Curse of the Crimson Throne

When Bowie Met Pavi
"Vrocked Up!"

The First Date

Pavitra Cavendish adjusted her sari and peered at a table of brass ewers inside one of the brightly-colored tents of the Gold Market. A sign nearby read, “Imported directly from Jalmeray! One of every hundred contains a real djinni! We sell wishes, not water!” The vessels looked like nothing she’d seen on the island, but rather exactly resembled the simple drinking ewers used at every tavern across Vudra for storing ale, not powerful elementals. Laughing softly to herself, she turned towards the next stall.

“Hi there!” came a boisterous voice at her side. A young man of perhaps eighteen summers fairly bounced next to her. He was tall, around six feet, with light red hair blowing in and out of his eyes and in clumsy braids on either side of his ears. His face was freckled and the light fuzz around his broad, guileless grin looked to be something he was growing to make himself look older. His eyes were a bright green and fairly seemed to drink her in in a single gulp. “You are definitely not from around here, are you?”

“Oh! Um, hello. Yes, that’s right. I mean, no. I am not from around here. In fact I’m from Jalmeray, quite far from here indeed.” She nodded to the sign. “Unlike those ewers, I reckon. Though we do consider ourselves part of the Vudra peninsula. I am Pavitra.”

“I could tell right away! I saw your clothes and thought, ‘She must be from Tian Xia!’ My name’s Bowie. I’m a cleric of Cayden Cailean. Do you know Cayden Cailean? He’s kind of my hero. I mean, he is my hero but he’s also a god! He was a person just like us and then he became a god. He didn’t even try to, really! That’s just how awesome he is. He’s a god without even trying. Anyway, my dad was a sailor for a long time and he’s been to Tian Xia! Isn’t that an amazing coincidence?”

Bowie spoke with the enthusiasm of a toddler who has just discovered the sound of its own voice. Or like a condemned man trying to talk his way out of an execution.

Pavitra furrowed her brows slightly but then began to smile. Her first chance to teach a local about geography! “Well, Vudra isn’t quite as far as Tian Xia,” she said. “It’s part of Casmaron. We have so many rulers and kingdoms that they call us the Impossible Kingdoms! House Arkona of Korvosa has traded with Vudra for many…” She realized that the young man hadn’t stopped to listen to her at all.

“My dad’s stuff is what got me interested in traveling too and I guess that’s how I started following Cayden Cailean because he went all over the place, having great adventures, and I’m going to do that too! Do you want me to show you around? I know all about Korvosa. In fact I don’t know who could be a better guide for you than me. For instance, this here is the Gold Market. You can buy things here!”

“Hmmmm.” Pavitra gave him a dry look but he didn’t seem to notice. There was something a bit endearing about Bowie’s cheerfulness, though. Why not let a real Korvosan show her around? Just for a bit, anyway.

“You need money, though. Do they have money in Tian Xia? Let me buy you an Oliphant Ear! Or, maybe part of one. They’re delicious for breakfast. Do you like coffee? I had four cups this morning at the Jittery Quill.”

Bowie claimed that every day he walked the length and breadth of the city, visiting almost every neighborhood. By the pace he set and his seemingly ceaseless enthusiasm, she began to believe him. They headed north and on a downward slope towards the waterline. Dozens of rickety-looking footbridges crossed the water here and after waiting for space to clear among the shuffling masses, he led her across.

“So, this part of town is called Bridgefront. Look at those houses on top of houses on top of houses! It’s amazing, isn’t it? Can you believe that almost one out of every ten Korvosians lives here? I have a couple regular stops here.”

They came upon a large crowd which had gathered in the street. The people were in a dreadful state. Some of them had open wounds while some held dirty bandages to staunch blood. Most of them appeared to have some amount of orcish blood within them and little in the way of possessions. Many did not wear shoes.

“Hi, everyone!” Bowie called out sunnily. Some of the half-orcs answered his smile but some did not. A small girl, perhaps four-years-old toddled out toward him holding out a hand which had been burned, the bandage taken off for her to show him.

“Oh no!” said Bowie, his eyes getting wide as he squatted down in the filthy street to be on an eye-level with the half-orc girl. “What happened?”

“I buhned my finguhs,” she said, through slightly jutting canines.

“You burned your fingers? Let me see,” he said, gently reaching out towards the greenish-skinned toddler. “Oooh. That looks pretty bad. Do you think Cayden Cailean can heal that for you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I think he can. Now, what’s your favorite food?”

“Maxmax!” the girl cried happily, naming the inexpensive Shoanti treat of pickled moose fat in powdered sugar.

“Mmmmm… Maxmax?” answered Bowie. “I think that might be one of Cayden Cailean’s favorite foods too. Let’s see if we can tempt him.” He lifted the half-orc girl up quickly and strode towards the larger group. “Listen everyone, we’re going to have to crowd around me now. Come on, press in. We can get a lot of people in here. Right, the whole square. If you’re not injured, you can stay for the blessing, but if someone with an injury needs your space please give it up. OK. Is that everyone? My friend here has a burn on her hand so I’m going to hold her up the highest so Cayden Cailean can see her. Then she’s going to count to three… You can count to three right, sweetie? Right, ok… she’s going to count and then we’re all going to yell, ‘Maxmax’ OK? We need to yell loudly so Cayden Cailean can hear us all the way up in Elysium. Ready?”

The delighted little half-orc girl on Bowie’s shoulders put her hands up toward the steel mug he held high in the air on a handle and counted to three. At that, many of the half-orcs cried out, “Maxmax!” despite the silliness of it all. Some just rolled their eyes and muttered it or didn’t, but as they did, a palpable wave of light, bright healing energy burst forth from Bowie and the small wounds, bruises and cuts of the half-orcs went away and they began to disperse in a bit of wonder, showing one another their healed state.

Some began to press around him, offering him copper pinches or a few duck eggs or a scrap of cloth. He accepted everything gratefully, taking the time to thank each gifter as if it was the finest thing he had ever seen, telling each giver how much his mom would love to use the cloth and were they sure they could spare the copper. When the mother of the half-orc girl came up to say that she’d worked all day and had fallen asleep with the stove on and thank you so much and here’s a silver shield she had saved, Bowie bade her keep it and save it for the girl’s Nameday to buy her some maxmax. Then he gave her another few silver of his own.

After they were gone, he apologized to Pavitra for it taking so long, then seemed quiet for the first time. Bowie lowered his voice, “Do you know this word: ‘Empties’? It’s what rich folk call poor folk here. Meaning that they’re empty. Empty of worth and value. All those nice folk back there, that little girl who likes honey cakes… some people would call them ‘Empties’. It makes me a little angry but mostly just makes me sad. Cayden Cailean wouldn’t look down on people like that. You can’t help where you’re born, can you? So, I do what I can around the city and… uh-oh.”

Pavitra looked ahead in the street. Another crowd had gathered but between them and the sick and injured were three well-armed members of the Korvosan Guard. Taking a deep breath and blowing it out first, Bowie walked right up to the bald, scarred one in the middle. “Good morning, Sergeant Hamwhistle. How are you today? Have you come for a blessing from Cayden Cailean?”

The bald man had to look up Bowie a little bit but he seemed like he could break the cleric in two should he choose to. “Now, come on, lad. You know why we’re here. You don’t have a license to do these things. If people want to get healed, they can go down to the Pantheon of the Many and you can heal them there, provided they pay the proper fees.”

“Sergeant, we both know these folks don’t have the proper fees… and most of them aren’t welcome in South Shore. This isn’t hurting anyone. In fact, it’s helping! I mean, keeping folks alive means no one has to take the time to cart them down to the Grays to bury them!”

“We’ve talked about this, kid. Don’t make me have to arrest you. Because I will.” He frowned but crossed his arms. There was no changing his mind.

“Okay, okay,” said Bowie, turning away. “Cayden Cailean won’t like it though. I’d double-check your ale mug tonight.” The crowd behind them called out to the Guards angrily, who turned to face them and settle them down.

After they had gone fifteen feet, he whispered to Pavitra, “Can you run fast?”

“What?” she hissed.

“Can. You. Run. Fast?” He made a little gesture of walking fingers on his opposite hand. “On three, break right, I’m going left. Ready? THREE!”

Bowie spun and started dashing back the way they had just retreated from, Pavitra and her silks fluttering behind as he ran swiftly to the left around the Guards.

“Hey!” yelled the Sergeant. But at that point, Bowie was well past him, leaping headlong into the middle of the gathered crowd. He twisted his body mid-leap, pumping both hands in fists towards the sky, his face a frozen mask of beatific ecstasy.

“Cayden Cailean RULES!” he shouted and another burst of healing energy filled the square as he then crashed backside-first into several half-orcs, who joined him in a tangled mass as the Guards attempted to give chase only to have their pursuit fouled by the crowd.

Pavitra ran the other way, trying to keep pace as Bowie gained his feet again and took off down the nearest side street, laughing hysterically. “Was that not totally righteous?!”

“So, are you hungry? My mom runs the best fishcake shop in High Bridge. My dad goes out and catches the fish and she and my kid sister Fuchsia make and sell the fishcakes. Come on! You’ll love it!”

He led her along the busy docks, teeming with activity as longshoremen loaded and unloaded an endless variety of sailing craft. Most at least gave nods to Bowie’s endless greetings and quick remarks about how bright the sun was today but some seemed to pointedly ignore him and then mutter a curse and spit after they’d passed.

He prattled on about how lovely his sister was and it would be nice for Pavitra to have Fuchsia as a friend, too, since she’d know all about the fun places for fancy dresses and perfumes and things like that. Soon, he turned back inland for a block and on a corner there stood a market stall with the words, “Fishcakes. Cheap” painted on it. A frowning teenage girl with dirty dark hair tied into a braid wrapped across a pockmarked forehead watched them approach with a sideward glance. A boiling pan of oil bubbled and spat on a portable stove in front of her, her shapeless gray clothes stained with the stuff.

“Whoa! What’s Queen Ileosa doing in West Dock?” Bowie cried, his arms wide open as he approached. The girl rolled her eyes and turned to face the other direction. Bowie whispered to Pavitra conspiratorially, “I’m just kidding. That’s my sister!” He hurried the last few steps to wrap the girl up in a hug.

“Fuchsia, this is Pavitra. She’s just arrived in Korvosa. She’s from Tian Xia! Isn’t that amazing?”

“Totally amazing,” the girl deadpanned, looking Pavitra up and down, after squirming out of his embrace.

“Vudra…I’m from Vudra,” Pavitra mumbled, wondering if it was worth it to keep reminding him.

“So, what’s on the menu today, kiddo? How about… a smile!” He opened his mouth and held it there, staring his sister in the eyes until she cracked the briefest of smirks.

“Um… fishcakes. But, if you come back later, we might just have some fishcakes to go along with that. Do you like fishcakes?” she asked Pavitra.

Bowie began fiddling with Fuchsia’s sleeve. “Hey, what’s on your arm?”

“Leave it!” she cried but they struggled until he’d pulled her sleeve up completely baring her arm.

“Is that…?”

“Yes. It’s a tattoo.”

“You got a tattoo?! That’s awesome! Did you show Dad? I’ll bet he loves it.” To Pavitra, “Our Dad got a lot of tattoos in the navy.”

“Noooo, of course I didn’t tell him but Mom saw it and she told Dad and he totally flipped his shit.”

“Hey,” Bowie replied. “Language. I’m sure they’ll get used to it. Is it a word? What is this, Elvish?”

“It’s a dragon fighting a sea serpent.”

“Oh…” Bowie took a serious look at the clumsily done scribbling on her arm in colors that ran together to make a muddy brown. “Yeah, you know I totally see it now! That’s great!”

Fuschia smiled for the first time then. “Yeah, it’s pretty good, huh? Jagov never did one before.”

“Jagov? Whoa, who’s that? Is he like your boyfriend?”

She stopped smiling. “Nooo, we just hang out. You know. Is she your girlfriend?”

“Who, Pavitra?” He seemed a bit flustered. “No, I mean, we just met today. I’m showing her around. I mean… not that I wouldn’t… um…”

Pavitra raised her brows and eyed him with a cool, discerning glare. Oh dear, she thought to herself.

“Hey, you should meet my mom!” He went bounding into the structure behind the stand, crying out “Mom! Come meet my new friend!”

“So… do you want a fishcake or not?” asked Fuchsia.

After finding out that his father had gone out on “one of the big boats” and so wouldn’t be returning until late and that his mother was very upset that Fuchsia had been spending time with a tiefling… young man (“He’s 30 years old!” “I think they age slower, Mom.” “He has horns!” “Really? Cool!”) Bowie took Pavitra on what he called his evening “Blessing Crawl.”

Apparently, tavern-keepers and vintners offered respect to Cayden Cailean and Bowie felt a responsibility to visit each one and offer a brief, “May Cayden Cailean bless this brew such that it will flow freely and flavorfully, bringing courage, comfort, and joy to all those who partake of it,” or such over the casks and bottles and be presented with a drink on the house for his efforts. Sometimes he would take his ale “to go” in his own heavy steel stein which was attached to a handle such that it might also serve as a bludgeoning “battle mug” which had been crafted especially for him by a Dwarven smith whom he had cured of “swamp foot.”

The names of the taverns became a blur after a while: Jeggare’s Jug, Shoreline Drinkhall, The Sticky Mermaid, The Jittery Quill (where the proprietor told the embarrassed Bowie that an “Ellie” was going to be back later that night, having recovered from the clap), Twitcher’s, The Overlook (where Bowie absolutely insisted that both of them try something called a “This-n-That” which was completely atrocious), Aram’s Crown, The Creaky Hammock, Posh and Turtle (finally somewhere clean), The Travelling Man, Bard’s End, and finally, Three Rings Tavern, above which, she learned, Bowie had a small studio residence.

Pavitra had never had so much to drink. While Bowie’s complexion had turned rosy, he seemed able to navigate the streets and crowds of Korvosa with the rolling gait of a sailor at sea. Her head began to swim and she wondered how she would find her way back to her room that night. It only seemed logical to stay over with Bowie since he lived right there and the coffee and breakfast promised in the morning at Three Rings sounded delicious indeed.

The Second Date

There was a knock at the door. Bowie sat straight up in bed and blinked. A dislodged bottle rolled off the filthy wool blanket to clink onto the floor amidst some other bottles. He smiled dreamily and leaned back down and went back to sleep. Surely he’d dreamt it.

There was another knock. More of a pounding, really. This time he was sure it wasn’t a dream but he rolled onto his stomach and pulled the pillow over his head. Surely it was not noon yet? Whoever it was would probably go away and come back at a decent hour.

They didn’t. The pounding kept on, echoing the pounding in his own head. Those Dwarven Boilermakers… he’d have to lay off those in the future. Could it be the Guard? They’d probably have kicked the door in by now. Something nasty? Probably wouldn’t knock.

Bang, bang, bang. He heard neighbors yelling to keep the noise down but no word from outside his door so he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and grabbed his rapier from off the floor, moving as quietly across the squeaky, cluttered floor as he could.

When he reached the door, he placed his left hand on it and concentrated on calling forth the Door Sight which Cayden Cailean granted his adherents who carried out his love of exploration. A minute later, who Bowie saw was the least expected person he could have imagined. He opened it a moment later and stood there looking down at Pavitra. It had been six years since they’d met for one day and night, but it would have been impossible to mistake her for anyone else, her impossible number of flowing silks just as beguiling and her icy eyes just as inscrutable.

She coolly looked him up and down and then said, flatly: “Three things you must know. First, you have a child named Content Not Found: leela-1 who is now five years old. Second, she is missing and I need your help to find her.”

His mouth began working before his brain had comprehended it all. “I… you mean… we? But.. where were you? You disappeared? I thought you returned to Tian Xia? I… why didn’t you… a baby? Leela? That’s a nice name. But missing?! Of course. We’ll find her! Wait, what’s the third thing?”

“Third, you are naked. Put some clothes on.”

After getting dressed, the two caught each other up on the last six years as they strode through the streets of North Point. Bowie learned that Pavitra had awakened shocked and deeply angry at herself for letting her discipline slip that fateful night.

“I looked all over for you after that night. Cayden Cailean says you should always at least leave a note if you’re never going to see someone again after sleeping with them,” he admonished. “Technically, you should always buy breakfast, too… I figured you’d gone back to Tian Xia!”

Here we go again. “Vudra,” she said, enunciating the words slowly, as if to a very small child.

“Whoa! You went to Vudra, too?!”

She had not, in fact, gone to Vudra. Instead she had secluded herself away in a little-known temple on the edge of town to work more strenuously on the Rules of Perfection, partly as repentance for that one uncautious night. When Leela was born, Pavi raised her so that the temptations of the mundane life would not drag her down from the ideal existence. But the girl grew willful and curious, having run off that very morning after a passing tinker while Pavitra was busy with a pre-breakfast Wind Blowing ceremony. Leela had disappeared in the Green Market, with no clue where she had gone despite Pavitra’s questioning of the frightened tinker and other merchants.

“You came to the right guy, Pavitra. And not just because I’m her dad because that person would also have been the right guy, but because I know everyone in this city,” he bragged. “I’ll just have to ask around and we’ll have her back by lunchtime.”

Pavitra pointed out that it was already after lunch but he obliviously carried on.

“Plus, I happen to personally be acquainted with many of the members of law enforcement. But also, I am great at figuring out mysteries! It was just yesterday I figured out where my holy symbol to Cayden Cailean was. It was in my right pocket the whole time! I’d looked for it for hours but I usually put it in my left pocket. Then I remembered that I’d used my left pocket for half a piece of cake that I’d found and I didn’t want to get it all sticky. Pretty amazing, huh? Plus, free cake!”

Bowie was pretty much the same person that she had met years ago. Though, after being fined often and sometimes even run in for a short stay in jail by the Korvosan Guard, he was a little less brazen in his attempts to heal the poor folk of the city. His confidence and positive outlook were hardly dimmed despite these setbacks, Pavitra noted, and he seemed to be taking all this news in stride and excitement, which grated against her anxiety. With the strain of missing Leela, there was no being charmed by Bowie’s carefree attitude this time around.

“Do you know that ‘Being Somebody’s Dad’ is on my Bucket List?” he asked. “Though, I didn’t think it would be for a while but still, get to cross that off!”

“A what list?” she asked, nervously twitching her hand in a small tornado of movement.

“A Bucket List, just like Cayden Cailean. When Cayden Cailean was still mortal he went on new adventures all the time and did amazing things. When he got back home, he’d celebrate. And, you know, when you celebrate like Cayden Cailean, you have to eventually take, you know, a whiz like Cayden Cailean. So, while he was whizzing in the bucket for ten or fifteen minutes, to pass the time he would write down what great adventure he’d just had, like ‘Killed Red Dragon’ or ‘Rescued Princess,’ on the wall in case he didn’t remember what he’d done the next morning. He called it his Bucket List. I’m doing the same thing but what I’ve done is I wrote down all of the things first that I’m going to do and when I do one, I cross it off the list! But.. maybe I shouldn’t do that until we find her. I mean, it’s not good to tempt fate like that. I wonder if I should even tell mom and dad that they’re grandparents…”

After a lot of vocal arguing back and forth with himself, Bowie decided not to tell his family about Leela until she is rescued and they can meet her. “They’ll just worry themselves to death right now. But it’s going to be really, really hard to keep it a secret! Has she had her first fishcake yet?? What about maxmax?! I should buy a whole bunch for when we find her!”

Another issue, she learned for him, was how he would explain Pavitra and Leela to Ellie, a university student and server at the Jittery Quill, Kaylie, a dancer and server at the Overlook, and Meagan, a musician/actress and server at Bard’s End. That would have to be dealt with, he concluded, the same way as he’s dealt with explaining Ellie to Kaylie and Meagan, Kaylie to Ellie and Meagan, and Meagan to Ellie and Kaylie. He doesn’t… and hopes for the best.

The Ensuing Weeks

Despite Bowie’s confidence, locating Leela proved to be no easy task. The two searched tirelessly, while Pavitra also kept trying to feed him purified greenrose sap as a “detox” after too many swallows from the ale stein. They found themselves chasing rumors that the criminal Gaedren Lamm was responsible for abducting Leela. It was surprisingly hard to track him down, however, and their leads have been dead-ends again and again. Once, they found what they thought was a hideout of his in an abandoned rotting warehouse in Old Korvosa, but it had been vacated long ago. Another time they arranged to meet an informant up in the Shingles only to have him and his thugs try to mug them among the rooftop shanties. The people who might know where Lamm is are lowlifes, and dangerous in their own right, and both Bowie and Pavitra are out of their element and are beginning to feel desperate.

17th Calistril 4708
Our Heroes Meet

My name’s Bowie. It’s the 17th of Calistril, 4708. It’s the day after King Eodred’s birthday. Normally, it’s a raucous party but the king is sick. Folks are sad and muttering. I feel pretty good, though! Because I’ve got Cayden Cailean looking out for me.

I wake up next morning and meet Pavi for breakfast downstairs in the Three Rings Tavern. Two drunk young women dressed as Queen Ileosa and Savina make out. Then Theandra has Tauk throw them out. Made it easier to concentrate on my honeybun. For breakfast, that is, not Pavi. She wouldn’t want me to call her my honeybun. At least not now.

I find a Harrow Card of the Rabbit Prince with a note to get info on Gaedran Lamm… the man we think took Leela… and to meet at 3 Lancet Street in West Dock. A clue! Pavitra’s got a similar note but the Demon’s Lantern card. I like mine better. Bounce! Bounce!

Meanwhile, a nice, handsome fellow I haven’t met yet, Brian, is serenaded in his dorm room by his friend Feanaro, a bard who tells him that he is doing a song soon in public. Brian gets a card as well with similar information. Why, I don’t know.

Mod, a hulking sort of half-orc fellow who I have not met yet, wakes up in the Traveling Man. His friend Sez yells, “Get your fucking sword, mate!” Some imps are bothering the maxmax vendor. Mod scares off the imps and Sez gives him a gold to make a bet that the otyughs burst out today. He also gets a Harrow card.

Po Gorb, a less hulking sort of half-orc fellow who I have not met yet, meets Rizzo the Rat. He hears some rumors that the Lady in Yellow was passing bad Shiver. Po, guess what? That’s right! Also gets a Harrow card.

I decide to ask around about 3 Lancet Street. I find out it is the home and fortune-telling shop of a Varisian woman. That’s exciting! It makes sense now about the Harrow cards, which fortune-tellers use.

Po arrives first and hides in an aley. Brian strolls up eating a lollipop and knocks three times. Then it opens onto a little chamber/living room. It smells of incense. “Hello?” he calls. No answer. He finds a note saying “Welcome. Have some bread and drink.”

Then Mod shows up. He spots Po lurking in an alley. Mod joins Brian inside. They touch each other. Pavitra and I join them and we have some bread and wine. There are tapestries in the room of a black-skulled beast juggling hearts, angels dancing atop a snowy mountain and a hooded figured shrouded in mist with a flaming sword. In my apartment, I just have a picture I drew myself of Cayden Cailean. It’s not as good. Po comes in and I accuse him of sending the notes. A ha!

An attractive middle-aged woman comes in next. She is Zelara. She is the one who had invited us with the notes.

She shuffles lots of cards very skillfully. Mine disappears from my hand. She says she has to remain hidden from Gaedran Lamm. Pickpockets stole her deck and her boy rescued the deck but Lamm killed him in revenge. She says he can find him at West Pier 17 in West Dock. She needs our help and doesn’t trust going through proper channels.

We agree to have a reading before going. Pavitra plays a card and gets The Dance. Zelara describes it as a rich and delicate card which advises knowing your place and staying in step. She says it is a good card. Po gets the Avalanche… a disastrous card symbolizing big change. Mod gets the Demon’s Lantern the card of traps and tricks. I get the Juggler, of fates, even gods. He who keeps up his rhythm has success. The Locksmith goes to Brian and has something to do with destiny but I’m still thinking about the Juggler. I have to juggle my time to keep all my ladyfriends happy, I know that much. All the cards have keys on them, symbolizing that they grant tools.

She gathers these up and lays out 9 more cards for the past present and future. The past is the Lost, the Twin, and the Beating. The Beating is strength and resilience versus attacks from all sides, the Twin is a secret meaning, The Lost is clarity of mind under duress.

The present… a Cricket, speed and quick passage, the Survivor, rebirth through ordeal, but maybe loss, Betrayal, a warning about selfishness leading to ruin.

The future, the Demon’s Lantern… important that Mod’s role card reappears here, a guide at a perfect moment to his destiny. The Tangled Briar means the future is unclear, difficult, the Rakshasa a negative aspect of the future, dominance and mind control.

Zelara says she can’t go with us but wishes us well. The sun has gone down. We talk about how we should act. We hear a voice that says, “Go Now or Brian Dies” outside. I look out there and no one is there. We decide to go though Pavitra seemed unhappy about it.

I walk ahead and wait for others to catch up. I lead the way and smell a lot of dead fish. There is a drooping signpost above the door. Double doors, that is. I call upon Cayden Cailean to allow me to see through it. I hear a growly dog. Then the dog starts barking and pawing at the door. I see someone in his pajamas: a sour faced man with short blond hair. Eventually he goes away and the dog calms down but faces the door.

I sneak back and talk to the others and tell them about the room. Then we try moving on the pier which is very rickety. Pavitra walks up to the door off the pier. She gently touches to see if it seems locked. In fact it doesn’t even turn like it is connected to a lock. Po sees that a window is blocked. The pier looks really worn. So I decide not to follow them out.

Pavitra climbs up on the roof. Po goes up along the pier. We hear the dog barking again from the front room. Brian follows up the pier. Then I follow Brian. Pavitra sees an old barge lashed to the boardwalk behind the building. Po drinks a mutagen to increase his dexterity and natural armor and lower his wisdom. It makes him look like a large cockroach. Brian and I argue in the dark about the door on the side as light is revealed at the front window where Mod hides.

Pavitra jumps down onto the rotten roof of the barge and it splinters under her. Mod hears a voice inside yell for “Hookshanks!” Some lights appear around Brian’s head as he begins to panic.

We feel a rush of energy somehow from the Harrow deck. I turn back to help Mod at the front door. Pavitra discovers a drain spider in the collapsed cavern. It tries to get her but she avoids it but then it bites her as she stands up. Brian and Po rush to aid Pavitra. I try to reason with the sour man behind the window and say, "Look, fellow. We don’t have a problem with you or your dog. If you just open up this door and go on your way, there’s no problem. But we’ve got to get in there. What do you say?

“Ger off! Private property!” he replies.

Pavitra gets bit by the spider again. I may have to suck out some poison later.

The sour faced man sticks the wand out at me and a wad of liquid comes out. It barely misses me. He curses and moves from the window and yells, “Hookshanks get out here!” Pavitra manages to squash the spider. Po tells Pavitra he’s heading towards the front.

“I don’t like this!” yells Mod and he tries to crack in the door but it doesn’t work. Mod remembers the name of a half-orc, Giggles, who he hears inside, who worked for Gaedren Lamm. He says, “Giggles in there.”

I said, “It’s a ball of laughs out here, too.”

I close the window and then cast Guidance on Mod to give him CC’s (That’s what I call Cayden Cailean when I’m in a hurry. He knows what’s up.) benefit to busting down the door. “Giggles, get up here!” says the sour-faced man. Mod works himself into a rage and then has another go at the door and smashes right through it. Then he slips through next to the dog and sees Giggles. “Trouble! Trouble!” giggles Giggles.

I stab the doggie but miss him with my battlemug. The sour man, comes out and shoots the wand at Mod, but misses. Mod recognizes him as Yargin Balkro, Lamm’s right-hand man who tortured kids with acid. Then Mod is bitten badly by Bloo, the dog.

Po Gorb drinks an extract of Reduce Person. Mod slashes Bloo in half. Brian fires a crossbow over my shoulder. Giggles comes running over to attack Mod. I step in and slash at Balkro but miss. Then a gnome enters as Balkro escapes into a room covered in fish guts but slips on the guts and falls. A small roachy version of Po comes running into the room followed by Pavitra.

Mod then guts Giggles horribly who does not die but grits his teeth and stops laughing. Brian fires a crossbow through the room. He doesn’t seem to be very good at that.

“Get him, Hookshanks,” giggles Giggles, undeterred, and strikes Mod and then still manages not to collapse. I miss Giggles and slip out towards Balkro. The gnome slips back out of the room and closes the door behind him.

Balkro calls for Lamm while he escapes. Po throws a dagger but misses. Pavi jumps on the table and also misses him. Mod, instead of using his sword, tries to punch. Giggles who whacks him and knocks him unconscious but then also falls unconscious too.

Brian attempts to stop Mod from bleeding to death and succeeds. I slip and slide chasing after Balkro. Brian comes running by, “The lady said we have to be fast.”

He sees down the stairs that Balkro went a large room with shallow sea water on the floor. There is a large vat of chum and sea water as well. There are crude paintings of a fish in red paint, two dozen small hammocks, with ratty blankets and pillows and tiny children looking at us in fear. “Children, run to me! I’ll save you from this brute!” cries Brian. Some of them come running out.

I go back to heal Mod as Pavi yells, “Leela!” Balkro calls for Lamm and tries to climb down a rope into the hold. Po comes in and tries to throw a bomb at Balkro. Pavitra gets very upset by this. “Leela, are you there!” she calls out. Brian says to the children, “Stop him, kids!” Then he yells, “Come back here, you brute!” to Balkro who seems intimidated.

A couple kids try to attack Balkro with oars. One runs past me and kicks Blue on his way out. I manage to wake up Mod with more healing and then head down to find Leela but slip on the guts. Balkro climbed down into a skiff as Po and Pavi chase after him.

“Run away while you can, kid,” says Mod as he stands up and takes after me.

Brian tries to take an oar from the kid to strike at Balkro in his skiff.

17th Calistril 1408 (continued)
Out Like a Lamm!

Hi! My name’s Bowie. Here is the next installment of my awesome adventures serving Cayden Cailean, the awesomest god there is!

I ask an escaping little girl if I am her dad. Then I manage to stand up in the slippery fish guts and tell her to be careful. Then I fall down again.

Po drops a bomb on Jargen in the boat. He gets blown up and falls in the water. Then Po jumps down into the boat. He sees another level below.

Pavitra tries to talk to the kids and kind of stumbles through it and doesn’t get them to react much. Mod heads downstairs.

Brian shines his glowing lights down into the hole. “There’s a door down here!” yells Po. “I think ”/characters/gaedren-lamm-16" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lamm is behind the door." Brian then jumps down and says, “Come down everyone!”

I crawl over to the staircase and ask the little girl where Lamm is. She points to the hole. I tell her Cayden Cailean is going to make it all ok and I channel positive energy to heal Mod and Pavitra.

Pavitra speaks to Kester, one of the kids. He asks if she is with that lot, meaning us. Pavi says she is. He asks if she can throw bombs. When she says no he loses interest. She says we’re looking for Gaedren. He asks if we’re going to stick a knife in him. She says something like that. Then she asks him if he’d gather the children and take them upstairs.

“Out of the way, pretty boy,” says Po the cockroach. “Do you really think I’m pretty?” giggles Brian as Mod tells the children, “Run, children!”

Then Mod jumps into the hole and trips on the edge of the boat and goes straight into the water.

Brian tries to hold an oar out for Mod, futilely. “Mod’s dying! Come quickly” he yells.

Some kids run by. “Am I your dad?” I ask another girl. “No, I don’t think so.”

Kester watches to see if Mod shows up again. Mod does not yet.

I stand and head over to join the others. Brian asks Po for help with Mod but Po instead readies a bomb to throw at the door.

Pavitra jumps down into the skiff and lands awkwardly and falls prone in the boat. Under the water, Mod sees some motion and some cloudy agitation. “I saw something!” he cries when climbing out.

Brian sends his light to see in the water and sees a ton of blood which frightens him.

I put my weapons away and step towards the hole and ask Kester to shout if bad guys come.

Po sees a little warning sign painted above the door hidden to darkvision. He warns Brian to stay away if he values his appearance. “But there’s blood over there!”

“There’s still something in the water,” says Mod. “It’s blood!” yells Brian.

“Wait for the smart one to arrive,” says Po. “I think he’s talking about me,” says Kester. True to form, I slip sliding down the rope with the fish guts on my hands and fall into the boat. “I can’t remember the last time I was on my back this much alone,” I say.

Po examines the door. The warning he remembers from the Lady in Yellow is about how it would be if, say, their vault had been compromised. This informs his planning.

Pavitra grabs another oar and pokes in the water around the red stain. Mod is saying that someone should go swimming. We argue a bit about my ability to see through doors. Then Brian goes charging at the door and slams into it, hard. The door doesn’t budge.

I see a fin swim by and then I say, “We’re going to need a bigger skiff.” I climb out of the skiff and tell the others to move out of the way and I’ll check the door.

Pavitra fiddles with the water with the oar. Brian starts yelling, “Oh please! Please! Please! Thank you!”

Mod drags Brian away from the door a bit while I call upon Cayden Cailean to grant me Door Sight and I place my hands to see…

A lit room with a big hole in the floor, rusty manacles hanging over it, with a couple of walkways. There are lockboxes and piles of clutter. There is a figure watching the door with a rope and a hand crossbow. And old fellow with a twisted visage.

We have a whispered conversation for strategy. Mod has a memory of Gobbleguts, a disgusting giant alligator.

“It’s Gobbleguts!” he says. “What did you eat?” I ask.

I grant Mod the Virtue of a temporary hit point and then increase my speed and give myself some Virtue. Mod smashes through the door. “Hold it right there!” yells Lamm. We see as he pulls a chain that Gobbleguts is rearing in the water right below a small girl hanging from manacles near Gobbleguts. Oh no! I wonder if it is Leela.

Mod tries to move past Gobbleguts who lunges up and bites at him but misses because of the railing. “Oh it’s you! You can’t even die right you little shitstain!” yells Lamm. Brian tries to stick the oar in Gobbleguts’ mouth as he goes glassy-eyed and says, “Your mother sucks cocks in hell!!!” It’s a startling transformation of personality, I must say.

I see that the little girl is not moving and her eyes are rolled back in her head. I kneel down next to her to defend her and call upon Cayden Cailean to heal her and Brian and Mod. She seems to be completely out of it. Gobbleguts snaps at me but misses.

Po throws a bomb at Lamm and blows him up. “You’re friends with that bitch in yellow!” he yells to Po.

“Wake up, sweetie,” I say to Leela. “Look, it’s your mom,” as Pavitra runs in and tries to slash at the rope with her kama, limiting Gobbleguts’ movement.

Mod steps up and slashes him as well. “You ungrateful little shit!” yells Lamm and then aims his crossbow at Mod and hits him.

“Come on, Mod. No need to be like this!” wheedles Lamm.

Brian walks in and his whole face opens far more then it possibly should be able to. He stars evilly at Lamm who then clutches at his head which is now glowing and then falls uncomfortably unconscious.

I drop my battlemug and feel Leela to see what might be wrong with her. My guess is she may be drugged.

17th Calistril 1408 (continued again)
My Unconscious Little Family

It’s your old pal Bowie again, with a stirring continuation of our grand adventures.

I tell Po I think Leela has been drugged. He comes over to check on her. I tell Pavitra we need to unchain Leela and that Lamm probably has a key. I ask Mod if he can find a key on Lamm. He punches his unconscious form saying, “Not fair after all this time to die so easily.”

Mod notices a jade statue in addition to the ring of keys.

We see Brian’s ears turn pointy and he grows slight fangs. He yells “Die Die Die” and swings at Gobbleguts the alligator or crocodile with a mace. It snaps back at him but misses.

Po mixes up a cocktail, I think. Maybe not. Pavitra tries to run to get the keys and is bitten badly by Gobbleguts. He pulls her down into the water. Oh no! Then Mod throws me the keys and jumps down after Gobbleguts.

Brian, a bit traumatized, comes out of his trance and an invisible hand assists trying to pull Pavitra up. I call to her to go limp and leave the key safely by Leela and drop into the water to help her mom, failing to reach Gobbleguts with Cayden Cailean’s Touch of Chaos. Gobbleguts bites her again and she falls unconscious, bleeding out.

Po tries to free Leela. Brian dashes over to Lamm, distracting Gobbleguts. I manage to pull Pavitra free and take her to the beach, noticing that she is going to bleed out soon.

Po drops a bomb on Gobbleguts. Brian looks at a jade statue of a half-dressed young woman in a clam shell. I call upon Cayden Cailean to do some healing to stabilize Pavitra. Seeing that she is safe, I dash along the beach and leap up to the railing and get back over to Leela.

Gobbleguts strains to bite at Mod. Po throws another bomb. Gobbleguts sinks into the water a bit. Then Mod stabs Gobbleguts in the head and blood pools around. Brian runs out of the room and throws the jade statue out into the shark water. Then he starts yelling, “What? No! No! No!” He’s very interesting! I free Leela.

Brian says, “I’m never going to stop being like this! It will never end!”

I point out that Lamm is still alive. I suggest tying him up or manacling him. Po thinks he might know how to help Leela. Mod lifts Pavitra out and goes to cut open Gobbleguts.

Po searches in some worthless junk and finds… worthless junk.

In Lamm’s gross bug-filled bedroom there are a lot of cockroaches. There is also a scary looking hat box. I ask Po to let me go in first, worried that it contains the head of his friend, due to the cloud of flies. But instead it is the head of Zelara!!! The woman who gave our fortunes must have been a scary ghost. It’s sad but it’s also pretty cool.

Po opens the foot locker and finds a lot of objects wrapped up.

Brian asks to claim the Harrow deck and I think he isn’t being shady or will throw them in the water. We read a sketchy note that Leela was going to be given to someone named “A” to abuse.

I am not very focused on the rest of the treasure as I’m worried about Leela and Pavi. Kester climbs down and says Hookshanks left. He’s interested in the treasure too. I think I might use Kester to help me interrogate Lamm to find out who “A” in the letter about Leela is and how to help her.

18th Calistril 1408
When All Hell Breaks Loose

Your old pal Bowie here. I’m not as chipper as usual because my daughter who I never even met and my daughter’s mom who I don’t really know that well are both in serious states of unhealth. Let’s find out what happens next! OK, I guess I’m a little bit chipper because I know Cayden Cailean will see us through this and we’ll all be fine.

Pavitra wakes up with my assistance but she is in bad shape. We discuss what to do with Lamm. He overhears us. He threatens Kester and tells him to go get help. Kester seemed intimidated and might possibly obey his former cruel master but Brian and I calm him down.

I ask Lamm why we should let him go. He says that it would be a shame for Leela to be like this forever and he can take us to an antidote and then let him go, no harm done? Mod and Kester say not to trust him, but I want to make sure Leela is all right, no matter the cost.

Pavitra starts to smell a faint whiff of smoke and Brian can hear a bell ringing. Pavitra asks Kester if he knows anything about Leela. Kester said he went down the rope with her but kids don’t come back from going down the rope.

Kester points to a faint glow to the Highbridge area. A fire! I get very anxious about my family because they live there. We argue about what to do. I try to convince Pavitra to go to the Temple of Abadar so she can be healed and we can leave Leela there. Kester says he will go investigate the fire. The others will take Gaedren Lamm in a skiff to avoid guards and try to get to Zelara’s house.

Pavitra suggests that Kester go check out the fire and then report back. Then I climb up the rope and put Leela somewhere safe. I go back down and Pavitra ties herself to me and I climb up with her. “This is nice,” I suggest to her.

The others get in a boat and hear the bells getting louder and a deep detonation coming from up the hill towards the Academy. We see Hookshanks is gone. Outside we hear the loud explosions.

I suggest leaving Leela somewhere and Pavitra says “No! We lost her once. We aren’t going to leave her somewhere else.” I guess she’s right.

A fat fellow comes running up carrying sacks and a small chest. He tries to hide them. I don’t recognize him. He says he’ll pay us 20gp to take him to East Shore. I tell him we can’t right now as Pavitra is hurt. Then he runs past us, south.

Things get very quiet. We hear smashing and see smoke and screaming coming from the North. A wing of griffin riders goes flying over towards the castle. One of them crashes to the ground. I decide we’re going to the Three Rings Tavern. It’s too crazy out here. What is going on? We see looters and thugs wrecking a shop.

We hear a herald yelling “The King is dead! Long live the Queen!” Oh. That’s what’s going on. We go to a side door of the Three Rings Tavern. I ask Tauk Par to let us in.

There is hardly anyone in there. There are riots going on, they say. I convince Theandra to get some healing for Pavitra (I’ll pay her back!) who keeps asking for green juice.

The others get threatened by a bunch of imps. Mod frightens them away. They get to the house and find it long deserted. Then they feel a faint presence from the deck of Harrow cards. Then Zelara appears in her home as they take the cards out.

“You have him! You have him! You must kill him! Bring him to justice!” says Zelara.

“Ok.” says Mod. “Wait!” says Po.

“I am sorry to deceive you,” answers Zelara to Brian who wondered how she is there.

Mod asks Zelara if she can tell us where the antidote is. Zelara says to touch the poison to the cards. “I am sensing it is a terrible poison. It will steal your voice. It will steal your wits. There is no antidote to this poison. He lies. You must seek divine help.”

Lamm spits at the image and she disappears. “You lying bastard!” yells Mod while Po says “Where is my mistress, the ”/characters/the-lady-in-yellow" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lady in Yellow?" Mod punches Lamm and he is knocked out cold before he can answer.

They think about going to find us. “Are we going to finish him off?” asks Brian. Mod and Po decide to kill Lamm. Mod drags Lamm to a trash heap. There are a pair of Hellknights chasing a small crowd.

“In the name of Milani we strike down all slavers!” yells Mod and splits Lamm’s skull open. Mod then feels deflated and stares into the distance.

They decide they won’t wait there for us or for Kester.

Theandra gives Pavitra a potion. It isn’t enough. I heal her and another hurt guy who is in the Tavern but it still isn’t enough and I’m out of healing power until I rest. It seems like a bad idea for her to go back out there. So, Pavi says she will stay here with Leela and maybe clean my room and meditate. I suddenly realize why I haven’t been able to think straight and order three ales after blessing the cask to bring the healing power of alcohol to Korvosa.

I dash out and run over to where the griffin crashed. There is a guy there tugging at the boots of the dead rider. “Hey!” I call. “Get lost, this is mine.” “OK, I just need a potion. My friend is hurt!” “You’re going to be hurt!” “No… I mean she’s really hurt, can I just see if that griffin rider has a potion?” He throws me one and I rush it back. It heals Pavitra! Cayden Cailean be praised!

Then we argue about if it is safe to take Leela out in the street. She does not want to let her out of her sight. I understand and go running looking for the others. Luckily, we cross paths. They tell me what has happened and I tell them what has happened.

Some Hellknights come by and one tells us to return to our homes. I say, “Yes we can, sir.. or ma’am.”

We talk about the Queen a little bit and decide maybe we should all go to the Three Rings Tavern.

We hear rumors from the townsfolk that the seneschal poisoned the king and has disappeared. Others argue that the Queen had more to gain. I ask Pavitra to join us downstairs.

We hear that the riot began at the castle and it involved the Guard. We talk about how to help Leela. Po thinks that some restoration spells might save her.

18th Calistril 1408 (continued)
A New Dawn

Whew! What a day. Some good things happened and some bad things happened. My name’s Bowie, by the way, and if every day turns out to be this exciting, I’m going to be a happy cleric.

We split up some items we found and decide what to do. I say that I’d like to take Leela to the temple of the goddess Pharasma in the Gray District rather than the Bank of Abadar, because those guys are pretty much tools. But those are the only clerics powerful enough, probably. I should study more. Then I might know. Someday maybe I can do it! Maybe tomorrow. Things are happening so fast.

Mod, Po, and Brian go sleep in the common room. Brian is not able to haggle the price down. Pavitra, Leela, and I go up to my room. Pavitra wants me to sleep on the floor. I do, but I put my hand up to be next to Leela so she won’t get scared if she happens to wake up.

Faraday morning. Zelara appears as we sit and eat breakfast. We thought she would go on to her afterlife now that Lamm is dead. She does not know why she is still here. She is tied to the cards, she thinks. Brian offers to do a reading for her. He suggests bringing her to the Gray District. She thinks that may help. Mod asks her who “A” is.

Zelara feels a disturbance in the city and feels a connection to us. She says we could touch the deck of cards. With a fresh set of spells from Cayden Cailean, I heal Pavitra all better.

The streets are a mess but people are sticking together. I ask if anyone needs help. Osore the beggar accosts me. I give him a gold. It’s half of all I have. As we’re about to turn off Lancet street we hear Kester. He is calling “Chimney Sweeps!” He and some other kids are calling a cart.

Pavitra and I argue about whether to let Leela walk herself or we should carry her. Kester tells the others that he also runs a “disposal service” and wants a gold piece.

I ask him if he recognizes the smell of the letter, the one from “A” about buying Leela. He says it smells like someone he remembers who came to visit. He saw a cloak and long hair. He feels really puzzled by this. He thinks it was a man, a creep. Lots of hair.

Kester says that there’s problems all over the place and he heard Black Jack was out and about. Wow! I thought Black Jack was only a legend.

The Gold Market is pretty packed with people fighting for food and arguing. There are stalls and shops in Eodred’s walk.

Then we head over to my family’s house. Mom says they are all all right. Fuschia was upset at me for not being there. I explain that I couldn’t do it. They are really happy to meet Leela and upset when they hear about how she was treated. Mom tells Mod to look out for me and keep me out of trouble. My dad offers everything he’s saved up — 35gp, to help Leela. Aw, dad!

We get to the Temple of Pharasma which overlooks the Gray District with the cemetery. There are guards there so we have to explain why we’re there. They say they are looking for grave robbers.

The main temple is like a fortress. The priestess who answers the door ushers us in when we ask for help for Leela. She says she does not recognize the poison. She says the healing is beyond her and we need 1000gp and Bishop Debair is away right now. She says Leela’s wisdom and intelligence are severely depleted and the Bishop will need to cast the healing spell twice. A thousand gold pieces! Where will we ever get that kind of money?

Pavitra says she has a lot of money hidden away and she can cover the cost. Oh, that’s easy. We make an appointment and they take our contact information down for now so the Bishop can contact us.

Pavitra takes us to her flat. She takes Leela up to her room and we meet Esther Chang, her landlady, who is very interested in Brian. Esther makes us some tea.

Pavitra thinks she’ll leave Leela with Esther. I think we should leave her with my parents. But she wins and we leave her there.

We go back to temple to ask about Zelara. I ask if the guards need help with tomb robbers. He says we should speak with Captain Croft in the citadel.

There are a lot of people in need here. I offer to help and get permission from the priestess of Pharasma to help them. I don’t charge them anything for my healing. The priestess says she won’t tell.

We tell the priestess the story about everything we saw last night. The priestess is very upset when she hears that Gaedren Lamm was killed by Mod. She says that is murder. Mod argues with her. I get a little worried he will jeopardize our chance at healing Leela.

Brian begins to have strange reactions as he tries to call forth Zelara and the priestess rushes us out. Guys!

We head to the Gold Market and it is still really crowded around the food stalls. There are places called Gemshare Jewelers, Hedge Wizardry, Pinking Shears, Slicing Dicers, and Trapper’s Hole. Then we hear a commotion nearby. There is a wagon trying to get through. Sergeant Hamwhistle is trying to commandeer food for the citadel. A mob is not letting him through.

“Seems like the army gets to eat but we Korvosans don’t get to eat,” goes the muttering.

I plan to run up and try to calm people down. Does it work? Come back for the next chapter!

18th Calistril 1408 (continued, more)
Where Have All the Flours Gone?

It’s Bowie with another tale of excitement. Today’s episode is about shopping and angry people and learning all about supply and demand. Apparently, De Man wants all the Supplies. Boom! I’ll be here all week. Well, I hope so. Will I? Probably!

I walk up to some beggars, approaching, and try to call out to people saying, “Please, let’s all calm down!” Some near me say, “Fair enough.” Pavitra joins me. Mod runs over and leaps a table of knives to get right near the horses.

Sergeant Hamwhistle draws his sword and “asks” people to get out of the way. Some louts start making a mess of a pile of rugs. Rug louts! A merchant tries to pack up his knives. The instigators blame the Guard for closing the bridge, keeping them from getting food. A lout who has heard the wisdom from ale comes and tries to join me in calming the crowd.

One guy tries to take a sack. Sergeant Hamwhistle angrily sees me (I haven’t even done anything, Sergeant!) and then whips the horses into rearing. The horses become panicked and knock back an instigator who had tried to frighten them with a burning torch. Po and Brian keep their distance.

A guard tries to grab the reins of the horses. Another lout tries to panic the horses more. I call upon Cayden Cailean for speed and then I go rushing over to pull the rugs out of the way of the horses. Pavitra tries to help pack up the knives and the guy sticks one at her and says, “Hands off please, madam.”

Mod tries to calm the man waving fire at the horses. “There now, fellow. There now,” and tries to grab at him.

Another guy tries to cut the horse’s reins. Brian comes by and gives the dagger merchant a stern look and then begins waving his crossbow around.

“They closed the bridges and they’re not going to open them again. This is your last chance!” yells an agitator.

Another drunk joins the angry mob as an older man tries to slip away. The injured young man cuts at the horse who screams. Sergeant Hamwhistle yells at me to get away from the carpets. He climbs down and says, “Make way for the City Watch. Get away from those horses!” His portly appearance does him no favors.

Po changes his appearance to look like Gaedran Lamm. He comes walking around the tent. A guard says, “We have to go!”

The butcher of horses tries to escape Mod but cannot. I draw my battlemug and go running to attack Lamm. How is he still alive?! As I approach, he says, “I’m Po!” and I see that indeed there is a glamour about him. I lose my temper a bit and say, “What in Cayden Cailean’s name are you doing? There are people who might get hurt here!” Sorry, Po. It was the heat of the moment.

Po says, “Just tell them to leave and leave the food.” Another lout tries to help Mod restrain the butcher guy. Pavitra rushes over toward the cart. Mod pins the fellow he is grappling.

The man cutting the reins finishes and cuts the horse loose and it goes running off. Then Brian says, “Now stop it!” and fires his crossbow, wildly at the one who freed the horse. A man says, “Watch it. You almost hit him!”

“What we got here is failure to communicate!” yells Sergeant Hamwhistle, using the flat of his sword on the one who cut the traces. “It’s on, boys! It’s on!” yells his mate who stabs at the Sergeant Uh oh.

“Sergeant. Leave the flour. It’s not worth your life,” says Po/Lamm. The Sergeant listens to him and tells his men to run away back to the Citadel.

I go running over to try to grab the horse and calm it down but fail terribly. I don’t really ride. Pavitra tries to snatch a guy’s spear as he tries to corner the fleeing guard. Pavitra then intimidates the guy.

“You guys take over,” says Mod to the drunks assisting him, letting the butcher go, and, thankfully, realizes that Po is Lamm before he rips him in half. Then he walks over and tries to scare off the ones attacking Hamwhistle. “Back off, fellas! We don’t want any bloodshed.”

“We don’t want no trouble, brother,” says one of them.

The horse tries to run away but I grab at his reins as it pulls me with it. Brian reloads his crossbow and then he shoots one of the men running away. He’s very proud of himself.

The drunks hold onto the guy with the cleaver and beat him up a little. The escaping guard gets hurt by a mob guy. Hamwhistle begins to run away too.

“Rabble! Let them go!” yells Po/Lamm to the rioters attacking the guard. “Let the Pignipple go!” Heheh, good one, Po.

I call upon Cayden Cailean to heal the horse and I try to calm it down as it hauls at the rein.

Pavitra tries to stop people from robbing the cart. I ask Mod to help me with the horse. Brian asks Mod to go get his crossbow bolt from out of the guy. Maybe it was his lucky one. Mod is undecided how to act.

The horse rears and pulls but I hold on. Brian yells at the men beating up the butcher who ignored Mod, “Look. I’ve just shot somebody. Now go and find my bolts.”

I can calm the horse down and lead it back over to the cart. I ask Mod to get the people to stop robbing the cart. Mod says, “They need to eat.”

Pavitra slashes a bag of flour and says, “Stop messing with the food! Go home!” The two looters run off and the butcher retreats. People start to come and take more food.

The flour merchant explains that Cressida Croft, captain of the city watch, wrote a requisition for the flour. I suggest that the people who had bought flour, should get flour, and the rest needs to go to the Citadel. The people seem ok with this and those that had bought some claim it and scoot off. We plan to then take the wagon with the remaining food to the Citadel.

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.

18th Calistril 1408 (continued, more, etc, whew!)
We Don't Need No Water!

Hi there! Deputy Bowie making his official report for the Korvosan Guard. Ha ha ha! Wooo!

Flames leap against the temple door. Mod knows there is a way to to get water up from the sewer nearby but he needs a crank to remove the cover. He leaves to get a crank by the Traveling Man Inn. A suspicious-looking guy tries to push past Po Gorb, yelling, “Stay back!”

I tell Pavi I’m going to get help from the druids and maybe she could pull people out of the fire and I could heal them when I get back. I dash off to the docks. Pavitra tries to get some people to move out of the way but only the fellow who liked my story listens. He calls out, “What do we do now, Captain?” to me.

Brian recalls a song about a city on fire where the people cooperated by passing buckets in a line and he sings it at a very high and strange rate of speed. The cleric of Aroden runs back and forth crying for help.

Po suddenly started feeling an invigoration over him so he begins rummaging quickly through a pile of garbage.

As people try to move from the fire, the imp returns and starts dancing and chittering happily inside the bonfire. A couple of the sketchy people cry out that there are people inside the temple and they are going to help them and everyone else should go get water.

Pavitra moves closer to the fire and throws a shuriken at the imp but it goes into the fire. Brian’s call for help has gotten a handful of people looking for buckets. As he gets excited, a couple of lights appear around him shining on him as he encourages them.

The guy with the trumpet runs away. A drunk lady staggers over to Pavitra and says that her silks are really exotic and Pavitra is really exotic. One of the sketchy guys starts banging on the window of the temple of Aroden with a hammer while the other one encourages him and tells other people to get water.

Po finds a couple of buckets. Another guy by another window to the temple starts trying to smash it with another big hammer. The imp laughs at Pavitra and throws some dung at her. It misses her and hits the old priest in the face.

I reach the big stone bridge. I see that the druids are being hassled by some Hellknights, looking authoritatively at them. I screech to a halt to listen to what is going on as I attempt to enhance my diplomacy with the power of Cayden Cailean. The Hellknights are a different sect than I’m used to seeing, wearing half-plate rather than full. One is telling the druids that they are loitering and they have no real reason for being there.

“Sir,” says Pavitra to one of the window smashers, “What you’re doing seems unwise.” She smacks him one in the gut. Another suspicious guy says, “We’re trying to help!” and attempts but fails to grapple her. Brian calls over impatiently, “This is not the time. We need to put out the fire.” He sees a woman with a bucket and asks her to use it. She agrees, somewhat, and begins to take her apples out one at a time, slowly, so as not to bruise them.

Po asks the priest if anyone else is in the temple. He says yes, there are a couple more priests sleeping. He has some keys. Po asks for them and then runs to the front door through the fire. His hair and clothes catch on fire.

“What you do that for?” coughs the hammer man to Pavi. She asks why he’s trying to burn down the temple. He answers that he’s trying to save people. She asks him to help Po instead and he replies that Po is crazy. The other window is successfully smashed open by the other hammer man.

The imp speaks to Po and says maybe there are more buckets in this junk, referring to the pile in the bonfire that he is sitting in. Po resists its Suggestion spell and tells it in Infernal, “Do you think I’m an idiot?” which quiets the imp.

I say, “Wise druids! Thank you so much for standing by. You were right. There is a massive fire right now. Many people and cats are in danger. Come quickly, please. Your unique abilities are needed by your fellow Korvosans!”

One druid replies to the Hellknights, “Not loitering. We’re needed.” They start past the Hellknights. One Hellknight turns to me and asks, suspiciously, “Citizen, there’s a fire?” I say, “Yes, by the Temple of Aroden. Come and help!”

Pavitra questions the men as to what their plan is to rescue people but they don’t have very good answers. She thinks breaking the windows might actually cause the temple to catch on fire since the door is ironbound and the walls are stone but she can’t get a good read on the men’s intentions.

Brian glares at the woman who is going slowly with the bucket. He says, “If you don’t hurry and give me that bucket, I’m going to throw this cat at you.” The lights around him burn with an intimidating intensity. She says, “Alright, alright,” and empties the bucket swiftly. He casts about for some water.

Po gets the door open and staggers into the temple, still burning. His natural ferocity keeps him conscious. More sketchy guys climb in the window. Mod returns with the crank and begins to open up the sewer.

A sketchy guy runs past Po who asks who he is and to help, but the guy ignores him and goes to some cabinets. Pavitra does a flying kick through the unbroken window.

Brian sees me coming and gets a bit crestfallen at seeing the crusty druids. Po puts himself out by rolling on the ground. Through the smoke, he and Pavitra see the sketchy guys moving into the temple and rifling through things.

Mod struggles to open the sewer. The imp throws poo at Po but it lands on the carpet. “Hey, you’re not saving people!” yells Po, to one of the looters. I get there and ask Brian what’s going on. I see Pavitra through the fire and call out to her. She calls back that she’s trying to help Po.

I run over to the window and a guy with a mattock tells me to leave and blocks me from entering. Pavitra cartwheels over the flaming poo to follow one of the looters, asking where he’s going. One looter whispers to another, “Boss, there are other people here. What do we do?” Po interrupts and they glare at him. Then he sees me and asks for help and comes to the window.

Another looter sneaks past Mod as he struggles to turn the crank, then forces through the grime and the rust and opens the valve and a rank, disgusting odor emanates out. The imp launches itself and flies above Mod to look at the open hole. Mod takes a swing at it and thwacks it with the crank, knocking it off to one side, screeching.

I heal Po and then I climb into the temple window. Pavitra goes down the stairs, shoving ahead of the looter to see where he was going, calling for survivors. Brian arrives and also climbs through the window, increasing his light through the smoke.

Some bucket-haulers head into the sewer to get water. The druids arrive as well. The fire starts to spread into the temple and Po uses what’s left of the poor rug to put it out. One of the druids begins to summon something. Maybe a monkey! Mod begins to fight with the imp.

One of the looters tells the four of us that they’ve got it under control but I can tell that he’s lying. I tell him that he and his friends better get out of here. Leave their sacks or they’ll get beaten up and probably arrested. We’re deputized by the Korvosan Guard. I ask Mod to guard the other window. I draw my rapier and take a sip from my battlemug and look tough.

Pavitra wakes up an old man downstairs and tells him about the fire. Brian walks forward and tries to convince them to leave. Po pulls out his dagger. Looks like it’s a Korvosan standoff.

“Get ’em boys,” cries their leader and then stabs Brian who cries in pain and surprise. Another one takes a swing at Brian and cuts him so that he is staggered and barely conscious. Mod leaps in through the door. The imp flies off.

I step forward to defend Brian and heal him a little bit. Downstairs, Pavitra hears from the old priest that a “Reginald” must be found. She shakes a very large fat man to try to wake him. The one druid had summoned a water elemental which begins to quench the fire while the druids create gouts of water.

A guy with a heavy mattock swats Brian and knocks him unconscious. Before he falls a menacing voice says, “He’s not dying just yet!” from Brian. Po steps up with his dagger against a foe and gets stabbed himself. A mattock misses me and so does a dagger.

Mod slashes the leader badly who slashes at Mod in turn. I then run him through with my rapier killing him but miss his friend with my battlemug. Pavitra continues to try to wake up the fat, snoring, drunk cleric. Then she goes and catches the older priest and tells him not to leave but to wake up the fat one.

Po throws a bomb and burns a guy up and also badly damages another one, who tries to escape but Mod cuts him down. The druids continue to put out the flames outside.

“Don’t stand over my mate like that,” cries Mod and steps up to strike a guy standing over Brian’s unconscious form but misses. I miss him twice as well.

Pavitra and the other priest try to hustle the fat one up the stairs. Then she climbs up and sees the battle. The druids finish up the fire. Po continues to battle with the mattock-wielder. The other last standing one tries to escape but Po and I slash him down as he runs between us.

A druid wanders in and frowns at the carnage. I say, “You guys are awesome!” Then I explain that these guys started the fire and are looting the temple. He points out that there’s one left and notes that we’re seemingly handling it. Mod cuts him down.

I use the last of my channeling to heal Brian and one of the looters back to consciousness. No luck for the rest of them. Well, they had a chance to do the right thing.

18th Calistril 1408 (continued, more, etc, whew!, come on already!!!)
This is the longest day ever

Bowie here again. I tell you, sometimes days go by without you noticing and sometimes a day won’t let you escape.

A large, fat priest waddles into the temple of Aroden followed by a very old priest, each in their smallclothes. I guess every faith has their own style. Outside, the smoke has cleared a bit and we see that the Hellknights are surveying the scene and speaking to passersby.

I tell the priests about how these guys were robbing them as I keep a rapier at the living one’s neck. I also tell them how the good druids were the ones who put out the fire. Po searches the dead miscreants. I ask him to hide me a dagger. They have manacles on them too. Brian suggests manacling the living one. Our prisoner says, “I ain’t saying nothing.”

A druid shakes my hand. He says his name is Bungo. He is with Arinoka and Adelaide. They want to get out of there before the Hellknights get there. I agree that is a good plan. He says maybe they could use my help one day. I tell them to look for me at the Three Rings Tavern.

Reginald is the high priest here, the old one. He says thanks, though he is kind of out of it. Brian begs for some healing and he kind of shrugs. I tell him I’m just spitballing here but maybe since they can’t do healing any more since their god is dead, maybe they could have some kind of regular get-togethers for the neighborhood and give some speeches about Aroden and such and then maybe I could step in and do some healing, since I get in trouble when I do it out in the streets. It’s a win-win, it seems but he says maybe we could talk about that another time.

A Hellknight wants to know what is going on. We explain. The priests back us up. The Hellknight is more talkative and seemingly more nervous than they usually are. He must be new. He sends us off downtown.

As we trudge through Old Korvosa, Mod and I seem to notice some psuedodragons watching and flying off annoyed. We head to the Citadel of Volshynyk. We see the Gate Captain. The Captain is annoyed with us and says the healer is busy. He wants a report written up. Brian can tell the Captain is lying about the healer being busy and starts to cry.

We are sent to the Duty Sergeant (“Duty!” snicker) and I give a good account of all the details. I notice he isn’t writing anything down and I praise him for being such a veteran that he can keep it all up there, but if he’s going to write it down later anyway, why not do it while I’m telling him. He gets a little grouchy and refuses to write up our report. I ask if he is grouchy because he has one week left until he retires and he doesn’t need this riot stuff going on and all he wants is to just go live on the boat he’s been saving his whole life for. As he forces us out, I ask him how one becomes in charge of Duty. snicker

Then we’re sent off to Field Marshall Cressida Croft. She seems to have been in battle and is getting healed up by a priest of Abadar. She seems troubled by the facts of the case. After a request and the Field Marshall’s backup, the priest of Abadar heals Brian up after noting the cost in his ledger. I remember a clue, I point out. There was some very expensive gin used to ignite the fire and also get everyone drunk. I offer her a taste of what I’ve got left in my battlemug. She says she can tell the gin is from Absalom… imported. Then I remember the label on the barrels was Absalom Bottom Rocker. She remembers something and looks through some reports and tells us that a ship was robbed recently and those barrels were stolen. She asks about the Cerulean Society and then explains who they are. Ruffians who run protection rackets, though they are semi-legal and pay their vice taxes. Then she says good job and dismisses us. I say “Yes sir!” and snap a salute which gets a small smile.

Pavi thinks we should go check on Leela. I agree. Brian insists on going to the castle. We say we’ll catch them up. We head off and I try to slip a hand around her waist. She steps away but doesn’t seem completely annoyed. Progress!

Mod, Brian, and Po head to the castle. Brian and Mod feel like someone is following or watching them. They can’t spot anyone though. They travel up Field Marshall Avenue and see tons of guards and crowds gathered all around.

They don’t wait for Pavi and me. Guards ask them to state their business. They tell them about the brooch. They are told to give up their weapons. Po tries to hide his bombs but then they notice them and ask for them. They are shown up the stairs.

A beautiful woman in full plate armor greets them at the top of a large winding staircase. She nods curtly and then dismisses the other guards who seem nonplussed at this and hurry down the stairs. I’m Sabina Merrin, the Queen’s bodyguard. Welcome to Castle Korvosa, then. She says, “These heroes are no threat to the Queen,” dismissing the other guards. Brian tries to emulate Sabina as she walks.

She asks how to introduce them. Brian says, “Brian.” Mod says, “Sir Mod.” Brian adds, “Sir to be, Brian.” Po says “Po Gorb of Old Korvosa.” She smiles, saying she is unsure that Mod is a Knight of Korvosa.

They arrive at a large set of double-doors and announces them in a very loud voice. Sitting on the Crimson Throne is the Queen Ileosa in a lush living room. They are asked to approach the Throne.

Brian walks on his knees, daintily with his hands outstretched. Sabina, amused, takes the brooch from him and gives it to the Queen. She says, “This was stolen from me some time ago. I had not expected to see it again. Yet here on my darkest day you come before me with kindness. This is much more than an honorable deed. It is inspiration. It is hope. I love Korvosa as my husband did before me. His death shocked the city as it has me. But I will not see his legacy destroyed or torn apart. All Korvosa stands at the precipice of a disaster at the hand of her citizens. You have already done me a great service. It will be rewarded. Could I ask you to do something more?”

ANYTHING!!” Brian replies, in tears.

The Queen smiles down upon him and says she will call upon him in need. “I must retire to my personal quarters. My grief has drained me. I hope your days of serving the crown are only just beginning.” Sabina has to remind Brian that it is time to leave and he is gently escorted out and asks them to wait. She returns quickly, handing them a small silver chest. “Here is your reward,” she says. “If you wish to serve the crown, the Field Marshall needs assistance.”

Mod says we’ve already done that. Sabina tells them to leave and be heroes and snaps her fingers to bring some guards.

Brian opens the red velvet-lined chest to find twelve gold ingots with the royal seal. Po thinks they are worth 100gp each. The guards take them back out to the courtyard.

Meanwhile, Pavitra and I visit Mrs. Chang, the landlady. She lets us in and offers us some tea. She says she tried to give Leela some fish paste. I offer to take over doing so and see that she won’t hold a spoon herself but she will eat a little bit. She nibbled it off my fingers. Aww! I’m a dad! Pavitra seems anxious to see that the place is secure. I give Mrs. Chang some of the gin. She likes it.

Pavitra gives her a gold piece and she gratefully grasps her hand. As we’re leaving, she asks where Brian is. She asks if he has a second name. She says she doesn’t have any reason really, was just wondering. OK.

We meet up with the others as it is starting to get dark. Brian insists we won’t use the gold for anything, ever. But I say he’s being silly. We’ll use it to heal Leela. Pavitra tries to meditate to calm down. Po and I give Brian a good reason to use the ingots rather than hiding them away: That he can show everyone he buys things from that he has special gold from the Queen.

We head through the streets to get to the Gray Quarter to the temple of Pharasma to pre-pay for Leela’s healing. There is a tense atmosphere in the Gold Market which is mostly empty. There are no guards. I knock on the door of the temple and say, “Who do we see about donating a large sum of money?”

“Oh it’s you. The murderers. The Bishop is away.”

“When will the Bishop be back?” asks Pavitra.

A few days, we are told. I talk out how to divide it up. Pavitra reimburses Po and Mod for their share of the reward. Brian keeps two ingots and the box.

We then head off to Three Rings and are greeted by Theandra. She is quite glad to see that my tab is paid up and she makes us a fine meal after I bless the ale. Pies and sausages and stew.

Sez shows up and hears from Mod about what happened with Lamm. He and Mod get drunk and start rowdily cheering the throwing down of oppressors and calling for toasts. Sez asks to hear about us. He says there are some people that want to get their mates out of prison. Change is afoot. Not everyone that went into Longacre deserve to be in there. There are unjust people locked up there. Sez thinks the monarchy keeps everyone down and keeps shackles on the poor. He wants anarchy. He says there is going to be a riot down at Longacre in the next few days. Sez doesn’t like when I mention we’ve been deputized. He tells Mod not to trust them. Mod says we’re infiltrating. Brian primly is annoyed.

The druids come. Adelaide says she doesn’t eat meat. Theandra prepares some additional food options. Pavitra says she makes awesome green smoothies. She is introduced to Daffy, Adelaide’s dog. Bungo wants to talk to me privately.

“So Bowie, let me ask you do you like animals?” He asks if I’ve been to the Posh and Turtle. He asks if I think Old Tom is happy. I say we should ask him as Bungo is getting fired up. He thinks that is a good idea and I tell him I can think of a way to get them in to talk to Old Tom to ask about it.

Pavitra drunkenly tries to chat up the druids about being a vegetarian and visiting her temple.

A pimply-faced girl comes in and says she’s looking for Po. She twitches and says quietly to him, " Rizzo is in a bad way and needs help. Come quick, come quick!" Po goes to leave. “Party on, Po!” I toast him.

Po tells me he isn’t leaving for fun, but that Rizzo is in a bad way because he gave him some of the bad Shiver from Lamm. I say I’ll come help even though I am really enjoying myself. Leela is going to get healed. Pavitra is getting a little loosened up and I’ve got my arm around her. My tab is paid and I’m sipping ale. Sigh, it’s hard being a hero, Cayden Cailean!

Pavitra wants to stay and talk to the druids who are talking about their favorite bards. I ask Theandra to keep an eye on her.

We head to Eel’s End. It’s in Old Korvosa… a series of ships tied up to one another. The pimply girl says something went wrong when he took the Shiver. She says she got scared and didn’t take any. She says her name is Bella. I tell her that is a pretty name and not to worry. Everything will be ok.

There are a lot of carousers on the ships. We go to the Goldenhawk, gazing up at the other ships: the Twin Tigers, the Dragon’s Breath Corridor, the House of Clouds, and the Eel’s End itself. There is a gnome on the gangplank. He asks our business. Bella says we’ve come for Rizzo and he says with a lisp, “The sthick fellow. Get him out of here.”

I check Rizzo’s forehead and believe he has been poisoned by bad Shiver. But I realize I can’t do anything for him. Po thinks for sure it was the Red Velvet Shiver. He thinks maybe if he took him to his hideout, he could come up with something. I carry Rizzo. “Good riddance. Don’t come back here,” says the gnome.

We go through a derelict building to Po’s secret Vault. He says he likes to be down here because it’s private. “It’s safe. You’ll see,” he says. We go on a winding path through the sewers. “I like to call it an open concept sewer,” says Po. He does some fancy figuring on his door to disable some traps and then he gets an uneasy feeling. He thinks he heard something.

I lower Rizzo safely down the wall and get my weapons out.

Po opens the door to what looks like an old library with a worktable and equipment, glass tubes, and a lab. It is neat and orderly.

“What do you make in this lab?” Mod asks Po. “All kinds of alchemist things,” he replies.

Po takes Rizzo inside. He doesn’t think he’ll be able to do much for him quickly. He notices he has a leaflet crumpled up in his pocket. It has a flyer for a show at Exemplary Execrables calling for adventurers to be fighting monsters and getting whipped.

Meanwhile back at Three Rings, Pavitra invites the druids to come up to “her” room. Theandra interrupts her on the way and asks how many children she has. “Just the one,” Pavitra answers. “Because there are three more looking for you in the kitchen.” “Don’t be silly. Let’s have another round of ale,” she asks and Theandra complies. Pavitra plays music with the druids and strips and dances about, like animals who don’t need clothes. How am I missing this?!

Po begins some tests on the Shiver. Mod stays to watch. Rizzo keeps shrieking and crying out in his fever.

Brian and I begin to head back to the Three Rings Tavern. We think we remember the way back through the sewer. Brian has a better idea of which way to go than I do. As we approach a ladder up we start to hear a splashing behind us and a loud noise and smell a terrible stench. The growling begins to take on some words, “Maxmax! Maxmax!” and something steps out of the shadows. Cayden Cailean, it is really hard being a hero sometimes!


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