The king is in failing health. The queen is a harlot with no love for the city. So what else is new? Ever since King Eodred II took the young Chelish aristocrat Ileosa as a bride at the nubile age of seventeen, the spend-thrift king has brought the city state deeper and deeper into civil unrest. It doesn't help that the guard is stretched to the breaking point maintaining even the most basic sense of order, especially in decaying Old Korvosa. Crime and vice run rampant, which can be seen either as a stain upon the virtue of the city, or as a ripe opportunity for the reorganization of power. It depends on where your priorities – and morality - lie.
Some among you have always known that life in Korvosa was a harsh reality. The life of an orphan is never an easy one – especially not when you're forced into indentured servitude as many are. Worse yet if you try and fight against those who would see you under their thumb. In Korvosa, there is no justice for the silent – and children are all but invisible.
Others have felt its sting through those they love – torn away from them as the city continues to destroy the unfortunate like meat through a butcher's grinder. There was nothing those left behind could have done to stop it – but it makes the sting no less potent as they try to reconcile their grief and find only unrelenting emptiness in the place of those they dared to care so much about.
Still more find themselves taken from the lives they lived, where they might not have sought virtue, but at least were not wicked, suddenly dragged down into the mud where the refuse of the city dwell. Words can be far mightier than the sword when all that you lived for is torn away from you by the cruelty of them. The role of pariah was not meant for them, and yet they find themselves the scapegoat for all those in the city who seek someone to blame for their woes.
Though many wretches crawl the dark places of Korvosa, few compare to the depravity of the crime lord Gaedren Lamm. With enough wiles to remain uncaught for a lifetime and a cruel streak to challenge the dark princes themselves, Gaedren has lived to make himself into a true menace of the city. Like a rat in a sewer he manages not to be found… but justice is persistent and many pray that someone, someday, will bring their wrath to bear against him.
Do any exist in this city who take such a challenge? We will see…