Curse of the Crimson Throne
Clarion #6 - An Open Letter to Queen Ileosa from Hadrianus de Magistris
Korvosa. We know that things look grim and desperate at this moment. You and your people have fallen from grace so swiftly and completely that if anyone had told you by this time last year about what was to come, none would have believed it. For the average man, it seems as if it will never get better, and we know that many citizens have been trying to retrieve a semblance of routine and normalcy under the new rules, the new edicts, the new laws and the new daily demands. However, if one must take one thing from the first few, tentative numbers of this publication, it is this warcry: "This is not normal."
We could well publish this number with a message of hope. But Korvosa has never been a nation of vague hope for hope's sake. We like concrete, specific reasons to keep up hope. It is not enough to simply say that things will get better. We need to know someone is working to make "things will get better" happen.
And there are those who are, indeed, working towards this. Korvosa's rumor mill has started to ask questions concerning the Saviors of Korvosa, the Guard taskforce that nearly single-handedly broke the blood veil, and if they are still holding Korvosa's best interests in mind. The fact that some of them, if not all of them, are missing in action at present has left many of you wondering if these people can still be trusted upon and counted as defenders of their city. And today, instead of appealing to your optimism, we would like to present the concrete evidence that there are reasons to hope in the form of an open letter delivered to the Clarion by one such people: former Inspector Hadrianus de Magistris. This letter is intended for our Most Radiant ruler, and sums up the events of the past few weeks better than we probably could. Along with a promise that Korvosa should be aware of. We are proud to publish it, word by word, with minor editing for clarity.
Like many I had mixed feelings upon your arrival to this my fair City you so rudely called “a colonial backwater”. However, I also felt that for someone used to the capital of the mighty Empire of Cheliax it could seem as such. I hoped that given time you would learn to love it as we do. We excused such uncivilized behavior with your very young age and inexperience.
Then that sad day came when our beloved King Eodred Arabasti II passed. He might have not been a perfect King, but he was well liked and beloved of his people. The blatant blunder of announcing the King’s death at the worst possible time and in such a manner that broke away with the centuries old Law and Tradition of the Korvosan City, this was a harder action to forgive, if ever it could be.
But the oversights just kept multiplying. During the riots, the slowness of your responses was appalling. If not for the dedication and sacrifices endured by this City’s Armed Forces during this event, the damage would have been far worse. But the King had just died, and you played well the part of the grieving widow. Based on the grief and still and again your tender age, this could have possibly been forgiven. It will not be.
Then came the Plague, and where action and guidance were needed only silence came from the Throne. Fortunately, the foundations of this fair City are strong, myself and many others acted to prevent these terrible events. We would show to you and to all, that those that chose to serve would do so in a manner befitting the noble Korvosan tradition. From here on, events started to lose all sense.
It started with the ship Direption, the Plague Vessel from whence allegedly this disease has struck the City, a vessel more aptly called “misdirection”. There was but one body aboard, an Urgathoan priest, no one and absolutely nothing else. Wherefrom did the plague then come?
It was but a happenstance of fate to those that endeavored to do something, came across the answer and a most sinister one. Freshly minted cooper pinch started a trail made urgent to follow, chaos was growing evermore rampant.
Enter Doctor Davaulus. Many did as I in welcoming his arrival. We had a full-blown Plague Event on our hands and able doctors were in the direst of needs. Then Ileosa, came your first action that neither made sense nor was it necessary. It flaunted all this City stood for, the creation of the grey maidens. Never in the proud history of this City was there an armed force that answered to none but the Throne.
Reports started to come in of the ham-fisted methods used by the alleged doctors and their maiden escorts. Areas quarantined far larger than necessary. Little to no support provided, they acted as if they were content on just letting citizens die. This cannot be forgiven.
Slowly, a plot was made apparent, whose such diverse actors as a rogue necromancer, a convicted mass murderer, an elder vampire and your own family doctor Ileosa. This plot had as its main objective to promote a shift in the City power base. And they were superbly successful.
Returning to the good doctor, firstly he was in Korvosa far earlier then we were made to believe. Secondly, while leader to the Cabal responsible for the plague he was himself only a hireling for someone else. Thirdly he was more then just your family’s personal physician, he was also a member of the Red Mantis Assassins, a master poisoner in fact. Remember for a moment that the combined knowledge of the Churches of Pharasma, Abadar and Sarenrae never managed to fully understand what caused the death of King Eodred Second of His Name.
Slowly a larger picture started to form, one that had its roots not in these past weeks, but in the past months. The unusually lavish expenditures in the months prior to the Kings death that completely drained the City’s beleaguered coffers, mostly at your bequest. Many other small things that were innocent in themselves, but as a whole, painted a grim canvas. The King’s illness perfectly timed to ensure he would not be available for the Treaty negotiation with Cheliax. The riots happening under the Chelish Ambassador watchful eye, and then a plague event.
And now just recently another master stroke, the shameful way you dismantled the Sable Company, it sent a clear message that anything that stood outside your direct grasp was to be eliminated. Destroying one of the foundations of this City, this cannot be forgiven.
And finally, I had the chance to witness first hand the quarantine on Endrin Isle. The promises broken and things beyond shameful. The Plague serum never delivered. The food supplies that never came. The man and women of the Guard that laid down their lives to fulfill a duty that is completely alien to you Ileosa, all the lives lost on Endrin Isle are your responsibility. This cannot and will not ever be forgiven.
Despite the many setbacks the cabal of conspirators had, they’re final goal of a power shift was indisputably achieved. The Noble families and the Armed forces stand in disarray, your grasp over this City is undisputed.
The usage of such guile is typical of the incompetent ruler. It is common of he who lacks the capabilities to be Leader and is short sighted enough to not understand that such pettiness only leads to short lived reigns.
Incompetence and near sightedness I could eventually forgive. But the blatant disregard for this City’s Law and its Traditions. The chaos you wrought upon this City. The subjects lost that you were Oath-Bound to protect. These actions I cannot abide, accept or ever forgive.
So, know this Ileosa, one day I will return. On that day, for all that cannot be forgiven you will face Judgment.
Citizen Hadrianus de Magistris"