Morning arrives to find our heroes nursing their wounds and the city in chaos. Overnight, Korvosa has turned from a bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis into a seething, violent mass of rioting, looting and carnage. That morning, an announcement many had feared was spread from the castle. “Glorious King Eodred, second of his name, rightful holder of the Crimson Throne, is dead. Here begins the reign of Queen Ileosa.” King Eodred, in his vain, spendthrift way, was not liked by the majority of Korvosans. He was tolerated however, mainly for the numerous public works that had flourished under his leadership. Many believed Queen Ileosa would be another matter entirely. A third her husbands age, with insatiable tastes that were slowly draining the city’s coffers, many saw her as a petulant gold digger at best. At worst, people accused her of murdering her husband, and called for the death of the traitorous usurper whore.
The news of her ascendancy did not sit well with many Korvosans. Riots broke out in the streets. Traders and longshoremen abandoned the docks and the markets. Caravans turned away at the gates and headed for Magnimar instead. Food supplies dried up and commoners took to looting and robbery to get by. Nobles and beggars alike suffered as the city tore itself apart. Worse, news had come in that the castle’s Seneschal, Neolandus Kalepopolis, had disappeared, presumably slain in the initial rioting. In a desperate attempt to regain control, Queen Ileosa invites the Order of the Nail into the city, paying the Hellknights in royal gold for their mercenary services. Yet the Hellknights are a greatsword brandished in a tavern brawl, and their brutal crackdowns restore order only by drowning chaos in blood, to say nothing of the fact that they bow to their own code and ignore the queen’s commands whenever they interpret the law to be at odds.
All of this is related to our heroes while they hide in Mrs Flitwick’s pie shop. Unsure what to do next, they turn to the harrow deck they found in the fishery. As Pious shuffles the deck, the spectral form of Zellara appears with an apology. She had been a little economical with the truth at their previous meeting. Her harrow deck was indeed stolen by Gaedren’s thugs, and they did kill her son. What she’d failed to mention however, was that they also killed Zellara herself. For some reason, her spirit was denied its final resting place, and became locked in the harrow deck which our heroes now possess. The deck itself is now a powerful magical item, able to call the spirit of Zellara to aid as an adviser to the party.
Zellara performed a second Harrow reading for the party, warning again of the coming times of strife. Her divinations were unable to provide any clues to Gaedren’s whereabouts, though they foretold that he would find the heroes before they found him. With no other options, the heroes decided to head to the slag heap behind the ironworks, in search of the body mentioned in Gaedren’s note. As thanks for her hospitality, Pious offered the Queen’s brooch to Mrs Flitwick, but she refused to take such an obviously valuable trinket, suggesting that Pious and his friends return it to the Queen in exchange for a sizable reward.
Heading to the slag heap, our heroes see more of the riots and anarchy that have overtaken Korvosa. The ironworks are fenced off, but looters have torn down the fences and helped themselves to the valuable scrap metal. The heroes walk unimpeded to the slag heap where they quickly find the mutilated and exsanguinated body of a young boy. The boy is Balidor, Fingon’s friend and musical partner, brutally murdered by the one known as “Rolth”, possibly on Gaedren’s orders.
The heroes perform a small ceremony for Balidor, cremating his body behind the ironworks. The smoke draws the attention of a patrol of Korvosan guards, who, on hearing Pious and Fingon recount their stories, asked the party to follow them. The party is brought to Citadel Volshyenek, the headquarters of the guard, to meet Field Marshall Cressida Kroft. Recounting the story of the old fishery, the field marshal offers them a job.
There are certain things that need to be done to keep the peace in a city like Korvosa, and not all of them can be done by the guard. Field marshal Kroft needs a group of adventurers to do the jobs she can’t be seen to have ordered, and our heroes look like just the people she needs. She offers that they will of course, be well rewarded, and pulls some strings to get them a suite at the Three Rings – a tavern popular with guards and scoundrels alike. Before they leave, she offers them a piece of advice – go to the castle and return the Queen’s brooch, the monarch and the city could both do with a sign that there are still good people around in times like this.
The party follow the field marshal’s suggestion, and are escorted to the castle by a contingent of guards. They are met by Queen Ileosa’s personal bodyguard – the exotic and imposing Sabina Merrin. Sabina escorts the party to the throne room, where they meet the queen, beautiful even in her mourning dress and veil. The Queen thanks the adventurers for the return of her brooch and their willingness to aid Korvosa in these troubled times. She hands over a generous reward of royal gold, and retires to her quarters to rest. The party are escorted back out of the castle and return to the Three Rings Tavern. On the way they are accosted by a raving man prophesying the end of the world, but they break free and make it home. Our story continues as the heroes awake the following day, flush with their newly found wealth and waiting for word from Field Marshal Kroft on their first assignment.