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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.