The Goblin Grinders of Varisia

0131 Fighting for Cash
Paitar and Bonk in the PIts again...

When we go to sign up, they check the armor and weapons, they don’t check for other spells on us.
max bet is 5k, odds on us are 15:1
The betting drives the odds to 20:1 just before the fight.
2 mid-tier gladiators to fight.
They are posing and bragging.
They open by running at us.
Pait runs up and pokes one.
Bonk picks up a bench.
The crowd is sad that there’s not more action in the opener.
One of the gladiators stabs Pait.
The other pokes at Pait, power attacks.
Pait sidesteps, then full attacks one of them.
Bonk walks up and smacks the one Pait’s been attacking around. With A Bench.
The crowd is liking this turn of events.
Tehy both try to attack Pait, and fail utterly.
Pait makes 2 hits, and a crit hit, the crowd is loving the fight now.
Bonk gets him 3 times with the bench.
The crowd is turning in our favor, they’re booing the injured gladiator.
He attacks again, crit fumbles once, retains the trident, but he’s bled on it so much that it flys out of his hands on the second crit fumble.
The other one comes up and smacks PAit around.
Pait knocks him out with a rapier hit, and waves the rapier around to distract him, then knocks him out with the shield punch.
Bonk steps up to the other, and swings the bench.
bam! Bam!
The remaining gladiator doesn’t like being flanked, and tumbles past Pait. Then misses the attack.
Pait slips in the blood, and falls prone.
Bonk wacks him, he strikes at Pait,
Pait stands up and takes an AOO
Hits him solidly.
Bonk whacks him again.
He steps, and hits Pait. Knocks him down. The crowd cheers, The gladiator preens.

Bonk Draws The Axe.
Chop, Chop, Chop
Gladiator draws a second trident from a storing glove, and full attacks.
miss, hit, miss miss.
Bonk Chop Chop
Dropped.
The arena medics come out to stabilize everyone.
We made some money for the guards we’ve been socializing.
Gelid’s new girlfriend is out of debt, and we made some money.
Bonk snags the glove of storing from the dropped Gladiator.
We. Get. Paid.
Bonk gives the cheater’s magic weapon to a young half orc kid

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0130 investigating castle Korvosa

Skeet might be able to get into the castle as a curse breaker for hire, and do some up close investigating of the location of the doll.
If she can figure out who has it, maybe she can trade them something, or convince them that it’s curse will affect them, and they need to get rid of it.
we spend a few days triangulating the location of the doll, while we’re schmoozing off-duty staff.
It is in the north corner of the castle during the day, at night it’s in the southern corner of the castle, 3rd floor, not up in a tower.
The castle has 6 levels, excluding towers, the first level is built into the top of the hill, the one level of dungeon is cut into the hill below that.
the king and queen have apartments on the 3rd floor.
the royal guard barracks is on the 1st floor.
the 2nd floor has the public spaces.
There is a large ramp for public and dignitaries to come up to the castle.
There’s a small group of serving women who are most talkative when we meet up with them out on the town. daytime head cook, a couple of her staff, a couple chambermaids, dressing attendants for the top tier ladies-in-waiting (6 of them, we have names for 5)
The attendant to Ladia Verasia, Shauna, best dressed, strong willed: Gelid is going to flirt and treat her to drinks. He is going to rent a room where she likes to drink.
her group is very interested in Gelid the first time he approaches.
She likes high end elven wine, and rare beef.
She likes to bet on pit fights, but has racked up some debts. (10kgp to some bad dudes)
Gelid takes her out for dinner, offers to help her out.
Pait and Bonk visiting a cop bar where the town watch hangs out.
The town guard mans the servants entrance gate, and along the ramp and service entrance.
The bar is fairly nice, and the guards like to drink and throw darts.
They like good beer. But no GG ale on tap.
Bonk and Pait bring in a keg, and the barkeep likes it.
It’s a new one called "juicy wench" by Skeet.
Looks like we have a customer.
The guards that man the gatehouse drink hardest and talk loosest. Since they have a routine with the staff coming and going, opsec is not tight.
They like the pit fights and gambling too.
They are good at gambling.
Maybe we can do a fight, and make these guys some money.
We can ask these guys to take us out to amateur night.
No magic weapons in the ring on amateur night.
They encourage improvised weapons.
Today is Sunday, 10 Neth. the next fight is 12 Neth.

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0129 Talking to Glorio

Around suppertime, we can meet with Glorio on 8 Neth, after our meeting with Sabina.
We arrive and are shown in to the dining room.
Bonk proposes that Glorio helps us overthrow the royals, and we help him take over.
not everyone is ready for revolution, Glorio himself is only really willing to fantasize a little.
He says that navigating the castle is not easy, passages aren’t laid out in entirely logical ways.
the doll might not always be in the same place, Glorio recommends scrying several more times, if someone is carrying it around, we might need to figure out who’s got it, and track them.
We ask Glorio about who could be holding the grudge, that would fit the clues that Sabina left.
There is all likelihood that it is the queen, but there are some others.
Mistress Kayltanya
Mistress Domina
Lady Verasia
Lady Evenie
Lady Decabbara

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0128 Castle Korvosa

5 levels, build on a hill, several levels dug into the hill.
the first couple levels were carved out of the stone of the hill, and the others were built on top of those.
We have a free pass inside, and we’ve got an excuse to go try to sell the kitchens goblin grinder ale.
Let’s talk to Glorio, he will know the layout of the place, and may have heard about who in the royals would have a grudge against Tiff.

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0127 Pestico's dolls

Pestico’s dolls and figurines is located to the east of castle korvosa, on a main street corner in a nice part of town.
The windows show a large array of dolls and things from all different cultures
There are some voodoo dolls that look real…
there’s a human male dealing with some customers, they seem to be looking for a doll for their daughter.
he gets one of the nicer ones, to show them.
They ask for one that’s got longer hair, of a different color.
He gets out one that has black hair, they like it, and purchase it.
He is wearing fine clothing, his hands show evidence that he’s fabricating the dolls.
He knows his craft, too.
He introduces himself to us.
Vadid Pestico.
He’d noticed us looking, he was wondering if anything had caught our eye, (looking at Skeet).
He is showing off items, picks up a voodoo doll, this is fairly plain, but once it’s been ‘customized’ it has many uses.
He can think of binding, or freezing the doll to immobilize someone, or drowning it, but never petrification.
(skeet knows that a true voodoo doll can be attuned, but doesn’t know if the petrification would work)
He’s sold several in the last months,
What about one with wings?
about 3 months ago one was requested with wings.
it was requested by an odd fellow, tall in dark robes with a mean look. didn’t ask names, looked to be chellish heritage. he wanted to have black wings on the doll.
He paid in cash, but we can’t use the money to trace back.
He steps into the workroom, and comes back with a few leftover crow feathers from making the doll. they were all from the same bird.
he doesn’t mind parting with the feathers.
Maybe we can use an augury to find it.
Pait sees a pirate doll, very finely made. fine clothes, a real, high-quality steel sword, and actual ruby earrings.
100 gp for the doll. Pait pays 120gp
Vadid packs it in a very fine wood box.
Gozzar and Skeet are going to try to use the feathers to find the doll.
The voodoo doll is in castle Korvosa.
it seems to be down in the dungeons.

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0126 Meeting Kerra/Sabina

It’s 8 Neth, and time to meet Sabina
We get to the temple of Calistria, and are brought to a meeting room.
Sabina is dressed, and armed as she would be to be a bodyguard.
She doesn’t look like a strength-fighter.
Has a well made rapier, and an odd dagger.
Looks like it’s a parrying/swordbreaker type weapon.
The meeting is supposed to be neutral, the high priestess of Calistria is in the room to make sure no one is fighting.
Gelid asks what she did and why.
It was a job, she didn’t realize that there was a relation.
The job is done, and she has no ongoing commitment, except for the NDA.
Are there any other things that don’t violate the NDA?
This was because of an old grudge (several decades) and had nothing to do with the goblin grinders.
She thought that the grudge was juvenile, but the contract was still valid.
She has no ill will to any of us, or Tiff.
Can she give us any ideas about what she did and how to undo it?
The person who was slighted is high ranking royalty, and she never forgets a slight.
All she can tell is that there is a very interesting merchant who sells dolls and figurines.
Pestico’s dolls and figurines, you’ll find answers there.
She notices Pait’s rapier, and invites him to come see her to do some practicing.
She gives him a pass to castle Korvosa to be let in to see her.

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0125 more ruminations on Glorio

The Heidmarchs have a way for us to see into Glorio’s study, where the artifact is located.
their plan was to get in, copy or take the artifact, and get out.
they have discovered that there is a guardian in the room, that will activate after we’ve been in there, or if we touch anything.
they have scryed the room,
it is in Glorio’s sitting room, 15’ wide 40’ wide, fireplace, couches, shelves on the walls where artifacts are displayed.
the artifact we are after is on the mantle shelf
Sunash wants to teleport in with a serving tray and hot cider, to show that we were ready to entertain Glorio.
the Heidmarchs scry into the room for us.
there are 3 exterior walls, 6 windows. only 1 exit.
the windows are barred on the exterior.
the doors exiting the sitting room go into a foyer, then into a hallway that leads outside.
we get our gear ready, and teleport in.
the artifact is on its own shelf above the mantle.
there’s a nice rug, high end furniture, lots of shelves of artifacts. mostly Ossirian, some Chellish.
the doors to the room are carved mahogany, platinum hardware.
the mantle is obsidian, the shelves in here is darkwood.
looks like he smokes in here.
Gelid, check for traps.
There is a trap on the artifact.
He thinks he’s got it disarmed.
Skeet, start making the copy. Pait will screen her from the door.
We hear some one coming in, and she finishes just in time.
a very tall person dressed as a butler enters, "ah, Goblin Grinders, would you like any refreshments? Lord Glorio will be with you momentarily
Bonk asks for beef, and the majordomo heads off to get it.
He returns a few minutes later, with food.
A large hunk of cow for Bonk, and sandwiches for the rest of us.
He directs us to a bell pull, and says that we can call for him if we need anything while we wait for Glorio.
the meat is cooked just right, marbled nice.
Glorio arrives,
He claims to have been out of town, and had been unaware of Tiffrea’s condition.
He is visibly disturbed, and pledges to help find whoever did this. He reaffirms that he will exert all his (not royal) influence.
He doesn’t have the authority of the King, or Queen… (his eye’s narrow at her mention)
He confides that the Queen is taking more authority as the King is loosing his mind.
He thinks that she is not serving Korvosa’s interests, in favor of her own.
He has never heard of Brightstar. the wizard might have a lead, but he isn’t sure.
It might be that the queen is picking a fight with us, to bring our anger against Glorio.
We probably want to go find a place to stay, maybe be seen around town.
Glorio invites us to stay, and recommends some good inns to stay at, and some fun bars to drink in.
He finishes his cider, invites us to finish our meal, and offers his butler to help us.
He exits.
We ring for the butler, and have him show us out.
The foyer is carpeted with plush red carpet, there are tapestries, frescos, and mosaics of the family Arconas and Asmodeus
the doors are all just as nice.
As we leave, we’ve accomplished the Heidmarch’s goal,
We check in with networks of informants, Glorio was out of town for two weeks to Absolom.
Queen Ileyosa is described as eccentric, and demanding of her husband, and with more sway over him than normal.
The king has been in public much less, she has been acting in his stead more often.
Rumors range from the king being dead, to insane, to sick.
no indications that the king’s insanity would be natural or unnatural.
Sunash’s contacts think that the king is in poor health, and not insane.
Looking into Kerra,
we confirm that she is the head bodyguard of the Queen, the description of her and Sabina Merrin overlap basically perfectly.
she is native Korvosan. daughter of a lady-in-waiting.
she was a fighter, and castle guard, an incident allowed her to catch the eye of the queen.
She is trusted by the queen beyond just a bodyguard.
there’s a rumor that one or two members of house Arcona are not what they seem.
around a year ago some were gone on a trip, and their personalities and business dealings have changed drastically. they are more ruthless… in business.
they are more strict about the letter of the contract, not just the spirit.
Glorio seems to be much the same.
his sister Vimanda was the most pronounced change. there are tensions between them.
Liolo has not been seen, his family has restructured. His sister is now in charge, and she has a more level head. They are holding tight, and waiting to recover before starting to climb the ladder again.
We find a place to stay at the Braying Donkey
notes were eaten by a bug
We have 2 days before we can meet with Sabina (Kerra)
It is 6th Neth, our meeting with her will be 8th Neth.
Skeet gets a lead from her witch contacts, a note that recommends checking out a stall in the market.
The stall has some magic items, a few artifacts, weapons and charms. She notices an aura from one of the back cases that draws her.
The owner is Chelaxian, he’s with another customer.
She is drawn toward an amulet, shaped like a scarab, made of obsidian, diamond encrusted legs, and ruby eyes. It looks like something that would be a swarm bane, or a non-detection type item. The non-magic value would easily be a couple thousand gp.
The storekeeper (Beval) finishes with his other customer, Skeet asks to look at the things in the case.
the scarab is on a tray with tiara, necklace, other jewelry. Asks about the scarab.
He bought it from a traveler returning from Osirian. he confirmed that it was magic, and the seller said it seemed to protect from wasps.
How much? 2500gp
how about 2k?
well, for a customer as knowledgeable as you… 2200.
Get it gift-wrapped.
Make sure to let skeet know if he comes across similar items in the future.

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0124

King Eodred and Queen Ileosa are ruling Korvosa
Lord Glorio Arcona is next in line for the throne, since the current royals don’t have heirs.
He is in control of old Korvosa
Glorio has just about finished securing his succession.
The leader of the Sable company (completely independent of the throne) Marcus Endran has been rumored to be supporting Glorio.
You know, Sunash could arrange for the queen to have a kid, if we needed to screw him over.
There are several noble houses in korvosa beyond Liolo and GLorio
the other important house is Varian Jeggare (he’s a famous pathfinder venture captain)
He’s the only real competition for Glorio to ascend.
We’re going through planning out a teleport into GLorio’s vault, to take rubbings of the Ossirian artifact that he has.
It would be a good reiteration of our abilities, and that we expect him to keep his side of our deal, and to keep Korvosans out of Magnimar.
The Heidmarch’s are happy to help us with where to teleport to.
it is warded magically and physically.
it is guarded by something that doesn’t reside on the PM plane.
It’s not hard to get to the item, it’s hard to get a copy of it.
Few people can get to it without Glorio there, and there’s the outsider guard.
The Heidmarchs have a way to hide a person from the guard for 20 minutes.
We have the memory copies, so we may only need to double check our notes.
the Heidmarchs have a way to see into the room, and teleport directly in.

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0123 Gelid's Meeting

He presents the silver roses to the high priestess of Calistria.
She is appropriately impressed.
He brings up his plan for building a Calistrian Brothel
He’d like to build a high-end establishment.
She’s amenable.
He asks about Kerra (Sabina)
She says that there was a young woman in town right about a month ago, who’d visited the temple. she was very devout.
Kinda serious about the religion.
From Korvosa.
She was here on a job, an inquisitor, specializing in revenge.
Gelid informs that she caused great harm to a friend, and that we need to get revenge on her, now.
He is not going against the faith, but he needs to seek vengeance.
He asks for any help she can give, but not for breaking trusts.
The high priestess cautions him to not make assumptions.
She agrees that revenge is 2 edged, and best served cold.
Kerra is hired, and very creative in her task.
She advises to talk to her before seeking vengeance.
He agrees, and reiterates that he holds no ill-will against her personally.
She confirms that Kerra was headed to Korvosa.
Her real name is Kerra, she uses Sabin Merrin in Korvosa, she is a bodyguard for the Queen of Korvosa (Ilesoa).
Gelid explains to the party about the connection to the Korvosan royals, and that we probably want to go after the person who hired her.

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122 Following up on The revenge mercs

Our various networks turn up:
Searching for their trial in the market, they didn’t’ buy anything notable.
No one ever saw them meet elsewhere, or with the wizard any other time.
The three of them never met prior to the one meeting that we heard about.
Kerra and Bahadur met in the marketplace, in front of the merchant where Sunash first met Tif.
They spent a bunch of time in that area that afternoon.
They were intent on that area, and around where the hellhound was summoned and sent to her.
They questioned the shopkeeper where Sunash bought the first gift for her.
They spent ~4.5hrs investigating.
We have no more info about the wizard, no name, residence, specialty, anything.
You learn from the dock workers that there was a ship that left town the morning after the incident. It had a full load of passengers and cargo. It’s destination was Korvosa. Asking a bit more at the shipping company yields that a person matching Kerra’s description boarded the vessel but was registered under the name Sabina Merrin.
Gelid is going to go ask the high priestess of Calistria about Kerra, and about starting his chapel.
He’s going to bring her a gift of silver roses, since she has a thing for them.
He will be meeting with her on 6 Neth.
Talking to the caravaneers in town, someone who matched Brightstar’s description arrived 18 Rova, from Korvosa, traveling under a different name.
Sunash is going to send a letter to his contacts in korvosa to do some prep work looking into this for us.

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