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.