Curse of the Crimson Throne (TRU)

 

Outbreak

 

The Harrows had finished their diving expedition to check out the Direption and see what was down there in the wreckage, only to discover the apparent ties to a cult of Urgathoa onboard the ship. Not sure what to make of this, they took their evidence and returned back to Citadel Volshyenek to show it to the proper people to see if they had any insight on what any of this meant. When they arrived at the military barracks their first stop was to talk with Ishani, the cleric of Abadar. They showed him the unholy text of Urgathoa so that he could provide any more insight on the religion.

“Urgathoa is not a good name to see…she represents disease and death. If there are cultists or followers of her involved in the plague then this is worse than I thought. And certainly means that our concern over how quickly it’s spreading is valid.” Ishani said, studying the text.

It was at that time that Cressida came out to talk with the adventuring party and see their results. When they showed her the text she certainly showed more signs of concern as she described the name Andaisin. She had heard that name awhile ago about news from Nidal. The story went that a small village had succumbed to a priestess named Andaisin who was a devout follower of Urgathoa. The woman was wanted for mass murder but fled and was never caught.

“I don’t like Andaisin’s name popping up in this book. If the stories are true then she certainly is trouble. The fact that you found nothing else on the ship also worries me a bit. It’s almost as if they wanted us to investigate the ship to throw us off and get preoccupied with it. We’re dealing with some dangerous people.” Cressida said, returning the unholy text to the adventurers.

“What do you think is our next move?” Lumpen asked as the group tried to figure out their next step in investigating this plague.

Cressida thought for a moment as she looked at the adventurers that have helped her in the past so many times. “I actually do have something I need your expertise in. I’ve been hearing stories of a store that is selling cure-all remedies that the people are flocking to. I want you to go check the store out and see if it’s legit or not. I don’t want to see the people being taken advantage of so anything you can do to see if it’s legit or not will help.”

The group agreed to go investigate the store as they took their leave and headed out back into the streets of Korvosa. They made their way to the store called “Lavender” that was apparently the source of this remedy. When they arrived they saw a line of people that went out the door. The storefront had purplish tinted windows with various potions and bottles on display.

“I guess we should wait on line to get inside…” Trigeji said, pondering the best way to get in without causing a stir. The party agreed as they got in line and peacefully waited to get into the store. The line moved slowly and eventually they got through the door and into the alleyway that led inside the building. Once in they saw a store filled with various bottles, perfumes, and potions on display all around the store. Two men stood in the store looking around at all the customers who came in to make sure that nobody was doing anything wrong. Most of the people flocked straight to the table of “Lavender’s Luxuriant Liniment” to grab a dose. Lumpen looked over as they grabbed one of the vials.

“We should probably buy a dose to check it out for ourselves.” Lumpen said as they took the vial and moved over to the counter. Behind the counter were two girls that handled the purchases from the customers and another woman with short black hair. This woman welcomed everyone into the store with a smile as the Harrows looked at her and began to talk to her about the cure-all. They investigated what her experience was with making remedies and why it was only 2 gold when such a special remedy could be sold for much more. The woman who was named Vendra told them that she had experimented with different formulas before coming up with this current one and that she wouldn’t charge much for something that was going to save so many lives. They listened to her response and felt like she was telling the truth as they ended up buying the remedy.

After buying the remedy they looked around the store one more time to see if anything else was off and noticed one man that was hanging around the perfume section for quite some time. They studied him before heading outside to wait for him to come out and question him. The man eventually came out much later and Lumpen stepped in his path as the group circled him. “You were in there for quite some time friend.” Lumpen said, asking the man what he was doing in the store for so long. He answered them saying that he was just trying to buy a perfume for his wife and the old man was scared from the group surrounding him. A few more questions into why the man was there before they decided to finally let him go

With the man gone the adventurers decided to check out around the store to see what else they could find. They went back into the alley and looked further in it to see the alleyway looped around the back to a few more buildings and doors. There was a staircase that led down to a door in the alleyway and another staircase from the street that led to a door. After trying on both doors Jathan eventually picked the lock on one of the doors to get inside and saw what appeared to be a cellar. The cellar had a number of boxes and appeared to be a storage basement for the shop upstairs. It looked to be a number of perfume bottles and other lucrative vials but nothing on the cure-all remedy.

The Harrows decided that they had done a thorough enough check and headed back to the Citadel to report on what they found. Once back with Cressida they reported that the shop appeared to be fine and Vendra was selling a true remedy as some people had reported feeling better after it. The Field Marshall told them that she would take their word on if they believed the shop to be a legitimate business and after some more thought they decided to go test the remedy to try and determine what exactly was in it.  They headed down to Eodred’s Way to check out the local potion shop and alchemist that they knew, asking if he could figure out what was in this vial. The man agreed to although he did charge a small fee. The party agreed and paid the man as he went off into his lab to try and figure out what was in this remedy. An hour later, he emerged and looked at the party.

“Well…I figured out what’s in your vial you gave me. This thing contains sugar, some cheap perfume, and river water.” Bolivar said as he put the vial back down.

“I knew it.” Xandek said looking at the rest of the party. “We shouldn’t have trusted that woman.”

“This is certainly a revelation.” Barilut said as he stroke his beard, “Let’s go tell Cressida of our newest discovery.”

The group thanked the potion merchant as they went on their way and back to the Field Marshall. They reported to her the latest news that the remedy was actually a sham all along and they had it tested to show it had no healing properties to it. Cressida accepted this latest bit of information and decided that it was enough proof. She would send a squad of guards to the shop tomorrow to arrest Vendra for what she was doing. The Harrows told her to hold off momentarily as they wanted to talk to Vendra first about it and that they would call for the guards when needed. She reluctantly agreed knowing that they had done a lot for the city so far and could trust them and would await their signal. They decided to head back to their home to rest up before going to check on Lavender’s once again in the morning.

While on their way home they ran into someone trying to get their attention in an alleyway. They decided to go check it out and saw it was an older woman with yellowish eyes. She had heard about the Harrows and wanted to try and get their help with a matter she had. The group agreed and when she did the woman began to shift her form to that of a wererat, throwing the group off guard for a moment. She told them that her people had lived below the city for some time but now with the plague and the city unrest many people were beginning to target the wererats and putting the blame on them. This upset a number of the wererats and in particularly a dangerous one by the name of Girrigz. Girrigz was angry at the humans and wanted to strike back and was forming up a resistance group to rise up from the sewers. She had tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t have it and hoped that they could talk some sense into him to stop him. If they couldn’t and had to use force it was understandable but she believed the rest of them were good and hoped they could do it without harming the rest of them. The adventurers said they would try as Eries revealed the location to Girrigz’s den.

The party decided that instead of going to their home to rest they would go check out this wererat den. The location led them to a sewer tunnel that stretched down deep beneath the streets of Korvosa. They followed the damp and foul smelling tunnel until it led to a cracked hole in the wall. The group of adventurers decided to move past the crack to explore the rest of the tunnel where they came to a large gate that blocked off any further access. However they could see past it and saw sleeping in the water was a large otyugh, similar to the one they had encountered in the Dread Warrens.

“Oh great, not another one of those things.” Xandek said to himself softly as the group backed up and back towards the hole in the wall. They stepped through into a series of caves, seeing the water trail continue to flow deeper through the caverns. There was a bunch of mushrooms growing on the side of the sewer stream but no signs of anything else. Trigeji stepped forward and past the mushrooms and as she did the largest one began to emit a loud shrieking noise that echoed through the cavern. The sound alerted everyone to their presence and in a moment they saw a few wererats charging at them with sword, accompanied by a number of large dire rats. Xandak charged towards one of them to keep him locked up with his greataxe as Trigeji and Barilut tried to talk them down. However the rats seemed to have none of it as they unleashed violent swings followed up with strong bites. Jathan weaved his way through the cavern to find the perfect spot to sneak attack and strike the opponents with precision.

While they engaged the group of wererats that were guarding this cavern they heard more commotion in one of the chambers nearby as more wererats began to swarm out and attack them. Barilut saw the incoming threat as he planted his feet and assumed a defensive stance to hold them all back. Xandek sliced through one of the dire rats as Jathan stabbed the wererat in the back to finish him off. Lumped found a good vantage point to fire blasts of magic missile at the rats as they got closer to the group. Between Barilut and Trigeji holding the front line with all the wererats and Jathan and Xandek moving around slicing and stabbing the wererats they were able to kill them all, now standing amongst a number of dead wererats and dire rats.

“Looks like they didn’t want to talk…” Jathan said, cleaning his blood soaked dagger on his cloak as they checked the bodies to see what they had on them. After examining the bodies they moved deeper into the caverns and found the chamber where all the rats came from. This chamber apparently was where most of them lived as rat nests littered the walls. Looking around the water trail seemed to turn back into the sewer and they assumed it probably went to where that Otyugh was. “Let’s hurry before that thing comes to get us.” Xandek said, glancing at the crack in the wall that lead there. The party moved down one of the tunnels into a long chamber and saw a number of large dire rats and even a swarm of other rats.

These rats weren’t a match for the Harrows though as their bludgeoning weapons could crush the tiny rats and Xandek’s greataxe would make short work of the dire rats. With the rats slaughtered they continued their trek through the tunnels into another chamber. This one was filled with boxes that appeared to have all sorts of weapons in them. As they entered they saw another wererat and this one hissed at them as it drew a rapier and lashed out at them.

“Girrigz, we just want to talk!” Trigeji said as she dodged the rapier trying to pierce right through her. The group darted into the room to try and deal with the wererat leader. He was fast and strong as each thrust of the rapier showed the power behind it. Jathan felt it first hand as two quick thrusts right through his chest and the half elf staggered backwards before collapsing on the ground. Barilut quickly rushed to his side to help heal him and bring him back to his feet while Xandek kept him busy.

                Again and again the group tried to reason with the wererat even going as far as attempting to grapple the wererat and pin him down. However Girrigz was proving to be too nimble and elusive for them and their attempts just left them open to a thrust from the rapier deep inside them. It was then the adventurers decided that talking wasn’t getting them anywhere and had to use force to stop this man.

                “Let’s end this.” Xandek said, glaring towards the wererat. He charged forward and delivered a swift kick between Girrigz’s legs bringing him down to his knees and down to size. The Half-orc then swung his greataxe right into the neck of the rat and cleaved through it causing the wererat’s lifeless corpse to collapse to the ground as they dealt with the threat. The group proceeded to examine the rest of the chamber and saw that it contained an assortment of weapons from swords to crossbows to armor like chain shirts.

                “It looks like he was planning something big.” Barilut said searching through everything they found. They decided to take all the weapons and everything else they found up to the surface and figure out what to do with it then. Since it was so much, Lumpen used his magic to levitate the boxes up and through the caverns. They quickly left the wererat den and made their way back to the streets of Korvosa after successfully dealing with another threat to the city.

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