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Crimson Throne of Lore

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1st of Desnus, 4708 AR

A windy dawn greets the city of Korvosa. A city that is already bustling with the chants of merchants and quiet rumble of wagons even though the sun has barely given the city a grudging nudge.

Curiously, several citizens find themselves uncommonly visited upon this morning. Esmerelda Darkbane, devout warrior of Abadar, finds a discreet envelope resting on her scale mail. A fellow devotee, a restless man named Caulder Baradin, returns from his morning service to find a card, delicately placed on his bed. A young, slightly disheveled brute of a man that is known as Ten by his few friends suspiciously eyes the card that had until recently rested between the pages of a tome, a book filled with formulae that he routinely studied. Finally a remarkably charming dwarf, Pagrip Staurmbar, steadily eyed a card that he'd have sworn wasn't there a minute ago. But it had his name on it.

Perhaps, if the fates are kind, these four will find their hearts' desires soon. Very soon indeed.

Esmerelda:

The envelope contains a single harrow card, on its backside is a message.

Caulder:

The card is, in fact, a single harrow card, on its backside is a message.

Ten:

The card is, in fact, a single harrow card, on its backside is a message.

Pagrip:

The card is, in fact, a single harrow card, on its backside is a message.

Hint:
I hope the links work properly. They should be fine for everybody that has permissions to access the campaign site; if there are difficulties you can find the card also in the "Library" section of the campaign site. Also, you can find the OOC thread over here.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder's eyes narrow suspiciously as he approaches the slip of paper on his bed. After all this time he has concientiously avoided any contact from his old life, has someone finally found him? He takes up the foreign object cautiously in his large hand. A Harrow card? What is this kind of frippery doing in a temple of Abadar? Everyone here knows one's fate isn't determined by chance but by how hard one works at achieving it. A dwarf at the forge? Is that some kind of dig at his industrious nature?

When he flips the card over, however, his expression changes. His eyes widen as he sits down on his bed almost involuntarily. Gaedren Lamm, after all this time.... His hand tightens its grip on the card, creasing it, and he quickly lays it down on his thigh and smooths it out again. He ought to take this to his superiors... but so many times before there has been a lead that has gone cold before the proper authorities can deal with it. It's not like I'm going after him like some kind of vigilante, he reasons. This is just an informant. They might spook if a whole contingent showed up on their doorstep. I'll go and get the information, and then I can do with it what is best. He left off with that comforting thought, the unanswered question of what might be best left to float vaguely away toward the future. "Justice must be done": Abadar couldn't quarrel with that. He tucks the card safely into his tunic with a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching.


Pagrip gingerly picks up the card from the ground, glancing around to see how it got there. He is sitting against the wall of a building near the edge of Gold Market. There are far too many people bustling about to identify who might have dropped it.

Slowly, he flips the card over and reads the message. Wide-eyed, he once again looks about to see if he can identify who left it, even though he knows that if he couldn't figure it out before, he's even less likely to do so now. With a shake of his head and a sigh, he stands up and puts the card in his sack. Then he goes in search of the address on the card.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Esmerelda sets aside the envelope as she makes sure the scales on her armor still shine. She hastily dons the armor before turning the envelope over a few times and finally opening it.

The harrow card seems familiar to hold but Esmerelda cannot remember ever holding one before. A paladin? How...appropriate. She flips the card over and surprised at the text. Whose justice, I wonder. Gaedren shall have the justice owed to him but in court, not by the hands of some vigilante. ....Sunset?.... Today will be a long day.

After readying her equipment, Esmerelda leaves her rooms, card in hand, seeking out a cleric whose wisdom may reveal something in this message that she missed.


Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Ten stared at the card intently, lost in thought for a moment, and wondered about its significance and his upcoming meeting with 'others like himself'. Of course he knew about Harrow cards (which Varisian wouldn't?), but the true significance (if there even was any) was lost upon him. Did it really matter though? Probably not.

Ten was more concerned about walking into a trap, though that might mean that Gaedren could be at Number 3 Lancet Street. It was a risk he had to take. After a brief inspection of his gear (which included more than a few explosive surprises), Ten set out into the late afternoon.


Each of four destinies begins subtly altering, winding and shifting among the strands of Korvosa's many souls. Each feels a faint tugging, as their desire for vengeance over one Gaedren Lamm colors their thoughts.

Finding the house given by the address is no problem at all. However, relevant to those who wish to gather information about the address:

DC 10, Gather Information:

The address specifies the home and fortune-telling shop of a Varisian woman named Zellara.

Map of Korvosa


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Diplomacy 1d20 ⇒ 19

Asking around about the address on the card is no big deal as Caulder makes his appointed rounds; all the regulars on his beat know him and either trust him or are too scared to try to hide something from him.

DM:
A skirt, eh? And a Harrower, too. Well, that explains the card. He's suddenly more doubtful about the value of this meeting -- and more grateful he didn't mention anything about it to the higher-ups. A lead's a lead, though. He'll check out anything, no matter how crazy.


Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10

It takes Pagrip awhile to find people who know about the address, but he eventually does so. Intrigued, but wary, he goes to keep the appointment.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Diplomacy 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

Esmerelda tries to find a cleric not too busy with his duties that might take a look at her harrow card. Not much luck there, and who is to blame them? She asks around about the address and after no luck she still feels strangely compelled to arrive at the appointed time.


Esmerelda and Caulder recognize each other as their paths to reach the destination almost perfectly coincide. Though Caulder left earlier, his slower progress to incorporate his usual beat gave Esmerelda a chance to catch-up. Even so, their meeting is only a scant block or two from the given address.

Esmerelda and Caulder, DC 15 Perception or Sense Motive:

A dwarf appears to have reached here a while ago. He's holding back, but he seems to be eying the same address that you are trying to reach.

Pagrip, DC 10 Perception:

Two very obvious followers of Abadar are apparently patrolling the road.


Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Diplomacy 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6

Ten's social circle had shrunk considerably over the years, now consisting of only a few trusted suppliers and customers. Even so, he thought it might be worth his time to visit some of them, while en route to Lancet Street, and make a few product deliveries at the same time. Unfortunately, none of his contacts could provide any useful information and the detour did nothing but delay him slightly.


Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14

Suspicious, Pagrip will try to keep a low profile until the appointed arrival time.

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Same bonus for both rolls, so Perception or Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18

Caulder lets out a low growl of annoyance as he recognizes Esmerelda. What is she doing here? Some mission of mercy probably, that just encourages its beneficiary to sit around and wait for acts of charity instead of getting up and taking care of himself. He stops warily. "Darkbane," he greets her with a nod. "You here on official business?"

DM:
He notes the loitering dwarf and immmediately makes the connection with the Harrow card. Not a Varisian skirt; maybe he's just using the address to divert suspicion. Clever, he notes with a touch of admiration. Have to get rid of the paladin before he gets nervous and makes a break for it.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

At first Esmerelda seems displeased to find a Caulder, then her face lights with a sudden idea. "Baradin, right? Official business? No, not this time. However I would appreciate your assistance in accompanying me to a rather suspicious meeting. If you have the time of course."

DM:
A friendly (well, almost friendly) face is a good thing to have around especially when this rather clandestine meeting could be a trap. Revealing a past better left forgotten is better than being dead.


Pagrip:

In spite of trying to be inconspicuous, you're sure the two followers of Abadar have spotted you - at least the grim looking guy seems clued to your presence. The girl, probably a paladin, is perhaps a bit too trusting and open-minded to pay specific attention. They seem to be discussing something, but its hard to follow their conversation.

Evident in the scene is that the approach to the destination, close to the docks, is quite busy with primarily sailors, harbor hands and cargo contributing to the noise.

Unless you make a DC 20 perception check (once-off), in which case Pagrip manages to follow their dialogue; if they happen to indicate that they are moving closer the DC becomes 15 instead.

Esmerelda and Caulder:

Evident in the scene is that the approach to the destination, close to the docks, is quite busy with primarily sailors, harbor hands and cargo contributing to the noise.

Ten:

Tendrizu is last to arrive at the scene and on turning the last corner immediately sees the two faith figures, conversing on the road.

Evident in the scene is that the approach to the destination, close to the docks, is quite busy with primarily sailors, harbor hands and cargo contributing to the noise.

A perception check DC 15 ascertains the presence of a suspicious dwarf who is hunkering in the shadows.

A sense motive check DC 15 suggests to you that the two Abadarian followers are not here as some form of ambush. Though their bearing and mannerisms don't allow for a clearer interpretations of their intention.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

Not bothering to wait for Caulders response, Esmerelda takes Caulders arm and starts leading him towards the destination.

"It's almost time, lets get going."


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

His face a picture of frustration and puzzlement, Caulder can nevertheless come up with no quick argument to extricate himself from the situation and lets Esmerelda lead him along.

DM:
He tries to catch the dwarf's eye and express with his face his design to keep his appointment as soon as he's lost the pesky paladin, conveying his trustworthiness and unthreatening intentions at a glance. Bluff to deliver secret message vs. DC 15 or 20 1d20 ⇒ 20 Well, I didn't expect to succeed on that roll! That was going to be a funny failure where he instead manages to deliver a threatening glare. ;)


Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23

Pagrip manages to catch a few of the words that pass between the two Abadarians. "Suspicious meeting?" he mumbles under his breath. "Could they...?"

He waits a moment, shakes his head, and sighs. "I hope I don't regret this." He steps out into the open and walks straight up to the two. "Hello there! Fine day, isn't it?"


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder seems to welcome the interruption. "Yes, fine day, citizen," he responds eagerly. "Is there something I can offer you my assistance with?"


"I happened to notice that you are approaching the exact place I'm heading to," Pagrip replies, "and I couldn't help but wonder what your business might be."


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder's face darkens. Is this some kind of test? "harrumph.... Keeping an appointment ... of a personal nature." He winces as the words come stumbling out of his mouth. Nine hells, now it sounds like I've got a little tart on the side, he realizes, with an apprehensive glance at the paladin.


Pagrip's eyes narrow. "Really? Me too." He motions to the house. "After you," he says dryly. He waits for them to go ahead. He has no intention of turning his back to them. :)


The door to the address specified is closed. It is a simple wooden door. The place itself doesn't look much more exciting either. Cheap, serious workmanship. The roof goes up fairly high - maybe 15 ft - if only to fit in with the rest of buildings. Homes stand wall-to-wall, with occasional dank alleys and narrow slipways.

Perception DC 20:

From the edge of your vision you spy a flicker of motion on the roof.


Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Pagrip is too focused on the two Abadarians to notice anything else.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

"Halt!" Caulder calls out instinctively, raising his crossbow to point at the roof. using Command power of Inevitable subdomain "Darkbane! Something on the roof!"

Boy, do the dice ever love Caulder so far! There's a Will save for the Command power, but I'm not sure how to calculate the DC, as it's a supernatural power, not a spell. 13 if it's just like the spell.

EDIT: Found the rule. 13 is the correct DC for the Will save.


Human (Varisian) Alchemist 3

Perception:1d20 ⇒ 9

Sense Motive:1d20 ⇒ 18

Two Abadarians? To Ten, there was nothing that unusual about seeing their kind here. Deciding to ignore them, Ten began making his way across the road towards the meeting place. But, just before getting halfway there, a dwarf appeared (seemingly out of nowhere) before the pair of Abadarians. After a few moments, Ten realised that all three were interested in his own destination. Perhaps they were the others like him.

Feeling confident in his preperations (in case the three meant to ambush him), Ten strode towards the small group, and began "Good afternoon...um, I was hoping if -let's see- if one of you could tell me if this house is indeed...", but didn't get much further, as the one Abadarian started to yell and point his crossbow at... well, Ten couldn't tell what the man was aiming at.

Perception:1d20 ⇒ 9


DM rolls:
1d20 ⇒ 8

Caulder's eyes suddenly grow wide.

Caulder:
A thought, like gravel, grates into Caulder's mind, making him acutely aware of his own frail mortality, "Do Not Trifle With Me, Human!"

Caulder, Sense Motive DC 15:
Although it is hard to tell, Caulder is pretty sure the thought has a female source.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 Knew he'd go cold sooner or later.

"Darkbane!" His voice starts as a growl and turns into a bark. "Something evil and not human on the roof! Isn't that the kind of situation the temple keeps your kind around for?" He shuffles about in the street, straining his neck to get a better view of the rooftop.


Pagrip spins about, looking at the roof and then at the latest arrival (Tendrizu) coming up behind them. "What the hell? Something evil? What the hell are you talking about?" His hands go for his crossbow.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"Something evil? On the roof?"

Perception1d20 ⇒ 18

"I don't see anything. Are you sure you arn't just jumping at shadows?"

Esmerelda grips her holy symbol, muttering a prayer to Abadar, and attempts to detect evil towards where Caulder is pointing his crossbow.

"Let's first make sure its not a child pulling some sort of prank, Baradin."


Esmerelda:

Caulder pointing out what he saw acts as an aid to your check, making it a successful 20:

Esmerelda almost dismisses Caulder's concern but suddenly also spots a shifting shadow for a moment. If something evil is up the roof, it isn't in your cone of detection though - possibly blocked by the building itself.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"You! Up there! Show yourself!"

Esmerelda waits for a reply.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3
Esmerelda Darkbane wrote:
"Let's first make sure its not a child pulling some sort of prank, Baradin."

"A child that can speak in my mind? That's one hell of a child's prank," he mutters.

Is whatever it is on top of the house we're going to, or another house?


The commotion caused by Caulder and Esmerelda hasn't drawn too much attention. The few bypassers that need to make their way through this particular side-street keep to themselves, giving the odd couple a broad berth. Pagrip feels a little lost between their dialogue, as if they are privy to something he is not. There is one more, a Varisian, who addresses the assembled with "Good afternoon...um, I was hoping if -let's see- if one of you could tell me if this house is indeed..." but his words get lost in the flurry of excitement.

The shadow on the roof is on top of your destination address.

Don't wait up for a direct response from Ten, Jerall (the player) is likely only back online tomorrow evening.

Esmerelda:
Whatever is up there, he or she or they apparently feel no need to address you.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Stay out here and watch it, Darkbane," Caulder commands, as he moves quickly to the door and gives it a powerful rap. "Bank of Abadar! There's someone on your roof!"


Nobody responds to Caulder's call, though he does notice that the door is closed, but not locked.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Judging that anyone inside has had enough time to respond if they had good intentions, Caulder opens the door and looks for stairs that might access the roof.


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

With one hand on her greatsword on her back, Esmerelda moves through the door that Caulder just opened. Taking a quick look around she belatedly knocks on the inside of the door with her other hand.

"Anyone home?"


Esmerelda and Caulder are greeted with a fragrant haze of flowers and strong spice. The haze comes from several sticks of incense smouldering in wall-mounted burners that look like butterfly-winged elves. The smoke itself seems to soften edges and gives the room a dream-like feel. The walls are draped with brocaded tapestries, one showing a black-skulled beast juggling men's hearts, another showing a pair of angels dancing atop a snow-blasted mountain. A third tapestry on the far wall depicts a tall hooded figure shrouded in mist, a flaming sword held in a skeletal hand. Several brightly-colored rugs cover the floor, but the room's only furnishings are a wooden table covered by a bright red throwcloth and several elegant tall-backed chairs. A basket covered by blue cloth sits under the table. The room is entirely devoid of stairs.

The Varisian, a bulky man, similar to Caulder, pushes his face through the door and whistles absentmindedly through his teeth.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder glowers as the paladin pushes past him into the house. "Look's like I'm staying out to watch the roof. Check behind those tapestries on the walls," he tells her as he retreats back into the street where he can keep an eye on the roof. "All these 'Harrowers' have hidden rooms where their assistants can make knocking noises and handle the supernatural effects." He seems suddenly to notice the other Varisian. "Best get inside under cover, citizen," he tells him, "but don't touch anything. You!" he nods at the dwarf. "You know anything about what's up there?"


Pagrip shrugs. "Not a clue. I was hoping you could tell me." He stares up at the roof, trying to see if he can catch sight of anything.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Listen," he mutters to the dwarf, "while she's out of the way," he nods into the Harrower's house, "what's the information on Lamm?"


Pagrip looks confused. He leans in close and says quietly, "What information? I was summoned to this place. Were you summoned too? The card said there'd be others."


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

Caulder gives a little growl of frustration. "Look, I got a Harrow card with a dwarf on it. There's the Harrower;" he nods to the house, "you're the dwarf, right? What are you, her assistant who hides behind the trapdoor and thumps once for yes and twice for no? Look, I don't care; it's not my jurisdiction. I just want Lamm."


Pagrip's glance up the house does not help him spot anything. If anything is up there, it is is quiet and well hidden.

No obvious means of reaching the roof are nearby, such as a ladder or stairs, but some crates, a narrow alley and relatively rough stonework suggest that it's possible to get up there the hard way.


"What, you think I'm the only dwarf in this city?" Pagrip retorts angrily, moving towards the alley while he speaks. "Did the card have a portrait of me? Or let me guess, we all look the same, right? Look, I got a card with a juggler on it, but I'm not here looking for a juggler. I'm here looking for a fortune-teller, because that's the kind of person who uses Harrow cards. Now, what's this about evil on the roof?"

He goes over to the crates. "I'm gonna regret this," he mutters, and starts to clamber up.

Climb: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Really not having good luck with the dice roller. :)


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

While Caulder keeps the general public outside, Esmerelda searches the room, looking behind tapestries, checking under the table and even lifting up a corner or two of the rug to check for trap doors.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 2

While searching, she asks the bulky Varsian
"What do you know of this place? Please remain outside. Well?"


Ten mutters to himself, "Stay inside. Stay outside. No wonder the church cannot get anything done." Still... he remains on the threshold, keeping a rough eye on both Pagrip's and Esmerelda's activities.

Esmerelda manages to go through the small room with remarkably little time. The small room doesn't appear to be more than it seems - no hidden caches, cellars, secret rooms or even just second rooms exist.

Pagrip takes a good grip of the corner and manages to hoist himself up a sizable crate. His efforts are cut short though when his fingers slip and he lands unceremoniously on the hard-packed road.

DM Rolls:

1d20 ⇒ 8


Female Human (Varsian) Paladin 4

"No passages out here."

Esmerelda absent-mindedly rubs her left hand over her right arm.

"I would have expected someone to be the waiting here to start the meeting. Hey Baradin! Caught that suspicious person yet?"


Male Human (Chelaxian) Cleric 3

"Haven't found a way to fly up to the rooftop yet, no," he calls back sardonically. "If you can't find any stairs in there, someone's going to have to climb up the wall out here. Do you want to be the one climbing or the one holding the crossbow to cover the ascent?"

I think we both have a -1 to Climb due to armor. :P

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