Curse of the Crimson Throne 4E

The Anti-Pharasma Temple
A form of religious debate

The Anti-Farasma Temple

Lachellis’s Perspective

So there we were – rolling out of the vampire crypt with all the goodies they’d been taken from travelers and villagers. The threat of the vampire clan had been vanquished by yours truly, Harrows Justice, and yes we are accepting donations and hirings – talk to Maia for details. I think our band is like a big fucking heavy rock. We take a while to get rolling – I mean we only hit every single pissing wrong outlying house before finding the right one and I’m sure the vamps got a few extra kills – but boy, when we start rolling, look out. We will go forward with heartburn and smash everything in our way. Nice to see Larisha take a hit like that too – builds character.

Back at the ranch and sacked out until noon the next day – just in time for lunch – and head down to the chow hall of the ranch. Orsini, Trina and Neolandis are already there. I check in with Trina – since I wasn’t able to the night before really. Find out she’s adjusting just fine to life on the run and in hiding outside the city. Turns out she had quite the adventuring background and is even something of an expert in Schauntee ways. I don’t want to speak for the company – so I let Arith know and leave it at that.

We’re getting good information on the path into the desert, which passes through KaraMagva and about that Derro we just killed. Second time we’ve messed with those three-fingered blue-skinned devil midgets. Orsini confirms that the Derro, like the ones we found with Rolf and the one in the vampire master’s crypt have been a bane on Korvosa for awhile now. Mataya had some insights as well – being the only one able to read that pictograph note – it seems after failing Rolf in some way those Derro have all been kicked out.

All our meals are interrupted when Zilaro’s ghost appears at the end of the table, having swiped Larisha’s Harrow cards. And Zilaro starts good god damn reading – right there on the table. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think Zilaro would harm us, even being a ghost and all. But I don’t like ghosts. And I certainly don’t like people playing with strands of fate. And when it’s a ghost doing the weaving – well I’m out there. So I leave, relieve myself behind a bush and of course it’s just killing me what might be on those cards.

Larisha’s poring over them, like the fact the ghost just dealt herself in to a hand of Towers was no bother at all. Of course Farisma’s Finest is hummana-humman this, and hummana-hummana that. All that Harrow stuff don’t make much sense to me anyways about which card is positioned where. Crazy fucking rules if you ask me. But I can read pictures. And in the row for the past there’s the Courtesan, obviously referring to the Queen of Whores. And then there’s this circled blue lizard. Clear as day. I thought everyone realized but I had to point out that was probably the agent of ZonK’thon, whose teeth are now sitting atop the Whore Queen’s crown. I mean good goddamned – you learn that all the problems of Korvosa, this weird ass demon infestation and manifestation – it all links back to some bad-assed old blue lizard – and there one shows up in the cards dealt by ghost of a dead gypsy princess – I’m not a soothsayer but even I don’t need to consult a book of rules to know that’s an important thing.

So Larisha’s all still hummana-hummana when Zilaro waves her hands over the cards, and I swear it was like I was looking down on the palace, the ziggurat, from very high, the whole thing fit in a space no larger than the cards themselves. But I could see amazing detail of the figures moving in the image. It was some sort of historical lesson – like painted pictures being flipped in front of us but the figures were moving. First it was the Schauntee getting run out of Korvosa just in front of the Chelaxian – but the blue dragon, or some piece of him stayed behind. Then it was us getting run out of Korvosa – and still some aspect of the blue dragon there. Then it showed us traveling along our happy merry-go-fuck-me-way with an army of insect helmeted guys chasing us – Arith and I figure they were the Red Mantis assassins and we hadn’t seen the last of them. Then it appeared there was an agent of ZonK’thon amongst us (I figure this would’ve been whip-chain girl). Of course we all in Harrows Justice see these images, but not Orsini, Neolandis or anyone else – obviously crazy travels in company – but doesn’t take well to strangers. When we look up Zilaro is gone – and both Arith and I are eying the door. It’s time to move on.

Still we had one more time for a harrow reading while we were saddling up the horses so I asked Larisha to deal a hand out – and I asked who was the rightful King or Queen of Korvosa – or who as the rightful power? I figure if we’re fixing to put the regi in regicide with the Queen might not hurt to know who’s next up – and whether we’re just going to have to dance this dance all over again. The long and short of it, and with Larisha’s it’s always more the long than the short (I swear overhearing her prayers are night is just another reason to stay away from organized religion!) we get that yes, there is a monarch in waiting, and that’s a sign of hope, and that they’re actually on their way. On their way where? Oh no fucking clue from the cards there. They could be on their way on a boat, on a horse, or all metaphorical like on their way working through challenges. But the cards indicate there’s a rightful ruler – and I guess I’m good with that. Higher powers working and all that.

We made haste for the exit, Arith made Trina and offer she couldn’t refuse (like any woman with or without a pulse can refuse him) and all seven of us are up in the saddle off on the road to KragMava. Thrice was staying with Orsini, but I have a feeling we’ll run into him again – though hopefully this time not in a bag.

Travel was mostly uneventful. I always enjoy traveling – getting outside of the city. I haven’t been all that many places so each journey is usually heading somewhere new. Got a chance to talk to Mataya a bit. Put a boot in her ass though about all this hand waving and fretting about how cool Harrow’s Justice is, how Harrow’s Justice is the neat, how she’s heard about all we’ve done. Hopefully I got her head straight on the notion that there is no “her” and “us”. Thinking like that gets people killed. She’s part of the group now – for better or worse, which come to think of it could also get her killed. Now it’s just us – she’s part of the team, part of the company. I also told her to find herself within the Harrows Cards – figure out a card that embodies who she is and own that image, that meaning. The people in Korvosa need something iconic to believe in, something that doesn’t have a last name or a personal history – something larger than life. Like Black Jack. That’s how I came on the Rabbit Prince concept. Hopefully it works for her. I also gave her a symbol for Caiden Cailyen – and told her a little bit of father’s history.

I had a good long talk with Arith around the campfire one night. See the way I figure it – battle shapes a person – it’s the crucible to forge your nature. Anyone can blah-blah talk chat-chat about who they are and what they’re for – but until they have to test that in battle it’s just talk. For me – personally – losing everything I ever held dear or valued has probably saved my life more than once. Because when it comes to battle – you have to fight like you have nothing to lose – or everything to lose. Anything less – anything in between, any hesitation or pause will get you, or someone on your side killed. When facing enemies you don’t stop to count numbers, you need to move forward and engage – calculating odds is something you do when the fight is over and you can count how many bodies are lying around you. That’s martial abandon – where everything you have, are and could be rests on that one exchange, that one interplay of thrust and parry, and in all that focus nothing else matters. Not tomorrow, not the day before, not what comes next. That focus on the one enemy you must kill to the exclusion of all else.

That’s the difference between a soldier a warrior and a leader – it’s all about purpose. A soldier is someone who wouldn’t fight normally – but is trained to fight on orders. That’s all the purpose there is for a soldier – the command to be follow. A warrior on the other hand issomeone who fights, purpose or no, because the fight is there. I mean, there is no grand scheme, no master plan – it’s you and the brother or sister next to you in battle, and that’s all that matters. That’s me. Sure I’m a soldier when I was in the Guard I fought on order – and I still would if I found someone besides Arith I’d ever take orders from.

But half the time as a warrior you just start fighting and you find the purpose in the midst of a battle. Pick the biggest, baddest, ugliest, meanest, toughest, most-unlikely-to-succeed-against foe you can – pick ‘em out and charge them because that’s the only place you’ll find a challenge worthy of testing yourself. Maybe that’s why I got such a hard-on for the Queen – for taking her out. Go figure. Maybe there’s something into that. Anyways Arith – he’s different. He’s a leader – he can define the purpose. That’s why he gets to make the calls – though I’m not sure he realizes it yet. He’d make a good Marshall or General – maybe even a King. Though I’d hate to see him become Chelexian by too much exposure to the system. Being on the outside is good for him – makes him realize the consequence of his calls.

Well a few days after that talk we came upon a camp that had been attacked. Looked like some teleporting types, folks who can blink like Arith, well they came up and grabbed some travelers. Me – I’m all for a fight but I defer to Arith here – and he makes the call to go after them. We track them to the entrance of a cave. Inside is a nasty looking set of rocks, coming down from the top of the cave and up from the bottom to meet in the middle like some hideous grin. Larisha spotted a Farasma symbol to the side – fortunately for us. Apparently you have to sacrifice some blood – make it painful, to bypass the trap. Nothing that I haven’t given before so that was easy enough. Just put a knife through the hand, twist a half circle and move on. Everyone else – you thought they were trying to have a contest of “who can spill the least drops”. Bunch of pansies.

Now of course by this point we’ve had a minor theological debate on whether these folks were really Farasmian followers like you find in Korvosa, or some kind of anti-Farasma faction. It’s interesting – I got two answers. Larisha was from the anti-Farasma camp – that this was some sort of heretical offshoot. Arith was more nuanced, which is surprising to hear nuance from a guy who’s cape is always fluttering in the wind like he’s posing. But he pointed out every religion has groups within it to ‘do the dirty work’, indicating he was perhaps just such a person for his God, and that these nutballs may be such a faction. It’s all blah-blah hummana hummana to me – I don’t care of the politics of the lobster before it goes into the pot – and these guys in the cave, they were about to meet the pot.

Having disarmed the trap we still knew it’d be hard going to get through – and chances were high the enemy was waiting on the other side. Naturally I went first. Wasn’t as bad as I thought, what didn’t give way crumbling around the edges I scraped through pretty well – though I put a tear in my cloak and almost lost a pouch. Once I cleared the other side three guys were waiting for me, I barely got a look before the whole world went black. And I’m not talking the black of night, where you still have the light of the moon or the stars, or even the black of a room inside where you can still sense that somewhere – nearby – there is some light. This was pitch fucking dark. Like you’d been shoved inside a bag, the bag put in a barrel, the barrel sealed and put in a box, and the box buried six feet under. And then people started hitting you with weapons.

And here I am – getting pounded on by these three goons and I can’t see a damn thing. So I start hitting back. Do I know what I’m hitting? Fuck no. Does it matter? Not really. Do I know how much damage I’m doing? Fuck no. Does it matter? Again…not really. See I know what my role is – get in the thick of it and hold attention until people above my pay grade can figure out what to do. I could be knocking Arith or Mataya to the ground for all I know but I assumed they had the smarts to get out of the magical darkness. I figure as long as I can keep the three occupied, the three smarter members of the group would figure out a way to lift the darkness. I’m not too worried, I’m pretty damn sure I can outlast any Farasma-worshipping crybaby goth candy-assed fae-weave-wearing wannabe. And you know what? I was fucking right! Sure enough – the darkness lifts – and I’ve got two bodies around my feet. Good gear on them too – like whoever their sugar mommy was paid well – too bad I got blood all over their fancy pants. One guy gets away, disappearing into a wall where Larisha swears is another giant Farasma symbol. We hang long enough to get our breaths back, just enough time for them to set up all the defenses they’ll need, and then we head in to follow them.

We come into a room with a huge encircled space on the far side, surrounded by more of those goon-guys and one evil looking bitch. The anti-Larisha as it were – figurin’ they both worship Farasma. In three of us are three Cyclops – but their powder puffs. Hit hard but go down quick. And this room? The walls – covered in all the nasties you’d expect in a meat cleaning shop and some weird laboratory combined. I’m just beginning to enjoy my newfound ability to see when, of course, it all goes back again. Fortunately I’ve keyed in on my opponent, the anti-Larisha chick – I know she’s the brains of the outfit. Even though I can’t see a thing – I can sense where the enemy is. So I move forward. To engage. I have no doubt this is going to be one hell of a nut-roll. My first move out one of those Cyclops hit me back into a wall pinning me on two hooks. But I’ll get off the hooks – and I’ll move forward. No grand scheme – no master plan – just stick to that witch-bitch and keep hitting until I feel her bones crack and break beneath my polearm. That’s the abandon.

Larisha’s Prayer

Oh, Pharasma, this is very exciting! Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to do your work. So, in case you were paying attention to other things that were happening today, and I can’t really imagine that you were, but just in case…. Let me tell you about today’s exciting adventure. Did I already call it exciting? Well, I probably did, but it was very exciting. So…

I’m sure that you were paying attention to what happened this morning because what happened this morning could not possibly have happened without you. There we were at breakfast, planning our next step in our somewhat kinda sideways war against the Queen. We were sitting at breakfast with Orsini (wow, Orsini!) and Trina was there, and as we’re discussing our trip to the Shonti lands. Orsini tells us that Trina knows a lot about the Shonti. How perfect is that? I mean, I know that Orsini knows so much more than we will ever find out. But, oh! I’m sorry, I was talking about Trina. So…

So we start talking about taking Trina with us and I wonder why we even discussed it. It was a foregone conclusion. We are going to the Shonti, Trina knows about the Shonti, Fate happens! Sometimes I wonder why you don’t just strike all of us with some sort of glowing deific hammer. But then I realize that it must be hard to deal with mere mortals. And even the smart ones like River must seem pretty stupid to you.

Anyway, there we were at the table, and of course it’s a great day for fate. Because there is Zolara just sitting there with us at the table as clear as anything. And here’s what’s cool. She’s even visible to Orsini and Neolandis. So of course she deals Harrow for us, and it’s all about our mission and the Queen. And then she does this really cool thing where she shows us… I don’t even know what to call it! A waking vision of forces, moving across Korvosa. There is us, and the Red Mantis, and it’s pretty obvious that they are trailing us and we don’t have much time to find and get help from the Shonti.

But none of this is the really cool part, is it? The really cool part is when we find an abandoned camp, and it leads us to an heretical sect of your religion, who worship you through pain blood and death. I mean, what kind of nonsense is that?! It’s true that you are a god of death, but that’s sort of because you’re against un-death. Not because we should kill people in your name….

So I did a wonderful thing and led Harrow’s justice through their traps and portals until we managed to kill them all in your name. Well, not exactly killing them in your name, not like they were killing people in your name. I mean, it wasn’t really done for worship of you, except that I worship you and I wasn’t going to let them get away with that. I mean, you didn’t like what they were doing, right? So it was good for us to kill them, right? Because if you didn’t want us to kill them, you would not have let us find them. You do control that? Because otherwise I might feel really bad about encouraging my party to kill other worshipers of my God. So I hope that’s what you wanted, okay? And if that’s not what you wanted, then you need to let me know and I’ll be really sorry, but sometimes I’m going to get it wrong. But I think this is what you wanted us to do.

It was pretty hard, though. I suppose that this is just another trial on my way to becoming what you need me to be. Sort of like putting up with Lachellis, drinking all the time and making lewd remarks.

So, after all the fighting was over, I took all of their holy symbols, and I will take them back to the mother Church, where they can be given to real worshipers of your real purpose and your real word, and not some crazy people who think that they have to hurt others in order to please you. If you really want pain as a sacrifice, I would think that you get enough of it in the medicine that we perform and in the terrible chores we have to do in putting down the dead. But you don’t want that, do you?

Do you?

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The Undead and Friends

After escaping the labyrinth and dropping Orsini off at a safehouse outside of town, we are called upon to look into the disappearance of some locals. More unpaid work. What am I, a charity? I hope word doesn’t get around about all this pro bono work, legit clients will think they can pay us less for all the nasty work we have to do and that is just not happening.

We get to town and sure enough, vampires. A whole town-full of them. Swarming, making me shoot River in the face (which was kinda funny, glad I didn’t kill the kid), and of course leaving a trail of blood and dust along the way. I hate country folk, not enough sense to protect themselves against creatures in the night.

We track the vamp to this building and sure enough, it’s filled with drooling townsfolk (luckily they weren’t vamps) and these ridiculous constructs that could just transport away when we got near them. Then we get to the fun part, more vampires and undead who just keep going and going. Then the floating brain, wraiths, more vampires and this weird little blue troll that said something about Rolfe (really creepy necromancer).

Great, that guy again. Oh and I had to shoot at River again, but mustered as much will power as I could not to hurt him too much. Stupid vampires. Well, at least River realizes how effective I am with a bow.

I hope we can loot this room with the rubies on the sarcophagi, the silver bust, etc. We have to destroy their sleeping places anyhow right? May as well make some money off this job, having not been paid in more than a month! Arrows are not cheap.

River’s Perspective

by River

So now we’re on the run again. This seems to happen to us every now and then. Almost regularly. Luckily for us we can think of at least one errand outside of town that needs doing while the heat in town cools a bit. So we all skip out and head for Orsini’s safe house in a little place a few days away.

“Safe” is a misnomer here, as it turns out there’s a small problem with vampires who’ve started to predate on the locals. Sure enough, we go into town and the bad guys take that moment to attack. It never ends, I tell you! To make matters worse, Maia’s so damn weak willed that the head vamp decides I need to die first and she’s his best tool to do it. So he digs deep into her head and has her fire that fucking bow to deliver two arrows into my chest! Took him all of a quick blink her way to accomplish this monumental task, too. Gods damned Lachellis was little better, succumbing just as quickly. But then, convincing Lachellis to do violence against someone is like asking a fish to swim. Maia, I expect more from. Unless theres’ money involved.

We beat back the minions, but the boss got away and he seemed annoyed at us personally, like he’d seen us before. We’ve run into vampires twice already, once being those little ones in Old Town. I’m wondering if there’s a connection. Anyway, he vows revenge and flees. I figure he’s going for Orsini’s to make it personal, but turns out he went to ground to rebuild. We track him back to his hideout and start into the hellhole.

The whole thing goes relatively well until the end. That last fight’s rough. And of course, again, fucking Maia shoots me! Turns out though, that this whole thing is tied to Rolf. That bastard keeps popping up. The vamp was one thing, but the real brains here appears to have been some critter like the other blueskins we found at Rolf’s last lair. Perhaps he really is the mastermind of our troubles, afterall.

Routing all that out has worked out relatively well, though the party’s now aware of my more recent companion. I’m not ready to chat about the reasons for that yet. Hopefully I can postpone that talk for a bit. There’s still research to be done.

The following story occurs directly following this session River’s Renunciation

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Into the Labyrinth Pt III
There we were: Pulling a Cat out of the Bag

So there we were: we’d just barely managed to scrape enough rest together to get Harrows Justice back to a semblance of working order after that hell-spawn demon lady. But we were stuck on the wrong side of the spike trap room – River used some of his woojoo to open a door on the far side and Arith disabled the trap for a short time again.

On the other side of a door was a bag, when Maia threatened to shoot it the damn thing hopped to a wall – so I guessed something living and smart was in there. Well, not smart enough to avoid getting put in a bag in the middle of a trapped dungeon but smart enough to know that Maia’s aim is pretty damn good. Because our time is short to cross the room we all run across and file into a thin tunnel with iron maidens set in alcoves on either side. I bring up the rear. Well – as if we couldn’t see that coming, that tunnel is trapped to all fuck and gone. I mean damn. They pulled out the stops on this one. The floors tilt back and forth like a pivot trying to dump people in front of the iron maidens – and those iron maidens let out deafening shrieks from one side while spears lanced out from the others. Of course half of our group ended up deaf or skewered, or both. I managed to keep my feet and not fall into the line of fire. I opened up the bag and was surprised to find Thrice, bound up like a holiday turkey with a gag in his mouth.

Talk about luck! No one knows traps better than Thrice – and before you can say “How do we know you’re not a demon-whore-spawn sent to kill us and just illusioned to look like Thrice” I had his hands and feet untied. He stepped right up and right into it, I like his style. Very professional. He was elbows and knees moving up and down that tunnel disarming the traps. It was literally pulling the cat out of the bag – I couldn’t think of a better ally to have in a place like this. If I was the third tit on the donkey – he was the whole fucking stallion when it came to making short work of traps and puzzles.

While Thrice was just finishing up the last trap the dungeon did another one of those tunnel shifting things, fortunately we were all bunched up in this tunnel so none of us got left behind. But the way we had come in and changed – and out of this new room came hell-spawn-whore’s bigger, badder, and madder sister – a demon named Sivit. Body of a centaur, top of a lion, female – I think – but wielding two nasty assed kukris and all draped in chains. This was the demon that had captured Thrice – so we all knew we had a fight on our hands and got our game face on.

to be continued

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Into the Labyrinth Part II
Blind, Bound and Bitten by Maia

After the nasty encounter with the algea/fungus creatures, we followed Bahor Arkony’s direction and take the rope bridge to the right. Luckily Arith Porphyria and I were able to find the entrance to the Labyrinth using the directions and also our perception abilities. The door was well concealed, we would have never found it on our own, but then we have the feeling that Bahor Arkony could care less if we live or die. But we need to find Orsini and perhaps even the Seneschal in this endless maze.

We traverse through many rooms, Arith Porphyria and I take note of grooves in the halls, which indicate where a new wall might emerge at any time. We take care not to be separated when the floors shift and do what we can to maintain our balance.

We manage to set off several arcane symbol traps, the first set off a massive fireburst, doing plenty of damage to Arith Porphyria and Larisha Biora, but Lachellis managed to side-step the blast and I was lucky enough to be out of range. And then another room, another blast. It was getting pretty dicey and we were weary of all the tricks and traps. We discovered a room with 3 chests, each one had writing. On one wall facing the chests is a jewel carved to look like a tiger’s face and Larisha Biora confirmed it had some kind of magic. First chest said something about a caress and the future, I ran my hands over the face – nothing happened. I opened the middle chest that said ‘Life within, Death without’ and a gods-damned cobra jumps out and attacks me. Didn’t see any airholes, how long could it have been in there? I take the hit (first of many gods-damned snake attacks that day) and we score some sweet potions of regeneration, a healing power salve and other healing potions. Worth the bite? Definitely.

Lachellis opens the first chest and gets poisoned for his effort and nada in the chest. Third one says ‘breathe and be saved’ or something and so Arith Porphyria opens it from afar and the thing bursts with dust and still no loot. Worthless. I hate this stupid labyrinth.

Then we head to another dead end, but at least see the symbol on the floor before we enter this time. Then the halls shift again and we hear someone whimpering. We find another trap room (spikes in the floor and walls – sweet) and discover Orsini in a room, all beat to hell. Only it’s not Orsini. It’s this nasty demon and she nets us and blinds us. Pretty tough against trapped blind people eh? Like fish in a barrel! No sport in that really. She didn’t take my taunts well and unloaded about a dozen crossbow arrows into me for my sneers. Wench.

Another lovely discovery – the silver dagger I picked up at Gaidran Lam’s place about a zillion years ago? It’s a spirit spy for the gods-damned Arkony!!! Damn thing has been in my pouch for months spying on us! Must have known I count my gold pretty zealousy and didn’t try to rob me blind (would have definitely detected that). Damn thing turned into a snake and bit the hell out of me for quite some time and it met its maker finally. No more tag alongs.

So we kill the wench and find some magic item on her and now we’re back to the maze. Did I mention I hate this labyrinth? What a bad idea to come down here. There better be some massive reward for saving Orsini.

There we were: the Arkony Labyrinth by Lachellis

So there we were – up to our tits in trouble above ground, and now wandering deeper and deeper into the Arcony Labyrinth. I goddamn knew it. You can’t fucking trust a Chelaxian noble like the Arkony. Not only did it turn out those rat-bastard, coin-hoarding, two-faced, thin skinned sons of bitches were behind [[:Vincarlo Orsini | Orsini’s]] kidnapping, but now we got set up to take the fall for some family pissing match between big-daddy Arcony and big-momma Arcony by the name of [[:Melyia Arkony | Melyia]].

I’m telling you, this is why they have arson. Someone needs to take a torch to this place, and the Arcony Manor while they’re at it. If this is a family “training” ground, they ain’t training Soldiers or judges or decent civil servants – they’re training cut throat assassins and spies. All the rooms and tunnels move around, everything you fucking touched is trapped, and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. You bunch up to keep together so you don’t lose one when all the sudden the tunnels change – and then when a blast-trap goes off all your knickers light on fire together. Or they give you three boxes each with some fucking horse shit puzzle riddle on it, but they’re all just versions of one-touch death. I mean I took something out of a box that said “the life is the death which is the life except for death” or some horse shit like that, I don’t know – as soon as I touched it I dropped to the floor nearly dead. Had [[:35520 | Larisha]not been nearby I’d probably have been goners, telling you this over an ale with Father Caiden.

And of course I’m about as useful as a third tit on a donkey down here – I can’t take the lead because I can’t see the traps, I can’t handle a rear guard action because we have to stay close together, I can’t even take the bulk of the pain – like my normal role in life – because all the traps are set to go off in a wide area. Goddamn traps.

And it’s not just physical traps – they got shit down here aimed to get in your mind, fuck up around inside there. One tunnel looked like a jungle – painted, but painted real well. So as we’re looking around we all see images of ourselves dying – real nice. Nice fucking touch.

So we get along through a bunch of these rooms, are we making progress? I don’t fucking know, we could be no further from the beginning than when we started for all I know. We just figured out how to get past this pin cushion trap, when we find a side fountain and there is [[:Vincarlo Orsini | Vincarlo]] – heavily injured leaning up against a fountain. Soldier to Soldier I went to help him – gave him a thorough once over, and he looked in bad shape. I even checked to make sure it was him, yup – bad thumb and all. So I figured things were looking up. But it turns out it wasn’t Vincarlo because gods know that wold be too goddamn easy, but some demon masquerading as him. I guess Larishafigured it out – she’s smart and squinty-eyed that way, but instead of warning us with a warning like, oh…I don’t know “Pharasma’s nuts! That’s a cocksucking demon who’s going to kill us all!” No instead she bats dreamy eyes at Arith – and of course he’s so busy watching his hair wave in the wind that he misses it. I shouldn’t be too hard on him, hell I thought it was Orsini.

Well this fight breaks out that is everything that’s wrong with this labrynth wrapped up into one badassed demon hellion minx. She manages to snag, blind, stun, daze, drop, damn near just about all of us. I get the bead on her first, and make sure she pays attention to me – but she goddamn moves like shit through a goose and I can barely keep up with her. She’s bouncing all over the goddamn place. And Maiadra “Maia” is fighting with her own short sword or something. Well like the good Soldier I stay on her and try to keep her from getting away – even as she’s pounding the bloody snot out of my hide tell I’m dropped. End was a little fuzzy there, being face down and choking on the last drops of my life blood and all. I’m pretty sure Larisha came through with the healing again, and Arith doing what he does and Maia finally beating her sword so she can join in. Finally we manage to take the hellspawn down – but that was WAY harder than it needs to be.

If we’re going to take on the powers that be we either gotta game up or get outta town. I’m thinking of talking to Maya – it’s time to take my nightly activities to the next gear. Knock over a tax collector or fine assessor or something – use the coin to upgrade what we’re carrying so that we can match the goods being levied at us. And of course – we still gotta find Vincarlo in this hellhole.

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Into the Labyrinth
Harrow's Justice descends into Arkony politics

Fresh from the death of the Emperor, the party makes their way back to the relative safety of the Toy Shop. At the emperor’s haven, they had taken three paintings done by Escrime while he was still having his Visions. Other loot of importance had been slim to none, but the group did manage to spread the word that petty tyrants trying to replace the emperor would be dealt with in similar manner.

At the Toy Shop, the paintings come under tighter scrutiny. The best explanations they can come to seem to indicate that a creature from the hells has manage to reach out and gift a group of artists with visions which elevate each ones art beyond what they were previously capable. All of them are now dead excepting Escrime. Upon the death of King Arabasti, the visions left Escrime.

It is currently theorized that the creature which was granting these abilities to the artists has now made a deal with The Queen, which accounts for her recent supernatural abilities. The exact nature of the pact and it’s participants remains a mystery – indeed, it remains just a theory. Meanwhile, we have discovered that not only was Vincarlo Orsini last seen while investigating the Arkony’s, but Seneschal X is now believed to have been in Arkony “care” since the night of the Regicide.

In the morning, the group arrives at the Arkony household. Lachellis and Larisha wait outside while the rest enter to negotiate.

Bahor Arkony is lounging in his spa when Harrow’s Justice arrive. Asked about the Seneschal and Orsini, he is quick to foist the heroes off in the direction of his sister, Melyia Arkony, whom he claims is heading her own faction of the family. She is currently in possession of the family’s dungeons, known as the Vivified Labyrinth. Arkony gives directions to the entrance, there on the estate grounds, and washes his hands of it. The impression given is one of internal family strife, which we will either clean up, or die within – and Arkony doesn’t really care which end comes first.

Entering the Labyrinth, the party finds a descending pit, with various bridges and little light. Shortly after entering, we confront the first guards of the place, a group of creatures made animate via spores which turn them into a kind of living undead. One escapes us, which will likely vex our progress later…

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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A Logical Conclusion (Draft in Progress)

So there we were – putting fists into the face of nobility and smashing the fine cartilage on their Chelaxian noses into a spraying red mist of snot and blood. Wait – maybe I should back up a bit. Get a little of the foreplay in here. Right – take a drink, settle down a bit. Build up to the good parts.

Marshall wanted us to snatch this suspect, the street artistTrina – a chick I’d known from back in the day of flopping in flop houses and sleeping through hangovers with the rest of the beggars and drunks. Mission itself wasn’t complex – track down the dame, put her in a bag, and deliver her back to the Guard. The problem was in the ethics and intrigue surrounding the mission. See – I know for a good goddamn fact that no way Trina was involved in the King’s assassination. And I can tell Crysidia knew it too, when you get to know a commander you can tell when they’re giving orders they believe in, and when they’re just relaying the party line. The Queen had announced, publicly, that this street artist was wanted for the death of the King – and of course the whole city was up in arms turning over every mansion, house, flat and crate in a back alley to find her. That’s not how you go about things – telling everyone you got a suspect before the fact.

Good thing for Harrows Justice – I knew where this chick slept. No I hadn’t bedded her, but I’d bedded nearby her, if you get my drift. Flop house tenanments like she was in – they didn’t have much of a nightly rate and it was pretty much come and go as you please if you get my drift.

to be continued

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