Campaign of the Month: November 2022

Curse of the Crimson Throne

Session 19
Nearly Midnight, Sunday, 19th of Erastus, 4708 AR
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V just got a letter!
Wonder who it's from?

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Crimson and Sable
Part 1: The Debrief

The training flight had returned to the Great Tower two hours ago. The bodies of their fellow marines had been recovered but the hippogriffs were too big to fly back. Instead the gear had been taken from them, and a trio of Korvosan Guards were watching over them while Pharasmans were fetched to take over. Lula Mae, and Crack had all been immediately taken to the tower's infirmary to be checked over. Pip had declined any treatment until he first submitted his formal report to Commandant Endrin, afterwards the commander had ordered him to go and receive medical aid. 

Now after making sure injuries were treated and that his two trainees were being taken care of Pip was being called back to Commandant Endrin for a final debrief. He dreaded the moment, after everything that happened with Sgt. Biggs, the promotion, and to get two people killed the first time he was placed in charge… He didn't know what he would do.

As he entered into the office he found Endrin sitting behind his desk with a grim expression and that far away look again in his eyes. Pip marched forward and saluted. It took a moment for Endrin to notice and return it, he then gestured for Pip to take a seat. 

"First of all, Colour Sergeant," he said, "This wasn't your fault. I've been where you are right now, and I know the kinds of thoughts that can go through a commander's head when something like this happens. You might not be able to accept it yet but you still need to hear it. This wasn't your fault."

"Sir.." started Pip but Endrin made a sharp chop with his hand and the Wyldcat sank back into the chair in silence.

"You had no way of knowing you were going out on a flight before you arrived here at the tower." said the Commandant, "Secondly, you never left the tower before hand to possibly give away, even by accident, what the plan was. Thirdly, that wasn't just a random attack, that was a preplanned ambush. If not for your actions I doubt there would have been any survivors. I can think of only a few ways that could have been setup, none of which would you have had any way to prevent until the after the attack began. Whether the leak came from within the Sable Company or from the civilian who owned a building along that last street I'm not sure yet but I will find out, and when I do, if it's within my power I'll make sure you're in charge of hunting down whoever hired those thrice damned assassins to come into our city."

"But understand this, Colour-Sergeant, the Red Mantis are not to be trifled with. Yes your skill had a lot to do with reversing the ambush and taking out your foes but you were lucky. There was only one there by all accounts, the rest appear to have been hired thugs. If this had been a full group then none of you would have come back. I don't know how many more might in the city, the fiends rarely work alone. We'll have to reduce our patrols to make sure only large groups go out, given Her Majesty's instructions for us I expect that's going to limit us even more on what we're actually able to do. And, say nothing of this to the rest of the company, but I believe a tighter lock down might be coming for us and all of Korvosa. Hell, they might put the whole tower into Quarantine. Before they do that though I want you in the air and reporting back to Field Marshal Cressida on what happened. Let her do the full debrief for you, and I'll send along a copy of the reports from your trainees as well. For now just know again that this wasn't your fault, when the time for our justice comes your lance will be in the vanguard."

Endrin pauses for a moment, gazing sternly but not unkindly at Pip until the Colour-Sergeant finally nods. 

"Good," says Endrin, "Now I do have something else for you and your Wyldcats."

Pip's eyes narrow, there was no evidence of a smile on Endrin's lips, but there was a hint of a sparkle in his eyes as he said the name. Endrin pulled back a thin drawer on his desk and pulled out a quartet of small scrolls bound with Crimson and Sable ribbon. 

"These are Writs of Authorization," he said, "For you, Mr. Sura, Ms. Dagi, and Ms. Estha. The Field Marshal will need to countersign and seal as well but they give you full authorization to kill any Red Mantis assassin you encounter on sight. Trying to take one prisoner isn't advisable, while the intelligence they could give up would be useful there's no way to get it out of them, they seal it away behind spells that prevent them from being coerced into talking whenever they take on a new mission or client. Underlings might be a different matter, but you are ordered to eliminate any Red Mantis found within Korvosa. Understood?"

"Yes sir," replied Pip feeling a little  off balance at this "debriefing".

"Good," said Endrin, "Now get back to your mount and out of Old Korvosa before anything else happens."

Pip stood and saluted, then turned to leave the office, but just as he reach for the door knob the Commandant spoke up.

"Oh, and one other thing Sergeant," said Endrin, this time there was definitely a sparkle in his eyes, "Don't go gallivanting about looking for a safe house or base to take them down on your own. In all likelihood if there are any left in the city they'd use it as a trap to lure you in and complete their mission. Instead you need to figure out who it was that hired them in the first place. Now then, you're dismissed. Report to Field Marshall Cressida as soon as you can."

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Beauty Sleep
All tuckered out...

How do you even still have bags under your eyes when you're asleep?

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Say Otyugh!
Wait...no...Cheese.

All your favorite Wyldcats in one place!  Tuck in close so we are sure to all get the Not-Plague.

 

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Session 18
Sunday, 19th of Erastus, 4708 AR


Last night my players remembered why you should never split the party. #badlyexplainapathfindergame #imnotwrong #curseofthecrimsonthrone #darkandstormynight #dangerzone #doctorsorders #colorofdeath #loveletter #hornyonmain #longeggs #piptalk #cantgotoohardifyouvenevergonehardenough #taterpunch #crashedpotatoes #youcanbemywingmananytime #bromance #ohnomyvolleyballmontage #yeoldebathandbodybomb #thistasteslikecholera #mostdangerouspaceinkorvosa #bringoutyourdead #deathbynegligence #mantisdanceofdeath #didthatspiderjustfaceplant #korvosabridgesfallingdown #pipsfairlady #sohowwasyournight


Oh, one last thing before we pack it in tonight. Well may more than one, it’s safe to say that a couple of things are going to happen. We’re only taking a short hop so we’ll use the imagination moped, the driver is on a delivery run anyways, he moonlights for Pizza Coven on Jewel St. It’s a little outside the normal delivery zone but the tips are good and sometimes they pay via alternative methods.

We’ll follow him as he going along as he comes down from the Heights, cuts through North Point, and into Old Korvosa. As it happens he’s one of the last folk we see going across the bridge, there sure are a lot of Grey Maidens standing about… We’ll come back to that, for now we follow as he takes a right onto Wave Street and then onto a familiar looking pier. We’ve arrived with him at Eel’s End. We’ll leave our delivery driver as he’s in for a surprise when the folks at House of Clouds let him know all they have is just the tip.

Instead we’ll continue onto the main ship, over to a spot in the railing where there are several arrows lodged in the wood as quite a few scratches that continue down the side of the ship to a small round porthole. Peaking inside we see our favorite alley cat, the Wyldcat Dagi sprawled out on a large bed with her head in her lover, Illaria’s lap.

“So then I jump down and grab the wick and-”

Suddenly there is a loud knock on Ily’s cabin door then a shout, “Mistress Ily! Mistress Ily! Please come quick!”

Dagi looked up at Ily with a grin, “Mistress now? I’ll remember that.”

“The Daniels started it,” replied Ily as she shoved Dagi out of her lap, and tied her robe shut before answering the door. She opened it to find Bodri, one of the younger servers from the Twin Tigers looking up at her with wide, fearful eyes.

“Mistress!” they said, “They’re come for us! they say they’re gonna burn down all the ships so nobody can escape! Mistress we have to go!”

“Slow down,” said Ily, “Who’s coming? And what’s this about burning ships?”

Bodri closed their eyes and took a deep breath, then another, then met Ily’s gaze again. “The Grey Maidens, Mistress, they’ve put up a barrier on the bridge to Northpoint, folks are saying there’s fires and all kinds of loud crashes coming from Bridgefront. Other Grey Maidens are going along the docks and confiscating or burning any boat or ship they find to keep people from leaving Old Korvosa. Folk are saying the whole island is being put under Quarantine and no one will be allowed to leave.”

Dagi sat bolt up right, if the room had been brighter than Bodri might have noticed Dagi’s claws digging into the mattress.

“Dammit!” said Dagi, “I knew it, I knew they were no better than Hellknights. Ily we shou-”

“Quiet!” snapped Ily. Dagi jumped at the sharp word but Ily barely noticed, her eyes were still fixed on Bodri. “Listen, I need to you to go right now to House of Clouds, find one of the Daniels, I don’t care which, and tell them to get all the staff out of there and onto the main ship. Tell them I said we’re closed for the holidays, they’ll know what the means. Don’t argue, go!”

Bodri took off like a shot. Ily tuned and strode over to her writing desk, she pulled open a small drawer and started pulling out keys, papers, and a small iron box.

“Ily?” said Dagi, “What’s going on?”

“You heard Bodri,” said Ily, “we need to leave. Luckily Taice has something that I think will help us.”

“Taice? What the hell does that slimeball have that could possible help with this? I mean, maybe some spider webs to slow them down or you and I could swing across or-”

“Dagi.”

“Yeah?”

“Shut up, this isn’t like one of your adventures.” said Ily, “I’m not going to just run away and leave my people. Down on the bottom deck where Devargo used to have the cut out section where he’d feed folk to the sharks, there’s another cutout on the side that opens out under the docks. Taice has two skiffs tied up there. Remember? You borrowed the smaller one the other night? Taice has them as his escape plan if anything ever went sour. We’ll use it and larger to get everyone out and across the river to Trail’s End. We should have room, the customers will just have to fend for themselves. But it’s going to take time to get everyone organize though. Do you think you could, maybe, delay the Maidens while I get everyone out?”

Dagi was about to balk at the entire idea until she saw the look in Ily’s eyes. This was no time for sarcasm or arguing. She nodded. She had no idea what she was going to be able to do against a troop of Grey Maidens by herself, but she wasn’t about to let them come near her Ily.

“Good, now go, I’m going to get the lock boxes and Taice’s side stash-idiot still hasn’t realized the plank it’s under runs through walls into here and i can feel it wobble everytime he opens it. I’ll get everyone on board and I’ll try to wait for you to-”

“Don’t wait,” said Dagi, giving Ily a Cheshire grin, “I always find my own way back.”

Without another word Dagi dashed out of the cabin, her form changing mid stride into a scrappy alley cat.

“Besides,” she thought, “this is what being a Wyldcat is all about.”

 

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That can't be good...
Well shit...

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The Audacity
Put a lid on it Estha

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Sleep? In this economy?
No rest for the wicked

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Moping in the Rain

The storm had lessened but the rain was coming down all the heavier as Taice walked back towards Eel's End.  The streets were almost completely deserted now, save for the occasional patrol of Grey Maidens. While he had his papers he still avoided them on principal. 

Passing through Jeggare Circle he noticed from up ahead a faint orange glow, glistening through the rain drops. 

"I swear to gods," he muttered, "if the Daniels have lit another boat on fire I'm throwing them in the river."

He was halfway along Mainshore Blvd when he saw the clustered shapes of several large carts and over a dozen of the thriced damned Grey Maidens.  Ducking into a side street he began working his way closer, luckily the night and rain made it very unlikely anyone would spot him but best to be cautious where those crazy bitches were concerned.  Upon closer inspection the carts were full of building supplies, mostly wooden beams but also stone blocks. Along with the maidens there was a small group of men in women in rough work clothes all of them thoroughly soaked from the rain, some visibly shivering. As the Maidens looked on they began unloading the carts and constructing a barrier right across the bridge. 

Taice looked on shock as they laid out a stone block base and began lashing posts together. There was no gate, or door, or anything. They were simply building a wall right across the bridge. 

Suddenly the air was filled with panicked shouts from the other side of the bridge, then the sounds of rushing feet as four figures dashed across trying to make their way into Northpoint. There might have be a shouted order to halt, but whether it was at the fugitives or the laborers who dropped the tools and tried to dive out of the way, Taice couldn't tell. In any case none of the four stopped and for a few horrible seconds he saw the glint of steel and heard the twanging of bows. 

All four lifeless figures were then tossed off the bridge into the swollen river below. 

Taice had seen enough, he quietly made his way back south out of Northpoint, though he was unsure where to go. With it being past curfew the few inns still open would be closed. He wondered aimlessly through the Midlands trying to find somewhere he could at least get out of the rain. 

"Hello there, my friend," called a voice from an alley. 

Taice spun quickly to face this new potential threat, an arrow already knocked in his bow, drew it back and pointed down the dark alle-

"Come come, I mean you no harm." said the voice, "I would have thought a fellow Foxglove Defender would recognize a good friend."

Taice squinted and peered down the alley. There was a figure, lithe in frame with a wide brimmed hat sitting on a small stoop covered above by a small canopy. 

"Jaier?" asked Taice, "Is that you?"

"Indeed my friend!" replied the fetching, "come join me here out of the rain. The biscuits are most excellent, though I think these might be more considered shortbread or maybe a cake? I'm not entirely familiar of the terminology used for them."

"Biscuits?" asked Taice. He'd had enough of strange adventures in the dark, he shouldered his bow and re-lit the lamp he'd acquired from the Queen's Physicians. In the light he saw that Jaier was indeed sitting comfortably on a stone step, a plate of shortbread cookies in his lap, and a small teacup in his hand, beside him a small teapot, another teacup and sugar bowl were set on a wooden tray.

Taice gave up. This night was strange enough already that he might as well go along with this. He settled down on the step next to Jaier and began to spoon huge heaps of sugar into his cup of tea.

"Well my friend," said Jaier cheerfully, "It is so good to see you, I've had quite the eventful day. How was yours?"

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