Curse of the Crimson Throne

The Legend of Egan
Legacy of Blood, Part 5

The night of 15 Erastus, 4708

Rest and Repose

Exhausted from their long day slogging through the Thassilonian vault below Castle Korvosa, the Crimson Blades decide to turn in quickly. Nox peels off, with a furious Freya and her brother Wulfrik’s body in tow.

Arlynn takes the rest of the gang back to her family’s townhouse in the Heights District. The house is less well-kept without the goblin butler Grimlurk, but there’s enough room for them all to sleep. Flint has Laori resurrect Rodrick and he and his other friends convince the irascible alchemist of the clone theory. Laori herself has been unusually quiet and reserved ever since she recovered the Fangs of Kazavon.

The next morning, Laori bakes everyone Elvish muffins. As the adventurers break their fast, a bird suddenly appears to tap on the window, a scrap of paper wrapped around its leg. Egan figures the note is for him and excuses himself.

The morning of 16 Erastus, 4708

Spirited Away

The druid circle has discovered a strange razorweed in the city, but they haven’t been able to contact the nature spirits to inquire about it. Their attempts to remove it have not been successful, and it is spreading rapidly. They take Egan to a secluded sea cave and perform a ritual to send him into the spirit world.

Egan encounters the earth spirit and the water spirit caught up in a ceaseless battle. Both promise to help him if he helps them against their rival.

Egan uses wind wall to break them apart, then interrogates them about the plant.

The earth spirit says it is poisoning the land and its roots are binding together. The water spirit warns that the city’s tides have come out of sink, as if it were drifting somewhere else.

The two spirits then summon an animal spirit, shaped like a jackalope, who offers Egan more information if the druid can catch him. The spirit races off into the city.

Special Guests

Back in the townhouse, Arlynn goes through her morning sword practice/prayers, only to have Iomedae drop in on her. Arlynn shares the credit for her success with Irabeth, Chammady, and Laori.

Arlynn asks about whether Serithtial should stay with her or go to Lastwall for safekeeping. The sword (in humanoid form) prefers to stay involved in the fight. Iomedae leaves the decision to Arlynn, but notes that so long as Kazavon’s relics still exist, the sword should be ready to hand. The goddess notes that the only known relic is about to leave the city for the homeland of its patron, but she doubts it will get there.

Iomedae warns that there is a looming threat to Korvosa, not Sorshen, but Lorthact, who can hide even from her gaze. She emphasizes the tremendous danger Lorthact poses and urges Arlynn to seek out every tool and ally she can. She notes that knowledge is their greatest weapon, and that Lorthact may have hoarded knowledge of his own weaknesses to keep it from falling into his enemies’ hands.

After the goddess disappears, Irabeth rushes into the room, wide-eyed. “I’m sorry I’m late. You would not believe the dream I just had.”

“You wouldn’t believe the dream I just had,” Arlynn says.

Their eyes lock and they both realize they saw the same thing. The two hold hands and squee like fangirls. Their excitement is interrupted by someone throwing a rock at the window. It is Arlynn’s estranged elder sister Keris, waiting impatiently below.

The Hero Korvosa Needs

Ashla, after breakfast, goes on a casual patrol through the city, picking up on rumors. People are relieved the violence seems to be over, excited that the Breaching Festival approaches, frustrated by the city’s continued isolation, and perturbed by the fact that someone keeps shooting birds out of the sky.

Ashla is approached by Vencarlo. After she fills him in on the defeat of the queen and the destruction of the crown, he tells her about a matter that may require Blackjack’s attention: former Gray Maidens are going missing, and he doesn’t think it’s simple vigilante justice. He points her towards the site of the Merciless Way Massacre in Old Korvosa. Ashla asks him to spread the word that the Gray Maidens were largely unwilling pawns.

Family Matters

Flint gathers his friends in a scry-proof room, shares a code signal (“apples”) with them to let them know they’re speaking with the real Flint. He then checks to see if they will support him, and they are ultimately all on board.

From there, he takes them back to their parents. Lord Astorian is very skeptical of Flint’s claims, and lets him know that his house’s reputation is in the dirt. Lady Kestle is simply overjoyed to get Rodrick back.

Flint and Damon then detour over to Endrin Manor so that Damon can speak with Valeria before his mother kills him. However, they arrive to a commotion outside, as three angry nobles demand to see Flint while Valeria stalls. Flint recognizes them as acquaintances of his—Lyyah Camppri, Cohel Totham, and Gellius Sevaad. They are all armed.

Seeing is Believing

Egan pursues the jackalope spirit through the streets of Korvosa. The rabbit ducks into a narrow alley—and slams right into a wall. Egan uses wall of stone to ensnare it. The jackalope protests against the use of magic, but Egan tells him to stuff it.

When Egan asks for information, the animal spirit offers to show the druid what he needs to know.

The jackalope takes Egan to East Shore, where they pass by a tavern and Egan picks up Flint’s scent. They continue, however, to the Endrin estate, where Flint is being confronted by the three nobles.

Revenge of the Clones

It quickly becomes apparent that “Flint” had simultaneously proposed marriage to Lyyah, to Cohel’s sister, and to Gellius’ fiance, while also gambling and whoring about town. Deeply insulted, all three nobles are out for blood—and Flint’s “doppelgangers” explanation isn’t cutting it.

Flint promises to take them to see the duplicate locked away in the Castle under guard. First, though, he goes to check in with Valeria, requesting the signet ring back. She then tells him that she was informed this morning that the duplicate has apparently escaped the Castle. He somehow managed to simply talk his way out of the cell. flint is incensed that his doubles seem to be not mere copies, but somehow better than him.

Flint then offers Damon a chance to speak quietly with Valeria, while he turns back to mollify the angry young nobles.

Your Aura is Showing

As Egan has watched this scene, he has attuned more strongly to the spirit world, in which people and places look different than they do in our reality. Valeria looks more scarred, but beneath the scars glows a gentle warmth. Flint, on the other hand, is being circled by a grasping, fiendish shadow.

Endrin Manor, likewise, takes on a sinister appearance, all spikes and jagged edges, with deep cracks running through its stones. Half the grass in the front yard appears dead, a slowly expanding brown semicircle that the gnome druid traces back to a single razorweed, growing in the shadow of the building.

As he takes this in, Egan comes to two realizations. One, the Flint he smelled in the shoreline tavern is not the one here in the manor. Two, there is another figure, climbing a nearby building, that looks decidedly like Flint—but couldn’t have been at the tavern either.

The newcomer ignores Endrin Manor, instead watching the skies. Egan can see some sort of avian spirit floating around him. All of a sudden, he nocks and arrow and looses it, making an almost impossible shot to bring down a bird. The figure then begins to descend.

Clone Hunt

Egan casts summon nature’s ally to conjure forth a messenger pigeon and directs it to arc across the bird-killer’s field of vision towards Endrin Manor. The archer swiftly shoots it out of the sky,, with the arrow landing at Flint’s feet, drawing his attention.

Flint takes off after the figure, with Valeria, Damon, and the three nobles in hot pursuit. As he chases his clone through the Shingles, Flint tags him several times with arrows. Even so, the bird-killer manages to get a deciding lead. The double dashes across a plank between two rooftops, kicks the plank aside, does a little bow to Flint, and then backflips off the building to safety.

Or he would have, had Egan not cast reverse gravity.

Dire Warnings

Flint and the others casually approach in the spinning figure. Flint rips the hooded cloak away so that the duplicate can clearly be seen. A furious Lyyah stabs the double through the heart. As they look at the slack corpse, they realize he appears rather unkempt, as if he had been living on the streets for days. Lyyah ruefully acknowledges that this wasn’t the Flint who seduced her. But the nobles do agree that Flint seems to be correct about the clones.

The duplicate was carrying multiple letters taken from messenger birds, most of it official correspondence from outlying settlements warning that forces from Magnimar, Korvosa’s rival to the west, are encroaching on on the city’s outlying territories. Another letter, meanwhile, had fallen from the bird-killer’s pocket during his escape. It bears the sigil of House Leroung and promises financial assistance for his cause. Flint recalls that House Leroung had called for an abolishment of the monarchy and that its members hand expressed great concern about the personal safety of their Lady.

Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

Back at the Farima townhouse, Arlynn reunites with her sister, who is once again kitted out as a warrior. Keris explains that she has tracked a crew of Bekyars to the city, and among them is the Master of Whips, the man who killed their mother. Arlynn recognizes this as a chance to avenge their family and the two set out at once, accompanied by Irabeth and Ant 3. Along the way, the two sisters make awkward small talk and reminisce about happier times.

The Bekyars are staying at the Upslope House, a bed and breakfast large enough to qualify as an inn (despite a citadel Crest ordinance prohibiting such things). Keris explains that there are at least seven hardened Bekyar warriors inside, too many for one person to take down. Arlynn suggests they just barge right in, a plan that Keris and Irabeth are fine with.

It is at this point that Egan and the dire jackalope spirit catch up. In the spirit world, Arlynn and Irabeth each blaze bright with halos—Arlynn’s golden, Irabeth’s tinged with red—but the shadows cast by their glow are dark and twisted. The formian appears as a sleek, almost sculpted-looking being of pure amber. Keris, meanwhile, appears as a dark gray figure, and slightly wispy at the edges as if not fully formed. The only color on her is the golden mark of justice that Arlynn placed upon her forehead months ago.

An Unexpected Parley

Side by side, the two Farima sisters force open the double doors of the Upslope House. The common room is full of Bekyars, all sitting down to a late breakfast. In the far corner is seated the Master of Whips, looking almost exactly as he did the night he cut down their mother.

There is a moment of quiet as everyone takes stock of each other. Then Arlynn challenges the Master, calling for vengeance for her mother and for the thousands slaves that her parents sought to free.

The Master of Whips tells her that she must of course do what she feels is necessary, but tells her that he has come to Korvosa not to harm the city, but to save it. Arlynn is skeptical. He explains that the Bekyar auguries have foreseen a great doom befalling Korvosa in the coming days. The doom is connected to a lost Bekyar relic, the Book of Golgothus. The destruction of Korvosa would interfere with the Master’s plans, and the book is an honored relic, hence his interest in retrieving it and halting the doom.

Arlynn has heard of the book, both from Bekyar legends and from her studies at Lastwall. Golgothus was a Bekyar wizard of terrible power, who studied fiend-binding, conjuration, and the planes. It is said that he poured all of his knowledge into a single tome, which was stolen from his reliquary centuries ago.

Sensing that this text could be one of the weapons against Lorthact that the Inheritor had mentioned, Arlynn begins to negotiate an alliance with the slave lord. This frustrates Keris to no end, but she bites her tongue and goes along with her little sister.

Shadows on the Wall

As the negotiations are taking place, Egan prowls around the outside of the inn, unwilling to enter even in spirit form. The gnome druid searches for the razorweed that is the source of the site’s strange distortions. He ultimately finds the plant growing up the sides of the building like a vine.

While poking around, Egan also gets a peak through the window at the Master’s shadow (though not the man himself). The shadow is huge, far larger than a human or even a bear, and monstrous, with ridges, spines and what even might be pincers. Yet strangely, the other shadows nearby are not distorted into sinister shapes. In fact, as the Master’s shadow moves, it seems to repel the warping effect that distorts the other shadows.

Planning a Party Crash

Inside, the Master of Whips insists that the Book of Golgothus must be returned to the Bekyar Nation. Arlynn gets him to agree to a compromise: permitting the party to study the book for a reasonable time and freeing the same number of slaves that her parents had tried to liberate all those years ago. The Master agrees to these terms and has them placed in writing, with signatures from himself and Arlynn.

The Master of Whips says that his people have divined that the book is in Korvosa, in the possession of a tiefling wizard name Maketh, who is studying it at the Acadamae. Possibly the most secure building in Korvosa, the Acadamae is protected by traps, beasts, and layers of warding spells—and it will be open to the public in two days’ time, for the annual Breaching Festival. An ideal time to break inside—although many of the halls will be trapped for the festival participants. Two teams—the Crimson Blades and the Bekyars—stand a better chance than just one. He promises to stay in touch with Arlynn.

The afternoon of 16 Erastus, 4708

The Missing Maidens of Merciless Way

Meanwhile, Ashla has gone to the site of the Merciless Way Massacre, where residents have erected a shrine to the victims. The ranger questions the locals about the disappearances and strange activities in the area. No one has seen the kidnappings, but they have seen former Gray Maidens come by to pay their respects, usually around sunset. They have also seen a gang of strange people in dark hoods with black cloths drawn around their faces lurking in the area, though most suspect them to be part of the Cerulean Society. Lastly, a tiefling has also been spotted frequenting the area. Ashla sends an animal messenger off to Kyra, seeking confirmation that the Cerulean Society was active in the area.

Having obtained this information, Ashla settles into a stakeout of the shrine, until finally, around sunset, two scarred and brawny women cautiously approach to light candles. Ashla see a group of four dark figures lurking nearby, but does nothing. The four cloaked figures, together with four more identical people, rush out of two nearby alleys to attack the women. They move with a strange, jerky gait and attack with their bare hands, attempting to beat the women into submission.

The former Gray Maidens resist fiercely, drawing daggers. Ashla sees them stab the hooded figures repeatedly and even open a man’s throat, to no avail. After ascertaining that the attackers were seeing only to disable, not kill, the women, Ashla chooses not to intervene. The two victims are knocked senseless, then each is picked up by one of the figures. The rest of the group scatters, while the two kidnappers haul their cargo through the streets.

They try to throw off any potential pursuit, but Ashla determines very quickly that they are heading for the ruins of Exemplary Execrables, the old freak show that was once run by the man who would become the Emperor of Old Korvosa. The kidnappers carry the two women down a hidden trapdoor in the charred wreckage of the place. After sending an animal messenger to Arlynn notifying her, Ashla quietly follows them, just as Egan and the jackalope spirit arrive.

In the spirit world, the outline of the freak show theater and museum lingers on, semi-translucent and splashed with blood. Razorweed grows around the entrance of the trapdoor. The two figures hauling the captives appear as complete black voids—not merely shadows, but the absence of anything.

Dead Men Walking

Egan and the nature spirit follow Ashla down the trap door, which leads to what was once a basement beneath Exemplary Execrables. The two kidnappers are walking down a long hallway, at the end of which is a bright light. Ashla quietly trails after them, barely sparing a glance at the doors lining the hall.

The light at the end of the tunnel is from a pair of lanterns in a large room, which holds several tables and a small cot. One of the tables is overflowing with scrolls and scraps of paper, while the other has an assortment of sinister-looking knives and torture implements. The two kidnapped women have been chained to the wall and gagged by the two cloaked figures. A tiefling man, meanwhile, is cheerily sharpening a knife at one of the tables while whistling to himself. In the spirit world, Egan can see strings hanging off of the man.

Ashla creeps up behind him and then puts her twin swords against his throat. She asks him what he’s doing and who he is working for and warns him not to resist or he’s dead. The tiefling calls out to his minions and Ashla regretfully slits his throat. As the cloaked figures close in, she realizes they are undead and a grin springs to her face.

Meanwhile, the doors lining the hallway open and more figures shuffle out. These aren’t covered up like their fellows, making it clear that they are the walking corpses of dead men and women, all of them in their late teens to early twenties. Egan quickly casts spiked stone on the hallway, managing to snare most of the dead, but a half a dozen get through.

The corpses attack Ashla with their bare hands, but their moves are clumsy and only a few blows hit. Ashla cuts them down one by one, knocking one of them against the wall by the chained-up maidens. This startles them to wakefulness and Ashla asks them to make sure the dead man stays down. The two women stomp on the corpse, while the ranger finishes the remaining undead. She surveys the the spiked stones and calls out “Thank you, Egan.”

The maidens thank her for rescuing them and wonder what the hell the tiefling was up to. Ashla gives the papers a cursory look—they appear to be part of a larger ritual, involving human sacrifice. She also found a calendar, with the date 19 Eratus (three days hence) circled. The ranger scoops up the material for further review.

Outside the Lines

With Ashla out of danger, the jackalope takes Egan back to the surface. Racing across Korvosa, the spirit takes them up to the top of the Great Tower. From there, Egan can see lines of red energy stretching from each of the locations they visited, all converging on the Acadamae. Egan also senses the ley lines stretching out across Varisia. But where the ley lines intersect the red streams of energy, the ley lines simply stop.

The jackalope explains that the bonds linking Korvosa to Golarion are being cut, just as they approach the dark of the moon when the boundaries between the worlds are at their thinnest. If Korvosa is unmoored from Golarion when that happens, who knows where the city might drift? The jackalope also says that it remembers when Field Marshal Jakthion Korvosa arrived, more than three hundred years ago. His name and his bones are bound up in the city—not the land, but the living organism that is the city. And last night, the spirit saw through the eyes of an owl as raiders stole Jakthion Korvosa’s body from its tomb in the Gray District.

Shattered Crown
Legacy of Blood, Part 4

The Crimson Blades burst into the tomb, where Nox and the henchmen are battling the guardian while Amprei deploys his equipment. The Chelaxian ambassador warns that the Blades will spoil everything and orders his men to hold them off.

The Abadarian cleric and the wizard unleash magic against the adventurers, but are swiftly overcome. Flint seizes hold of the dominated Freya, wrestles her to the ground and ties her up.

Amprei loudly insists that he is trying to protect Korvosa. He has his strange device pointed at the figure in the sarcophagus at the center of the room, who appears to be a sleeping Sorshen. As Nox moves to confront him, the ambassador insists that he is trying to siphon off some of Sorshen’s power to keep her dormant. Seeking advice, Arlynn calls upon Armaitya, who’s entrance into the dungeon is delayed, but when she appears she warns against trusting Amprei.

The adventurers surround Amprei, while the device continues to whir louder and louder. Ashla, Nox, and Arlynn all take turns trying to destroy the device. It finally explodes, sending out a surge of energy and triggering some sort of supernatural trap. Nox manages to resist the murderous illusion, narrowly avoiding death.

Amprei attempts to flee, using magic to invisibly slip out into the antechamber. Egan, however, spots him and Ashla closes in. But Egan strikes the killing blow with a finger of death. Amprei’s Ulfen bodyguard Wulfrik goes berserk and Nox is forced to kill him.

The adventurers retreat from the tomb, leaving its tentacled guardian there.

Confronted by the Crimson Fangs, Nox manages to resist the allure of the Crown of Fangs enough to remove the cursed artifact. Arlynn then shatters it with a furious blow from Serithtial.

This releases blue spectral energy which swirls around the fangs and then dives into the withered husk of Amprei’s body. With a sickening crunching sound, the dead man’s bones stretch and warp, swelling up into the shape of an immense skeletal dragon.

The Crimson Blades and the remaining henchmen stand their ground to face the creature. The skeletal dragon spews forth a blast of lightning into the massed adventurers. The monster grievously injures Irabeth, who is carried to safety by Armaitya.

The party rallies and counter attacks. A series of devastating blows are unleashed by Nox, Flint, and Ashla. Her sword glowing with holy fire, Arlynn delivers the killing blow, shattering the skeleton.

Picking through the remains, they find Kazavon’s fangs and present them to Laori, as promised. She places them inside a custom lead-lined carrying case. The elf maiden is troubled by battle with the undead Kazavon and the fact that her mission for the Church of Zon-Kuthon is complete.

Freya, freed from Nox’s domination, bitterly confronts him about using her and about killing Wulfrik, who she reveals to be her brother. Nox apologizes and promises to revive the man.

With Nox returned to the fold and the Crown of Fangs finally, finally broken, the Crimson Blades begin their ascent to the surface, worried about what has taken place in their absence.

Through the Looking Glass
Legacy of Blood, Part 3

The evening of 15 Erastus, 4708


The two disparate halves of the Crimson Blades reunite and swap stories of their experiences. Flint introduces Sheira to the other half of the party. Once they are up to speed, they decide to investigate the nearby chamber, whose light is spilling out into the passage.

An Enchanting Gallery

Kyra and Egan give the gallery a once-over first while using their rings of invisibility and spot no immediate threats. The rest of the party then enters the gallery, which features erotically charged paintings and sculptures that nonetheless all seem to be part of some larger visual story.

The adventurers notice two piles of rubble that give off the faint traces of enchantment magic, but by far the most interesting item in the room is the large mirror on the far wall, which does not display any of their reflections. Hanging directly opposite the mirror is a large painting of nymphs frolicking in a pond. On careful inspection, they notice that the mirror’s reflection of the painting doesn’t quite add up. In the mirror, one of the nymphs appears to be wearing the amulet.

Performance Art

Through some trial and error, the adventurers discover that they can step into the painting, causing the nymphs to come alive. The fey creatures claim that they were trapped in the painting long ago and can only be released by obtaining a fruit from a sacred tree at the center of the dungeon, guarded by a horrible monster.

The adventurers soon deduce that the “nymphs” are in fact disguised succubi. Even so, they strike a deal to get a fruit for the succubi in exchange for unlocking the path forward.

The Fruit of Victory

Following the succubi’s directions, the adventurers make their way to a large, high-vaulted chamber where an enormous tree grows, sprouting golden fruit. The chamber is filled with a large number of disturbingly life-like statues.

The sculptor quickly reveals itself as an enormous medusa matriarch. The snake-woman with the petrifying gaze slithers into the chamber, accompanied by an eye-less giant. When the adventurers prove resistant to her gaze, the medusa and her thrall begin picking up and hurling the stone statues at the party. Nonetheless, the adventurers are ultimately able to defeat them both.

They obtain some of the tree’s golden fruit, which Remmy discovers give off waves of pleasure when consumed. Searching among the statues, they find Sheira’s brother Timmet and are able to reverse his petrification by pressing a slice of fruit into his stone mouth.

Searching the area, they find a side chamber where they discover Flint’s friend Damon deep in conversation with a young medusa, daughter of the slain matriarch. They manage to extricate Damon peacefully and learn that he had captured the medusa’s interest enough to keep her from turning him to stone. Flint recalls that Damon’s always seemed to be blessed by fortune. Damon is able to lead them to the body of Flint’s remaining absent friend, Roderick. They collect the body to resurrect later.

Their errand complete, they take the fruit back to the succubi to complete the bargain. After trading the fruit, they place the medallion around the neck of the appropriate demon. On doing so, the mirror across the painting shimmers and turns into a portal to another chamber in the dungeon.

The party advances through the portal, discovering that it leads to an antechamber with a heavy steel door that hangs half-open. Inside, they can hear the sound of clashing steel and a loud imperious voice commanding “Keep the creature occupied, but don’t kill it!”

They push the door open all the way.


After abandoning the Burnt Saffron, Amprei, Nox, and Freya (still dominated by the Crown of Fangs) regroup with a band of mercenaries assembled by the Chelaxian ambassador. They enter Castle Korvosa through the secret passage and descend to its dungeon level, where Amprei performs a ritual to at the strange stone plug to teleport them into the vault below.

After defeating the glass golem guardians, Amprei helps shuttle his band through the two teleport circles, arranging things so that he, Nox, and the senior mercenaries all end up in one group. He writes off the others as expendable. Amprei uses his medallion to navigate through the vault passages, eventually arriving at the gallery.

Not willing to trust the other alone, Nox and Amprei enter the painting together. Amprei simply dominates the succubi, compelling them to wear his medallion. Once the portal opens, he commands his Ulfen bodyguard, Wulfrik Mikkelson, to carry the entire painting through the portal with them. When Wulfrik emerges on the other side, he is holding only the amulet, which Amprei reclaims.

Freya unlocks the steel door, but Amprei insists that they hold. The room is surely guarded, and he asks what sort of guardian a master of enchantment magic would select. They determine that it is most likely a compelled creature of some kind, and Amprei insists that it must be kept distracted, but not killed.

Entering the room, they find that it holds two life-sized statues of a male fire giant and female frost giant, which stand off to the sides, casting a watchful gaze on the gilded sarcophagus in the center of the chamber. Also guarding the sarcophagus is a large, tentacled monstrosity with two jackal heads.

Nox commands Freya to take cover, while Amprei shouts for the mercenaries to distract the monster while he sets up his equipment. He tells them “Keep the creature occupied, but don’t kill it!”

Missing Persons
Legacy of Blood, Interlude

The afternoon of 15 Erastus, 4708

Lost in the Dark

After looting the bodies of the decapitated vampires (including acquiring a crystal doorknob), Arlynn, Flint, and Kyra debate pursuing the gaseous forms of the savage vampires and stake them in their crypts. However, they conclude that the wiser course is to try to link back up with the rest of the party.

Arlynn suffered wounds during the savage vampire attack, but when she channels the healing grace of her goddess, the divine energy remains within her but does not close her injuries. Potions likewise prove ineffective. The paladin suspects it has something to with the aura of evil that suffuses the vault.

With this disturbing discovery, they continue their strategy of taking the first left at every intersection. To ward off vampire attacks, Arlynn casts daylight on Flint’s bow. After traveling for a short while, they hear the sound of a woman screaming, followed by cursing in Common. After listening to make sure the screams are genuine, they race towards the sound.

The River Runs Red

They arrive at a large, richly decorated chamber that appears to be some kind of lounge, with gilded chairs, tables, and sofas—and a surging river of blood running down its center. On the other side of the stream is a flamboyantly-dressed half-elf woman trapped in a cage made of bones. She is being menaced by a towering creature made of bones. In the shadows of back of the room lurk two more figures, one stout and blocky and the other strange but sensual.

Flint recognizes the half-elf as his longtime friend Sheira Astorian. He tells Arlynn that she is a capable fighter if they can release her. Invisible Kyra moves in to try to help her escape while Arlynn and Flint move up.

As they bring more light into the room, they get a better look at the figures in the back of the room. One of them is some sort of construct made of gilded steel, with a shield in each arm. It is standing beside the other figure, which has the body of a voluptuous woman with bright red skin, but arms and legs that end in twisted claws and a head like a creature from nightmares.

Flint shoots her with an arrow, which causes the amulet around her neck to glow a blue-green color, the same as the glow that suddenly comes from the chassis of the shield construct. They realize the one is mystically shielding the other.

Flint tells Sheira that they’re going to save her, while she berates him for abandoning her in the vault. The bone creature, meanwhile, walks over and picks up the bone cage, while the half-elf frantically jabs at the cage bars with her rapier.

The nightmare woman pulls a lever on the altar and a loud grinding noise fills the room as the floor tile ripple and change elevation, causing the river of blood to shift course. Arlynn and Flint both managed to leap over it. They get a glimpse at the spiked grating which awaits anyone who gets swept away in the river.

A bloody suit of armor that had been caught in the river’s previous course is now exposed to open air. The armor fills with blood and rises up to threaten the adventurers. Arlynn recognizes it as a rare type of undead called a blood knight.

Sheira, meanwhile, stabs at the cage again with her rapier and the adventurers realize she has been stabbing at weak points at the joints of the cage, causing it to clatter apart. Rather than try to snare the half-elf again, the bone creature reaches up and rip bones from its body to hurl at Arlynn, where they erect themselves into another cage.

The blood knight closes in on Arlynn, who faces off against it with assistance from Sheira.

The nightmare woman takes to the air, floating over the battlefield to spit acid at the adventurers. Flint fills her full of arrows, overwhelming her connection to the shield construct, which explodes while its mistress plummets to the ground

Kyra leaps up onto the control altar and pulls a few levers. The river changes course again, swinging across the room to splash Arlynn with poisoned blood while Flint and Sheira leap out of the way. However, the river sweeps aside the bone construct and the blood knight.

The construct is pinned to the grate, while the blood knight climbs out of the river, where Arlynn and Flint put it down. Once the bone construct is destroyed as well, the adventurers and Sheira sit down on some of the eerily elegant furniture.

Double Double, Toil and Trouble

Arlynn notices that Sheira is suffering from a bleeding wound on her side. The paladin tries to treat it with her wand, but healing magic continues to have no effect, so Arlynn instead field dresses the injury to halt the bleeding.

Sheira accuses Flint of leaving her and their other friends to die in the Vault. The story that emerges is that “Flint,” in the company of a blond half-elf woman named Clairian Arrowsong, convinced his friends Damon, Rodrick, Sheira, and her brother Timmett to venture into the vault to steal Amprei’s medallion.

“Flint” hoped to stop Amprei from conducting a dangerous ritual with the medallion, and instead use it to grant powerful magic to the young nobles. “Flint” had a wayfinder with a gem like the one from the nightmare woman’s amulet, which pointed the way towards the medallion.

The young nobles made their way into the vault, figuring out how to avoid being split up by the teleport circles, but on the way they were ambushed by an enormous snake-like creature. Sheira didn’t get a good look at it—her brother Timmett did and turned to stone. She thinks the creature took Damon and doesn’t know what happened to Rodrick. She does know that “Flint” and his new half-elf friend ran and left them during the attack.

Flint calmly explains that that there are evil identical duplicates of him running around as part of a plot to discredit his family. Sheira is surprisingly skeptical of this story, but has no choice but to stick with the three of them. She asks them to help rescue her brother and the others, but they convince her that their first task is to reunite with the rest of their party.

With that, they take the first left, the opposite direction that Sheira was running from.

The Chamber of the Naughty Mushrooms

Traveling the halls, they come across a large chamber full of enormous mushrooms, overseen by a giant statue of a woman holding an unlit torch, at whose feet lies a luxurious four-poster bed.

Once everyone has entered the chamber, both the exit and entrance vanish and the mushrooms start to glow. The mushroom spores initially prove to have an exciting, aphrodisiac effect on the four of them as they trek across the chamber looking for an exit.

Soon, however, the spores start to charm them into wanting to remain in the room. Arlynn prove immune to this effect, but one by one the others start to succumb.

Fighting against the shrooms and their own hormones, they note scorchmarks on the walls below the level of the statue’s torch. They conclude that lighting the torch might burn out the mushrooms. Arlynn flies the increasingly delirious Sheira and Kyra up to safety, but it is up to the shroom-addled Flint to climb the statue and ignite the torch by hand. Arlynn, immune to the more debilitating charm effects, has to cheer him on to keep the fighter focused on the task.

Meanwhile, in the room below the mushrooms glow brighter and brighter as a haze of golden spores rises upwards. Flint lights the torch in time to ignite the spores, rocking the room with an explosion.

Arlynn and Flint are buffeted by the blast, but hold their place. Kyra and Sheira are knocked loose, however. Flint manages to grab the halfling as she tumbles by, while Sheira lands on the four-poster bed—which had somehow escaped the fire unscathed. The blaze has also left two hidden doors outlined with fire.

Still half-addled by the spores, the quartet enjoys a laugh over surviving the trap.

The Lady of Lust

Following the leftmost hidden door, the quartet arrives in a strange garden with an illusion of a starfield overhead with a glowing well in the center. Doors ring the garden, but the one that looks like it has seen the most use lies across the garden.

As the four of them move forward, a figure rises from the glowing well, languidly stretching. She is a darkly beautiful woman whose face has appeared throughout the vault, most recently on the torch-bearing statue. She claims to be Sorshen and welcomes them to her garden, which she urges them to enjoy as long as they like. Arlynn suspects she is some kind of undead, but there is a strangeness to her that they can’t place.

They warily insist that they need to find their friends and ask for her help in reaching them. Sorshen offers to trade the information to them in exchange for a chance to inspect the “smidgen.” They instead offer her the nightmare woman’s necklace, which she eagerly accepts. She tells them that their friends are nearby, approaching the Gallery.

They ask for directions and she tells them that they can travel anywhere in her vault if they have the will and the proper tools. Kyra and Flint immediately begin trying the crystal doorknob they’d scavenged on each of the doors in the chamber which have no knobs. Unfortunately, each time Kyra keeps failing.

Arlynn and Sheira ask Sorshen about the whereabouts of Flint’s friends, but the Runelord again asks for a moment with Kyra, as she’d never seen her kind before. They ask if any harm will come to the halfling and Sorshen insists that the “smidgen” will be returned in one piece. The party decides that sounds too “rapey” and instead offers to trade Amprei’s medallion for information about Flint’s other friends. Sorshen agrees to the deal.

On the last door without a doorknob, Kyra finds the way out. The quartet makes a rapid exit, emerging with the knob into a grand hallway near an open, glowing entrance. The hear a commotion to their right and see the rest of the party squeezing through a narrow passageway into the hall.

The Eyes Have It
Legacy of Blood, Part 2

Midday of 15 Erastus, 4708

Clues Cruise

With the vampires vanquished and the hole in the Burnt Saffron’s side repaired, the Crimson Blades begin searching the ship. Arlynn digs through the cabins on the lower decks, coming across some strange mushrooms. She tries them and becomes affected by their hallucinogenic properties.

Ashla, meanwhile, finds a hidden message at halfling-height suggesting Nox is traveling below Castle Korvosa. The party then goes through the documents scavenged from Amprei’s ship, but they are unable to decipher the notes scrawled in the margins.

Over on the Crimson Wave, Remmy whips the goblins in to shape and puts on a tiny pirate hat, while Flint reminisces about yachting with his friends.

They return to the city and but dockhand Big Gerta in charge of the goblins before rushing to the castle.

Double Trouble

They arrive to find Neolandis being harangued by Lady Forscythe, who accuses him of protecting someone. When Flint intervenes, she rounds on him, demanding he tell her where her son is. Flint is flummoxed. She says that she saw her son conspiring with him and then next day the lad had packed his things and left. She’s sure that Flint has sent him off on some damnfool mission that she has been trying to keep him out of. Flint suspects that this might have to do with the Fiend card he drew from the Harrow Deck of Many Things.

At this point, the other door to the room opens and in walk Cressida, Valeria, and an exact duplicate of Flint. The Field Marshal is assuring Valeria that they will “get to the bottom of this.”

When the two duplicates lock eyes, Remmy reaches for her sword and places herself in front of Neolandis, while the other Flint nocks an arrow. Cressida forces them all to stand down.

The other Flint insists that Flint is an impostor. He has the dwarfstone, which should only attune to the lord of the house. The party tries catch the other Flint in a lie, but sense no deception from him. Valeria tosses the dwarfstone to Flint, who attunes to it as well. Flint finally appeals to his sister, who turns against the other Flint. That’s good enough for Cressida, who locks the other Flint away until the crown business is sorted out. Neolandis has them dye the other Flint’s hair to tell them apart.

The Hollow Crown

Neolandis then asks if they’ve found Nox and the crown. The party nods. “Where is he?” the seneschal asks. They all point down at the floor. “Fuck,” Neolandis says. He urges them to retrieve Nox quickly, as events are moving rapidly. The Five Great Houses voted to strip Ileosa from the throne today, and Vimanda is pushing to begin voting on a new monarch the following day. The two candidates appear to be Toff Ornelos and Vimanda. the winner requires a consensus of all five houses. Neolandis thinks they have only a few days to find Nox, their best alternative candidate—assuming he hasn’t gone mad.

Neolandis informs them that Ileosa wants to speak with them, urgently. Remmy and Arlynn go to see her. Ileosa warns them that the crown is here, in the castle. She can sense its presence and is fearful that it might pray on her mind again. She is surprised to learn that they already know this and sends them on their way. Arlynn can tell that Ileosa is holding back something, but she isn’t willing to share it just yet.

If It Bleeds, It Leads

The party heads down to the castle dungeon, where they arrive at the pillar room. Ashla can tell that Nox and perhaps ten other humans passed this way recently. They all gathered around the pillar and there the tracks end.

Arlynn and Kyra look over Amprei’s documents again, while Earth-Egan scouts below. The druid finds that the pillar goes down hundreds of feet before reaching a vault made of the same strange substance. The paladin and the halfling, meanwhile, decipher some notes suggesting that the pillar is similar to the teleport circles elsewhere in the city.

Remmy finds that the fake medallion she and Kyra procured lights up when it draws near the pillar. Ashla suggests that they all hold hands and then have Remmy touch the pillar. Doing this, they get flashes of the pillar’s construction in a blood magic ritual and then witness people kneeling before it and placing their hands against it to teleport. Ashla suggests they kneel and they get the sense that the pillar is expecting something. Remmy grumbles and cuts her hand before pressing it to the pillar.

This activates the teleport, which shunts them down into the vault below. They emerge in a large chamber with high vaulted ceilings, illuminated by two slowly circling orbs of light. In opposite corners are two teleport circles. In front of the teleport circles are two twelve foot tall glass statues of beautiful women with blades for hands. The blades on one of the statues are crusted with dried blood.

Epic Vandalism

The statues immediately move to slash both Arlynn and Irabeth, leaving deep bleeding cuts in both paladins. Flint puts several arrows through the statue confronting Irabeth, sending fracture lines running up and down its frame. The half-orc is then able to finish it off with one solid blow from her harrowed holy avenger. The creature explodes in a shower of glass that wounds Irabeth further.

The rest of the party gangs up on the other statue, which glitters with dazzling light as one of the glowing orbs passes by, disabling Arlynn’s Formian follower Ant 2. The paladin is also thrown off enough that she severely wounds the Formian while trying to strike the statue. When the creature finally explodes, the flying glass slays the insectoid.

Having destroyed the immediate threat, Egan ascertains that the statues will reassemble in a few hours. Flint lodges some of the statue fragments to the ceiling with tanglefoot bags, while Ashla searches the room. She finds tracks leading to both teleport circles, but Nox’s tracks go to the blue one.

Party Split

They decide that the first group should consist of Arlynn, Flint, and Kyra, with Remmy taking them through using the medallion. The Gray Maiden is starting to get a little woozy from blood loss. On her return, she asks Laori to make the offering. The elf cheerily agrees, after sharing a blood orange. however, nothing they try causes the blue circle to activate again.

Resignedly, they go to the second circle and take it through.

Both teleport circle lead to open alcoves connecting to a grand network of hallways. While the teleport chambers themselves are normal sized, the halls are 30 feet wide and 50 feet tall. The chambers are lit by more of the glowing orbs, though the one in the green circle chamber flickers now and then.

Tunnel Terrors

After waiting for the rest of the party to join them, Group One (Arlynn, Flint, and Kyra) decides to start exploring the dungeon, leaving a chalk trail for the others to follow. Group Two (Remmy, Ashla, Egan, Irabeth, and Laori), picks up the trail of five humans and starts following them. Remmy discovers that her medallion will occasionally send out pulses of green light giving her a rough sense of the layout and contents of surrounding rooms.

Using that, she spies a body lying in a side room not too far away.

Group Two cautiously approaches the chamber. As they walk, a chill runs down their spine. Egan and Irabeth can sense an evil clinging to the vault, saturating the very air. It is cool down there, cooler than it should be, and the air is dry but not stale.

As they approach the chamber, they start to pick up the faint coppery smell of blood. Inside they find the body of an unfamiliar human man dressed in black and red leather armor. He has suffered multiple bite wounds and appears almost completely drained of blood. Remmy breaks a piece of wood off of the seemingly useless door to stake through his heart when the amulet alerts her that a group of strange creatures are approaching.

The creatures turn out to be a group of constructs. Two automatons bearing heavy shields clatter across the enormous hallways while a pack of dog-sized constructs skitter around them. The creatures appear to be heading straight for the chamber with the body.

Remmy ambushes them as they try to enter, killing one of the small ones. Group Two proceeds to cut through the rest of them, but one of the shield constructs manages to sound off an alarm klaxon. The amulet gives Remmy only the barest glimpse of an enormous snake-like creature heading towards the noise. Group Two flees, trying to lose the creature in the vaults.

They scramble through the passages, past a chamber with glowing mushroom, across a dark chasm in the floor and finally through a narrow passage ringed by sculpted figures that grope at them as they slink past. The way is too narrow for the creature, which stops short before slithering off while cursing in a sibilant language. All that the adventurers can glimpse of it are its coppery scales.

They Hunger

Group One, meanwhile, continues to march through the vault. They notice the decor melds the disturbing with the erotic. Visages of the same darkly beautiful woman keep turning up in the murals, archways, and bas reliefs.0

They find several side chambers, all of which are as empty as the cyclopean halls outside. As they continue winding their way through the vault, the hall suddenly opens out onto a large, high-vaulted chamber. At its center, a ring of tall wooden spikes juts into the air, impaling eight human shapes through the heart. Entwined around the base of the shaft is half of an enormous snake skin.

Recognizing the figures as similar to the vampire attackers on Amprei’s ship, Arlynn and Flint decide to put them down for good. flint and Kyra shimmy up the spikes to sever the corpses’ heads and toss them down to Arlynn, who anoints them with holy water.

Before they are more than halfway done, however, a pack of truly monstrous vampire creatures lope out of the darkness, swiftly surrounding and striking the paladin with their life-leeching claws. They drain substantial energy from Arlynn, but Group One quickly fights back. Flint puts arrows into several of the creatures, while Arlynn wards them off with her holy symbol and then attacks an injured one. Working together, Group One defeats the savage vampires.

Arlynn and Flint debate tracking the creatures’ gaseous forms back to their lairs and ending them once and for all. However, they decide to finish dispensing with the impaled vampires and then return to searching for their companions.

A Shadow from the Past

The paladin insists on interrogating one of the vampires first. After cutting off the monster’s arms first, Flint removes it from the spike. The vampire attempts to speak with them, but it shares no languages in common by Arlynn, Flint, or Kyra. Finally, the vampire dominates Flint’s mind to use him as an unwilling translator.

The vampire reveals himself to be one of the lords of Thassilon. He claims that the return of the Runelord Sorshen is inevitable now that mortals have breached the seals and walk in her hunting grounds. He tells Arlynn that the eye of Sorshen would most likely be taken to the gallery, where there is a door “if you can find it.”

Of course, first one would have to avoid the notice of the Matron of the hunting grounds, who slays all who look upon her. She plays games with the vampires in the hunting grounds, which was how their captive ended up impaled on the spike in the first place.

Arlynn then uses her holy symbol to break the creature’s hold on Gareth. When the paladin raises her blade to strike creature, the vampire eggs her on and loses his head with a smile on his lips.

Ship of the Damned
Legacy of Blood, Part 1

The evening of 14 Erastus, 4708

The Crimson Blades are startled and confused by Nox’s sudden seizure of the crown and departure. but before they can try to follow him, they must first figure out what to do about Ileosa.

After a moment’s shock and confusion, the Queen calls off her remaining minions and surrenders, insisting that she is free of the Crown’s influence. She begs for mercy, claiming to have been the victim of an evil curse. Once it is clear that her life is not in immediate danger, she asks after Sabina. Ileosa is relieved that her handmaiden lives, but also horrified at what she must think of her.

The adventurers question her about the important information she claims to have. Ileosa denies responsibility for the atrocities she committed under the crown’s influence, blaming it on the fragment of Kazavon’s soul. And she reveals that she was not the scariest thing lurking in Korvosa.

While enthralled to the crown, she made a pact with an exiled infernal duke, Lorthact, who has been hiding in the city for centuries. She doesn’t know where he is hiding, but she learned of him via the wizard Togomor, so he might have links to the Acadamae. She begs the party to confront Lorthact, because he has the other copy of the infernal contract she signed.

As she continues to plead for mercy, Ileosa notes that she can end the fighting in the city by commanding her Gray Maiden loyalists to stand down. This is of great concern to Flint, since his sister Valeria was one of the loyalists. Flint says that he would support sparing Ileosa, but only if his sister is still alive.

He uses one of his Harrow Deck of Many Things abilities to scry his sister, who is holed up with some other Maidens. She senses his presence and moves into a corner to deny him information on their whereabouts. However, Flint is satisfied that she is unharmed.

The adventurers agree not to harm Ileosa, but will take her back to stand trial. Their first priority, however, is finding Nox and the cursed Crown of Fangs. Egan takes an hour to cast a scrying spell to track the fighter down.

They find him in the richly furnished cabin of a ship, where he is speaking with Amprei. The Chelaxian ambassador is explaining that by working together, they can save Korvosa from an even greater threat and ensure that Nox is acclaimed king. Amprei then senses the scrying and teleports away with Nox.

Using sending and animal messenger spells, the Crimson Blades alert their friends and followers in Korvosa to the developments. Then Zandu teleports the party back to Korvosa—but something goes wrong.

When the party reappears in Castle Korvosa, Zandu is not with them. In his place is a pile of flopping fish, which splatter onto the ground. In a croaking whisper, the fish say “Zandu sleeps with us now.”

The adventurers suspect that the Marid genie that Zandu had spurned has kidnapped him during the teleport, but even Kyra agrees that any rescue will have to wait.

The party hands Ileosa over to Cressida and bring the Field Marshal up to speed on what has transpired. Sabina is also present and has a tense reunion with Ileosa, who tries to apologize only to have her lover walk away.

The word goes out, however, that Queen Ileosa has returned and has commanded her followers to lay down arms. The fighting comes to a halt and the Gray Maiden loyalists turn themselves in, with Sabina overseeing their custody. Remmy, meanwhile, rejoins the party to help them search for Nox.

Flint and Valeria have a rather stiff reunion, having spent the past few weeks on opposite sides of a civil war. Nonetheless, the siblings are glad to have one another, since the rest of their family is lost.

While arrangements were made with Ileosa at the castle, Irabeth, Laori, and Kyra investigated the Chelaxian embassy and returned looking rather worse for wear. Irabeth opens her mouth to deliver the report when Laori excitedly jumps in front of her.

“Vampires!” the elf maiden squees.

Irabeth goes on to explain that it looked like the embassy was overrun, but there was no sign of Nox or Amprei.

Exhausted and not eager to face a nocturnal enemy, the party calls it a night and prepares to go after Amprei the following day.

The morning of 15 Erastus, 4708

Egan, with help from the druids and his animal friends, is able to swiftly locate Amprei’s ship off the coast north of the city. In roc form, the druid flies them out there, where they find the Burnt Saffron floating adrift seemingly without crew.

Investigating the vessel, they soon learn what had happened when below decks they are ambushed by a small army of vampires. Arlynn and Egan use their divine powers to burn many of them, but the fight is interrupted by a loud crash that rocks the entire boat.

The Crimson Wave, the ship the party seized from Bekyar slavers and left in the hands of goblins, has returned, as the goblins clumsily smashed it into the Burn Saffron. The party’s attention is divided between defeating the vampires and saving he ship from sinking before they can search it for clues. However, they manage to achieve both objectives.

There Will Be Blood
Crown of Fangs, Part 16

The afternoon of 14 Erastus, 4708

Having defeated a flock of erinyes, the party prepares to ascend up another shaft to the final level of the pyramid.

Zandu enlarges himself to huge size and takes a peek into the room. The chamber beyond is huge, with a high ceiling, and illuminated by braziers at the four corners. A soft light also filters from two very high oval windows on the southwestern wall. Below the crystal “eyes,” a band of mosaics on the south wall forms a single, huge map of an ancient, unknown land.

Yet the most unusual feature of the room floats and undulates at its center—here, an amorphous blob of blood, over thirty feet wide, floats and ripples in the air. Shapes seem to form periodically on its rippling surface: faces, hands, buildings, and figures that last only long enough to melt back into the horrific mass.

As Zandu looks on, the giant globe of blood distorts, taking the shape of Ileosa’s face, which shrieks at the gnoll sorcerer. So much for a surprise attack!

Nox hurriedly climbs up Zandu’s enlarged back. As he steps into the chamber, a great black dragon emerges from shadows on the ceiling. The creature spews acid onto the fighter. As the beast swoops away, a tremor shakes the pyramid and chucks of stone fall from the ceiling. Unable to dodge out of the way, Nox is buried beneath them.

With this auspicious start to the battle, the rest of the party hastily rise up into the room. Simulacra of the Queen emerge from the blood pool to harry the party by throwing fire from the braziers in the corners of the room, while the dragon wheels about overhead, diving down to attack.

As the adventurers confront these dangers, Ileosa herself finally steps out from the blood globe and starts throwing magic at the party. Her spells are a mixture of charms and offensive magic. She periodically retreats inside to heal herself and summon forth more blood creations.

Tremors continue to shake the pyramid, dislodging more rubble onto the adventurers. Bolts of lightning sear down from the ceiling, while blinding dust swirls up around them. But the party soldiers on. Arlynn calls upon her trumpet archon Armaitya. Ileosa’s black dragon ally takes a terrible battering and retreats to the blood pool to soak in its healing waters alongside his mistress.

Finally, Nox flies up to confront the Queen. She dominates him, but the infernal influence in his head wars with her commands. Finally, he drops his sword, seizes the crown from atop her head, and places it upon his own. Then he uses one of the boons from the Harrow Deck of Many Things to teleport away.

Ileosa lets out a howl of rage while the party looks on in shock. Moments later, blue energy pours from her mouth and eyes, swirling out of the pyramid in the direction of Korvosa. Her demeanor changes immediately, as she calls for a truce, begging the party not to kill her as she has important information.

Dangerous Visions
Crown of Fangs, Interlude

Hanging between life and death, Ashla is suddenly struck with a vision from the goddess Pharasma.

The Dragon Crown

Ashla finds herself in a large chamber, in the midst of a battle between the Crimson Blades and Queen Ileosa. She watches as Arlynn impales Ileosa with Serithtial. The bloody Crown of Fangs tumbles from the Queen’s brow and rolls across the stone floor, leaving a crimson trail in its wake.

Zandu makes a grab for the crown, but Nox stops him. Arlynn struggles to free her sword from the dying Ileosa as the crown rolls on. Ashla chases after it, but is never able to catch the artifact, as it twists this way and that. She slowly realizes it is tracing out a pattern on the floor in blood.

The half-elf quickly scuffs up a patch of the pattern with her boot, and then scales a nearby pillar. She look down upon the floor in time to glimpse the dragon sketched in red on the stone, just as the crown shatters and its fangs slot into place on the outline’s mouth.

Though splotchy where she marred it, the blood painting peels off of the floor and fills out, becoming three dimensional as Kazavon takes shape once more. Serithtial is trapped and useless within the dying Queen, still clutching at Arlynn in desperation. Lightning crackles around the great blue wyrm as opens its jaws to unleash its fury upon the doomed adventurers.

The Game of Blood

After a bright flash of blue, Ashla finds herself back on the floor of the grand chamber, in another vision.

Once again, the party battles Ileosa in the halls of the Sunken Queen, swords flashing and spells raging. But Ashla’s eye is drawn to the shadows cast on the wall by the spellfire, as it dawns on her that one of her companions’ shadows is missing. It its place is a monstrous horned shade—perhaps a dragon. The room turns to blood, as do the fighters within it and the vision changes perspective.

A red-skinned, long-taloned hand idly drums the table as its owner looks down upon the tableau molded out of blood. He casually reaches out and flicks over one of the shapes in the battle. Then, with a wave of his hand, the entire scene ripples away into the pool of blood and is replaced with the familiar skyline of Korvosa. The clawed hand reached out towards the Acadamae, then hesitates and instead dives its fingers into Castle Korvosa.

The image fades from Ashla’s mind as she returns to consciousness by the grace of the Lady of Graves, but she is left with the troubling certainty that one of the two visions would come to pass.

Ileosa's Furies
Crown of Fangs, Part 15

Midday of 14 Erastus, 4708

Level Up

The Crimson Blades continue their exploration of the Sunken Queen. There are no stairs leading up to the next level. Instead, there is a large vertical shaft that appears to be accessible primarily through flight.

Zandu, now gnoll-shaped again, sprouts dragon wings and flies up to latch grappling hooks to the lip of the shaft. As he reaches the top of the shaft, his blindsense picks up the presence of creatures lurking nearby. He reacts immediately by enlarging to huge size.

The others rush up top, either flying themselves, climbing up Zandu’s back, or using the ropes and grappling hooks. Water-Egan splashes up to the next level in elemental form. The adventurers find themselves in a large hall tiled on floor, wall and ceiling with polished rose-colored marble slats. Weaving in and out of the walls, climbing from the floor to the ceiling above, are dozens of thin crystal tubes. Passages lead off to the left and right, while across the hall another shaft leads up to the next level.

Angels’ Ambush

The Crimson Blades come under immediate attack from five armored erinyes, each wielding flaming tridents in place of bows. Three of the fallen angels emerge at the far end of the hall, while one each awaits in the chambers to either side.

Rather than charge the party with their weapons, instead the erinyes throw their tridents at the adventurers, causing savage injuries. Then to the adventurers’ shock the polearms rise up and return to their mistresses’ hands.

Huge-sized Zandu brings out his enormous glaive to attack the erinyes at the far end of the hall. While he holds down the center, the rest of the Crimson Blades split up. Ashla, Water-Egan, Laori , and eventually Arlynn go right while Nox, Flint, Irabeth, and Kyra go left.

Wrath of the Erinyes

Furious fighting takes place in both the left and right rooms. On the right hand side, the erinyes gang up on Ashla while Water-Egan, Arlynn and Laori try to relieve her. Eventually, Ashla is so grievously wounded that she hovers between life and death, receiving visions from Pharasma.

Over on the left hand side, the erinyes are fairly successful at keeping their distance and making use of the their returning tridents to inflict terrible wounds on the party. A ranged duel takes place between Flint and one erinyes, while Nox and Irabeth try to close the distance on the others.

Zandu continues to use his glaive to keep the center chamber clear, and drives it into the left room to try to strike some erinyes there.

A Rare Gift

After savaging the party extensively, one by one the erinyes begin to fall. The adventurers regroup and close in on the last remaining erinyes. Nox discovers he has a special talent for tackling flying women, but it is not enough to prevent the fallen angel from fleeing to the lower levels of the pyramid.

After Egan makes a brief attempt to give chase, the party scours the area for treasure and then prepares to venture upstairs into the final floor of the Sunken Queen where Queen Ileosa awaits them.

The Sunken Queen
Crown of Fangs, Part 14

The morning of 13 Erastus, 4708

Packing for a Trip

The Crimson Blades consult the map of the Mushfens they recovered from the Castle in order to determine how best to approach the Sunken Queen. They decide their best course of action is to teleport to the known landmark on the coast and then fly north up to the ruin, following directions Togomor had penned in the margins.

With Ileosa’s loyalists in retreat, there is enough of a semblance of order for them to do some quick shopping and restock on powerful items, scrolls and potions. However, they are all aware that the clock is ticking.

Scouting the LZ

Egan scrys the coastal landmark, allowing Zandu to teleport there (invisibly) in order to get the lay of the land for subsequent teleports.

The sorcerer proceeds with an abundance of caution, appearing in the air over the Greenrust Reef, a coral reef that grew around the wreck of an immense copper-bottomed vessel.

Aside from some abnormally large crabs, Zandu sees no immediate danger, though he does find signs that boggards are active in the area. The reef sits at the mouth of a river which Togomor’s map suggests they follow north.


After Zandu returns to tell the party about his scouting mission, he ends up in a tense conversation with Nox. The fighter demands that he swear not to make any move for the Crown of Fangs, suggesting that the sorcerer planned on claiming it for his own.

Zandu insists he has no intentions on the crown, or the Crimson Throne, but Nox remains suspicious. The rest of the party isn’t sure what to make of this outburst.

The morning of 14 Erastus, 4708

Into the Mushfens

After making some final preparations and spending a fitful night in Korvosa, the Crimson Blades teleport out to the Greenrust Reef bring and early in the morning. There, those adventurers who have it use their various flying abilities, while Egan transforms into a giant roc to carry Nox, Flint and Laori.

The party follows the nameless river north, into the trackless Mushfens. They keep their eyes peeled for boggard activity and eventually spy cookfires from a boggard village not too far off course.

The adventurers confer on what to do. After surviving the boggard attack on Korvosa, Nox wants to quelch this threat to the city, while Flint wants vengeance for his parents and Zandu wants to start some fires. Arlynn cautions for restraint, while Ashla expresses indifference.

The others persuade Roc-Egan to join in their sortie, so the four of them—with assistance from Laori and Kyra—swoop down to attack the boggard village while Ashla, Arlynn, and Irabeth look on.

Hell Comes to Frogtown

The initial firebombing run scatters the frogmen, but a few warriors rally and fire back. The adventurers are caught off guard when a boggard priest-king smashes out of a burning building on the back of a giant purple flying frog with three eyes.

The priest-king throws magic at them, but has trouble penetrating their defenses, while the frog shoots out its tongue to snatch Nox from Roc-Egan’s grip and swallow him. This proves to be a bad idea.

Nox cuts his way out of the beast and rides its carcass into another large thatched hut in the village, destroying it utterly. The fighter is a little worse for wear from the experience, but is the only serious casualty of the attack.

The party decides not to destroy the boggard young in the nearby spawning pool. Arlynn, meanwhile, investigates the village shrine and discovers that the boggards seem to have recently switched from worshiping some sort of swamp deity to venerating Ileosa.

Many Alligators, Much Mounds

After leaving the boggard village in ruins, the Crimson Blades continue their flight north. They glide over a stretch of river swarming with a disproportionate number of alligators.

They also come across another landmark from Togomor’s map, a series of strange, enormous earthen mounds. Zandu recommends returning to investigate once the Queen is vanquished as they could mark ruins or tombs.

Storm Front

The skies darken as they near the Sunken Queen. A black cloud, wracked with frequent jolts of lightning, swirls over the half-submerged pyramid. Down below, they can see large, whirling dust devils that Roc-Egan realizes are in fact angry air elementals.

There is no obvious entrance to the pyramid and the party sends Ashla to scout around the building, where she is struck by lightning. Despite this inconvenience, the half-elf ranger ultimately finds a nearly hidden entrance on ground level.

It Came From the Mushfens!

The party lands and steps into the strange pyramid, whose floor tilts at a 30 degree angle. They discover that one whole half of the level they are on is submerged into the marsh water.

While attempting to cross through the water to the staircase leading up, they are ambushed by a gang of boggard champions. The frogmen leap into the fray with terrifying battle ribbets.

Just as the party turns to face this threat, they are attacked from the other direction by an enormous squid-like devilfish. It grabs several of the adventurers and drags them into the flooded areas of the pyramid.

Zandu uses his scroll of iron body to turn into an enormous iron golem and battle the devilfish on equal footing, while Arlynn and the others mop up the boggards, whose tongue attacks backfire painfully.

Badly wounded, the devilfish retreats deeper into the flooded section of the pyramid. Egan communicates with the creature, Beirawash, and manages to negotiate an agreement: in exchange for letting it leave, it will grant them its entire treasure hoard, which turns out to be much of the missing Korvosan treasury.

Sopping wet and more than a little beat up, the adventurers prepare to advance to the next level of the pyramid.