Sleepy laReef's Curse of the Crimson Throne Campaign Journal (spoilers)

Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Hey, this is my first time trying this, so let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. We just finished Wrath of the Righteous, one of my friends ordered the updated Curse of the Crimson Throne, and they asked me to run it. This is my first table top campaign. Previously I've run LARPs and the first 4E module, but this will be the longest, most in depth thing I've been responsible for (you know, other than work). I've been dropping in on this forum in order to steal ideas, and I figured what the heck, let me try. Here goes nothing.

I had some advance notice of us doing this, before the hard cover came out, so I went out and found the 3.5 Module online plus the Korvosa book, and I was able to read my way through them while we were finishing up the last adventure path. I hadn't quite finished the hardcover before we started, but I was pretty deep into it. Another friend picked up the Hook Street module, and I plan on interweaving that into the Adventure Path.

My players shouldn't be here. If you are, shoo. I don't want you reading my plans in advance.

Komara Mormont - Half-Orc (Varisian) Sorceror (Ectoplasm Bloodline). His Varisian family left Ustalev for undisclosed reasons, heading west to Varisia for a better life. Alas, luck was not with them, and Belkszen raiding parties stole most of the family. Komara's grandfather escaped and was able to hire a group of adventurers to retrieve his missing family. Unfortunately, they were only able to rescue his daughter, who suffered the usual unpleasant orkin experiences leading to a childbirth eight months after her rescue. The three of them have lived in Korovosa ever since. When Komara was a young man, his mother committed suicide, no longer able to live with her memories. Komara joined Pharasma's Crows, those men and women hired to cart Magnimar's dead to the Grey District.

That was pretty much his backstory. He's a Goth wannabe (like Victorian Goth) who is kind of creepy. I decided that the Orcs who kidnapped his family were a strange group who believed that by sacrificing people to Scarwall, they could keep the Haunted Castle from expanding it's presence. Most of this group died when the adventurers rescued Komara's mom, while the rest of his dead family awaits him one room into Scarwall. When his mother died, her spirit was pulled by her grief and terrible past back to Scarwall, which he'll hopefully be able to free eventually. Komara's conception just outside Scarwall is the reason for the Ectoplasm bloodline. He also has a weapon the adventurers brought back with the rescued mother, a long sword with a strange fanged skull for a hilt. He keeps it in memory of his mother, and because it's a little creepy. Eventually he'll learn that symbol is from that of the Warlord Kazavon. Additionally, he lives in the same district where Hook Street it, and he's had a few strange dreams due to that module's artifact. He doesn't know most of this yet though.

He was framed for murder by Gaedrenn Lamm. I modified that bit so that the murder victim was the result of one of Rolth and Co's experiments, and that Lamm was just covering it up because he's terrified of Rolth.

Corvin Castus Imbrex - Chelish Noble Courtly Hunter Roof Runner with Giant Fossa Animal Companion. He's a Noble who left his family (the Imbrexes, with a more distant relation to Jeggare) because his uncle was in good with the Hellknights and had an enslaved animal menagerie. He rebelled by following Cayden Cailean and eventually freed the menagerie (earning his Animal Companion) in doing so, and left his family. His father died when he was a child, and his mom was killed a year later. He's recently found evidence linking his mom's murder to Gaedrenn Lamm.

Originally, he was gong to be an Arkona. I nixed that before the hardcover of the module came out, because the 3.5 module and Korvosa book said the Rakshasa took over so long ago, I assumed there were no more human Arkona, just the Rakshasa. The hardcover references brainwashed or ignorant humans, but I've killing that idea. My plan is to have House Arkona totally empty by the end of the story. I've also mucked around with the backstory a little. Gaedrenn Lamm was one of Corvin's mother's lovers. She'd left him after a few years, but she had been cheating on her husband with him, and she was the only woman he ever actually cared for. She was very active with the political houses and learned something dangerous (most likely the Arkona secret). She went to Lamm for help, due to his underworld connections, but she was murdered soon afterward. Lamm found the body and took her wedding ring as a momento, but he had nothing to do with the death itself. I'm going to introduce some questions into Corvin's parentage, where his father might not be the man he remembers, it could be Gaedrenn or even someone else. I'm hoping to keep this going until the Harrowed Deck of Many Things shows up, in which case I'm going to stack the deck and give him the "Get a Keep card" which will end with him being determined as the last surviving Arkona (thus putting him back in the family he originally wanted to be part of) and giving him Arkona Manor.

Edit - Fixed a minor error

Voilena Omoroi - Varisian Shaman of the True Silvered Throne - Her father and she fled Ustalev when the Devil in Grey attacked Chastel. They successfully made it to Magnimar after years of traveling with various Varisian caravans. Her father opened a shop, where he basically sells whatever the Wandering Varisians can provide him (we ran into a lot of Varisian Wanderers in the Carrion Crown AP. Her father was framed for murder by Gaedrenn Lamm, the same murder Komara was framed for. Voilena was able to trick the fisherman "witness" into confessing to a Korvosan Guardsmen (early appearance of Grau Soldado), though both of the framed parties left the situation suspicious of the other. While working in her father's shop whilst he was jailed, she found her mother's grimoire, which led to Voilena's shaman powers.

I'm hoping to foster a little party mistrust on their meeting by sowing seeds to Voilena and Komara separately that the other was responsible for the frame job. Additionally, I'm going to make one of the shopkeeps in Korvosa a hidden member of the Order of the Palatine Eye and add a side mission that leads to Voilena meeting him. That was I can affiliate Voilena officially with the Order, which I hope to leverage going to Scarwall, since the hardcover added it was the Order of the Palatine Eye who causes Kazavon's destruction. She'll also be pivotal in the Hook Street rituals.

Zaskia Yelena Drogovic - Changeling (Varisian) Gunslinger (to be Slayer/Sorceror/Dragon Disciple, because hey why not) - She's a Changeling raised by a band of Varisian Wanderers/Adventurers. While passing through Korvosa, her cousin Ingvano went missing. Due to some trouble with the law, the Adventuring Caravan pulled out of the city to one of the Varisian camps outside, while Zaskia stayed in the city to keep looking for her cousin. Rumors tell her perhaps Gaedrenn Lamm has him.

Unbeknownst to her, Voilena's father hired her caravan to take a trip to Riddleport while she's in Korvosa, so her family will be offscreen for a while. While she's traveled across Korvosa looking for her cousin, she had a night of strange dreams in Bridgefront. Also, I'm going to have to have her mom's coven show up at some point, I'm thinking on the trip to Scarwall. Unfortunately I've got less ideas of what to do with her than most of the others.

Soug - Elven Rogue reincarnated as a Goblin Unchained Rogue - Her elven name is nicer, but I don't have it in front of me. She was one of Lamm's Lambs. However she pissed him off on after a mission of theft on his behalf. Instead of beating her almost to death and leaving her in an alley, he beat her all the way to death. He woke up with the world looking bigger, crawling out of a dirt shell (house rule we use is that Reincarnate always flips gender, after a campaign where we rolled gender swap an improbable number of times in a row).

The Elven Soug has been sent by Lamm to steal something precious to a Shoanti Shaman who had angered his son Rolth. So Soug snuck into his home (she didn't get a name, just an address) stole a small, fossilized skull with gems for eyes (a Fossa skull in fact). She took it to Lamm, and afterwards overheard a discussion about how that Shaman was in trouble due to the theft (Rolth was going to use it as a channel to the old man) and that Lamm (a terrible, terrible man) felt sorry for him. That was enough of a shock that Soug did the first (and so far only) altruistic deed of her life, she stole it back to return the item to Thousand Bones. She was caught en route though, and Lamm in a fury beat her to death. Shortly later, Thousand Bones found her while tracking his amulet. He used his speak with dead/spirits ability to get the story out of her and decided to Reincarnate her in thanks. He also left her the skull, since the spirits told him that she was the one her was holding it for (this will hopefully become the Divine Focus of the Hunter, as Mug of Cayden Cailean didn't really seem appropriate for a Druid/Ranger spellcaster). The color of the eye gems of the skull have also changed to match the Changeling's eye colors, as I'm trying to establish a level of destiny for the heroes.

And that's where they all are pre start of campaign. Then each one f them finds a Harrow Card, with a note asking them to meet with them. Soug found the card after she picked up something shiny someone dropped while she was scavenging. Zaskia found the card pinned to her polearm, five feet above her head. Komara found it on a dead man she was carting to the Grey District. Voilena found it in her Grimoire. Corvin found five or six of them before he actually looked at it instead of just sticking it in a pocket.

edit - used the wrong alias, oops

Looking forward to reading this as you seem keen to run the AP mostly as written.

I'm also interested to see how you integrate House on Hook Street. I plan to add it in myself starting during chapter 2 but (for my shame) I still haven't gotten around to reading it. I know it's meant to take place a few years after CotCT which means some minor changes to references and NPCs. Any way I don't want to derail your thread too much and I look forward to reading how your group gets on.

Thanks. I'm curious to see how well it all goes. I like the idea of meshing the character's backstories in with the plot of the AP (they read the Player's Guide, Korvosa Book, and the Paizo Blog Post update, but didn't really have any other information). I was pleasantly surprised at how most of them accidentally touched on places or themes of the AP. I just hope I can mix them together right.

So far we've had three sessions, and we've had to break until January. I hope I'll be able to get details on the sessions up shortly. The first session was spent entirely on Zellara and Lamm. The next two have been spent in Anarchy.Korvosa. I'm trying to emphasize how dangerous and messed up Korvosa is at the moment, to slow them down on the progression of the plot. I'd hate for them to end up giving Illeosa back her jewelry the day after they met. Korvosa's in anarchy, things are supposed to be dangerous and difficult dadgummit. So far so good.

Session 1 - The Mysterious Zellara Esmeranda and Diabolical Gaedrenn Lamm

Each of my PCs received a mysterious Harrow Card directing them to an apartment. My players show up anywhere from 6:30 to 8:00. We've been sliding later and later for a while during the previous campaign. In an attempt to arrest this, I told everyone I'd be showing up at 6:30 and I'd be starting with whoever was there, which basically means side adventures for those who show early. For the first session, I got extra "clever." When each player arrived, I took them off to a side room, ran a quick scene with them, and then them entering the gaming area corresponded with their character getting to Zellara's house.

Corvin was first (we game at his house). His Hunter is a professional Gambler, and while at a bar, shuffling in boredom, a Harrow pops up. He ignores it, puts it in his bag and continues on. After the fourth Harrow card shows up, Corvin actually takes a look at it, seeing that it's The Hidden Truth and has Zellara's note on it. He and his "pet" giant fossa Bella (used the Large Cat rules, minus Pounce and Rake and plus some better jumping) head over to Zellara's. They're the first ones there, and after poking around a little they settle in.

Nota Bene: I didn't use the AP's "choose closest Alignment and highest stat" option to choose the Harrow card. Instead, having had time for some advance planning, I chose each one based on what I hope will happen during the adventure plus their back story. I'm also faking the Harrow reading so that all of the cards would be useful. To do so, I went through and chose each character's card in advance and stacked our Harrow deck with the cards I wanted in order, then practiced a few Harrows. Corvin got the Hidden Truth, because his parentage is in metaphysical flux. If he investigates with Divinations, he'll even learn something of that. His mother is who his back story says, but his dad may not be. His dad might be Gaedrenn Lamm and might be an unnamed noble. His mom was something of a social butterfly. His genetic history will be in flux until we get to the Harrowed Deck of Many Things. I know he'll draw a card, and I'll fudge his so he gets the one that gives him a Keep, at which point Divinations of the Church of Abadar will prove him to be the last living descendent of House Arkona. At that point I'll let the player decide who his actual father is and the details of how he relates to Arkona (it's his character after all, I'm just spicing things up a little). He'll like that. He originally wanted to be an Arkona, but I nixed that since they're all, you know, Rakshasa. But I digress.

At this point Voilena's player has arrived. I take him to the other room, and she finds the Vision card, with Zellara's note, hidden in her grimoire. This fact is a little alarming, as she keeps her grimoire locked and hidden, which did nothing to slow Zellara's spirit. So she arrives next Voilena travels to Zellara's apartment and knocks, Corvin lets her in. At this point, people started to arrive more quickly. A such, I missed all of the in character interactions as each new arrival as pulled aside so their In Game arrival could be made. But it sounded like they were doing an excellent job on interacting with each other.

Nota Bene: The Vision wasn't one of the better choices of cards I could make here, but all my better choices were in use for another player or the upcoming Harrowing. The Vision represents esoteric or arcance knowledge, or madness. The esoteric knowledge is a reference to the Order of the Palatine eye which Voilena will discover, and the madness is a reference to the Hook Street side quest.

Zaskia arrives next, having discovered the Mute Hag stuck to her polearm over her head. She's the only one to scout the area out and attempt to determine who lives there before entering. She actually spent an In Game hour observing the place as well. She learned Zellara Esmeranda lives there (thus being the only one to know her last name) but that no one has seen her around for a while. Eventually she knocks and enters.

Nota Bene: The Mute Hag was a cheap and easy one. Zaskia's a Changling, though most people would assume she's a Varisian. This was just me noting that someone appeared to know, and a little bit of foreshadowing. I intend to have her Hag mother and coven(s) pay a visit eventually.

Komara arrives next, having discovered The Survivor in his wheelbarrow after dropping a body off at the Grey District. Komara wants to be Victorian Gothic and wears a threadbare pallbearer's suit while transporting bodies as one of Pharasma's Crows. His wheelbarrow may be cheap, but he's lacquered it in black paint to make it look "nicer." The player is going for creepy or at least offputting. He heads over next. It's during this side session that Zaskia starts popping her head into the side room every so often, looking around (but not at us) and then closing it again.

Nota Bene: The Suvivor is a reference to Komara and all the loss he has suffered, as well as his mother, who survived Scarwall, and his destiny to go and free all from Scarwall. He's hoping he lives that long.

Lastly the utterly amoral Soug arrives. He semi-disguises his goblin nature and is basically still a Lamb, but self-employed. While scavenging, he sees someone drop something shiny and scurries over to pick it up before anyone else notices. Upon checking his "loot" back in an alley, he finds only the Rabbit Prince and Zellara's note. Zaskia continues to interrupt us. Soug was the last player added to the game, and we had to do some fleshing out of his back story, so we were in the side room for a while, with Zaskia occasionally popping in, until I finally realized this was her RPing Zaskia occasionally opening Zellara's front door to see if she was incoming. Eventually, Soug heads on in, and immediately starts devouring all the remaining food and wine.

Nota Bene: The Rabbit Prince pretty much just represented the fact Soug's CN and Dex based. As I said, last character made, so I had the least time to figure anything out for him. I actually meshed in the Divine Focus and Thousand Bones between sessions 2 and 3 as slight alterations to the discussion we had here.

I made everyone give me a Perception Check and an Will Save as part of their entry. Their Perception Check was to penetrate Soug's Disguise check (as a Goblin disguised as a Halfling disguised as a human child), which none of them made. The Will Save was for the Illusion, which Soug Nat 20ed, becoming the only one to see through it.

I let them all mix a little longer and then Zellara arrived. She introduced herself and apologized for being late (some of them had been there In Game for better than half the day at that point) and then read her spiel. She then answered their questions as best she could, "shuffling" her Harrow deck as she did (minus the cards they each had and the ones I hid under the table). Eventually they offered their cards back, and those who didn't found them missing. I did a final shuffle, passed the cards under the IRL table to drop my pre-sorted cards on top, and laid out the Harrow.

Top Left - The Crows - We've all lost much (looking at Komara)
Middle Left - The Beating - We've all suffered much (looking at Soug)
Bottom Left - The Liar(?) - Love at it's most treacherous

Top Center - The Dance - There will be spiders?
Middle Center - The Juggler - You have many options
Bottom Center - The Keep, Inverted - Temptation is strong

Top Right - The Avalanche, Inverted - Disaster Looms, but can be stopped
Middle Right -The Locksmith - You will decide . . . for everyone
Bottom Right - The Empty Throne, Inverted - Loss brings bad tidings

I played it as if she was surprised at what the Cards were showing her. It was showing not only their confrontation with Lamm, but it foreshadowed the coming chaos in Korvosa and showed them to be the ones who determine the course of events. She could also feel the energy flowing from the cards into them (representing the Harrow points). I played the cards pretty close to exactly what they normally show, and those which didn't work quite right she gave different explanations on, sounding puzzled at the fact she knew more than she should have.

It was late at this point, but the party decided to head out to scout out the Fishery, not wanting to give Lamm the chane to escape.

They all did a walk past the buttoned up Fishery, then Corvin, Bella and Soug stayed for a full recon, while the rest went to a nearby bar to wait. Bella's a Goblin Rogue. Her level 1 Stealth was I think +13? So yeah, they did all the scouting they wanted, peaked in every window, including from the ship to the inside. They took their time, so they did see one patrol by Giggles. Giggles almost caught Corvin on a poor roll, but it wasn't good positioning, so they never went on alert. They saw Bloo and eventually found the sleeping Lambs when they looked from the ship (the Goblin wasn't too much weight on the boat, and they never went in). Eventually the part hooked back up and decided to go in at night. Zaskia didn't want to risk Ingvano not being there when they went in (was no risk of that, Ingvano was already downstairs with Lamm, having pissed him off earlier).

They picked the front door and went in, closing it behind them. Giggles, Hookshanks and Yargrin heard nothing until they opened the door to their bunkroom. I wasn't going to let it be too easy, so I had a chair wedged under the door as a minor security effort. Between hitting that and the Shaman casting Light with the door open, two of the three woke up and they woke the third.

Unfortunately, unarmored combat was not a good thing for Giggles. Giggles was standing to one side of the door with his flail, while the other side was covered by five PCs and an animal compassion. Zaskia uses a reach Polearm (Bec de Corbin I believe) and has Changling claws as well. I wasn't sure what to do, and decided to give Hookshanks basic stratagem a try. One hurried Disguise check later (with a lucky role) and a child rolls out of the bunks and cries for help. The PCs encouraged him to flee and let him past their lines, all failing Sense Motive and Perception checks. Giggles gets out the door into combat triggering prepared ranged attacks, provoking from the "child" who tries to stab the Hunter in the back with his kukri. Neither could roll well. Giggles in engaging the front line while Hookshanks engages the back line, with just enough room for Yargrin to toss some acid splashes from the edge of the door. One Color Spray later and Giggles is out and Yargrin's not having a good time with the frontline fighters. Meanwhile Hookshanks nearly drops the Hunter before Bella and Voilena drop him. Meanwhile, Bloo's been scratching his way, trying to get to his master, and eventually gets through two doors to get flattened. Yargrin is captured and the other two stabilized.

Yargrin's insults and threats of harming the children if these thieves didn't leave annoyed the party much more than Giggles incessant cackling. They threatened Yargrin until he basically ratted Gaedrenn out and told them everything (except for the food hatch). The party then heads downstairs to access the underside of the Fishery. They tell the kids everyone is fine, though the children are still cowed. After determining Ingvano is not with the Lambs, the kids are questioned until one tells them Ingvano was sent below earlier that day.

Nota Bene: Zaskia's entire Varisian Campagnia is statted up by the player. Apparently they were major NPCs in a campaign I wasn't in, which technically happens in the future (I'm running CotCT in it's original time frame). In that time frame, Ingvano is someone's cohort, and he eventually becomes a Linnorm king. So I'm trying not to get him killed. Still, he's a mouthy little Varisian Barbarian-to-be, so he's Lamm's latest soon to be victim.

The party heads downstairs via rope and Acrobatics, but they don't make all the checks. Yargrin and Voilene end up in the water. Cue shark. when all is said and done, the party came through fine, and Yargrin (and Corvin's nice, silk rope) and chewed to shreds. They haul the dead shark out of the water, which Soug enjoys gnawing on. During this mess, they also heard a ton of footsteps and doors opening above, as all the Lambs ran off into the city. Soug also fell into the water, causing the make-up to wash off and triggering new Perception checks versus a lowered disguise. Two of them make it and got secret notes indicating Soug's skin is now green and there's make up remnants on some of the things fished out of the water. The party goes on to encounter Lamm.

I screwed up the door and forgot it took a move action to get through otherwise the fight would have gone better. Still, the party made plenty of noise, so Lamm was ready. He was on the other side of the pit, one hand full of crossbow and the other with a magic dagger pressed into a rope. the rope was hanging Ingvano by his ankles over Gobbleguts. Ironically, based on everyone's back stories, only Soug and Lamm had ever actually seen each other before, and Lamm had no way to recognize Soug, so the normal Lamm insults had no application. Instead, he just tries to get them to leave or to let him leave. The party is having none of that, and Soug is particularly blood thirsty (to be fair, he did kill him/her). So they charge him and Lamm's prepared action shoots at the alligator, and misses dadgummit. One Bec de Corbin crit later, and Lamm's staggered. At this point, Komara decides to bravely attempt to stop the sleeping Gobbleguts from attacking and so color sprays him, waking him up. Gobblegut now rampages, pulling Komara down into the put, where Bella and Corvin follow. Lamm tries to cut the rope in revenge, but fails to do enough damage with an enchanted dagger and sneak attack to cut a rope. What a wuss. Still, he did worry Zaskia enough that she stopped attacking him and started trying to catch Ingvano before he fell into the pit, giving Lamm one attempt at stabbing her before he fell unconscious. Alas, Color Spary #2 turned Gobblegut into a meal for Bella (and probably Soug).

At this point I've go the Juggler card sitting in front of me, reminding the players that they're got choices. While Soug is all for killing Lamm, the others aren't so sure. the two Good PCs want to turn him over to the authorities while Corvin wants to question him about his mother's death. So they wake Lamm up and Corvin asks him about his mother's wedding ring (Lamm was forced to pawn it six months ago, which is when Corvin found it in a pawn shop. the pawn shop owner told him Lamm had pawned the ring but swore he'd be back to get it). At this point Lamm shows Corvin that he's wearing said ring (having bought it back) on the third finger of his left hand. At that, Corvin flies into a rage and attempts to stab Lamm in the throat, which Soug decides is enough reason to stab him as well. I made them roll for the heck of it against the prone, old man, and they both actually miss (gotta love first level). They then KO him, but decide not to kill him. Some of the others want to talk to him, and they figure they'll turn him over to the Guard (if they can keep Soug from slitting his throat, she's greatly overemphasizing how the law can't stop him).

They loot the Fishery and discover Zellara's head, much to everyone's surprise and disgust. They grab the ledger and Lamm's loot, figuring to turn it all over to the Guard as evidence. They dither for a while, but eventually head out, leaving Giggles and Hookshanks looted, unconscious and stable (yay, returning villains).

When they leave they learn that they were apparently very focused on their actions with Lamm, as they missed the city descending into chaos and anarchy around them. They were going to send Voilena off to find her friendly Guardsman (Grau), but as the city appears to be on fire, probably not. They level for the following session as they hear explosions, see fire, smell smoke, as a hypogriff falls from the sky and heralds cry out that the King is Dead, Long Live the Queen!!!

Nota Bene: I'm long-winded

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Turelus wrote:

Looking forward to reading this as you seem keen to run the AP mostly as written.

I'm also interested to see how you integrate House on Hook Street. I plan to add it in myself starting during chapter 2 but (for my shame) I still haven't gotten around to reading it. I know it's meant to take place a few years after CotCT which means some minor changes to references and NPCs. Any way I don't want to derail your thread too much and I look forward to reading how your group gets on.

Very cool entries so far Sleepy. Just to give my 2 cents to Turelus, I'm running a CotCT campaign as well, currently at the very beginning of Book 3. I placed House on Hook Street in the interim between Book 2 and Book 3.

Following the events at the Temple of Urgathoa, I used the PFS Scenario The Green Market as a quest to make the cure for Blood Veil. I ran it so Zeeva Foxglove (the quest giver for the scenario) was the key to the cure due to her Foxglove blood, i.e. the party needed her blood to make the cure. Hopefully your party doesn't end up murdering her for it hence bypassing that whole quest haha.

I then ran House on Hook Street afterwards, with the hook being Cressida Kroft's sister, a recent conscript of the Grey Maidens had deserted and disappeared into the Old Korvosa garrison in search of a spider cult rumored to be responsible for some grisly murders in the Bridgefront district. The Field Marshal requested help from the party and off they went. Essentially I just made the module into an extraction/save NPC type quest, who coincidentally was found in the final dungeon of the quest. You're free to insert any NPC you'd like and tailor their motivations for investigating the murders as you see fit.

In retrospect however I'm not sure I would have run both of those back to back, since it did detract pretty heavily from the main overarching plotline. That being said the interim between Books 2 and 3 is great for adding stuff since there's no real impetus to get the Book 3 plot started as soon as possible after 2. Hope my input helps.

Session 2 - Anarchy Reigns, or The Long Road to Anywhere

I'm trying to start game as soon as I've got players, to reward those who show up early. Last Session ended with the Party planning on dropping off Gaedrenn Lamm and all the evidence they've collected off with the Guard, but learning this plan may be tricky due to the Anarchy reigning in the city.

Voilena and Corvin try to scout out a path to Zellara's place, as it's basically on the way to Citadel Volshyenek (and because the other players weren't there yet). In doing so, they run across a roguish Shoanti who appears to be intending to take advantage of the circumstances and a young lady caught out at night. Our heroes interfere and Intimidate him into leaving her alone. At this point, Corvin begins his continuing saga of re-starting confrontation s that would otherwise have ended by insulting the Shoanti into making him the target of his ire. However, after failing to land a single sneak attack, the Shoanti falls in the alley to the combined forces of the Hunter, Shaman, and animal companion, netting the three of them a MW Earth Breaker and Potion of CL for their troubles. As they escort the young lady to her nearby home, leaving the unconscious but stable Shoanti in the streets, they hear something on the roof but see nothing up there (I've apparently decided I want to use the Imps).

Rejoining the party, the group travels south, attempting to go the few blocks to Zellara's home. They find the short distance difficult to travel, as the night is alive with dangers. However, they do manage to skirt most of the troubles they see, running into only one encounter, where a half dozen lower class people are confronting a Noble who is clearly not where he wants to be. Voilena manages a Diplomacy check to calm them all down and disperse the crowd. At which point, Corvin decides to "help" the situation as well, leading into a convoluted discussion of what dicks these people were. It was quite amusing, and everyone enjoyed it, everyone except the small mob, who decided that dispersing wasn't needed, and this pompous tool could use a few lessons in manners. So the vicious mob attacked with their serving tray, shovel, chair broken into three pieces, and torch. They managed to almost knock the "Courtly Hunter" unconscious before his allies bailed him out of his beating with teeth, claws, thrown daggers, and color sprays. Fortunately, most of the party used non-lethal tactics, and the fight ended with two of the mob fleeing, two unconscious, and two unconscious and stabilized. At this point, one of the Imps made their hidden appearance, and Suggested to Voilena that she should probably stop these dangerous, violent people now, while she could, by slitting their throats. I should point out only Voilena and Saskia are actually Good aligned, the rest of the party is Neutral (dadgummit). One failed save leader, Voilena repeats the Imps words (no one's really noticed the Imps at this point) and draws her knife. Fortunately, she's restrained and dragged off before she can kill anyone. She does however spend the next 6 hours trying to sneak back and kill her former foes. During the fight, Soug kept hanging back to try and kill Lamm, but she wasn't given the opportunity to do so where she wouldn't be seen.

Our triumphant heroes (one of who is all but grappled, and two of whom are carrying the unconscious Lamm and Ingvano) return to Zellara's home, which is strangely empty and full of dust. One surprisingly high Survival check later reveals that all of the tracks are theirs from earlier, the first feet that floor has seen in several weeks. Soug reveals that this is what the room looked like to her when she first arrived, though there was transparent furniture and furnishings then. After a few minutes, Zallara "opens" the door and walks in. She thanks the party for what they've done and hopes they will seem the situation through, so that Lamm faces justice. Then she offers to answer their questions as best she can. The party's not all that interested in additional backstory, but they do try to make sure she gets a peaceful rest. She tells them of her wishes and asks them to feel free to stay at her home as long as they like (this plus a Knowledge Local check indicating how Lamm was using the Fishery means the party is intending on letting the Guard know of Zellara's death, and then some of them may be squatting there for the foreseeable future [if this continues, I intend on Croft eventually giving them the deed to the apartment]). While Soug agitates for killing Lamm, the others decide to interrogate him some more and turn him over to the Guard as soon as possible. Zellara tells them that the Harrowing she provided earlier was strange for a Harrow. It was as if forces greater than normal were involved, and she could feel the magic of the cards flowing into them. She feels that this group will be involved in determining the fate of the city, and that she will help as best she can. She helps them identify the items they've retrieved, and at their request returns the illusion of furnishings to the room. As the party in done with her for now, she walks out the door and closes it behind her Shortly afterwards, the illusionary furnishings disappear.

The party enjoys a good night's rest, as it's been a long day. Ingvano recovers somewhat, as they have plenty of water and a little food. Someone keeps watch on Lamm at all times, more to make sure Soug doesn't kill him than to prevent him from fleeing. After all, he's old, tied up, and has a bad him, plus he's barely conscious. They also have to stoped Voilena from sneaking out a window a few times. Those throats still needed slit after all.

The group gets up in toto in the early afternoon. I forgot to mention, with all the chaos on the streets, Amin Jalento asked them escort him home. Since they couldn't in the short term, they asked him to join them until they could help him home (Old Korvosa is a dangerous stretch of city to the North right now). Zaskia and Komara head out to try and get some food for the group. Amin helped provided them a handful of platinum for their mission, in addition to the sacks of copper and silver from the Fishery. One random encounter roll later, and they find a trio of Charlatans selling some truly crappy food for some truly extravagant prices. However, the party has Purify Food and Water, plus coins that aren't their's, so rather than start anything they paid the high mark up and paid in Plat. They bought out most of the Charlatan's food and all of their better foods. They also earned a tail home, since they had the expensive coins. Zaskia caught sight of the tail, but in trying to lose him only lost sight of him. So we'll be seeing those Charlatans again later. Voilena's minor magics ensured the food was palatable, although Soug was happy to drink the "Wine" AKA vinegar without it (freaking Goblins weirdoes). Even Lamm was fed and watered, and a few healing bursts healed everyone up, even Lamm's horrible rope burns.

They the interrogation began. First Corvin questioned him about the wedding ring. I kept Lamm as being a jerk about just about everything. Eventually Corvin got him to loosen up a little about his mother. Since she was the only woman Lamm had ever had even a few positive feelings for, he told Corvin what he wanted to know. She was a former lover of his, who'd eventually left him (time frame was right for Lamm to possibly be Corvin's dad). She'd come back to him for help, when she discovered something dangerous, but she didn't tell him what. She left while Lamm was to start working on getting her some protection. When he left his location later that night, he found her dead on the street, only a few blocks from his hideout. She was dead, he was too late to help. To remember her, he took her wedding ring. He'd pawned it a few months ago because he needed the money, but he bought it back as soon as he could. Corvin's a little conflicted and not happy about these new details. We'll see if he follows up on them.

Next Komara and Voilena asked him about the frame job on himself and Voilena's dad. It took a while and a lot of reminders before Lamm knew what they were talking about. After all, he was old, he'd done a lot of bad things in his life, and he just couldn't roll double digits on a Int check. Eventually he remembered, went white, and refused to talk to them any more, even when violence was threatened. Whatever was the reason behind the frame job, it scared him more than they did.

Voilena decrypted the Ledger, and they were able to look up the crimes they were interested in. The Frame job showed up as a job he wasn't paid for, and based on the damage to the ledger at that point, he wasn't happy about it.

Eventually the party decided to head out. Lamm and some of the loot are deposited in Komara's wheelbarrow, the party equips some of the loot they've found so far (Ingvano is thrilled with his MW Small Kukri), and they start heading towards Citadel Volshyenek. At this point I start throwing everything I can at them to slow them down. The city is in anarchy, most people are barricaded behind their doors or roaming in mobs. 2nd level is not a safe time to be in the streets. I understand they want to hand Lamm off, but I'm not going to make it easy on them.

The streets south of them are covered in mobs. These aren't the 6 man mobs either, but in the dozens and hundreds. The market district is between them and the Guard, and where better to riot than where there's looting to be had. After wandering into a courtyard where some people are well into being burned alive, the party heads east, trying to loop around the mobs rather than hunkering down and waiting them down. It ends up being rather a long loop around. They ended up all the way over the Castle before they could start heading South, learning a few rumors along the way as they finally ran into some of the Korvosan Guard. These Guard were in duty around the Palace, and they hadn't been back to the Citadel (or more than a few blocks) since the King died. The party rejected their advice to hunker down, and our heroes continued to the South. Voilena's father's shop "Stuff and Things" wasn't too terribly far away, so as it grew later and later, they decided to use it as a waypoint.

The next random encounter was an Erinyes. They're second level. Our next AP will hopefully be the Osirion one.

edit: just some spelling fixes

Just kidding.

Session 2 - Anarchy Reigns, or The Long Road to Anywhere Continued

As night deepens, a few Perception checks show a dark, bow carrying creature circling above. Fortunately, whatever she's after, it doesn't appear to be them. Unfortunately, a few blocks later, what feels to be a small earthquake occurs. Oh wait, that's not the earth shaking, that's just a terrible monster erupting from the sewers. The party is rather undecided what to do about the Otyugh. Zaskia stands between it and the party, telling them to run. Komara decides this is an excellent time to ask Lamm about the frame job again, telling him that if Lamm won't answer, Komara will leave him there to die. Lamm looks at the horrible tentacle monster, covered in sewer bits and decides that death is still better than whatever he's scared of, and tries to tell Komara off through the gag. Amin Jalento pulls back "to protect Ingvano" and Soug follows. The Otyugh has noticed the group however, popping out of the ground looking at them rather than any of the others out in the square, who hurriedly flee.

The following combat involved some poor placement of PCs, an inability to decide if they were engaging or not, and an Otyugh whould couldn't buy a double digit roll on a d20. Komara did leave Lamm and the wheelbarrow to be killed, at which time the rest of the party agreed to pull back, though not until Zaskia emptied her pistol into the thing. Alas, then Komara had a crisis of conscience, and she ran back up to save Lamm, forcing the rest of the party to re-engage. They did very well, with the smell thing getting very few hits in, though it did resist the Color Spray. As a further complication, they saw the winged creature above start to head their way. It simply observed however, as the party continued to engage the beast. At that point, one of the damned Imps of Korvosa intervened, Suggesting to Zaskia that it was only honorable to engage the beast in hand to hand, thus forcing her to drop her polearm and wade in with claws.

As the second Otyugh started to crawl out of the sewer, the first one was almost down. At this point, the Erinyes decided the mortals needed assistance, and a flock of flaming arrows buried themselves in the pooh covered reinforcements. The Imp stopped interfering at this point. The following color spray neutralized the Otyughs long enough for the party to dispatch them, and the Erinyes landed to help use the polearm to shove them back into the sewers. She congratulated them on their bravery and good fortune, but not on their wisdom, and told them the street would be fixed shortly.

At that point she took back to the skies, where she continued to scout for the Hell Knights who called her there. Speaking of Hell Knights, a band of them (two Armigers, two Hell Knights, and a Signifier, then entered the square. The Signifier closed the hole in the ground. They were about to leave when they noticed Lamm, bound in the wheel barrow. The Hell Knights questioned this act. Corvin did his best to get Komara in trouble, though we're fairly sure he's not purposefully this bad at talking to people. One Zone of Truth and explanation later, and the party is allowed to continue on it's way.

Fortunately, the party was soon able to reach Stuff and Things, where Dragos Omoroi unbarred the doors and was thrilled to see his daughter safe and sound. the party rested there for the remainder of the night.

Session 3 - What do you mean the largest cemetery on the continent isn't safe?

Our party's rest was interrupted a few hours later, as they were awoken by screams and crashing sounds from a building across the street. Most of our heroes ran out to investigate and help (those whose players had arrived anyway). Across the street was a small tavern, whose barred door had been halfway chopped through. It was the bottom half, mind you. The goblin standing in the doorway probably explained the situation pretty well. A melee breaks out after our heroes approach. Zaskia, Bella, Voilena, Komara and Corvin versus four Goblins, a goblin dog, and a strange hunchbacked, mutated medium sized goblin (stolen from another module, yay A few Tanglefoot bags and Komara's ectoplasmic boogers later, the fight wasn't very mobile. Corvin got beaten on pretty well again, but eventually it was down to just our heroes and the mutant. First they thought he was weird because he was medium. Then they thought he was gross because he swallowed one of Komara's ectoplasmic snots. Then they were horrified and he vomited acid all over several of them. Finally they were happy that he just died already.

Our heroes rescued the bar owner and his two wenches, two of which were bleeding out when they were finally saved. Voilena and one of the wenches were having allergy issues from the Goblin Dog, but I let the party use some of the Vermin Repellent stash of Lamm's to get new saves, which helped half of them. After that, they invited the three of them to weather out the storm in Dragos's shop and carted over all their food and much of their drink to make the stay easier. When they returned, they found Soug prowling around Lamm with Ingvano protecting the old man, though they had a nice philosophical discussion about it.

The following morning, Ingvano was left to protect Dragos and his new guests, while the rest headed out. The pre-teen seemed good with helping out those itchy barmaids. The party did take some time for barter with Dragos. He runs a shop that's pretty eclectic, and he was willing to do some buying and selling with his daughter's friends, at reasonable rates. Knowing that the city was in turmoil, and that they next stop on the long loop to Citadel Volshyenek was the Grey District, Corvin decided to sell the MW Earthbreaker, his only Bludgeoning weapon.

The party continued their long trek through the city, seeing places where the mobs had already passed. They basically headed due south until they hit the District wall, and then followed it east to the entrance of the Grey District. They wanted to drop off Zellara's head so she'd get the appropriate rites. The gate to the Grey District was closed, but Komara's membership in Pharasma's Crows (an organization we made up) was enough to get them entrance. They were warned that the patrols for undead in the District had tripled, as there undead were stirred up by the turmoil in the city. Although asked if they wanted to wait for the next patrol, the party decided they wanted to waste no more time, so they hurried on to the Grand Cathedral of Pharasma. Or at least they tried.

Honestly, I didn't really judge the CR of the following encounter. I just took every skeleton miniature we could find, divided them into four initiatives, and threw them all at the party, after removing skeleton's weapons and armor. The party saw signs of a larger, flashier battle off in the distance, and then four groups of 4 to 7 skeletons each came over the hills after them. Voilena had just picked up medium armor and Lamm was in the wheelbarrow, so fleeing wasn't likely. The party split into two groups and engaged the skeletons as they came on in waves. Zaskia had a bludgeoning weapon and Komara has Disrupt Undead, so they were doing well, they were also using positioning to get extra opportunity attacks. Amin had a rapier, Corvin and Longsword, and Soug a Dagger, they weren't doing so well. Voilena couldn't hit anything with her mace, and she's burned all of her Channel Positive Energies before they left that morning, though she did take out a group by herself with a pair of Burning Hands. Bella was acquitting herself well, but she was also getting mobbed. Lamm was left to his own devices, tied up in a wheelbarrow in a horde of undead.

Enough damage was dealt to the front group that they all had to Withdraw and Tumble away for the last of Corvin's healing and all the potions they'd identified. The back group took care of their foes and were able to reinforce though, as the healed front group got back to their feat, with Bella (who'd almost gone down) leading the way. As they finished off the last of the skeletons, the next wave breasted the hill, one of which was on fire (I'd found three mini's I'd missed earlier). The party said Eff this, Harrowed up some speed, and started to hurry out of there, pausing just long enough to put a pistol ball into the flaming skeleton which promptly exploded. Lamm, having been attached several times by skeletons, was just barely saved.

They successfully moved on to the next random encounter. They were a little perturbed when the 19 Knowledge Planes check wouldn't identify the spike covered creature on the path ahead (Hamatula on the random encounter chart). Fortunately, it didn't seem to be doing anything other than manning a Pharasmin checkpoint, even after they saw it had noticed them. It contacted them via Telepathy asking what their business was. Upon learning one was a Crow, he was commanded to come forward and present evidence. Komara handed over his Crow badge, at which point it teleported away. When it returned a few minutes later, the badge was returned and they were told to pass on their way.

The party was able to arrive at the Grand Cathedral with no further harassment. They were allowed into the Siege Church, where they were welcomed. Zellara's final wishes were paid for she was sent on her way to the afterlife (well, as far as they know anyway). When the next patrol showed back up, the party was included in the healing that ensued. Komara caught up on Pharasmin recent events, learning the Barbed Devil had been loaned them by the Hell Knights as a guard and to facilitate long range communication, and that the graves had been restless with the city in turmoil. Soug cornered a priest and had some questions for him, trying to determine what had happened to her in the past (she doesn't know she was killed and reincarnated). The priest was able to give her little help, though he offered to have her Boneyard file pulled (by a nosoi) once things calmed down, though he warned that was expensive. He also suggested he check with same sages or the like for additional assistance, as Pharasma was mostly concerned with Birth and Death, not Life. Even the Imps could be questioned for divinations.

The party rested overnight at the Cathedral, and the next day they traveled with a patrol to the Gate, bothered only by a swarm of rates. Leaving the Grey District, the party headed east and then north. At this point the mobs had mostly moved west. When they reached Eodred's Square, they learned that the Hell Knights has proven instrumental in pushing the mobs back, and that when words and threat of steel had proven insufficient, Cones of Cold had proven most effective, which explained the piles of bodies Komara realized he's eventually have to return for. Although the party had to answer some questions about Lamm again due to the Guard and Hell Knights around, they were not stopped and they were able to pick up additional rumors.

Traveling north, the party was only a few blocks from the Citadel when two boar strode into the street before them and appeared to begin talking to them. At this point, our heroes were very confused, especially when the realized they were being shaken down. The party was told that they should be inside at a time like this, and since they weren't, they'd had to pay a fine, as well as a road tax for using the road in a time of danger. Since they're carrying magic items, the combined fine and toll was set at 5 gold each. The pigs then enumerated every magic item the party was carrying. The flabbergasted party tried using Komara's "official" capacity as a Crow to get through. The Pigs mocked them and called in a Raven of their own which joined in the highway robbery. Then someone hidden Suggested to Corvin that they just pay and be on their way. So Corvin paid his ten gold (five for him and five for Bella) and started to walk through. Convinced this was an illusion, Voilena decides to push her way past. The thoroughly not illusional boards took their attacks of opportunity and insisted that the fine be paid. Eventually the party had enough of this and attacked.

A lengthy battle ensued. Amin Jalento was left with the wheelbarrow to keep Lamm safe. Soug tried to convince him to join battle with the others, but Jalento was well aware Soug wanted to kill Lamm AND he had no desire to battle strange, talking boar. Bella dropped one of the boar in the first round, but then it vanished. As they others were moving up to attack the remaining boar, two of the invisible imps (which had been doing the talking while riding the backs of the boars) attacked. The Raven vanished, changed forms back to am Imp and prepared for it's best time to attack). The last invisible imp decided it would just steal the magic items from the wheelbarrow. After he looted Lamm's enchanted dagger, he figured he'd release Lamm as well and see what happened. Jalento was distracted enough by the battle to not notice Lamm being freed for some time. A Suggestion that wrestling the pigs was a good idea tool Zaskia's polearm out of the equation and left her trying to keep one boar.imp under control.

The Raven/Imp reappeared to grab the Wand of Magic Missile from Komara's hands. The group managed to basically divide up and fight one imp (or Imp shapeshifted to a Boar) each, with no silver weapons while the DR Happy, Fast Healing Imps continued to sting and gore and heal and steal away. The party's tactics were starting to get them into trouble, when two heroic House Drakes flew in, chattering like a pulp Errol Flynn movie about how they'd save them since Blackjack wasn't there to do so. Their healing kept the party moving and they were helping to keep a couple of the imps down, as was Komara's color sprays. When Jalento realized Lamm was fleeing, he sounded the alarm and Soug abandoned everyone to go back and attack Lamm, as did Bella and Corvin. Alas, Lamm's bad back prevented him from fleeing and the resultant melee almost led to him bleeding to death. Two of the imps and Komara were fighting over the Wand of MM, until one of them got it and decided it was enough profit for one afternoon. The imp who stole the magic dagger was happy with this payday and also left.

The boar being wrestled was knocked out, and though it was getting back up, it was enough that Zaskia could free herself form the Suggestion. She retrieved her polearm and used the Silversheen they'd identified with Zellara's Harrow Cards that morning. The Drakes were keeping one of the Imps down, though they couldn't quite hurt it fast enough to prevent it from healing. One Bec Du Corbin hammer blow later, and there was a dead imp on the ground. She managed to wreak bloody vengeance on a second imp, and then the two boar vanished and fled.

End result: two dead imps, 15 Dex damage spread through the party, everyone in single digit hit points, no first level spells leve, 10 gold, a +1 Dagger, a wand of Magic Missile, and a dose of Silversheen down. All because they refused to pay the 40 gold tax/fine. The Drakes passed out their remaining healing, acting like friendly action stars as they did so, and were rewarded by the nice, crystal vial the silversheen had been in.

The party then packed up and began the slow, painful trek the last few blocks to Citadel Volshyenek.

The Imps are everywhere, I've got to figure out more to do with them. They're delightfully annoying.

Sleepy laReef wrote:
Session 1 - The Mysterious Zellara Esmeranda and Diabolical Gaedrenn Lamm

We're using shared Google Docs to keep notes for the party. So while the above is my long winded explanation of the events of the game, with far too many digressions and notes, I thought I'd also provide the party's synopsis of the game. This one I wrote:

Session 1 (11-22-16)

Five strangers met at the home of Zellara Esmeranda, called there by mysterious Harrow cards left for them. After varying amounts of time waiting and mingling, their “late” host arrived. She told them all of their shared nemesis and where to find him, then performed a very strange Harrowing for them, infusing each with small amounts of the magic of the Harrow as she did so.

The strangers went to the Fishery that night and, after a period of recon, assaulted it. Giggles the Orc and Hookshanks Gruller the Gnome were subdued, Yargrin Balko was captured and later accidentally (?) fed to a shark.

Gaedrenn Lamm was captured and Ingvano was freed. The Lambs ran off into the night. The alligator did not. Discussions were held over whether to have vengeance or justice. In the end, our heroes set off to take Lamm to Citadel Volshyenek for justice.

Upon leaving the Fishery, they found a city in turmoil. The King is dead, and anarchy reigns.

Sleepy laReef wrote:
Session 2 - Anarchy Reigns, or The Long Road to Anywhere Continued

Session 2's synopsis was provided by Zaskia. I'm hoping one or more of the players will keep this up.

Session 2 (12-06-16)

Our intrepid explorers headed out into the chaos of Korvosa (post King), and quickly managed to find trouble. Corvin and Voilena scouted out ahead to try to find a safe way back to Zellara’s apartment so that our precious and mostly unconscious cargo of one young boy and one old man wouldn't reach an untimely end in transit. The two (plus one fossa) cleared out a few miscreants before returning to guide the party further towards safety. Shortly thereafter, the party encountered one Mint Gelato (Amin Jalento) being accosted by a ragged band of vengeful peasants, which were quickly (but not thoroughly enough for Voilena’s throat slashing tastes) subdued. With the grateful noble in tow, Zellara's apartment was reached, and some answers were obtained from the spirit of Zellara. The group then got some rest, which was interrupted only by Voilena's repeated attempts to go back out and cut some peasant throats.

In the morning, Zaskia and Komara (and Ingvano) went out to scrounge for food, kindly bankrolled by Amin. Voilena set to decrypting Gaedrenn’s ledger. Some hours passed, and food was acquired. Zaskia and Komara returned, chow was had, and Gaedrenn was interrogated to varying degrees of success. Corvin's Mom may or may not have been a classy lady, depending upon how one chooses to interpret her “dealings” with Lamm. At the very least, Gaedrenn claimed she learned to much about some dangerous secrets. At the very (most uncomfortably) most, Gaedrenn might be Corvin's dad…

Voilena couldn't seem to get any straight answers about her father's framing, nor could Komara seem to pry anything from the wiley old bastard. Soug may or may not be in the possession of a demi-lich. Or he/she might have some sort of barbarian skull relic important to the Shoanti.
Fed up with trying to crack the old bastard, our party then sallied forth into the city to take Gaedrenn to justice. It is a long ass hike from Zellara's apartment to justice, and the road is paved with rioters, obnoxious imps, giant smelly tentacle monsters, and Hellknights. We clearly need a better finder of paths. A brief respite at the end of a very long day finds us all safely in the shop “Stuff 'n’ Things”, as the guest of Voilena's father, Dragos. Yay, rest!

Sleepy laReef wrote:
Session 3 - What do you mean the largest cemetery on the continent isn't safe?

Session 3 is also Zaskia. And with this we're caught up. I look forward to seeing what'll happen next Tuesday. Hopefully we'll hunker down through the last of the active riots, then head off the Castle and eventually All the World's Meats.

Session 3 (12-13-16)

Like all good adventures, this one started with a bar fight. Or, rather, a fight in the vicinity of a bar, which pitted our heroes against a violent pack of goblins (not terrifying) and their mutant leader (disturbingly terrifying). After the goblin scourge was...scourged, our heroes ever so thoughtfully invited their buxom barmaid neighbors, their unconscious barkeeper neighbor, and their perishables and tapped kegs over to Casa Dragos to wait out the anarchy in the city in comfort. Ingvano bravely and with much gravitas volunteered to hold down the fort while everyone else faced the perils of taking Gaedrenn Lamm to justice. Such a thoughtful kid, that Ingvano.

With that warm-up under their belts, the party headed out the next morning to face the relative safety (according to Komara) of the graveyard, and were not at all surprised to find they were accosted by the restless dead. And then some more. And then some more. And then… well, let's just say the dead are very close to the quick these days, and they have no respect for Crow badges. Fortunately, devils accept them as tokens of passage, or our trip to the graveyard might have been very short, indeed.

After dropping off Zellara's remains, the party availed themselves of the hospitality of the Pharasman clerics that oversee the Grey District, healing up and resting for the night in relative safety.

The next morning it was once again off to see Gaedrenn Lamm brought to justice. After being escorted out of the Grey District, their path lead north, through areas that had cleared somewhat by the Hellknights, until they were nearly in sight of their long sought goal.
And then pigs happened. And everyone nearly died. And Gaedrenn Lamm nearly escaped. But I digress. After a long skirmish with some of the city's infamous imps, and the assistance of some of the city's equally infamous house drakes, the party collected what was left of their pride, wits, magic items, and their barely living prisoner and trucked the last three blocks to the headquarters of the city guard (which I won't attempt to spell, but sounds a lot like a Tzimisce sneezing)(Citadel Volshyenek)... Surely their persistence and determination to see Lamm brought to justice must soon be rewarded.

Session 4 - Time Passes

Our heroes, doing ok on hit points but out of everything else, finally reach Citadel Volshyenek, where the skeleton patrol of guards strangely seem to be expecting them (the House Drakes flew over and let them know some heroes were bringing in a prisoner). They are welcomed in and Lamm is finally taken into custody. They learn a fair amount of data about the Guard situation, as the Citadel has the full normal night staff (who have been there for several days there) plus any staff (scribes, Clerics of Abadar, consultants) who were close enough to come back. Additionally, there's a number of "refugees" who were not able to make it home camping out in the public areas until the crisis is over.

They're able to give their statements (the scribes have nothing better to do right now) and Voilena shows an Acolyte of Abadar the key to decrypting Lamm's ledger. The Guard are quite happy with the results of the ledger and reward the party with a 10 pound sack of gold coins. Our heroes rest there for the night, taking advantage of some area healing done when patrols come back in and a pair of Lesser Restorations in thanks for their hard work. Several of them research their previous issues (Avonia Imbrex's murder, and Dragon and Komora's frame job) with the law, while Soug talks to a Cleric of Abadar, still trying to figure out what happened to him.

Eventually they decide to travel back to Stuff and Things (thus bypassing the ambush the Charlatans had set for them back at Zellara's apartment) to wait out the Anarchy with Dragon, Ingvano, and the bar staff they'd rescued earlier. In this District, the Hell Knights have broken the back of the rioters by this point, so the party is able to return to Stuff and Thing with only a single encounter where Drain Spiders defend their meal from a hungry Fossa and Goblin, followed by a Rat Swarm the party decided not to engage. Returning to Stuff and Things, they found all well, and they prepared to play cards, get to know each other, and let the madness in the city blow over. From their windows they can see each day get a little better, and nothing really bothers them, other than the half dozen dream spiders and spider swarm that eventually breech a window. While horrified at being covered in spiders, Voilana's Burning Hands and everyone else's skill at bladework end the spidery menace (and provide fresh rations to Bella and Soug).

After the Anarchy has burned for a full week, and their District seems safe, our heroes head out to look for food and find the city slowly returning to something close to normal (from Anarchy status to Unrest), and they're able to find overpriced food which their recent financial gains allow them to procure. They also learn enough about the city to believe it may not be safe enough to traverse. Leaving the NPCs at Stuff and Things, the party heads out to check on their various homes and to return Amin Jalento to his. First up is the apartment in Bridgefront of Komara and her grandfather Veselei. On the way, they hear rumors of Night Terrors being spoken by people nearby (foreshadowing for House on Hook Street). The party meets Komara's grandfather, who awkwardly welcomes them into his home. He clearly hasn't been sleeping well, which most of the party attributes to the quantities of empty wine bottles, but which Komara sees must be something else. Zaskia's Ustalevian greeting impresses Veselei. After some more awkward interactions, the party heads out, believing him to be safe for now.

Next up in a trip to Garrison Hill where, after passing through the various noble guards protecting that area, Amin Jalento finally make it home. He professes his lifelong gratitude and friendship and rewards them with the last of his coin. Upon heading out of Garrison Hill, they find that Old Korvosa has a high number of doomsayers, one of which grabs Komara and babbles at him about seeing him in his dreams and the spiders, the spiders in the corners of your eyes (Again, House of Hook Street foreshadowing instead of the default encounter), as well as passing on some Filth Fever. The party moves on Corvin's apartment, which he fears has been left unguarded for too long. Since he asked so nicely, it was fully of feral dogs. Corvin and Bella had a very bad time of it as they were trapped inside the apartment with the hungry animals, blocking the rest of the party off. Eventually our heroes overcome. On checking in with the neighbors, they find that the old couple next door were the dogs previous victims. They scavenge supplies from the hapless couple, clean up Corvin's place and settle down for the night.

Next was a war council amongst the group, as they decide what they want to do next. They decide to stay together and work on an Adventuring Party name, which will make them more official, especially to the stuffy Korvosans. While Corvin wants to hold onto the Queen's Brooch for an emergency, the rest manage (along with some pointed DM looks) to convince him that it's safer to go ahead and turn it in while they can do so without suspicion. First they're going to head to the Sanctuary of Shelyn to return the Holy Symbol they found (which according to the ledger was stolen from the High Priestess) and then try to return the Brooch (finally).

They furthermore went on to discuss their character's lives and issues with each other in groups. Soug showed the fossa skull to everyone and told them part of her story. They theorize that she's been Transmuted somehow from an Elf to a Goblin, though they can't figure out how or why (Reincarnation seemed too farfetched to them, and he hasn't given them enough of a description to make a successful Spellcraft check). Realizing the Fossa Skull would be a perfect Divine Focus for him, Corvin tries to buy the skull off Soug, but he's decided to keep it for now.

So we're finally re-joining the plot next game, with only one more scripted random encounter to go. I'm glad because I'm running out of random encounters to hit them with. I think I did a good enough job keeping them hopping and worried while the city was in Anarchy, while managing to show the city in that state for a full week. Now we can see if we can convince them to be heroes.

Sleepy laReef wrote:
Session 4 - Time Passes

Session 4 (01-03-17) - I did session 4's synopsis

Our potential heroes finally made it to Citadel Volshyenek, where the Guards on duty at the front gate were mysteriously expecting their “prisoner transfer.” In short term, Gaedrenn Lamm was handed over to the Guard and imprisoned, and each of the group were taken aside for their personal testimony. They soon learned that while the Guard themselves were short staffed at the moment, the staff itself wasn’t. The Night Staff had never left, and anyone who worked there who was close enough to return to the CItadel did so, for safety. In addition, there was what amounted to a small refugee camp as well.

When Voilena showed an Abadaran clerk how to de-crypt Lamm’s ledgar, the number of old, cold cases which would now be solved let to an immediate reward. Additionally, the party was given (area) healing as soon as the next Patrol checked back in, plus a few Lesser Restorations. The party spent the night at the Citadel and headed out the next day, intending to travel back to Stuff and Things to wait out the worst of the Anarchy.

Although they ran into some vermin running wild (a number of Drain Spiders and a Rat Swarm) on the way, the Helknights pass through the area had broken the back of the anarchy in this District, and they were able to return to the Omoroi Shop with little trouble. The next four or so days were spent in relative safety with their clutch of NPCs, getting to know each other and defending the shop from a rather persistent invasion of Dream Spiders and Spider Swarms.

About a week after the city descended into Anarchy, our heroes headed out from the shop, looking to replenish their rations. In doing so, they learned the worst of the trouble was over, with most of the city transitioning from Anarchy to Unrest. As Stuff and Things re-opened, our heroes went out to check on their various personal holdings, as well as return Amin Jalento to his home.

First was a trip to Bridgefront, where Komara Mormont lives with his grandfather. The trip was uneventful, though everywhere they went they saw signs of the damage done by the city’s upheaval. Burned buildings, destroyed doors, and enough bodies to make the Crow cringe and the vermin feast. In Bridgefront, they also heard rumors of nightmares which were overly common. Eventually making it to the home Komara shares with Veselei Mormant, they found the old Varisian barricaded in his lowly home. His rations were low, his licquor lower, and his rest almost nonexistent, but he was alive and unharmed. He was . . . not unhappy to see Komara alive and surprised and a little please at a proper Ustalevian greeting from Zaskia. After an awkward few minutes, Komara promised to return when he could and Veselei said he’d be back at work soon.

Next was into Garrison Hill and Fort Korvosa, passing the Noble Guards at the district entrances (no Korvosan Guard seen since entering Old Korvosa) with Jalento’s help. They finally returned Amin home, where he swore relentless gratitude to them and rewarded them as best he could. From there our heroes traveled back towards the Narrows, intending on crossing over to Corvin’s apartment. On the way, they noted more and more doomsayers in the streets. One grabbed Komara and, spraying spittle into his face, warned him about the coming of the spiders in the night. Komara recognized the man, though they’ve never seen each other before.

Soon after they crossed back into the city proper and found Corvin’s apartment in the Shingles, now infested with feral dogs. The dogs were eventually slain, though not before they gravely injured both Corvin and Bella, as The Chokepoint betrayed our heroes. Shortly afterwards, they found the dogs had slain some of Corvin’s neighbors as well.
Our heroes barricaded themselves into Corvin’s place, to rest and decide what to do the following morning. They decide to work together for now. Soug shows the party a strange, fossilized animal skull which Corvin says is a fossa skull, a much smaller version of Bella. He also determines it would work as a Divine Focus for him. After much discussion, they decide that they will head to the Sanctuary of Shelyn and then attempt to return the queen’s Brooch.

Session 5 - The Queen Awaits

Here we enter our first moment of Hypertime. For those who show up early, I'm running a side plot, wherein Voilena Omoroi has a chance to make contact with members of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, the organization her moth belonged to. So whoever the first one to three people are, they are playing through this until the rest arrive.

Voilena heads to Bookmaker, looking for a book on Osirioni to help her translate portions of her Grimoire. There she finds the book she needs, but it's our of her price range. Noticing Costa's flier looking for adventurers to take care of his "haunt" issue (from the Korvosa book), Voilena offers her assistance, plus those of her friends. Costa would have been suspicious of the three of them offering to spend the night in his shop, but he noticed that Voilena has a Palatine Eye worked into her clothes. So he agrees to their assistance. Costa's ex-partner in the Bookmaker was a member of the Esoteric Order, who returned to Ustalev some years ago. (I've reworked the Society Scenario The Veteran's Vault for this side quest, plus come up with a mystery investigation to cover Costa's Haunt issue).

Voilena, Corvin and Zaskia investigate the bookshop. They find some diminuative foot prints of ink in a few spots across the shop. The Gunslinger uses her alchemy to determine the type of ink is unusual. While it's not high enough quality to count as Spellbook Ink, it's still higher quality than anything else Costa sells. Other than that, they basically get the lay of the land, learning that Costa's heard strange noises and found objects changing locations across the bookstore. Some of it happens at night, some during the day. The worst of the night sounds comes in waves, of some nights where it's terrible and some nights where's there's nothing, but he's never found anyone or thing. The Pharasmans say no ghosts, undead or haunts, and the Korvosan Guard didn't find anything either (I removed the new UG tunnel part).

The trio spend the night, spread across the shop in four locations (with Bella), listening for trouble. Voilena falls asleep. Corvin feels Bella's excitement and beginning of a stalk through their empathic link. He heads over to help her, but before he gets to her, he feels her confusion, and then her settling down to look again. When he finds her, he tries talking to her, but she's confused. She never saw anything. A few hours later, Zaskia, on the second floor, hears movement and follows it. As she approaches, the tiny footsteps stop. After a few minutes, there's no more noise, so she investigates further, finding nothing but a petrified fern. Zaskia investigates for a while. In the morning, the three group up and discuss the night. After talking to Costa some more, they put the petrified fern into the pot they think it was taken from, head home and get some sleep.

Zaskia picks up some backs of chalk powder, and our heroes return the bookstore for research and another night of investigation. Once more Bella seems to notice something and then forget about it, to Corvin's minor confusion. Once more Zaskia hears a noise, this time heading towards her. She lays in ambush, but the noise eventually stops. With the aid of the powder she's spread in an area on the second floor, she's able to find tiny little footprints (different from those made of ink from the previous day) which end at the same petrified fern from the previous day. She notices the part one part of the fern, the center part, has layers of chalk on it, while the other parts touching the ground where she found it only have a small amount. The group gathers to discuss, come to few conclusions and return to their original places. On doing so, Zaskia finds a crude drawing of a fern in the chalk near her starting point. Upon finding it, she makes a smart remark and hears giggles coming from a spot on the roof. She returns the fern to it's pot once more and finish off the night with no new clues.

Hypertime Interlude over for now, back to the module

Our heroes finally decide to visit the Queen to return her brooch, but first they go to the Sanctuary of Shelyn to return the Abalone Holy Symbol stolen from there. They return it to the Shelyn singer/priestess there and make friends with a number of people, and are offered favors and friendship as a reward. First they're told of a place where they can get appropriate clothing for meeting the Queen. They go to the Korvosan branch of "Fine Fittings" to buy fancy clothes and have them tailored. For most of them this is no big deal. For Soug it's a little more of an issue, as they need clothes which help disguise his Goblin nature. Eventually they buy and pay for their new clothes (at varying prices) with the understanding they'll pick them up tomorrow after the alterations are done. They spend the rest of the day shopping for appropriate jewelry and then head back to Corvin's apartment. On the way, they stop back at the Sanctuary of Shelyn, to see if they can get Zaskia's nails done (she's a Changeling). The finest artist they have seems somewhat reluctant and asks for a night to mull over possibilities.

The next day they pick of their clothes. Komara is shown how to ratched a cleverly made turban onto Soug's head, thus helping to disguise Soug (along with foot tall shoes and a paddd set of robes) as a beardless, Dwarven Wizard. They return the Sanctuary and when Zaskia is led aware for make up and a manicure, the rest of the party gets their makeup down as well. Komara's having some problems as his Filth Fever from the spiderseeing madman from his dreams hicks in, but they're able to find him some alchemical remedies that will make him presentable for the Queen. The artist working on Zaskia's nails does an amazing job on them, and a new artform in Korvosa may have been born (surprisingly good roll).

And so our heroes are off to Castle Korvosa, where they are welcomed with almost open arms and get to see the Queen with shocking ease. The Queen rewards them for the return of her brooch and asks them to aid the city. They agree and Sabina sends a runner to Citadel Volshyenek, while the party decides to return to Corvin's to change clothes first.

On the way, the party is accosted by a drunken Grau Soldado, who think Zaskia is his old friend Neffi from Sandpoint. Zaskia punches his face in, at which point he notices Voilena. Grau was the helpful member of the Guard who testified as to the fisherman's lies in court, thus getting Dragos freed. Voilena tries to talk to him, but she's not rolling very well, so Grau is distracted by Komara and challenges him to an honor duel. The gothic noble-wannabe refuses the challenge, and after failing to get any traction, Grau wanders off elsewhere for a new drink. Fortunately, Zaskia takes pity on him and heads after him to make sure he's ok. She succeeds and takes him to an Inn to sober him up (thus keeping me from having to re-write the beginning of the next module). Soug shadows her (running into some Charlatans from whom she considers buying drugs, poisons, or cold remedies from) while the rest of the party retires for the evening.

The next day, Zaskia, Soug, and the ashamed and repentant Grau meet up with the party. While the others talk inside, Grau has a random encounter in the streets with Drain Spiders (in a furthering of indicating the remaining dangers of the city, anyone in the party by themselves gets a random encounter roll when going somewhere by themselves) who he kills slowly, as they can barely hit him even 4 on 1. Grau then escorts them to Citadel Volyshenek where they were expected (yesterday). Grau turns himself in for desertion of duty and the party is shown in to Field Marshal Cressida Kroft.

They agree to their first mission, and the players al receive organization sheets for the Korvosan Guard. Three of the players get their own additional organizations, but I couldn't think of anything for the other two (nor have they to date). Komara is part of the Church of Pharasma in his role as one of the Crows in Korvosa. Voilena will be joining the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye as soon as the subquest is complete. And Zaskia is part of the Wandering Varisians "organization".

Sleepy laReef wrote:
Session 5 - The Queen Awaits

Session 5 (01-17-17) Synopsis by Zaskia

Things are finally calming down a bit in Korvosa. The mobs that plagued our streets have become a general unease in the populace as everyone tries to brace themselves for what might develop at the start of Queen Ileosa’s reign. Oh, and food is in short supply. Yay!

In any case, our intrepid explorers, the Party With No Name, took a detour to the Sanctuary of Shelton. There they met with Cesarina the gardener, who showed them about the place. After some searching, the owner of the recovered abalone shell holy symbol was discovered (the choir leader, Amarina). Our heroes availed themselves of the Shelynite’s knowledge of local artisans to get a recommendation for acquiring fancy duds to try to gain admittance to the castle to return the Queen's brooch.

A short while later, our heroes were in the friendly confines of Fine Fittings, trying on clothes suited for much, much richer people. Even Soug found attire he could wear, squeezing into robes and a hat that could conceal his goblinoid features in the disguise of a very foreign dignitary. With clothing plans thus made, and makeup and nails done at the Sanctuary of Shelynite (much to the chagrin of Master Painter Lanliss) the next day, our heroes trekked over to see the Queen.

At the castle, the reception was...almost like they were expected. Promptly let in, and marched up the many, many stairs, our heroes found themselves under the scrutiny of [Captain/Lady/Door Warden/The Queen's Bodyguard?] Sabina. She questioned them about their errand and intentions before escorting them to an audience with Queen Ileosa. Distraught over her husband's death and the unrest in her city, the Queen rewarded the party with a chest of gold ingots and a request that they consider other ways that they might assist the city in its time of need. Specifically, the City Guard.

An escort was kindly offered, that they might immediately go to their assistance. Not looking forward to guard duty in their fancy clothes, the Party With No Name declined the escort, but offered their assistance in the near future. They were told to seek out Captain Cressida Croft.

On their way back to Corvin’s apartment, they were accosted by a very drunk guard sergeant, one Grau Soldado. Mistaking Zaskia for a former school acquaintance (Neffie?), Grau got kinda handsy and was backhanded for his troubles. Then he proceeded to go off on both Voilena and Komara for ignoring the city in its peril and being part of the problem- going so far as to challenge Komara to a duel right there in the street. Fortunately, Komara declined to take exception to the drunken rambling, and defused the situation in a most self effacing manner.

As the others tried and failed to get through to the despondent guardsman and finally gave up, Zaskia figured she'd try to get him to come around without everyone else crowding in. After a few more rounds and a bit more conversation Grau finally started to come around, and before long was headed off to a local hotel, escorted by Zaskia, to sleep it off.

The next morning, the two returned to Corvin's apartment, and the whole team headed off to Citadel Volshyenek. There they met Guard Captain Cressida Croft, who commissioned them to retrieve an errant guardman, Varric Van Kaskerkan. Apparently Varric has some strong opinions about the Queen, and has convinced some fellow guardmen to desert their post and join him near Northgate at a shop called All the Worlds Meet. Or All the World's Meat. Or All the Worlds Mete. Stupid homophones.

Group name options (anyone)?

The Harrow Seekers
The Harrow Hunters
The Steel Shepherds (apologies to Gaedrenn Lamm)
Zellara's Chosen
Zellara's Hand

Session 6 - Back on Track

Hypertime part 2

Corvin's the only one early, so he gets his own brief encounter. He's patrolling the bookstore alone, and suddenly he finds himself on the second floor, sword in hand, covered in horribly smelly sparkly white powder with no idea how he got there. Bella trots in and looks at him in confusion.
The next day he's joined by Voilena and Zaskia. They do some more research and then continue their nightly investigations. Based on the hypothesis that fey are the likely culprit, they discover Polovoi in the books, and so put a small give of milk and breadcrumbs under a table, hen scatter to wait. Zaskia discovers someone has moved the fern AGAIN, and she puts it back in the initial pot, after noting the fern looks different somehow. On checking, the milk and breadcrumbs are gone. Some shenanigans ensure when Zaskia drops a bag of chalk dust on Corvin from the second floor, to mimic his situation from the previous night. When Corvin goes to investigate, bot Corvin and Zaskia feel magics attempting to affect them. They fight off the energies, but Voilena is less successful when she goes upstairs (after throwing up a Detect Undead) and shrinks to half size. As she does so, the others see a glowing, humanoid shape flying on the other side of the room. It reaches the door of Costa's apartment and vanishes before they can reach it.
The following night they set up much the same. However, Corvin posts Bella by the fern and tells her to attack anyone moving it. A few hours later he feels Bella's confusion and everyone hears her attack. When they investigate, they find Bella next to a partly destroyed fern that is decidedly not petrified. A Stabilize spell is cast and actually goes off, followed by a Cure Light Wounds which seems to fix the damage done to the plant before they replant it. Corvin and Bella remain in that alcove the rest of the night, and at some point the fern was either replaced or petrified. Upon checking, they find that the table they placed the food underneath has been shrunk to 1/16 it's normal size. Lastly, they head a noise downstairs. On investigating, they find someone has been doing Calligraphy to copy part of an entry from a book. Strangely, no ink is found.
The next day Komora tries to lend his aid. First they check civil records of the area and rule out any chance this is building or location related. This night is less eventful. Komora and Zaskia post themselves in the fern corner, and nothing happens there. Bella falls asleep and Corvin and Voilena wander the downstairs for a time getting lost and telling funny stories in an attempt to convince the fey to come talk to them. They hear the Calligraphy once more, and they eventually find someone has built a house out of books around the sleeping Bella, with the miniature buffet out heroes had supplied that night moved in front of her.

After that last bit of nonsense, we returned to the Adventure Path as our heroes moved to investigate All the World's Meat. On the way they do some asking around, learning of the four Cow Hammer Boys and their mercenary ways, plus their giving away of meat and the fact no one's spotted Verik in a while. A few players notice that the Vancaskerkin family has shown up again. The adventurers theorize that the "villains" are doing mercenary work to pay for their free food program. They decide to talk it out and walk in and drop the "special cuts" line. So the Cow Hammer Boys close shop for a discussion. It soon becomes evident the heroes don't want to discuss any mercenary work, they want to discuss why these guys deserted. The Cow Hammer boys aren't interested in a discussion of their previous jobs, so when the invaders refuse to leave, they call up reinforcements. The party attacks them and drops three of them immediately with a Color Spray (since cover doesn't help versus CS). The fourth tries to run but is beaten down just outside the shop. Fearing that the locals won't abide by the attack on free food in this time of trouble, our heroes drag the last unconscious foe inside and shut the door, but not before they're spotted by a cutpurse (random encounter triggered by "did anyone see us") outside. Fortunately, the party had invested in saps before coming. While Zaskia and Komara set about making sure everyone was unconscious for a while, Verik dithered upstairs about whether to go downstairs or out the window, and Corvin and Soug decided to verify the rest of downstairs was clear. After a few more rounds, Verik introduced himself and showed why the AP wanted him fought solo. I underestimated how dangerous he would be at that level. He said hi from the top of the stairs with an arrow that bloodied Corvin, while yelling at them to get out of his shop. Corvin, Soug, and Bella then investigated everywhere else, leaving Verik to the others. Zaskia double moved to infront of Verik, forcing him to switch to the spear, which he then bloodies Zaskia with. Soug attepts to tumble past, fails, and becomes the only person Verik missed with an attack. Zaskia took away the spear, so Verik closed the door so he could retrieve his bow (I apparently added a door to the top of the stairs). They failed to dislodge him from blocking off the door after Voilena healed Zaskia. When they tried the next round they found Verik had pulled back to the other room and was firing more arrows from the choke point. He re-bloodies Zaskia. Finally Komara and Voilena try diplomacy, but a DC 32 is basically unreachable at 2nd level. Zaskia has been trying some talking and threatening, but only with free actions, so the much easier Intimidate is never attempted. And then Verik rolled a nat 20 and confirmed on the previously uninjured Voilena. I've got a "Get out of Death" free card I've been holding, but I can only use it once, so Verik rolled a shocking 1, 1, 1 on 3d8 (s0 that's why people use DM screens) and Voilena dropped off the minimum crit of 24 damage. At this point, the PCs removed their gloves. A Color Spray blinded and stunned Verik , with Soug considered to be acceptable collateral damage there, and the changeling sheathed her claws somewhere inside of Verik over two rounds wile they healed Voilena. They did refrain from killing him, though they never did question him. They looted the building hurriedly (missing the Cow Hammer Boy's misgotten gains, finding only people's gear, small casks of salt, a strange enchanted silver dagger they can't identify, and some paperwork from upstairs [old paperwork from the closed business which Verik was trying to compose a love letter on the back of].

The party loaded up the cart with five unconscious bodies and Komara and Zaskia commenced to pulling it back to Citadel Volshyenek. They trailed immediately by three curpurses, and eventually blocked off by another three (as the original random encounter ran off for reinforcements, knowing there's be loot available from whoever survived the battle with the mercenaries). The cutpurses tried to mug the party, first mentioning that they know the party must have walked out the with CHB's treasure, and they dropping the politeness. A battle ensures and the cutpurses learn they were very outmatched. One escapes, they rest are dropped, looted, and left to stabilize (or not) in the streets.

Upon reaching Citadel Volshyenek, our heroes hand over the deserters and claim their rewards. Then they are told Gaedrenn Lamm is being transferred to the Longacre Building tomorrow and offered the opportunity to help escort the prisoner transport. The party happily agrees and go off to rest and level before tomorrow's busy day.

Session 7, back off the rails

Hypertime Interlude 3
Voilena spends the night alone in Bookmaker, searching to end the mystery. She heard fight and arrived to find noting but a sparkly, stinky white cloud. Inside, she found a tiny pile of splinters with red granules on them.
The next day they discover the existence of Petrifern in their research, explaining part of the mystery. Then Zaskia spends the night alone. Nothing much happens (though her Pole Arm turned invisible), until she started randomly speaking Draconic in the room. At that point she has a conversation with an unseen individual in Draconic. This person references that he's been there for years, trying to read all the books. There are some others who are more recent residents. The aloof individual isn't interested in helping, but if they can get the books in the basement unlocked, he'll help.

Back off the Rails

The group arrived at Citadel Volshyenek around noon, to assist/observe the prisoner transfer of Lamm from Volyshenek to the Long Acre Building. 12 prisoners are being transported, Lamm, the Cow Hammer Boys, Verik, two of the cutpurses who tried to mug them, and four people they didn't recognize. They 12 are secured in a barred wagon. The Wagon is driven by a Guard with a second riding Crossbow. The party falls in around the wagon, to make sure nothing awry happens.

Then they notice someone behind them knocked to the side, then Soug is knocked to the side by an unseen person. And then the zombies begin to appear. Six zombies appear, two at a time, each closer then the last. As people start to react, they attack, and two more attack, breaking their invisibility. As soon as people engagae them, they hear three large cracks, as the portion of the cart connecting the horses to the wagon, the door lock, and Lamm's manacles each shatter. Presumably the two now-visible Pugwampi are part of the cause, and the Quickling that shows up shortly after was the rest. Combat ensues, as the Fast Zomblies continue their attack, the living are hampered by the pugwampi aura, the prisoners try to escape, and the fey menace everyone. Lamm vanished from the wagon, and Corvin slowed the prisoner's escape until Komara Color Sprayed the wagon.

Three prisoners made it out of the cage, one of the cutpurses escaped, and a random cultist was murdered by the maniacal Quickling. Lamm tried to sneak away invisibly , but was ultimately caught via Detect Magic (darn his broken hip). Soug and Bella fell to the zombie assault, but they were rescued before they died. The Quickling was a nuisance, attacking those just healed, coup de gracing anyone left alone too long, and striking anywhere he pleased. An imp dropped by to harass them but didn't stay long. Eventually the PCs get everything under control and the Quickling departs in boredom, but not before telling Gaedrenn something about a Rolth's plan being almost good enough.

The authorities arrived and, with the help of some House Drakes, brought the horses back. The party Mended the cart back together and everyone was off the Longacre. Once there, Gaedrenn implied to Corvin that he had one last card to play, info about his mother in return for getting him out of there.

And with luck next week we'll make it to Eel's End at last.

Session 8 Back to Plot

I hate typing one of these entirely out and then losing it. Such a pain. Redoing it. Argh.

Corvin investigates what Lamm implied when he was dropped off at the Longacre building. He calls in a few favors with the Korvosan Guard to get to visit both Lamm and his Arbiter, the infamous Zenobia Zenderholm. Lamm tells him that he was first on the scene, and he knows the signs of violence better than the law. He can describe the wounds and how she was killed. He’d like out, but he’d settle for not being killed. Corvin decides against trying to break him out. The Hanging Judge says the evidence against him is clear cut, and his decades of crime deserve the maximum punishment (torture and death). She can question him. She can have the torturers question him. She can try to delay the trial a few days to give Corvin some time, but that’s all she can manage for him. He thanks her and leaves. After looking into the murder of his mother, he learns that she was “savaged by an animal or something” and there was little investigation. No leads, no witnesses, nothing to go in. The nobles asked for her body immediately for a funeral. Corvin goes and seeks counsel from Voilena and Zaskia. Corvin decides against hiring an investigator. They discuss possible divinations, and decide to never tell Soug.

Zaskia's Hypertime interlude at the Sanctuary of Shelyn. While attending the monthly “talent show” at the Sanctuary, Zaskia notices Amarina seems worried about something. Upon investigating, she learned that Amarina was worried about an old man she hadn’t seen since before the King died. He was an old, sad seeming man. He showed up every month and only seemed to smile during her solo. In fact, he was the main reason she sang a solo every month, to make him smile for a few minutes. Zaskia offered to investigate, and upon gaining the description, realized she was talking about Gaedrenn Lamm. Zaskia reluctantly brought Amarina up to speed on his situation. Amarina was shocked, but she felt as if she should visit him in jail, one last time. At Zaskia’s request, she agreed to speak to him on Corvn’s behalf.

The party, minus Komara, return to Citadel Volshyenek, where their presence was requested yesterday. On arriving, they were shown in to
Cressida and Vencarlo Orsini. She asked them to see if Devargo Barvasi had any intelligence on a Chelish Ambassador who was threatening the stability of the city. She left with an Honor Guard for a meeting at the Castle, as the party and Vencarlo headed towards Old Korvosa. Corvin and Vencarlo argued, politely, for a time on who would guide them, until Bella led the way in frustration. On the way, the group discussed politics, the state of the city, heroism, etc. Most of them noticed that the city seemed to be roiling, as if something had happened. Soug snuck off and got word that the identity of Eodred’s murderer was circulating, which was increasing the city’s unrest. As they reached Old Korvosa, Vencarlo went off to investigate as the party headed to Eel’s End.

On reaching Eel’s End, the party split up to investigate. They made some money, and spent some time, eventually finding a drugged out man who’d seen the Ambassador head into Barvasi’s area once. At that point, the party sought entry. However they didn’t have an appointment, and the Enforcers were more loyal (scared of Barvasi) then they were hungry for bribes. They offered to take a letter to them if they’d provide one. After more time prevaricating, the party eventually wrote a letter requesting a meeting and passed it on with “postage”. They settled in to wait for a reply, gambling, whoring and sleeping. Soug played a game of Knivesies versus a penniless, desperate commoner whom she crushed. It was ok though, she bought him a 2CP beer before he left. Zaskia similarly trounced Adam the Face Stabber, a Duelist seeking reknown. After midnight when Barvasi’s guests left and the letter went in, our heroes retired to the “inn” one at a time for nights in cramped, safe beds.

The next day they sought entry around noon, where they were told they were expected for dinner. So they return at dinner time and welcomed before the Throne of Spiders. Barvasi is entertaining a half dozen thugs, one of whom some of the party recognize as Lamm’s old employee Giggles. Corvin gives accounting of the group, so Barvasi agrees he might have something, and a game of Knivesies may help him remember. The party with their two Knivesies champions eagerly agreed. While they failed to agree internally who to send, Corvin jested that he would do it. Barvasi accepted, and soon enough a Thug and Corvin stood across from each other on a table. Corvin managed to succeed, and the thug was sent off in disgrace. Happy now, Barvasi agreed to sell the remaining letters for a mere 1,500 gold. The party angered him in their poor attempt to haggle him down. So he lowered his price to only 1,500 gold AND two victories in knivesies. So Soug battled with Giggles in Knivesies and became triumphant. Then Zaskia stepped forth for the final round. As the thugs argued about who would face the 6 foot Varisian with 4 inch nails, Giggles shoved them aside and competed again. While he made one or two attempts for coins, he was there for blood (though he’d rather have faced Komara) and he had leveled since last they fought. Zaskia still managed to win, knocking him out and off the table with only a single coin remaining.

An amused Barvasi restated his terms. Zaskia agreed, on the condition that she also got the caged House Drake. Barvasi laughed, he’d never let his faithful pet go, not for less than 5 grand. When Zaskia expressed surprise at how much he liked his pet, Barvasi offered to show her how entertaining he could be. And so he called forth for a spider. Soon afterwards, a Dream Spider came up from downstairs. It crawled across the roof, down the chain and attacked the Drake. Although the cage provided cover both ways, Dream Spiders are terribly ineffective. The terrified Drake managed to get the upper hand, but before he could win, Zaskia ended the fight with a swing of her Bec de Corbin.

Already angered when he heard the party’s whispering and seeing their avoidance of his trap door, Barvasi took this insult poorly. “Kill them all”

And so the longest combat to date began. While the thugs shortly proved to be well outmatched, Barvasi’s lead off shot with a Hand Crossbow did a surprising amount of damage (with three dice of sneak attack). However, a timely Bec de Corbin critical and a Spiritual Weapon attack dropped him before he could engage with his blades or realize he needed help. Giggles put up something of a fight, but still injured from Knivesies, he went down as well. Two more thugs dropped almost immediately convinced the remaining two that they were out of their league, so they took Corvin’s advice and left. Screaming. At the top of their lungs. Right past the Enforcers. And four ships worth of people.

Cue massive battle. One Enforcer arrived each round for the next full minute. The party had expended most of their healing in Knivesies. The following melee was active. Corvin dropped, Bella dropped, Soug dropped, Zaskia came close. Voilena was never hit between her armor and Harrow points. They were really missing Komora and his color sprays. Some of the downed were healed enough to get back in the fight. Voilena’s last Channel Energy got most of the party and two of the Enforcers back up. After a two hour battle, including Zaskia’s new familiar stealing Barvasi’s potions and feeding them to unconscious PCs, the party stood victorious. One Enforcer had tried to flee but was dropped in step, and he fell off the boat to the hungry reefclaws below. The final enforcer, seeing Barvasi’s body, fled, screaming to the rest of the boas.

As the party struggled to get each other up, Eel’s End went mad with the Enforcers all down Barvasi supposedly dead. Fights broke out, braziers were knocked over. Made mad by the noise and violence above, four reefclaws managed to scale the Golden Dragon and went inside, ripping and tearing comatose customers. Upturned braizers caught lace and silk on fire, and the brothel boat started to blaze, as violence overcame the Twin Tigers.

And so we called it for the week, as madness reigns.

Any feedback? Yay? Nay?

Session 9 – Valentine Delays

We’d planned on playing through Valentine’s Day as only Komora couldn’t make it. However, Zaskia had to ditch at the last moment. I offered them to continue through Eel’s End without them, and I gave the alternative of dealing with personal plots in Hypertime. So we have a night of Hypertime.

Komara was called on for a day patrol in the Grey District, but he couldn’t make it as “his Grandad was sick” so he asked his boon companions to cover for him. So Corin, Bella and Voilena agreed to take care of his patrol, working with Oli’via and Lawrence, a Pharasman Cleric and Ranger.

While on patrol, the were first ambushed by a terribly ugly Dread Zombie and a bewildering number of skeletal bats. Someone had stitched on sheets of leather to their wings so they could still fly (poorly). They didn’t appear to be any real threat, other than through sheet numbers.

During the fight, someone spotted a man crossing a hill at the edge of their vision. After dragging all of the undead bodies to the road for later disposal, the patrol went off to track then stranger, finding wheelbarrow tracks. On the way, they run into a dozen Gnome, Halfling or child zombies. While battling them, a ghoul snuck up on them. None of their foes proved dangerous though.

While moving the corpses to the road, Corvin stopped the stranger again, heading in the other direction. They ran him down with little trouble. While he had a Crow badge and claimed to be on business, half the party believed him lying while the remainder knew that he was out of bounds even for a Crow. So he was taken back to the Grand Cathedral. After he was questioned there by Pharasmans, they asked the party, known as allies of the Guard, to escort this Elkaris fellow to Citadel Volshyenek for more thorough questioning. They do so, helping to collect the undead corpses on the way.

And then, done with gaining Komara faction and foreshadowing an upcoming event, they went back to Bookmaker to continue Voilena’s side plot.

The three brought up what Zaskia discovered from the invisible figure speaking Draconic, but Costa didn’t know anything about books in the basement. After some poor Diplomacy checks, he saw no reason to allow anyone into the basement.

Soug and Corvin researched Shoanti in an attempt to figure out Soug’s past. Then Corvin spent the rest of the night failing research while Soug fell asleep.
Voilena took extra pains to make sure the others didn’t try anything with the basement door.
In early morning, Voilena became involved in a battle. She ended up with teeth ripped out, very painful wounds, bloodied, paralyzed and sickened. However, she doesn’t remember how it happened, what she saw, or who she fought with Mace and Spell. Bella got to her to help in the fight, but remembered nothing either. Soug slept through it and Corvin was distracted by research.

The next day they failed to research anything. They discussed the calligraphy with Costa, but he claims it was something a shop girl was making, with several examples on display. That night, Bella almost caught the calligrapher in action, but whatever it was vanished before she got there. Nothing else happened that cloudy night.
The following day they returned to “All The World’s Meat” at Soug’s insistence. Alas, it had been some days since they left there, so the place was fully looted. They found where someone else had found the Cow Hammer Boy’s treasure, and the salt, firewood, cauldrons, and anything else valuable was gone. They did a quick once over of the building. They considered prying up the grate, but avoided the encounter and loot within as too much work.

Afterwards they went on to look for Shoanti. They didn’t accomplish much, but this did go back to the Shoanti Enclave which Soug had robbed three years ago.

Also, Soug told her story of her death one more, this time giving enough details that’s Voilena could identify that she was Reincarnated.

Session 10 – There will be less spiders now

Hypertime Interlude

Night 12 - Corvin, Bella, Voilena continue their research and vigil. They theorize there are multiple different types of Fey present, so maybe there’s a portal to the First World as wel. They can’t find one with a Detect Magic sweep, but realize that perhaps the portal is only open at certain times. During the night, Voilena does Detect Magic checks hourly. Voilena interrupts the calligrapher, but then lets him get back to work.

Night 13 - Corvin, Bella, Voilena and Zaskia’s latest set of research nets them a full list of all tiny and diminuative fey. While Aquatic and some other Fey are assumed unlikely, the Tooth Fairies have a strong likeliehood after Voilena’s battle. Some of the other Fey seem as well likely. Bella kills what is assumed to be a Tooth Fairy before anyone else could get there. Voilena pops Detect Magic when she things the Calligrapher is near, and she notices that the Calligraphy pen looked to have a quickly fading magical aura around it.


Vencarlo Orsini found Komora in Bridgefront where he’d been taking care of his grandfather. The party had been missing since they went to Eel’s End a few days ago. Vencarlo isn’t welcome there, and he’s worried, so he escorted Komara over to look for them as the city’s unrest grew. Komora arrived in time for spiders, lots of spiders. They were pouring from the open door of the ship and spreading to the Pier and each of the adjacen, attached boats.

The party continues
The party had continued investigating, leaving the fires, reefclaws and gamblers to their own devices, after complaining how unrealistic it is for a ruckus to develop between hotheaded, armed criminals with money on the line when those responsible for keeping the peace were gone and monsters attacked while the city was in uprising over the king’s murder. They went through the belowdecks one room at a time, eventually finding Barvasi’s stash including the black mail letters. They hesitated before the door with the spider drawing, saying if they opened the door and saw spiders, they’d be closing the door and leaving.

Unbeknownst to the party, Komara was investigating the chaos outside, trying to figure out where his friends were. Deciding the largest boat and the deck full or bodies as the best bet, he started over there, just in time to behold in horror the thousands of spiders spilling from the middle deck to the adjacent boats and dock. As the spiders moved from the huge boat to the adjacent vessels, they shied away from the fires of the Cloud of Dragons, so he stuck close to it, so that he could access Eel’s End after they passed. He watched them swarm into the inn boat and the drug den boat, and he pushed past into the main boat. He reached the second deck and entered the Throneroom of Spiders just in time to see a man-sized giant spider crawllng from the open trapdoor in front of him, reminding him of Zellara’s Harrowing, where one of the cards was translated strangely as “There will be spiders.”

The party continues

Downstairs, the party opened the spider marked door and saw a massive number of iridescent webs. Deciding they wanted nothing to do with spiders, they shut the door and left. Soug heard noises upstairs, so they bolted for the stairs. Corvin was slow and thus saw the Spider door opened by someone within, and two Dream Spiders crawled out to attack Corvn and Bella. Upstairs, Komara learned vermin don’t notice Color Sprays as the giant spider webs him down and tries to eat him. The others get upstairs, but as they do four more Dream Spiders crawl from the trapdoor and attack them. Though they’re tearing through the Dream Spiders, they do distract them long enough for the Ettercap to make a run for it. Two AoOs, a bolt, and a bullet later, it falls into the sea, where it enters a life and death struggle with a jig saw shark.

After killing the last of the spiders, the party decides what they want to do. Corvin, Bella and Soug try to separate the burning brothel from the other boats, but no one has any knowledge of boats, so they settle for cutting down all the ropes and bridges. The fracas on the Twin Tigers appears to be down to spider swarms snacking on dead thugs and reefclaws. Komora and Zaskia and Voilena drag the 8 unconscious enforcers and Giggles to the dock, where they loot them of their magic and masterwork equipment. Soug has to run through a few spider swarms to escape. The PCs then watch Eel’s End burn, since the current wasn’t enough to push the boats (which were not very seaworthy) further than into each other , and make their way back to Citadel Volshyenek.

They understand why there was less of a fuss about the mayhem, as they see the city has degenerated to anarchy once more. Majenko heads off to find info for them, and Corvin grabs one of the Wanted Posters for Trinia Sabor off the wall. When they talk to Cressida, she takes the blackmail letters and tells them of them to meet her at City Hall tomorrow, as she’ll want their help. She also thanks them, pays them, and grant them Marks of the Drake. Komara tries to give his back in private, as he wasn’t there for most of the mission. Cressida says she will look into it and that she’ll tell him if she needs it back.

The group rests at the Guardhouse, taking advantage of some of the free healing, as they took quite the beating and would, it seems, need their full resources the following day.

The next morning the party does a little re-equipping, spreading around the +1 Studded Leather Armors, getting a Potion of CL each and buying a group Wand of CL. They succeed in pushing through the area between Citadel Volshyenek and City Hall without too much trouble.

The party asks after Cressida at City Hall and are shown to a meeting room she’s taken over for what looks like research. She tells them what she knows of Trinia, the guard’s confession and suicide and asks them to go bring her Trinia, whose address she has just found. Then she heads off to get guards to the outskirts of Midtown, so they’ll have someone to hand her over to.

Quick Hypertime aside – the next time Zaskia is at the Sanctuary of Shelyn, she met with Amarina. Amarina was overjoyed that the man Zaskia told her about, to be executed at Longacre (AKA Gaedren Lamm) was in fact NOT the old man she’s talked to Zaskia about. He was just some madman. Zaskia, who was quite sure in the description, seems puzzled.

Session 11 – The Shingles Chase

Hypertime Interlude

Night 14 - Voilena, Zaskia, Corvin and Bella – Voilena and Zaskia began researching Fey Gates, while Corvin decided not to research anything. Corvin posted himself at the basement door, and Voilena stayed there to keep an eye on them. They both fell asleep. Zaskia posted herself upstairs, in the opposite corner from the basement door, and Bella patrolled. Bella headed over to the counter, when she heard the calligrapher. She was there by herself for a time, and then Zaskia jumped down from above. She didn’t quite catch the Calligrapher but had apparently interrupted him. All that was there was a propped open book with a golden pen for a bookmark. Zaskia apologized and headed out. Later on, something battled three tooth fairies, apparently. Bella, Zaskia and Corvin got there too late, but Zaskia saw a pair tiny forms fleeing and then caught for auras. They eventually shook her attempt to follow them. Corvin found a tiny tooth and they tried to return it to the combatants. They apparently took it, but later returned it. Bella was found sometime later after some unusual activity and the tiny tooth. The still unnamed party brought Costa up to speed, but he had nothing new to add.

Days after Lamm’s execution, Corvin headed back to the Longacre Building to verify his death. On inquiring after Lamm and giving his name, he received a note from Zenia. In it, she gave the results of her questioning of Lamm, in which he refused to answer any questions while under the effects of magic. She also provided the results of his torture, which was that the first day of torture broke him, and he did nothing but babble nonsense afterwards. They tortured him for another day on principle, and then he was executed. Corvin passed the letter on to Soug.

Real time:

The group had left Cressida previously, heading from City Hall to Midlands. Majenk has to bow out for the time, as the Imp/Drake war in the skies had rekindled, with the party seeing flights and murders attacking each other in the skies. Seeing that the large groups of people causing problems were mostly on the main streets, the party stuck to side streets. At one point, they saw a pack of feral dogs mowed down by a patrol of HellKnights. Eventually they reached her building, making no attempts at stealth and talking to no one. Soug was left on guard outside. Bella went up the walls of the bulding. Komara, Zaskia, and Voilena tried to find her Shingles apartment while Corvin kept going up, to cut her off if needed.

The three found her apartment and knocked, to no answer. Eventually they kicked the door in, and found her asleep in her bed. Komora was worried about magic, so he had everyone stand behind him as he cast Detect Magic and began concentrating. Bella was attacked by a half dozen cutpurses on one of the roofs, prompting Corvin to head to a window to see if she was ok. In doing so, he saw Trinia skipping out and hollered out an alarm. When he did so, Zaskia strode forward and shook Trinia’s shoulder, showing her to be an illusion. Looking out the window, the Chase was on.

At this point I’m not real happy with how the Chase went. The rules from the Game Mastery Guide didn’t make sense to me. So we “clarified” them with the rules from the second chase deck. I didn’t give Trinia enough of a lead, so the PCs were catching up to her way too fast. The Rooftop Runner was frustrated, he was Medium encumbered and never made a single check. The PCs were so close to her, she never got a chance to use her Wand, as doing so would just mean they caught up faster. Fortunately, one of the cards was very difficult to get past (Perception 25 or Climb 30, for Trinie a Nat 18 or Nat 20), and she got stuck on it, so Zaskia was able to catch up to her. Komora got mired once and fell off, that was great. Soug started Mired, so she had to climb up to the first card. Corvin was coming from a different direction, so I gave him a different card (drawn from random from the Chase 2 deck), which he could never get past, until he got frustrated, and went back to help Bella, who had been waylaid by a random encounter which was keeping her out of the Chase (I’ve established that going out by yourself gets you a Random Encounter, to encourage togetherness with the PCs, Soug rolled no Encounter). When Zaskia caught up to Trinia on the hard card, she tried to reason with her. Of course, Diplomacy in combat is pretty hard to do. Still, I did a crappy job of RPing her, basically going with descriptions instead of RP, indicating she was terrified of getting killed and not having her surrender because of it. Zaskia made every save, Trinia couldn’t get off the square (was considering having her jump, move to the next square and climb back up then) and eventually Zaskia grappled her so she stopped fighting. All in all, I’m not happy with the Chase or how I ran it. Only two PCs could make any of the checks. The only spell they had which could have been useful was Spiritual Weapon, and they didn’t want to hurt her.

Though Bella and Corvin killed six cut purses, all of which were previously established as having decent loot, the PCs didn’t loot them and continued on. (They didn’t loot Barvasi either. In looting his enforcers, they never used Detect Magic, and I had to make up some skill checks to make sure they didn’t miss the 8 suits of enchanted armor. I don’t know why they’re suddenly skipping all the loot.)

The convinced Trinia that they wouldn’t hurt her and she had no choice but to go to the Korvosan Guard. They disguised her for the trip out of the District. It’s good they did, as a Random Encounter pulled in an Accuser Devil. He was acting as a checkpoint, requiring everyone to show and name themselves. They did so, explaining they were taking this woman to the Guard and refusing to tell anything else. It made Trinia show herself and didn’t see through the disguise. It did see through Soug’s disguise so it made a douchie remark. Soug returned in kind, which pissed the Accuser off, so it told them they could leave, but Soug had to stay. The party wasn’t happy with that. It offered them the alternative of taking everyone to the HellKights, which the party balked at (due to Trinia). Eventually, as the Accuser was getting more and more threatening, everyone left as ordered except Soug and Voilena. The Accuser was just planning on hurting Soug, so it settled on hurting both.

The Accuser went invisible and summoned 4 Lemures, surrounding the two of them in the ally. It followed that up with a pair of Bat Swarms, then moved while invisible to where it would flank). Soug had no silver weapons, so she found she was doing minimal damage to the little devils. Voilena’s Spiritual Weapon tore through the Lemures and her Burning Hands hurt the Bats. They dropped three of the Lemures in total, before they retreated. Soug was bitten by the invisible Accuser when she provoked on the way out, giving her Devil Chills. The Accuser was overstepping it’s “authority” in attacking them, so it let them go, though the Bats did follow Voilena, forcing her to heal herself. The other Bat Swarm was too interested in the last Lemure to follow.

After hooking back up and healing, they used some short cuts to catch back up with the others just as they found the nearest covered Guard Carriage once outside the Midlands. Zaskia traveled with the carriage to Citadel Volshyenek to transport Trinia, while the others followed on foot. Zaskia turned Trinia over to Cressida, who paid her and promised them both a fair interrogation and trial.

When the party re-united, they headed back to one of their resting spots, splitting the full party loot they had been setting on, selling the excess gear, splitting the usable loot, and keeping a few things. 2,000 gold richer each, they leveled and looked into getting new gear. Corvin spent everything on a Haversack. Soug is looking at a mithral dagger, replacing his armor and possibly enchanting things or picking up a Wand of CL. The others are still shopping.

In this time frame, the previous Hypertime interval where Corvin and Voilena took a patrol in the Grey District (taking Elkrais to the Citadel) took place.

A few days after shopping was done, they were asked back to Citadel Volshyenek. There they saw that the Guard was nervous and on edge. After being shown to Cressida, they met Thousand Shoulders, where they learned that under the cover of the anarchy, some racists had murdered a your Shoanti named Gaekhen, the grandson of Thousand Shoulders. Komora was distracted during the conversation as Thousand Shoulder’s Spirit Crow was staring at him the entire time, eventually flying over and landing on his shoulder to examine him further. Soug was shocked and unable to speak, amazed that Thousand Bones was the very man she’d told the party had Reincarnated her.

Thousand Shoulders did not hang around. He made his curt statement about his grandson’s murder, and that Korvosan/Shoanti relations would go very bad if his remains were not recovered from Rolth and the Dead Warrens. Zaskia remembered Rolth’s name from the attack on the Prison Transport earlier. They shortly learned that Rolth was Gaedren’s only known, living son. They learned about the Potter’s Field and that the Dead Warrens were beneath it, but didn’t get any more solid location than that.

On the way out, Zaskia told Corvin of Amarina’s meeting with Lamm and Zaskia’s suspicion that perhaps Gaedrenn hadn’t died after all.

The party is now looking for the Dead Warrens in the Grey District as well as gearing up for their first “dungeon crawl.”

Sleepy laReef wrote:

Days after Lamm’s execution, Corvin headed back to the Longacre Building to verify his death. On inquiring after Lamm and giving his name, he received a note from Zenia. In it, she gave the results of her questioning of Lamm, in which he refused to answer any questions while under the effects of magic. She also provided the results of his torture, which was that the first day of torture broke him, and he did nothing but babble nonsense afterwards. They tortured him for another day on principle, and then he was executed. Corvin passed the letter on to Soug.

After hooking back up and healing, they used some short cuts to catch back up with the others just as they found the nearest covered Guard Carriage once outside the Midlands. Zaskia traveled with the carriage to Citadel Volshyenek to transport Trinia, while the others followed on foot. Zaskia turned Trinia over to Cressida, who paid her and promised them both a fair interrogation and trial.

Hahahahahaha - "fair interrogation and trial"? Is that guard speak for "after brutally torturing the Kingslayer for the next week, just for the hell of it, we will animate her corpse to stand trial after her body finally gives out from the unending agony (and only because we can't force her soul to accept a Raise Dead so we can torture her some more, and Wish is just too expensive)?"

What alignment is your group? I didn't see it mentioned in the character descriptions above, but they seem like a rather passive bunch, always doing what the NPCs tell them to do. I'm surprised that they just didn't tear the accuser devil's head off for daring to address them - most players I've met don't tend to react well to stop and frisk.

Not trying to be a jerk, the juxtaposition of Lamm's "interrogation" with Kroft's promises of a "fair interrogation" just made me laugh. Because even the rest of Book 1 aside, you seem to have done a very good job of playing up the LE nature of Korvosa - i.e. "You're better off shooting yourself in the head than letting the cops arrest you."

To be fair, Cressida and the Korvosan Guard are LN, she meant what she told them (though torture is something the Korvosa guide book says is a standard punishment for a certain level of crime). It's not her fault that Trinia is taken away from her by the Queen's people. It is an interesting correlation I hadn't noticed. No one blinked at Lamm being tortured before he was executed, but everyone trusted Cressida as well (and they thought Trinia was probably innocent).

The entire group is CN, CG or NG, no Law in them ironically.

They didn't attack the Accuser because they didn't think it would go well for them. So far the random encounters have had an Erinyes, Barbed Devil and an Accuser Devil show up. They didn't have the fight the first two (the Erinyes was scouting for Hellkights and the Barbed Devil was sent to the Grey District to skeep an eye open for troubles starting up down there during Anarchy. They'd also seen Hellknights patrolling the district on their way to Trinia's. They didn't know if they could kill the Accuser before it got away (Greater Teleport at will) and since the Hellknight patrols they've seen all appear to be a similar make up (two armigers, two Hellknights, one Signifier) and they've seen the Signifiers use 5th level spells, they were pretty sure they'd lose a fight with the Hellknights. Since they didn't want Trinia to get caught, they took the Accuser's abuse in order to help her.

Session 12 - a Night in the Bookmaker

Komora's player is sick, and I didn't want to start the Dead Warrens without him, so I wrote up some additional encounters to slow them down from reaching the place (giving Vreeg a girlfriend and using her as the source of the Skeletal Bat Swarm I was added based on the previous skeletal bats), so of course the players decided to devote the entire game to the Bookmaker Hypertime Interlude.


Night 15 - Bella and Corvin, Voilena, Zaskia - More research, a battle with no memory (11 Tooth Fairies). All three of them failed the Will Save, so the Forgotten one was able to make everyone forgot the fight. They simply woke up injured confused. Bella knew what happened, but at this point Bella's made friends with the Atomies, as they actually used Speak with Animals to chat with her. At this point, she knows the score and is defending Costa's apartment, but she has no way to tell the PCs. This was the first time enough noise was made that Costa came out of his apartment to check up on them.

When the party retired to rest for the afternoon, Zaskia had a Nightmare. In it, she heard the siren call of her youth, which she previously resisted (which is why she'sa Changeling, not a Hag). But in the dream she fell to it, traveling north with generic companions. All of her companions die in horrible ways, and then a giant partial face in the sky warned her to not go North. She was very grumpy when she awoke, so they took the rest of the day off, deciding to go back to the bookstore the next day.

The dream was the first bit of foreshadowing. I'm planning on adding a side quest to the campaign when the party heads to Scarwall. The "Witch Queen" is forming an army up there, and she's Zaskia's Annis hag mother. She gains power by easting her children, instead of making them new Annis Hags. One of her lieutenants is thus making the rounds of the children, trying to keep them from feeding her. Foreshadowing!

Took a day off to recover from the battle and Zaskia’s bad dream

Night 16 - Bella and Corvin, Voilena, Zaskia - Feygate research complete, need a Key, a Frame/Door, and energy to open/power, basically took 20 searching the entire place top to bottom

They took the place apart and put it back together. They didn't find the gate because it's not obvious, it's one of the Calligraphies hung upon the wall, and it only shows as magic in moonlight. The 50/50 for Tooth Fairies that day came out with no encounter.

The following day, they tried again to get Costa to let them in the basement, as they're sure something down there is summoning the tooth fairies (or that he's got a dead kid buried down there). They made god arguments, so he agreed. However, he wanted to just show Voilena down there "because she was the one hired." They agreed, though Corvin was mad and unhappy about it (I'm not sure if that was player or character, now can I tell why he's so angry).

So Voilena went down to the basement and looked around. There was nothing strange except the wall sized Bas Relief of Varisian things, with the symbol of the Palatine Eye hidden on it. Costa told her the reason he hired her, and why he only wanted her down here. His old partner was a member of the Order of the Palatine Eye. He'd noticed the hidden Eye symbol in her clothing. After discussing the Order with her, he's willing to make contact with them on her behalf. He also told her there was a hidden Order safehouse back there, but it was warded. If she can take care of his issue, he'll take that as enough competence to give her what she needs to try and get in there.

Voilena has the True Silvered Throne Shaman archetype, so this is how I'm getting her in with the actual organization.

Research showed that a portal to another plane needed three key components. A Key that resonated mystically with the other Plane. An energy source to open and hold open the portal. And some sort of gateway or framework for the Portal to open in.

The Key is a piece of paper made from Hair like Autumn. The energy is moonlight shining upon it. The framework is an arcane drawing with First World symbology which the Calligraphy Wyrm copied from one of the books. And that's where the Tooth Fairies come from and why they only come out sometimes.

Night 17 - Bella and Corvin, Voilena, Zaskia, Soug - Research moves on to fluctuations in an attempt to find out why the Tooth Fairies don't show every day. Voilena walks around the place speaking in Sylvan and has a talk with something invisible after bribing it with a potion of CL. A big battle involving 7 Tooth Fairies, 6 something else (theorized as Atomies’s) occurs, in the end all of the PCs were in basically the same spot they'd found themselves after the forgotten battle earlier (which was awesome). Corvin gets shrunk while talking about Hair like Autumn and leaves in a huff, making Bella go with him though she wanted to stay.

The next day Majenko collects a bunch of bird eggs to pay to the hidden guys (as the Fey only give something when they get something), Trilby is not pleased.

Despite some kvetching, they got a lot of information and were able to do a lot of theorizing. They think there's a faerie gang war going on. In theorizing, they've basically figured everything out in some of their theories, but they haven't matched which parts of each theory matches the actual truth yet.

So, doing a weekly journal is hard. I'm obviously way behind. I do have notes I hope to one day catch up on and start posting. I did want to post one of the events of the last game, wherein the DM was hoisted by his own petard.

At the beginning of the second module, I had the players roll d20 for every PC and related NPC with Varisian blood. I didn't tell them why, but it was to see if any were immune to Blood Veil. They got one Nat 20, for Ingvano, the 10ish year nephew who was rescued from Lamm in the first game.

So the PCs are called to visit Cressida who gives them some plot info they missed, mainly than Ruan was handed over to Rolth and two Queen's Physicians. So Cressida asked the PCs to quietly investigate the Physicans and the Hospice. The PCs verified this story and determined that a large number of healthy Varisians had gone missing. They set up a sting operation which nearly worked.

The morning after they returned home, Dragos Omoroi showed up with bad news. Ingvano had been missing for several days. He was last seen taking his sick girl friend to the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden for help. Ingvano was a healthy Varisian.

The PCs did some investigation and verified that he had gone there, but that his name wasn't listed as anyone checked in (though the girl was marked as being there and died).

This is where I was petarded. I thought I was clever in replacing Ruan with Ingvano (he'll be in one of the other rooms with Varisans). However, apparently Zaskia doesn't take nephew danger lying down. She spent three grand on scrolls of Scrying and Teleport. She scryed on him and found him on the table in Ramoska's room. We ended game with them about the Teleport into Ramoska's room. With him there.


What level are your players currently?
If it's near the end of Book 2 and they're sixth level they should be alright - they basically just skipped all the upstairs portion of the hospice.
If it's near the beginning of Book 2 and they're only fourth level, you're basically going to need to extend DM mercy to them. Since they can't teleport back out there's no escape from the Hospice.

Even assuming you let them operate the elevator from below without the key, and the monsters just stay blindly in their rooms no matter how loud their neighbors scream that they're being murdered, they're going to have to deal with Ramoska (negotiate or fight him), Rolth and his assistants, and then at least some of the grey maidens/plague doctors upstairs and possibly Davaulus as well.

Ramoska on his own is going to be difficult, but action economy should side things heavily in the PCs favor, especially since they should get a surprise round for literally popping into existence inside his room. And he's a wizard without forewarning, so most of his non-hours duration defense spells should be down. Still, if you play him smart, in the face of player aggression he will simply turn into mist, flow under the door to the next room, alert Rolth that they have intruders, and then the whole dungeon comes down on their heads in a merciless tide that will undoubtedly kill them all.

Without drastically altering the material such that this is another location, or there's suddenly an alternate way out of the temple that doesn't require plowing through several difficult encounters in a row, Ramoska is going to have to intervene here. He should succinctly explain to the party their dire situation, but for some reason he has decided he no longer wants to be a part of this plague situation. And so in return for making it worth his while (they clearly have wealth given they just spent a scroll of teleport to get here, right?), he will not only cease his efforts on the Blood Veil and disappear, but he will conspire some way to get them out of the dungeon. You could even handwave that he shoves them all into a bunch of barrels so they can't clearly see that they were beneath the Hospice if you aren't ready for that portion of the game yet, or he teleports them out himself (using a scroll of his own).

Then if they still ignore his perfectly reasonable offer, shrug and kill them all. Mercilessly. Their fault for not considering a possible escape route after they teleport into the "BBEG"'s bedroom.

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