Are we giving them the notes for free? Should we make them promise to treat people for free? Because the Abadarans don't generally do free of their own accord.
Sebastian feels somewhat better the next day. He wasn't sure if he'd even be able to sleep, but once his head hit the pillow it was no trouble at all. Still, the experience of the previous night weighs heavy on him. He would have liked to visit master Orisini, but that wouldn't be possible as long as Old Korvosa was under quarantine.
"We also heard one of the cultists admit to spreading the infection through coin. Have you made progress on cleaning your vaults?"
"We're here to help. The people of Korvosa need all they can get right now. Are the healers able to get into the quarantined areas to heal there?" Iolana looks concerned that an entire section of the city might not be in line for a cure.
"And to compensate for the loss of earnings you could open a priority line to get healing services without waiting with all these poor where you charge double." Tyrandro suggests as he empathizes more with the clerics business as the poor of the city.
Garb briefly skips over your notes. "Hmm. Yes, there very well could be something here. But it will take time. I will secure these at once. We just received word about the tainted coins in our vault. It will take time to purify all those coins but until we do, the banks have been shut down. Since coin is partially responsible for the spread of this disease even though we were an unwitting participant we still do share some guilt and responsibility. As payment back to the city of Korvosa we are treating those we can at no charge." He frowns at Tyrando's suggestion. "We will not be implementing an expedited line for those with coin. Luckily for you, most of the nobles were not as hard hit as the poor so I wouldn't worry about them overly much."
Ishani ushers you down to the basement. "Please come with me. You can assist me with going over these notes. Even if you are not experienced with healing, I'm sure you can help."
You all can make an untrained Craft (alchemy) check to assist with the research. Additional successes will assist the highest roll. Your result will determine your level of success and amount of time it takes you.
Craft Alchemy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Iolana sits down and begins going over the documents. It's fascinating. Why would Varisians have some resistance but not other races or ethnicities. Did they use us as a basis of the plague? She points out a paragraph here and there not sure if they will be helpful or not. "Anyone have any luck with this?" she asks her companions.
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Hypocrites. I've seen you send the poor off to Sarenrae when they can't pay. And now you frown at me for suggesting to offer an advantage to the rich? Tyrandro thinks. But as his suggestion is not appreciated - neither by his new companions nor the clergy he keeps his mouth shut. There is nothing to win here.
Going through the hundreds of pages of notes is tedious. It is boring and Tyrandro has no idea what he is looking at. Pages and pages of text with words and formulae he hasn't seen in his whole life. But halfway through it he finds a sheet with some drawing and some of the formulae from the former pages repeated. Some kind of summary or conclusion. "Does this tell you something? It looks important." Tyrandro asks Ishani.
Craft(Alchemy): 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
As he has an idea now what to look for it becomes easier to skip the endless passages of text and look where something looks similar to that and indeed he finds few more.
None of you are skilled at alchemy so it quickly becomes clear that this is going to take quite a while. After the first week, you are still working with no real breakthrough.
However, one day that week, Tayco Soldado finds you and invites you to a large feast at her house as thanks from the Varisian citizens of Trail's End. Although her modest house cannot hold them all, the entire community, many whom bring modest gifts, come to see you.
Ayako is very miserable in the lab as she is unable to grasp the concepts demanded of her. When Tayco arrives, she gratefully takes the opportunity to slip and and is overhwelmed by the show of support.
Thank you everyone, it has been so very difficult but seeing everyone here makes it all worthwhile.
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Iolana is touches at the outpouring of support from her fellow Varisians. "Thank you for coming. We're glad we could help you. We all need a party and Varisians know how to throw one." She tries to grab Sebastian and lead him and the attendees in a traditional dance.
Craft (alchemy): 1d20 ⇒ 20 Wut?
For the first week, Sebastian makes himself scarce in the lab, leaving the others to do what they can. Absorbed in his own misery and internal conflict, he shuts himself away from his companions and spends his days wandering the streets with Majenko and drinking alone in taverns. He tries to write a letter to Sabina, demanding and begging for an explanation, but every attempt ends up crumpled in the trash.
On Sunday, his spiritual turmoil proves too much to deal with on his own, and he attends a Pharasmin service and visits Vincent's grave out in the Everyman Ward. As he unburdens his sorrows to Vincent's imaginary ghost, he reflects on all the suffering in the streets, and on friends from the past.
Friends from the past! Col! His spirit renewed with vigor, he rushes off to visit his former companion's alchemy shop to seek his aid in finding a cure.
Perform (dance): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
At the party, Sebastian sits somewhat uncomfortably with his companions. The feast, not food that Sebastian normally finds himself eating, is tasty enough. While he's learned to see Varisians as people, and not just empties, he still can't quite bring himself to let his guard down, until Iolana grabs him and drags him into the dance circle.
After a few fumbled attempts, he picks it up and even manages not to embarrass himself as the men perform their part in the middle of the circle. When it's the girls' turn, he really starts to come around to the Varisian's way of partying. It looks like our Ice Queen might have a little fire after all, at least in her hips!
Tyrandro comes along for the party - but only to get out of that hole in the basement. As the party is for the others who were working on this case from the start he keeps to the sidelines.
The party is nothing like the ones he knows. Just people who are thankful having a good time. No ulterior motives and no intrigues going on. Strange.
At the end of the night, Tayce, Grau, and Brienna Soldado approach you. "On behalf of everyone at Trail's End, thank you for everything you've done. There are innumerable families you saved from experiencing death during this plague. Please accept this humble gift from our community." Tayce hands you a small bag filled with 1,000 gold in miscellaneous coins.
Back, when Sebastian visits Col. He embraces him as a friend and welcomes him inside. "How have you been? Of course I'll help you research the cure. I'll come by the next day and start work."
Craft (alchemy): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
Col and Sebastian are relatively successful with their research and speed up the results.
You continue working for another week and you feel like you are on the verge of a breakthrough. After extensive reading through the notes, you discover that certain individuals of Varisian blood exhibit an immunity to blood veil. These Varisians share a common bloodline. They are descendants, however far removed, of a woman named Kasanda Miromia-Foxglove, from Sandpoint. He husband was a failed lich named Vorel, whose death lead to the creation of the disease Vorel’s phage and ultimately to blood veil.
While traveling back and forth each day during your work, dozens of families recognize you on the streets and thank you for saving the lives of family members or neighbors.
This attention is getting to be too much. Who knows if the Queen's Physicians may be closing in or I hate to think it the Grey Maidens. I wish we could be more incognito. I didn't sign up to the be the savior of the city. Iolana muses to herself as she heads back and forth between the temple and her lodgings. She keeps an eye out for people paying too much attention to herself or any of her companions.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Ayako gracefully accepts the reward. Thank you very much, it must have been terrible with the sickness but now things can start getting better.
Ayako looks at the notes after Col manages to get everyone working more effectivly. Would getting some blood from these people help? I am hesitant to ask. She is happy to see that Col is doing well, as well as the children he has taken in.
Ayako does wave to the people some, but is also worried about being too noticable. Perhaps get a cot where we work? Ayako does check up on how the temple was cleansed and if the daemon was disposed of.
That's no exactly how Tyrandro imagined this to work out. First it is serious work with no one around to delegate it to. And now every walk through the city is like a carnival with the people cheering at them. And staying back and letting the others have the fame only gets you so far if you're always seen with them.
With Col's help, you think you've come up with a viable cure for the blood veil. Now it is just a matter of testing it.
Word of your success quickly reaches Field Marshall Cressida Croft who personally visits you at the Bank of Abadar and thanks you again for your extensive aid during the plague. In addition, she offers to deputize each of you as official members of the Korvosan Guard should you wish to accept.
Furthermore, at this point, it seems nearly everyone in the city now knows or has heard of your names. Any effort to remain discrete is in vain. In fact, Queen Ileosa herself, is forced to publicly acknowledge your work. A small ceremony is arranged, which turns out to be a large ceremony when most of the city shows up. However, on the day of the ceremony, the Queen excuses herself for not attending, claiming exhaustion in the wake of recent events. Marcus Thalassinus, commander of the Sable Company, issues the award instead. He gives a short speech in your honor, praising your work and actions and granting each of you a 5,000 gp writ in reward for their services. This writ is good for any purchase made within Korvosa's walls.
Now you can buy whatever headband's/belt's you want.
Ayako is rather overwhelmed by the greater amount of attention and has flopsweat all through the ceremony, but manages to curtsy gracefully.
I would be honored to accept being deputized and your gift is very generous. Thank you.
Ayako wipes her face after she steps away, sure that her face is a mess.
Turning to her allies, new and old, she lays her hand on theirs. Thank you for seeing this through, we've come a long way Sebastion, what had started as simple revenge has become an actual good cause.
Iolana stands in front of the crowd in awe of the number of people who showed up. "Thank you all so much. We were just wanted to help, and didn't set out for glory." She gratefully takes the writ, and accepts the offer of being deputized. As much trouble as we get into being a deputy can't hurt.
What the ... Tyrandro thinks while panic creeps up his spine. He excuses himself from the group "I have to prepare for that. The Queen will be there, I have to take care to be presentable when facing her. I'll be back in half a day."
In fact he is afraid someone will recognize him. That he didn't care to shave himself for the time helps a bit. So he visits a barber to bring his new beard and his hair in shape so it looks different than usually. Also he buys new clothes that are more current Korvosan and less Chelaxian style. And checking with his father that at least his house won't attend help a bit to not completely lose it.
Tyrandro forgoes to address the audience himself but tells the others "That's a lot of attention and affection. And all for just stumbling into your last fight." He is really amazed about that.
The cure you came up with seems to be working. Slowly and surely the citizens are cured. The quarantined sections of the city are lifted except for Old Korvosa, from which very little word is said.
The fact that agents of the queen—in Doctor Davaulus and his Queen's Physicians—are revealed to be in league with the foul creators of blood veil, and worse, seem to have been involved in propagating its spread rather than seeking its cure, is dangerous knowledge. Although Queen Ileosa cannot be directly confronted at this time with accusations of engineering a plague to shape the city into something more to her liking, word of the crown's involvement in the outbreak spreads as soon as it's made apparent that the Queen's Physicians and Davaulus were corrupt. The queen's official stance is that the charming doctor duped her, and that his actions and the actions of his masked minions do not accurately reflect Queen Ileosa's desires. Gray Maidens involved in the hospice claim to have had no knowledge of the true goings-on in the chambers below, and Davaulus is publicly executed. Without hard evidence that she was involved, the majority of Korvosa's citizens find it difficult to believe that their queen, however vain and unpleasant, could be the source of such an evil. Most of Korvosa's citizens are simply thankful that the scourge of blood veil has passed, and are eager to get back to their lives. The city is too wounded to contemplate rebellion.
Yet unrest grows. As the city continues to recover, the rumors of the queen's involvement grow. Unfortunately, so do her resources. The Gray Maidens become more and more prominent on the street, and progressively oppressive laws and edicts begin to appear. Despite the thanks of the citizens and the support of Cressida Croft you distinctly feel increasingly unwelcome in Korvosa.
Thus ends, Chapter 2 of Curse of the Crimson Throne. Well done. Next, we'll begin Chapter 3: Escape from Old Korvosa.
Iolana notices the restrictive laws, and the prominence of the Grey Maidens. She takes to spending as much of her time off the streets as possible.
Sitting in the common room of the inn one day Iolnana asks, "Tyrando are you sure you want your named linked with us? We seem to become less popular with the Queen and her Maidens. You only joined us for a little while, and maybe people will forget if you distance yourself. I'm Varisian so I'm used to being looked at like I'm going to steal the silver no matter where I go. You aren't."
"I'm from Cheliax. The number of people who greet me with open arms was always rather limited to start with." Tyrandro jokes. "And working for the Guard is a good job as long as business is still slow. As long as the queen doesn't come after us for revealing the evil plot that my as well involve her I'm fine."
"But humans are strange beings. You're looked down at for stealing silver - no matter if it's true or not. And the nobles are looked up to even though it's them who reach into your pockets to get the gold out through taxes and fishy business."
Keeping hidden as much as possible is a good idea. The place where I most often sleep is the Pharasmian temple since I aid them as a healer. I might be able to get a spot in the acolyte cells for everyone.
Ayako rubs her chin. Or perhaps somewhere we trod in the past? With the wererats, or maybe in the Dead Warrens.
"You didn't have much as you grew up right? Because it seems burnt into your head. With the money we got we could live more than a year in the best hotel." Tyrandro replies. He is not too fond of the idea to live in the sparse room acolytes get. Or with sewer rats.
Rather too obvious I think. Plus, living it up is more likely to wear out our welcome. Sure free drinks and food are nice rewards, but the more you indulge, the more people will be throwing glances your way hoping you leave. Best be the humble heroes that get back to work after a rest.
While flattered by the offer of deputization, Sebastian has his reservations and schedules a meeting with Cressida Croft to discuss the details. As hired swords, they seemed to have considerably more freedom than the average Guardsman. Secretly, he also worried if he would be able to live up to his sister's service record.
At the ceremony, Sebastian is hardly surprised that the Queen has ducked them. He's dismayed that Sabina couldn't be there, but perhaps it's for the best. He had so many questions for her, but the more time passed, the more afraid he was of the answers. Besides, being publicly recognized by Marcus Endrin for their services was no paltry substitution. Setting aside his anxieties, he takes the opportunity to bask in the public adoration.
* * * * *
At the Three Rings, Sebastian sips his chai, as has been his custom these last months. It truly was a more relaxed, contemplative beverage than ale, and it kept him from stewing at the bottom of his bottle. He listens to the others talk for awhile. Listening before speaking was a new skill for him, but one he was having ample opportunity to practice. He was liking what Tyrandro had to say.
"Ayako, I'm surprised at you! How can you consider hiding in some cell during times like this? I'm no fan of the direction things have turned, but if it's bad for us, how much worse must it be for the rest of the city? The people of Korvosa need their heroes standing tall. If we turned our back on them now, how would we be any better than the Queen?"
Korvosa has survived the hideous plague, but not unscathed. The streets are dull and muted, strangely empty except for when markets quietly open. People seem to be more interested in staying home than going out, and when they do emerge, they shuffle quickly to their destinations and conduct their business swiftly. The Order of the Nail has withdrawn from Korvosa, retreating to Citadel Vraid for the first time in Korvosa’s history. Some whisper the Hellknights are planning a full-scale invasion of Korvosa to seize control, but more knowledgeable sources know that dozens of Hellknights perished or failed to uphold their charges during the recent events, and that Lictor Severs has recalled his troops to punish the city for these failures. City temples have their hands full tracking down the last remaining pockets of sick residents and disposing of the dead, while the Acadamae continues to keep its doors shut and withhold its resources for the duration, hoping to wait out these troubled times. The Sable Company is falling apart, and the Korvosan Guard has taken staggering hits to both its personnel and its morale. Field Marshal Kroft talks about recruitment drives to replenish the ranks, but helping Korvosa recover remains the primary goal—one made difficult by Queen Ileosa’s reduced support.
Yet the queen is not ignoring Korvosa. The energy and support once lent to the Korvosan Guard and the Sable Company is now funneled into the enigmatic Gray Maidens. Even as the number of Korvosan Guards on the streets dwindles, the presence of these armored warrior women increases. Regular patrols of Gray Maidens march along the major streets, and rumors spread that strike forces are breaking into homes and buildings reputed to house those who voiced dissenting opinions of the monarchy. Old Korvosa remains under a tight quarantine, with troops of Gray Maidens stationed along the Narrows and patrolling the Jeggare in swift barges to ensure that no one gets off Endrin Isle. The plumes of smoke as buildings burn and the periodic roars of riots that echo down from Old Korvosa alone are enough to warn away the curious.
Around this time Zellara uses her empathic link to instill an urge in Iolana to perform a harrow reading.
Ayako listens to Sebastion and Tyrando's arguments and seems to reconsider. Both of you are correct, my apologies. We should go and see if we can find cityfolk who have been unable to make it for treatment. Put up signs encouraging neighbors to get their friends to the temples. Ayako makes plans to do just that.
Iolana pulls out the harrow cards, and studies them. She begins to lay them out hoping they will give direction to the group's next steps. Fight the queen, continue to help the sick, try to free old Korvosa? What should we do? "Zellara your guidance would be helpful." she whispers.
Tyrandro notices Iolana prepares a Harrowing. Not a big fan of such things he bites his tongue and doesn't start about charlatans ripping off the people with such. But he wonders "Who is this Zellara you're praying to?"
Iolana lays down the cards to perform the reading. Surprisingly for Tyrandro who hasn't witnessed this before, the room changes before your eyes. Illusory tapestries and colored scarfs decorate the room. The cards begin to move on their own and a faint outline of a woman appears as their handler. She smiles kindly and indicates for each of you to sit before her in turn.
Ayako is first.
The first card drawn, the roll card, is the Foreign Trader.
"The Foreign Trader is the card of spies and peddlers alike. Any who trade in information are subject to this card’s influence. A bargain made under this card’s auspice always concludes true, but the ramifications of the pact might be shocking for those who do not understand its implications."
"Not all challenges are overcome physically. Information can be a valuable weapon. Seek answers."
Zellara shuffles the card back into the deck then lays down a 3 x 3 grid. The first three are flipped representing the past. The Mountain Man, The Midwife, and The Cricket.
"The Midwife, partial aligned. The Midwife is a conduit to creation, although she does not create on her own. This halfling is a key that lets new life or information into the world. Her heart can see the good in even the worst situation. She can see the import of any new arrival, but if the card is misaligned, the new arrival will likely not inspire much joy."
"You are a caretaker. You give life and protect it. You saved many people during the plague and gained a new ally for your effort."
The next three are flipped for the present. The Joke, the Wanderer, and the Empty Throne.
"The Joke and the Wanderer are partial aligned. The Joke shows a terror that must be overcome—but not by physical means. This monster can only be defeated by trickery or artifice. This card can represent the value of humor in finding the way past a difficult person or task. When misaligned, it often signals that the joke will be on you. The Wanderer is a collector. This centaur appreciates that which others regard as junk or trash. The Wanderer appears to those clever enough to find the true worth in something others ignore or treat as worthless. Misaligned, The Wanderer signifies a loss of values, or the inability to see what is truly valuable in a person or situation."
"Despite curing the plague, Korvosa’s woes are not over. I see an evil still looming over this city. However, now it not the time to confront it. There is something or someone important to be found first."
The last three cards represent the future. The Mute Hag, the Survivor, and the Big Sky.
"The Big Sky is also partial aligned. The Big Sky shows an epic moment as the slaves of a nation are freed. The slaves’ freedom specifies momentous and powerful change, as old shackles are cast off in the light of day. If misaligned, those castoff shackles might be replaced with worse ones."
"I see another big event is about to occur. I feel the plague may only be the beginning of Korvosa’s woes. A new evil will revel itself worse than anything before it."
Ayako gets 3 harrow points.
Next up is Iolana.
Here role card is The Wanderer.
"The Wanderer is a collector. This centaur appreciates that which others regard as junk or trash. The Wanderer appears to those clever enough to find the true worth in something others ignore or treat as worthless. Misaligned, The Wanderer signifies a loss of values, or the inability to see what is truly valuable in a person or situation."
"There is something that needs to be found. Something that was thought lost or discarded will resurface. Find it."
Zellara then lays down the cards for the reading and reveals the first three for the past. The Liar, the Wanderer, and the Lost.
"The Liar is love at its most treacherous. This is not the love that moves mountains, this is the love that rips the heart in two and causes lovers to leap to their deaths. This lamia can mean obsession, unrequited passion, or doomed love. Misaligned, the card can indicate a new relationship beginning, although disguised as something much less beautiful. This card is in the Misaligned position."
"A new relationship with a new ally has been formed. He may seem charming. But how well do you really know him?"
The next three cards are the present. The Bear, the Marriage, and the Fiend.
"The Bear and the Marriage are partially aligned. The Bear is pure strength. People often make the mistake of thinking The Bear can be tamed or trained. When someone believes he has The Bear under control, that person eventually learns the error of his ways. Brute force might be required here, but the consequences of its use might be severe. The Marriage can be a union of people, ideas, kingdoms, or other distinct things. The progeny of the salamander and water weird shows that a union might bring forth new power from both parties, or it might be a ruinous joining of that which should never have been united. Once wedded, the two cannot be parted. This is the card of permanent change."
"I see beautiful weapon with ashen skin and blank faces gaining strength in Korvosa. I see a despotic overlord united with a cruel dictator reigning as one."
For the future, The Queen Mother, the Vision, and the Betrayal.
"The Vision is a true match. The Vision represents arcane knowledge. Such knowledge can take the form of madness or cryptic words. This card often means an encounter with a crazy person, but it can also signify a brush with genius."
"I see much madness ahead. Most who you will encounter will truly be insane. But you will find a diamond in the rough."
Iolana gets 3 Harrow Points.
Sebastian is third.
His role card is the Idiot.
"The Idiot is a card of grave foolishness and greed. It can mean bribery, blackmail, or naivety so grand it can see no evil. The goblins have captured a foolhardy man, representing the knowledge that loss of dignity can precede loss of life. Misaligned, this card might indicate feigning of idiocy to disguise one’s gifts."
"You’ve been fooled yet you don’t know it. Discover how you’ve been tricked before it’s too late."
Zellara reveals the first three cards for the past. The Snakebite, the Cricket, and the Trumpet.
"The Trumpet is partially aligned. The Trumpet is a declaration of power. This archon is an aggressive force who wades into the direst situations without hesitation in the cause of right. Misaligned, it suggests the motives aren’t noble, bringing injury and crumbling strength. It is a card that grants all or nothing at all."
"You’ve made yourself known in the city and you’ve attracted the attention of those in power. It is a dangerous game if you underestimate what you are getting into."
For the present, the Winged Serpent, The Empty Throne, and the Wanderer.
"The Winged Serpent and the Wanderer are partially aligned. The Winged Serpent is a powerful being. Knowledge and prudence are separate keeps bridged by understanding. The couatl represents this bridge, knowing whether now is the time to strike. Misaligned, this card means either not seizing a moment or doing so ill-advisedly. The Wanderer is a collector. This centaur appreciates that which others regard as junk or trash. The Wanderer appears to those clever enough to find the true worth in something others ignore or treat as worthless. Misaligned, The Wanderer signifies a loss of values, or the inability to see what is truly valuable in a person or situation."
"I see choices before you. Prudence is the best course of action. The Wanderer has made three appearances thus far during my reading. It is not a coincidence."
Lastly, for the future, the Tangled Briar, the Crows, and the Vision.
"The Vision is partially aligned. The Vision represents arcane knowledge. Such knowledge can take the form of madness or cryptic words. This card often means an encounter with a crazy person, but it can also signify a brush with genius."
"As with Iolana, I see madness in your path. Unlike her, this is not a true match and thus less certain. You will all walk the path together but perhaps it will affect you more strongly."
Sebastian gets 4 harrow points.
Finally Tyrandro's turn comes up. Zellara gestures kindly for him to join her.
She deals out a single card to him. "Your role card. The Vision. The Vision represents arcane knowledge. Such knowledge can take the form of madness or cryptic words. This card often means an encounter with a crazy person, but it can also signify a brush with genius."
"A madman or a genius. Which one are you? You are a newcomer to this group. Will you regret this decision?"
"The next nine cards are read in threes. Three for your past, three for your present, and three for your future. Let's see what they say about you."
The past: the Fiend, the Midwife, and the Trumpet.
"The Fiend and the Trumpet are partially aligned. True matches bear the most weight but partial matches still are important. The Fiend depicts a devil swallowing innocents. It can indicate the deaths of many in a great calamity or, if misaligned, the salvation from the same calamity. The Fiend can also indicate that some sort of dark and intelligent creature is in the area, endangering the populace. The Trumpet is a declaration of power. This archon is an aggressive force who wades into the direst situations without hesitation in the cause of right. Misaligned, it suggests the motives aren’t noble, bringing injury and crumbling strength. It is a card that grants all or nothing at all."
"I see the deaths of all those who fell under Urgathoa’s eye. You stood up bravely against this foe at the most critical moment. Your help has not gone unnoticed."
The present: The Unicorn, the Locksmith, and the Mountain Man.
"The Unicorn and the Locksmith are also partially aligned. The Unicorn is a card that generously offers that which the subject seeks, just as the charger in the picture offers up its fruit. When misaligned, the card means betrayal, poisoning, or a false friend. The Locksmith presents the subject with the keys she needs to unlock her destiny. He grants the tools to access a new location, clue, or treasure. He does not grant insight into how or where to use the tools granted. This card often represents a strange, ancient, or magical object."
"There is something you seek. Something hidden and locked away. But is it the same as what the rest are looking for?"
Finally, the future: The Rabbit Prince, The Uprising, and the Avalanche.
"The Uprising is a true match and thus very important. The Uprising represents being caught in the clutches of something much more powerful than you. It is an overwhelming strength that often crushes what comes in contact with it. The crown held high signifies an overthrowing of a leader of some sort. In the spread, it indicates a force much stronger than the person receiving the reading."
"I see you underestimating what you are getting into. You will get yourself caught up in something bigger than you could have imagined. Perhaps it will lead you to realize your true potential."
Tyrandro only gets 1 harrow point.
Once the readings are done, without another word, Zellara vanishes and the room returns to how it once was.
Ayako glances at Tyrandro when Zellara appears and listens to the reading silently. When the vision ends, she speaks. And so you are now acquainted with our guide as it were. She is benevolent and wishes us success on our mission and her gifts have always been useful.
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Iolana puts the cards away with a gentle pat. "Thank you Zellara." She glances at Tyrando. She's right. What do we really know about him? He showed up at the last moment, and has hung around in the days and weeks since. I'll keep an eye on him to see what he's made of.
"Find a diamond in the rough huh? That sounds like it could be hard to find if everyone we meet could be crazy."
Some more time passes and when it becomes clear that the plague is coming to an end, Queen Ileosa announces a surprise public address. Although the announcement of her address gives Korvosa only an hour or so to prepare, a large crowd nonetheless gathers to hear her words.
In attendance at this address at the queen’s side are her bodyguard and lover Sabina Merrin (clad in her breathtaking and intimidating suit of Gray Maiden armor), her new advisor and ally Togomor (whom she announces has taken up the duties of castle seneschal), the commander of the Korvosan Guard Cressida Kroft, and the commandant of the Sable Company Marcus Endrin. In the days to follow, many speak of how ill-at-ease Marcus appeared, as if they knew at the time what the desperate commandant had planned all along.
Queen Ileosa announces triumphantly that the plague has been defeated, although unfortunately at the cost of Doctor Davalus’s life. The good doctor’s body, she goes on, has already been shipped back to Cheliax for burial in his family vault, and the order of the Queen’s Physicians has been disbanded as well. Yet Korvosa remains wounded. She goes on to report that the Order of the Nail has showed its true colors and fled like cowards into Citadel Vraid. Worse, both the Korvosan Guard and the Sable Company have suffered terrible losses over the past weeks. Neither group is fully capable of continuing as Korvosa’s protectors, and thus, to shore up this fault, Queen Ileosa names her newly created order of Gray Maidens as the new protectors of Korvosa, appointing Sabina Merrin as the new General of Korvosa. As a ripple of concerned whispers spreads, Queen Ileosa continues her speech, saying that she has decided to dissolve the Sable Company and that the remaining marines will be folded into the Korvosan Guard. At this point, she asks Commandant Endrin to step forth to surrender his badge of office.
As Endrin does so, he trembles. He reaches for his badge, but instead of handing it over, he throws it at the queen, striking her in the cheek with it. Everyone (queen included) is shocked into paralysis for a few moments, long enough for Endrin to bellow out, “Your shameful reign ends now! Korvosa will be free again!” An instant later, his crossbow is in his hands, aimed at the still-shocked queen. Endrin pulls the trigger. His aim is true. The crossbow strikes Queen Ileosa in the temple.
Yet she does not fall.
With incredible speed, she regains her composure and yanks the bolt from her skull. Before the blood from the wound has time to run all the way down to her shoulder, she’s standing before Endrin. Her free hand whips out and seizes him by the throat, lifting him off the ground as she holds him up for all to see. An instant later, she buries Endrin’s own bolt between his eyes with a single powerful blow.
As Endrin’s lifeless body crumples to the ground and Ileosa imperiously shakes his blood from her hand, she cries out in a strong, clear voice—“This shall be the fate of all enemies of Korvosa! Mark well his death! It is only the first!” A moment later, Togomor steps forward, taking Ileosa’s hand and teleporting her back into the Castle. The resulting riot is quelled quickly and brutally by the Gray Maidens. Shocked by the turn of events, Field Marshal Cressida Kroft flees to Citadel Volshyenek, stunned and horrified by what she witnessed, and knowing that things have indeed taken a turn in her city—a turn for the worse.
Iolana is shocked at what happened at the rally. She had taken a place toward the back of the gathering, and wasn't sure she saw what she thought she saw. She follows Cressida to the Citadel. "What a dark day. Is there anything we can do? Did I see what I thought I saw? She wasn't even slowed down with the bolt to the head."
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Ayako is stunned by the swiftness and suddenness of the violence and is jostled about by the crowd. Let us retreat, I have a feeling that we would feel ourselves on the sharp end of the Maiden's blades if we encountered them.
Assuming the group backs off, Ayako catches her breath. The queen has some protective magic the likes I have never seen. Something that deflects bolts would cause one to harmlessly bounce away, not impale her in the head.