Curse of the Crimson Throne (TRU)

 

The Color of Death

 

                The Harrows had finished taking care of the wererat threat down below in the sewers by Girrigz and his resistance force. Once on the streets they headed to the alley where Eries met them. They told her that they tried to talk Girrigz down but he wouldn’t have any of it and they had to kill him and his men. Eries was saddened to hear the news but knew that it had to be done. She thanked them for the help and told the group that she’d do her best to repay them. The female wererat said she’ll gather some of the other wererats and help dispose of some of the plague ridden corpses in the streets at time. The adventuring group thanked her for her assistance and headed back to their home to rest for the evening.

                The next day, the group began to gather their belongings and get ready to head out to Lavender’s. As they exited the building and walked down the street they were approached by a strange figure. The figure was dressed in a traveler’s outfit with a bandolier on their belt and a strange looking item on their back.

                “You lot must be the Harrows…been hearing about you.” The stranger said.

                Barilut looked at the person. “Aye we are. And who may you be?”

                “The name’s Si’ro Krasu. I’ve been looking for you. Field Marshall Cressida Kroft said I could find you in these parts. I want to help deal with this plague.” Si’ro said as he looked over the group. The group looked at each other and talked it over briefly. The half-orc looked towards the man and eyed him over. “What can you do?” Xandak asked him.

                Si’ro reached towards his waist and pulled out a strange looking weapon. “I’m a pretty good shot. It certainly causes quite a bang.” He showed off his pistol a bit to them as the Harrows examined it. Not many of them had experience with such an item but have heard stories of these “firearms” and what they were capable of doing. After checking it out the group accepted Si’ro to tag along with them as they made their way towards Lavender’s shop.

                As the group arrived towards the store they saw a familiar line to the one that was there the day before as people were eager to get inside and purchase one of the famed cure-alls. The adventuring party looked around as they started to talk to the crowd. “You are all being fooled! This is not a cure but just parlor tricks to take your money! Don’t listen to them!”

                The crowd began to question what the group was talking about. Some of the people slowly begin to disperse as these proclamations just reinforce their doubts already. The stir in the people begins to draw attention from inside the shop as the two guards come out looking at the commotion. They spot the group that were there from yesterday as they moved over to them and asked them to leave as they were causing a disturbance. The adventurers held their ground as they confronted the guards letting them know that they knew what was going on here and that their remedy was just cheap perfume and river water. As the guards continued to try and force the party away Vendra came out wanting to know what was going on.

                Vendra didn’t look pleased at the proclamations being thrown about as she offers the crowd free doses inside the store. The party tried to argue but she would have none of it and told the guards to escort them away. The men drew their rapiers ready to force the party away from the store as what was an argument broke down into fighting in the streets. The Harrows moved into position to engage the rapier wielding guards who tried to stop the adventurers at all costs.  When the fight broke out the sick citizens that were waiting to get into the shop panicked and fled as chaos ensued. Even Vendra herself ran back into the shop while the guards fought against the group of adventurers. However the guards weren’t much of a match against such a force, including their newest traveling companion Si’ro and his arsenal of firearms.

                The guards began to run for their lives as they turned and dashed down the alleyway past the perfume shop as Vendra was coming out. Xandak chased after them trying to stop them with the power of his greataxe. However he was caught off guard when Vendra snuck behind him and plunged her dagger into the half-orc’s back nearly crippling him with one shot. Her sneak ambush was a desperate attempt to turn the tide but Xandak wasn’t going to go down after one attack and that left the shop owner trapped in the alleyway as the rest of the Harrows came chasing in shortly after. With one guard already dead and the other running down the alley to save his own life Vendra had no one. She threw her hands up and begged to be let go. She promised to not come back to Korvosa and leave if they just let her live. The party agreed and she thanked them before also running down the alley and escaping.

                The sound of combat in the street brought the attention of the guards and Field Marshall Cressida Kroft. She made her way to the Harrows asking what had happened here. The adventurers told them about the confrontation and that the remedy was a fake. Not only that, but they were able to recover a small coffer of gold from the shop that belonged to the people of Korvosa who were scammed out of their money. While it would be hard to know who the money belonged to it would go to a good cause to help pay for more treatments to cure blood veil.

                With Lavender’s shop taken care of and shut down the Harrows had completed another mission to help protect the people in town.  But even with such success they still were no closer to discovering what was going on with this disease and what had caused it in the first place. They asked Cressida if she had any more leads that they could follow for her and the Field Marshall thought for a moment before answering.

                “I do actually have some things that need to be investigated. Due to the plague we’ve hired a number of volunteers who help carry the plagued bodies to sanctioned dump area where we bury them. However I’ve heard reports of some of these volunteers doing it just for the payment and slacking on their job and not properly dumping the bodies at the designated sites but instead in alleys. If you can check it out that would be helpful.

                Also, there’s a woman that’s been coming to the Citadel for the past few days. She’s trying to find her brother and seems quite persistent. Unfortunately the guard is already spread so thin that I can’t pull any of my men off their posts to go investigate. She should be there today in fact, I saw her on my way out here to check on you lot.”

                The adventuring party debated for a moment on which lead they should investigate first. After a few minutes of talk they decided to check on the woman and see about her brother as they made their way over to the Citadel. Once there, they saw a woman with dark curly hair outside trying to get the attention of the guards. They approached her inquiring who she was and what it was that she needed. Her name was Deyanira Mirukova and she was looking for her brother, Ruan. He was a musician and a week ago was invited to perform at a formal event at Carowyn Manor. The boy was happy for the opportunity and he practiced all week for the big day. However, Ruan never came back home after the party at the manor. Deyanira went to the estate to check it out but saw the entire place quiet and no signs of life. Worried for her brother, she went to the guard to have them check it out but they were too busy to try and find him.

                Xandak recognized the name a bit in his time living in Korvosa. He had heard of a young Varisian boy that was a prodigy and virtuoso at a peculiar instrument: the ocarina. The Carowyns were a noble family that were lovers of art and threw a lot of their gold into supporting the arts. They told the young woman that they would do their best to find her brother as they headed out towards the manor. The estate was on the other side of Korvosa which took them a bit to get there through the worrying people about the blood veil plague.

                When they arrived at the home they saw a large two story estate with large hedges and plants decorating the outside. Approaching the front door, Jathan examined the mahogany entrance seeing that the door was locked as he went to work on picking it. A few moments later and he had it unlocked as he opened the door to reveal a large hallway that moved on to what appeared to be the main hall for the manor itself.  As they stepped into the manor the sight before them was not what they expected to see. Bodies littered the floor and corners of the room all still dressed in masquerade costumes and masks, signs of blood veil evident on them through the bleeding blisters and scars on their body. The floor was stained with blood as it appeared a massacre had occurred here. However that display wasn’t the most horrifying thing in the room as in the center of the room were 6 undead still dressed in their costumes and paired together like couples slowly swaying back and forth as if they were dancing.

                Suddenly a female voice seemed to echo through the manor. “Welcome to my show! I hope you enjoy the presentations and have a lot of fun!” As she finished talking the undead couples stopped swaying and turned towards the party as they lurched themselves forward to attack. Xandek and Barilut charged forward to engage the zombies before they got to the rest of the group as Lumpen and Si’ro stayed back to attack from range. Meanwhile, Jathan tried to weave into the room to get at the zombies but they crowded the hallway before he could find an opening. The half-elf sighed as he was stuck having to use his crossbow to get anywhere near the zombies while the heavy wall of Xandek and Barilut held the frontline. While they were fighting against the zombies a crossbow bolt came out of nowhere and pierced into Xandak’s shoulder. As it struck it let out this high pitched shrieking sound that pierced through everyone’s ears.

                Si’ro looked to see if he could find the location of where the bolt came from but only was able to deduce that it came from across the room. Meanwhile, the zombies were proving to be quite a nuisance to the party as they didn’t seem to mind the bashing done from Barilut’s dwarven derger. But Xandak’s greataxe was a different story as his swings were forceful and cleaved body parts and heads of the zombies as he cut his way through the crowd of zombies. Once all the zombies were taken care of they studied the room to see if they could find any signs of the mysterious voice. Unfortunately there was no signs of the person so the party decided to continue exploring the manor.

                The mainhall opened into another room as they stepped inside to see what appeared to be a den. Two bodies were sitting in chairs in elaborate costumes while another one dressed as a tin man stood between then as if attending them like a servant. When they saw the group of adventurers they turned and lashed out to attack. This time though, Jathan wanted to get into proper positioning as he moved through the main hall and went through another room, sneaking out the other side to end up behind the zombies while Trigeji, Xandak, and Barilut resumed their smashing and slashing duties.

                The rogue made quick work now with proper positioning as his dagger pierced through the back of the undead’s skulls and killed them. With the three undead alive the group all looked at each other and began to ponder what was going on here. There was still no sign of the young musician Ruan and instead they were in a house filled with corpses and undead that was orchestrated by some mysterious host of theirs.

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