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    Default (Pathfinder) The Curse of the Crimson Throne IC

    The Curse of the Crimson Throne
    Part 1: The Edge of Anarchy

    14 Erastus, 4708: Korvosa, Varisia



    A gentle breeze blows over the city of Korvosa, momentarily relieving the beat of the hot sun. Below, from the carefully maintained streets of the Heights to the shanties of Old Korvosa, people are out in great numbers. Today is the Founding Festival, celebrating the creation of the city, and brightly coloured tents, banners, and pennants are being erected by crowds of eager citizens. Patriotic songs ring out in the clear morning as merchants hawk their wares and all the city’s inns haul out their best spirits by the cask. The day is bright and cheerful, and festivity is in the air.

    But while the citizens celebrate, they do not know that, on this day, Korvosa will be forever changed.

    Aldrin Cress
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    For the beggars of Korvosa, the Founding Festival is a time to rejoice - this you have learned in your time on the streets. The good folk of the city, often hesitant to gift their coin to an imposing, red-eyed figure, are as generous as they are celebratory. Coppers, silvers, and even a few gold coins clink on the ground at your feet. You gather them up as your benefactors move on.

    A gust of wind blows in, rustling the banners that hang around you, and blowing off a few hats. Someone mutters about a coming storm, but there is not hint of rain in the air. Another spits. “Eodred passing wind, I reckon.” A few men chortle in agreement, and the words “stirge king” are audible.

    After a gust of wind, your gaze catches on something more curious than a coin lying on the ground at your feet. Picking it up, you can see that it is a battered Harrow card, the intricate designs on its back faded and its edges battered. You turn it over. The card’s face shows the stylized picture of an incredibly ugly woman, her skin a purplish tint. Disturbingly, she has only empty sockets where eyes would normally reside. Instead, her mouth of yellowed, sharp teeth yawns widely; in its depth, an eye stares out at you. In flowery writing at the bottom is written: “The Mute Hag.”

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street, at noon. My house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will soon face his fate.”


    Atavian Goodbarrel
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    For a small, weak halfling, the Founding Festival is a dangerous place. Barrels of ale practically careen through the streets, and humans twice your height stomp about menacingly, to say nothing of the numerous horses. Even the children come precipitiously close to crashing into you as they bolt about, yelling and playing.

    You seek refuge in the relatively safe confines of the University of Korvosa, where free (and nonetheless sparsely attended) lectures on the history of Korvosa are being held. The droning of the elderly lecturer is practically muted by the surrounding sounds of festivity, and you find yourself fidgeting idly. A sudden gust of wind sends something whirling towards you; it is stopped by your forehead, landing squarely against your strange, grey marking. What appears to be a card of some sort slips down your forehead, and a moment later you are confronted by the fearsome likeness of a fanged serpent, startlingly colourful, its eyes bright red. The creature is ringed by poisoned daggers. As it slides past you down your face, you read the words “The Snakebite” written in a flowery hand. It falls onto the ground at your feet, quite clearly a Harrow card.

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street, at noon. My house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will soon face his fate.”


    Dastan Grayson
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    The people of Korvosa are out in force to celebrate the city’s founding, and, unsurprisingly, your celestial visage elicits stares as you press through the crowd. “Did that man come from the Academae, mummy? Did the mages make him, mummy,” a child asks in the crowd.

    On most mornings, you would pray, though there is no temple of Iomedae here. Occasionally you make the long journey from your Uncle Stephan’s house in Old Korvosa to the altar of your goddess placed in the temple of Sarenrae, but today it is too crowded and too lively to attempt. You turn your head, searching for some quiet space, but there are none. Thus you bring your hand to the symbol of Iomedae worn around your neck, resolving to say a short prayer here. As you do, a gust of wind rushes in. Your bronze hair blows about, and, when the wind ceases, you notice that a battered Harrow card is wedged between your holy symbol and the armour beneath.

    Extracting it, you see the image of four men in rough dress - rogues, bandits, mercenaries - gathered around a circular table, laden with gold. Each of the men wears a disconcerting mask, black and feathered, with a long beak stretching out. A flowery caption underneath reads: “The Crows.”

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street, at noon. My house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will soon face his fate.”


    Jensi Jiri
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    It is a wonderful day to be a Korvosan: the mood is celebratory and the people friendly, even to a Varisian. In Eodred Square, a crowd, constituted from every class, race, and creed, dances merrily, boistrous songs rising in the air as dockworkers start their drinking early. You eagerly join in their dancing. Your Varisian upbringing serves you well as you twirl about,the crowd clapping and dancing alongside you.

    A guard halfheartedly shouts for you all to quiet down, as the festival-proper hasn’t yet begun. This is greeted by raucous laughter. The guard shrugs and moves on. Then, where he had been standing, you see something: flowers growing between cracks in the cobblestones. They are yellow, splashed with darker tones, and you hurry over to them, singing all the while.

    Bending down over them, you breathe in their lovely smell, which is promptly carried away by a gust of wind. Your trinkets and jewellery jangle, and when you look down at the flowers once the wind has ceased, you notice a battered Harrow card caught between them. It has upon its face the image of a blue-white ball of light, floating idly over a clenched human hand, which is sinking into a bog. Behind, all as black. In a flowery hand is written: “The Demon’s Lantern.”

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street, at noon. My house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will soon face his fate.”


    Rennard Balmont
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    Maestro Vencarlo has insisted that all his students enjoy the day, and most need little coaxing. A few - lucky or unlucky, depending on your point of view - stay at the Academy. Outside its gates, you will duel, and already a sizeable crowd has gathered to watch the coming spectacle. You are not one of these students, but it is still early, and not all the free students have yet left. All around you, your fellows can be heard blithely bragging, laughing, and bantering.

    There are always troublemakers today, you have learned, and the guards can never stop them all. Prudently, then, you lay your blades out on a low wooden table, one by one drawing them against a grindstone. A gust of wind blows in, infiltrating the building through the large, open windows. It ruffles your clothes and buffets your hair. When it has died down, you pick up your last rapier to sharpen. A battered Harrow card has lodged against its hilt and handguard. Looking down at it, you see the stylized image of a sphere, perfectly round, misty and blue. Into it an enormous dragon has set its claws, wrapping itself around the sphere fully. Under the beast’s assault, the sphere bleeds. In a flowery hand underneath is written: “The Tyrant.”

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street, at noon. My house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will soon face his fate.”


    Kalinda “The Wasp” Merryn
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    Surprisingly, the taverns are amongst the quieter places in Korvosa today. With everyone out on the streets, only a few diehard gamblers are left. Well, not only gamblers: you and a few other mercenaries are present, awaiting a contact.

    Idly, you draw out one of your pistols, polishing the weapon with an already dirty rag, then taking the mug of ale by your side to your lips. You look up, just in time to see a pock-marked fellow mercenary sit at your table with a thud. He grimaces. “There ain’t no bleedin’ contact, only some Chel who thinks he’s funny.” As quickly as he has come, the man departs, cursing all the while.

    Clenching and unclenching your hand, you rise from the table, taking a last, long drink, and holstering your weapon. There is nothing more for you here, either.

    At the door, you are hit by a gust of wind, your long hair flowing outwards. Something flies towards you, carried by the wind, and, with your quick reflexes, you snatch it out of the air. Inspection reveals it to be a worn old Harrow card. On its face is the image of a city sprawling across a vast land to the horizon. But the sky is dark, and a massive tornado rips across it, carrying houses, people, animals, and trees away with it, so large that these things are little more than specks. Below is written: “The Cyclone.”

    You blink, and, when you look back at the card, a silvery script is crawling across it. It reads: “I know what Gaedren Lamm has done to you. I too have been wronged. Where he dwells is known to me, yet I cannot strike him. Find me on Lancet Street; my house lies under the old oak tree. Others like you will be there. Gaedren will face his fate soon.”


    The clocks strike eleven, bells tolling. You have an hour, and Lancet Street is far away. Gaedren Lamm awaits...
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-28 at 09:34 PM.