Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia, has long sparkled on the shore of Conqueror’s Bay. Established just over 300 years ago by Cheliax at the height of that empire’s expansion, the city now commands its own destiny. A line of Korvosan kings and queens emerged to rule the city, establishing an infamous seat of power—the Crimson Throne. Rulers have sat upon the Crimson Throne for more than a century, and the city has flourished; yet the monarchy always seems on the brink of disaster. The Crimson Throne is not a prize to be won—it is a curse. No monarch of Korvosa has died of old age, and none has produced an heir while ruling. Even though King Eodred II controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, that control remains tenuous, and many secretly count the days until their latest king falls to what they call the...
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy
4 Abadius, 4708 AR
This morning, each of you discovered something unusual among your personal possessions--a single Harrow card. The card had a message written on the back in bold ink: I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I know where he dwells, yet cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at sunset. Others like you will be there. Gaedren must face his fate, and justice must be done.
When you arrive, you find yourself at a small, humble home. The interior consists of a single cozy chamber filled with a fragrant haze of flowers and strong spice. The aroma comes from several sticks of incense smoldering in wall-mounted burners that look like butterfly-winged elves. The smoke gives the room a dreamy feel. The walls are draped with brocaded tapestries, one showing a black-skulled beast juggling human hearts, and another showing a pair of angels dancing atop a snow-blasted mountain. A third tapestry on the far wall depicts a tall, hooded figure shrouded in mist, holding a flaming sword in a skeletal hand. Several brightly colored rugs cover the floor, but the room’s only furnishings are a wooden table covered by a bright red throw cloth and several elegant, tall-backed chairs. A basket covered by blue cloth sits under the table.
A stone paperweight weighs down a simple note on the table: Thank you for coming. I had to step out for a bit, but shall return shortly. Please, have a seat while you wait. The basket under the table contains bread and drink for you.
Indeed, inside the basket is the promised loaves of bread and a bottle of wine.
As the couple got up from the table to leave, the girl placed two silvers on the ale stained surface.
"Thank you so much," she gushed to Nicoleta without taking her eyes off the handsome young man.
"No thanks are needed," Nicoleta replied in a voice full of honey. Although she pocketed the coins.
Feel free to come back anytime you want to give me more money and I'll be more than happy to tell you whatever you want to hear.
Once they had left the tavern, she waved at the barkeep and pointed at her empty mug. She reached out and with a practiced hand gathered the cards arranged on the table. Without a thought, she returned them to the deck and began to shuffle them.
She instantly recognized that something was out of place and from the cards in her hand she pulled one that was different.
"What the f#%$?" she snapped as she held up the offending item. Unlike her cards which were monochrome line drawings on cheap pasteboard, this one was an artistically rendered full-color image.
With a message.
Her eyes narrowed as she read the hand-written text. She flipped the card to examine the other side and, finding nothing, began eyeing the other patrons of the tavern.
She was in her regular spot with her back to the corner so there was no way someone would have been able to plant the card without her seeing them - except by magic.
"Ok, you've got my attention," she says quietly to the card. "I'll play your game - for now."
Gather Information: 1d3 ⇒ 2 hours
Finding out that the one behind the message is a fellow fortune teller doesn't assuage Nicoleta's suspicions.
Upon arriving and finding no one home, she reads the note and then casually tosses it back on the table. She helps herself to a glass of wine and then takes a seat in one of the chairs. She lifts her sandaled feet and pressing them against the side of the table, tips herself back to wait for her host. She pulls a peach out from her small bag and takes a bite.
Hours: 1d3 ⇒ 3
Early in the morning down in Old Korvosa, Aurelia is lounging in a plush chair with her feet kicked up. She waits patiently for the madam to arrive with her payment. She didn't work here like the other women, she simply offered a different kind of service to Halvara several nights a week. She had a way of handling some of the men and women when they get a little too rowdy or a little too drunk and her employer wanted a way to handle those situations without bloodshed if possible.
"Only two last night," the half-elf madam says as she appears with a small pouch in her hand. The mesmerist holds out her hand for the madam to toss the touch, but her employer lowers hand hand to her side. "That makes six on the week and fourteen in the fortnight. You should have caught that oily son of a b%$!* sooner though, eh?"
Rising quickly to her feet to protest, Aurelia pouts "Awww, c'mon! That's not my fault. Midnight told me everything was fine and if I can't take the girls word for it, well, I'm not going to stand in the corner and watch and wait for them to f%&!-."
"Damned right you're not! You'll need to start paying me if you want to do that!" the madam says, a sly grin slowly spreading on her lips.
"F%%$ up. I was saying f$+~ up." she groans. Rolling her eyes, she motions for the pouch and the madam tosses it over to her. She catches it and weighs it wighout looking at it and heads out with a yawn. "I'm going to get some shuteye now."
"Welcome to the use The Brasher if you like. Needs to be cleaned and I'm waiting on a specialist to arrive to do so this afternoon."
"Sounds like a great place to sleep. No thanks. I'll see you later, Hal." she says, picking up a sack and throwing it over her shoulder as she exits the House of Clouds and steps out onto the pier down in Endrin's Isle. Early in the morning this place was mostly deserted, not like the steady stream of deviants that streamed in all night long.
She heads back to her small rented room above the bakery nearby and passes out from exhaustion. Work paid well enough, but it sure turned her schedule of sleeping at night upside down. A few hours later she wakes up to a card which has been slid under her door. She picks up and looks at the card before the note, frowning.
The Courtesan. How quaint. Someone has a sense of humor.
The note causes her to draw in a breath and she bursts to the door, throwing it open and looking around. She dashes down to the baker and ask who left the note, but without even looking up he says "Girl. I bake, no look at people. You probably dream it.".
Frustrated, she heads back upstairs and grabs her pack before heading back out to find this Lancet Street. She spends a few hours inquiring about the resident and toiling around that part of town until sunset, all the meanwhile the thought of someone with some solid information on the man she's been seeking slowly eating away at her. She eventually pushes in to find Nicoleta seated inside, waiting patiently.
Aurelia spin-flips her Courtesan card to the seated woman eating a peach with a snap of her wrists. She then crosses her arms on her chests and announces defiantly "Alright, Zellara. I've been waiting patiently all day, but I am afraid I've now worn thin on patience. How did you find me?"
She waves her hands in front of her face and summons all of the grit she possess and speaks sternly to the woman "You know what? No, forget that now. You're going to tell me what you know about Gaedren and where I can find him."
Intimidate: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Nicoleta snatches the card out of the air and looks it over, laughing when she sees which one it is. Once the woman's steam seems to reach its end, the monk tosses the card back onto the table.
"Sorry, Sweet-cheeks. I'm a fellow mark for this scam," she says holding up her own invitation. "Nicoleta Radacan." She waves the fingers of one hand towards the other woman in a cheery manor. She looks Aurelia up and down and then takes another bite of her peach, letting the juice run down just a little before licking it up with her tongue.
"So what's your name?" she asks with a grin, while gesturing towards the artwork on the courtesan card. "And what house do you work out of?"
Aurelia is caught off guard when the woman snatches the card out of the air. Nice reflexes, this one.
"Oh." she replies, letting her puffy chest deflate with a shrug as she tosses her pack near a chair and moves towards it. She catches sight of the wine and pours herself some of it before kicking her feet up and answering the rest of Nicoleta's question. "And I work for whoever paying the best coin, but given your attempted endearment of Sweet Cheeks, I think that card has you a false impression of what it is that I do. Whoever this Zellara is has a cruel sense of humor, it would appear."
She takes a long pull of the wine and clucks her tongue "Not the best, but it's free and it will do."
Turning back to Nicoleta, she asks "So why are you here, Ms. Radacan?"
Nicoleta's smile doesn't fade when Aurelia doesn't confess to working in a brothel. "I imagine that I'm here for the same reason you are, Sweet-cheeks - Gaedren Lamm"
She holds up her card again. "This woman, Zellara, claims to know where he's located and I would like to ... talk ... to him." She takes another bite of her peach, making the gesture look almost obscene as her eyes wander over the mesmerist. "So you don't work for one of the houses. Does that mean you freelance?"
If Nicoleta's obscene gestures bother the mesmerist, she doesn't let it show. She nods about Lamm, she had figured. Z had said there would be others.
Taking another sip of her wine, tilting her head to the side she swishes her wine around her glass and asks "You are so interested in where I work, aren't you? Are you looking for a companion tonight? I know some folks that can make you feel like you are the only girl in the world. Lads, gals, dark skin, furries, whatever floats your boat."
Looking away from Nicoleta, she accidentally sloshes her wine a little too much in her glass and a little bit splashes onto the side of the glass and begins to dribble down. She leans forward and licks the rim of the glass with her tongue, making sure to exaggerate the motions in what almost appears to be slow motion. After licking up all of the spilled drops, she licks her lips and leans back in her chair, letting her strangely amethyst colored eyes lock with Nicoleta's own she lowers her voice so that its a near whispers "You just let me know. I have friends."
Uncrossing and recrossing her legs on the other side, she continues to stare at the monk but lets her voice return to its normal volume and tone as she asks "So tell me Ms. Radacan, what is it you do for coin?"
Nicoleta reaches into the small bag at her waist and pulls out a tattered deck of cards used by fortune-tellers throughout the city. "For the right price I tell the future." She winks. "For a lesser price I'll tell you what you'd like to hear."
She single-handedly fans the cards and then closes them back up into a tight deck before cutting them and then stowing them back into her bag while holding her half-eaten peach with the other hand. She takes another bite.
"Tit for tat, Sweet-cheeks. If you don't f*+! for coin, what do you do?"
"Ah, of course." she says, letting brief laugh escape her upturned lips, "I should have guessed. You don't need the gift, though my Bunică had it," she says, dipping into Varisian dialect for her grandmother, "but most do not. Fake it to you make it, hmmm?"
She sits her glass of wine down and reaches into her pack. She withdraws a mask of a thin silver-like metallic that is shaped and contoured to her face. She presses it on to her face with her left palm and before moving up to the table opposite of Nicoleta and placing her palms on the table and leaning in closer to the dhampir. She starts to stare into the monks eyes once more and answers "For the right price I help people understand whatever it is my employer wants them to understand." she winks. "For a lesser price I tell them what they need to hear."
She leans back and slips off her mask, letting it slide down her hand and back into her bag and moving back into her seat, picking up her wine glass once more.
"An enforcer then," Nicoleta says with a nod. "So why did our host give you the Courtesan?" She grins and tips her head knowingly. "Do you moonlight?" she asks with a smirk. She turns a little and slides one strap of her dress down a little, revealing more of her back and the large tattoo there. "I've got a sore spot right here," she says pointing at her back. "Maybe you could give me a rub and make it all better?"
She laughs and turns back to tip her chair back again. "I'm just f!$*ing with you. I've got nothing against whores. Hells, my mother was a whore." She doesn't readjust her dress's strap, however.
"My sister is a whore, it's one of the reasons I'm down in that s@@@hole part of town. She insists that it's what's she's best at, so I try to keep an eye on her when I can. I spend a lot of time with the whores trying to keep the rotten apples from pressing too hard, so it's not surprising that our mysterious hostess has confused me for one."
She finishes off her glass of wine and sits in on the table while she pours herself another glass. "And I may have moonlighted once or twice if I was a little short that month. Or at least that's what I tell myself."
Taking a sip of the wine she asks "How much you offering for rubbing your spot?"
"That depends," the fortune-teller responds with a laugh. "Are you offering to rub my spot or rub my ... spot."
Her smile fades just a bit.
"In either case, we probably should wait to conduct business until our host returns. It would be rude to be caught in the middle of a little spot rubbing on our host's dinner table."
Nicoleta looks around the room a bit more.
"So what's your connection to Lamm?" she asks before looking back at Aurelia. "I assume that's why you're here as well?"
Aurelia smiles as she placed her hands on Nicoleta's shoulders, the warmth of her seemingly always hot to the touch hands cool against the monk's skin. She's about to comment on the butterfly, but the subject of Lamm is sobering and Aurelia loses all pretense of playing. She lifts her hands off the monk's shoulders and moves back to her seat, kicking her legs up again.
The tall woman's face is a mask once again, she says flatly "He took something from me. I'm going to take something from him. If that's a problem for you, you should probably leave now."
"Not a problem at all," Nicoleta says with a shake of her head. "I simply have some questions to ask him and then once he's answered them to my satisfaction, you can strip him naked, paint his arse purple, and walk him down Rat-Catcher's Way on a leash for all I care."
From the doorway comes the sound of somebody mimicking a trumpet fanfare with their mouth. A high-pitched voice announces, ”Pre-senting Her Chubbiness, the Revolting Rozalia!” Colorful confetti fills the air briefly before disappearing, and a dusky-skinned Varisian woman enters the house. She has dirty blonde hair with streaks of red and green, and she wears a green bodice with a flowing red skirt. She is short, barely above five feet tall, and rather voluptuous, her body sporting generous curves. She glares at the empty air with annoyance before turning her attention to the other women here.
”Naked on a leash, is it? Sounds like a good time.” She produces a Harrow card and waves it around. It is The Twin, a card that represents duality of purpose or identity, or indecision and fence-sitting. ”You all got one of these too?”
Nodding to Nicoletta she says "Good. Had a brother in the The Guard. Wanted to make sure you weren't a do-gooder who'd want to turn him in to the law or anything."
It's hard not to appreciate an entrance, ad Rozalia definitely makes an entrance. It's not the entrance Aurelia would have made, but an entrance of note just the same. Turning to face Her Chubbiness, Laurelia says "Yep. I'm Cheeks and that over there is Seer." Aurelia says, taking another sip of her wine and remarking "This wine is terribly blah."
"Nicoleta," the monk corrects with a smile. She tosses a peach pit onto the table and sucks the lingering juice off her fingers. "Be careful. I think she'll charge extra for naked leash-walking."
She looks Rozalia up and down. "So, three of us, eh?" she asks. "And I suppose you're here to find Lamm as well?"
Nicoleta reaches under her skirt and pulls out a flat metal flask. She opens the cap on it and takes a quick swallow. "One of the things that my mother taught me was never depend on the house for quality drink." She hands the warm flask to Aurelia.
Aurelia takes the offered flask and inclines her head, "Thanks, peaches." She sniffs the vial and looks to Nicoleta and asks "What did you mother say about taking drinks from strangers?" before she takes a sip and and passes it Rozalia.
"She was always a fan of free drinks," Nicoleta says with a grin. "However, according to her, more than once they led to waking up next to multiple strangers and in great need of a bath."
She holds her hands wide. "Ya takes your drink and ya takes your chances." A broad wink follows.
Rozalia winces at the mention of Lamm's name. She instinctively wraps her arms around herself in a defensive gesture. "Yeah. The old bastard did a number on me when I was a kid. It's long past time he paid for his crimes."
The short woman pulls out a chair and sits at the table. As she does, a loud, flatulent noise fills the air. She sighs and rolls her eyes. "Don't mind the faeries. They're annoying as f$&%, but mostly harmless." Taking the offered flask, Roz guzzles her fair share before passing it back to Nicoletta.
"I guess we're expecting one more?" she inquires, gesturing to the remaining empty chair at the table.
"Yeah, I blame it on faeries too," Nicoleta says with a broad wink as she takes back her flask and slips it under her skirt.
"I have no idea how many more are expected," she continues. "I just hope Zellara gets back soon so we can get this done before I get old."
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Rozalia quirks an eyebrow at Nicoletta. "Before you get old? That would be quite a long time, indeed!"
Seeing Aurelia's blank stare, the chubby woman chuckles. "Oh, you didn't notice? This one's not fully human. See the little points of her teeth and the muted spark in her eye? She's a dhampir--half-vampire--unless I miss my guess."
"Blah, blah blah!" comes a tiny voice from beside Nicoletta. "I vant to suck your blood!"
Aurelia chuckles at Rozalia's flatulence and then blame on the fey. "The fey make you pass gas? What have you done to piss them off so, might I ask?"
She smirks at Nicoleta's response, but she does a double take when Rozalia calls the monk out as a dhampir. Clearly not afraid, she sits up and moves to stand in front of the monk, leaning in close to her face. She lowers her head as she sticks a finger in between Nicoleta's lips to part them so she can see the point teeth. "No s+@@? You're half vampire? Do you drink blood?" she asks curiously, tilting her head to get a closer look.
Rozalia pouts. "That wasn't a real fart," she insists. "My relationship with the fey is...complicated. Let's leave it at that for now."
|Vox, the Song of the People|
The fourth figure appears in the room without fanfare or announcement. The white shines in the sun light, far more so than the deep, deep skin which it sits over. The woman is dressed similarly, in good leather armour and clothing all carefully blackened to not show a hint of metal. In fact, if the hood had been drawn up she'd have been practically indistinguishable from the shadows in the room.
"You will be waiting some time for Zellara." The figure speaks, voice rasping oddly and mixed with strangely elongated sounds. "There is no-one else here. You can fork on this table if you want." A long sibilant hiss might just pass for laughter.
"This talk of punishment for Lamm... this is a song I like to hear. A song of Vengeance!"
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Rozalia swears and nearly knocks her chair over as she scrambles to her feet. "By the gods! You're--a drow?!? I've heard tales of your kind, but never thought I'd see one in the flesh. N-nice to meet you, I hope..."
The oracle hopes the newcomer's anger towards Lamm outweighs any ill will she might hold towards other surface dwellers!
Nicoleta's smile fades a bit when Rozalia identifies what she is. It vanishes entirely when the mocking voice speaks up. She takes a breath to respond when Aurelia attempts to stick a finger into her mouth.
Pulling back a bit, she bares the subjects of the discussion. "I only drink the blood of people stupid enough to put their fingers in my mouth."
The legs of her chair drop to the ground at the dark elf's appearance and she slips from her chair to stand behind it defensively. "Well aren't you just the pretty, pretty princess," she says with a sneer. "What do you mean about Zellara? Is she not coming?" The woman's eyes narrow. "Is this a setup?"
|Vox, the Song of the People|
"She's not here yet..." The shadowed figure replies. "No trap that I can see. Or you would be here without me." Bright teeth flash in a darkened face. "I'll be your princess if you want to be my slave, dhampir."
Rozalia, on the other hand, gets a subtle nod. "A well informed human. How droll."
Aurelia nods, studying Nicoleta's dissatisfaction with her attempted closer inspection of her fangs "Apologies."
She starts to walk away and return to her seat when the drow makes her appearances. "A drow and a dhampir? What have I gotten myself into this time?"
She doesn't quite sit, standing at the table halfway between her seat and Nicoleta, unsure how to proceed and suddenly feeling very trapped in here. Standing behind a chair to mask her movement from the newcomer, she moves her hand down to her dagger and slides it into her palm. She states "We all have issue with Lamm. How did Zellara manage to find us, I wonder. It seems peculiar that four women have all been wronged by him and now brought together, does it not?"
"I'm no one's slave, Whitey," Nicoletta growls back. "All we need now is a tiefling and we can check the 'misunderstood misfits' section of our group charter." She turns to Aurelia. "Unless you're actually a half-demon and can pass?" she asks with a returning smile.
As if in response to Aurelia’s question, an attractive, middle-aged Varisian woman with long dark hair enters the house. She nods politely at each of you. ”I apologize for the delay. I see you all received my invitations. I am Zellara.” She produces a Harrow deck from a pocket, idly shuffling the cards. Her skill with the deck is obvious to anyone who watches how the cards seem to float and dance through her fingers. With a nod of her head, she indicates that you should have a seat at the table. One everybody is seated, she speaks in a soft but clear voice.
“Thank you for coming, my friends, and for putting up with my unconventional method of contacting you. I have reason to remain hidden, you see—a vicious man would see great harm done to me if he knew I was reaching out for help. This man has done something terrible to each of you as well. I speak, of course, of Gaedren Lamm, a man whose cruelty and capacity to destroy the lives of those he touches are matched only by his gift for avoiding reprisal. You see, a year ago, his thieves stole this, my Harrow deck, from me. It is important to me, an heirloom passed down through a dozen generations, and also my sole means of support. When Lamm’s pickpockets stole it, my son Eran tracked them down and returned my deck to me. But Gaedren had him followed, and soon after he left my home, Gaedren’s thugs murdered him.
“I sought help from the Korvosan Guard, but they turned me away. And so I asked around. I paid bribes. I consulted my Harrow deck for advice. And recently, I was rewarded—I found out where Gaedren dwells. He can be found in an old fishery north of here, at Westpier 17, where he trains abducted children to be pickpockets and counts his stolen treasures.
“But I need your help. I cannot hope to face this man on my own, and the Guard moves so slowly that if they were willing to help, Gaedren would certainly know of their coming well in advance. And even if they arrested him, what guarantee would I have he would be punished? This criminal has evaded the law for decades. But you know of these frustrations as well, for word on the street has it that Gaedren has wronged each of you, too. So there we are. It is time for him to pay.”
Folding her arms on her chest again at the comment, Aurelia asks "Half-Demon? Do I look like a half-demon? Here I was all set to defend your honor as a slave and you go and call me a half-demon for now good reason." Rolling her eyes she turns to address the shadow figure. "And seriously, with all the black? I take it you like to hide in the shadows?"
She turns to listen to Zellara's pitch and shrugs. "I've been unable to track the man down myself and this is the best information I've heard in weeks. I'm in."
Pointing her finger at Zellara, she looks to Vox and clarifies "Just to be clear, I'm not sure he's going to make it out alive after the shadow-priestess over here is finished with her song of vengeance. You're okay with that? And what are you getting out of this? What's the catch?"
|Vox, the Song of the People|
"He wont make it out alive." The 'Shadow Priestess' says with another wide smile. "Blood demands blood. His. I will find him alone if need be. You seem sensible, a hunter." She says, turning to Aurelia. "You may hunt with me if you wish."
"It's not your show, Whitey," Nicoleta says with a grin. "Zellara assembled this group - she gets to say who's in and who's not." Turning to their patron, the monk takes on a less flippant manner. "Are you coming with us?" she asks.
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”Lamm’s life is in your hands. I only want to see him punished. It matters not whether he dies so long as he faces justice.”
Zellara shakes her head to answer Nicoletta. ”I would be of no use to you I’m battle, but I can perform a Harrowing to guide you.” She doesn’t wait for agreement, but immediately proceeds to deal cards to each of you.
"I can feel trouble brewing in the air. The suit of Keys is in ascendance. Each of you, please reveal your card to see what role you shall play in the coming days."
Aurelia reveals The Cricket. "The grig on this card represents quick travel and the reward at the end of the journey. You will need to be light on your feet to claim your prize."
Vox reveals The Rabbit Prince. Zellara chuckles. "It seems you are the embodiment of this card! The Rabbit Prince is the personification of the capriciousness of battle, and his broken sword indicates that defeat may come to anyone. Keep your knives out and prepare for trouble."
Nicoletta reveals The Peacock. "A great beauty that can only be preserved if petrified. Or perhaps somebody far too cocky and sure of themselves. Keep an eye out for either one."
Rozalia reveals The Crows. "Murder, theft, the violent loss of that which is loved. But who is the victim, I wonder? Be cautious."
Zellara collects the cards and shuffles them together before laying them out in a nine-by-nine grid. "The first row represents the past, that which has come before." She flips them over one-by-one, revealing The Vision, The Wanderer, and the Snakebite. Zellara frowns. "Ominous events have brought this uneasy atmosphere. Ancient knowledge, hidden away, among long-forgotten relics of the past. And for good reason, for it its the kind of knowledge that invites madness. A dark plot... Poison, assassination, discord... A partial alignment indicates that this plot is about to come to fruition..."
“The second row represents the present, that which is happening now." Zellara flips the cards over, revealing The Crows, The Foreign Trader, and The Sickness. She points to the first one. ”Here you are, Rozalia, in opposite alignment. A good omen. You will punish the perpetrators of the heinous crimes, Lamm and others. The remaining cards are perfectly aligned, of great significance. An information broker holds the key to navigating a web of corruption that spreads though the city. I see doom if the tide is not stemmed...
“The third row represents the future, that which is yet to come.” Zellara reveals the final row: The Twin, The Waxworks, and The Winged Serpent. ”This does not look good. I see one with a duality of purpose, two minds at odds with each other. Their actions lead to torture, imprisonment, pain, suffering. The serpent in opposite alignment. A lack of understanding, a miscarriage of justice that may lead to calamity unless it can be prevented...”
Zellara gathers the cards and looks to you. ”The harrowing is complete. May the spirits guide your steps.”
|Vox, the Song of the People|
The drow watches the Harrowing with ill-concealed skepticism. She doesn't say anything, but the disbelief is oozing out of her stance.
"Light on my feet is the name of my game, sounds like I'll be finding what I seek tonight." she remarks to herself as the harrowing takes place.
Like most Varisian's, this is not Aurelia's first or tenth harrowing, having grown up with this process and gradually learning the meetings of the various cards. Despite this, each reading is always unique and she was not expecting this outcome. A quick glance at Vox elicits a frown from the mesmerist. Whether the reading was fabricated for their entertainment or a true sight was yet to be determined, but it was something.
She nods her head to Zellara "Thank you for the reading, Madame Zellara. The four of us will seek out Lamm with the information you provided. What happens after that, well, hopefully it is he who will endure the pain and suffering and not us."
She reaches over and grabs her pack and heads out of the room. "Alright ladies, let's get this party started." she says, waving the others onward.
She turns to Vox and asks "Hey Song of Vengeance, do you have a name? I'm Aurelia, by the way."
To Flatulence and Peaches she asks "Does anyone have a plan?"
Nicoleta watches Zellara handle her cards with a professional eye. Noting her skill, her respect for the woman increases. As soon as the Peacock turns up for her, one eyebrow raises even before their host begins reciting the nature of the card.
"That's a beautiful deck," she says quietly to the fortune-teller with a trace of admiration as the ladies make their way out, her normal bravado fading for a moment. "I can see why you wanted it back."
As everyone begins moving down the street, Nicoleta makes her way to the front of the group with a sway in her hips. "A plan?" she echoes. "We find this fishery and start knocking until someone tells us where Lamm is. What more of a plan do we need? Who's got something besides their pretty nails to knock with?"
|Vox, the Song of the People|
She turns to Vox and asks "Hey Song of Vengeance, do you have a name? I'm Aurelia, by the way."
"You can call me..." The drow hesitates for a long moment. "I like Song of Vengeance, it is a good name but too long. So you can call me Vox."
Box nods approval at Nicolettas approach but speaks up in disagreement anyway. "Look around first. Lamm must die, but not his children. They are victims, not guilty."
Rozalia nods. "Let's try to be stealthy. Find the best way inside, and reap the bad weed at its root." She pats a sickle at her belt. "When the time comes to fight, the fairies will help."
There's a resounding smack, and the woman leaps and rubs at her butt. "Ugh! At least I hope so."
You head north from Zellara's house, and it doesn't take long to reach Westpier 17. The old fishery is a creaking, decrepit building. The fishery is perched atop a steep embankment, with most of the structure extending out over the Jeggare River on wooden pilings. The embankment drops 13 feet into the river below.
The reek of brine and the stink of week-dead fish hang thickly in the air here. The old double doors in the side of the weathered building are tightly closed, with a drooping signpost hanging above. The sign it once displayed is long gone, leaving behind only a single short length of rusted chain.
To the west, a fifteen-foot-wide loading dock abuts the side of the building here. A few carts sit nearby, partially loaded with large, tar-caked barrels marked with a fish-shaped splotch of red paint on the side. Double doors to the immediate south of the loading dock’s ramp provide access to the building’s interior, while a rickety flight of stairs descends ten feet to a point just three feet over the river’s surface, where a simple door provides a secondary entrance.
A slippery boardwalk clings to the east side of the fishery, held together by barnacle-encrusted pilings that have had half of their thickness worn away below the waterline twelve feet below.
Map link is at the top of the page.
Nicoleta shrugs at Vox's caution. "If it comes down to drawing blood, Lamm's kids'll run. They know how to survive."
She looks over the building in the fading light, noting the entrances. "Let me check the east side door," she says before slipping off into the darkness.
Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Checking to see if the door's trapped and locked/unlocked.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Returning to the others, she shrugs. "It's locked. Which means the others probably are as well. That means we'll need to knock." She looks over the others. "Sweet-cheeks with me, you two stand off out of sight," she says. "But not too far."
Nicoleta leads Aurelia with her to the double doors on the loading dock. "Show some skin," she cajoles as she slips the strap of her dress off her shoulder. Pulling out her flask, she takes a small sip and swishes it around in her mouth and breathes into the mesmerist's face. "How do I smell? Boozed up?" she asks with a grin before handing the flask to Aurelia.
Once the other woman has finished with her preparations, the dhampir takes the flask back and, after wrapping one arm around her companion's waist, raps smartly on the door.
At first, there is no response. After knocking a second time, though, the door cracks open and a sour-faced man with short blonde hair peers out. He wears fine clothes about two decades out of style.
He sneers as he gets a look and a whiff of the two women. "I am afraid you are lost, ladies. This is not a tavern. Might I suggest Bailer's Retreat to the south of here? You may find some customers there willing to buy what you are selling."
|Vox, the Song of the People|
Vox, concealed in the shadows a few paces away draw an arrow silently from her quiver and nocks it.
Vox, concealed in the shadows a few pages away draw an arrow silently from her quiver and nocks it.
Best. Typo. Ever.
"This is Westpier 17, isn't it," Nicoleta says, looking behind the man. "Geddi sent us a message to come over because someone was getting a bonus."
She waves at an imaginary person behind the man, hoping for a distraction before bringing her knee up towards the man's jewels. Her aim is off, but she follows up with a fist to the man's solar plexus.
Unarmed Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 stunning fist
Unarmed Damage - B: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Unarmed Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Unarmed Damage - B: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
The man's eyes widen as Nicoleta attacks!
Nicoleta: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Rozalia: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
Vox: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Yargin: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
He twists to protect his gonads, but the monk's fist slams into his chest, rocking him back.
He lets out a shriek as he falls back, leaving the door open as he runs into the room. A wooden desk sits in one corner of this room, its side preventing the western door from opening all the way. The table is heaped with dozens of slate boards covered with chalk scrawls, while to the east a cabinet slouches against the wall.
The man begins to knock frantically on a floorboard behind the chair. "GAEDREN! GAEDREN! OPEN UP!"
Everybody may act!
Aurelia does as Nicoleta asks and takes off her shirt so only her undergarment is showing. She stuff her shirt into her pack and drops it on the ground as she leans heavily on Nicoleta. After a few sniffs she remarks "Oh yeah, definitely boozed up."
When they are rejected she opens her mouth to convince them to let the girls in without a fight. That is until the dhampir's fist meets the chest of the man before them. "Whathe-" she gasps in shock.
Turning back to Nicoleta she remarks, "Now wait just a minute, Peaches! I was going to ask nicely to be let in! We-"
When the man starts shouting for Gaedren she turns to him and stares at him like a scolding mother as she growls frustrated and says. "Rude! I was talking! You just stop what you're doing for a moment and let me finish!" before casting a spell on him. Daze DC15, -2 to will from Hypnotic Stare.