Edge of Anarchy

From Lexicanum

Haunted Fortunes

Summoned by a mysterious note written on the back of a Harrow card, the members of the Party arrived, one by one, at a small house in Lancet Street. 

Tordale, swiftly followed by Garrid was first to arrive. There was no response, and knocking the door cause it to swing open. Entering inside they found the house in good order, but empty. Dellosia and Gawedd were next to arrive and finally Behzad and Halleth. Halleth found a further note, left on the table thanked them for coming and advised that the owner, would return shortly. Wile waiting for  her return, the Party spent time sharing their stories and discovered their common connection to Gaedren Lamm.

When the owner returned she introduced herself as Zellara, a fortune teller. She told them that she too had fallen foul of Gaedren and had assembled the Party to help her gain vengeance for the death of her son. She told the Party that she had discovered that Gaedren can be found in an old fishery at Westpier 17. Once her tale was completed she offered to do a Harrow  reading for them, which portended some calamitous events.

The Party then headed directly to the old fishery. The reek of brine and the stink of week-dead fish hung thickly in the air, the old double doors in the side of the weathered building were tightly closed, with a drooping signpost hangingZellara above. The sign it once displayed was long gone, leaving behind only a single short length of rusted chain. A fifteen-foot-wide loading dock abutted one side of the building and a slippery boardwalk clung to the other, held together by barnacle-encrusted pilings.

Gawedd and Behzad (eventually) kicked-in the front door only to be attacked by a guard dog. Halleth meanwhile, made their way cautiously along the slippery boardwalk to a door she had spotted  there. Although she managed to pick the lock, the door appeared to be barred from the other side.  

Gawedd and Behzad, having dealt with the guard dog, began exploring the interior. Opening one of the doors that exited from the first room, they found a much larger one. The stink in this room, a mixture of fish and sweat, was enough to make their eyes water. To the east, a large wooden trough held a hideous mound of half-rancid fish, seaweed, and brine. Filthy river water and fish blood stain the floor around this trough. A pair of wooden chutes led from this trough through holes in the eastern wall into a larger room beyond. To the west, a desk and chair sat in one corner while a tall cabinet sits in the other. Four children toiled here, using
pitchforks to feed fish into the chutes whenever someone calls out for more fish form a room beyond. They came under immediate attack from a kukri wielding gnome, but he was quickly dealt with. 

Garrid gave each of the children a copper and told them to run to the Temple of Sarenrae. Behzad searched the body finding some coin and a key. Tordale and Halleth opened the cabinet using the key and found some more pouches of coin. Gawedd and Dellosia  opened the side doors, which led out onto the loading bay, while Tordale opened the door to the north. This door opened out onto a stairway leading down to the the fishery floor below. More children were working here overseen by  a half-orc that giggled maniacally as he saw Tordale. Behzad and Gawedd moved to confront the half-orc while Dellosia targeted him with spells. The others made their way round through  the hallway to the walkway on the far side and engaged from there. As they did, another of Gaedren's men stepped out from a nearby room, and attacked them using a wand of acid splash.

The battle with the half-orc did not go well at first, Gawedd was badly wounded and requiring healing from Garrid, but eventually they managed to put "Giggles" down. Behzad and Halleth meanwhile, with help from Tordale also managed to kill the wand wielder. Halleth discovered that one of the young girls working there was her missing niece and Garrid once again gave each of the children a copper and told them to go to the Temple of Sarenrae for safety.

One the area was searched they moved on, heading for the ship moored out the back. Tordale and Gawedd made it it along the slippery walkway safely, but Behzad slipped on the walkway! Dellosia and Halleth however managed to rescue him without harm.

City In Turmoil

Heading down to the lower deck of the ship, the Party cleared out a nest of fist-sized drain spider, before exiting though a secret door in the hull spotted by Gawedd. The door exited onto a narrow space that existed under the fishery, with about three feet of room between the floor of the eastern side of the building and the languid, foamy river water below. Wooden pilings support the building, and thick mats of moss and cobwebs hung from ropes and rusted chains between them. A slimy, sodden, wooden walkway floated on the river’s surface, winding along the inner wall of pilings that supported the building’s frame above. The walkway led from the sodden ship to the east all the way west to a small two-and-a-half-foot-square door that led into an understructure below the fishery’s land-bound half. The pilings below this understructure were densely arrayed, leaving only narrow gaps into the water below that area.

Gaedren LammExtremely cautiously the Party made their way along the walkway, but Tordale slipped into the murky water. Fortunately for him, Behzad managed to grab his arm, but unfortunately for him,  a jigsaw shark lurking below attacked him. While Behzad and Halleth dragged Tordale out of the water, the others rallied and attacked the shark - eventually killing it.  This allowed Halleth to move forward and pick the lock on the door and crawl through. The air in the large room beyond was chilly and stank of the river, thanks to a huge opening in the floor that dropped away to the river shore three feet below. Several pilings emerged from the waters to support the roof eight feet above, with mossy ropes slung between them. Two five-foot-wide walkways crossed the hole to the other side of the chamber, where a collection
of old cabinets, lock-boxes, and piles of clutter were strewn about. Gaedren a twisted old man was waiting and immediately fired a hand-crossbow at her. While the others came into the room one by one, Halleth moved to the far side to fire back, only to come under attack by a large crocodile, Gaedren's pet, erupting from the water below.  Gawedd immediately charged in but the old man seemed surprisingly nimble despite his crippled leg and managed to avoid the warrior's initial blows. He was less lucky however against Dellosia's magic which she hurled, with accompanying insults, at the man who had got her addicted to shiver. Tordale and Halleth meanwhile dealt with the crocodile and then joined the battle against Gaedren, who was eventually slain.

Their vengeance complete, the Party searched the area. As well as some treasure, including some magic items, a strange looking dagger,  and a very expensive brooch with a royal symbol on it, they discovered 20 doses of shiver, which Dellosia immediately grabbed and tossed into the river. Most shockingly of all, in a hat box atop a cabinet, they found a partially decomposed severed head. Tordale recognised it as of Zellara - -despite the fact they had spoken to her not an hour before. Beneath the head was a box containing her harrow deck!

Having ensured there was nothing else of interest and Behzad having tossed Gaedren's body to the fishes and watch it sink with some satisfaction, they returned to Zellara's cottage, to find it abandoned and showing clear signs of having been empty for weeks. There was no sign of the food, the wall hangings, the rugs, or Zellara herself —the furniture was in pieces, scattered throughout the room under a thick layer of dust disturbed only by the footprints and evidence the Party left themselves on their prior visit. As they searched in some confusion, Zellara suddenly manifested before them, revealing her death at Gaedren's hands and the fact her spirit was bound to the harrow deck the now held and offering to help them navigate the portentous times she had foretold for them in her reading. As the spirit finished speaking, they heard a tumult of sound form outside the cottage.

Dashing outside they could hear the frantic clang of alarm bells sing out across the city in harmony with a multifarious cacophony of screams, the clash of steel on steel, shrieks of terror, and even the periodic detonation of arcane power. A wing of Sable Company hippogriff riders swooped low overhead, angling toward Castle Korvosa at a breakneck pace. One of the badly wounded hippogriff mounts rained blood down on the street around the Party before it suddenly crashed headlong into a statue  down the road, taking its rider and itself to a messy, bone-crunching demise. The others in the flight did not pause to check on their fallen ally. Amid the chaos, the voice of a Korvosan herald cut through the din: “The king is dead! Long live the queen!” only to be shouted down by ragged cries of “Hang the queen!” or “The usurper must die!” The city has seemingly gone mad while the Party battled Gaedren in his lair. They decided to take refuge in Zellara's cottage, and spent a relatively quite night, undisturbed by the rioting going on in the city outside.

Next morning things had quietened down, though the streets were unusually quiet and a pall of smoke hung over the city. At Behzad's suggestion they decided to head to a nearby tavern, the Bailer's Retreat, to find some breakfast - and hopefully some information. On the way through the streets they noticed a heavy Guard presence. They were nearly at the tavern when Tordale was accosted by a madman raving incoherently shouting “The Eye of Groetus has turned from the Boneyard to look upon Korvosa!” A stout right hook from Tordale soon put paid to his ravings and Behzad asked one of the Guards standing nearby to take charge of the lunatic.
Castle Korvosa

The Mysterious Brooch

Sabina MerrinAfter some "spirited discussion" over breakfast about what to do next, it was eventually decided that Garrid and Dellosia would take Gaedren's ledger to the City Watch. While Haleth went to the Temple of Sarenrae to retrieve her niece and return her home, Garrid led the way up to Citadel Volshyenek, and was brought before the desk sergeant. The sergeant was was delighted to hear of Gaedren's demise and, after perusing the the ledger, offered them a reward of 250gp. The afternoon was spent arranging and attending a funeral for Zellara's remains with the Grand Cathedral of Pharasma, afterwards they all headed back to Halleth's house, after Behzad had thoroughly scouted the surrounding streets and alleyways. It was a relatively quiet night, the only conflict being when Gawedd tried to poach Halleth's bed, although those on watch over the night heard sounds of rioting and saw the glow of fires burning across the city.

Next morning, after another breakfast in The Bailer's Retreat, they decided to try and return the stolen royal brooch. They headed through the unnaturally quiet streets towards Castle Korvosa, once again noting the increased Guard presence on the streets especially as they neared the Grand Mastaba. Making their way up to the main gates, the castle was bristling with armed guards. Garrid and Halleth went forward and spoke to the guards on the gate, who summoned the Queen's handmaiden. The queen's Handmaiden, who judging  by the gleaming full plate she wore, was more of a bodyguard, introduced herself as Sabina Queen IleosaMerrin.

After listening to their story, she ushered them forward and brought them into the throne room. Queen Ileosa sat upon the Crimson Throne. She was a vision of beauty despite the black mourning dress and veil she wore in honour of her husband’s death. A small silver coffer sat in her lap. The throne room itself—an open area with a vaulted ceiling, stained-glass windows of past kings and queens looked down from the eastern wall, and crimson tapestries hung along the others—was pristine but strangely empty. An immense fireplace offered additional light and heat to the hall, and a silk carpet provided a gently arching path to the throne’s base. Sabina took the brooch from Garrid, handed it over to her queen with a flourish, and then took up a position at the throne’s left side as Ileosa addressed them, thanking them for recovering her brooch. 

The queen then offered them the opportunity to further serve the Crown and the City in these troubling times, by assisting the Guard, to which the Party agreed. Sabina handed them the silver coffer, saying it contained a small token of the Crown's appreciation. She also offered them an escort if the wished for the trip to the Citadel, which they refused. On their way to the Citadel, Halleth opened the box to discover much Cressida Kroftto their delight, it contained 12 gold bars.

On arrival at the Citadel, they were ushered into a meeting room and shortly thereafter joined by Field Marshal Cressida Kroft, who seemed pleased at the fact they were available for her to use as agents. Their first mission would be to apprehend Verik Vancaskerkin, a deserter from the Guard, who with his followers had holed up in an abandoned butcher’s shop up in Northgate—a place once called ‘All the World’s Meat.’ They were asked to try to avoid killing any of the deserters, "but if you must, they brought it upon themselves when they threw in their lot with Vancaskerkin".  She went on "I’d really prefer it if you could capture Vancaskerkin alive and return him to me for interrogation, but if he makes that impossible, I’ll accept his body as well. Finally, see if you can find out why Verik deserted—if there’s more to it than simple personal politics, I need to know immediately. Bring me Verik alive, and there’s a five hundred gold in it for you. Dead, he’s worth only half that".

They headed towards Northgate, but on the way came under attack by some of the imps that infested the city. Things were getting really dodgy at one point with Tordale and Gawedd all suffering badly from imp poison before a flight of house drakes swept down form the rooftops and attacked their mortal enemies, and drawing the imps away from the streets and up into the air.
After this, a quick visit to the Temple of Sarenrae was needed for some lesser restoration, before finally heading to Northgate.

All The Worlds Meat

After scouting the area surrounding the butcher's shop thoroughly, Garrid and Halleth went in and made the somewhat surprising  discovery that you couldn't actually buy meat there - only get it for free! According to the guy behind the counter the shop was there simply to feed the poor. Garrid asked to speak to whomever was in charge, only to be told "The Boss" wasn't available. Returning to the others, they headed round the side of the shop, past a large cattle pen open to the air, and the stink of manure, mud, and animal was strong, despite the breeze that wafted through the stockade’s wooden fence. To the south stood a roofed shed. Halleth quickly picked the somewhat simple padlock on the door, to discover it contained a straw-filled wagon. A door led from the shed out into the cattle pen, which Gawedd checked out, while other door led into the building. Verik VancaskerkinHalleth opened the door, to see a somewhat startled man in a bloodstone apron, who immediately began berating them, telling them  that customers were not allowed here and they had to go round to the front shop. Garrid tried to assert some authority by announcing they were from the Guard, however this only seemed to enrage the man who attacked them. As  Behzad and Dellosia moved  in to support, the other workers in the slaughterhouse, moved to help their friend.

In the ensuing fight, it became clear that the slaughterhouse workers had at least some arms training, but eventually all save one were killed. As Halleth was tying up the surviving worker and hanging him from a meat-hook, a somewhat disheveled and hung-over looking Vancaskerkin, who  was carrying a spear, wandered in to investigate the commotion. Behzad and Gawedd moved to intercept him. This proved a mistake, as Verik was obviously a highly trained fighter and managed to badly wound both of them. Dellosia moved forward and cast a spell from one of her wands while Garrid stepped forward and healed the wounded. This caused Vancaskerkin to make a break for it fleeing up stairs. Gawedd and Garrid followed, while the others headed out into the street to cut-off any possible escape. It was touch and go for a minute, but eventually they managed to subdue him and take him into custody. After searching the area and finding a magical silver dagger, they collected the slaughterhouse worker from his meat-hook, then headed back to report in. But not before  Behzad announced to the people on the street that they should help themselves to the food within.

On their way back to the Citadel, Halleth suddenly announced that she had "forgotten her sap" and needed to return to the shop. While the others turned in Vancaskerkin and collected the reward, the wily rogue searched the shop more thoroughly. She found little of interest, save some strange cuts of meat, which, upon taking a sample to another butcher, she was informed that "these cuts don’t come from animals at all, but from humanoids!" Shocked by this, Halleth immediately reported to Cressida, who said she would send a team to investigate. After a meal and some ales at The Bailer's Retreat the Party spent the night peacefully at Halleth's.

Next day most of the Party except Behzad, who opted to hang around Halleth's, went shopping and disposing of the loot they had obtained in the shops and markets around Midland. On their way back they found a nobleman being harassed and roughed-up  by a group of rioters. As officers of the Guard, they intervened and after rescuing him, they escorted him safely home.

The Ambassador's Secret

Over the next few days, the city was relatively quiet, but there were occasional outbreaks of rioting overnight which the Guard were called on to suppress. On this third evening they were called to Cressida's office who informed them that Grau Sodatotheir investigations into All the World's Meat had revealed that the guards who had deserted with Vancaskerin had been operating a sideline murdering locals on the side for pay. Vancaskerin, when confronted with this had been completely unaware, and had broken down and revealed it was his girlfriend, Meliya Arkona's, idea for him  to leave the Guard and form a gang to help feed the locals. He was quick to point out that her plan isn’t bad—people need to eat, after all—but can’t give a good reason why one of the Arkonas would want him to do this. As they made their way to the Bailer's Retreat they ran into Grau  Soldado, a former guard sergeant who had taken to drink who in his inebriated state, mistook Garrid for an old friend of his. He invited them in for drinks and they learned  about some scandal involving Grau, someone called Vencarlo, and a woman called Sabina. Eventually after managing to avoid a drunken duel, they handed Grau over to his old friends at the Citadel who promised to dry him out.

Next morning they were summoned to Cressida's office who informed the Party she had a new mission for them. She introduced them to her friend Vencarlo Orsini and told them that he had discovered that the ambassador from Cheliax   "a man named Darvayne Gios Amprei, whose disdain for Korvosa is well documented, though he’s taken great pleasure in what our city has to offer. Even before this recent unrest, this man was ready to recommend to his government a sanction on trade, or perhaps even an embargo. Vencarlo has learned through his own considerable sources that Ambassador Amprei’s actual goals are to Vencarlo Orsiniundermine Korvosa’s economy to the point where he can buy up large portions of the city from desperate landholders. He plans to establish himself in a position of power here before advising the end of the sanctions with his allies in Cheliax. We can’t let his bias or personal plans hurt Korvosa. Yet neither can we take drastic action—not only would killing him be wrong, but it’d simply martyr him in Cheliax’s eyes." Cressida went on to tell the Party that the ambassador has been making fairly regular visits to a place in Old Korvosa called Eel’s End. " This den of vice is run by a dangerous man named Devargo Barvasi, better known in Korvosa’s alleys as the King of Spiders." She gave the Party a hefty bag of gold to bribe Devargo into divulging what he had on the ambassador.

The Party made their way down to Old Korvosa and while the others headed to a local hostelry, Jeggare's Jug, Garrid, Tordale and Halleth scoped out the joint. Several elegantly painted barges were moored to a long pier. Large signs painted in several languages were nailed to pilings and hang from ropes slung between barges. The closest barge to the east bore a sign that said, “The Twin Tigers—Take the Tiger by the Tail and Try Your Luck!” Opposite that, to the west, a boat’s sign said, “Welcome to the Goldenhawk—No Safer Stay in Old Korvosa!” Further to the south-east was “Dragon’s Breath Corridor—Dream the Dragon’s Dreams at Affordable Prices!”, while opposite that was the “House of Clouds—The Caress of Our Lovelies Will Take You Straight to Heaven!” Only the largest vessel, an old warship to the south, bore no signage at all. Short rope bridges or gangplanks provided access to the decks of these ships from the pier and from the decks of other ships. Garrid and Halleth headed straight for the Twin Tigers, while Tordale decided to check out the "lovelies" on the House of Clouds. They made discreet inquires about the ambassador but found little of interest, they did manage to win a few silvers at cards which at least proved they were honest crooks running the games!

Tordale and Halleth headed off to join the others in the pub, while Garrid paid for a bunk in the Goldenhawk and settled down. After a few ales, Halleth decided to hit the streets to find out what she could from her contacts. Tordale meanwhile after a few more stiffeners decided it was time to beard the lion in his den and the others in tow marched back to Eel's End and confronted the guards on the galleon demanding to see The Spider King Somewhat to his surprise they were admitted in to see him. Devargo seemed amused by their effrontery and his interest was piqued further when Tordale began talking about remuneration. Eventually the crime lord laughed and agreed to sell them some correspondence he had been blackmailing the ambassador with that documented his affair with the wife of a powerful Chelaxian noble. They passed the letters on to Cressida who thanked them and paid them an additional bonus.

Returning to Halleth's house they met up with the rogue who told them that although she had a found little word on the street concerning the ambassador,  the whispers on the street  that Ileosa was in some way responsible for Eodred II’s death had begun to shift, with new rumours suggesting a local artist was responsible for his demise. That night when Behzad was on watch a disturbance on the street outside caught his attention, a huge crack had emerged in the street and otyughs from the  sewers below had escaped and were running amuck. Calling on the others to help they intervened and manged to kill the dangerous beasts before the could eat too many of Halleth's neighbours.

The Queen’s Scapegoat

The Party were summoned to Cressida's office where she told them of her concerns regarding the news that the chief suspect in the murder of the king was now a young artist called Trinia Sabor. Cressida asked the party to take her into custody before  she either got lynched by the mob or taken and killed by less scrupulous agents of the crown like the Hellknights. The Party immediately headed towards Trinia's last know address in The Shingles, a twisting slum area in Midland where building were built upward towards the sky, their foundations on the roofs of other buildings. Most homes in the Shingles were shacks and lean-tos that created an impromptu third story on many of the ward's buildings and as much as five stories on some others. Some of Korvosa's poorest and most desperate citizens resided in the shacks above the city streets. They eventually found their way to Trinia's apartment only to find she had fled across the rooftops. The Party followed and eventually, after a frustrating chase through many obstacles, Halleth managed to grab hold of the fugitive and with Behzad's help managed to secure her whereupon they turned her over to Cressida.

Thousand BonesThe next day they were summoned once more to meet the Field Marshal, this time she had a Shoanti ambassador, a shaman of the Skoan-Quah, the Clan of the Skull, Thousand Bones, with her. They were told that the shaman's grandson, Gaekhen, had been killed a couple of days ago when caught up in the riots and that his body had subsequently been stolen and had apparently been sold to a necromancer, Rolth Lamm - at whose name the Party's collective ear pricked up! The Shoanti tribes were not impressed at the disrespect shown to their fallen warrior and were threatening reprisals unless his body was returned safely for its proper funeral rites.  Cressida's men had managed to find the man who had actually stolen and sold the body who had confessed his arrangement was to leave fresh corpses for Lamm, near a partially collapsed mausoleum deep in Potter’s Ward, near the southern edge. A toppled and headless statue of a sword-wielding gargoyle lay in the dirt near the mausoleum’s entrance and the bodies were left behind that for later collection. Behzad managed to get a description of the young warrior from his grandfather - about 18 years old with short brown hair and a distinctive scar from a firepelt’s claw on his left cheek. Furthermore, Gaekhen had several large and distinctive Shoanti tribal tattoos on his arms and torso.  Cressida also commented that it was unlikely that any other freshly killed Shoanti were to be found in the Dead Warrens.

The Party immediately headed down to the Gray District, Halleth went to clear their activities with the clerics of Pharasma who maintained the graveyard while Gawedd, Dellosia and Behzad began searching for the collapsed mausoleum with the gargoyle statue outside.  Once they had located it, Dellosia spotted a trapdoor which led down to the labyrinth below. Behzad and Gawedd led the way forward down a wide passageway and almost immediately came under attack by skeletons!

The Dead Warrens

Garrid stepped forward and channeled negative energy, destroying most of the skeletons, but as the others moved into the chamber, two owlbear skeletons attacked them. These , proved more formidable than the human skeletons, but eventually met the same fate. Dellosia and Garrid searched through the piles of bones for a while but found little of interest. Gawedd led the way deeper into the complex, as multiple light spells illuminated the way.

The corridor split in two and Gawedd chose the leftward passageway, which led to a large open chamber. Three wooden tables stood in the middle of the room, their surfaces stained red with old bloodshed. To the east stood a ten-foot-wide hutch with wicker doors opening into a straw-lined cage. Two derro working at the tables opened proceedings with sound burst spells, followed up by darkness and volleys from repeating crossbows. As the Party reeled from this assault, a group of stirges flew out of the cave and attacked, drawn by the scent of fresh blood. Garrid, Tordale and Gawedd, soon found themselves each with two stirges attacked sucking their blood. Their friends rallied round to help them, after which they were free to turn their attention to the derro, who  did not trouble them long.

After a brief rest for healing they located two exits fro this room, choosing the eastward one which led to a hallway of worked stone. The walls and ceiling of this tall hallway were encrusted with dozens of yawning skulls. Their mouths open into dark holes in the walls. The soon discovered this area was a huge trap when a number of the skulls began spitting acid at them. Things only got worse when two necrophidiuses attacked. The necrophidiuses were formidable foes, their dance of death ability taking out Tordale and Gawedd in the first round of combat, and before the constructs were finally destroyed, Garrid, Behzad and Halleth were all nearly killed.

The Stitchery

At the end of the corridor Halleth was examining the door there when she spotted another, secret,  door in the wall nearby. Beyond this was a narrow passage which the Party decided to explore first when Gawedd wandered down it. Suddenly they were hit by another sound burst spell as the passageway led into a room where three more derro waited in ambush. A brief brutal fight left three dead derro and most of the Party severely injured. Behzad and Garrid were dispatched off to the surface to resupply healing potions and wands at the Cathedral of Pharasma. The clerics there were happy to help but their supplies were limited  , but they procured what was available. On their return they found the rest of the Party had moved on and, after slaying an otyughs,  recovered some of Gaeken's body parts  in a discarded pile.

The Party moved on, heading back to the door Halleth had started at. This led to an alchemist lab. The could hear someone basing on a door to the south but when Halleth went to investigate, she found it had been nailed shut. Borrowing a crowbar  she forced the door open only to free the carrion golem that had been imprisoned there. The golem proved briefly troublesome before being destroyed. Searching the room it had been left in Dellosia found a severed arm covered in Shoanti tribal tattoos.

Beyond that they found pits containing several prisoners who they released after slaying the ogrekin guard. Gawedd then led the way up to a large room where glinting saws, pliers, long stitching needles, and other surgical equipment are organized on shelves and benches along the walls. A sturdy wooden table in the centre of the room supported a large humanoid shape—a thing stitched together from a patchwork of dozens of different bodies. The thing would stand nearly seven feet tall if it rose. The head stitched to the body was strangely small for its massive frame—a head crowned with brown hair and bearing a distinctive scar upon the left cheek.

While Garrid began the delicate  process of removing the head, Gawedd and Tordale forged onwards finding a bedroom guarded by zombies. The zombies were easily dealt with but they came under attack by a magic user from the room beyond being hit by a scorching ray and then Gawedd falling foul to a blindness spell.

A Lovely Day For An Execution

Gradually the tide of battle began to turn in the Party's favour, despite the arrival of tow more zombies. Desperate and running out of spells, their derro opponent cast darkness and attempted to sneak his way past and escape. It was to no avail, the Party hunted him down, cornered him and slew the necromancer mercilessly. Searching the area thoroughly they recovered some loot and the remaining parts of Gaeken's body which was delivered to the Watch to return to his tribe with due reverence. The Party spent the next couple of days at Halleth's in well earned rest and divvying up loot - Behzad even offering a contribution towards Halleth's rent.

On the morning of the third day the were summoned once again to Kroft's office. She informed them that that Trinia Sabor’s “trial” had concluded. Queen Ileosa announced that the assassin was to be executed at sunset and had invited many of Korvosa’s nobles, military officers, and anyone of any real import to Castle Korvosa’s public courtyard to witness the event. The Marshall wanted the PCs to be there. Something about the whole affair didn’t sit right with her, and the way things have been going lately in Korvosa, Kroft was worried that the execution might trigger another riot.

The Party arrived late afternoon as a  great crowd began assembling. The toast of Korvosa was in attendance in garish gowns, fine capes, and enough jewels to blind the common citizen. The overall feel of the event was that of a grand ball or party, not an assassin’s public execution. Queen Ileosa emerged amid a great flourish and pomp as heralds announced her arrival with a fanfare of music and drums. She has fully accepted the mantle of sole monarch now, and carried herself with poise, style, and grace. She wore a green and white silk dress worth thousands of gold coins and was attended by a small army of striking guards. Chief among these is Sabina, although she was not immediately recognizable, clad as she was in a striking brand-new suit of full-plate armour with a closed helm sporting a flowing crimson plume. Ileosa took her seat in a high throne-like chair at one end of the public courtyard, while a guillotine stood ominously at the other. The executioner was a towering, muscular man wearing an executioner’s hood and idly holding an immense axe. Whispers ripple through the assemblage—admiring comments on the queen’s attire, predictions regarding how the traitor Trinia might comport herself, speculations on the identity of the armoured guardian who stands at Ileosa’s side.

An ominous drum beating began, the gawkers fell silent. The drum set the pace for Trinia’s procession to the executioner’s block. As they reached the block, a guard removed Trinia’s shackles and the hood, revealing a very frightened woman who bravely held back her tears. Trinia was led up to stand before the guillotine, her arms bound behind her back by a leather cord as Queen Ileosa addressed the crowd, her rousing speech finishing with the words “And so, without further delay, let us usher in this new dawn with justice! OFF WITH HER HEAD!”

Yet just before the executioner forced Trinia into the guillotine, the man cried out in pain as a hurled dagger embedded itself in the back of his hand. As the executioner’s
grip on Trinia faltered, a cry echoed through the crowded courtyard: “By the gods! It’s Blackjack!” An instant later, a man dressed in a hooded cloak and black mask sprang up to Trinia’s side. Using a dagger, he cut the bonds on Trinia’s wrists and then threw the same dagger down to pin the executioner’s left foot to the wood platform. He then turned to address the shocked crowd. “Yes indeed, my queen! Let us usher in justice, but let that be justice for Korvosa, not this shambles you call a monarchy! Long live Korvosa! Down with the queen!” At these words the crowd erupted, shouting and arguing, which quickly escalated into fisticuffs and then rapidly descended into a full grown riot! Queen Ileosa stood stunned for a few moments, whispered something to Sabina, and then quickly turned to flee into Castle Korvosa.

While the Party helped Sabina and the Guards attempt to quell the riot, the mysterious  Blackjack made good his escape with Trinia.