Curse of the Crimson Throne

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Gaedren Lamm: The hunt begins in force
Journel entry of Inquisitor Zhaal Vas-Lil

1 Gozran, 4617

It was a typical day carousing and seeking pleasure. When I discovered a mysterious 'note' within my coin purse, it was most fortunate that nothing was missing only added. This note happened to be a card from a Harrow Deck, the Foreign Merchant to be precise, with an address inviting me to discuss our mutual problem, Gaedren Lamm.

I must admit, it did pique my interest, and since I'd already had some fun for the evening, I decided to venture forth and see what this mysterious person had. Imagine my surprise when at the allotted hour I discovered not just myself to have received an invitation, but alsy my sister and brother. While I knew Clint's issue with the scum Lamm, I had no clue my dear sister, Novinia, had any such issue.

In any event, after some pleasantries, we entered the house in question to discover the decor of an obvious Moth, or at least one who wished to pretend to be. Our host unfortunately was not present, I dislike a bit of a circle jerk, but alas, they did seem to leave a bit of a meal for us, not much, but the bread and wine was at least a nice gesture.

After a short amount of time our hose, a Moth named Zellora, introduced herself and her issue with scum Lamm, as well as giving us information as to his current whereabouts. After some time with a Harrow reading we  decided to scout out the location.

My siblings appear to wish to be the death of me, or themselves that is… they wished to just 'wing it' instead of coming up with any form of a plan. At the last we decided to knock on the front door and inquire as to certain purchases. We were asked if we were guards, at which point my brother said he wasn't anymore, and the door was promptly slammed in our faces telling us to return tomorrow.

While those two babbled on incesently about something or another I decided to find a perch and watch, which is quite fortunate as I saw two thugs starting to approach my siblings after some time. Which is fortunate as they had no clue due to watching a couple of little kids who had started fighting, apparently a couple of Lamm's Lambs. At this point when the thugs were getting a little too close for comfort, I shot one of the. 

Needless to say, a brief scuffle inseud, the original doorman coming out with a wand and sicking some vicious mutt upon my siblings, Clint ruthlessly slaughtered the thing as it approached. And then commenced killing the thugs while I disarmed the doorman of his wand. During this time, my sister spent some time communing with the spirits of the dead after having received a solid hit from one of the, soon to be, dead thugs.

Well, the doorman quickly retreated into the door and locked it…. which lasted but a matter of moments before my brother kicked it in. Within we found several rooms with little within, and then we found the room we sought. The Doorman, Yargin, some half-orc named 'Giggles' and aptly named he was, and a halfling named 'Hookshanks', which we were fortunately warned by a couple of those kids outside had a tendency to try to blend in as a child.

A fight of course ensued though there was the issue of several empty brats getting in our way, obviously terrorfied of their handlers. Giggles quickly  lost his flail due to a quick thrust of my Ranseur, stepped back and pulled his longbow out. Clint smacked a boy out of the way with the flat of his weapon, bets were that the lad was dead, but apparently a resiliant boy and only mostly dead. Eventually the children were spooked into assaulting us from their handlers, of course this removed them from blocking Clint from dealing with Yargin. Novina even got involved this time, burning Hookshanks with the dropped wand of acid, before he too died.

We had plans to interrogate Yargin, but one of the lads in a moment of anger threw his … makeshift pitchfork and beamed him right in the eyes before we could bring him around. It was quite humorous, though the kid seemed disturbed, … such weakness one would have thought those living on the streets and such would have more fortitude, alas. 

We continued our exploration of the warehouse, discovering, amongst other things, a large Alligator, that we assume 'bad kids' were fed to, he did swim off after a small bout of indigestion with a body filled with vials of acid. 

It appears we were not quite done with our fight, as several large and annoying spiders attacked us as we continued our way, they too perished. Eventually, we also found, much to our dismay, that scum Lamm had fled the scene, though he did leave behind a number of interesting treasures.

As we were leaving, intent on taking the children to one of the many orphanages in the area, and preaching to them of the pleasures of Belial, the city bells were ringing and shouts of the King is Dead started ringing through the streets……

Alas, I shall have to come back to these musings at another time, a brother and sister who have enjoyed my services, and vice-versa have been seen entering, Pleasure can be such a demanding task master.

 

 

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And so it begins...
I'm sure this is a good idea...

The day began like any other. There were rumors about the King, about his young Queen, about the Curse of the Crimson Throne, but all of that was perfectly normal in Korvosa.

But for three Aasimar, that was about to change. Each found a mysterious note, inviting them to seek justice against a man who had wronged each of them – Gaedran Lamm. A petty crime lord he had managed to evade justice for years. But if the group assembled had anything to say about it, not for much longer.

 The note led them do the humble abode of Zellara, although she had not yet arrived. When she did arrive she explained that Gaedran had killed her son over her Harrow deck. She performed a reading for them, with portents of chaos and an opportunity for them to shine. Zellara explains that she has tracked Gaedran down – he has been operating out of an Old Fishery in West Shore.

The next day the group went to scout out the address Zellara gave them.  It was not long before they ran into one of "Lamm's Lambs". Or rather, one of them attempted to run into Zhaal's belt pouch. The initial scouting revealed multiple doors. As it turned out, the front door was the 'decoy' door for those not invited. Yargin, a great lover of acid, called upon other guards to ambush the party. Although it looked a bit grim for Novennia, the guards and Bloo, a mangy and cruel cur, were handily defeated and Yargin retreated inside for help. He enlisted the aid of the Half-orc Giggles and the halfling Hookshanks, attempting to put the young children in between them and the party. Although the ploy bought them a few more seconds of survival, it was not enough to save Gaedren's henchmen, for the Bloodrager Clint was on a rampage.

Although the children were helpful, including Dodger, who gleefully threw disgusting, rotten fishguts in Hookshanks face, and perhaps less helpfully finished Yargin off, they did not know of Gaedren's comings and goings. They knew that some of them were taken to Yargin's office and never returned, and that down below was where Gaedren worked, but not how to get there. They even knew of some of the customers who visited Gaedren, but none of that helped in locating him.

So the group went across the rickety pier, down through a spider infested rotting fishing boat and emerged to find a partially hidden area under the house. In it they found any number of items – but not Gaedren himself.

Several of the items were of note:

  • An encoded ledger, one that needed a specific Chelish cypher to decode.
  • A brooch, clearly belonging to the royal family of Korvosa
  • An old hat box, inside of which was the very woman who had sent the party here, along with her Harrow deck.

As the party took this in, shouts came from outside… The King is dead, long live the Queen?

 

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Get thee to an orphanage
Or the snake will get you...

With Gaedren Lamm nowhere to be found, and little to point to his next direction, the siblings turned to assess the cries. As they did so, the fortune teller Zellara appeared before them, including her head – even as Novennia kept hold of the (mostly) identical severed head in a box.

Zellara appeared greatly distraught – she believed that Gaedren would be here and his absense was not as she had hoped. Apparently fortune telling is not an exact science… Zellara confessed that she had been dead even before she had gathered the three to her abode. Somehow she was still able to influence the world of the living after her head and her body became parted. Moreover, she would be able to provide some small assistance in the form of healing to the holder of her harrow deck - should she believe that said holder was acting in the interests of the city – or in the interests of hunting down Gaedren Lamm.

When they emerged to see the outside it was clear that the city was in turmoil. As they watched, a Sable Company hippogriff fell from the sky to the south of them. With the lack of information – other than that the King was likely dead – the trio turned their attention to gathering more information from the gathered children. Little more was learned beyond that there was a cloaked and hooded lady with black hair and impressive charms who visited Gaedren periodically. Whether this Lady provided the note (which looked to be signed with an A or a T – if not simply an illegible scribble) that set him on the move is still unknown.

Their next move would be to deliver over two dozen children safely to an orphanage – they selected the one nearest Citadel Volshyenek as their destination. And escort would be needed as the streets were in an uproar. Nearby, druid protestors were taking advantage of the chaos to throw dock workers into the river where a Jig-Shark lurked below. The party was most displeased with this activity, but in the end the sharks were fed.

With the druids most handily dispensed with – and some even politely chopped into chum for the fish and shark in the water below, the group continued on. Screams and smoke and fighting continued as they went, but the trio focused on keeping the youngsters out of trouble. Along the way, a young girl attached herself to Novennia, finding her speech of the power of undeath and the severed head in a box entirely enthralling. As expected, the journey was eventful – first imps took the opportunity to attempt to start a dance party of pain. Despite their native resistances, the siblings whittled away at them but not without injury. At the last House Drakes swooped down upon their prey, shouting encouragement and praise to the party for their imp slaying prowess.

Slowly they made their way further toward the Orphanage and came across a mob assaulting an injured Sable Company marine and his Hippogriff. The party intervened, dispersing the mob with calming words rather than weapons. With the help of a passing carter named Lucas, they assisted the marine, Amin Jalento, back to Citadel Volshyenek. Amin offered them a reward from the armory but they still had over two dozen children in tow and did not dally until they were safely delivered. Along the way Zhaal spoke very highly of the Blessings of Belial, tho at this point the children seemed more interested in where their next meal was coming from.

Fortunately the final destination was not far off, and soon the children were taken in. Clint offered Dodger a dagger for personal use, and donated a flail to the orphanage to be traded in on a sword for use in Dodger's future training. Catallia decided that she had no interest in staying at the Orphanage if she could be accepted as Novennia's apprentice instead. While some glances may have been exchanged between brothers on the topic, none would gainsay Novennia or the girl on the matter.

Finally they were able to turn to the matter of reward – after quite a long day they returned to the home of the Korvosan Guard to take Amin up on his offer of access to the Armory. Amin also offered lodging in the Citadel, and even encouraged the group to join the Korvosan Guard but they did not choose to take him up on the offer at this time. Instead they returned to the fortune teller's apartment – finding it to be far dustier and lacking in furniture. Despite all that it was warm and dry and had tapestries of interest still hanging from the walls. Their bedrolls setup they prepared for the next day.

With a royal brooch still in their possession, Zhaal determined to seek information about its status before approaching the castle. Despite his self proclaimed skill with his tongue, nobody he spoke to could tell him anything of it. After some shopping and the use of Zellara's head to feed the rumor mill – and with Catallia studying diligently in their newly acquired apartment, the group headed for the Castle. It was clear that the city was still in a great state of unrest, and the guards at the castle were clearly unsure of how to handle the recent change in circumstances. Nevertheless, after some discussion the group was escorted to meet the Queen's bodyguard – Sabina Merrin – who seemed entirely unconcerned that the group might be a threat. Dismissing the guards, she escorted them into see the Crimson Throne and the Queen.

The queen was veiled and in the black garb of mourning. Guards were in the room, but only Sabina and her attendant Lady Andaisan approached her. While displaying the subdued air expected of a queen in mourning, she maintained complete composure - excepting perhaps a slight widening of the eyes and a glance toward her attendant once she had the brooch in hand. Making the display of gratitude dictated by etiquette, she offered the group a silver chest with gold ingots by way of thanks, and then not so subtly steered them to offer their service the Korvosan Guard. A letter was sent ahead to the Citadel, and while once out of the castle the sibs did ponder if there would be an order against their lives thanks to their feeling obliged to perform their civic duty, their reception at the Citadel held not a hint of treachery.

Cressida was exhausted but warm, and if she knew any of Clint's reasons for having left the guard before she did not betray the slightest inkling. Instead she welcomed offered them positions as Watch Sergeants, reporting directly to her. Finding Gaedren Lamm and his "Liberators" is now one of her top concerns. As is the strange new substance "Shudder" that the three alerted her to. Gaedren's cypher text was not mentioned to her, perhaps because already she had a concern… guards have been deserting, most notably one named Verik Vancaskerkin who has gone off with five other guards to "All The Worlds Meats". Now if the team can bring him back alive for interrogation…

After a nights rest, learning more about the deserters and their new locale became the priority. With the city in chaos, normal trade has been greatly disrupted, resulting in many going without pay or food. Here, for unknown reasons, Verik and his men have stepped in, offering free meat to the hungry. Additionally, his men – going by the name of the "Cow Hammer Boys" are rumored to provide additional services and asking for "the night's special cut" is the key.

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Novennia the Renewer's Journal
GAEDRAN!

1 Gozran, 4617

I was at Eodred's walk getting supplies at Phaedron Skoda. As I was waiting for the supplies, I thought I heard something and turned around but there was no one around. When I turned back I noticed the card of crows. I am quite fond of crows, since as any bird, are great at cleaning the dead of their flesh. I picked up the card to get a better look and that is when I found the note. GAEDRAN!  I have been looking to kill that bastard and now someone has requested that I do just that. Getting paid to kill him would be even better!

I left Phaedron immediately to the requested location. As I arrived, I was surprised by the family reunion.  Clint my youngest brother whom looks like he could be my twin and Zhaal the middle child with his gift of gab. This couldn't get any better! The job will get done correctly and swiftly!

We were directed into a small room with three tapestries, a table, and some chairs. We automatically decided which tapestry best fit us. Clint took a liking for the one with the angels dancing around a mountain, Zhaal liked the beast Desna juggling hearts , and I of course liked skeleton body holding the sword (although it should be a light crossbow).  As we looked around we found bread and wine under the table. We debated eating and drinking until we found the note that says the food is fine.  I didn't trust it and waited for brother to try first before I did. It was stale bread but with the dry wine it wasn't too bad.

A fortune teller woman entered the room shortly after we finished our food. I would guess the cards told her when we were done but that would be ridiculous. She told us about how her son was murdered for the cards and then she gave us each a reading. My card was of course the card of the crows. I was thinking about getting a crow all the while she was telling me my fortune. I heard something about the loved ones taken and controlled, BEWARE!

After the HARROWING readings she finally told us where to find Gaedran. A Fishery of all places! I expected him to still be in the sewers but the fishery is just as stinky! 

I explained to my brothers what happened to me when I was kidnapped from Gaedran as I hadn't told them before. I knew Clint suspected something and for some reason I cannot lie around him very well. Something I will have to work on. 

We decided to scout out the Old Fishery in West Shore this evening. I warned my brothers that Gaedran usually has more guards at night and that we should get rest. As we were walking along the docks Zhaal had a small pleasure (anyone touching him is a pleasure) from one of Geadran's slaves as he tried to pick pocket him. We let him go and left so as not to draw any more attention than needed. I thought we shouldn't leave any witnesses but he was just another slave of Gaedran and Zhaal let him go.

I went to the graveyard to rest and to come up with new names for each arrow that I will put into Gaedran.  Demise,  Distruction, Modification, New Born, Zombie Gaedran….

After awhile I went back to Laughing Wave Inn to retire for the night. 

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Novennia the Renewer
Fishery

2 Gozran, 4617

The next morning Clint told me heard a rumor about these glowing creatures that no one has ever seen because the ones who do don't live to tell about it and how stupid that was. When he tried to explain to the gentleman how that made NO sense he did so by starting a new rumor about a giant snake that lives outside the gates and no one has seen it because everyone who does dies!  I laughed until I cried.  Zhaal talked about what a pleasurable night he had. I had to slap a few times before I remembered that he liked that kind of thing. I mean he is my brother but who cares nowadays.

We started talking about a plan as we got closer to the fishery. First we had to decide should we go to the front or back. Clint and I thought the front would be good to prevent any possible sneak attacks. Clint who is very tactical, thought we should just walk up and knock on the door. I thought I could go up and ask for Gaedran and they might take me to him if I show them my tattoo. Zhaal didn't like the plan but he didn't have one. We finally decided that since Zhaal liked pleasures and we know Gaedran is probably dealing in drugs we could get Zhaal to ask for them. He would surely know how.

We knocked and when a man opened the door, Zhaal asked for drugs. It seemed like forever before he got to the point. When the gentleman asked if we were the Guard, Clint told him he used to be, that was when we were told to come back tomorrow at the back entrance and then the door was slammed on us.

Clint and I started talking about how we could make the giant snake rumor true by digging a hole outside the gates. He would jump into the hole and I would flip myself around with my hands in the dirt and he would drag me in.  It would look like I was dragged in by the snake.

Then I was unconscious.

When I awoke Clint was killing a dog and some guards along with Zhaal. There were kids  screaming in glee that Bloo was dead (the dog maybe). I noticed that the man who had opened the door earlier ran inside and shut the door. I picked up his wand and asked the kids who was inside. They said Giggles the half-orc and Hooksanks the small child man.

Oh the stench was terrible and I was so nauseated. I mean fish guts, really! Only Dagon loves fish smell!

In the next room we saw Giggles, Hookshanks, Yargin (the ugly one who answered the door originally), and some more children. I wonder why we got attacked by Yargin, the guards and a dog. I will have to ask my brothers after the fight. Clint was raged and when he opened the door to fight, Yargin told the kids to attack. One stupid kid stood in the doorway. Clint backhanded the kid to move him out of the way and knocked him out. He then proceeded to kill all but the children.  I tried helping by spitting sticky goo near Giggles so he couldn't use his bow. I thought it only appropriate since the smell of the place originally made me feel sick. It only slowed him down but it helped. I also convinced the children not to attack in hopes of saving them knowing they are slaves to the Gaedran. I will not call him "Lamm". Lame maybe.

When Zhaal and Clint were done, (they didn't kill Hookshanks) but told the children to watch him. We searched the rest of this level and found a room with a hole in it.  There are planks down below and a boat, plus some kind of creature that the children get fed too. We decide to take Yargin and force him into the small hole to feed the Alligator. One way to dispose of the body and distract the Aligator. However, the boat is gone. HMMM! Sneaky bastard.

We decide to go out to the docks and to the boat. Spider swarm! Any swarm is terrible but we are not in the mood. After we destroyed the swarm we decided to continue to the lower docks. It didn't look sturdy so we went one at a time.  Once we were inside we found shackles above a body of water with a shark in it! The children never return when they come down here that is what they said! I will kill Gaedran and then take control of him! Kill him again and control him again! I feel so much better thinking about this.

However, there will be no such luck today! We searched the final room only to find an array of strange objects; a dagger in the shape of a key, Queen's brooch, and variety of other things. The one object that stood out the most though was Zellora's head in a box. I determined she had been dead awhile so we were actually talking to her ghost the previous day.

She appeared before us and told us, " I was sure he would be here. Lamm's liberators will be here soon." I take the head along with the Harrow cards which were under the head. We head the warning and go upstairs to talk to the children. As we start to head up, we hear screaming and yelling "THE KING IS DEAD! HE HAS BEEN MURDERED!"

The children are receptive and grateful to us. Zhaal asks one of the children if they know who the liberator is. The child's name is Dodger. He describes a lady who is always cloaked whom comes to visit Gaedran. I showed him the head and asked if it was this lady.  Strangely Zhaal notices the lipstick and makeup that must have been recently painted. This puts an awful picture of what Gaedran does in his spare time!

Needless to say, she was not the noble that comes to visit. However, one of the children took interest in the head, a girl by the name of Catallia. My minion!

I didn't get to see Dodger get mad and throw the dagger killing Hookshanks but Clint told me all about it. We had to get the children to an orphanage. This will definitely been exciting!

We gather the children and start heading to the closest orphanage when we see a bunch of druids attacking people and feeding them to the sharks! They are not suppose to be doing this but they get their digs in when they can. Clint will have none of it so we decided to attack the druids.  I fired three bolts at one of them; Tree bolt, Leaf bolt,  and finally Stinky bolt was the one that killed him. I need better names! More practice!

We decided that since they loved nature that we would send them back via the sharks!

On the way to the orphanage their were riots of people on the street and we had to force our way down the street. We then get attacked by these ugly imps. We are doing just fine (I mean Clint) in killing them. Then a bunch of Drakes join in the fight attacking the imps. When we finish fighting them Zhaal says I like imps. So does Lord of Bilel. I am going to call him Lord of Blah or Lord of Bile.

The kids are safe at the orphanage and we gave them a weapon to ensure Dodge would learn to fight and go into the guard. Catallia wants to stay with me. I think I could teach her necromancy since her interest in the dead is clearly noticeable.

As we continued we found a guard was down in a brawl. Zhaal tried diplomacy to stop the fight but I think he just bored them but even Clint couldn't intimidate them. So another fight ensued and we needed help for the guards Hippograff. Lucas was a real jerk so I moved away and thought about ways of eliminating him. He could be brought back with no mouth and I could make more use of him because right now the only thing good about him was his cart. 

When we drop off the guard we join the guard. I don't know what happened really. We were talking to field marshal or Clint was and Zhaal is handing over the Shudder. Next thing I know we are handed uniforms and asked if we would help them. I am sure someone used magic on me as I don't remember anything other than that.

Zhaal and Clint were talking about how we should go about getting the butcher back alive from All the World Meats. I was thinking this was up Zhaals alley and that it had to do with some of his pleasures. But they explained that we were after Verick a guard who abandoned his post and is now working at All the World's Meats.

We decided we will wait until the next day.

 

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Another Job
Going to Meat Your Maker

In the end, the Cow Hammer Boys were easily cowed. Lured out in order to give a beating to 'a middle aged Gypsy woman', instead Clint, Novennia and Zahl brought them to justice. Which is perhaps more than they deserved, especially after further investigation into the butcher shop made it clear that not all of the meat they were serving was cow or pig.

It's still unclear exactly where the free meat was coming from, or why Verik Vancaskerkin decided to desert the Guard and go into the free meat business. It was clear that something prodded him, but he kept quiet about his reasons. The scented letter suggested a woman, but this is Varisia after all, it could even have been some scented follower of Belial. Apparently a meat market is an appealing place for one of their faith.

His spirit broken by the realization that his men were in fact killing people to feed them to the poor, Verik accepts his return to Citadel Volshyenek as a prisoner. Dispirited he will make no further attempts to lure others from the guard. His letters and the silver dagger that pinned them to his table are all turned over to the guard as well, although none there made any more sense of it than the party.

After that the group had a run-in with Lamm's Liberators. They were in the streets, blatantly rioting and casting spells. Buildings were nearly burned down, citizens attacked, but in the end order was restored. The apparent leader of the riots had vials of the new drug Shudder.

Investigations led to the East Shore, from the Drinkhall to the Horse Shop. During the gathering of information they also came across a drunken guardsmen – Grau Soldado. The guard mistook Novennia for an old friend of his. The white hair put extra emphasis on the 'old'. They were able to avoid a duel and bring him back in to the guard house, but not before revealing that he and the Queen's bodyguard Sabina had both trained under the duelist Vencarlo Orsini.

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1st Gozran, 4617
Investigation Log, Watch Sergeant Finneas Bolge

This is a log detailing my investigation of the actions of one ex-Guardsman, Clint Kolfax.  Several months ago, Guardsman Kolfax reported the death of his fiancee'.  He brought in rather tainted 'evidence' of whom he purported was responsible.  The 'suspect' Gadren Lamm, is fairly notorious within the ranks.  A drug peddler, child molester, thief and brigand… basically a scum of the lowest sort.  Also, one quite impossible to find.  Kolfax claimed to have found his wifes engagement ring at a pawn broker who under questioning, allegedly confessed to having received it from Lamm.  Convenient.  And extremely questionable.  Kolfax isn't exactly known for his brains.  When I pressed him on his discovery of the ring at some pawn broker, gods know how many of them are within this shite-hole of a city, he confessed that it was his brothers investigation.  Zhaal Vas-lil, a fledgling inquisitor of some infernal debauchery cult I've learned.  I suppose he shows up and puts you to the irons for not putting it in the wrong hole.  Disgusting.  And highly-suspect as Kolfax's lead.  I'm starting to think someone else caught Kolfax's eye and he was too dim to simply break up with the girl.  Tho, admittedly, her corpse bore none of the tale-tell markings of his normal victims.  What kind of guard needs to carry that much steel to enforce the law? 

Whatever the reasons… when I was presented this information, I had to inform guardsman Kolfax, gods do I detest writing that, 'The guard is pressed on many fronts and trying to follow many cases.  We can't spare the man-power to track down a ghost on this spurious evidence you've thrown before me.  Get out of my office and get to your patrols.'  No matter, after some colorful exclamations about my lineage and some references to interbreeding with swine, he left his tabard upon my desk with yet another colorful resignation from duty.  I can still feel the heat upon my cheeks when I think about that lout slandering my good name.  Days later, I bumped into Kolfax in a tavern, and some words were exchanged.  Then the thug suckered me and knocked me out with a series of lucky blows.  When I awoke hours later, he was long gone and none of his fellow drunkards were willing to acknowledge having witnessed my beating.  The slovenly masses do so love to stick together, like the clumps of trash that litter the harbor.

I've been watching Kolfax fairly regularly since that evening.  He seems to have a tidy sum of cash he is surviving on.  He drinks quite a bit, and doesn't appear to have a single prospect towards new employment.  This coin must be coming from somewhere.  Well, my diligence has paid off.  While the buffoon was drinking at Bailer's Retreat, someone managed to slip him some kind of signal note.  I thought at first it was a playing card that he picked up from under his mug, but further investigation leads me to believe it was actually a harrow card.  Because I followed him to the tiny abode of a Harrow Reader.  I lurked outside in a dark alley and saw two more individuals arrive.  A woman who could only be his twin sister, because they look nearly identical.  The other fits the description of his 'brother' Zhaal.  I couldn't risk getting close enough to hear what was going on, but they reappeared after an hour and change.  They left together, heading south, possible back to the tavern.  I waited until they were gone and then entered the Harrow Readers abode to question her.  The place was in disarray, and looked like it hadn't been lived in for months.  Incredibly curious.

I went back to the tavern, but I didn't see Kolfax or his 'family' around.  I returned to the barracks to write down the beginnings of my investigation because I am starting to think Kolfax is involved in something criminal.  Or worse.  I knew following this churl was a stroke of genius.  Tomorrow I will trail him again.  I'll be sure to thank him for my promotion when this is all over.  Captain Bolge… I do like the sound of that.

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2nd Gozran, 4617
Investigation Log - Watch Sergeant Finneas Bolge

The city is in chaos.  The gods watch over me that I am able to write this addition to the log.  The day started early for me.  I awoke refreshed and with a mission.  I made my rounds and around noon, reached the tavern I had last spotted Kolfax in.  He was there, the churl, laughing and drinking with his twin.  I could find nothing in the archives about her last night.  Kolfax apparently saw cause to omit her from his records.  I'm not surprised, there was nothing about his brother in there either.  Note to remind myself to investigate the mother at some point.  But I digress.  Kolfax and his twin caroused for a bit before heading out.  In my haste to follow them, I got sloppy.  Kolfax looked over his shoulder on the way out and I'm certain he spotted me.  I feigned interest in a card game at another table and asked if I could join those seated, squandering any chance I had at tailing those two miscreants as they departed.  No matter, I was certain they would return to their meeting place at the deserted Harrow Reading shop.  After a quick hand and several coppers, I departed and headed directly for the shop.  After several hours of watching it, I felt something was amiss and moved to the door.  No sounds.  No… anything.  It was like the grave.  I decided to poke around the place looking for clues.  Broken table and chairs, more dust within than on a varisian's work shoes, along with scraps of stale bread and an empty bottle of cheap wine.  The tapestries on the wall seemed out of place, but they hid nothing but the otherwise bareness of the walls behind them.

That's when it started.  A whooshing sound followed by screaming.  I peeked out the door and saw a building on fire up the street.  People running amok, crying and screaming, the bleating of the peasantry.  But then a cry of 'The King is dead… hang the Queen for his murder.'  I have to still my hand as I write this.  Unthinking, I stepped into the street into that chaos.  Folk crying to me for protection.  What am I, a walking citadel?  I pushed through and started to make my way south, making best speed for Citadel Volshyenek.  I thought skirting near the harbor would spare me the larger portions of the gathering mobs.  I was mostly correct.  I came upon a scene of pure carnage.  Bodies and blood splashed about the street near a decrepit fishery.  So much blood.  I ducked inside the building to catch my breath and discovered more carnage.  A brutish half orc, a gnome or halfling, how do you tell the difference?  Some weasely human pinned to a wall by a pitchfork.  Most of the bodies inside and out were killed by hideous blows.  Like, some great axe hewing into them with incredible force.  I drew my sword as I backed out of the building, nearly tripping over a runt of a man digging through the pockets of the bodies in the street.  In his surprise, he shouted, 'Twasn't me m'lord… was them hellspawned trio.  A man and woman white as snow and their prissy mate.  The mans eyes glowed with demonic fury as he cut them all down.  Its thems that you wants.'  I had missed them in the act, but they wouldn't escape my pursuit.  Once I had rounded up enough guards.  Yes, this bore Kolfax's mark, his dim mind, and that girder he calls a sword.  What was their angle?  Why raid this dump.  I poked around back feeling safer in the knowledge that they trio had likely departed the scene of the crime.  Only to find a feeding frenzy in the water behind the shop.  Exactly how MANY people did they murder anyway?  And why try to dispose of these? 

My introspection was cut short by another whooshing sound and nearby a fireball arced into the sky and slammed into a marine upon his hippogriff.  The sheer ferocity of the attack reminded me of my goal of reaching the citadel.  I departed the wharf in due haste.  I made it about half a block before I ran into a crowd of rioters rushing into the street from a side alley.  In the blink of an eye I was set upon from all sides.  In the resulting scuffle I lost my grip upon my sword and in the buffeting of the rioters, lost track of it.  It shames me that I ended up returning to the barracks without my blade or my livery, but as I shoved through the crowd to recover my blade, my colors were ignominiously torn from my torso.  I was lucky to return with bruises to my face and ego and nothing else, for the mob was blood thirsty.  Kolfax will have much to pay for when I catch up with him.  I'll see that his siblings share his discomfort as well.  Murderers and infernalists it sounds like.  What foul machinations are they plotting?  I must get to the bottom of this… before the city burns to a cinder.

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Novennia the Renewer Journal
Verick the meat man

3rd Gozran, 4617

Clint and I were afraid brother would mess up his meeting with the Cow Hammer Boys with all his talk but he came back and told us the deal was done. The Cow Hammer Boys will be coming this way to take care of a Varisian lady.  We need to setup and I tell Catallia to stay here and be quiet. She has found a dead rat and tried to clue the bones. She said it was difficult to hold it all together. Geez! I think I will name her Cat the Deathbringer! Clint comes in and he threatens her by telling her that he will show her how to kill and clean a live one! I knew she wouldn't take it as a threat and told brother so! He then tells her it was a threat! She still didn't get it. So we lined up against the street and brother Clint and I pretend to be shooting apples off each others head. My intention was to purposely miss Clint and hit one of the Cow Hammer Boys! No damn luck the arrow must have been wet!

We (not including me because I can't figure out how my crossbow works) kill all but one of them because Zhaal allowed him to surrender! What was he thinking? Lord of Bile must have been busy doing other things other than looking down on Zhaal. He was a fumbling fool telling us it was Baldo's idea about the rats and other meats. What a waste animals and humans could be killed but not to be eaten but rather they could be put to good use. Maybe zombie manufacturing! Think about it no pay, no food, no room and board, and no talking back or walkouts.

We take him to the guards and tell them we will return with Verick.

We head back to All the World's Meats, or as I like to call it All Meats! Upstairs we find Verick still in his uniform sitting at his desk. He is totally in denial about having all the different meats. We notice that he is writing a letter to someone and that it smells like Jasmine. No real clue there.

We take him back to the Guards as well. He is still in denial but Fatty will convince him about the truth or lie to save his miserable life.

Later this evening I will go to the cemetery and draw a picture of Geadran. As I am there and unaware a Drake swoops down and kills an imp. Her name is Leona. I tell her thanks and ask if I can keep the wings. Catallia would like them. Maybe she can make a hat out of it. Leona tells me that they come from the Gold Dragon! I am not so sure about that but hey I am used to hearing about rumors. As a matter of fact Clint spread a new one about magic meat fairies!  Just thinking about that makes me laugh! Lord Bile must be there too!  Well, I show Leona my perfect picture of Gaedran and ask her to inform me if she sees them while she is out hunting for imps!

 

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