Curse of the Crimson Throne

Nemo's Journal Part 1

Wealday, 24 Gozran, 4708AR

Yesterday I left the village. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I brought Yelena with me, we are following the coastline. I’m not really good at this, but the priest asked me to keep a log of my travels. We don’t get very much news from the outside, isolated as we are, so I am going to keep a journal. We are on a search for Yelena’s brother, Aedyn, who was last seen in the service of a cruel man named Gaedren Lamm. Last night we encountered a lone woman, named Zoe, camped near the shore. We offered to share some of our catch from the day in exchange for a piece of her fire. This morning, we discovered that we were traveling to the same location, Korvosa. We agreed to travel together, she was surprised that we had never heard of her as she is, apparently, a rather well known dancer. I could see why as she performed for us along the way. I saw further evidence as we approached the city and were stopped by a couple of guards. I was nervous at first as I had no papers until one of them recognized Zoe and immediately moved to distract the second while waving us through. We followed Zoe as we didn’t want to waste an opportunity to get on with finding Aedyn.

Zoe invited us to stay with her uncle, Bavolio, who is a blacksmith living in the North Point district. He seems a level headed man and didn’t mind putting us up. I was mesmerized for a time as I watched him work at the forge.

Some time later I found a harrow card among my things that I didn’t pack, it is the cricket. On that back is written a message, “I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I know where he dwells, yet cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at sunset. Others like you will be there. Gaedren must face his fate, and justice must be done.” Surprised that I might have a lead this soon, I don’t hesitate to take advantage and prepare for a confrontation. After checking with Bavolio that it would be fine to leave Yelena for a while, I head out to Lancet Street.

After asking for directions I find my way. As I approach I find some kind of confrontation in progress right in front of number 3. After identifying myself as a recipient of the message, followed by the knight that she was threatening doing the same, the skittish looking woman seemed to relax. We all entered the residence together to find Zoe sitting at the table eating. The skittish one immediately went back on the defensive until Zoe showed us her card as well.

At this point I was wondering what was going on. It seemed obvious, but it was a bit “too good to be true”. I wanted to believe that my quest would be this easy, but I had my doubts.

At about that time a new person walked out from a back room. I swear Zoe and I were the least jumpy ones in the room. The new person introduced herself as Zellara and identified herself as the person who had given us the cards. She told us that her son had been murdered by Gaedren and that she was unable to exact retribution through proper channels. So she had found us.

She gave us the location of Gaedren’s current base of operations, after which, she left and a furious discussion ensued. We agreed that we should get to know each other’s strengths before charging into a potentially deadly situation; but, as might be expected, there were some trust problems going around and we pretty much only got to know each others profession.

The group consisted thus:

  • Vigo, a paladin of Iomedea, he was wearing chainmail and carried a longsword.
  • Aria, a guard from the Acadamae with a tail, wearing leather armor and wielding a rapier.
  • Kell, a petite young woman carrying a crossbow and wearing leather armor. She hinted at a friend who would join the fray as a melee combatant.
  • Gregoria, an elven ambassador with arcane power wearing traveling clothes and carrying a quarterstaff and a rapier.
  • Zoe, wearing a suit of lamellar and carrying a short sword with a starknife hanging from her hip.
  • Myself, wearing leather armor made from shark skin and carrying just my diving knife.

After the initial introductions we debated whether to attack Gaedren now, or wait and scout the area. After a heated discussion the group decided that Gaedren must pay and that we didn’t want to risk him changing headquarters before we got him.

Approaching the warehouse base, we ran into two men riding in a cart loaded with barrels. Zoe approached in an attempt to bribe the men into handing over their cargo. They were immediately suspicious. When asked why she wanted the barrels Zoe told them that her reasons were unimportant…only the way she said it…”Let’s just say I like the smell of fish.” led the, none too bright, drivers to believe that she was crazy and drive on. Kell approached, crossbow drawn. After the direct threat the men stated that they were working for a man named Balko, not Gaedren, and insisted that there was nothing in the barrels but fish. Hesitant, but not finding reason to doubt them, she let them continue.

We scouted the building for a bit, finding all the obvious exits. We decided to go in from two directions. Vigo, Gregoria, Aria and me at the side door. Kell, more specifically her “friend” Shorenka, a bipedal Outsider of shadow, and Zoe take the front door. We all try to break in at once. We managed to get our door open right away, falling into a room with what appeared to be 4 children shoveling fish slurry through chutes in the wall. Vigo tries to scare them into running rather than fighting, but the one in the chair jumps up and yells at the others to fight. At this point we realize that one was not a child but a gnome.

As the children turn their pitchforks on us Aria steps up and starts working magic with her rapier, one after the other she disarms and sends them running out the door. While she was performing art with a sword, Vigo and I were having a time of it trying to get the gnome. I scored one small cut on him myself but I wasn’t able to see how much damage Vigo managed to do before a huge dog burst into the room.

Meanwhile, we could hear a loud banging from the front door but nothing more from the other team.

We managed to scare off the gnome and the dog, but before we could take stock,a man with a truly hideous sneer on his face looked in the door and failed at a cast from a wand then slammed the door. Since all that I ever speak while stressed is gibberish, I motioned to Vigo to get ready to go through the door.

Just then we heard Gregoria scream and Zoe came running into the room, short sword at the ready. Knowing I could take a few hits myself and that I could heal Vigo at any time, I vainly yelled for her to get back outside to help the others. Interestingly, she nodded, made an odd face, and turned and ran back outside. Soon after I heard the familiar sound of healing magic being cast. (Note to self: If incapacitated, Zoe can cast at least a few healing spells)

Confidant that the rest of the party could handle themselves, Vigo and I press on, chasing the gnome, dog and mysterious man.

In the next room, the mysterious man cast from the wand again and Vigo was hit with acid splash. This pattern continued until we managed to kill the gnome and the dog. Vigo was hit a few more times with the acid and looked ready to rip the man in two.

Next, we entered at the top of a large room. The rest of the party was coming in through the door downstairs. Aria started pointing to a hole in the floor and holding a finger to her lips. That’s where the man(Balko, we found out later) had gone. I cast a couple of healing spells on the party leaving me with one. Vigo wasn’t happy because I judged that he could wait, because I wanted to save the last one for an emergency.

As we prepared to follow Balko we saw that there was water straight down from the hole in the floor, and there was a shark swimming directly below the opening. Having fought many of these out in open water, I made ready to jump in. I forgot that no one there knew about my gills and was reminded by the gasps when I pulled off my scarf. Undaunted, I summoned a trident, also to the group’s surprise, and jumped. I landed a solid blow as I fell, but didn’t take it out in one hit. I readied my trident for defense, but, as it turned, it’s eye met the point of Aria’s blade, ending it.

What followed next was an exercise in awkwardness. I determined that the water was too deep for the others to risk drowning. I managed to find a small boat and pulled it over to under the hole and everyone was able to use it as a platform to get to the small boardwalk.

We found a door back under the building. Seeing the entire party lined up in a row, I opted to swim under. What I found immediately made me regret my decision. I came nose to tail to the largest crocodile I’ve ever seen. Trying not to panic I took a stab at its underbelly. It thrashed but seemed more interested in whatever was going on above. I stabbed it again, I was definitely causing some damage, but it showed no sign. Suddenly there was a splash near its head. Fearing for one of our group I swam up for a better look and saw Balko being dragged way as the creature fled.

Upon dragging myself out of the water I learned of the battle that had transpired above me. Vigo had finally managed to wrestle the acid splash wand from Balko and tossed him in the water to appease the croc that was snapping at legs on the catwalk. I also learned that Shorenka had decapitated Gaedren in a single attack and that Aria was left lacking proper vengeful closure because of it. In Gaedren’s office we found a truly gruesome surprise. We found the decomposing head of Zellara. Just as I was about to ask how it was possible, Zellara herself walked in through the door.

Her shade explained to us the full story, she lost her life to Gaedren while seeking retribution for the death of her son. She apologized for misleading us and thanked us for our help. She then bequeathed her Harrow deck to Zoe before walking back out the door and disappearing.

We gathered and distributed the loot and agreed to meet at the market in the morning to sell what we didn’t want. There was one brooch that really stood out that we couldn’t recognize. We will get that appraised.

If only that had been the end. Upon exiting the building we found the city in chaos. Fires in several places around the city, pseudodragons and imps filling the sky. We briefly discussed what we would do. Kell and Aria informed us that the Acadamae would be closed. We all agreed to stick together for mutual defense for the night, and that we would head for Bavolio’s. Along the way we passed several armed forces groups moving around and heard many people calling out that the king was dead and that his queen had killed him. We also ran into one drunk guardsman. We took pity on the man and brought him with us.

We are at Bavolio’s now and he was not particularly happy to see all of us, but let us in in exchange for a full explanation of what we knew from Zoe. Yelena is safe and happy to know that Lamm is dead, and this fills us both with hope that we will find her brother.


hart_nelson william_y2kmonkey

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