Chapter 1 – Edge of Anarchy

Full Session Summaries

Commentary

In Part I, our brave heroes meet on the mean streets of Korvosa, having been summoned by a Varisian woman who wants her son’s murder avenged.  Gaedren Lamm, the perpetrator, has a history with all of us.  My character, Annata Vieri the spunky priest of Sarenrae, was one of his captive child-thieves early in life.   The other characters are the usual rogue’s gallery:

  • Malcolm the fighter, who I might describe as similar to Titus Pullo, the legionary from the HBO series Rome
  • Thorndyke the ranger, who I might describe as a feral alley cat (named after the villain from Herbie the Love Bug – no, really)
  • Valash the schizophrenic self-hating half-elf sorcerer and scribe, who I might describe as “Bruce’s typical character”

See the main page for character sheets.

I’m enjoying the smaller group.  In Rise of the Runelords we were six players strong, with others joining from time to time.  This time, we split into two four-player groups, both of which Paul is running through CoCT.  With four people, we got some good character interaction time in, and combats seemed less interminable.

The start of the plot was good, with a creepy twist once we realized we had been hired by a dead woman (dum dum DUMMMM).  I’m spending most of my time trying to get a good grip on Annata’s personality, as there were a lot of moral decisions in quick succession.  She was a “Little Lamm” in her youth, beaten and left for dead, and found new meaning in the church.  She’s a very earnest and faithful follower of the Dawnflower, but her rough youth makes her not very naive – working as a healer in the temple of Korvosa isn’t light work either, you could compare it to working an ER in New York somewhere.  I’m basing her partly on a similarly devout yet pouty-lipped doctor friend of mine from back in Memphis (Hi Leslie!).

The biggest difference between the D&D cleric and the Pathfinder cleric is “Channel Energy,” which is turn undead plus a healing burst that heals everyone in the area.  Annata has “Selective Channeling” which lets her exclude people, but even in Lamm’s case she couldn’t let enemies just bleed to death.  So what did she do?  Well, you’ll just have to read the session summary!

Part II continued the urban fun, as we took on missions for the Korvosan Guard to help stabilize the city.  Sure, we stopped some killers and met with the crime boss known as the King of Spiders to get blackmail material on a Chelixian ambassador, but more importantly, Annata has been meeting some interesting men!

Last time, actually, is when we met Grau, the Korvosan Guard sergeant who was wandering the chaotic streets drunk and depressed.  We escorted him back to Citadel Volshyenek at the time, and now we’ve been sent there by the Queen to help Field Marshal Kroft and the Guard.  He’s cleaned himself up and has been showing the heroes around.  She got the whole story out of him – how he and his fencing master had both fallen in love with the same woman, another fencing student, and it had all ended badly.  (And the woman was Sabine, the Queen’s bodyguard and rumored lover!)  A sad story and six pack abs.  He definitely needs an understanding ear, and maybe hearing about the Dawnflower can help him.

Then, she met Vencarlo Orisini, a dashing gentleman, who was bringing important information to the Field Marshal.  He’s well connected, very honorable, handsome – and Grau’s old fencing master!  Annata was ready to not like him, but her standoffishness melted in the face of his nobility (he actually asked after his old student, who he wished well despite their falling out.)  And you don’t get your hand kissed much on the streets of Korvosa nowadays.  And he owns his own villa…  And the long hair looks good on him…

What’s a good girl who’s been largely holed up in a temple for the last seven years to think!?!

And speaking of that, the heroes have had to be deceptive to set up their various “stings” – catching the assassins, for example, and even just going to talk to the King of Spiders (a notorious crime lord).  Since confronting Gaedren Lamm and embarking on this hero business, she’s found it very easy to slip back into the mode of setting up a con, like she used to do back in her criminal days.  Her friends, and even the Field Marshal and Vencarlo, say that it’s necessary to do what is needed to save the city, and that certainly seems like a noble goal, but Sarenrae teaches to be honest in all dealings…  She’s been trying to reflect on all this, but the only real time she’s gotten for prayer and reflection lately was somewhat distracted, as it was in the office of the butcher shop in hopes that the mysterious benefactor of the poor who had been funding the place would make contact.  (Annata knows it’s silly, but in her heart she hopes it’s the fabled Blackjack!)

The party’s capture/rescue of Trina Sabor, alleged assassin of the King, in Part III is about the last straw for Annata. She can’t be sure that Trina didn’t have anything to do with the King’s demise (a poor artist with a magical mithril shirt, dagger, and potion loadout? That’s a little suspicious) despite her convincing-sounding story to that effect, but she doesn’t feel right about how everything happened – Field Marshal Croft seems honorable but she’s bound by her orders, and the orders coming down to her seem more and more questionable.  She had wanted to talk to Trina herself, have the goddess prove the truth of her words, but they’d been sent off immediately on an errand to retrieve that poor Shoanti boy’s body from the boneyard.  And while they were gone, the Queen’s guard spirited the girl away.  She wept in anger and frustration when they returned from the crypts to discover Trina had been taken without even an interrogation to her execution.

Even tired and out of spells from their battle with the minions of the necromancer Rolth, she would have stood up for the girl publicly had she been sure of her innocence.  She tried to find anyone to talk to who might be able to do something, but she couldn’t find Vencarlo or the Field Marshal, and Sabine and the Queen were inaccessible. She felt for that poor girl – as they marched her out to meet the headsman, she fervently prayed to the Dawnflower to spare her if she was innocent, or to grant her a quick end with no pain if she was not… And then the goddess answered her prayer in the most unexpected and awesome way ever – Annata’s heart leapt in her chest when Blackjack himself appeared to spirit away the condemned artist right off the chopping block!

Sarenrae’s word on the matter could not be any more clear. If Blackjack is against the Queen – then she shall be too! No more accepting questionable jobs in the alleged name of order and the public good. Annata will get to the bottom of this, and as the Book of Light and Truth says, “Where the Dawnflower’s rays shine, the darkness can not stand.”

Best quote from the session:

A huge otyugh notices the characters’ entry. It happily burbles out, “Warm! Food! Blobber globber globber!”
Annata immediately panics. “They can talk! I didn’t know they could talk!”
Malcolm is equally upset, “I didn’t know they could talk either. This changes everything!”
Thorndyke turns white and says, “If they’re intelligent and can speak common, then why are they sitting down in the sewers? Do they have a society? Will they come up and take over the city someday?”
Valash offers, “I think they’re already doing that! I’m scared!  Scared and confused!”

Did any of you know otyughs could talk?!?  Yes, the sewer-dwelling tentacled poo-eating monsters?  We didn’t, and frankly it freaked us out, player and character alike.  We were all like, “Well what the hell do we do now?”  Luckily Patrick, ever the pragmatist, attacked it and spurred us to action.

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