Semiro was studying The Book of Numbers regarding the employment of personal justice.
When one finds oneself without the assistance of greater justice, it is imperative to make judgments for oneself. For all those who judge are below the judgement of the gods and all judgments are apparently inferior as such; however, it is only through mortal agents that the pragmatic judgement is passed and it is most often that judgement is passed on the Material Plane. Therefore, one must look inward to find justice and know that Abadar resides with those who judge with a clear and level head, and the consideration of lawful society at heart.
On the final page of the passage, Semiro found a Harrow card of his own- The Queen Mother. On the back were the same instructions he had seen the night before on Enik and Aldo’s cards.
Bellisa sat on the dock swinging her legs. She was tired and a bit cold despite the balmy weather, but such a feeling was getting easier as time passed. Her companion Lily, a tiger with cords of muscle like rigging ropes, came padding too her through the piles of boxes and creates crowding the area. In Lily’s mouth was a card, which she dropped at Bellisa’s side. After, Lily sat down and scratched at the side of her face with her foot, then she shook her head and began grooming herself.
Bellisa took the card on the dock and looked at it- a Harrow card. The Midwife, instructions and all.
Dorsey Galorsey crept into his hideout, which would otherwise be mistaken for abandoned, if not for the cot rolled up in the closet and the various tools and empty bottles laying around. He sat on the floor and looked at his day’s meagre take: a few pinch, a silver spoon and a notebook with nothing more than a few personal addresses. A dagger stabbed into the wall next to him caught his eye. Pinned to the wall by the dagger was a Harrow card- The Rabbit Prince.
They all met, intentionally or otherwise, at the address on the cards: 3 Lancet Street, down in West Dock by the old fisheries and docks. A bit of poking around and asking the right questions told Dorsey that a Varisian fortune teller by the name of Zellara lived in the place. Not the devious type, as far as anyone knew. Simply another displaced native trying to get by on a few old tricks and perhaps a bit of magic.
Upon reaching Zellara’s house they found the place empty of it’s owner, but with a welcoming small room, complete with stale bread and mediocre wine. Before long Semiro heads to the street to stand guard, but runs into a woman on her way in. She smiles at Semiro and beckons him back inside.
A fair skinned, middle aged woman with long dark hair held back by a bandana, Zellara was homely but pleasant looking none the less. She invited all to sit and all complied who weren’t seated already, save Dorsey who looked about skeptically and then sat as well.
Gaedren Lamm was the topic of discussion. He had wronged all those present in one way or another and he deserved his comeuppance, no doubt. Zellara complained that the Korvosan Guard would do nothing to help her and she was afraid that apprehending Gaedren would merely lead to his later escape. She believed he should be killed. Others agreed while some did not. Regardless, Zellara knew where he was hiding and gave such directions.
Then she offered to perform a Harrow reading for her guests and would be avengers.
First would be the Choosing:
Bellis chose the Locksmith. Spiteful as she was at her enabler and tormenter, her fury will drive her when she confronts her enemy. Thereafter she will find something that will intertwine her destiny with Korvosa’s.
Dorsey chose the Rabbit Prince. He would do well to enter into new games, be they dangerous or not. One finds a knife as easily in a fight as in a game, for the one true game never ends. A young member of a noble household- or a hidden secret? Perhaps he becomes his own noble house, a new kind.
Enik chose the Juggler. The gods play with the lives of others, as one does in a performance. If one is able to master the flow of the universe, one can accomplish tremendous things. But one is also at risk of dropping it all, and raining catastrophe with such power. He will find himself in a place of urgency, and enemies becoming obstacles seeming to move from his path, cowering at the power he weilds, for he is destined to catch what flees from him and end the path.
Aldo chose the Crows. Murder, theft and shocking loss. One or some or all, these things are signified by the Crows. Perhaps these things are to be thwarted, or perhaps enabled. Perhaps theft can be just. He will find himself in a deep and dark place, and an agent of evil will present itself. He will know no doubt in his heart that the great dance aside, he must strike dead that which opposing the living, as all must who have a heart.
Semiro chose the Peacock. Some beauty can only be grasped if frozen in place. The wise learn to dance from the Peacock’s path, for its change is the natural change of attitudes and, eventually, of society. To resist is to play the cockatrice, and imprison the Peacock. The Peacock will always set itself free, tearing down it’s own stone skin if it must. A betrayer will reveal itself to Semiro. The purpose will be clear, for it is not the Peacock, but a disrupter of the benevolent powers that be.
Zellara smiles and holds out her hands “Return to me ze cards.” She asks, her voice almost singing. Then she shuffles them and they float about her hands as if suspended in water. She lays them on the table quickly, but with a deliberate precision.
In the past there has been a corruption of the spirit that will resonate into our present and future, this is indicated by The Sickness. Be there no mistake, this corruption seeks to defile us all, or see us dead in our defense. Be weary, for corruption can hide in many places, especially when obscured by the veils of the past.
The Waxworks represents a past of helplessness and frustration. Bucking against your physical limitations you have all been restrained from your goals. Do not let this continue for it is the entropy of effort and a falling into submission of the forces that would control you.
Presently we play along with the spinning whims of the universe. They smile on us this day, but they spin onward. The Dance shows us that our steps may follow the true laws and bring us safely to our destination, but the Peacock, aligned perfectly as it is in the center, represents the ever present change of all things. Structures, hierarchies and systems, be they civilized or natural or magic, all serve their purpose, but all are subject to change none the less. No matter how strong a city, it will return to dust one day and if that is soon or far is not for us to know. Our laws may eventually dissolve and what we think is right will be cast into question. Or it all may change for the better. The despair and poverty we see around us, the hardships of our lives may shift for the better. The outcome is uncertain, but one thing is clear: do not struggle against the changing of time and all things. Learn to move with the flow of the great river, dance to the new rhythm when you hear it and no sooner.
Struggle and change can take life as easily as it can give it. Watch for both. Know that all battles draw a chance of a sword at the chest or a knife at the back. The Rabbit Prince is as deft with his fists as he is with a knife or a broken sword.
Our future is grim. Shackles will be cast off only to be replaced by greater manacles. Perhaps for you and us, or perhaps for another. This is known by The Big Sky. Remember, true freedom is in the mind.
The Cyclone shows us that havoc will be wrought. Destruction will spread across our lands and it will all be the cause of some intelligent conspiracy. In our great city we are protected much from natural disaster, but the schemes of the corrupt will destroy just as ferociously as an earthquake or ashstorm.
Finally we have the Crows. The vicious will come to prey on the weak and the suffering. Dead bodies amass carrion birds and ill omens. But I see that you shall fight them and drive them back to their roosts. Your triumph over the forces of evil may see you rise as heroes in Korvosa. Or it may mean your death.
They scoped out Lamm’s place for three days. The building seemed to get deliveries in the morning and send out boxes and barrels in the evening. Semiro and Bellis went to the market to collect their disguises.
On the third night, Aldo, Dorsey and Enik snuck in one side, and Semiro and Bellis, disguised as children, went in the other side.
Lily the tiger was left waiting in the street while Semiro and Bellis found what seemed to be some kind of fish processing setup inside. It appeared that deliveries of fish detrius was brought in the morning and some product was shipped out later on. The first room held nothing but a trough of rancid fish parts which funneled into another further room. In the far room, a set of stairs led down into what appeared to be a sleeping area full of hammocks and a large vat, into which the trough in the first room emptied. Here there were many orphans getting ready for bed. An orphan, one of Lamm’s lambs, that seemed to be acting as a leader ordered the disguised Semiro and Bellis to hand over their take for the day. Semiro held out a large golden key, decorated with a design of a city inside the key loop. As the leader lamb took the key, Semiro fired off a spell. The leader oprhan, who revealed himself to actually be a disguised gnome, began yelling at the other lambs, ordering them to expel the intruders. The lambs listened and began gathering knives and pitchforks to weild at Semiro and Bellis.
Just then, Lily came bounding in through the loading dock doors, her teeth bared in defense of her companion, Bellis. The lambs trembled in terror and the gnome flew in front of them, attacking Semiro, Bellis and Lily with his kukri.
On the other side Dorsey picked open a door and saw a sour faced man tending to some paperwork on a desk. He stood and went to leave through a door opposite Dorsey, when Dorsey sprung his attack. The sour faced man brandished a wand and began spraying acid at the intruders. Aldo and Enik entered the room to fight.
The sour faced man got his ass whooped and knocked out, but not before calling out for “Bloo”. A dog bit at Dorsey from the next room, but Dorsey put it down with a few flicks of the axe. In the next room, Dorsey kicked in a now opening door, which was repelled and flung open, a chuckling half-orc standing in the doorway. The half-orc wielding a flail and a shield and made short work of Dorsey and Aldo, who both staggered back and sunk to the ground in near-unconscious exhaustion. Bellis and Semiro backed into a room next to the fight with the half-orc, near a trough of rancid fish guts. Lily pressed the attack, gnashing and slicing with her mouth and claws. The gnome turned and ran, while the lambs cowered. Bellis and Semiro went to help Aldo, Dorsey and Enik with the half-orc.
Lily flew past Bellis and Semiro and engaged the half-orc, her claws and teeth slicing through the air like so many teeth. The half-orc continued laughing through the violence. Bellis healed Dorsey while Semiro fired off a few bolts from his crossbow at the half-orc. Dorsey got up and sliced Giggles’ spine through and if he had been another he would have died, but the brute in it’s orcish rage hung on for another moment, swinging at his adversaries, before finally collapsing on the ground.