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.