Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Crimson Throne D&D: Welcome To The Guard

[SPOILER: Members of my RPOL "Pathfinder: Journeys of Golarion" game should not read this post as it contains information as to the adventure you are currently playing.]

This series is a session-by-session recap of the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign over the course of the school year. Enjoy! The current party:

- Lowen, Half-Elf Cleric of Irori
- Ramius, Human Swashbuckler
- Tulia, Human Sorceress
- Einkil, Dwarf Fighter
- Ziaphas, Human Wizard

"Welcome to All The World's Meat! A sign bearing the image of a fat, smiling cow hangs above the entrance to this shop. Inside, a long counter runs over half theroom's width, beyond which a door stands ajar. A low bench sits against the east wall, while to the nort a marble-topped table displays cuts of meat before a wide grimy window. A few flies crawl and circle in the air above the meat. Surely this is not where Vancaskerkin is hiding out, surely there is a mistake, though a quick look at the burly thug standing guard outside quickly sets your hesitation to rest..."

Approaching the meat shop was the easy part for our heroes, it was getting inside which seemed to prove difficult. Despite their attempts to talk their way around the two guards who stood watch, the group seemed to be continually met with difficulties. A couple of the adventurers had heard on the street that in addition to giving meat out to the poor and needy, Vancaskerkin's gang was also hiring itself out as thugs...

After using the code phrase that they were interested in "the special night's cuts", the two guards seemed more then willing to do business, but whenever the group mentioned that they wanted to see Vancaskerkin to do business directly with him, the guards got very defensive - even worried. They tried to make it clear that the business would be done with them, and that Vancaskerkin was too busy to be bothered.

Despite diplomicizing and intimidating as best they could, the guards stoically refused to let them through to see the rogue guard, at one point demanding that they leave the shop.

Moving back outdoors to discuss strategy, the group noticed that the guards would often vanish from the room, only to come back. Probably warning Vancaskerkin, or so the group thought. In an attempt to "scare away business" the adventurers accidentally frightened off a poor family hungry for some meat, rather then individuals interested in hiring the thugs services.

The only response the guards gave them was to "kick off" followed by the door being slammed in their faces.

The poor family went hungry that night... and the young boy died of starvation... though our heroes would never know...

The party knew they had to get to Vancaskerkin, though their final attempt to force their way into the meat shop quickly turned to blows. The guards were ready, and a third guard in hiding launched crossbow bolt after crossbow bolt at the party. Tulia quickly charmed one of the men, keeping him as occupied as possible with her feminine charms while Einkil and Ramius charged in.

Einkil fought as hard as he could, though the dwarf's attacks always seemed to land a moment too late, allowing for Ramius and Lowen to fell most of the guards. The dwarf quickly became frusturated as the reason for his failure stemmed largely from the fact that they were trying to knock the men out, rather then kill them. This strange way of fighting caused Einkil to come up short as far as combat was concerned.

Backtracking, and driven by anger, Einkil scaled the staircase alone while the party was still engaged in combat with the guards below. Lowen tried to keep one of them who was knocked down by lethal means from bleeding out, while Tulia and Ramius met up and pondered over where the dwarf had gone.

The clash of blades upstairs however, quickly brought all three of them at a run to find the dwarf engaged in deadly combat with Vancaskerkin himself.

Vancaskerkin, still wearing his guard tabard, fought valiantly with his short spear against Einkil and the two exchanged equally deadly blows. Behind Einkil; Ramius, Tulia and Lowen tried to calm the Dwarf down. Verik seemed more then willing to talk, but not as long as the dwarf was trying to kill him. Einkil didn't want to give him the chance however, hoping to subdue the man lethally, bandaging him up, and then bringing him in for questioning.

Finally, the man fell. And to the victor went the spoils. From Verik they gathered several items of interest, though the most beautiful of which was an exotically crafted silver dagger.

Turning Verik in was not the end of the assignments however, as Cressida Croft was waiting for them with another job.

Returning to her office, Cressida introduced the group to a man called Vencarlo Orisini, one of Korvosa's most respected and renowned teachers of the honorable arts of fencing and swordplay. He appeared as a charming man, bowing deeply upon being introduced, and seemed to take on an immediate affection for Lowen, the cleric of Irori.

With a dashing smile he offered her his chair, and tried to engage her in conversation. From the short amount of time they could speak he seemed on all accounts to be a gentleman and a philosopher capable of carrying on intelligent discussion on a variety of topics.

Cressida explained the situation. Apparently, there was an ambassador by the name of Darvayne Gios Amprei who hated Korvosa with a passion. He was often sent here by the Cheliax government and wished to create embargos against the city. Cressida needed some kind of leverage against the man and had heard through Orisini's contacts that the Ambassador was having an affair with someone in Cheliax.

Apparently, the two had communicated via love letters during his time in Korvosa and these love letters have since fallen into the hands of Devargo Barasi, the King of Spiders. A crime lord who inhabited Eel's End, one of Korvosa's piers. However, since the man paid his vice taxes, he wasn't technically a criminal, and so he couldn't be put away.

Anyways, Cressida needed the party to head to Eel's End and to secure the love letters from Devargo. This would give them the leverage they needed.

Orisini led them to "Old Korvosa", the area that Eel's end was located within. The group headed to the pier and set to work...

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