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Human on Flying Carpet

MrVergee's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 1,106 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.


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The companions return the Tenna’s B&B and deliberate how to proceed. Elvira draws upon her extended book knowledge to explain about pseudodragons. These creatures are tiny cousins of true dragons, and are playful but shy by nature. They often only vocalize in chirps, hisses, growls, and purrs, but can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature. If approached peacefully and offered food, they are usually willing to share information about what they've seen in their territory, but threats or violence make them flee. Pseudodragons are carnivores, devouring insects, rodents, small birds and snakes, though they sometimes eat eggs and most also enjoy butter, cheese and fish. They either hunt on the ground like lizards or look for prey from the sky like a (somewhat clumsy) hawk. As smart as a typical humanoid, they do not enjoy being treated as pets and prefer being treated as friends. They are wary of evil folk, but can bond with sorcerers and wizards as familiars, and some have befriended druids and rangers or partnered with good dragons as scouts. Pseudodragons will serve as familiars if they approve of a spellcaster's personality, but often also bond with those whose company they enjoy or who have proven themselves true friends. A pseudodragon might follow another character in this manner for days, weeks, years, or even a lifetime if the creature is treated well, provided with food, and generally well-loved. Upon reaching adulthood, a pseudodragon's body is about 1 foot long with a 2-foot tail, and weighs about 7 pounds. A pseudodragon egg is the size of a large chicken egg, but leathery and spotted brown, and a mating female lays 2–5 eggs every spring. A clutch of pseudodragons (the collective noun—not to be confused with pseudodragons from the same brood of eggs) usually consists of a mated pair and several near-adult offspring.

So how will the party get the pseudodragon colony to assist them? Balian states that they should at least get a fair supply of butter, cheese and fish. Sjo feels that they might also appeal to the tiny dragons’ intelligence and sense of good. There is no need to disclose the whole plot that threatens Korvosa right now, but the healer has no qualms about revealing a small part of the truth that might convince the flying lizards. An evil devil in the Acadamae threatens the future of Korvosa and the companions need to get inside to take care of the problem. Elvira agrees, but thinks that a fresh head in the morning might be better to make plans. Sjo returns to Larella for the night, while Elvira sleeps in Quint’s empty room and Balian and Puk retire to the room next-door.

29 Arodus 4708

After a hearty (and late) breakfast at Tenna’s the companions buy butter, cheese and fresh fish and go to the Dock Trade. The market is already in full swing, but not only the ground is crowded. Up in the rafters Balian easily spots at least a dozen pseudodragons. He picks out what looks like the father of a family and flies up with his boots, approaching the being with caution. Offering it some fish, he beckons it to come down, where his friends have more tasty goodies. As the father flutters down, his family in tow, Elvira holds up another fish. She is startled by a second swarm that dives in from behind her. Moving to a quiet corner, she spreads out more food on the ground and allows the hungry critters to feed. One of the tiny dragons seems to demand the respect of the others, as they move back and allow it to eat first. It is slightly larger than the rest, and when Elvira greets it kindly in Draconic, it replies telepathically that its name is Maya, the alpha of this colony. Elvira says that they need the pseudodragons’ help to draw away the imps from the Acadamae and lure them into a trap. Maya’s interest is piqued – her dislike for the pesky little devils is obvious – and she inquires into the nature of the trap. Elvira manages to convince her that her friends can set up an ambush in the Old Courthouse, which will allow them to ‘fry’ the imps out of this plane of existence and send them back to Hell. Maya relishes this thought and agrees to cooperate, at least if the companions supply her flock with more food. Elvira gladly accepts this proposal and tells Maya she will return tonight to set the plan in motion.

Next the heroes move over to the Old Courthouse and plan a trap in the corridor that leads to the cellblock. They will prepare a net to capture the imps in the hallway and kill them off with magic. Sjo offers his fireballs, but Elvira tells him that imps are immune to fire and poison and also highly resistant to acid and cold. They do not possess any special defenses against electricity, though, so Elvira suggests buying a number of lightning bolt scrolls in the Gilded Orrery, the magic shop that supplies the Acadamae. Being a graduate, Elvira has no trouble making a purchase from Gasta Weagra, the small, greying woman who runs the shop and who is said to be Headmaster Toff Ornelos’s niece. Scrolls can be bought here by the dozens, so Elvira can easily get her hands on three scrolls of lightning bolt, cast at the highest level. Gasta also mentions a number of other items she has for sale, but most of these are already underpowered for the party. She does have one interesting item that might make a good buy: a deep red sphere ioun stone, which makes its wearer more agile. Unfortunately, paying off guildmaster Boule has drained the party’s coffers, so there are no funds to make the purchase at present.


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At midnight the companions travel quietly through the city to the Avenue of Arms. This bizarre street that extends from the Great Tower along the riverfront to Burnt Bridge Boulevard, holds one of Korvosa’s eerier landmarks. All along the wide thoroughfare rise silent and unsettling sentinels that predate the Chelish settlers who came here three centuries ago: exactly 127 stone arms reach up from the rock soil along the road at an even distance. No two arms look the same – some stick up straight, while others bend at the elbow. Roughly a third of them hold a variety of rusting weapons, while another third grasp stone representations of weapons. They all look like the arms of human adults; about a quarters of them are feminine, the rest appear masculine. Together they comprise more than a dozen kinds of stone. Despite these variations, all of them have a few things in common: they face the same direction, pointing toward the road. While the metal weapons are all rusted beyond repair, not an inch of the stone looks damaged or even weathered. Elvira picks up some kind of preserving magic on them.

The somewhat spooky atmosphere of the Avenue keeps most nightly visitors away, but spread out on top of the Mainshore wall beyond the Avenue are a number of Gray Maiden guards; so the party moves stealthily to keep from being seen. From behind a dark building a robust man with a square head and a sour countenance tears away from the shadows. Although Balian has never met the man before, he can match his appearance to that of the leader of the Cerulean Society, guildmaster Boule. The brute throws his gaze over the party slowly and nods, beckoning them to come closer: “Hmm, somehow I pictured you more impressive,” he sighs, “anyway, I heard you wanted to talk to me, so … talk.”

Balian explains that they need to get into the Hall of Abjuration in the Acadamae and require the thieves’ guild’s expertise from the Breaching Festival to achieve this goal. Master Boule seems a bit surprised that the party needs his insight in this matter, since they travel with a graduate from the Acadamae, but says he is willing to share what he knows. Still, this information comes at a price; after all, dealing in knowledge is one of the guild’s major sources of income. He demands a flat fee of 5,000 gold sails, which Sjo coughs up from the party funds.

To gain access to the Hall of Wards, the party will have to gather three magical key-lights from the other halls. Each hall has one of those: flying spheres of light, weighing no more than a feather. They hang about at random places, reappearing at a different spot every hour, so locating them is part of the challenge. Each key-light is also protected with powerful and often deadly magic, linked to the arts of the respective hall. Once retrieved, it stays with that person for exactly one hour before zapping back to its hall of origin. The key-lights are always present, not only during the Breaching Festival, but all year around. Some veteran students even like tricking novice pupils into trying to take one, which never ends well for the naïve newcomer.

There are three ways to overcome a key-light’s protection. The first is to undergo its magical effects, a dangerous choice, certainly for an individual in the Breaching Festival, since the competitors always have to face the test on their own. The second is to use the skills of a thief to get past the magic trap. The third is to study the defenses with arcane insight, identify the spell that protects the key and counter it with dispel magic.

The last competitor from the Cerulean society was an accomplished halfling rogue, who went by the name of Illia Ean. Boule admits that he was sad to learn that she never made it out alive, despite her careful preparations. Using the know-how of former guild competitors, she had analyzed the information thoroughly and made a shortlist of the three keys that would be easiest for her to retrieve. Such a breakdown was never air-tight, since the key-lights’ protections change all the time, but she still came to these conclusions:

  • The Hall of Summoning, home to the school of conjuration, is gigantic in size. The first and perhaps greatest difficulty lies in locating the key in this huge structure, which might take up too much precious time. The key-light’s defenses usually summon a number of devils, which can also prove tricky for a small rogue on her own, so Illia decided against this hall.
  • The Hall of Shaping, where transmutation is taught, has been altered time and again by hundreds of would-be graduates over the years, whose goal it was to change the shape of the stone as drastically as possible without causing the building to collapse. These numerous instances of magical tampering have left the structure a hodge-podge of forms and colors with scores of hidden nooks and crannies. This means that the key-light can be very hard to locate. Moreover, Illia feared this key’s protections, which often involve turning failed competitors into some kind of animal, so she wanted to skip this building as well.
  • The Hall of Charms, home to enchantment, is the prettiest building on campus, but its protections are rightfully dreaded by many. Even students from other specializations dislike coming here out of fear of being mentally manipulated. Being a rogue, Illia lacked the proper willpower to withstand such mind-affecting magic and prudently decided against entering this wonderful edifice.
  • The Hall of Whispers, the dread base of necromancy, is rumored to be haunted. Challenges inside often involve undead creatures or withering effects that suck away your life energy, both things that a lone rogue has trouble with. Going here would have been a great risk to someone like Illia. Moreover, Boule figures, if the party wants to sneak into the Hall of Wards unnoticed, they will have to do so at night, when most of the Acadamae sleeps. The Hall of Whispers would not be a wise destination for them either, since this is the only building that sees regular nighttime activity. As a matter of fact, the school of necromancy might even be more populated at night than during the daytime hours.
  • So what did Illia opt for? Her first choice was the Hall of Lies, where students attempt to master the art of illusion. This building seems to change shape constantly, both from the outside and within. This makes it hard to predict where the key-light will be, so locating it might take some time. That is why Illia put it on her list first. The protections surrounding the key are always of an illusory nature. If you manage to see through them, you can just take the key. On the other hand, if you can’t figure them out, the key will stay beyond your reach.
  • The Hall of Induction was second on Illia’s list. This building, also known as the cube, consists of five open-floored levels, which are connected by a central spiral staircase. Metal plating reinforces the stone walls, allowing evocation students to throw their worse spells without harming the building too much. The open architecture of the floors makes to key-light easy to spot. Most of the time its defenses involve some kind of major explosion, but rogues are usually quite adept at evading such magic, so Illia deemed it wise to come here as well.
  • Her last stop was to be the Hall of Seeing, center of divination magic. Here the key-light seems to hover in the same place all the time, a round chamber under the building’s dome. This makes finding it a no-brainer. Challenges are mostly at a spiritual level, making them less lethal than most of the other protections in the Acadamae.

Boule also gives extra advice on staging a nightly raid. Between two and five o’clock at night, the halls are mostly deserted, with the exception of the Hall of Whispers. This would be the best time to infiltrate. Of course the Acadamae is always secured. The tiefling guards keep watch day and night and can call a number of ‘garipans’, a vicious species of gargoyles, to their aid with a simple word. Still, the most effective alarm system protecting the school grounds are its many imps. These infernal pests never sleep and are ever watchful, alerting the Acadamae’s other guardians at the first sign of intrusion. Possessing the permanent power to detect magic and good turns them into very competent watchdogs, certainly against kind-hearted creatures. This makes sneaking around campus unnoticed almost impossible, unless you can find a way to distract the little devils. Boule has given this a lot of thought over the years. Although he has never attempted it himself, he has come up with a plan that might just work. The imps have one ‘natural enemy’ in the city of Korvosa, the pseudodragons. These tiny draconic creatures have even developed the ability to cut through the imps’ natural resistance for mundane damage with their stings and bites. A swarm of pseudodragons would definitely be the best way to draw away the imps’ attention. Boule even knows where the party can find a flock of those tiny dragons: the dock trade.

This market of questionable legality operates in New Dock, at the heart of the North Point district. Many of the goods sold within these three connected warehouses appear freshly delivered, although most have some amount of damage to them. For years the Hellknights have attempted to link these wares with cargo reported missing from ship manifests. Their constant vigil has prevented the Dock Trade from growing too much, keeping it a rather contained market. Only in the last two months, when the Hellknights were distracted with other worries and even temporarily banned from the city, has the Dock Trade flourished. Scarcity of common foods on the normal market made this place perfect to sell off provisions that were smuggled into the city.

A colony of pseudodragons makes its home in the rafters of the these warehouses. For the most part these creatures ignore the activity that occurs below them, hunting rats and other vermin. Every so often, though, a particularly succulent smell or shiny object attracts the interest of one of the small dragons. Once it notices such an item, the creature inevitably draws its comrades’ attention and an entire swarm swoops down into the teeming human masses. While they never mean harm, their sudden appearance disrupts transactions and sends a number of shoppers running, causing something of a stir. Order is usually restored quickly and trade life resumes within minutes. Boule recommends that the heroes head to Dock Trade and convince the pseudodragons to aid them. After this last bit of advice guildmaster Boule takes his leave and sinks back into the shadows.


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Brian Turner 355 wrote:

I am running Curse of the Crimson Throne for the first time and i have a couple of questions:

1. If the pc's go to the fishery in the daytime and choose to go through the door (which according to the bbok is either opened slightly or all the way)that opens to area A7 (the room with Hookshanks) does hookshanks automatically attack them or could the pc's try diplomacy or bluffing to get through to try and get to Gaedren?
2. I noticed that the only way according to the map to get to is through the secret door through the bottom of the barge but since area A12 is below the main walkway to the barge is it conceivable that the pc's can see it and try to find a new way down. Or am i thinking too hard about this?
3. Never used or even heard of a harrow deck before but i have to say its what peaked my interest in this game. I have a pdf version of the harrow deck and i plan on using it (i use roll20). But besides the way its explained in the AP and in the instructions that come with the actual harrow deck is there anything else i need to know about using one (especially using it online).
4. Harrow Points. I understand how their generated. Seems kind of iffy how they are given to the pc's. Anything against the rules saying i cant roll like a d4 or a d6 in secret and say that's how many they get. Also the frequency they get them seems to be once per book (at least thats what i interpret when it says "at the beginning of each adventure"). Can they be regained at the beginning of eaach session or are they supposed to be of a certain limit?

Thanks for all the help.

1 Hookshanks is a coward at heart, so he won't attack anyone who comes in when he's alone. He's also dressed up as one of the kids, so he might just tell the PCs to leave, as Nullpunkt suggested. He might also ask the PCs what they want and react accordingly (if they attack, he will scream for help, threaten to kill one of the children to keep the PCs at bay; if they pose as customers, he will redirect them to the front door, telling them to go to Yargin's office - the door oppostite the entrance - if the PCs do that, he'll take the long route through the fishery floor to get to Yargin's office from the backside, taking Giggles with him as back-up).

2 It is perfectly possible for the PCs to study the building and spot the underpier, which they can reach with a simple climb check. They can get to Gaedran's playground from there. My players actually did that, but I added a trap door in room A7, which allowed Lamm to climb up from his private room and escape anyone who tries to corner him in his den.
3 The Harrow readings are mostly in the AP for flavor. I use the readings in my campaign, but they can easily be left out. Rephrasing a card's meaning into something that fits your campaign can get tricky. I'm not quite sure how you would go about using it online, so you'd have to figure that out before play, so you can keep the flow going.
4 The distribution of harrow points is indeed 'iffy'. The number of points someone gets is quite arbitrary. I also find the mechanics for actually using the points tricky (When do the players use them? How long until the get new ones? Some of the effects are useless to certain classes. You - the GM - have to remember to tell the player in which encounter he gets his benefit from the Chosen card.) I decided to give my players 'Harrow points', but I also use heropoints (a system I absolutely recommend) and I let them use their Harrow points as extra heropoints. So far this decision has served our campaign well.


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28 Arodus 4708

The companions complete their short trip to Kaer Maga by selling off the loot they gained from the fight in the temple of Asmodeus. They pick up another pair of teleport scrolls and return to Quint’s room at Tenna’s B&B in Korvosa.

During an elaborate brunch they discuss what to do next. To break Ileosa’s contract, they will have to destroy both copies of the document, one of which is with the devil who brokered the deal, while Ileosa holds the other one. Quint suggests falling back on his alter ego of ‘Marcus’, the stable hand who worked for Master Jacob in the Queen’s stables and try to work his way into the castle from there to do some recon. Undercover he might be able to find out more without raising suspicion, because infiltrating the castle in full party force will probably not go unnoticed for long. In the meantime his friends can follow up on the Acadamae and the contract devil who can somehow be reached from there. The bard wastes no time, dresses up as ‘Marcus’ and takes his leave, promising to get word to his friends about his progress in the palace when he can.

At the Acadamae Elvira wakes up to a whole new day. She packs her bags, feeling a bit strange that her harsh, but secluded life between the walls of this magic institution have suddenly come to a close. She says goodbye to a handful of fellow students, who are surprised to learn that she has graduated. The tiefling guards at the gate seem to be informed of her departure and let her pass, but no one else is there to see her off. As she steps into the streets of the city, she can’t help but feel a bit lost. Although she has lived in Korvosa for almost a decade, she does not know the place. The students’ time outside the Acadamae walls has always been extremely restricted. The young mage goes over the places and people she knows here in her head. There is The Gilded Orrery, the magic shop which caters almost exclusively to students from her school, the Leroung library where she used to work, but which was supposedly closed for business, and then there are the other members of the cast of Korvosa always rises, the play she recently participated in. She quickly discards the idea of the shop and the actors, the former holds no interest to her at the moment and the latter was nothing more than a gang of drug-using misfits with very loose sexual morals. Not wanting to wander too far from her former ‘home’, Elvira books a bed in The Frisky Unicorn, a bed and breakfast establishment in the Heights district and one of the few places in the area where people can actually get a room for the night, since the law forbids inns in this ward. Despite its appealing name, the structure looks drab and cheap, but El figures it will do for now. Afterwards she roams about aimlessly in the neighborhood, realizing that her feet have unknowingly taken her to her favorite destination, the Leroung library. The place is locked tight and the maidens who stand guard at the doors inform the girl that the Leroung family has disappeared after its head, Lady Eliasia, was brutally murdered by rebels. Elvira is shocked and ponders what to do next. She really wants to see a friendly face and decides she has only one place left to go to, Tenna’s B&B, where the nice bard she met a few days ago said he was staying.

Tenna’s definitely looks a lot nicer than the sorry excuse for a bed and breakfast Elvira just booked and its owner is a warm and welcoming woman. When Elvira enquires about Quint, Tenna tells her the young man has just left, but his friends are still here. She introduces the girl to Sjo, Balian and Puk, who immediately recognize her and invite her to join them at their table. They seem like a friendly lot: Balian explains that they are adventurers. The ranger certainly fits the picture with his broad shoulders and somewhat rough demeanor, although his eyes are friendly and his face is ruggedly handsome. He also has a big, black dog, called Spyder, who seems to take an immediate liking to Elvira and rests his head on her thigh as if he already knows her. The halfling is a weird little fellow who sneaks around the table and ‘accidentally’ pricks his fork in her arm, praying her to forgive his clumsiness. When he returns to his seat, he whispers something to his friends about her ‘not exploding’. Elvira is puzzled, but then Sjo, the big man in full plate armor asks her if she has a twin sister. He claims that they knew someone who looked like her, not just bearing a resemblance, but the exact spitting image of her. Madam Nesia, he calls her, and she even used to live with them. Elvira says she is an only child, but she is intrigued and prods the healer to tell her more.

Sjo asks her if she ever stayed in the temple of Asmodeus, and if she did, if she remembers all that transpired there. Elvira is surprised, because that is exactly what happened to her. A little over two months ago, she had an ‘accident’ while experimenting on a new spell which backfired and was taken to the temple for care. She was in bad shape and had to stay there for over a month to recover. She admits that large parts of this period are a blank to her and wonders how Sjo would know about that. Sjo, Balian and Puk look at each other, asking themselves if they can entrust this girl with the truth, but she seems so kind and innocent. Moreover, the fact that she looks exactly like Madam Nesia instills an immediate sense of trust in them, so the healer goes ahead and tells her. Madam Nesia was a clone, Elvira’s clone, and she was part of a grand conspiracy that is connected to the queen. Glancing about where Tenna is, Balian decides it might be safer to continue the conversation in the privacy of their room and invites everyone up.

The ranger explains that real queen Ileosa is not the do-gooder that Elvira portrayed in the theatre play. While it is unclear whether Ileosa herself is evil to the core or something malicious is controlling her, she is responsible for many heinous deeds, one of which are the so-called ‘blood clones’. Ileosa has been bleeding hundreds of young Korvosan girls dry – literally, meaning they died – to create devilishly empowered blood clone super fighters for her army. She was aided in this horrible endeavor by the church of Asmodeus and possibly Dean Togomor. When Elvira asks how the companions know about this, they tell her that they stopped this foul blood clone production in the catacombs of the Dark Prince’s temple only a few days ago. Elvira was an early experiment in this story, who was not bled to death and whose clone proved to be unstable. The companions found El’s experimental double, Madam Nesia, naked in the streets, suffering from memory loss. They took her in until she suddenly got sick. Since she was plagued by nightmares of blood, they went to the temple of Asmodeus for help. Highpriest Ornher Reebs acted quite weird when confronted with this case and finally suggested that Puk prick her with his dagger. When he did, she exploded in blood, leaving nothing but her clothes and red fluid everywhere. The current newest recruits to the ranks of the Gray Maidens, the blood clones, are perfected versions of this magic, but they still explode in blood when killed, linking them undeniably to whatever Madam Nesia was. Sjo cannot tell whether Dean Togomor was involved and asks Elvira if she can shed some light on his character. The girl admits that the transmuter has always treated her kindly – as he was infatuated with her – but he can be hard to others, cruel even, and like all Academics in Korvosa’s school of magic, he will possibly be up to his thick neck in all kinds of devilish dealings. The companions fill Elvira in on all the details of their raid in the temple, including the devils and the strange construct that was used to sap field marshal Cressida Kroft of her powers. El feels violated by this news and Balian asks her what she wants to do about it. Her reaction is somewhat philosophical, she was abused, but she didn’t really know about it until now, so it is hard to take a stand.

The heroes decide to disclose even more dark secrets. They tell Elvira how Lady Eliasia Leroung was assassinated by a salikotal devil, meaning that her soul is irrevocably lost. Next they reveal what has happened to the queen: she has claimed a mighty malevolent artefact, the teeth of a long lost dragon, which were hidden by the Shoanti in the mastaba centuries ago. Now she proudly bears the teeth on her head as her new crown and they have instilled her with tremendous power and overwhelming evil. To top that she closed an infernal deal with a devil in the Acadamae, which empowered and corrupted her even more. The queen was also the one who ordered the plague to be released on the city, making her responsible for thousands of deaths and proving her current evilness beyond any doubt. Taking the young friends at their word, Elvira can no longer deny Ileosa’s wicked character and, realizing that she was unknowingly personally involved in the queen’s vile practices, she offers to help.

Sjo welcomes the opening and tells Elvira that they could certainly use her aid to find out where they can locate the contract devil in the Acadamae. He even wonders if it is the same fiend who signed Rolth’s contract, a creature named ‘Chyvrom’ or something. El has never heard of him, but she could definitely ask around on campus. She suspects that the Dean of conjuration or headmaster Toff Ornelos will probably know the truth. Lord Ornelos might be hard to approach, but Dean Messida Vost might not.

Elvira returns to the Acadamae and gains an audience with Dean Vost. She claims to feel lost after graduation, not knowing what to do with her life next. Maybe a contract with Hell will aid this situation. The mistress of conjuration says that such a deal is indeed possible, but she advises against closing it without good cause. The price for such a contract is steep and it should only be made with the proper motivation and goals. Elvira has already proven herself quite powerful for her age, she does not really need extra power to make something of her life. Her talents will suffice for that. Of course, if she ever finds a goal that justifies the price of an infernal contract, she can always return here, as the Acadamae does indeed have an excellent ‘contact’ in Hell. In theory any devil, even the lowliest one, can close an infernal deal with mortals, but the more powerful both parties are, the better the benefits will be. The Acadamae holds a path to one particularly accomplished phistophilus who will be able to offer a lot more than his less skilled ilk. Elvira wonders if the ‘path’ to this individual is hidden in the Hall of Abjuration and Dean Vost compliments the young girl on her insights.

On her way out Elvira quickly stops by her former Dean, Heresta Tarlan. The mistress of enchantment understands that Elvira feels lost, but strongly advises against closing an infernal contract. Elvira also gets the feeling that Tarlan has never entered into such a deal herself. The Dean also claims ignorance when El tells her that she has picked up rumors about queen Ileosa recently signing an agreement with a devil in the Acadamae. Tarlan sees no reason for the queen to do so, since she already has all the powers she could ever want. She might have benefitted from such a contract when she was trying to seduce the king five years ago, but now she doesn’t need it anymore as the throne is already hers. El agrees and promises not to be stupid. She will find her own luck in the world. Dean Tarlan is happy to hear that and is confident that El’s charm and skill will suffice to make it ‘out there’.

In the meantime Sjo has left to spend some time with his fiancée, Larella Semyr, and Puk and Balian indulge in the pleasures of life by getting a massage and taking a relaxing scented bath. When they return to their room, the halfling finds a small note on his bed. Balian immediately realizes that someone infiltrated their room and indeed finds clues that the window was tempered with, but there is no sign of the mysterious messenger. The paper reads: “Come to the Avenue of Arms at midnight. Your contact.” So it looks like this is a note from Glorio Arkona who has made good on his promise and arranged for the party to meet someone from the thieves’ guild. Nice!


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Steve Geddes wrote:
How distressing - my group are likely to meet Mammy Graul next Wednesday. I doubt my case will be here by then, but that hill giant chieftain (chieftainess?) looks like a perfect figure for her. :/

If you're talking about Chief Guh, I fear this mini's a bit oversized for a medium NPC. Horrorclix actually had a figure, called Big Bertha, which fit Mammy Graul quite well, especially if you give her make-over.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't worry, I took no offence. I even appreciate you pointing this out to me.

On topic, that is what I thought as well, no reference, so we can just make it up ourselves.


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Interference from my mothertongue, in which words ending in consonant + i add apostrophe s for plural. My bad, in English it now looks like Arabasti IS in Cheliax, sorry. It should have been Arabastis.


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Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

In updated news of "My players apparently fall for everything" (Seriously, my Mummy's Mask team has a Pairaka div who they think is a waylaid traveler setting up camp for them in the Parched Dunes). They went to see the mercane in the Temple of Asmodeus, and he offered to sell them things. My players were like, "Well, mercanes are usually lawful neutral, so this guy's probably okay." (I swear, I said "usually.") One player who decided to buy something got an actual ioun stone out of the deal. The other guy got a stone of weight. Fortunately for him, the oracle had remove curse as a known spell, and I let him make an intimidate check for a reroll.

But <3 my players.

Lol, tell them to max sense motive.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ashkar wrote:
Wanted to say that they were from Westcrown, but after quick check realised that I mistaken Arabasti line with Arvanxi, one from wich Ileosa comes.

Yes, that can get a bit confusing. I've been checking around myself, but I haven't really found anything yet. Just wondering if I missed something, or if I just have to make it up myself.


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Eviljames wrote:
I think they only have them pre glued for the kickstarter any new minis you buy in the store should come unassembled.

You are correct.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The mini comes from Dungeons and Dragons arcane heroes 2 set and it is actually a repaint of an older mini, the bonded fire summoner from the War of the Dragon Queen set. The red-colored original version is actually for sale on the second-hand market for a lower price.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Here are some basic ideas, that could be used in the first installment of the AP:

  • Commander Marcus Endrin is no fan of queen Ileosa. Why? Because seneschal Kalepopolis, a former Sable Company officer, told him that she changed for the worse, quite recently and quite suddenly. Kalepopolis was investigating the situation himself. Commander Endrin asks the PCs to try and find the seneschal, or – if they cannot – retrace his steps during the last few day before his disappearance. The PCs find out that he has been investigating the mysterious suicides of various artists in town, who suddenly lost their ‘muse’. This coincided with Ileosa’s change. The PCs might find the seneschal’s research notes in the Leroung library and go about the city to learn more about the suicides. You should be careful using this mission, because it will lead the PCs on a wild goose chase, since you will raise questions to which you cannot give the answer yet until much later in the campaign. It will be great foreshadowing, though.

  • Endrin’s mistrust of Ileosa extends to how she initially made her way into Eodred’s life. He asks the PCs to find out where Ileosa came from and how the manipulated circumstances to gain the king’s attention. The PCs will learn that she indeed staged her accident (possibly through someone who aided her in this conceit), which allowed her to meet the king. Although this proves her past scheming in making it to Korvosa’s queen, it does not reveal her recent schemes. Endrin just wants this information as a ‘weapon’ against a queen he does not trust. It will also give the PCs some nice background information, and serve as a reminder not to trust the woman on the throne too much.

  • Since the Sable Company guards over Korvosa’s sky and waters, they are responsible for finding and stopping smugglers. Since the problems in the city require all the Company’s attention, Endrin needs the PCs’ help to stop a gang of smugglers who are shipping food illegally into the city, which they sell at a stiff price. At the same time, the smugglers might hit existing food suppliers, like bakers or butchers, to put them out of business and take over their markets.

  • The Sable Company has never been friends with the Hellknights. The warriors of the Order of the Nail have been ruthless in their efforts to squash any and all signs of protest in the city. On one such an occasion, two Sable Company marines interfered with Hellknight ‘justice’, to save the lives of several citizens. They succeeded, but were captured as a result and are now being held prisoner in the Hellknight barracks. Endrin wants them out, but cannot send his own men, so he asks the PCs free these two captured soldiers in secret.

  • The hippogriff stable master is missing. The PCs have to find out what happened to him. Maybe he just stayed at home to protect his family in the troubled times that befell the city. Maybe he was (wrongfully?) arrested in the riots and the PCs have to get him out of jail by proving his innocence or pleading his case in front of a judge (nice opportunity to introduce judge Zenobia Zenderholm). This might even be an opportunity for the PCs to get a job working in the stables for one of the lambs they saved from Gaedran Lamm.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When the Arabasti line in Korvosa lost power to the Porphyria's, Domina came over from Cheliax to resotre order to her family, which implies that there are still Arabasti's in the infernal motherland. But where in Cheliax do we find the Arabasti's? Are there any sources on this?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can add Taldor to my want list as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice, looks like the dispel magic was the turning point in combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

-Dolphin (hard to get in medium)

Hi, Marco. Heroclix has a medium sized green-colored version of beast boy in dolphin form. You can pick it up for cheap on the second-hand market. With some gray paint you can quickly repaint it to look something like this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Waw, a fantastic preview! I love every one of those figures.

As for suggestions for races or groups:

- the wonderful strix mini calls out for MORE!
- I would like some red mantis assassins as well.
- Shoanti, the particular nature of the Shoanti makes it quite hard to find proper minis to represent them. Most barbarian-like minis on the market are either too Conan-like or too viking-like. They don't have the Shoanti vibe.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you have a hot gluegun, it is really easy to craft an air elemental yourself. I built this one in 30 minutes, easiest craft I ever did.

You cut off the top of a plastic bottle (cut it off as big as you want your elemental to be). Use the hot gluegun to glue it to your base (I used a big washer, but even a piece of ordinary cardboard will do). Then texture the outside of the plastic bottle in a slanted swirl with the glue. The heat will make the plastic warp a bit, giving the whirlwind a more irregular and natural shape. That is basically it, the result will look something like the whirlwind/air elemental in the picture. Very easy and cheap.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One day ago

After breakfast Elvira heads to the great Hall of Summoning, where she is greeted by Heresta Tarlan, the Dean of Enchantment. The homely woman smiles confidently when Elvira walks in and guides her to the left wing of the building, where students don’t normally come. She leads her into a small chamber and points to seven busts on display in front of her. “Tell me, Elvira”, she says, “what do you know about these seven people?”

The young mage immediately recognizes the stone heads as the seven Runelords from ancient Thassilon and goes on to explain. This fabled empire occupied most of Western Astivan for over a millennium, including the lands of Korvosa. Ruined remains are still scattered throughout the landscape of Varisia today, like the great mastaba, the Pillar Wall or the Gatefoot in Korvosa. Thassillon’s power was based on rune magic, said by some to be the written language of Creation. 11,000 years ago the First King Xin mastered this magic and used it to craft a vast kingdom. He arranged his ever-growing lands into seven domains, where he installed seven servants to help him rule, the so-called Runelords.

Each Runelord mastered one school of magic, becoming the most powerful specialist wizards in history. Thassilon recognized only seven schools of magic, regarding divination as a universal school. Each school was originally associated with one of the seven virtues of rule, wealth, fertility, honest pride, abundance, eager striving, righteous anger and rest. After Xin’s passing the Runelords took over power in their respective domains and their constant ambition for dominance over their peers led to much strife and death in the empire, quickly turning the virtues into vices: greed, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, wrath and sloth.

Thassilon was destroyed some 10,000 years ago by a cataclysmic event, called Earthfall, when a swarm of meteoroids impacted Golarion and wiped away civilization. The world was consumed by earthquakes and massive tidal waves, which swallowed great landmasses and led to the creation of the Inner Sea. A cloud of dust blotted out the sun for centuries, throwing the lands in darkness.

Next Elvira puts her hand on the busts, while explaining over which domain each runelord ruled:

  • Bakrakhan, the realm of wrath, which today forms the western coast of Varisia (although most of the domain sunk beneath the sea and now lies at the bottom of the Varisian Gulf), was ruled by Runelord Alaznist, the evoker. The Irespan in Magnimar is a ruin that dates back to this realm.
  • Cyrusian, the realm of Pride, lay in what is now north-central Varisia and part of the lands of the Linnorm Kings. It was considered the most powerful of all the domains, forming the de facto capital of the entire empire. Its ruler was satrap Xanderghul, a master in diplomacy and illusion magic.
  • Edasseril, the realm of envy, was the westernmost nation in Thassilon and suffered greatly from the tidal waves that destroyed the empire. Today a number of islands in northwest Varisia are all that remain of this domain. Edasseril was known for its backstabbing bureaucracy and its last ruler, Belimarius, was a heavy-set woman who came from humble beginnings and rose through the ranks through intrigue, blackmail and murder to finally claim the throne as a potent abjurer.
  • Eurythnia, the realm of lust, was ruled from the great mastaba in present-day Korvosa. Its runelord Sorshen was a beautiful enchanter, who based much of her power on slavery.
  • Gastash, the reams of gluttony, was located in the east, including today’s Willspin Mountains and the Hold of Belkzen. It was the most peaceful land, with fertile soil and plenty of food left after every harvest. Runelord Zutha was a master in necromancy, being an undead creature himself, who somehow managed to renew his body constantly to retain his human taste, touch and feel.
  • Haruka, the realm of sloth, was the smallest domain in Thassilon, located in the southeast. Its people were by nature extremely lazy and many worked as slavers to save themselves from the toil of manual labor. Runelord Krune relied on his mastery over conjuration to summon servants to do his bidding and to create what he needed.
  • Shalast, the realm of greed, comprised the central lands of Thassilon, including the present-day Cinderlands and the fertile lands to its south. Runelord Karzoug, master of transmutation, lived in an opulent palace on top of a mountain and constantly sought to expand his power, mostly to the west.

Mistress Tarlan congratulates Elvira on her knowledge. Then she proceeds to take the small busts and put them in a bag. “For your graduation, you will have to collect these seven statues before facing your final test. You are allowed to use your spells and other skills as you see fit, but remember that you will face your biggest challenge in the end, so you might want to save something for then. Use your wit first, then your magic! And don’t forget that in enchanting, sometimes less is more. When the bell rings, you can go through this door and start your exam. Good luck, girl. I hope to see you on the other side.” Heresta Tarlan exits through the same door that Elvira will have to take. Silence fills the room for what feels like an eternity, although in reality it might have been only fifteen minutes. Then the jingling of tiny bells resounds.

The tests Elvira has to pass, have been based on Challenge of the Champions, a series of fun scenarios in Dungeon magazine. I plundered five of the six ‘Challenge’ adventures for ideas, issues number 69, 80,91,108,138.

Elvira pushes the door open to start the exam. The first room is small; there is a table with a game of chess and there are two bags on the floor, a white one and a black one. A note on the table reads: “The first bust is in one of these bags. Choose wisely or face the consequences. The game of chess is not meant to be played, but it is of strategic importance to your decision.” Elvira’s permanent detect magic reveals that both bags radiate magic. They look like bags of holding.

There are seven white and six black pieces on the board. Since black is threatened, Elvira figures it has to be black’s turn, so she goes with the black bag. Her choice proves to be correct; inside the bag of holding she finds the first bust, the head of Belimarius, the runelord of envy.

Game of Chess:
Elvira got lucky choosing the correct bag, since she did not figure out the true hint. A chessboard has eight lines (numbered 1 to 8) and eight columns (numbered a to h). Following the white pieces on the board from line 1 upwards by reading the corresponding letter of each piece, would have yielded this result: 1-b, 2-a, 3-d and 5-b, 6-a, 7-g, spelling out that white is the ‘bad bag’. Doing the same for black would has resulted in ‘head bag’, indicating that the stone bust was in this bag. The white sack was actually a bag of devouring.

Elvira waits a while for the bell to ring again, but when it still hasn’t rung in five minutes, she just continues through the next door. The second room contains a 10 foot by ten foot pit of greenish fluid, above which a golden cage with vertical bars hangs from a metal chain on a pulley system that is connected to a crank next to the door. Turning the crank raises of lowers the cage, but there is no door or lid to the cage. On the ground are two 12 foot long poles. The small cage contains a slender pedestal on top of which the bust of Karzoug, runelord of greed, rests.

Delving into her knowledge of nature, Elvira can figure out that the fluid is acid, which will eat through the gold, but not through stone. By sliding the poles through the bars across the pit, Elvira can construct a bridge that will support the bust when she lowers the cage into the acid. The acid eats away the bottom of the cage, after which it can be pulled up over the bust. With mage hand Elvira picks it up without any problems. Then she proceeds to the exit.

The third room is an elongated room with a 90 foot long pool of water between the stone landings at both ends. In the middle of the 30’ wide channel are two stone islands, leaving only 10’ of water in between. Both islands hold a ferocious looking smoking dog with ebony fur and burning red eyes, chained to the wall. The chains give them full range of their islands plus five feet above the water. There is a small rowing boat with two oars at the start of the channel, which fits neatly into sloop-sized compartment. The far landing holds a similar niche. The rowing boat is made wood, but plated with metal on the outside. The far landing also sports a marble pedestal with one of the busts. Even from 85 feet away Elvira recognizes the bust of Alaznist, the runelord of wrath. She also identifies the dogs on the islands as Nessian warhounds, powerful canines from Hell who can spew fire and who have a weakness for cold.

When Elvira moves the rowing boat, she hears several clicks, which are followed by a louder click in the door behind her, locking it shut. She discovers five pressure buttons in the niche’s wall next to the rowing boat, which were pressed when the boat was in place. Peering across the water she spots five similar pressure buttons in the niche on the other side. The boat will have to be fitted in that niche to activate the opening mechanism of the far door, so Elvira will have to take it with her. A simple dimension door will get Elvira across, but not the boat, so the mage needs another solution.

Since she hasn’t used her magic yet, apart from a free mage hand, Elvira decides to access her spell arsenal. These hounds look particularly nasty and she’d hate to get caught between their teeth or in their fire breaths. She successfully casts a charm monster on the right dog and puts the left one to sleep with deep slumber. Then she boards the sloop and paddles to the other side, petting the charmed warhound on the head as she passes. She picks up the third bust and adds it to her bag.

The fourth room is small and contains a comfortable sofa across from a fireplace, which is decorated with the stuffed head of a bull. To the left of the sofa stands a sidetable, upon which rest a small mirror, a slender wand and two strips of paper, one covered with peculiar runes, the other with various letters. There is no sign of a bust. Detect magic shows the wand to radiate light magic. Elvira knows that wands often need a command word to work.

By reflecting the rune-covered strip of paper on the mirror, Elvira can see that they form into the words “AIM IT AT OX MOUTH”. To use the wand, she needs to find the command word. She remember reading about secret war correspondence, where messages were disguised in a similar fashion. By winding the strip of paper around the wand, the letters line up to read “command word is sihedron”. The sihedron rune in Thassilonian times was a seven-pointed star that represented the seven school of rune magic. Elvira aims the wand at the stuffed bull’s mouth and utters the command word ‘sihedron’, which activates a beam of light that strikes the ox’s mouth, causing a secret panel in the back of the hearth to open. The bust of Krune, the runelord of sloth, is inside.

The fifth room is small again and stands empty, safe for a flask’s stopper on the ground and an open doorway at the other side of the room, which leads into a corridor with walls made of mirrors. This seems to be the entry to a mirror maze.

El’s detect magic shows that there is a map of the maze engraved in the stone floor of the entry room, hidden with an illusion. The young mage makes a copy and uses it to navigate through the maze. The mirror wall are somewhat confusing, so Elvira keeps one hand in contact with the wall to remain oriented.

The center of the maze is clouded in a thick mist that assails Elvira with feelings of doubt, but she resists the effect and makes it through as fast as she can, reducing her contact time with the fog to a minimum. In the center of the maze Elvira finds a smoking bottle on a stand. She places the stopper on the flask, making the mist dissipate in a few seconds. Next to the smoking flask is the bust of Xanderghul, the runelord of pride. A door in the center room leads to a flight of stairs that goes down to another door.

The sixth room looks a bit like a laboratory. Three tables are positioned against the walls, one of them holds three sealed glass containers filled with different colored muck (blue, yellow and golden brown), another one holds two containers (bright green, drab green). Each of the glass containers is labeled with strange runes. On the third table Elvira finds a notebook, a glass spoon and an adamantine box, big enough to house a bust. There is a small peeping hole in the front. Peeping through with her permanent darkvision, Elvira can see that it contains the ugly head of Zutha, the runelord of gluttony. The notebook is empty, except for the first page, which contains a string of runes:

Elvira quickly figures out that these are made-up runes, but since there are 26 of them, she deduces they each represent one letter of our normal alphabet. With some imagination the letters even look like their normal counterparts. Using the alphabet Elvira is able to decipher the labels: azure fungus, yellow mold, russet mold, green slime, olive slime. She knows each of these substances from reading about them:

  • Azure Fungus: This strange blue fungus tends to grow on walls or other surfaces and typically has wispy strands that stretch out into the air from whatever surface the fungus covers like roots dangling in the air, twitching and swaying in an unseen breeze. Azure fungus is a rather dangerous hazard that as a byproduct of its growth builds up a charge of electricity that it releases in bursts into its surroundings.

    The azure fungus is sensitive to touch and discharges its electricity if contacted. The fungus discharges randomly. Azure fungus is immune to electricity and fire, but any amount of cold damage causes it to become inert for about an hour.

  • Yellow mold: If disturbed, a patch of this mold bursts forth with a cloud of poisonous spores, which weakens creatures. Fire destroys yellow mold, and sunlight renders it dormant.

  • Russet mold: This hazardous fungus can be found in dark, wet areas, and often grows in great abundance at the heart of a vegepygmy lair. When a creature approaches of a patch of russet mold, the fungus releases a cloud of spores. The spores weaken creatures to the point of death, after which he begins to vegetate. A day later, one of more fully grown vegepygmies burst from the cadaver.

    Exposure to sunlight halts the spores' growth. A patch of russet mold is unharmed by all effects save for acid, alcohol, or remove disease (or a similar magical effect, such as heal), all of which can kill a single patch of russet mold on contact. Sunlight doesn't kill the mold, but does render it dormant and harmless as long as the sunlight persists.

  • Green slime: This dungeon peril is a dangerous variety of normal slime. Green slime devours flesh and organic materials on contact and is even capable of dissolving metal. Bright green, wet, and sticky, it clings to walls, floors, and ceilings in patches, reproducing as it consumes organic matter. It drops from walls and ceilings when it detects movement (and possible food) below.

    Green slime devours flesh. On the first round of contact, the slime can be scraped off a creature (destroying the scraping device), but after that it is harder to remove. To remove festering green slime, it must be frozen, burned, or cut away (dealing damage to the victim as well). Anything that deals cold or fire damage, sunlight, or a remove disease spell destroys a patch of green slime. Wood or metal are also affected by green slime. It does not harm stone or glass.

  • Olive slime: Olive slime is a plantlike growth found in dark, damp underground areas. It is sticky, wet, and drab green in color. It clings to ceilings, floors and walls and consumes any organic matter it contacts. Olive slime can detect prey by vibration to a range of 30’ and drops from ceilings when it detects movement beneath it.

    When a patch of olive slime drops and attaches to a host, it secretes a numbing poison that makes its presence go almost unnoticed. An olive slime that has attached itself affects the thinking patterns of its victim, making the host’s main concern the feeding and protecting the olive slime (including keeping the creature hidden from any adventuring companions). This effect is similar to a charm monster spell. If a creature attempts to remove the olive slime from the host, the host either attacks that creature or attempts to flee. The only way to successfully break the link is to destroy the olive slime, destroy the host, or remove the olive slime from the host. A single patch of olive slime weakens a creature a bit more every day as it devours flesh, replacing skin and muscle tissue. Additionally, the host must double its normal food intake each day. When the host’s dies, its body transforms into a slime zombie.

    Olive slime can be burned, cut away (dealing an equal amount of damage to the host as well), or frozen. Anything that deals acid, cold, or fire damage, or a remove disease spell destroys a patch of olive slime.

With the glass spoon Elvira can apply green slime tot the adamantine box, which slowly eats away the metal. In about ten minutes the metal is sufficiently broken to take out the bust of Zutha, the runelord of gluttony. One more head remains.

The seventh room consists of a small antechamber and a larger room. A small table in the antechamber holds a piece of parchment, within a ring of letters “Come, human, die by sword or charm” is written. The room beyond is guarded by a large iron statue of a beautiful woman, holding a sword. Behind the statue is a display with the bust of Sorshen, runelord of lust.

Elvira identifies the statue as an iron golem, a construct that is beyond her skill to fight. This creature is highly resistant to weapon damage and immune to almost all magic. As long as Elvira remains in the antechamber, the statue does not move.

When trying to decipher the message on the parchment, Elvira is reminded of the lesson mistress Tarlan gave her when she came in: sometimes less is more. She has to read the message in the center of the note, using only the letters that are written in het ring. This excludes the letters B, E, H, I, S, U and Y. Dropping these from the sentence; it now reads: Com-man-d word or-c-arm. By speaking the command word orcarm, Elvira orders the iron golem to stand down. Now she can simply walk into the room and take the last bust.

Elvira enter the final room, a big chamber with a special summoning circle in the center, shaped like the sihedron, the seven-pointed star that represents the seven schools of (rune) magic. Dean Tarlan is waiting for Elvira in here in the company of headmaster Toff Ornelos and the deans of the other schools (Dean of Abjuration Julaei Cangi, Dean of Conjuration Messida Vost, Dean of Divination Norva Allesain, Dean of Evocation Salgar Irevotnin, Dean of Illusion Rombastle Falgeringer, Dean of Necromancy Orianna Delmore and Dean of Transmutation Elgin Togomor). The dean of enchantment congratulates her student on her success so far, but she confirms that the hardest test is still ahead: “By placing the busts of the seven runelords on the circle”, she says, “you will be able to activate its magic. Stand by whatever bust you choose and focus your energy to call forth a creature from another dimension. Next you will have to prove that you can master the creature.” Master Togomor also shoots Elvira a look of pride and satisfaction.

Elvira has no trouble reading the different runes. She places each bust on its corresponding rune. Next the circle starts humming with energy. Elvira has to concentrate to control the energy. After a few minutes the force of the energy suddenly increases. Still Elvira succeeds in keeping the waves of magic in check. When the energy builds to a climax, it gets harder to master the force, but Elvira keeps on top of things and with a few drops of sweat dripping down her head, she sees a winged shape appear before her in the middle of the circle. It is an Erinyes, a devil that looks like an angel with black wings. But in Elvira’s case, it is a male Erinyes. The young mage realizes how rare a male version of this creature is. The appearance of this Erinyes also elicits cries of admiration from the different deans behind her.

“Now, master what you summoned!” dean Tarlan repeats.

Elvira sees that the Erinyes looks anything but happy to be here. He draws his sword and flicks out his hand, throwing an unholy blight on the enchanter who summoned him. His wings flap as he lifts off the floor, preparing to engage. Elvira suffers the cold, cloying miasma of greasy darkness that tugs at her life force and leaves her sickened. Then she retorts with a spell of her own: hold monster. Devils like Erinyes possess a natural resistance against magic, but Elvira pushes through and her magic takes hold, freezing the dark angel in place an dropping him on the floor. Elvira immediately steps up and kicks his blade from his grasp. With her hand outstretched Elvira tries to make her spell last, when headmaster Toff Ornelos suddenly closes in. With a wave of his hand he dismisses the Erinyes and reaches his hand to Elvira: “I’ve seldom seen anyone pass an exam with so much ease, miss Campert, congratualions, you are now a graduate of the Acadamae.” The other deans follow to congratulate the girl and express their admiration at her success.

The last two to wish her luck are mistress Tarlan and master Togomor. They look especially pleased. Heresta Tarlan tells Elvira that she can keep her bag of holding and that she is always welcome in the Acadamae. She even asks the girl to consider becoming a teacher here in the future. Togomor replies that she is always welcome indeed, but if she wants to find him, she’ll have better luck in the castle than here.

Tonight Elvira will spend her last night in her room. Tomorrow she is free to go where she pleases. Maybe she’ll check in on that bard she met yesterday. Tenna’s B&B, that is where she can find him.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Two days ago

Exhilarating is probably the best word to describe Elvira’s feelings right now. Having just portrayed the queen in a well-received play was an overwhelming experience, an eye-opener as well. This was the first time she really got to experience the outside world in almost ten years. Yes, life in the Acadame of Korvosa often feels like prison or even worse. And now she was suddenly offered the chance to leave the bleak campus walls and have a taste of real life. It was daunting, for sure, but fantastic as well.

Being the only daughter to a wealthy merchant from Taldor, Elvira lost her mother at the young age of nine. Her father possessed a sharp mind for business, but had no clue how to raise a child on his own. When he learned from her tutors that she displayed a knack for the fine arts of magic, he sent her to distant Korvosa to start an education at the famed wizard school, the Acadamae, and easily put down the hefty enrollment fee. Elvira has been there since she was thirteen and successfully steered her way through nine years of hard training.

Possessing a fair amount of natural charm, Elvira chose the school that fitted her personality best – enchantment – to specialize in. She also showed a keen interest in illusion and transmutation, but shrunk back at anything that had to do with necromancy. Having survived the first three dreaded years in the Acadamae, in which students mostly perform slave labor for other students and the staff, she regained some independence when she finally started her actual studies. She spent a lot of time with her nose in books and scrolls, eagerly devouring every morsel of knowledge she could gather. She was especially intrigued with the workings of perception and memory and delved into fundamental philosophical questions about reality.

Her research skills did not go unnoticed and when Lady Eliasia Leroung asked to employ her in the university library – which did not belong to the Acadamae but was often used by its students - the request was granted. For over three years now Elvira has been combining her studies with a part-time job in the city’s center of bookish knowledge, which she absolutely loved, for it granted her a measure of freedom she had not felt since arriving in Korvosa. When King Eodred II died and all kinds of trouble assailed the city, however, the Acadamae closed its doors to the outside world, cutting off Elvira’s ‘escape route’ to the library.

Three years ago the pretty girl also caught the eye master Togomor, Dean of Transmutation. The old, corpulent and – honestly – plain ugly wizard launched a number of clumsy attempts at courting Elvira, who, due to her inability at reading people took some time to figure out his true intentions. She was obviously troubled by his interest: the feelings she had for him came closer to repulsion. Still she was smart enough to realize the importance of not upsetting such an important dean and used her diplomatic talent to ward off his wooing, which actually didn’t prove too hard. Dean Togomor was extremely confident when it came down to his mastery over magic, but he was equally unsure in his aptitude for the game of love. So Elvira allowed him to pay her compliments and treated him kindly in return, while keeping him from truly acting on his feelings. Their relationship never grew past a clumsy game of flirtation and Togomor seemed happy with that. Elvira also learned to use her ‘quick eyes’ to spot him from a distance and avoid him when possible.

When the Acadamae closed itself off from the rest of the city after king Eodred’s death, Elvira was confined to campus once more. The school’s focus also drifted from teaching, as many professors seemed preoccupied with the tenuous situation in Korvosa and started cancelling classes or kept forgetting to drown their trainees in homework. Most students enjoyed this chance at laziness for once, but not Elvira. She took this time to experiment with a spell she had been working on for quite a while. Her path of trial and error ended in the latter, as things went wrong, badly! Elvira drifted between life and death for a few weeks and does not remember much of this period, except for the fact that she was cared for in the temple of Asmodeus, not exactly her first choice of deity. When she finally returned to the Acadamae a couple of weeks ago, she was still in need of recovery, so she got a pass which allowed her to skip classes. This time she allowed herself to enjoy the spare time as well, dreading to jump back into her research after her failed experiment.

And then, ten days ago, another opportunity presented itself: the castle wanted to launch a theatre play that would recount the events that had plagued Korvosa in the last four months and Elvira was explicitly requested to portray the queen in this production. She knows that Dean Togomor has recently made it to court mage and seneschal in the castle, so she realizes that this request must have come from him. Since Elvira had always felt an affinity for theatre, she jumped at the chance to perform on stage for the first time in her life and she turned out to be really good at it. For ten days she was allowed out of the Acadamae for rehearsals, and even though she did not form a close bond with any of her fellow actors, she enjoyed this freedom tremendously. Today she was treated to the applause of hundreds of spectators and it was an absolute kick! She had even made a new admirer, who was a lot more attractive than Dean Togomor. His name was Quint, an actor who had starred in the recent hit The Passion of Saint Alika, and he wanted to see her again. If only he understood how strict Acadamae rule was: you can’t just walk in and out whenever you feel like it. Even today, while the rest of the cast will go into the city to celebrate, Elvira will have to return to campus. Her tieflings guards have already arrived to accompany her home.

When Elvira steps into her room at the Acadamae she finds the chamber filled with flowers. Seated in her chair is Dean Togomor, who claps his hands: “Congratulations”, he smiles midly, “you were wonderful.”

“Ow,” Elvira mumbles as she picks out a flower, “you overwhelm me, I am flattered, but I don’t deserve this.”

“Don’t be shy,” Togomor counters, “You were the star of the show. The queen thought so as well. We watched the show from the castle with the aid of magic. Live screening, I’m sure there is money in it. Anyhow, how do you feel about all of this?”

“Well, I have to admit, it was great.”

“That it was, sweet Elvira. And having spent so much time in the castle lately, away from the Acadamae grounds, I have rediscovered how nice it feels to have a change of scenery for once. I can only imagine that you feel the same, the enclosure of campus life gets to you after so many years, doesn’t it?”

“It does, it was nice to get out, even if my tiefling ‘bodyguards’ were always there to escort me back as soon as rehearsals were over.”

“Well, as you know, I have been watching you for a while and to be honest, I believe that you have learned everything you can in here. I’ve consulted with your Dean, mistress Tarlan, and headmaster Ornelos, and we all came to the same conclusion: you are an excellent student, you’ve made superb progression and you are ready to graduate.”

“By the gods,” Elvira gulps, “graduate? I still have over half a year to go before I finish my ten years.”

“You do, but it is not uncommon for students to take their exam during their tenth year, rather than at the end of it. Let’s say that having to complete the ride is usually a sign of mediocrity, a category that doesn’t fit you in the slightest.”

“And when would I have to do the tests?”

“Tomorrow, there is no reason to postpone the inevitable.”

Elvira’s mouth drops. “Tomorrow? Tomorrow? But I have to prepare, study. I have to get ready.”

Togomor chuckles. “You’ve been preparing and studying for almost ten years, child, you are ready. Just bring your gear and study whatever spells you deem wise.”

Elvira slinks over to Togomor, laying her hand on his. “And is there something you can tell me? To prepare? What challenges will I face?”

Togomor awkwardly puts his own hand on Elvira’s. “I cannot tell you, my dear. The test has to remain a secret, you know that. Moreover, it’s your dean who sets the challenges. Each exam is tailored specifically to the talents of the student taking it, although summoning a creature from Hell is always part of it.”

“But summoning is not exactly my strong suit. I only know a second level summoning spell that can call forth a measly lemure devil. I doubt that will suffice to impress the jury.”

“Don’t worry about your summoning spells,” Togomor reassures Elvira, “you’ll have to perform a summoning ritual, that’s true, but it won’t require one of your summoning spells.” Then the Dean of Transmutation gets up. “You’ll have to excuse me now, duty calls. I have to get back to her majesty. I’ll tell her you appreciated the flowers.”

“Please do, and Dean Togomor, thank you for believing in me.”

The seneschal gives Elvira a sheepish smiles before whispering the words of a teleportation spell and disappearing into thin air. Elvira takes some time to gather het bearings and then starts flipping through her spellbook, wondering which spells she will prepare tomorrow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Due to tensions in the group we’ve had to say goodbye to Quint’s player, which was a hard decision because I’ve been playing with him for two decades now. B., if you’re reading this, I wish you well. On the other hand we were able to reconnect with an excellent player from earlier campaigns who has agreed to join our group and who has graciously offered his house as a place to play. Or as he phrased it last night: Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in. D., welcome back to the fold. He’ll be playing Elvira Campert, the beautiful Acadamae student who portrayed the queen in the mock theatre play Korvosa always rises. Yesterday we played a solo session to set his character up. Next time she’ll be introduced to the rest of the party.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
OatsMalone wrote:
So this dilemma turned into something great. The party took a pretty unexpected tact: they sympathized with Girrigz' rage and asked how they could help the wererat population in Korvosa, and noted that the plague could be the stimulus to their current state of affairs that they needed to change their standing in the city. They released Girrigz to set up a meeting with the wererat elders, and the party is dedicated to finding a way that the wererats can contribute to the city's health.

In my campaign Girrigz agreed to try and lead as many rats out of the city as possible, reducing the chance of spreading the disease somewhat and thus saving a couple hundreds of citizen lives.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's been quiet for a while, but here is something to look forward to:
- mysterious girl,
- same girl and her secret admirer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Too bad we haven't heard from you in a while, Inspectre. I hope you're well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

27 Arodus 4708

That morning Balian, Puk and Quint enjoy the finer things in life. After an elaborate hearty breakfast they have their tired muscles and aching backs rubbed by an experienced masseuse and take a long, scented bath. They feel totally relaxed when they join Sjo at the small temple of Shelyn and accompany Lady Merisse Bromathan and her son to the rebel base in the Gray District. Illrem Bromathan is very happy to see his family safe and is relieved to learn that his brother is still alive, even though he is locked up in Longacre’s deepest dungeons.

The companions can use Illrem’s improvised study as their own conference room. They amass all the facts they know about the Acadamae, where according to the information they gathered, Ileosa’s infernal contract was forged.

Prestigious and highly esteemed, the famed Acadamae trains some of the finest wizards in all of Golarion. Isolated from the rest of the city and the world, the faculty opens its doors but once a year to outsiders, during the notorious Breaching Festival. The school attracts students from all over the world, as far away as distant Geb, and even - to the annoyance of the far-more ancient colleges there - Cheliax. The ten-year education is said to cost hands full of money, so only the privileged few make it to its classrooms. The Acadamae trains specialists in all eight schools of magic, but its primary focus lies in conjuration. Regardless of an apprentice’s focus every student at the college must pass a grueling exam in conjuration in order to graduate. Thus, the college does not allow its students to forsake learning of conjuration. Despite its towering tuition only seven out of ten students actually survive their decade of instruction. Rumors speak of those attempting to quit the school becoming test subjects for students of necromancy, but to date no one has verified these stories.

Nearly a town unto itself, the Acadamae provides its students and faculty with everything they need to live. The only people normally allowed within the Acadamae either teach at or attend the college. Instructors live in apartment suites within the walls for free, while the rent for students’ tenement flats and studios are included in their already expensive tuition. Students rarely venture outside the Acadamae’s imposing walls. Those who go out do so in groups as part of their studies, to shop at the Golden Orery, consult the Leroung library or attend service at the temple of Asmodeus. On rare occasions, students slink into one of the many taverns in the city to relieve stress, although it is far more common for them to sneak alcohol or drugs back onto campus. Since the state of emergency was declared in Korvosa following Eodred’s passing, even fewer people have left the school grounds. While most of the schools work together in relative harmony, an increasing animosity between students of conjuration and necromancy has led to several duels over the last couple of years. Since they are strictly against school policy, these magical combats also take place outside of the faculty walls. Students who attend the Acadamae usually have no interest in doing good works. Generally, they seek power at almost any cost. Many become swayed by the honeyed words of the devils they summon, and most of these lose any morality they had and slip inexorably into evil.

Shrouded in secrecy, the campus’s 30-foot-high walls only barely conceal the grand Hall of Summoning. This imposing building is one of the largest structures in all of Korvosa. Rebuilt only a quarter-century ago, the Hall of Summoning has only recently returned to full use as the primary locus of instruction. All students receive at least some tutoring at the Hall of Summoning, and it is in the massive, central summoning chamber that students must face their graduation exam. Surrounding this grandiose edifice are a number of ‘smaller’ buildings, including a hall for every school of magic. Each of them houses classrooms specially designed to facilitate their area of study. For the most part, these buildings architecturally reflect the nuances of the schools they house.

As the companions have already witnessed on several occasions a great number of imps make their homes on the Acadamae’s campus. These imps frequently take to the air, flitting about above the campus and across Korvosa. They tend to travel in groups, as the city’s pseudodragon population views them as foul representations of evil and petty sadism.

Each year, as spring turns to summer, the Acadamae of Korvosa holds the Breaching Festival: a day on which a dozen hopefuls try to enter the famed magical university’s Hall of Wards by whatever means they can, and in doing so earn extravagant wealth and the praise and admiration of an entire city. Yet no one has emerged victorious from the Breaching in over a century and a half, and a great many contestants have gone missing entirely after trying to bypass the school’s defenses. The dean of abjuration at the Acadamae sends out the invitations to the contestants. The top students from each of the seven other schools receive one, as do the leaders of the thieves’ guild and four other worthy candidates chosen at random. In addition to the invited participants, the annual event draws hundreds of onlookers, who fill the Acadamae’s grounds and stare in wonder at the secretive college’s otherwise closed campus. Students manning the gates prevent beggars and riffraff from entering the grounds, and as a rule no human child shorter than a dwarf may enter. These visitors are only allowed into the yard, where they witness the introduction of the participants to the festival and attend the start of the competition. The onlookers are not permitted to loiter about freely.

Since the first festival in 4544 only one competitor has ever succeeded in passing the test. Only 7 years into the contest, Dyson Fordyce (the fourth son of the lord at that time) managed to step half a shoe beyond the building’s threshold, granting him a small fortune. Dyson donated half his winnings to his father, allowing House Fordyce to rise to the status of Great House (a title it only held for a century), and used the other half to ensure for himself a life of quiet luxury in the hills outside Veldraine. The next 157 never saw a new victor. Every year in which no one succeeds in breaching the Hall of Wards, the prize grows by a thousand gold sails, filling the current purse with over 150,000 gold sails.

The school of abjuration’s building looks relatively mundane when compared to the others, but its plain exterior hides the best-guarded building in Korvosa. Even the Mint of Abadar’s myriad defenses pale in comparison to those in place around and within the Hall of Wards. As such it is believed that the Acadamae’s biggest secrets are hidden in this building.

Armed with this information the companions realize that there are two more avenues to gather more intel: the Fordyce family and the thieves’ guild. Contacting the first source won’t be a problem, since the companions spent just last night in the company of one of the Fordyce nobles. Getting in touch with the Cerulean Society will prove harder, though. The companions have never dealt with this secret organization in person and have to rely on the rumors they know. The Cerulean Society is the only ‘legally recognized guild’ in this otherwise guildless city. They pay a hefty vice tax which allows them to conduct activities that border on the edge of the law. In exchange for this significant stream of tax income the city provides the guild immunity from prosecution as long as none of the crimes committed turn violent. Guild activities include a strong protection racket as well as drug trade. They also deal in sensitive information.

The thieves’ guild is not always the most powerful underworld group in the city. On occasion, a larger or more powerful group rises up and challenges the reigning thieves’ guild. The resulting gang wars pit the entrenched guild and its allies against the potential usurper and its supporters. This actually benefits the city, as it keeps both the Cerulean Society and its potential rivals from becoming too powerful.

The guild as it exists today is rumored to be in somewhat of a downward spiral. The current guild master, a man known as Boule, struggles to keep the organization from collapsing. More brute than brain Boule is respected by few, but feared by many. The man is noted for his bad temper and iron fist discipline. He’s a bad drunk with a strong desire for the mild stimulant from the Storval Plateau, Qat. His rule in the guild leans heavily upon his sense for sadism and cruelty. Never one to shy away from a fight, Boule can crush a man’s skull with his bare hands.

Some believe that Boule’s incompetence to lead is a clear sign that there is another power behind his throne. The name that is sometimes whispered is that of Glorio Arkona, whom the companions have dealt and allied with before. In their earlier transactions with the illusive noble from Old Korvosa he has alluded to underworld contacts himself, so the thought of him being the true ‘godfather’ of Korvosa’s Cerulean Society might not even be so farfetched.

The party decides to approach Glorio Arkona once more, but first they swing by House Zenderholm again, hoping to gain an audience with Lord Anaster Fordyce. Unfortunately the man is out for business, but his daughter Belinda kindly receives the heroes and turns out to be well versed in her father’s ancestral history, a trait not uncommon among nobles. Belinda confirms that ‘uncle Dyson’, as her ancestor’s younger brother is still called in the family, won the Breaching Festival 157 years ago, in 4551, when the competition was only seven years old. Dyson Fordyce was an Acadamae graduate who had specialized in illusion magic. He set a foot over the Hall of Wards’ threshold, thus technically fulfilling the stipulations of the contest rules, even though he never actually entered the guarded hall itself. Since his victory the rules for the Breaching Festival were tightened: they now require someone to actually enter the Hall through the front door and exit at the back. These stricter conditions have ensured that no one has won again.

Quint senses that Belinda is not revealing everything she knows and prods her to continue. It takes some subtle help from Sjo to get her to talk. Belinda admits there is more, but she swears the companions to secrecy. Uncle Dyson never actually won. Being a cum laude graduate in illusions, he somehow managed to use his guile to make it seem like he went over the threshold, but he never really did. His trickery worked and that is how he won. So, Belinda concludes, in the 163 years since the competition started, no one has ever managed to triumph, not even Dyson Fordyce.

The party’s next stop is House Arkona. The companions use a dimension door to get into Old Korvosa, so they can avoid the Gray Maiden patrol on the bridge. Lord Glorio is as hospitable as ever. He has heard rumors, he smiles, of remarkable things that happened in the city during the last few days and compliments his guests on these achievements. Sjo returns the compliment by expressing his admiration for how well Lord Arkona is always informed.

“In fact”, the healer states, “we have come to take you up on your kind offer of help and possibly use this intelligence network of yours. You see, we’d like to learn more about the Acadamae and ways to get into this secluded bastion of magic. Survivors of the Breaching Festival would be a great source of information and if we understand correctly, the thieves’ guild sends a competitor every year. No doubt their century and a half of experience must have amounted to a great pool of knowledge. Is there any way in which we could benefit from this know-how? Could you get us in touch with someone within the guild?”

Glorio smiles confidently. He will contact his sources and arrange a meeting, he states. He will let the companions know when it is set up. Balian says he can leave a message at Tenna’s B&B. Quint almost spoils the party’s good relations with Lord Arkona by indirectly suggesting that he is the thieves’ guild real kingpin, earning his party members’ angry glares in exchange. The bard’s diplomacy was definitely off today, maybe the perfumes of this morning’s bath got to his head. Fortunately Arkona ignores this remark and merrily sends his guests off.

Another dimension door gets the party back to the mainland, where they reconsider their options for finding out more about infernal contracts. The temple of Asmodeus is still under lock-down and our friends seriously doubt whether priestess Tyresha will still be in place. Although she did not take part in their raid two nights ago, she was partly involved by instructing the Gray Maidens at the door to let the mysterious ‘inquisitor’ and his bodyguards pass. Since the queen will be most displeased by the destruction of her blood clone operation, she might very well direct her rage at Tyresha, lacking the real ‘culprits’. They finally decide to go with Balian’s earlier suggestion to seek advice outside the city and head to Kaer Maga instead. This way they won’t risk more exposure inside Korvosa.

28 Arodus 4708

The next morning Quint uses his last scroll of teleportation to zap the party to Kaer Maga. They make for The Flame that Binds, the magic shop where they conducted some business before. Its owner Carthagos is a powerful magician of his own right. Being a bloatmage he is definitely not an Acadamae graduate, but he might still know more about infernal contracts in general or be able to refer the companions to someone else in Kaer Maga he does. They are lucky, because the obese man is actually quite knowledgeable in planar matters. If the visitors promise him more business, he freely offers them what he knows about deals with devils.

An agreement with a contract devil can only be broken in two ways. When a contract is signed, a second copy manifests; one copy is retained by the devil and the other is given to the mortal. Mortals are free to do whatever they please with the lengthy, obviously evil documents, while contract devils typically keep active contracts with them at all times. Should both copies of a contract be reunited, they can be destroyed. Any effects caused by the contract are canceled or reversed and the mortal's soul goes to its normal place of rest after death and can be resurrected as normal. Merely absconding with both copies of the contract is not enough to break it - as long as the copies exist, the signer's soul remains forever damned.

Alternatively, a second mortal might be allowed to adopt the terms of a contract - with its soul replacing that of the original contract signer after death. The mortal who seeks to pay the debt of another must contact the contract devil who holds the relevant contract. The contract devil has a choice of whether or not to allow one mortal to pay another's debt, but values religious and good-aligned souls over others. Shrewd manipulators, contract devils often only agree to allow one mortal to pay another's debt in return for some service or proof of worth. If a contract devil agrees to accept another soul in payment, the original contract signer retains all of the benefits of the contract, but is released from damnation and may be resurrected as normal. The new signer, however, receives no benefits, cannot be returned to life upon dying, and spends an eternity in Hell after death.

Carthagos also reveals more on contract devils, also known as phistophili. They are immune to fire and poison and possess a high resistance to magic and weapons that are not enchanted with ‘holy’ magic. When confronting one of them, the opponent had better prepare!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorshen's tomb under Korvosa.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As Puk and Balian walk through the North Point District, they notice Ileosa’s blue dragon on top of the Longacre Building. Questioning one of the workers on Jeggare Circle, they learn that this creature has been here since it was revealed to the city yesterday, and is now apparently guarding the courthouse/prison. Balian rewards the worker with one gold sail. Afterwards they complete their trip to Third Street, where the Bromathan residence is situated. The house is surrounded by a stone wall, leaving only the iron wrought gate to peek inside. Walking past, Puk and Balian see two Gray Maidens standing guard on the balcony above the front doors. Since hanging around the gate would quickly arouse suspicion, the two scouts decide there is nothing much to do for them around here anymore. They do remember, however, that Lady Zenobia Zenderholm, the Hanging Judge, lived in Fourth Street, and establish that the garden of her house actually partially adjoins House Bromathan’s backyard. Maybe they can gain more information from the Zenderholm family. As they head over there, they are surprised to see two Gray Maidens guarding the judge’s residence as well. They don’t recall having heard that this family has been placed under house arrest, so they assume that these guards simply act as ‘security’. Balian informs about judge and learns that she is at work in the courthouse. She won’t be home for a couple of hours. The two companions take their leave, glad to have gleaned from the guards’ behavior and accent that they were not blood clones, but real humans and real Korvosans to boot. Then the two young heroes rejoin their friends.

After his refreshing conversation with Dame Nesia’s double (or rather original), Elvira Campert, Quint joins Sjo at the old courthouse, close to the temple of Asmodeus. Sjo hasn’t done any scouting yet, since his limited vision of 60 feet makes that difficult. While Quint informs him how his meeting with the actress went, Balian and Puk arrive and report on their findings as well. Spying on the temple seems quite pointless too: the building is obviously closed to any visitors. A young man is denied entry by the Gray Maidens at the doors and when the companions intercept him, he claims that he couldn’t get in because the star-shaped building was shut for ‘temple business’. The youngster looks like a student from the Acadamae and his accent clearly betrays his Chelaxian background.

With their scouting mission over, Quint takes his friends to Tenna’s B&B, where he booked a room earlier. The owner is a great cook and conjures up a delicious supper for the party. Puk and Balian rent a room as well, and order a scented bath and massage session for tomorrow morning. Sjo is the only one who won’t be staying here, preferring to sleep with his fiancée at the temple of Shelyn. He is envious of the fact this his friends will have a personal valet here, named Bertol.

Around nine in the evening the party returns to House Zenderholm, hoping the find the judge at home now. The streets, which have more or less reclaimed their normal liveliness during daytime hours, are still very quiet at night. They companions make sure not to encounter any patrols and quickly find their way to Fourth Street. Two new Gray Maidens stand watch at the front doors now, but they do not keep our friends from knocking. Zenobia’s husband, Anaster Fordyce, answers and heartily invites the party inside. The complete family is gathered in the grand salon, judge Zenobia, her daughter Belinda, and her two sisters, Valesca and Almira, both spinsters who are in charge of the household. Quint accepts the offer of a cup of tea and asks to speak to Lady Zenderholm in private, while Puk and Balian agree to something stronger and entertain the rest of the family with funny anecdotes and jokes.

Zenobia takes Quint to her study. The bard quickly deduces that the judge still has her heart in the right place: she regrets that the queen has taken justice into her own hands, but does her best to stay on as head judge, to ensure that the law is still upheld as much as possible. Quint is quite open about his own recent findings, explaining what he discovered in the Temple of Asmodeus and revealing the Shoanti’s plans to wage war on Korvosa. He also confesses to freeing the Leroung family from house arrest, admitting that this endeavor did not go quite as planned and resulted in the assassination of Lady Leroung. Now he would like to extract Lady Bromathan and her son as well, but he wants to avoid bloodshed. Lady Zenderholm agrees: the Bromathans are the perfect example of the Queen’s self-righteous conduct. Although no real charges have been brought up to accuse the core family, they have been detained for being allied to House Endrin and the Sable Company. Lord Valdur IV, the head of the house, pines away in a cell beneath the Longacre Building, while his wife and son have been confined to their villa. And all of this without a fair trial! Lady Zenderholm supports Quint’s plans to free her neighbors, especially when she learns that Illrem Bromathan himself requested this. She would even let the companions use her house to do this extraction, as long as they do not betray her involvement to the Gray Maidens. The two guards at the front door saw four men come in and they are expecting four men to come out again! Still, the Zenderholm house can provide an advantage. Since Zenobia’s study is situated at the back of the house on the first floor, the window offers a great view over the dividing wall to the Bromathan residence. Lord Valdur’s and Lady Merisse’s bedroom is at the back of the Bromathan house, so Quint can clearly see their window from here. When Lady Merisse appears to draw the curtains, the bard casts message to magically whisper to the woman in the adjacent house. After her initial surprise, she confirms that she is eager to get out. The fact that her brother-in-law Illrem requested her rescue sets her at ease even more and she is overjoyed to hear that her husband (even though he is imprisoned in Longacre) and her daughter Aurelia (whom the party saved from the temple of Asmodeus) are still alive. She says that her son is in his own bedroom at the front of the house. There are eight Gray Maiden guarding the residence, but no devils. Quint tells the woman to sit tight; he will try to smuggle her and her son out without the guards even finding out!

Quint gathers his friends and leaves the Zenderholm house. He casts two invisibility spheres, one on himself and Puk, and another one on Balian and Sjo. The party now makes for Third Street, where they can stand in front of the iron gate without being seen. The son’s room is next to the balcony where two Gray Maidens are standing watch, so the heroes will have to proceed with caution. Using ghost sound inside the boy’s room, Quint lures the lad to the window, so he can cast another message. The bard whispers to young Valdur that he will be rescued at the behest of his uncle Illrem. While Sjo and Balian remain in the street in front of the house, ready to come to their friends’ aid if anything should go wrong, Puk and Quint use dimension door, one of Quint’s new fourth level spells, to teleport into young Valdur’s room. A second dimension door takes them to Lady Merisse. Quint renews his invisibility sphere, to include Valdur and his mother, and with Puk’s cloak of the pixie king, they can dimension door back to Balian and Sjo. From there they retreat to the temple of Shelyn, which is the closest safe place they know. Sjo’s fiancée Larella is happy to provide the saved nobles with a bed for the night. Sjo will remain there as well to watch over them, while his friends go back to Tenna’s B&B, to spend the night in a soft featherbed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd go with the Reaper dwarven wizard as well, 77075: Khael Stonekindle, Dwarf Wizard. With the plastic Bones mini, you'll be able to cut back his hat easily to make it look like the flat-topped brimmed hat. The pipe could be recut into a flask-like thing, so you'd have the alchemist element covered as well. The staff can be retrimmed as well, although I don't know what is appropriate for the character.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Christopk-K wrote:

We'll start CotCT soon. I want to get some more background on the city my character spent his whole life living in. On the other hand I want to avoid spoilers at all cost.

Would it be consideres "save" reading? Or could I partially read it?

The Guide to Korvosa has been designed so that it is safe to read for players, except for the last chapter, which contains the secrets of the city for the GM only.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, there is not much official information on the Cerulean Society, which means it is open for your interpretation. There are several pages on the obsidian portal network that describe the thieves' guild with a mix of official material and homebrew stuff:

There seems to be a concensus in these pages that the word 'Cerulean' refers to the blue uniforms the gang members wear.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

After having found out the basics on infernal contracts from Keppira d’Bear, the companions realize that they need to learn more about these devilish dealings if they want to stand a chance against Ileosa. The temple of Asmodeus is their best bet, but the place will be in state of alert after last night’s raid, so getting more information from someone like priestess Tyresha will prove very tricky right now. The Acadamae probably houses a fair number of scholars who have a keen interest in the planes, but as the place is off limits to the public and closely guarded, it will prove even trickier than the temple of the Dark Prince. The Leroung library used to have a chamber dedicated to planar studies, but when the party was there two nights ago, they were told that imps had overrun the room and destroyed all tomes referring to Hell. So this is not a viable option either.

They call in professor Sirtane Leroung to ask her who in the city were regular users of the library’s planar section. Unfortunately, she states that only Asmodeans and residents from the Acadamae frequented this particular reading room. So who else in Korvosa might know more about infernal contracts? The various devils themselves perhaps, but how would you go about getting them to talk? No, it feels like Korvosa will not offer this information freely. Balian suggests using the teleport scroll to go to another city to gather this knowledge: Janderhoff, Kaer Maga or even somewhere in Cheliax itself. Quint rejects Balian’s idea, at least for the moment. The bard proposes to stake out the temple of Asmodeus to find out how things evolve there. He still sees the temple as his best option and feels it would be unwise to simply dismiss this possibility without making sure it truly is impossible.

The bard also remembers Illrem Bromathan’s plea for help to free his sister-in-law and nephew from their home, where they have been placed under house arrest. Since the party’s first ‘rescue mission’ at the Leroung house didn’t end so well, it seems like a good idea to stake out the Bromathan villa as well, before actually moving in to free the prisoners. Illrem provides the heroes with a sketch of the house and looks pleased that the party will heed his personal request, as the truly fears for the safety of his kin.

The companions decide to use the rest of the day for scouting. Sjo and Quint will watch the temple of Asmodeus, while Puk and Balian will keep their eyes on the Bromathan villa. Traveling to these two destinations will take them to the northwest and northeast of the city respectively. This means they have to part ways at the Gold Market, so they might as well have dinner there first in one of the restaurants. After all, it is no fun staking out a place on an empty stomach.

The Gold Market is unexpectedly booming with activity. A large crowd has gathered in front of a podium. Asking around, the companions find out that there will be a free theatrical performance, with free food and drink to boot. It looks like Ileosa is working hard on her public relations with another offering of bread and games. Deciding that they don’t mind paying for a good meal, the companions find a great spot on the terrace of the exclusive King’s Table restaurant, from where they have a good, albeit somewhat distant view on the stage. Only moments later the play begins.

---

Korvosa always rises

Act 1

Scene 1

The opening scene shows Eodred’s harem: beautiful girls who keep the king occupied. After an exotic dance a smart-dressed man with a haughty attitude walks in and sends the girls away. It is the seneschal. The kings asks how his people are doing. Kalepopolis assures him that all is well and that his subjects are happy. The king does not need to worry, his seneschal has everything under control.

Balian recognizes the actor who plays Kalepopolis. It is Marco Ebhart, who was part of the Passion of Saint Alika cast, in which he played the Shoanti assassin who gave Alika her first vision.

Scene 2

Kalepopolis retreats to his chambers where he meets up with the Chelish ambassador Amprei. Amprei offers the seneschal a painting of a nude young woman, which Kalepopolis likes very much. He is especially fond of her boyish looks. Amprei claims it is a self-portrait of an up-and-coming new artist, named Trinia Sabor. Knowing the seneschal’s love of the arts, he is willing to introduce the two in exchange for his help. He wants to have the king sign a new decree, forcing poor people who can’t pay their taxes into slavery, as is the custom for halflings in Cheliax. Slavery will offer great business opportunities, as will the property market: slaves will be forced out of their homes and these empty houses will be up for grabs.

Kalepopolis likes the deviousness of Amprei’s plans, but he seriously doubts Eodred will sign such a decree: the kind-hearted king loves his people too much. Amprei says he has already thought of that. He calls in a woman whom he introduces as Lady Andaisin, high priestess of Urgathoa. She can brew a potion that will make the king do anything they want. They will simply have one of his harem girls slip the potion to him. Kalepopolis is easily convinced, but says they will have to wait until after the Founding Festival tomorrow, for the can hardly send a drugged king into the city to greet its citizens.

Scene 3

During his ride through the city on Founding Day, the king sees how a young noblewoman from Cheliax gets thrown off her horse and he saves her from being trampled. He learns her name, Ileosa, and offers to take her to his castle to have her rest. A mother with a small ginger-haired child watches as the king and the noblewoman ride off. “She is beautiful, isn’t she, mother?” the boy says. “She is, Tommy, she truly is”, the mother replies.

There is something strangely familiar about Ileosa’s voice and countenance. Studying her closer Puk sees that she looks and sounds exactly like Dame Nesia, the blood clone experiment who lived with the companions for a time before she exploded in a pool of blood. This woman must be Nesia’s original!

Scene 4

Kalepopolis is talking to Amprei and Andaisin. The seneschal is furious: Eodred has sent his harem away because he is infatuated with this new girl. The king has also decided to take a more active interest in ruling the city to impress his new conquest. Without the harem the conspirators won’t be able to slip the king the potion. Amprei admits this is a great setback. Now they will have to find another way to force the poor out of their houses, so he can buy big building blocks cheaply. But Kalepopolis needn’t worry, Andaisin has more tricks up her sleeve. After all, the best weapon against a woman with a gentle soul, is a woman with an evil one.

Scene 5

Eodred and Ileosa get married. The king promises to be a good husband to her and an even better king to his people. Naturally, he is concerned for his wife’s safety and he gives her a personal bodyguard, Sabina Merrin and a handful of queen’s guards, called the Gray Maidens.

Act 2

Scene 1

Kalepopolis has another meeting with Amprei and Andaisin. The seneschal is malcontent because he has lost a lot of influence over the last five years, since Eodred and Ileosa got married. The queen has made Eodred a better man and king, thwarting the conspirators’ plans. Amprei whole-heartedly agrees, although he has the funds to buy up land in Korvosa’s poorer quarters, prices are still too high. Andaisin says Urgathoa has the answer: the king will have to be killed. She takes out a potion bottle with a big white skull painted on it. But who will give it to the king? Kalepopolis smiles, he knows just the person. After all, it is high time the king adds his portrait to the gallery of monarchs.

Scene 2

Eodred and Ileosa are in their chambers, joking about what pose the king should assume on his portrait. Eodred wants Ileosa to be on the portrait with him, but she kindly refuses, saying tradition demands a state portrait of the monarch by himself. Then Kalepopolis interrupts, walking in with the artist, Trinia Sabor. Ileosa kindly greets her, but Trinia scoffs at her and demands to be alone with his majesty: there can be no distractions.

The woman playing Trinia looks familiar as well. Quint recognizes her as one of the Exemplary Execrables’ former actresses. He even recalls her name, Greta. She was the young girl who portrayed the vessel for Donodarr’s seed in Lucian Lycan’s (Lick’s) play The Hell Mother. Several of the other cast members belong to Greta’s gang of drug-using friends, whom the companions met as well.

Scene 3

Ileosa is talking to Kalepopolis. She is concerned for the king. Trinia has kept him locked up in his room for weeks now. Ileosa feels her husband should come out for some fresh air, the current situation is not healthy for him and it has also kept him from doing his royal duties. Kalepopolis wipes the queen’s worries under the rug. Eodred is just getting older, he claims, and Korvosa does not need him to exert himself; Kalepopolis is perfectly capable of taking those heavy duties off the king’s hands. Ileosa disagrees, she wants to take Eodred out for a walk on the terrace, but Kalepopolis blocks her way. “Not yet,” he grunts, “be patient, my queen, Trinia will finish her business soon enough!”

After Ileosa leaves, Andaisin crawls out from behind the curtain. She asks Kalepopolis why the king still isn’t dead. The seneschal says he might have misjudged Eodred’s charm, he fears the silly painter has fallen in love with the king.

Scene 4

Trinia puts the final touches on Eodred’s portrait. She walks up to the king and gives him a hug. Then she tries to kiss him, but he wards her off, saying those frivolous days are long behind him. He is happily married now. Trinia is obviously disappointed and asks the king if they can at least toast to the finished portrait. Eodred accepts. Trinia secretly pulls out the poison and pours it in Eodred’s drink. Then they empty their glasses and Eodred drops to the floor. The king is dead.

Scene 5

Ileosa runs into the throne room and falls to her knees, crying because her husband is dead. Kalepopolis follows a few moments later, saying “so it goes”. People grow old and then they die. Then he sits down on the throne, shouting: “The king is dead, long live the king!” As Ileosa looks up in despair, he smirks at her. If she is a good girl, he might find some room in his bed for her. “Never”, Ileosa screams in reply. The seneschal jumps to his feet again and draws his weapon. He claims that in ancient civilizations, wives joined deceased kings in the grave. Maybe it is time to revive these customs. He walks up to Ileosa threateningly, but Sabina Merrin shows up just in time to parry his blade. She wounds Kalepopolis badly and the man flees, swearing this is not over yet.

Act 3

Scene 1

Amprei and Andaisin are toasting the king’s death, when a wounded Kalepopolis stumbles in on them. He tells them his plans to usurp the throne have failed: they underestimated Ileosa and her protector Merrin. Lady Andaisin calls this only a minor setback. All the conspirators have to do is prove to the people of Korvosa that Ileosa can’t rule. Urgathoa will help them, she claims. She just needs some time to prepare a very devious plan, nothing short of a ‘masterpiece’. Meanwhile she wants her allies to undermine the queen’s authority. Kalepopolis cries he can’t do anything for now, he’s badly wounded! He will seek refuge with his Sable Company brothers to get well first. So it’s up to Amprei, who promises to do what he can to incite the people to rebel against Ileosa.

Scene 2

Amprei is talking to Trinia, who is angry with Ileosa for being the true cause of the king’s death. She calls Ileosa a Chelish wh*re. Amprei chuckles at this insult and tells Trinia to teach it to the filth in the streets.

Scene 3

Little Tommy, the kid with the ginger hair (now five years older) is walking with his mother, talking about how sad they are about the king dying. Suddenly they come across a group of people who are protesting against Ileosa (or the “Chelish wh*re”, as the call her); Amprei and Trinia are in the first ranks, shouting the hardest. Korvosan guards try to calm the demonstrators down, but Trinia draws a knife and skewers a guard. Sabina Merrin arrives on the scene, cradles the stabbed guard in her arms as he dies and then tells the protestors to return home. Amprei tries to stab her in the back while she is trying to defuse the situation. She manages to sidestep his vicious attack, knocks him out and then she draws her sword and holds it to Trinia’s throat. She arrests the painter while she sends the rest of the rabble home. When everyone has left the scene, Little Tommy and his mother remain behind. Tommy asks his mother what a “wh*re” is. She claims it is hard to explain, but whatever it is, she is sure Ileosa isn’t one. “What is she, then?” the boy wonders. “She is the one who is going to take care of all of us, as queens do”, his mother assures him.

Scene 4

Merrin brings Amprei and Trinia before the queen. Although she is still in mourning, Ileosa makes the right decision: she sends Amprei back to Cheliax, telling him that his title of Chelish ambassador is all that is keeping the axe from his neck. She tries to show some sympathy for Trinia, but the painter blames Ileosa for everything and refuses to show any remorse. With a heavy heart Ileosa condemns her to death.

Scene 5

As Trinia is being lead to the chopping block, Ileosa gives her another opportunity to confess her sins and repent, but again the girl refuses. Suddenly Blackjack appears and rescues Trinia. Merrin is frustrated, but Ileosa seems relieved: she is happy the gods helped her not to sink to Trinia’s level and take a life. She is sure the gods will see justice done.

Act 4

Scene 1

Lady Andaisin is working in a dark laboratory, injecting a rat with a green fluid inside a large syringe. Suddenly Blackjack and Trinia walk in. Blackjack removes his mask. It is Kalepopolis. Andaisin wonders why he bothered saving Trinia, she is a failure! The priestess claims to be holding the key to their success in her hand, showing the rat to her visitors. Trinia mocks the priestess: “You’re going to take down the queen with rats? How will you do that?” “Like this”, Andaisin replies, as she lets go of the rat, who runs over to Trinia and bites the girl. Trinia is shocked and runs for the door. Kalepopolis intends to stop her, but Andaisin orders him to let her go. If the people don’t kill her, the rat bite certainly will, she smirks.

Balian notices that the rat is not actually a real animal, but rather an illusion. He also briefly picks up a flash of the person casting the magical rat image: it is Rimando Lumenos, the gnome prankster who used to work in the Marble Dome for The Passion of Saint Alika.

Scene 2

Little Tommy comes home to find his mother chase off three rats. He tells her he found something outside. He leads his mother out to a haystack where Trinia Sabor is in her death throes. Tommy’s mother goes over to comfort Trina. With her dying breath the painter finally confesses: “It was never Ileosa’s fault, it was always mine.” Then she dies. Tommy’s mother closes the dead woman’s eyes and gets up with a cough.

Scene 3

Ileosa receives a number of plague doctors in her throne room. The physicians claim to have been sent by the Chelish government to help. Ileosa is grateful for their assistance, but after the doctors have left, Merrin tells the queen she does not trust them. The queen orders her personal bodyguard to keep a close eye on them.

Scene 4

Tommy brings his sick mother to the doctors’ hospital. The beak-masked healers put her in a bed and give her medicine. They order Tommy to leave, as he will only get in the way. When the boy is gone, they laugh: no one knows their medicine will only make people worse. Sabina Merrin is standing behind a pillar, eaves-dropping. When one doctor leaves and only one remains behind, she knocks him out.

Scene 5

Sabina Merrin takes the doctor she captured to the queen. She forces the man to confess, but his acknowledgement does not contain a grain of remorse. He is happy to die for Urgathoa as his work in the city is done. Merrin gives him his wish and cuts him down. Ileosa is in shock. She feels guilty for allowing the physicians into the city and orders Merrin to put an end to their vile practices immediately.

Act 5

Scene 1

Sabina Merrin and her Gray Maidens invade the Hospital of the Blessed Maiden. They kill the doctors in the sick room and save the patients, including Tommy’s mother, who is burning up with fever. She asks Merrin where her son is. The Gray Maiden commander tells her she will see him soon enough. She’ll be safe now. Tommy’s mother thanks Merrin, but feels that she will not survive. She is too sick. Then another Gray Maiden interrupts the conversation, saying she has found a way down to the underground temple of Urgathoa.

Scene 2

Kalepopolis and Lady Andaisin are in a state of panic, the Gray Maidens have discovered their hideout. Their sanctuary is under attack! Kalepopolis waves around papers which hold the recipe to the cure. He also has crates full of the medicine, which the doctors have been using to keep from getting infected themselves. Andaisin orders him to destroy the potions and papers, as she retreats deeper into the sanctuary, to the shrine of Urgathoa. There she will make her final stand.

After Andaisin leaves, Kalepopolis wants to burn the documents and smash the potion bottles, but Sabina Merrin arrives in time to stop him. Kalepopolis refuses to yield, shouting the throne should have been his. Merrin finishes him off by plunging her sword in his chest.

Scene 3

Lady Andaisin is praying to a golden statue of Urgathoa. Sabina Merrin walks in and the two of them engage in combat. During the fight, the golden statue animates and joins Andaisin in the fight. Merrin is hard pressed, but she wins out in the end.

Scene 4

Tommy runs to his mother’s sickbed. She is really happy to see her son one more time and tells him to be strong, for her time is up. Then the queen herself walks in. She ignores her guards’ words of caution and joins Tommy at his mother’s side. She takes the woman’s hand in hers and promises her she will save her. Merrin gets back and gives one of the potions to the queen, who immediately administers it to Tommy’s mum. The woman suddenly regains her breath and feels better. Tommy is overjoyed. Ileosa asks Tommy if there is anything else she can do for him. He tells her to take care of everyone in the city, as queens do. “I will”, Ileosa promises.

Scene 5

Ileosa accepts the crown of Korvosa out of Little Tommy’s hands, finding it only fitting to receive the royal headband from her own people. The boy is now perfectly dressed and Ileosa hails him for being everything a true Korvosan should be: brave, never-relenting and loyal to the city. In the rest of her speech she praises the citizens for surviving. The cure has turned the plague into a dark memory and brighter days are ahead. Ileosa swears to protect the people and serve the land of Korvosa. When the people on stage burst into cheers of “Long live the queen!”, their cries are taken up by the spectators. The play ends with Korvosa’s new anthem: ‘Gods save Korvosa, Gods save the Queen’.

---

After the play Quint makes his way backstage. He casts glibness and innocence on himself and weasels his way past the guards by calling out to his ‘friend’ Marco Ebhart, who is hanging around behind the podium. Marco does not know who wrote the play, explaining that the piece was provided by the magistrate of Expenditures, Syl Gar, who also hired the cast. He can tell Quint the name of the woman who played Ileosa, however, Elvira Campert, a student from the Acadamae. She is in the building behind him, which has been confiscated to act as the dressing rooms for the cast. Quint makes his way inside the house and finds Elvira in an upstairs bedroom, where she is removing her make-up. She has taken off her red Ileosa wig, revealing her lush blond hair. Now there is no denying it anymore, she is the spitting image of Dame Nesia! Quint introduces himself as a fellow actor and Elvira recognizes him from The Passion of Saint Alika, which she claims to have seen. This is actually her first time on stage, she explains, and Quint showers her with compliments on her performance. She confirms that she is a student at the Acadamae, the Hall of Charm to be exact. As an arcanist specialized in enchantment, she has always felt a great affinity for the theatre, even though she never actively pursued this profession. She claims that she was asked to play the part of Ileosa by ‘the castle’. When Quint pushes her to expound, she tells him that she has no real connections in the castle, apart from the new seneschal, Togomor, who is also the head of the transmutation department in the Acadamae. Although she did not study under him, the professor had a soft spot for her and tried to woo her in the past, without success. The man is powerful, which some girls might find attractive, but not Elvira. She is even repulsed by his appearance, which makes Quint smile. Togomor is not a good-looking man by any standards: old, balding and fat with a greasy skin. Not the type a pretty girl would fall for. Quint on the other hand is a handsome devil, and he feels that there is a spark between him and Elvira. He asks her if he can see her again. She says she would like that, but it is hard to get out of the Acadamae. She’s not sure if there are going to be other performances of the play, none have been planned so far. So she asks Quint where she can find him, if she manages to get out. Since the bard can hardly tell Elvira he is staying at the resistance hide-out, he has to resort to quick thinking, claiming he is staying at Tenna’s, a luxurious bed and breakfast establishment in Citadel Crest.

Next Greta - Trinia in the play - knocks on the door, asking Elvira if she is ready. Quint greets her and tells her he actually met her after Lick’s (or rather Lucian Lycan’s) play The Hell Mother, but she does not remember him. The bard is not surprised, recalling that Greta was ‘high’ when they met. Before he slips out, Quint manages to grab one of the cotton pads Elvira used to remove her make-up. This might be useful to scry on her in the future.

Before he joins up with Sjo in the old courthouse, Quint swings by Tenna’s to book a room in his name for several days. He leaves instructions at the desk to take a message for him if people come by when he is absent, which might happen often, he says.


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roloz wrote:

That thing is huge. And looks great!

What model is the Kroft figure?

Thanks. The woman tied to the akaruzug's chest is a repainted Heroclix mini, called Dream Girl.


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Monrail wrote:
Great update as always, MrVergee. I wonder where this stuff with the blood clones comes from. It isn't part of the actual AP, is it? So did you make it up on your own or was it proposed somewhere as a possible side trek? Blends in quite perfectly with the rest of the plot.

I can't claim credit for the blood clone idea; I stole it from Moonbeam's excellent Curse of the Crimson Throne's journal, which was a great inspiration for my campaign. Moonbeam is the one who introduced the early blood clone experiment Dame Nesia, as well as the full blown Gray Maiden versions.

I ran with his idea because it provided several great opportunities:

  • It allowed me to build a much bigger Gray Maiden army.
  • It also allowed me to make the Gray Maidens more powerful (infusing them with Cressida Kroft's fighting abilities was my own idea), which gave me Gray Maidens who are strong enough to be a challenge to my PCs at their current level.
  • It also underlines the scrupulous lengths Ileosa is willing to go through to build out her power.
  • It gave me the chance to involve the church of Asmodeus.
  • It served as an excellent element in my alternative adventures for Skeletons of Scarwall.

I think Moonbeam got his idea from the AP's last installment: the Everdawn Pool in the Sunken Queen. As I won't be using that chapter in my own campaign, the blood clone Gray Maiden alternative sounded perfect. I guess Star Wars might have had an influence as well ...


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Wow, your guys did a lot in one session. sounds like all kinds of fun. I especially liked this detial:

Feros wrote:

Minerva used regeneration spells to heal Peppery, Grok, and the Stitchman before using a greater restoration to get Grok out of her catatonia. All three were overwhelmingly grateful and pledged their loyalty top Isobel and the rest of the crew, especially after Isobel proposed giving the Wormwood to them to command.


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Feros wrote:
We use Hero Points and I must say that they were all but gone by the end of the fight. In fact Jacen, who plays Silas, made the comment that anybody with full Hero Points after the fight would have some explaining to do! ;)

We use hero points too, real life savers. For me as a GM, hero points are a blessing, for they allow me to throw serious challenges at the party.


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For those not following my journal, I'd like to offer a link to my home-crafted akaruzug miniature on deviantart: here and here.

The creature is featured in the bestiary section of Crown of Fangs. In my campaign, I've used this soul-sucking construct in an alternative way, turning it into an infernal engine that can drain skills from an 'original' and infuse these powers into newly created blood clones. The individual being drained was actually Cressida Kroft.


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The stairs lead to the bowels of the crypts below the temple of Asmodeus. A strange construct floats in the center of a burning five-pointed star. The grim statue quietly hovers, its slow, seemingly weightless bobbing belying its obvious bulk. Sculpted in the shape of a grim, horned angel, gigantic wings and terrible, long clawed arms jut from a legless body that tapers into a blunt, blade-like trunk. Crucified upon the ominous form's breast hangs the drained body of Cressida Kroft, Korvosa’s field marshal. Five large vats stand in the points of the star; blood drips from the ceiling into these container. The crimson fluid churns and bubbles as it is slowly molded into human shape. The sanguine women are in different stages of development, with the most advanced specimen trying to tear loose from the scarlet goo. Off to the right is archbishop Ornher Reebs, the temple’s high priest, and his bodyguard Mallas.

Quint still poses as an inquisitor of Asmodeus and forcefully orders Reebs to cease these bestialities immediately, as they go against Korvosan rule. Reebs is not fazed in the least by this display of jurisdiction, he is not opposing the law, as a matter of fact, he’s acting on behalf of the city’s highest authority, the queen herself. On top of that his practice, albeit somewhat unusual, fits perfectly in Asmodean doctrine: sacrifices for the greater good and promotion of Asmodeus’ devil kingdom. In vain Quint tries to contest Reebs’s claims, but the high priest simply calls out to his god: “Asmodeus, show us who is right here!” His bodyguard takes this as a clue to draw his sword, but the real response to the archbishop’s calling is given within the burning star: with a sudden jut the humongous statue snaps to life and two of the vats burst out into horrible humanoid shapes that ooze and weep blood from every part of their body; their hands end in sharpened claws.

These fresh blood wights are the first to act, charging Balian and Quint. Vencarlo tries to counter, but finds that his rapier has difficulty piercing the creatures’ viscous skin. Reebs calls a wall of swirling blades into existence on top of Vencarlo, Balian and Quint, cleverly cutting off Spyder, Puk and Sjo from the rest of the room. Fortunately the three heroes in the blade barrier manage to jump out of harm’s way. Puk tumbles forward through the wall, relying on his roguish skills to avoid the hacking swords, and focuses his attacks on the same blood wight that Balian is targeting. Next the akaruzug flies closer, wipping its bladed underbody at Quint. The bard makes a converse movement and steps back to look for cover on the other side of the blade barrier. He suffers some cuts, but now finds himself in a relatively safe position to cast spells and try to influence the battle. He boosts his friends with haste and starts his satire to debuff his enemies, using the infernal language to do so. It looks like his effort fails on the construct and on Mallas as well, who is probably too stupid to know the tongue of his patron deity. Sjo attempts to hold the broad-shouldered bodyguard in place, but the temple warrior withstands the magic. Spyder joins the fight on the other side of the barrier, but suffers the full strength of the blades while jumping through. The poor dog is badly hurt and its bad luck continues as both the akaruzug and Mallas bear down on it in full force. Mangled and bleeding from many wounds the canine drops to the floor. Ornher Reebs calls down a large pillar of fire on the center of combat, catching most heroes and the two blood wights in the flames. One of the latter does not survive the fire. The heroes now press the attack on its sibling, but the akaruzug claws and slashes its way through them without mercy, taking Puk down as well. Sjo heals his friends with a mass cure light wounds and calls down his own flame strike on Mallas and Reebs. At the same time Quint casts good hope and drops his satire in favor of inspire greatness for Balian and Puk. The halfling’s luck picks up as he slips under Mallas’s fierce swing and Balian shares in the good fortune when his armor protects him from the blood wight’s claws. Vencarlo finally manages to finish the wight off, but still finds himself and his allies cornered by the hovering akaruzug. Puk uses his cloak’s dimension door power to teleport himself, Balian and Vencarlo to the other side of the room, next to Reebs. The high priest has just enough time to summon a look of surprise and panic on his face, before the halfing’s daggers and Balian’s greatsword end his miserable existence. Sjo now manages to freeze Mallas in place with a hold person, but just for a few seconds. Vencarlo darts around the floating construct, taking an attack of opportunity ‘for the team’, so he can provide flanking to Puk on Mallas. The fencing master gets hit even more by the akaruzug, but the seasoned warrior is tough and makes his stand. Mallas is not so lucky; when Puk and Balian charge him, he does not survive.

Now the companions can at last focus on the flying statue. Quint uses his new dimension door spell to zap Sjo and himself to the other side of the blade barrier, where the healer can finally restore Puk’s faltering health. When the heroes deliver their first blows to the akaruzug, they notice that Cressida Kroft’s crucified body seems to share in the agony of the wounds. Balian activates his boots of flying to take to the air and cleaves through the chain that binds the field marshal to the construct’s chest. His attempt succeeds and has an unexpected bonus. As the commander of the Korvosan Guard tumbles to the floor, the floating monstrosity suddenly freezes to a halt, giving the champions of Korvosa the opportunity to finish it off. Sjo heals the ailing field marshal and nurses her back to consciousness, although she still feels weak and hollow.

The companions take a few moments to recover from the fight, gather some loot and brief Kroft. Then they head back to the floor with the cell block and free the imprisoned girls. After they reveal their true identity, some of the girls recognize them and realize they have indeed been saved. One of the prisoners is Aurelia Bromathan, niece to the leader of the rebellion, Illrem Bromathan. She is in a separate cell with eight other girls who look like they have been in here longer than the others. It turns out that they were considered ‘impure sacrifices’, as they have all given birth. (This confirms older rumors that Aurelia Bromathan, who disappeared from the city for a year, was indeed pregnant and shipped off to give birth the her ‘bastard’ in secret.) Quint convinces the girls to put on Gray Maiden armors, which are readily available in a well-stocked armory, so they can move through the city in disguise. He has no problem leading them past the guards at the front temple gate and after a quick stop at the old courthouse to pick up Keppira d’Bear, they make their way back to the Gray District. Using Puk, Balian and Vencarlo as scouts, the troop manages to avoid real Gray Maiden patrols and makes it to the other side of the city safely. When the finally reach the halls of the resistance, the companions get some much needed rest.

26 Arodus 4708

By the time the party gets up it is already past noon. Illrem calls the heroes into his makeshift office to thank them for rescuing his niece and get a full report on their rescue mission. When he learns about the infernal contract that Ileosa supposedly closed in the Acadamae, he is very worried. It seems that the queen has garnered even more superpower than the crown gives her. The leader of the resistance feels that this intel certainly deserves more attention. He summons Keppira d’Bear from the temple of Pharasma to shed some light on these diabolical dealings. The archbishop’s knowledge is limited, though. She knows that such deals are usually forged by contract devil, also known as Phistophili. Apart from taking care of hell’s bureaucracy, these devils seduce desperate, arrogant or foolish mortals to make a deal with Hell itself. Infernal contracts can provide several boons, but to gain those the mortal has to sign over his soul, dooming himself to eternal damnation after his death.

While numerous types of infernal contracts exist, the following three are those most often offered to mortals:

  • Evil Wishes: Upon signing this contract, a mortal is granted three wishes. While the mortal chooses the intention of the wishes, the contract devil decides upon the specifics, allowing for its own diabolical interpretation of the results should the mortal imprecisely phrase a wish.
  • Hellbound heart: The mortal ties the essence of a willing devil to his own, granting him diabolical powers to wield until the day that the mortal dies.
  • Infernal Slave: A mortal can negotiate with a contract devil for the lifelong service of a devil. Upon signing the contract, the mortal's infernal slave appears and is bound to do the mortal no harm and follow its orders for as long as it lives. Although the devil must obey its master's commands, many devils delight in corrupting the intentions of these orders in all manner of cruel or mischievous ways.


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Really, really nice.


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In my camapign the time between the first and the second adventure was even shorter, just one week, during which the PCs escorted Trinia to Vencarlo’s friend in Harse.

You can read in my journal how I solved the sinking boat question, but I’ll give you a short summary here:

The ship (rebaptized the Delivery in my campaign) was used by the Urgathaon cultists to sail from their hidden base to Korvosa and spread the plague there. They set up shop in Lost End, an abandoned villa on the southern shores of the Bay of Korvosa (called Verloren Eind in my native language, as you can see on this map). The villa used to belong to the Porphyria's, the family that tried to take the throne from the Arabasti’s in the past and was banished for it (this was a good reason to have the villa be deserted and it gave the PCs another possible suspect on whoever was behind all the trouble in Korvosa, the Chelish Porphyria branch - a red herring).

The Urgathaons used the old villa to do experiments and develop the plague. When they were done and had infected a great number of rats with the disease, they set sail for Korvosa. All but one of the people aboard left the ship before it reached the city, one ‘chosen’ fool sailed the vessel into the harbor and sank it after releasing the rats, who swam to shore and spread out over the city through the sewers to infect the population.

When the PCs confronted the wererats in the sewers, they found out about the rats and investigated the sunken boat, where they found the map. They traveled to Lost End over land, through the barren lands south of the bay (where only Hellknights come nowadays, going to or coming from Citadel Vraid). When the PCs split off from the road to the Citadel, they took the old, abandoned and overgrown path to Lost End. Along the way they passed the Porphyria’s old hunting lodge (based on the Graul homestead from Rise of the Runelord’s adventure # 3, The Hook Mountain Massacre). There they had to deal with the hillbillies from the Graul family. Then they reached the Porphyria villa Lost End, which I based upon Foxglove manor (a.k.a. Misgivings), also from Rise of the Runelord. The villa was abandoned, but the PCs found traces of the cultists, including plague masks and important notes from Doctor Davaulus (renamed Dave Saulus, because, Davaulus is too much of a give-away for Devils) and their nemesis Rolth the necromancer, who was aiding the cultists in exchange for their help in creating a flesh golem (which the PCs encountered in the villa’s underground sea cave).

Armed with the knowledge that the queen’s doctors were actually the creators of the plague, the PCs returned to the city to stop the Urgathaons.


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The adventure assumes that something like two or three months transpire between the adventures. If you want to keep a tight timeline, like I did in my campaign, you might have to find a different solution to explain how the Direption can get to Korvosa in such a short period of time. In that case Veldraine is a good option.


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Since Milani is the CG deity of hope, devotion and uprisings, she is a perfect fit for PCs in this AP: she is the goddess of freedom fighters after all. As such her priests would be quite far removed from priests of Abadar, or even other major Korvosan deities like Pharasma or Asmodeus. Sarenrae or Shelyn, the other two gods who have their own temple in Korvosa, are closer to Milani in spirit, although they do not encompass the thought of freedom fighters. So I'd be inclined to have my player stay with Milani.

Any faith could have warpriests, I guess, they'd just be the church's faith militant branch. Of course, gods who actively fight for their causes, would be a better fit for the idea of a warpriest, so Sarenrae who stands for peace or Abadar who promotes law and civilization would probably be less inclined to have such warrior-priests in their ranks. Again Milani seems like a better patron diety for warpriests than any of the gods in Korvosa.

Hellknights are lawful and allow any lawful alignment in their ranks: LG, LN or LE. The order of the Nail holds members of all these alignments, although LN and LE are definitely represented more than LG. As far as divine Hellknights go, any lawful god will do. The Hellknights will just play up the lawful aspect and tune down the good or evil side of their alignment. Having a Hellknight PC is a possibilty, as several GMs have allowed it, but it is difficult to juggle. The PCs will 'fight the power' in this AP, which tends to conflict rather heavily with Hellknight rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is a prepainted tiefling warlock from Dungeons and Dragons miniatures that might work for you, especially the promo repaint. It has a mace in its hand and it's wearing a leather armor (which is brown in the promo version, grey in the original). Several US-based ebay-sellers have the miniature on offer. It is definitely the closest to your description that I could find. His off-hand is even in a great position to add a shield, if you wanted to do that.

Pathfinder's Faxon might also do the trick after some customization.


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I created a roleplaying quest in which the PCs had to try and unify the temples' efforts to combat the plague. Depending on their success, a certain number of lives would be saved.

- The temple of Sarenare was already fighting the disease, but needed bigger housing and would be able to do more good if all the temples were working together.
- The temple of Abadar was only helping people who could pay for it. If the PCs succeeded in convincing them that everyone needed saving, they would be able to use their divine power to much more efficient effect.
- The temple of Pharasma wanted to help, but asked for a favor in return: the PCs had to rescue a priest. I used an old Dungeon adventure for this (Priestly Secrets from Dungeon # 71) in which a clumsy priest discovered old catacombs underneath the morgue and got lost in them. The ghasts and barrow wight in the catacombs dated back to the time of the Chelish settlers and their war against the Shoanti.
- Asmodeus only wanted to help if the PCs made a contract, stipulating that the church would get half of the gifts from the gift boxes and the PCs would speak positively of the church in public.
- Shelyn only has a shrine in Korvosa, so in my campaign it has just two low level priests. The main priestess, a young an beautiful redhead, needed no convincing to cooperate, as she is the girlfriend of one PC.

My PCs got all the churches to cooperate and found new housing for this coordinated effort, thus saving hundreds of lives. They also installed gift boxes to generate some funds for this new hospital.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Diafanus wrote:

AS far as house Arkona, don't forget they have human families who could pick up for the house after Glorio falls.

Are there any titles for the great houses? Dukes, Marquis, Earls? I know the Korvosan monarch doesn't have or grant titles, but these houses have titles from Cheliax, don't they?

All Chelish titles remain in the hands of (distant) relatives in Cheliax, such as the famous count Varian Jeggare. Thus the Korvosan nobles bear no titles, other than 'lord'.

As far as the Arkona's go, they are probably the only noble house that doesn't have a lot of members to draw from. In the AP as written, the Korvosa Arkona's have been replaced by you-know-what, and according to resources, they don't have family in Cheliax left.


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Ileoas buried the king in private, using the roits in the city as a convenient excuse to do so. Althoug she kept up appearances of the grieving widow, she did not respect Eodred after he died. You can read in Crown of Fangs what she did to his body (p. 21, A3 - the royal crypts).


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Diafanus wrote:

I am running Edge of Anarchy now, and it says that Rolf will seek out the PC's and find out who they are when he returns to find his lab destroyed. It is possible they will encounter him before Seven Days. Similar if he survives Seven Days.

In a different question, how does he get all his supplies into the Gray district? EoA says Rolf is out replacing equipment destroyed by a golem gone berserk in the Dead Warrens, and it will take him all day. He's not using zombies to help him (at least not in public view). Also there only appears to be one way into the Gray district (as seen on the map where roads lead to one tower at the north point just outside of Highbridge) and the Clerics of Pharasm guard closely against necormancers, so I would imagine it should be a guarded gate at night at least, and patrolled by clerics at night. So how is Rolf getting a cart load of supplies into the Dead Warrens?

Being the cunning man that he is, Rolth will probably know a secret way into the Gray District, some long-forgotten tunnel that only he knows about. He also knows some of the body carters and has a few of them on his payroll. They bring him the corpses of loners and beggars who died and have no one left to bury them. If he goes into the city, he can buy things and have one of these deliver the goods to him. Apart from that, he also knows dimension door.

In my campaign Rolth set himself up as an early recurring villain to the PCs, when he bought one of the PCs’ sister in the prelude adventure, in which the PCs were young teens in Lamm’s lambs. In the five years she spent under his tutelage, he thoroughly brainwashed her to become his obedient servant and bodyguard.

When the PCs started the AP, they immediately went looking for Rolth, so I had them hear a report that he had left the city by boat. He joined up with Lady Andaisin to help her create the plague, aiding her in her alchemical experiments and delivering a dozen young girls he bought from Lamm to experiment upon. In exchange Lady Andaisin helped him create his first real flesh golem.

The PCs first confronted Rolth in battle in the temple of Urgathoa, where they conquered him and imprisoned him (and the PC’s brainwashed sister). Rolth escaped and tried to take revenge during Escape to Old Korvosa. He abducted the young boys who were living with the PCs after being rescued from Lamm and used them to lure the PCs into a series of traps, culminating in a final battle atop the tower of Korvosa’s old city hall. The PC’s sister proved beyond saving and was killed, as was Rolth, who made an attempt to get away, but was caught anyway by our flame oracle, who grabbed the necromancer and burned him alive by sending blast upon blast of fire through his wiry body. If you want to learn about this in greater detail, you can read all about it in my journal on these boards.


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If you use the 'official' guidelines, you'll find yourself falling short when trying to create a city that offers enough to challenge your party from level 1 to the top tiers. Also keep in mind that Korvosa is more than a city, it also includes all the hinterlands and is basically a small kingdom. This might give you some reasons to enhance its citizens somewhat.

In my campaign, I have the following breakdown of soldiers and clergy. I actually used the guidelines to work out the churches, but I slightly went over them to keep things interesting. The military/police forces are just based on my 'hunches' and my take on the Gray Maidens was aimed at making them very powerful.

Korvosan Guard
- The Guard starts out with close to 700 members, which is a lot for a city of Korvosa’s size, but they also have to patrol the hinderlands. By the time the plague is raging, its number will have dropped to 400 (due to female guards transferring to the Gray Maidens, dead or heavily injured guards, sick, deserters and soldiers asking for a leave of absence to take care of their sick families). When the plague is over, the Guard holds about half of its original number and falls under the direct control of the Gray Maidens, who use them to do menial tasks.
- Field Marshal Cressida Kroft (ari1/ftr9, although I rebuilt her to be a cav10)
- Sergeant Grau Soldado (rog2/ftr4)
- Captain Artan Jalento (father of Amin Jalento)

Sable Company
- There are about 200 Sable Company ‘marines’ in the city of Korvosa, although they are more ‘air force’ than navy oriented, with about 50 hippogriph riders. The other 150 members of the company are either there in support of the hippogriph riders or aspiring pilots themselves.
- Commander Marcus Thalassinus Endrin (ari1/rgr13)
- Illrem Bromathan, second-in-command (rgr4/ftr5), becomes leader of the resistance
- Aaron Endrin, son and heir to Lord Marcus, in training (ari1/rgr3 at the start of the AP, ari1/rgr7 later on), becomes Illrem’s Bromathan’s right-hand man in the resistance
- Janros Rainwater, headmaster of the Endrin academy in Old Korvosa, where recruits are trained (rgr10)
- Neolandus Kalepopolis, seneschal of Castle Korvosa (rgr4/pal2)

Gray Maidens
- Start out with ten members, including Sabina Merrin (ftr14)
- In the first adventure they bolster their ranks with 50+ female Korvosan Guards (including a friend and former fellow lamb of the PCs, Amarice)
- By the end of the first adventure, Ileosa recruits more mercenaries from Cheliax (150+), so the total ranks swell to about 250
- A few dozen civilian girls also join the Maidens
- At the start of the fourth adventure, Ileosa introduces ‘military service’ for all girls aged between 16 and 21, she doesn’t actually train these girls, but bleeds them dry to create blood clones, (super Gray Maidens who still offer a decent challenge to high level parties). This brings the Gray Maiden number over 500, making them a terrible force to be reckoned with.

Bank of Abadar
- Archbanker Darb Tuttle (clr 13)
- Derrik, master of the vault (pal8)
- Erinaya (clr7)
- Q’ara (clr6)
- Lolia Perenne (clr5), magistrate of regulation
- Arnaut (pal6)
- Rekkart (pal4)
- Ishani Dhatri (clr5)
- Lady Zenobia Zenderholm (ari1/clr3)
- number of acolytes, including Lyna (clr1)
- Captain Dravos (ftr10), captain of the faithful of the coin (ftr4)
- Several ‘iron’ golems (with gold plating)

Temple of Asmodeus
- Archbishop Ornher Reebs (clr11 at the start of the campaign, clr 12 later on)
- Mallas, his bodyguard (ftr10)
- Tyresha (clr6), his ambitious second-in-command
- Nyrma (clr3), Tyresha’s lapdog
- number of acolytes (clr1)

Temple of Pharasma
- Keppria d’Bear (clr13, clr14 later on)
- Jasan (clr8) and his brother Aldrick (pal8)
- Arwina (clr4)
- Fryda (clr3)
- brother Cedrik (clr2), keeper of the books
- number of acolytes, including Connell (clr1)

Temple of Sarenrae
- Ezekiel Sollux (clr9)
- Sadira (clr5)
- Gibald (pal5)
- Lord Valdur Bromathan IV (ari2/clr2)
- Iris (clr4)
- Dimothar (clr3)
- Nathan (clr3)
- Acolytes, including Kyra (clr1) and Magdalin (clr1)

Shrine of Shelyn
- Larella Semyr (brd2/clr5)
- Fayne (clr2), Larella’s younger cousin

Pantheon of Many
- Several low-level priests (ranging from clr1 to clr3)

Temple of Aroden (in Old Korvosa)
- 3 old ‘priests’ who have never possessed any divine power (exp3)


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Feros wrote:
Harrigan hit the floor unconscious. Minerva brought Lillit into the room with her dimensional hop. Lillit cast magic missile and finally killed the traitorous pirate captain.

Gratz to your team.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The sun has just set over the horizon when Quint and his friends return to the Gray district to prepare for the raid on the temple of Asmodeus. They decide to keep up the ruse of being Asmodean agents from Cheliax, sent here to put an end to the excesses of Archbisshop Ornher Reebs. As they make their way south, they encounter a Gray Maiden patrol. The officer asks them what they are still doing out, so they pretend to have been celebrating the queen’s announcements. They lost track of time, but now they are on their way home. The soldiers buy their story and let them pass.

The party heads straight for the rebel base and informs the rebel leaders of what they have learned. They plan on invading the temple of Asmodeus tonight, but they have come here to get ready. Vencarlo offers to join the young men and Illrem offers them the use of his arsenal, from which they can get some helmets to cover their faces. Next the heroes pay a visit to Keppira d’Bear in the temple of Pharasma. The high priestess has a number of spells prepared that can help the companions in their quest against Reebs and his devils, but she does not dare enter the temple of Asmodeus with them out of fear of blowing her cover: although Pharasma supports the rebellion in secret, the church is trying to uphold a neutral position in public. She prepares a heroes’ feast and sends one of her men to the Marble Dome opera house, to get a number of Asmodean theater outfits. Cloaked in tabards, capes and holy symbols of the Lord of Hell, the party returns to the old courthouse, just outside of the star-shaped temple of Asmodeus. This is as far as Keppira d’Bear will go. She casts other buffs on the party: greater magic weapon on Balian’s holy greatsword, magic vestment, protection from evil and true seeing on Quint, air walk and align weapon on Puk and magic circle versus evil on Sjo.

In the dead of night the party makes for the temple doors again. The Gray Maidens at the door let the ‘inquisitor’ and his bodyguards pass, as they were ordered to do by Tyresha. The church itself is abandoned, but Tyresha has put up a torch next to the door to the basement, showing the ‘inquisitor’ the way down. As they descend the stairs, the heroes pick up a sacrificial chant. Peeping around the corner, Puk sees a horrible scene. A girl is being bled dry on a stone slab. Her blood flows into an enormous pool, in which several amorphous shapes with half-formed limbs and dripping tumorous faces mill about, mixing the sanguine fluid with their own blood. These hideous lemure devils are the lowliest of the low in the ranks of hell, but even their inferior life energy contains the taint of the infernal. Two Asmodean acolytes are actually performing the ritual under the supervision of four Erinyes devils. Two Gray Maidens complete the picture. Quint sweeps into the room, taking up his role as inquisitor once again. He forbids the ritual, as it goes against the rules of this city. He wants to single out Ornher Reebs, but he notices the archbishop of Asmodeus is not here.

The acolytes and even the Gray Maidens are taken aback by this sudden incursion, but the Erinyes are not fazed and open the fight. One of them casts fear on Balian, but the buffs on the ranger aid him in shaking off the spell. A second Erinyes throws unholy blight on the party, while a third wraps her entangling rope around Sjo. The fourth charges Quint from the left with her longsword. The bard ducks under the blade and mumbles the words of good hope to further strengthen his friends. He also starts a satire to throw his enemies off balance. Vencarlo, Puk and Spyder jump to Quint’s aid and engage the Erinyes, Balian wards off the Gray Maidens on the other side. One of them challenges him, but her swing misses him by an inch. Sjo tries to maintain his position in the center and boosts his companions with blessing of fervor. Through his shield other he also takes half of Balian’s damage. The Gray Maidens, obviously blood clones, still prove tough opponents, but they fall short against the well-prepared and thoroughly buffed ranger. They manage to give him some nasty cuts, but a fireball and a critical sword swing later, one of them explodes in a spray of blood. Without her ally, the second maiden is severely at a disadvantage.

In the meantime Quint has cast haste and feinted one of the Erinyes, giving his friends there the opportunity to cut her down. From across the pool two Erinyes are still hurting the party with arrows and unholy blights. One moment later a door to their right opens and the barbed devil joins the fray from what looks to be a prison block filled with young girls. Another powerful opponent is not exactly good news, but Quint is happy to see that there is still a fair number of ‘recruits’ alive, making this rescue mission even more valuable. The barbed devil hurts the party with an alternative spell, that does not target ‘good’ characters, but rather ‘chaotic’ ones: order’s wrath. Balian takes another hit before he can take out the second Gray Maiden and turns to face the barbed jailor. Sjo is hurting from his own wounds as well as from half of Balian’s, and gives himself some much required healing. Another unholy blight on Vencarlo and Puk in the left flank takes down the halfling and leaves the sword master barely on his feet. With his flashing rapier Vencarlo kills a second Erinyes and stumbles back to Sjo’ side.

The two Asmodean acolytes have not contributed anything to the fight so far, clearly being outmatched. One of them desperately prays to his god for aid as he stabs the sacrifice on the stone slab one more time, but the girl was already gone. The other one opens the left door, freeing the two wild otyughs who are there to dispose of the cadavers. One of the aberrations rewards the stupid priest by eating him alive, while the other monster turns on Sjo, who has is trying to patch up Vencarlo and Puk. The otuygh’s tentacle grabs hold of the healer, but now the monster opens itself up to sneak attacks by Puk and Vencarlo, cutting its life short.

On the other side of the room Balian withstand a hold person from the barbed devil and seriously hurts the infernal creature with three heavy blows. This being has probably lived a thousand lifetimes and knows when it is time to retreat, so it steps back and teleports away. The two remaining Erinyes, who are now facing Puk and Balian, see how their more powerful ally has chosen to flee the scene and do the same. Quint walks up to the one acolyte who is still left and shouts at him: “Where is Reebs?” Totally intimidated the priest stumbles back: “Below us, in the cellar!” Then Spyder jumps at him and ends his miserable life. Puk and Balian take care of the second otuygh, while Quint decides to close the door to the cell block. He desperately wants to tell the caged girls they are free, but cannot spare the time as he wants his buffs to remain intact to confront Reebs. The party heals up and prepares to descend the stairs to deliver justice to Reebs.

Level up: level 10


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you want to keep using Devargo, you'll definitely have to give him a level boost. I'd have him look for revenge by going after allies, friends or family instead of the PCs themselves. You already have one perfect opportunity with Trinia. Devargo has the PCs followed to Zellara's shop and ransacks the place when they are absent. He discovers Trinia and delivers her to the queen, gaining some kind of favor in the process (maybe she gives him an old naval ship to replace the one he lost).

By having Devargo go after people the PCs care about, you'll feed their hatred of the man, fueling his impact as a recurring villain.

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