How did they get the time to craft the Periapts? Making 3 of them would take 24 days and pretty much the entire 7 Days to the Grave plot would conclude in Ileosa's favor within 24 days. At a minimum Old Korvosa would get cut off enabling you to run Escape without any issues.
You'd also need access to Remove Disease spell which is a 3rd level spell so 7th level caster. PCs are like 4th level when the plague hits.
As for Trinia, my players tried to get to her window to block off her escape but the Shingles proved too difficult for someone unfamiliar with it to navigate and by the time the party triggered her Alarm spell she was out the window (with an illusion left behind) and running away. Eventually they captured her and handed her over to Croft then showed up at her execution and ensured she would never escape with Blackjack while winning major points with Ileosa as they carried out the execution of her personally.
Thanks for keeping the great ideas coming. Love your journal of your campaign as well!
One possibility i just thought of is to have the encounter between Endrin and the queen occur after the party gets Neopopolis back from the Arkonas. When the party brings Neopopolis to Croft they find Ileosa there conducting a re-organization of the military style meeting with some of the higher up officers including Endrin. Endrin makes his move against Ileosa and shoots her with the arrow failing to drop the queen. The party could then join in a fight perhaps to try and save Endrin from capture (I don’t think his actual torture at the hand of Ileosa in chapter 4 really has much story implications) and a wounded Ileosa would be less likely to viciously kill the party and more likely to flee to safety after a few rounds of combat. I like the thought of the book ending with the party fleeing Citadel Volshyenek the vengeful gaze of Ileosa firmly on them.
I love this idea. How the Grey Maidens go from nothing to replacing the majority of armed forces in a city the size of Korvosa in under a month really bothered me too. Would go something like this….
Grey Maiden recruitment drives underway (already worked into my campaign)
Starts off as a personal honor guard for Ileosa near the end of Edge of Anarchy
Grey Maidens grow in numbers and influence swelling to around 200 in total size by the end of Seven Days to the Grave
Croft captured just after the start of Escape from Old Korvosa (after she tells the queen that she sent the party after Neopopolis)
Ileosa starts making Croft clones using ancient runelord magic. By the end of Escape from Old Korvosa she has enough Grey Maidens to replace the Sable Company Marines and take over the Korvosan Guard
This should also give Marcus Endrin a better reason to go after the queen. He knows something is up and has discovered that Croft was taken prisoner and is incarcerated in some infernal prison.
Think I'll keep him as a rakshasa. Something new for the party to fight and plays well with one of the characters backgrounds. One of the players is playing an impersonation / charlatan type character that got Glorio's "son" (a student at the Acadamae) accidently killed and then used his skills to impersonate the son. Since most of his time is spent at the Acadamae and he has likely never actually been to the Arkona Estate so I don't think it will be an issue when the party infiltrates it. Glorio of course knows that the character isn't his son. In reality the "son" was never Glorio's son but someone Glorio planned to kill and take on his persona in a few years anyway. Should make things exciting when they get to Escape from Old Korvosa and things come to a head.
Of course, now you have me wondering how and when the PCs will learn that Ileosa is the evil puppeteer. Starting from book 3 in the AP, the PCs’ main motivation is trying to stop the evil queen, so how will you swing that?
I haven't figured out fully how Escape from Old Korvosa is going to flow. There are some changes that need to happen and a few issues I need to resolve.
By the end of Chapter 3 the party should realize that the queen tricked them and they are partially responsible for her rise to power. They should also start to realize there is more to the queen then meets the eye. She isn't just a fragile woman but has powerful magical powers at her disposal.
I am unsure if Marcus Endrin still attempts to assassinate Ileosa? If so I need to add something that makes it actually make sense to do. I also don't like the idea that it happens off camera. It's risky if the PCs are present when it happens but adds more weight to things. If it does happen I'm pretty sure that it won't be invincible Ileosa absorbs a killing blow. I want her to still seem like a fragile woman growing into being a queen. Most likely Sabina will jump in front of the arrow, taking a mortal wound that Ileosa is able to heal with her magic. Just need a realistic reason for Marcus to attack that isn't completely out of place for a military leader in a LN aligned city.
The Korvosan Guard aren’t going to be a gutted organization. I don’t see any way that the Grey Maidens could possibly have enough numbers to replace the guard AND the Sable Company in such a short period of time. Most likely a number of guard captains will be replaced with Grey Maidens but the guard will be mostly still intake. Croft, though, is definitely feeling the strain under all the new regulations she has to deal with and feels her power over the guard eroding.
Book 3 will still start off with Croft learning that the missing seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis has been spotted in Old Korvosa. The information coming in from her long time friend Vencarlo Orisini. Eager to know why he is hiding out in Old Korvosa but unable to send in her own agents to find out she turns to the party.
Another possibility is having the party go to Old Korvosa at the queen's request. Frustrated that her Red Mantis haven't been able to kill off Kalepopolis she turns to the party to do the deed for her.
I also don’t see any reason why Croft keeps this information form Ileosa. By telling Ileosa the appearance of the Red Mantis assassins make more sense. Also telling Ileosa that the party is going after him creates a bit of panic in Ileosa that starts her plans to end the involvement of the party in the affairs on Korvosa. Finally, Ileosa sees the need to remove Croft from her position leading the Korvosan Guard and replace her with someone more loyal.
The bulk of book 3 I see playing out exactly how the module suggests with the party going into Old Korvosa (still under quarantine) to track down Kalepopolis. The major changes aren’t going to be about what encounters happen (though I’ll need to read through all the encounters to see if they are internally consistent with the story changes.)
The major changes I see revolve more around Ileosa and her continued grab at power in the city.
Ileosa has Croft arrested and incarcerated in Citadel Vraid by the Hellknights (in my story the Hellknights are still aligned with Ileosa for the time being.) Part of the changes to book 4 would include the party breaking into the Citadel to free Croft.
When the party extracts Kalepopolis and brings him to Croft for questioning they find Ileosa there instead. This leads to a confrontation with Ileosa where she reveals her true infernal nature to the party and a fight breaks out. Ileosa is well beyond the ability of the party to beat and just the number of guards on her side would make for overwhelming forces. Kalepopolis and Orinsini would urge the party to retreat and regroup. There is always the danger in any encounter like this but I think it lays a better Ileosa turns heel moment then if the party learns about her turn off camera. (Note that this entire encounter would need a lot more work from me to make it feel right.)
I want to add something that hints to the horrible fate Ileosa has in store for the party. I think the best way to handle this is for Kalepopolis to get an indication that Ileosa is after something related to Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust. That would help foreshadow Ileosa’a plans in book 6 to consume the lifeforce of Korvosa to fuel her immortality.
From this point on the adventure shifts from helping Ileosa solidify her base of power to stopping Ileosa’s plans for Korvosa.
All The World’s Meat
Blackjack and the Hellknights
On their way back to delivery Verik to Croft, the party stumbled across a group of Hellknights publicly executing looters while a crowd of horrified people watch. Accused of looting, the Hellknight captain convicted each looter to a punishment of beheading, their heads to be strung up as warning to others lawbreakers. Just as the first looter would be executed Blackjack makes his appearance, shooting the captain in the shoulder while yelling out “Hellknights you have failed Korvosa for the last time!” In the chaos Blackjack frees two of the looters (who flee) and then runs as the Hellknights give chase. One Hellknight remains summoning in a trio of legion devils for support and prepares to continue the executions.
Unwilling to let the looters be executed, the party approaches the lone Hellknight unsure exactly how to act. What ends up happen perplexed even me.
Grayson decides he cannot allow the executions to continue and calls the Hellknight to stand down.
Stone uses Disguise Self to take on the appearance of Blackjack and calls out the Hellknight.
The legion devils prove tough to take down but eventually the party bests the devils and Hellknight.
At the end of the fight there is a concern from the party at killing the Hellknight given the lawful right of the Hellknights to dispense order in Korvosa. Those thoughts are laid to rest, though, when Ostiver darts out of hiding and shanks the Hellknight a few times ensuring he won’t tell anyone how the party stopped the lawful Hellknights from punishing looters stealing from local shops… And then there was Blackjack… And Blackjack again…
A week or so later, back at the citadel, Croft had another mission for the party. Cheliaxian ambassador Darvayne Gios Amprei was being blackmailed by Devargo Barvasi, a local crime lord, to provide funding for an anarchist movement preparing to move against the crown.
The party asks Croft how they came across this information and she introduces them to Vencarlo Orisini, a long time friend with many contacts around town. Vencarlo, looking into who this Meliya might be at the request of Croft, learned about Amprei and the blackmailing. Vencarlo is pretty vague about exactly how he got this information and the party doesn’t really press him for it.
At the Eel’s End, Stone disguises himself as a wealthy noble seeking an audience with Devargo. Stone tries to barter for the letters with Devargo asking for a huge sum of money in return for them (something like 5,000 gps.) Stone promises to return with the money.
The next day Stone comes back to Devargo with an empty chest he claims has the gold in it. When pressed to open the chest so Devargo can check the goods combat ensues, the trap door to the Ettercap flings open, and a bunch of wannabe gangsters die to party attacks and spider venom.
Devargo quaffs his potion of invisibility and jumps below.
The party also jumps below, kills a bunch of spiders and the Ettercap, then search the area but don’t find Devargo who gathered up his magical items and fled the ship. Still the party recovers the letters for Croft.
To Kill a King
After things settle down a bit the party is ushered to a meeting with Queen Ileosa on a matter of utmost urgency. In the castle the party finds an enraged Ileosa yelling at the servants. Something is definitely up! Calming down to talk with Croft and the party, Ileosa lets the party know that she is impressed with the actions they have taken to ensure order in Korvosa following the unfortunate MURDER of her husband. That’s right! Ileosa lets the party know that it wasn’t natural causes that led to her husband’s death as previously suspected but an elusive poison administered by a skank painter Trinia. Just a week before falling ill, Trinia was hired to paint a portrait of the king. During those painting sessions Trinia slipped slow acting poison into the king’s wine that masks itself as a disease thus making diagnosis and treatment extremely difficult.
The party asks how this information was uncovered and Croft lets them know that a few days ago one of the guard captains in the castle reported a pair of guards missing. A search of the guards barrack uncovered letters between the guards and an unnamed person instructing the guards to hand over the poison delivered to them to a painter named Trinia to be used in poisoning the king. The guards have been found and apprehended, captured while trying to fence some expensive jewelry at a local pawn shop.
A furious Ileosa begs with the party to bring Trinia back, alive if possible, to her. Ileosa wants Trinia to answer for her crimes but does promise a full trial before any action taken against her.
The party wants to speak with the two apprehended guards before heading off after Trinia but Croft insists they get Trinia first then she can arrange to speak with the guards telling the party it would take a few days to arrange for them to interrogate the guards.
The party finds Trinia’s residence without too much trouble. Once there they send Liam and Ostiver around to keep an eye on the backside while the rest head up.
Trinia, upon hearing the party approach, bolts. It takes Ostiver a few rounds to spot her running away from the apartment but he jumps into pursuit with the rest of the party a few rounds behind. Eventually Ostiver’s skill at maneuvering through an urban chase prevails and he tackles Trinia.
With Trinia captive, the party rushes back to her apartment thinking of what to do next. So far the prevalent party thought is Trinia must be framed. Possible plans include hiding her away at the fish factory, sneaking her out of town, or handing her over to the authorities (this being the least popular option.) Liam reminds the party that the apartment is under watch by the Sable Company Marines so they already know she’s been captured.
Unconvinced that Trinia could be guilty but seeing no way to smuggler her to safety the party decides it best to interrogate her at her apartment then decide the best course of action. Trinia, having just been chased from her home and tackled on a rooftop has no desire to cooperate and refuses to answer questions. Soul Eater tries to intimidate Trinia with threats of bodily harm should she fail to answer their questions. Trinia grows more stubborn! Finally the party decides the best way to get the truth is through a Zone of Truth spell the newest member, Fole a priest of Abadar, has memorized (this being the new character that replaced the recently beheaded dwarf.) Trinia fails her save and the questioning starts. When it’s all over the party learns that Trinia is a staunch supporter of anarchists, hates the queen something fierce, is glad the king died, is familiar with Meliya, and treasures the day the government topples. She never admits (or denies) that she poisoned the king so the party is sure she must be innocent! Unfortunately the Sable Company Marines come for her and the party has no option but to hand her over.
Of importance, the party learns Meliya is a Vudrani leading an anarchist revolt against the throne. Some investigation into the Vudrani reveals that almost all Vudrani in the city are link with House Arkonas.
The final encounter for the night led the party to the Dead Warrens deep in the Grey District. The two apprehended guards were broken out of prison while the party went after Trinia and escaped the citadel. Croft is pissed and asks the party to see if they can track them down. A few Survival and Diplomacy checks later the party learn of eye witness accounts of the guards disappearing into the Grey District at a place called the Dead Warrens.
In the Dead Warrens the party fights crazy Derro, learns that the guards were butchered by someone called Rolth, and that Rolth is in leagues with Meliya. After defeating Rolth’s derro apprentice, the party finds a note from Meliya
Rolth I pray your preparations are in order. Our “superiors” expect results and I will not disappoint. Better to be one of your experiments then fail. Bring your shipments to the staging area. With the muscle you provide and the cattle I’ve gathered from the streets we will bring low this dretch of a city so our masters can remake it in their glorious image. I can barely contain the excitement to come. Oh how blood will flow like water down the street.
Written hastily on the note in a different hand is an address “47 High Lane off Field Marshal Avenue” and a date “Rova 13 Oathday!” and a note “Bring backup” Rova 13 Oathday is two days away.
Appreciate the feedback. It's spurred some new ideas on how to tighten up the story.
How I see this.
First, it plays with Ileosa's manipulative personality to convince a group of heroes to further her goals.
Second, it grants Ileosa third party validation so that other's won't be able to point at her setting things up. It wasn't her Grey Maidens that uncovered a plot by the Sable Company Marines and put an end to it only to then replace the Sable Company but a well regarded group of heroes that have already prevented an anarchist plot against the crown (in chapter one.)
Third, it gives the party a reason to trust in Ileosa more instead of feed the instant suspicion then have because "the queen must be the bad person."
Ileosa likely sees herself as so far above the party that they are but pawns for her ploy. Sure that will come back to bite her in the ass.
I could see the man living to be interrogated. The purpose of him dying wasn't so much to limit the party from having access to him as much as it was to keep him in the background, some information passed along from Croft that she didn't think much of at the time but now has more meaning. Either way I would prepare a background for the person assuming that the party would try to investigate who he was and would want to provide them some info for their efforts.
The plague masks I think are too much of a tip to the party that the Queen's Physicians are bad people and will cast immediate suspicion on them. I think the mask's primary purpose is to prevent alignment detection and thus the physicians wear them at all times. I don't really understand why else the physicians are wearing masks while meeting with Croft in a circumstance that has no real chance of infection and I think the party will come to the same conclusion. I can easily see the party going straight to the hospice and skipping everything else. Rather then open up that possibility it's easier to remove the masks entirely. To work back in the masks I'd probably have the physicians at the hospice wearing the masks as an aid to prevent infection while treating people. That makes a lot more sense.
Good point. I am trying to avoid the immediate suspicion that will get cast on Ileosa because hiring Davaulus was her idea so this would give her a reason for bringing him on. It's possible she doesn't really need the reason. I would like to flesh out his backstory in a way that doesn't tip the party off to what's going on. Looking into who Davaulus is would be a logic path for the party to follow. Croft, I imagine, would also immediately try to dig up as much on Davaulus as possible. Maybe he has regional fame for preventing plagues in other cities giving him a bit of a reputation? A doctor that engineers a plague, lets it loose on a city, then shows up and offers to assist the rulers in fighting it off for a pretty bit of coin.
The idea would be that Vendra learned that Carowyn is working on a cure for Blood Veil and wrote a note down to inform Rolth of this. Like a memo or something. The actual note would probably be a letter addressed to Rolth asking for progress on dealing with the Carowyn problem that she hadn't had a chance to deliver to Rolth before the party shows up.
Thanks for these great ideas! Most of the things leading up to the Carowyn estate, while not really related to Blood Veil, at least seemed plausible to happen. The Carowyn party was just so random that it felt like it was added in as a filler encounter to get encounter numbers up.
There are a few things that really bug me that I'm trying to fix.
First, if the hospice is teaming with Grey Maidens and the hospice is uncovered as a cover for the Cult of Urgathoa why wouldn't the entire city revolt when Ileosa replaces the Sable Company with the Grey Maidens in chapter 3?
Second, in Chapter 3 why does Ileosa disband the Sable Company? It just seems she is acting without any cause and a smart manipulative villain would try to ensure that her actions had just cause.
Third, why does Marcus Endrin try to kill Ileosa at the start of Chapter 3? Didn't make any sense to me.
I agree with you that charm person / domination shouldn't be overly used. How about a different take on things.
Ileosa, using her non-magical charming ways is able to corrupt one of the higher ranking Sable Company Marine captains. This would be one of the direct reports to Marcus Endrin. We'll call this person Captain Maeca Salus. The seduction could be a combination of philosophical corruption and bodily seduction but the result gives Ileosa a high ranking Sable Company Marine captain.
Maeca works to manipulate marine assignments so that the people reporting under him are those more inline with his way of thinking (probably the more LE nature members of the Sable Company Marines.) Ileosa could have started putting this plan in motion before Eodred even died giving her years for Maeca to prepare.
Maeca probably thinks that Ileosa is preparing for him to replace Endrin as the commandant of the Sable Company Marines. In actuality Ileosa is looking for a fall person to take the blame that allows her Grey Maidens to ascend to power.
Blindly dedicated to Ileosa Maeca doesn't question when ordered to place guards at the hospice. Maeca might even know what's going on though I don't know it's important he does.
Probably some of the Sable Company Marines stationed in the hospice are hesitant to help what is obviously a group of doctors showing no interest in curing the disease but as military people they are use to following orders even if they don't understand them. This could give the party a source of information if they can convince the less eager Sable Company guards to talk. All indications of why they are here and what they are doing would point back to Maeca and not Ileosa as the rank and file Sable Company Marine probably has no idea that Maeca is involved with Ileosa.
To pull things off I'd have to have Maeca as an encounter in the hospice. A confused party that comes across a fanatically loyal Maeca seems a must. Having Maeca some off stage character the party hears about but never meets undermines the involvement of the marines and leaves a pretty big plot hole.
I think this solves most of my problems?
It gives a reason for the Sable Company Marine to get disbanded due to their involvement spreading the plague under the leadership of a high ranking marine captain while allowing the core of the marines to still be of use when the party finally acts against Ileosa in the future. I'd see it like a Three Musketeers moment from the movie when the disbanded Sable Company Marines comes out of "retirement" to take up arms against the queen.
It gives a reason for the Grey Maidens to take over for the Sable Company Marines and not be the ones actually defending the spreaders of the plague at the same time.
And it gives Ileosa her pawns to enact her plan without needing to dominate half the city to do it. This allows Ileosa to remain removed from suspicion for as long as possible.
Overview of Changes
My Ileosa is a master of manipulation playing the PCs in her bid to solidify control over Korvosa so she can enact her plan and ascend to immorality. As such she is depending on the party to help her end the threats to her beloved Korvosa. The fact that she is the one engineering these threats isn’t evident yet and shouldn’t come to light for a long time.
Ileosa is a Lawful Evil person and the thought that she would commit genocide without a good reason seems out of place to her alignment. That seems like the actions of a Chaotic Evil person. Ethnic Cleansing that cements her rule over the city though, that seems more in line with her alignment.
The events as written in the module don’t have much to do with stopping the spread of the plague. Most of the encounters before the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden have nothing to do with the plague at all and there is no path that really leads the party to conclude that they need to be at the Hospice besides Croft telling them to go there.
City returned to normal though heavy patrols still searching for remnants of anarchist cells.
Arkonas refute the accusations of involvement and lacking hard evidence Ileosa doesn’t take direct action against them. Still Arkonas largely withdraw to Old Korvosa to regroup.
Party given opportunity to explore the city, craft, shop, find rumors, and other activities.
A Queen’s Request
Ileosa fears a plague unleashed on her city that threatens the very people she rules. She asks the party to investigate matters before they get any worse and report back to her what they learn.
Croft takes the party back to the citadel. Party meets Grau and learn his niece Brienna fell ill a few days ago with symptoms that match those turning up around the city.
Croft informs the party that plague not of natural origins. Two Korvosan guards, during a routine patrol in Old Korvosa, apprehended a crazed man thought a remnant of the Anarchist cell. The man, sickly and near death when arrested, blabbered on about an engineered plague released into the city as punishment for Ileosa’s sins against Korvosa. Occurred over a week ago but with no signs of a plague or any other information no follow up. The man died shortly after integration but before passing said this. “Slow to start … soon the real threat will consume you all.”
An Introduction to Blood Veil
The party learns about the disease through Heal checks or magic and can cure Brienna.
Ishani invites the party to the Temple of Abadar if they wish to learn more about the plague from the priests.
At the temple the party sees first hand the scope of infected as hundreds of diseased citizens beg for healing from the overwhelmed priests.
The party also learns about the missing Arbiter, Zenobia but with little context to make it meaningful.
The Queen’s Physician
Party learns some information about Davaulus; he was someone always highly spoken about by the now missing Seneschal Neolandus as a medical genius and often times called upon by Eodred and his mother in times of need.
Davaulus based out of Hospice of the Blessed Maiden. Hospice was an Arkonas warehouse just a month ago when it was gifted to a mysterious benefactor and made a hospice in an unexpected gesture by the Arkonas.
Party should make frequent reports and visits with Ileosa. Ileosa desires to build rapport with the party as valued pawns for future use.
Crash of the Direption
The night the party meets with Davaulus the Direption crashes into the harbor, shot down by the cannons protecting Korvosa harbor. While unusual for an unidentified ship to get shot down, heighten tension from the plague and lingering anarchist fears led to increased security.
No immediate leads pointing to the Direption, Croft welcomes the party to investigating if they want. After a few days Croft mentions, in earshot of the PCs, that the people she sent to check out the ship never returned and preps another team to look into things. Eventually Croft asks the PCs if they have time to check into it.
Add encounter in the Captain’s Quarters where Rois Vindmel has returned to unlife as a ghost haunting the Captain’s Cabin howling the name “Andaisin.”
The ship had a number of canisters of Blood Veil rigged to explode when the ship contacted the harbor docks. The explosion would have propelled Blood Veil into the dock district spreading the disease. Instead the canisters exploded when the ship was sunk leaving the interior sections of the ship exposed to Blood Veil.
Quarantine of Old Korvosa
As most of the plague is being spread in Old Korvosa, a place with higher concentration of poor people, Ileosa must decide if Old Korvosa should be quarantined or not. Croft favors a quarantine to limit exposure (she is LN and not good aligned) while Davaulus opposes it for fear that it could condemn hundred or even thousands to death (in reality he doesn’t want to prevent the spread of the disease and realizes a quarantine would do just that.)
Ileosa asks the party for their input but absent of any compelling argument by the PCs goes forward with the quarantine, mentioning it’s justice for the Arkonas after what they put her through.
Riots in the Street
A group of locals, not happy with increased curfew laws and the quarantine of Old Korvosa start to violently protest the blockade point. This prompts a reaction for the Hellknights that wipes out the rioters unless the PCs can intervene and bring about a more peaceful solution.
Wererats Pushing the Plague
Additionally rumors of mysterious silver drops left by cloaked forms crop up in the poorer sections of town with many poor people on the look out for these “cloaked’ saviors.
If investigated the PCs stumble upon one such silver drop leading to a confrontation with wererats.
Tracking back the wererats to their lair puts the PCs at the sewer entrance.
This investigation ends with the party finding a cache of tainted silver and a reference of more shipments on the way from the “Toy Shop.”
A Cure! Or is It?
Vendra is in the shop selling “a cure” for Blood Veil that promises to not only cure those infected but prevent the uninfected from contracting the disease.
In reality Vendra works for Davaulus, though all her contact has been with the Rolth.
The “cure” Vendra sells is actual contaminated with Blood Veil and provides another way to spread disease through the city.
Notes found in the shop point to the “Toy Shop” as the source for her cure and also note concerns about an actual cure that could be in development with a note that reads “Rolth must know they are close to a cure! Carowyn.”
The Infected Undead
One such cart, full of corpses headed for disposal in the Grey District, encounters a problem when the corpses on the cart awaken as undead plague ghouls and start terrorizing things.
The party, not far from where the trouble is, can investigate and put down the undead plague ghouls.
The vampire spawns in the toy shop work for Ramoska Arkminos and are responsible for supplying Blood Veil to the various distribution channels that will unleash it on the city.
Clearing out the vampire spawns, the party finds a ledger that details all the ways for distribution of the disease (both those that have already happened and those planned for the future.) With this information Croft can start prevention of the plague spreading in the city.
To Stop a Cure
Should the party show the note from Vendra to Croft, she confides in the party about the cure and asks them to check on Carowyn Manor. Alternatively Croft will eventually approach the party when she admits to having lost contact with the manor for a few days and is worried something might have happened.
The encounter plays out mostly as written with a few exceptions. Jolistina arrives with assistance from the Sable Company Marines to butcher everyone in the house, mask their wounds, and make it look like they succumbed to the plague while researching a cure.
Add encounters with priests of Abador raised as undead to assist Jolistina.
In the Cellar of the manor the party can learn valuable information from Ausio Carowyn. Ausio recalls Sable Company Marines assisting Jolistina killing everyone in the house. He also remembers mention of a Hospice but cannot remember the full name just that it was “blessed.” He also lets the party know that many of his servants were taken away by the Sable Company Marine instead of being butchered though he cannot fathom why.
Hospice of the Blessed Maiden
The only real change required to this encounter is replacing all Grey Maidens with Sable Company Marines.
After the party defeats Andaisin, a detachment of Grey Maidens under the authority of Ileosa secure the place.
What Really Happened?
Ileosa then hires the Red Mantis and brings in the Cult of Urgathoa to engineer a plague to spread across the city (as well as a cure her chosen heroes will find to save the city.) Fearful of a plague that would actually cause harm to herself she is ensured that the plague can be engineered to exclude those of Cheliax blood from infection.
With things in place Ileosa dominates Major Maeca Salus of the Sable Company and uses him as the “orchestrator” of things. As far as key villains are concerned Maeca is the one calling the shots. She is determined that the party discovers the role of the Sable Company Marines in what is going on and plans to use this as the perfect opportunity to disband the Sable Company, replacing them with her Grey Maidens.
Ileosa then ensures the breadcrumbs are laid that will tip off the Korvosan Guard to the nefarious nature of the plague and calls on the party to assist her in stopping it.
I agreement with Val'bryn here. It's pretty clear that, had the sacrifices been willing, they would have been legal and even had the blessing of the queen. The only thing that questioned their legality was the notion that multiple woman seemed to be under a compulsion or charm effect.
Now, making that kind of sacrifice illegal in someone's campaign is totally cool. If you use the source material as a basis for legality though the law seems to indicate that willing vs unwilling is where the line gets drawn.
Point of clarification. Human sacrifice (or elven / dwarven / halfling / etc) is not illegal. Sacrifice of unwilling people is illegal. At the opening of the newly created temple to Asmodeus there was a sacrifice of 13 virgin woman offered up. I believe this is detailed in the Guide to Korvosa. Since the 13 virgins were suppose to have been "willing" it was legal.
While I haven't gotten to this point with my group yet I already plan changing the contents of the adventure dramatically. Instead of focusing on the Shoanti at all this chapter is getting replaced with an adventure where the party frees Kroft from being captured by the Hellknights and unravels more of the mystery of what is going on with Ileosa.
Scarwall is probably changing as well to take place in the dungeon under Castle Korvosa or one of the other dungeons under Korvosa. For a city sitting on a mountain of ancient ruins it's disappointing that the adventure path doesn't really incorporate them much.
I'll have some plan B in place but I'm pretty sure things will be fine. Actual interaction with the queen is pretty limited and her bluff skill is through the roof so she can probably succeed even if she rolls a 1 against a party member 20. The act of casting spells in her presence would probably cause the offending party member to be tossed in jail (not legal to cast spells in the presence of the ruler without permission) and I'm sure she has something in place to mask her true intentions (the adventure even goes to length to talk about some ways she does that.)
The key is going to be building a rapport with the party so they don't think she is behind it all.
Campaign kicked off with six eager players sitting around the table ready for the Curse of the Crimson Throne. The game is using a modified 3.5 ruleset that replaces the core 3.5 skill system and combat actions with the Pathfinder skill system and Combat Maneuver system (including all feats and reduced power of all class abilities related to Combat Maneuver checks.)
I started the campaign at 2nd level and adjusted early encounters to bump the difficulty. Primarily this was done to make characters more resilient. Since I’m doing the “level when I say level” system of XP it shouldn’t be a problem.
Before our first session, I sent the following email out to the group to set things up.
Why you say?
Each person has their own reasons to want petty crime lord Gaedren Lamm dead but dead they want him.
Each of the characters, minding their own business around Korvosa, fond themselves in possession of a letter under the most unusual of circumstances. A character could have found the letter hidden in the pages of their spell book, tucked under the altar of their deity, at the bottom of a tankard of ale they swore they just drank, or hiding innocently in the pocket of a person they just picked. How the letter came to your possession, no matter how unpractical, is less important then what the letter says. This letter, sent to so many vastly different people says the same thing.
I know what Gaedren had done to you. He has wronged me as well. I know where he dwells, yet cannot strike at him directly. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at noon tomorrow. Others like you will be there. Others with the same want for Gaedren you do. Gaedren must face his fate, and justice must be done.
However impractical the situation seems, each of you finds yourself on the way to 3 Lancet Street for a meeting that will shape not only your future but the future of Korvosa herself.
The first session starts with the following characters showing up at Zellara’s abandoned abode.
Soul Eater is a human Barbarian / Crusader. Little is known about the “savage” Soul Eater though many suspect a traumatic childhood. Soul Eater fights with a greatsword, wears a suite of grotesque spiked armor, and paints his face before battle to instill the fear of the Soul Eater in his foes.
Ostiver Northgale is a halfling Swashbuckler / Rogue. Having grown up on the streets of Korvosa, Ostiver is well adept at the arts of stabbing people in the back, picking the pockets of nobles, and an important sense of self preservation.
Llana is a female elf Crusader. A champion of the people Llana specializes in the protection of her companions and the less fortunate around her. Llana fights with the traditional sword and shield and utilizes her Crusader abilities to impede enemies foolish enough to ignore her in battle.
Stone is by far the biggest enigma in the party. A human Beguiler / Conjuration Specialist Stone is a student of the Academae as Cheswin Arkonas, son of Glorio Arkonas. In reality, Stone is a highly skilled at impersonations. About six months ago, Stone was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of the “real” Cheswin Arkonas (placed by Glorio for his next succession) and has been impersonating Cheswin as a way to gain access to the Academae and further his arcane schooling. Stone has already been “found out” by one of the Arkonas, a distant cousin Emiliana, intent on dethroning Glorio and plotting how to use Stone as part of that plan.
Liam Stone is the last member of the party. A human Rogue / Cleric, Liam is still unsure his character’s direction.
Zellara showed up and pleaded her case with the party. She knew Lamm’s location and, after explaining her story about how Lamm stole her harrow deck and murdered her son, the party agreed to take him out.
I skipped the harrow deck reading entirely. While flavorful I just went through the Curse of Strahd adventure that relied heavily on a Tarot deck and didn’t want to repeat themes as much. I think just removing Zellara after Gaedren won’t impact the story in any meaningful way.
I made modifications to this encounter as a whole (using the same map) to adjust to party size and having a 2nd level party. Gaedren had an additional three dogs roaming the interior. Additionally Gaedren, Yargin, Hookshanks, and Giggles all got upgrades to make them more formidable. Finally a female bard was downstairs with Gaedren.
The assault on Lamm’s hideout went without much incident. The party sent Liam down the right side boardwalk towards the boat to act as lookout while the Ostiver picked the front door lock and the party headed in.
Yargin and Hookshanks were the first to fall. The party stumbled into Yargin catching him by surprise as he was beating on a pair of Lamm’s Lambs. After the surprise round Yargin and his dog put up a feeble effort but despite his upgrade to Alchemist, Yargin easily fell. During the fight, Hookshanks rallied the Lambs in the Upper Workroom and they rushed to flank the party making feeble attacks. Hookshanks was able to get in a few good blows disguised as a Lamb before a Color Spray ended him. The party took care not to harm the Lambs instead resorting to diplomacy and intimidate to keep them at bay. Finally defeated the party left Hookshanks and Yargin tied up and freed the Lambs. Zorach supplied the Lambs with some coin and a place to stay.
The party set up a three prong attack on the Fishery Floor using the entrances from inside the building (they failed to pick the door off the left side boardwalk.) Giggles was prepared for the party. The boardwalk door, right side door, and left side door each had a dog ready to pounce on anyone coming through it while Giggles stood prepared at the middle door into the Fishery Floor.
Stone opened the door to the fishery first and thus became the first party member to drop into unconsciousness (though didn’t die.) Giggles stood ready and in surprise (Stone made no attempts to see if anything was on the other side) it took just one mighty blow from Giggles flail and Stone lay on the ground. This fight was a bit tougher for the party but eventually Zorach ended Giggles decapitating the half orc, whose head flew into the vat of fish stew.
With the majority of the complex secured but Lamm nowhere in sight the party questioned Hookshanks as Yargin was unconscious having taken a large dose of nonlethal damage. Hookshanks cut a deal with the party. He’d spill the beans on Lamm if the party let him walk away. An agreement was made and Hookshanks let the party know Lamm was hiding out in a room beneath the building accessible by the boat.
At this point we had the first signs of party conflict! Hookshanks felt he provided his end of the deal and demanded to be let free. Stone decided to question Hookshanks on a number of other things related to Lamm’s operation and clients and such to which Hookshanks didn’t answer pointing out that wasn’t part of the deal. Stone grew upset and lobbed a few Acid Orbs (from the wand found on Yargin). Having been captured at nearly full hit points Hookshanks wasn’t too phased by the d3 damage done to him Soul Eater cut him loose (to the shock of Stone). Hookshanks bolted out the door calling the party “oppressors!”
After that there was a brief discussion about waking up Yagrin to get more information. Some quick math determined it would be hours before Yagrin healed enough nonlethal damage to awaken and the party lacked any sort of healer. The ask from Stone to use one of the cure light potions the party found was quickly rebuffed in favor of healing injured party members.
Then started the discussion on how to reach Lamm and why the party doesn’t just hack up the wooden floor between them and Lamm. That went on for about a half hour of real time before the players gave up when they realized the amount of HPs and hardness they’d need to overcome.
Fearful of the shark Ostiver kept seeing circling the fishery, the party tossed Giggles into the river to distract it, effectively removing it from the fight. Still to add a bit of suspense during the final encounter with Gaedren, I had a die I referred to as the “Shark Die” That I would tick down while I made comments about how the shark seemed a little closer each round. In reality the die didn’t mean anything besides adding a bit of tension to things.
Finally the party headed for the boat and made quick work of the spiders that Hookshanks neglected to inform them of (though someone in the party did mention he might not have known about them…..) The party headed down the cramped boardwalk to Gaedren’s Playground taking care to send people in spaced out.
By the time the party headed into the room Gaedren and the mysterious female bard were ready. Both had invisibility spells active allowing Gaedren to get in sneak attack and the bard to hide before making a suggestion on Llana (in heavy armor) to jump into the pool with Gobblegut. This fight was fierce and in the end the party killed Gaedren though the mysterious bard managed to escape down the boardwalk before the party could stop her. I’ll be sure to use her again later in the adventure (probably in the warehouse raid.)
With all threats neutralized the party looted the place finding the treasure mentioned including Zellara’s head, her deck, the ledger book, and the queen’s brooch.
A quick visit to Gemshare Jewelers and the party learned they had a piece of jewelry that belonged to the queen. Deciding the proper course of action involved getting a reward for returning the jewelry, Stone grew excited to use his clout as an Arkonas to secure an audience with the queen and return the jewelry. Getting an audience with the king and queen proved a simple task though the actually introduction ended up pretty hilarious.
Before being brought before the king, the court attendant asked each member of the party what they wanted to be introduced as. Stone attempted to take over the show informing the attendant that they should be introduced as “Cheswin Arkonas of house Arkonas and entourage.” Zorach spoke up providing his own title as Zorach Grayson, Blademage and Unbreakable Stone Fist and Ostiver preferred to just be known as Ostiver. Llana and Liam each accepted they would be the entourage while Soul Eater wanted to be called what he is. Soul Eater! So the introduction went something like this….
In a loud and clear voice the attendant of the court announced “You Majesty I announce to you Zorach Grayson, Blademage and Unbreakable Stone Fist, Mister Ostiver, Cheswin Arkonas of house Arkonas and entourage and the Soul Eater.” The look of horror on Cheswin’s face started when he wasn’t announced first and grew when Soul Eater got announced. It was priceless.
Regardless, the party met the king who thanks them for the return of the jewelry and rewarded them with a chest of gold bars for their effort. The king then mentioned that there is still work to be done and the party could help. He gave them a contract to end the delays plaguing a road built through the mountains that would better connect Korvosa with Chelliax to the south. The road ran into issues in the Bloodsworn Vale.
After the contract, the king started coughing and is ushered away by the queen. The queen also turned to thank the party for what they have done and say she looks forward to hearing about their success in the Bloodsworn Vale. She then turns back to the king expressing her worry for his health and how she couldn’t live with the thought of anything happening to him.
Seneschal Kalepopolis escorted the party to the castle quartermaster where they can gather supplies for their journey to the Bloodsworn Vale.
Arriving at Fort Thorn, the party learned they aren’t the only visitors. A group of Hellknights from the Order of Nial rode through the vale two days ago and were contacted by the fort and offered payment if they could end the threat to the road workers. Disgruntled by the competition for the job, the party met with Sir Gyrad Tolgrith, head of Fort Thorn and the one in charge of the road construction. Tolgrith told the party that construction fell behind schedule as workers had recently gone missing on multiple occasions. At first only one or two would vanish but just two days ago an entire work crew of eight failed to return. Tolgrith sent out scouts to investigate but hasn’t learned any more then the location of the missing crew’s camp about eight miles to the east.
Some investigation turned up a few leads including
The King is Dead! Long Live the Queen!
Getting closer they started to make out flying forms zooming over the city then fireballs exploding in the sky. Finally reaching the city gates they learned that the king had died five days ago sparking mass rioting and calls of anarchy with one guard mentioning “those damn anarchists trying to make Korvosa a hell like Kaer Maga.”
In the city the party made their way to Citadel Volshyenek to cash in on their completed contract. The journey to the citadel went without incident though the party did see a troop of Hellknights obliterate a group of rioters and protesters without any mercy. This just reinforced how much the party hated the Hellknights.
At Citadel Volshyenek the party met with head of the Korvosan Guard Cressida Kroft. Tired after multiple days without sleep, Kroft secured payment for the contract and asked the party if they were interested in any additional work. She mentioned that both the guard and Sable Company Marines were overwhelmed trying to keep order and each time they stop one uprising they learn about another two.
About this time a priest of Abadar entered and cast a spell to remove fatigue from Kroft. Kroft thanksed the priest then mentioned to the party, after the priest left, that Abadar sure is making a heft profit off the riots.
She then went on to tell the party about a situation that needs a delicate hand to resolve. A former guard captain Verik Vancaskerkin deserted the guard and took a few members of the guard with him. They have been holed up in a place called All the World’s Meat. Kroft wanted the party to capture Vancaskerkin alive and bring him back to Kroft so he could be questioned about why he deserted.
The party agreed and the session ended.
If the PCs never meet the queen in the first chapter doesn't really impact things. The only important thing is that the PCs start to work for the Korvosan Guard. You can still have Kroft reach out to the PCs, impressed that they cleared out Lamm's hideout and offer them additional work.
Meeting the queen is nice to set attmosphere but isn't vital to anything that actually happens.
I've started the Edge of Anarchy with my party. Getting ready I made a number of modification (many can be see in my previous post). This thread will contain the outline for the Edge of Anarchy module that I'll be using along with the per session breakdown of how things played out. I've made a good amount of modifications to how things flow making changes to the backstory to better link all the modules together.
Curse of the Crimson Throne – Edge of Anarchy Outline
A devil worshiper of Mahathallah learns about Sorshen, the runelord of lust, and a device deep beneath the backwater “colony” of Korvosa that would grant Ileosa eternal life.
Knows that the Everdawn Pool will require the blood of Korvosa to activate.
Five years ago….
They were married in under 6 months.
Over the next four years Ileosa gained a reputation amongst the city as a promiscuous spoiled rich brat more interested in her life of luxury then the king or ruling Korvosa.
Two months ago….
Imbued with the strength of Kazavon’s spirit and emboldened by his cruelty Ileosa decided the time was right to seize control of Korvosa.
Worked with the Red Mantis and tricked the king’s own brother Venster into poisoning Eodred with an illness neither medicine or magic could cure.
The party dispatches Gaedren Lamm, recovers the Queen’s brooch, and in returning it to the palace gains an audience with the king and queen.
Get the impression that Ileosa is a loving wife worried about her ill husband and grateful for the party for returning her jewelry.
The king acts the part of a gracious king, rewarding the party for their efforts.
King provides the party with additional work, a mission to the Bloodsworn Vale to uncover activity that threatens the completion of a major road that promises to bring in more trade from Cheliax.
The party spends a week or so in the Bloodsworn Vale uncovering who is killing off the workers building the road through the mountains towards Cheliax.
Back in Korvosa….
King rumored to have died from advanced leprosy that resisted all attempts at healing.
Rioting dominates the streets providing opportunities for criminal elements to thrive and bringing in a swift and cruel response from the Order of Nail at request from the throne.
Ileosa calls upon her Red Mantis allies to dispose of the Seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis, eager to replace him with someone more akin to her disposition.
She also has Venester murdered to prevent him from talking about Ileosa’s role in killing the king.
Party meets Cressida Kroft who hires them for a series of missions.
All The World’s Meat
Let by Verik Vancaskerkin leading a gang that calls themselves the Cow Hammer Boys.
Cow Hammer Boys, under the orders of Verik, hire themselves out to deal with “problems” using he bodies at food to feed the masses of starving people.
Verik is working under orders of his lover “Meliya” to recruit a peasant army capable of going all French revolution on the throne.
Amprei blackmailed by Meliya to provide funding and support for the revolution.
Letters stored at Eel’s End by crime boss Devargo.
Amprei comes clean once he gets his letters back regretting that he doesn’t have much info to share just that he was making anonymous gold drops every over night to avoid embarrassment.
A guard captain comes forward with information that two guards under his duty recently went missing.
Letters found in the guard’s barrack led the captain to believe that they were supplying poison to a painter Trinia Sabor to use in poisoning the king.
Queen reaches out to the party to find this painter and bring her alive to the castle so she can face justice for what she’s done.
Finding the Guards
Track the guards down to the Grey District and the Dead Warrens.
Party learns that Rolth has an agreement with Meliya to supply constructs to assist in her attempt to overthrow the throne.
Guards are found dead, their body parts used in a pair of carrion golems Rolth intents to deliver to Meliya.
Party finds reference to where Meliya is staging the attempted coup.
During the fight Meliya gets away but the party is able to put down the resistance.
Party finds evidence that Meliya was working for House Arkonas.
Justice be done
At the party the trial of Trinia Sabor occurs.
The trail is overseen by the high priest of Asmodeus.
Trinia admits guilt, insults the queen, and cries out that only anarchy can free Korvosa from corruption.
Headsman arrives and the execution gets underway.
Blackjack appears from nowhere and saves Trinia, giving his speech against the queen, and escapes.
What Really Happened?
Ileosa planned the revolution and laid the seed to place blame on rival house Arkonas.
The guards didn’t actually supply the poison and Trinia didn’t actually administer it. Ileosa used her strong enchantment powers to force the confessions out of them as a way to strengthen her own position with the public and place more suspicion on house Arkonas.
After the chaos of the failed execution, things in Korvosa return to normal. The Hellknights from the Order of Nail return to their castle outside the city and the state of anarchy returns to the law and order the city is known for with Ileosa behind the throne.
First session coming up on Saturday and narrowed in on all the modifications for Chapter One.
Adventure starts off as per the Adventure Path. Party meets up at Zellara's house (before the campaign each player has already been sent the message from Zellara to meet up at her house.) The message specifies a meeting at noon to reduce the chances the party busts up the Old Fishery at night.
Old Fishery is mostly unchanged. I added some additional mobs and used beefed up versions of the named mobs I got from Skeld.
I've also used the idea that Skeld had to send the party off to the Bloodsworn Vale. The king (still alive) commissions the party to investigate delays in a road to Cheliax at the behest of the Sable Company Marines. I've taken parts of the Conquest of the Bloodsworn Vale adventure modifying it to suit my desire for a short excursion from the city (3-4 days would be perfect.)
Bloodsworn Vale will have the party look into road workers that have recently gone missing and include four main encounters
Once done the party returns to Korvosa to find the place in utter chaos.
From here I'll run things mostly by the book just adding in a few encounters.
I'll post how things went next week! I expect we'll get about half way through the Chapter One material over the weekend (we usually play 10-12 hour sessions.)
Think when my party gets to History of Ashes I'm going to keep the party entirely in the city. The assault on the Grey Maidens in the Mantis and Maidens section of History of Ashes is pretty good and I'll run the party through that. I think I'm going to include proof around what Ileosa is actually doing in the compound.
To make up for the cut material I've got an idea. Croft gets taken into custody by the Hellknights and taken away to the Hellknight base of operations within Korvosa (or perhaps Citadel Vraid.) The party needs to get her back. This probably involves infiltration into the Hellknight compound she is held in.
My solution to this was to tell the players that the campaign would be about saving the city of Korvosa from bad stuff about to happen to it. I then gave them to details of the city (recaps from the Guide to Korvosa book) and told them that whatever characters they made, it would be up to them to create characters that WANT to save this city. In that way I'm forming a social contract with the players in the game so we have a shared understanding of what to expect from the campaign.
My idea was to have Kazavon erupt out of the slain body of Ileosa and their fight against him the ultimate encounter of the campaign. Since one of my players is basically playing the reborn soul of one of the original party to contain Kazavon in the first place I think this makes a lot of sense and should bring closure to that character's personal story arc.
Finished up with book six and I've got some work ahead of me.
The part about aiding the rebellion is great stuff but I'll need to elaborate on this. Has anyone come up with a system to track party progress towards aiding the rebellion or any other Adventure Paths that introduce such a system?
Initial idea is to break down the city into logical groups. This could include...
Then as the players interact with or do things either favorable or opposed to the various organizations around the city they will earn a reputation score with that group. When the times comes to rally the troops in the final act this reputation score will play a key role in how successful the party is at finding missions and allies to oppose the queen.
Was anyone else put off about the introduction of Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, in chapter six? I don't think she was mentioned or alluded to anywhere else that I can remember in the book but all of a sudden she is the driving force behind what the Ileosa is doing in chapter six. I don't want to remove her. Most of my group is playing through Rise of the Runelords now (one of my players is the DM and I'm playing in the game) and I think they will love the little things that link the two adventure paths together (they are going to love the part Vorel Foxglove plays in the plague) but as is I feel Ileosa just randomly learning about Sorshen in the final chapter and making her grand plan right at the end of the adventure path lackluster.
I'm thinking of ways to introduce Sorshen from the start. Most likely Ileosa found the book before the campaign starts and has coveted eternal life but lacked the guts to actually do anything about it. She knew all about the Everdawn Pool and lusts to activate it knowing the sacrifice required but it wasn't until Kazavon's influence she could act on those desires.
How can I lay the seeds of this from the beginning without giving away the queen as a vain unlikable person. She is savvy enough to manipulate a party of low level adventures without breaking a sweet after all.
Any ideas? Maybe there is a spread of Lustful crimes around the cities as the riot happen caused by a runewell of Lust activating in the vaults under the city when Ileosa tapped into Kazavon?
I'm also pretty sure I need to move the Sunken Queen portion of the adventure to occur in the Pyramid under Castle Korvosa. This just makes to much sense. The idea of Ileosa activating a machine that will wipe out the city of Korvosa from under Korvosa makes way more sense then activating the machine from hundreds of miles away....
I don't know if you've read my journal, but it contains similar elements to the ones you're planning on using, like the PCs working for the seemingly innocent queen first, more focus on Korvosa, more foreshadowing, clearer introduction of the Gray Maidens, the king dying while the PCs are out of town, so the riots have time to grow ... I also kept the PCs more in Korvosa (I skipped Scarwall and had an alternative storyline in Korvosa instead). Anyway, you're welcome to mine my log for inspiration, although it is quite lengthy to read.
I started reading through your campaign journal. Some really good stuff there!
I also did something similar to this: the King was alive, but sickly, and the Queen appeared concerned about him and his condition.
Your thread is the one that gave me the idea!
As far as getting the Hellknights on your side goes, that's Neolandus' job: the seneschal has the ability to depose the monarch. So that lets the Hellknights act. Of course, they still may have to be convinced to act, which might involve some negotations... maybe even a sidequest or two.
I've got some ideas about the Hellknights. One option is to have the party uncover records from the queen that she has no intention of paying the Hellknights for their services rendered. As an organization purely in it for the gold that should cause them some second doubts.
Chapter Six: Crown of Fangs
Chapter Four: A History of Ashes
Chapter Two: Seven Days to the Grave
Ileosa will be the one that brings in the party to investigate what is happening as a personal favor for the queen. Doctor Davaulus and the Queen’s Physicians will have evidence planted by the Red Mantis (working for Ileosa) pointing blame at the Arkonas family. This will cause the Arkonas family to cry foul and lead to their actions in Chapter Three. In reality the doctor and physicians were working for Ileosa as written.
The Grey Maidens present in the Chapter assisting with the plague will be replaced with Sable Company Marines that Ileosa charmed to do her deeds (she is suppose to be a high level enchanter after all!) The Grey Maidens are going to make an entrance right at the end of the Chapter supporting the party in their final push to deal with the temple and then to deliver the antidote to the city that the party develops. This will give the Queen the perfect reason to disband the Sable Company Marines and replace them with the Grey Maidens in Chapter Three without anyone suspicious as to why she is doing it.
Chapter One: Edge of Anarchy
Keys to Accomplish in Chapter One
The Mining Town (Rough Outline)
Party uncovers a few leads.
Player #1 Human Warblade (Book of 9 Swords) / Wizard / Jade Phoenix Mage (Bo9S). The first player to submit his character idea wants to play a character that started off training in magic at the Theumanexus College and swordplay at the Orisini Academy. He wanted to stay true to the fluff of the Jade Phoenix Mage but adapted to something relevant to Golarion. This all worked out perfectly!
Player #2 Possibly Halfling Rogue going Whsiperknife (Races of Wild)
Player #3 Possibly Barbarian / Crusader (Book of 9 Swords) This player likes to pick class combinations that seem counter to each other and make them work. Last campaign he played a Paladin / Monk.
Player #4 Human Beguiler (Player’s Handbook 2) / Wizard / Ultimate Magus (Complete Mage)
Player #5 Talks about being some kind of skill monkey and threatens me with Spellthief (Complete Adventurer) but that class sucks!
Player #6 Can’t make up his mind
Player #7 No clue
I will be starting my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign in a few weeks. The party consists of 5 to 7 players (depending on who shows for a session.) All players have played extensively with each other over the past 10+ years so there is good player synergy at the table. We are all friends at the gaming table and outside of gaming.
Goal of this thread
While I like the CotCT adventure path a lot there are some modifications I plan to make (both small and large) to tailor the experience to my players and the type of game I like to run. My hope is this thread will help me work through those modifications, document how things turned out, and get feedback from the larger community.
Overarching Story Vision
I just got my order for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Skulls and Shackles set today and noticed that I got two sets of the cards that run from middle spells though middle blessings and did not get a set of cards that includes most of the monsters, all the barriers, all the weapons, all the armor, and half the spells.
How can I rectify this problem and get the correct set of cards?