Curse of the Crimson Throne

Thrill of the Hunt Part 7
Mr. Black

“Lamm is dead,” the man in black said as he watched him die by the hands of some mysterious man, along with a group of men, and women who stormed the warehouse where Lamm took up shop. He had a faint smile on his face, “Good riddance to bad rubbish, I never really cared for him,” he remarks limping away gripping the side of his leg, an injury he sustained a few weeks prior when he was maimed by a guardsmen of the city watch a few weeks prior to this. A name he will soon not forget, “Thorn…” Turning back he sees the hunter, “THORN!”


Mr. Black sits in a rundown bar drinking ale, flirting with the bar wench, grabbing her ass every time she walked by, “Give me some sugar baby.”

The wench giggled, slapping him gently, “Oh you! Behave.”

Smiling he winks at her returning to his drink, downing it in one swig letting out a huge belch, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
Sitting there he looks at the bow and smiles, “Poor brat. He better not betray me, or he will die by his own bow, you.” Shaking his head realizing that he’s talking to an inanimate object, “Bah…”

A bard tells tales in the corner of the bar, spinning stories of a group of adventures and city guardsmen that have been helping out in the city during this bleak time. – A fellow bard, a cook, a generous bartender, a man with deadly fists, an angel, and the huntsman.

“Shad-up ye stupid bard! They ain’t no heroes, ’specially that hunter!” Mr. Black yells out loud. “That hunter shoots innocent people! I should know, he shot me.”

The bard stops his story to listen, as do other patrons that were listening.

“That hunter, his name is Thorn. He’s a trained killer. A half-breed elf and a human. He shot me in mah leg, crippled me!” Mr. Black yells out his own tale of woe and lies.

Truth be told, Mr. Black, a former member of Lamm’s gang, but no longer he struck out on his own, quite unsuccessfully, blaming Thorn for his failure at his chosen profession of a “Bill Collector -Thief.” Ostracized from several clans of thieves who wants nothing to do with a cripple that would hinder their group. Thorn had shot him when he pulled a blade on him after being caught breaking into a home of one of the city officials.

His lies make him sound like a legitimate servant for the city and he was just doing his due diligence, making an honest living.

Satisfied as the bard believes his bluff, and lies as the story changes when he continues.

“Another ale over here!” Mr. Black yells, grabbing the wench again winking at her.

She is a bit more intrigued she responds back with a kiss on his cheek, for she also took in the story of woe and whispers in Mr. Black’s ear, “I’m Pearl, I’m off in a few.”

“Call me… Black. Care for a little fun?” He asked.

With a nod, Pearl says, “I stay upstairs in a room. We’ll see,” she flirts twirling around heading back to the bar for his drink."

Leaning back in his chair satisfied with tarnishing Thorn’s name tonight, and successfully flirting up the wench so he has a place to stay he smiles he loves manipulation and bluffing his way to get what he wants.

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Intrigue

Aerich sat and reviewed their options.

He had always known that Korvosa practically remained above the waterline by the currents of politics, spite and intrigue.

The Queen had abdicated her power, stepping aside for the now Crown Prince who will ascend to the throne. In a bid to secure his power, King Arabasti the First had instituted martial law. With the chaos of the last few days, few would be surprised by such orders.

No sooner than that happened than the Sable Company appeared.

Something about the abdication had not sat right with him, and he continued to turn it over in his head as the so-called “Friends of Korvosa” pitched a mission for he and his new comrades to perform.

The Queen was certainly the rightful heir to the crown. For what it was worth, it meant power and prestige in a part of Glorion that had very little of either. The crimson throne was certainly cursed, whether a literal or figurative one remained to be seen, but it certainly had a penchant for snatching the life of those that sat upon it.

“Perhaps the Shaonti forefathers really are watching over the city.” Aiori said ruefully, stepping out from behind from one of the ‘Friends of Korvosa’. “Some historians say that the Shaonti cursed the Chelaxians when they first made a play for the city.”

It’d been a couple of days since Aerich had seen Aiori. The last time she’d appeared, she had been dressed in the robes of her patron deity, Sarenrae. Now, she was dressed in a summer dress. The gauzy cotton flowed as if pushed along by the unseen breeze.

Aerich swallowed hard. She looked beautiful.

“The Queen is the rightful heir, or is she?” Aiori said, standing before Aerich. “A Civil War should be avoided, but at what cost?”

Kneeling down, she rested her hands on his thighs. The dress was flimsy, and looking down, Aerich could see that she wasn’t wearing a bodice. He watched her hands slide up his thighs, a seductive smile on her face.

Aerich felt a cold hand on his shoulder and he visibly jumped.

“Priest,” Kes whispered in Gnomish, “are you alright?”

Aerich blinked and Aiori was gone.

“Fine, fine…”

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Thrill of the Hunt Part 6
Unruly Youth(s)

After a rough night heading into the morning he returns home after dealing with the city drama with his companions he is approached by Olivia out in the courtyard. Finding this very unusual he immediately asks, “Is Steven alright?”

The priestess shakes her head, “He… He was robbed, a shifty rogue took that bow of his. It rattled him, but he escaped unscathed, emotional trauma aside.”

A wave of concern flowed over him like a full storm drain emptying into Jaggare River, “Where is he? I must see him.”

Olivia places his hand onto Thorn’s shoulder, “Steven wouldn’t be in such the predicament as he would be if he only did what he was told,” she pauses, “Steven has been getting into trouble telling tall tales, lying, and maybe even stealing. That last one is unconfirmed, but Sister Margaret said she had seen him trying to sneak away and only a few hours later it was noticed the alms box was empty, when it had money in it.”

“What!?” Thorn says excitedly, “Steven why would he, for what purpose,” he sighs, “Let me speak to him, send him to me to my home Olivia. I want to get out of this gear.”

Olivia nods, “I remember a time when you too were a wild and unruly child. Seems only fitting as Liopicat had to deal with you, now you have Steven,” she smiles.

Rubs the back of his neck, “Well…”

She smiles again, “So the student became the teacher, and now has to teach a student like himself. This should be entertaining.” With kidding aside her face does become more serious, “Steven if he is the one who stole we cannot let that go unpunished.”

Thorn shakes his head, “Go easy on the lad. He’s already had a rough time of it. If he does confess, Olivia let me handle it.”

“Very well Thorn I leave him in your hands then,” she agrees, “Let me know what you discover.”


An hour or so passes there is a knock at his door. Thorn rises and opens it up seeing Steven standing there obviously upset, and shaken. “Come in Steven,” Thorn gestures.

Steven runs in, grabbing onto Thorn, “I’m sorry Thorn,” he begins to cry into Thorn’s chest.

Stopping, pausing and gradually giving him a hug as his heartstrings are tugged at, “Are you all right?”

Steven looks up at him, then to the ground, “They took the bow.”

Bending down holding Steven at arm’s length, “What happened?”

Steven wiped his eyes, “A man in black stopped me in the city and threatened me with a knife, no a-a sword. He was tall. He said for me to hand over my bow and anything in my pockets.”

“What were you doing in the city? Why weren’t you doing your chores with Sister Olivia?” Thorn questions.

Steven frowns, “I skipped.”

Rolling his eyes and sighs, “I know the feeling. When I was your age I did too,” Thorn comforts, “Knowing then what I know now chores teach values, discipline, and that you have to work to make a way in life.”

Steven fidgets, “Yes, Mr. Thorn.”

Grabbing Steven in a hug, drawing him in, “I am glad you’re all right Steven.” He sighs, “We’ll find who did this, I promise you that. I have many connections within the guard and city,” releasing the boy.

“Y-you do?” Steven asks, “Wh..”

“That I do, but for now… We need to get you a new bow, and I need to replenish my supplies on hand and find some new gear,” looking at the boy, but sensing there is more, but not wanting to push him at the moment.


From across the way Mr. Black watches the two leave, following them limping from shadow to shadow, sometimes hiding in plain sight amongst the crowds.

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Journal of Perdita Bernardi- 12 th
Knivesies

[Hidden in a secret spot in her room. She writes in draconic.]
Journal of Perdita Bernardi

The 12 —
We got a couple days of ‘normal’ before us received word that Commander Kroft wanted another word with us. In that time I was able to upgrade my armor and get a better sword. With everything happening having better armor and weapons in not necessary a bad idea. Devin told me this morning that a Varisian thug had been crucified the precious night. It is suspected that it was done by the thieves’ guild in retaliation of the dead of the two of their men. Just what this place needs on top of the riots, a gang war!
When my companions and went to meet with Kroft we found she was not alone. She had the company of Vencarlo Orisini. He was one of the most respected, and renowned fencing masters in Korvosa. I have to say he was charming, and very much a flirt. Once Kroft put a stop to his flirting she told us of the problem she wanted us to handle.
Darvayne Gios Amprei, an ambassador from Cheliax has become a ‘problem’ for the city. The type of problem that would cause war with Cheliax. He needs to have his wings clipped, but he cannot be killed. The death of an ambassador to Cheliax would certainly cause war, and during these unsettling times would certainly be bad. However these is the possibility of clipping his wings through black mail. According to Vencarlo, Darbayne has been frequenting Eel’s End; a rather dangerous place of vice and sin in Old Korvosa run by a gangster of a man named Devargo Barvasi. I knew him under the name “King of Spiders”. Kroft would like to put Barvasi out of business however the man pays his taxes, and on time. He keeps his business located on Eel’s End and out of general trouble. That is not to say the man is not a blood sucking leech. The problem is depending on the ailment a blood sucking leech might be needed.
As our group has loose ties to the guard we could go to Eel’s End and make a deal with Barvasi, but we have to keep in mind, if our group gets in trouble we are on our own. We were charged with getting proof of Darvayne’s miss deed, and the means to black mail him to our side. We were given 1000 gold pieces to ease the burden of Barvasi giving up the information; however if we can get him to take less we can keep the change. If we complete this it is another 1000 gold pieces.
I left most of my valuables at home in my lock box. Adelade and Devin know their lives depend on making sure our home is safe. If any of my things end up missing on their watch, I will take it out of their hide….literally. I took a little bit of gold; who knows what would come up in there. And just in case something does come up in there I have my dagger on me. We are going into a dean of thieves and cut throats of course I’m keeping a knife on me. The plan was that Vencarlo Orisini would escort us over to the Eel’s end. Erik, Kess, Boshi and I would go in with Ithamore and Thorn acting as body guards until we get to the door.
Vencarlo chatted up all of us as we went along. He seemed fascinated with my skill with the blade. It might be of use to study with him, but for now we have other pressing matters. Eel’s end is a place of vices; gambling, women, men, drugs and other black market items are on display here. With a little smooth talking we found our way onto the Eel’s End to talk with Devargo. We are offered vices, but we do not wish to partake of any of the vices. The only thing I want from him is the information we need, and his pet psudodragon. Sue me I have developed a soft spot for the stupid things. Psudodragons are natural information brokers. You give them food and good conversation they will tell you what they know, grated it is only in the areas they hang out in. The fact that Devargo has one in his throne room says something. This little dragon has seen and heard many things. He is quite valuable to us, if we could get him. Sadly it is my guess that Devargo knows that too. It is safe to say I will be back to get that dragon.
We treated this as a simple business transaction. We had gold, he had something we wanted. It was simple as that. Do we like the man? No. Will we most likely come back and smite him into dust, if Erik has anything to say about it we will.
750 gold pieces got us a stack of love letters to the ambassador from a Chelaxian noble woman. Those letters could end Darvayne Gios Amprei’s carreer. But it was when we played kniveies that we got the real prize, a favor from the King of Spiders. Like it or not the bastard hand influence.
Kniveies was a simple game. The players’ hands are tied together. You win by either making the other guy fall off the table or there are no coins left. Devargo put one of his men again Boshi. Erik bet on Boshi, including some of our left over bribery money. The other guy had heavy betting from Devargo’s group. The battle didn’t last long. Boshi simply put the guy in a sleeper hold, and calmly walked around and picked up all the gold. Devargo’s group was amazed. I think he even laughed at the situation. Again there was another round of betting, but this time a few of Devargo’s guys bet on Boshi. It didn’t take long. Within seconds the guy was again out cold in a sleeper hold, and Boshi had all the coins. It was safe to say the game would not be fun if we kept playing. He again offered us vices, but we turned away. I was tempted to simply take the dragon and run but at the encouragement of my companions I did nothing. I promised I would back to get the dragon, but for now their lives are worth more than the dragon’s. We are hopelessly out matched if we started something in the throne room, given a little time we will come back and squish this king of spiders. We returned to Commander Kroft with the letters. Unfortunately she doesn’t have any more work for us now, which for now is fine. We could use a couple days rest before more trouble begins.

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Thrill of the Hunt Part 5
The Betrayal

STEVEN!”

STEVEN!” The priestess yelled at the boy.

Steven a youth who has been talking tall tales about the Hunter, and his teacher, Thorn has become a bit of a handful.

Steven turned to see Priestess Olivia standing behind him, angry, “Y-yes Miss Olivia?” The youth said to the 20-something red headed worshiper of Sarenrae and one of the orphanage dorm mothers.

“You’ve neglected your chores today and yesterday.” The fiery red head sternly scolds the boy.

Stuttering, “I-I have been practicing with my bow like /Thorn/ wanted me too mam,” stretching the truth quite a bit. While it is true that he is to practice it is not to interfere with the boy’s responsibilities.

Olivia grabs the boy’s ear, “I will have to take that bow and talk to our huntsman. He has no ability to usurp the general daily chores and activities of and orphan here. Now give me that bow, Steven. You can have it back after you do twice the amount of your share of chores to make up for yesterday and today.”

Steven flinches at the ear tug and deftly escapes the woman’s grasp. “No!” He shouts, “This is my bow and I’m to…”

The priestess steps up to Steven and holds out her hand, “Give it here,” she demands.

Shaking his head Steven yells and runs from her and heads out of the orphanage dormitory.

“Steven!” She yells at the escaped youth as she watches him leave.


A black clad figure stands in the shadows near the temple of Sarenrae watching his protégé run from the orphanage towards their usual meeting spot.

“Ah,” he says in a low voice as he slips with a limp from shadow to shadow and soon he intercepts the boy.

Surprised, running into the man appearing before him, Steven yells, “Mister Blac-”

The man grasps Steven, and covers his mouth cutting his yell off, “Quiet,” he whispers letting him go after a few moments.

“Mister Black,” the youth panics, half quiet, half normal.

“I have been watching you,” he smiles, a gold tooth shines from his other grey, yellow, and black teeth, “Why were you running?”

Steven looks back at the temple and then back at Mr. Black, “Skipped out on my chores. The sister caught me.”

“Chores, hm. You are to be doing all you can not to stand out and be inconspicuous,” he says grabbing the boy’s shoulder, “Steven… You are my number one.”

Steven flinches at the touch, “But… Thorn seems so nice.”

“No! Thorn must pay. Thorn…” he grips his thigh, “Did you take anything useful this week?”

Steven pulls out from his pockets several copper pieces and silver, handing it over.

Disappointed, “This… Is it?” He whaps the boy on the side of his head. “That is a nice bow child.”

Steven clings onto the bow as it is wrestled from his grasp, continuing to reach for it, being pushed aside, “No, please!”

Mr. Black shakes his head, “You are in debt to me, don’t you forget it. Lamm would have made you one of his special boys if I didn’t put a stop to it.”

Growing quiet, Steven begins to cry.

“Suck it up kid. Thorn is no good and I want my revenge,” looking at the bow in his hand, “Now, scamper off.”

Steven tears in his eyes looks at Mr. Black and his bow.

“GO!” Mr. Black shouts pointing towards the church.

Running off, Steven heads to Thorn’s home, tears in his eyes as he cries on his bed, guilty for betraying his new mentor.

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Thrill of the Hunt Part 4
A New Friend

It was a bit chilly that morning. He clutched his forest green cloak tightly to keep in the warmth. Stopping by the orphanage to check with the head cook there for the food on hand. He needs to step up his game as essentials are quickly dwindling due to the citywide issues.

“Olga, I’ll be back. I’ll check my usual spots, and try my hand at some fish today,” Thorn says to the portly priestess.

Olga nodding at Thorn, “I have enough vegetables to make a stew for tonight with whatever you bring back,” she looks at the storeroom, “I fear that things will get worse before they get better.”

“I’m working on that, Olga,” nodding he heads out, stopping briefly seeing Steven asleep in his cot, clutching his new short bow.

With a sigh and taking some time out for himself he walks out of the city, bow in hand. Tired of the ongoings within the city, leaving it behind for a few hours, returning to nature.

His mind lost in the clouds, which looking up were particularly white, light, and fluffy today in the sky blue sky. He had wandered off his beaten path he normally takes away from his usual spots he told Olga he would be.

A his attention returned to him when he caught wind, a feeling of being watched. He sniffed the air, listened for any sound. Turning around, letting his impatience getting the best of him. “Come out, I do not have time for games, or the patience,” he says readying an arrow in his bow, looking for any movement in the forest foliage.

After a few moments a tall hulking, muscled, dark haired, blue eyed, man steps out from his camouflage. Standing about six foot six, covered in animal hides, a bow in his hand, and a large axe on his back.

Taking a firm stance, he looks at the man, and using his own knowledge of the area he thinks for a moment and surmises that this could be a hunter from one of the nearby Shoanti tribes. Lowering his bow slightly he nods, “Hello, hunter.”

The large man grunts, and with a deep voice, in a thick unique Shoanti accent, responds in common, “Elf,” more of a response than a statement to Thorn’s greeting.

“Half-elf, actually,” correcting the large man. “Shoanti, I presume?”

“You perceive correctly, halfbreed.”

Not enjoying that remark particularly, deciding to shrug it off, “I’m one of the master huntsmen from Korvosa,” he bows, “You can call me Thorn.”

The gruff man nods, “Thousand Arrows, of the Lyrune-Quah, or in your tongue The Moon Clan, halfbreed. Your name is unusual for your kind, a good name for a Shoanti however.” The large man walks up to Thorn, “A huntsman you claim to be. Good profession.”

“It is what I go by and know. My true name lost,” he shrugs, “As for being a hunter, I try my best, and why I was out here today. Providing food to the orphanage I reside at feeding many little mouths that call that place home.”

“I see,” grunted the man, “You think you can outmatch me in a hunt? See how many kills you can bring back?”

Thorn paused for a moment and looked at Thousand Arrows, “Archery is not a game and the bow is not a toy,” Thorn said holding up his bow. “A bow is a weapon, a tool, and must be treated with respect. I do not hunt for sport, but to provide. I take what I need only.”

Thousand Arrows nodded in agreement, “Good answer, Thorn. Many I have met were for game and sport, trophies.”

“That makes me sick. There has to be a balance of give and take. It is the natural order of things.” Thorn replied.

“As in all aspects of life there must be a balance. A night and day, light and dark. Too many people now do not respect that. Your city is one of them places that do not respect the balance,” Thousand Arrows pauses, “It is refreshing to find someone who follows that mentality.”

“I know all too well what the city is, Thousand Arrows. It is my home, where I grew up, I have many responsibilities there to the less fortunate, the kids, and my friends. We are trying to make changes, save the city, but it is easier said than done,” Thorn explains, “I believe with the recent events in the city, change is upon us.”

Thousand Arrows nods, “A noble effort. I do wish you luck on your quest to redeem the seemingly unredeemable.”

“The roots of the city’s infidelity against nature, balance, and its people run deep. It will not happen overnight, or soon I fear, but the potential is there and I aim to sow the seeds for this to happen with my friends.” Thorn stated.

“You may have to attack it at the core to get the results you so desire,” Thousand Arrows nods, “Enough talk of your city, politics, and its corruption. You came to hunt and to commune with nature. I also was out for a hunt. Let us do it together!”

Thorn smiles, “Yes, let us hunt together. I have several mouths to feed and and a tavern to stock with some meat. That three of my adventuring companions work at, and two of them call home,” readying his bow, Thorn gives out a word of wisdom, “Archery is very focused on form and focus, If you are thinking about anything but your shot, you’ll shoot an errant arrow.”

Thousand Arrows nods, “Good advice, friend.”

Together they blend into the environment and start their dance into the afternoon.

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Journal of Perdita Bernardi- the 9-10th
The World of Meat

[Hidden in a secret spot in her room. She writes in draconic.]
Journal of Perdita Bernardi

The riots each night are killing this city literally. I can’t blame the dock workers and other people being worried about what will happen when the next ruler comes to power, but rioting will not do any good. Our tavern has been lucky in that we have food to sell, and eat, many others are not that lucky. I have over heard the mumblings of my hirelings. If they had not taken these jobs when they did, they would have been some of the ones starving. The Guard has turned to their reserve members in desperation for help. The riots have turned the city to chaos and everyone including Sable Company are at their wits end.

Ithamore and Erik picked up a job for us from Cressida Kroft. I’m told she looked worse that a horse that had been worked hard and put away wet, multiple times. With my companions being reserve guard she offered us a few side jobs. It seemed some of the guard members had gone rogue and causing problems themselves. She wanted us to bring in a deserter named Vancaskerkin, and his comrades. He and his group were hold up in an old butchershop called ‘All the World’s Meat’. Rumor had it that each day this guy was giving away fresh meat to all the people. Free food, if that wasn’t a riot waiting to happen I don’t know what is. The gold was good, 1000gps alive, 500 dead. You can’t get information out of a corpse, easily. There were rumors that someone was bringing in weapons to the city to arm those rioting. We suspected that that this Verik Vancaskerkin might be using the butcher shop as a front for it.

Thorn and I scouted it while the other’s worked on a plan of attack. We found the stock pen full to the breaking point. This seemed odd when there has been a shortage of incoming livestock and food stuffs in the city. For the moment it wasn’t important, but was odd. Scouting around we discovered a meat floor where a couple of guys do the butchering for the next day. We didn’t see any weapons other than their butchering knives. As a cook myself I know how sharp those things can be in the right hands. After making our way through the livestock pen we found a side door that had the pens for two large boars. Those things will eat anything, and are mean. Thorn managed to make his way upon to a thatched roof, and listen in at the windows. He was able to identify 4 men upstairs, and another in a side room. After finding all the information we felt we needed we headed back to our friends. A plan was made. We sent myself, and Erik to the front door to prevent escape. Then Ithamore, and Boshi, would be at the back door. Thorn would be in the livestock pen having released those hogs and the cattle, with Kess outside performing. We seemed to catch them somewhat unawares. We managed to kill all the guards, except for Vancaskerkin who surrendered.

We tried to haul his sorry ass back to Commander Kroft but no such luck. We got him to the citadel but found that a doctors was in with her. We feared the worst but Commander Kroft had passed out from exhaustion. She simply worked herself to the brink. What were we going to do with this sorry bastard until morning? We took the guy back to the Falcon’s roost and tossed him in the basement. Everyone took a turn at guarding, we hung up a signed on the front door saying Private Party, and went to bed ourselves.

Adelade was up and making breakfast preparations, and Devin was finishing up things for the night. They raised an eyebrow at us coming in with a guy, but didn’t say anything. They may be young but they do know sometimes it is best not to ask questions. Adelade had hot and fresh food for everyone when they woke up about noon. Coffee was a favorite that morning. While the rest of the group went off to finish their duties, I went to selling all the things we had found. I also placed orders for new armor for myself and Kess. We would be able to pick it up the next day.

That evening we frog marched Vancaskerkin to Commander Kroft. As agreed we were paid the 1000 gold pieces for bringing him in. We left him to be interrogated by Commander Kroft. As to why the guy did it is none of our concern. Who knows maybe he thought he was doing right by giving the down trodden free food. When Thorn went back to check on the cattle, and pigs, it was found that most of the animals were stolen from local farms, and families. This made Vancaskerkin appear even guiltier. He will be lucky if he gets to keep his life.

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Journal of Perdita Bernardi- the 7-8th
A trip through the sewers

[Hidden in a secret spot in her room. She writes in draconic.]
Journal of Perdita Bernardi
Our journeys continue but they continue to be perilous. When I was selling off our gains from the Fishery job we found a Succubus broach that despite all spells to the contrary we could not identify. Kess mentioned there was a rumor from the palace of a lost broach of Queens. We could sell it and get a few 100 gps for it, or we could take it to the palace and see if it is actually the Queen’s lost broach.
While Erik and I sold the rest of our items, Kess and the others went to the palace. She had an ‘in’ with the hand maidens that allowed us to at least approach the queen. Turns out the blasted thing WAS the queen’s lost item. What do you know? I’m not going to turn down 3000 gold pieces split evenly between all of us. Money is money, and money pays the bills. I don’t like the queen but at least were earned some honest money from her.
The next ruler will be decided by the Arbitrators. We managed to convince Commander Kroft to let us be the guards for them when they met. That was a wasted day. Two of them voted for the queen, two voted for the brother, and the other two abstained. It was a tie. When we pushed them why they were abstaining it became clear that they were being bribed to stall the proceedings. I was not pleased.
With the process of having a clear ruler, and the riots and food shortages only to get worse we knew order had to be found and quickly. The only person we thought that could straighten this whole mess out would be Nelandus Kalepopolis, the head of Sable Company and current steward of the kingdom. The problem was he has disappeared.
We managed to find one guy who said he saw him the night of the announcement of the king’s death at the base of the great stairs. We knew where he was standing, but from there he was gone. I was worried that it had been a couple days since he disappeared and any clues to his whereabouts would be long gone. I could have told you which drunk guy had wizzed on the front gates that morning, but I found nothing on Nelandus. Hoping to get a lead we went to the pub right across the street from where he disappeared. We managed to get a couple leads.
Erik chatted up a bar maid and found that the Nelandus was there alone, but wore a hood. He talked to another bar maid named Angie. The bar maid said he seemed afraid for his life. With what clues we were able to pull together, he was said to have gone into an outhouse, and never came out. That left us with one possibility, he escaped down into the sewers. Oh wonderful…………NOT!
After some heated debate of how badly we wanted to find this guy, we ultimately decided to follow his trail down into the sewer. I did not want to think what we were going to be crawling through. I know what I toss down the sewer, and it is unimaginable what we could be going into, and that doesn’t even take into account the creatures down there!
We found a rope ladder still hanging in the nearby storm drain and follow it down. As we go down we find a door in the side of drain, which had a pretty trick trap on it. I manage to disable it and open the room to find what was inside. There was nothing in there except the remains of what could have been a bug gout bag, and a whole bunch of spiders. That was not pleasant.
Having no other alternative we continued down the rope ladder to the drainage pine that had a curtain of some sort blocking it. On the other side of it were a bunch of Trogladytes. Thanks to Isthamore’s ax they didn’t live long, neither did their pet shock lizards. We find on the other side of a makeshift door we found a were rat named Sump. We agree to give him all his equipment back, except for his silver short sword. We offered to get him wolfsbane to help cure him in one weeks’ time provided that he led us to where Nelandus went. He walked us until dawn through ruins under the city that dated back to Thasalon. The next morning, the 8th, I just wanted to sleep. When we came out we happened upon the carriage of the Prince himself. That was a little awkward.
I went home, grabbed a bottle of wine to lessen frustration, and then went to the baths. I was afraid they would not let me into the baths but thankfully did. Soon as I was home I fell asleep until 3 that afternoon. Thankfully Adelade and Devin held down the fort. It is days like this I am glad we hired them.

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Aftermath of the sewers
meanwhile back at the tavern

Adelade was beating the eggs by hand while Devin loaded the latest set of groceries into the larder. “Would you quit complaining Addie. Yes you are up at 4 bells but you still make good tips don’t you?”
“That is beside the point. I just feel it is not fair that you get the overnight shift.” Annie groused as she measured flour into the bowl.
“Tips might be a little better but trust me it is no picnic. You tell me how much you like closing this place down when you are mopping up dwarf vomit at 2 am.” Devin lifted the last barrel of molasses into the pantry.
Annabel made a disgusted face. “Vomit I could do without.” She moved over to the fire where she had a pan with butter melted in it. “From the tales you tell the breakfast shift sounds boring.”
“Oh don’t tell me you are not making good tips. I know for a fact that you got a whole gold piece from that guy.” Devin came over to lean against the counter.
“Only because I kept his mug full of coffee.” Adelade poured hot batter into the pan to make some fritters.
“They pay me for getting them drunk. They pay you for easing the morning after.” He eyed the pan of pastries. “Besides who could resist your pastries.” He tried to take one when Adelade wasn’t looking.
She smacked his hand. “No for you!” She dished up a couple fritters onto a plate. “I’ll get your breakfast made soon as I get Marco’s order. He ordered a large stout and two of the fritters. He is paying extra if he can get them fresh from the pan.” Glaring Adelade took the plate out of the kitchen, stopping long enough at the bar to get the stout.
Annoyed Devin checked the lock on the pantry. Locking ones pantry was not uncommon due to thieves. Normally the lock wasn’t a hard one to deal with given how many he had picked himself trying to get food. Given how food had become a valuable commodity in the city upgrading the lock had been a good idea. Generally he or Adelade were in the kitchen all the time, but better safe than sorry.
It was about then that Adelade walked back in the kitchen. “I take it you want your breakfast as well?”
“If you don’t mind.” He said cheekily.
Adelade began heating another pan. “If you grab another basket of eggs, I’ll start making more fritters.” As requested Devin got another basket of eggs from the locked pantry and placed them on the counter just as Adelade dished up two more fritters.” Let them cool a minute before you eat them.” Adelade warned.
“I suppose a couple more minutes won’t hurt since they are your frit… oh dear goddess.” Devin slapped his hand over his mouth and nose at the stench that wafted in the door. Adelade was holding a cooking towel over her nose.
Walking in the back door looking like a half drown mangy dog was Perdi. She pointed at them and said, “Anything in the dishwater bucket than dirty dishwater?” A little green Devin shook his head. “Good.” She grabbed the bucket went outside in the freezing weather and poured it over her head. She screamed from the cold, but walked back in the kitchen, and shut the door.
The stench was somewhat gone, at least now she smelled like last night’s left over stew instead of someone’s chamber pot that had gone rancid. “I take it last night’s endeavor didn’t go as planned?” Devin offered. The glare he received answered his question.
“Adelade, can you handle breakfast without me? Devin, do you think you could man the bar for a while this morning?”
The two youths looked at each other, “Shouldn’t be a problem.”
“Good. When I get back I have a gold piece for each of you.” She disappeared into her room.
“Where are you going?” Adelade asked.
Grumbling about stupid rats, and idiot men Perdi grabbed a bottle of inexpensive wine, “I’m going to go take a bath! Heaven help anyone who tries to stop me! ”

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Perdi's Rules for Life
  • Her unspoken rule : You do what you have to do for family
  • Rule number 1: Never go anywhere without a knife.

*Don’t belive what you are told. Double check.
*"The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person – if you must. There is no third best."
*You don’t waste good.
*Never say you are sorry, it is a sign of weakness.
*Always be specific when you lie.
*Never take anything for granted.
*When a job is done, walk away
*Bend the line, don’t break it.
*Always work with your team
*If someone thinks they have the upperhand, break it.
*It’s better to seek forgiveness than permission
*Never mess with someone’s coffee…if you want to live.
*"There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you."
*"Always watch the watchers."
*"If you feel like you are being played, you probably are"
*Don’t sit on the sidelines while your people are in trouble.
*"There is no such thing as coincidence."
*"If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are."
*"Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you."
*"Clean up the mess that you make."
*Never underestimate your opponent
*Always keep a spare

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