Rise of the Runelords

The Paladin Who Came in from the Cold

The Skinsaw Murders, Part 2

Starday, 18 Neth, 4733

Lea and Ameiko return from the play, wondering how the paladin got caught up in this mess. Lea’s gown is soiled with blood and glitter. They decide not to do anything until the meeting with the “Princess” tomorrow.

Sunday, 19 Neth, 4733

Ameiko leads Lea down to the impressive Bazaar of Sails. Holding court at its center is Sabriyya Kalmeralm, the Princess of the Market. The Keleshite woman ensures that trade flows smoothly through the unpoliceable marketplace and hears every rumor that passes through. When Ameiko ran away to Magnimar as a teenager, Sabriyya took her under her wing and still thinks of her as a “niece.”

In recognition of that relationship, the Princess of the Markets offers to share what she knows with Lea. The paladin seeks information on who is after her. Sabriyya explains that there is a “war party” in Magnimar that wants to attack Korvosa before the rival city grows too strong to challenge. She suspects that Lady Leroung, one of the most vocal members of this faction, hoped that kidnapping a princess of Korvosa could force a conflict. Sabriyya, like the Lord-Mayor, believes that such a war would be disastrous for both cities.

Sabriyya also tells Lea that she is being watched by the Rushlight Society, a bandits guild that is almost certainly being funded out of Korvosa. Lea avoids sharing her suspicions about the actress Mira Ortani.

After the audience with the Princess of the Market, Lea and Ameiko return to the Kaijitsu villa. Ameiko gets to work preparing lunch for them and the servants and laborers restoring the place. Shalelu checks in with the young paladin, who is unsure whether she should simply leave Magnimar or stay indoors the entire time to avoid accidentally provoking a conflict.

Lea asks Ameiko for advice and the bard says that she should play to her strengths: confront problems head on, instead of trying to play someone else’s intrigue game.

With that in mind, Lea decides to see Mira. She brings Ameiko, while Shalelu stealthily tails them to keep an eye out for trouble. They are able to meet up with Mira in her dressing room. But once the paladin reveals that she recognizes Mira from the rooftop encounter at the Jester and Cask, the redheaded actress asks to speak with Lea alone.

Once Ameiko has stepped out of the room, Mira acknowledges that it was her on the rooftop and that she serves Korvosan interests. She also admits that Mira isn’t her real name. Lea asks if she works for her father King Aquilos, but Mira says that she is a member of “a certain Society” instead. She admits to keeping an eye on Lea and Amelia so that they don’t get caught up in the political standoff between the two cities.

Lea asks what she should do and Mira suggests that she keep her head down, avoid confronting Lady Leroung and avoid the Lord-Mayor’s celebratory feast. That will allow Mira and her agents to clean up the situation and avoid any further escalation. Her orders are to weaken Magnimar, not to start a war.

Lea says that she will of course arrest any bandits she encounters, but won’t hunt down the Rushlight Society. Mira promises to keep her paths clear. She also provides some directions on what areas of the Mushfens to avoid. Lea also informs her that Zavian suspects a connection between the Rushlight Society and Korosa.

Mira believes that as long as they can maintain plausible deniability, they will be okay. Besides, it’s not as if Magnimar’s hands are clean. She accuses Magnimar of fomenting unrest among the Varisians in Korvosa and cites Sabriyya Kalmeralm as playing the same role here that Lady Kyra Loranth plays for Korvosa.

Lea asks about news from the city. She learns that giant activity in the Mindspin Mountains has tied down the Hellknights, while the Korvosan Army has been redeployed to the borders. The Shoanti are distracted by the giants and won’t join an attack during the winter, so it’s not the first step for an invasion. However, King Aquilos has been seen in public less and less, and the word “Thassilon” has been heard with growing frequency in Castle Korvosa.

After giving the flirty redhead a farewell hug, Lea rejoins Ameiko. She asks her girlfriend to attend the Lord-Mayor’s feast in her stead—but then inquires about the possibility of attending the feast in disguise, which immediately piques Ameiko’s interest.

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