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    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.

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    Dastan Grayson
    Dastan reads his note carefully, a bemused expression on his face at the unexpected and unlooked-for message and its' dramatic presentation. After he finishes, he tucks the note in one of his pockets then frowns. I haven't the slightest idea where this... Lancet street is. He looks around for a moment, hoping that it might be one of the streets adjacent to the Square, but no such luck befalls him. Well, there's nothing for it then. I'll simply have to pray that one of these folk knows more than I. The Paladin looks around again, scanning the crowd for somebody a little less embroiled in the festivities than most, and then approaches them and asks in his resonant, almost musical speech, "Excuse me, would you happen to know where Lancet Street is?"

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    Attempting a Diplomacy check, either to help induce this person to help me or as a Gather Information check, whichever is more relevent as I try to figure out where I'm going.
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    Aldrin stares at the card for a whole minute, trying to grasp what just happened. For weeks he had been looking for an opportunity to oppose Gaedren, and now one just flies his way? It seems suspicious to say the least, but Aldrin knows he has to take the chance.

    "Are you a trap or boon?" he softly whispers to the tattered card. The hag remains silent. Aldrin gets to his feet, and slips the card into a fold in his clothes.

    The young sorcerer blends into the moving crowd, and heads off toward Lancet Street. An excited gleam is present in his eyes, as he thinks of everything he'll do to Gaedren once they meet again.
    Last edited by Blisstake; 2011-06-28 at 10:02 PM.
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    Dastan

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    A bearded merchant replies, raising his bushy eyebrows at the sight of you. "Lancet? What's someone like you want with a quiet place like that?" He shakes his head. Foreigners. "No matter... Head towards North Point, and when you get there, keep heading towards the water. Turn left when you come to the pair of statues." He turns away from you, eager to get back to the festival, giving you a hurried "Abadar's blessings" by way of goodbye.

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    Jensi

    Jensi stares at the Harrow card clutched in his hard, his eyes wide with surprise. He gently wipes the dirt off it to get a better look. It's very pretty, he thinks to himself. Except for that hand. The hand, sinking into the darkness of the bog, frightened the youth more than a little.

    A more suspicious soul might have suspected a trap - after all, how often did one receive Harrow cards with invitations to secret meetings? Jensi, however, tucked the card into his belt and looked up and down the street. He was sure he had been to Lancet street before, but now he couldn't remember. He makes his way through the crowd with numerous apologies. "I'm sorry, but I need to get through, excuse me, sorry."

    Spotting a guard - perhaps the one who had earlier shouted for quiet, Jensi wasn't sure - he hurried over.

    "Is it alright if I ask you a question?" he asks the guard. "I just found this magic card, which must be just for me since it mentions Gaedren Lamm, and it says to go to Lancet street," the youth explains brightly, oblivious to the look on the guard's face. "But I don't remember where Lancet street is."

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    Jensi

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    "Varisians..." the guard sighs, arms folded unsympathetically across his chest. "Look, boy, have the decency not to get dead drunk before noon. But if it'll get you out of my face, Lancet is in North Point." He extends and arm, pointing a gloved hand to indicate your route. "Now shove off. And don't go picking any pockets on your way there; we know you lot."

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    Dastan Grayson:
    The Paladin breathes a sigh of relief at the merchant's answer, then speaks politely to the man's vanishing back. "Thank you, sir. May the blessings of the Lord of Commerce be upon you as well." He would prefer to invoke Iomedae's name, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valour and Dastan has no intention of disrupting the festival by calling upon the lesser-known goddess. He steps to the edge of the square, finding a slightly less crowded area of the street, then checks his equipment, tightening the straps of his heavy armour and making sure that his blade is tight in its sheath and his mace is securely fastened by its belt loop, then when content that he is prepared sets a brisk pace towards the location stipulated by the sender of the mysterious card. It would not do to be late to such an important meeting, after all.
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    Jensi

    "I'm not drunk," Jensi protests, looking stricken. "I'm telling you the truth, see, here's the card that I found." He shows it to the guard with a wounded expression before turning to leave. Catching himself, Jensi turns back to the guard.

    "Um, thank you, for your help."

    It's a long walk, and Jensi knows that even with the directions he's still liable to get lost. Indeed, it seems like a minor miracle when the youth arrives on time at Lancet street. But then, with Jensi, maybe it is.
    Last edited by RocketMan; 2011-06-28 at 11:24 PM.

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    Though happy to be free from the din of the festival, Atavian found in the lecture the most boring adversary his mind had confronted since his first semester of enchantments. It was not long until the beast sapped all of young Atavian's ability to stay conscious, and he drifted off to sleep. The past weeks had been rough on him. Being so adjusted to a life privilege, he was not adjusting well to the life of a transient - even more than one might expect from one in his situation. Life in the streets was very rough for an extremely meek, over-educated, under-motivated halfling. He ached all over from bruises that still hadn't healed in over a week. He was a little undernourished from lack of quality food. He craved a warm meal and a comfortable bed. At least his dreaming was taking him there...

    Atavian awakes with a start the instant something strikes his forehead. For a moment, he sees the viper and the blades dripping with poison, before his waking mind can sort through the details his baser parts panic. He emits a shriek and jumps back in his chair before the card drops from his view reminding him where he really is. In spite of his adrenaline flowing, he makes a conscious effort to calm down. He chides himself, Gods, Atavian. You're too high strung... relax.

    Pulling the card from his feet, he mutters almost inaudibly, "a harrow card?" He huffs a laugh at the image that gave him such a fright. He looks around him - the lecture drones on - it seems he was not the only one sleeping. He stares blankly at the drool being sponged into the beard of the snoring dwarf a few seats from him. A few seconds of watching the grotesque display sends his attention back to the card.

    His thoughts try to make sense of it, snakebite? Where did this even come from? He looks about to see no one. The young halfling finally flips the card over - the message scrawled there spikes his adrenaline once again. "Lamm!" he practically shouts as he jumps from his seat. The man ruined his life in so many ways. With a realistic opportunity for revenge laid before him, all thoughts of a warm meal and a comfortable bed leave his mind. He hustles out of the University - all potential concerns about the meeting are utterly alien to him. The anger clouding his mind screams, convince that monster Tallox to rip that old bastard's limbs off! The halfling hurries as fast as his little legs will carry him to Lancet Street.

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    Kalinda Merryn
    Snatching the card from the air, her eyes go wide when she reads the magical script. Having no gift with The Art herself, The Wasp can't help but be in awe of even the most mundane and useful displays of it. Lancel Street? Of course she knew where that was! She and the gang broke into that lady's home that one summer evening...

    With no time to reflect on the past, Kalinda takes off at a run, heading right for the card's destination. Trap or no, Kalinda wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. If this led her closer to putting a bullet into Gaedren's head then she had no time to waste.
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    Judging by the sun's position in the sky, it is nearing noon when the heroes-to-be arrive, finding Lancet to be thoroughly deserted.

    The cobbled street is a short one, stopping in a sudden dead-end 500 feet from where it begins. It is lined by small thatched, houses, one story high, with shingled roofs and a solid look about them.

    At the end of the street, a tree towers: an ancient oak with branches that splay out, casting a long shadow over an out of place dwelling, that sits squatly at the very end of Lancet Street.

    The strange house is smaller than the others, and appears to be round, with a conical roof, out of which a chimney can be seen. The few windows are dark and grotty, but the house's single door is open, as though it has been waiting for someone to arrive.

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    Alright, the order that you post in will be the order you arrive, to keep things simple. Drothmal, when you post, you can catch up and arrive a bit late.
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-29 at 09:05 AM.

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    Jensi

    By the time Jensi arrives at Lancet street he's cheered himself up again. He hums one of the songs from the festivities to himself as he walks. He almost misses the street, since he's not really paying attention to where he's going, but luckily he spots the enormous oak and decides to investigate. Reaching the end of the street he looks up at it, cocking his head to the side. Wondering idly how long it must've taken to reach its prodigious height, the youth turns towards the odd house.

    He smiles. He likes the look of it. Like a cottage from the wilderness in the middle of the city, Jensi decides. Maybe it is, maybe it's older than the city. He knows it's silly, but he likes the idea.

    Walking up to the door, Jensi is only slightly surprised to find the door open. Poking his head through, the youth calls out in an excited, sing-song voice.

    "Hello? Anybody home?" Without waiting for an answer, Jensi enters.

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    Rennard reads the card and tries to examine the magic traces on it. It did not posses the same magical traces as his spell book, so it could not have been Her.
    Without hurry, the fencer picks up the last blade and starts sharpening thoroughly. In fact, he'll resharpen all blades before he goes. He knew well that rushing unprepared was only inviting disaster.

    After finishing with the grindstone and preparing his equipment, Rennard leaves a note for the Maestro. It is short and concise, written with sharp yet elegant handwriting

    I will go searching for what is mine. If I do not return, I was not worthy of the Balmont name. I will always be in your debt

    With that, he leaves for Lancel street, avoiding the routes most frequented by other Academy students. His business could not be traced to the Maestro. Between the preparations and the roundabout route, Rennard will arrive a few minutes after noon.

    Upon seeing the mysterious house, Rennard mutters to himself Father, give me strength

    And with that the young fencer will enter the house, still carrying his blades with him, but all of them still secured in their scabbards
    Last edited by Drothmal; 2011-06-29 at 10:05 AM.

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    Kalinda
    The Wasp reaches Lancel Street and stops running. Her breathing comes heavy as she walks down the street cautiously, eying the quiet lane. Seeing that the door to the described building is open (and presuming that the other two have gone inside) she too enters, resisting the urge to draw her guns as she walks in.
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    As Aldrin slips into the abandoned street, he takes a quick look at his surroundings. All he sees that's out of the ordinary is a small house, with it's door opening, beckoning him to come inside.

    I don't like this at all.

    Aldrin slowsly makes his way over to the door, reaching into his bag for a familiar edge. He grips the dagger tightly in his hand, and takes a deep breath. After a brief pause, he continues forward, and makes his way through the threshhold.
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    Atavian arrives to lancet, his body exhausted from running. A glance at the sun makes him think he's a little early. He finds the old oak tree, the house under it, the door open - waiting for his entrance. Yet, he stops. He sits down behind a barrel, hiding himself and thinks. The possibility that this is a trap finally reaches him. Lamm would know he got out of jail. Lamm might know that he's been looking for him - that his monster killed two of his men. He debates summoning Tallox.

    He sits a long while pondering the risks. Tallox might choke me again. He might cause me trouble if this isn't an ambush. I don't really want him here. He sees a man approach the doorway, exhibit caution, then enter. He decides that mysteriously flicking a harrow card at him wouldn't have been Lamm's style - this meeting is legit. Still, Atavian takes a moment to look for an escape route. Something small he could squeeze through that Lamm's men couldn't. Then, he finally enters the door.

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    Upon entering the house, you find yourself in a small, circular, one-room house, cluttered with all manner of objects. Against the far wall is a bed, the red blankets tidy. A fireplace is to the left of the door, but is unlit - not surprising on a day like this.

    In the centre of the floor sits a dark, circular table, its legs carved with talon designs. Upon this sits a tablecloth that looks as though it may once have been some fine fabric, but now is practically a quilt of patches. It has been set with six pewter plates and glassware that appears to have been cracked and repaired at least once. A woven bowl filled with bread, and a pitcher completes the ensemble.

    The house is lit by only the outside light, which shines dimly through the dirty windows. The entire house has a light coating of dust, save for the central table.

    Most notable, however, is the fact that you are not alone. As the Harrow card promised, others are here.

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    Just to be clear, the "others" are you guys. The room is quite devoid of people besides you. Now would be a good time to introduce your characters to each other.
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-29 at 05:11 PM.

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    Dastan Grayson:
    Unsurprisingly, the heavily-equipped and foreign Paladin is the last of the group to arrive. After finally reaching Lancet street he pulls the mysterious Harrow card from his pouch and checks the writing on the back, making sure he's in the right place, then looks around and finds the odd-looking house under the huge oak tree. Whispering a simple prayer of thanks to Abadar for his follower's able guidance, he walks confidently through the open door of the cottage, trusting that the meeting is legitimate, and that even if it is not he'll be ahead of where he was in his quest to bring Lamm to justice.

    Upon entering the cramped room, Dastan blinks quickly to adjust his vision to the low light, then looks around at the five others already arrived and the six plates set on the table, quickly realizing that he is the last of the expected guests. He presses his right fist to his chest and bows his head slightly as a respectful greeting. "Greetings. I appologise if I have kept you all waiting; it was not easy to find this place. I am Dastan, a simple warrior in the service of Iomedae. It is my understanding that you wish to bring an end to the Evil of Gaedren Lamm?" The Paladin's resonant voice is extremely polite, but has a hard edge when he speaks of Lamm.
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    Jensi

    "That's alright," Jensi replies brightly to Dastan. "I don't mind waiting. Did you get a card too?" The youth sits down at the table and glances around the room, his eyes catching on the jumble of objects.

    "This house is so interesting," he remarks, staring intently around. "What is this place?"

    "My name's Jensi, by the way," he adds absent-mindedly as he plays with one of the mysterious house's objects. "I..." He struggles for a moment to define himself. He didn't feel like he served his goddess, like Dastan did. "I follow Shelyn." I still didn't seem quite right, but it would have to do.

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    Kalinda
    The young gunslinger surveys those gathered as she leans against the doorway, one foot pressed against the frame. She doesn't actually introduce herself, just asks an impatient question.

    "Do we know where he is? I didn't run all the way over here just to make friends..."
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    Atavian was too dumbfounded to speak. He walked into a room containing four humans. Every single one was at least twice his height, most of them much more than that. Even the woman towered over him. His eyes flitted about, he briefly considered that he might not have been seen, but their eyes were on him. I should have brought Tallox.

    Wide-eyed, he says nothing for several moments, then an enormous human barges into the room - with the armor and gear included, the man might be ten times his weight. The man speaks and pulls the attention of the room to him. Once the paladin clearly sides himself in opposition of Lamm, the halfling creeps over to his side of the room.

    The humans at the Acadamae were strange - he knew that, but these humans seemed even stranger. He greeted them in their fashion. "I am Atavian. I follow Abadar," he looks around for anything that will serve him as furniture. He always hated using human-sized things.

    "Yes, I got a card, I presume none of you wrote the message?" When no one contests this statement, he adds, "then I suppose we await our host who claims to know Lamm's whereabouts."

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    Aldrin blink at Daston's greeting, and then replies, in a somewhat rude tone, " 'The Evil of Gaedren Lamm?' What are you, a paladin or something?" He tries to brush off some of the dirt that has accumulated on his old clothes, and then continues, "If I knew there would be so many people, I would have worn something nicer. Oh, but we're giving out our names are we? I am Aldrin. I follow no one."

    The young mage puts away his dagger, and relaxes a bit. If this were an ambush, he would already be dead. He flashes a smile to Kalinda and adds, "Patience is a virtue, you know."
    Last edited by Blisstake; 2011-06-29 at 06:50 PM.
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    The man in leathers has not said a word yet. He just stands in a corner and scans the others with calculating eyes, trying to asses the strengths and weaknesses of each. His posture is relaxed, yet he conveys the feeling that seeing this as him not being on guard would be a mistake

    After Aldrin's response to Kalinda, the fencer finally speaks.

    I agree with the young lady. This is not a social call, so I'd like to meet whoever contacted us as soon as possible.

    Looking at Aldrin, he adds in a tone that attempts to be friendlier (with marginal success, going from severe to merely formal)

    However, we all seem to be gather with a common purpose, so introductions are also in order: My name is Rennard Balmont, son of Daland Balmont. And yes, I intend to bring Gaedren's evil to an end

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    Mere seconds after Rennard finishes speaking, a shadow crosses the doorway, and the silhouette of a rail-thin woman can be seen, leaning on a cane. She steps over the threshold, and you get a better look at her.

    She is elderly, and it shows: her face is gaunt and criss-crossed with wrinkles, and her right eye is clouded with cataracts. About her body is draped a shawl that might once, long ago, have been colourful, but now has taken on a uniform, greyish colour. Her white hair is drawn back into a bun, but strands have escaped their confinement, and fall about her face in all directions.

    She takes you in for a long moment, then speaks. "And now you have met me, Rennard Balmont." The words have a surprising lightness to them, given her age.

    "Now you have all met me, for you are all here... Good, good. My cards have called you here... They are you as you are," she says, her voice taking on a strange certainty. "The Tyrant, the Mute Hag, the Crows, the Snakebite, the Cyclone, the Demon's Lantern."

    She gives you a toothless smile. "But I am rude to my guests: sit, sit! My humble food is yours." Without even looking to see if you sit, she continues.

    "Gaedren Lamm sent you those cards, not I." Her good eye shines with an almost mischievous glint. "Well, I did the sending, but the images upon the cards are the fates to which Gaedren Lamm has condemned you, so he is the sender. In a way."

    She pauses for a moment, then seems to recall the point of all this. "Since you are eager to be rid of his evil, and I wish him nothing but death, I called you here. I may seem an old bat, but I had my reasons: I know where Gaedren Lamm dwells. 'Tis an old fishery, along the docks of Old Korvosa. He is crafty, and never in the same place for long. But Zellara - that's my name," she adds, as an afterthought, "is also crafty. He will be there, tonight. This is your chance for vengeance."
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-29 at 09:06 PM.

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    Jensi

    Jensi puts down what he was toying with quickly as Zellara enters, as if afraid that he'll be told off. He listens to the old woman with his head tilted to one side and a confused expression playing across his face. His expression turns to one of eagerness as she begins to talk about the cards. Raised by Varisians, Jensi had always loved the stories the Elder had crafted with the Harrow deck.

    Jensi doesn't seem troubled at all by the elements of Zellara's story that would strike most right away: how she knew where Gaedren Lamm was, how she had sent the cards, how she knew about these six victims. His expression is sad, however, and his voice full of sympathy as he speaks

    "Zellara, what did Gaedren do to you?" he asks, the bluntness of the question dampened by the innocence with which it is posed, as if the youth cannot comprehend why someone might want to keep such a thing private.
    Last edited by RocketMan; 2011-06-29 at 10:43 PM.

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    Mute hag, huh? At least this hag speaks.

    Aldrin frowns in response to Jensi's question. "I think," he interrupts, "a better question would be how do you know us, how did you find us, and how do you know what Gaedren is up to? Well, I suppose those are three questions, but I'm quite curious what your answers are."

    He would have asked the fourth question "And how do we know we can trust you?" but the answer to that always ends the same.

    We can't.
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    Atavian is slow on the draw to question, but most of what he wants to know immediately is already being asked. "My knowledge of divinations are academic, only," Atavian bluffed, he failed his course in divinations - really he didn't understand them much at all, "what does 'the snakebite' mean?"

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    Zellara remains expressionless as the questions start to flow. "Such curiosity," she crows. "But we are all curious, are we not?" She lets out a quick, high-pitched laugh. "Or is it suspicion... No matter, Zellara will answer."

    "How do I know of you, how have I found you, and how do I know of Gaedren, you ask... The answers are as one: I listen to the whispers of the city," she states cryptically. "Magic also helps - usually does - and I know some of that." She pauses, her thin lips curving into a smile. "As do my cards. But then, the magic is in those as well." She laughs again.

    "And, what is more, you ask of Zellara why she seeks Gaedren's death... My son was only a boy, but no one could do anything for him once Gaedren took him." Her good eye blinks rapidly, battling back moisture. "The guard found his body in the street a month later, fifty years ago. Then, he was just a petty criminal. Now he is much worse."

    As Atavian asks his question, she turns to face him. "Ah, the Snakebite... It represents a mind poisoned against the recipient, or the assassin's blade. I sense your life has been tainted by these things..."
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-30 at 06:36 AM.

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    Rennard watches Zellara carefully, concentrating in her demeanor and her gestures, as the others question her and she tells her story.

    There is a part of Rennard that feels empathy towards the woman and her loss. But as soon as those feeling start to stir, his disciplined mind puts and end to them

    The only way to avoid disaster is to think with your head, not with your heart
    the fencer tells himself Think of it as another bout. Even if this is a feint, you have to try to parry to force the attack

    You said you know where Gaedren will be. Do you know if he'll be alone? Seeing that you called so many of us, I'm assuming this will not be an easy task...
    Last edited by Drothmal; 2011-06-30 at 12:42 AM.

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    When Rennard asks his question, Zellara lets out a third laugh, this one jarringly boisterous, coming from the strange, wizened woman.

    "But when in life is anything ever easy? I called you six because I sensed in your past the most... spirit. Well, besides Zellara... that one has more spirit than any of you would ever guess... But, as I've found, not so successful at the killing of criminals... Hopefully you're better... But of course you will be: look at all your weapons!" She breaks down into another laugh.

    When she finally gets her breath back, she picks up where she left off. "Alone? Oh no, he won't be alone. There are orphans... there are thugs..." She pauses. "There's an old dog. Not Gaedren - four legged dog, this one."

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    She seems completely honest. Batty, but honest.


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    Despite her craziness, she genuinely wants Gaedren to die.
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-06-30 at 06:33 AM.

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