The Dying City: DM Norv's "Curse of the Crimson Throne"

Game Master The Norv

The classic story of intrigue, magic, and strife in Korvosa, and of five figures caught in the balance of greater forces than they know.

Current Date: Starday, 10th of Lamashan, 4708

Current Map | Flex Time | Loot Tracker | Floorplan for the Rosa in Fiore

Harrow Points and Uses:

Current Harrow Points:
Callie: 3
Korriban: 2
Lantressa: 4
Matoska: 2
Teodor: 3

Flash of Insight: You can spend a Harrow point to attempt a skill check that normally requires training for a skill in which you have no ranks. You gain a one-time +5 bonus to that skill check.

Intelligence Rerolls: You can spend a Harrow point to reroll any one Intelligence-based check. You must abide by the new result, even if it's lower (but you can spend more Harrow points to reroll again if you want to).

Focused Thought: You can reattempt a Knowledge check that you have previously failed. On this attempt, you gain a +10 bonus on the check.


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Male Human (Chelish(Nobility)) Cavalier of the Cockatrice 4
Spoiler:
hp 40/40 // AC 18/T 12/FF 16 // F +7/R +3/W +1 // Init +3 // Perc +3

Adoros finishes cleaning his gun while Imperia puts the tiefling out of their misery. He shakes his head at the cooling body after the spasms stop, "I suppose you can't fault the man with being brave in the face of the end. A waste though. Maybe if a professional in the art of breaking a man's will could have been brought in to question him, we might have more to go on then a few simple names. Regardless, one less foe left to swear a vendetta against us." The Chelish man gives Imperia an approving nod before he turns to check what the others are doing in the other room.

At the sight of Zellara's head and harrow deck, Adoros pales slightly, even going a little green at the cheeks, "By Abadar's golden weights, so that is how she got those cards to us. Restless spirits have little need for boundaries constructed by mortal hand. Well our next course is now set. We must lay this woman's remains to rest in a sanctified crypt else she haunt us to our dying day. Then there is the matter of the children that Lamm was abusing to run his little operation. The local authorities should be contacted to oversee that they are provided for and reunited with their loved ones or placed in the proper orphanages where they can be directed to foster homes someday. We should also see about returning that brooch to the Queen. There might be a reward in the offering for its return and you don't want your name attached to its circulation if ever it did make its way back to the Queen not by our hands."


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban heads out, his pockets and bag slightly heavier, the loot being a slight burden. At Adoros's suggestions, Korriban nods. "I agree on all counts. We have to clean up all of the loose ends that we've created. Just to have some peace of mind."

@Raina
Korriban shrugs. "I don't know what it is. But holding that deck did not feel good to me."

@Everyone
Seeing Gobblegut's body, Korriban walks to it. He then takes out a knife and carefully starts to skin the gator.

Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
YEEEEESSSSSS! Right on the dot! :D

Despite his lack of experience, Korriban manages to get a good skin from the dead gator.

Norv, how much does the gator skin weigh? :)


Male

While Raina and Imeria keep Celia somewhat distracted, Korriban spends an hour or so skinning the huge gator, finally pushing the stinking corpse into the river, Where it is swept slowly away. The skin is crudely cut--clearly an amateur job--but intact.

Let's call the skin five pounds (full disclosure: I have no idea how much that would weigh in reality). It sounds like people are finishing up here; if no one wants to do anything else while Korriban is skinning, we'll move out of the fishery when I post this evening! Also, is anyone actually taking the head/hatbox?


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

Gadriel continues to wait outside in the underdock while Korriban skins the animal, a small whistle escaping from her lips while whe wanders around the dock. Abu sits on her shoulder, his head nuzzling hers.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban takes the time to go through his bag, carefully placing the skin so that any leftover blood or juices doesn't ruin anything. He then walks over to the tiefling and searches his body, all while saying, "Anyone want to help me carry this stuff? I don't think I can carry everything we find."

So, let's break this down. Raina's carrying Zellara's Harrow Deck. Korriban's carrying the vast majority of the loot. He might need some help carrying this stuff. Also, who's carrying Zellara's head/hatbox?


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Korriban wishes relief from his burden, ah but don't we all. Only one true break from sorrows, though." Teodor takes the hatbox. He frowns and takes Zellara's head in his hands. "No more weight on your shoulders, heeeheeeheee."


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

"We can carry some, if needed." A quick look at the lithe girl easily leads you to the conclusion that she probably can't carry much.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Looking at Gadriel, Korriban says, "Thanks for the offer. Just tell me what you want to carry."

In short, tell me how much you're currently carrying and how much you're able to carry before it becomes a medium load.


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

Teodor looks for the safest means of egress.


Male

As you finish up in the fishery, you proceed one-by-one to the rope and ascend to the main level, where you leave Lamm's den forever, exiting through the door to the north.

It's as you're climbing the stairs to the street that you first notice something amiss. The chittering and shrieking you heard earlier is louder now, and as you look up, you realize that the sky seems to be almost...boiling.

Thousands of imps fly through the air, wrestling with almost as many pseudodragons. It's a battle the likes of which none of you has ever seen; the cloud of fighters stretches as far as you can see in the night sky, and the thrum of their wings fills the air. Distantly, under that noise, you hear alarm bells. As you reach the street you can hear more: cries, screams, the occasional clash of steel, the loud report of arcane power being used as a weapon. The western sky is glowing in what might, at this time of year, be pre-Festival bonfires. But as you step into the road you can see the truth:

Korvosa is in flames.

Several fires have broken out to the west and north, and the yells of the crowds there fill your ears. A wing of the Sable Company passes over you from the river, headed to Castle Korvosa; one of the hippogriffs is wounded, and its blood spatters the pavement and your cloaks as it passes. Even as you watch, the wounded beast careens into a tall building several blocks away, dropping like a rag doll as the rider falls from its back with a scream that is wholly lost in the cacophony. The other Sable riders don't even pause, but continue on toward the castle.

Just as you wonder what could have caused all this, a high, reedy voice cuts through the din. Turning, you see a well-dresses herald in the black, red, and silver of the crown. "The king is dead!" he cries. "Long live the queen! Long live Queen Ileosa Arbasti!"

"Hang your queen!" comes an answering bellow. A group of people, mostly men armed with clubs, has appeared behind you and, ignoring your group, they advance menacingly toward the herald. "The usurping Chelish whore must die!" another voice cries from the crowd. More voices clamor, suggesting things they'd like to do to Queen Ileosa. As the mob starts to charge toward the lone herald, he turns white and flees, the mob hot on his heels.

So passes King Eodred, second of his honorable name.

DM Dice for future:

1d5 ⇒ 4


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Seeing the vast destruction, Korriban can only stare. He eventually says, "Well, Korvosa's on fire. I honestly did not see this coming."

He turns to the others. "What do we do now? Do we make sure Celia is in a safe place? Return the brooch? Help keep the peace? What's your take on this, everyone?"

His eyes then go wide. "Guys! We have to go to my house! I need to make sure my family is safe! With all of this rioting and destruction, I fear that they may be in danger! Will you guys help me?!"

Gadriel, what do you want me to give you?


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

"We should go to the house of the fortune teller first. There may be answers, there may be safety. Maybe the place to keep the small one safe until more is known. Then we would go with Korriban to help." Seeing the city in chaos doesn't seem to faze her much, but that's not too surprising from someone who slept in the Shingles...

Gadriel can carry about 10 pounds before she's going to be close to burdened. She won't care about what she carries, just hand her a few things and a bag and she'll do her best.


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"It ...it's ..." Teodor stammers. "It's ...beautiful! "


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Unfortunately, Gadriel, Korriban doesn't have a spare bag. Looks like he's going to be carrying this stuff for a while. Unless anyone else wants to offer to carry some of this stuff.


Female Human Brawler 2
Spoiler:
HP: 22/22 // AC: 15 (16 CE), touch: 12 (13 CE), flat-footed: 13 // Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +1 // Init: +2 // Perception: +6

Raina can carry a fair bit more. Not closely tracking encumbrance, but with a 16 Str and very few possessions on her at this point, I should be able to take the croc skin and whatever else fits in my backpack with no real issue.

----------

Quote:
"Imperia killed the bad man," the little girl whispers solemnly to Raina. Korriban and Gadriel arriving with loot--including Zellara's cards, which send a warm tingle of excitement down your arm when you touch them--prove a welcome, and timely, distraction.

Raina pauses at this, searching the girl's face for any sign of pain; she was far too young to be seeing and hearing such scenes. Belatedly, she realises that perhaps Celia's experiences here would have aged the girl prematurely... much as it had done to herself. She ruffles Celia's hair fondly, although her expression is likewise solemn. "Your sis is doing her best to be brave for you. That's why she did that. Make sure you give her a big hug after this, okay?"

The cards are a different matter altogether, though. Magic was not something she had much of a clue about (excepting, perhaps, that it was usually dangerous), let alone the mysterious Varisian fortune-telling... let alone a deck of cards that was quite possibly haunted. After vaguely flicking through the deck for a time, Raina decides to slip it away into her backpack for safe keeping. Maybe Imperia can tell me a bit about this stuff later.

Leaving Lamm's den is like a breath of fresh air, one that Raina inhales deeply; at least until the cloying scent of blood and smoke reaches her lungs. The imp and pseudodragon display was bizarre to say the least, and Raina feels a great sense of foreboding echo in her heart as they walk on by - a feeling that only escalates with the Sable Company Marine crashing into a nearby building.

Quote:
"It ...it's ..." Teodor stammers. "It's ...beautiful! "

"Are you off your rocker, old man?" Raina replies with an exasperated sigh. "Well... I guess we all know you are."

"But I don't like this at all," she mutters, watching the violent mob start to chase after the herald. "This could get dirty real quick. We don't want to get on the bad side of a bunch of bloodthirsty idiots."

The wrestler appears thoughtful for a few moments. "I understand your worry, Korriban, but I think Gadriel's right. We..." She swallows heavily, lowering her voice for the next part. "We have a certain someone's head in a box, and a whole bunch of no doubt illicit goods, including what appears to be something that belongs to the Queen."

"If this angry mob catches onto us - and they might well do so, considering how upper-class both Imperia and Adoros look - they're not going to like seeing any of that stuff on us. We need to get inside and stay low until this boils over. And I think Zellara's joint is closer."


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban nods at Raina. He then pulls out the croc skin and the gold ingot (making sure none of the rioters see it). He says in a low tone, "In that case, let's head over to Zellara's. Raina, could you hold onto these? When we get to my place, we can drop off all of our loot there. Then we can head to the queen."

So, Raina, Korriban's handing you the croc skin (5 lbs) and the gold bar (2 lbs). Put this in your alias so we can keep track of it. The plan is to head to Zellara's, then the Rosa in Fiore to check the residents and drop off the loot, then we go to the Queen to return the brooch. Everyone in agreement?


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"I believe visiting such a new ...grieving monarch would be a ...tactical error. Wait what?" Teodor holds the headbox to his ear. "Oh! Oh my! Yes, at once! To your home!" Teodor moves.


Male Human (Chelish(Nobility)) Cavalier of the Cockatrice 4
Spoiler:
hp 40/40 // AC 18/T 12/FF 16 // F +7/R +3/W +1 // Init +3 // Perc +3

Adoros is at a loss for words at the insanity that now seems to be infecting the city. He slings his musket off his shoulder and holds it almost as a shield before him while his eyes drink in the scene.

The usurper's line is finally finished. This should be a time of mourning then celebration, not... chaos!

The young Chelish man snaps out of his ponderings as some of the others mention going to ground, "Yes, a good idea. We should find a safe place that is easily defended during these turbulent times. Our dead benefactor's place is as good as any other. However, on the way I would like to check to see if that Sable Marine survived that plunge. As denizens of Korvosa, we owe the Sable Company some measure of assistance for their defense of our homes and families. We should help if we can even if only for Teodor to offer last rites." Adoros nods in agreement with Teodor's statement, "It would be poor timing to worry about returning the Queen's possessions at this crucial juncture. Any groups approaching the castle might be taken as rioters and handled with less than diplomatic care. It can wait til after the fires are put out and streets calm."


Male

Heal DC 10:
Even from a distance, you know that a fall of that height, particularly after the crash, is certain to have killed the Marine.

As the seven of you hurry south towards Zellara's house, you can hear the continuing sounds of violence from every direction but the river to your left. Just where you would need to turn inland if you wished to investigate the fallen marine, a yelling group of laborers boils out of a side street, pursuing a beardless young man in fine clothing. The young man scrambles toward the river, comes up short at the bank, turns, stumbles over his long cloak, and topples to the ground as the half-dozen men advance on him. "P-please," the young man stammers, "I j-just want to get home..."

"Home, eh?" snarls a fat, bald man with greasy muttonchops. "And where'd that be, eh? Some fine mansion high on the hill, away from the sting of us-like?" He spits, and thumps the length of pipe he's holding into his palm; the other men are all holding various homemade clubs. "Betcha never worked a day's wage in your life, eh, Queen's Man? M'brother had his wrist crushed by a barrel on the docks when he was younger than you. Never raised a mug of ale with that wrist again." He smiles unpleasantly. "Wanna know what that feels like?"

Violence seems imminent.

Knowledge Nobility or Local DC 15:
The insignia on the young man's cape clasp identifies him as a member of the Jalento family, a minor monied house.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

@Adoros
Heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14

Korriban shakes his head at Adoros. "No good, amico. The fall definitely killed him. But I agree on the last rites. Let's get going."

I used Italian for Elven. Amico means friend.

@Everyone

Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

He looks at the scene before him. "That guy's from the Jalento house. Very minor. Now, I may not have much love for the Queen. But, I'm not clubbing the higher-up members of society because she now sits on the Throne. We have a duty to protect him." He then runs up and stands up on a barrel. "Everyone! Do not take your anger on him! I'm just like you! I know what it's like to live in squalor and poverty! But, I'm not clubbing anyone who lives better than me! The king is dead! Yes, this is true! But this is no reason to have a lynch mob mentality! Your rioting is only making it worse! Everyone, return to your homes and make sure your families are safe!"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21


Male

"Make sure our families are safe?!" the ringleader growls. "No one born to dockworkers is safe! If you're an honest man tryin' to make a living, you never can be safe! Not in Korvosa! No, I know your lot." He casts his eyes over the group. "The nobles sit up on their hill...and the wizards lock themselves behind the walls of their schools...and the crime lords run the slums. What's left for an ordinary man? I've watched my brother crippled, my niece turned to whoring because it's easier cash than making a living--and my own son's recovering from the effects of pesh and shiver! And all this because people like him decided there was an 'economic incentive' to let crime flourish and villainy go unpunished so they could content themselves with their parties and feasts!"

Despite the man's impassioned speech, the other members of the group are backing down, brought to their senses by Korriban's words. "C'mon, Lem," one of them mutters as the others drift away, putting his hand awkwardly on the big man's shoulder. "The lad's right--and this'un's no more than a boy, he ain't much older than your Kal. Let's go home and take care of our own."

Lem jerks violently away from the touch and spins to stare at his friends. He opens his mouth several times to speak but stops, seized by emotion. Tears well in his eyes but he dashes them angrily away and storms off, with a muttered curse, down a side street. The small crowd has completely vanished back into the city.

The youth stands up, dusting himself off shakily. "Thank you for your assistance, goodman," he says, voice quavering. "I truly thought those men would harm me--I've never seen people act like that before." He shudders, then seems to come to his senses. "My name is Amin Jalento, my family is of some...minor importance to the city. Please, let me give you this, and if there's anything I can do for you later, just ask. I'll head home now--we have a house not far from here, near Citadel Volyshnek." Digging in his purse, he distributes a platinum piece to each of you, then hurries off to the south.

As you continue to the west, you find the corpse of the hippogriff sprawled in the street. Not far form there lies the mangled body of the guard, eyes mercifully closed in death.

DM Dice:

Random: 1d4 ⇒ 2


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban steps off the barrel. "It's no problem at all, Amin." He looks back at the direction that Lem ran, his face becoming downcast. "But what he says is true. Life for most of Korvosa isn't good or fair. It destroys people. I want to see a Korvosa where everyone is happy, where people don't have to suffer on a day to day basis." He accepts the platinum piece and puts it into his coinpurse. "Thank you. And safe travels!" As he walks, he mutters, "Note to self: Ask Lidda about Lem's niece. And about the Five Fists."

Seeing the dead Sable Marine, Korriban just stares at it. "So... who wants to say the rites? Teodor? You have words to say to guide the man's soul or something?"


Female Human Brawler 2
Spoiler:
HP: 22/22 // AC: 15 (16 CE), touch: 12 (13 CE), flat-footed: 13 // Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +1 // Init: +2 // Perception: +6

Raina remains grimly silent as Korriban sends the riotous crowd on their way, standing protectively in front of Celia and Gadriel as much as she can. For all the awfulness of this situation, she can't help but empathise with the men and women whose emotions overpour onto the streets here this day. Korvosa was a s***-hole at the best of times, and something right out of Hell at its worst. For all the emotion and trauma of assaulting Lamm's hideout, it was like they'd wiped off a single brick in a filth-covered Castle Korvosa. But it certainly wasn't this man's fault.

And to think - now's a chance for Queen Ileosa to change all that, to make things a bit better Raina frowns to herself. But nothing'll change. It'll all stay the same...

Exhaling her building stress as the rabble leave off, Raina nods at Amin. "Stay safe, mate. It's a madhouse out here."

----

Upon spying the corpse of the hippogriff and his rider, Raina grimaces. "Poor guy," she says quietly. "But at least he died in duty. I s'pose that's what he'd have wanted."

She approaches the corpse, crouching down beside it and glancing over the body for signs of any identification that they could later bring back to the Sable Company - badges, papers, or anything of the sort.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22


Male

The Sable Marine is a young man, no more than thirty-five, and he's not carrying much of note--Raina does, however, find a set of dog tags identifying him as Aram Kordata, from Bridgefront. Otherwise, he's just got his standard-issue gear.


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Gooood jooooooooob! You're deaaaaaaaaaaaad." Teodor sings while doing things that hopefully are dancing.


Female Human Brawler 2
Spoiler:
HP: 22/22 // AC: 15 (16 CE), touch: 12 (13 CE), flat-footed: 13 // Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +1 // Init: +2 // Perception: +6

Raina shoots a look of disgust at Teodor before gently removing the poor bloke's dog tags. "Rest in peace, buddy," she says quietly, standing back up from the corpse and shoving the tags into her pocket for when everything died down.


Male

Although you can all hear the sounds of chaos and the occasional cry from around you as you head back to Zellara's, the intervening blocks pass without incident. Letting yourselves in, you all breathe a sigh of relief--only to startle at what you see inside.

Where once there was a well-appointed fortune-telling parlor, you now see a dark and musty room, clearly one that has been abandoned for some time. The basic layout of the room is the same: the table is where it was, surrounded by a few spindly chairs, and the dimensions are the same, but there the similarity ends. Gone are the opulent tapestries, the rich carpet, and the incense burners. In its place are the trappings of a lower-class Korvosan's dining room: a simple wooden table with a couple of chairs around it, and an open room with a sideboard and small fireplace. You can see a passage back to the kitchen at one end of the room, as well as stairs that must lead up to the living areas. A layer of dust coats everything, and the rooms are shrouded in darkness.

Celia steps timidly into the room, letting go of Imperia's hand, and looks around curiously. "What is this place, Imperia?" she asks.

"My home," says a familiar voice from the top of the stairs. As you all whirl, hands going to your weapons, the figure of Zellara descends the stairs. She nods calmly at you, though her brown eyes are sad. "Hello, my friends. Forgive my deception of you, but I could tell that you all burned to take down Gaedren Lamm, and I feared that you might balk if you knew the truth of my circumstances. You see, the story I told you is the truth, but with one piece missing: when I found out where Lamm was hiding, I went there to confront him about my son's death. His thugs overpowered me, and though Lamm was initially impressed by my audacity, he reacted...poorly...when I spat in his face. You, Teodor, hold the end result of a long and unpleasant day." She shivers, and draws her shawl tighter around her shoulders.

"By now, surely you're wondering what exactly I am," she continues. "The truth is...I do not know myself. I suppose I never quite did in life, but now..." Her lips twist in a sad smile. "I do not believe myself to be a ghost. If I were, should I not be gone now? Lamm is dead, my son avenged. But I linger, and I...do not have form of my own. This is an image, not myself. You--" she nods at Raina--"carry me now. After Lamm killed me, I found myself somehow bound to my Harrow deck. Now I haunt the cards. No," she frowns, "that is not quite right...now I am the cards, I am the Harrow, though I am still...Zellara."

She looks up at you, and her eyes show both pain, sorrow, and humor. "It would seem that my meager work in life is unfinished. I hope that you will allow me to remain with you. I love Korvosa as much as any of you--more than some--and I can see or hear what happens around me, though I am but a deck of cards. I would see this city restored to its former glory, not plunged into chaos. And besides...I may be of some use to you. Aside from my ability to read the Harrow, I find myself with a new knowledge of the workings of magic in this strange afterlife...I may be able to help you determine what it is you've brought from Lamm's hoard. And, of course, I freely offer you the use of this house, should you wish it."

She turns hopeful eyes to you, awaiting a reaction.

As I mentioned before, Zellara's Harrow Deck is an intelligent magic item. It has its own (Zellara's) personality and is capable of making decisions, etc. It has two major magical powers: once per day, it can cast a major image spell (as it's doing now), and three times per day it can cast identify.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban looks to Zellara, then to the others, then back to the fortuneteller. He walks to Teodor and gently takes the hatbox with the head. (if Teo allows him to :P) He then walks to the table and places the box on it. He then looks to the image and gently says, "You... have given us so much. To know that you suffered so much saddens me. I may not know much about magic. But you're here for some purpose and I will accept any and all help you can provide. To repay you for what you've given me and my mother." He extends his hand as if to shake Zellara's hand.

He takes out the obsidian wand, the vial of silver liquid, and glass tube of steel grey oil. "Is there anything important that you know about in these items? Also, what do you want us to do with your head?"

He then turns to his newfound friends. "I also thank you all. You have done so much for me. If you need anything, I'll be there for you. My home will be open to you as well."

After their business with Zellara, the rogue collects the items for the table and puts them into his pockets. Korriban says to the others. "We need to head to my home. I must be certain that my adopted family is all right. Also, we should be able to lighten the load from our spoils." Turning to Imperia and Celia, he adds, "Stay together. With the rioting, it would be easy to get separated. Also, we'll be heading into Bridgefront, one of the poorest districts in the city. And one of the most dangerous. Stay sharp."


Male

Zellara smiles and takes Korriban's hand; you feel some warmth, but no pressure. Releasing it, she crosses to the table as Korriban unloads the magic items. She turns to Raina. "Would you be so good as to touch one of my cards to each of these?"

Assuming Raina does so:

Zellara closes her eyes as the cards make contact. First she points to the wand.

"This wand has a basic spell stored in it designed to send a bolt of force at an opponent." She moves down the line. "This silver liquid is an alchemical substance used to give a weapon the ability to bypass some creatures' magical defenses; and this tube contains an oil that gives weapons an extraordinary sharpness."

So, in order: a wand of magic missile (it has 23 charges left), a vial of silversheen, and a tube containing oil that applies one "casting" of the spell keen edge (CL 1).


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

Gadriel perches on the window sill again, just like the first time everyone came to this house. Abu sits on her shoulder, seeming to just be taking in everything. After Korriban mentions checking on his family, she nods her head. "We are ready now. We needed a moment, a pause, a place to sit and think on all that has happened. We are... relieved. We are now ready to go with Korriban." Gadriel then turns to the image of Zellara before inquiring, "Does this house have a way to the roof? We would enjoy sleeping there. Much less noise from the imps than where we normally sleep."


Male Human (Chelish(Nobility)) Cavalier of the Cockatrice 4
Spoiler:
hp 40/40 // AC 18/T 12/FF 16 // F +7/R +3/W +1 // Init +3 // Perc +3

At the fallen Sable Marine

Adoros gives the fallen warrior a salute as Teodor does his strange interpetation of last rites. The Chelish man shakes his head at the senseless loss before continuing to Zellara's home with the others.

At Zellara's place

After Zellara's big reveal and explaination on her state of being, Adoros looks apprehensive, "Madam Zellara, your sentiments are all good and noble but do you truly not wish to pass on to the otherside to be reunited with your late son? I, in good conscience, do not think I could condemn you to an eternity of entrapment on this plane of existence, forever tied to your Harrow cards. The very thought is equal parts horrifying and depressing. I'm sure your help would be much appreciated but I ask again, wouldn't you rather us seek some way to break the chains binding you here so you can pass on to your just reward in the afterlife?"


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Hee hee hee ...just rewards ...they aren't important, they're just rewards, a hee hee hee. Lord Groetus will end even these one day, just you see, everything dies, even the dead." Teodor resists Korriban's attempt to take the box from him. "Thief! Rapscallion! Rogue! You live in a whore house, don't you know not to interrupt this sort of thing! Hee hee hee ...best head I ever got ...hee hee hee!"


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Hearing Teodor's words, Korriban stops before stepping back and turning away from the others, trying to regain his composure and not burst out laughing. He would normally use his sly, witty tongue to begin his banter and jokes, but decides against it due to Celia's presence.

XD


Female Human Brawler 2
Spoiler:
HP: 22/22 // AC: 15 (16 CE), touch: 12 (13 CE), flat-footed: 13 // Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +1 // Init: +2 // Perception: +6

After seeing the head in the box and having held what appears to be haunted Harrow cards, Raina was at least on some level expecting a... visitation of sorts, but it still shocks her to see Zellara once again. She listens to the fortune teller's story with grim resignation, feeling a pang of sadness for the horror the woman must have gone through. But that's all over now...

When asked, Raina draws the cards out from her backpack and selects one at random.

Which card?: 1d54 ⇒ 43

The card depicts a man running in terror from a horde of skeletons beneath a black sun. She frowns at it briefly before doing as described to each of the items in turn.

"I have to agree with Adoros. I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm happy to have you stay with us if that's what you wish... but if there's anything we can do to make you, uhh..." Raina falters a moment, clearly unsure of the terminology or strange, esoteric ground she is treading upon, "Free? I would be happy to help you."

"Besides that... we need to make sure the rioting's quietened down before we head off to Korriban's home." At that thought, Raina moves over to a street-facing window and has a peek outside.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban looks at Raina. "There's no time, Raina. Every second we delay puts my family in more peril. I'm sorry, but I'm willing to risk the rioting to help my family."


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

"We are fine leaving now. We are surprised that Teodor has held a head before though. Abu is less shocked, but we are surprised that Teodor has held one in worse condition." Gadriel shrugs her shoulders then continues watching out the window she's perched on.


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Whores are not nobility, no matter if hearts are golden. The rioters have no beef with them ...everyone would rather give them a sausage hee hee hee."


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban's smile falters for a bit. "Okay, Teo. While the jokes are funny, this is my family you're talking about. And yes, they are whores, but they do have some class. The Rosa isn't the finest brothel in Bridgefront for nothing, you know."


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Truly, I impugn not your lovely mothers, I mean only to say rioters today have no anger at them, only the rich and those inbred noble freaks."


Male

Zellara laughs--not unkindly--at Raina and Adoros's concern. "Truly, you need not worry. I do not feel bound, and I am in no suffering. And more importantly, I am..." she cocks her head to one side, thinking. "I am not Zellara," she concludes. "Though for the sake of convenience, I suppose it will do no harm for you to call me that. Zellara herself has passed on. I am merely a...fragment of her will, if you like. Partly that, and partly the dance of the Harrow. I can feel things now that Zellara never could. It is...exhilarating."

"Of course you may sleep on the roof," she adds to Gadriel, and, despite some uneasy stirring from Imperia, she puts her hand on Celia's shoulder, adding, "If you like, I would be happy to keep Celia here as well, for the moment. It would be no imposition." Celia is still shell-shocked, but she gazes up at Zellara's face wonderingly.

Raina:
As you look out the window, you can see that though the sky is still boiling with imps and pseudodragons, the rioters on the streets seem to have dissipated. You can still hear them in the distance, though...probably to the north and west, closer to Castle Korvosa. The streets immediately nearby seem clear.


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban nods at Teodor. "No offense taken then."

Turning to Zellara, Korriban asks, "Are you sure that Celia will be safe here?"

The rogue looks around. "We all ready to go to Bridgefront?"


Female Human Brawler 2
Spoiler:
HP: 22/22 // AC: 15 (16 CE), touch: 12 (13 CE), flat-footed: 13 // Fort: +5, Ref: +6, Will: +1 // Init: +2 // Perception: +6

Raina steps back from the window, not particularly pleased by the sights and sounds of outside... but at least content that Korriban's naive insistence on going out right now wasn't going to get them all killed.

"Things seem to have died down a bit, at least around here. If we're careful - take a few back streets and such - I think it should be okay to leave now."

The wrestler pulls the rest of Zellara's Harrow deck out of her bag and places it gently on the dining table. "Do these have to stay here while we head out, if you're babysitting?" She asks simply, her brow slightly arched. "I don't know how... how... how any of this stuff works."


Female Human Witch 3
Stats:
hp 7/20 | AC 16 | FF 14 | T 12 | CMD 12 | F+2 / R+4 / W+3 | Init +2 | Per +5

"We are ready as well."


Male Human (Chelish(Nobility)) Cavalier of the Cockatrice 4
Spoiler:
hp 40/40 // AC 18/T 12/FF 16 // F +7/R +3/W +1 // Init +3 // Perc +3

Adoros stares at the figure of 'Zellara' before shaking his head in disbelief, "So you're not 'THE' spirit of Zellara, only 'A' spirit of Zellara? This is a metaphysical debate for someone more learned then I but as long as you are 'happy' in your current state, I suppose I can live with it."

He joins Raina by the window, scoping out the situation before he turns to look at Korriban, "You are sure you want to try for your families' business? We step outside, even if the crowds have died down, we are allowing ourselves to become possible targets of oppurtunity. However, I can admire your concern for your family and if you feel strongly about checking up on them, I will attempt to see you safely to their threshold. As Miss Raina stated, we'll be safer sticking to back streets and limiting our time in the open to a minimum. My neck was not made to hang from the rope of an angry pleb out to settle half-conceived grudges."


Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

Korriban addresses Adoros. "Thanks, my friend. I do want to check on the Rosa. I promised my mother that I would come back after we killed Lamm. Otherwise, she might think I died. And I don't think her heart could handle it. Don't worry. We'll take the backstreets and using distractions and the cover of night to our advantage. I know Bridgefront like the scars and tattoos on my body."


M Human (Ustalavian) Cleric of Groetus 3/Slum Shaman 1/Evangelist of Groetus 5

"Tee hee hee ...back twixt the skirts and flirts, he hurts in spurts. Well I suppose I could inspect the brothel, sniff around ...as long as you don't get jealous, dear," he says, in the end talking to the head in the box.


Male

As you all make sure weapons are secure and prepare to head out, Zellara draws Celia aside. "Come, child," she says gently. "I will show you where there is food in the kitchen, and we can light a fire to warm you for a while. It has been long since I had a child like you in my home."

Glancing up, she responds to Raina's question. "You need not leave the deck here--this image will dissipate after some time, regardless. Do not worry," she adds to Imperia, "I can still keep an eye on the house from afar, and I will ensure that Celia is safe and asleep before I have to let the illusion go. Safe travels; I hope that you find your family well, Korriban."

As you set out into the streets, you can hear the sounds of rioting taking place to the north and west. (By the way, here's a very hi-def map of Korvosa for those who want one.) Weaving your way through back streets and narrow alleys, though, you manage to avoid the worst of it. You work your way north through the Midlands without any notable incident. As you reach the Heights, though, and begin cutting through the edge of wealthier neighborhoods, you see more and more rioting. At one point a mob of looters charge past you down a main avenue, and you're shocked to see, a few minutes later, a clanking platoon of hellknights, clad in their signature spiked black full plate, proceed after them, weapons drawn. The hellknights move slowly, but tirelessly, and there is blood on several of their weapons. The platoon leader turns his head to examine the six of you with cold eyes, but, though his eyes linger on Teodor and Gadriel's obviously unkempt features, he is focused on the looters, and moves on without comment.

You're several blocks east of the Acadamae, just about to enter the North Point region, and angling towards the river, when you hear strange sounds coming from a nearby alleyway: high-pitched cackling, and some masculine shouting. Oddly, the voices sound familiar...

"Get 'em off! Get 'em away! Let's go!!" a man bellows, suddenly bursting from the alley in front of you. It is, you're shocked to see, the older of the two guards you encountered in front of Lamm's. (Ted, was that his name?) He starts to barrel your way, looking over his shoulder at something in the alley, smacks into Adoros, falls down, hops up in terror. His eyes bug out. "You lot! Again?! Will this night never end!" So saying, he darts away from you, yelling into the alley, "This way, lad!"

The younger of the guards reels out of the alley, staggering and weaving slightly. He has several large swellings on his face and hands, and he moans as he sees you, but then darts off, following Ted. Just as you're wondering what caused this, you hear the cackling continue, and now you can make out words:

"Come, brothers, sting and claw! Spread misery and woe! Korvosa will be ours, and all will sink to their knees in worship!" A flight of imps careens out of the alleyway--four of the little buggers in all--and, seeing you, the leader howls and points in glee. "Fresh meat!"

Away we go! The "current map" link's been updated, the initiative order is:

  • Korriban
  • Imps
  • Rest of the party, in order of posting.

    Knowledge (Local) DC 10:
    It's well known that both Queen Ileosa and the late King Eodred II supported the establishment of a small legion of hellknights, from the Order of the Nail, in the city--although they and civic officials balked at actually inviting them to live in the city full-time. It's possible that with the chaos, Ileosa has turned to the hellknights for help with "keeping order."

    Initiative:

    Imps: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
    Teodor: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
    Adoros: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
    Korriban: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
    Gadriel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
    Raina: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
    Imperia: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17

    Vital Stats:

    Imps: HP 16 each, AC/T/FF 17/16/13, Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +4, CMD 15, DR5/good or silver, Immune fire, poison, Resist acid 10, cold 10


  • Male Human (Varisian) hp 45/56 | AC 22/T 17/FF 15 | CMD 22 | Fort +4 | Ref +7 [+8 v traps] | Will +2 | Init +6 | Perc +13 (+15 to locate traps) | SM +17

    Korriban moves with purpose, leading his allies through the city. At the Hellknights, Korriban thinks about it for a moment.

    Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25

    He says, "So the Queen is turning to the Order of the Nail, huh? Things must be bad."

    Near the Acadamae, Korriban hears the screams. He sees Ted stumbling out. Korriban just smiles and says, "Hi, Ted!" At the two former guards running, he just calls back, "All right! See you later!" He turns to his allies. "Now, what could they be running from?" His answer comes in the form of several imps. He just stares and says, "Oh. That explains it."

    Korriban draws his rapier. He then adopts a defensive stance, rapier out in front of him. He glares at them as he yells, "Bring it on, b*stardi!"

    Round 1 Actions
    Move Action: Draw Rapier
    Standard Action: Total Defense: Gain +4 Dodge Bonus to AC until start of next turn; can't make AoO
    Free Action: Call the imps out

    Again, using Italian for Elven.


    Male

    The imps shriek and cackle as they zoom towards the group. Two of them dive-bomb Korriban, while one flies past to lunch itself at Gadriel (shrieking "C'mon, monkey, let's play!"), while the fourth hisses and attacks Adoros. Raina, more on instinct than thought, takes a jab at the imp buzzing toward Gadriel as it flies past--her fist connects solidly, but the imp shrugs it off with a laugh. Korriban bats one imp's sting to the side with the flat of his blade, but the other one jabs him in the neck, eliciting a howl of pain. Gadriel is unable to protect herself from the imp's sting, and it cackles as it jabs her on the cheek. Adoros wheels to face the imp coming his way, and the imp's sting catches him on the back of the hand as it buzzes past. All four are cackling with joy. Korriban feels a strange, cold, leaden feeling take hold of his limbs as the spot the imp stung blisters and swells slightly.

    I'm assuming that Raina takes the AoO she gets; Gadriel and Adoros, I'm guessing that you wouldn't be wandering through the city with swords drawn. Korriban takes 4 damage, Gadriel and Adoros both take 2, and Korriban take 2 points of Dexterity damage (so all rolls using dexterity take a -1 penalty) due to the imps' poison. The good news is that you only need to make one Fort save to stop the poison's effect; the DC is 13. If you fail, take another 1d2 Dex damage.

    DM Dice:

    Raina's AoO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
    Raina damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
    Imp on Korriban A: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
    Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
    Imp on Korriban B: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
    Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 4
    Crit confirm?: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
    Maybe crit damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
    Imp on Gadriel: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
    Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
    Imp on Adoros: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
    Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
    K save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
    G save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
    A save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
    Poison Dex damage: 1d2 ⇒ 2


    Male

    Up next: the rest of the party, in posting order!

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