Curse of the Crimson Throne

Session #5

We started session #5 with the opening of book 2 in the AP.

The party was awoken one morning to the sounds of the city’s catapults firing. Rumor around the city seemed to indicate that the City Watch fired upon a ship in the river near Northpointe. Some said it was a group of pirates. Others said it was a ghost ship.

A few days later, the party was contacted by Verik Vancaskerkin because his niece was in need of help. Brienna Soldado had come down with some sort of disease and was getting worse. Her mother could barely keep the children fed, much less afford magical healing, so they party purchased a scroll of Remove Disease and cured the child. Upon waking up, she told them that she had found 50 silver coins and a dead rat in a box near the river in Old Korvosa. She spent the coins, but became sick the next day. In visiting the Soldado house, the party met Ishani Dhatri, a cleric of Abadar who was attempting to help the child with herbs.

The next day, the party was contacted by the fencing teacher Vencarlo Orisini. They visited his school in Old Korvosa and he brought out Trinia Sabor, who had apparently been hiding out at his place since being rescued by Blackjack. Vencarlo had agreed to hide the girl at his school for the rogue, but became worried over time that she would be found. He asked the party to help her escape the city. He provided a disguise for her and the party came up with a way to create a distraction near the city gates using the orphans that they were taking care of. This allowed them to get her out of town to a nearby ranch where she could hide long term.

When they returned to the city, they started seeing more and more instances of people bearing the same disease that Brienna had. They went to the Bank of Abadar and found a mob attempting to get in, panicked by the rumors of a plague spreading through the city. They successfully calmed down the people and dispersed the mob without resorting to violence. After this, the PCs met with Ishani Dhatri at the Bank, explaining what they had discovered about “tainted” money being the cause of the plague’s spread. He requested that they escort him to Citadel Volshyenek to meet with the Korvosan Guard to try to coordinate battling the epidemic.

Upon reaching the Citadel, the party came upon a scene wherein Field Marshal Cressida Kroft was giving new orders to the Guard. Many of them were assigned to escorting the Queen’s new doctor, Dr. Davaulus, in combating the plague. The PCs also saw the first of the new Grey Maidens, the elite soldiers recently created by Queen Ileosa Arabasti. In the talks about the epidemic that followed, the only real decision was to section off the city to limit movement of people in order to contain the spread of the disease. The Guard and the Queen’s Physicians dispersed to put this into action.

Field Marshal Cressida Kroft contacted the party shortly after this to ask them to investigate a place known as Racker’s Alley, where some of the plague carters have been dumping bodies, apparently. Upon entering the alley, the party was set upon by vampire spawn. The pseudodragon that had joined the group ended up getting killed in the combat. The party found the coffins of the vampire spawn in the crawlspace of a nearby toy shop and dragged them out in the sun and destroyed them permanently.

Commandant Marcus Endrin contacted the PCs a few days later asking them to investigate reports that he’d received of someone selling a supposed “cure” for the plague out of a perfume shop called “Lavendar.” They found that the whole thing was a scam put together by Vendra, the owner of the shop. They got her to surrender and delivered her to the Guard.

This was where we ran out of time and ended for the session.

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Session #4

Session #4
8/17/13

We started the 4th session by finishing the last room of The Dead Warrens. The party fought some sort of zombie/golem hybrid thing ‘cuz it had the last piece of Ghaeken’s body. They never did encounter Rolth, the necromancer who allegedly bought the body. They then brought all of the parts of his body to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft. She paid them the promised 1,000gp and said she would have the remains brought to Thousand Bones. The party then leveled up to 4th.

Field Marshall Kroft then informed the group that the officials at Castle Korvosa had publicly announced that the trial of Trinia Sabor had been completed. No one was even aware she had been captured. (apparently, she had finally left the place where the PCs had been hiding her and she got caught) Kroft asked the PCs to be present at the planned beheading, since it sounded kinda fishy. As usual, Eroc tried to ask Field Marshall Kroft out, but since that was basically saying, “So, how’s about you and me have dinner after this innocent tramp gets her head cut off?” she declined.

At the beheading that night, just before Trinia was about to lose her head, she was saved by none other than Blackjack. He jumped onto the gallows, stabbed the headsman, and gave the following speech:

“Yes indeed, my queen! Let us usher in justice, but let that be justice for Korvosa, not this shambles you petulantly call a monarchy! Long live Korvosa! Down with the Queen!”

As he finished, one of the PCs yelled out to him to watch out for the headsman, who had somewhat recovered from his earlier wounding. Blackjack dodged the attack and then escaped with Trinia as the square erupted into chaos. Queen Ileosa Arabasti and her bodyguard Sabina Merrin quickly fled into the castle, while the castle guards attempted to pursue the criminals. Lictor Severs “Boneclaw” DiVri drew his sword and began—forcibly—clearing the square.

After this, the party spent the rest of the session planning out an attack upon Eel’s End to rescue the pseudodragon held captive there. They ended up hiring 10 thugs and 5 archers to help pull off the attack. Things started going wrong when some of the thugs began trying to steal money from the gambling boat early. The party narrowly missed being dropped into a trap by Devargo Bravasi, but made quick work of most of the guards. Bravasi barely managed to escape by diving into the river with only a single HP remaining. He drank a potion of invisibility and managed to get away. The party went below decks and discovered the reason Bravasi is called “The King of Spiders.” He apparently had an ettercap in the ship controlling the spiders for him to create the illusion that he was in command of them. And he apparently was creating the drug Shiver from the venom and webbings of the dream spiders that nested on the boat. The party came away with plenty of loot, including some magic items, and a pseudodragon that has promised to serve them for 1 year.

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Session #3

Session #3
7/20/13

In this session, the PCs started out continuing to debate what they should do with Trinia Sabor, who they’ve been hiding at Madame Zellara‘s old apartment. They’re still not sure that turning her over to the Korvosan Guard would be the best decision. Ultimately, no decision has been made.

The group wanted to continue to pursue their plans of opening their own orphanage to take care of the kids they rescued from Gaedren Lamm. Field Marshal Cressida Kroft contacted them with an option. Magistrate Syl Gar, who is in charge of Expenditures for the city, has need of some help. His office handles much of the property owned by the government. When they reported to him, he explained that his office is in charge of managing the waste disposal for the city. They employ otyughs to consume the waste in the sewers underground. One of those otyughs has gone missing, apparently, and he needs folks who are combat-savvy to investigate.

So, the party went into the sewers. They found the lair where the beast usually resides empty and started looking around the nearby tunnels. They found a series of rooms where they were attacked by goblins that obviously had been experimented upon. Some of them had scaly skin. Some had amazingly long arms with claws. Most of them had glass jars embedded into the tops of their heads with colored liquid in them. When they attacked, the colored liquid bubbled and started to drain down into their heads. This seemed to give them enhanced abilities like greater strength, healing, immunity to fire, or the ability to climb walls like a spider. After some effort, the party managed to slay them all. They found the otyugh among the rooms and were forced to kill it. Lastly, a small blue skinned alchemist seemed to be in charge. He threw exploding bombs at them, but was cut down fairly quickly.

After reporting back to Magistrate Syl Gar, they received the deed to a warehouse in Old Korvosa and a property tax exemption on it for 3 years. Examining it, they determined that they would probably want to spend around 350gp to repair it, build out a 2nd floor inside it, and furnish the place for the kids. They also hired 3 people to cook, do maintenance, and watch over the kids. Monthly costs to maintain the place and take care of the 18 kids are expected to run around 30gp, including pay for the workers. The work on the building had begun.

The group again debated going back to Eel’s End to rescue the psuedodragon that was trapped there. With just 3 PCs at the session, though, they were on the fence as to whether they could handle everything.

Lastly, for the session, Field Marshal Cressida Kroft contacted the party, again, for a mission. They were introduced to Thousand Bones, the Wayfinder of the Skoan-Quah tribe of the Shoanti. The Skoan-Quah are also known as the Tribe of the Skull. They are responsible for the watching over of the ancient burial sites of the Shoanti. They are often, thus, outside of the inter-tribal fighting that often takes place. Thousand Bones‘s grandson, Ghaeken, was recently murdered by a mob of Korvosan citizens. His body was then taken away by some simpleton and sold to a necromancer named Rolth, who is suspected of being responsible for several murders in the city. The Shoanti believe that their people must enter the afterlife by having their body burned in whole, soon after their death. If they do not have this done, their souls cannot move on to join their ancestors. The Shoanti could retrieve his body in force, but this would be seen as an aggressive act by Korvosa and would likely be met with force by the city. Thus, Cressida asks the PCs to recover Ghaeken’s body in a place called The Dead Warrens, in the Gray District of the city.

The PCs go there and fight with a bunch of skeletons, and several little blue skinned guys. They encounter and kill another otyugh and some stirges. In the process, they find a few parts to a body that is obviously a Shoanti male. They find a library with some books on necromancy and disease. Lastly, they encounter a small blue skinned creature named Vreeg, who is a spellcaster. They corner him for a bit with with the use of the fly spell, he escapes and yells out, “Cabbagehead!” A little later, the group encounters him again, along with this “Cabbagehead,” a misshapen ogrekin. In the fight, the party takes a beating, but manages to slay both enemies and rescue 6 prisoners that had been kept there for weeks.

When we had to end for the night, the party had 1 room left to investigate, and still needed the left arm of Ghaeken. They got enough XP to put them a ways into 4th level, but I’ve asked them to not level up until after we complete The Dead Warrens during next session. Anyone else that didn’t attend this session, but will be joining us for the next one, can level up their characters to 4th in preparation. We’ll finish this last room quickly next month and then the others can join up. The first module is almost complete, then. There is just 1 more event that the PCs get to witness/take part in.

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Session #2

Session #2
6-15-13

The PCs returned to All the World’s Meat and fought with the few remaining guards and confronted their leader, Grau. After explaining that his guards were doing some “side jobs” and disposing of the bodies by grinding them up into the meat being given out to the citizens, he surrendered. They managed to get from him that the meat was being provided by House Arkona, one of the noble houses in Korvosa. He was escorted back to Castle Volshyenek and handed over to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft.

After a small nudge from the GM, the party returned to the butcher shop and searched extensively to find the money stash of the former guards. The party then discussed continuing to run the butcher shop, giving out meat to the citizens during this time of chaos, but came to no real decision to pursue that idea. (especially since they weren’t sure they would continue to get meat delivered)

A few days later, the PCs were again contacted by Field Marshal Cressida Kroft. In meeting with her, they met Vencarlo Orisini, a sword master of some renown around Korvosa. It was explained that the ambassador to Cheliax, Darvayne Amprei, has been heard discussing his intent to recommend trade sanctions against Korvosa for some trumped up reason. Though this would not cripple Korvosa, it would hurt the city—especially as it’s still dealing with riots and a lack of food coming in.

Vencarlo had managed to find out on the street that Ambassador Amprei has been seen at a place called “Eel’s End” in Old Korvosa. Eel’s End is run by Devargo Barvasi, better known in the underworld as the King of Spiders. He operates a house of prostitution and gambling den out of Eel’s End. Barvasi pays his Vice Taxes, so his operation is mostly legal. Some of the PCs know that Barvasi is known to be one of the main sources of the drug shiver in the city, though.

Field Marshal Cressida Kroft would like nothing more than to shut down Eel’s End, but has no proof of any illegal activities. Nonetheless, she asks the PCs to go there and find out whatever they can about Ambassador Amprei—especially if it can be used as leverage to get him to maintain Cheliax’s relations with Korvosa. She gives the group 1,000gp to use as bribe money with the King of Spiders. Vencarlo leaves with the PCs and walks with them to Old Korvosa, taking the opportunity to thank them for getting Verik Vancaskerkin sobered up and back to the Korvosan Guard. He parts ways with the group once across the river, as his school lies in another part of Old Korvosa.

The group goes to Eel’s End, which is little more than an old dock with several boats anchored to it, and manages to intimidate their way into a meeting with Devargo Barvasi. He seems to “hold court” in the hold of an old ship that is crawling with tons of spiders, large and small. In fact, they even crawl across him without harming him. Within the room are several common thugs sitting around tables, a cage with a bedraggled psuedodragon locked in it, and a door leading to stairs down. After some negotiations about information on Ambassador Amprei that seemed to make little progress, Barvasi clapped his hands and declared that entertainment was required to prove the value of the information that the PCs sought. Thus, the group was asked to take part in some games of “Knivsies,” a game common among criminals of Riddleport. During these games, Jastad is contacted telepathically by the pseudodragon in the cage. He promises to serve the party for 1 year if they can free him, but the party doesn’t see a safe opportunity to attempt to rescue the dragon.

After several games of Knivsies, Barvasi announces that the entertainment has convinced him of the group’s sincerity and, thus, he will share the information he has. He seemed to emphasize to the common thugs in the room how important he is to the officials of the city. He hands over 2 letters that belong to Ambassador Amprei. They are obviously personal love letters between the ambassador and a married Chelaxian noble woman. It would obviously be very embarrassing if they were ever released to the public in Cheliax. The PCs deliver the letters to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft and are rewarded for their good work.

A day or two later, the PCs are traveling through the city when a group of imps descend upon them. At first, it seemed like the imps were going to overwhelm the group. After a bit of fighting, though, a group of pseudodragons joined the fray and ganged up to kill off the remaining beasts. The little fey dragons took off as soon as the battle was over, not bothering to stop to talk with the PCs.

A few more days go by before a member of the Korvosan Guard contacts the PCs to tell them that Field Marshal Cressida Kroft will be arriving to speak with them personally. She arrives, along with Commandant Marcus Endrin. They reveal to the group that Queen Ileosa Arabasti has let it be known that the real murderer of King Eodred Arabasti II is a young female painter by the name of Trinia Sabor. This information was, for some reason, not communicated directly to either the Korvosan Guard or the Sable Company. Instead, it was shared with the public at large—and this has prompted more riots and mobs moving around the city searching for this Trinia.

The PCs are, thus, hired to track down this girl and bring her in for questioning—before the mobs find her. They went to her address and manage to push their way into her small studio apartment. Just as they realize that the girl sleeping in the bed is an illusion, one of the orphans that helps the group yells out from outside, “She’s on the roof!” And so began the Shingles chase. After several minutes, they manage to tackle the girl and question her. With tears streaming down her face, she says that she didn’t kill anyone and doesn’t know anything about the death of the king. The PCs believe her story, but are stuck in a dilemma. They THINK they can trust Field Marshal Cressida Kroft, but also suspect that she’s under orders to bring the girl to the Queen. After some debate, they decide to hide the girl for now and try to get more of a feel for how much they can trust Field Marshall Kroft.

Just at the end of the evening, the group reached 3rd level.

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Session #1

Session #1
5-18-13

The PCs were contacted by Madame Zellara concerning their history with the low life crime lord Gaedren Lamm. Her son was murdered by Lamm’s lackeys, so she wanted to see him brought to justice. The Korvosan Guard wouldn’t really help her, so she turned to the PCs, who also had a reason to hate Lamm. He apparently lives out of an old abandoned fishery. Before they left, Madame Zellara did a “Harrowing” for the PCs. This is a tarot-like set of cards that Varisians traditionally believed could foretell the future.

The PCs found Lamm and his thugs holed up in the fishery employing children to make “dock dumplings” and pickpocketing throughout the city. They killed all the thugs, Lamm, his pet alligator Gobblegut, and a shark in the waters under the fishery. They managed to keep a good portion of the children together and cooked the gator and shark to feed the kids. At Gaedren’s the party found Madam Zellara’s head and her Harrow deck. Apparently, she’d been dead for weeks, killed at the hands of Lamm’s lackeys. She is apparently now a ghost of some sort and is bound to her Harrow deck. With that deck, she can appear as an illusion and is able to cast identify 3 times per day as a 10th level caster.

Among the loot in the fishery was an awfully valuable brooch that the party determined belongs to Queen Ileosa Arabasti. As they left the place, they found riots in the street, fires burning throughout the city, the nearby order of Hellknights running amok, and shouts of “The king is dead! Long live the queen!” and “Down with the whore queen!” Apparently, King Eodred Arabasti II died while the PCs were fighting Lamm and now the city is in chaos. Korvosans have not taken very well to their queen. She’s seen as a gold digger who married the old king just to rise to power.

After returning the brooch to the queen and receiving a handsome reward from her bodyguard, the lovely Sabina Merrin, the PCs were introduced to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft, leader of the Korvosan Guard, and Commandant Marcus Endrin, leader of the Sable Company. They requested the party’s help in investigating unique situations since the Guard was stretched thin dealing with the riots. The party agreed. After leaving the Guard, the party ran into a man named Verik Vancaskerkin who was drunk and mistook a party member for an old friend. He told of his woes to the “friend” and mentioned some dealings with Sabina Merrin and a former sword teacher named Vencarlo Orisini. In so doing, he made allusions to Sabina not being interested in men. The party convinced him to sober up and helped him back to the Guard, where his fellow soldiers would see that he got sobered-up.

The first among those is some sergeant of the Guard named Grau that had gone rogue and setup shop within an old abandoned business known as “All the World’s Meat.” The party watched the place and found 4 of the former soldiers there going out at night to knock some guy out and haul his body away. They ambushed those thugs and that’s where we had to end for the evening.

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