Curse of the Crimson Throne

Adventure Background

Korvosa
Korvosa began 300 years ago when the Empire of Cheliax expanded north into Varisia. Here, the Chelaxians found a large tribe of Shoanti barbarians dwelling around an immense pyramid on the shores of a deep bay — a perfect site for a city. After much bloodshed, the Shoanti were defeated and driven back to the harsh Cinderlands, and the new city was named after the field marshal who led his army to victory here. Few people bothered to wonder why the Shoanti had settled on this particular land, and Korvosa flourished.

The King
king_eodred.pngToday, Korvosa’s reigning King Eodred Arabasti II is feared by all the right people. His rule is steady, even if his insatiable appetites drain the city’s coffers. His ability to navigate the rocks and shoals of Chelish diplomacy earned the city favorable trade agreements with the Old Empire. Rumors of the King’s womanizing habits has to date produced no heir to the throne. Edicts proclaim Eodred II the “Saffron King,” likening his reign to one of abundance, in which honey and spice flood the markets. You, however, are likely to have heard him referred to by another name from the city’s downtrodden: The Stirge King — a man whose squandering ways are slowly bleeding the city dry.

Whispers of the King’s taste for scandalously young companionship have dogged him throughout his reign, so it was no surprise that his bride was barely a third of his age and of breathtaking beauty. Queen Ileosa has red hair like the sunset, chaste alabaster skin, and features so fetching that many claim her mother must have been a nymph queen, as surely no mortal woman could give birth to a beauty such as she.

The Queen
queen_ileosa.pngThe Queen was born Ileosa Arvanxi to one of Cheliax’s more successful noble families. When she came of age, she scandalized her family by abandoning Cheliax and sailing to Korvosa. Ileosa did not see herself as the wife of some important Chelish dignitary or noble; she wanted to be a queen.

Ileosa knew much of Eodred II’s tastes and desires before she arrived, so that when she presented herself to him, he would fall in love quickly. The two were wed after a scandalously short courtship, and the King shocked the entire city when he turned out his entire harem in favor of his new Queen. Ileosa was barely 17. Over the past 4 years, the Queen has managed to shift much dislike and disapproval away from the King and to herself with her open distaste for Korvosa (which she’s been heard to call “a backwater colonial village” more than once). While she may not appreciate Korvosa, she does appreciate its riches.

The King’s Health
The King has recently suffered a serious illness that resembled leprosy. Attempts to cure his illness have failed, and rumors swirl among the populace as people notice that he has spent the last several weeks in seclusion. Perhaps the curse has begun.

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Haunted Fortunes
Justice is Done

The_Old_Fishery.jpgSummary
Hodge, Penumbra and Wren each receive a mysterious letter invitation to the Gilded Butterfly (Tarot Card Reading Service) at sunset. Hodge and Wren notice each other at the Creaky Hammock, and decide to spend the day together, eating and casing the Gilded Butterfly. Having seen no one enter or exit the shop all day, Hodge and Wren try the front door (locked) and peak through windows into a dark lower level.

At sunset, Hodge and Wren try the door again, and find it unlocked. They enter, and a silent Penumbra drops behind the duo and follows. His sudden presence, when noticed, causes Wren to stumble backward and refer to him as “Creepy” for the rest of the evening.

The group is approached by Zellara, a fortune teller whose son had been murdered by Gaedren Lamm. She tells the threesome everything she knows and sends them forth to dole out justice at an old, abandoned fishery.

Upon arriving, Hodge finds a boarded-over door he can break into, and the three enter an empty bunkroom. As they explore the fishery, the group manages to knock out Yargin Balko, Gaedren’s right-hand man, accomplice and accountant. Penumbra scares Hookshanks Gruller (the gnome taskmaster in charge of the Little Lamb’s daily chores) so much that he stumbles off a ledge and is knocked unconscious. The group must enter hand-to-hand combat with Giggles, a half-orc thug watching over the rest of the child workers.

Tsaba, Wren’s missing niece, is among the Little Lambs. Wren instructs the children to wait in a safe corner of the fishery while the threesome slips below to search for Gaedren.

And there he was! The group catches Gaedren as he was sorting through piles of confiscated goods and preparing them for fencing. His pet alligator, Gobblegut, attempts to bite the would-be adventurers as they try to circle around a large opening in the floor. Hodge, Penumbra and Wren focus their efforts on Gaedren, and are rewarded with his demise. They throw his body to the alligator, whom they then kill.

In Gaedren’s filthy bedroom, Penumbra find Zellara’s rotting head in a hat box. Beneath the stump of her neck is a small wooden box containing her Harrow deck. When Wren announces that she wants to keep the old, hand-painted deck, Zellara’s spirit appears. She asks for her head to be buried beside her son’s body in the Gray Ward cemetery and vows to help the party as much as she is able.

The group turns over Yargin and Hookshanks to the Korvosan Guard, along with 4 Little Lambs who know where their parents are. The Guard will return them to their parents as quickly as possible, and keep them safe in the meantime. Tsaba and 3 other children travel with the group to a local inn for the night. The oldest child asks to be placed in a city orphanage, where he can get training to join the Guard. The two little girls ask to find foster families, and Wren and Penumbra agree to take them to Desna’s shrine in the morning to see if the cleric can help with this task. Hodge – not accustomed to sleeping in beds – returns to the Creaky Hammock for the evening. All three agree to meet around noon at the Citadel to relate their story and speak with someone “higher up.”

Experience
Earned XP: 1,055
Story XP: 1,800/3
-——————
Total XP per PC: 1,655

Treasure
From Yargin: Wand of acid splash (28 charges), 3 vials (unknown), 2 tanglefoot bags, thunderstone, 6 crossbow bolts, garnet amulet (100 gp)

Fishery cabinet: 4 small pouches (50 cp each), 2 small pouches (50 sp each)

From Gaedren Lamm: MW dagger, MW hand crossbow, 8 crossbow bolts, teak cigar case inlaid with bits of jade (25 gp), 20-lb gold ingot with Cheliax coat of arms (100 gp), miniature gold crown (350 gp), fist-sized scrimshaw carving of a kraken w/garnet for eyes (200 gp), silver ring (150 gp), ivory figurine of two entwined succubi (450 gp), MW shuriken, adamantine arrowhead, abalone-shell holy symbol of Shelyn (300 gp), glass tube containing oil of keen edge, an obsidian wand of magic missile (23 charges), decorative crystalline vial containing silversheen, bejeweled brooch w/broken clasp belonging to queen, and Zellara’s Harrow Deck.

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