Curse of the Crimson Throne

The Tie That Binds
Introductions and a common enemy (Illendrian's POV)

Tucked into the shadows of an alleyway across from the location he was given on a mysterious harrow card, Illendrian sat and watched the entrance to the nondescript building, making sure he was early to arrive. There was no trace of anyone being in the abandoned building he called home, and he was careful that no one knew the building was even occupied which made the appearance of said card even more disturbing. It promised a chance at Gaedren Lamm, something he couldn’t pass up, but that didn’t mean he was going to rush heedlessly into what could well be a trap. Patience was key – for observation led to knowledge, and knowledge to preparedness. It didn’t take long.

Valek and Zarian were the first to arrive, the first a human of average height and build while the later – also human – was heavily muscled and armed with a massive spiked hammer and a shield the size of a table. They walked up to the front door and knocked straight away. This conveyed either a severe lack of intelligence or extreme confidence, and Illendrian couldn’t figure out which. The door popped open a couple of inches and the two disappeared inside. Illendrian continued to wait.

A few minutes passed without scream or explosion and a third figure approached. Hooded, it was hard to tell exactly what he or she was, but there was a grace and agility in each step. Scanning for any signs of potential danger, Henric also slipped inside. “Smart, that one,” Illendrian thought to himself, “He was probably scouting as well…”

A few more minutes passed and without signs of anyone else approaching, Illendrian made one last sweep for anyone watching or following him and then made his way to the building and entered without a knock.

It didn’t take long for the four to realize they’d all been brought together for a purpose. Each had received a mysterious harrow card slipped in their possessions and each had a vendetta against Gaedren.

It was at this moment that their mysterious benefactor showed herself. Zellara was her name, and with the help of her Harrow Deck, she had come to know that each of us had been wronged at one point by Gaedren and has also ascertained his whereabouts. Naturally, this caused some raised eyebrows and questions but a quick Q&A and a chance to finally bring Gaedren to justice was enough to convince the four to work towards their common goal.

Pleased at this, Zellara offered a Harrow reading as payment for the group’s services – one which was accepted with varying degrees of skepticism. In short, dire times were heading towards Korvosa and this group was to play a part in either preventing or putting an end to this “plague”.

Benefactor revealed, mission accepted, and fortunes read, the four adventurers headed out into the afternoon sun to track down Gaedren Lamm…

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Edge of Anarchy
CHAPTER ONE

Korvosa clean
The city of Korvosa began 300 years ago, in 4407 ar, when the Empire of Cheliax expanded north into Varisia. Here, the Chelaxians found a large tribe of Shoanti barbarians dwelling around an immense pyramid on the shores of a deep bay—a perfect site for a city. Much bloodshed eventually left the Shoanti defeated, driven back to the harsh Cinderlands, and the city that grew on the site was named after the field marshal who led his army to victory there.

Today, Korvosa’s reigning King Eodred Arabasti II is feared by all the right people. His rule is steady, even if his insatiate appetites drain the city’s coffers. His ability to navigate the rocks and shoals of Chelish diplomacy earned the city favorable trade agreements with the Old Empire, but rumors persisted of the king’s womanizing habits and his spendthrift ways. Despite his fondness for a soft touch, he has to date produced no heir to the throne, the latest in a line of rulers affected by the Curse of the Crimson Throne. Edicts proclaim Eodred II the Saffron King, likening his reign to one of abundance, in which honey and spice flood the markets. The city’s downtrodden have another name for Eodred, though—the Stirge King, a man whose squandering ways are slowly bleeding his city dry.

Whispers of Eodred II’s taste for scandalously young companionship have dogged the king throughout his rule, and thus when he finally wed, it was no surprise that his bride was barely a third of his age. Queen Ileosa was a woman of breathtaking beauty, with red hair like the sunset, chaste alabaster skin, and features so fetching many claimed her mother must have been a nymph queen, as surely no mortal woman could give birth to a beauty such as she. Most of Korvosa’s nobles worry of the dangers of placing a trophy wife within hands’ reach of the Crimson Throne, but Ileosa’s interest in the city seemed secondary to the life of luxury—and with the more-than-competent Seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis guarding Castle Korvosa’s interests, these noble families feel they have little to worry about.

The two were wed after a scandalously short courtship, and, perhaps the most shocking move of all, Eodred turned out his entire harem in favor of his new queen. Barely 17 years old when she took Eodred II’s side in 4704 ar, Queen Ileosa has managed a minor miracle in the past 4 years—she’s single-handedly shifted the dislike and disapproval away from King Eodred to herself with her open distaste for Korvosa (a city she’s been heard to call “a backwater colonial village” more than once).

The last several weeks, the King has become more secluded in Castle Korvosa and his lady-wife has taken more of the ruling responsibilities in the public eye. Despite the staff’s best efforts, rumors are starting to surface that the King may not be well, and that the Curse of the Crimson Throne is finally taking its toll. If the King were to die, it would surely plunge the city onto the Edge of Anarchy.

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