Curse of the Crimson Throne

Chamidu is Blind...
Escape from Old Korvosa Part 4

Night fell upon Old Korvosa and the heroes. Not a peaceful one nor a violent one, but one filled with turmoil. Each one dealing with an inner struggle they don’t wish the others to see. Blackjack was coming to terms with the revelation of his father’s fate. Brealyn was dealing with the fact that this group who obviously cares about each other was fighting amongst themselves over trivial matters. Ari was trying to rediscover her rage and drive after what Orion had said to her. Orion was spending another sleepless night working and dealing with his reintroduction into the group. Anja drowned her sorrows over Grunt being gone and Orisini’s possible demise.

Anja found comfort however within that bottle, as she sat in the Stinky Mermaid. As the new bartender gave her a shot of divine whiskey, she opened up like a cracked dam to the stranger. The man listened and offered his advice in whatever capacity he could. As the conversation went on, she asked a simple question, “Who are you and why are you here?”

The man responded with, “Well, you prayed for my help right? So I decided to visit”. The man pours her another shot as the realization came over her. She was speaking to Cayden Cailean, The Accidental God, the Drunken Hero. In awe, she asked for his help in the coming fights. Though he says he’s not allowed to directly help, that doesn’t stop him from passing on a few powers and abilities to those he likes. He offers Anja another shot, and as she drinks it, he shows Orion that he knows he is there.

Anja about passes out from that last shot, but before she does, the swashbuckler feels a surge of divine power fill her body as she becomes a paladin of Cayden Cailean. After she falls unconscious and the deity leaves. Orion carried her back to Orisini’s Academy.

Sleep fell upon most of the party as the storm rages on outside. They all wake up to the smell of Brealyn’s amazing baking skills and proceed down to the dining hall. Noticing that Orion never came back, Blackjack sent one of the rogue’s own men to go get him and bring him to them. While waiting for the Blackbird to show up, they began discussions about what Ari and Anja learned while at the Arkona Palace.

After Orion showed up, the Champions began their discussion in earnest, with Ari and Orion coming to an uneasy agreement that they would keep their alliance professional only. They laid out their two options. Either break in without notifying Glorio or speak to him again and possibly gain information on how to get through the palace’s defenses.After much discussion, the group chose the later.

They approached the mansion, and knocked on the door only to be greeted by a Vudrani female. She is shown the signet ring that Anja was given and she leads them to Glorio’s bath. The party walk in to see the Head of the Arkona family naked in his tub. He is glad to see them and tells them that he is willing to give them the information they desire. Under the ruse that he is just a concerned citizen wanting to help the party stabilize Korvosa, he tells the Champions about the marble Elephant within his garden that blocks the entrance into his dungeons. He tells them about the skeletal fighters who guard the upper cave and what they may be able to do. He warns them of two guardians. One is a mysterious outsider who can cast magic and has loyal pets with him, while the other is a powerful darksphinx named Sivit who has been down there since the Founding of Korvosa. He also tells them about the Vivified Labyrinth and how it moves frequently to throw off the directional sense of any intruders.

The Champions thank him for his help and then leave him. They are led to the doors to the Garden, where the female Vudrani wishes them luck offhandedly and leaves them to their devices. The party instantly enters the Gardens and almost immediately see the marble statue that Glorio mentioned. They approach and use the command phrase, “Chamidu is Blinded”, and watched as it moved to reveal a spiral staircase leading downwards. The party walked to the statue only to be fired upon by a barrage of magical bolts. They notice that two Vudranis are the source of the magic being used on them and began a fight to put a stop to them. During the fight, they notice that their magic and defenses were stronger than anything they fought before, even Rolth. The two casters were surrounded and decided to summon the Water Elemental that resided in the fountain.

The fight went longer than expected since they wished to conserve their major abilities and spells. Though they handicapped themselves with this logic for this fight, they came out victorious and what they found startled them. The two Vudranis transformed into beings with the likeness of a snake and with 6 of the slithering reptiles for hands. Ari and Brealyn were able to confirm these as Marai Rakshasa and that the party should be prepared for more if their suspicions were correct.

The Champions steeled themselves as they began to walk down the stairs with Ari noticing Glorio watching them from above with a smile on his face and confidence exuding off of him. The group descended down the stairs, prepared for the next challenge within the Arkona Dungeon.

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Of Sound and Fury
Escape from Old Korvosa Part 3

A powerful storm and an insane gnome. Those were the only sounds the Champions of Korvosa heard after the death of the chokers in the Emperor’s Palace. Rage like they never heard before bellowed from down the hall as rain began to fall from within the building. A barbarian of short stature charged down the hall to unleash his unbridled hatred upon those who dare enter his master’s domain.

This terror had a name and its name was Jabbyr. The heroes have never dealt with a strength and anger such as this before, but they had no time to adjust as they needed to finish this fight before they were overwhelmed. Orion did his best to draw a few of them away while the rest took care of Jabbyr and some guards. Pilts did his best to rally his men but they began to fall like flies before the trained skills of the Champions. One by one they fell until all that was left was the Emperor and his executioner.

The Champions, while powerful, were starting to feel the fatigue and damage from the battle. Hope seemed to come back after Orion and Brealyn dealt the killing blow on the insane Emperor of Old Korvosa, but the happiness was short lived as Jabbyr went into a blind rage and attacked anything near him. Blackjack stood his ground between the savage and Ari but found his life cut short by the Headsman’s axe.

Spurred by his sacrifice, the heroes acted quickly and slayed the barbaric executioner. Desperate for a way to avert his fate, they tried to bargain with Laori for his life. She took this opportunity to barter for Salvator Scream, both to speak with him privately and to take him away from Korvosa entirely. After agreeing to her terms, Laori attempted to resurrect the Blackjack with the assistance of Orion’s reminder of a past promise. Many minutes passed waiting to see if the ritual worked, waiting to see if life will return to the pure hearted vigilante. Ten minutes passed before breath returned to his lungs and life pulsed within him again. Though brought back by a dark god, the heroes were happy to have Blackjack back.

During this time, Anja, knowing she had no power to heal him, took this time to look for Joseph. It didn’t take her long to find him along with Salvator Scream as they were imprisoned in the same cell. Anja felt much of her grief and burden dissolve at the sight of her nephew, alive and well. After making sure he was unharmed and healthy, Anja awaited the rest of her friends to speak with the macabre artist

The whole group plus Laori proceeded into the old Emperor’s room to speak with Scream. They allowed her to talk to him in private but went back on their word to listen in to their conversation in different ways. They were surprised that she asked rather mundane questions about his art and what inspired him to paint what he does and why is blue such a predominant color in his work. The Champions are skeptical at best at these questions and were curious to her true intentions. After a few minutes, Laori came out of the room and said that the artist was available for their questions.

The first thing they noticed though was a messy cell that doubled as his work space. Many paintings were scattered across the cell and found out that his life hanged on his ability to provide Pilts with beautiful art. Out of all of these, though, one caught their eyes: A massive Blue Dragon lording over a immense castle. None of them thought this to be of any important until Blackjack pointed out that the castle was Scarwall.

That tidbit of information changed their perspective of Laori and her presence here as they begun to realize that somehow Salvator was inspired by the story of Kazavon either though he had no idea who that was. The party began to accuse Laori of wanting to bring back the ancient Great Wrym only to have a disgruntled Laori tell them that her actual mission to ensure that he never comes back. The party was taken aback by this and were confused seeing as how she worshiped an evil god.

Deciding to focus on the matter at hand. The party asked the artist where did Orisini go after he talked to Scream. Scream told them he sent him to the Arkona mansion after Vencarlo asked him about where Neolandus was. Since the Arkona’s are one of his patrons and he trusts them, Scream thought it was best to send both of them there.

After finally believing her and tentatively trusting her to take Scream and Joseph out of Old Korvosa, Laori began preparations to leave the group. Grunt, at this point, offered to Anja that he would leave too with Joseph to watch the youth. Though she was distraught about the idea of losing both Grunt and Joseph for the time being, she steeled herself to it and agreed. Grunt, Joseph, Laori, and Scream all leave through the shadows, literally.

During this time, the rest of Pilts’s men arrived and awaited whatever fate these heroes had in store for them. While Blackbird tried to enact his plan of having them help the people of the city in his own particular way, Ari took great offense from this exchange and began threatening any of those who would join Orion. They argued for a time in front of the thugs until Blackjack told them to have their domestic dispute elsewhere and that he would handle the thugs.

Ari and Orion left the open court and begun arguing in Pilts’s old room. During this time, Blackjack gave the thugs simple instructions to help the people of Old Korvosa and to be prepared for a possible revolution. He leaves them with these directions to check on the two who were arguing, but before he could reach them, Ari already had left, using the crowd as a distraction. Blackjack wasn’t able to follow them but Anja and Brealyn was.

The three women ran through the stormy night until they reached the sea. Anja, Brealyn, and Ari had a heartfelt talk that ended with Ari and Anja staying at the docks and Brealyn tearfully leaving them to go back to Pilts’s Palace. Ari and Anja continued talking until they were interrupted by the arrival of a handsome Vudrani man.

The man introduced himself as Glorio Arkona, the current head of the Arkona, and he offered them to come to his house to dry off. They accepted cautiously and proceeded to the Arkona Palace. Surprised at the displays of wealth and art within his walls, the two friends stayed within one of his parlors where they took the opportunity to ask him about Orisini and Neolandus. Chuckling, Glorio confirms that the two men are within his Vivified Labyrinth. Ari knew what this place was from rumors she had heard and was rightfully afraid of what could come next. Anja on the other hand knew that she needed to get into there regardless of the danger and kept pressuring Glorio for entrance.

Glorio told them that he owes them tremendously for bringing down Pilts’s and that he has been watching their progress for a while. He offered them the chance to descend into his family dungeon and tell them how to get past the first layer of security. He warns them that his sister, Meliya, has designs for Neolandus, and that she will try and kill them if they attempt to rescue him. He told them to either come to him again for the information needed to get past some of the security, or to sneak through the house if they feel that would be safer. He noticed that they were at an impasse so he gave Anja one of his signet rings and told her to present that if they go with the first choice.

The two leave after a tense departure and headed back to Orisini’s Academy. The Champions are excited that they finally have found where the two men are and anxious to get into that dungeon. However, some of the Champions know that Glorio Arkona hides a terrifying secret, one that could lead to all of their demises. The group sleeps, hoping that this storm will pass soon.

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The Storm and the Mask
Escape from Old Korvosa Part 2

Heavy rain and lightning in the distance. That is all that is seen by the Champions as they ran through Old Korvosa. Passing old buildings and run down alleys, the heroes are on a chase but not after any enemy or criminal. They were after Anja and Grunt.

After Anja and Grunt ran off with Vencarlo Orisini’s chest, Blackjack and Orion chased after her as the storm overhanging Korvosa intensified. Ari followed closely behind them as she fired warning shots at Blackjack. Through tears and anger, the group gave chase through Old Korvosa over a simple box. Each had their own reasons, each were uneasy with the others.

After reaching a collapsing roof, Grunt stopped to wait for the others. They arrived one at a time as Grunt readied himself to scold them. He stood in the heart of the storm to remind them of their real enemy. He pointed out the large Black Dragon flying over the castle. He reminded those with family in danger. He reminded them of the draconic ambition of the Queen and the mysterious motives of their new king, Rand Gilver. Grunt bore all of these feelings out for the group to remind them that hopefully working together will make Korvosa stand on its own again.

The party finally calmed down again after this and headed back to the Academy to rest and regroup. Anja looked through the chest again, this time with Brealyn, and truly took some time to see what it had to offer. Amongst the treasure and equipment, she found an amulet with the name of each and every man who took up the mantle of Blackjack. After much soul searching, she decided to let everyone take something from Vencarlo’s box to help them in their journey.

Blackjack took the amulet and saw the memories of the previous Blackjacks. He saw the truth of Vencarlo Orisini but most importantly, his father. Knowing the truth of what happened to his father, Blackjack accepted the mantle of Blackjack and unlocked the true power within the amulet. But power was not the only thing the amulet offered, as it told him who was responsible for his father’s death; none other than the Queen Ileosa. Thanking Anja for the chance to know the truth, Blackjack suggested they discuss their next move.

After resting, the Champions planned out their next course of action, which led them to the house of the artist, Salvator Scream. Blackjack had a previous run in with the painter so he was interested to make sure he was alright. The group packed up and headed to his home with some renewed vigor.

They found the place surrounded by several well fed Otyughs, but after some careful planning and assistance from a surprisingly chipper cleric of Zon-Kuthon, they destroyed them with ease. The cleric introduced herself as Laori Vaus and did not even try to hide her allegiance to the Lord of Pain. The group found out that she wanted to find Salvator Scream as well albeit for more benign reasons. During the conversation which they took inside the artist’s lair, they found an old friend, the Varisian Harrower, Zellara. While Ari kept her mouth shut in hopes no one suspects the truth about her, she felt relieved that no one questioned how the old woman got into Old Korvosa. She performed another Harrowing for them for old time’s sake and hurried them on their way as someone knocked on the door.

Answering it, the party is surprised to see a man dressed in finery with a long large scroll. The man proceeded to read a summons to the Emperor’s palace to discuss their recent intrustions on his territory. The summons directed them to appear the next day but being the dashing heroes that they are, the Champions decided to go that night in a midnight raid.

Splitting up into two groups along with Laori Vaus, the group attacked the Emperor’s ramshackle palace. Brealyn, Green Sheen, and Laori attacked the front while the rest of them used Anja’s newly created grappling gun to enter through a hole on the fourth floor. While the front group had great success in defeating the guards there, the stealth team did not have too much success as they disturbed a choker nest.

Though the chokers and initial wave of guards was defeated, the Champions realized that their problems were just starting after they saw an angry gnome kick down a door, brandishing a greataxe.

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Long Live the King
Escape from Old Korvosa Part 1

A week had passed for the Champions of Korvosa. Their victory over Andaisin and her cult fresh in their minds, the group took a necessary holiday for themselves before following up on Cressida’s recent news. Some went out of town while others became insular during this time. Regardless, they all felt the pain of Clara’s absence due to her risky gambit of infiltrating the Gray Maidens for more information.

Despite the rest they took, they searched for a way to get into Old Korvosa to no avail. There was no way into the slums of Korvosa that didn’t involve a scuffle with the Gray Maidens. Their search was put to a short halt as they learned of an announcement being made at the Castle’s courtyard. They arrive to see the entirety of the courtyard filled to the brim, briefly seeing each other in the crowd but can’t meet up before Ileosa arrives and begins her speech.

She began her monologue discussing the current affairs and status of Korvosa, subtly reminding the masses of the anarchy and destruction they recently went through since King Eodred II passed away. She made a passing mention of the heroes who have taken a stand against the evils in Korvosa and continues on about how the stability of her city and by extension, her nation is her top priority. She first announces that the Sable Company and Korvosan Guard are immediately disbanded and they will be replaced with the Gray Maidens. Knowing that without the Sable Company, Korvosa’s air superiority is weakened, Ileosa announces that she and the Gray Maidens have come up with a solution, as a large angry Black Dragon swoops on top of the Castle and perches itself on its towers and roof.

The crowd was terrified and the Champions horrified at this developments, but none were as outraged as Marcus Endrin, the former Commander of the Sable Company. With a swift arrow and a cry of defiance to the Queen and her increasingly draconic rule, Marcus Endrin fires his arrow straight into Ileosa’s throat and she fell. The crowd fell silent and surprisingly enough, so did the Queen’s advisors. None made a move to apprehend the griffin rider as all watched Ileosa rise back up, pulling the arrow from her throat. She swiftly lifted Endrin by the neck off his feet, and proceeded to kill him in a similar fashion.

Proclaiming that would be the fate of any traitors, Ileosa composes herself and proceeded to frighten her people one last time. She states that a Queen needs a King to help keep the peace amongst her people. She informs her people that in a private ceremony, she remarried a strong individual who will bring peace and stability to Korvosa. Announcing him as King of Korvosa, King of Varisia, and Spear of the People, Rand Gilver stepped forward on the platform and revealed himself as the new King of Varisia.

The party quickly left the gathering, worried about themselves and the city. They eventually meet up with Cressida who informed them that now is the time to get to Old Korvosa and asked them if they found a way in yet. The Champions regrettably have not found a way into the quarantined section of their city.

That is, until a message arrived to Ari stating that there was a man who could get them in and even provide support in their endeavors. Only known as the Blackbird, the Champions decided to trust in this since they were desperate to get into the lawless section of their city. With a final goodbye from Cressida, she reiterated what their mission was: Enter Old Korvosa and follow Vencarlo Orisini to Neolandus Kalepopolis.

Their wills ready to face off with the worst of the criminals in the city, the group proceeded to the Midland and its docks. Not too far from where they first met, the party meets up with the friendly boatman who has transported them up and down the river many times in the past. Surprised that he is the one getting them into a quarantined zone, the party nonetheless boards his boat and proceed to head to Old Korvosa. All the while, they began asking questions about this Blackbird and what they should expect once they are in the district.

The boatman informs them that there were three gangs holding Old Korvosa: The Emperor’s Gang, the Arkonas, and the Blackbird’s group. The Emperor has gathered most of the gangs together to create a decent standing army within the city while the Arkonas have been focusing on aiding those in their territory. The Blackbird has been trying to fight the Emperor to protect the innocents in Old Korvosa. The boatman dropped them off on the docks in the northern end of the island and left shortly thereafter.

The party quickly realized where they were, and proceeded to a mainstay in their early days, The Stinky Mermaid, the tavern ran by Jayne Cobb that’s famous for its own drink, Fishjack. Anja was particularly happy about this as she is finally reunited with her old employer and friend. Happy at the sight of who he thinks is the best swordsman in Korvosa, Jayne began to confirm everything the boatman said and suggested they go talk to him if they are looking to do some good. After being told that the Mermaid is always open to them, the Champions proceeded to Orisini’s Academy since that is where the Blackbird is known to stay.

With Grunt and Anja’s help, they are able to quickly make their way to the school and find that it is indeed inhabited. They proceed inside where they discover the man known as Blackbird. But though he changed his appearance, to the party he is obviously the man they know as Orion Domovoi. After an awkward exchange and some tempers almost overtaking the conversation, Orion gave them the layout of Old Korvosa and what’s been going on.

The party decided that the first place they should investigate is Vencarlo’s house which lies on the edge of the Emperor’s and Blackbird’s territory, after they came to an uneasy truce. Attempting to use their work as a way to avoid all of the high emotions in the group, they make it to the Swordmaster’s house. Wary of what may await them, Blackbird sent his people ahead to keep a perimeter and see if they could help where they could.

The party’s investigation was cut short as they were accosted by a group of the Emperor’s thugs. The Champions though, quickly proved why they have that title as they mercilessly destroyed their attempt to kill them. After killing most of them, they kept one alive to question him, while Ari and Anja proceeded inside Orisini’s humble home.

Ari and Anja quickly found they were not alone in the house as they were attacked by the Red Mantis Assassins, the deadliest killers in the Inner Sea region. The two women were quickly dropped while the rest of the group hastily entered the house to protect them. They found out why they were the deadliest assassins in Avistan in their fiery fight, both literally and figuratively since the house caught on fire.

After killing all four of them and watching them fade out of existence, the party put out the fires and concluded their investigation with no avail. However, during the fight, Anja found a large black box, heavily locked, within Orisini’s room. They took it back to the Academy but due to Anja’s high emotions about Orisini’s disappearance and Joseph’s capture, she wanted to look inside the box by herself first and then decide what to do with it.

Opening the box revealed a long kept secret of Orisini’s identity. They found out he is the true Blackjack, the very one who helped them during the execution of the fake Trinia Sabor. Believing that his gear and identity should be left to him alone, she tried sneaking out of the Academy to hide the box, but was unaware that Blackjack and Orion heard her leaving and proceeded to chase her through the streets of Old Korvosa. As a vengeful storm brewed overhead, the Champions risk a schism over the truth of Orisini.

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The Cure for their Woes
Seven Days to the Grave Part 9

The heroes finished up their fight with the remainder of the cult, leaving only the Priestess Andaisin as their last challenge. Opting to leave the Leukodaemon in its containment, the party decided to risk it and rested for several hours so they can be prepared for her. What they didn’t realize is that it gave her time to prepare as well.

The party rested in the headquarters while their allies bravely fought the oncoming Gray Maiden forces. Feeling refreshed and ready, they gave their allies one last encouraging look and proceeded into the Temple of Urgathoa. It doesn’t take long for them to realize they are walking into the metaphoric Valley of Death.

They push their way through the uneasy feeling of death and evil until they reach a room with several fountains. Before them floated Andaisin, wielding her vicious scythe, and ready to reap the lives of the Champions who has been a thorn in her side this entire time. She babbled on about how she is cleansing the city along with the Queen and was working to realize her vision of a new kind of Korvosa. Starting with commanding a few of them through her divine magic to kneel before her, the fight for the life of Korvosa began as Ari and Clara proceeded to lay into the Reaper. Soon, Anja and Jack were able to break through the enchantment, but only to see their good friend, Grunt, commanded to kill himself through the bracers Ileosa placed upon him.

This action spurred the rest of the group to fight back hard and mercilessly attack the priestess before them. Anja was stricken with grief and almost didn’t take any action after seeing Grunt dead on the floor but she steeled her resolve and joined the fight as well. The party fought Andaisin with Ari delivering the final blow to her. The party took a moment to breathe and try and help Grunt in any way they could, only to feel the true winds of death approach them.

The heroes heard soft footsteps that clacked across the ground as they witness a nearly perfect woman approach with the only blemish to her is the fact her lower half was nearly all skeletal. Ari and Blackjack quickly realized that this was Urgathoa herself and the party tried to either destroy Andaisin’s body or keep from the god in front of them.

“Andaisin…. Unyielding deliver of my Will….. Rise if you would…. for that is your reward….”

Urgathoa enveloped Andaisin’s corpse with her power and the party watched horrified as her body writhed and jolted in unnatural ways. Her body turned into a monstrosity of bone and sinew with the entirety of her right hand imitating the scythe she wielded while alive. The party renewed their vigor and fought the monster before them. After almost losing several of the party to her divine power, the Champions of Korvosa were able to bring down the Daughter of Urgathoa, finally ending the Blood Veil.

Luckily for the group, among Andaisin’s belongings was a scroll of Raise Dead that they promptly had Ishani Dhatri use to bring Grunt back. After Anja’s heartfelt plead to come back, Grunt was able to live again and fight another day. The party gathered what they could and headed back to the entrance. They were about to teleport out when the elevator shaft exploded open and out of the dust, Rand Gilver appeared.

He simply asked the party if they finished the job, and after they answered, quietly demanded to be taken to Andaisin’s body. After Blackjack complied with him, the rest of the party stood in shock that he wasn’t attacking. Rand examined the body leftover and decided to take it with him. As he was leaving, he surprisingly praised the Champions for their work but warned them that they should leave Korvosa while they have the chance to. He tells the group that his vision and plan will not be stopped by them. “I have the Patience of Stone and the Will of the Stars. I will finish what I came here to do and you will thank me for it.”

After the Inquisitor leaves, the party is reminded of Ramoska Arkminos as he claps at the party’s fortitude in the presence of Rand Gilver. He remarks on how he is as intimidating as he was when Ramoska was younger which surprised the party and made them question just how old is Gilver. But they push those thoughts to the back of their minds as they decided to honor their deal with the Nosferatu and gave him the final Death’s Head Coffer. He acquiesces Ruan to them and leaves them a parting gift of some of his magical items.

With the threat passed, the heroes gathered the notes they had on the Blood Veil and worked together to create the cure needed for their people. With Blackjack’s quick thinking and superb alchemical skill, they were able to get the cure quickly and started the production of more within the day. Finally, the party would be able to rest.

That is until the next morning when a Gray Maiden unit appeared at Ari’s door informing her that her and her friends are requested at Castle Korvosa to appear before the Queen. After a bit of discussion, the group decides to go, despite their apprehension due to the Queen being involved in the Blood Veil. They arrive at the Castle and are led up to the Crimson Throne itself. They see the new Seneschal Togomor, Ileosa’s arcane advisor Vavana Dhatri, the Queen’s personal bodyguard and leader of the Gray Maidens Sabina Merrin, and Rand Gilver himself. The Queen also shows that their proud families have shown up to commemorate them on their victory. Obviously showing the party her hold over what they cherish, the Queen also leads them the balcony on which Ileosa has made many proclamations. A crowd has been outside Castle Korvosa this entire time waiting to hear from their Queen and what has happened.

The Queen informs the people of the bravery of the group and honors them with a speech and title. They were officially made the Champions of Korvosa and were expected every honor and right to that title. The party knew she was only posturing with Ari realizing how great of a liar she was. They were led out of the Castle after the impromptu ceremony by Rand Gilver who reiterated the importance of leaving Korvosa for their own good.

The newly appointed Champions then left the Castle. Anxious and not sure what to do next, they’re quickly informed by Cressida that Vencarlo Orisini had gotten a message to her about the whereabouts of Neolandus Kalepopolis, the true Seneschal. Understanding that they will need this man to bring down Ileosa, the party prepared to enter the chaotic and untamed streets of Old Korvosa. It is unknown whether they will have the fortitude and wisdom to get out unscathed but the city needs them too, and the Champions of Korvosa will not fail their people.

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From Hell's Heart, I Stab at Thee
Seven Days to the Grave Part 8

With the inner sanctum open to them, the party quickly realize that the bulk of their forces will be in the next room and decides to check out the rest of the compound. Ari, Urthazir, Clara, and Anja ransacked the cultist’s sleeping quarters while Hawke and Jacob checked on a perverse version of the hospice above.

The first group found some loot that was helpful but the biggest discovery was that the masks the Queen’s Physicians wore were specially design to hide their alignment and protect them specifically from the Blood Veil. The group finally understood why Ari couldn’t see through them before this all got out of hand. Furious at their deception and anxious to get this fight done, the first group returns to the hallway leading into the Heart of the Sanctum.

Jacob and Hawke did their own digging in the other wing of the cultists’ headquarters. They found quite a few individuals in there and surprisingly they were all Varisians. Disgusted by this, Hawke and Jacob mercy killed the ones slowly rising up as undead but were happy to find survivors within the holding cells. After some minor healing to a member of the Sable Company and one other person, Hawke and Jacob proceeded back to the rest of the group after they were able to confirm the two healed prisoners could defend themselves along with the others.

Surrounded by the charred bodies of their deceased loved ones, the Champions of Korvosa push open the doors to the Heart of the Sanctum. A bit of fear hits them as they see multiple cultists and doctors have their eyes trained on the door, and, most importantly, Rolth smiling down upon them as he is happy to see the meddling adventurers who have been sticking their noses into business they shouldn’t.

As the fight is about to commence, the loud, groaning noise of the elevator behind them rings out. Hawke and Cressida realize that reinforcements have come and that they will soon be overran by the enemy. They quickly take position at the entrance to the elevator, trusting that their friends will be able to finish this fight.

The fight begins as Rolth bombards the party with spells meant to harry and disable them. Taunting them as he continues to blast them, the party pushes onward. Slowly but surely, the cultists and the physicians began to fall to their might. During this time, Ari, taking Grunt’s advice and guidance, spent the entire time turning Rolth Lamm into a pin cushion with her arrows. However, their tactics and trust were betrayed by Doctor Davaulus as he began to attack the group from behind. Spouting out words about cleansing the city with the Blood Veil, the Doctor revealed himself to be the mysterious fourth party in the man-made scourge.

After grueling blows and serious wounds were dealt out, Ari finally finished off the Necromancer with a resounding barrage of holy arrows, while Jacob defeated the Doctor with a brutal combination of bladework. The party wipes up the rest of the cultists and took a moment to catch their breaths as they tied up Rolth, who surprisingly survived the onslaught from the Huntress. Happy that they have defeated two of the four parties responsible for the plague that has ravaged their city, the party relaxes for a moment.

However, Ari quickly discovered a powerful evil presence in one of the rooms above. Taking Anja with her to investigate, they found an ancient creature from legend, a nosferatu, working on a Varisian man that Anja recognized as Ruan. Noticing them peeking into his room, the ancient vampire introduces himself as Ramoska Arkminos, a servant of an Ustalavic alpha vampire tasked with creating the Blood Veil along with Andaisin, Davaulus, and Rolth. The party were debating what to do with the vampire and the still living Rolth when Arkminos offered them a trade. He would leave Korvosa for good and even leave Ruan with them if they could obtain and give him the last Death’s Head Coffer from the Temple of Urgathoa deeper within the complex.

Ari and Urthazir used caution in this meeting knowing that this creature could slaughter most of them by himself and took him up on this offer. The rest of the party were more concerned about Rolth, who drifted in and out of consciousness. Taunting them with more pain than they can realize and with the fact that only he knows what Gaedren has become, Rolth reveled in the uncomfortableness he caused them, being knocked unconscious twice by Jacob. Ari finally came down from her conversation with the nosferatu, exasperated by the group as they cared more for a tied up man rather than an innocent young man held captive by a vampire. She quickly interrogated Rolth about Gaedren and how to stop him. He informed them that he was a revenant now and won’t stop until he kills all of them. Ari, realizing that Rolth was going to tell them nothing else, executed him much like how she killed his girlfriend, Jolistina, much to the horror and anger of her companions.

Cooling everyone down from their high emotions, Grunt was able to keep the party from imploding on itself and was able to lead them up the scaffolding to the next room. Anja and Ari peeked inside to find 6 more cultists preparing themselves to fight the group. The two women however, saw that two of these cultists were trying to break a glass cylinder containing a creature. Seeing this as problematic, the group busted through the doors and slaughtered the cultists before they had a chance to release the creature. Ari and Urthazir were able to identify this being as a Leukodaemon, a servant to Apollyon, The Horseman of Pestilence. They decided to leave the creature within its prison.

Looking down the long hallway, the party prepares themselves to meet the final member of this plot, Lady Andaisin, within the newly built Temple of Urgathoa.

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Heart of the Plague
Seven Days to the Grave Part 7

The party began the session with the aftermath of the battle with Jolistina Susperio, Rolth Lamm’s girlfriend. The group gathers themselves while investigating the manor in search of survivors. While this is happening a couple of them keep watch over the elven acrobat since she was just knocked out instead of killed.

With Ari’s detection skills and keen perception, they were able to locate the only survivor of the incident, Ausio Carowyn. Happy to find him, the party calms him down so they may ask him what information he had gathered about the source of the Blood Veil. Ausio, understandable shaken by the events above, takes a moment to compose himself before he reveals that he found out where the Blood Veil was being made and the culprits. Telling the party that the Queen’s Physicians are responsible along with a cult of Urgathoan worshipers, he also tells them that they have set up shop within the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden, the very same building Doctor Davaulus had been working out of with the Physicians.

The party, at this point, proceeded upstairs to discuss what they know and what they were going to do with Jolistina. During their discussion, several tidbits of information was brought up, including the long hidden fact that Ari witnessed Rolth Lamm within the Castle proper. A heated argument ensued, during which Jolistina attempted to escape.

Ari’s quick reflexes allowed her to throw a Tanglefoot bag and catch her before she could escape. Taking this time to interrogate her, the party tried multiple different threats, ranging from pain to the removal of her magical powers. It wasn’t until Jacob realized what she truly feared that they were able to make some headway. Playing on her fear of disappointing Rolth, along with Urthazir’s use of the spell Touch of Idiocy, the party was able to lull Jolistina into a false sense of security. She quickly spilled all of the details of the operation that she knew of, confirming the information that Ausio provided and also with the identity of those truly in charge. She told them of a creepy elven looking man with ash skin, her lover Rolth, the Nidalese woman Andaisin, and one more mysterious backer.

Realizing that they received all they could from her, Ari executed her with her power and proceeded to the Citadel and Cressida. Reaching Cressida’s office, the party also found a disguised Hawke and Reiner Davaulus sitting there with her. Using Ari’s ability to detect lies, the party tells the present company of what they found out and determined that Doctor Reiner had nothing to do with it.

Cressida is disturbed that there is another Cult looking to destroy the city she has spent so much effort to protect, and tells the party that she will personally join them in their assault of the Hospice. Hawke also stated the same, along with Doctor Reiner who was angry that his fellow doctors were causing this. The party then took the time to heal up and rest before they attack the Hospice.

Feelings and discoveries were made that day as Jacob revealed his identity to Anja thus making the entirety of the original group, sans Orion, privy to his alter ego. Anja took it in stride but was still a bit perturbed that it took him this long to tell her. During her small rant, she also revealed that she loves Grunt, who did not know what to do with this information. With the long day of fighting and drama behind them, the party found sleep where they could and prepared for their grandest fight yet.

The party met back up at the Citadel and grouped up to assault the Hospice. Deciding not to endanger the real patients on the ground floor, the party decides to use Doctor Davaulus to smuggle Urthazir’s familiar within the compound and to the elevator leading to the Sanctum below. Urthazir then used his teleportation magic to get everyone within the walls past all of the guards.

The Champions of Korvosa proceed to the depths of the Hospice to find a lair dedicated to Urgathoa. Surprised to find two Gray Maidens within the Sanctum to Urgathoa, the party quickly dispatches the two of them while checking out the door leading deeper into the compound. They quickly found that it was trapped and scythes began to spring forth, trying to cut down the party. Between Anja’s mechanical skill and Jacob’s know-how of traps, they were able to deactivate it and move on within.

What they found inside horrified them though. Rolth, who had been mentally communicating with the party, told them that he couldn’t think of any way to hurt them as most of the people they care about are out of reach or dead already. But he then realized that death shouldn’t stop them from having a good time as they witnessed the corpses of their deceased loved ones reanimated to fight against them. Urthazir, unfazed by this as Rolth had no undead to demoralize him, threw a fireball within and burnt all of the zombies down.

The party steeled themselves after the traumatic visage that was their undead friends and families, and prepared themselves to fight against Rolth in a showdown they have been waiting for some time.

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The Necromancer's Lover
Seven Days to the Grave Part 6

After the harrowing day the party went through, they decide to head to their respective homes and sleep off some of the stress that is plaguing their minds. Some were able to find some solace in their slumber while others were too worried about the circumstances of their situation to sleep well.

Hoping to stave off this growing stress and finally get a lead on where the Blood Veil is being made, the group eagerly waits to go to Ausio Carowyn’s manor and receive the information he states will help the group with their investigation. Deciding they need to dress for the occasion, many of them decide to take the time to buy new clothes, spruce themselves up, and practice their etiquette. Finally hopeful that some good news will finally come their way, the Champions of Korvosa head to the Carowyn Manor for a night of some much needed relief.

That hope was quickly shattered as they arrive to find the entire manor silent and eerily calm. Even before entering the abode of their patron, a Varisian woman asked Anja if she could find her brother within. Her brother, Ruan, was hired to sing and play for Ausio’s party but hasn’t talked to his sister in days. Entering to find many of the people are simply standing still, frozen in a single moment, the party worries about what is going on. Some of the people are stuck, mid-motion, in a dance, while others are set like mannequins pretending to be conversing. The stillness was interrupted by the shot of a crossbow bolt and laughter.

Looking to see who the culprit of this strange scene is, the party is surprised to find the jester, Jolistina Susperio, looking over them with a crossbow in hand and a smile on her face. Quickly deducing that the known lover of Rolth Lamm most likely killed the party-goers, the party quickly goes on the offensive to capture her as she may be the only source of information they might get about Rolth. However, the party realizes that she has learned how to create and control undead to an extent as the bodies of the party goers spring to undeath and proceed to assault the party.

What followed was a frustrating game of cat and mouse as Jolistina ran through the manor, shooting her crossbow and using smoke bombs to confuse and confound her enemies. Fortunately the party began to use tactics to smoke her out and trap her between all of them. With Clara and Anja working together to deliver the final blow to knock her out, the party stands triumphant over the Necromancer’s Lover and are left deciding how they were going to question her.

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Truth Will Out
Seven Days to the Grave Part 5

After the group received the information about the possible Wererat incursion, they proceeded to go on a 2 hour shopping spree to prepare for any possible fight with them. During this time, Jacob took Grunt to the side and told him the truth of his identity.

While happy to know, Grunt was angry and kind of hurt that he took so long to inform him. Telling him that to work as a cohesive team, the whole party needs to know this, and that includes Ari. Informing him that if he doesn’t tell her before the Blood Veil investigation ends, he will. Taking his advice, Jacob began thinking of an appropriate time to tell her.

Before that could happen, the party heads down into the sewers to find Girrigz’s den and hopefully talk some sense into him. But as soon as they had a glimmer of hope to a peaceful solution, all of that is dashed as soon as they enter the lair. Ari is quickly beset upon by a pair of wererats and is forced to defend herself. Quickly dispatching one, this plays right into Girrigz’s convention.

A fight quickly breaks out between the Champions of Korvosa and Girrigz’s burgeoning army. While most of the soldiers were spared, Girrigz happened to suffer the most heinous death that the party has doled out thus far. Whether they were convinced of the error of their ways or if they were just scared shitless, the wererats ran off and promised to not continue any plans of revolution.

Getting out of the sewers and cleaning themselves off, most of the party headed towards to the perfume shop Breeze had mentioned. Ari decided to sell some party loot and grab whatever was in the safe deposit box that the Toy Maker’s key went to. Seeing the thieve’s tools, she began to feel a mixture of anger, frustration, and sadness over the fact that Orion was not with them. Wanting to vent these feelings, Ari quickly went to catch up with the others.

While Ari was on her way, the rest of the group reached Lavender’s, a perfume shop in the Heights. Owned by the Taldane perfumer, Vendra Loggari, the party quickly saw something was wrong after they saw an advertisement for a cure-all against the Blood Veil. Swiftly pushing their way to the front, the party started interrogating Vendra. Though a customer came up to defend her cure, the party still pushed the issue and using Clara’s influence to bring her down and forced a confession out of her. Learning that it is essentially river water and sugar, the party furiously deliver the con woman and her associates to first the Citadel, and then to the Longacre Building after learning that prisoners are to be sent there.

The party had split up during this time. Anja tried to get some work done with her masks but was frustrated with everything going on and quickly stopped and went to the Grand Vault of Abadar to rest. Ari and Jacob went to the Church of Abadar to rest for the day, but this was the time Jacob decided to reveal himself as the Jack to Ari. Ari, while happy that she finally knew the truth, was upset by the new information and decided to go home. Before she left though, she ran into Ishani who was clearly upset with his current state of faith. Offering him to stay the night and a ear to listen to his problems, Ari and Ishani retired to her apartment and had a good night along with Strog. Jacob, clearly upset with the berating he received from Ari, went home and was extremely frustrated now that everyone knows except for Orion. Clara, Grunt, and Urthazir took the prisoners to the Longacre building.

During the prisoner dropoff, Clara was told that her aunt, Judge Zenobia Zenderholm, wanted to speak with her. Tentatively, Clara proceeds to her aunt’s office and awaits whatever judgement she doles out for her recent activity. However, instead of judgement, Clara is met with praise for her recent actions and a surprise from higher powers. Zenobia passes a letter to her and Clara is surprised to find that it is a Letter of Introduction to join the Gray Maidens. Shocked and taken aback by this offer, Clara accepts, but only to spy on the organization. Leaving to the Loft, Clara and Jacob have a cold discussion about her acceptance into the Maidens and her insistence that Ari knows his identity.

Though the party has survived much of the stress of being the heroes Korvosa needs, they are starting to feel the weight of the power that their enemies and how outclass they may be. Hoping to find some relief in their ally, Ausio Carowyn, and whatever information he has for them.

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The Wreck of the Direption
Seven Days to the Grave Part 4

The party regroups at the Grand Vault of Abadar after a harrowing experience at Racker’s Alley. As they attempt to reach the front of the cathedral, the group is blocked by a sea of diseased citizens looking for relief. Determined to get inside, the group proceeds to get through.

However, while most of the party is able to pass by without too much trouble, the mob recognizes Ishani as a cleric of Abadar and began to swarm them. After a intense bit of intimidation and spellcraft, the party is able to reach the front door. The group is able to convince the guards, with Ishani’s help, and are led to the High Banker’s chambers.

Led within the council chamber, the group give their evidence and findings to an assembly of some of Korvosa’s top echelon. Showing the entire council, including Archbanker Darb Tuttles, what they found out so far, the group is able to convince the Church of Abadar to assist the people with what help they can provide. Learning that the Blood Veil has already spread to the clerics, Darb Tuttles has stated he will reach out to the other churches to help out in an organized effort. Knowing they did all they could, the party leaves to investigate the wreckage of the Direption.

The entire party heads out to the river to dive down to the remains of the Nidalese ship. Using a combination of magic and science, the party began their investigation in the back half of the remains. After ripping off the hatch leading below deck, Anja quickly went in and found a single shark knocking on the door leading further into the boat. After Ari joined her, they saw the creature taking residence within.

A sickly green Sea Hag appears and attacks the party along with her shark. Using her curse to try and slow down the party, the group is able to kill the sea druid, but not without casualty. Anja fell prey to Yvicca’s Evil Eye curse and fell unconscious but with a miraculous surge of arcane power from Urthazir, she was able to pull through.

Wanting to rest after their harrowing experience, the party go home for the night. A horrific surprised awaited Anja though, as she finds that Old Korvosa has been quarantined due to the Blood Veil. Distraught, she headed back to the church and rested.

Ari spoke with Zellara through her Harrow Deck and asked her advice on the current situation. Reading into her cards, Zellara sees a yellow eyed woman approaching them with another direction to help the city. She also warned her about a vision she had about Hawke and that he may die before this is all over.

Taking Zellara with her the next day, Ari meets up with the group and heads to Eodred’s Square. While keeping an eye out, the group finds an elderly woman following them. Approaching her and taking her to a quiet alley to speak with her, the woman introduces herself as a wererat named Erie Yelloweyes. Telling them about a possible incursion of wererats from a firebrand named Girrigz, Erie promised them help from the wererat community if they can stop him. Diplomatic is the requested outcome but she understands if violence is encouraged. The party then headed out to the sewers to find the lair.

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