Rise of the Runelords

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Fortress of the Stone Giants, Part 3

Sunday, 14 Abadius, 4734

Having arrived at the Korvosan settlement of Melfesh and met with Lea’s mother Queen Cressida Kroft, the Rune Wardens settle in to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in the army camp. Remmy promises to arrange an escort for them to travel to the city.

Marcus continues crafting, while Shayliss travels the camp trying to sell his weaponry and raise brand awareness. Amelia entertains the troops with ballads of the Rune Wardens’ heroism. Zavian offers his services as an Abadarian cleric.

Moonday, 15 Abadius, 4734

A detachment of Korvosan cavalry led by a Lieutenant Syvas escorts the adventurers as they set out for the capital. The soldiers carry a royal banner with the black, red, silver and gold colors of the Houses of Kroft and Nox.

As they travel, Lea and Amelia notice that there are fewer travelers on the road than normal, even in the midst of the cold, damp Varisian winter. Lea asks Syvas, who says that with the Korvosan military deployed to the frontiers or withdrawn to the cities, there are fewer soldiers to patrol the interior. Bandits and monsters have filled into the vacuum, making travel more dangerous.

Toilday, 23 Abadius, 4734

After nine days on the road, the party enters a wooded area. Amelia is the first to spot a disheveled man leap out of the foliage and dash into the road, looking fearfully over his shoulder. He freezes and gawks at the column of warriors. The bard uses her song to fascinate him so he can be questioned.

Before that can happen, however, another figure comes charging out of the woods after the man and tackles him to the ground. The figure, dressed as an old woman, puts a sword to the man’s throat and says “Don’t you move or I swear by my pretty blue bonnet I will end you.”

This second person turns out to be not an old woman at all, but Ser Marl of Old Korvosa. A halfling named Ser Belia Bairnel arrives soon after, mounted atop the awakened riding dog Reno. The unusual trio explain that they are members of the Order of the Black Mushroom, a knightly order founded by Lady Kyra Loranth. They’d set a trap for bandit slavers who had been waylaying travelers. They plan to take this prisoner, along with several others, back to Korvosa for questioning.

The Rune Wardens link up with the rest of the Black Mushrooms, the gnome paladin Teena and their squire Gunny, and continue their journey together. Upon learning that Teena is a paladin of Sarenrae, Zavian questions her about the page from his past life’s copy of The Birth of Light and Truth. The gnome directs him to a Brother Ahmed at Korvosa’s Sarenrite temple for a proper translation.

Fireday, 26 Abadius, 4734

The party arrives at Korvosa and make their way to the castle. They immediately feel a strange sense of frisson in the air, tingling the backs of their necks and other regions. Shayliss and Nualia seem to be the most affected. The Rune Wardens suspect its a sign of Sorshen’s magic stirring beneath the city.

At the castle, they find that King Aquilos Nox has no time to speak with them, as he is entertaining the new Chelaxian emissary Zasz. He invites them to attend the Lunar Ball that night and arranges quarters for them. Elegant clothes are also arranged for those that lack them. Nualia makes use of magic to disguise her demon arm.

That night, the party attends the ball, which is being held in the throne room of the castle. The Rune Wardens make their entrance and greet the King; Lea makes formal introductions.

The party speaks with the court wizard, Gia Amprei, who offers to trade information about the Runelords in exchange for Marcus’ help with her professional feud against the aged Headmaster Toff Ornelos of the Acadamae. Marcus finds himself roped into a wizard’s duel against Ornelos’ apprentice, Princess Ryah, to take place the following morning.

Zavian and Marcus persuade Lady Jeggare to purchase the over-sized Sihedron medallion they recovered from the Kreeg Clanhold. Zavian also exchanges talk about merchat business with Lord Rolan Farima and High Arbiter Jerem Farima.

Lea catches up with Lady Kyra Loranth, who asks for her help in mending relations with Kyra’s youngest daughter Becky, who is a junior cleric at the temple of Iomedae. Lea promises to help.

Lea is then approached by a muscled young man who punches her square in the face and says simply, “I accept.”

She realizes this is Anton Jeggare, the boy whose nose she broke before skipping town. Anton says he has accepted her challenge, and expects to duel her tomorrow. Marcus chooses this moment to tell Lea that he will be fighting her sister in a wizard’s duel at the same time.

Lea chats with Laori Vaus, the city’s high priestess of Iomedae, who says she has seen the fingers of destiny touching the party in a totally platonic way, and that there is a rising danger over Varisia that takes the shape of a great golden eye peering down greedily from some elsewhere.

Lea finally catches up with Nox, asking for his advice on how to deal with the duel. Eventually, she decides that she will concede the following morning in order to minimize the harm to relations with the Jeggares.

It is at this point that Amprei warns that alarms on the entrance to the vault have gone off. Nox calls for Chammady to be summoned, and then gathers Laori, Amprei, and Kyra to investigate. He tells Lea and the others to stay in the throne room with Seneschal Valeria Endrin to protect the guests.

Shortly after the King and company have departed, magical force fields shimmer into place around all of the doors and windows.

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