Curse of the Crimson Throne

A plague on both your houses (Droskar)

Karne’s worrying has proven correct in this instance. The sickness of Grau’s niece seems to be affecting many of the city dwellers, most notably in the poor areas of town. The local churches have banned together to help aid the city but too few of their clerics have the “spiritual clarity” to beg forth the powerful magic’s needed to cure even one individual. The nobles have seen to it that anti-plague is in short supply but very high cost due to the demand.

This has little to do with us and the queen has already used the doctors, assembled to unsuccessfully prevent the king’s death, to form a new bulwark against this pestilence. Long beaked plague doctors accompanied by the armored forms of the Grey Sisters and the city guard are no longer uncommon sights in Korvosa.

Although not asked to assist, despite Edwulf’s brilliant “a boat sank in the port city – so that MUST have caused the plague!” conjecture, we did offer to help look into some cartsmen dumping plague bodies outside of designated areas, only to find a nest of vampire spawn – foul creatures that are the remains of someone whom a vampire has fed on for three consecutive nights but not embraced, carnally. The master vampire was not located and, due to the unfortunate and copious use of fire needed to destroy the undead, we have no leads on who or where this master vampire may be.

Also after predicting the outbreak, Karne crawled over a literal mound of plague ridden corpses to enter the vampire spwan’s lair; the rest of us used the door. A more perfect distinction between intuition and intelligence I cannot imagine.

For now we will go about our business and try to avoid contracting the “ Blood Veil”.

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Trinia Escapes (Karne)
(Patient Zero)

I am still not very comfortable with the loose approach my companions take with the law. But perhaps it is as Fancy Tusk says, perhaps the very system of law is flawed? The girl, Trinia, was tried and found guilty, she is a criminal. But, all of the evidence was not provided. We must watch over her until she can be rightfully tried and the truth determined.

For now, the safest place for Trinia is outside of the city. Fancy Tusk and the fancy half-elf think this is the way to go, but I am suspicious of working with certain, elements. I took note of the smuggler’s ship. May mention that the local magistrate keep an eye on that ship. But we managed to get her across the bay and away on horses thanks to Master Orsini’s help.

They are not all bad, earlier we provided assistance to a young, sick child, Grau’s niece. The priest of Abadar, Ishani Pachi, seemed…uncertain about the nature of the illness. That has me worried. Surely the clerical magic and knowledge will be enough to keep any such illness from threatening the city. It worked once. It will certainly work again. looks out wistfully at the city from her inn window The people below, going about their business, closely packed and with layers of homes composing ramshackle towers of poor attempts at domesticity.

“Surely the priests of Abadar only want to commend us on a job well done,” she said aloud, more to convince herself than to anyone who might be listening. Gathering what she thought was roughly clean robes, she rushed down to meet the others as they began their journey to the priests of Abadar. “I wonder what Fancy Tusk is going to smell like THIS time!”

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The In-Between Times (GM)

Our intrepid band of heroes, still flush with their successes in retrieving the body of the Shoanti from the Dead Warrens, rushed to witness the execution of a woman they apprehended, but believed to be innocent. Having left Trinia with their friend Grau, they could not be sure that the woman in the custody of the queen was indeed the one they had captured. At his home they found no one and no sign of forced entry.

The group could not let Aubron’s ladylove be beheaded, so they contrived to attend the execution. Once the woman in question was presented, they easily ascertained that it was not, in fact, Trinia, though the queen called her such. Just as the headsman raised his axe, the folk hero Blackjack arrived and whisked her to safety. The party aided in his escape under the guise of protecting the queen, earning themselves an interrogation by the Hellknights.

Freed from incarceration, the party is left exhausted and adrift. Reka, the druid, mutters something about being tired of working for “the man” and leaves the group, saying she’ll find them when she’s gotten rid of the stench of politics. Edulwulf, injured in the Dead Warrens, finds his axe too heavy to raise, and his legs reluctant to carry him forward. Aubron fears for Trinia, knowing not where she is. Droskar and Aidan are eager to put some distance between themselves and the Arkona family, the head of which seems entirely too knowledgeable of their doings.

Sleep and time to come to terms with all they have faced is on everyone’s mind as the party goes their separate ways for the night.

Just before midnight, the evening’s peace is shattered by a wooden screech, followed by the thunder of a trebuchet being fired. Again and again the sounds echo from the Wall of Eodred near North Bridge, waking nearly all of North Point. Across the river in Trail’s End, citizens wake just in time to see a sleek brig burn and swiftly sink into the wine-dark waters.

Next morning, gossip buzzes through the city and fanciful tales run wild. Every tavern and street corner is abuzz with rumors of pirate raiders and ghost ships. The Crimson Throne remains quiet on the matter, though, with even the loosest-tongued politicos seemingly knowing nothing of the previous night’s incident. With so many far wilder and more interesting tales circulating, the facts of the matter become lost among the frenzied gossip.

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Dead Warrens (Karne)

Morin had gathered his courage to enter the Dead Warrens, but this was the kind of quest he had become a cleric of Irori to complete. The very first room had started off as a disaster. Throwing his mace into the bone pit after completely missing the skeleton, Morin began to doubt his martial skills. Calling on his faith in Irori, he let loose his faith and destroyed several of the skeletons with divine might. Luckily, the companions he journeyed with were mighty in the arts of sword and sorcery. They bravely ventured forth into the decrepit sepulcher.

After a harrowing battle with several foul derro, a terrifying otyugh (Hadn’t seen one of those up close before, they are horrible!), acid spitting skulls, mesmerizing skeletal snakes, and a flying derro necromancer, we had only a few more pieces of Shoanti warrior to find.

Searching the necromancer’s quarters, we found a torso and an arm laying on a worktable. Without warning, the arm reached out, blindly grasping at nothing, then remained still. With hushed breath, we stood, watching it. Then it repeated the motion. The unnerving sight of this animated portion of proud warrior was difficult to watch. They argued briefly about who was going to move the torso into the sack. While the discussion went on, Aubron put his rapier through its chest. We all paused to see if that would cease its movement, but alas, it continued to grasp blindly, completely indifferent to the wound. Eventually, the barbarian foreigner just pinned the arm down and they tied it to the torso with a length of rope. The intermittent twitching and squirming of the arm in the sack was disquieting to us all.

In a baleful and tired voice, Aidan, the wizard, said “We are still missing an arm.” There was a collective groan as we realized what this meant. There was a single room, left to investigate. The room with the slow thump. Edulwulf, the foreign barbarian, pulled the boards off the door, then readied his axe. Droskar, the exceptionally dapper orcish sorcerer readied his spells. Aidan stood at the ready with a wand in hand. Aubron, the eerily silent rogue had vanished into the gloom, probably skulking somewhere with his mace and dagger at the ready. Reka, the unusual druid, gripped her staff with white knuckles, some Slyvan magics on her lips. I readied my mace with a prayer to Irori and we waited.

The slow thudding continued like the irregular heartbeat of some fell beast. Thud……..thud……..thud……………….thud………..thud…….thud…..thud. Then, slowly, ever so slowly, the door crept open.

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Come out and play (Droskar)

A few days off interrupted; this city is rife with deceit and treachery, how delightful.

At first I thought it was incompetence but now I see it for what it is – politics. Were guardsmen to take on our assignments the trail could lead back to the citadel? And now rumor of a king’s lover and assassin all in one. Rumors creeping forth from the cracks in the Crimson Throne no less. Does the field marshal trust the queen, maybe but not a job one would want to come back on them, hmm? The city may be full of civil strife but the queen still holds the palace, and all within, at her mercy.

So we were sent to find this painter come seductress come murderess. Not on behalf of the queen but to secure her so that Cressida could question the girl. Aidin and Aubron seem to think Trinia is innocent but issues such that are not my concern, still a simple task and only a day’s work.

We do seem to be having a busy week though. It seems the locals have been using the cover of riots to attack the rightful landholders, the shoanti. A chieftains son seems to have been slain and his body stolen. To keep the peace we have been asked to descend into the crypts beneath the Grey to ferret out the necromancer who was last known to have had the body. – That or having recovered leverage over the queen in the form of supple young Trinia we are being sent to our deaths to tie up the loose ends…. I am growing to love this city (smiles to himself).

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Party like its 4799 (Droskar)

In addition to helping him expand his territory, the King of Spiders has asked an additional boon of us; A simple delivery of a small package to a noble house. We were requested especially. Easily romping through the city to arrive, we found the delivery was a shipment of mood enhancing drugs the wealthy use recreationally. Their vice tax in order we allowed them to continue with their celebration. We did however note how “in his cups” the Spider King was and formulated a plan. Using the help of the city watch, we acquired means to resist the effects of alcohol and that night joined our host for a much needed celebration. As the drink began to flow so did the information, it seems he had intercepted intelligence of our Chelaxian ambassador having an ill-advised affair with a noble women in his home country. Devago was kind enough to even bring the originals out. Thinking quickly, Reke offered to take Devargo downstairs for a, ehm, “private party” (I must remember to re-evaluate her and her willingness to do whatever is necessary to get the job done). Thus distracted it was easy enough for Adian to sneak out and make a forgery of the documents. We carefully replaced the fakes, kept the originals and, once Reka had completed her …duty, passed the information on to the marshal. Our job done we seemed to have earned a few nights off and no one is Eel’s End is any the wiser – for now.

*current year is 4708 AR

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A hard days night (Droskar)

We were threatened with misadventure and true to their word we were robbed. Although we prepared in advance, a small band of brigands managed to incapacitated most of us while stealing all of our recently gained wealth. From the one burglar we managed to take alive we learned the name of the noble who arranged to relieve us of our funds. Arbun noted the Inn keeper’s compliancy as well. Although it seemed foolhardy to me Eldwulf thought this breach of etiquette would best be settled by complaining to thecrime lord who runs Eel’s End. We managed to talk him down from this idea but the next day things became even stranger.

The inn keeper, the pit boss of the Twin Tigers, and everyone else we encountered seemed supremely impressed that we managed to almost fend off a group of petty thieves with only three quarters of our number brought to the brink of death. If this organization represents a threat to the stability of the government, this city is doomed. The low expectations of competency does go far to explain how the city has been rioting for days on end despite a powerful magical academy, a well-trained militia, a posting of hell knights, and a flying cavalry of marines .

Using our new found, albeit poorly earned, fame we were able to secure a meeting with the King of Spiders for the intent of offering him our services. This seems to be the most viable way of gaining his confidence and discovering the actions of the chilaxzian ambassador. Although there was a rival group seeking this employment, we had no fear or reservations about them. If the typical criminal here is impressed with the mere survival after a peasant hold-up, this should not be a challenge. We were correct and, after buying a dragon, were asked to go clear some berths for an off-site expansion of Eel’s End in one of the more prestigious areas of the city.

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A Day of Reflection and Vices (Reka)

Today was a day of reflection for me. The events of the previous night are seared into my mind. Even my morning toast and sprouts did not sit well in my stomach. I have always prided myself in my ability to approach issues objectively, but I could not think upon the secret cannibalism with anything but horror and disgust.

I think the rest of the group must have been troubled by this too, for when Cressidia sent us to investigate the dealings between the Chelaxian ambassador and the Spider King, everyone seemed to turn to vice to erase the horrors of the preceding day.

Edulwulf and Karne threw themselves into the brawling carnage of Knivesies, Aubron acted the common prostitute and made a spectacle of himself, Aidan sat at the bar and consumed wine, and Droskar could not stop gambling. Through all of this, I fasted and reflected, watching those around me and taking some time to have a very stimulating conversation with the Spider King’s herbalist.

Yet, we accomplished nothing. I think the entire group should spend some time together in silence, fasting and reflecting on our troubles and vices. Perhaps after some time in silence followed by the sacred centering chant of koom-bai-yah, we will be a more cohesive team and have some ideas of how to attract the Spider King’s attention in a way that will allow us to ferret out the secrets we seek.

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Into the City (DM)

After spending a few days secured in the Old Fishery, the group of young adventurers ventured out into the tumultuous city. Following a scouting mission by Aubron, they learned that the city was filled with groups of Hellknights and Korvosan guards trying to keep order over roving mobs of rioting townspeople and mad prophets. Venturing out to return toZellaria’s home. After being rid of a plague of fiendish imps by a flight of pseudodragons, the party found their way back. Finding that the home had been long abandoned and in ruins. Zellaria revealed herself as a spirit dedicated to the preservation of Korvosa itself. Her sacred Harrow deck had identified the party as integral to the salvation of the entire city.

Setting out into the streets again, the party comes across a drunken soldier identified by Aidan as Grau, a highly respected member of the Korvosan Guard. Taking him back to a nearby tavern, they convinced him to sober up. Grau escorted the party to visit Castle Korvosa in order to offer their aid to the city guard in defense of the city. They meet up with the queen’s personal guard, Sabina, and manage to avoid a precarious situation between Sabina and Grau, before meeting the queen. Queen Ileosa in her grief, thanked the party for their offer and directed them to Cressidia Kroft the head of the city guard. Realizing that the brooch from Gaedren’s loot belonged to a high noble, they presented the brooch to the queen, only to discover that it was a stolen treasure belonging to the queen herself! The queen thanked the party and paid them a great reward before they left the castle.

Cressidia enlists the party into solving a delicate problem. Verik Vancaskerkin was a deserter from the Korvosan Guard who had taken up a small group of former soldiers to hold up in a butchery. They gave out fresh meat for free to the people suffering in the city. Droskar does some investigation to discover that the guardsmen are involved in some enforcer/assassination work on the side. Through a combination of guile and stealth, Verik and his band are taken down with very little trouble. In the process, Reka learns the horrible secret to the abundance of All World’s Meat.

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A Dark Beginning (Droskar)

It seems that justice is slow but inevitable. Gaedren had not only wronged me but seems to have angered a small party of mismatched but driven individuals. He also seemed to have preyed on the out-castes of society; I count half breeds as more than half our number. In any case, while looking for the miscreant, whom the guards would not condescend to deal with, we found each other and only avoided violence by the fortuitous intervention of a Varisian fortune teller, that Gaedren had also wronged.

Having been given his location I set out with a suspected murder from the academe, an overly emotionally and short tempered duelist, a moon-touched human flower child, a rather blood thirsty thug, and an oddly calm but rather unattractive half ork female. We arrived late at night and the fish monger warehouse was quite at first. A large watch dog was easily circumvented but we were shocked to find the interior brimming with scared, hostile children and one rabble rousing gnome. We also found Gaedren, unfortunately only after he had apparently fed Edulwulf’s daughter to a large crocodile. In turn Edulwulf fed the crocodile Gaedren’s head.

After a quick search revealed his operating papers as well as the unpleasant issue that the women who helped us locate him had, in fact, been dead for some weeks prior to meeting us. Obviously I was only too eager to be done with this place and my temporary companions but as we made our departure we found ourselves in the midst of a riot. It would seem that the king has died and the city is on the verge of civil war between the queen’s factions and those that would see her deposed. Having no better option we decided to weather this latest storm where we were.

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