Curse of the Crimson Throne
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GM Name: Joe Cirillo
Campaign Name: Curse of the Crimson Throne
Rules System: Pathfinder
Campaign Description:

Korvosa has long stood as the first bastion of civilization on the wild frontier of Varisia. Yet tragedy
seems to haunt the city's royal bloodline. Few of her rulers rule for long, and none have lived to a ripe
old age, dying instead well before their time. Heirs to the throne are few and far between-in its 300
year history, no king of Korvosa has directly inherited the Crimson Throne from his father. This is the
source of much gossip and take spinning among its citizens, who speak in hushed tones of what they
have come to call the Curse of the Crimson Throne.

A look at past campaigns:

Chapter 11: “Yet none could bear that rivals might walk in the Light Of their gods, when
they did not.” ~ Silence 1:
NPCs (in order of appearance):

Nathaniel Howe: Grey Warden from Ferelden's Arldom of Amaranthine, possibly so
le survivor of the Angform expedition

Carver Hawke: Grey Warden and brother to the Champion of Kirkwall

Verag: Carta Dwarf in charge of the Caravan

Dunwich: Manservant of Baron Havard-Pierre D'Amortisan

Collette: Free Elf stdying at the University of Orlais

Baron Havard-Pierre D'Amortisan: Hunter, outdoorsman, and scholar interested in the various and su
ndry beasts of the world.. What he knows of the common fennec would give you nightmares

Professor Frederick of Serault: Draconologist who feels the pull of the great beasts stirring in his breast.

Professor Bram Kenrick: Starkhaven native and specialist in Early Chantry and pre-Chantry history

Professor Mersault: obnoxious Orlesian professor, expert in Tevinter history

Warden-Commander Larius: Blighted Warden encountered by Carver and Garrett Hawke dur
ing their adventure in the prison

Warden Janeka: animated corpse of the deceased Warden

The Architect: Terrifyingly powerful Darkspawn Emissary who approached the Party to parley and ma
y know more than one would think

Utha: Grey Warden and dwarven Silent Sister, a companion of the Architect

Malvernis the Foul: The Forgotten and Unmentionable, his vessel of flesh remains, his spirit is eternal

Nathaniel Howe, a Grey Warden from Amaranthine in Ferelden who had been sent with an expediti
on to the ancient fortress prison by the Commander of the Grey in Ferelden was accompanying the gr
oup up to the site. He had left to retrieve provisions and resupply and returned to find
the encampments strangely abandoned and all of the Wardens missing. He reported
to Ser Stroud by raven as he was the closest Warden officer, and Stroud sent him
to Kirkwall to debrief you and accompany you on the road back to Angform.

Scouting ahead of the Carta Caravan, Nathaniel Howe and Carver Hawke marked out the trail ahead
ensuring you would have an easy time following on. After several days of hiking up into the Vimmark M
ountains the group came to a fork in the path with one branch marked with the markers us
ed by Carver and Nathaniel and the other marked with the symbol of the University o
f Orlais. As Nathaniel had indicated that there were Scholars examining areas
around the mountains, the group decided to pay them a visit to see if they kn
ew anything of the missing Wardens from the camp at Angform.

Halfway up the trail the party encountered a pair of servants, a young elven woman named Colette and
Ferelden man named Dunwich making notes by the side of the path. After a brief conversation, the pair
offered to bring the group up to the expedition from the University while the Car
ta caravan remained at the crossroads. Colette indicated that her mentor, P
rofessor Bram Kenrick, was searching out some information on pre-Chantry and e
arly Chantry ruins and had stumbled across a pair of injured Grey Wardens in t
he blighted forest nearby. Dunwich indicated that his master, Baron Havard-Pier
re D’Amortisan, is warding the path against some of the more deadly predators in the area.

Upon reaching the camp, the Party found a large number of scholars pursuing their works. As Dunwic
h was their guide they met first with Baron D’Amortisan who was funding the expedition. His goal was
to catalog and understand the various beasts of the area, but with special attention to the
woefully underappreciated fennec. His book, Anatomie of Various Terrible Bea
sts was well known to Jean-Emeric. The group also met with a rather distract
ed Orlesian referred to as Professor Frederick of Serault, who was there hoping to study dragons, the af
orementioned Bram Kenrick, and Professor Mersault, an unpleasant pudgy archeologist specializing in
ancient Tevinter Imperial history. After introductions and some discussions with the scholars the grou
p proceeded to the medical tent to meet with the Grey Wardens.

The Grey Wardens were odd, to say the least, a man so far gone with the blight he barely looked a
ble to stand unaided and a woman so preternaturally still that she was almost as frightening. The man,
Larius, introduced himself as Warden Commander of the Free Marches and indicated that he
had sent the other Wardens from Angform on a mission. His companion, Janeka, rem
ained silent until mention was made of Carver Hawke, when she began asking i
f the Hawke was there, and if he was headed into Angform. This odd behavior caus
ed several of the Party to notice that Janeka was not breathing when she was not
talking. During this point Larius’ speech became more and more strained as he
struggled to converse with the group.

They agreed to accompany Larius and Janeka to the trailhead and forge on to a rendezvous with the re
st of the Wardens. As soon as the pair were safely away from the camp, Justien and Anniki alerted the
scholars and ordered them to decamp immediately and head to safety. Mersault and
some of the others seemed inclined to argue, but D’Amortisan put paid that notion or
dering the group to gather what they could and head back down to their alterna
te site. Professor Kenrick advised that there was a ruin up further on the moun
tain that they had trouble identifying, and that it might be worth a look.

The group gathered and headed up the trail to the trailhead and fought Larius and Janeka as well as
two other silent Wardens. The battle was pretty fierce, but in the end the strange Wardens were
dispatched. Due to worries about the dead arising again, Justien was planning to set the bodies ali
ght, but Gerald and Oerick rightly pointed out that in the dry blighted landscape a p
yre like that could easily spread out of control and become an inferno. Jean-Emeric attempted to use ma
gical flame to destroy the bodies, but made little progress. Opting for a temporary solution, the gr
oup began to dismember the corpses only to find that their bones seemed pitted and corroded, with t
iny flecks of red crystals within… red crystals disturbingly reminiscent of the Red Lyriu
m statue in the Gallows at Kirkwall.

Horrified by the prospect of Wardens becoming infected with the mineral that had driven Knight
-Commander Meredith to her grotesque demise the Party moved on lest they become tainted thems
elves. They approached the ruins in the mountain to find constructions eerily similar to those they had
encountered under the city of Cumberland in Nevarra. Though they were unable t
o open the gates, they did notice the sigils inscribed there included the Dread
Wolf Fen’Harel as well as ancient Tevene symbols for the Priests of the Old God
s. This was decidedly odd, but none could figure out the implications.

Unable to make it all the way back to the Carta dwarves, the group decided to take advantage of the s
cholars’ deserted camp and rest for the evening. During the night they were accosted by a talking Da
rkspawn calling itself the Architect which told them that it meant them no harm and wanted only t
o talk. Anniki immediately recognized the creature from her Joining nightmare
and her unease was almost palpable. It asked many questions, and told the g
roup that he and Utha, the blighted dwarven Grey Warden accompanying him,
had come because they felt something awaken here that felt familiar, though the A
rchitect did not know what it was. As promised, the Architect left after their conversation was done.

When they rejoined the caravan at the fork they discovered that the dwarves had been beset by the
corpses of the dead Carta dwarves from Angform in the night. As they approached the prison t
hey met up with Carver and Nathaniel who realized that when Janeka was asking about ‘the Hawk
e’ she did not necessarily mean the Champion of Kirkwall, but rather anyone who
might share his bloodline. Rather than risk Carver accidentally setting off some sor
t of trap, the group opted to send him and Nathaniel back to guard the scholars.

Pressing deep into the ruins of Angform, the group came across a pulsating pillar in a small amphitheate
r. The pillar whispered in the minds of the mages to bring it the orb. Further in they discovered the orb i
n question and Jean-Emeric and Anniki became obsessed with taking the warm orb with them to t
he plinth. It took all the group’s wrangling to get them past that point and to th
e Geladauran Table beyond. Once they reached the table, walls of force cut the grou
p off from the rest of the Fortress, trapping them in the ancient Warden prison.

The table, surprisingly light for its size and construction, proved to be the key to their escape. With the
wards already weakened by the Champion and his group about a year before, simply spilling some bloo
d in sacrifice sufficed to get the field down… unfortunately the blood on the table deactivate
d all of the fields in the prison and the angry screeches of Darkspawn filled the air.

It was a race against the Darkspawn with the heroes dragging the Table up from the depths. They we
re forced to take the Warm Orb to the plinth in order to escape, and there they fought Malvernis
the Foul. Demon, Mage, or eldritch horror, Malvernis turned magic against the heroes and the fig
ht was bloody and long. As Malvernis fell, the last shield holding back the Darkspawn fell, and the race r
esumed. Fighting their way up claustrophobic passages and finally out into the light the group escaped
by the bare skin of their teeth with the Geladaruan Table and the robes and staff of Malvernis the Fou
l who claimed to be one of the Forgotten Ones of ancient elvhen myth.

The Carta dwarves had not fared much better. Barricaded into the fort for two days, they were de
sperate and with dwindling numbers. Several had wandered off with talk of ‘eating the flesh’ and ‘se
rving the Elder One’. When dawn forced the Hurlocks back underground the Party fled Angform and
made their way back to the Scholar’s camp, and eventually back to Kirkwall.

In the weeks of their absence Templars had returned in greater number to the city of chains. Und
er the commander of Knight-Captain Rylen of Starkhaven, the Templars were aiding in rebuilding and reli
ef efforts, shoring up the Viscount’s Keep and ensuring the Templars of the city wer
e adequately supported. In exchange for the three relics, Xenon opened up his
special collection to the group.

Once they had taken a few days to recuperate, they were approached by their contact from the
Chantry, Spinner. Spinner explained that she was worried that she had not heard from Butler in some t
ime, but she had a job for the group. A ship was in the harbor, the Siren’s Kiss, captained by a Riv
aini who the group had met previously: Isabella. Spinner explained that the group wa
s being asked to travel to Dairsmuid in Rivain and determine why the Circle had
fallen silent. She worried that the newly installed Knight-Commander may hav
e done something untoward, but that the group should investigate and report before taking action.

XP 1300

NOTE: Originally I had given folks the option of taking either a special item or a Master Rune. Here are
the items being offered to each of your characters in turn, you may opt fo
r a Master Rune and 2 Gold instead.

Special Items from Xenon the Antiquarian

Anniki O-Lynxhold – Armor of Neirah: This set of Griffon’s Robes was originally worn by Neirah, a female
human Mage and hero of the Second Blight. She sacrificed herself to allow Warden Commander Cor
in to defeat the Archdemon Zazikel. The armor itself provides +2 Defense, +5 Ar
mor, +2 Perception (Detect Darkspawn), increases Spellpower by 1 against
Darkspawn, and reduces the Mana Cost for all Defensive spells by 1 to a minimum of 1.

Gerald of Ironbrook – King Maric’s Bounty: This Ferelden Helmet was allegedly filled with gold by the u
surper as a bounty for the capture of the King in exile. It was captured by Logan Mac Tir and sold off
to help pay for troops for the revolt. It provides a +2 Communications (Persuasion) and (Bar
gaining) as well as a+2 to all Willpower (Morale) checks, and treats the Drag
on die as always being a 6 when generating stunt points on any successful roleplay
challenge. In addition it may confer these bonuses on an ally once per encounter.

Hasaril of the Redway Clan – Sigil of the Forgotten Ones: Small amulet supposedly inscribed with the t
rue names of the Forgotten Ones, the mysterious enemies of Evanuris, including Malvernis the
Foul, Imshael, Hybis, and Xebenkeck. Provides a +4 Willpower Bonus when dealing with Spirits, D
emons, and Blood Mages and takes up the upgrade slot on the Sentinel Armor.

Jean-Emeric du Cornet – The Blade of Tidarion: This Staff appears to be an empty sword hilt until graspe
d by a Mage, when its true nature is revealed. Constructed by the warrior-mage Archon Tidarion, the B
lade of Tidarion functions as both a bastard sword for purposes of combat and a staff for
purposes of spellcasting, providing the benefits of both the Arcane Lance and Sw
ords skill focuses as well as 4 rune slots with a Master Electricity Rune, Master Fi
re Rune, Master Cold Rune, and Master Spirit Rune (only one rune is active at
a time causing the ‘blade’ projecting out from the hilt to appear as either flame, el
ectricity, ice, or glowing energy)

Justien Azoulet – Audacity: This pair of daggers belonged to the infamous Nevarran Duelist Emilio ‘th
e Velvet Dreamer’ Antagne. This dagger was retrieved from the city of Treviso during the push to ex
pel the Qunari there. This dagger provides an additional +2 on Dexterity (Stealth) s
kill checks and additional damage on sneak attacks equal to the Dragon Die from the
attack roll. In addition, stunt points generated from using the Stealth skill to hide during combat for p
urposes of backstab may be used as a bonus on the following attack roll to a maximum of +3 to the roll.

Oerick Hallan – Darmallon’s Rebuke: Darmallon Thaig was once the greatest source of gold in Thedas,
now a base for the Legion of the Dead to fight their endless war against the Darkspawn, relics of
Darmallon are often found among Surfacer Dwarves. This golden halberd allows the
wielder to treat the Armor Pierce combat stunt as costing 1 less than usual, a
nd may double the distance moved for any Skirmish stunts. In addition, the wielde
r may spend 4 Stunt Points to apply damage to all adjacent enemies in reach of
the weapon as though they were affected by the Dual Strike stunt.

NOTE: I had forgotten to include this list in the previous update

Books from the Gallows

Spirits and Flesh - a treatise on possession and abominations

Lusus Naturae - a treatise on animals and beasts that have developed an affinity for the Fade and i
nformation on various Fade-Touched Animals

Inaste’s Journal - a lab book by a mage from Rivain regarding experiments on severing connections t
o the Fade in animals. The text seems to indicate that there is a way to divorce a spirit from the body wi
thout killing the subject, but requires a lot of Lyrium and/or Blood.

Avernus’ Journal – rumored to have come from the abandoned Grey Warden Fortress of Soldier’s Peak
and written by an elderly Warden Blood Mage named Avernus, it contains a whole host of really horri
ble ideas centering around the use of Warden and/or blighted blood in ritual magics.

Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ

Chapter 6: "Heedless of what festered in the shadows they cast there.." ~ Silence 3:1
"Surrounded by glory, the Seven stood,
In the hall of apotheosis, heedless
Of what festered in the shadows the cast there,
Of what stained and corroded footprints they left."
~Silence 3:1

Dramatis Personae
Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):

Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)

Josh Gordon: Justien Abroux (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)

Bill Bauer: Gerald (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)

Kate Landis: Anniki o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)

Gregg Schwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)

Chuck Garofalo: Oerick (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)

NPCS (in order of appearance)
Wynne: Mage Errant of the Chantry, a powerful Circle Mage and Spirit Healer/Arca
ne Warrior with a love for liquor
Shale: A somewhat resentful and unhappy golem ac
companying Wynne in search of additional pigeons to crush
Carver Hawker: Brother of the Champion of Kirkwall, a Grey Warden.
Ronna: Guardian at the gates of Ak Shirak/the Tower of the Bright Hand
Essan: Librarian at the Bright Hand College's Library
Mara Idra: Loyal Templar of the Keepers of the Eternal Flame
Dagna the Arcanist: a dwarf studying magic with the College
Hauward Vicennes: Elder of the College of the Bright Hand
Selena D'Obonne: Elder of the College of the Bright Hand
The Orlesian Imperial Army: Soldiers under the command of the Grand Duke Gaspard du Chalons
Brinna Nine-Fingers: Avvar Huntswoman at Chateau Haine
Reynaud Maurien: a Ferelden exile working at Chateau Haine
'The Lady of the Skies': Desire demon at the abandoned ancient hold North of Chateau Haine
Shaman Brukkan: Shaman of the Jaws of Hakkon
Loken Gavsen: Trader for Hakkonhold
Gurd Harolfsen: Thane of the Jaws of Hakkon

After much discussion it was decided to head West to Chateau Haine to gather information and exa
mine the Grey Warden ruins beneath the Chateau in greater detail. Preparing for the overland jo
urney West from Starkhaven Justien worked through a series of contracts and found a merchant
hoarding goods desperately needed in Kirkwall in the hopes of making a profit off of
their misery. Justien was able to convince the merchant to sell 6 GP worth of goods for transport to Kir
kwall. In the Prince's Bow Inn Anniki met an older woman who seemed far more knowledgeable than s
he should be, and far more interested in the activities of the party than one would have suspected.

Gathering their allies and heading out of the city, the group was met by the old woman from Inn and
a rather annoyed and surly Golem. The two introduced themselves as Wynne and Shale. Wynne was qui
te interested in following Anniki's lead to the College of the Bright Hand, as she was inv
estigating them herself on behalf of the College of Enchanters, the King of Ferel
den, the Grey Wardens, and the Divine. Wynne, it seemed, was a busy wom
an who knew many important people including Sister Nightingale.

As the party and their caravan moved across the plains, the eerie stillness of the plains soon began to d
isturb the group as a lack of any observable wildlife was apparent. Unable to determine what might hav
e been driving the animals away, the group made their way across country to where they b
elieved the College of the Bright Hand was hiding. What they found was a st
range above-ground dwarven thaig. After gaining entry, Anniki went down to the Libra
ry to await a meeting with the Elders of the College while Justien and Oerick me
t with a young dwarf woman named Dagna who called herself the Arcanist and G
erald discussed matters of faith with a Templar of the Eternal Flame. Gerald discovered that Genevieve A
uston was a member of this order that wished to return the Templars to their original task of gui
ding and protecting Mages, teaching them honor and responsibility, and Templar Mara offered to te
ach Gerald the ways of the Templars should he be interested. Dagna queried Justien and
Oerick about the nature of Grey Wardens and their mission, and mentioned a
n experiment with an Avvar Shaman spirits and holdbeasts, and determined that
the Grey Warden ability to sense Darkspawn was tied in to a connection with the
Fade. Anniki finally spoke with the Elders and discovered that the College had f
ew allies outside of their walls, and were unsure as to how she received her invit
ation. They also discussed a failed experiment to replicate the information t
hat Brukkan had brought to them.

Deciding on a plan of action required some debate, but in the end the group decided to head back t
o Chateau Haine instead of approaching the Hakkonhold directly. Wynne elected to stay behi
nd at the College to learn information that would help her friend at Adamant Fortress, and asked t
he group to tell Shale the news. Leaving the College of the Bright Hand the gr
oup was attacked by a Fade Touched Great Lion that fought viciously to the last. T
he return to Chateau Haine was met with a large force of troops loyal to the Gran
d Duke Gaspard du Chalons, Heir to the Imperial Throne of Orlais. Servants indicat
ed that a number of nobles and captains of the Chevaliers and the Imperial Army we
re at the Chateau hunting, and the presence of so many troops was for security. T
he huntsmen explained that they had discovered Avvar ruins to the north, though the
y had not entered the hold themselves. That of course meant that the group had to investigate.

Climbing up into the Vimmark Mountains the group came upon the ruins of an Avvar Hold. The
Augur's hut was completely destroyed, with only the hearth remaining, and the Gatherer's cave
was decorated with with a horrifying altar, a pile of skulls, and a painting of a horrifying, leering vul
ture. The Thane's Meadhall was barred from the outside and filled with an im
paled desiccated thane and dozens of skeletons. A bizarre giant vulture attac
ked the group and then the corpses in the Meadhall began to stir. Working quickly
Anniki used Warding Salts to keep the restless dead in the hall while the party b
urned it down around them. deciding to flee the cursed hold, the group turned to t
he north and saw flocks of birds virtually swarming there. Realizing that they wo
uld be beset by the beasts and likely pecked to death through bird wounds, the
group determined to find a way to escape the curse before it consumed them utterly.

Anniki drew a circle around the ghoulish altar using another dose of Warding Salt, causing the demon t
hat the Avvar of this hold had called the Lady of the Skies. The monstrous creature hissed demands fo
r worship and sacrifice to the group while they tried to devise a plan to deal with the horror in t
he circle. Anniki tried to reach out through the Fade only to narrowly escape b
ecoming the next victim of the thing in the circle. Eventually they determined that
they needed to destroy the pillars of the altar to banish the demon. A harrowing figh
t led to the defeat of the monster and the flocks of birds returning to normal.

Gerald and Oerick found tracks through the Hold showing that the group was not the only ones
to have come through here recently. Followng them to the North and then East, they determined
that these were obviously members of the Hakkonhold. Waiting for Hasaril and Jean-Emeric to r
ejoin them the group began planning how they would approach the rebel Avvar.

Fade Touched Great Lion Skin
Fade Touched Great Lion Teeth
Fade Touched Great Lion Claws
Tevinter Circle Pin
Old Tevinter coins from the Towers Age
XP 1100

As a side note: everyone should please increase their XP to 7100 and level up appropriately.

Chapter 5: If they but listen, I shall return. ~Andraste 1:14

Dramatis Personae

Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):

Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric du Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)

Josh Gordon: Justien Azoutlet (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)

Bill Bauer: Gerald of Ironbrook (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)

Gregg Schwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)

Kate Landis: Annika o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)

Chuck Garofalo: Oerick Hallin (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)

BJ Pehush: 'Anton' (Qunari Beresaad Male Rogue)

NPCs (in order of appearance):

Sebastian Vael - Prince of Starkhaven in exile

Charade Amell - Cousin of the Champion of Kirkwall, a.k.a. 'Weaver'

Crassius Servis (a.k.a. Tactus) - a Tevinter Laetan h
elping you in exchange for passage back to the Imperium

Darkspawn - Shrieks, Hurlocks, and a Genlock Emmisary

Lorana Silon - Majordomo and head of staff for the Princes of Starkhaven

Starkhaven Principal Guard -personal soldiers of the House of Vael and the City of Starkha
ven loyal to the Prince of Starkhaven

The Flint Company - Mercenaries responsible for the deat
hs of the main line of the Vael family in Starkhaven

Goran Vael - The Usurper, cousin of Sebastian Vael

Lucanus Quetius - Altus Mage of the Tevinter Imperium

Solarius Andromon - Laetan Mage of the Tevinter Imperium

Marinus Xenovis - Soporati Templar of the 7th Preceptorship

Paulus Cingilius - Soporati Legionnaire of the 3rd Magisterial Legion

Ser Jean-Marc Stroud - a Grey Warden

Having rested the night outside of the entrance to the Deep Roads, the party ventured into the lo
ng abandoned Dwarven roads beneath the surface of Thedas. Realizing that there should be light from t
he magma-lamps, Oerick was quick to realize the implications of the darkness: Darkspawn
had sabotaged the workings and plunged the area into darkness. An hour's work
restored the light of the magma-lamps, but at the cost of alerting the Darksp
awn to the presence of the party. Slowly the group crept forward, cautious in the
lightening caverns of the Deep Roads, and then, the keening of a Shriek heralded
the coming of the blighted ones.

Four Shrieks and a Hurlock bolter led off the attack, but the Shrieks were stalled by a well placed Mind Bl
ast from Anniki. Forming a line, the ranged combatants did their best to hold the Darkspawn at bay,
but alas there was only so much they could do. One of the Shrieks charged forward and Geral
d counter-charged, landing a blow on the horrible beast. More Hurlocks and a G
enlock Emissary joined the fray and the battle became a pitched fight. Justien wa
s nicked by the blade of a Shriek, and though barely harmed contracted the
Taint. Hasaril unleashed a torrent of spells in an effort to destroy the Emissar
y while Anniki desperately fought off the encroaching monsters and Oerick stood s
ide by side with Gerald to hold the right flank. Finishing off the misshapen monstr
osities the group realized that they needed to get Justien to help quickly le
st he succumb and become a ghoul. It was also discovered that 'Tactus' had spent
the entire fight defending himself and communicating with the Tevinters. Justien
threatened to corrupt him with the Darkspawn taint if he ever did so again.

Their attempt to gain direct access to the palace thwarted by dint of a sealed and reinforced door,
the group instead opted to travel to the Service Quarter, where many of the servants of the Vael Fami
ly had homes. The pleasant tenements of the Quarter were eerily still, but the Prince's Bow Inn was st
ill lively. On Sebastian's entry the entire inn ground to a halt and everyone bowe
d to Sebastian. One of the servants from his youth, Lorana Silon, begins to chastise
him for being away for so long. Conversations turned to planning and when Jus
tien asked about Tevinters Lorana lied and said that she had seen none. Hopi
ng to divert attention she attempted another lie which Justien immediately saw t
hrough. Realizing that the faithful retainer was leading them into a trap, Ju
stien had Lorana bound and locked in a room in the Inn. Another servant offered
to get the group into the palace that night since it was inevitable that they woul
d notice if Lorana did not show up the next day.

Justien and Hasaril gained entrance to the castle through disguise and ruse, and the rest of the party
emerged from hiding places in the cart that they brought into the palace. The servant went and hid whil
e the group went in search of the usurper Goran Vael. EVentually they found Goran in t
he Throne Room, insane and practicing blood magic in the company of two Tevinte
r mages! Justien announced Sebastian as the true Prince of Starhaven and the room
erupted into fighting. The Principal Guard joined the fight immediately, fendin
g off attacks by the Flint Company Mercenaries on Sebastian. Sebastian and
Goran exchanged shots from across the room while the fracas spread. The Tevinters
, taking hits from Hasaril and Anniki, joined the fight in earnest, and Geralt too
k a number of hard knocks. Justien was stabbed by a Tevinter Legionnaire and An
niki and one of the Guards fended off attacks from a Flint Company warrior. Has
aril used Shock and Arcane Lance in devastating combination to powerful effect,
and Oerick strode into the thick of the fighting, helping protect the Exiled Prince.

In the end Goran was dead, as were all of his allies, but the Party had been gravely wounded. Justien
, feeling the sickly Taint bubbling in his body, went to the Grey Wardens for help. Ser Stroud, a senior
Grey Warden in Starkhaven inducted him and asked him to spread the Order to Kirkwall as t
here was no outpost there. Anniki received a dream where a Spirit of Regret told h
er distressing news of her Clan, and said that Korth Mountainfather was awa
kening and angry, and that Hakkon himself stirs in timeless slumber. Hasaril wor
ked with the newly crowned Prince Sebastian and his fiancee Charade Amell to prom
ote the cause of the Elves of the Alienage, garnering him a great deal of resp
ect from the city elves of Starkhaven. Gerald found a rather excellent corner of
the kitchen to eat boiled beef in. Ten days passed and Sebastian married Chara
de with the Party standing guard over the event.

News came that Lord Seeker Lucius was tightening his grip on the Templars and Mages. The Seekers
of Truth were crushing any Mages who dared question their place. Rumors abound that the Seekers are
being sent to investigate Kirkwall and Dairsmuid, and that Templars are being give
n freer reign to break the Mages.

Anniki desired to seek out the Avvar in the Vimmark Mountains that she had heard tell of. The name G
urd Harolfson is spoken of in whispers of dread and Anniki is drawn to find out why. Justien has peti
tioned Stroud to take some Wardens to Chateau Haine to reclaim relics of the Order, and Kn
ight-Commander Carsten and First Enchanter Halden are sending Mages and Templar
s down to Kirkwall to help reinforce the weak and struggling Circle there at the behest of the Divine.

Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ


Prologue: By Hubris of Their Making - Threnodies 7:11

Dramatis Personae

Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):
  • Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)
  • Josh Gordon: Justien Abroux (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)
  • Bill Bauer: Gerald (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)
  • Kate Landis: Annika o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)
  • Gregg Shwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)
  • Chuck Garofalo: Oerick (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)
  • BJ Pehush: 'Anton' (Qunari Male Rogue)

NPCs (in order of appearance):

Bishel Kallack - Surfacer Dwarf merchant leading a caravan from Cumberland to Kirkwall
with a stop-off at Chateau Haine

Sendine Ordnast - Caravan guard who isn't being paid enough for this nonsense

Ashok - Tal Vashoth caravan guard who appears to be terrified of Anton

Comtesse Genvieve de Borlean - Orlesian noblewoman and hunter

Huntmaster Malachai - Chasind huntsmaster

Brother Genitivi - noted scholar and adventurer of the Brotherhood of the Flame, an Andrasti
an society not part of the Chantry

Arl Teagan Guerrin: Ferelden Nobleman, courtier, warrior, and mediocre diplomat

Duke Cyril de Montfort: Son of Prosper de Montfort proclaimed Duke and Voice of the Lion on the
Council of Heralds (Court Diplomat)

Ernestine Montbelliard: Daughter of the Marquise Beverlie Montbelliard, a Bard of some repute

Ada du Launcet: an expatriate Orlesian noblewoman of Kirkwall

Dulcinea: a Bard

Ferdinand du Lac: Nevarran Nobleman, possibly a mage or ally of the College of the Bright Hand

Magister Orvinus: A Tevinter Altus, formerly of the Magisterium who is looking for his missing prote
ge, Calpernia (apologies I called her Cassiopaeia in error)

Brinna 'Nine-Fingers' Felsensdottir: a Hunter in th
e employ of Chateau Haine, Avvar of the Black Lion Hold.

The Story:
For various reasons the players have found themselves in the caravan of Master Bishel Kallack, a dwarf
of the Merchant's Guild of Cumberland who received some information that a good deal of money cou
ld be made by skirting the normal caravan routes and heading to Chateau Haine in t
he Vimmark Mountains, then proceeding on to Kirkwall, on the coast of the Waking
Sea. About a day out from the Chateau, Anton, who had heard about fabulou
s beasts out in the woods, decided to lead some of his companions on a quick fo
ray around the area to see what they could find. What they found was a larg
e and badly wounded wyvern fighting off a pair of juvenile phoenixes near a small p
ond. The fight that ensued was brief and bloody, but ended with few injuries and a dead wyvern.

No sooner had the wyvern been dispatched but an Orlesian noblewoman crashed into the c
learing and began swearing vociferously. The wyvern had apparently been her quarry and she was mig
htily upset that a turnip, an oxman, a barbarian, a dwarf and two peasants had stolen her triumph. She
identified herself as the Comtesse de Borleon and continued to argue a
s the Chasind Huntsmaster, Malachai, blew his horn signalling an end to the hun
t, further infuriating the Comtesse. Other hunters began appearing in the clearin
g and Brother Genitivi was asked to necropsy the wyvern when Justien noticed Du
ke Prosper's heraldry on a saddle on the creature's back. Arl Teagan reluctan
tly gave permission. It is believed that the wyvern may have eaten the Duke as p
ieces of clothing with his heraldry were found inside the beast.

The Huntsmaster moved the group up to Chateau Haine while a runner was sent to summon Bishel a
nd his caravan. Cyril took the news confirming his father's death with restraint, the Duke had been mis
sing and presumed dead for over two months so the news was not unexpected. Jean-Emeric delive
red a note from Val Royaux confirming Cyril as Duke of Montfort in his father's ab
sence and naming him Voice of the Lion and Speaker of the Council of Heralds (ma
king him the Empire's most notable and youngest diplomat). He declared a hunting f
east would be laid out for the newcomers and retired within to deal wi
th paperwork regarding the succession.

The party itself featured backbiting and political maneuvering, gossip, innuendo, and ham from the
Anderfells that reportedly tasted like despair. Various Bards attempted to place the group in compromi
sing or awkward positions, and Annika made a contact with a young Nevarran who seemed to
offer an introduction to a group of rebel Mages. Afterward Duke Cyril met wit
h the Party in his drawing room along with Arl Teagan and a Tevinter Magister Marcus Orvinus. Cyril expl
ained that he was going to have to return to Orlais sooner than he had hoped, and he and Arl Teagan
explained that someone was pushing the nations of the South closer to war. The Tevinter clai
med it might be a group of extremists called the Veneratii or the Conservatii, which he tho
ught were silly names. His apprentice, Calpurnia, left his care to study under a
Magister name Erasthenes. Both disappeared near the Nevarran Border and Orvinus
is too old to continue the search as he believes he only has days, or weeks, of life
remaining. Duke Cyril and Arl Teagan offered a base of operations and logistic
support in Kirkwall if the group would work to preserve order and prevent chao
s in the Free Marches. The group provisionally agreed.

The next day some members of the group went hunting while others explored the Chateau. The group
that stayed behind at the Chateau discovered a massive underground lake with a city on an isla
nd in the center under the mountain where Chateau Haine was situated. This city, called the Retr
eat, was built by the Grey Wardens in the Exalted Age during the 4th Blight
and was designed to house thousands of refugees in the event that the Blight
claimed Starkhaven and/or Kirkwall. The group that went out with the hunter
s discovered evidence of a massive running battle between a group of heavily a
rmed Qunari and two humans and two elves approximately two months prior. Furthe
r exploration revealed the probability of being murdered and eaten by horrible bl
ue pygmies, so they wisely returned to the Chateau. When informed of the ex
istence of the city, Cyril explained that it was famous, having been built by Fie
ld Commander Issenya using Force Magic in conjunction with dwarven masons and
other mages. He offered to allow you to go to the city with the warning that i
t was likely unsafe to the depredations of time.

Before the group go go out to the island the next day they were beset by Malachai, Dulcinea, an
d a group of thugs bent on teaching the group a lesson. The fight was brutal, but ended well for th
e party and poorly for the Chasind Huntsmaster. Dulcinea surrendered and took a message to her
employer, the Comtesse de Borleon from Justien. With the able assistance of
Genitivi the group quickly explored the Retreat and discovered some interesting
history. Annika made some other interesting discoveries, though those remain he p
rivate information. Oerick was impressed by the work of the Castless Dwarves
who built much of the city wand who were honored in the amphitheater in the cit
y's center. The group also witnessed spirits reenacting the Dwarves
at work on the seal in the amphitheater.

The group left Chateau Haine after three days of hunting, exploration, and intrigue with a promise
of a base of operations in Kirkwall, supplies to keep their operations running, and a contact named Hub
ert Bartier by Comtesse de Borleon given as recognition of the Game well played. As the
caravan heads for Kirkwall many wonder what other adventures lie in store for them.

Rewards: 650xp; 4 sp; 1 two handed maul of Chasind design; two long swords; two light shields; Qu
nari Badge of unidentified significance; 3 daggers
Specific to Justien: Reward from Duke Cyril for killing the wyvern is a vest made of wyvern and p
hoenix hide displaying the Montfort badge and Justien's family crest.
Specific to Annika: Information on other Hold Beasts that have been killed.
Specific to Anton: Badge of the Salit-An-Hassrath and the Badge of the Ariqun, ceremonial harness.
Specific to Oerick: Brother Genitivi's Forgotten Dwarven Heroes: Memories in the Stone
Specific to Jean-Emeric: autographed copy of Brother Genitivi's In Pursuit of Knowledge and his
recent monogram of wyvern anatomy
Specific to Gerald: a basket of Ferelden smoked meats.

Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ