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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: (Pathfinder) The Curse of the Crimson Throne IC

    Once upstairs, at Atavian's request, Tallox grabs his mask and places it over his face again.

    Atavian replies blankly to Dastan, "yeah, I think they would... I think they are." He wasn't sure just how to take the news. He was no great fan of the king, but he didn't exactly have much love for the queen either. What he did not like was this descent into anarchy. After a few long seconds, he said, "I think we should do... something. Maybe something to help restore order. The city can't abide this chaos," he looked at the ground at his feet. "I don't want to deal with Hellknights. We should talk to the guard. See if we can pitch in."

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Rennard

    Rennard wondered what would Velcarlo and the rest of the Academy would be doing now. The Maestro had been a critic of King Eodred II and his policies, but he would have never wanted for the city to fall into chaos.

    I agree. Let's see how we can help the duelist responds, placing a hand on the pommel of Reve

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Your presence has not escaped notice. You can observe several concerned townsfolk staring at you anxiously from behind closed windows and cracks in doors. More pressing, however, is that the three guards - all helmeted, armoured, and wearing the black and red tabard of their organization - have spotted you.

    They approach, drawing their blades. One of them, a tall, muscular man with dusky skin and green eyes shouts to you. "By order of the Queen, all citizens are to remain indoors until this crisis is dealt with. Explain yourselves immediately or surrender your arms." His eyes are narrowed and suspicious; he seems to doubt that you will do either of those things. The man's fellow guards move up to flank him.

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Aldrin decides their best course of action is being diplomatic with the armed group. "Why, we were only trying to help you in bringing order to the town. If you'd rather not have any assistance, we'd be happy to go back to our homes so you can confront the people who are, you know, actually burning and looting."
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  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Jensi

    "We haven't done anything wrong," Jensi says airily, not really bothering to project his voice over the sounds of mayhem. "We just killed a criminal and rescued his orphans when we broke into his hideout because a ghost told us to - well, we didn't think it was a ghost then, we thought it was a nice old lady - and then we found her head in a box and the Queen's amulet and Rennard's dad's sword and a huge crocodile and deck of cards with someone's soul inside, I think, and some other stuff too." He bites his lip, trying to make sure he hasn't forgotten anything else. "So you can let us go and help people now, right?"

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    The guards stand their ground as Aldrin speaks. "Like we haven't heard that before..." one of them mutters.

    When Jensi starts babbling, however, their expressions change to puzzlement and confusion. "What?" asks the dark-skinned guard, who appears to be the leader. "Look, I don't even pretend to understand most of that, but if you've got the Queen's amulet, go to Castle Korvosa. If you're lying, they'll deal with you, and if you're not, you've just earned yourselves a good bit of coin."

    "Oh, and the name's Verik Soldado, Sergeant of the Watch. If you're dead set on helping out, Citadel Volshyenek's the place to go. In the last riot like this, the Field Marshal had to hire freelancers, and Field Marshal Kroft goes on precedent."
    Last edited by Leviathan; 2011-07-11 at 09:27 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    "Thank you, Captain Soldado. We'll head straight for the Citadel, then. Good luck in your mission." He warmly thanks the Captain, then immediately sets off for the Citadel, firm in the knowledge that he will be able to help the city in its time of need.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Rennard

    The duelist does not need any encouragement to leave the guards and follow the paladin.

    Dastan, I think I know the fastest way to the Citadel. Follow me.

    Rennard quickly glances back to see if the others are joining in. After that, he tries to guide the party through the main streets of Korvosa, hoping that the wide avenues will be the most expeditious to reach their destination

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Citadel Volshyenek is an imposing structuce, its walls seemingly wrought from a single giant piece of rock, with four squat towers standing at each corner. A low portcullis leads into the fortress. It is open, but a squad of four nervous-looking guards stand ready.

    It has been a hard journey to the citadel; you have narrowly dodged several angry, torch-wielding mobs, intent on indiscriminate damage to anything representing the authority of the Queen.

    Now the guards bar your way. "Halt, citizens. State your business."

    As they demand an answer, a platoon of heavily armed soldiers moves at a quick march out of the Citadel, ignoring you and striding purposefully into the chaotic city.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Rennard answers the guard's inquiry

    We are here to see what we can do to prevent further chaos. Sergeant Soldado said that this would be the place to find out where our efforts would be most helpful

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    "Right, go on in then," the guard replies to Rennard. "But we're watching you."\

    The group is led by one of the guards into the Citadel. It is a spartan building, with a simple, large barracks and armoury, as well as a two-storied central structure which seems to be the administrative headquarters. All of this is constructed from grey stone and bustling with activity. A few wounded men are being tended to, and officers are shouting orders.

    The guard leads you into the administrative centre, and up a flight of stairs lit by arrow-slits. When you reach a large door marked with the coat of arms of the Korvosan Guard, your guide stops, knocking sharply on the door.

    "Enter," a sharp female voice calls, and the guard swings the door open.

    The room into which you enter is carpeted in red, with a glossy wooden desk in the centre. Around the periphery are all manner of shelves, piled high with papers, and decorative crossed swords.

    At the central desk sits a woman with dark reddish hair which verges on black. She has a face that is almost triangular, with high cheekbones and gaunt cheeks. Her lips are pursed in concentration, and her brown eyes are cutting. She looks up.

    "Freelancers, I presume. I'll be blunt; I have no reason to hire any of you. You mercenaries pollute the city with violence-for-a-fee, and now you have the gall to come to me for work. You first ruin this city, then ask to mend it."

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Rennard

    Rennard is a bit taken aback by the woman's sharp dismissal. The fencer, who had spent most of his life just training with blades in the predominantly male Academy, had never been the most proficient when it came to approaching women.

    Try to follow the Maestro's example the duelist tells himself, remembering how Vencarlo always seemed to have the right word to say whenever a noblewoman came to visit the Academy

    Milady, the fencer begins as much as I abhor to disagree with you... there has been some... sort of mistake

    Rennard is clearly having a hard time approaching this with tact. After struggling with what to say, the fencer resigns himself, exhales briefly, and then goes back to his usual pragmatic and more spartan speech

    We are not mercenaries. We all found ourselves at the same place when the riots started. We realized that you were undermanned, so we came to offer our services to prevent further victims. I for one do not seek compensation for this. If you want our help, tell us where to go. If you don't, we'll just go and try to help as much as you can without our efforts being coordinated. Let's not waste either of our times
    Last edited by Drothmal; 2011-07-13 at 06:11 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Atavian did not like their reception. He is about to lambast her, but fortunately Rennard intervenes. Afterwards, he speaks calmly, "yes, I am certainly not a mercenary. Right now, this city is in chaos; I just want to help restore order. We came here to coordinate with you. Frankly, either direct me on how best to help or lock me up right now, because I can't sit idly indoors while my city burns. If you just tell me to go home, I won't, and it would surely only be a matter of time before one of your over-stressed guards attacks me, and I have to defend myself. Then, I'll either wind up dead or locked up anyway. If you want to pay me a fair wage for services, great. If not, I understand."

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    The duelist gives a small nod to the halfling, trying to convey his appreciation for the supporting words. Rennard was relieved to find another pragmatically mind in Atavian, for he had worried that payment for helping could cause an even split of the group (after all, he was counting on the paladin and the young one to offer their help without charge either, but that would have been only three out of the six companions)
    Last edited by Drothmal; 2011-07-13 at 06:35 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Jensi

    Jensi flinches visibly as the woman's verbal assault hits him. His lower lip quivers for a moment. "We're not mercenaries," he says, more than a little petulantly, upset at being mislabeled so egregiously. "We've never done anything at all like mercenaries. We just killed a famous criminal to help this old lady named Zellara! Would a mercenary do that?" His question is not entirely rhetorical, and it is heard in his voice. Jensi really has no idea what a mercenary would do, having truthfully had very little contact with them.

    "Besides, we really, really want to help. We like helping. Don't we," he says, smiling innocently at his companions, even Aldrin, who's former advocacy for abandoning orphans to their fates seems forgotten.

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    The woman frowns. "I very much doubt you've killed a 'famous criminal,' boy. Gutter thugs don't count. But..." She looks you all over appraisingly.

    She stands, clasping her hands behind her back, and revealing that she is clad in a fine suit of deep red armour. "Very well. Since you seem genuinely interested in aiding us, there can be little harm in allowing you to do so. Truth be told, these riots caught us unawares, and we need all the people we can get. I know you'll work for free, but I reward talent: if you do well, I'll see to it that you're paid."

    She snaps again, however. "But be aware: you are not members of the Korvosan Guard. You are freelancers. Period. You have no powers of arrest. You have no rank with respect to other guards. Understood?" He tone makes it perfectly clear that she expects you to understand.

    "I am Cressida Kroft, Field Marshal of the Korvosan Guard," she says as she paces up and down, as though inspecting her troops, her face deep in thought. "If you're truly interested in helping this city, I have a task for you. It's potentially far more dangerous than quelling rioters, but it has a... sensitive nature that precludes the involvement of my guards directly." She fixes the party with a stern look. "Are you up for it?"

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Marshal, says the fencer, feeling much more comfortable addressing Lady Kroft by rank, as long as this task does not have questionable morals and it helps the city of Korvosa, you can count of my blade. The duelist liked the Field Marshal, for she was direct and concise, and he trusted that the task would be righteous. But he would not commit himself without more information

    What would you have us do?

    The fencer instinctively caresses the tip of the pommel of his rapier. He was still marveled that even after ten years since he had last seen the sword, it's weight felt so familiar and comforting on his side

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    "Sure. I'm up for the sensitive, secret, and covert. A city in anarchy is no city for me, and I think you would know better than any of us what would help." Aldrin is quite honest with his words, but is being quite a bit more flattering than is usual for him. In truth, he wants to get in the Marshal's good graces, since hopefully she hassome authority over his imprisoned parents. Just thinking about them sends him waves of emotion that are difficult to decipher. It used to be rage, but now what is there with Gaedren dead?

    "I mean, understood, ma'am!"
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    Dastan smiles at the Marshal. "Thank you for allowing us to help. I will do what I can to help return the city to order, but I must agree with my associate. We will not be your spies or assassins today. If what you ask is honourable, though, I can assure you that I will stop at nothing to achieve it. Please, tell us what you would have us do." His words are frank and honest, and he doesn't seem particularly worried at the prospect of insulting such an august figure in her own fortress.
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    Atavian looks quizzically at Dastan for a moment, what in the Nine Hells does that guy find dishonorable about spying? Then he adds, "I understand, Marshal Kroft. Just explain what you need."

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    The Field Marshal nods. "Very well. The chaos is still fresh, but already my guards are under immense pressure. Some of those less cool under fire have deserted. They have holed up in a butcher's shop - "All the World's Meat" - and are offering free cuts to beggars so that I can't move against them without drawing the ire of the poor. They do not need to be killed, necessarily, or even arrested. But someone needs to ascertain their motives. If they truly believe they are acting to protect Korvosa, they may be brought back into line."

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    Atavian looks again at Dastan, wondering if this 'spy' mission will offend his prudish sensibilities, before he turns his attention back to Cressida. "I understand and accept this task. Just to be absolutely clear, as I certainly do not want to act in a manner contrary to your wishes, under what conditions... or motives perhaps... should we react hostilely and attempt to kill or capture them?" Atavian asks in earnest.

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Field Marshal Kroft gives Atavian a harsh look, but answers. "If they attack you on sight, fight back. If they are completely unwilling to be reasoned with, they will eventually become a threat to innocents. If you have reason to suspect they are doing anything illegal - besides deserting - they must face punishment. Those are your conditions, halfling."

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    Dastan thinks about the mission for a moment, then replies, "Yes, I believe we can assist you in this matter. Rogue elements of the guards could cause a lot of damage if left unchecked... We'll investigate the matter for you." He looks to each of his companions. "Well, I will, at least. I suppose I should not speak for the others. We have spent some time fighting already, and I would fault none of you for being unwilling to take this mission on. I don't suppose you know how many Guardsmen have joined this group, do you?"
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  25. - Top - End - #205
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    Kroft looks Dastan over more favourably now that he has agreed. "It's difficult to say. Numerous units haven't reported back since the riots started. But we do know that the squad of Sergeant Grau Vankaskerkin deserted en masse. So that will be at least six, and likely more."

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    Rennard was a little conflicted about this assignment:

    He was not particularly fond of rogue guardsmen, for there was no honor in deserting your duty, even more so in a crisis. On the other hand, he knew that the King's policies had driven the less fortunate Korvosans into extreme poverty, so stopping the distribution of food to starving people did not place highest in the duelist's priorities.

    I guess the first thing to do is to ascertain if these actions are due to caring for this city or if they are just demagogy to use those less fortunate as human shields The fencer thinks to himself. If it is the former, then further evaluation will be needed. If it is the latter, their villainy will be punished

    "I am with you, Dastan" replies Rennard to the paladin. Turning to Marshall Kroft, he adds in the same pragmatic tone he had used before (he would have to ask the Maestro how he managed the florid speech, but at least for now, the fencer was glad the Marshall seemed to also be more comfortable with a more direct style) "Unless there is any insight you can provide about Sergeant Vankaskerkin and his group, we should be on our way. It is best to assess the situation before it goes out of control"

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    Basically, here I'm wondering about equipment and fighting styles of the squad. It's likely that Kroft doesn't know that much about a random squad, but if we can find out anything about them (like how many have ranged weapons) it'd be great. Just thought it'd make things go slower if I asked such a specific question

    Also, I'm assuming that those of us that are from Korvosa know where this butcher is. If it is not common knowledge, Rennard will ask for exact location
    Last edited by Drothmal; 2011-07-15 at 05:39 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Kroft nods. "We don't take training our guards lightly, so I should hope they won't be pushovers." She says this with almost a hint of pride. "Assuming they haven't changed their gear or tactics, they'll be well armed - swords, shields, and crossbows - and will work together. Of course, they're deserters, so you can't assume that."

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    Jensi

    "I'm ready," Jensi says eagerly. "Let's go. I'm sure we'll be able to do it. Lets just try not to hurt anybody if we don't have to, okay?"

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    The party moves out. The streets of the city erupt with conflict all around you: houses are burning, and guards and rioters clash. You even see an armoured troop of Hellknights charging down a side-street.

    After an hour of this, you spot All the World's Meat. It is a large building concealed behind a small, homely shop-front, complete with a reddish awning, a glass window behind which several old flanks of meat are displayed, and a wooden door. Behind this is a large square building, constructed from bricks and mortar, which seems to connect with the entrance.

    Inside the storefront, through the glass window, you can see several men standing. They wear chain armour under coats of varying descriptions - reds, browns, greys, blues - and do not appear to have detected you.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Rennard turn to his companions, indicating that they should keep moving to a safer location where they could discuss their next steps.

    Once out of sight from the guards, he summarizes the situation before proposing his plan

    It'd seem that the main entrance is blocked, and I did not see any other paths into the building. If we were to approach all at the same time, we would raise suspicions...

    The fencer pauses for a second. He does not like the plan he has come up with, but no matter how many times he analyzes the options, this is idea with the best chance of success

    I think our best option is for two or three of us to try to approach the guards disguised as if we were looking for food. In doing so, we could maybe find out more about their numbers and their intentions

    The fencer looks at his companions, making eye contact with the young oracle, the sorcerer and the summoner

    I think that Jensi, Atavian and Aldrin have the greatest chances of success to do this. Jensi and Aldrin are the youngest of our group, and Atavian could pass off as a human child. All of you rely the least on weapons, so there would be no danger if the guards searched you

    The duelist's keen eyes finally stop on Jensi, and Rennard adds in a gentler tone than usual

    You would be exposing yourselves to danger. We would be ready to charg in to your rescue if the need arises, but your safety is not assured. You do not have to do this: It is your choice, and I will not think any less of any of you if you do not want to go

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