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The Beast & the Harlot: Dragoncat's Curse of the Crimson Throne

Game Master Dragoncat

Current Date: Oathday, 30th of Pharast, 4711 AR

Current Chapter: Escape from Old Korvosa

One would think that having ended the Urgathoan threat to the city, our heroes would be granted more time to rest. But alas, that is not the case. For Queen Ileosa herself has condemned Old Korvosa to a slow death, and is forcing the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company out in favour of a military force loyal to her alone--her Grey Maidens.

She must be removed from the throne, and the man who has the authority to unite the Peerage in doing so is trapped somewhere in Old Korvosa.

Map of Korvosa

Vencarlo's Home

The Artist's Lair

The Emperor's Palace


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GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Oathday, 9th of Calistril, 4711 AR

Jakob:
Another day, another false lead.

Your efforts on finding Gaedren Lamm have so far been fruitless. The man’s reputation appears to be enough for many to avoid speaking of him, as if speaking his name invites tragedy of all sorts to strike.

It matters little. Everything has become so simple now: find him, and you’ll find Hannah. It’s the former that’s the bloody hard bit.

It’s a cloudy day, with chill winds sweeping through Old Korvosa, heedless of whoever is unfortunate enough to feel them. It’s enough to persuade many of the locals to hide out in their favorite taverns for the day.

Such is the case with the one you’re in now. For a tavern packed with many dock workers, laborers and other local toughs, it’s decidedly quiet. Most are huddled at tables, seeking comfort at the bottoms of their tankards of watered-down grog.

Tipping your drink to your lips, you taste the same lukewarm swill at your lips—Wait. Something hard and narrow just bumped against your teeth. You watched the barkeep closely as he poured your drink; there’s no way you could have missed him putting something like that in your drink.

Inside your tankard is a card, curiously undamaged by either the drink or your teeth.

The Keep.

Lyla:
You awaken in a cold sweat, as is becoming usual.

The dreams came again. He came again. Gaedren Lamm. Knives. Boots. Darkness. Pain. Pain. Pain.

You know, someday, he will die. The only question is: will you be there to see it?

A knock at your door heralds the beginning of the day. You could swear Althea is incapable of sleeping in, even for a minute. In any case, it’s a simple matter to get through the day again, as dreary as it seems outside.

The day proceeds well enough; some clients from other parts of the Shingles stop by for curatives for their husband’s cold, some arrive in search of night tea and other such elixirs for their big date on Sunday, and some wealthy-looking clients stop in for a discreet medicinal remedy for whatever ails them. Somehow, they always end up paying more than they thought… or realized. You can’t possibly imagine how.

You pick up your formula book after lunch: it’s still there, more or less as you left it. Althea showed you how to mix and create a few of her medicinal infusions, but most of the equations & results in there are all your own doing. You flip it open to go over the formulae you’ve decided to prepare today.

Except something catches your eye.

A card, in fact. Sticking out of the top of your book like some sort of bookmark.

The Joke.

Karri:
Velaro was never one to rest easy. Neither are you.

Today, you feel as though you haven’t made any progress. The few people who witnessed his murder are either too scared to talk or gone. As though he…she… it? knows. It knows you’re looking. It knows its days are numbered. It knows it cannot leave any witnesses.

It’s midday. Clouds and wind. A chill that goes to the bone. Your scars ache beneath your robes, complaining about the cold. Would that you could silence them. But of course not. The demons won’t allow it. They never rest easy.

You return home, trying to shake off the cold. Perhaps a fire would do the trick. Yes.

Soon, a merry blaze dances in the hearth. It burns away the chill, soothing you. Surely, Velaro could forgive you if you wished to rest for a while…

Wait.

What’s that?

Something sitting in the front of the fire. A card. Not even singed. As if the flames are afraid of it.

The Twin.

Ortik:
A breeze flows through your hair & beard as you walk down the streets of Midland. Surprisingly, this is the one time in the week the markets are slow to come alive. Perhaps the chill winds have something to do with it.

Your chest still has a twinge of pain from yesterday’s beating. Gartaman’s killers were thorough in their beating, but not enough for a dwarf. That was foolish of them; the pain ought to fade before tomorrow. In the meantime, you have lives to save: Old Man Hartleby’s, and Gartaman’s family. Gaedren Lamm’s punishment is long overdue.

Walking past an alley, your foot lands in a puddle with a splash. An indignant squeak follows immediately after, causing you to look down.

Can rats look offended? Apparently they can. It looks up at you with beady black eyes, glaring. The poor thing’s fur and whiskers are sopping wet.

The card in its mouth, however, is not.

The rat drops the card at your feet and scurries away.

The Midwife.

Demitri:
No. You cannot give up now.

You tried. You tried to get her back through legal channels. We can’t help you, they said.

Iomedae forgive you, but it must be done.

The Korvosan Guard paid well, and allowed you to provide for Nadia. Such a bright, sunny girl—so innocent. She was interested in music: you took her to market with you to see which musical instrument she liked the best. You turned your back for a second—

Gone. Like other children. Damn Gaedren for forcing you to do this.

You submitted your resignation not long after she vanished. You don’t know where he is. You don’t know what he wants. But you have the specific set of skills needed to track someone like him down.

You will find him. And you. Will. Kill. Him.

The morning began like they always do nowadays; waking from a nightmare brought on by Nadia's absence. As you pass by her room, you stop and look inside.

Still the same as you left it. It wouldn’t feel right to change anything about it while she’s gone.

But apparently, someone had other ideas.

A card lies on the bedspread.

The Paladin.

Marissel:
You’re close now. You can feel it.

At least, you hope so.

The alternative is failure. You’ve tasted enough of it for one lifetime, and won’t allow it to happen again.

Shiver is a potent drug, and can easily ensnare a man with a single dose. It can either cause a man to fall into a deep slumber for hours on end, or provoke one hell of a high that lasts for mere minutes. Either way, it wastes the body away, surely as the sun rises.

You’ve seen its effects on Deredel: what he had to endure to finally be free of it… No. Don’t go there again. It will serve no purpose. Keep moving forward. Find who is behind all this.

If Maxis were here, he’d tell you so. A good man, taken far too soon. Another failure. Never again. Mercia & Donna would never allow it.

The cold, cloudy day outside appears to be something to avoid, but you prepare in the morning anyway. You get out your gunsmithing kit, and set your battered old pistol next to it. You sort through all the components needed to keep it from falling apart.

Your hand brushes against something unfamiliar.

A closer look reveals that it’s a card. Did someone leave it there?

The Cricket.


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

Demitri's eyes widen and he looks around for any sign of the intruder. He picks up the card. "Even now you mock me, Lamm."


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

When you live on the streets, you live upon a sword's edge. Everything you do has a cold calculation to it. How do I stay warm? What do I do to fill my belly? Where can I sleep and wake up with as many of my possessions as possible? Everyone who lives like Ortik thinks of these things on a daily basis. Sure, the commune provides some security, but it's a thin one. The guards tolerate its presence, but only because nobody wants to live where the commune is right now. The Old Man has been instrumental in keeping relations between the two worlds civil, and without him, that network threatens to fall apart.

Maybe that's what Lamm is after, Ortik muses. Stands to reason. Take out Old Man Hartleby, and the shanty walls come a-tumblin' down. He wraps his pelts across him tighter, suppressing a shiver. It's a bitter Calistril morning, and it suits his mood perfectly. A man was murdered in front of his eyes, in broad daylight, no less. A fisherman, gutted like the bounty he pulled from the sea. Ortik didn't know if Lamm's thugs were going to go after the rest of the old salt's family, but he wasn't going to take any chances either. And so, despite the discomfort, despite the welt over his left eye that had almost swollen it shut, he walks through the freezing wind towards where he had learned the fisherman's family lived.

A sudden chittering at his feet caught his attention. He spies the rat, grey and black with the tip of its tail missing, no doubt in some scuffle over molded bread with a different rodent. It was drenched, and it was clear he had splashed it as he was travelling.

That wasn't the surprising thing. That would have been the card it held in its mouth. His brow furrows as he watches the rat drop the card, squeak at him one last time, and scurry away.

Well, that's damned odd, the dwarf though as he watches the rat flee into a trash heap to find shelter from the cold and a bit to eat. But if that ain't an omen, then I'll eat my own beard. He stoops to pick up the card, remembering a bit too late to favor his left side and wincing when the reminder of the beating seizes his right. He picks up the card and examines it. "A Harrow card?", he wondered aloud. "Who among the people would want to speak with me?"


Character Sheet

Marissel flips the card from side to side, examining it. His forehead furrows in thought. Semond couldn't have left this could she? He thought back. He was sure the chest had been locked.

A few minutes pass while Marissel studies the card. It seems that he comes to no conclusion as he asks the empty room, By the lazy gods. How did this get here?


Init +2; Perception +4 AC 15, t 12, ff 13 hp 12/25 (1d12+3) Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3

Jakob looks around, but noone seems to have noticed him pulling a card out of his mug with his teeth. He looks at it and frowns.

Two new mysteries, then. What does it mean and how did it wind up in my mug? A second look around the room reveals nothing new. Men drinking. Many of them familiar, some not, but cut from familiar cloth. None of them likely to have magicked a card into his ale.

It was magic, he concluded.


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

"What the...?"

Lyla sits ups on her bed, setting the formula book aside. She scratches her head and stares at the card, flipping it from one side to the other. Puzzled, she shouts "Althea! Altheeeeeaaaaa...!"

Noticing that the old woman refuses to come to her, the girl closes the book and jumps out of the bed, stuffing the card in her back pocket. She storms out of the room and sees Althea talking to a client, and immediately covers her mouth, worried about the earlier shouting. She waits for the customer to leave and climbs up the front desk, retrieving the card while she does so. Lyla then stretches out her arm and holds the card right in front of Althea's eyes, close enough so that the woman can see it clearly even without her glasses.

"Hey, Althea, is this yours? I found it marking the pages of my book. Are you going through my stuff after my formulas, you nosy hag?", she giggles jokingly, certain that the card belongs to the healer. "'The joke', huh!? What's that?"


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Lyla:

Althea finishes her business with her client, bidding him a friendly farewell with a wave of her hand. She turns to you as you approach, peering over the rims of her glasses with a warm smile.

As you present the card to her, she narrows her eyes, looking at it intently with the same analytical look she gives to whatever alchemical infusion she's brewing. A look of confusion crosses her face as she looks back to you, pushing her glasses up.

"Lyla, dear, you know me. I make a point of not trying to poke around in other people's formula books, no matter how messy they are."

She chuckles. "Besides, I've seen enough of those things to know that I don't ever want one. I mean, heavens, the number of times clients try to pay up in 'free' readings of those things... it's absurd! Really, how difficult is it to get some money together to pay for your medicine?"

She stops, listening to what she's saying. An embarrassed look appears on her face. "...potentially harder than I give people credit for. So, you know what? Never mind about that."

Althea continues, reasserting herself with practiced ease. "Still, that doesn't change the fact that it ain't mine." She shrugs her shoulders, as if to say 'Sorry, dear.'


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

@Dragoncat:

"Well, it's not mine eith... - hey, my book is not messy! - wait, but if this card is not yours, then..." Lyla gasps raising her eyebrows in alarm. "Oh my gods, someone broke into the house!"

The girl starts moving frantically around the shop, checking the shelves and the locks, seemingly unaware of Althea's presence. "Can you believe that!? What, nowhere's sacred anymore? Next thing you know, fella's lifting coins from church! Damned crooks!"

After a while, after seeing nothing looks amiss, she pauses and starts to calm down. She picks up the card again and studies it closely, grumbling and looking for anything that might denounce its purpose. "C'mon, I'll show you a thing or two about breaking into other people's house...!"

Perception to study the card - take 20=27


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

Any markings that would indicate where the card came from?


Female Human Sorceror (Tattooed) 6 / Black Fire Adept 1 | HP 44 | AC 14 FF 12 T14 | Saves +6/+6/+8 | Init +6 (+10) | Percep +2

Who knows this!? Karri snatches the card up out of the fire. She looks around the room, clutching the card to her chest. No, no one is here. Just this... She peers down at the card, Twins, I should be so lucky that there is just one...You would be so lucky if you put your hand in the fire... let us smell your flesh, taste your pain... NO! Squeezing her eyes closed she waits for the voice surge to pass. "This is my flesh, my will. Not yours, not any of yours."

After a long moment to collect and control herself, she opens the door to her shanty. She scans the streets, knowing if someone could have put this in the fire while she was in the room, they left just as easily.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Everyone:
Turning the card over, you find a message:

I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I know where he dwells, yet cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at sunset. Others like you will be there. Gaedren must face his fate, and justice must be done.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

Ortik chews on his lower lip as he reads the words written on the Harrow card. Could be a trap, he thinks to himself. Though it's a bit long to go for Lamm. He sent thugs after the fisherman, why would he set this up? Seems like a bad plan.[/b]

He runs a stubby finger over the remarkably dry card, coming to rest on the demonic newborn held upside down. His nose wrinkles in disgust, but he slips the card into one of the pockets of his tattered coat. [I]Alright, I'll be your catspaw. At least I know about it. But first, I've a job to do. He continued on down the lane, heading towards the Raelk residence.

There was a woman and children to be saved, after all.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik:
It isn't long before you reach the Raelk home. The morning winds batter your furs, but at least they keep the cold out.

When you do reach the residence, it's not a pretty sight.

A patrol of three guardsmen are at the front of the house. At their feet, you recognize the body of Gartaman Raelk. He appears to have been laying there for at least a day. Two of the guardsmen are struggling to load the body into a horse-drawn wagon next to them while one of them, presumably the patrol leader, speaks with a distraught woman clad in peasant's garb with long brown hair. Two little boys are next to her, one holding his mother's hand in a white-knuckled grip and the other trying his best to remain calm.

You recognize one of the guardsmen loading Gartaman's body into the wagon: a weedy, dark-eyed & dark haired Varisian man named Griggs. His chainmail seems to fit him awkwardly, as though it's a size too large for his frame. He's a shifty, paranoid sort, but he has served Old Man Hartleby's commune faithfully and well for years. The two of you never really saw eye to eye: it's more of a case of sibling rivalry, considering Hartleby favored you as a student more than him.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

The raggedy dwarf stops as he sees the trio of guards in front of the Raelk place, and his throat tightens. Was he already too late? Had Lamm's men found Gartaman's family first? Is that why the wagon was here, to clear away what was left of his wife and children?

No, thankfully, that wasn't the case, or so he notes when he drew closer. Lamm clearly didn't want to go killing the man's family just for squealing. At least, not yet. That meant he didn't have five lives on the line. Just two. Out of instinct, he touches the pocket that contains the Harrow card. Maybe it would bring him good fortune. It couldn't hurt, that's for certain.

His eyes alight on Griggs, so he draws up the collar of his stained jacket and moves towards the cart. He clears his throat to catch the Varisian's attention, and shifts from one foot to the other, his arms wrapped around himself to keep warm. "Need some help with the deader, son?" He waited for the Varisian to acknowledge him - there'd probably be some words between the two of them, so he wanted the younger man to get in his barbs first, making him more willing to work together later.


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

"Who is this person to break into my house and leave this card? And how do they know what that blight has done to me?" Demitri perplexed packs up and heads to the address at sunset.


Init +2; Perception +4 AC 15, t 12, ff 13 hp 12/25 (1d12+3) Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3

Jakob read the words on the back of the card and scowled. Magic and cryptic messages, but there was hope. He had almost lost it, but if whoever had sent this note knew something about Lamm, then maybe there was a chance he could find Hannah and bring her back safely. He finished the mug of pisswarm ale and set the mug down hard, feeling invigorated already.

The barkeep raised an eyebrow and glanced at the mug.

"No," Jakob said. "Got to find Hannah." It was as much as any of the regulars had heard him say at one time in months, and he got a few strange looks as he stood up and marched to the door.

A cold, grey day. Jakob smiled at it. The walk down to Lancet Street would keep him warm, and the hope that grew in his belly seemed to brighten the day. He looked at the card again as he walked, wondering who had sent it, and why they could not strike against Lamm, but it wasn't important. Not if they could tell Jakob where to find him.


Character Sheet

As Marissel reads the back of the card, his heart begins to beat faster. Could it be true? He lost himself in thought staring at the card.

Finally he shakes himself, a cold smile crossing his face. He looks through his gunsmithing kit and counts his remaining bullets then looks at the black powder he has left. He glances outside, seeing it is still early morning.

Marissel begins fiddling with the things in his gunsmith kit. He spends the rest of his daylight there, and when he finishes, his stock of bullets and powder has grown.

Spend the day crafting 5 more doses of black powder and 5 more bullets. As well as 2 alchemical cartridges (paper). Should be 17 gp 5 sp.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik:
Griggs looks up from his work at you. "We're doing fine, Ortik. Just waiting on the sergeant to finish chatting up Mrs. Fish over there so we can get a move on." He drawls. His eyes narrow a bit as another breeze blows past him. He wrinkles his nose, either to stifle a sneeze or because of your odor.

"Now, whatcha' be doin' out here, other than botherin' me?" He says as he takes hold of Gartaman's feet. His partner, a heavy-set, brown-haired man of Taldan descent, takes hold of Gartaman's arms and they both try to lift him up.

They're not very successful.


Female Human Sorceror (Tattooed) 6 / Black Fire Adept 1 | HP 44 | AC 14 FF 12 T14 | Saves +6/+6/+8 | Init +6 (+10) | Percep +2

Karri smiles at the invitation, letting the whipsers chatter. Maybe we can skin a man and touch his bare bone and muscles!? "No. Better. We will get closer to Velaro's murderer and then-" Skin him!! Burn him! Taste his fear!!! Shuddering at the idea that her demons may be right, she asserts herself and pushes the chatter away. "Silence."

The scarred girl dozes away part of the afternoon before setting out towards Lance Street...

Stay in-doors until about an hour shy of sunset and then walk across town (or however far it is! :D)


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

@Dragoncat:
Upon finding the message written in the card, Lyla cries out "Aha!" She reads the word carefully, but they are not enough to soothe her. "3 Lancet Street... at sunset. Yeah, sure at sunset... let's see about that."

Lyla runs back to her room to finish preparing her extracts, which she does as quickly as she can. She throws her equipment in a backpack and heads out the door; Althea barely has time to react as the girls leaves announcing "Later, Althea! Gotta take care of something...! Or someone!" She slams the door behind her.

The halfling darts past the crowds in the singles heading straight to 3 Lancet Street, hoping to get there before the un goes down in order to surprise whoever sent the note - and maybe take a look around the place first. Could it be that Lamm has found me...? Well, this halfling falling for a trap like that! Hmpf. Bastard. She walks past a fruit stand and grabs an apple, and tries to mingle with some passerbys to avoid being caught, walking between their legs.

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Stealth to mix in the crowd: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9

Her getaway it not as discreet as she hoped for, so she starts running a bit as soon as she passes the first wave of people standing between her and the stand. After a short sprint, she resumes a normal pace, biting into the apple with appetite. Before she knows it, she is before the desired address. She throws away what little remains of the apple and stars circling the house, trying to find a way in other than the front door.

Stealth to scout around the house: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
Perception to check window locks and stuff like that: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Lyla:
It's about mid-afternoon when you set out for 3 Lancet Street. As you barrel out the door, you catch Althea saying "Have fun, dear." in a very nonchalant tone of voice.

The markets of Midland have come alive at this point, despite the harsh weather today. People of all sorts crowd together, as much for warmth as for the opportunities to make purchases. One fruit stand manned by a particularly surly-looking man of mixed Varisian & Chelish heritage catches your eye.

Perception vs. Sleight of Hand: 1d20 ⇒ 20
As you snatch the apple from the vendor, he turns around just in time to see your hand pluck an apple from his stand. "HEY! Whaddya think yer doin'?!" The vendor says.

Perception vs. Stealth: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Unfortunately for him, despite the crowd's best efforts to hinder your getaway, he appears to have lost you. Even over the din of the crowd, you can hear him sputtering in surprise and frustration.

The cold Calistril winds seem to speed you on your way to Lancet Street. It's a street alongside the Jeggare River, with multiple piers leading off of it. It's an ideal street for fishermen to reside... as well as others who wish to keep a low profile.

Lancet Street appears to be rather empty today; not a soul (or, at least, a sober one) to be found. Poking around the house, you determine that the three windows that you can reach (one in front, and two on the south side of the house) all appear to be unlocked.

As you finish scouting the house, you notice that sunset appears to be approaching quickly. Glancing up the street, you see a very attractive young woman with green eyes and dark hair approach, clad in robes that billow in the wind. She is approaching the house with fire in her eyes.

The sound of boots crunching against the dirt catches your attention as well. Looking back, you see a familiar face approaching: his dark, prematurely-greying hair and armor worn beneath his street clothes gives him away. It's Demitri, and it looks like he sees you as well. What does he want here? Whatever it is, you're reasonably certain you had nothing to do with it. This time.


Karri:
You awaken an hour before sunset with renewed purpose. You have a lead. You leave your home, heedless of the icy winds that await.

You stride onwards to Lancet Street, the wind doing little to hinder you. It knows it can't stop you. For once, it appears to be content to let you be.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 5
3 Lancet Street, from what you see, is a small, two-story townhouse alongside a series of piers that lead off into the Jeggare River. Its oaken front door stands shut against the wind, and the house's front window is misting over.

The sound of boots crunching against the cobblestones catches your attention: turning your head, you see a man with dark hair and a noble countenance to him approaching the house as well. He wears street clothes over his chain shirt, and he's kitted out with a longsword, steel shield, and what appears to be a hand crossbow.

Demitri:
As you step outside, the first thing that you feel is the cold winds blowing past you. Sunset swiftly approaches, and you pick up your pace in response. Hopefully, you are not too late.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
You soon reach Lancet Street, and find the house you're looking for. It's a small, two-story townhouse alongside a series of piers that lead off into the Jeggare River. Its oaken front door stands shut against the wind, and the house's front window is misting over.

You see a familiar face sneaking around the south side of the house; her goggles & shoulder-length brown hair are well-known to you. It's Lyla. Iomedae only knows what she's doing here.

A different face also attracts your attention: you see a very attractive young woman with green eyes and dark hair approach, clad in robes that billow in the wind. She is approaching the house with fire in her eyes.

Marissel:
You sit back and take in your handiwork.

Five new bullets.

Five new powder charges.

Two alchemical cartridges.

More than enough to make Gaedren pay for everything he's done.

You glance up out the window. The sun is beginning to set.

The time is now.


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

"Has she moved on to robbing houses now?" Demitri is equally perplexed by this new woman approaching this house. "No matter, this is it. I will find you little girl, and I will make Lamm pay for what he did."

"I'm disappointed to find that you've moved on to casing houses, Lyla. I thought you were better than that."[/i] He yells at her general direction before turning to the other visitor. [b]"I'm guessing you got one of these?" Demitri pulls out the card he received.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

If Ortik heard Griggs' response, he gave no indication of it, and stooped to help the two men load Gartaman's body onto the cart. "You know how it is, son," he says as they lift the fisherman's dead weight. "Day or night, life goes on. And while the sun don't notice if a body lives or dies, I do. Saw the man that put this one in the dead-book. He was from your stock, but definitely fell far from the wagon. Three of his mates jumped me and this poor man. They killed him. Left me for dead." He grunts as they place Gartaman on the cart, letting the Taldane step in to help pull him in the rest of the way. He lowers his voice and steps nearer to Griggs, ostensibly to help get the body in, but really to speak without being overheard. "That's their mistake. Gartaman's testimony was the main thing that got the Old Man taken in, and I had convinced the fisherman to recant. That's when they stepped in. I got this man killed, Griggs. They were Lamm's boys, I'm sure of it - he was the one putting the pressure on this poor soul."

Once the body is fully in the cart, he gives Griggs his full attention. "I don't expect any help from you. I get it, your hands are tied. Just keep them safe." He nods towards the grieving family. "They're not from my world. They'd adapt slowly to the streets, and honestly, I don't know if it'd be any safer for them with Old Man Hartleby under lock and key. Lamm would have a harder time coming after them if the watch were, well, watching them."


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik:
Griggs seems to bristle as you help the two of them load Gartaman's body into the wagon, but the Taldane appears quite grateful for the assistance. Griggs appears to think better of complaining, though.

"So you got something on Lamm?" Griggs snorts. "Don't know if it'll help much. Odds are, berk'll just up 'n' vanish again." He growls. If nothing else, the two of you can agree that Gaedren Lamm is your enemy.

"Oh, Griggs, will ya quit being so negative?" The Taldane speaks up, wiping his brow. "Odds are, Lamm'll be swinging tomorrow, right?" He says, looking to you. He has such a wide-eyed look on his face; you'd guess he's a raw recruit.

Griggs rolls his eyes. "Why'd they assign me to be your babysitter, again?" He mumbles. "Weren't you listening, ya clueless sod? He's, in short--" He suppresses a snicker. "--the reason Mr. Raelk here is dead." He glances back to you--a look of realization crosses his face. "...which sounds bloody suspicious. Ya think Gaedren planned for it--"

"Simon! Griggs! Are you done?" The patrol leader calls out, cutting Griggs off. Looking back, you can see Mrs. Raelk & her children going back into the house. The boys appear to be confused & afraid, and their mother is fighting back tears.

The leader approaches. He's a lean Varisian man, with his steely physique visible beneath his chainmail & uniform. He appears to have been run ragged; a sizable brown stubble is on his face, and he doesn't appear to have changed his uniform in weeks. Nevertheless, his bright green eyes look right at you, studying you. Another cold breeze blows through his unkempt brown hair.

"Who's this, now?" He asks as he approaches.

"He's-- Griggs begins to say, but is cut off again.

"I'm certain he can speak for himself, Corporal." The leader turns back to you.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Jakob:
The cold weather today does little to dampen your spirits as you leave the tavern. The warmth in your belly might also have something to do with it: perhaps warm ale is good for something after all.

Picking up the pace, you stumble across a grim sight as you make your way to Lancet Street: a horse-drawn wagon with a body in it, surrounded by three guardsmen and a dwarf wrapped in furs in front of a small house. A quick glance in the windows shows a woman and two little boys packing things up; they appear to be in one hell of a hurry.


Character Sheet

Marissel gathers his things, then heads to the door. The cool air presses against his skin. He begins walking toward the address on the card. As he walks, he continually pulls out the card, flipping it over to read the message again.

Finally, he arrives at 3 Lancet Street just as the sun is sinking over the horizon. He approaches the house, then knocks on the door.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

Ortik coughs wetly into his fist as the guard captain asks for his name. He'd learned it was always a good plan to pretend you had some sort of disease when the patrolmen started taking an interest in you. They didn't get paid to catch whatever pox you had, so they'd move on quicker. He rubs the spittle onto his grimy fur coat, inwardly pleased when there was a tinge of red in the stuff. Looks like getting that beating has some side benefits, he thinks.

"Name's Ortik," the dwarf replies. "And I was just saying to your boys here that it's a damned shame what happened to these folks." He takes off his cap, revealing his tangled mat of reddish-blond hair, and places it over his heart. "Very sorry for your loss, ma'am." He turns his attention back to the guard captain, lowers his voice, and moves in a bit closer. "I don't suppose I could beg a copper or three from you, captain? The wind's got a toothsome bite to it, and I haven't had a bowl of hot soup in at least three days."

Mechanics:

Taking 10 on a Bluff check to pretend to be little more than an opportunistic beggar. That gives me a 14.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik:
Spoiler:
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10

The patrol leader pauses, glancing down at your hand. He cringes slightly at the sight of you wiping your spittle into your furs,. The Taldane, Simon, speaks up timidly.

"Well, he DID help us with Mr. Raelk, sir..."

The leader looks over at Simon, then back to you. You can hear Griggs sigh behind you. "Did you now?" He asks. A smile appears on his face. He slides a hand into a coin purse on his belt next to a well-made longsword and takes out a silver piece. He tosses it to you.

"Pleasure to make your acquaintance then, Mr. Ortik. I'm Sergeant Grau Soldado." He says, tying his coin purse shut again. He turns to Griggs & Simon. "Well, if we're done here, we need to get moving. The Raelk's carriage will be arriving soon, and I'd rather we get Mr. Raelk to the Grey District as soon as possible."

Looking into the window of the house, you can see Mrs. Raelk & her children hurriedly packing whatever belongings they can carry. A look of desperation is in Mrs. Raelk's eyes.


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

Lyla sighs heavily when she hears Demetri calling out her name, realizing her cover is completely blown. Thank you, Mr. High and Mighty. She drops her shoulders and walks towards the man, unaware that he has recently left the city guard. As she approaches, her frown turns into a sly, cynical smile.

"Hey, not casing anything, chief! Just checking if someone's home... see, I was invited here. Can't arrest a girl for meeting her friends, right?" She then thinks about the possibility of the meeting being a trap, and, counting on Demetri to intervene in case anything goes wrong, adds in a hushed voice "Though I'd stick around if I were you, this neighborhood could really use some watchful eyes like yours and pretty face's there." She flicks her head towards Karri, still looking at Demetri.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

Ortik catches the silver and stashes it in his pocket. "Thank you, Sergeant, you're a good man," he says, returning his cap to his head. "And it weren't no troubles at all. If I, uh, might ask, what's to become of the family? Are they leaving town?"


Init +2; Perception +4 AC 15, t 12, ff 13 hp 12/25 (1d12+3) Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3

The sight of the corpse-wagon stops Jakob on his walk, and he watches the events unfold. There is sadness for the family, for their loss and their situation. There is also concern, for they seem to be in a rush, and the three guards makes it clear that there is more to this than a simple death.

The presence of the dwarven beggar only adds to the mystery, and the sun still has a ways to go before it sets.

knowledge: local (untrained): 1d20 ⇒ 2

While he doesn't recognize any of the players in the drama unfolding, he does know that something strange is going on when the officer of the guard tosses the dwarf a silver.

The traffic on the street moves around him, as he stands and watches, his bulk and the huge hammer on his back convincing most that it's probably best to step around him than to try to get him moving. Of course, there's always one.

"Can't you find somewhere else to stand, you big ox?" a sharp-eyed man pushing a cart laden with what smells like yesterday's catch of fish snaps.

Jakob turns and looks at the man for a moment, and then shrugs, as if agreeing that he could indeed find somewhere else to stand. He steps over to the corpse-wagon, out of the flow of traffic, but into the circle made by the dwarf and the guards.


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik:
"Truth be told, Mr. Ortik, I'm only allowed to say they're leaving." Sergeant Grau says. He looks back to the house; packing still appears to be going on. "It's for their own protection. Gartaman Raelk was a witness to a murder, and I--" He immediately clears his throat. "--we need to take steps to ensure no more blood is spilled."

Simon shifts from foot to foot, rubbing his hands together to keep warm as the wind blows through yet again. Griggs turns, and apparently having taken notice of someone behind you, drawls "Help ya wit' sumthin'?"

Turning around, you see a powerfully built Varisian man approaching. Aside from his studded leather armor, a longbow, a scimitar at his belt and a large hammer in his hands, he isn't all that remarkable.

Jakob:
Stepping forward, you get a better look at the men before you. One is a tall, well-built Varisian man, half-shaven and likely sleep-deprived. He's clad in well-worn chainmail & the uniform of a Korvosan Guard. The man he's speaking with, a dwarf with reddish-blond hair clad in furs & a cap, eyes you.

Next to the wagon are two other Korvosan Guards, one being a heavy-set Taldane with brown hair, clad in chainmail that barely fits him & the other one being a weedy, dark-haired & dark eyed Varisian man whose chainmail appears to be a bit too large for his frame. A part of your brain wonders if these two men got their sizes mixed up by accident.

The weedy Varisian drawls at you as you approach. "Help ya wit' sumthin'?


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

Ortik nods to Sergeant Grau. "I understand. The less that others know, the better. Damned shame, all of th-" His words are interrupted by the sudden arrival of the large Varisian man, and his good eye narrows to match the slit of the swollen one as he regards this new arrival. He didn't look like any of the quartet that killed Gartaman or roughed him up the day before, but he wasn't going to take any chances, either. Of course, this was the guards' show for now, so there was no sense on stepping on toes. He turned to face the new arrival and tucked his thumbs into his belt, keeping one close to the hilt of his hammer. If you're one of Lamm's boys, then you're probably the dumbest son-of-a-b@!!* I've ever laid eyes upon, he thought as he awaited the response from the newcomer.


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)
Lyla wrote:

Lyla sighs heavily when she hears Demetri calling out her name, realizing her cover is completely blown. Thank you, Mr. High and Mighty. She drops her shoulders and walks towards the man, unaware that he has recently left the city guard. As she approaches, her frown turns into a sly, cynical smile.

"Hey, not casing anything, chief! Just checking if someone's home... see, I was invited here. Can't arrest a girl for meeting her friends, right?" She then thinks about the possibility of the meeting being a trap, and, counting on Demetri to intervene in case anything goes wrong, adds in a hushed voice "Though I'd stick around if I were you, this neighborhood could really use some watchful eyes like yours and pretty face's there." She flicks her head towards Karri, still looking at Demetri.

Demitri ponders Lyla's words for a moment. He always thought she was a good person deep down, just troubled. "Alright, I believe you. Trust me, I plan on sticking around. Do you have any idea who called us all here? They seem to be very good at breaking and entering."


Init +2; Perception +4 AC 15, t 12, ff 13 hp 12/25 (1d12+3) Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3

Jakob considered the man for a few breaths, and then leaned close.

"I'm looking for my sister," he said, his voice soft. His eyes study the man as he describes her. "She's about so tall." he held his hand about four feet off the ground. "Hair my color, but long. Blue eyes. Missing one of her front teeth. She was stolen several weeks ago by Gaedren Lamm. Can you help?"

He has tried the guard before, and those that seem inclined to help him find Hannah at first usually lose interest when he mentions what happened to her. This day, with the message that he has just received, he is hopeful enough to try again. A fellow Varisian, even a guardsman, would understand the importance of family, surely.

The dwarf seemed to scowl, though his face was so banged up it was hard to tell. The corpse in the wagon had been beaten up as well. Maybe they had fought each other? But the officer gave the dwarf a coin. Not what they did to criminals, typically. Usually, it was the criminals who gave the guards coins.


Female Human Sorceror (Tattooed) 6 / Black Fire Adept 1 | HP 44 | AC 14 FF 12 T14 | Saves +6/+6/+8 | Init +6 (+10) | Percep +2

A nobleman alone, here? Her suspicions even more sensitive than normal, Karri watches the out of place noble. Cut him! color the ground with his gutty works!. Silence!

The young woman frowns, her distraction bothering her, she is here for a purpose not to entertain...


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik & Jakob:
The patrol leader sighs, his breath quite visible in the air. He runs a hand through his unkempt brown hair, trying to find the appropriate words. "...I don't know what to tell you, sir. You're not the first person to ask me about Lamm & missing children. Hell, one of the other sergeants quit a few days ago because Lamm stole his daughter. Said he'd track down Lamm himself if we couldn't help him."

"Yer not talkin' 'bout Severin, are ya sir?" The weedy Varisian speaks up. He seems relieved to have someone else to talk to for a change. "Bloody fool's what he is. Driven, but bloody stu--ah--atCHOO!" His sneeze interrupts his remarks, causing him to turn back toward the house. He curses under his breath, turning back to the wagon. He hauls himself up into the driver's seat, taking the reins of the horse attached to it.

"Severin? Wait--didn't we see him earlier?" The Taldane asks, walking alongside the wagon.

The patrol leader shrugs, then turns to Jakob again. "Sorry we couldn't be of more help, sir. Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to get to the Grey District." He climbs into the wagon, taking a seat next to the shifty-looking Varisian.

"Best of luck to you both!" The leader calls back as the wagon leaves.

You can still hear the sounds of activity coming from within the house.


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

"What do you mean called 'us'? Wait... don't tell me you got one too?" She pulls out the harrow card from the pocket and shows it to Demetri. Standing on the tip of her toes and glancing sideways to Karri, she raises her hand to her mouth, covering it from the woman's view, and asks "... and who's the girlfriend, by the way?"


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

"Yes, I got one as well. First off, she is not my girlfriend. In fact I don't even know her." Demitri turns to the fair woman. "Who are you anyway. Did you get a card too?"


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

"... or maybe sent a couple?", Lyla adds.


Dwarven Druid (Urban) 7 - HP: 57/57 - AC 17/T:11/FF:16 Fort: +7, Reflex: +3, Will: +9; Perception: +9

Ortik's eyebrows raise as the new arrival mentions Lamm, but continues to say nothing. As the guards leave, he rolls the tip of his tongue around in his mouth as he surveys the broad-shouldered Varisian in front of him. "Lamm nabbed your sister, did he?", Ortik offered once the wagon was out of earshout. "He's a right bastard, and that's the whole truth to that. He's killed two men that I'm aware of, and pinned the blame of one of them on a good man who got in his way. Speaking of good folk, would you excuse me a tick?"

Ortik made his way over to the Raelk residence, and knocked on the door, removing his hat again. He withdrew the silver coin within, and added several more from his pouch to it. When the woman answered, he offered the handful of coins to her. "My condolences on your loss, ma'am. I spoke with the Sergeant, and he wanted you to have a bit of extra money to make sure you can put as much distance between your family and Korvosa as possible. I don't think the monster what did this would come after you or yours, but they don't pay me to think, ma'am. Believe me, whoever was responsible for your husband's death will answer for his crimes."


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Ortik & Jakob:
Mrs. Raelk answers the door, a worn leather backpack off one shoulder. Her hair is a mess, and you can see tracks in her face where tears have flowed. She accepts the money Ortik offers, pockets it.

"Thank you, ser dwarf." She looks behind her, gestures to her two children. "Liam! Alvis! We're leaving!"

She steps past you with her two kids in tow, out into the cold, windy street. Her boys promptly huddle to her for warmth.

Marissel:
As you walk through the streets of Midland with the sun sinking low, you catch a glimpse of a familiar face. It's Mercia, and her stringy red hair, once worn in a neat ponytail, is blown all about by the wind. Her soft grey eyes match the clouds overhead, shifting all about, looking for something. Her peasant's clothes, while they could never really have been called 'tidy', are more disheveled and wrinkled than usual.

The markets are beginning to close for the day, if the thinning crowds are any indication. She looks around, and catches sight of you. Her face lights up, and she begins to make her way toward you. She isn't normally seen without Donna; what's going on?

Lyla, Karri, Demitri:
The cold wind starts to pick up, biting at you through your clothes. Looking in through the front window, you can see a flickering light inside... a fireplace, perhaps?


Halfling Alchemist 6/Swashbuckler 1 / HP 50 of 50 / F+6 R+13 W+2 / AC 21.17.15 (-1 AC vs. same size or smaller)/ Init. +5 / Perc +12

"Cat ate your tongue, sunshine?" Lyla asks Karri impatiently. Then, feeling the chilly wind blow through her clothes, she shudders and tucks her hands into her pockets. "Anyway, we can continue this inside. Let's find out what's going on here." She starts walking to the house, but suddenly comes to a halt and turns her head to look at Demitri. "A-hem... after you, chief!"


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

Demitri will open the door and lead the way in. "Fair enough."


Female Human Sorceror (Tattooed) 6 / Black Fire Adept 1 | HP 44 | AC 14 FF 12 T14 | Saves +6/+6/+8 | Init +6 (+10) | Percep +2

Realizing the halfling was addressing her, Karri shakes her head. "Hardly a cat. Did you say a Harrow card was your invitation?"


Character Sheet

Marissel gives a tight smile, straining to keep the guilt from his face.
He approaches her. Mercia! Good to see you. Where's Donna?


GM Who Must Be Feared & Obeyed (Or At Least Bribed With Cookies)

Marissel:
Mercia stops when she reaches you, panting. A relieved smile appears on her face.

"Donna's at the Bank. Talking with the priests, trying to get Daddy's..." She pauses, sniffing. She appears to still be mourning. "...Daddy's will sorted out." She takes a deep breath. She's trembling; whether its from the cold or from sorrow is still up in the air.

"Where are you going?" She asks in a transparent attempt to change the subject. She never was very talkative; she left most of that to Donna.

Lyla, Karri, Demitri:
As Demitri tries the front door, the door opens easily.

The cozy first floor of this small home is filled 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. A fireplace is behind the table, with a fire dancing in the hearth in defiance of the cold outside.

A set of maple stairs off to the right of the door lead up to the second floor.


Female Human Sorceror (Tattooed) 6 / Black Fire Adept 1 | HP 44 | AC 14 FF 12 T14 | Saves +6/+6/+8 | Init +6 (+10) | Percep +2

Smoke. Smoke and flames! Silence! As she takes in the scene of wealth and mystcism, she sees the smoldering spread from the incense onto and through the walls. Karri blinks twice and clears her vision. "Apparently we are expected. After you, sir."


Chelish Inquisitor 7 - HP: 59/59 - AC 23, T:13, FF:21 Fort: +9, Reflex: + 5, Will: +9 Perception: +11 (Effects:)

Demitri will take a seat near the wooden table. "I would think so, given the invitations."


Init +2; Perception +4 AC 15, t 12, ff 13 hp 12/25 (1d12+3) Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +3

Jakob watched the dwarf hand over a small pile of coins to the women and children and frowned. It seemed that the beggar was no beggar. It would have commanded more of his attention, but he was still reeling a bit from the news of Gaedren Lamm. As though fate had been guiding his footsteps, he had run into this dwarf, who seemed to know something about Lamm, and heard of a guard - Severin? whose daughter had been taken by the thief. Curious coincidences on any day, but this day, when he had received a mysterious card as if by magic?

"Take this, madam," he called, following the woman and children out into the street. He tossed her a gold piece. A week's wages unloading ships, but he had found a handful on the thief who'd tried to stick a knife between his ribs.

"I am Jakob," he said to the dwarf, when the family had gone on their way. He speaks slowly, as if thinking over each word. "A strange day. I received an invitation earlier. If you also seek to bring Lamm to justice, I invite you to join me."

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