Curse of the Crimson Throne

Edge of Anarchy, Part 1
A Harrowing Time

Four strangers receive a mysterious summons to the home of the Varisian fortuneteller Zellara, who claims to have information on their mutual enemy, the petty crimelord Gaedren Lamm. They arrive at the appointed hour to find the house empty, with bread and wine on the table and a note from Zellara promising she would return shortly.

While they wait, the four introduce themselves to one another: Ser Arlynn, a Human paladin of Iomedae and the daughter of immigrants from the jungles of Mwangi; Ashla Blacktree, a Half-Elf ranger of the city streets; Egan, a Gnomish druid determined to rebalance the scales after Gaedren framed his father; and Zandu, a Human sorcerer of striking good looks and Varisian heritage. Each of them have been wronged by Gaedren in some fashion and all hope to see justice done to him.

When Zellara finally joins them, she reveals that Gaedren Lamm murdered her son after he tried to recover an item stolen from her. The fortuneteller says that she has located Lamm’s hideout at an abandoned fishery, but can’t risk approaching the Guard because their slow-moving bureaucracy is likely to give Gaedren time to escape. So instead, she used the divining powers of her Harrow deck to learn of others wronged by him and gathered them here. She implores the party to exact justice on the crimelord. Before they go, she performs a Harrow reading for Egan and Zandu (Arlynn and Ashla decline), predicting both unexpected opportunity and mass chaos in the near future.

The party approaches the fishery at night, with Ashla stealthily scoping out the place through the windows. She spies two sleeping forms, a human and a gnome, in a three-bed dormitory room and a guard dog stalking the fishery floor, beneath the swaying hammocks of the sixteen street urchins Gaedren forces to work as pickpockets.

After a lengthy debate, the party settles on a plan. While Ashla lurks outside the bedroom window, Ser Arlynn bashes open the front door and charges inside, followed by the other two. As the two sleeping figure stumble to their feet in confusion, Ashla breaks open the window to ambush them from behind.

But all does not go as planned. Zandu tosses a flask of acid at one of the henchmen, but only manages to burn a hole in the floor. Believing the ambush to be in good hand, Arlynn ventures deeper into the fishery to put down the vicious guard dog. This leaves Zandu vulnerable to being surrounded when the third goon, a flail-wielding half-orc, appears behind him. Dodging a blow from the half-orc’s flail, Zandu is skewered by the gnome and falls to the floor, bleeding out.

Ashla badly wounds the human thug, who flees through the building bellowing Gaedren Lamm’s name. Egan gives chase, but with his shorter legs is not able to keep up. The gnomish thug escapes from Ashla by leaping through the hole in floor and the ranger moves on to confront the cackling half-orc together with Arlynn.

Swords flash and flails swing, but few blows strike their mark as the half-orc pirouettes between the ranger and the paladin, who are unable to get past his shield and chain shirt. As the battle wears on, the henchman manages to land several savage hits, slowly battering down the two warrior women. Finally, Arlynn ends the fight with a decisive blow from her greatsword.

Once Egan stabilizes and heals Zandu, the party tracks down what became of the wounded human thug. They find him on the fishery floor, being drowned in a vat by a crowd of angry orphans. Zandu makes sure he’s dead, while Ashla reunites with Jestry, a kidnapped boy she had been asked to rescue. Ser Arlynn asks the orphans about Gaedren’s whereabouts, learning that the old villain lives below the fishery, a place from which no orphan has returned. Arlynn and Zandu convince the orphans not to simply vanish into the city and instead wait for the party to return from dealing with Gaedren.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 2
The Box, the Brooch, and the Bedlam

Gaedren’s abode is accessible only through a hole in the fishery floor that leads straight down to the Jeggare River. The party descends by rope and swings down onto the adjacent walkway, which sits about 5 feet above the water. In one direction, the the walkway leads to the rotting hulk of the Kraken’s Folly, an abandoned fishing vessel lashed to the pier behind the building. In the other direction, the walkway leads to a well-lit chamber beneath the fishery.

The door lies ajar, sending warm light spilling out onto the body of the gnome rogue—the one who stabbed Zandu and then leapt through the acid hole in the floor—who is lying facedown with a crossbow bolt in his back.

Ser Arlynn enters the chamber first. It’s a large, well-lit but chilly room with a huge hole in the floor that opens onto the river. Something large and menacing is swimming in the dark water. Across the room on the right-hand side up against the wall are heaps of scavenged junk. In the far corner across the pool is a small room, and standing in the doorway to that room is Gaedren Lamm himself. Bent and hobbled by age, he holds a hand crossbow.

Gaedren recognizes Ser Arlynn as one of his former child pickpockets and says he should have finished her off after the last savage beating. Arlynn tells him that justice is at hand. Gaedren responds by firing a crossbow bolt at the thing swimming in the water, which turns out to be an enraged crocodile—Gaedren’s pet “Gobblegut.”

Arlynn makes her way along the narrow walkway ringing the pool, making half the distance before Gobblegut surges up from the water in an attempt to drag her down. His snapping jaws fail to grab her and Arlynn follows up with a devastating blow from her greatsword. Ashla steps in to make the finishing blow, skewering the crocodile with her longsword.

His pet defeated, Gaedren takes cover behind the doorway and takes potshots at the heroes with his crossbow as Egan and Zandu enter the room. Zandu bargains with Gaedren, offering to stay out of the fight in exchange for a sum of coins. Gaedren heartily agrees as the rest of the party closes in on him and he shifts from his crossbow to a masterwork dagger. After some gritty hand to hand in the doorway with Arlynn, Ashla, and Egan, Zandu steps in to finish off the cruel old man with a well-placed magic missile.

Then it’s time to loot the room. The party had cornered Gaedren in his unkempt and foul-smelling bedchamber, with only two obvious places to store valuables: a large locked chest and a hat box that has attracted a swarm of flies. Zandu detects a moderately powerful magical item in the hat box and gingerly opens the lid, to discover the severed head of Zellara, the woman who sent them on this quest mere hours ago! A cursory examination of the poorly preserved head reveals that she has been dead for at least a week. Tucked beneath the neck stump in the hat box is a smaller box containing her magical Harrow deck.

The chest, meanwhile, holds the prize catches of Gaedren’s pickpockets: assorted jewels, gems, and knickknacks each individually wrapped in paper. Clearly the most valuable of them is a broken brooch which Zandu recognizes as belonging to Queen Ileosa. The party climbs back up to the first floor of the fishery and assures the elated orphans that Gaedren is dead.

For the sake of thoroughness, the party decides to investigate the Kraken’s Folly, the rotting ship behind the fishery. Ashla goes first, the rear deck creaking unsteadily beneath her feet. After Zandu casts light onto a dagger to illuminate her path, she creeps down into the rear cabin and disturbs the drain spider nesting there. She and Egan get into a lengthy battle with the critter, which is too small for them to pin down. Zandu tries to help them, but nearly plunges through the rotting deck. Finally, he finishes things off with a magic missile. Ashla peers into the hold, where more spiders await, and sees nothing of value. The three of them abandon the ship.

Ser Arlynn, meanwhile, has been growing increasingly alarmed by the sounds coming from the city. Smoke and bright flame is rising from several different points in Korvosa as the sound of shouts and clashing steel builds into an approaching rumble. The party retreats into the fishery and sends Ashla into the street to scout.

A riot has erupted that is drawing closer and closer. “The king is dead,” someone shouts, “long live the queen!” They’re shouted down by cries of “Hang the queen! The usurper whore must die!” A flight of Sable Company hippogriff riders swoops overhead, one of the badly wounded mounts crashing into a nearby statue. A squad of Hellknights tromps down a nearby street, pursuing would-be looters.

The party decides to hole up in the fishery for the night. Come daylight, the riots have subsided somewhat but the city is unstable. The party escorts the children to one of the city-run orphanages. Once the children are looked after, they return to Zellara’s apartment to get to the bottom of things.

The apartment now looks has if it has been abandoned for several weeks. As the heroes investigate, Zellara manifests herself. She explains that after Gaedren murdered her, her spirit began haunting her Harrow Deck, searching for some way to bring him to justice. She apologizes for misleading the party, but expresses pride in all that they have accomplished. She warns them that she has foreseen dark times ahead for the city, but believes they can rise to the challenge to save it.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 3
All the World's Meat and Then Some

Long Live the Queen!

The party tromps up to Castle Korvosa, a sinister edifice perched atop an ancient pyramid that rises from the center of the city. They tell the guards that they are here to return the Queen’s stolen brooch and find themselves quickly escorted inside, where they are met by Sabina Merrin, the Queen’s handmaiden/bodyguard. Sabina dismisses the guards and leads the party up into the the throne room.

Queen Ileosa Arabasti, veiled in mourning black, is seated on the Crimson Throne awaiting them, but otherwise the chamber is empty. The young queen praises the party for returning her stolen brooch, describing it as a hopeful sign. She urges the four of them to offer their services to the Korvosan Guard to help restore order to the troubled city.

On behalf of the party, Zandu accepts the reward for returning the brooch and pledges to serve the city in its time of need—all the while flirting with the queen, which causes Sabina to quietly seethe. After their brief audience, Queen Ileosa retires to her private chambers and Sabina escorts them out.

Turning down protection from the castle guards, the party makes their own way through the still turbulent streets of Korvosa. At one point they skirt the fringes of a riot and come across a young nobleman being threatened by a half a dozen toughs, who accuse him of being a “Queen’s man” who never worked a day in his life. Ser Arlynn steps forward and demands that they explain themselves, her stern challenge causing the thugs to first stammer and then ultimately slink away with their heads hung low. The young noble, Amin Jalento, thanks her for the intervention and pays the party a small reward before retreating to safety.

A few blocks further, Egan is accosted by a street prophet who claims that plague, doom and death will soon befall Korvosa and that the gnomish druid will play a key role in events to come.

How Few Remain

The Korvosan Guard is headquartered a small fort, Citadel Volshyenek, overlooking the placid waters of the Jeggare River. Thanks to a runner from the castle, the party is expected and quickly escorted up to meet with Field Marshal Cressida Kroft.

Cressida is an attractive woman with dark hair, dressed in red plate mail. She looks haggard and unkempt, but rises to greet the party. She thanks them for dealing with Gaedren Lamm and welcomes their offer of service.

Cressida hires the party to capture Verik Vancaskarkin, a deserter from the Guard who had led several of his guardsmen to set up a free butcher’s shop for the poor, All the World’s Meat. The party learns that Verik’s men were hiring out as mercenaries, calling themselves the Cow Hammer Boys. Upon confronting the goons, a fight breaks out and two of the deserters escaped. Zandu is able to reason with the clueless Verik, who surrenders himself to the party after they reveal that his men had been butchering and selling the meat from their victims.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 4
The Silver Dagger

Shortly after Verik is handed over to the Guard, Ser Arlynn encounters the drunken guardsman Grau Soldado, who mistakes her for an old acquaintance. Grau reveals that he has gone AWOL from his duties, depressed by the chaos that seems to be engulfing Korvosa. Ser Arlynn takes him back to the party’s headquarters to sleep off his heavy drinking; by morning she is able to convince him to return to duty and he leaves grateful for her help.

While Ser Arlynn helps the guardsman, Zandu examines a mysterious silver dagger retrieved from Verik’s possession, provoking its true form as a snake-like Raktavarna. After defeating the beast, the party interrogates Verik, who admitts the knife had been a gift from his lover, Vimanda Arkona. Cressida promises to investigate the matter.

The party then learns from Grau’s former mentor, the famed duelist Vencarlo Orisini, of another threat to the city—a plan by the Chelaxian ambassador Darvayne Gios Amprei to bankrupt the city by poisoning its relationship with Cheliax. Vencarlo’s sources had spotted the ambassador repeatedly visiting Eel’s End, lair of the notorious King of Spiders, Devargo Barvasi. The party sets off to investigate the local hive of scum and villainy, with instructions to bribe Devargo for any information that could undermine the ambassador.

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.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 6
Tunnel Terrors

Down Time

Zandu brews potions, Egan Silentall trains his dog, Arlynn visits the orphanage, and Ashla drops by Vencarlo’s academy for some one on one instruction. The party is then called to Citadel Volshyenek and receive their reward for halting the assassination-by-otyugh and apprehending the culprit. They are each awarded the pseudodragon’s mark, a medal symbolizing their status as champions of Korvosa.

Beneath the Streets

After leaving the Citadel, the party passes by the Gold Market where they encounter Ramara, an acolyte of Pharasma who is searching for another acolyte who has gone missing, Pavo.

Ashla tracks Pavo to an alleyway, where the party meets Sergeant Grau and Guardswoman Remmy. Grau reveals that priests are disappearing across town and the evidence points to someone operating out of the sewers. He asks if the party would join him in rooting these guys out.

The six of them descend into the sewer, get caught up fighting giant frogs, and attract the attention of some tunnel terrors. While hunting for the giant spiders, they discover a hidden room behind a crumbling wall, disable a trap, and fight off one of the spiders with help from Grau. Inside the hidden room, they discover a trap door leading to an even deeper vault below…

Edge of Anarchy, Part 7
Killing Floor

The party, together with the guards Grau and Remmy, descend through the trapdoor into a hidden vault beneath the sewer, some sort of sunken chapel. They interrupt a perverse sacrifice being performed by an Urgathoan priestess, Lucra, and the remaining Cow Hammer Boys, who are preparing to ritually butcher a bound and unconscious Pavo. A tense battle ensues, with the Cow Hammer Boys and the party taking cover behind pillars to trade fire. Ashla frees another would-be sacrifice, the Elf druid Faunra, while Ser Arlynn charges forward to attack the priestess.

Parns, one of the Cow Hammer Boys, leaps to defend Lucra while the Urgathoan cleric calls on her two zombie minions. Arlynn soon finds herself surrounded, prompting Ashla and Egan Silentall to rush to her aid. Zandu, meanwhile, has been landing devastating long range strikes against Lucra, causing the priestess to hex him with supernatural fear.

Ashla and Arlynn compete to see how quickly they can fell the zombies, as the badly wounded Lucra retreats back towards the sacrificial altar. Once Parns is felled, his companion Karralo tries to escape but is forced to surrender by Zandu. Lucra briefly attempts to take Pavo hostage, but ultimately chooses to go down fighting, casting her scythe in a supernatural strike against Arlynn only to be cut down from behind by Ashla.

After Pavo is freed and brought to his senses, the party searches the room and discovers the holy symbols of seven different clerics stashed in a desk, along with a grisly butcher’s bill, and what appears to be a stalker’s journal kept by Parns detailing the movements and routines of Pavo, Faunra, and other victims (as well as outlining the thug’s unrequited love for Lucra).

Ascending back to the sewers, the party chases off a group of dire rats and cuts down another tunnel terror. Arlynn rescues Dolgrin Deepdelver, a Dwarven engineer from Janderhoff who had been attacked and snared by the spider while performing maintenance on the crumbling wall.

The party hands over Karralo to the Guard, splitting the reward for capturing the fugitive Cow Hammer Boys with Remmy and Grau. Cressida is troubled that Urgathoan worshipers are performing sacrifices in the city. Worship of the Pallid Princess is tolerated in Korvosa, so long as her cultists don’t cross the line into murder.

With the sewers cleared and the clerics rescued, the party returns to Zellara’s house for a well-earned rest.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 8
The Artists are Always the First to Go

A Brief Reprieve, With Cake

Having dropped off their prisoner with the Guard and received their reward, the party spends the next several days recuperating from the sewer ordeal. On the first day, they are visited by the Elvish druid Faunra, who thanks them for rescuing her from Lucra. She gives them Goodberry tarts and urges Egan Silentall to visit her druid circle by the docks.

The next day, the Dwarf engineer Dolgrin also pays a visit to express his gratitude. He tells the party that they can come to him for information on the sewers the next time they plan to go down there.

A Stroll Through the Shingles

The morning of the third day, the party awakes to the all to familiar sounds of a riot starting to take place. Ser Arlynn questions a passerby on the street, the elderly toymaker Pestico. The old man explains that King Eodred, gods rest him, did not die a natural death but was in fact poisoned. Queen Ileosa has named the king’s portraitist Trinia Sabor as the culprit. Pestico worriedly notes that Trinia lives in the Midland District and expects blood on the streets soon as an angry mob hunts for her.

The party is about to join the search when Guardswoman Remmy arrives to tell them that the Field Marshal needs to speak with them. Cressida has set up a command post near the edge of the emerging riot. She tells the party that Queen Ileosa could have had Trinia quietly arrested, but instead the queen announced the news in the most inflammatory manner possible. Cressida provides the party with the young artist’s address and instructs them to retrieve Trinia discreetly, before the mob finds her. Cressida wants to have a word with the alleged king-killer, preferably using truth-telling magic.

Ashla leads the rest of the group through some back streets to avoid the angry crowd and they manage to reach Trinia’s cramped and rundown apartment building. They pressure the surly Dwarven landlady into giving up her room number, but her neighbors raise a ruckus and manage to delay their arrival at Trinia’s door. Ser Arlynn tries to coax the girl out, expressing the party’s suspicion that she is innocent, but when that garners no response, they bash in the barricaded door.

By that point, Trinia had slipped out her window as was fleeing across The Shingles, Korvosa’s unofficial rooftop highway. The party gives chase, with Ashla rapidly catching up to her. The others don’t fare as well: Egan falls to the street below and Arlynn, weighed down by her armor, nearly follows him. Zandu, meanwhile, is held up by several guard dogs.

After dashing through Twitcher’s Tavern and out a pesh den, Ashla finally tackles Trinia, who breaks down sobbing that she is being set up. Ashla tells her the Guard suspects she’s innocent and promises to stay with her during the interrogation. The party reunites and disguises Trinia as an Acadamae student to hustle her safely through the crowd.

Upon arrival at the command post, however, the party finds Sabina Merrin waiting to take Trinia directly to Castle Korvosa. The party try to pass off the disguised Trinia as someone else, but Cressida reluctantly calls out their ruse and has Trinia handed over to Sabina. This does not go over well with the four heroes, particularly Ashla and Zandu. Once Sabina departs, Cressida reiterates her sense on unease, but notes that all the legal technicalities are being met. The party, meanwhile, worries that the suspected Rakshasa could be behind all this.

A Night on the Town

Still fuming over the Trinia situation, the party decides to find out as much information as they can on the Queen, Sabina, and other key individuals. Zandu goes to a high quality Chelaxian tailor in South Shore for the latest court dress—high collars and dark colors are in—while Ser Arlynn does the same at a shop in North Point run by a family of over-eager gnomes. She comes away with a stylish yet spartan silver dress. They both talk their way into the same party at Carowyn Manor. Ser Arlynn focuses on finding a noble patron for the Midland Orphanage, ultimately persuading the suave Lord Tavius Jalento, father of the young Amin Jalento who Arlynn rescued during the riots.

Zandu, meanwhile, learns that the Queen has largely kept her distance from the nobles. He also hears salacious rumors that Queen Ileosa and Sabina are secret lovers, rumors that he then quietly promotes. He also catches wind that the city’s greatest philanthropist, Lord Glorio Arkona, is rumored to have very close connections to Korvosa’s criminal underworld. His information gathering done, Zandu proceeds to get tipsy and hit on all the ladies, before being escorted home by Arlynn.

Ashla visits Vencarlo Orisini for more training and also takes the opportunity to question him about recent developments. He likewise suspects something is fishy about Trinia’s arrest and is disturbed to learn that a “shapeshifter” is loose in the city. Vencarlo also suggests that Sabina and the Queen are an item, while noting that Sabina was a student of his until a “misunderstanding” caused them to part ways. He does not believe that Sabina would behave dishonorably. After her lessons, Ashla stealthily patrols the streets around South Shore, trying to eavesdrop on the nobles, but learns nothing interesting.

While the rest of the party scours the city for information, Egan spends the latter half of the day out in the countryside, reconnecting with nature and playing with his dog, Reno.

The Only Good Barbarian…

The following morning, Remmy once again knocks on the door to summon the party to a briefing with Cressida. On the way there, the guardswoman explains that during yesterday’s violence a mob attacked and killed a Shoanti kid, raising the grim specter of war with barbarian tribes.

When the party arrives, they find the Field Marshal consulting with Thousand Bones, the elderly Way-Keeper of the Skoan-Quah, the Clan of the Skull. Ashla asks if he killed the firepelt cougar whose skull adorns his staff. “Yes,” he replies. She is impressed.

Thousand Bones explains that he has tried to bridge the differences between his people and the Korvosans. However, the murder of his grandson Gaekhen and the theft of the boy’s body has driven many in his clan to call for uniting with the Sklar-Quah in war against Korvosa. The old shaman believes he can quell their anger if the proper funerary rites are performed in time over Gaekhen’s body. The spirits have told him that the boy’s corpse was stolen by the necromancer Rolth and taken to the Dead Warrens below the Gray District. Thousand Bones says that if his people stormed the warrens to reclaim the body, it would be seen as an act of aggression. But if Gaekhen’s remains are not returned to him, his people will be forced to take action.

Cressida tells the party she wants them to be the ones to enter the Dead Warrens in the Potter’s Ward of the Gray District and retrieve the body to present to the Shoanti as a gesture of goodwill. She gives them directions to where the body was left and describes Gaekhen as an 18 year old Shoanti with short brown hair, tribal tattoos on his arms and torso, and a scar on his left cheek. She urges them to hurry, as Korvosa can ill-afford a fight with the Shoanti during the present instability.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 9
Grave Business

Welcome to Gray District

The missing body of young Gaekhen was brought to the Gray District, Korvosa’s massive cemetery. The party’s first stop is the fortified Cathedral of Pharasma at the center of the district, where they speak with Bishop Keppira d’Bear about the possible whereabouts of the necromancer Rolth. The Pharasmian Acolyte Pavo guides the party to the crumbling mausoleum in the district’s Potter’s Ward where the body was dumped. Egan Silentall quickly picks up the distinctive four-toed footprints of Derro leading into the mausoleum.

Following a hidden trap door down, the party enters a bone-lined ossuary where they quickly find themselves surrounded by skeletons. While Ser Arlynn overpowers a massive skeletal owlbear through the power of her goddess, Ashla, Egan and Zandu clear the room of lesser undead. They then follow a narrow tunnel burrowed in the wall, finding a network of of muddy passages lit by luminescent fungus and inhabited by derro.

After foiling an attempted ambush, the party interrupts a derro experiment involving a dead beggar and a group of stirges, triggering a lengthy battle fought half in supernatural darkness. When the lights return, one derro lies dead and two more escaped, while Ser Arlynn was weakened by the bloodsucking stirges.

Nonetheless, the party presses on into the necromancer’s corpse dump room, where an Otyugh is cheerily gnawing on the latest batch of bodies. After the party defeats it, they search through the charnel pile for Gaekhen’s body and then return to the Cathedral with their find.

As Ashla puts it to the clerics, “We have good news and bad news.” The party presents the lower half of Gaekhen. “This is both the good news and the bad news.” The clerics promise to preserve the body parts until the rest of Gaekhen is found, while Pavo and fellow acolyte Ramara see to the party’s wounds. The four of them are given space in the Cathedral barracks to spend the night before venturing once more into the Dead Warrens below.

Edge of Anarchy, Part 10
Laboratory of Horrors

After resting up in the Pharasmian Cathedral, the party returns to the Dead Warrens to search for the rest of poor Gaekhen. They penetrate deeper into the dank and muddy tunnel maze, finding a suspicious hallway whose walls are lined with human skulls. After triggering the hidden acid trap with Zandu’s quarterstaff, the party cautiously moves into the hallway. They are confronted by three constructs made of skull and spine, whose paralytic attacks pose a challenge but which are unable to penetrate Ser Arlynn’s shield and plate mail.

After recovering from the skull corridor battle, the party batters down a locked door at the hall’s far end. Beyond is a large alchemy lab that is in the process of being packed up by three startled Derro. In the ensuing fight, the party manages to cut down all three before they could escape but in the process destroy the equipment in the room.

The four heroes then investigated a boarded up pantry room that holds an out-of-control Carrion Golem, who uses one of Gaekhen’s arms as clubs. Upon recovering the arm, they decide to strike north and come across an unfinished flesh golem laid out on a table. The nearly seven foot hulk is topped with Gaekhen’s head, which Arlynn delicately removes.

They then push their way into Rolth’s sparse bedchambers and attract the attention of the necromancer’s apprentice, Vreeg. The deranged derro rises into the air and batters the party with spells as they struggle to hit him. Vreeg strikes Arlynn with blindness, leaving it to Ashla to take up her greatsword against the necromancer. But the greatest struggle is between Vreeg and Zandu, who trade spells and threats in a drawn-out struggle that leaves both near death.

With Arlynn blinded, Zandu unconscious and Ashla paralyzed, a badly bleeding Vreeg escapes to the south. Egan Silentall is able to get the party up on their feet and they retreat back to the surface briefly to seek a cure for Arlynn’s blindness from the Pharasmian cleric on watch outside the Warrens entrance. With everyone back in fighting shape, the weary band trudges back into the subterranean muck to finish off the necromancer’s apprentice.

Vreeg has fled to a large chamber to the south lined on three sides by ten foot pits containing malnourished captives. The derro is angrily berating a large, misshapen Ogrekin named Cabbagehead who is bandaging him. The ogrekin quickly snares Arlynn in a bear hug and tries to drop her into one of the prisoner pits, but she is able to drag him down with her. While the two of them try to squeeze each other to death, the rest of the party takes down the badly wounded Vreeg. After Ashla and one of the prisoners soften up the ogrekin, Arlynn snaps Cabbagehead’s neck.

After evacuating the emaciated captives—Rolth and Vreeg’s “research” subjects—the party searches the compound, discovering Gaekhen’s torso and remaining arm sitting on Vreeg’s workbench, the arm periodically clawing the air in mute fury.