Afsaana - Crossroads of the World

12-13 Drakonis, 9:02 Dragon

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The party is in the alley outside of Nightshade’s Residence. Isobel and Aveline are dead sure that the sword Orsa stole is cursed.

So while Orsa is already making plans to destroy it, the two of them examine it more closely. Isobel detects nothing, but Aveline detects mildly ominous magic—the sword is definitely cursed.

After letting the two of them have a go, Orsa props the sword up against the wall and jumps onto it to break it, and promptly succeeds. Her appearance does not change. At this point, Orsa is already completely frustrated.

Aveline picks up the two pieces of the sword and puts them in her pack.

Isobel suggests finishing their business with Olias before they start to figure out how to break the curse.

As they walk along the Field of Honor (2, Eastern District), fights are starting and people are placing bets. The girls are not concerned. This is a regular occurrence.

They find Olias in his shop, and Isobel promptly exchanges the potion for the 5GP Olias promised them.

Outside, after Olias has closed up shop, a group accosts them and demands the potion.

A large man clad in heavy leather armor and a lithe half-elf command four additional goons: two men and two women.

An argument ensues, in which Olias keeps asking the party to take care of this. He is clearly scared.

Isobel argues with the half-elven woman specifically, and the lady reveals that their group has been watching the PCs ever since they left Nightshade’s. The half-elf also claims to know that they have the potion.

Orsa in the meantime is engaged in a staring contest with the heavily armored man, while Aveline simply stands by and lets this whole thing play out.

When Isobel hopes to fool the rogue lady by giving her a lyrium potion, she fails horribly.

The half-elf slaps the potion out of her hand, causing it to break on the hard floor.

A fight breaks out.

Orsa and the warrior Melor are completely focused on each other. The only time Orsa takes her eyes off him is when she hears Olias being wounded behind her, and she charges towards him, killing the fighter who attacked him with one mighty blow.
Olias, witnessing the man being slashed into two pieces from behind, decides it would be safer somewhere else, and he rushes south, hoping to find some kind of safe spot.

Sequius the half-elf slashes at Isobel, and the two trade blows for a while, before Isobel decides to climb the nearest house and make use of her shortbow.

In the meantime, Aveline takes out one of the female goons with winter’s grasp. Frozen solid, the woman dies on the spot.

The man next to her lets out a wild cry: “You killed her! YOU KILLED MY GIRLFRIEND!” In a wild frenzy, he lunges himself at Aveline, determined to take out the mage.

Although Orsa’s blows seem to deal heavy damage and Melor has started bleeding from several deep wounds, he is taking the beating better than Orsa is. While Aveline tries to heal her, but fails to muster up the concentration she needs twice, Orsa is close to falling unconscious.

Despite that, Aveline finally decides to heal herself, as one of the goons has hurt her terribly. She succeeds, and promises Orsa to help her next.

Up on the roof, Isobel looses arrow after arrow at Sequius, who is knocked down several times, while completely unable to hit the moving figure on the roof. Growing frustrated, the half-elf decides to go after an easier target.

She moves in on Olias, and sends an arrow right into his shoulder. He cries in pain, demanding for the party to help him, to protect him from these people. He is so desperate, he even promises money.

With Orsa still on death*s door, Isobel tosses her a healing potion, and Orsa catches it without losing a beat. Isobel urges her to take it immediately: “Or I’ll take it back!”, but of course the Antivan has nothing better to do than to attack Melor once again, regardless of her current state.

Finally sick of all the yelling, Orsa downs the potion in one fell swoop and feels immediately better. Just then, she decides that she wants to offer Melor a truce. She starts up a conversation, but doesn’t get far, before both the warrior and Aveline go back to fighting. Utterly annoyed at this outcome, Orsa gives Melor the bird while deflecting several of his blows.

Aveline casts heal on Orsa, keeping her in fighting condition while Melor keeps finding chinks in her armor.

Finally the two remaining goons decide to get away with their lives, and they flee. Clearly, avenging your girlfriend isn’t as important as actually staying alive.

Just after those two escape, Orsa deals the finishing blow, stabbing her sword into Melor’s chest.

All alone now, Sequius is approached by an angry Aveline.

“Surrender, or you shall burn.”

Sequius drops her shortbow, admitting defeat. Giving into her exhaustion, she kneels down, accepting any punishment the party might have for her.

Isobel takes the bow and arrows, trying to determine whether the bow is better than hers.

In the meantime, Aveline and Orsa start questioning the elf, trying to learn who sent her and why.

Sequius says she doesn’t know. She never knows, as she is always hired by intermediaries. And this specific task she took up from one of the hidden boxes in Afsaana’s underground. Sequius is pretty sure that the person who hired her is from the Old City. She also reveals that she and Melor were hired separately, and did not know each other.

When asked who she was supposed to give the potion to, she says she was simply meant to destroy it. Why, she didn’t know or care to ask.

Both Isobel and Orsa decide they could use someone with the elf’s skill and information, and so they offer her to stay in contact. Sequius agrees: “I’d rather work with you than face you again.”

She then says that she can often be found in the Old Whore (7) in Scurvytown. Considering it’s a strip club and tavern, she will most likely be there in the evening or at night.

As a thanks for letting her stay alive, Sequius hands over an amulet she’s wearing.
It is a Smith’s Targe, a dwarven item. This amulet is in the shape of a small shield, with a chaotic pattern burned into it from the molten drops.

Sequius then leaves, and Olias rushes into his store, only to come out and give 100GP to the party, as a thank you for saving his life from these horrible people.

Aveline takes the money and splits it evenly, giving 33GP to both the girls, while keeping 34GP for her troubles earlier in the day.

“I am beyond grateful, believe me. I trust that should I ever need help such as this again I may call upon you?”

The girls agree.

Now that the fighting is finally over, they notice that *Orsa has aged another 10 or so years. Still determined to deal with that in the morning, the group splits up.

Aveline wants some “proper” accommodation and decides to stay in a nearby inn, called Pete’s (9). The owner, aptly named Pete, charges her 20SP for the night.

Orsa and Isobel strike up a conversation, and Isobel offers her friend to stay with her. “I have a nice bedroll I can offer you.” Orsa is fine with that, and so the two of them stay at Urian’s Forge.

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In the middle of the night, Isobel wakes up to the noise of a crying baby. When she looks around, she sees an infant in Orsa’s bed, halfway hidden in her clothes. She tries to console it, and just an hour later what was previously an infant is a toddler.

Realizing that this is most likely because of the curse Orsa is under, she decides to get some sleep anyway.

In the morning, Orsa is a teenager, who is even grumpier than her adult version. Instead of doing anything, she decides to stay in the corner and sulk.

As it is weirdly quiet in the house and Isobel hears a commotion outside, she decides to investigate. Looking out the window, she hears the newspaper boy walk the streets.

“By the decree of the Captains’ Council, the Law of Succession is hereby revoked. No longer shall the Sea Lord be required to be of the blood of Drac. Let no man speak against this decision, for it is now law!”

Crowds of men argue on the street, and where once trade and commerce took the forefront, it seems as though everyone is more interested in the council’s decree. Shops that are usually open for business are curiously vacant, their windows still shuttered from the night before as their owners and operators discuss the situation.

The normal hum of noise that fills the city’s streets has been dulled, and in its place are uncomfortable, quiet conversations and worried looks passing silently between vendor and buyer. Even the normally bustling Docks are curiously calm, and sailors and deckhands lean against the rails of their ships, lost in their own thoughts.

In the meantime Aveline’s night went by uneventfully. As she leaves the inn, she is confronted with a large mob which is walking towards the Docks. She decides to follow them, and tries to make out what is going on by listening to disgruntled murmurs and loud complaints.

“CAPTAINS’ COUNCIL REVOKES LAW OF SUCCESSION IN POWER GRAB.” is what the headline of the Shipping News reads.

Many outcries of “C.Q. was paid to write what she did!” and “The Captains’ Council has gone too far!” or “This is just another way to hoard more power over the city!” can be heard from all around.

Aveline follows the crowd until it merges with a larger mob of people right in front of the Shipping News (6) in the Docks.

Meanwhile, Orsa and Isobel have arrived at the House of Seers (8) in the Old City.

It soon becomes clear to them that it is under guard. All around them people seem to be boarding up their homes and stores. The guard of the House of Seers refuses to allow them to pass due to the mobs. He is clearly worried about his own people.

Just then, a crowd walks towards them from the north, and the people marching south try to get the two of them to join. Orsa is quickly enveloped, and can’t escape. She tries to slither out, or push people aside, but neither approach works. Isobel however, has no such trouble, and swiftly stealths away.

Before following the crowd Orsa is in, Isobel inspects Sunken Treasures (15). It, too, is being boarded up, as she can hear hammering from inside the door.

When the party reunites at the Shipping News, cries of “C.Q. needs to pay!” ring out. Isobel greets Aveline by poking her shoulder, and the mage is rather startled at first.

She was rather busy talking to people, trying to calm them down and preventing a disaster. Since several people nearby are carrying torches, she thought it prudent to let them know what a horrible idea this whole thing was.

More and more people are walking up and joining the mob surrounding the warehouse. Many of them are shouting for C.Q. to come out and explain herself.

Then, a middle-aged woman steps out in a head scarf and steps onto a wooden crate, presumably to hold a speech. Cigar in her hand, she addresses the crowd to try and calm people down.

“Good people of Afsaana, be calm and hear me! Today’s edition of The Shipping News is but a window into the inner workings of the Captains’ Council, and I, your humble public
servant, seek only to enlighten the masses as to the recent folly of the council’s members. I know that many of you are upset or frightened, and it is as you should be, for there are those on the council that seek only to fatten their own purses by crushing you under their bootheels. For those of you that disagree with the columns in today’s special edition, I thank
you for your patronage but urge you to remember that I am but the messenger.”

The party try to get what information they can from the papers strewn about, and it seems as if the reason that the Captains’ Council abolished the law is because that way one of their own can take the vacant Sea Lord’s place. Since there haven’t been any direct descendants of Drac in several years, this opens up the position to seemingly anyone.

Just when C.Q. is done with her speech, a few people near the party are making more and more of a ruckus. Isobel and Aveline realize that they are all gang members. Some Buccaneers, some Cutthroats.

Isobel swiftly tries to clear them out, and quite a few do move. But then a bottle flies in the gang’s general direction, and all hell breaks loose…

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