GM SpiderBeard's Curse of the Crimson Throne

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Chapter 3: Escape from Old Korvosa

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Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Fox&GM:
Sevenspawn levels his own crossbow into the room, standing a foot back and above Donnell's head. He does not fire, checking the targets first.


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

GM & Thod:

Raven performs the bow she was ordered to, and approaches to a carefully judged distance from the queen.

"Something about myself?" she repeats, a faint note of confusion in her voice. "Ahem. Well. I am an Alchemist, your majesty; a scholar researching the arcane, the sciences, and the thin edge where they touch and blend."


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

GM & Raven:
Thod performs the required actions with the unintentionally exaggerated motions of a fresh recruit. He marches in tune up to the throne, and bows, giving a military style grunt while doing so.

"Your majesty!" Another dwarven salute. "Thod Six-Picks, dwarven guard of Janderhoff, reporting!"

Thod, not wanting to have to come up with a new response, and risk screwing it up, repeats what he told Sabine pretty much word for word, though a little more confidently due to practice. It worked last time, and he didn't seem to grossly offend anybody. So go with what works.

"I was assigned by my superior to investigate a missing child. Said child was found and the man who did it was dealt with already. During the riots, I protected a noble from a mugging, and thus was asked to report here, Ma'am!"


.

Sorry for the late post. As a heads-up my posting rate may be a little irregular until December due to a hectic work life and a lot of travel. But shouldn't have a problem with daily posts.

GM Rolls:

Save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Raventhod:

I keep messing up her name. Sabina. Not Sabine. Also, a gold reward just as you start is strange but fits the plot, and the other players have some wealth anyways.

If the Queen has any reaction at all to the two of you, it's hidden behind her veil. She's silent for a moment before speaking.

"You have been summoned here for a reason. Your heroism, your willingness to do what is right when many would do otherwise gives me inspiration and hope. I love Korvosa, as my husband did before me. His death has shocked the city as it has me, but I will not see his legacy destroyed in death, and I shall not see my city torn apart. All Korvosa stands at the precipice of a disaster wrought by her citizens—these riots cannot continue. I would ask that you serve your city once more. If you so choose, I shall have Sabina see to it that you have an escort of guards when you leave here - for your next destination will be Citadel Volshyenek. I shall send word ahead to Field Marshall Cressida Kroft. Our guard is stretched thin, and she has employed others like you, with similar hearts of gold to help protect our city. Go to her, you will be well rewarded for your work, and together we shall save Korvosa."

With that, she stands, and procures a small box from her side, which she passes to Sabina.

"Take this with my gratitude. Now, I shall retire to my personal quarters. My grief has drained me. Again, I thank you for your heroism, and I am certain your days of serving the crown are just beginning."

With that, the Queen turns, striding from the chamber. Sabina looks after her with a fond, lingering gaze before turning to the two of you. Within the box are four gold ingots pressed with the royal seal of Korvosa - each worth 100 gold.

"Your rewards. Cressida has been given advance warning of your recruitment. You're going to be paired with two others from the grungier part of town. A peoples' cleric named Sevenspawn and a sly halfling named the Fox. Let me know if you have further questions. Otherwise we can get you to see the Field Marshall right away."

Donnellspawn:

Donnell slinks into the bedroom on the top floor to see a halfling on his knees, blood trickling from a nasty wound on his face. A half-orc stands over him with a flanged mace in hand. With a thwip, your crossbow thunks into the orc's back, and he wordlessly keels over to collapse on the ground, snoring loudly. Sevenspawn doesn't even need to fire.

The halfling lets out a gasp as he sees you two.

"What... what?! I don't understand... thank you strangers! What's happened?"


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

GM&SS:

"Sevenspawn, could you tie this scallywag up for us - we'll need him in a moment."
Turning to offer a hand up to the halfling: Master Twigstep, I assume? I, er, that is, We have been trying to track you down to return your ring - it looks like we found you just in time. Do you have any idea what this half-orc was after?"

Aaand I just realized that I'm returning a ring to a hobbit. If I hear any mention of 'precious' I am out of here :P


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

FoxyGM:
Sevenspawn slings his crossbow and produces his rope, searching the half-Orc to relieve him of his weapons as he speaks.

"Are there any others in the home? And... are you Master Twigstep?"


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Gm & Thod:
"I do not suppose you could provide me with laboratory space? I would be more effective with a proper workspace."


.

Almost done with our diversions here. The group will commence as a united whole starting Monday.

Donnellspawn:

It takes a little bit for the halfling to calm down, and he finally nods quickly.

"I am. Lyle Twigstep, at your service. This brute... I ... well, I likely sealed my own fate. I had been spending more money than I ought to. Convinced people in the neighbourhood I was well to do. I guess he got wind of the rumours and I was done in by my own foolishness. All for a girl. And then I spent the last of my coin on a ring for her and that got stolen. You're the first good luck I've had in a while, strangers."

Raventhod:

Bear with as a lot of this is just going to be talking at you until we're in the swing of the game proper. :D

Sabina looks at Raven curiously for a moment.

"Hrm. I'll see what I can sort out for you. Let's see how you do with the Field Marshal."

She leads you out of the castle (your weapons are returned), and you're granted your armed escort through the city.

You're occasionally shouted and jeered at, but left alone as you stride down the main thoroughfares of the Midland district to Citadel Volshyenek, which overlooks Jeggare Harbor. Your escort leaves you as you arrive at the Citadel, which appears to be operating on a skeleton crew. Upon arrival you're quickly ushered in to private offices where a harried-looking military woman sits at a desk. She glances up at the two of you. At her side, sits a handsome, older gentleman.

"Thod and Raven Six. Welcome, I am Field Marshall Croft. Good. We just had two specialists quit on us and we need some people with some varied talents. Please allow me to introduce Vencarlo Orisini."

She gestures to the older man who stands with a flourish and bows to the two of you. He smiles gregariously to Raven Six before offering his chair. Both of you have a vague awareness him as a famous, but retired swordsman and teacher.

"I am enchanted to have met both of you. Please good lady, have a seat. The days are long."

Cressida, all business, keeps talking.

"Your arrangement with me is as such. I'll give you interesting jobs to do, and you will get good coin for them. As well, I can guarantee a place to stay, we've set aside the Three Rings Tavern where you have free room and board. The message I was sent from the Castle also said you're an alchemist, Raven? I'll see what I can figure out about an alchemy lab."

Vencarlo perks up as he looks over Raven.

"You have an understanding of that most esoteric art? I would be fascinated to learn about your theories and methods."

He then turns to Thod, nodding congenially.

"And you sir, you appear to be a military dwarf. Your behaviour is that of a trained soldier. I don't see such discipline in posture from most of the guards here. What are your backgrounds?"


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

GM&SS:
Presenting the silver ring to Mr Twigstep: "Well, the ring, at least has been recovered. I'm not sure there's much I can do for your reputation (though I'm a bit curious about how you planned to maintain the charade after you'd married...). Hopefully, Emma has stayed safe through all of this and you can proceed with your engagement. Until then, if my friend would be so kind, we'll see about getting you patched up. Oh, you also "
Handing over a jar of alchemical preserves: "might enjoy a bit of a pick-me-up after this experience."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

FoxyGM:
Binding the sleeping half-Orc's hands to the best of his ability, Sevenspawn checks out the halfling briefly before channeling some of Milani's power to heal the wounds to both the halfling and his attacker.

Channel Energy: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Channel Energy: 1d6 ⇒ 4

"Let us turn this fellow over to the Guard." He taps the attacker with his boot. "With Master Twigstep's testimony, he should not bother anyone else for some time."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

GM&SS:

"You've read my mind yet again, my friend."

Rising, and pulling Twigstep to his feet: "Well, good master halfling, we are off - we'll even take the trash out for you on our way. Try to be a bit more circumspect with your spending in the future. If you are ever in need, be sure to ask for The Fox! ... er, and Sevenspawn..."

Turning to help Sevenspawn drag the half-orc out of the house, he grins before muttering to SS: "If we are to continue working together, we'll have to come up with a team name that sounds better than 'FoxSpawn'."


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

GM & Thod:

"That sounds equitable," Raven says to Marshall Kroft. "And yes; a laboratory would allow me to craft items which need a longer period to brew, steep, boil or subject to other chemical processes. Preferably an isolated, well-constructed place, to minimize the chance of complaints by, or in the worst case harm to, bystanders in the case of a flawed process."

The Alchemist blinks with surprise at the master swordsman's offer of a chair and interest in her theories, but gracefully accepts the offer and answers:
"Currently, I am researching the possibility of alchemical reactions being tailored to affect the ethereal and immaterial. To wit, we already possess data that alchemical formulae may have effects which temporarily alter the personality by altering the flesh, specifically the brain and its internal chemistry. Yet if we accept that the soul is the core of our 'self', should we then conclude that the soul itself is affected by formulae? I should very much like the opportunity to research a brain, preferably that of a primate like a monkey or ape, to test some of my theories. Alas, such animals are not inexpensive."

Raven Six, keeping it weird.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Oh, whoops, thought I replied. Ah, well. Not like Thod would ask for much.

GM Spiderbeard wrote:
"Your rewards. Cressida has been given advance warning of your recruitment. You're going to be paired with two others from the grungier part of town. A peoples' cleric named Sevenspawn and a sly halfling named the Fox. Let me know if you have further questions. Otherwise we can get you to see the Field Marshall right away."

Thod walks backwards from the chamber. Don't turn your back to the queen. Other than that, no questions. He's been given orders.

Thod keeps his dwarven discipline as they walk through the city, ignoring the jeers. Though the astute may notice that Thod moves surprisingly swiftly, easily able to keep up with the group.

Thod nods and salutes as he is offered a seat at the citadel, and listens to Croft as she outlines the plan.

Quote:
"Thod and Raven Six. Welcome, I am Field Marshall Croft. Good. We just had two specialists quit on us and we need some people with some varied talents. Please allow me to introduce Vencarlo Orisini."

Uhh... varied talents? Thod's a dwarf. He hits stuff. Not too varied, there.

Thod remains standing as the lady is offered a seat, seemingly uncaring. Or uncomprehending. Possibly both.

Quote:
"Your arrangement with me is as such. I'll give you interesting jobs to do, and you will get good coin for them. "

Unique skills? Interesting jobs? Thod hits stuff. Hopefully they're interesting in ways that don't mean he can't hit stuff. Maybe they'll be jobs that his... err... eagerness to fight won't be a problem.

Vencarlo wrote:
"And you sir, you appear to be a military dwarf. Your behaviour is that of a trained soldier. I don't see such discipline in posture from most of the guards here. What are your backgrounds?"

"Sir! Thod Six-Picks. Oh, uh, I mean... Yes, trained as a guard, sir, by Commander Rorngan of Janderhoff. Tried to be a miner and a smith, sir. Didn't work out. Also tried to be a scribe and a brewer. Really didn't work out. Finally showed promise as a soldier, sir! Though, uh... Still learning some basics. Sir!"

And, again, he repeats his recent backstory. Seems to be serving well so far.

"I was assigned by my superior to investigate a missing child. Said child was found and the man who did it was dealt with already. During the riots, I protected a noble from a mugging, and thus was asked to report here. Er, I mean, to the castle, and then here. Sir!"

Raven Six wrote:
"Currently, I am researching the possibility of alchemical reactions being tailored to affect the ethereal..."

Thod barely tries to follow what she says at first, and readily gives up past the third three-syllable word. Something about alchemy and brains. Too confusing. Better to hold a weapon and hit things with it.


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

FoxyGM:
Sevenspawn nods, seemingly considering this in a much more serious way than it demands as he drags the half-Orc down the stairs.

"Names have power, it's true. It's why I never say our truer ones aloud when we are engaged in our tasks at hand. But the best ones are usually given - oof, he's a big bastard, this one - usually given by others, once they've been earned."

Pausing for a break once their prisoner is properly kicked down the front stairs, the cleric sighs and rolls a smoke expertly, offering it to Donnell as he rolls another. "Neither one of us wants our names tied too closely to the Guard or the Monarchy it protects, Fox. The money is good and we are doing work that benefits the people, but we must be careful not to appear to be servants of the Crimson Throne."

Sevenspawn chomps on his smoke, dragging the half-Orc through the street to the closest guardhouse.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

GM&SS:
Sobering quickly, Donnell accepts the smoke, and replies pensively: "Well, that's true enough; though I suspect your reasons are more political than my own. My feeling that the crown and guard are more invested in protecting themselves and the nobles (barring a few exceptions, like Captain Grau). My people (meaning both the poor and the non-humans) are left to fend for themselves. I am happy to take their money for now, as long as we continue to work for the benefit of the people at large."

Realizing that he's letting Sevenspawn do all the heavy lifting, Donnell takes a long drag, then picks up a leg: "Ungh - bloody half-orcs. This business with the King of Spiders rubs me the wrong way - I'd rather see us getting rid of him, not forming an alliance. Still, as you've pointed out, better the devil you know - who knows what sort of person would fill that vacuum."


.

Donnellspawn:

Lyle takes the ring and lets out a whoop of joy.

"YOU FOUND IT! OH GODS THANK YOU SO MUCH!"

He leaps onto Sevenspawn's leg, losing all of the dignity and composure one would normally expect from a halfling, clinging to it for a moment before he lets go, apologizing profusely.

"Please, please sirs. I don't have much... uhm... uhm..."

He throw open a drawer before scrabbling through it and producing a small coin.

"This item isn't something you buy or sell or use in a fight. This is a favour. The Cerulean Society don't give these out easily, but it means that the possessor of the coin is owed. Cash this in when you need it most. Thank you."

With that, you leave with your prisoner in tow and make your way back to the Citadel for delivery. The guards are a little confused, and pleased to see that you arrested a violent criminal who had been causing some issues, and you are quickly whisked into Cressida's office.


.

And the gang is together!

Vencarola nods slowly as Raven speaks. "Fascinating! We'll have to talk about it a little bit later on, hmm?" He then turns to listen to Thod's response and he pauses for a moment as he realizes that Thod may not be the best subject for banter about military strategies.

"Ah... that's great Thod. I'll show you some fight moves some time, hmm?"

At that moment, a man and a halfling step into the room. Cressida's weary face breaks into a smile.

"Excellent! Good. We can explain the mission now. Sevenspawn, Donnell - we haven't been able to get a hold of you but the Queen was clear she wanted a larger team and found two do-gooders to help you out. Allow me to introduce Thod and Raven... Six? Raven is an alchemist who appears to be of some skill and Thod looks tough as nails and will be a good bit of muscle. Sevenspawn is a religious man of divine power and wisdom, while Donnell may be the most cunning man I've met. Welcome."

She gestures to everyone.

Please take a moment to describe yourselves and say hi. We'll get things going starting Monday.


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Cunning Donnell might be, but a more disheveled, raggedy, and emaciated halfling you've never seen. Until he speaks, the only thing distinguishing him from a starving 6-year-old human child is a finely crafted crossbow and a heavy pack.

The Fox, curious as ever, scrutinizes these newcomers, hoping to glean some clue as to their origin or relationship to 'his' city.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 KnowLocal: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15 SenseMotive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Another thing to get used to - apparently the skills monkey of the group can't roll higher than 10

Greeting Thod politely in dwarven, Donnell turns his bright eyes to Raven6, and begins babbling excitedly about alchemical processes, extract formulae, and component origins before catching himself abruptly: "Ah... this is likely a conversation for another time. No doubt the good Captain here has information for us."

Glancing back over his shoulder at the newcomers as he turns to Cressida: "Oh, I'm more often known on the streets as The Fox - use whichever appellation you prefer."

GM:
Dave, would we have had a chance to apply Zellara's identify skills to the silver dagger in the two day lead-up to this encounter?


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

With dark and considering eyes, the human cleric accompanying Donnell might be considered moderately handsome were it not for the hardened and weather-beaten look he bears. Only the quality chain mail he wears offsets his appearance as one of the poorer denizens of Korvosa, as his well-worn cloak, pack and warhammer are covered in the thin layers of dust and dirt common amongst the lower class. Somewhere in his twenties, of average build and height and with his brown hair and beard clearly cropped short by a knife, he stands generally unremarkable.

Scoffing quietly at Cressida's introduction, he flicks his eyes to her and speaks in a rumbling, gravelly tone that makes him sound older."Only a small instrument of The Everbloom, Field Marshall, nothing more. But I thank you."

He turns his look to the newcomers, bowing to a respectful level. "Sevenspawn, of the Shingles. Your presence will be welcome during the task before us."

***

FoxyGM:
Dave, J - Fox will be the one to hold the coin, if you're updating sheets.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A
Spiderbeard wrote:
"Ah... that's great Thod. I'll show you some fight moves some time, hmm?"

"Uhh... Sounds good, sir."

Then, the others arrive.

In front of the newcomers stands a young, burly dwarf. (Even by typically burly dwarf standards.) His black beard is unadorned, though his moustache is braided, and goes down nearly as far as his beard. His breastplate and his halberd are immaculately maintained, perfectly polished and gleaming. A modified quiver slung across his back holds numerous other polearms at the ready. He also has multiple canteens and flasks strapped to himself across his body.

He stands ramrod straight, trying to give off the appearance of a dutiful soldier. Something seems missing from it, though.

He seems a bit confused as the halfling greets him in dwarven, though he does give a slight nod in reply.

Seeing others greeting in general, Thod decides to try.

"Thod Six-Picks, dwarven soldier. It is an honour, Sir. Sirs."


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven Six is, kindly put, a study in contrasts. She is petite and slender, with the beauty of a porcelain doll; large, dark eyes; lustrous black hair that falls down to her shoulder blades.
Or it would, if it weren't tied back in a simple tail, more befitting of a day labourer than a lady.
In addition, her skin is covered in a gridwork of tattoos, with additional markings in some of the squares, varying from crude tribal markings to sophisticated arcane runes.
Her wardrobe is mannish and dowdy, grey and charmless.

Initially inexpressive, the Alchemist becomes animated when the Fox starts to discuss the minutiae of alchemy, rapidly answering questions and firing back her own in their shared jargon. A brief flash of disappointment passes through her eyes when the discussion stops, and her face becomes impassive again.

"Greetings to you both," she says. "I shall look forward to a positive cooperation."


.

I'll get a pinterest page so you can keep track of the NPCs you're meeting.

Cressida nods over to Vencarlo, and goes into her speech.

"Good. So I'll explain the mission to our new friends Raven and Thod and then the latest update. We have a difficult diplomatic situation with Cheliax, and if it is left unresolved it could lead to embargos, sanctions, or even war. The problem is a man named Darvayne Gios Amprei - he's an ambassador from Cheliax who hates this city, but is happy to take advantage of the luxuries offered to him. Even before the riots, he was prepared to push for sanctions. Vencarlo has learned that he intends to leverage the sanctions to destroy property values, and buy up large portions of the city. He's a dangerous threat to Korvosa, and we're unable to act in any direct manner."

"However, he has his foibles. We have learned he makes frequent visits to a place in Old Korvosa called Eel's End. This den of vice is run by a dangerous man named Devargo Barvasi, better known as the King of Spiders. I'd love to put that one out of business, but he pays his vice taxes and does not cause problems outside of his little empire which is five moored ships. It's hard to tell if he's a stirge or kraken to be honest. At the moment now, he's an advantage to us."

Cressida looks at Raven and Thod evenly. "Devargo would not let a guardsman into Eels' End... but you aren't guardsmen and you could get an audience. We want you to find out what he knows about Amprei, and get some proof of his illicit wrongdoings, which can be used to prevent him from cutting Korvosa off of Cheliax. Devargo may not be willing to part with this information, so a bribe of up to 1,000 has been authorized. However... Sevenspawn and Donnell had a different idea."

Cressida nods to Vencarlo.

"It appears that we have some information we could exchange to him. Sevenspawn and Donnell discovered that Vimanda Arkona leveraged a relationship with a sergeant of ours to cause a desertion and failed rebellion. This resulted in the sergeant occupying a butcher while the thugs he hired were butchering citizens and selling the meat to hungry Korvosans. We've now confirmed this, and Vencarlo's advice is a straight trade of the information."

Vencarlo then speaks up, looking at Thod.

"Here's the short of it. Go to Eel's End, get an audience with the King of Spiders, and see if you can get information on Darvayne Gios Amprei and anything illegal he's been doing. Darvayne is a bad man because he could very well destroy this city if he is not stopped. Cajole the spider, bribe him, or trade information on House Arkona. A fight is possible, but not inevitable and so your muscle is also very much needed. Do you have any questions?"


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

"Just one. If this ambassador is the one causing trouble, why not simply neutralize him in some manner and cut out an unreliable middle-man? If he becomes the focus of scandal or were to temporarily slip into a coma or develop an embarrassing illness, would his embassy not replace him with someone more tractable?"

Poison use is your fr -- your good ac -- a useful tool. ;)


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Donnell grins, devilishly, while absent-mindedly adjusting his crossbow: "I like the way this one thinks. While we're at it, maybe we could simply burn King of the Spineless and his ships?"

Turning from Cressida and Vencarlo, Donnell speaks directly to Sevenspawn: "I'm all for pocketing some of the Crown's coin to bring about the downfall of this 'bad man', but I'm at a bit of a loss to understand how this is anything other than a nobleman's game of politics and money."

Poison has served The Fox well in pretty much every encounter thus far. He'll be happy to provide you with some, if you are in need.


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NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

Thod continues to stand upright, in guard position, looking around at everybody. His dwarven mind attempts to process this deluge of information.

"Let me see if I got this right. There's a king of spiders, and we need his poison to kill some butcher before he sells us all as meat to Cheliax, but we have information that there's this one guy standing in the middle who wants to buy sanctions and levers to build houses and five ships before he falls on his head and goes into a coma, and a seargent of ours is missing his spine."

Thod pauses for a moment, before taking a swig out of one of the many flasks covering his person.

"Too early in the morning for this." Regardless of what time of day it is.


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn looks at Thod, opens his mouth to speak, closes it, opens it once more, and closes it again. Thinking of his friend Goric and unsure of how to respond, he nods once to the dwarf before looking down to Donnell.

"I understand your trepidation. I share it, in these matters of the rich." He gathers his thoughts a moment. "Hrrrrmmmmm. Perhaps what should bear our attention to this matter is the thought of what happens to Korvosa if trade sanctions are made. If they are, it would go from the bad it already is to far, far worse. The people already have riot to try to live through... imagine how the impact of less food or other needed wares might affect them."

The cleric turns to Cressida, motioning his gloved hand at Raven Six respectfully. "The alchemist is right: removing Amprei, however temporarily, solves your problem. I do see, however, that we cannot predict what his homeland may do in his absence. With a trade of information, you at least have the power to remove this fop bloodlessly."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Listening to Thod's comments, Donnell's face takes on an expression that is somewhere between humour and pain; pity and frustration.

Giving up, he produces his own flask, and joins the dwarf in a healthy draught of whatever crude ends-of-bottle mixture that happens to be in there today.

In the end, he is not happy with the situation, but is content to follow his friend's lead and earn some coin along the way.


.

I'm pushing a little hastily here, so please take a moment to respond to NPC questions and interactions if you so wish.

Cressida shakes her head at Raven's comment.

"This game is already dark enough, assassination is a bridge too far. And it'd just martyr him in Cheliax's eyes. If their ambassador conveniently goes missing after the King dies, during riots it'll almost certainly make an enemy of Cheliax. This has to be delicately."

Cressida glances blandly over at Donnell's comment about burning down the King of Spiders' ships.

"I'm sorry I don't know what you mean."

==============
Half an Hour Later...
==============

You soon find yourselves walking northwards away from the Citadel with Vencarlo leading the way. As the older gentleman walks along, he glances over to Donnell and Sevenspawn.

"By the way, I must thank you for returning Grau to safely." He nods apologetically over to Raven and Thod. "Grau is a watch captain who was found in a... difficult state, and your companions here ensured his safe return. He was one of my most promising students, and I can only wish him well."

As he walks along, he glances to Sevenspawn.

"Tell me of your goddess, Sevenspawn. I believe we are men of like minds."

While you talk, Vencarlo leads you northwest through the city. The riots are mostly ended now, but much of Korvosa is a smouldering ruin and the rule of law appears to have all but collapsed. You are nonetheless unmolested, and eventually cross to the island of Old Korvosa, an area very familiar to Donnell and Sevenspawn.

Vencarlo pauses and gestures down the long string of docks.

"My association with Cressida is known, and we must part here. It is the fifth dock. Good luck."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn's eyebrows lift slightly upwards as he walks, gathering his thoughts a moment before responding. Internally, he notes how few in his life have ever asked him of his patron deity.

"Milani is the goddess of the oppressed, Vencarlo, and all those who live under unjust rule. She was a canonized saint of Aroden who ascended after he was lost to us. While The Everbloom preaches righteous uprisings, she abhors cruelty, injustice and... hrrrmmm. Well, this." His hands open up slightly to the aftermath of the riots around them.

"Quite often,"he adds as they talk further awhile, "the injustice forced on the people is placed entirely upon the monarchy. It is an easy target, after all. This is not so, now: the King has died, and many of our people have responded by looting, burning... and Gods know what else." Sevenspawn spits quietly to the side automatically, entirely out of old superstition. "It belittles us all that they would do so."

The cleric stops as they reach the docks, with Vencarlo preparing to leave them. "I will tell you this, Vencarlo, as you seem a good man and I wish to be clear. I have no great love for the monarchy or for the institutions that support it. The Fox and I have made what little difference we can to ease the situation for the innocents - not for the Queen, not for the Guard. I find the riots troubling to read, but I read them thusly: the people currently need order, and the restoration of peace can only come from the Guard and a monarch of the Crimson Throne.

"It would be well," he concludes as he bows farewell respectfully and shakes the man's hand, "for the masters I currently serve to understand this. I am not an agent of anyone save my goddess, and here only as long as the missions serve the people of Korvosa."


.

Vencarlo shakes Sevenspawn's hand, looking at him wryly.

"I am a friend to Cressida, and I am a lover to this city. But trust me, I am no servant to the crown. I think you and I are more alike than you would first believe."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Stewing with internal turmoil and frustration over Cressida's lack of imagination and apparent willingness to cooperate with the likes of Devargo, Donnell doesn't hear Vencarlo's thanks. As he ponders how to rid the docks of drug- and crime-lords, he slowly becomes aware of Sevenspawn's speech about rioting and injustice. Their approach is quite different, but Donnell is reminded that their goals are often the same - to help those who are downtrodden and ignored.

As Vencarlo takes his leave, Donnell resolves to make the best of the situation, in spite of his misgivings. Sevenspawn is far wiser, and if he can find value in this mission, then Donnell will hope to do the same.

As they head down to the docks, Donnell fills and lights his pipe. There's nothing quite like the hint of fire to make a ship captain nervous.


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn sighs through his nose at Vencarlo's departure, turning to the others.

"Thod, we shall be grateful for your strong arm and sharp weapons today. When this is over, I look forward to hearing the tale of how you came to find yourself with us. And Raven," he adds, "I am most curious about your skills and background as well. I have never seen someone looking quite like you, I think.

"In the meantime," he adds, "we have work to do. Let us keep our wits about us and get to it."

Motioning for the Fox to lead the way, Sevenspawn falls in step with Thod and Raven Six.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A
Donnell wrote:
Giving up, he produces his own flask, and joins the dwarf in a healthy draught of whatever crude ends-of-bottle mixture that happens to be in there today.

"Cheers!"

------

Thod marches in silence as the group heads north. It takes some time for him to realize he should be a little more relaxed, and stops marching as though in formation. He sheathes his halberd, and simply plods along. Still just as quiet as he tends to be, though he still keeps an eye out for potential trouble.

Thod continues to not say much as people talk around him. He's having a hard time following all this political stuff and dealings, but he still gets the idea that people are trying to make the city safer. And considering the rioting that was going on, that's a good thing. It's not his city, true, but still, anything to make people's lives better. Besides, what else is he going to do?

Sevenspawn wrote:
"Thod, we shall be grateful for your strong arm and sharp weapons today. When this is over, I look forward to hearing the tale of how you came to find yourself with us."

"Uhh... Saved a noble from a mugging, was told to go to the palace, queen told me to go to the citadel, and then I was told to work with you guys. That... about sums it up."


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

"Indeed," Raven agrees, glancing at Thod. "I have now heard this same summary four times, and it remains succinct and to the point." She blinks once, then turns back to the Fox and Sevenspawn.

"Social bonding will have to take a back seat to strategic planning. Do we indeed plan to enter this 'spider king's' abode and offer him the money for the information in a direct manner, or is it preferable to employ some form of subterfuge? For instance, it seems politically unsound to divulge the nature of our employ."


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Patting Sevenspawn sympathetically on the ... uh... knee: "Well, friend, I hope you are prepared to do the talking."

To Raven6, he replies: "Since the money is also our payment for the job, I'll suggest that offering him the money directly be a last resort." Glances over at Thod "Scratch that, second-last resort. Let's see how far we get with our offer to exchange information before we start giving away our money."

"Now then, since we are likely to be searched and disarmed before our meeting with Devargo (I'll be damned if I call him King), I plan to hide a few items in case of emergency - would anyone else like some help doing the same?"

The Fox quickly rearranges a few items: a silver dagger and some alchemical items (Raven6, at least, will recognize smoke pellets, flash powder, a fungal stun vial, poison vials, and some extracts) disappear into hidden pockets and up his sleeves. Holding up a Harrow deck ruefully, he decides this is best hidden away in the bottom of his pack.

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
additional bonuses: +2 to hide Dagger; +4 to hide smaller objects; +4 to hide objects because I'm using a pocketed scarf


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A
Donnell "The Fox" wrote:
"Now then, since we are likely to be searched and disarmed before our meeting with Devargo (I'll be damned if I call him King), I plan to hide a few items in case of emergency - would anyone else like some help doing the same?"

Thod looks at his armaments. A wide variety of polearms in a heavy wood and leather quiver designed to hold them. Most of the polearms are taller than he is.

"If you could hide any of these, you'd be amazing. I do have a dagger in my boot, though. Guess you could try hidin' that."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

"Raven Six brings up an important point about pretenses. While we are not doing this in any official capacity - and we do not want to reveal our current masters - I do not feel any great backstory is needed here. This is a den of snakes, this place, and snakes wish to be left alone. If we state that our motives are our own to keep, I doubt we will be pressed for more.

"If you are all amenable," Sevenspawn concludes, "let us simply board and look about, ask to speak to Devargo, and offer to trade our own information for what we seek on Darvayne once we do."

The cleric matches Donnell's rueful expression with a pained one of his own. The deck. He curses himself silently for not thinking of using it earlier, and looks to the others.

"This deck is... important to us. Perhaps to all of us. It must not be taken from us under any circumstances."

Heading towards Eel's End, Sevenspawn looks for the fifth dock.


.

Incidentally, it is early evening by the time you arrive.

The sound of carousing booms from the elegantly painted ships moored to this long pier. Large signs painted in several languages hang from ropes slung between ships or are nailed to pilings. The closest ship to the east bears a sign that says, “The Twin Tigers— Take the Tiger by the Tail and Try Your Luck!” Opposite that, to the west, a barge’s sign says, “Welcome to the Goldenhawk—No Safer Stay in Old Korvosa!” Further to the southeast is “Dragon’s Breath Corridor—Dream the Dragon’s Dreams at Affordable Prices!”, while opposite that is the “House of Clouds—The Caress of Our Lovelies Will Take You Straight to Heaven!” Only the largest ship, to the south, bears no signage at all. Short rope bridges or gangplanks provide access to the decks of these ships from the pier, or from the decks of other ships. Sailors, thugs, drunkards, prostitutes, and what could even be a few well-dressed nobles carouse on the pier and the decks of all five ships, seemingly oblivious to Korvosa’s recent troubles. Here and there, large men dressed in chainmail patrol the area, grim faces in a sea of revelry.

The pier itself is around 70 feet long; the last 30 feet widening into a large square platform on the water. Five ships are moored to the pier, the largest of which is the Eel's End iteslf to the south. This warship is the stronghold of Devargo Barvasi, King of Spiders. The other barges are, according to Sevenspawn's recollection, owned by various peddlers and captains who pay rent to Barvasi. Those who fail to do so find their ships cut loose, aflame, or according to rumour, infested with deadly spiders.

The way into Eels' End seems clear and unbarred. Within the deck of the warship you can see more carousing and drinking. At the aft end of the deck everything is quite clear, where intimidating double doors stand with guards posted.


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Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Putting away his holy symbol, Sevenspawn sighs through his nose and walks as if preparing himself for an unpleasant party he does not wish to attend.

The moment his boot steps on a plank, he seemingly becomes a different person altogether.

"Rounds fer everyone!" he states loudly, producing his purse. "An' th' best in th' Sail fer my crew, or they're not th' stoutest bunch in th' city, an' they are. Raise a mug to 'em, drink up on me; only two t'ings t' be done 'bout it, an' that's nothing and to like it."

Nodding and greeting other guests as he goes, Sevenspawn falls quieter but remains speaking in a sort of backwater lingo heard only in places like the Shingles and Bridgefront - all in Common, but full of phrasing that slings back and forth between charming and humorously offensive. He tips the servants very well, talking respectfully to them, presses gold coins into the hands of prostitutes - "Narry a prettier face I've seen, lass, jes' fer you, you be well an' good, now" - and keeps his spending below obscene but within the realm of high-rollers. His goal, as would be clear to his companions, is to quickly well-liked by the management.

After a few moments he heads towards the stern and speaks to the guards, tipping them customarily.

"Pinchers around an' pinches abound, boys, all look-n-see 'bout this Sail presently. Narry a true-spend to be spied, Fronters an' Empties, all." He jingles his personal bag of gold in his hand, heavy with clinking coins. "Thinkin' much yellers an' cloudies are preffed, in these days of fires, Paralictors an' red-thirsty Armigens. Crimson Seat 'as no hand on the sceptre, ah? Slow's down the festival 'ere, thinkin'. But we've yellers to spread, boys, an' cloudies to spread it on, nuff fer Devayne, too. Look-n-see an' parlay, an' it please you."

Translation:
"All I see on this ship are poor folk with coppers. Hardly a big spender to be seen, poor and homeless, all of them (Meant in a derogatory way, not a factual one). I'm thinking gold and silver coins are preferred, in times of fires, Hellknight officers and bloodthirsty young Hellknight soldiers. There's no one on the Crimson Throne; that has to be bad for business. We have gold to spend, and silver coins to spend too - for Devayne as well. We want to meet and speak with him, if that is possible."

The cleric switches immediately to a language incomprehensible to most, summing up quickly, though the words Sevenspawn, Dead Kings, and King of Spiders are noticeably in Common.

Thieves Cant:
"I am Sevenspawn, Left Hand of the Dead Kings. This is my company. We would talk with the King of Spiders, and bring a tribute for him to gain an audience: we seek an exchange of information that could benefit us all."


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven's eyes shift to the Dragon's Breath Corridor, and she plucks at the Fox's sleeve, jerking her head in that direction before she leans over to whisper in his ear: "Some... components... are not readily available in stores, even specialty alchemical suppliers. Do you wish to peruse the selection available?"


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Preferring a quieter, subtler approach, Donnell is a bit thrown off by Sevenspawn's overt display of wealth, muttering: "Bloody fool's going to get us all killed before we even get to Devargo."

Following along in his wake, The Fox attempts to soothe jealous looks, and perhaps gather some information about Devargo.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Ironically, handing out a few grains of shiver would probably go a lot further with this crowd, but at Raven's suggestion that they visit the Dragon's Breath he cannot hide his panic and revulsion: "Let's stick together for now. I can take you there if we make it out of this alive, though I will not be able to accompany you inside."


.

That's magnificent, Sevenspawn.

Although there's a couple of grumbles at Sevenspawn, other people give way as he makes a big show of wealth and authority, which seems to work. Donnell occasionally whispers a couple of soothing words to people who seem to be taken aback, and the general show of it seems to work.

The guards at the gate look over Sevenspawn after he makes a big show of his wealth and drops a few choice hints to the guards. Donnell's quick way of working the crowd and ensuring the group get the right sort of attention also seems to pay off.

"On with ye then, and pay mind to the dog biter and make sure he doesn't do no dancing - once seen the King feed one to a spider whole an' everything!" The guards laughs cruelly as he looks over Donnell. "You speak with coin and the King'll talk back he will. Mind yer manners and if your pump-sucker is any good at knivesies it'll get you far."

Knowledge Local/Streetwise DC 10 (anyone can roll):

Dog biter means halfling, dancing means pick pocketing, pump-sucker is a Riddleport term for a dwarf, and knivesies is a combat game popular among thieves where two contestants are strapped together and fight over a table full of gold and a knife.

The doors swing open, and reveal what's essentially a crude throne room.

This large room, once a captain’s cabin, has been converted into a throne room of sorts. The walls are thick with spiderwebs, in which scuttle dozens of spiders— some as large as a fist but most considerably smaller. These spiders seem content to stay in their webs and do not venture into the room itself, which is furnished with two sturdy oaken tables surrounded by chairs. Aft, a wooden stage supports a large leather chair, itself covered with cobwebs and scampering spiders. A narrow door stands to port, hanging ajar and revealing a flight of stairs leading below.

An iron birdcage hangs from the ceiling like a chandelier, inside of which lingers a tiny, tired-looking purple dragon.

Sitting upon the throne is this man, dressed in black leather armour, a spider-shaped shoulder baldric, and a thick chain across his chest linked together in the shape of a spider's web. On his hands are two gauntlets fixed with blades, and they glisten with an obvious coating of poison. Spiders occasionally skitter over his form, and even his face but he takes no notice of them.

Seated at some of the tables are some nervous-looking young toughs who are loudly trying to impress each other with drinking and boisterous storytelling. Devargo is wathcing them carefully. He glances up as you all walk in, and stands. Uncomfortably large spiders start to skitter out from in front of the throne menacingly.

"Walk soft now," he hisses. "Invitations are required now, aren't they? We're listening, but you had better have very interesting things to say to us now."


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

Sevenspawn bows respectfully as he and his group fan out to the opposite end of the hall, eyeing the dragon-like creature a moment - and noting Devayne's use of the royal We.

"Well met, King of Spiders. We thank you for granting us an audience, and offer you this tribute." He holds his sack in his palm, filled with his own gold, preparing to hand it off to whoever may take it.

"Your time is precious, and I shall not waste it. My companions and I come seeking information on a patron of yours... a Chelax Ambassador called Darvayne Gios Amprei. His activities, his quiet desires, his involvements in any... hedonistic activities not suiting his station - these are things we ask to know.

"In return," he finishes, "we offer information we trust would interest you on recent darker dealings of consequence in Korvosa... by a great House."


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Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Know/Local: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10

Happy to see Sevenspawn take the lead, Donnell, remembering his recent encounter with a single, small spider, keeps a wary eye on these larger specimens. His mind is split between the desires to run, fight, and dissect the spiders and extract their poison glands.

Shaking himself out of this reverie, The Fox adds: "Yes, an exchange of dirt for dirt - these so-called noblemen could probably stand to be taken down a peg or two... What say you, sir?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

If any of y'all would like to help me out with Aid Another, it would be most appreciated


Female Android Alchemist 8/Rogue 2; Init +2; Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Perception +16; AC 16 (+2 Dex., +4 armour); hp 70/70; Fort +8; Ref +11; Will +4

Raven Six... ambles into the throne room, looking at the spiderwebs like a tourist admiring wall tapestries, and scrutinizes the spiders.

Knowledge (nature) to identify spiders: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

"Fascinating," she says in a clear voice. "Do you use chemicals or magic to stop them from cannibalizing each other? Fascinating! And such variety."

Unless anyone actively tries to stop her, she ambles over to the dragon, looking it over, and addresses it in an arcane language.

Knowledge (arcana) to identify dragon: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25

Draconic:
"Good day and well-met to you, little cousin. How is it with you?"

And finally, her eyes - and waxen smile - fall on the King. The Alchemist nods at his gauntlets.
"Distilled spider venom, I assume? Do you blend numerous species' toxin, or do you have a marked favourite? I am highly impressed with your arrangements in either case."

Diplomacy aid another 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13


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.

Devargo's eyes flick over to the tiny dragon as Raven wanders over to start conversing with it. The dragon grips the bars with its little hands.

"Careful now..." however, he doesn't stop her.

He then addresses Sevenspawn, Thod, and Donnell. He cracks a bit of a grin. Your manners to have set the criminal overlord at ease.

"Well now, we have some interesting things to speak about, my lovelies. And yes, spider venom custom blend. There are so many options of course; the secret, and I will kill you if you share it, is to use ogre spider venom as your base. It sets a low note to the venom; a sort of boom boom boom. A pure dose of ogre spider venom lasts poorly when exposed to air, though. But enough of poison, we have nobility to speak of."

He fixes his gaze on Donnell, smiling a little less. A spider crawls across his face.

"We know things, but these things are of use to us. Not to be parted with on the easy."

You now notice the young thugs at the table are all looking at Devargo expectantly.

"These young fellows want to enter into my service, but I don't know if they're any good. How about..."

He points a finger at Thod.

"You. Fancy a game of knivesies?"

A cheer sounds out from the table.

"Have some knivesies with one of our supplicants. Show us some good sports, and then perhaps we can talk trades."

Raven Six:

This is most definitely a pseudodragon, of which Korvosa has a resident population who are forever battling imps. They are playful, curious creatures and quite gentle but tend to avoid direct contact with people. You also know they are telepathic, and you feel it touch your mind.

Please! Save me! My life is a torment here. I will fight for you and serve you for a year in gratitude if you let me out! These men are so cruel, I am a plaything and must be free. A year of serice is nothing, you have kind eyes, stranger. Help!


.

How to Play Knivesies:

The ever-popular Knivesies (nighve-zees) is the game of choice among the steeliest pirates, brigands, thieves, and scallywags in Riddleport. It’s increasing popularity in Korvosa is in large part due to Devargo’s enjoyment of the game.

Knivesies is simple to play. Two contestants stand on opposite ends of a long wooden table. Their right hands are strapped together with a boiled leather strap, belt pouches are ftted to their waists, and a dagger is stuck in the tabletop between them. The game begins afer a count of ten, during which time observers can place bets by tossing gold onto the table and standing at the end of the table where their chosen fghter stands. As the game begins, each contestant makes an initiative check.

There are two ways to win Knivesies. You can either force the other contestant to fall off the table, or you can grab for the gold and drop it into your pouch. Snatching a fistful of 1d10 coins off the table is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Since each opponent has only one free hand, the first round is typically a mad lunge for the dagger, forcing the slower opponent to make grabs for gold. There aren’t any more rules beyond this; most Knivesies games devolve into tabletop brawls, with the first person to drop or touch the ground losing.

The game ends once a contestant is unconscious, dead, or knocked off the table; as soon as no coins remain on the table; or as soon as any coin is knocked off the table. When the game ends, an unconscious, dead, or de-tabled contestant is automatically the loser. Otherwise, the winner is determined by which person has the most coins in his pouch. At the end of the game, all money is emptied from the pouches back onto the table. Half the total is paid to the winner, while the remainder is split evenly among all of those who stood at the winner’s end of the table.

Tl;dr - both contestants start unarmed. Knife is in table between them. There is an initiative roll, and someone can grab coins or the knife. After that, round by round you either attack each other or grab coins - grabbing coins triggers an AoO. After that point anything goes, although outside interference will result in a much larger brawl.


NG Male Dwarven Barbarian 10 | HP 115/115 {145/145} | AC 21 (19 Rage, 12 Touch, 20 Flat-Footed) | CMB +14/+16, CMD 25/27 | Fort. +13/16, Ref. +6, Will +10/12 | Init. +2 | Perc. +15 | Speed 30ft | Rage: 25/25 | DR 2/- | Active conditions: N/A

As the group approaches the rougher portion of town, Thod decides it's time to put on a slightly more official show of force. He redraws his halberd and resumes marching in guard formation.

As the toughs get tougher, he starts glowering a little. Something he's been told he was quite good at, even though he never really tried. It's just been mentioned to him that when he acts particularly seriously, he can unnerve people.

Passive Intimidate. Won't roll right now, because it's far too late.

He wonders what language this Sevenspawn guy is talking as he walks through. Apparently related to Common, whatever it is. He thinks to ask, but decides to continue putting on a show of force. He'll ask later.

=====

Getting into the ship, Thod does not seem to overly react to the spiders. He was told the guy was a King of Spiders, so it makes sense he has spiders. Was it this guy's gloves they needed to get for poison? Certainly seemed to have an abundance of it.

Of course, the diplomacy and subterfuge again goes over his head. Now they wanted dirt for dirt? Was this some dwarven joke? Eh, whatever. First it was poison, then news, then dirt. Who knows what the hell is going on anymore. As long as Sevenspawn and the rest had a good idea, all he had to do was stand there and look intimidating.

Quote:
"You. Fancy a game of knivesies?"

Thod was looking at a particularly shiny spider, when he suddenly realises he was being addressed.

"Huh? Wha? Me? Oh! Thod Six-Picks, sir!" Dwarven salute.

Oh, wait, question.

"Knivesies? Uhh, Never played."

The rules are explained to Thod. And probably a few more times as well.

"I, uh, guess I could play that." Thod gives a non-committal shrug. He's partly confused and a bit worried, but there's also part of him looking for an opportunity to really cut loose. That part that always seems to come out during a fight. And this isn't a big war that requires discipline, after all.

Shouldn't the two combatants be considered grappled due to being tied together like that?


Male CG Halfling Investigator 10 | HP: 40/57 | AC: 19 (16 FF, 14 Tch) | CMB: 6, CMD: 19, FF: 16 | F: +7, R: +12, W: +10 | Init: +7 (+9 urban)| Perc: +15 | Locate Traps +20 | Disarm Traps +20 | Speed 20ft | Inspiration 7/8 | Harrow Points: 3 | +6 vs Poison, +2 vs Fear, +3 vs Traps | Active effects: Heroism, Heightened Awareness (+2 attacks, saves, skills; further +2 Perception & Knowledge); Sickened (-2 all rolls)

Donnell shrugs - knivesies it is then, I guess. Good luck knocking a dwarf off his feet!

Figuring there's not much use explaining the money-grab, Donnell takes the dwarf by the hand, guiding him over to the table. Speaking low and slow in dwarven: "Simple enough, Thod. They will tie you to a man. He'll try to knock you down. You knock him down first."

The Fox will attempt a quick, surreptitious assessment of the table in question - perhaps there's a weakness that could be exploited if things go poorly for our side.

Know-Engineering: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
DAMMIT!!
Guiding Thod to what is hopefully the more stable corner of the table, Donnell smiles encouragingly, and offers Thod a drink from his flask.


Male CG Human Cleric 10 HP: 72/72 I AC: 22 (11 Tch, 21Fl) | CMB: 10, CMD: 20 | F: +8, R: +5, W: +11 | Init: +4 | Perc: +5 Speed 20ft | Channel 4/4 | Spells 6/6 6/6 5/5 4/4 4/4 3/3 |

During the loud moments that follow, Sevenspawn moves slowly to the end of the table selected by Thod. He nods respectfully to Devayne as he passes, careful not to step on any of his pets.

If it is possible to do so without causing undo attention from the KoS, Sevenspawn will cast Bless, giving all his allies +1 to attack and damage for two minutes. If it appears too risky, he will remain at Thod's end to watch the event.

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