Journal Posts

Surveying the mess
The ground shakes with each slow but determined step, accompanied by a heavy metallic clank. People scatter from the narrow street to avoid the large, armored figure as it walks toward the scene of a burning building at the corner of a block. Galeric stops and looks around, having to turn his whole body to see from the holes in his enclosed iron prison.

"Plague. Disorder." He mumbles to himself as the sound of a few glass vials shattering can be heard from the fire. The hellknight approaches one of the city guardsmen already at the scene.

"No sign of the criminals" the guard says, attempting to hide the shakiness in his voice.

"Chaos not kept in check. Hmph." Galeric says to himself, ignoring the guard before lumbering off down the street. "This never would have happened if The Order was involved. Such a pity. Such a waste of lives it will be to clean up this mess."
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Epic!
A Letter Home
Nora sits in the lower level of the old fishery, listening to the water lap against the floor and the bubble of alchemical creations as she taps a quill against the side of an ink pot.

Dear Sir Willamette,

No. Too formal. Nora screws up the parchment and tosses it in a bucket filled with other pieces of paper, broken glass vials, and other various reagents.

Sir Will,

That's better.

You were right. Revenge was not as sweet as I had hoped. I am ashamed at my reasons for killing the vile Gaedren Lamm, though I am not sad that the deed has been done. I could not do it on my own, you were right once again, but the city itself helped me.
A spirit claiming to be of Korvosa brought myself and a group of like-minded individuals together to bring Lamm to justice.


Nora stops to take a deep breath as flashbacks of Simon's murder flood into her mind.

I had intended to return to you in Lastwall after this deep was done, but I found my home city in need and calling for my aid, and felt the need to find repentance in the eyes of Iomedae for my vengeful actions. My new companions and I have been embroiled in the death of the king, riots and protests surrounding the new queen, potential war with the Shoanti and most recently, the outbreak of a deadly plague.

The alchemical apparatus pops and sizzles as it bubbles over. With a silent curse, and a quick glance to make sure Quintis hadn't looked up from his book at the opposite side of the room, she turns the heat down and adds a dash of a lime green powder to the beaker.

I have failed my companions once already. I stayed behind and let them investigate a vile necromancer whilst I worked with Simon's alchemical books in an attempt to master his formulae. One of them was lost, and the others tortured, before I was able to find and rescue them. It will not happen again, by Iomedae I swear I will protect them from now on.

Nora finds herself staring at Quintis as he pulls at the air, looking like he's playing an invisible harp. The mage seemed absent-minded, but his power and intellect were not in doubt to Nora. She looks back to her alchemical experiment and ponders again why some potions work and some simply do not. It couldn't be that Quintis was translating the formulae wrong, it must be something she was doing wrong in the creation. She sighs and returns to her letter.

I pray to Iomedae for guidance every day, though I know not if she hears my prayers. I now keep her tenet in mind each day: I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given. Jaris made the ultimate sacrifice for us and for the city, though I cannot help but feel I abandoned him.

Something is not right with the plague gripping this city, and I plan to help my companions get to the bottom of it. I will have faith in the Inheritor. I urge you not to come for me, I will come back to you when I am ready to be your squire once more.


She ponders a moment on the letter, still not entirely happy, though completely exhausted. It had been a few days since they had returned from Lavender's, where they had stopped fake plague cures from being sold, and truth be told she wasn't sure if she had cleaned the sewerage completely out of her travelling clothes from the prior adventure to see the were-rats. It would have to do, she had to try and create this new batch of potions.

I will learn the weight of my sword yet.

Your squire,

Nora


Nora takes the letter and carefully folds it, sealing it with a blob of wax from her candle. She then takes the potion beakers off the heat, places them on a cooling pad, and begins her nightly prayer.
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Epic × 2!
A role to play
Thandor relished the feeling of the wind in his face. Gwador pulled a tight turn, tucking his left wing and rolling. The elf had to tighten his grip to stay in the saddle, scratching his mounts head as it came straightened up again. Not much had happened since the party had foiled the conwoman at Lavenders so the pair enjoyed spending time together.

It was great to be in the sky again, flying together. Thandor hated having to keep his friend hidden during the day, but he made sure to take him out at night, releasing him to hunt every few days, but still, it would be a very frustrating existence for such a majestic creature.

The pair flew over the city, despite it being dark, Thandor could recognise its myriad locations by the lights and shapes. He had been patrolling these skies for a century after all. This train of thought brought Thandor to a question he had been asking himself lately. "Why am I still here?".

Originally it was his duty that bought him from his forest home to Korvosa, as part of the Meriani pact with the humans 100 odd years ago. Thandor was among the representatives sent to the human city as a gesture of good will. Along with the ambassador Perishial and his retainers, Thandor and a handful of elven troops and artisans were to live amongst the humans and instruct them, strengthening the bond between the two races.

He was assigned to the Sable company due to his ranger experience, had had served dutifully, growing fond of the city over the decades. But with the Sable Company disbanded and his comrades in arms missing in action, what was preventing him returning to his people in the forest?

Though he was growing to respect his new companions, he was certainly not close with them. It would take man years until that kind of bond could be developed, something the short lived races often misunderstood as aloofness.

The harrowing with the ghost was indeed intriguing, but he didn't hold too much faith in the cards, elves had much more accurate means of divination after all.

There was always Neolandus has supposed, he had grown to like the seneschal, and the man had been good to Gwador and himself. Did he not owe it to his friend to at least discover his fate?

The more he thought about it though, the Thandor felt that his fate had been irrevocably intertwined with that of Korvosa. He could no more leave it to its fate during this strife than he could abandon Gwador.

Thandor guided his mount towards the homes of the elves in the cities north. dropping from the saddle as his mount landed on the embassy roof, Thandor ruffled the hippogryphs feathers and sent him off to hunt. Gwador would return to the old fishery before sunrise. Thandor steered clear of the elves in Calistria's temple of late. You can never be to careful with a plague around. Instead he visited with a few of his kinsmen, talking to one of the elven armoursmiths before he walked slowly back towards the home shared with his new companions.

Whatever the fate of Korvosa, Thandor knew that he still had a role to play in her defence.


Thandor will continue to train with Gwador to improve their aerial combat skills. He keeps his ear out for any rumors regarding other Sable company marines and the seneschal. He has approached the elven blacksmith about crafting elven curve blades and is hoping to one day have a traditional Meriani suit of armour crafted (Mithril Full Plate) and is talking with the blacksmith regarding the materials and time frame required to have it forged.

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Epic!
Diving for Information
Quintus excitedly flipped open the lockbox that Orlando had taken from the cabin of the ship below. He knew there was magic contained within and could not wait to discover the contents. He trusted in Thandor's skills to return them to Severus, or the fishery, or the citadel - he didn't really care.

"That was amazing Orlando! How you distracted that shark to make good our escape I don't know! It was huge! You are a HERO! We make a great team! Orlando the Candle and his sidekick, Teamster Thunderrocks. Lucky we were invisible..."
Quintus trailed off as he tossed aside a pouch of coin to Orlando to sort and share, platinum and gold spilling into his friend's hands. The cloak with a large blowfly sewn into it was far more interesting to him. As he rolled it in his hands, he chatted aloud, "This appears to be a cloak depicting the symbol of Urgathoa, Patron of Disease and Death and Undeath. Hmmm... look at THIS!"
Quintus stuffed the cloak into his haversack, bored of it already upon glimpsing the next find.

Quintus retrieved a book from the lockbox. Running his fingers over the title of the ancient text, he mumbled to himself as he opened it and started to scan and flick the pages...

"Serving Your Hunger"
"Looks like a cookbook?"
"Andaisin..."
"She dealt in plague if I remember correctly, wiped out a village in Nidal and escaped on a ship..."
"Interesting... gross... hmmm..."

Quintus glanced up toward his friends, "You know, I've seen that ship before I think. Or at least heard of it. It was a Nidalese Merchant ship. The Direption is its name. Interestingly it was lost by it's owner some five years ago, Wenston of Nijarok. Not that Wenston would care, he died something like three years ago..."

Scratching at his neck in thought, Quintus returned to the pages in front of him, "Orlando, how much money did we get? I used a bunch of scrolls to search out that plague ship, well even if it was a plague ship? I mean, we both saw it, and I can't see any pox on you, so maybe it was the wrong ship. Or maybe the pox doesn't spread by sight. I guess we better check in on that guard some day and see if he gets the pox, that way we'll know if its sight or not..."

"This book is very interesting..."
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The Second Harrowing
The group has seen Zellara's illusions before and are not surprised that the Citadel Volshynek mess hall looks completely different. The walls are covered in images of Korvosa, scenes from the past, present, and presumably future. One painting shows scenes of Shoanti fighting Chelaxian settlers; another shows a group of children stealing in service on Gaedren Lamm. Multiple pictures show Blackjack helping others in the past, present and future. Others yet showed the violence and riots from the recent past, and other showed an eerie image of an empty ship being destroyed by catapults.

Zellara's semi-translucent form shimmers as she gestures to a table and chairs materialise around it. Her Varisian accent is tinged with a ghostly echo this time, "The city calls once more, and it is you five that it seeks." As the party sits, Zellara's Harrow deck appears in the centre of the table. The cards rise from in and swirl through the air, shuffling themselves, before returning to a neat pile in the middle of the red velvet tablecloth.

A single card rises slowly from the deck and drifts to rest in front of each part member. Zellara's ghostly hand gestures towards Thandor, and his card flips over to reveal The Tangled Briar card, "You are new to Korvosa's call Elf, but you are not new to the city. The Tangled Briar calls for the ancient triumphs of the elves to return".

The card in front of Severus flips over next to show The Desert, "Your cause is without hope, your family in ruin. The city calls to your aid, and will, in turn, give you hers. But it will not be without great personal danger" Nora's card is next to flip, revealing The Wax Works, "My child, your feelings of helplessness will end. Your friends are once again safe in your care, but you must be sure to maintain your vigilance, for helplessness shall once again visit you."

The fourth card to be turned over rests in front of Orlando, The Brass Dwarf. "The city has blessed you with invulnerability to peril. Do not squander her gift, for she also revels in chaos." The final card, the Teamster, turns over in front of Quintis and Zellara's ghost frowns slightly, "The city tells us that you will be the driver of things to come young mage. I hope you are up to the task." The cards fly from their resting places on the table, swirl once more with the rest of the deck and then return to the table.



Nine card flick outward, forming a three by three grid of face-down cards that hover slightly above the tabletop. "First, we see the past." Zellara waves a hand and the top card of the first column turns over to reveal The Forge, "The city has known of the dangers to come for some time, and has been working to find or create heroes. This is why we are here." The second card in the column of the past turns over. The Paladin. "The Paladin signifies your steadfastness in the face of adversity. You have been through much, have already lost a companion, but have not turned away.". The final card turns over to show The Mountain Man. "In this position, The Mountain Man speaks of the potential of Man to do evil, to perform atrocities against his own kind. The history of Korvosa is thick with examples." Zellara gestures to the paintings around the wall. "We must work to prevent this happening again."

The cards in the first column settle gently to the table, as the top card of the next row turns over. "The Winged Serpent praises your timeliness in action that prevented war with the Shoanti. The city urges you to maintain this momentum." The second card flips, showing The Keep. "You have been unshakable in your resolve, and you have even created a haven for yourselves within the city." The final card turns over, The Wax Works. Zellara looks straight at Nora, "You have not finished with Rolth Lamm. You have not forgiven what he did to your friends, and nor should you. But do not let your thirst for revenge hinder your judgement. Stay true to your goals and protect your friends that yet live." Nora gulps and nods, and allows Zellara to continue the reading.

The cards of the present settle to the table next to those of the past. "Now, the city reveals to us the future." The first card turns over slowly and Zellara gasps, "No... it cannot be. Something of great power comes, in a triumph of mind over body. Powerful in undeath, and yet, not as an enemy. At least, not as an enemy of the city. You must be cautious." The Beating is the next card, "Threats will come at you from all sides, at least one of which will be a show of physical might, likely from the Queen's new handmaidens."

Zellara pauses before revealing the final card. This card represents the hopelessness of the future, the evil that is to come. But with the right preparation, it will still be conquerable. The final card flips over to reveal The Bear and Zellara stares towards it for a long while, her eyelids slightly closed, showing only the whites of her eyes. "A force of nature comes, something mindless and destructive. It will cause many deaths and spread out of control, but you will not be able to face it head on."

The cards fly back to the deck, and the room begins to waver. "My power wanes, if you have questions, ask them now."




OOC

In “Seven Days to the Grave,” the party will be faced with
situations where health and resolve win the day. During
this chapter, characters can spend Harrow Points in the
following ways.

Constitution Rerolls: A PC can spend a Harrow Point
to reroll a Fortitude saving throw, stabilization check, or
other Constitution-based check. She must abide by the
new result (although if she has additional Harrow Points
remaining, she can use them to attempt additional rerolls).

Damage Reduction: A PC can spend a Harrow Point
to gain DR 3/—. This damage reduction persists for the
duration of the encounter in which she spent the Harrow
Point. A PC can’t spend multiple Harrow Points to increase
this damage reduction.

Fast Hit Point Recovery: A PC can spend a Harrow
Point afer resting for 1 minute to recover from her recent
ordeals. She regains a number of hit points equal to her
character level and 1 point of ability damage each time she
does so (this does not remove ability drain). She can spend
a Harrow Point in this manner once afer each encounter.

The Chosen
When a PC whose player drew one of the following nine
cards during the Choosing reaches the corresponding
encounter in “Seven Days to the Grave,” she gains a +2
bonus on all Constitution-based checks and a number of
temporary hit points equal to twice her character level.

The Brass Dwarf: Combat with Jolistina.
The Desert: Combat with Yvicca
The Tangled Briar: Combat with Girrigz
The Teamster: The Color of Death
The Waxworks: Combat with Rolth Lamm



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Epic!
Its uses expand
Quintus went back to the barkeep to order again. This time hotpot and a loaf of bread, rather than fish. He placed coin on the bar and walked to the table that Thandor had sat at, not caring for change. He had spent more on food at the Inn today than any other customer and had yet to eat.

Sitting on the benchseat opposite Thandor, Quintus did not even acknowledge the elf, but instead took his new wand out of his haversack and laid it on the table. He didn't expect Thandor would want to engage in light discussion, and Quintus was too distracted to try.

Quintus immediately started to move his fingers over the wand, appearing to tug and pull at nothing - fingers hooked and splayed for no reason at all. Now and again, out of the corner of his eye, Thandor would see a lick of ethereal flame dance along Quintus' arm or a mote of light reflect in his eye, but direct observation resulted in nothing.

Suddenly, ice appeared in Quintus' left hand, a shard, dangerous like a piece of glass from a window. Quintus placed it on the table, where it began to melt, while he tugged at an invisible 'thread' from the end of the wand with his right hand, much the same as drawing fishing line from the end of a rod.

"stthh," escaped from Quintus' mouth, as he appeared both surprised and strangely satiated, like he had just eaten. Grabbing up the wand while standing, Quintus grabbed the immaterial curtain of reality in front of him and stepped through, the table and benchseat unwrinkling back into place and reality before Thandor's eyes. Across the room, Thandor saw Quintus' feet appear at the top of the stairs as the mage reappeared on his way to the upstairs rooms...

________________________________________________________

Quintus moved straight to his room and closed the door behind himself. He started to create arcane webs in the air, but rather than throw them out like a net, he began to feed them into the door, in and around the locking mechanism. He had much to study tonight and didn't need interruption...
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Weakness In Form
Orlando had pondered it since it started, and it was not going away. Was it really right to just go along with the bribes and payment? The man they dealt with was proven scum, and a head of a great disgusting snake. Jaris said they did the job well (excluding the drake) becasue this man pays taxes and doesn't cause ill in the city, but that wasn't enough for Orlando.

His new found Harrowing powers had allowed him to feel and read his friends minds, oh how he wished Nora spun into action, he would have loved nothing more than to duel the man... But the urge was outweighed by the obvious, he was not a one man army, and putting his allies in such danger would be something he could not allow.

He had been getting stronger, but it just wasn't enough. Jaris talks about how the city isn't like how the swordsman thinks it is, Nora has started to agree and share some of Orlando's ideas, and Quintus has a spark of rebellion in him that urges him on wards. But it isn't enough. His new skills and abilities are hard pressed against a room with twelves plus men in it, with their leader... Also the guards outside and the men and women who would get swept up in it all. His Scarlett Sentinel teachings would not let him put so many people in harms way.

"If I could I would go there by myself, and eradicate those rats from my new home... Even Cassida believed it was a just and good thing to do... But I used my wit and not my sword... My fear of endangering my allies, or seeing them killed was to much to bear in the moment. I must become greater, more skilled, hardened, fearless, and more heroic I could ever imagine!"

He ruffled through his pocket, grabbing at Kamino's old Harrow cards. His hero in life was his brother... In fact he longed to be just like him, his brother had all those talents and bearing he thought off, more than what Orlando had now, and Kam was only 13 at the time. "Some hero I became huh?". As he moved his hand out of his pocket three cards had got caught in his sleeve, he removed them and smiled. "I will believe in the man who believed in me. That is our way."

The cards in his hand were placed out in a small reading.

The Juggler: represents destiny, deities, and those who play with the fates of others

The Survivor: represents a creature that has managed to survive a terrible ordeal, when everyone thought him lost.

The Empty Throne: It represents those who are gone, or a ghost of the past that has taught important lessons.

Feeling encouraged and confident in himself once more Orlando strode on. His allies did not die, they achieved what they set out for, and Orlando already knew what he must do to get stronger... And steel sharpens steel. Master Vencarlo might have a new student soon enough.
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Echoes of a Love Lost
Nora sits in the mess hall alone after the last of her companions and guardsmen have turned in for the night. In front of her lay Simon's old portable alchemy lab and his formulae book. She idly thumbs the pages of the book, not really paying it any attention.

Sir Willamette had warned her not to seek revenge, warned her not to let her anger carry her away. There was no doubt in her mind that Gaedrem Lamm was guilty and deserved death at the hands of her and her companions this day, but why didn't it ease the pain? She had lost Simon nearly ten years ago and since then had thought of nothing except vengeance. Fear had caused her to flee Korvosa; she was, after all, a weak girl of only 15 winters, incapable of defending herself, let alone avenging her lover. The dreams would never stop; she saw her beloved Simon die every night, and every night she heard the words, "Gaedrem sends his regards".

Maybe it was her fault for leaving the Lamm's, but after her brother took ill and mysteriously disappeared, she couldn't bear to work for that vile man anymore, so she ran. She was hungry and alone, not even ten years old, fighting house drakes for scraps in the shingles of Old Korvosa when she met Simon. He was only a teen at the time, an apprentice of a renowned healer. He saw her plight and took her in. He and his master made her feel at home, and for a few years, she was happy, though it was not to last. The master left on a trip for some ingredients and never returned, leaving Simon and Nora to fend for themselves. They scraped by for another couple of years before. Before it happened.

Nora wipes a tear from her cheek and focusses her attention to Simon's formulae book. She had never tried anything as complex as the extracts Simon used to make, but she had his old kit and knew how to read the formulae. Moving into the kitchen, she began to gather up the ingredients for the first extract in the book, along with a few glass phials probably originally intended for seasonings or herbs. Nora toils late into the night, eventually finishing with three flasks of varying liquids. She held one in the palm of her hand; it was a crimson red hue with a swirl of orange. The formula book said this one would give her great strength, but at the expense of her clarity. She would have to use it only in dire circumstance.

Cleaning up the mess she made, she says a quick prayer to Iomedae and heads to the bunks. Tomorrow she would begin to atone for her sins, and earn the forgiveness of her mentor.
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Epiphany
Each time Quintus used the wand, sending out a bolt of force energy at the thugs, he glanced longer at the device in his hand. As the fight continued longer, so did his interest increase in the wand, and less so the combat that he and his friends were involved in.

Quintus steadily became more disconnected from the fight, and more interested in the wand. Eventually he forgot why they were there, and cared little for the danger - his friends had this - the wand was astounding.

The strands of reality (unreality?) were clearly visible to him each time. The variety of hue and colour intriguing. If this simple 'stick' can store energy as such, why must I work so hard on study to make the threads weave? There has got to be an easier way!

This line of thinking had meant he was ostracised at the Acadamae, and the disdain he would display toward the pencil necks there, invariably got him into trouble, when they couldn't see what he could... They 'thought' they knew magic, but they were but mere regurgitators of the written scripts... script invented by genuine talents...

*****

As Quintus rifled through the notes found on the desk upstairs, he only half considered the information that pointed toward something strange in the Butchery. The parchment and paper, the notes, there was no threads... He pulled out his personal spellbook, and thumbed through. Blue lines here, reds there, golds, greens, purples - so many.

While holding the book, Quintus reached over, grasped a hue of colour between his fingers and pulled at it. The tug affected several other threads of reality. Looking around, he noted the others were searching the bandits, questioning the quarry, looking about the room.

Quintus put his book on the bench and started to pull the weaves apart. He drew upon the blue until the purple changed to red. Using a finger to hold apart two slightly different golds, he thumbed the blue back through, and allowed the red to mix with gold to create a new colour, almost bronze...

Quintus stood straight! He had spent an hour this morning preparing himself for the day ahead, ready to use a spray of colour to disable his enemies if needs be, but now, now he knew that if he was faced by enemies he would be able to get them to sleep at his command... a completely different spell contained in the book.

Only a minute had passed! His mind began to boggle...

*****

The group gathered their belongings and prepared themselves to set out with Verick, back to the Citadel. The others were discussing their plans for the traitorous guards, but Quintus didn't really care... So if spellbooks work, but also have the weave, and wands work with a perfect weave... what if scrolls were more about the weave than the script? I wonder if...
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Prelude to Anarchy
"Shut yer mouth ya filthy firecrotch!" A wiry man with greasy hair, covered in dirt and grime backhands the young redheaded girl across the face, sending her reeling back onto the straw covered pallet that serves as a bed for her and her fiance.

"Yeah, the only sound we wanna hear from ya is screaming as we gut yer man like a pig." A second man speaks, much larger than the first, though just as filthy and missing half his front teeth. His big meaty hand hauling up a young Chelish man by the hair.

"Nora... Run!" The restrained man barely manages to choke out the words before the burly thug slams his head hard against the wooden wall with a sickening crunch. The thug pulls the head back, blood flowing freely from his victim's nose. He gives the young girl a wicked grin, then pounds the man's face into the wall again and again, each time the sound becoming wetter and more sickening as the face is turned to pulp. The young girl screams, forced to the bed and unable to help as the man she loves is brutally murdered in front of her.

When it is finished, the scrawny man pushes the hysterical girl back down and blows her a kiss. "Gaedren sends his regards."

-----------

Nora wakes in a cold sweat, her hands tightly gripping her simple sheets. She slides out of bed and takes a long draw from a waterskin sitting on the floor and sighs. The dreams kept coming, despite her best efforts to forget. The sun was beginning to rise, so she moved to put her armour on but paused suddenly. On the floor next to her armour lay a card, a harrow card.

Tentatively she reached down to pick it up.
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Epic × 3!