Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia, has long sparkled on Varisia’s southern shore. Established 300 years ago by Cheliax at the height of that empire’s expansion, the city now commands its own destiny. A line of Korvosan kings and queens emerged to rule the city, establishing an infamous seat power—the Crimson Throne.

Rulers have sat upon the Crimson Throne for more than a century, and the city has flourished. Yet the monarchy always seems on the brink of disaster. The Crimson Throne is not a prize to be won—it is a curse. No monarch of Korvosa has died of old age, and none have produced an heir while ruling. Even though King Eodred II controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, that control remains tenuous, and many secretly count the days until their latest king falls to what they call the Curse of the Crimson Throne.

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The Wind Behind the Clouds
The Queen controls Korvosa. Or most of it, anyway. Old Korvosa is quarantined, and one can only assume the siege tactics of the Grey Maidens will bring the place to heel in a week or two when the food, and perhaps the liquor, runs out in old town. Is it tyranny? Perhaps.

But perhaps not. I confess to a growing unease regarding the current state of affairs in Korvosa. The Queen has demonstrated command of magics far beyond anything that any rumor had heretofore indicated. And she used it to immediately slay a would-be assassin. But then what? She did not immediately institute martial law. A tyrant would certainly have done so. Old Korvosa has attempted secession. A tyrant would have put the rebellion down quickly and brutally. Avoiding a bloodbath by blocking the place off until its inhabitants calm down, and then mercifully retaking control--are these the moves of a tyrant?

Is she, in fact, a tyrant? Is she, in fact, worth fighting? Korvosa has had its share of poor rulers, and she may number among them, and she may have had a hand in the King's death. But she would not be the first to take the throne across a pool of the previous occupant's blood. Is she worse than any other who has sat upon the Crimson Throne?

She appointed a new Seneschal, probably a puppet. But the old Seneschal was missing and presumed dead--would any new ruler have done differently? She has replaced the Abadarians with the Asmodeans in her confidence. But the grand bank was in the grip of plague and unable to do its work--why should it not be replaced?

No, the Queen is no tyrant. At least, not a tyrant worth fighting, for she is not a tyrant any worse than the myriad others who have ruled Korvosa (and perhaps is better than some). Has she done questionable or vicious things to solidify her rule? Probably. Is she a threat? Except insofar as she jealously guards her rule, no.

And yet, she commands those magics. Magics well beyond her. Magics of which she should have no inkling. Magics one does not simply find. Where, then, did those magics come from?

Could Ileosa have a patron? Could there be forces at work beyond her? Could there be an agenda beyond hers? Could she be serving a secret master? And if so, what is the master's agenda?

Therein lies the real threat. And therein lies my fear.
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Dear Sir
Doctor Julius Nebo

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Masque of the Red Death
On departing Carowyn Manor, I am left with a series of thoughts all revolving around the question "why?". Why this slaughter? What was accomplished? Who benefits?

The Queen? Not hardly. No-one of consequence was attending the party, so the idea of a mass assassination is shaky at best. The Queen's enemies are much higher profile than the fops and dandies who bled and died at Carowyn Manor.

The mad archer at the house mentioned Rolth, and I suspect that true responsibility indeed lies with the enigmatic necromancer. He can't have many sources of funding, and necromancy is a surprisingly expensive business. Could this be as simple as a robbery, carried out by a particularly psychotic perpetrator? The place was looted, and while many in Korvosa would blame the varisian Ruon, who was not among the dead, I'm more inclined to believe that Rolth simply spied an easy opportunity to fill his personal coffers and practice his vicious arts simultaneously.

And where is Ruon, anyway? He appears to have escaped the house. I will see his ocarina returned to his sister, but I regret that I have no word to give her of her brother.
Session: Game Session - Saturday, Mar 31 2012 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Drawing Back the Veil
I've come to call this disease Blood Veil in my notes, as it seems to first manifest as red swellings across the face. Beyond that, it seems to me that this disease's appearance is no accident. Consider the plot from the viewpoint of a conspirator:

1. You have access to a dread disease that kills quickly and that no-one has seen before. You want to infect the city with it as quickly as possible, before adequate quarantine measures can be mustered.

2. You acquire a stockpile of old Korvosan coins, probably from a shipwreck, and coat them in vile infection.

3. You pack these coins 50 at a time into specially constructed boxes that will remain buoyant.

4. You fill the hold of a ship with these boxes, and set the ship on course to sail into the harbor channel.

5. The Korvosan city guard spots the ship as a quarantined vessel, and sink it after it fails to halt.

6. As the ship sinks, the special boxes float free of the hold and are carried by the current all over the harbor.

7. When found, the coins are quickly spent as commoners celebrate a windfall of the equivalent of several months' wages.

8. Epidemic ensues.

The question, then, is Who Would Do This? Who indeed. With dread, I concede that the perpetrators will likely show themselves soon--whoever stands to benefit the most from such an outbreak is most likely guilty of arranging it. This sort of step would only be taken by someone wanting to sow terror, and the only good reason for sowing terror is to save people from it and gain accolades and honors. Who stands to benefit?

Urgathoans? Such cultists would celebrate their grotesque theology by demolishing the populace with disease. However, the plague ship plot is too complex for a pack of priests capable of quietly spreading disease all over the city themselves. With magics capable of infecting the city, why go to the trouble of the ship plot? Such a plot would only be undertaken in order to cover the trail to the perpetrator, but Uragathoans could infiltrate the city with ease and strike from within. I discount involvement from them (though they may certainly move to make things worse, and so should be watched for).

The Cheliax Ambassador? Further depleting the population of the city would aid his real estate scheming. He would be capable of hatching the plague ship plot and carrying it out. But at what cost? Depopulating the city is hardly the path to profit--money can't be made if no one is alive to spend any. His involvement is both possible and plausible, though the latter is not as strong as I'm comfortable with, lacking any other information.

Sadly, there is another who would stand to benefit. Queen Ileosa herself. She continues to seek to secure her rule, and "saving" the city from plague would earn her the love of the commoners that she has heretofore been denied. She is just as capable of the plague ship plot as the Ambassador, with even more motivation to sow a "terror" from which she can save the city. Croft tells me Ileosa will send for shipments of antiplague draughts--and the idea that such quantities would be readily available is cause for suspicion. Having considered such a thing, however, I am at a loss regarding any action that could be taken about it.

Of course, there is no proof of any party's involvement. But I will remain alert, and the truth will out.
Session: Game Session - Saturday, Jan 21 2012 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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The Red Death!
Things are doubtless going to turn savage in the next few days, so I must sit and organize my thoughts to keep focus in what will doubtless be a time more trying than any I've faced.

There is plague in the city. Aidan brought me to the Trail's End home of Grau the guardsman to assist in looking in on an ill child, and what we found is astounding and terrifying at once. The facts are as follows:

1. The child found a box of coins three days ago on the beach.

2. The coins were old Korvosan mint, pocked and scarred from exposure to sea water. She spent most of them on clothing and other largesse for her friends and family. Some went to purchase fish slurry for the family to eat.

3. A local fishing boat captain also found a box of coins on the beach. He took the coins and spent a night of revelery at Eel's End.

4. Both the child and the captain are now in bed with a disease of swelling boils and a hacking cough that may well kill them both. Aidan and I, after deliberation and study, determined that the disease itself is mundane, though it's transmission may have been magically induced somehow. It is entirely new, and I am making notes regarding symptoms and progress.

5. A spell from a local Abadar priest to remove the disease failed. I cannot say for certain if the problem is the strength of the disease or the inexperience of the priest, but I suspect a combination of the two factors.

6. Worse, the priest took a Harrow reading from me before casting his spell. The Inverted Paladin is an evil omen indeed. Aidan was visibly shaken by the result, and I concede that I feel as though a great tide is rising--one that can upend good men standing alone.

7. We concluded that the disease is traveling with the found coins. Dack moved quickly to try and track them down, but they have already found their way into both Korvosa's food supply (the slurrymen paid by the child's family), and the vice community (Halvara's girls at Eel's End). I believe containing the coins and their spread is impossible. Just in case, we have alerted both Marshal Croft and the priesthood of Abadar to spread the word that old worn Korvosan coins are to be shown to authorities whenever possible. The guard and the clergy are capable of seizing such scrip, but the effects of that are uncertain.

8. As Treatment is the only avenue open at this stage, I have called in Cole and Venkat, and given each of them 500 gold pieces with which to purchase as much Antiplague draught as they can. I hope the wide medicinal properties of the draughts can help, and I suspect that the price will skyrocket within the next few days, so will purchase as much as can be found ahead of the surge.

9. I have alerted the Market Guard children to be on the lookout for the coins, and to bring them to me if any are found.

10. I have also alerted Litessa Tiguan to begin preparing as much Antiplague as she can, as fast as she can. I admire her ability to grasp a dire sitution, and hope she works quickly to preserve herself and her father--she is too valuable to resource to lose.

Session: Game Session - Saturday, Jan 21 2012 from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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