The afternoon of 12 Erastus, 4708
Having found Venster’s body and drawn from the Harrow Deck of Many Things, the Crimson Blades return from the dungeons to the surface.
Zandu flies Kyra out to her new castle, which has appeared at the mouth of the Jeggare River, across from Old Korvosa. Although the ground floor of the castle is human-scale, the upper stories are sized for halflings.
They decide to open the facility up to halflings dislocated from Smalltown by the violence of the past few months. After leaving Kyra’s mother in charge for the moment, they return to Castle Korvosa.
Egan checks in with his new gaggle of followers, instructing them to help the druid circle care for the wounded in the rebellion.
Flint gets word that his parents have been killed. He rushes over to the Endrin Manor in East Shore, where the servants tell him that when the boggards came ashore the other day, his parents rallied the district to push them back. They were both slain fighting an enormous sea troll. Their bodies are presently lying in state.
Flint is furious with the surviving house guards for failing to protect his parents, but grudgingly admits that they would naturally lead from the front. The guard captain presents Flint with the signet ring of House Endrin, noting that he is Lord of the estate now. Flint recalls of the Harrow cards he draw, the Empty Throne, and curses fate. He also muses on the fact that his only other family alive in the city is his sister Valeria, who remains pledged to the loyalist Gray Maidens.
Arlynn and Nox check in with the Neolandis and Cressida, to inform them that the Castle has been searched and to learn about the developments in the rebellion. They are told that the tide seems to have shifted decisively in favor of the rebels, with the remaining loyalists holed up in North Point and The Heights. around the Great Tower. The Queen remains the wild card, however. Should she intervene with powerful magic or conjure up another army like the boggards, the situation could change fast.
Nox tells the seneschal to call on the Great Houses to discuss the next steps for the city. Neolandis puts out the call, but is not sure how many will answer it in person. Arlynn coordinates with Cressida on redeploying her Sworn Swords to help take charge of guarding the captive Mistress Kayltanya.
The evening of 12 Erastus, 4708
While the rest of the party runs errands and beds down outside of the castle, Zandu and Kyra investigate the mysterious room in Queen Domina’s Tower they hadn’t been able to access. Following Venster’s advice, they touch a signet ring with the Arabasti crest to the ceiling. This transports them into a small, well furnished study with a desk a few comfortable chairs, and a bookcase.
Zandu skims through the papers on the Queen’s desk and comes across what appears to be notes regarding her secret plans. He deposits these notes in the room below, then returns to the study to spend the night.
The morning of 13 Erastus, 4708
The following morning, Nox attends the meeting of the Great Houses. Representatives of each of the five arrive at the Citadel for the discussion, but Lord Toff Ornelos is the only noble to attend in person. The seneschal and Lictor Severs DiVri jointly preside over the meeting.
Nox urges the Five Great Houses to depose the Queen and set to work selecting a new monarch. Lord Ornelos strongly implies that he is the most fit candidate to replaces the Queen. The representative for House Leroung also requests security assurances before Content Not Found: eliasa will be able to attend. Nox chastises them for their cowardice and extracts a commitment to attend.
Nox and the lictor also clash over the role of the Hellknights in Korvosa and the city’s obligation to pay them. Eventually, Nox pledges to pay the (unspecified) debt to the Hellknights, and the lictor agrees to withdraw from involvement in city politics, leaving the regency solely to Neolandis now that the fighting has largely subsided.
Meanwhile, the rest of the part meets up with Zandu and they begin going through Ileosa’s documents. Of particular note is a large volume, written in Infernal, titled Truths of the Sihedron. It chronicles the cruelties of the ancient runelords of Thassilon. Divided into seven chapters, one on each runelord, the chapter on Runelord Sorshen has been heavily glossed in Ileosa’s delicate penmanship.
In particular, Ileosa seems to have been particularly obsessed with something called the Everdawn Pool, a device she believes still exists today in the ruins of the Sunken Queen. According to her notes, the gathering of samples of blood from thousands of “supplicants” is but the first step. Once the Everdawn Pool is ready, it can draw forth the lifeblood of these thousands to infuse a single creature with eternal youth.
The adventurers realize that Ileosa plans to sacrifice a huge fraction of Korvosa’s population in order to grant her immortality.
Poking through the bookshelf, Ashla comes across a slim volume that appears to have been gathering dust for several months. It is Ileosa’s diary, dating from before her arrival in Korvosa. The diary chronicles Ileosa’s plan to marry into the throne and her growing frustration with King Eodred’s continued good health (and womanizing ways). The diary also describes how the Queen first noticed and then fell in love with Sabina Merrin, with whom she pursued an affair.
The last few entries document the Queen’s decline in mental health after she stumbled across the Fangs of Kazavon in a secret room in the castle treasury. In the final entry, Ileosa declares that she will try to smash the fangs with a mason’s hammer, no doubt the same hammer they found lying on the floor in the dungeon.
The party also finds, hidden on the bookshelf, an invisible scroll case containing a signed contract between Ileosa and the devil Sermignatto (on behalf of some other, unnamed devil), pledging infernal assistance to Ileosa in return for being given free reign in Korvosa once her business there is concluded.
Going through the documents, Zandu concludes that the Queen’s blood ritual could be completed within two days, or less. Not a lot of time to launch an attack on her fortress in the Mushfens and disrupt the ritual.