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)

Donnell glumly reports back to the group (out of Trinia's earshot): "I'm not sure what our next step should be - the Field Marshall seems to be under duress, but there's little we can do about that. We can turn the girl over, and try to follow the events that fall out from that. Or we can try to pursue our investigation without any leads. Short of catching Cressida outside of the Guard and forcing her to talk, I don't know how we get closer to the truth of what's happening. Then again, maybe we don't care about events we can't control - collect our reward and go back to small jobs? Let the city solve its own problems? Personally, I'm developing an interest for these high level investigations, but I'm open to suggestions about where to start."


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, Sevenspawn asked Trinia a question. A few questions, in fact.

At least standing guard was easy, and Thod was uniquely suited, and lacking in imagination enough, to be a good guard.

He still asked to take a walk sometime during the morning, and came back with some dwarven sausage. And ale. Which he does share with Trinia.

Donnell's report is hardly good news.

"Well, ain't that great. Reminds me of an old dwarven saying. 'Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.'"

Thod slides over a cheap mug filled with stout dwarven ale.

"So, Trinnie. Maybe you can help us out a bit, here. You were painting a picture of the king before he died, right? That meant you were around in his final days. See anything unusual?"


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 |

"From what you describe, my friend," Sevenspawn replies in an equally low tone, "it sounds that Cressida knew someone was listening in on your conversation - and wished for you to know it, too. I think our faith in the Field Marshall has been justified, our enemy revealed, and our path clear."

He looks to the others, working it over in his mind but speaking aloud. "She has as much told Donnell that Trinia would be turned over to the Queen for trial if we bring her in. That means Cressida cannot offer Madam Sabor protection and wants us to know the Queen is going to hang her. Indeed, it further tells us the Queen is corrupt: if she looks to put someone to death who is not guilty, she is likely the orchestrator of the King's death herself.

"So." He counts off on three fingers. "With our faith rewarded and Korvosa's enemy revealed, we move to the clarity of our path. For now, I would suggest that smuggling Madam Sabor out of Korvosa to somewhere safe is our first task.

"What dark meat we stab our blades into after that," he adds darkly, "can be discussed later."


.

You guys are still in a place to discuss this, but to give GMly hints Sevenspawn has the means, and the people to successfully hide Trinia within the city if necessary.


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

Can we get GMly hints on what Trinia's responses are to mine and Sevenspawn's comments?


.

Only hints - sorry I didn't have time for a full post yesterday.

Trinia shakes her head sadly over to Thod.

"No. I just visited him every day to paint him. He liked being visited by a young woman, I could tell that much. But otherwise he was nice. And then I was told he was dead. I didn't notice anything strange!"

She then looks to Sevenspawn as he speaks.

"If you can get me anywhere safe I'd appreciate it!"

Donnell recalls his conversation with Cressida trying to think if she acted like she was speaking under duress. Her body language was fairly relaxed until he spoke, after that she ensured she spoke loudly and clearly to end the conversation.


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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 |

If there is no objection from the group - and for the purposes of pushing the scene - Sevenspawn waits for the runner he set up some time ago to come to Zellara's daily. He relays a message to the Broken Crown (a title I invented for the head of the Dead Kings he answers to) that he is coming with his companions and requires a hideout that is small, clean and defensible for one of them to hold up in indefinitely. He gives no other details, waits an hour, has Trinia dress in some of Zellara's clothes and leads the way there. Should it be successful, he suggests the group return to Zellara's to plot their next move.


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 has calmly listened to all the talk going on, while she tinkers with her alchemical equipment and book.

"I am somewhat saddened that the prospect of a genuine laboratory space seems to be drying up," she says, "but I cannot fault your conclusion, Sevenspawn. Shall I prepare the extracts of disguise, then?"


.

Thanks Sevenspawn.

Sevenspawn's plan goes off well enough. Sevenspawn's gang, the Dead Kings are a gang tasked with defending Korvosa's poorest from the excesses of the powerful and keeping the parts of Old Korvosa it controls safe.

You all arrive well enough and transfer Trinia to a good hideout where she can lay low for a while. The fact she's not likely to be guilty of the crime is an easy sell - Sevenspawn's word as a cleric carries some weight, and the idea the Queen is blaming an easy target for the King's death is good enough. Trinia hugs each of you, and goes into hiding with the Dead Kings protecting her.

All in all the entire process of getting Trinia settled into her new hiding space takes most of the day, and you return to Zellara's exhausted, ready to figure out what happens next.

As you do so, a rat scuttles into the room with a note tied to its leg. It shakes the note free and scurries away.

Tiny Note wrote:


Korvosa still needs your help. It's fine that you were unable to find Trinia in the last job as she appears to have vanished. Please get in touch with me as there's a situation with the Shoanti that desperately needs your skills. I don't know where you are, but apparently this druid's spell can get a message to you. -Cressida


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)

Speaking quietly to the priest on their way back to Zellara's:
"Thanks for your help in this, Phaedren. I know it was not your intention to go against the Field Marshall, and I hope I was not too obstinate for your liking. As you know, I'm not enamored with those in authority, and while I like Cressida, I was fearful of her involvement. Those fears are somewhat lessened, and I feel we can trust her, I am less and less certain of the intentions of those for whom she works. Strangely, I am nevertheless eager to see what adventure tomorrow will bring.
"At any rate, I'm glad your contacts were able to help. I know quite a few people around the city, but nobody in any sort of authority. Rumours and small odds and ends, or a bolthole for a night or two, I can manage. Disappearing a person is quite another story."

Following a good night's rest at Zellara's, Donnell rises early the next morning, prepares a small meal and his extracts for the day, then looks impatiently at the rest of the crew: "C'mon, slugabeds! Let's get a move on."


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 |

Having encouraged Raven Six to use her extract of disguise, Sevenspawn rests a hand on Fox's shoulder on the return trip.

"You are a good friend to me, Donnell. I hope the others become such a friend to me as you. And perhaps it was I who was too obstinate. Were it not for remembering the Deck..." Sevenspawn makes a small grunt then, producing it from his belt and returning it to Donnell. "... I fear us four may have been faced with a problem. We will need you to continue to lead us to the right answers... There are dark days ahead."

In the morning, the cleric rolls out of his bedroll with a loud grunt. "Alright, mother, alright... I'm up."

Gathering his pack, he joins the others in heading to the Field Marshall's office.


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

At some point, Thod goes up to Sevenspawn.

"Uhh... Question, Bunchakids... When did you get a gang? I mean, I get that we've only been working together for a while, but, uhh... You have a gang?"

Otherwise, Thod simply nods when he got the summon (Or was told about it if staying elsewhere) and readies his gear silently.

Also, I haven't asked, what are lodgings for all of us? Donnell and Sevenspawn are staying in Zellara's old house. Is there room there for all of us? Looking back, though, I see mention that Raven and I have paid for rooms at a tavern.


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)

We all have free lodgings at a local inn/tavern, courtesy of the Field Marshall, but as we needed a more secret and secure location to hole up with Trinia, we went to Zellara's. Afaik, there's plenty of room for all of us there, as it is a double-story home.


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 grunts in admission to Thod's question as they travel.

"Yes. The Dead Kings are not ultimately mine to command, though, so it better said that the gang has a cleric than the other way around. They raised me from a small child in the Shingles some..." He thinks a moment. "... oh, twenty, twenty-five years ago. I have no birthdate, so it is hard to recall."

He rips some dried jerky as they walk, it serving as his breakfast, and offers some to the dwarf. "We are unlike other gangs, if you are concerned about it. I admit to some criminal behavior, but the ends to it have always been the protection, support and welfare of the people of the Shingles.

"What of you, Thod? I know little of the dwarves or your culture, I fear. How did you come to Korvosa from... Janderhoff, is it?"


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 sits bolt upright as soon as Donnell calls for everyone to wake, and putters off to mess around with her book and her chemicals before she even sits down to breakfast.

"What is on the day's agenda?" she asks.


.

Something I missed. DING! successfully hiding Trinia means you are now level three! Congratulations.

Cressida Kroft isn't alone when you arrive at her office - with her is a tall, rail-thin Shoanti man who is at least 60. He leans heavily on a walking stick, the polished femur of some giant beast crowned with a firepelt cougar's skull. He wears a shirt decorated with countless jangling animal bones, many paintstakingly scrawled with dozens of tiny symbols and glyphs. A bearskin cloak is draped aboiut his bony shoulders, and paint in the shape of a skull decorates his face. The Shoanti's eyes are milky as if he were blind.

A red-feathered razor crow sits upon his shoulder, and it bawks at you as you step in.

Cressida speaks up.

"Thank you, glad all is well. This is Thousand Bones who is a Way-Keeper for the Skoan-Quah... or the Skull Clan. Thousand Bones, these are those who we hope can help you - Sevenspawn of Milain, Donnell the Fox, Raven Six, and Thod Sixpicks."

Cressida gestures for you to sit and starts speaking.

"I'm not sure if you know of the arrangement with the Shoanti, but suffice it to say, it is delicate. The common folk here have been cruel to the Shoanti, who do not let insults stand unanswered.
Thousand Bones has been working tirelessly to ensure fair relations between Korvosans and his people. Unfortunately... well, during the riots, a mob attacked, and murdered his grandson. Presumably for being Shoanti in the wrong place."

She then gestures to Thousand Bones, who speaks in a deep voice. His words are carefully chosen, but it is hard not to sense the restrained anger behind them.

"My people have worked hard to understand yours, yet it seems each day we see new examples of how your people work just as hard to foster old hatreds. My grandson is dead, beaten to death by cowards in your city street. I do not blame you, yet still Gaekhen is dead, and my son and his kin are not so forgiving as I. They wish to return to the Skoan-Quah in the Cinderlands, to join with the Sklar-Quah and rally to war against Korvosa. This would be disastrous, for both our peoples. Amends must be made."

Thousand Bones looks to each of you in turn.

"Our ways are not as yours. If our funeral rites are not performed, the smoke of his spirit cannot rise to the Great Sky. If I could send Gaekhen’s body to the Great Sky with honor and dignity, his father and brothers would listen to me and stay their wrath—the talks of peace between my people and yours can continue. But he was not just murdered. His body was taken from the scene of his death, sold by a peddler of corpses to a necromancer named Rolth, a criminal to both our people. I have spoken with the spirits, and they have revealed to me that Gaekhen’s body has been taken to a place below your boneyard, a place called the Dead Warrens.

"With this knowledge, I could surely lead a group of my finest warriors into your boneyard to retrieve Gaekhen’s body, but this would be seen as an act of aggression by your people. No, it falls to you to make amends for what has been done. You must bring me Gaekhen’s body, lest we be forced to recover him ourselves. And although it pains my heart to say it—we will not be gentle if it comes to this."[/b]

With that, Thousand Bones strides out of the room without taking questions. Cressida looks like she's about to keel over.

"So the short of it is in order to avoid a war, we need you to retrieve Gaekhen's body from the Dead Warrens. And this means going face to face with a necromancer in his own den. You can see why I've gone to you. What questions do you have?"


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

Sevenspawn conversation:
Sevenspawn wrote:
He rips some dried jerky as they walk, it serving as his breakfast, and offers some to the dwarf. "We are unlike other gangs, if you are concerned about it. I admit to some criminal behavior, but the ends to it have always been the protection, support and welfare of the people of the Shingles."

Thod takes the jerky wordlessly, though with a slight nod of thanks.

Sevenspawn wrote:
"What of you, Thod? I know little of the dwarves or your culture, I fear. How did you come to Korvosa from... Janderhoff, is it?"

"Janderhoff ain't that far away. We've been trading with Korvosa for years. Good Dwarven weapons and metal, in exchange for... uhh... whatever we trade. Sure we trade something. Food, I guess? Not a lot of farms around there."

"I was a guard, and was told to go talk to a dwarf in Korvosa and find her son, who went missing. I think she was the cousin of my captain. By the time I got here and did some searching, it turns out that the kid was rescued already, and the guy who kidnapped him dealt with. What was his name? Lamb, or something? Anyways, I saved a noble from being mugged during the riots, so I was asked to talk to the queen, then talk to Creasy, and here I am."

=====

"Kill some evil bastard raising the dead? Don't have to tell me twice. Might be an idea to pick up some things at the market before we go, though."


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)

Donnell becomes a bit wide-eyed in the presence of Thousand Bones, and stares at him in child-like fascination. Whispering under his breath: "Wow! Lookit all the cool bones - I wonder what they are, and what it all means..."

DM:

Because I'm a dick :P
Know/Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Know/Religion: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

With the Shoanti's departure, Donnel shakes himself out of his reverie: "What do you (or we, collectively, including the Field Marshall) know about the Dead Warrens, Rolth, and the undead? Do you have any knowledge or items that might assist us (say a map of the Dead Warrens)? Are you proposing a reward for asking us to endanger our lives, or are you asking us to do this from the goodness of our hearts this time?"

Know/Local: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22


.

Donnell recognizes Thousand Bones as a shaman, and a powerful one. The Skull Clan are a notoriously enigmatic and strange Shoanti clan, although they are dedicated to ridding the world of undead. The meaning of their markings and ways is unknown to Donnell - they're a frustratingly opaque group.

Cressida rubs her face, nodding wearily at Donnell's enthusiastic questions.

"Rolth has long been a thorn in my side. A failed Academae student, Rolth’s a monster of a man who was expelled after the true nature of his experiments were revealed. He was butchering vagrants, stray animals, and anything else he could get his hands on to try to build some sort of golem from their collected parts. The Academae didn’t press charges because it didn’t want to cause a scene—it just quietly expelled him and the man’s been trouble ever since. We suspect he’s responsible for nearly a dozen slayings, each involving mutilation to the body, but to date we haven’t been able to find him or locate his lair. He might or might not be in the Dead Warrens, but anything you can find there that could lead to his arrest would be greatly appreciated.

"As for the Dead Warrens, Korvosa’s Gray District is riddled with underground chambers, some of them burrowed by ghouls or other monsters, others remnants of ancient Shoanti burial grounds. Some of these warrens are patrolled and kept clear of monsters by the church of Pharasma, yet the Gray District is a large place and the tunnels below are vast and tangled. The Pharasmen focus on containing the problems with undead and necromancers, but as soon as they wipe out one, it seems as if two are ready to spring up in its place. The problem’s particularly vexing in Potter’s Ward, where the bodies of the poor and homeless are buried. According to Thousand Bones, the Dead Warrens were one of his people’s burial vaults, chambers that lie under Potter's Ward.

"As for their location. We have the manw ho sold Gaekhen's body to Rolth in custody: a simpleton named Elkaris. He spilled everything when we told him what was going on. He says he delivered the body via wheelbarrow to a partially collapsed mausoleum deep in Potter's Ward, near the southern edge. A toppled and headless statue of a sword-wielding gargoyle lay in the dirt near the mausoleum's entrance. He was told to leave the body behind the gargoyle. This location matches where Thousand Bones believes the burial grounds are, so that's where you should start."

She blinks at the last question.

"Oh! Of course, my apologies. Two thousand gold for the four of you."


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)

Bowing low: "I am the one who should apologize, Field Marshall. I do not wish to appear so mercenary, but," grinning wolfishly, "I wouldn't want you to take me ... us... for granted."

Rounding on the others, Donnell quickly turns business-like: "Sevenspawn - do you have any suggestions for combatting the undead? Your vocation gives us a bit of an upper hand here. We do not have the funds for powerful magic items to get us through this, but I suppose holy water and potions of CLW and Hide from Undead might be a good start. If Ms. Cressida will permit us half our reward in advance, perhaps we could invest in a wand of Protection from Evil. Suggestions? Recommendations?"


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 considers things for some time.

"My recommendation," he says at last in his raspy tone, "is that you negotiate our fee further." He looks directly at Cressida, but speaks to Fox. "I suggest you open with ten thousand, with half up front, and stand relatively firm. I am not greedy... but the Shingles is a hungry place. And if we are to prevent a war, I am sure that the Crown must be willing to part with its coffers."

He stands up slowly. "Never apologize for being mercenary, Fox; it is what we are. It is a righteous cause, and I am equal to it." Sevenspaw chooses his words carefully, thinking of Trinia and her unjust position. "But the Throne is as wealthy as it is mighty. If it raises a fist to punish those it declares villains... then surely it will open its hand to reward its heroes."

Leaving his friend and companions to it, he steps outside into the air and broods silently over a smoke.


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

"I do not have a great deal of experience with the undead," Raven Six says, as she bounces a glass vial full of yellowish liquid, sealed with clay, on her palm. Then she clenches her hand around the vial and smiles. Sort of.
"However, apart from all the other measures you have suggested, if they are of physical substance, they are susceptible to concussive force, yes?"


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)

Allowing his lips to curl in a half-smile, Donnell watches his friend leave the tent, then settles himself comfortably in his seat and begins the methodical routine of cleaning, filling, and lighting his pipe.

Looking up at Cressida from beneath his eyebrows: "It seems you are beginning to reach the end of Sevenspawn's rope. Though it sounds like money might go a way toward balancing the ship. So let us negotiate. To solve this particular problem for you, my companions and I will need gold (ten thousand is a good start), magic, and alchemy. Up front - if you can't trust us by now, then why approach us at all."


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)

oops! Forgot to roll

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12

s%&&


.

Cressida stares blankly at Sevenspawn, her mouth working for a little bit before her head hits the table with a bang!.

[smaller]"Pharasma take me..."[/bigger]

She lifts her head and stares at Sevenspawn through two sleep-deprived, bloodshot eyes.

"I don't have ten thousand gold. The Queen may, but I have a budget. And if I wanted to exceed it by that much, it would take several days we do not have, and in doing so I would certainly attract the very close attention of her majesty."

She grumbles.

"I'm also against a wall and just want the work done. Give me a moment."

Cressida stands, leaving the room for a couple of minutes. She comes back.

"I can afford four thousand gold at an absolute maximum. That's a thousand for the each of you, and I will pay half up front. As well, we can talk about the treatment of the poor in the Shingles by the city guard under my command, and perhaps solve some problems. If you cannot accept that, then you can bloody well stop wasting my time. I'm paying you because you're reliable, not because you're the only people in the city who can do this work."


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 |

As it seems she's speaking to Sevenspawn, I'll assume he returns before she comes back and is present.

"We are hardly wasting your time, Field Marshall," Sevenspawn replies, his tone devoid of any menace. "Nor do we have a quarrel with you. It is that we are acutely aware as to who pays the bill."

He turns to the others. "The payment is acceptable to me. Fox, if you would retrieve the funds... we have some preparations to make, and items to purchase."


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)

Donnell is hunched over something, his hands moving quickly. As he approached the Field Marshall to retrieve the funds, he attempts to pat her gently, sympathetically on the hand: "Poor overworked child. I am sorry if we are being nuisances, but battling the undead is not to be taken lightly." In so doing, he slips a scrap of paper into the Field Marshall's hand that simply reads: "Leave a note for us at predetermined drop spot dockside known to Donnell if we can help unofficially."[/b]

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16


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 part of the money could be deferred," Raven Six suggests. "If this Rolth character is interested in the shaping of constructs, we might require adamantine weaponry, yes? Does the royal weapon arsenal contain such?"


.

Feel free to take a minute to do some shopping before your next post in gameplay. You have an additional 500gp each.

Cressida glances at the note and doesn't respond before shooing you out.

"When my children - who do not exist - go hungry I hope you're happy. Good luck with this Rolth."

===============
The following day
===============

Korvosa’s vast graveyard, a place known as the Gray District, is a mournful place even by day. Alone in the city, this place is quiet and calm in the face of the civil unrest, yet this calm is an unnatural stillness in the air, almost as if the graveyard were preparing itself for a vast influx of new dead. Certainly, this ominous feeling is nowhere more noticeable than in Potter’s Ward, the final resting ground for Korvosa’s poor and homeless. Mounds of unmarked dirt stretch far and wide, indicating sites of mass graves,
while crumbling mausoleums from years ago, abandoned by their families as the Gray District expanded to the west, dot the bleak landscape, forgotten and empty. Mourners do not visit here, for the dead buried in Potter’s Ward leave behind few who regret their passing.

Locating the Dead Warrens is not too difficult - your instructions are to go to the southern side to a partially-collapsed mausoleum. Once there, Thod spots a few wheelbarrow tracks, and more interestingly, the tracks of several smaller humanoids near the wheelbarrow. Following this, you come to the mausoleum entrance.

Take a moment to establish party order, light sources, and any spells or extracts. You now stand outside of the mausoleum entrance. It does not appear locked or trapped. The map has been updated.


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 |

I would suggest the marching order be 1) Thod, who has darkvision and is also our tank; 2-3) Donnell or R6, for ranged and H2H; and 3) SS, for party buffs and healing. Open and no arguments to all suggestions to the contrary.


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)

The map currently shows us walking two abreast, though I suppose we could always go single file anyway (unless you are suggesting a diamond formation, which is actually prbably a good pattern for this group). Unfortunately, we really only have the one melee fighter.

At any rate, I think we need to discuss what items to purchase before we start down the dungeon. I've made a few suggestions above. RavenSix suggested adamantine vs constructs but... are we expecting anything other than undead? Should we be looking at pooling the party money at this point rather than buying a bunch of small items for <500 gp?


.

Oh - and I forgot to respond to Raven's question. No, Cressida does not have adamantine on hand. She's never even seen an adamantine weapon.


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 party walks to the graveyard...

"I ain't against gettin' what money we can, but given what Creasy said, I'm guessing the queen is too busy spending money on expensive dresses and hundred-year old bottles of wine in mourning to give a lot of money to keep the rest of the city going."

No argument to Thod taking the lead. As mentioned, he doesn't even need a torch.


.

With Sevenspawn's light leading the way, you climb down into the Dead Warrens. It soon turns out the light is not necessary, as patches of blue mold along the walls provide an eerie blue light. The air is musty and damp, with the stink of rotting flesh subtle, but ever present. Your footsteps clack ominously as you descend into the dungeon to look for Gaekhen's body.

There is no door leading into the first room, an ossuary.

This large room is supported by four wide pillars of stone. The ceiling above arches in a dome nearly twenty feet high. The walls are lined with skeletons caked into the mud—human bones mostly, but here and there smaller bones might be from halfings, or perhaps children. Fifteen-foot-square pits sit to the east and west, each filled with a large heap of hundreds of bones. To the south, a crude hole has been gouged into the wall, providing access to a tunnel.


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 |

"Long has it been said the Queen cares little for my city, Six-Picks," Sevenspawn replies to Thod as they walk. "I imagine nothing has changed for her now.

My goal was not to take from the good Field Marshall's available coffers, but to make the throne bleed... something for condemning an innocent woman to death. It probably did nothing but make Cressida's job harder. I'll apologize to her another time, if that's the case." Sevenspawn pauses, spitting on the ground. "But I'm not returning the money. The throne can stand to pay for a few meals for its citizens, regardless of which office the gold flows through."

***

Inside, Sevenspawn takes mental stock of his inventory - his equipment, his spells, the details of his surroundings. His teeth gritting inside his mouth, he readies his new hammer and studies his surroundings carefully, letting the more nimble team members move before him.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18


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)

The Fox will look for traps before idly wandering over to the side chamber on the right that is, your left
Perception/Locate Traps: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26


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 follows close behind as Donnell searches the area, carrying his Lucerne Hammer to cover him.

I have a 10 foot reach with the Lucerne Hammer. If we're travelling close together, Donnell can be in the square ahead of me, and I threaten the area in front of him. -4 to my attacks due to attacking through an occupied square.

My perception is +8, if it's important. Also, 60 ft. Darkvision.


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

Perception Aid Another, if possible: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18 (trapfinding included).

"Quite the ossuary," Raven Six says while trailing after Donnell.
She frowns momentarily. "It might be wise to check for magical emanations as we go. This Necromancer has had a lot of time to play around with all the mortal remains stored in here. If I had the inclination and training, I would have spent my time here raising an army and hiding some troops in plain sight to sound alarms and snipe."


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)

The corner of Donnell's mouth quirks up with both amusement and trepidation at the thought of Raven6 raising an army of darkness.

"I agree, and" gesturing toward his pouch, "I have prepared a means of detecting undead auras. It has a limited duration, however, and requires a bit of concentration on my part. Let's make sure we are quite alone for the moment, then I will imbibe the extract and see what I can."


.

Thod's Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

You approach the ossuary cautiously, and your caution is rewarded. No sooner than as you step onto the floor, the entire group sees the bones in the pits to the left and right start moving. Skeletons rise up to your right, and to your left and enormous skeleton of an owlbear clambers to its feet to attack!

Kn: Religion DC 10 (anyone can roll):

Skeletons are among the most numerous undead and easiest to raise. They are mindless automatons, usually serving a greater master or just killing everything in sight. They are notoriously resistant to weapons which are not blunt.

Initiative:

Raven: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Thod: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Sevenspawn: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Donnell: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Skeletons: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Owlbear skeleton: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

Round One:

Donnell
Thod
---
Skeletons
Owlbear skeleton
---
Sevenspawn
Raven Six

Donnell and Thod are up! Raven - Majenko shares initiative with you.


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

How deep are the 'pits?' I'm assuming they're relatively shallow and unbarred, because otherwise that Owlbear isn't going anywhere fast.

Thod sees the time for action is how. He charges over to the big ugly with his polearm.

"I'll take this one!"

He hustles over and starts prodding at the massive skeletal beast in the pit.

MOVE: Hustle over to the East Pit. 30 ft. movement, so I can make it and keep the Owlbear at reach.
STANDARD: Take a swing.

Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Damage: 1d12 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Note that if the skeleton moves closer, it'll provoke an AOO from moving through a threatened square.


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)

Donnell glances at the group of skeletons, shrugs, and digs a vial of holy water out of his pouch. Grinning as his hand closes around the flask, he waits until the skeletons come closer.


.

Say 10' deep. With the stairs the owlbear can get up easily enough. Since it's large you can just fight it without issue.

GM Rolls:

Claw: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (1) + 6 - 2 = 5 Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Claw: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (7) + 6 - 2 = 11 Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Bite: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 6 - 2 = 13 Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Skellyton: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15 Damage: 1d4 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

The skeletons pour out of the east pit, quickly pushing in to overwhelm the group at the stairs. Only one gets a swipe in, which Donnell avoids. The much larger owlbear moves in on Thod, attacking uphill and standing half-awkwardly on the stairs. Its movements are hampered enough he avoids two claws and a bite! As Thod steps back, he realizes two more skeletons have rushed in on him from his flank.

Round Two:

Sevenspawn
Raven Six
(round 2 starts)
Donnell
Thod
---
Skeletons:
Blue
Green
Red
Pink
Plain
Yellow
Owlbear skeleton

Everyone is up!


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)

Um, since I've held an action, can I toss that holy water before round two?
Holy Water (Point Blank): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Holy Water Damage: 2d4 ⇒ (4, 1) = 5
1 Splash damage to all adjacent skeletons


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

And whoever moved up close first got an Attack of Opportunity from my Lucerne Hammer.

If it happened to be the Owlbear Skeleton, add +1 to the below roll for attacking from higher ground.
EDIT: Disregard. The Owlbear would have taken a 5-ft step. So it'd be one of the skeletons I attacked.

Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Damage: 1d12 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8


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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 |

Sevenspawn, talking in an almost inaudible grumbling tone...

"... and lo', the ground did open its mouth and split apart beneath them..."

... now begins to raise his voice as he raises his goddess's standard into the air.

"... and the Everbloom did look down from above as they went into the soil early, and She saw the ground close and become their graves, and cast down the bloody rose in Her hand in their wake..."

The cleric slams the butt end of the standard into the ground sharply.

Channel Energy (Damage to Undead): 2d6 ⇒ (6, 4) = 10

"And there did it take root and grow and weep, lansing the evil of the unrighteous..."

Standing taller than normal, he steps forwards further into the room.

"...and all that it touched was pure once again."


.

@Donnell - You need to specify you intend to interrupt the skeletons' movement. Otherwise I move one square and go 'how about now' and then another square and go 'how about now'. When they complete their movement you're on the next round anyways.

@Thod - either way you get two attacks. I'll roll the second to keep things moving.

GM rolls:

SkellyWill DC 12: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 121d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 181d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 111d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 161d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 41d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3

Thod's Attack: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19 Damage: 1d12 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Donnell's Holy Water Miss: 1d8 ⇒ 1

Donnell sloppily throws his holy water which crashes on the ground in front of him, lightly singing three skeletons. However, as Sevenspawn sounds out a mighty blast of energy, the combination of the two attacks is enough to destroy all the skeletons at once!

Thod misses a swing as he's enclosed, but his second swing gouges a huge hole in the owlbear skeleton's head!

Round Two:

Sevenspawn
Raven Six
(round 2 starts)
Donnell
Thod
---
Owlbear skeleton (-13)

Raven Six is up! All the regular skeletons are dead.


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

Silver mace attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19 for 1d8 ⇒ 7 damage.

Raven nods at the destruction of the lesser skeletons, satisfied -- then runs forward to support Thod. The Alchemist swings her new heavy mace as she runs, and brings it down on the undead abomination with a surprisingly heavy blow, the metal glittering pure and clean at the top of its arc!


.

Showing surprising pluck for her slight stature, Raven Six charges for the enormous owlbear skeleton. Leaping into the air, she soars over the pit before landing on the thing and hammering down repeatedly with her mace to exploit the hole made by Thod's lucern hammer. After a few good whacks, the skeleton crumbles beneath her.

End of Combat

With the skeletons defeated, you complete your inspection of the room, in doing so, Donnell spots a secret door in the east pit. It is not trapped, and opens to show a crawlspace. Comfortable enough for Donnell to get through, a little more awkward for anyone larger.

Nothing of value is found in the room.

Your exits are further south, and through the crawlspace.

Listening carefully, Donnell hears what sounds like a rat in distress to the south. The crawlspace is silent.


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)

"I'd like to take a peek down this crawlspace - do you want to hang around the entrance while I do that, or can I meet up with you further down?"

As discussed with Raven Six, Donnell quaffs an extract of undead detection, and peers down the crawlspace and the corridor to the south (and then sort of generally in other directions until it wears off)

Detect Undead lasts 3mins, but it only takes 3 rounds of concentration to get the most information out of it, so there should be time to get a general sense of where the undead can be found

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