[1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Sabina Merrin
 NPC, 6 posts
 Human Female
 Queen's Bodyguard
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 05:55
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Sabina scowls at bit at her prey escaping her but the expression passes quickly replaced with her blank mask of duty. She marches across the room, grabs Trinia by the shoulder and leads her out of the room. Her armored footsteps echo as they recede down the stone hall.
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 13 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 06:09
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
As soon as Sabina is out of sight the steel in Field Marshall Kroft's spine softens and her rigid posture bends as she puts her hands on the desk and hangs her head. After a few seconds she bangs a fist angrily on the desk top sending quills jumping and tipping over a pot of ink.

"I know. You can say it anyway but I already know. They got here ahead of you and I couldn't send word warning you to stay away. They didn't know where she was and I marched that poor girl right into the dragon's jaws."

She pounded the table again causing the tipped pot to splash more ink onto her desk. She straightened up and moved behind her desk to have a seat, clearing her throat as she wrestled her anger in check.

"Shortly after you left the Queen's guard came here with a writ of execution. I told her that we didn't have the prisoner yet so Sabina ordered me to dispatch the entire guard until Trinia was found. I don't know if she suspects my loyalty but she insisted on being present for every dispatch I gave. There was no chance for me to alert you and the writ is legal. I don't know what kind of political favors she pulled or who she threatened but Trinia was charged and convicted in absence.

She is to be executed in two weeks time. The Queen intends to put on a show trial for the public despite already having the execution in place. The verdict is already set, Queen Ileosa is turning this into entertainment for the masses and nobles at this point."


Even as she  speaks the words her face twists up in disgust.

"This... I don't even know how to describe what is happening. The city is rioting, the king is dead and now justice seems to be dying alongside it."
Kraw
 Rogue, 302 posts
 HP 25/25 AC 18
 F+3 R+7 W+3
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 06:18
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kraw says "I know it would upset the queen, but what if, during her 'show' trial, someone came up with irrefutable proof that Trinia was innocent? What would likely happen?"
Kyra
 player, 135 posts
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 11:48
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kyra considers the situation as well, and there is doubt in her voice when she speaks. "What kind of evidence could we find that would stop this? The easiest way to prove her innocence would be by using magic, but it does not look like that is going to happen. Without that and considering how set the Queen is on this I doubt anything short of a public confession from a true murderer at this show trial would be enough. And we don't even know if there was a murder in the first place, let alone where to look for a murderer."
Kraw
 Rogue, 303 posts
 HP 25/25 AC 18
 F+3 R+7 W+3
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 17:06
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kraw whispers, as if fearful of being overheard " It is said in some quarters than Sabine would do anything for the Queen....including assassination. That Sabine is so gung-ho is capturing a painter who is obviously a scapegoat, given the 'shadow' trial, is an indication supporting that theory."
Kyra
 player, 136 posts
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 17:28
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
"Not that I care for the woman, but rumors are, well, rumors. It could have just as easily been old age and illness that killed the king. People do die all on their own all the time. Even kings."

Kyra turns to the Marshall. "Has there been any kind of investigation into the king's death? Did the court physician at least determine the cause of death?
Ayeesha
 Bloodrager, 172 posts
Tue 3 Dec 2019
at 23:09
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Ayeesha raised an eyebrow at the Marshall's words. Should she be talking like that? As a loyal agent of the crown? She shook her head. Apparently the civilized folks weren't as bound to orders and chain of command as she'd been told.

"Spectacle is a good way to calm riotous crowds. My people have been fighting in pits while people watch for ages to keep the violent urges of the Varisians and Chelaxians in check. Just the way it is, sometimes the crowd needs blood, and if you want them to stop taking it out of each other, you gotta give them something else."

She shrugged and sanguinely turned to Cressida.

"Either way, seems like our job is done. Seems like we did it well." She shrugged, not asking the next question, but hoping it was obvious.
Figus Dva
 player, 186 posts
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 17:19
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Figus was ready to admit that things were way out of his league. He always considered that the powerful were corrupt, but to be thrust into the midst of of it made him feel dirty. Rubbing his left hand did not make it change its color however, and neither will taking a stand here and now. Speaking quietly to others

"We need to leave. We can talk about what is next ... next."
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 14 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 23:07
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
The field marshal nodded in sympathy at Kraw but couldn't offer any help.

"The investigation was conducted by the Queen's personal agents and this is their conclusion. If a murderer could be found that would change things but if the Queen sensed anyone wasn't in agreement..."

Her voice trailed off and her eyebrows moved up slightly as she worked her jaw around deep in thought. She reached out and righted the ink pot and pulled out a quill. Finding the ink pot empty she just dipped the quill into the ink spilled on her desk and began writing out a message.

"Don't do anything rash for now. I think I have an idea but I need to send a message to an ally to see if it would even be possible. For now just...head back to the barracks and get some rest. Once again you've delivered exactly as asked and once again the guard is grateful for your services. I have a feeling we'll be in need of your skill in the future so please try to stay safe."

She paused and looked Kraw dead in the eyes.

"I am not giving up on Trinia, or justice for that matter, but right now there are others who might be able to help. What we need is some time to figure out what happened to the good King."
Kraw
 Rogue, 304 posts
 HP 25/25 AC 18
 F+3 R+7 W+3
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 17:22
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kraw nods. "Normally, I'd ask for a payout at this point. But it doesn't seem right , you know?"
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 15 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 21:47
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Cressida winced at the jab but didn't respond, continuing to write out her note around the pool of ink on her desk.
Ayeesha
 Bloodrager, 173 posts
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 22:05
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
"Why not?" Ayeesha asked Kraw, after hinting at as much herself.

"Because a little something for the trouble might go a long way towards getting access to our skills in the future. Especially after a mission goes and leaves a sour taste in your mouth like this one."

That last comment was directed to Cressida directly, not Kraw.
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 16 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 05:58
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Cressida paused and lowered her quill, looking up at Ayeesha and the others.

"Fair is fair, you're right. Technically that little mission wasn't on the records so I can't officially issue payment for it however..."

She stands up and walks over to a bureau in the corner. Opening it up reveals a number of excellent looking clothes and armor in pristine condition, although none of it is regulation guard wear.

She pushes a set of leather armor aside and pulls out a backpack festooned with pouches, straps and flaps. She holds it in her hands for a few moments, touching a few buttons and buckles wistfully before tossing it over to Ayeesha.

"That came in quite handy when I was out in the field. Enchanted to stay light no matter how much you stuff into it and it senses your intentions, automatically placing whatever you are looking for within easy reach. Useful for collecting evidence and bringing keeping potions and scrolls close at hand without being a burden. Consider it a loan."

She smirks a little.

"A long-term loan."
Kyra
 player, 137 posts
Fri 6 Dec 2019
at 08:25
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kyra is less then sure about there being anything they could do for Trinia, or at least anything legal, but she is willing to give it a shot. The alternative would be to try to bust her out of castle dungeons, and that sounds awfully like a suicide. She is a bit annoyed at the Marshal about this whole mess though. Even if Sabina was not waiting for them in ambush, the Marshal had to count on the Queen finding out and demanding the prisoner at some point. If she was not willing to disobey she should have told them to hide Trinia somewhere in the city instead or smuggle her out right away.

"Oh, well, too late now." She mutters to herself almost inaudibly. "It's been a long day. Let's get some rest."

This message was last edited by the player at 08:26, Fri 06 Dec 2019.

Kraw
 Rogue, 305 posts
 HP 25/25 AC 18
 F+3 R+7 W+3
Sat 7 Dec 2019
at 07:50
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
In reply to Cressida Kroft (msg # 96):

Kraw pauses before leaving. "Have you any idea how the King was killed, or where it happened? I need to verify for myself whether the queen's investigators are simply agreeing to the queen's feelings on the matter, or whether they actually made an effort to investigate."
Ayeesha
 Bloodrager, 174 posts
Mon 9 Dec 2019
at 04:55
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Ayeesha took the bag, not intending to keep it. Someone surely needed a way to lighten their load more than she did.

She was ready to move on as well, but waited as Kraw asked his questions.
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 17 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 21:54
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Cressida gives Kraw a nod on the way out.

"I'll make some inquiries. Discretely of course. I'll send someone when I find something out."




Over the next week leading up the trial the party attempts various methods of conducting an investigation themselves but all evidence is locked away inside the castle. Nobody can get past the front guards nor can they seem to get any appointments to justify a visit.

The Field Marshall also finds her efforts stymied as everyone around the case is either repeating the propaganda distributed by the Queen or refuses to talk to the guard of anything important.

To make matters worse over the next week shortly before the trial a Shoanti kid was killed during a minor riot that erupted. Tensions in the city start to build as the Shonati inside the city start causing trouble in protest against the act.

When the group is summoned to the Field Marshal's office they find that she isn't alone. Next to her is a tall, rail-thin Shoanti man of 60 winters.

"Guards, this is Thousand Bones, a Way-Keeper for the Skoan-Quah. He is an ambassador of sorts for the Shoanti and is looking for help from the guard."
Thousand Bones
 NPC, 1 post
 Male Shoanti Human
 Way-Keeper
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 22:00
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Thousand Bones leans heavily on a walking stick, the polished femur of some giant beast crowned with a firepelt cougar’s skull. He wears a shirt decorated with countless jangling animal bones, many painstakingly scrawled with dozens of tiny symbols and glyphs. A bearskin cloak is draped about his bony shoulders, and warpaint in the shape of a skull decorates his face. The Shoanti’s eyes are milky as if he were blind, though he doesn't seem bothered by this. On his shoulder is perched a regal red-feathered razor crow that sits quietly observing everyone in the room.

He regards the group impassively while Cressida introduces him. When the old shaman speaks with a deep voice, his words carefully chosen but delivered with a barely restrained anger.

“My people have worked hard to understand yours, yet it seems each day we see new examples of how your people work just as hard to foster old hatreds. My grandson is dead, beaten to death by cowards in your city street. I do not blame you, yet still Gaekhen is dead, and my son and his kin are not so forgiving as I. They wish to return to the Skoan-Quah in the Cinderlands, to join with the Sklar-Quah and rally to war against Korvosa. This would be disastrous, for both our peoples. Amends must be made.

Our ways are not as yours. If a body does not go whole to the fires of the gods, the smoke of a warrior’s spirit cannot rise to the Great Sky. If I could send Gaekhen’s body to the Great Sky with honor and dignity, his father and brothers would listen to me and stay their wrath—the talks of peace between my people and yours can continue. But he was not just murdered. His body was taken from the scene of his death, sold by a peddler of corpses to a necromancer named Rolth, a criminal to both our people. I have spoken with the spirits, and they have revealed to me that Gaekhen’s body has been taken to a place below your boneyard, a place the spirits call the Dead Warrens.

With this knowledge, I could surely lead a group of my finest warriors into your boneyard to retrieve Gaekhen’s body, but this would be seen as an act of aggression by your people. No, it falls to you to make amends for what has been done. You must bring me Gaekhen’s body, lest we be forced to recover him ourselves. And although it pains my heart to say it—we
will not be gentle if it comes to this.”


Without another word Thousand Bones stands and departs the room leaving an exasperated Cressida to answer any of the group's questions.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 14:20, Tue 17 Dec 2019.

Kraw
 Rogue, 306 posts
 HP 25/25 AC 18
 F+3 R+7 W+3
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 23:02
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kraw says "Necromancer, great. Probably scores of undead to deal with. Any chance of some specialized gear, like holy water, mirrors, silver weapons? We probably should stock up on extra weapons, blunt ones for skeletons, edged for zombies."
Figus Dva
 player, 189 posts
Wed 11 Dec 2019
at 16:41
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
"At least this is a mission we can all get behind. A clear right vs. wrong."

Figus nods to Kraw "I am all set. Holy water is not that effective and rather expensive. Not sure if we should invest in it."
Kyra
 player, 138 posts
Wed 11 Dec 2019
at 20:36
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kyra is less then enthusiastic about their new task. After a frustrating week of getting nowhere with their investigation, now there's this annoyance to deal with as well. She can't help but feel that time is running out. "Might as well get a few flasks, and some other gear as well. Maybe we can pick some of that from the stores?"

I seem to remember we had credit with the guard quartermaster, is any of that left for Kyra? If not, I'll just spend cash for it, I'd like 2x holy water (50 gp), 2x holy weapon balm (60 gp), 1x soothe syrup (25 gp), 1x antiplague (50 gp) and a couple of torches (2 cp). Oh, and 1x antitoxin (50 gp), I think I've used my vial some time ago.
Cressida Kroft
 NPC, 18 posts
 Human Female
 Field Marshal
Tue 17 Dec 2019
at 14:32
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Cressida watches as the old shaman departs and then turns back to the group still in her office.

"Alright just to be clear your your primary objective is to retrieve the corpse of the dead Shoanti. Like Thousand Bones said it is likely that Rolth is set up under or near the Gray District.

We have the man who sold Gaekhen’s body to Rolth in custody: a simpleton named Elkaris. He
spilled everything when we told him what was going on and how much trouble he was in. In any event, Elkaris says he delivered the body via wheelbarrow to a partially collapsed mausoleum deep in Potter’s Ward, near the southern edge. A toppled and headless statue of a sword-wielding gargoyle lay in the dirt near the mausoleum’s entrance. He was told to leave the body behind the gargoyle.

Apparently underneath the Gray District there are a bunch of underground tunnels. Undead are usually found roaming inside and the priests of Pharsma make regular sweeps but they never seem to be able to keep the dead from rising. According to Thousand Bones beneath the Potter's Ward is an old Shoanti burial ground they call the Dead Warrens. This seems to align with the location Elkaris dropped the body off so that would be where I suggest to start looking.

Rolth can be considered a secondary objective. We need the body but arresting a known necromancer would be a great help as well."





Kyra goes to the quartermaster and through their credit acquires various mundane supplies. The party has 101gp in credit left after Kyra is done shopping.

OOC: Make sure to update your Equipment to reflect the new items. Don't want to forget it!
Kyra
 player, 140 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 11:47
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kyra tries to remember if she knows anything else about the Gray District. And once she has picked up her gear from the quartermaster, she uses magic to gather what information she can on Rolth as well.

Knowledge: Local on the Grey District.
12:42, Today: Kyra rolled 23 using 1d20+11 with rolls of 12.  Knowledge: Local.
Ears of the City on anything about Rolth.
12:43, Today: Kyra rolled 14,10,27 using 1d20+9,1d20+9,1d20+9 with rolls of 5,1,18.  Perception x3.

Are we ready to move on?

Dungeon Master
 GM, 334 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 20:14
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
Kyra is indeed familiar with the Gray District. It is Korvosa's primary graveyard as well as home to the Grand Cathedral of Pharasma.

The Gray District is completely walled off from the rest of Korvosa, partially to protect the graves from robbers but mainly to protect the rest of the city from restless undead. The interior is divided between four wards: the Gold ward for the wealthy full of elaborate tombs and mausoleums, the tiny Sepublcher ward that mainly holds the temple of Pharsma as well as a rumored catacomb for the remains of clerics and paladins and other religious laypersons, the Everyman ward for the bulk of residents and the Potter's Ward where the truly poor are buried in mass graves.

As one would expect the Potter's Ward tends to be the most restless in terms of undead outbreaks.

As for Rolth Kyra learns through whispers and fragments that he was once a student at the Academae but was expelled when he tried to build a golem out of animals he had butchered. He is known throughout the underworld as a shady operator, willing to kill for money and components he needs to further his necromancy. Many whisper about him having set up laboratories throughout the catacombs underneath the city and allying with various denizens of the dark. He has on occasion been seen in the company of small cloaked figures. Some argue it is gnomes, others say it is one of the goblin tribes from the sewers.
Ayeesha
 Bloodrager, 175 posts
Thu 19 Dec 2019
at 21:31
Re: [1.06] The Queen's Scapegoat
OOC: Sorry fell behind! I think Ayeesha is good gear-wise, so just jumping back in to follow you all down.

I also have to warn that not surprisingly  I'm going to be spotty in terms of post rates for the next couple of weeks too!


"I've got cold iron, and bludgeoning weapons. Just a silver dagger, but hopefully it'll be ok."

She followed the others to the tomb, equipped and ready to go in.