Curse of the Crimson Throne Book 6: Crown of Fangs
Author lukkychukky

Despite the actions of a stalwart band of heroes, Queen Ileosa’s plans for Korvosa have met, in large part, with grisly success. Korvosa’s military has been replaced by her loyal and cruel Gray Maidens. The city government is in shambles, with the remaining magistrates and arbiters cowering in their homes while they hope for things to get better. And the people of Korvosa are shattered—the victims of riots, plagues, and oppression. A resistance movement struggles to maintain its foothold against the queen, but with the introduction of devils and dragons to her legions, Korvosa slips further and further from salvation. As it does, Queen Ileosa draws closer to her goal of immortality.

Queen Ileosa hasn’t been idle while the PCs continued to oppose her minions and build their resources for an eventual confrontation. By the time this final chapter of Curse of the Crimson Throne begins, the PCs may have struck a blow against the Red Mantis and the Gray Maidens that was powerful enough to force Queen Ileosa to back off from keeping Korvosa under oppressive martial law, but her presence continues to cast its long shadow over the city nevertheless. Great new statues of the city’s vain queen are being raised in her honor via the sweat and blood of an enslaved populace, and while the Gray Maidens no longer patrol the streets in as much force as before the raid on Deathhead Vault, those patrols have grown more violent in nature, and devils and perhaps even a dragon have joined them. Even rumors that Magnimar is preparing an intervention to put an end to the madness fall on deaf ears—Ileosa won’t need Korvosa much longer, as she plans on ascending to immortality well before Magnimar can make a direct move to stop her. What little resistance remains is bottled up below Gray District, nervously awaiting the return of the heroes who have pledged to rescue them all.

Queen Ileosa’s unprecedented rise in power is attributable to several factors, the most important of which is the Crown of Fangs. Fashioned from the fangs of Kazavon with the aid of powerful devils, the artifact increases the raw potency of the fangs themselves. Not only does the Crown of Fangs protect Ileosa and strengthen her, but it also allows fragments of Kazavon’s memories and experiences to empower her, resulting in a rapid increase in her level. Yet Ileosa hasn’t stopped there; she’s also secured the aid of a devil named Sermignatto, allowing her, among other things, to bind the essence of an erinyes devil to her to even further increase her power. Yet these are little more than steps toward her true goal: to follow in the footsteps of Runelord Sorshen and achieve eternal youth and unlimited power through the blood sacrifice of thousands. While much of the runelord’s details remain shrouded in mystery, Ileosa has been able to confirm that Sorshen ruled as Runelord of Lust from the dawn of Thassilon to its fall, a span of well over a thousand years. That Sorshen did so without resorting to undeath intrigued Ileosa, and the idea of eternal youth has increasingly become an obsession for the queen.

Ileosa hasn’t actually explored the deeper chambers below Castle Korvosa yet, but she knows that Sorshen once held the seat of her power there thousands of years ago. Thanks to a combination of research, communion with otherworldly powers, and the advice of wise and intelligent advisors, Ileosa hasn’t attempted to explore the deep chambers where Sorshen’s hold remains strong, knowing that even with her newfound power, she may well be getting in over her head with the dangers that dwell so close to home. However, Ileosa has also determined that she need not directly confront Sorshen’s most dangerous minions and remaining legacies in order to get what she wants, for the secret to Runelord Sorshen’s immortality lies not below Castle Korvosa but at a site to the northwest—at a place known today as the Sunken Queen.

The final stage of Ileosa’s mad quest has taken her to the Sunken Queen, a Thassilonian ruin in the Mushfens some 160 miles west of Korvosa, where she must enact a complex and lengthy ritual to link her soul to the souls of her oppressed followers—loyal and downtrodden alike. Yet she knows she cannot leave Korvosa unguarded during this time, and has left the city in the charge of her devilish minion, Sermignatto, and her bodyguard, Sabina Merrin. To further the illusion that she is still in Korvosa, Ileosa used the magic of the Sunken Queen to create a simulacrum of herself out of blood, then installed the false queen on the Crimson Throne. If she can complete the ritual in the Sunken Queen, the additional power she would gain should be more than enough to allow her to raid Sorshen’s chambers deep below Castle Korvosa and thus empower herself above and beyond anything that has been seen in Varisia since Thassilon’s fall so many ages ago.

To the populace of Korvosa, Queen Ileosa has never left the city—the belief that their petty ruler has simply ensconced herself in her castle holds firm, and that belief, combined with her increasingly visible aid from dragons and devils, keeps the citizens of Korvosa in check. The budding rebellion the PCs are involved in, headed by such notables as Cressida Kroft and Bishop d’Bear, is more than ready to move against the queen as this final part of the Curse of the Crimson Throne begins, but until the PCs are ready to strike down the threats in the castle, they must hold their blades in check.

The time to rebel against Queen Ileosa and take back Korvosa has come, but it falls to the heroes of Curse of the Crimson Throne to be the ones to lead the charge!

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