Session Notes: 12/17/2017

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Session Notes: 12/17/2017 Empty Session Notes: 12/17/2017

Post by Tasslon on Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:51 am

ADVENTURE PATH PART 6 Curse of the Crimson Throne Crown of Fangs
Session Notes: 12/17/2017

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

The third floor features several large balconies that house several siege machines and a fair amount of grotesque statuary. The middle portion, built entirely in wood, once served as a barracks for the Sable Company and as a place for the royalty to host gala events. Of late, this section of the castle has been claimed by the queen’s Red Mantis allies.

A64. Breakroom. This room is well-furnished with tables, chairs, and stools,
and was used as a place for servants to gather and rest while serving events on either the second or third floors. The stairs here lead down to area A53. In the middle of the room is a round table with six chairs. On the table sits a small wooden case. The statues symbolize the suits of a Harrow deck. This is where King Eodred II often met with his half-brother Venster to play cards or entertain each other by performing Harrow readings. The small case on the table contains a simple Harrow deck, much more worn with use than the PCs’ deck. If the case is opened, a sudden wind blows through the room, causing the cards to fly into a vortex near the ceiling in the
north corner of the room for a moment before they flutter to the floor. All the cards land face down except for the Midwife card.

A DC 20 Knowledge (arcana) check is enough to recall that this card represents the revelation of new life or information into the world. This strange manifestation is created by Venster’s ghost in the room above in a desperate attempt to get the PCs’ attention and lure them upward; see areas A88 and A89 for more details. This room was once connected directly to Venster’s attic apartment above via a ladder in the north corner. After Venster’s disappearance,” the ladder and the trapdoor in the ceiling were removed and the resulting hole closed with a stone shape spell. A DC 25 Search check notes the different texture here, and a DC 23 Spellcraft check recognizes the use of stone shape to close an opening in the ceiling.

A65. Gatehouse Upper Gallery. This long hall seems to have once been used as an armory, for several empty weapon racks still stand along its walls in places. Today, a huge, fetid heap of rags, marsh grass, and partially eaten bodies fill the far end of the room. A large section of the ceiling over the heap has been ripped open. The mound of rags and filth served the black dragon Zarmangarof as a lair. Much of the dragon’s impotent rage, Ileosa did not allow him to keep any treasure here.

A66. Trophy Hall. The walls here are covered by dozens of trophies ranging from deer and elk to aurochs and wyvern heads.

A67. Main Entrance Balcony. This large balcony overlooks the stairs to the gate and the northeast side of the Grand Mastaba. Several large gargoyles crouch on the battlements, looking down the walls like watchful sentinels. A catapult sits near the battlement edge to the northeast.
The catapult, as with those placed elsewhere on balconies here, is fully functional and has a dozen rounds of ammunition stacked nearby. This is where the horned devil Mavrokeras lies in wait if the alarm is raised and the PCs approach via the main stairs. If the PCs wander out here without bothering to hide, the keen-eyed devil has a relatively good chance to spot them if he’s on one of his aerial patrols (20% chance whenever the PCs enter this area).

Session: 12/3/2017. He was called by the queen to room A59. Mavrokeras Horned devil (MM 55) Tactics During Combat In the first round of combat, Mavrokeras attempts to summon devils.

A68. Empty Library. The walls of this dusty room are lined with empty bookcases of fine wood emblazoned with the crest of the Sable Company. The room is half full of bales of straw, and two unhinged doors lean on the northeast wall.

A69. Game Room. This polygonal room is illuminated by three windows set in deep,
tall niches. Beside each niche are two marble white statues on high pedestals. The statues, a total of six, are all three-foot-tall figures of women in the same pose, hands high above their heads and each clutching an object. The statue on the left of the northwest niche clutches a large key, while the one on the right holds an open book. Proceeding clockwise in the room, the statues near to the northeast niche hold a shield and a star, and the ones near the southeast niche hold a hammer and a crown. This chamber belongs to Sabina, although the leader of the Gray Maidens did not spend much time here before her “attack” on the PCs earlier. She only returned here to catch a few fitful hours of sleep each night, spending many of her days on patrol or at Longacre Building to ensure the prisoners kept there were being treated fairly. The secret door in the west corner can be found with a DC 30 Search check.

A70. Buttress Balcony. This balcony lies atop the castle’s wardrobe shaft. A trapdoor in the middle of the floor allows waste to be dropped down the shaft. One of the light catapults of the castle is positioned here. The chances of being spotted by Mavrokeras here are the same as for area A67.

A71. Catwalk. This open-topped catwalk overlooks a sloping section of roof. The edge of the balcony is hedged by a brass railing. Creatures: A Red Mantis assassin is always posted here as a guard; the assassin clings to the roof just seven feet above the door in area A72 and, unless noticed, does not attack the PCs as they pass through but rather stalks them, awaiting a
good chance to strike one character who becomes separate from the group. If discovered, the assassin attempts to flee to area A72 to join the group there. Red Mantis Assassin.

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

A72. Grand Salon. The wooden floor, walls, and ceiling of this large hall present a
rich and harmonic scheme of decorations. The twenty-five-foot high ceiling is supported by pillars inlaid with ivory and partially hidden by a hanging forest of silk draperies in the colors of
autumn. Near the walls, these draperies reach down to the floor in foamy cascades of deep red and yellow-orange silk. Crimson circular couches sit around the base of the pillars, with matching stuffed stools and low, ebony tea tables with stained glass tops. In the middle of the hall are an empty space that serves as a dance floor and a balustrade opening to the stage hall below. This large space, once a mess hall and mustering area for the Sable Company, was converted by Ileosa into a great salon for private parties and celebrations. The opening in the floor overlooks the stage hall below (area A55).

Creatures: When Ileosa abandoned the castle, she extended an invitation to her Red Mantis allies to take up residence here. The assassins readily agreed, if only to have a safer place in Korvosa to call home than their previous lair. After losing several of their number (including the second-in-command) to the PCs during “Escape from Old Korvosa” and “A History of Ashes,” the Red Mantises have been itching for a chance to exact revenge. Yet their current
leader, a woman named Kayltanya, has forbidden any such action. The PCs have already proven adept at defeating Red Mantis agents, and until Ileosa finishes her work in the Sunken Queen and Kayltanya can secure from the queen additional funds to justify calling in more assassins from the south, Kayltanya ordered her subordinates to remain patient. Of course, the PCs’ arrival in the castle changes everything.

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

A72. Grand Salon.

Kayltanya is a member of the Vernai, the ruling caste of Red Mantises. Of Chelish descent, Kayltanya was the third daughter of her parents, and despite being part of the powerful Chelish House of Vyeron, she soon realized that as the third daughter, her opportunities for greatness were limited. Not long after she came of age, she engineered the deaths of her two older sisters, an act that caught the eye of the Red Mantis assassin who had been tasked with doing the same by one of Vyeron’s enemies, the Arvanxi family. Rather than finish her task with Kayltanya’s assassination, the assassin took Kayltanya under her wing and returned to the Crimson Citadel, where Kayltanya absorbed the indoctrination and training with a natural ease. The Red Mantis mistress has since accepted a post in Varisia after the Red Mantis learned of the region’s growing power and civilization. When Queen Ileosa secretly contacted her to secure the allegiance and aid of the Red Mantis, Kayltanya accepted the job at once. That it was Ileosa’s family who originally hired the Red Mantis to assassinate the Vyeron children has not escaped Kayltanya’s notice, but she views the act not as one deserving of revenge, but rather as thanks, for if the Arvanxis had not done so, Kayltanya would have never been discovered by the Red
Mantis in the first place. As a result, Kayltanya feels a strange sense of debt to Ileosa, and would never think of betraying her trust.

Red Mantis Assassins (6) 10 illusions.

Jul Lak'Tal transformed into a large aberration and scared people. Ohni and Leon teamed up and killed to red mantis, Fayrin got burned with a lava trap. Between Gard and the angels casting glitter dust. The Red Mantis fled the castle.

ADVENTURE PATH PART 6 Curse of the Crimson Throne Crown of Fangs
Session Notes: 12/17/2017

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

A73. Bar (EL 15)

The doors opening into this enclosed area are made of wood framed stained glass. The room itself is furnished with sturdy tables and high stools, with numerous bottles, crystal goblets,
mugs, and other drinking implements stored on shelves lining the walls. The air here is strangely cool and moist. A hammock hangs from the rafters of the chamber. The temperature and humidity of this room are regulated by a minor but permanent magical effect designed to
keep things from becoming too hot; in a way, this small room doubles as a wine cellar. Most of the good alcohol once stored here is long gone. The hammock is where Kayltanya sleeps.

A74. Smoking Hall

Two long benches face each other across this hall. Next to each stands a pair of brass, ivory, and glass hookahs, although all of them are empty. This section of the grand salon has been set aside for smoking pleasures, although it hasn’t been used in months.

A75. Sunset Room

This room has three large fretwork windows opening on the northwest wall. There are benches along the walls and around tea table in the middle. This room is where Eodred II observed the sunset during his last days, unknowingly sipping more of his wife’s poison in his final cups of tea.

A76. Great Balcony

The largest balcony of the castle, this L-shaped open space connects the main towers of the keep with the great salon of the third floor. Three of the keep’s catapults stand on
the balcony. The chances of being spotted by Mavrokeras here are the same as for area A67.
A77. Domina’s Tower Entrance An iron door blocks the entrance to this tower shack the
the door is kept locked with an arcane lock spell (CL 15th). The room inside is empty, but is, in fact, the only straightforward way to enter the hidden chamber above; a permanent phase door in the ceiling 20 feet above acts as a hidden trap door. Anyone touching the Arabasti family symbol (be it from a signet ring, banner, scroll, shield, or another source) to the phase door can use it to enter area A90 above. Castle Korvosa: Fourth Floor, Attic, and Towers The attic of the keep is a huge structure of wood that was rebuilt three times during the rule of the Arabasti dynasty. Due to its dry and airy environment, the attic is used as extra storage space for perishable raw materials.

ADVENTURE PATH PART 6 Curse of the Crimson Throne Crown of Fangs
Session Notes: 12/17/2017

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

A78. Vinegar Attic

This room smells of vinegar and herbs. Scores of wooden caskets placed in rows on long wooden stands line the walls, along with many glass bottles and ceramic jugs of numerous sizes.
The caskets contain 10 gallons of balsamic vinegar and are marked with numbers from 1 to 25 (years of aging). There’s nothing of any real value here, although the room is rarely if ever, patrolled, and makes a relatively good hiding place.

A79. Construction Storage

This room contains several kegs full of tar, wooden planks, metal roof plates, ceramic tiles, and other spare construction material from the keep construction. A large section of floor at the far end of the room has been torn away, leaving a gap that overlooks the main entrance. This relatively recent modification allowed the dragon Zarmangarof access to and from his lair in
area A65.

A80. Wool Storage

This room is stacked full of wool bales. There is also an elaborate handloom and a wooden box with sewing equipment.

A81. Empty Attic

This attic contains only a sorghum broomstick, a couple of upturned, empty kegs, and a pile of old mattresses infested with lice.

A82. Grain Storage

This room contains an emergency supply of grain (corn, wheat, rye, and so on) for the keep.

A83. Suspended Bridges (EL Cool

These two identical wooden bridges (areas A83a and A83b) are suspended 30 feet over the great balcony below (area A76), and respectively connect the Gray Tower and the Seawatch Tower to the castle’s main body. Creatures: A Red Mantis assassin is always posted at
each bridge, hiding in the shadows near the entrance to the towers. Unless noticed, she attacks PCs as they pass, instead of stalking them and awaiting an opportune moment to strike at a lone PC. If discovered, the assassin attempts to flee to area A72 to join the group there. Red Mantis Assassin.
ADVENTURE PATH PART 6 Curse of the Crimson Throne Crown of Fangs
Session Notes: 12/17/2017

Castle Korvosa: Third Floor

A84. Main Attic

This large, pillared area under the keep’s roof is almost empty. The excellent construction of the roof plating and of the dormer windows guarantees a dry, airy environment. Here and there lie heaps of leftover material from the nearby storage areas.

A85. Pigeonry

Half of this room is occupied by a large pigeon cage, although the cages are all currently empty of life, with a thick layer of rotted pigeons lining the floor.

A86. Junk Deposit

This room is packed with old and dusty odds and ends from a century of history of the keep. The clutter in the room includes old clothes, toys, tools, pieces of furniture, lamps, extra lumber, and broken tools. The clutter in this room is heaped high against the northeastern door, hiding it completely from view. A DC 20 Search check reveals the door’s presence; clearing the
junk away from the door takes 1 man-hour of work.

A87. Low Ceiling

The ceiling here is just 5 feet tall, and the room is full of cobwebs and dusty, blackened beams from the older structure that jut here and there from the walls.

A88. Venster’s Apartment

This room is dusty and has been abandoned for a while, but it shows an unexpected level of comfort. A large bed sits in a corner, and there is a nice table with two chairs, a desk
with a stuffed armchair, a lamp, and a stove. On the east wall is a glass showcase full of rare card decks. Within the showcase are at least fifty different decks, all displayed with care and competence, usually with several pieces laid face up and with a matching leather, ivory or wood case. What looks like a partially melted stone trap door sits on the floor in the northern corner, and a single toilet sits behind a partially folded screen to the south.

This room once served Venster Arabasti as home. The shut-in typically left this room only to visit with his brother in the game room below, which was also where the servants generally left his meals. Venster kept his own chambers clean and rarely if ever, allowed anyone into this room; it took Ileosa many months to secure his trust enough that he allowed her to visit him here, although even then he kept the existence of area A89 secret from her. The secret door leading to area A89 is very cleverly hidden, requiring a DC 35 Search check to discover. Yet only a few moments after they arrive here, a furtive scratching sound comes from this wall at the door’s location. If they don’t discover the door on their own, Venster uses his telekinesis ability to open the door a crack.

Tormented by guilt at his role in the death of his half-brother, Venster’s spirit is unable to fully manifest now because he is trapped here while his mortal remains fester in the dungeons below. As he spies them, he reaches out to them and whispers in a gravelly voice, “Bring me my bones… they rot so far below… bring me my bones… I can help you if you bring me my bones.”

Until they gather Venster’s remains from area A11, he can do little else. The strain of speaking (and possibly of opening the secret door to this room) swiftly causes his spirit to fade away, but after a few hours, he can manifest again for a similarly brief time. Venster’s close ties to the Harrow and the mysterious forces surrounding it allow Zellara a bit more insight into the situation. She uses empathy to urge us to seek out Venster’s bones; once Venster’s manifestation here occurs, she can sense where those bones lie, and if the PC follows her empathic urgings, she can lead the party directly to area A11 (although this might lead the Party through other dangerous areas in the castle).

A88. Venster’s Apartment

Although Venster is a ghost, he does not intend to fight for or against the party and is likely destined to vanish anyway during the creation of the Harrow deck of many things. Thus, no statistics are given for him if they for some reason become important in your game, he was in life a 6th-level tiefling aristocrat. You can generate his stats by simply applying the ghost template to this character.

Once Venster’s remains are brought into this room, the ghost manifests again, but this time not as a vague misty outline. Venster can now appear as a full ghost, appearing as a translucent elderly tiefling man with a deck of Harrow cards that periodically flies out of his hands to spiral around him before returning to his clutches. He regards the Party with kind but sorrowful eyes before he begins to speak.

His first words are words of thanks for taking his bones out of that “dreadful dark room below.” He goes on to speak of Ileosa, of how she murdered his half-brother with poison, and of his own shameful role in that act. If Ileosa continues to live, he shall remain bound here, unable to emerge from this room, imprisoned here by his own shame and guilt and thus unable to directly move against her.

The Party can be Venster’s salvation. While the ghost can fill them in on how Ileosa murdered Eodred II, providing proof to something the Party likely already suspect anyway, his true value is in what he knows of her plans. While he is imprisoned here, he could sense the queen’s thoughts and desires if she was in the castle. The knowledge tormented him, but now he realizes that it was all simply preparing him for this day, for his chance at redemption. If what he can tell the Party can undo what he helped set into motion, he feels that he can move on to face Pharasma in the afterlife and accept his fate

Venster knows that Ileosa plans on using potent magic found in a place called the “Sunken Queen” to achieve eternal youth. Although he doesn’t know exactly what this entails, he does know that the ritual is based on ancient magic indeed ancient magic that requires the lifeblood of an army of unknowing sacrifices. In short, he fears that Ileosa has been grooming the citizens of Korvosa to be the blood sacrifice she needs to achieve her goal of eternal youth. He urges the Party seeks her out at the Sunken Queen, to stop her before she can complete the ritual, and tells them that even now he can feel strange and potent forces gathering in the spirit world as she makes ready to take the last step.

A88. Venster’s Apartment

Venster quickly grows frustrated with himself if the Party begin asking more questions; his grief, madness, and undead state have wreaked havoc on his mind, and he finds it difficult to not only remember what he knew in life but also to speak aloud of what he’s learned by spying on what few snatches of Ileosa’s desires and thoughts he’s been able to “overhear.”

He does suggest that the Party seek out his “Mother’s Tower,” a place where the monarchs of the Arabasti line could go for peace and solitude. He has sensed Ileosa in this location several times, and often her most notable bursts of sudden inspiration and power occurred in this chamber. He speaks of Domina’s Study, an area A90. The greatest gift that Venster Arabasti can offer the Party is the grace of the spirit world. He explains that many have died in Korvosa due to Ileosa’s whim and cruelties and that each death has bolstered his grief and desire to set things right.

Further, the Party themselves carry with them a spirit of their own Zellara. At this point, the owner of Zellara’s Harrow Deck suddenly feels an empathic burst of excitement and fear from Zellara, for she has suddenly realized her final role in the protection of Korvosa. Venster explains further that, by using Zellara’s Harrow Deck as a focus, he and Zellara can siphon the spiritual power and energy of those who have died at Ileosa’s hand or orchestrations into that deck, transforming it into a powerful tool and method for the spirit world to grant the Party further insight and power.

Venster goes on to warn the Party that not all the spirits are kindly ones: many were insane or cruel in their own lives, and there is, unfortunately, no way to exclude them from this infusion of power. He and Zellara can, though, moderate their influence by focusing them on the traditions and mysticism of the Harrow itself. In effect, Zellara and Venster are using their own undead nature and the psychic energy of all those dead who blame Ileosa for their fate to transform Zellara’s Harrow Deck into a powerful and unique Harrow deck of many things. If the Party agree to this, Zellara and Venster both manifest in the room, and the cards of Zellara’s Harrow Deck fly out of their container to spiral and spin in the air between them.

A88. Venster’s Apartment

As the ghosts concentrate, the anger and wrath of the city’s 45 dead siphons through them to infuse the cards, which began glowing brighter and brighter. After only a few rounds, with a final flash of light, the cards themselves settle in a neat and tidy stack on the table and both ghosts vanish.

At this point, both Zellara and Venster have bonded with the haunted Harrow deck, which has transformed into a Harrow deck of many things. As detailed later in this book on pages 68–73, each character can declare up to four draws from the deck. Unlike the standard Harrow deck of many things, though, Zellara and Venster’s lingering presence stack the deck in the Party’ favor.

This allows each PC one free redraw from the deck: if the PC draws an undesirable card, he can choose to discard that card and draw again from the deck. This redraw does not reduce the total number of draws each PC decides to take but does help a little bit to mitigate the malevolent and harmful influence of the evil cards in the deck.

Once all the Party who wish to have drawn from the deck, Zellara manifests one last time before them. Her expression is one of hope as she smiles at each of the Party and gives the one who’s carried her deck through the campaign a single ectoplasmic kiss before she fades from view entirely. Her final purpose served, Zellara finally moves on to her eternal rest. Her Harrow deck is now nothing more than a standard, nonmagical deck of cards. Unspent Harrow points from this adventure’s initial reading remain available for the Party, but the deck itself can never again be used to perform a similar special Harrow reading.


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