Campaign recap

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Campaign recap

Post by stygiandrake on Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:24 pm

Part One: Into The Dying City

The Order of the Nail has withdrawn from Korvosa, retreating to Citadel Vraid for the first time in Korvosa’s history—some whisper the Hellknights are planning a full-scale invasion of Korvosa to seize control, but more knowledgeable sources know that dozens of Hellknights perished or failed to uphold their charges during the recent events, and that Lictor Severs has recalled his troops to punish them for these failures.
City temples have their hands full tracking down the last remaining pockets of sick in the city or disposing of the dead, and the Academae has kept its doors shut and resources ensconced for the duration, apparently hoping to wait out these troubled times. Both the Korvosan Guard and the Sable Company took staggering hits to both their personnel and morale. The commanders of both organizations talk about recruitment drives to replenish their ranks, yet helping Korvosa recover remains their primary goal—a goal made difficult by Queen Ileosa’s reduced support.
Yet the queen is not ignoring Korvosa. The energy and support once lent to the Korvosan Guard is now funneled into a new order of peacekeepers—the enigmatic Gray Maidens. Even as the number of Korvosan Guards on the streets seems to dwindle, the presence of these armored a warrior woman increases. Regular patrols of Gray Maidens march along the major streets, and rumors of strike forces breaking into homes and buildings reputed to house those who voiced dissenting opinions of the monarchies are growing. Old Korvosa remains under tight quarantine, with troops of Gray Maidens stationed along the Narrows and patrolling the Jeggare in swift warships to ensure that no one gets off Endrin Isle—the plumes of smoke as buildings burn and the periodic roars of riots that echo down from Old Korvosa alone are enough to warn away the curious. No one mentions the words “martial law” yet, but they hover on every tongue. Feel free to give the PCs as much time as they want to recover from the events of “Seven Days to the Grave” before starting this adventure. The Pathfinder Chronicles Guide to Korvosa can help fill out any adventures the PCs might go on during this time, but the atmosphere of oppression and fear that fills Korvosa should continue, making the city a very different place than the one presented in Guide to Korvosa. Furthermore, depending on how the PCs dealt with the Gray Maidens and the discovery of links between the plague and Queen Ileosa, they might not even be able to openly walk the streets of Korvosa.
If they’ve publicly decried the queen and tried to prove she was responsible for the plague, the
PCs quickly find that her hold over Korvosa is even stronger than it appears. Even if they’ve kept their suspicions quiet (which is what allies like Field Marshall Cressida Kroft, Ishani, and Grau Soldado all suggest if consulted), the queen knows of their involvement in the disruption of the Queen’s Physicians and the cult of Urgathoa, and it isn’t long before she sends Red Mantis assassins after them. The Crown of Fangs Revealed This event is best handled off-stage. The PCs should certainly hear about the aftermath of this event soon enough, though. There’s too much opportunity for PCs to get in over their heads if they’re on site when Queen Ileosa makes her first public appearance since the botched attempt to execute Trina Sabor at the end of “Edge of Anarchy.”

If the PCs haven’t visited Citadel Volshyenek since the introduction of Doctor Davaulus and the Queen’s Physicians during “Seven Days to the Grave,” they might be shocked to see the place so understaffed. Only one guard stands at the Citadel entrance, and n one train in the large inner courtyard. The halls of the Citadel are silent and empty, with refuse and trash scattered here and there, dust gathering in empty barracks, and an overall state of creeping neglect hanging like a pall over the place. Cressida Kroft looks haggard and tired when the PCs arrive; she ushers them into the central keep quickly, leading them into a smaller meeting room in the depths of the keep, a plain-looking chamber with a single long table (on which sits a small closed coffer) and enough chairs for the PCs and herself—a chamber protected by a permanent private sanctum spell. After everyone is seated, she speaks in a low voice.
“Korvosa is dying. No, strike that. Korvosa is being murdered. Killed by our queen. The evidence you’ve uncovered that links her to the plague is damning enough, but this recent display at her address… Endrin is dead. She’s more in control now than ever. I dare not move against her—my Guard would be executed to the last man by her Gray Maidens by sundown. She must be stopped. And I know of no one else but yourselves to do this deed. “Whatever foul magic the queen has wrapped herself in is obviously of the highest order. Endrin’s aim was true—his shot should. I had feared he was going to take matters into his own hands like this, but I had hoped he would find it within himself to find a better route. If only he could have waited. “You see, just this morning, new information came to me. I have received a missive from my friend Vencarlo Orisini, the first I’ve heard from him since Queen Ileosa cut off Old Korvosa and put it in quarantine. A message that gives me hope. Vencarlo speaks of discovering something of vital importance regarding the queen—he mentions something about dark magic and a pact with a devil, but until the events of this morning, I found his claims difficult to believe. Yet now… if Queen Ileosa has entered an infernal pact of some sort, we must tread carefully indeed. “Vencarlo asked for you in the missive. You’ve made quite the impression on him, it appears. He remains in Old Korvosa now, but has asked that I send you to him, to his home, to hear what he has discovered. Ironically, you should be safe in Old Korvosa—the queen’s quarantine has cut off the island entirely, and word on the street is that she plans on leaving it to rot. She won’t think to look for you there if you maintain a low profile and avoid confrontations with the Gray Maidens. “Once you find him, you’ll need to escape Korvosa, I fear. This city is no longer safe for you, or for those associated with you. As Field Marshal, I suspect that as long as I comply with the Queen, I shall be safe—and I will do what I can to ensure those friends and family you might leave behind are protected. By remaining in this city, I fear that you put them into more peril. Go to Old Korvosa, find Vencarlo and hear what he has to say. He has contacts in Harse—he’ll be able to help you lay low. I shall be in contact with you when I can, at which point our plan, I hope, shall be clear.

Local Korvosans
As the PCs explore Old Korvosa, you should mention the hapless and forlorn and desperate who now live in this dying town. The following sample NPCs can help you get started if a PC stops to talk to someone on the street.
Children: A flock of incongruously happy children singa rhyme as they gather around something in the middle of the street “Headless, headless, that’s what you’ll be, brand new dolls in the Emp’rer’s ceme’try! Choppy, choppy, chop, the tall knife calls, waitin’ for the day for Korvosa to fall.” One of the children has fashioned an odd object from sticks and pegs—a crude guillotine that the children are using to behead a collection of dolls. If the PCs can gain the children’s confidence (by a changing their initial unfriendly attitude to friendly) the children brag that they’ve been to see the Emperor’s real “tall knife” at his palace, when in fact this is just false bravado.
Foolhardy Hero: Tesh Zobberdin, a wild-eyed human wearing an ill-fitting suit of leather armor, strides purposefully down the street toward Old Dock, axe in hand. The last surviving member of a family executed by the Emperor for refusing to turn out their food stores and life savings, Tesh has murder on his mind. Unfortunately, he’s only a 1st level warrior, and thus no match for the Emperor or his goons. Tesh nonetheless could aid the
Ranting Local: Olmere Bliversin addresses the mostly empty street from a balcony above his bakery—demanding to know what the queen’s going to do about the mob, when she is going to repair the bridges, and how long the quarantine will persist. The fact that Olmere does much of his ranting wearing his nightclothes and punctuates his rants with high-pitched giggles certainly undermines his arguments.
Sad Old Woman: Old Mother Mifeg shambles along the edges of the streets, doing her best to continue her living selling not-so-brightly colored fungi for pigments. She mutters and sobs periodically, worrying that she might not make enough coppers to support her six children—the truth is even more depressing, for Mifeg is the last survivor of her family’s brush with blood veil, and the old woman simply hasn’t admitted to herself that the rotting bodies she keeps so lovingly sheltered back home are anything but “sleeping off the sick.”
Concerned student: Amin Jalento
The Concerned Student Hitting a dead end this early in the adventure might stump the PCs at first, but fortunately an ally with more clues approaches them shortly after the PCs visit Vencarlo’s home. Drawn by the flames as Vencarlo’s house burns, or perhaps by the sounds of combat or the sight of the PCs entering his teacher’s home, a desperate and worried student named Amin Jalento approaches them not long after things in Vencarlo’s home come to an end.
Once he has the PCs in a place where they can talk quietly (likely in the partially collapsed building across the street from the Academy where he’s been squatting for the past several days), Amin tells the PCs his story. He was attending classes at Vencarlo’s Academy when the quarantine hit, and after he was unable to escape back to the mainland and his home, Vencarlo was gracious enough to allow Amin to stay at the Academy as a guest. That stay ended not long after, when several Red Mantis assassins invaded the building. Vencarlo confronted them and took one of them down, but there were too many. The master was forced to flee, and Amin assumes that the assassins burnt down the academy as a warning as much as anything else. Amin doesn’t know where Vencarlo has gone, but he does suspect who might. In the days after the quarantine, while Amin was Vencarlo’s houseguest, he noticed that his teacher seemed restless and distracted.
Vencarlo regularly left his house at odd hours in the night, sometimes not returning until the morning. After one such return, Vencarlo’s clothes were bloody—he said he had to fight off a thief, but Amin is sure there was more to it than that. Furthermore, in the days before the Red Mantis attacked, Vencarlo had a singularly strange houseguest visit several times—a man with paint-stained hands, wild hair, and a jittery habit of looking about. Vencarlo introduced him as a friend, but Amin recognized him as a somewhat notorious local artist named Salvator Scream. Vencarlo and Salvator always met behind closed doors, three times in all, and on that last meeting Amin swore he heard Vencarlo’s voice raised in anger. Unfortunately, he has little more information than that—he’s been meaning to try to track down Salvator to ask him if he knows what happened to Vencarlo, but has not, of yet, worked up the courage to brave Old Dock, the place where Salvator’s home is located.
Seeking Salvator Amin knows that Salvator lives in Old Dock—he did enough asking around to confirm that the artist lived in a building located at 140 Wave Street. He also knows that Old Dock is under the control of the Emperor of Old Korvosa. Amin’s heard plenty of rumors about the Emperor—that he’s a cannibal, that he’s beheaded more folk than have died to blood veil, that he’s a devil hiding in the flesh of a man, and that his minions are almost as bad as him. Although Amin doesn’t believe the rumors, he does believe that the Emperor deserves them, and wants nothing to do with Old Dock as a result.

The Painter’s Home:
Salvator’s home is a leaning, decrepit building located on the Narrows, not far from one of the many now-ruined bridges that once connected Old Korvosa to the mainland. Salavator continued to live in this home for some time after the quarantine, but after his last visit to Vencarlo
(and well after he’d turned over Neolandus to the Arkonas for safekeeping), the Emperor of Old Korvosa sent a group of thugs out here to “collect” the artist. Yet the house is not abandoned. Its current inhabitant is Laori, a Forlorn elf and worshiper of Zon-Kuthon. For now, Laori views the arrival of a group of adventurers as a sign from Zon-Kuthon—here she was trying to figure out the best way to confront the Emperor of Old Korvosa to gain access to Salvator Scream, when a handy group of specialists showed up looking for the same thing. Assuming the PCs
don’t immediately attack her, she greets them cheerfully, introducing herself as Laori and asking if they’re looking for Salvator as well.

Killed Otyughs and successfully located The old Emperor.

Eventually, through conversation with Laori, magical divination, or DC 20 Gather Information checks, the PCs should learn that their quarry, Salvator Scream, has been taken by the self-styled ruler of the region—the Emperor of Old Korvosa. In his previous life, this Emperor was
a man named Pilts Swastel, the owner and director of Exemplary Execrables, a notorious playhouse that specialized in violent, gruesome productions. Already a bit unhinged before Korvosa fell apart, the riots, a bout with blood veil, and the quarantine were enough to push
Pilts the rest of the way. With his knack for showboating, organizing crowds, and his horrifying imagination, it was a relatively simple thing for him to make the transition from director to ganglord.

Part Two: The Emperor of Old Korvosa

Today, Pilts’s position of power is growing. Every day, his mob absorbs or murders more of Old Korvosa’s remaining citizens, and his resulting influence grows. The Emperor’s imagination is one thing that has captured the admiration of his mob—from the gory but entertaining real-life plays he produces to new ventures, such as the extremely popular game of blood pig, his followers looks to their Emperor as a source of entertainment to distract them from the horror of their new world. Yet the Emperor is also a primary source of that horror. His obsession with an extravagantly carved Galtan guillotine has created a constant need for new victims, and when the mob can’t provide the Emperor with victims on whom to use his favorite toy, the Emperor is boundlessly creative in finding reasons to punish random followers for transgressions against
his new laws. After his playhouse partially burnt to the ground, Pilts decided to relocate his home to a group of buildings located a bit closer to the core of Old Dock. Once several tenements, Pilts has converted these structures into a palace. He managed to save many of his old props and gruesome backdrops, storing them for now in his new palace while he works on plans for a new, larger playhouse. He wasn’t able to save it all, though his newest “acquisition,” Salvator Scream, is the first step Pilts has taken to rebuild his assets. The Emperor of Old Korvosa has rapidly become one of the most notorious figures in the quarantine zone. If
the PCs take the time to use Gather Information, they can learn much of the man before they confront him. Consult the following table to determine the results of such checks. DC Check Information Gathered 10 The Emperor of Old Korvosa rules Old Dock from his palace on Silk Street. He’s seized control of several tenements there, and rarely leaves the place. Mobs of his fanatics scour the streets of Old Dock seeking more conscripts to his cause. Those who resist are instead captured for other purposes.

15 The Emperor sees Old Korvosa as his stage. He forces some of his prisoners to take part in violent, deadly games or gruesome performances, pitting them against the most ferocious of his pets and followers. Others he simply beheads with his favorite toy—an extravagant guillotine imported all the way from distant Galt. 20 Those who seek to speak with the Emperor must first earn his respect by providing him with entertainment—of late, it is said that the Emperor’s favorite entertainment is a violent game he invented called blood pig. He’s converted a large rooftop inside of his palace into a playing field for this game, and the howls and screams of those playing and watching can be heard throughout Old Dock every evening.

The Old Dock Mob
The streets surrounding the Palace are littered with bodies, rubble, and refuse; feral dogs, stirges, shingle spiders, and other vermin scuttle around with a bravery not seen in the city before the quarantine. The further one ventures into Old Dock and draws near the Palace, the fewer citizens appear behind boarded windows, and the more the signs of the Emperor’s mob grow. Vandalism, brutalized bodies hung up on display, remnants of fires, and other evidence
of public violence are everywhere. Of the hundreds of people who lived in Old Dock, most
have joined the mob, if only to avoid being branded traitors by the Emperor and then forced to take part in his violent entertainment. Those who revel in the chaos quickly find themselves ascending to the role of soldier in the mob, where they serve as leaders and commanders—the
majority of the petty thugs under their control obey out of fear. Unless the PCs take pains to remain unobserved, they are noticed by members of the mob within minutes of entering Old Dock, and within a few more, they are confronted by a group of these thugs who loudly and brashly demand to know the meaning of the party’s intrusion into the Emperor’s domain.
Few have openly opposed the mob yet, and as a result, these groups of thugs wildly overestimate their own power and strength. Their attitude toward intruders is one of haughty and profane disdain. Lewd comments are hurled at female PCs, racial epithets howled at nonhumans, and insults of all manner are levied against the rest. The mob leader demands that the intruders quickly explain their presence in Old Dock. Any response other than “We’re here to join you,” is met with laughter and disdain, swiftly followed by a demand to hand over their
weapons. Characters who do so are escorted to area C4 to be judged by the Emperor; their gear, in this event, is stacked on the ground next to the Emperor’s throne as an offering. The mob’s initial attitude is hostile. If the mob’s leader can be made friendly, he agrees to escort the PCs to meet the emperor but doesn’t demand their gear. If made helpful, he’ll even agree to letting the PCs make their own way to the Palace with no escort (but there’s still a 20% chance per 10 minutes of encountering another mob). Attacking the mob is certainly a possibility. Word
spreads quickly through Old Korvosa if the party adopts an offensive approach. You successfully killed 7 Old Dock Captains on the streets while approaching the main building.

Pilts’s Palace
The Emperor of Old Korvosa’s palace is located at 11 Silk Street in Old Dock, a collection of tenements and abandoned stores that barely escaped destruction during a recent fire that consumed much of the city block to the west. The palace consists of six buildings, although only
the floors or roofs of immediate interest to the adventure are shown on the map. All of these buildings are wood and in relatively good repair, despite the large amount of cosmetic damage the mob has inflicted on them in the form of graffiti, scorch marks, and weapon damage. Not all of the Emperor’s citizens dwell in his palace— the vast majority live spread out through all of Old Dock.
Nonetheless, the Emperor retains a small contingent of 18 captains in his palace as personal guards. The captains live in the abandoned tenements at area C5, but at any one time only a third of them are at rest in these buildings. The rest are stationed as indicated in the following encounter descriptions. Defeating the Emperor is enough to cow the entire mob (see area C3).
Old Dock Captains in the first room 4 killed, 6 in the king room, Jabbyr, and Pilts Swastel.
You successfully Killed the EMporer putting a stop to the mob .

Remaining Quest:
1. Find Salvator Scream, and allow Laori to question him.
2. Find Neolandus Kalepopolis and Vencarlo Orisini
3. Return to the Arkonas.
4. The new city is the next book.

The Arkonas’ Secret That the Arkonas control crime in Old Korvosa is not their true secret. The government knows that the Arkonas are heavily involved with the underworld, but since this crime is kept behind the scenes and doesn’t disrupt life in Old Korvosa, the government has traditionally looked the other way—the good the Arkonas do is held to outweigh
the bad. This is only because the true depravities and evil they inflict upon the city are well-hidden indeed. The Arkonas first fell victim to the rakshasas many years ago, when the family attempted to establish a trade route with distant Vudra. What they found instead was death. The entire trade ship was murdered, the captain and family members replaced by rakshasas and the crew replaced by charmed thralls. When they returned to Korvosa, they found an entire city ripe for their harvest. Building on the now-established trade route with Vudra, the new Arkonas— rakshasas disguised as humans—were able to build their stolen name into one of Korvosa’s most powerful families. Over the decades, the rakshasas have had their own secret internal wars for power, but their continued control over the family has remained.

Currently, the Arkona family is ruled by two rakshasas, the children of the original rakshasas who replaced the Arkonas so long ago. Of these two, Bahor has assumed the role of patriarch Glorio Arkona, while his sister Vimanda has assumed the role of Melyia Arkona, his lover. In private, the two rakshasas are constantly embroiled in tiny power plays to gain an advantage over the other, yet neither has yet made a move so reckless as to threaten what they have accomplished as a family so far. Under these two, several other rakshasas dwell in the palace, most of them having traveled from distant Vudra to join the Arkonas on their grand experiment in Korvosa. Below the rakshasas are the “kept men” of the family, humans who are kept in line via magical control and honeyed words. These humans do not suspect the Arkonas of being anything other than criminal masterminds. Securing an Audience While the Arkonas have increased patrols of their human guards in Fort Korvosa, the portion of Old Korvosa they’ve kept under their own watch during the quarantine, they have not closed their doors completely to the outside world. During the day, visitors to Palace Arkona are generally intercepted by a patrol of six house guards who politely but firmly demand to know the party’s reasons for approaching the palace.


In your first encounter you meet with Bahor and he dropped Ohni in the park where you had to follow. The four Belkers where killed when you broke the cigar cage, the wondrous figurine Elephant was stopped, the huge water Elemental was dismissed. You lost Onhi but Jim brought him back and about to lose Dravon but you escaped.

The second encounter was under ground where you tripped a fall trap under the door, Avidexu/ Rakshasa killed in the temple, with the snake swarms, and the huge Reefclaw, Garden Guardians, and when you found the secret entrance to the dungeon.

The dungeon had many symbol traps and mechanical traps. But Mame got you through the most of it. Vimanda aka Melyia Arkona/ Rakshasa killed in the dungeon, Sivit dungeon guardian killed in her room and freed Vencarlo and freed Fiona.


Bahor aka Glorio Arkona/Rakshasa, knew the his Rakshasa were dead and planned a set a trap with the remaining Rakshasa and the The Senshiir, Beatific One. Bahor reset the traps and had everyone appear to look like Neolandus. Avishandu/ Rakshasa, Nudhaali/ Rakshasa dead killed in torturer room, Carnochan/Rakshasa, Vennashti/Rakshasa, Bahor aka Glorio Arkona/Rakshasa,
Senshiir, Beatific One This, combined with Bahor’s demand that the current guest not be subjected to any pain, has angered the beatific one, and she has recently decided to try her hand on some torture that doesn’t leave any obvious marks on the exterior flesh. As the PCs arrive, she’s just finished placing a sobbing Neolandus Kalepopolis into one of the stretching racks, but hasn’t quite begun her sadistic work. You freed Neolandus from her room. With good summons and spells and Ohni made the run into the room and with Gard door out of the

Concluding the adventure.
rescue Neolandus and Vencarlo and then escape from the city. Even if the PCs haven’t made public enemies of themselves and aren’t on Queen Ileosa’s growing list of “problems to solve,” Neolandus certainly is. He can’t stay in Korvosa—both he and Vencarlo
know this. Vencarlo himself wants out of the city as well, if only to get some time to think things over and plan his next
move.
His recommendation to the PCs is the same. Fortunately, Vencarlo has friends in the nearby town of Harse, the same friends to which he sent young Trinia Sabor to stay with at the start of “Seven Days to the Grave.” He suggests that he, Neolandus, and the PCs find the fastest route out of the city, likely by stealing the barge in area D23. a relatively safe way to head up the coast a few miles, as long as the PCs take care to do so under the cover of darkness or magic to avoid being spotted.

Eventually, Vencarlo suggests they make their way inland to Harse, where they can catch their breath and plan their next moves.
During this voyage, Vencarlo and Neolandus ask the PCs about how they came to Old Korvosa, pumping them for information about what’s been happening in the city over the past few days. When they learn about the incident involving Marcus’s failed assassination attempt, their eyes grow large and Vencarlo curses under his breath—this is proof positive that Neolandus’s fears have, in fact, come true. Queen Ileosa has become something more than human—she has become the reincarnation of a draconic
warlord long thought to be dead. And as long as she retains this power, as long as she wears the Crown of Fangs, there
may be only one way to defeat her. Neolandus knows who may know the secret of defeating this evil presence and, perhaps, even saving the queen from her fate.

For countless years before Cheliax came to Varisia, the region known today as Korvosa had been the tribal land of the Shoanti. Although known by few, Neolandus explains that those who dwelt in the shadow of the pyramid that now serves as Castle Korvosa’s foundation believed that a great evil was hidden within those ancient stones. Today, the keepers of this knowledge, if they still live, are hidden among the Shoanti tribes of the Cinderlands. Unfortunately, the keepers of that secret are preparing for war, and Korvosa is their target.

Ileosa’s Plans
As this adventure ends, the PCs are expected to flee from Korvosa—their home city is no longer safe for them, and if they hope to save Korvosa from her new tyrant, they must look for answers in the Cinderlands. Yet some PCs may balk at the thought of abandoning their home, and may even wish to stay in Korvosa to continue the fight against Queen Ileosa there. Unfortunately, this plan is a poor one at best. Over the days to come, Queen Ileosa’s power grows.

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