Flights in the Night
A steady drizzle blanketed the city as dawn broke humid and overcast over Korvosa. Our heroes awoke to playful pokes and shouts from the other orphans as they tried to loosen muscles that have stiffened up on the dilapidated cots. They found that Donna had left to run some errands, and the party spent the rest of the morning helping out around the orphanage.
Aron took some of the old boys and girls outside for some sword practice with sticks and brooms, while Markus and Hoodlum got other orphans to shine up their equipment. Chloe meanwhile set off for the Gold Market in an effort to sell some of the gear the party had acquired. Once at the market, Chloe learned that many of the shops were closed due to the funeral procession happening later in the afternoon, and that Eel’s End was throwing a party tonight. A wake for the king named simply “The Dance for the Dead”. She managed to secure the ear of a local street vendor, and when he only offered a pittance, sang a haunting medley praising the old dead king. Her song was so moving that the vendor gave her full price, and several passer-bys also contributed to her earnings.
Later that afternoon, once both Donna and Chloe had returned, the party set off to investigate the strange list of names left by Verik, and to track down the orphan Raimy. They had discovered the name of Ishani Dhatri on the list, and both he and Raimy were said to be in Northpoint. The party walked up Pillar Hill to Ramp boulevards, passing large groups huddled against the damp rain clouds. As they reached the mid-point of their journey, the bells or Castle Korvosa sounded. Soon a large funeral procession could be seen.
Marcus Endrin, Commandant of the Sable Company, led the procession on a grounded hippogriff while companies of Korvosan Guard and Sable Company marines followed in his wake. Though it was lost on the party, the Guard looked quite run down from the week’s unrest. Following the Guard was two companies of Hellknights, resplendent in their polished black armor, on either side of a large warhorse pulled wagon. The wagon, deep black with golden trim, held a sarcophagus with an elegant carving of the resting king on top. Lastly, Queen Ileosa, born in her palanquin, and still wearing her dark mourning veil, closed out the procession. Intrigued, and with some knowledge of the court, Aron noted that the Seneschal wasn’t present at the funeral, though he should have been. With hippogriffs flying in tight loops above the funeral procession, the party continued on to the Bank of Abadar.
The white marble building, liberally embellished with gold accents was now becoming very familiar as the party came up to the gates. They strode in, and requested a meeting with Ishani. Nervous that he was in some trouble, it took some time for the party to believe that Ishani had no idea why his name would be on the list. Ishani was able to point out the names of several other clerics of Abadar and minor bureaucratic functionaries though, and this discovery led him to escort the party to a meeting with Archbanker Tuttel right away.
After introductions and explanations, Tuttel became seriously concerned at the discovery of an apparent hit list of Korvosan healers. He immediately ordered Ishani to notify Kroft of this development, and to increase the number of guards stationed among the clerics. Before leaving, Aron complained of a steady headache and fuzzy memory to Tuttel. A brief investigation by Tuttel led to more questions than answers as two small puncture wounds were found on Aron’s forearm. With the description of Aron’s symptoms and his wound as evidence, Tuttel informed the party that he would further meet with Toff Ornelos of the Academae to gain some more information.
As they left the Bank of Abadar, the brilliant rays of the setting sun lit up the golden spires of the temple in deep hues of orange and red. With the fall of night, it came time to put the second part of their plan into motion: finding Raimy. They had heard Raimy was resorting to robbing drunk nobles in Northpoint, and with two taverns to visit, they decided to split up. Aron and Hoodlum would make their way to the Posh and Turtle while Markus and Chloe would head towards the Inn of the Traveler.
Markus and Chloe found the Inn of the Traveler full of customers including several half-drunk guardsmen. Among them was Sergeant Reshi, who they had helped escort the grain caravan with on the morning after the riots. The plan called for a stakeout, so while Markus drank inside with the Guard, Chloe kept an eye on the street outside. What Chloe overlooked, as she sang outside the tavern, was the rumbling coming from below the street. Before she could even cry out, the street erupted in a geyser of stone and filth as an Otyugh emerged from the sewer below.
Aron and Hoodlum, disguised in the clothes of mid-level bureaucrats, made their way towards the Posh and Turtle. They soon passed the bizarre Avenue of Arms, with it’s black stone sculptures, and eventually came to the fancy restaurant near the base of the Sable Company’s Great Tower. After convincing the owner to let them in (without a reservation at that), they sat themselves at the bar in an effort to gather more information and effect a better drunk nobleman disguise. They sat and drank for a while before paying up, taking a bottle along, and pretending to stumble out into the damp dark night.
The otyugh, a mass of tentacles and teeth, bellowed in hunger as tentacles slapped at Chloe. Luckily, they missed, and Chloe was able to rouse the alarm and get Markus, along with a couple of brave guardsman to join her in the street. The battle was joined but quickly ended as a few solid blows by Chloe, a slash by Reshi, and a eye-stalk exploding arrow put the otyugh down for good. Sadly, in the process, Guardsman Jenkins was torn apart by the beasts enraged flailing.
Rain slick hands stretched up out of the night as Aron and Hoodlum made their way back through the Avenue of Arms. Suddenly, a voice called out from behind them, demanding that they halt and turn around slowly. Aron turned while Hoodlum, noticing two small figures in the night just ahead, let loose with his heavy crossbow. It connected, the bolt driving home in a young boy’s chest. He went down hard, and the others scattered into the night, including Raimy. The chase led Hoodlum across rooftops, through the shingles, and over razorcrow cages. Finally it ended with Hoodlum blinded by soot and taking a wild shot into the night. A wet slap of bolt into flesh, a pained cry, and a tumble off the rooftop were all that could be heard after that. Raimy was gone, and Hoodlum returned to find a shaken Aron tending to the young boy’s chest wound.
After healing the boy, Aron calmly demanded to know where their hideout was hidden. Shaken, the boy told them everything he knew and led them to a small cave in the cliffside that connected to Old Tom’s sea cave under the Posh and Turtle. The boy told Aron that they would peak out, and when a rich noble passed over the glass floor over the sea cave, they’d signal ahead to ambush them at The Arms. Aron, Hoodlum, and the boy sat in the dark cave waiting for Raimy’s return. When it was obvious that no one would be back to the cave, they left with Aron returning to the orphanage and Hoodlum leaving to track down the rest of the group.
They finally met up at the bridge into Old Korvosa, and made their way to Eel’s End to gather more information, and see if there was a way to get at the spider without risking encountering all of his enforcers. At the pier, a guard briskly informed them that they’d need masks for the ball if they wanted in. He pointed them in the direction of Exemplary Execrables, and when they arrived, they met Pilts Swastel, the half-crazed owner. He eagerly sold them robes and masks with Markus beneath a giant red ant mask, Chloe with the Sphinx, and Hoodlum with a one-eyed Hag. They proceeded back to the party, performed for the locals, and observed every coming and going from Barsavi’s ship.
Once they had gathered all of the information they could, the group set out to perform one last bit of tracking for the night: the search for both Raimy and the renegade guards that had fled All the World’s Meat. They retraced their steps, headed down towards the docks, circled back to the University, and finally found themselves outside the Sticky Mermaid in the heart of Old Korvosa. There they inquired with the bartender, who had seen the guards a day ago, and a scared boy with a bolt in his shoulder earlier that same night. While he was more than happy to turn over information on a couple of traitor guards (they rented a room and were looking to secure passage out of the city), he was hesitant to give up information on a boy the party was evidently hunting.
After some convincing, the bartender let the party know the boy was directed to seek medical help at Pilt’s Operahouse. For a second time this night, the party found itself in front of Pilts Swastel who denied ever seeing the Raimy. They left without any further clues, and returned to the Sticky Mermaid. Quietly approaching the Guard’s rented room, Markus deftly picked the lock and turned the knob only to stop when he noticed … hss … hss … hss absolutely nothing at all. The room was deserted, and it looked like the guards were long gone. Disappointed in finding another dead end, the party took advantage of an empty room to pass the night.