Luke's Crimson Throne Campaign

Game Master Luke

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The current Battlemap is here.


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Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

Regeris lets out an uncharacteristic "YES!" as Tassira annihilates the swarm. He claps her on the back before composing himself.

He then listens grimly to the spirit and Kayleigh, choosing to remain silent while the young priestess speaks.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi gets a torch lit in case they's a repeat of the wasps coming. She also moves around to see inside the crypt where Kayleigh is.

Otherwise she waits and fidgets, expecting more to happen unfortunately.


Current Battlemap

Nebbin, you crack me up. I could definitely go for some real-life Vudran right now, served and cooked by someone else, anywhere other than in my own house. My clan's starting to get a little punchy.

"Yes... I see your true heart, Milanite... faith in the Savored Sting alone could not shield the dark ones who came before you from my wrath... neither does your own faith damn you in these dead eyes.."

The strength of the voice fades a little with each word, as if the distance between Kayleigh and the spirit grows by the moment.

"Vimanda is name of the defiler... the thief. Though she wears the skin of another. Bring her knife and lay it here... among my bones. Avenge me... take back my Circlet and you may it serve you well... cleanse this place... and the blessings of Calistria will return to the grotto."

"Return here before I am avenged, and you will again face my wrath... just as these dark ones have before you."

With these last words, Kayleigh feels the presence leave the tomb. The bones and tatters of shroud lie still. The walls no longer bleed.


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

"I will do all that is in my power to grant you eternal rest and see the desecrator brought to justice." Although she's pretty sure the spirit has temporarily fled, Kayleigh makes a vow and then leaves the crypt to speak with the others. After relating what the elf spirit had said, the priestess tries to recall if she's ever heard the name Vimanda before.

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10


HARROW PTS: 3|Reservoir: 1/8|Female Human (Chelaxian) Arcanist 5|HP: 33/33|AC: 11(15)/11/10|Saves: +4 Fort, +2 Ref, +5 Will|Init: +1|Perc: +2

Tassira shakes her fingers once the last of the green flame dies.

Once Kayleigh relates what the spirit said, she tries to remember if she's ever heard anything about a 'Vimanda' as well...

Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

K Local: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh eventually falls back into healer mode, checking up on her friends' injuries. She's pleased to see very limited wasp stings and takes a moment to praise Tassira and her growing magical powers before channeling positive energy over the group.

Channel Positive Energy #2 of 7: 3d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 3) = 10


HARROW PTS: 3|Reservoir: 1/8|Female Human (Chelaxian) Arcanist 5|HP: 33/33|AC: 11(15)/11/10|Saves: +4 Fort, +2 Ref, +5 Will|Init: +1|Perc: +2

Tassira feels a bit of pride buried underneath the blush resulting from Kayleigh's praise.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi continues to stand around holding the torch she just lit. She still looks a little lost in the place and events, but not as intimidated as she had before.

"That was a good showing you two" she tells Kaylaigh and Tassira.

"Do you think we can solve the mystery though? There's not much to go on..."


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

Regeris is clearly happy as the group withdraws from the shrine. "Well done, everyone. We don't have the circlet but we have a name. This is progress."

Knowledge Local: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Knowledge Nobility: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Knowledge religion: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18

Regeris racks his brain to see if he's heard of the name.


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

"She's wearing the skin of another? That's gross!" Nebbin says. "She sounds like she'd be hanging out with Rolth!"

Could it be this mysterious Jo? Or maybe just a coincidence and not everything is linked ...


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

I have a hunch, but it's nothing Emi would ever think of so I'll stay mum.


Current Battlemap

None of the group has heard the name before. At the moment it seems that the name is a clue, perhaps one among many in the spirit's words, but a dry one for all that.

The stuff in the two small camps laid out by the darkfolk is mostly mundane camping supplies, vastly inferior to the kind of stuff one could buy in any general store on the surface. By the edge of the chasm there are alot of climbing supplies - the kinds of items you would need if you were trying to scale the walls of the great crevice. There's no sign of the last of the Stalkers, the spellcaster among them. He or she has disappeared into the darkness. On closer inspection, the rope that dangled down from on-high is gone.

Next moves?


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh has a pending meeting with Ishan regarding the treatment of the blood veil in Old Korvosa. Not sure if others want to tag along or do their own thing.


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

Let's tag along.

Regeris scowls. "We may need to ask Helara to ask someone very brave to check down here for signs of the darkfolk returning. I am still damned confused as to what their purpose was here. Still though, I suppose we search for a Vimanda and return once we have the information. Let's go speak to Ishani."


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Agreed, let's all stick together.

Nebbin looks frustrated that they haven't really made sure the place is safe, though maybe it's at least safer. They did get one clue at least, if they can figure it out. He's sure Emileva or Kayleigh or Regeris or Tassira will be able to do that, though.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi is simply relieved to be leaving with everyone in one piece along with some information, no matter how vague, that might help resolve things.

She still doesn't have any idea how the area could ever be made permanently secured. Even with the spirit laid to rest, the shrine still sits in a place open to the encroachments of who knows what from the depths.

But that's a problem for another day.

Yeah, let's stick together.


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Not sure if we want to report in detail to Helvara (beyond a simple "we report what happened to Helvara"). I'm pretty sure the rendezvous with Ishan was to happen outside Madame Carrington's place.


Current Battlemap

Upstairs, the party finds Helvara waiting in the basement for their return. Music and the heavy scents of vudran cuisine drift down the steps from the common room above. When she hears about the monster camp below, the haunting of the tomb and the words of the spirit she rubs her chin in thought.

"No, Vimanda's not a name that I recognize. But the spirit suggested it's a woman. Or maybe something disguised as one? That part about the Blessings of Calistria... there's something in the novellas about that. I'll read back through to see what I can find. I don't know how you'll manage it, but if the spirit could be avenged, maybe the grotto and shrine can be restored to a special place."

"In the meantime, I'm going to have to staff someone I can trust by this door pretty much all the time."

In the common room above, Anpugit is open for business. The player picks at his odd guitar but none of Helvara's people are dancing today. Two men sit at a table picking pieces of meat out of dishes of thick brown gravy in front of them. A couple others drink at the bar. Anpugit tracks the the party across the floor with his dark, nervous eyes and seems to nod his head in satisfaction when he sees the group headed for the door.

Helvara ignores the old man and sees the party out. She pecks Tassira on the cheek as they leave.

"Please don't be strangers, you all. Anpugit is a sour old thing, but he's harmless. My people have grown to like and trust all of you."

---

Outside, Bridgefront continues to shoulder its way through the plague. People go about their business with faces obscured by masks and veils, trying to hard to keep some distance between themselves and their neighbors in the close streets.

Madame Carington's is practically around the corner and the party covers the ground in no time. At first there's no sign of Ishan, but just as Kayleigh's beginning to think she's been stood-up, the young man pokes his head out the shop's door.

"Come in," he says with a conspiratorial glance at the street. He holds the door open as you file into Carington's parlor.

Inside, the medium sits in her wheeled chair, a cup of tea by her gnarled hand. Ishan takes a seat next to her and takes up his own half-filled cup. There's seats for everyone else around the table as well.

"I-I'd never been inside this place."

He flashes a nervous smile at the group and takes a sip of tea.

"The Madame's skills are fascinating. We've been sitting here talking for probably an hour."

Madame Carington smiles at Ishan, turns to the party.

"Yes, what plots do swirl around you five! My dreams are like a tangled knot of webs and strings with each one of you either dangling from the fabric or tugging at the frayed ends."

"What news, rebels of Korvosa?" It's difficult to tell from her expression if she means it as a joke, a challenge, or both.


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Nebbin looks alarmed at such a description.

"We're not rebels," he protests. "We just want to help people. If everyone could just stay at home, for a while, we could maybe stop spreading this stupid disease and then open up the city again. Then I bet everything would be better!"

He finishes on a plaintive note. Can we do taxes next? We seem to have picked a bad time to be running this module. :D


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh greets both Ishan and Madame Carington warmly, a part of her actually enjoying being labeled a rebel. To the latter she asks, "Before I answer your question, I'd like to know if in your dream I was dangling like a puppet and simply reacting as others pulled my strings or if I was tugging on a rope, perhaps to pull back a curtain to reveal what's really going on behind the scenes in this city."

Deciding that both Ishan and Carington can be trusted, Kayleigh asks them if either has heard the name Vimanda before. Then she explains the plan of her and the Abadaran to treat Old Korvosa's sick until the Queen's physicians cross the channel...and possibly beyond in defiance of her majesty.

As for the right place to set up shop.... "What about that place where you saw the Pharasmans pulling the webbed corpses out of the building?" the priestess asks Emi. "We think that was a shiver gang's hideout, so it might be worth investigating further. And if it proves uninhabited, well...maybe we'll kill two birds with one stone."


Current Battlemap

The Oneiromancer purses her lips, considering Kayleigh's question.

"Both, and neither. In my dreams you all struggled against the web, cutting and pulling at its fabric to free others, and yourselves. I saw no puppeteer in the dream. Only a city full of victims, trapped in the same vast web. Only some of the people were spiders, like they were children of the huge dark thing slumbering at the web's center. Feeding on their fellow citizens. Binding them in cocoons and dragging them toward the beast."

Ishan shakes his head in confusion.

"I'm sorry, what has this to do with the pestilence in the city?"

Carington answers the question before anyone else.

"There's more than one pestilence stalking the streets today, and chances are they are not connected. Perhaps mutually reinforcing, but definitely distinct."

She explains her talent to Ishan, then describes for him some of the dreams you've already discussed.

"I think somehow the spiders are creatures of the Plane of Dreams. It explains their connection to shiver. Abusers of that particular drug open themselves unwittingly to threats from the Dream Plane. That this same crowd seems more vulnerable to the call of the spiders makes sense."

She turns back to the party.

"So in my dreams last night, I took heart in my invisibility to the spiders and I wandered the city, always seeking the places most cloaked in web shroud. I found myself in a dark alley surrounded by dangling spiders, suspended in the air by their threads. And in the center of them was a man, bound in their webs and struggling to wake. The alley was filled with the spider's whispers, and when I turned to look at them, they had the faces of men and women. They whispered together in unison, a chant like a spell. And the longer the chant went on, the more their victim struggled. His screams echoed in my ears. Pain and fright."

"Suddenly, the cocoon split and the body dropped to the pavement, but when it rose, he was no longer a man. He was some half-spider monstrosity, and I realized with a sudden panic that he was looking directly at me."

"I turned screaming, and ran like I never could in waking life."

"I woke up with Felix, my steward, standing over me, shaking me gently by the shoulders and begging me to wake. He made me tea," she raises her cup, "and bade me sit by the fire to recover my wits."

"And after a time, I remembered a story I'd once been told, about a ritual that would effect just such a transformation. It is contained in a vile book, one of those penned by the mad poet Tir-n'goth before he was burned alive for his heresies. Scriptum Exterreri was its name, and if a copy of it exists in the city, I believe I know just where it may be found."

"There is a shop, just west of the Night Market, hard by the wall of the Western Watch named 'Careless Curiosities'. The shop is owned by an old half-orc named Jorgun Mur. He's a cranky old thing, as members of his ancestry tend to be, but I believe he may have a copy of the tome for sale. Or at least know where once might be had."

"If you could lay your hands on this book, I believe it may contain clues as to what this spider cult is up to. If not, at least it might trigger further dream revelations."

She looks around at the faces of the group, weighing something in her mind.

"It's an impulse. Maybe nothing. But maybe a clue."


Current Battlemap

Continuing on with some other parts of the conversation for efficiency's sake.

"Vimanda? I don't know the name, but it doesn't sound Korvosan."

"That's because it isn't," Ishan adds, obviously happy to be able to lend something to the conversation. "Vimanda is a Vudran girl's name."

He looks around at the group, pleased with himself.

"I'm Vudran myself. I was orphaned very young, and was taken in by an Abadaran mission. My mentor brought me here, and taught me the ways of the church."

Once the words are out of his mouth, his mood seems to fall.

"And I crossed my mentor. And had a terrible falling out with him last night. He cast me out of the Bank, exiling me for two weeks to live in the slums. He said exposure to poverty would make me appreciate the church more. He thinks to teach me a hard lesson, but I don't believe he understands me very well."

"Or our god."


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh listens closely to both Madame Carington and Ishan. To the former, the skinflint cleric asks, "Any idea how much this Scriptum Exterreri will set us back?" As usual, she carries only a few coins on her person.

********************************

A bit later, she talks in detail with Ishan. "I think your exile will be beneficial, and it'll give us time to set up our own hospice to deal with the blood veil. Actually, it might be a good thing if all Abadarans spent more time among the poor. They might be surprised at how little it takes to make a difference and earn the goodwill of the impoverished. I use some of my orisons--create water, mending, and purify food and drink--to make their lives a bit easier, and it's made me several friendly neighbors. Plus, your priests wouldn't have to part with a single precious pinch!"

The young Milanite asks Ishan if he has any ideas about where he'd like to set up their joint hospice. She points out that the blood veil has probably left several buildings in Old Korvosa uninhabited, but she again suggests exploring the drug dealers' den to her friends.

Careless Curiosities and the drug dealers' hideout are Kayleigh's suggestions for next stops.


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

REgeris blinks as he hears Ishan has been exiled by the bank.

"You were exiled by the bank? We may want to speak more on that. I have... well perhaps some shared experience. And if the name Vimanda is Vudran that all stands to reason considering this cult of the Drajit being the architect of our woes in that shrine."

He glances over to Kayleigh as she mentions the book. "I carry some coin. Old habits die hard. We'll see what they want for it. We've had our fill of cults though, certainly."

----

Once the group is done in Madam Carrington's, Regeris barks an ironic laugh as Kayleigh speaks. "They don't spend much time around the poor for a reason. I spent too much time around the poor and look how I turned out."


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

"I think you turned out just fine," Kayleigh replies. "You've both got more spine than the rest of the order combined."


HARROW PTS: 3|Reservoir: 1/8|Female Human (Chelaxian) Arcanist 5|HP: 33/33|AC: 11(15)/11/10|Saves: +4 Fort, +2 Ref, +5 Will|Init: +1|Perc: +2

Tassira returns Helvara's kiss with one on the lips before joining the others.
-----------------------
Tassira quietly listens to the debriefing Madame Carrington and Ishan give the party.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

When Kayleigh brings up the spiderweb murders she'd seen the aftermath of, Emi tells Carington "The bodies were being brought out as we passed by. They were completely cover in spider webs. There's no way what happened to them was normal. The bodies were newly dead, so they weren't simply covered over a long time by lots of regular spiders. Any spider big enough to do what had been done wouldn't be able to hide and go unnoticed."

When Carington has related her dream she asks "Do you think these shadow spiders could pass over to here and then back? That could explain what happened to the people at that house. If was a shiver den."

When Ishan and Kayleigh begin discussing a hospice, Emi reminds Kayleigh they do have an empty house at their disposal. "Madame Zellara's house isn't exactly in the right part of town, but that could be a good thing. If we need to move the kids from the temple, they could go there. On the other hand, it is larger than anything else we have use of aside from the temple itself. The Grey Maidens have have less of a presence in that area. The only problem would be getting patients to there without notice."


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Nebbin nods at Emileva's idea, thinking that's another one that could work.

"Maybe we should have a few, that could sort of ... rotate?" he suggests. "We could get a wagon and pretend to be the wain, and move people that way if we need to?"

Still, he thinks the Careless Curiosities is the way to start. Even if it's not connected to the Shiver problem, he needs something he can control and solve, and maybe that would let them deal with one mystery at least.


Current Battlemap

Madame Carington shrugs when the price of the tome is mentioned.

"It will probably be expensive. It's a very rare book. If Jorgun has a copy it might be dear to him."

She turns to Emi's question. "Maybe they could. I only have suspicions of their powers. Maybe they are humans who take the form of spiders in my dreams, or maybe they're monsters on this plane as well. I'm no magician, but most magical webs disappear over time, right? So what you witnessed was likely not a spell effect."

"I think the thing their victim turned into in my dream is called an Ettercap."

Ishan asks about the relative locations of the drug den and Madame Zellara's house.

"This vacant flat that belonged to the fortune teller? It's only a few blocks from the Queen's Physicians' hospice. It's too chancy. By your description it sounds as if it may be on the same street! We could go check it out and see for ourselves though."

"The drug den sounds more workable, if it's still vacant. Wave street is still largely free of Doctors or Maidens. We should probably check it out too, see which option looks best."

When talk turns to the church, Ishan grows a little uncomfortable again. The internal struggle between competing emotions is written on his face.

"It's not that the church has no empathy for the poor. Abadar's bounty is for all. The rise of civic forms benefits all of Abadar's children. His demands of good governance and the investment in public works brings wealth to everyone in society. But the foundation of social harmony lies in the exchange of goods and services... in commerce. There is inherent virtue in the act of the exchange. Commerce is the founding activity that allowed the races of Golarion to rise from the ashes of our past."

"The mistake the church makes, and where I believe it has strayed from the intent of our god, is in its focus on that benefit, to the harmful exclusion of other forms of good. What benefit does such accumulated wealth serve to wider society if it's not harnessed in times of calamity to the good of all citizens? This is where the promise of the church falls flat. It's how we're disappointing our god."

"Trying to show this point to my brothers and sisters has only gained me trouble. I'm at a loss."

The expression on his face says more. It says he's less at a loss, and more lost.

The bookstore next? Or checking out some of these possible other locations? The drug den and the Night Market are about the same distance in opposite directions. Madame Zellara's is a long way away.


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

I think bookstore next, but don't have strong feelings.


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh starts at Madame Carington's mention of an ettercap, remembering the dismembered one Nebbin had slain in Delvargo Barvasi's hellish hold. Had that thing once been human...a citizen of Korvosa?

The priestess then seconds Ishan's assessment of Zellara's flat; she'd prefer something in Old Korvosa, preferably in a neighborhood she knows. She also says that she'd like to explore the drug den, though she's down pretty much to healing magic.

Visiting the Night Market's OK with her as well, if other folks want to regain spells and whatnot before investigating the drug den.


Current Battlemap

Night Market it is...

The crowd in the notorious Night Market is buzzing when you get there. The scene is mostly unchanged from your last visit, when you inspected some bodies of the sick over on the eastern side of the market. The market guards don't even give you a second glance.

Careless Curiosities is another of the permanent shops standing off the main squares of the sprawling market. As Madame Carington suggested, it stands in the shadow of the Western Watch wall, just beside the massive tower that anchors its northern end. The shop shares a three-story structure with another abandoned storefront with windows boarded up on the ground floor.

A little bell attached to the door chimes as you open it. The shop inside is dark and cluttered with shelves and cabinets stuffed full of books and curios. There's a battered armchair and a low reading table by the door, and an arch that leads into another room.

Beside the arch is a counter where sits an old balding half orc with thick spectacles. He juts out his chin in some kind of rough greeting as you enter his shop and peers at you over his glasses.


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

"You folks got this, right?" Kayleigh asks Regeris and Tassira. "I'd like to check out the abandoned storefront next door," she whispers to the group.

If Ishan's still with us, maybe he and Nebbin could help investigate the abandoned property as a potential hospice location.

Perception Check: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Nebbin looks a bit startled, but agrees to go with Kayleigh if the others are OK on their own.


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

Regeris nods once to Kayleigh as he makes his way in.

Evasive or blunt? Let's just be blunt.

He nods a little to the half-orc before moving in to speak softly, but clearly and bluntly.

"We're looking for a specific rare book, I hear you're the best. Religious obscura by one Tir-n'goth, called the Scriptum Exterreri."

He watches the shop owner closely to judge reaction.

Sense MOtive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22


Current Battlemap

Assuming Emi and Tassira are okay with that plan. Ishan is happy to have tagged along with the party.

Circling around the outside of the curio shop, Nebbin, Kayleigh and Ishan find one entrance to the abandoned shop with a locked door in plain view of the street and market. Around the next corner, though is an alley that's practically blind and it too has a door and a boarded window. This second door is also locked, but the boards in the window look loose with large gaps between them that would afford easy leverage to a tall, strong lad like Nebbin.

---

Within the curio shop, the half orc grunts and nods his head at Regeris's question.

"Sure," he answers, his voice grinding like gravel. "Some of the mad poet's works are here in the collection. Not many customers for those works. An acquired taste, that one. It won't be here in the front room. Maybe on the shelf next to the fireplace in the back. Most poetry's there."

He gestures toward the arch.

"Maybe upstairs, though. That's where I keep the rarest works. The more expensive things. That one sounds pretty rare."

"Steps are in the back. Careful what you pick up, though."

He shows no sign of getting up off his stool, evidently expecting you to search for yourself.

Regeris:
There's more recognition in his face at the title than he's letting on. It's hard to tell if his look contains real malice or is just aged grumpiness written on a half-orc's ugly mug. It would be hard to mistake it for friendliness, that much is certain.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

I'm fine with the current plan.

Emi gives Regeris a questioning look and a slight shrug, ready to help him find the book if he wishes to proceed.


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Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh begins tugging frantically at one of the boards on the window. "If we...can get...one or two boards off...I should be able...to squeeze through...and hopefully open the lock...from the other side!"

*Grunt!* "It's...nailed in place...pretty solidly....Grrr!"

Kayleigh Strength Check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3


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HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Strength: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

"Can I try?" Nebbin asks. He pulls hard at the board. "I think you loosened it!"


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh gives Nebbin a dubious look for a few moments but then decides the big guy's just being sweet. Casting light on the head of her silver morningstar, the cleric sticks the glowing weapon through the opening before sticking her head through to get the lay of the old storefront. At the last moment, she remembers to look up as well...since spiders often like to lair up near ceilings.


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

"Thank you, I'll start looking."

Regeris looks at the half-orc carefully for a moment and he stops by Emi, dropping his voice.

"He may know something that can help us. Deciphering mad poets isn't my specialty. See if you can get on his good side. I don't think he likes me."

With that, Regeris heads out into the books, going directly to the rare books section to get an idea of what's around.

Perception+Guidance: 1d20 + 11 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 11 + 1 = 22


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Emi takes a moment to consider how to play it, then gives Regeris a look of annoyance, shifting her body posture to suggest he's giving her the brush off.

She spins around and walks over to stand by the counter, leaning on it in a huff. After Regeris is out of sight, Emi partially turns toward the half-orc and explains.

"He's obsessive about the subject. Never wants to be bothered by anything when he's thinking about it, or tracking something down like this stupid book. It's so damn boring."

After a pause she asks "How long do you think this is going to take? I hate waiting while he pokes around."

Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15


HARROW PTS: 3|Reservoir: 1/8|Female Human (Chelaxian) Arcanist 5|HP: 33/33|AC: 11(15)/11/10|Saves: +4 Fort, +2 Ref, +5 Will|Init: +1|Perc: +2

With Emi keeping the proprietor occupied and Regeris searching upstairs, Tassira decides to poke around the shop floor for any texts that catch her eye.

Perception? *Alertness*: 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 + 2 = 19


Current Battlemap

Nebbin pulls one of the boards free with a wrenching twist, creating enough space for Kayleigh to do some quick investigation work. The room beyond is a dusty, abandoned mess. It's the backroom of some kind of shop, with a large central table covered in shards of broken pottery, dirt and refuse. Shelves line the walls with more of the same. There's a door that stand partially ajar, leading to a darkened front room. It's impossible to tell what kind of shop this used to be, but it certainly seems to have been shut for a while, and seems safely deserted from Kayleigh's limited view.

---

Back inside the shop next door, Regeris goes through the arch into a second room full of antique junk and long shadows. To his left are more shelves of books, some cabinets with drawers full of smaller items, and the stairs going up to the 'rare' collections. To his right is a cold fireplace and more shelves covered with curious items, scrolls and books. In the corner stands an old clockwork device, its motion stilled. The hands of the clock are fashioned to look like skeletal fingers, the silent chimes hang behind smeared panes of glass.

Going up the creaky stairs takes Regeris to a second floor. The steps continue before him, leading onto yet a third floor. The room has walls lined floor to ceiling with book-laden shelves, and his spirit falls a measure when he takes in what must be a hundred tomes of various shapes and sizes. An uncomfortable looking sofa sits in the center of the room along with a small round table bearing a low-burning lamp. A door to the left is closed.

As a person with some familiarity with libraries, Tassira finds the lack of organization appalling. The books on the first floor don't really seem to follow any discernible system. The titles she finds are obscure with occultism surfacing and resurfacing as a prevalent theme. Many of the tomes lack any kind of title or attribution and she soon finds herself pulling volumes more or less randomly and flipping through the pages for some idea of the subject matter.

At the counter, the half-orc initially seems to ignore Emi entirely. Eventually, he breaks down and answers her question.

"Mmm. Could be awhile. There are alot of items in this shop that will draw in the curious. It's why they're here, you know."

He casts a glance over at Tassira as she works her way through the shelves.

"It's not really that much wonder though, being a little fascinated by the mad poet's words," he continues, his voice going softer so that Emi has to lean in to hear him.

"Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold..."

.. Emi I need a Will Save rolled.


Female Human Slayer (Vanguard) 5 | HP: 46/53 | AC: 19 (T: 13, F: 16) | CMB: +9, CMD: 21 | F: +7, R: +6, W: +4 | Init: +4 | Perc: +8, SM: +8 | Speed 20'

Will: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7


Female Human Cleric of Milani (Merciful Healer) 5 | hp --43+2-- 40/43 (0 NL) | AC 19, t 12, ff 17 | Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +7 | Init +4 | Perc +3 | Spd 20 ft. | Channel Positive Energy 2/7 | Restorative Touch 4/6 | Harrow Points: 2/4 | wand of SW 45/48 | Conditions: -1 Con, -2 Cha

Kayleigh takes in the dusty décor briefly but makes her way to the side door to see if she can open it to admit Nebbin and Ishan.

If not, she'll use her Mighty Milanite Muscles to pry another board off the window! Rawrr!! I'm a monster!

Kayleigh Strength Check (if needed): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20


Male NG Human Inquisitor 5 | HP: 26/28| AC: 17 (13 Tch, 14 Fl) | CMB: +6 CMD: 18 | F: +5, R: +5, W: +9 | Init: +6 | Perc: +11, SM: +13 | Speed 30ft | Spells: 3/5 0/3 | Judgements 0/2 | Teamwork 2/3 | Bane 0/5 | Discern Lies 5/5 | Harrow Points: 4/4 | Active conditions: None

Regeris scowls at the haphazard stuffing of random books into the space, trying to figure out if the purpose is to showcase books or perhaps to hide them. A contrarian by nature, he skips looking over the open shelves and instead checks the door, quietly. First to ensure it is neither locked nor trapped.

Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31


HP 59, +10 CMB, 21 CMD, +2 Init, +8 Perception (+1 to avoid surprise by foes), AC 17/12T/15FF (-2 when raging, +1 vs. traps), +8 Fort, +4 Ref (+1 vs. traps), +2/+4 Will Human barbarian 5

Well, that's all great. Nice job splitting the party, Kayleigh, dear! :D

Nebbin waits anxiously, sure something bad is about to happen ... to Kayleigh. Why couldn't she have stayed in the bookstore, where clearly it's much safer and nothing bad could possibly happen.


Current Battlemap

With a second board removed, Kayleigh's able to tumble awkwardly through the window. Recovering her feet and her dignity, she finds she has the place to herself. Moving over to the door, she throws the bolt and swings the door wide for Ishan and Nebbin to enter.

Ishan glances around the alley one last time for observers, then enters the old shop. He wrinkles his nose at the mustiness of the place, then starts toward the open doorway to the front room to continue the investigation.

---

Jorgun the half-orc grins at the warrior as she falls into a state of fascination. He continues in a friendly, half-whispered voice.

"So how about you watch my shop for me, just for a moment. I need to step outside for a spot of fresh air. With a clearer mind, I'll be able to recall some more lines of the poem."

Emi, please make a second Will save.

The shopkeeper's mischief is well timed, as Tassira is bent low over a diagram she's found in one of the books in the corner of the front room. He double-checks that he's momentarily unobserved as he works his subtle enchantment.

Upstairs, Regeris finds the second-floor door locked by a pedestrian-looking mechanism. Defeating the lock would be trivial should he so choose. There's no sign of any trap.

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