Curse of the Crimson Throne

New Friends, Old Enemies Part 2

Party of Five

With the threat from the Iron Fists resolved, the party has two weeks of relative quiet to rest, recuperate and look into less pressing matters.

Several days after dealing with the Iron Fists, the party receives a discrete message from Lord Glorio Arkona about his investigations into the monks’ passage from Vudra to Korvosa. Glorio confirms that the monks did travel to the city aboard on of his family’s ships, the Resolve, but has discovered that their passage was paid for in Korvosan coin—meaning that whoever paid for their trip must work for the Arkona family. Glorio promises to inform the party once he has identified the miscreant.

Ser Arlynn drops in on the Midland orphanage, where she finds Grau Soldado also checking in as she’d requested. He says that he’s cut off the orphanages’ access to the Shingles and double-checked the locks, but there’s little else that can be done to improve the physical security without turning it into a prison. He has been swinging by when he’s on patrol however. Arlynn thanks him, but when she asks about Remmy, Grau says that the young woman has left the Guard to join the Queen’s new unit, the Gray Maidens, because of the higher pay. Grau isn’t happy with the way the new force is picking the Guard clean of its best women, but he can’t begrudge Remmy’s choice as she has ailing parents to support. Arlynn also speaks with the orphans, leaving her copy of the Acts of Iomedae after several of the children express an interest in the goddess.

Ashla, meanwhile, continues her training with Vencarlo Orisini. The fencing master is excited about Blackjack’s reappearance and especially his denunciation of the Queen. He is pleased that Ashla likewise supports the vigilante’s message.

Meanwhile, Zandu spends the next few weeks trying to get close to Kyra and insinuate himself into the Cerulean Society at the Sticky Mermaid. The halfling woman takes a liking to him, but is clearly reticent to trust him with any serious information about the society. Still, the sorcerer becomes a familiar and welcome sight at the already boisterous tavern. He parties there often enough that Kyra has a room regularly reserved for him to sleep off the night’s excesses. Zandu also asks around for a high-quality copy of Calistria’s Book of Joy and the thieves tell him that while they don’t have one in stock, they will soon.

Back at Zellara’s home, Egan trains Reno to be a riding dog. The druid also spends some time outside the city to renew his connection to nature. Upon his return, he goes looking for Faunra and her druid circle. He finds them protesting outside the Posh and Turtle, a swanky place in North Point that advertises itself as the finest inn and tavern in Varisia. The Posh and Turtle is built over a sea cave inhabited by an enormous sea turtle, Old Tom, who has grown so large he can’t swim out. Guests can view and even feed the turtle through an enchanted glass floor in the dining area.

The druid circle has set up camp outside the Posh and Turtle, where they are protesting for the turtle’s release and harassing the inn’s staff and clientele. Faunra is pleased to see Egan, but as she introduces him to the rest of the circle, the gnome gets the sense that she’s unhappy with their current activities. The Brackwater Druid Circle is led by a gruff half-orc named Qoro and also includes his son Akko, a human called the Antler Man who only speaks in Druidic and Deer, and about a dozen other members.

Qoro spies the inn’s owner, a wizard named Thaviun, and chases him into the Posh and Turtle, only to be dragged out by guards, all the while denouncing Thaviun and promising retribution. “He’s done this five times already,” a mortified Faunra explains. Egan asks her what she thinks of the group’s activities and she admits that she doesn’t think they are accomplishing much of anything. About a week and a half ago, Qoro just suddenly told the group to start demanding Old Tom’s release. Faunra thinks there’s so much more the druids can accomplish in the city.

With Qoro hauled off by the guards, Egan decides to address the circle. With Faunra’s help, he convinces them that their present actions are actually detrimental to their cause. He urges them to patrol the city to protect its animal inhabitants from abuse by the humans and predation by abominations. The circle is ultimately convinced and abandons the protest.

Akko loudly announces that he’s abandoning the druid way entirely, having grown sick of following his father’s commands. He reveals that for the past few weeks, Qoro has been taking bribes from the owner of the Goldlager, a rival inn from Magnimar, to harass the Posh and Turtle’s clientele. Akko intends to take that money and elope with a dwarven smith, Thenra, that he’s fallen for. Egan wishes him the best of luck. Faunra and Egan agree to patrol the city together on a regular basis.

While all of that has been going on, Ser Arlynn has spent the past two weeks quietly following up leads on the Bekyar slavers’ operation in Korvosa. She learns that the Temple of Asmodeus has long been alleged to be involved in the slave trade, but repeated searches by the Guard have turned up no evidence. But any slaves that are brought in are likely coming from secret entrances in to the sewers. Arlynn also learns that the slaves are likely being smuggled in by ship and that the Cerulean Society has an effective monopoly on all smuggling operations in Korvosa.

Arlynn follows up on this information with Kyra, who he finds drinking with Zandu at the Sticky Mermaid. The paladin asks if the Cerulean Society has any information about the Bekyars, or about the fugitive necromancer Rolth. Kyra says that the Bekyars haven’t shown their faces since the failed assassination attempt against Lord Alek Farima. As for Rolth, she’s pretty confident that he’s hiding out in the sewers, but the Society has little presence there due to the intense danger and unpleasant environment.

To make up for her lack of information, Kyra introduces Arlynn and Zandu to the mercenary Ionas “Slim” Tils, a relative newcomer to Korvosa who is looking for work. The halfling woman figures his skill set could come in handy for the party in vanquishing their myriad enemies. A Varisian man of few words, Slim keeps a rapier at his side. A witness to the botched execution of Trinia, he compliments Zandu on misdirecting Blackjack’s pursuers. After trading pleasantries, Arlynn and Zandu take Slim back to Zellara’s house to meet the rest of the gang.

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