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In Which Korvosans Rally & The Dead Envy The Living
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He should have fallen on his sword. That would have been the sensible thing to do.

Punched his ticket for Elysium right away, no waiting around.

He thought they'd only kill him.

Why did he think that? How stupid was he? Why in the world did he think that?

And now instead of his next great adventure he's flubbed a save against dominate person.

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<Sing aloud: "ALL SHADOWS RETURN TO MY POSITION.">

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"All shadows! Return to my position!"

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<Blunderer. There are not words for how deeply you've fucked up.>

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He's well aware.

What happens next?

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<Say without lying that you control your other monsters.>

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...

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"Without lying that you control y-"

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And without mouthing back to the angry archmage.

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His Command hitdice are unallocated. Presumably the progenitor shadow's dead.

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You could drown Gorum's entire church in Toff's depth and breadth of knowledge, which is a drop in the bucket of what he's learned of shadows tonight.

Either the progenitor shadow is dead, or else it's become a greater shadow. If it has, it's one of several in Korvosa.

It was a longshot that the cleric would have any way to control them; a shadow compels obedience from its direct descendants, but not its descendants' spawn, and the Sable Company has made of the shadow's command structure a grate fit to shred cheese. And that's if they were even ever organized enough to begin with that the snake had a removable head; if a shadow's spawn fly away on orders, and their master dies, what's ever to correct them?

Toff has never wondered what shadows think of in their long wait between victims, even idly in passing.

Or torn the answers from a bound shadow's mind.

It's never what you expect that comes back to bite you.

 

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<Know this. In the final account your idiocy will cost you and yours most of all.>

Maybe Ornher Reebs can spare a malediction.

<Bid your shadows enter this Bag of Holding.>

It becomes visible when Toff drops it on the ground.

 

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Soldiers obey their orders.

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Teleport.

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Side-along apparition with evil Dumbledore. Joy.

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Korvosa!

The Pathfinder Iconics walk away from a burning Korvosa.

A large town in Varisia, Korvosa is home to 2,994 humans,

133 dwarves,

74 elves,

36 half-elves,

33 halflings,

33 "other"

and more than 10,000 shadows.

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Three hundred years ago – Year 4407 Absolom Reckoning, in the Age of Enthronement – ascendant Cheliax built Fort Korvosa on a small island where the Jeggare river reaches the sea.

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Since then they’ve had a few rough centuries.

 

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Aroden died. Cheliax abandoned them. No Korvosan monarch has ever had an heir while sitting the Crimson Throne, leading to a constant succession of crises. There's that whole thing with the shadows.

Most Korvosans live in the Vault, a stuffy and dimly lit cave with few amenities. All entrances and exits have been sealed save one, and there’s a stone shaping cleric on standby near that one if necessary. A horde of enthralled shadows stretch across the door like vantablack, keeping back their free-willed brethren. Death warded adventurers brush through the barrier in both directions.

 

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It's been less than an hour since the shadow attack.

Morale is low.

They gave everything they had, and it wasn't enough. Korvosa held nothing back and there's now nothing left.

But still there's no rest for Field Marshall Cressida Kroft.

The people of Korvosa, reduced to the extremest misery and poverty, many without even a fork or washcloth to their name, sitting or pacing on unworked stone without beds to sleep in, have been stripped of that patina of human civility that blunts tempers sharp and raw. The indigent survivors of the city jumbled together without care for class or hatreds old and new makes for a volatile situation.

Her Guard is exhausted. It falls on the Field Marshall herself to break up the fights between commoners and nobles, Korvosans and foreign adventurers, Korvosans and those Academae wizards who couldn't save the city but who could set it on fire, between Chellish Korvosans and Korvosan Shoanti scapegoats. It seems all Korvosa's loudest have an opinion on who's fault tonight was, but the Field Marshall is well aware that the real villain is one Cressida Kroft, who wasn't prepared, and who didn't prepare the city. Some people intuit this basic point, if they follow less than valid routes getting there, but most fingers find someone less popular to point at. Which is another thing that she did wrong.

 

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I can't believe this happened to me on the day of my coronation.

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We're, uh, we're all very sorry for your loss. Your majesty.

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We aren't.

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You're in the same room as a dozen police officers. Try a little harder to not disturb the peace.

Has anyone seen Neolandus Kalepopulus?

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Ooooooh. Actually he died.

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Tripped on a loose flagstone and the shadows got him.

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