the knowledge that we were seeking.

The month long trudge up to the mounds of skulls was the now the easy part of our journey. What I witnessed next only sunk my hopes of the Shoanti ever controlling their homelands again. First, the great warrior, Curmudgeon, challenges our weakest member, Droskar to a feat of strength….and DROSKAR WINS!!! Not a knock down drag out battle of wills and strength where Droskar got lucky or played an illegal gambit…nope, Droskar whoops him but good…it is almost not even a contest…and this…THIS…is their great warrior. They would stand no chance against the grey maidens should they be foolish enough to attack.

Then we start to hear of what is required of us…What is required of us so that the SHOANTI do not go marching off to their doom!!! SO MUCH RAGE!!!!
1. Go see the Sun Clan…but they do not trust you…so
2. Go see these other guys to get a truth speaker….but they will not trust you….soooooo
3. Go to the Thrall Mounds of Go Fuck yourself get a shiny for the truth speakers….
4. So that they can tell the Sun Clan that we are not shameck….so that
5. They do not go raging off to war against Korvosa … and this way
6. We find our how to stop the queen…..

Let it all burn…Fire cleanses all… si the Cinderlands after all….


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