Curse of the Crimson Throne

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August Summary 2018

1 – Edge of Anarchy

You were drawn together by a common thread—a cruel old criminal named Gaedren Lamm. Given the chance to bring him to justice or avenge yourselves against him by a mysterious Varisian woman named Zellara, you confronted Gaedren in the old fishery that served as his hideout. Therein, you found two surprises—a brooch stolen from Queen Ileosa and Zellara’s severed head. Zellara had been dead for weeks, and now her Harrow deck serves as a receptacle for her ghost, creating a strange but helpful ally that follows the PCs through the majority of this Adventure Path. Wren was the keeper of this deck.

When you emerged from the fishery, you learned that King Eodred Arabasti II had died, and the city of Korvosa had plunged into chaos. After meeting with the grieving queen to return the stolen brooch, you were recruited by the Korvosan Guard to help bring the city back under control. Starting with an investigation of All The World’s Meat, where you meet the repentant Vaskerkin who acted in malice due to his wayward love of an evil woman, your fun time at Eel’s End playing knivsies and meeting Devargo Barvarsi, and your harrowing adventure in the Dead Warrens (do you remember Rolth’s fancy necromatic experiements?), this portion of your travel ends with you returning Gaekhen’s corpse to Field Commander Cressida Kroft. After dealing with guards gone rogue, handling a delicate political situation involving a local crime lord, and coping with all manner of chaos in the streets, you were asked to apprehend a woman named Trinia Embereye, who is an artist suspected of assassinating King Eodred II. After capturing her and hearing her story, you decided to hide her at Zellara’s house for a short while before finding her a place of safety. The guards then asked you to recover the missing body of a Shoanti warrior before his kin declare war on the city. The adventure ended with you attending the supposed execution of Trinia Sabor (an innocent look-alike to fool the public), only to become caught up in the chaos of her unexpected rescue by one of Korvosa’s most legendary heroes—a masked man named Blackjack.

2 – Seven Days to the Grave

What began as a simple favor for a recent acquaintance (Vencarlo Orsini) quickly drew you into a battle against a rampant plague that threatened to consume all of Korvosa. Becoming unofficial agents of the desperate church of Abadar, you did all you could to halt the progression of the plague and save as many infected citizens as possible. Through the course of your work, you gradually discovered the sinister groups responsible for the plague’s outbreak and the deaths of thousands: the criminal Red Mantis, the disease-worshiping church of Urgathoa, and Korvosa’s own genocidal queen.

3 – Escape from Old Korvosa

The leader of the Sable Company attempted an assassination of Queen Ileosa—an attempt that backfired horribly as the queen revealed the extent of power granted by the Crown of Fangs. In the aftermath of this event, you received word that, in the now-quarantined Old Korvosa, your friend Vencarlo might have discovered something of great import regarding the queen. You braved the anarchic streets of Old Korvosa only to find Vencarlo missing and his home transformed into a Red Mantis ambush. In the aftermath of this battle, the party discovered a tiny compartment containing a metal iron lockbox containing a black hooded cloak, everal black masks, a dozen masterwork daggers with a stylized “Be” engraved in their pommels, a black leather suit with matching boots and gloves and a mithral rapier. You now suspected your friend Vencarlo was Blackjack! Following a trail of clues, you learn that a strange artist named Salvator Scream likely knows where Vencarlo went, as well as what information sent the teacher into such a state in the first place. Unfortunately, Salvator was securely in the hands of a petty warlord who calls himself the Emperor of Old Korvosa.

After dealing with the Emperor and interrogating Salvator, you learned the secret—the seneshal of Korvosa still lives! He, and likely Vencarlo now, was in the clutches of the notorious Arkona family, the self-styled rulers of Old Korvosa. You visit Palace Arkona only to learn that its patriarch has secrets of his own. To rescue Vencarlo and the seneschal and learn the awful truth behind the queen’s mysterious power and rising cruelty, you braved the infamous Vivified Labyrinth below Palace Arkona … and you ultimately managed to escape from Old Korvosa alive. Hodge decided to return to his beloved bar in Korvosa and paused his adventuring lifestyle.

4 – A History of Ashes

You fled the city of Korvosa to seek shelter in the village of Harse, where you soon learned that Queen Ileosa had fallen under the influence of an ancient evil known as Kazavon. Yet few people remember much about Kazavon—and unfortunately, the only ones who might know how to defeat the evil are the Sun Shamans of the Sklar-Quah. Unfortunately, because the Sklar-Quah were readying for war on Korvosa, getting them to share this information required you to travel into the Cinderlands and seek out the Skoan-Quah shaman Thousand Bones—a man you met while recovering Gaekhen’s body. With his advice, you undertook a series of trials and tasks of increasing difficulty, culminating in the Trial of the Totems which granted you membership in the Sklar-Quah Shoanti tribe.

Along the way, you encountered several characters, from suspicious local barbarians to sinister cultists of Zon-Kuthon to a band of assassins sent into the Cinderlands by the queen herself to see that your meddling ways are put to an end once and for all. You were caught in an all-out assault on the Shoanti of the Flameford camp by these assassins.

5 – Skeletons of Scarwall

After securing an audience with the Sun Shamans of the Sklar-Quah, you discovered that you must travel through the orc-held lands of Belkzen to an ancient fortress called Scarwall—once the lair of Kazavon, the evil spirit currently granting Queen Ileosa unholy and potent powers beyond life and death via a powerful artifact called the Crown of Fangs. You are instructed that if you hope to defeat Ileosa and her Crown of Fangs, you must first seek out an ancient magical weapon—the bastard sword Serithtial, last known to lie in Scarwall.

Upon arriving at Scarwall, you discovered the reason no one else had succeeded in braving the ancient ruin. It was under a potent curse. Undead, dragons, and devils stalk the castle’s halls, and the fell haunting bars entrance into the inner sanctum in which Serithtial laid hidden. To retrieve the sword, you were forced to lift the curse and exorcise a castle that had been haunted for over six hundred years. Wren chose to continue her traveller ways and has left Zellara’s Harrow Deck with the party for safekeeping as she searches for her relatives.

6 – Crown of Fangs

You are now heading back to Korvosa … and the story continues …

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Kazavon's Hoard
Exploring Castle Scarwall Post-Curse

After freeing Castle Scarwall of its curse, you travel back inside to collect the various trinkets and coins you found during your search. You realize that part of Kazavon’s ability to successfully rule over his humanoid subjects lay in the fact that very few realized his true nature as a dragon. Maintaining his huge army as well as his extravagant needs and lifestyle prevented Kazavon from amassing an immense treasury. So instead, he satisfied his dragon need to hoard by hiding it in plain sight in the Lord’s Tower.
scarwall.jpg
“The interior of this tall, hollow tower is silent and menacing. A full 40 feet overhead, an opening at the tower’s peak lets in light, as do the arrow slits set into the walls, yet nothing seems capable of dispelling the gloom of ancient evil that once loomed here. A shallow pool of stagnant water from past rains has formed in the center of a floor that is largely empty of furnishings. Near the far wall slumps a wide bed swathed in rotten and moldy bedclothes. The bed hangs a few feet off the floor, supported at its corners by chains hanging from a series of iron support beams above. To the side, a large gilt throne stands upon a short dais before a series of manacles inset into the floor. A nearby fire grate, long cold, holds a collection of branding irons and other torturer’s tools. A series of alcoves climbs the walls of this tower in an ascending spiral. Within each stands a statuette, art object or polished skull.”

Here is what you find of value:

- The gilt throne is embedded with 200 gemstones worth a total of 20,000 gp.

- The gold that covers Kazavon’s throne looks expensive, but would take a considerable amount of time to scrape off.

- Upon touching it, you discover that the down-stuffed mattress is actually filled with coins. You collect 460 pp, 15,500 gp, 24,200 sp and 796,800 cp. (I’m assuming you leave the heavy cp unless you tell me otherwise.)

- There are 80 alcoves in this room. 34 hold polished and brittle skulls. 42 hold statues, jewelry, paintings and other valuables worth a total of 17,800 gp. 4 alcoves hold magic items: a bejeweled +2 icy burst light mace; a rod of splendor; a scarab of protection (fully charged); and a gold-and-ivory, gem-studded lantern of revealing. When you touch a skull, you find that each one states its name when touched. Notably, one skull says, “Andachi of Tamrivena.” While each skull would be worth about 100 gp to the right collector of the grim and grisly, they would be difficult to transport due to their brittle nature.skull.jpg

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