Sunday, 20 Kuthona, 4743
The Black Cats, decked out in elegant garments, sit down to a royal meal with the King and Queen of Korvosa and members of the court.
King Aquilos and Queen Cressida thank them for their swift and courageous actions in defeating the peacock phoenix the other night. As a token of appreciation, they are each provided with a voucher worth 6,000gp with any merchant in Korvosa.
Victoria artfully describes their efforts against the Cult of the Peacock Spirit and the cult’s connection to the returning Runelords. She avoids any details about Sorshen.
The King asks if the party knows anything about his missing daughter, Lea, and the other Sihedron Heroes. But the Black Cats have little to tell him. He urges them to keep investigating, as the wizards of Korvosa’s Acadamae have not been able to find them.
As the dinner progresses, Victoria catches up with Princess Ryah, a wizard who studied at the Acadamae and a childhood acquaintance. Victoria asks Ryah to get her access to the Acadamae’s archives.
Another attendee, Commandant Kel of the Sable Company Marines, is accompanied by an animated doll named Nathaly. The doll has tense interactions with Gwen and Rita when it tries to take food from their table.
Victoria also catches up with the Crown Prince, Telus, who is preoccupied with concern about the threat the rising Runelords pose. When Karzoug reemerged, he threatened Varisia with an army of giants, and Telus is alarmed that there is no obvious military threat massing.
Udrexa, meanwhile, chats with two of the other attendees at the dinner — Korlun Farima and Ajay Jalnto. Udrexa proceeds to get very drunk.
Victoria urges Lucia to talk with Lady Kyra Loranth, mother of the halfling Nicky that the party had encountered the other night. The two share pleasant conversation, but don’t have much in common.
Kyra talks about serving as a patron of halflings in Korvosa and implies that she is helping halflings escape from slavery in the Chelaxian Empire to the south. But she is also head of the Crimson Society, the licensed thieves guild, which Lucia views as simply what the Roadkeepers could have evolved into.
Victoria notices that Udrexa is drunk and distracted, and requests a private moment with Gia Amprei, her birth mother. She gives Gia her Abyssal Runestone for safekeeping.
Meanwhile, the bubbly goth elf Laori Vaus, high priestess of Iomedae, starts chatting up Audrahni. Despite their wildly different demeanors, the two forlorn elves seem to get along very well.
The party finally departs the castle and travels back to the Winking Medusa. There, they find that Runelord Sorshen is waiting for them. She thanks them for their efforts the other night, promises doses of perfume when it’s ready, and gives them her dance of the seven veils item. Victoria asks to meet her the next day for lunch.
The party resolves to stay in Korvosa for a week to carry out business and make preparations for a trip north on horseback to Kaer Maga.
Moonday, 21 Kuthona, 4743
The next day, Udrexa goes out to shop and make sales. She is accompanied by Rita, with the bat keeping an eye on her purchases.
Lucia goes back to Tyalee’s Whim to check on Athard, the Yamasoth Cultist she has dominated. She sees him chatting with Johan as he swabs the deck. Lucia asks Athard what he would do after being released from domination. He feels like he’s burned bridges with Yamasoth due to his failure, so he’d probably do what he did before the cult, just drift around. Lucia decides not to renew the dominate spell and let it expire.
Lucia is approached by Ghera, who wants to see Udrexa as soon as possible. Lucia misunderstands and thinks the Varisian woman wants to arrange a romantic liaison with the tiefling.
Elsewhere, Victoria goes to lunch with Sorshen. She asks the runelord about simulacrums and clone, having heard that Queen Ileosa had created a special simulacrum of herself using an artifact of Sorshen’s. The runelord notes that the artifact, the Everdawn Pool, gives the blood simulacrums a uniquely strong connection to their creator.
Victoria admits that she wants Sorshen’s help creating a clone of herself, as a backup in case something happens to her in Kaer Maga. Sorshen tells her that she cannot cast the clone spell because it is from a forbidden school. As an enchanter, she simply charmed other wizards into casting those spells for her. She says she will look into arranging something, but it will take time.
Meanwhile, Udrexa returns to the Winking Medusa and learns that Victoria is gone. She uses this opportunity to search her room for the Abyssal runestone, but doesn’t find it. She seeks out Nicky the halfling at a tavern called the Sticky Mermaid and asks for his help. They figure out that Victoria likely passed the runestone on to Gia Amprei.
Udrexa and Rita decide to scope out Gia’s tower in Castle Korvosa, but decide the security is too tight for a burglary attempt. Lucia catches up with them and passes along Ghera’s message.
Udrexa meets with Ghera in her cabin in Tyalee’s Whim. The Varisian woman reveals that her tattoos are glowing again, but not pulsing like in Riddleport. She also explains that one reason she has kept her tattoos hidden is that a few years back, a rogue hellknight in Korvosa murdered Varisians with the tattoos and tried to use their skins in some ritual.
The tattoos are traditional marks given to Varisians with sorcerous powers. Ghera explains that the caravan she was raised in was part of a clan of Sczarni, Varisian mafia. They wanted to use her in their criminal enterprises, so she ran away and has tried to hide her magical abilities.
Udrexa relates to Ghera’s feelings of being an outcast and running away from controlling authorities. The two reaffirm their relationship and spend the rest of the afternoon together.
Toilday, 22 Kuthona – Moonday, 28 Kuthona, 4743
Over the rest of the week, the party makes additional purchases. Victoria visits the Acadamae for research and also reconnects with other acquaintances from the court.
Lucia also goes on a few dates with the elf merchant Terskil. She learns that his stall was damaged during the peacock phoenix attack. Feeling guilty for having manipulated and stolen from him, Lucia gives him 1,000gp. This definitely gets his attention.
The morning of 28 Kuthona, the party sets out for the stables to collect their horses for the journey north. However, as they cross Arlynn Farima Plaza, there is a familiar flash of green light as a very unfamiliar creature suddenly appears.
The monster has the torso of an armless, eyeless woman and the abdomen and legs of an alien spider. It skitters across the air with supernatural speed and attacks the entire party. All those it touches feel an overwhelming sense of misery and self-loathing — except for Audrahni and Lucia.
The creature is a misery siktempora, an entity from the Dimension of Time created by another creature’s negative emotions. Misery siktemporas are known to hunt down their unwitting creators and this one is very focused on Victoria. The creature proves very difficult to hit with melee attacks, immune to mind affecting magic, and seems to shrug off everything they throw at it.
After the creature dodges her call lightning storm spell, Gwen decides to repeat the strategy that worked so well against the peacock phoenix. She casts baleful polymorph and the extraplanar entity turns into a fluffy white rabbit. However, the bunny siktempora manages to retain its consciousness and psychic abilities. Unable to harm the party, it teleports away.
After that unnerving encounter, the party collects their horses from the stables — except for Victoria and Lucia, who summon their mounts.
The Black Cats are visited once more by Sorshen, who gives them four doses of her magical perfume.
With this parting gift, the adventurers set out north from Korvosa on the week long journey to Kaer Maga.