GM SpiderBeard's Curse of the Crimson Throne

Game Master Barvo Delancy

Chapter 3: Escape from Old Korvosa

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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)

Donnell's pacing continues: "This is too big for us to handle on our own - we need to find out what the others know, and what they think we should do. If we can contact the Field Marshall through the homunculi, then I think we should do so - it's likely to be the most secure method. I suggest we ask Kroft to meet us here, if she is able to do so stealthily (perhaps even invisibly); if not, we can go to a location she suggests."

Continuing to grumble under his breath: "Just when I was hoping things might calm down a bit - there's just so much to do: research, experiments, exploring under these caves..."


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, right, Kroft. Do your magic talky thing. Probably a good idea for us to lay low for a bit. Don't want to go marching around with the Gray Maidens looking around."

"You can get here through the sewers. Haven't fully explored the tunnels, but I've been going through, trying to learn other paths through to here."


Female Homunculus Init +2; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3; AC 14 (touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)); hp 11; Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +1

"Uhhh... I can fly, mistah huge silly dwarf person. See? Got tbem wings."


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

"I meant for Kroft to meet up with us, you little nude weirdo."


Female Homunculus Init +2; darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3; AC 14 (touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)); hp 11; Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +1

"Ohhh... She don't needta do that, silly dwarf giant! If'n I'm talkin' to her homunkey-lous, an' hers is talkin' ta me, we cin tell each other our masters' thoughts inna secret corner somewheres! That way, Mash-all Kroft don' needta come out here an' risk gettin' caught, an' we don' needta go over t'her an' get nabbed. See?"


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)
Thjodrorir "Thod" Six-Picks wrote:
"You can get here through the sewers. Haven't fully explored the tunnels, but I've been going through, trying to learn other paths through to here."

"Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that..." Pulling a map of Korvosa's sewers from a scroll case in his pack, Donnell rolls it out on a nearby table.

I'm not sure if we've yet figured out where the Dead Warrens link to the rest of the sewers, or if they are on our map (taken from the wererats) - if not, Donnell will try to figure that out now:
Knowledge (Geography or Dungeoneering): 1d20 + 7 + 1d6 ⇒ (18) + 7 + (4) = 29
(but let me know if a different skill is required here - Knowledge, Local is +10; Survival is +6)

"Also... hrmm, I think I'd prefer to speak with Kroft in person. You have a good idea, little H-001, but I'm not sure that five of us talking through so many intermediaries is a good idea."


.

The sense motive check should be rolled by me secretly on the prognostication, but whatever. Who am I to deny a 20.

@Donnell - I will say that in your downtime you figured out how the warrens connect with the sewers. However thorough exploration has not been done and it'll be easy to get lost without a map.

@Thod - if you want to mark up the map with anything I missed I'll whip up an updated version.

Raven Six concentrations while the group talks with the homonculus, turning over cards to reveal what the future holds for Neolandus.

The card she turns over is the Raksasha. This is a woeful card, showing a loss of control. However, interestingly, it is not a card that implies death or loss - simply a loss of personal freedom.

The remainder of the cards carry a similarly mixed outcome. Betrayal, power, an uprising, helplessness, and finally the winged serpent - the card of seizing the day.

So are you going to try to speak with Kroft personally or send the homonculus or some mix of the two? You have the means to get to the Citadel through the sewers if you choose that route.


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)

I'd like to send the homunculus to see if Kroft is willing to meet with us. If she has a safe spot she would prefer, we'll defer to her; otherwise, a couple of us can meet her in the sewers and bring her back to the Dead Warrens.


.

I'm going to hit fast-forward.

The homunculus whizzes off and after an hour of waiting she returns, babbling excitedly about how Cressida really wants you to meet with her in person and that she has some spells to ensure you're protected.

With hoods up you dive into the tunnels against the Dead Warrens, and following DOnnell's lead you make your way into the sewer. The map leads you beneath the Citadel. Thanks to the homunculi working together, the sewer grate is already lifted and you're escorted into Kroft's office.

Even since you last had access to the armory, it is shocking to see the proud building so understaffed. The guard who helps you up appears to be the only guard on duty at the citadel entrance. The halls within are silent and empty with refuse and trash scattered around. Dust gathers in empty barracks and a state of creeping neglect hangs over the place like a pall.

Cressida Kroft looks haggard when you arrive, and she ushers you into the central keep quickly far beyond where you've been. She opens a door to a room which is filled with what looks like fog. Muttering something about a private sanctum spell, she sits you all down and speaks in a low, angry voice.

"I'll ask for an update on Endrin and if he survived.. but first I need to get this off of my chest. Korvosa is dying. No, strike that. Korvosa is being murdered. Killed by our queen. The evidence you’ve uncovered that links her to the plague is damning enough, but now that she’s disbanded the Sable Company and reallocated our own funding to the Gray Maidens, she’s more in control now than ever. I dare not move against her, as my guards would be executed to the last fighter by her Gray Maidens before sundown. But she must be stopped. And I know of no one else but you to do this deed.

"Whatever foul magic the queen has wrapped herself in is obviously of the highest order. Endrin’s aim was true, and his shot should have dropped her. I had feared he was going to take matters into his own hands like this, but hoped he would find it within himself to find a better route. If only he could have waited.

"You see, just this morning, new information came to me. Vencarlo Orisini’s been one of my most trusted sources of information regarding the public; it’s hard for an officer of the Korvosan Guard to get honest opinions from the citizens, and Vencarlo’s observations on these topics have been a godsend, particularly since the plague started. When the queen quarantined Old Korvosa, I’d feared his messages would end, yet he managed to find ways to smuggle updates to me every day. Recently, he wrote of discovering something of vital importance regarding the queen. He mentions something about dark magic and a pact with a devil, but until the events of this morning, I found his claims difficult to believe. But even more astounding, he hinted he’d found a lead on Seneschal Kalepopolis, and implied the man might still be in hiding in
Old Korvosa!

"That was the last I heard from him. It’s been several days, and I’ve started to worry for his safety. The rumors about riots and gangs seizing control of entire neighborhoods in Old Korvosa are disturbing. Certainly, the plumes of smoke we all see rising from fires on the island are proof that as bad as things are elsewhere, they’re probably worse in Old Korvosa.

"I can see a time in the near future when the Korvosan Guard is disbanded as well. Even now I lack the resources to mount my own investigations. Which is where you come in. Trusting you may have been my best decision over the past several months, for your group holds the possibility of Korvosa’s salvation. I ask you to seek out Vencarlo in Old Korvosa, and to learn more of what he’s discovered about the nature of our queen’s increasingly violent and destructive turns of personality. Ironically, you should actually be safer in Old Korvosa, since the queen’s quarantine has cut off the island entirely, and word on the street is that she plans on leaving it to rot. She won’t think to look for you there if you maintain a low profile and avoid confrontations with the Gray Maidens. Once you contact Vencarlo, we can only hope what he’s discovered will suggest a course of action we can take to save the city!"


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

"We would have needed to go there shortly in any case," Raven Six says. "At least now we also have a laudable reason in addition to the utilitarian one. I am willing."


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)

"Frankly, I am (we are) amazed that you've been able to hold on to your position as long as you have. If the Queen should turn against you, please find us and we will provide you and those you trust with a safe house until we figure out what to do.

"As for the Vencarlo, I think we should be able to find our way to and from Old K, and we still have contacts there who can help us with the search. Do you know where he's been staying, or if he's disguised?"

iirc, we have a sailboat at the docks in the Midlands (assuming it's still there...) and an established strategy for circumventing the quarantine. I assume Donnell is still the only one who can sail?
Also, the Dead Kings are in Old Korvosa and Donnell might have a few contacts there as well.


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

"Sorry, refresh my memory. I remember Vencarlo, but who was Seneschal again?"

Quote:
"Trusting you may have been my best decision over the past several months, for your group holds the possibility of Korvosa’s salvation."

"Kinda funny to think it was the Queen who sent us here after we... well, I, I guess. Don't know what Raven did... saved some noble and got the attention of ol' Queenie."


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)

I don't think we've met the Seneschal yet


.

Cressids nods solemenly. "Neolandus Kalepopolis was the reason that Korvosa functioned as a city. While the King womanized and drank he ensured the coffers were full and the populace was complacent. After the King's murder, he vanished - I had assume the Queen had had him either jailed or executed. Vencarlo's note that he may be alive in Old Korvosa is vitally important."

She looks over to Donnell. "He should be at his home, just east of his academy. If you recall he's possibly the finest swordsman in Korvosa and taught many students, including Grau."

The Dead Kings are headquartered out of Eel's End in Old Korvosa so you absolutely have allies there and a potential base of operations. Donnell and Sevenspawn are also likely to just have random contacts and friends around Endrin Isle (the actual island that holds Old Korvosa. Let me know if you have additional questions or if we push to the next scene.


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)

"Just one last question before we go - we are happy to take Vencarlo's advice and act as best we can, but are you asking us to bring Vencarlo (and the Seneschal) back here to the Citadel when we've found them? If you are worried about your future here, or that your security is compromised, we can probably secure in a safe place on or off the island."


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

No further questions from me.


.

Cressida purses her lips. "This is going to be highly contextual on what you find on the island. Use your best judgement. Get them somewhere safe. If that's your safe house, then so be it. If it is on the island with your other contacts, that works as well. Right now the big thing is to find Neolandus."


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)

That's pretty much what I figured she would say, I just wanted to make sure I was on the same page. I think we're probably ready to head out. I left a couple of slots open this time around, so Donnell will take a minute to mix together another Invisibility extract before we go.


.

Okay waving the magic wand.

With a long day ahead of you, you make your way to the docks to locate your skiff, which thankfully remains where you left it. Although there is no clear traffic to Old Korvosa, it's abundantly clear that nobody cares about you traveling to Endrin Isle. It's leaving that's the problem.

As you make your way downriver towards the mouth of the Jeggare the extent of the quarantine is incredible to witness. The wooden bridges have been completely destroyed. A team of Gray Maidens stand upon the Jeggare bridge and as you float along, a man stands before them, calling up a wall of stone to permanently close of the Jeggare Bridge and seal the island for good. It's been a little while since you've visited the island Sevenspawn called home for so many years, but it's clear things are bad. As you circle it, you see the streets teeming with desperate people and what looks like a very large - and unidentified - gang with clubs and axes harassing locals.

Finally you make it to the secret dock in the shadow of the magnificent Palace Arkona, which leads to an interesting conclusion. If the commoners here are trapped, what of the most powerful noble family in Korvosa?

You land at the dock to a few people milling about. As the boat pulls up you hear cries about the heroes of Korvosa come to save them. You drop anchor as you get close and step off into a small crowd.

"The Emperor he's taking over the entire island..."

"People going mad, there's no plague no more but we can't leave..."

"Killed my sister they did..."

"Arkonas abandoned us! They used to protect us but not no more..."


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

"One at a time, please," Raven Six calls out, as soothingly as she can. "We will do what we can, but don't all talk at once."

The Alchemist advances on the crowd, offering what comfort she can.
"We are here. We did as we promised, ended the plague, and we've come back. Now. One at a time, tell us what has been happening here."

Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22


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)

Unlike Raven Six, Donnell is attempting to have twenty conversations at once (taking the occasional note in a book):
"Emperor? What Emperor?"
"Yes, thank you, we were successful with the antiplague and cure."
"We have to figure out why the Queen wants you trapped in Old K - then we'll have this quarantine lifted."
"Who's your sister? Who had her killed?"
"Where did the Arkonas go?"

"Who's running the show here? I see lots of gangs - is there one in charge?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 14 + (6) = 24

As an aside to Sevenspawn: "Where are the Kings in all this? I know they are a relatively small group, but can we get them to help restore some order?"


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 doesn't know how to react to the attention of being 'heroes of Korvosa.' He tends to try and interpose himself between the people and his party. Not in a threatening way, but at least giving them some space. He looks a bit sheepish and constantly mumbles out denials that he's anybody special.


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 |
Donnell wrote:
"Where are the Kings in all this? I know they are a relatively small group, but can we get them to help restore some order?"

Sevenspawn shrugs lightly. "The Dead Kings protect the weakest and most destitute of the population from those who would abuse them," he responds, "but they are not interested in order beyond that. Quite the opposite, given that order usually comes in the form of authority. It is not by chance that our goddess is she that holds sway over uprisings.

"Nevertheless, I could plead the Broken Crown for aid... though I am unclear at my current standing."

Who's the Emperor..?

Streetwise: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20


.

You step into the crowd as people babble at you and try to get a sense of what's going on. Here's the story you glean thus far.

- The quarantine has the entire island going a little mad and people turning to desperate actions

- The Arkonas are the traditional caretakers of Old Korvosa and their own family guard have done more to protect the island from criminals and other threats than the city itself

- Donnell and Sevenspawn know full well the Arkonas are not a benevolent group and were responsible for as much of the criminal element as they supposedly protected people from. Scum like Devargo Barvasi were business partners with the Arkonas. The Dead Kings were not and were always a rogue element on the island because of their own moral code.

- When the quarantine hit, everyone turned to the Arkonas for help.. and they closed their doors. Everyone went a little crazy after that.

- Foremost of this insanity has been the rise of the Emperor of Old Korvosa - Pilts Swastel. Pilts ran a playhouse called Exemplary Execrables noted for its grisly, violent "theatre" with a small gang operating out of it. That gang has exploded in size since the quarantine, with Pilts proclaiming he will be the one to unseat the Arkonas and their palace and wealth will revert to the people. Pilts' Mob is extremely violent and those who don't join are beaten, robbed, or even killed.

- Pilts is operating out of the Old Docks on Silk Street from his 'palace'. He's seized control of several tenenments there, and rarely leaves the places. His fanatical mob scours Old Dock seeking conscripts or victims.

- He sees Old Korvosa as a stage and forces prisoners to take part in violent, deadly games and gruesome performances - pitting them against pets or followers. He also loves using an extravagant guillotine called the "Tall Knife"

- Those who seek an audience with the Emperor need to earn his respect by entertaining him, his favorite game is something called 'bloog pig'. He's converted a large rooftop inside of his palace into a playing field for games and the screams of the tormented are heard all around the Old Dock.


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 |

Phaedran passes on the information to the others, the part about the game delivered dryly.

"We should move quickly," he says lowly to the others. "Crowds draw attention, and we should head to Vencarlo's without the fanfare."


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

"Good idea. Find Vencarlo first, maybe check in with your group, Sevenspawn, and then we'll see about fixing other things."


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)

As the story comes out, Donnell growls in anger ... and relief - here at least is a problem he and his friends can tackle! He nods in agreement with Sevenspawn's assessment: "Yes, by all means. Then, we can take on this Pilts weasel. Also, regardless of your role with the 'Kings, I think it might be time for them to take on a larger role in the managing of the island - assuming we find the right people running the gang, that is."

As we move through the crowd (and try to convince them to disperse), Donnell will try to discreetly inquire about Vencarlo:

Diplomacy, Gather Info: 1d20 + 14 + 1d6 ⇒ (19) + 14 + (4) = 37


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 |
Donnell wrote:
"Also, regardless of your role with the 'Kings, I think it might be time for them to take on a larger role in the managing of the island - assuming we find the right people running the gang, that is."

Sevenspawn stiffens noticeably. His face goes tight as he stands straight from his bent position talking to Donnell.

He does not reply. It is a conversation for later.


.

Real gather info takes hours so this will occur as you travel through the city.

With a few people promising to guard your boat, you strike out into the streets of Garrison Hill from the secret dock.

Old Korvosa is mapped into four wards:

Check the campaign images page for a map of Old Korvosa and its wards.

Bridgefront is the poorest, most densely populated section of the city and famous for the vertical stacking of humanity into Shingles. 1/10th of Korvosa's population is crammed into this small neighbourhood which was traditionally protected by the Dead Kings.

Old Dock is less desperately poor, but far more dangerous and the realm of the toughest gangs. This is the neighbourhood once controlled by Devargo Barvasi and now apparently dominated by Pilts Swastel, the self-styled Emperor of Old Korvosa. Worryingly, this is also the current headquarters of the Dead Kings who you last left in charge of Eel's End.

Garrison Hill is the closest Old Korvosa has to a middle class neighbourhod. Its proximity to Fort Korvosa offers it protection from the Arkonas and is noted for wider streets and generally lower crime. It is here that you will find the Orisini Academy.

Fort Korvosa is a walled section of town controlled almost entirely by the Arkona family. Although the walls that define the district have begun to crumble, the word on the street is that the ward is sealed.

---

You are currently in Garrison Hill alongside the walls of Fort Korvosa. The wider streets give things a slightly less claustrophobic feel. The atmosphere of this island you all know so well is different and with the ravages of the plague and now the quarantine there is an air of urgency and desperation.

This is made even stranger as you come upon a group of incongruously happy children singing a strange little rhyme as they gather around something in the middle of the street.

"Headless, headless, that's what you'll be, brand-new dolls in the Emp'ror's cemet'ry! Choppy choppy chop, the tall knife calls, waitin' for the day for Korvosa to fall!"

They all begin giggling madly and you see a doll's head fly up from the crowd of children where they all cry with glee.


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)

"I have a sinking feeling that we'll find Vencarlo 'entertaining' this Pilts creature."


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

"Perhaps. Possibly not. He seemed a most capable individual. Let us try his home and place of work and make sure he is not there."


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 simply walks with the group, eyes on high alert, expecting trouble.

Agree on heading to his home first. We've been there before, I believe, so we shouldn't have much trouble getting there. What waits for us is a different matter.


.

Although there is a great sense of foreboding as you make your way through the neighbourhood - accompanied by the occasional sounds of crowds and violence from the east - you are an imposing enough group you manage to make it Vencarlo's home unaccosted.

Vencarlo's home is a humble building just east of his academy...

Or at least, where his academy once stood. The once-proud structure is no more and only a ruin stands there now. It looks to have burned down in the past couple of days. However, Vencarlo's small home remains in one piece, and you find yourselves before it.


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 frowns as the group walks past the ruined academy: "I... I don't understand - why tear down a perfectly good building? Furthermore, how?"

At the front door to the house, Donnell knocks and calls Vencarlo's name, softly. If no answer is forthcoming, he will ask the taller folks to block view of him from the street before examining and unlocking the door.

Perception: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 13 + (6) = 25
Disable Device: 1d20 + 15 + 1d6 ⇒ (8) + 15 + (4) = 27
An further +4 is added to both rolls in the case of traps


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 turns to face the street, his cloak giving the halfling cover, and scans to ensure they are not watched.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17


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
Donnell "The Fox" wrote:
Donnell frowns as the group walks past the ruined academy: "I... I don't understand - why tear down a perfectly good building? Furthermore, how?"

"Perhaps it happened in battle?" Raven Six suggests. "Vencarlo is a master of the blade. It is not inconceivable that anyone who wanted him -- or someone under his care -- dead would have taken … 'lateral actions' to gain the advantage."

If the others look at her funny, the Alchemist shrugs. "It seems sensible. Granted, my perspective may be biased. I throw around bombs in pitched combat."


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

"But why his academy, and not his house? You'd figure if you wanted him dead, you'd wreck everything."

Thod also keeps an eye out and covers for Donnell.

Perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20


.

Sorry guys, crazy day yesterday. Also the academy burned down, not torn down.

You knock on the door and to nobody's surprise, it goes unanswered. There are no traps, so you open it and peer inside.

Inside is a modest but tastefully decorated home. The entryway is dominated by a colourful Vudrani throw rug. The hallway is lined with doors along a hallway which opens into a living room that appears to have some stairs in it.


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)

Closing the door quietly behind the group, Donnell speaks in a low voice: "Alright, could be there's someone holed up here. If Vencarlo's home, it might be that he's hiding or being held, so let's take our time and look thoroughly."

Donnell will take a look around the foyer including under that rug! before moving to the first door in along the hallway.

Perception: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 13 + (2) = 18


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 and listens carefully.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18


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 silently closes the door behind the group. Being a dwarf in armour, he keeps to the door, and lets the more agile members survey the place.


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 stands at Thod's side, her eyes probing the house's interior.

"Vencarlo has marvelous taste in interior decorating."

Rapier drawn. Perception 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (6) + 14 = 20


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)

Oh, I should have clarified. Unless Donnell perceives something of note in the foyer or at the door, he will open that first hallway door, directly north of us.


.

Sorry for spotty posts this week. Long band practice and had to move a piano. Never move pianos.

You start making your way through the house, checking varying doors. You discover a workshop with some half-finished weapons (of little value), a pantry where the perishable food has gone bad, and a study piled with papers about the academy.

At the end of the hall is a living room with comfortable chairs. A fire burns brightly in the fireplace and stairs lead upwards.


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 licks his lips.

"The food has turned," he whispers lowly, "but the fire burns. Someone is here." He looks at Donnell, raising a hand in a Thieves Cant gesture. DOORS - OF SECRECY?

The priest draws out his hammer, keeping it in his hand by his side.


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 takes a cue from Sevenspawn and returns: lOOK UPSTAIRS FIRST - SEARCH MORE AFTER.

Readying a bolt in his crossbow, Donnell indicates that he will scout ahead COUNT TO TEN, THEN FOLLOW.

Stealth: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15

Ah, I see I've gone back to a long streak of rolls <10


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 nods placidly - and readies one of her cold bombs.


.

GM ROlls:

Sneak Attack: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15 Damage: 1d8 + 8 + 3d6 ⇒ (7) + 8 + (1, 2, 3) = 21

Initiative:

Raven: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Thod: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Sevenspawn: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Donnell: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Red Mantis Assassin: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

After the group finishes signalling you send Donnell up ahead. THe little halfling's footsteps are silent on the stairs as he keeps a low profile and advances in the way he always has with the group hanging back as they count to ten.

This almost ends badly as he rounds the stairs, oblivious to a shadow on the wall. The shadow changes to action as a figure in red-amour leaps out from the side of the stairs, missing Donnell's neck with a nasty-looking sabre!

Round One:

Sevenspawn
Donnell
Thod
---
Assassin
---
Raven Six

Everyone but Raven Six is up! Assassin is on the map.


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)

"GET UP HERE - NOW!"

Edging his way to the assassin's left, Donnell draws his new rapier:

Rapier1: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Damage1: 1d4 + 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + (3, 2) + 3 = 10

Crit threat: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Damage2: 1d4 + 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + (4, 5) + 3 = 14

Rapier2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Damage2: 1d4 + 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (1) + (4, 1) + 3 = 9

Oh, also, what is that armour?
Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 10 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 10 + (4) = 25


.

Donnell lands a solid blow but his heart sinks as he realizes what they're looking at as the conversation with the nosferatu who helped engineer the blood veil all comes home. This is a Red Mantis assassin, who you recall were involved in some way with the blood veil plot.

The Red Mantis are a notorious international assassin's guild and the most expensive, and best hired killers in all of Avistan. Donnell's street knowledge is enough that he knows they hail from somewhere in Garund, the southern continent and are known for never accepting contracts on rightful monarchs, a rule of their patron God Achaekek, the God of Assassins.

Their trademarks are the distinct red and black armour, the fearful mantis masks, and serrated blades. They do not care much for internal politics or stature, and will accept any contract provided someone is willing to pay.

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