Curse of the Crimson Throne

18th Calistril 1408 (continued, more, etc)

Why does a Queen need a brooch? For subjects!

Hi everyone! It’s Bowie here. Do you get the joke I made in the title? I think it’s a pretty good one. Please read on to hear some more jokes and other things.

Fireday, midday in Gold Market. Some people begrudgingly take their flour and we decide that we can go to Citadel Volshenyek. The mood is one of unease. Pavitra, Mod, and I decide to take the cart of flour to the Citadel while Po and Brian try to sell some of our gear.

Some of the stalls have closed off but there are some permanent stores. They go to one of them, Gemshare Jewelers, run by a couple of brothers. Brian offers to do the talking. “I’m Jeffrey,” says the shopkeep. They compliment one another. Po interrupts and says, “We have stuff to sell.” They go to a backroom lit by a lantern. Po appraises the value of a fist-sized scrimshaw carving of a kraken with garnets for eyes.

“I think this would make a nice paperweight for someone with a lot of paper,” says Brian.

“Or someone nautical,” says Jeffrey. They compliment each other again and Brian gives his address. They decide to look at them all and work out a price as a “job lot.”

Po then evaluates a silver ring with the inscription, “For Emmah, the light of my nights,” a miniature gold crown, a two-pound gold ingot with the Cheliax coat of arms, a narrow teak cigar case inlaid with jade, and a bejeweled brooch with a broken clasp, which seems obviously the most valuable piece. The circular gold brooch depicts a pseudodragon and an imp coiled around each other in an almost yin-yang pattern. The pseudodragon’s eye is an amethyst, while the imp’s eye is an emerald.

Jeffrey gasps and claims that it belongs to the Queen and she has a reward for it. Jeffrey claims the rest of it is worth about 400gp and he is willing to offer 300gp for it. He asks Brian if he has ever considered being a hand model. “Funny you should bring that up,” answers Brian who adds that his left ear is especially well-regarded. They eventually settle on 550gp and close the deal.

Jeffrey tells them that the reward is for 1000gp and has been up for at least a month.

Meanwhile, I talk to Pavitra about the history of the Citadel and its namesake who was a spooooky guy. As we make the turn to the Citadel, we see there are hardly any soldiers there. There are a couple of nervous-looking guards there. They say, “Halt!” I say, “I’ll try.”

They mention that a cart was mentioned to be stolen. We say it isn’t stolen, that we’re bringing it there for Sgt. Hamwhistle. We are left there in the courtyard. They won’t talk to us and I can tell they don’t like adventurers. Then they say we will go meet the Field Marshall Cressida Croft.

Her office is very bare. There is a priest of Abadar leaving the room. Field Marshall Croft is in red armor, with dark hair and late thirties. She introduces herself and asks us to sit down. She says she has us to thank for the Gold Market. She seems tired. We explained what happened, giving some varied explanations. She gives us a reward of 10gp. Wait until Po and Brian hear!

A Korvosan guard comes in and gives us a dirty look and then whispers in the Field Marshall’s ear. I ask if we should leave. I hear something about a fire and Hell Knights as they whisper. They ask if anyone died. I say no definitely not. Pavitra said we tried to prevent riots. Mod says we stopped people from hurting one another.

Croft asks if we know Theandra Darklight. I say I live at the Three Rings Tavern! Croft says they are stretched thin and can sometimes use help. She says sometimes they do that if people are the right kind of people. I say we’re all in this together and she agrees. Lubbens, the guard, angrily clears his throat and Croft dismisses him. She offers us as a reward a line of credit at Three Rings Tavern for room and board and also reimburse her for the cure light wounds. Mod says he wants a different reward but he will think about it. She says there is trouble… a fire at the Temple of Aroden, an ancient temple. Aroden is an older, dead god. About 100 years ago, he died. His temple here in Old Korvosa is crumbling down but there are a couple clerics there still. I’ve heard a rumor that maybe they are shamming it a little bit.

She tries to send us out but Mod says he has thought of a reward he wants, a donation to the temple of Milani and then changes his mind, realizing there is no temple, and says to donate to an orphanage instead. Lubbens comes to show us out. I tell him we should have a drink since we’ll be working together. He refuses, tightening the strap on his helmet and he mentions that Old Korvosa is just a bunch of empties (poor people) and dancers (thieves). I tell him that’s offensive and he glares at us as we leave.

Brian tells us that we have the Queen’s brooch and there is a reward for it. I tell them I think it is more important to go put out the fire. Brian asks us to vote. No one wants to go to the castle first other than him.

As we cross the Narrows, Mod hears some crusty druids with rough-looking dogs arguing with fishermen down by the water. He sees Sez down there and Mod greets him and hugs him. He asks Mod to go have some drinks after he hears about Gaedren Lamm. Sez says he’s so proud of Mod. “Good on you, mate!”

We move on to the old Temple and have to go through a couple alleyways. We hear the sounds of a party up there, not a riot. We smell smoke but hear people talking and laughing and halfhearted trumpet tooting. People are passing out drinks from a large keg. “What should I play?” says the trumpet player. “Smoke on the water!” is the reply and he continues with it for the rest of my memory.

Po recognizes his friend Rizzo, smoking and drinking near the ale barrel. An imp and pseudodrgon chase one another. Some girls call to Brian to join them. There is a cleric who is remonstrating with the people saying “It’s not safe! You have to stop!” There are lots of sailors and smith’s apprentices playing a game where they spin a blindfolded one who staggers around with a broken masthead of a mermaid and people bet if he will burn himself or place the item on the pile. People look down from the roofs, too.

Pavi asks a woman what they are doing. She sighs and says, “They’re having another party. They live here.” A guy offers her a mug of drink. “Go on!” She suggests he give it to me. I’ll say I’ll have some sure and he pours it in my battlemug. It smells very strong but I’m not sure I recognize it.

Po walks over to Rizzo who is startled. Po shows him the red velvet Shiver. He says he thinks he has a lead on Po’s “lady friend” but he owes a guy. Rizzo says he needs 100 sails but Po offers him the Shiver instead for the info. Rizzo says maybe 50 gold could take care of it. Po tries to talk him down and they agree for 30. Po tries to ask about “A” but gets nowhere.

Brian finds himself annoyed with the trumpet player. Brian just looks unimpressed with the proffered hat. The cleric yells for them to stop the game that it is dangerous but they taunt him by saying that all clerics can bring water out of their asses. I know I could but I didn’t ask Cayden Cailean for that spell today.

I drink some of this beverage which is a strong gin that is actually quite pleasant. The guy who’s given it to me says he expects a Golden Age and he loves the Queen. Others boo him. I wave and dance and make my way over to the cleric. He is quite worried about the fire being close to the temple. Mod notices that the barrels are labeled Absalom Bottom Rocker and there is a guy doling it out who is looking appraisingly around and isn’t drinking himself. Mod notices that he is making eye contact with a fellow across the other side of the fire, which is getting quite big. He offers Mod a chance to buy into the game, which is trying to make the pile as high as the arch near the temple.

We talk about what to do and Brian and I decide to try to convince people to put some of the fire out but he is more concerned with stopping the trumpet player. Pavitra talks to some old people and convinces them to leave, building on their disapproval. Mod says to the guy giving out drinks, “Since you’re not drinking, why don’t you beat it.”

“I don’t think I will, friend,” he answers. “Have a drink. Haven’t you ever been to a party before?”

I say, “Good people of Old Korvosa. (laughs) You’re the ones who haven’t been given anything in your life. (Except gin!) The Guard doesn’t care about you. (Nope!) The King doesn’t care about you. (King’s dead, hooray!) You’ve stood by your neighbors, folks above you and below you. (silence) Including the temple here. Your only temple is in danger from this fire. Let’s try to clear it away from the danger.” One guy seemed into it.

As I speak, the guy who was watching the one pouring drinks nods to the trumpet player and then my friends all seem to become mesmerized. I don’t notice anything strange really, though, other than that people just seem to quiet down and listen to the music. Someone then throws a barrel into the fire and there is an explosion. It burns some people badly and the fire moves closer to the temple.



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