The Hungry Dead
The Harrows continued their quest to try and put an end to the mysterious vampire spawn that they had discovered in Racker’s Alley. They went back to Citadel Volshynek to speak with Cressida on the matter to see if she could provide any assistance to them. They confirmed with her that there were a number of bodies there and she was planning on sending some guards to keep the place secure so no more dumping happened there. However, she couldn’t provide a dedicated support force to deal with the vampire spawn threat directly due to how stretched the Korvosan Guard was.
The adventurers were stumped on where they could go to get some aid as they tried to plan their next move. It was then they decided to go ask the Grey Maidens for assistance as they were the new protective law force of the city. Walking through the streets of the city they would eventually cross paths with one of the patrols as it wasn’t hard to spot the crimson plumes and shiny full plate armor. They stopped the patrol as they asked them to come provide aid with a matter that threatened the city. The female voice behind the metal helmet told them to leave as they weren’t about to chase any lead or theory from a citizen. This just angered the party as they didn’t understand how people who said they were protecting the city could ignore a danger.
It was then that they decided to go speak with Queen Ileosa herself on the matter as they made their way to the large pyramid that Castle Korvosa sat upon. The last time they were here the place was heavily guarded with Korvosan Guard but it seemed like now a number of those posts had been replaced with Grey Maidens as they created quite the formidable force around the structure. As they approached the guards stopped them in their place. Jathan moved up and said that the Harrows were here to speak with Queen Ileosa about matters. The Grey Maiden shook her head as she told them that no one was allowed into the Castle as the Queen has requested no visitors. They were put back by such a thing as they had seen the Queen in the past and even were working for her to help protect the city. Why would she not let them through?
They then told the Grey Maiden to deliver a message to Sabina Merrin that the Harrows were here and wanted to speak with her and the Queen about a threat to the city. One of the guards went up the stairs to go deliver the message as the Harrows waited down at the perimeter for them to return. Minutes passed by until 15 minutes or so and the guard returned. The Grey Maiden told them that she passed the message to their captain and after some discussion their request was denied. Jathan couldn’t believe this as the guard not only took a long time but didn’t even deliver the message properly. He accused them of being incompetent at their jobs and only preferring to stand around and look menacing then actually get their hands dirty with any real work.
Such insults provoked the guards as they drew their blades and looked at the adventurers menacingly, warning them to watch their tongue about what they say. However the frustrations of the group bubbled over as they snapped back and told her that they weren’t scared of false protectors. Suddenly a few more Grey Maidens joined in around them and let the Harrows know that they weren’t going to take their words sitting down. The adventurers now saw themselves face to face in battle with the Grey Maidens, the protectors of the city. The armored enemies set up in two rows as some charged forward with their steel shields and longswords while the ones in the back drew their longbows to provide ranged cover. They focused their attacks on Jathan as the arrows shot out and pierced the rogue as they clashed with the soldiers.
Si’ro didn’t care for the armored guards either as he supported Jathan in this matter unloading his musket into them. The armor was no match as the bullet pierced through and struck them. Meanwhile the rest of the Harrows joined in the fray as Xandak and Trigeji swung their axe and hammer respectively to try and take down a guard. Lumpen provided support with his Haste spells and Magic Missile barrages. Barilut rushed to help heal Jathan and fortify the front as the battle continued on. However it seemed that the skilled adventurers were too much for these guards as one by one they fell to their knees unconscious. As the guards were falling, the Harrows could see more of them coming from both sides of them as it started to dawn on them that picking a fight in front of the castle might not have been the best idea.
Barilut healed one of the Grey Maidens as she rose to her feet as he tried to talk them down and stop the fighting. However she would have none of this as she drew her sword and rejoined the battle instantly. Another shot from Si’ro and the guard was brought down again as they tried to edge their way back away from the castle. It was at this time that another Grey Maiden joined the chaos but this one appeared to be of higher status as she barked out at them to leave before they were all killed. They recognized her voice as Kordaitra Destald, one of the commanders of the Grey Maidens. This was the queue for the Harrows that they should probably bolt and with their increased speed due to the Haste spell it wasn’t hard for them to outrun the slower fully armored guards chasing them.
When they were at a point of safety they headed to get some rest and recover from some of the wounds they had taken. During this time, Si’ro decided to hit the streets and using his silver tongue began to weave stories about how the Grey Maidens attacked them so that he could alter the facts for when word got out about what had happened. The next day, the Harrows decided that no one was going to help them with the vampire spawns so they would have to take care of it themselves. They made their way back to Racker’s Alley but this time with a plan. Armed with silversheen and alchemist’s fire, they slowly sneaked their way into the strange toy shop to where they had encountered the spawn last time. One of the doses of silversheen covered Xandak’s axe as Jathan went down into the trap door to where the four coffins were. Seeing t hem, he tossed an alchemist fire at the two coffins in the front setting them ablaze and burning the spawn sleeping inside.
The vampire spawn awoke furiously as it screamed seeking out whoever did this to them. The loud noise and disturbance woke the other two as now all four spawn were eager to get revenge on who did this. Jathan quickly jumped out of the trap door and prepared to ambush whoever came as Xandak was on the other side. One by one the vampires would burst out from the crawl space to attack them but the sharp silvery axe of Xandak and Lumpen’s magical barrage would keep them back and destroy them. What was interesting was that when two of them appeared to have been defeated the smoke that they turned into last time dissipated and faded.
However, two of them turned into a gaseous form as the smoke seemed to head back down into the crawl space. “The coffins!” Jathan proclaimed. “The two that faded must have been the ones that were burned. Get to the coffins.” He told them as Trigeji, Xandak, and Barilut went down after the gas. They discovered the vampire spawn had returned to their coffins, eyes shut as they were resting to recuperate from the damage that they had taken.
“Time for you to go to sleep for good.” Trigeji said as she broke off a splintered piece from one of the other coffins and used it as a stake, driving it through the heart of the vampire as its body turned into dust. Xandak did the honors for the other spawn as he drove a stake into that one and now after proper planning all the spawns had been taken care of. With the creatures now defeated they checked the coffins for anything of note and noticed a bag with a bunch of gold coins with a strange emblem on them. They took what they could find and headed back upstairs to check out the rest of the toy store. Going through the locked door that was in here took them to what appeared to be the storefront of this establishment as the shelves were lined with poorly manufactured toys and strange models. Jathan checked around the store and found a small lockbox behind the counter that held a few more coin and a strange key with a number on it. They recognized the logo on the key to be the symbol of Abadar and figured the number had to belong to a lockbox of some kind. Putting that with the rest of the items they found they headed out relieved to have taken care of the spawn.
The next stop in their adventure brought them to the Bank of Abadar to see what the key led to as they showed it to one of the clerics who nodded and went to get the box. He returned shortly with the lockbox as Barilut and the rest of the party were eager to see what was inside. Using the key, they opened it to see a pair of boots and an assortment of strange horrible toy designs. The boots appeared to be a set of Boots of Striding and Sprinting. It was an interesting find and definitely a nice treat after everything that they had been through.
But now their minds turned back to the last thing they had to investigate: the Queen’s Physicians at the Hospice of the Blessed Maiden. What was going on there and would they find the answers they sought? Could they stop the plague from taking any more lives and were there more vampire spawns in the area?