Friday, June 12, 2015

The Saga of Majenko Part Three: Scourge of The Red Mantis

When last the Saga of Majenko left off I'd detailed how in Curse of the Crimson Throne we'd freed a tiny pseudodragon NPC, and said pseudodragon had gone on to steamroll entire encounters with his poisonous sting. Seeing the inherent value of such a potent ally, but wary of his fragility as a 15-hit point, cat-sized dragon, I made him my character's familiar. Not content with that (and because I could find no rules banning it), I also made him my cohort. So in addition to being able to share spells, gaining additional natural armor, and sharing an empathic bond with the little guy, Majenko also gained 5 levels of rogue with all the associated trimmings.

It's a good thing too, because this was right around the time the campaign got serious. It's also around the time Majenko fell in love. If you need to review, here's the full list of the Saga of Majenko installments.

Part One: Finding The Main Character of "Curse of The Crimson Throne"
Part Two: How Much Damage Could One Pseudodragon Do?
Part Three: Scourge of The Red Mantis
Part Four: Blood Pig Champion
Part Five: Brother to The Shoanti
Part Six: The Assault on Castle Scarwall
Part Seven: The Return to Korvosa
Part Eight: Re-Taking Korvosa
Part Nine: The Assault on Castle Korvosa
Part Ten: Down With The Queen

All caught up? Great!

Part Three: The Scourge of The Red Mantis

When last we left our intrepid adventurers they'd managed to uncover the secret plot to destroy the city with a plague of bloodveil, arrest the head doctor behind it all, and descended into the bowels of the city to fight a priestess of Urgathoa. In short our crack law enforcement task force managed to save the city, and stem the tide of death that was pouring out of the guts of Korvosa.

We also discovered (gasp) that the queen was tacitly behind the plague!

This is my surprised face.
Now, we know that we're sitting on a few tons of black powder with this information. The queen may not be much liked, but attempting to depose her would lead to civil war regardless of her guilt. Unless, that is, we could find Neolandis Kalapopolis, the royal seneschal. As the seneschal, Neolandis had the legal authority to remove Queen Ileosa, assuming we could present him with the appropriate evidence.

The only problem with that is that Neolandis seems to have up and vanished. So we've got to track him down somehow. Fortunately for us a letter from the city's most esteemed vigilante Blackjack happens to show up on our doorstep, asking us to meet him in Old Korvosa; the northern island district that's been sealed off due to the plague.

Why not, what's the worst that could happen?

It's Dangerous Out There, Take A Cleric With You!

It just so happened that our regular cleric couldn't make that session. So rather than go off adventuring without such a crucial class, I checked my followers chart and saw that, in addition to Majenko, I qualified for a single 4th level follower. I asked the DM if, for a session, she would let us bring an NPC pseudodragon cleric to help out with the heals. I got permission, and that's where Aoefa came in.

I'll say she did!
Aoefa wasn't just a pseudodragon who happened to have 4 levels of cleric. She had been born as a living holy symbol of Apsu, and she was silver from snout to tail. With a breathy voice, a haughty demeanor, and a definite sense that she was the queen of the castle, there was at least one vote that when we brought down Ileosa that we gave Aoefa the crown in her place.

With her added to our party we headed north to Old Korvosa. We eventually found the meeting place, which was the personal quarters of the resident fencing master (a man who couldn't possibly be Blackjack, because he was missing two fingers!). We enter the building, investigate, and as soon as we reach his upstairs living room two red-sheathed figures drop down from the rafters.

A pair of the legendary Red Mantis Assassins were waiting for us!

Time To Make A Move

Aoefa, disdaining the physicality of combat, flits up to one of the rafters and stretches out like a Siamese cat. The assassins hurl alchemist fire, setting the room ablaze and giving us a definite time period to end this fight by (since only Egil has the ability to walk through fire mostly unscathed). The barbarian and the fighter are cornering one of the elite killers, and the other is dealing with Egil and Majenko.

Or at least he was planning on dealing with us. Because it seems that with Aoefa looking on Majenko really wanted to show off his prowess to prove what a good mate he would be. This led to Egil taking several, ineffective swipes at the assassin before Majenko sprung up behind the Red Mantis, stabbed the sweet spot where the helmet met his armor, and gave him a full load of sneak attack and poison before springing away. The assassin whirled, failed his save, and just before sleep could overpower him committed seppuku in order to turn himself into a red mist and prevent his identity from being discovered. The other assassin was dispatched in short order, and when the party asked for their wounds to be tended Aoefa was only too pleased to help.

She wanted to show Majenko he had impressed her, and thus was willing to be kind to his party mates. Even if two of them were lowly humans.

Musical Character Sheets

Our regular cleric arrived soon after the battle, and the barbarian decided to take his earnings and go. He'd just met a girl in the southern half of the city (a broad-shouldered, wide-hipped nurse who was going to bear him many strong children), and he wasn't about to do something that would get him locked up (that, and the player wanted to bring in a different PC). The last thing we hear as Aoefa alights on Spatters arm, their boat fading off into the night, is, "Oh, you have a woman. Tell me all about her. Disgust me..."

What Happened Next?

Well, the story doesn't end there (as anyone who's played this adventure path knows. Next time I'll detail the battles in Old Korvosa, and perhaps begin the quest into the high desert country where our party faced even stranger challenges than they had in the plague-ridden gutters of Korvosa.

Tune in next time!

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