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Thread: Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy

  1. #1
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    Default Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy

    These are troubled times in the city of Korvosa. Rumors abound that King Eodred Arabasti II has taken ill - indeed, some claim that he is dying, and once again, the Curse of the Crimson Throne is the favorite topic for the tavern gossip. According to this urban legend, no monarch of the city of Korvosa shall ever die of old age or produce an heir.

    To date, the king has failed to produce an heir to the throne. Whispers of his taste for scandalously young companionship have dogged the king throughout his reign, and when he finally wed late in life, it was no surprise that his bride - Queen Ileosa - was barely a third of his age and a woman of breathtaking beauty.

    Little, however, do you care for the state of politics in Korvosa - more mundane matters occupy your thoughts: earning a living, helping the poor, grieving over loved ones. But one thing matters more than most: seeking justice (or vengeance) upon the one man, who has wronged you in such terrible ways, Gaedren Lamm. The only question is, how? Despite your best efforts, you have failed to track down his current whereabouts. Your resolve has not faltered, but you're starting to feel desperate for a lead. Until....

    John Dowe
    Walking down Hillcrest Street below the imposing walls of the Academae, John Dowe is deep in thought, hardly sensing the world around him. His dreams, his life, shattered by the untimely death of his wife at the hands of Gaedren Lamm and his henchmen.

    A high-pitched screech yanks him out of his dark brooding and he looks to the skies, half fearing - half hoping that a mighty dragon had finally taken pity on him and decided to put him out of his misery. It is a dragon, alright, but a very tiny one. In the air above the street, a house drake is being pestered by an imp, hence the noise. Anywhere else, this would probably be a spectacular and perhaps disturbing sight, but in Korvosa it is not that uncommon. Descending from the indigenous pseudodragon population, the cat-sized dragons have created small colonies all over the city like falcons would build nests in other cities. The imps, on the other hand, are not at all natural Korvosan inhabitants. The final exam of the conjuration class at the Academae involves the summoning of an imp and more often than not, the spell of binding fails, and the imp sometimes manages to escape. The little pests would probably overrun Korvosa, if it wasn't for the house drakes culling the population. Currently, the 'battle' above seems to end in a stalemate. The imp is chased off, and the house drake brakes off the pursuit.
    drake
    Turning a corner, John reaches his destination - the Gilded Orrery - the largest and most well stocked magic shop in Korvosa. John is not really sure why he keeps coming back - he couldn't afford even the most trivial item in the shop. Perhaps it is some form of self-torture - preventing himself from forgetting his shattered dream? Pulling out a random tome from a bookshelf, he notices a small piece of cardboard dropping from the volume. He picks it up and looks at it - a Harrowing card?



    Turning it over, John notices a hand-written message on the back



    Somehow John is absolutely certain that the message is meant for him - but how.....?

    Ino Springfall
    Ino casually ducks behind a market stall as the squad of Korvosas finest march by. She is fairly sure that the Korvosan Guard is not looking for her, but why take the chance? The crimson-armored guardsmen are a magnificent sight. Famously incorruptible, the Korvosan Guard is the only thing standing between the city and utter chaos. While they have an annoyingly strict view of private property, it is still nice to know that they stand ready to defend the smaller folk should the need arise.

    Ino's ears stiffen as they are suddenly alerted to the most beautiful sound in the world: the tingling sound of gold sails (possibly mixed in with a few silver shields) rustling around in a tight pouch. Following the sound to its origin she spots a fat merchant browsing the stalls in the Gold Market - the largest outdoor market place in Korvosa. He has a couple of personal guards, but they seem distracted by a Varisian dancer performing her enticing moves in the centre of the market.

    Swiftly and surefooted, Ino passes behind the merchant, relieving him from his bulging pouch along the way without as much as pausing briefly. She quickly vanishes in the crowd and she is at the other end of the market before she can hear the faint outcries of "Thief!" from the merchant far behind her.

    Ducking into a deserted alley, she stops to examine her catch. That's strange.....the pouch suddenly seems somewhat less bulging than when it hang from the merchants belt! She unwinds the strings and looks inside. Instead of the beautifully tingling coins, finds nothing but a single small piece of cardboard - a Harrowing card?



    Turning it over, Ino notices a hand-written message on the back



    Deeply disappointed - but perhaps a bit intrigued? - Ino realizes that the card and the message is somehow meant for her - but how....?

    Softhands
    Softhands glances nervously upwards, her eyes searching the dark corners and under the eaves of what passes as a roof of the ramshackle shanty she is about to enter. One can never be too cautious in the Shingles - everything from imps, shingle spiders, stirges and chokers are known to lurk here, ready at any moment to snatch inattentive prey.

    The most densely populated - and poorest - part of Korvosa is found in the Bridgefront ward of the Old Korvosa district. Not only is every spare inch of the ground covered by shacks and hovels, but on their roofs more shacks and lean-tos are erected in several layers, creating stacks of small haphazard dwellings up to five stories tall. With little room for stairs to connect the upper layers with the ground, the inhabitants instead need to cross from one building to another using improvised bridges constructed from ladders, poles and rope - often for several blocks before being able to descend to the ground. This is the Shingles - the city above the city.

    The coast seems to be clear and Softhands crosses the rickety bridge between the two blocks. It is a long way down, but fortunately the gap between the "buildings" is not very wide - the higher the stacks are, the more they lean towards each other, gradually closing the gap. Just a few more stories and the top of the buildings would have completely covered the width of the narrow street.

    Softhands reaches her destination and finds the old man lying among filthy rags on a thin straw pallet in the corner of a small dark chamber. His raspy breath is clearly audible, but it will still take the poor sod a long painful time to die. Softhands wishes there was more she could do for him - perhaps the high clerics at the Temple of Abadar could heal him, but the old man would never be able to afford that. The only thing Softhands can do is relieve the old man's pain and hasten the process. "Are you sure this is what you want?" Softhands asks, and the old man nods forcefully with a clear expression of gratitude in his eyes. She uncorks a small potion and eases the bitter liquid into the old mans throat.

    A deep sigh of relief escapes the old man as his pain subsides. He reaches for her arm with a bony hand and whispers, "Here, take this - my payment for your final medical services....". He puts a small object in her hands - a small piece of cardboard. Looking at the object, she wonders - a Harrowing Card?



    Turning the card over, she notices a hand-written message on the back



    A message for her? From the old man? - it couldn't be, she knows him, he is illiterate and couldn't have penned this message. Then who? She is about to ask the old man, but it is too late - he has finally found peace....

    Bjorn von Strep
    Bjorn watches the first golden rays of the rising sun kissing the spire of the Grand Cathedral of Pharasma. His wake is almost over - it has been a long night, yet to Bjorn the hours flew by like seconds. The greatest honor was bestowed upon him as he was invited to join the Guard at the Great Tomb of Leadership in the Gray district - Korvosas vast cemetery - for a single night.

    The grand mausoleum is guarded at all times by one marine of the Sable Company and one soldier of the Korvosan Guard. The members of both military organisations consider it a great honor to be selected for guard duty - to watch over the most famous late military commanders interred in the vast Vault below. It is almost unheard of to let someone outside the organisations join the guard - but this is a special occasion: Sir Thaddeus, hero of the Fourth Crusade against the infernal legions at the Worldwound, passed away recently, and as a special courtesy to his most prized student, the Sable Company and the Korvosan Guard allowed Bjorn to join them.

    With the dawn comes the High Priest of Pharasma, along with four acolytes. The High Priest greets Bjorn solemnly and with a wave of his hand motions to the young paladin to enter the Tomb. His fellow guardsmen during the night, the marine and the soldier, nods respectfully and steps aside to allow Bjorn passage. He steps through the open portal into the tomb and descends a long narrow flight of stairs. The air is cool, damp and stale - the everburning torches along the way sheds light, but no heat. At the foot of the stairs is a small chamber from which several hallways lead deeper into the Vault. In the middle of the chamber, on a single massive block of black marble quarried by the dwarves at Janderhoff, lies the remains of Sir Thaddeus, clad in his finest armor with his shield and his sword resting on his chest.

    Bjorn steps up to his old friend and mentor to pay his last respects before the High Priest and the acolytes arrives to take Sir Thaddeus to his final resting place deep within the Vault. Through tear-filled eyes, Bjorn is surprised to see a strange object - a small and rather colorful piece of cardboard - wedged between Thaddeus' shield and sword. It is most definitely out of place, and with trembling hands, Bjorn wrests it free to take a closer look. A Harrowing Card? Here?



    Turning the card over, he notices a hand-written message on the back



    A message for him? Here? A final greeting from his old friend? But how is that possible....? Hearing the High Priest enter the anteroom behind him, Bjorn quickly tugs the card into his tunic, whispers a last prayer for his friend and leaves the tomb for the clerics of Pharasma to do their job.

    Laera
    Laera rises from her crouch with a sigh - "Well, it's official. Your business partner - excuse me, former business partner - is...was...and idiot! He chose the worst place in Old Korvosa to hide and paid the ultimate price!" Her client - a rather wide halfling merchant pales and stammers, "A..a...are you sure?". She points towards the ground next to the huge steel plug embedded into the street - "His tracks lead straight to this place, and there are traces of blood, and....and it also explains the Otyugh escape last night. Your old friend couldn't seal the plug from the other side, allowing the beast to escape - probably after it had devoured the poor lad as an appetizer!"

    The otyughs in the sewers are probably Old Korvosa worst kept secret. Thought up as an ingenious way to solve the waste problem of Old Korvosa as population density rose, a small colony of the gluttonous beasts was introduced to the extensive Vaults below the streets. Large steel plugs, opened by equally massive crank-driven winches, separate the city's population from its surly waste disposers. Although the system is certainly effective - the waters around Korvosa are fairly clean relative to other large cities - the otyughs occasionally break out of the sewers and rampage through the streets, until they are subsequently corralled and incarcerated again by the Guard wielding longspears coated in tranquilizing poisons - like last night.

    "But....but what about the gold he stole?" Laera can't tell whether the halflings stricken expression is due to the loss of his old friend...or the gold. The elf sighs, "You are welcome to go get it - I'll make sure the plug is sealed behind you". The halfling pales even more, but decides against taking her up on her kind offer. Without another word, he turns and walks away. Fortunately, he paid in advance - though not very much....

    Laera is about to leave as well, as something in the corner of her eye demands her attention. It is a small colorful object wedged between the steel plug and the edge of the hole in the street. She manages to carefully pry it loose without damaging it: a small piece of cardboard - a Harrowing Card?



    Turning the card over, she notices a hand-written message on the back



    Somehow she knows that the message was left there for her to find - but how....?

  2. Default

    Bjorn goes home to get some rest after his watch with the Guard. He was exhausted not just from working all night, but he was also exhausted emotionally still trying to come to terms with his mentor passing. He pulled out the card and read carefully as he was enjoying a meal at the Inn down the street from his home. After the meal Bjorn went to his house and got after he had made a prayer to Iomaede he got comfortable and rested from the nights guard duty. When he awoke two hours before dusk he donned his armor and grabbed his sword shield all the while give benediction to Iomaede. After that was complete he left for the address that was left on the card. Meanwhile the question of does this have to do with his wifes murder? Will justice finally be served to those who murdered his wife?
    *5 sp for the meal*

    *Is their a cost for someone to come and wake your character?*
    Last edited by Danseredp; 08-16-2017 at 11:18 PM.

  3. Default

    The Harrowing Card burning a hole in her simple, but serviceable overtunic, Softhands closed the eyelids of the poor man and crossed his arms across his chest. Her hands don't shake and her movements are sure; practiced and efficient. This is not the first time she's been the bearer of last words. She says a simple prayer to Pharasma over his body as she surveys the room and wipes her hands on her pants. The prayer was more ritual than expression of faith, something that could be said when mostly there weren't words to describe the loneliness of this death. A death, like many others in this city, that would go unnoticed except by the roving stirges, drakes, and imps, and unremembered except for the next withered body that inched up here to die. She had whispered that prayer increasingly often lately. Sometimes, though, she didn't have to. Those were good days.

    Turning to leave the hovel, Softhands looks through the window and catches a whiff of fresh saltwater air. She savours this brief moment, then swings herself out onto the rickety rooftops and makes her careful but confident way back to her own slice of this twisted world. She is lucky that nothing troubles her on her way home, as she keeps patting the pocket containing the card, looking for all the world like she carried a treasure. Squinting at the sun as she reaches a higher point in the ramshackle district, she realizes she will have to move quickly to reach Lancet Street by sunset.

    She checks her bandolier, adjusts the scarf around her face, and tugs her ever-present gloves tighter before hustling her way towards her fate....and vengeance.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mar'ro- The Unquiet Lands
    Dwemmek Dwerrowfade - World of Chaldera
    Softhands - Curse of the Crimson Throne
    Fin "Cur" Forestson - Beyond Drachenward
    Qadan Yul - Arcanis


  4. #4
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    Default

    Laera flips the card over-and-over in her hand as she returns home, re-examining it, as if some clue might magically appear. She also has the eerie feeling that she's being followed, and she continues to stare over her shoulder looking for such a follower, but she spots no one.

    It doesn't add up -- that's the problem. She was so confident that the halfling's business partner wandered foolishly into the sewers that she hadn't stopped to consider other possibilities. But now they were unavoidable. Really, how stupid would someone have to be in order to unplug the sewer and enter? Was anyone really that dumb? She's always thought of humans... and most other races... as pretty foolish, but probably not that foolish.

    No, the evidence suggested something more sinister, possibly even murder. It almost seemed like someone sacrificed the business partner in order to get to HER -- that he might have been led or even dragged to the sewer and sacrificed just because someone knew she'd was investigating the case, so that someone could plant the card for her exactly where she would have to spot it.

    Laera stops and thinks. She wonders if she should continue home or whether to return to the crime scene. Reluctantly, she decides to return. She hurries so as not to miss the "appointment" mentioned on the card. It was too tempting a proposal to miss.

    Once at the crime scene, she does a quick investigation of the scene, looking for any evidence she might have missed, tracks or unusual scraps of fabric. Hunger gnaws at her insides, but she realizes that she will not be content knowing that she might have overlooked something.

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollperception - (d20+3) [4]
    Authentic Forum Dice-rollsurvival to find tracks - (d20-1) [16]

    Unless she finds anything particularly notable, she'll return home afterwards and then carefully head towards the address at sundown.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Ino sighs heavily and curses under her breath as she stores the card away in a pocket inside her outfit. She meant to examine it further later in the day as she went back to work fleecing unsuspecting nobles of their money. However the card keeps drifting to the front of her mind as she works. One time it almost causes her to poke the mark she was fleecing right when she was about to grab the purse. Frustration boiling in her veins she leaves the market in a huff and runs back to her small room in the High Bridge ward. She collapses on her bed and groans in frustration. Because of this card she had missed many of the opportunities she would normally take, and wasted most of her day off! Tomorrow she would have to go back to the docks to look for more work and this time she couldn't rely on the amount she normally brought in to pad her...expenses. If you could call spending most of your paycheck in the nearest gambling den an expense. Of course she had won a few trinkets and small amount of money over time, but nothing worth the amount she sent there every payday. In preparation for this meeting she sets out her gear and makes sure it's all in good order- blackened, covered in cloth to quiet the metal parts, and in good condition. The halfling spends an hour sharpening her daggers, finding a calm in the repetitive motion. Finally she sets three of them aside and one under her pillow and drifts off to sleep for a few hours before she needed to leave.

    The sound of boots hitting the floor wakes her as some of the residents of the ward leave for their nighttime shifts. The halfling wakes up and stretches, groaning quietly as the movement aggravates the growths under her skin. She takes a few minutes to message the tender areas before getting fully out of bed. A quick glance outside reveals Ino has some time before sunset which she spends packing her gear and making her way quickly and quietly to the street address. Once she reaches it she finds the nearest alley and sidles inside, to better scope out who could have known who she was and could make a card seem like gold. It was probably a wizard. Ino spits on the ground and makes a quick butterfly gesture with a hand as she thinks that. Everything was always a wizards fault, sooner or later. And hopefully she wouldn't get caught in with this one.

    Stealth-Authentic Forum Dice-roll( d20+12 ) [21]
    Perception-Authentic Forum Dice-roll( d20+4 ) [24]


    “Defend the weak, protect both young and old, never desert your friends. Give justice to all, be fearless in battle and always ready to defend the right."

    —The law of Badger Lords”
    Brian Jacques, Lord Brocktree

  6. Default Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy

    With a quick glance around John places the card into a pocket of his robe. Placing the tome back in its place, he meanders by the counter of magical jewelry. Of course the owner is here keeping close watch on the items more likely to "walk away". There's a chance the owner recognizes this as John's leaving ritual.

    Stepping out into the street, John looks to the sky shielding his eyes. Not quite sunset yet.. but he doesn't want to go home. His ramshackle quarters only serve to remind him of his loneliness. For the briefest of moments he considers visiting his Daughter down in Midland. She's probably still working at the blacksmith forge- but it's such a long walk and his muscles are already ache-y from today's stroll. Besides, both Jasmine and John Jr. have been a little irritated with his "obsession" around moms "murder". He decides to just take his time getting - or finding, more like - Lancet St.

    If he ends up finding his way, John approaches the door and setting his resolve with a final thought that this may be the missing piece of information to prove Gaedren Lamm's part in turning him into a Widower, he knocks. Three firm raps in echoing staccato. Then he waits with held breath.

  7. #7
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    Default Moonday, 21st Gozran 4708 (Day 1), sunset

    Laera takes another sweep at the "crime scene", looking for more clues pointing towards the fugitive halfling's whereabouts. After last nights rains, the area is pretty muddy and there are plenty of tracks around the steel plug - some of them clearly left by some kind of monstrous beast, but most of them heavily booted medium-sized footprints. It must have been something of a struggle to get the otyugh back into its hole. She is about to give up, when she feels herself stepping on a sharp object under the mud. She digs it out and removes most of the mud - it is a broken tooth, about the size of her middle finger. Wrapped around the tooth are the shreds of some purple cloth, to which a small brass button is attached. The fragment is pretty unremarkable, but it does match the description of the fugitive's jacket that Laera's client had given her.

    Ino arrives early at the address indicated on the back of the Harrowing card (she knows the area - it it not far from where she lives). Lancet street is a narrow side street off Warehouse way, which runs parallel to the river all through West Dock. There are very few people around, mostly the occasional fisherman passing through the street or worker hauling crates and barrels on a pushcart - the area is mostly warehouses holding the cargo coming in from the docks just down the street. She easily finds a good hiding spot, where she can survey the scene without being spotted from the street. She sees noting out of the ordinary - although, she notices what seems to be a small note attached to the door at the address she is keeping under surveillance.

    After about an hour she spots a middle-aged human man walking purposefully down the street. He stops at the door and without hesitation he knocks.

    When John arrives at Lancet Street, he finds it deserted. He knocks on the door at number 3 but then notices the small note pinned to the door:



    Nobody answers.

    ((The rest of you arrive at the address in the order of your next post))

  8. Default Chapter 1: Edge of Anarchy

    John goes inside (if it's unlocked), brings out the basket, pours himself a drinks and waits.

    He's a simple man with no fear of tricks or traps. If the drink or bread is poison, it'll be a welcome form of transportation on his journey to reunite with his wife.

  9. #9
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    Default

    The interior of this small, humble home consists of a single cozy chamber filled with a fragrant haze of flowers and strong spice. The aroma comes from several sticks of incense smoldering in wall-mounted burners that look like butterfly-winged elves. The smoke gives the room a dreamy feel.

    The walls are draped with brocaded tapestries, one showing a black-skulled beast juggling human hearts, and another showing a pair of angels dancing atop a snow-blasted mountain. A third tapestry on the far wall depicts a tall, hooded figure shrouded in mist, holding a flaming sword in a skeletal hand. Several brightly colored rugs cover the floor, but the room's only furnishings are a wooden table covered by a bright red throw cloth and several elegant, tall-backed chairs.

    Under the table, John finds the promised basket covered by blue cloth. The basket contains several loaves of plain, but freshly-baked fragrant bread, and a couple of bottles of red wine. There are also five wine-glasses, suggesting that whoever invited John expects more people than him.

  10. Default

    Bjorn will walks down the Lancet street very cautiously and approaches the door to house number three. All the while on alert and ready for any surprises. He has his hand gripping the hilt of his long sword ready to strike. He than reads the note and tries to the door and notices it is unlocked. He than steps inside finds the table with a middle aged man sitting at the table. Bjorn will than nod politely at the older man. He does not partake in any of the food or wine offered. Bjorn will try to engage the older man in conversation but if he does not reciprocate any greetings or conversation he will stand quietly by the table.
    Bjorn will enjoy the smells of the fragrant scents of the flowers and spices. Bjorn had always enjoyed incense he as grown accustomed to the incense burnt at the church. This new sense is more powerful to what he is used to. He had first thought that it was too powerful but than he had grown to like the smell. Bjorn was drawn to the tapestry of the angels dancing on top the snow covered mountain. He found the tapestry of the black skull beast juggling hearts unsettling. After he looked at the tapestry with the black skull beast he said a quick prayer of protection to Iomodae. He also cast detect evil to see if there is anything evil about the room.





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