Curse of the Crimson Throne

An Elegant Manifesto (Amelia)
mark 2, 3rd draft

Geetings loyal citizen-subjects of Korvosa,

This missive comes to you now in memory of what should have been. Much like the former Queen Ileosa’s reign which saw this fair city despoiled, so too has the elegant manifesto you were to receive been sullied. So instead I give you the tragic tale of how this came to pass…

After using her masterful skills of diplomacy to persuade former queen Ilesoa to forfeit her wicked ways and surrender the throne, but before finding out that she had left already because no one bothers writing back, her grace Amelia von Tesla de Serune, First of her name, Annoited Paladin of the Serazi brotherhood, Arch-Priestess and chosen champion of Iomedae, Bearer of the Sacred blade Serithtial, and acting Queen of Korvosa and friends heroically stormed the former queens former castle. After some very heroic doings had transpired I, Amelia, found myself ordering the new seneschal to retrieve the old seneschal from the castle dungeons. With that underway I passed the time getting to know one of the castle scribes. I eased his trepidation at the impending managerial transition as best I could but he was the nervous sort and I soon gave him leave to go about his way, but not before asking him politely to use his ink and parchment to pen the finest piece of rhetoric ever put to paper, My manifesto.

There were others in the room of course talking about things and being loud as usual. I endured them with saintly patience. Presently most of the louder ones left to go do something or another downstairs. My companions Aidan and Reka stayed behind to admire my work, which was fine because they’re usually pretty quiet. Plus Aidan has a very expansive vocabulary. Edulwulf andKarne began making a racket downstairs and I longed for just one more silence spell. No matter, for I was in the zone. Words poured out with poetic prose. That is until the fallen angels showed up.

My concentration was shattered by these otherwordly interlopers and I may have lost some of my composure. I leap from my chair onto the writing desk turned to address the fallen with a stern but fair announcement that “SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO WORK!” and dismissed the foul creature back to its sorry pit. I channeled into myself an aspect most angelic and proceeded downstairs to give those boys a stern talking to. However the moment I saw the seen spread out before me on the floor below I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had misjudge my wayward comrades. It seemed that Karne and Edulwulf had decided to get a leg up on making the castle more homey by redecorating. But it would seem, based on how they were fighting with Edulwulf over where the doors should be moved to, that the resident Erinyes had differing tastes. Karne for his part was trying his best to diffuse the situation with some for of hug therapy, which seemed to be working to some degree. Knowing however that Erinyes are evil, otherwordly, and base on their manner of dress bereft of any class at all, I resolved to end the dispute somewhat more permanently. With the holy sword Serithtial I redeemed the fallen angels one by one with sword and fire. The others helped. And as I plunged the purifying blade into the final creatures heart, she turned her eyes to me and said “thank you for finally releasing my from my wretched existence o holy one, thank youuuuuu… bleh.” then she died.

With that distraction out of the way I decided it would be best to move through the castle to the dungeons to see if the seneschal (a rather porcine gentleman) had found himself unable to make the trek back up the stairs. On our way we passed through the dining hall, which it occurs to me now definitely should have been the place to start the remodeling. The room was filled with perditious beings a plenty. Or so it would seem to anyone not as astute as I. For I could tell right away without any help that most of them were in fact illusions. Soon after me Aidan noticed and let the others know. I was being polite and letting them take there time to figure it out on their own. There were however a couple of horned devils I made to smite. But they cheated and made rude gestures at me before flee to their home planes.

Undeterred, but a little peckish, we headed to the kitchens and I introduced myself to some of the staff. i told them about the upcoming manifesto. After grabbing a few snacks we continued down to the dungeon. Karne made a few wrong turns along the way, but to be fair he was blind earlier this week until I cured his affliction. Upon entering the dungeon I was greeted with a site particular and unpleasant. An old man, later identified and the old seneschal, was crucified to a floating cross that behaved much like a small town peasant who has never been introduced to the idea of personal space. With a wave of my hand and a word I dispelled the magic of the cross and it came crashing down. The old seneschal was regrettably very dead. But I did find a note from the new seneschal explaining that he was a coward, and a glutton, and probably a pedophile and that he was intimidated by me so he ran away like a big fat baby.

At this point there were only a few rooms left unexplored in the castle so I said lets just go ahead and round this place off. I led the group back upstairs to what was actually a well designed room, with a lovely view of the theater below. I didn’t have much time to admire it though before a treasonous gang of angsty people in red jumped down from the rafters and attacked. They we’re lightning fast, well actually as we found out a few moments later to their dismay they were not in point of fact as fast as real lightning, but you get the idea. So yeah fast. Battle was joined with me leading the charge and my companions joining the fray behind me. Each doing their part to turn back out edgy foes. Reka called down bolts of lightning and the occasional water balloon. Edulwulf smashed many and threw more down into the pit, orchestra pit that is. Karne was a flurry of kicks and punches as she leaped and bounded off the walls. Aidan tried to make friends with them. Which under normal circumstances would be laudable, but was entirely uncalled for at the time, and it forced me to have to step in and save him from the woman he was tying to befriend. And this lady was a real piece of work. Throwing wave after wave of deadly magic that surely would have killed anyone else. Phantasms , swarms of evil manti( mantids? mantises?) at me. But I stood strong and battered her back. More lightning and fighting from the others. Aidan got scared and ran into the next room and locked the door, but hes not much of a fighter soooooo…

p. Just when It seemed I was about to deliver the killing blow the poisonous wench transformed into a giant beetle. Karne, in a flurry of hurled furry sent all manner of detritus soaring at the moths head. Perhaps inspired by this improvised bombardment, Aidan throws open the doors to his bolt hole and hurls a celestial octopus at the giant roach. It flopped and floundered, smiting as it went, but ultimately was not very effective. Again it fell to me to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Parrying, cutting, thrusting like an avenging angel I drove Serithtial Into the insects (neck?) and it fell silent.

With no more enemies present my mind went back to my work and then I realized I left my opus behind, Egads! But Reka had grabbed it for me after the scuffle. Tragically ink had smudged some of the paper. You could still read most of it but to me it was forever ruined. Reka probably didn’t noticed since she can’t read. She meant well. Crestfallen but not defeated i steeled myself and decided then I would send a different message, one more direct, if perhaps lacking in elegance. I hauled the giant bug carcass outside and using one of my new catapults I flung the monster trough the night sky to crash down on the dragon I had killed a few days before. It would have to do.

P.S. Trust me you guys, it was a really good manifesto.

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A night out (Adian)

On a dark and stormy night, a group of adventurers gather at the edge of the city, set upon their grave task: gain entry to Castle Korvosa and deal with the evil queen Ileosa, one way or the other. At their helm, the masterful and brilliant wizard Aidan, master of divination, speaker of truths. There were some other people too. At his mighty word, the merry group takes flight and soars through the night. With sniper-like precision, Aidan directs them toward castle and through a likely window. They have arrived in the commode, just as planned.

One of the party (a buxom lass, if memory serves) casts silence, ruining nearly all of Aiden’s powerful arsenal. He is unconcerned, however, and with great presence of mind, steps out of the sphere of silence to speak potent magic to the loo. With his arcane sight, he sees many magical wards that would be a hindrance to lesser practitioners. Under cover of silence, the band saunters toward the location where the queen is expected. Upon storming the room, Aiden sees the powerful enchantments on the crown and directs his allies to attack. The queen, rendered impotent by silence, succumbs quickly to death. But ho, the crown is no longer enchanted! Aiden knew, of course. He was merely kidding with his friends for their amusement.

Getting back to the task at hand, Aiden casts a remote viewing spell to investigate the castle, without which the group would surely be lost. No mere mortal would have been able withstand the onslaught of demonic debasement on view within these walls, but Aiden soldiered on, finally locating theseneschal. Back to his body, Aiden directs the group forward. They deal quickly with some brainwashed women and mean dogs, after which they move toward the seneschal, again with incredible precision. Upon bursting in the door, they begin to attack the pathetic and fetid fool. However, this fool is more powerful than he appears, and with a prismatic spray, turns Reka into stone, and with an incredible amount of luck, casts Aidan into the ethereal plane. While the rest of the group continue to fight, Aidan takes stock of his situation and sees a Bdellavritra in the room with him. Knowing of course, the amount of chaos such a creature can inflict, Aidan wisely chooses to strategically retreat back to the material plane. While the rest of the group keeps attacking the poor sap, the Bdellavritra shifts to this plane, clearly wanting a challenge against Aidan. With a whip of his luxurious hair, a piercing gaze, and a simple phrase, he commands the foul demon to BE GONE. And of course, it is. The seneschal is then released from the thrall and cowers, as expected. Aidan, the entire time fully confident that his dismissal would succeed, merely remarks on a job well done. Upon learning where the queen has nested with her foul minions, the group plans to move locales to somewhere a bit more.. hellish.

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Sabin's Tale (DM)

Sabina was loyal to her City and her Queen, assigned to protect her the day of her arrival for marriage to the old king they became fast friends and Sabina found someone to love again (platonic) She thought Ileosa shared these feelings, had circumstances been different it may have even bloomed beyond courtly love. As it happened she stood by the queen after the death of the king and through the time of troubles that followed but something was changing and Sabina damn’s herself for not seeing it sooner.

As early as Ileosa’s attempt to execute Trina Sabor for the assassination of Eodred II, Sabina began to finally realize that something was dreadfully wrong with her idol. Her fears were confirmed after Ileosa began moving forward with the establishment of the Gray Maidens. Sabina certainly didn’t object to the foundation of a new military wing, but she did object to the use of magic and torture to force loyalty. Yet Sabina had seen enough to know that openly opposing the queen was no solution either—so instead of taking direct action against Ileosa, Sabina accepted the charge of leading the Gray Maidens. Where she could, she lessened the impact of the queen’s cruel methods with secret kindnesses. Yet still, many women who were drafted into the service proved too headstrong. Ileosa executed some of them until Sabina convinced the queen that it would be better to imprison them under Longacre Building, “since some of them, given time, might well realize that serving as Gray Maidens is the better choice.” Unable to authorize their release, Sabina did the next-best thing—she made regular secret trips to the Longacre dungeons to ensure that the imprisoned women were as comfortable as conditions would allow, and that they weren’t being abused by the Gray Maiden guards. Yet the forced recruitment of Gray Maidens was only one of the ways that Ileosa had turned against Korvosa. With each passing week, Sabina learned of a new atrocity: Ileosa’s bargaining with devils to gain more power, the appointment of Togomor as “seneschal,” the murder of Marcus Thalassinus, and—most recently—the enslavement of a hateful and destructive dragon. Sabina long since realized that Ileosa never loved her—further, that Ileosa has never loved anyone, with the possible exception of herself. Yet by that point, Sabina was in too deep. She felt powerless to change the unceasing brutality on her own, but continued to use her close proximity to temper the queen’s cruelty whenever she could. The stress of the situation became nearly overwhelming, and when she learns that the PCs returned to Korvosa—those same heroes she met what feels like a lifetime ago on the eve of Eodred II’s death—Sabina realizes they might be her only chance for redemption and to save the city from the woman she thought she loved.

The Castile
History (Neolandus)
While Castle Korvosa itself is only a few hundred years old, the pyramidal foundation upon which it was built is much older than that, dating back thousands of years to the ancient empire of Thassilon when the city of Xin- Eurythnia sprawled at this location. Other remnants of that time still stand in Korvosa as well; the strange sculpture known today as Gatefoot is merely the tiniest part of an immense statue of Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust and ruler of the city, and the Pillar Wall once supported a winding processional used by Sorshen on her tours of her domain After Thassilon collapsed, much of Sorshen’s nation sunk into the sea. Over the thousands of years to follow, erosion saw to the destruction of much of Xin-Eurythnia, and what erosion didn’t claim, the Shoanti did. The Cheliex followed and here Korvosa stands today.

Knowledge gained

While constantly under the watch of guards in the castle itself, the surrounding areas are mostly abandoned today (that dragon was the last straw for many), and can provide cover to parties seeking a stealthy approach to the castle.
Many of Korvosa’s citizens (including most of the rebels) have a working knowledge of the castle’s second floor, primarily the main stairway, the entrance hall, the antechamber, and the throne room itself. Cressida and a few of the guards are relatively familiar with the rest of the chambers on the castle’s second floor, but have never been on any of the lower or upper floors.

Neolandus and Sabina’s knowledge of the castle is much greater; between the two of them, they can provide a relatively detailed map of the castle to use to plan out their attack, including secret doors and hidden chambers. Of course, knowing the castle’s layout is only part of the solution. While Neolandus has been out of the castle too long to be able to provide useful information about its current guardians, Sabina can provide information about a few of the more important inhabitants. Over the past several months, she’s been spending more and more of her time outside of the castle, as she’s been feeling increasingly unwanted therein; she hasn’t ventured beyond the second and third floors much at all. She knows that Ileosa’s been recruiting devils to aid her, but isn’t sure how the queen’s been able to pull this off—she suspected a link to the Acadamae, but her investigations into that area have so far shown no support. She knows Ileosa herself has some large hell hound guards, that a horned devil named Mavrokeras guards the towers (although she’s not sure where he lurks), and that three barbed devils known as the Yallops have been increasingly annoying and disruptive. Sabina also knows that the Red Mantis moved in on the third floor, but Sabina avoids contact with them and their leader (whom Sabina hasn’t seen, but who she has heard speaking to the Red Mantis minions a few times). Finally, she explains that Ileosa has grown even more cold and grim of late, and for the past several weeks she rarely left her bed chambers. She certainly hasn’t called for Sabina’s companionship since she started wearing that “ugly new crown,” and Sabina has finally admitted to herself that Ileosa likely never loved her—an admission that has gone a long way toward pushing her to finally turn against the monarchy.

Basics
The castle itself is built of black marble; the walls and ceilings are made of stone, although a significant part of the third floor and most of the attic level are made of wood.
Roofs are tiled with burnished brass shingles. Many rooms feature both arrow slits and larger windows, although the larger windows are protected by bars. Doors mostly are made of strong wood and can be locked (Sabine has a “master Key” but is not sure how extensive it really is) although most of the doors remain unlocked. Ceilings are typically 20 feet high.

Getting Inside
Castle Korvosa is a big structure, and there are numerous methods to enter it, not all of which are under guard (although most are). Sabina can provide the following list of entrances, although she warns them that by the time they move on the castle, the inhabitants are quite likely to have changed some guard patterns or traps to account for her betrayal. Physical Entry: There are numerous physical entrances into the castle via door, window, arrow slit, or even chimney or soil pipes.—most of them have guards posted nearby.

Sabina recommends the secret entrance via the armory if asked her opinion, although approaching via flight while invisible gives them the option to enter the castle from any number of locations (in which case Sabina’s recommendation changes to the hole in the floor of storage area that the dragon uses to gain entry to the castile).

While looking into the Acadamae connection she overheard Togomor imply that due to a falling out / discrimination between him and the Acadamae mages most of the castle’s magical defenses and wards have failed. He seemed confident that the “new guests” will make up for this.

Patrols
Three types of guards make regular patrols through Castle Korvosa: erinyes devils, Gray Maidens, and Red Mantises.

Erinyes Devils: There are erinyes stationed in the guardroom on the castle’s ground floor.

Gray Maidens: There are 24 Gray Maidens active in Castle Korvosa. Of those, 10 are always stationed at guard posts, leaving the remaining 14 split between patrols and rest in one of the two barracks). A patrol of Gray Maidens consists of two, with the patrols moving in clockwise rotations through all unlocked areas of the castle, remaining for a few minutes in each room to ensure all is well. A patrol is active on the first floor, second floor, and third floor at all times. Again this was before Sabina’s betrayal and may have changed.

Red Mantis: The Red Mantises remaining in Korvosa relocated to the castle at Ileosa’s invitation. They patrol the castle’s third floor, keeping to the shadows and moving stealthily.

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A night out (Karne)
Karne returns to the temple of Irori

Leaving the room was simple, Irori had granted me the wisdom to see the way to walk between worlds by focusing my ki. With a moment’s concentration, I was on the roof, hiding in the shadows. The others slept below me, and even though Edulwulf’s senses were keen (when he wasn’t raging) but I could move silently when I chose; wrapped feet made far less clatter than boots along the tiled rooftops. I planned to be back before dawn, but just in case things went poorly, I left a note with my destination. Irori admonishes pride before wisdom. With luck, they would never know I was gone. Scanning the sky overhead for danger, I was once again almost overwhelmed by the multitudes of colors and shapes since my vision had returned. I had learned to deal with the setback, as any loyal servant of Irori would, but I was glad to have my sight back. Satisfied that I was not about to be swarmed by angry imps, I I moved through the midnight gloom and leapt down to the street below. Pulling my robe closed, I ventured out onto the streets. Just another peasant.

This city was…changed. A cancerous blight had grown over my home. The riots were bad, an illness of the mind; the blood plague was worse, an illness of the body; but this was the decimation of Korvosa’s very soul. The Grey Maidens patrolled the streets, but these humans had torches which ruined what passed for their pitiful night vision. Ducking into doorways or hiding on rooftops was easy enough. Cautiously, I made my way back to the temple district. I had to know. If things were….bad…I did not want the others to see. Comrades in arms, I would give my life for them, but this was a matter of the faith.

In the temple district, I passed many boarded up buildings, temporary fortifications against the storm. Apparently, some churches had tried to wall themselves in, turning inward as the tragedy loomed around them. Some churches had tried to protect the weak, I could see their skeletal remains as the weak and terrified had stripped them of their resources. Their pious images defaced; their shrines, toppled. These were desperate people. They needed our help. There were a few two legged scavengers about. People willing to prey on the weak and the lost. The crackle of lightning around my fists scattered them into the sewers like the rats they were. Even alone, I was far too much trouble for the likes of them and they knew it. They would wait for much easier prey.

Finally, I came upon the home of Irori. There had been no hiding here. There had been no overrun by the needy. This had been a battle! Glorious battle was met here! The priests of may have Irori fallen in honorable combat, but they made the bastards work for it. Discarded pieces of armor were strewn about the disarray of floor; cracked helmets, broken swords, discarded arrows, stray pieces of plate mail. This was not the doing of the rabble Grey Maidens. Surely, this was some of the Devil Queen’s own guard at work here. Sabina’s personal warriors had a play in this. They saw righteous resistance and they attempted to stamp it out with overwhelming force of arms. The people of Irori would not sit idly as this menace overtook the city. They had spoken right and true! They had died for their righteousness. But, they had died with their spirits intact.

Wiping away eyes suddenly wet with tears, I turned and there, on the back of the door, fresh paint with the open palm. Some of them had made it! The faith had not been extinguished by the monstrous Queen and her devils! There were fighters left. Not here, probably scattered throughout the populace. Like me, they would be fighting. I will go back to my friends. I will play whatever part that Irori had made for me in this conflict. I was elevated from the street urchins for a reason. Irori had seen purpose in me. Now, it was my turn to repay Korvosa for saving my life. Placing my hand within the symbol, I made a silent prayer.

In the darkness, a thrown dagger barely missed my bowed head. Sensing my distraction, the scavengers had returned. Perhaps they think to find me overcome with despair. Instead, they find me filled with indignant purpose! These street rats will trouble no others in this city.

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There's No Place Like Home... (Reka)

I am home, finally home. While Queen Ileosa has done an admirable job of lessening the population stress on the area, there is an unnatural taint to the air, so I’m pretty sure she’s not doing it for the environment. I’m worried because the river has not even greeted me, and we have been back for days. If she’s permanently harmed Jeggare, I’ll turn into a ferret and eat her face.

The group seems to be a never-ending parade of adventurers. Not only have we lost Aubron and Droskar, but now Sial, Laori, and Blackmoon. We seem to have acquired a very enthusiastic young woman who stands out even more than I do! Probably because she’s so very shiny… and loud. As soon as we were able to get into the city, we made our way to the Grey to meet with our contacts in the Resistance. It was good to see Kressida, Neolandus, and Vencarlo again, but man were they downers with all that bad news, not to mention the giant list of things we’re expected to accomplish!

I mean, we managed to check one thing off, exposing that fraud Blackjack-wannabe for what he is (a genie?!). Still, I don’t know how we’re going to break into the palace to get at the fraud seneschal and Sabine (who Kressida thinks needs to die, despite what Vencarlo and Neolandus believe). Well, I know how I would break in, easily, but with Edelwulf and that Amelia in the group, the rest of the party doesn’t stand a chance [of sneaking in- ed].

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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.

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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…

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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!

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WORST.DUNGEON.EVER (Reka)
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.

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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.

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