Curse of the Crimson Throne

Edge of Anarchy, Part 5

Negotiation and Conflagration

The Spider’s Den

Upon arrival at Eel’s End, the party talks their way into the throne room where Devargo Barvasi is holding court. Zandu introduces the group and then makes a pitch for Devargo’s favor. He offers to use his influence with the Queen to set Devargo up as a sort of “Minister of Vice” responsible for regulating criminal activity in Korvosa. Devargo is impressed with the sorcerer’s nerve, but asks if they have any other reason for interrupting him.

Ashla attempts to bribe Devargo for the information on the ambassador, but Devargo still isn’t convinced. Citing his boredom, he suggests that the party participate in a game of “knivesies.” Arlynn volunteers—and then quietly asks Ashla what exactly knivesies is.

A few moments later, Arlynn is standing on a table with her right arm tied to the right arm of one of Devargo’s thugs. Strewn on the tabletop are coins from gamblers and a single dagger. Games of knivesies end when all the coins have been scooped up by the fighters or when one of the fighters is unconscious, dead, or off the table. The winner (either the one with the most coins or the last one standing) gets to keep half the coins that were scooped up, while the rest is paid to the winning gamblers.

Uninterested in pocket change, Arlynn tries to end the game as swiftly as possible, hurling her opponent bodily from the table. She enjoys a brief moment of triumph before the strap around her right arm sends her careening down on top of the poor thug with a heavy clank of her plate mail.

Devargo claps enthusiastically and reveals that the good ambassador had been conducting a scandalous affair with the wife of a Chelaxian noble. The affair included some quite explicit letters, which fell into Devargo’s hands. He steps away to retrieve that last two remaining letters, pausing to maliciously rattle the cage of his pseudodragon. Upon his return, Ashla offers to buy the poor creature from him, but Devargo won’t part with “Majenko” for less than 5,000 gp. Ashla promises to return as the pseudodragon watches her forlornly.

The party turns in the information to Cressida, who hopes that dealing with Devargo wasn’t too distasteful. The content of the letters is enough to make her blush, but she agrees that they will provide sufficient leverage over the ambassador.

A Crown for a Queen

After the Devargo situation is resolved, Cressida introduces the party to Commandant Marcus Thalassinus Endrin, the leader of Sable Company. He explains that the Queen wants to move forward with her coronation ceremony, which has been delayed not only by the instability but also by the disappearance of the Seneshal, Neolandis Kalepopolis. But the Queen has decided the ceremony is necessary to cement the legitimacy of her reign and she intends to hold it in front of the old City Hall in Old Korvosa, with Marcus taking on the Seneschal’s role in the ceremony. The party is to provide additional security for the dignitaries. Zandu suggests that Cressida reach out to Vencarlo Orisini to request that he and some of his students quietly patrol the crowd during the event to help tamp down on any flaring tempers.

Shortly after the meeting with Cressida concludes, Egan Silentall adopts a stray dog that he names “Reno.”

The coronation ceremony is held on a hastily erected wooden dais in front of the dilapidated Old City Hall, facing a plaza packed with the surly masses of Old Korvosa. Surveying the crowd, Egan and Arlynn spot an old friend, the mad street prophet, moving determinedly towards the stage. While they intercept him before he can leap onto the stage and unfurl a protest banner, Ashla’s sharp eyes spot a more sinister figure circling around the edge of the crowd.

She follows him under the dais, where he is prying open a locked sewer plug. “Are you trying to release an otyugh from the sewers?” she asks him. “…Maybe,” he responds. She orders him to stop and he begins to comply, but it is too late—the tentacled mass of an otyugh surges through the unlocked sewer entrance. This provokes the rapid evacuation of the plaza, while the party and several Hellknights surround and destroy the monster.

Ashla, Egan, and Zandu then chase the would-be assassin across half of old Korvosa while Arlynn and Marcus sic the Sable Company hippogriffs on him. The fugitive is finally cornered in The Shingles, caught between Ashla and a hippogriff after Zandu set him on fire.

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