Dreams Turned Nightmares
Before reading, I suggest you peruse the location information from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player’s Guide. I can send a copy if needed.
Korvosa is a city struggling back from the brink of death.
Initially founded by Cheliax, Korvosa has been soaked in violence throughout its short history, beginning with the purging of Shoanti tribes from the area and continuing with revolutions during Cheliax’s own civil war. Korvosa was been granted its independence due to Cheliax’s lack of care, causing the city-state to install its own monarchy. The most recent person to sit on the throne was Queen Abrigail Ileosa, a ruthless noble from Cheliax that took the throne through assassination of her husband.
Her ascent to the throne almost killed over half of the populace of Korvosa.
Queen Ileosa proved to be truly tyrannical, subjugating the populace through the use of her special troops known simply as the Gray Maidens. All of Korvosa suffered at her hands, until a small band of adventurers overthrew her, saving the lives of every Korvosan in the process. The following power struggle was swift yet gentle, and currently the former seneschal, Neolandus Kalepopolis is in charge of the city.
Roughly a year after the rise of Neolandus, Korvosa is making progress in its revival. Both the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company, in shambles after being absorbed into the Gray Maidens, have slowly rebuilt themselves and repopulated their ranks (largely due to the influx of “cured” Gray Maidens), though both are still in need of more recruits. Also, the Hellknight Order of the Nail have become more active, though have not fully resumed their former role in Korvosa – rumor has it that some insubordination within their ranks caused the Order to isolate their fortress in Korvosa’s time of need, but whether this rumor is based on evidence or speculation is up for debate.
Korvosa’s prosperity has begun to revive as well. Many businesses closed by Ileosa’s practices have managed to reopen, meaning that the economy of the city has begun to improve. However, with the increase of business so comes the increase of larceny. Many criminals and criminal organizations went into hiding during the period of martial law Queen Ileosa brought about, afraid to lose their lives along with everything else; the disappearance of her Gray Maidens and the relative weakness of the various protecting bodies have allowed the underground to reemerge. The guilds know, however, that taking too much at this stage would mean a brutal end for all – they have been careful not to go too far with their current operations and have focused more on the black market, such as dealing narcotics. Because of this, drug-use in Korvosa is becoming rampant. In fact, the drug known as Nightmare Tears has become the most used in all of Korvosa, penetrating every level of the social strata.
The government has also become more effective over the past year. Neolandus is well-versed in Korvosa’s politics, and his unique blend of charisma and experience has helped him work within its unique structure with a surprising effectiveness. However, there are many people in the governement envious of this success, though nothing has come of it yet. There are also rumors that Neolandus has dealings with the city’s hero Blackjack, providing another measure of protection against assassination. Blackjack himself has become a subject of daily discussion, with reports of two such figures appearing around the city. What this means is anyone’s guess.
This is the city in which you live. Perhaps you are a noble, trying to maintain your status in the constantly changing city, or perhaps you are a Varisian fortune teller, trying to give your people a measure of hope after the discrimination they endured. Whoever you are, you have concerns about the rampant use of Nightmare Tears, though what this means or what form it takes is up to you. Prepare yourself for a complex undertaking and remember – not all is what it seems.