The scorched ruins of a building and a wall still smolder to the north of the gate. Only charred wood and blackened foundation posts remain. To the east, a stone staircase ascends to a steep ramp up to a whitewashed stone building above the high wall between the cliffs.
Allie can get partway up the stairs with a double move. Rascal can go all the way up if he wants to run ahead.
Will: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 211d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 191d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
The trio of wights resist Ulrich's commands. Gabby scores a single hit against one of the three! Kamosh finds the lever at the end of the parapet and perches upon it, pushing it down. The portcullis rumbles upward, allowing access to the yard beyond.
Allie and Elka are up!
*blinks* *breaks out calculator* Okay, then!
With a furious flurry, Zhi stabs her blades into the fiend again and again. Maria and Sara add their efforts to strike the dancing monstrosity, but it is largely the miniscule Tian woman who does the damage, her precise pinpricks causing torrents of blood, pus, and gore to pour from the fiend. It howls and shudders as it slumps to the ground, unmoving!
You check in to the Posh and Turtle for the duration of your stay in Korvosa. It is the finest inn and tavern in the city. Upon entering the establishment, it is difficult not to notice the glass flooring overlooking a wide but shallow sea cave, within which lives a 20-foot-long sea turtle named Old Tom. The inn is full of amenities, including scented baths, massages, manicures and pedicures, valets, and three lavish meals a day.
There are a few statues around the city, but nowhere near the number of monuments in Magnimar. Still, there are numerous point of interest in the city. Five landmarks give Korvosa a distinctive skyline. Three of these landmarks exist on a truly colossal scale and have survived for millennia. Castle Korvosa stands atop the Grand Mastaba, a massive pyramid that rises to a flattened top. The Pillar Wall stretches across most of the southern end of Citadel Hill, a 100-foot-tall remainder of what once must have been a magnificent barrier. Just beyond the western terminus of the Pillar Wall stands the Gatefoot, with which you are well acquainted. The other two landmarks, while impressive, do not come close to the size or grandeur of the ruins. Standing at the northernmost point of the Merciless Cliffs, the Great Tower reaches 270 feet in the air and serves several military roles for the city. Directly south of it stands the equally impressive Hall of Summoning, the center of operations for the Acadamae.
A particularly bizarre landmark is the Avenue of Arms. It extends from just east of the Great Tower along the riverfront to Burnt Bridge Boulevard. All along the wide thoroughfare, exactly 127 human-looking stone arms reach up from the rocky soil along the road at an even distance. No two arms look the same, but despite variations, all of them have a few things in common: they face the same direction, with their elbows bending away from shore to point toward the road; they all look like the arms of human adults; all are evenly spaced at exactly 2 feet, 3-1/2 inches apart; and they share the strange Thassilonian feature of resisting erosion or vandalism. All attempts to learn more about these curiosities have met with failure, other than to confirm that the arms protrude from a single, solid length of buried basalt. Any attempt to dig up or damage the arms causes strange shrieks of pain and terror, as well as the welling up of brackish black water where the wound in the stone occurs. Damage inflicted on the arms heals over time. Today, the people of Korvosa have come to accept the Avenue of Arms as just another ancient curiosity—one that is better left alone.
Unfortunately, there are very few musical performances to be found in the city of any worth. The Marbledome in the Heights is home to Korvosa’s opera company, a poorly managed affair known for producing mediocre performances that bleed gold. The Kendall Amphitheater is hosting a traveling Varisian troupe whose performance is acceptable, if derivative. A few itinerant bards ply their trade in the taverns, but that's about all.
Victrix cuts down one skum with her axe and wounds the next one. Ema and her elemental team up to take down the second skum! The giant skum misses Simon as he swims up to it, while the last spear-wielder succumbs to Calamity's evil eye.
AoO: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
The spear-skum swims to flank Simon, scoring a lucky hit. The giant skum assaults the half-orc, but his claws tear through empty air, foiled by the displacement!
Longspear: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
6 damage to Simon. Everybody is up!
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Abalard sobs. "Everything that has happened has been my fault. It was all for love! My love of darling Elizabeth!" It's clear he is talking about his young dining companion and not the sorceress. "She is so beautiful and pure, and I am succumbing to the ravages of age. The gray in my hair, the wrinkles in my face, the constant aches and pains--all reminders of my lost youth and the opportunities I squandered. Even my magic has not been enough to keep time's ravages at bay.
"And so I succumbed to temptation. I turned to the dark arts of necromancy to find a way to restore my youth and win Elizabeth's love. I dug out an ancient grimoire I had long ago hidden away, fearful of being exposed to the secrets it contained within: the Flayed Codex. From the moment I opened it, I have been ceaselessly working to divine the secret of everlasting youth. I started animating a few dead animals, then created two undead servitors. Delving deeper into the grimoire, I found cryptic references that led me to believe the answers I sought might be found in whatever poewrs keep faeries immortal.
"So I stole out to the woods under the cover of night, to an ancient elf burial vault. There, I excavated the body of an elf lord slain long ago in the wars between the faeries and trolls and returned it to my lab to experiment on it. I did not realize the faeries would take umbrage at my actions and resort to terrorizing the town to get it back."
Abalard slumps and wipes at his eyes. "None of this should have ever happened. I let my obsession blind me to the harm that I caused. No more. I release the elf lord's remains to you. Please, make right the wrongs that I have caused!"
Since irresistible dance is a touch spell, Melodie will have to move into melee to cast it.
AoO vs Melodie: 1d20 + 23 ⇒ (8) + 23 = 31
The monster's tongue lashes Melodie as she closes, slicing a bloody wound open across her chest. Despite the pain, she touches the horror and sings a jaunty tune, and the thing finds itself uncontrollably dancing, twitching and shuddering in a grotesque display. "Damn you! You will pay for this!" it shrieks.
As Sara and Zhi move to flank it, Maria gets to her feet and scores another hit. Safina challenges the fiend and scores two hits, one a critical strike!
Safina Magic Number: 1d20 ⇒ 4
The monster capers and flails, opening itself up to attacks as it struggles to shake off Melodie's compulsion!
Maria, Sara, and Zhi may each take an attack of opportunity against the dancing monster. Then, everybody may act!
A large winch stands at the western edge of this parapet walk, opposite stairs leading down into a whitewashed building. Carved crenellations resembling roaring lions line the walk.
Ulrich spells instantly transports himself, Ellie, and Elka to the parapet. They can see three wights up here with them, hunched over the bodies of four dead knights. The wights are searching the bodies and preparing nooses to hang them like the other three knights.
Upon spotting the new arrivals, the wights snarl, abandon their efforts, and move to attack!
Alessandra: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Dr. Ulrich: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Eldarel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Elka: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Gabriela: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Wights: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Everybody but Elly may act before the wights! They have cover from attacks from the ground.
No worries, Ellie. We're about to start a combat so you can just jump in there.
To summarize: You've come to Vigil to try to warn people about an impending attack and to stop it. The Whispering Tyrant's agents may have duped a reliquary guard into accessing the Shattered Shield of Arnisant a few years ago, so you have gone to speak to the guard who made those accusations at the time and was semi-exiled for doing so. The guardhouse where she works seems to have been attacked, with corpses hanging from the battlements, but one person who is hanging is still alive. You've teleported to the battlements to try to cut him down.
Between Amelia's blow and Liam's admonishing ray, the dwarf falls down, unconscious!
The aasimar in the bar has a potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of invisbility, mwk light crossbow, sickle, cloak of resistance +1. The dwarves each have potions of barkskin +2, potions of bull's strength, potions of cure serious wounds, bracers of armor +1, headbands of inspired wisdom +2, and rings of protection +1.
The iron portcullis is closed (hardness 10, hp 60, lift DC 25), preventing easy access to the burnt yard visible beyond it which has stairs leading up. The fortified wall is smooth and difficult to climb (Climb DC 25). The cliff walls on either side are slightly easier to scale (Climb DC 22), but any attempt to climb the cliffs will create a clatter of falling rocks that might alert nearby enemies.
Epic Adversary: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Abalard's arcane armor protects him from Saleh's blades, but Melissa scores another blow. The wizard casts a spell and conjures a blade of magical force, slicing at Melissa. But he cuts only through air, the rogue's dexterity and Kragga's protective prayer keeping her safe from harm!
Everybody is up!
This wedge-shaped room contains several storage racks and crates, as well as a sickly odor. A door leads to the north and a large alcove to the southwest contains a wrought iron spiral staircase, leading up.
Two gleaming robots stand guard here, wielding hammers and shields. Upon spotting you, they move forward to attack!
Coen: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Fireday: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Holg: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
Kaska: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Viv: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Robots: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Everybody but Holg may act before the robots.
Will: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Simon and Victrix both land good hits on their foes, but neither is able to follow-up and finish their enemies off. Ema hastes the group wihle Calamity tries to hex the big skum, but it resists the worst of it.
The lesser skum attack but are unable to get past your armor. The big one moves in and knocks Simon back with another heavy blow, bellowing with rage.
Bite, Claws, Sickened: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 211d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 71d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
8 damage to Simon and he is pushed back 10 feet (token moved). Everybody is up!
Will: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (8) + 14 = 22
The dwarf resists Liam's spell. He dodges Amelia's strikes, but Maya's rapier impales his thigh, and Doritan manages to stab him again. Badly hurt, the dwarf tumbles away, rushing down the alley, but he opens himself up to Amelia.
Amelia may take an AoO against the dwarf. He has AC 19 and 20 HP left. If she doesn't drop him, the dwarf moves a total of 75 feet away! Everybody is up if you want to try to chase him.
Many fortified way stations guard the highways and waterways of Lastwall, beacons of civilization that bring order to the wilderness. Ranton Gandry directs you to one such fortification, the Northgate Road way station, a few miles outside of Vigil. It is situated at a natural choke point within a series of winding canyons. Th
An imposing brick wall 30 feet tall blocks passage through this canyon. Three corpses hang from ropes tied to the wall’s crenellations, twisting slowly and staining the wall a gruesome red. Beneath the dangling corpses, a portcullis gate 20 feet high and 15 feet wide stands closed. A whitewashed stone building looms on a bluff to the east.
Heal DC 20 or Perception DC 25:
The central corpse isn’t actually dead, as his feeble kicks barely distinguish him from the swaying of the two genuine corpses on either side.
You decide to take a short holiday in Korvosa, spending three days seeing the sights of the city as Sorshen works to brew up her rare perfume. At the end of this time, the runelord presents you with three doses of Sorshen's Whisper.
A single dose of this rare perfume functions as a potion of heroism at caster level 20th (and is worth 3,000 gp per dose).
Let me know if there's any particular places you want to visit or scenes you want to play out in Korvosa before we move along.
Morta's Mortuary is an imposing, black-painted building with heavy onyx-colored curtains. Various images of psychopomps--particularly the birdlike nosoi--decorate the mortuary in the form of paintings, sconces, floor statues, and the like. It serves as the home and place of business for Morta Valaskin, an eccentric woman whose daily fashions include elaborate mourning gowns, gauzy black veils, and elbow-length satin gloves.
"Pril Piddwiemog! A pleasure to make your formal acquaintance," Morta says, offering her hand. "I hope your dinner date with Allandir went well? He's always been a somewhat somber fellow, but damn if he doesn't strike a dashing figure in those leathers of his! And Cardinal-Banker d'Borja, good day to you as well. How is Druma this time of year?"
When presented with Voz's journal, the mortician thumbs through it. "Ah, Necril. The language of the undead. Pharasma frowns upon those abominations in all shapes, of course, but it is important to know your enemy, that you might combat it. I would be happy to translate this journal for you. Have a seat, and I'll put some tea on! We'll see what secrets this folio might contain."
Once translated, the journal’s contents are mostly about Voz’s plans for an assassin’s guild and necromancer’s school, but several pages near the back contain her research and notes about Alseta’s Ring. The bulk of the information comes from old reports from the time of the Goblinblood Wars, when a group of soldiers confronted a clan of goblins who’d taken up residence in a series of caves near Breachill. These reports indicated that at the deepest portion of the caves, an entrance into a much older ruin that the goblins feared to enter was discovered. The soldiers explored a bit further, discovered a “ring of strange archways,” but were ultimately driven away by powerful animated statues that “emerged from nearby doors” to attack.
Voz’s additional research, which includes copious notes on the necromantic ritual she performed recently to interrogate the spirits of the dead in the crypt below Citadel Altaerein, seem to confirm her theories that this ring of portals is an ancient elven ruin called Alseta’s Ring. Her research suggests that Alseta’s Ring was among the first of the aiudara— ancient portals created by the elves before Earthfall— and that the six portals that made up the ring linked six different sites. One of these she has confirmed as having once linked to Kyonin, but this section of Alseta’s Ring has fallen into ruin and now leads to the goblin caves (providing a back door into the dungeons below Citadel Altaerein), but observations from soldiers in the Goblinblood Wars suggested the other five portals still stood at that time. Voz’s research indicates that for a portal to be activated, a key item has to be used. Where the remaining five portals might lead and what keys are required to activate them, alas, Voz has not yet been able to determine, but in her notes she is optimistic that, once she secures the site and has the chance to study the portals in person, clues as to their function will present themselves.
The final few pages of the journal cover Voz’s last several days spent exploring the caverns between here and the deeper Goblinblood Caves she suspects links to Alseta’s Ring itself. These notes confirm what she told you about fighting against vermin and being turned away by a woman that could manipulate spiders.
He healed up Melissa's first hit with spell recovery, but yeah, he's hurting.
Boons: 2d6 ⇒ (3, 1) = 4
Abalard stumbles back, bleeding from wounds dealt by Melissa and Saleh. He tries to immolate the rogue again, but this time she narrowly twists away, her enchanted cat's skull giving her the edge to avoid being burned. The wizard follows up with two blasts of flame from his hands, then casts one more spell that raises a wall of stone at the end of the alley, cutting Elizabeth off from the fight!
Melissa and Saleh take 10 and 14 points of fire damage from the two fire blasts. They can attempt an Agility challenge roll with two banes each to try to reduce the damage from each blast to half (5 and 7). The wall is 5 yards high and 2 yards wide, blocking off Elizabeth. If she spends her next round moving and then rushing, she can move around to get to the other side of the alley. Everybody is up!
It looks like Melissa will go down even if she makes both challenge rolls, so she'll have to make a Fate roll. No matter the result, Kragga will heal her again on her turn. She'll be able to act on a slow round.
Prayer Boon for Saleh: 1d6 ⇒ 6
Kragga hustles to Melissa's side, praying to the World Mother and healing her burns. The orc shouts a prayer as Saleh charge she past her, guiding his aim as he stabs Abalard!
Epic Adversary: 1d3 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Melissa heals damage equal to her healing rate. I will post Abalard's actions in the morning. Four actions are a lot to figure out!
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Thr hobgoblins approach cautiously as Kragga places the body on the ground. An anguished cry sounds from a nearby alley, and as one the soldiers step back and raise their weapons.
In the alley, Abalard notices Melissa lunging towards him. He turns to face her, and the rogue plunges her knife into his chest. He cries out in pain. "Insolent woman! You will burn for that!"
He retreats a few yards away and quickly invokes a spell of potency, then he immolates Melissa, setting her ablaze! He focuses his mind to recover the spell and get his stamina back.
19 fire damage to Melissa and she catches fire. She will take 1d6 damage at the end of each round until she or someone else uses an action to smother the flames or douse them in liquid. Everybody may act! Melissa is 10'yards from the party. Abalard is 15 yards away.
Abalard is able to take multiple actions each round because he has the epic adversary trait.
Ranton listens sympathetically when you talk about the destruction of Roslar’s Coffer and asks to hear the whole story. He seems quite concerned.
When you mention Gildais, Ranton’s face falls. "I have heard that name before. It's quite embarrassing, actually. Two years ago, my mother became very ill, and a gnome named Kilibrandt appeared on our doorstep offering a cure. She said that it would be expensive but that her patron Gildais would see to it that all the costs were covered. Sure enough, my mother improved almost immediately. In exchange, Kilibrandt wanted to privately examine the Shattered Shield of Arnisant in the Crusader War College. I felt I owed Kilibrandt for saving my mother, so I agreed. My subordinate, a woman named Doeswen Aubry, insisted that she spotted Kilibrandt stealing the artifact, but since the artifact was still there after Kilibrandt left, it clearly hadn’t been stolen.
"To keep the matter quiet and to silence Doeswen’s protests that something unusual had happened, I pulled some strings to get Doeswen reassigned to the Northgate Road way station outside of town. I have been feeling increasingly guilty about this and I worry that Doeswen may have been right in thinking that something was amiss about
Kamosh gathers the group as you approach Rantom Gandry. Ranton is a tall, rail-thin man who walks with a stout cane. He wears the spotless white uniform of a reliquary guard and carries a well-polished halberd. Ranton is being honored at the festival as a wounded military veteran and he speaks about the importance of service.
After the speech, Ranton greets you eagerly. "Well met, friends! What can I do for you?"
The soldiers turn at Elizabeth's call. As they draw near, you can see that all of them appear to be identical, with thick bellies, spindly limbs, and heavy jowls that hang to their shoulders. They thump their polearms menacingly as they march towards you. Upon spotting the corpse slung over Kragga's shoulders, they howl. One of them, the apparent leader, steps forward and shouts something in Elvish.
Melissa can attempt to Persuade the soldiers to stand down. This is a Will challenge with two banes.
Melissa Sneak: 1d20 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (19) + 4 + (4) = 27
Melissa silently shadows Abalard as he hustles through the streets. The stomping of the nearby soldiers gets his attention, and he moves forward to look at the commotion. His eyes widen when he sees the corpse slung over Kragga's shoulders, and he takes a step back. "No! Oh, no, no no!" he whispers. The wizard draws his dagger and begins to cast a spell...
Holg is able to repair the door, and with a mighty effort of strength, turns the wheel. The metal door grinds open, granting access to the tower.
This grand hall is ten feet wide and twenty-five feet long. Three large metal doors stand in the walls at the opposite end of the entry. The middle door is slightly smaller than the others, and a metal wheel is mounted in the center of each door.
You are entering the tower from the west. You can go north, east, or south from here. I will have a map up later today.
Erado appears to be a standard dryad, though one infested with the Darkblight.
"Well, you are in Arlantia's palace, are you not? Perhaps you are looking for the way to her throne of Arhlantu? Yes, you are close now, very close. This very pool conceals the passage down. You need but stand at the edge and stare into its depths. If you are deemed worthy, then the passage will open for you."
Unfortunately, you can't ready actions outside of initiative. I assume Zileska will want to cast dimensional lock on her first round, and Sara can either drink the infusion or choose to do something else on her turn.
AoO: 1d20 + 28 ⇒ (9) + 28 = 37
As Maria moves in on the monster, its tongue slices at her, but it is unable to grab hold due to freedom of movement. The tiefling drives her blade into the monster's shuddering bulk, wounding it.
But its injury starts to quickly heal as its tongue wraps around Maria's feet and knocks her to the ground. It assaults her with a flurry of attacks, clawing and slamming her. The monster seems unfazed by Maria's blur spell, unerringly striking the tiefling! Luckily, the investigator's other magical defenses protect her from some attacks, but she is still badly wounded!
Trip, PA: 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (18) + 25 = 43
Zileska calls forth a dimensional lock, trapping the fiend on this plane!
86 total damage to Maria, and she is prone. Everybody but Zileska is up!
You march back to Breachill, Voz and the captive half-orcs in tow. It is late at night by the time you arrive, but the guards on watch are all too happy to take the prisoners into custody. They promise to make arrangements to reward you the bounty for the Bloody Blades, and Voz will be held to await trial for her crimes.
You settle down to rest, feeling stronger and more confident in your abilities.
Everybody has gained enough XP to reach level 4!
Inquiring about somebody in town who speaks Necril will direct you to the town's mortician, Morta Valaskin of Morta's Mortuary.