It’s mid-summer in the colonial port city of Korvosa, and the beloved King Eodred Arabasti II has taken ill. For many weeks his health has been deteriorating rapidly from an unknown cause, and his young wife Queen Ileosa appears to be the next successor to the crown. The oppressive humid heat, a hated Queen, and the upcoming Founding Festival have seen tensions bubbling up throughout the city.
A series of traumatic and underhanded events: the murder of a beloved mother, a missing brother, a childhood lost to slavery, another lost to corruption and vice, bring together an unlikely group from all corners of Korvosa. Each one tied by their mutual contempt and hatred of the crime boss Gaedren Lamm.
Summoned by the mystical powers of a fortune-teller named Zellara, four heroes met in the smoky home of the Harrower. Aron Gray, an orphan and wide-eyed squire-paladin to Iomadae, Markus Thorn, King of Korvosa’s rooftops, Hoodlum the exiled ranger, and Aliana the elven bard all made their introductions with Zellara and learned her story. She had been wronged by Gaedren just as they had, and had done what the Korvosan Guard had failed to do: discerned Lamm’s location. The four vowed to put an end to his cruelty, and as a parting gift, Zellara offered to perform a harrowing. The future would bring dire portents indeed: The Snakebite, The Liar, The Queen Mother.
They waited until the depths of night before moving in on the reported location of Gaedren: an abandoned fishery building. Aron, Hoodlum, and Aliana created a distraction by pounding at the front door while Markus pulled himself up to the decrepit rooftop with practice and ease.
First blood was swiftly drawn as Thorn loosed as arrow from his rooftop vantage point, and straight into the skull of Yargin Belko, Gaedren’s right-hand man. Before the body had even finished crumpling to the floor, chaos had fully engulfed the fishery. Orphans dropped their slop buckets where they stood and fled into the night while a short battle ensued with the remaining henchman. Giggles, an Orcish murderer met his end with a heavy bolt sticking out of his chest, and a dagger in his back. Hookshanks, a twisted gnome rogue fared only slightly better. Having flown into a rage at the death of his mangy dog Bloo, Hookshanks threw himself at the paladin. Though the fighting was fierce, Aron slashed open the Gnome’s chest with a swift down-stroke of his longsword.
With the main floor of the fishery secure, the party searched for Gaedren in the rotten hold of his fishing barge. Empty except for a clutch of dock spiders, the barge was brought to rest on the harbour floor. The sinking revealed a narrow floating boardwalk leading to a hidden bolt-hole beneath the fishery. It was on this boardwalk that Aliana scarcely avoided becoming a Jigsaw Shark’s dinner through the clever use of her bardic magics.
Though Lamm had heard the fighting above him, and had taken the time to dig in, it did him little good. The heroes burst into the room with deadly purpose, and quickly set upon Gaedren and his pet alligator, Gobblegut. The paladin cast a scornful glare at Gaedren, cowering behind an overturned table, and invoked the blessings of Iomadae to rid the world of his evil. Enraged by a crossbow bolt, Gobblegut threw himself on Hoodlum, and tore into the flesh of his leg, nearly dragging him down into the fetid waters. Gaedren meanwhile used an old table to steady his even older arms as he fired his crossbow into the group. With Hoodlum and Aliana busy keeping the snapping jaws of Gobblegut at bay, Aron and Markus set their sights on Lamm.
As Aron took off charging for Gaedren’s table, Markus let his fingers run through the fletch of his arrow, closed an eye, and stilled his breathing. In a single fluid moment the arrow was released and sent straight into Gaedren’s bony shoulder, nearly spinning him to the ground. Taunts and jeers quickly turned to curses as pain lanced through his body. Gaedren knew his odds weren’t looking too good, so he tried to escape to his bedroom, his final sanctuary. Instead, before he could even dive into the room, he felt the cold bite of steel from Aron’s blade.