Carrion Crown

Day 60 part 3 - Day 66

Most of the party member set out upon the newly renamed Poundton to do a little trading. However, Pound himself went in search of the implement from his vision: the Rod of the Five Kings, a symbol of the dwarven savior-to-come who will reunite the five families and re-take the Hall. Using a 1k gold keg worth of black powder, he destroys a home in the southern district and emerges with a piece of old, rusty metal.

The rest of the party hear the explosion and come running to find him only slightly blackened and singed from the ordeal, but jubilant. Pound declares himself the rightful heir, son of the great king Ungrav, and claims the title of King Ungrav for himself. He begins to make pronouncements about gathering an army to retake the great hall and indeed, succeeds in convincing two dwarven citizens (Purgot and Creslin) to follow him. After outfitting them with some basic gear, he heads back to the Inn and retires for the night. Rurik takes the new members under his wing and gets them standing up, falling down drunk.

The next morning, the party collects their gear and new purchases and heads off toward Thrushmoor, where they believe Auren Vrood’s Dark Riders were going. Thrushmoor is approximately 130 miles away, and the journey should take about 8 days total.

On the evening of day two, the party encounters a bear cub caught in a trap. Tattiana uses her animal-handling skills to free the cub and return him to his mother, but not before the papa bear comes up behind Elian and pins him. Tripsin’s spore grenade pacifies the huge beast, allowing them to free Elian and flee while Tattiana convinces the bear to let them pass.

On the evening of the 6th day of travel, the party stumbles upon a group of hill giants and cave trolls attempting a siege on Rozenport, the next town on their path. They prevent the siege and take down the enemies, deciding to camp here on the cliff overlooking the town and continue on in the morning.

We resume on September 20th. :)

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Day 60 Part 2

Once the danger has passed, Elian takes up the old tome and begins to peruse it. Pound notices and loses his cool, attempting to wrest the book from Elian’s hands. It takes some time for the party members (plus a strange dwarven voice in his ear and the Goddess Desna) to calm the poor dwarf, but he finally agrees to stop attacking Elian if all will agree to destroy the book once they have learned all they can from it.

The party members re-emerge in Carrion Hill with info in hand, and Fairlight is able to gather some additional info on the three missing Keepers. Back to the mayor they go for their reward and a challenge to end the threat, once and for all. They find their way into the Filth to the home / business of Keeper Myre where all three Keepers are cowering under an invisibility spell in the warehouse.

The party engages them, only to be interrupted by a huge squirming mass enveloped in a horrid stench erupting from the ground beneath them. The Spawn snatched up Myre and consumed him, growing in size. A second Keeper, Crove, died in the battle. The Spawn also fed upon his corpse, however, regaining some of his lost vitality and growing evening larger and stronger.

The party members realized that if it was allowed to eat the final Keeper, it could become nigh-unstoppable. They coordinated their actions with Elian delivering a final, God-of-War-esque blow to the creature, which immediately dissolved into a puddle of grossness.

They return once more to the mayor and are offered rewards and a permanent home, should they ever choose to settle down, and are declared the Heroes of Carrion Hill.

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Day 60
Arriving in Carrion Hill

The party rolled into Carrion Hill and immediately noted the tense atmosphere. They discovered a flyer directing them to the Crown Manor to discuss an opportunity to save the town and earn rewards. Upon arriving at the manor, they were met with Mayor Heggry who outlined the sitch for them.

“As you may have heard, the first of these attacks occurred early this very morning, when something huge came up from below in a part of the Tangles called Slipper Market. It partially destroyed a building and killed a half dozen locals before retreating into the ruined structure. The guards were swift to reply, led by our own Commander Garus, but when they arrived, they were slaughtered to the last.

“Since then, the thing has moved on, surfacing no less than three times in different parts of the city, crushing buildings from below and slaying anyone it finds inside. I’ve got the entire force of the city watch in reserve, and with each new event they respond quickly, but the damage is always done by the time they arrive. Already there is talk of war and invasion, but I still believe that what we face is a single horror. If we can only figure out what it is, we might be able to defeat it. And this is where your group comes in—the horror has moved on from its initial point of entrance, but if you can explore the ruins in Slipper Market, perhaps you can find some sort of clue to tell us what it is we face.

“I cannot spare any of my Crows to aid you, for they are needed in keeping order in the streets, but if indeed you can find something… anything… about this monster from below, I will pay you handsomely: 2k gold for solid information, and twice again that amount for aiding in defeating the horror.”

The party accepted his challenge and headed off to the Slipper Market area where they discovered the demolished building and several guards wandering about aimlessly. They also interviewed a neighbor, Tarrig, who described what happened.

“As every morning, the Slipper Market was awake early. The merchants set up stalls in the two hours before dawn and prepare their wares, and that was when a terrible something came crashing out of Marshan’s house. There were an awful lot of screams, and the entire house shook as if some great invisible hand had taken hold of it and was trying to push it into the ground or crumple it in its fist. I ran for the watch, but by the time we’d come back, it was all quiet. Wasn’t more than a few heartbeats after the guards entered Marshan’s home that the shaking and the screaming began again. Some of the guards ran back into the street only to be lifted into the air by something unseen and crushed most horrifically; it left behind only a few bodies, whatever it was. The house has been quiet ever since, but that doesn’t mean that the
monster’s gone!”

This house belonged to Old Man Marshan, a retired adventurer who sometimes had visitors late in the night. No one in the Slipper Market had ever been inside Marshan’s house or knew him well. The side of a single-story wooden house has collapsed outward into this ten-foot-wide alley, adding to the clutter and refuse. The roofs provide some shelter from the rain, leaving swaths of blood and gore on walls here and there. The hideous smell wafting out of the ruined building is stomach-turning. Perhaps the strangest is the huge spiral-shaped smear of blood on the wall opposite the partially collapsed building—sheltered by the rain, this ominous rune rises high on the side of the building, as if something enormous had used a broken and bleeding body as a brush to paint its mark. It appears to be significantly different that the spiral that grace’s Pharasma sigil.

A DC 20 Knowledge (religion) check is enough to identify the strange spiral as a symbol associated with both magical portals and the Dark Tapestry, the dark region between the
stars where ancient gods are said to dwell—this check is also enough to reveal the association with the Old Cults, those who worship these ancient beings. The body parts here are all that remain of the corpses of Captain Garus and two of his three sergeants.

Stairs inside this building lead down into an ancient crypt area. The party finds remnants of a cultist camp down here, along with the long-dead and forgotten burial tombs. They also discovered a small group of Dark Creepers.

Deeper into the cavern, The mangled and bloodless bodies of two old men dressed in dark robes lie where the monster left them. Keeper Baskerwhel was a hunchbacked swamp druid—his body floats face down in the pool of sludge. Keeper Marshan, a goggle-eyed cultist who moved all the way from Illmarsh to meet his eventual doom here, lies atop the hill, slumped
against the eastern side of the altar stone. Both bodies are bloodless and twisted like rags and covered with deep incisions.

The three tunnels on the northern half of the cave once led to other catacombs and complexes under Carrion Hill—it was via one of these that Oleg’s group discovered the Sunken Grove. The Keepers blocked off these entrances with iron bars to prevent access to the grove by other creatures.

Keeper Baskerwhel’s body wears a filthy cloak of protection +1 and a ring of swimming. His +1 scimitar lies at the bottom of the pool. Keeper Marshan’s dismembered corpse wears bracers of armor +1. His wand of chill touch (15 charges) lies nearby.

The book propped open on the altar, despite being stained and damp, is in relatively good condition—it is a copy of a rare tome called the Pnakotic Manuscripts. This cavern contains what looks to have been a campsite for five, judging by the number of empty bedrolls along the walls. A few shelves with scattered books on them, a fire pit, and even a crude wooden table provide the furnishings for the site.

Of the three Dark Creepers, one died, and the other two gave up info on which way the monster went.

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Days 58 & 59

Blacksmith’s Forge. WW has taken over for a supply depot and rally point. Crates hold a bunch of crappy, rusty equipment they’re using for the skellies. Large stone vase inside on a table, holds portions of Kvalca Sain’s heart, floating in vile-smelling liquid. The part Vrood needs has been removed, this is just a decoy trap. Guarding this place is undead wight mon Acrietia and her cadre of wight disciples. They stay hidden until as many enemies as possible enter, then they attack. The PCs burned the chunk of heart and replaced it with a chunk of flesh from the main Wight.

Haunted Inn. Inn’s former owner haunts, Ulcris Sedmir. Ghost of a sad-eyed, bald man, is found in the process of hanging himself again and again in the storeroom.

Starts as unfriendly, can tell the PCs the story of Feldgrau. If made friendly or better, will tell them of the new peril come to Feldgrau in the form of Auren Vrood, WW Necromancer, is exhuming bodies one by one and turning them into the walking dead. Doesn’t know motive. Bring me his head, and rip out his memories and tell you what I find.

Feldgrau Tower. Vrood is in here. 8x Skeletal Champion Archers on the top level, looking down. Inside is a large tent that encompasses most of the interior, and inside that are a few vivisectionist tables with subjects—not all dead—currently in progress.

Auren Vrood’s Memories:

  • You feel like a child of about 8 yrs old, watching an army move through your town, killing your parents, burning the buildings, while hiding in a pile of corpses.
  • Now you’re a teen, exploring the muddy furrows, looking for rats to eat, speaking only to the bones of his townspeople. They began to speak back, and you fear madness.
  • Now a young man, hiding under a bridge, waiting for a passing traveler to fall into his trap. You slit the traveler’s throat and steal his possessions. Because you are also hungry, you eat the traveler’s flesh
  • You’re approached by a gray-skinned rider, speaking to you in a dry and throaty whisper, “Auren Vrood, the spirits of this place have told me about you. Worry not, for you have a greater role to play."
  • You’re now a man, studying texts about necromancy under this person’s tutelage. Yrasa Nine-Eyes.
  • You’re now in a very large city and speaking with a necromancer named Adivon Adrissant. Adivon offers you an apprenticeship and a place in the WW.
  • Furiously writing with quill and ink, “My Master, I shall stay in Feldgrau and build your army of corpses for our risen lord…” You seal the letter. DC 20 Religion to identify seal as WW.
  • You see cultists scurrying around Feldgrau’s town square, exhuming bodies and raising the dead.
  • Your hands are placing items in a chest: an iron-and-glass vial containing a swirling gray mist; most of a bloody heart in a glass bottle; a fragile skull composed of hundreds of bone fragments. In a second chest, you place a strange, murky-green statuette, depicting a grotesque, tentacled creature. The chests are given to two cloaked riders on horses, and you hear yourself say, “Ride. Our agent will exchange the Effigy for the relic we need.”
  • The visions fade.

The necromancer is carrying a poem and coded instructions; upon deciphering these, the party intends to head to Thrushmoor by way of Carrion Hill.

The PCs also completed the Story award: give townsfolk a proper burial for 6400 XP.

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Day 57, pt 2
Exploring Feldgrau

While approaching the next building, the party members got a bit too close to the muddy trench in the town square. The found two cultists busy raising skeletons and zombies from what was a mass grave. Eventually, all the undead out here—and the cultists—were neutralized.

Next, they explored the Armorsmith’s shop. Demon Wolves are organizing here, while making guerrilla strikes against cultists and undead allies. Admarius Ionacu and his crew are regrouping to plot next move against WW as they’ve lost several already. The two marauders on the ground floor are lying in wait, and they attack any intruders from range. Upon hearing any scuffle, two above join the battle, while Adimarus stays back. As they begin to suffer more losses, some of their number attempt to flee but find themselves trapped. The party members take Adimarus Ionacu—leader of the Jezeldans—out of the picture, along with four of his tribe.

The party members exit this building and are interrupted by a WW curate leading two Festrogs in a patrol around the next building. They manage to successfully defeat these enemies, as well, but not without expending most of their energy and spells for the day.

The PCs gather all valuable weapons and items and, battered and bruised, with nothing but potions and physical weapons, two of them decide to stealthily enter yet another building.

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Days 56 & 57
Consecrating the Tomb, arriving in Feldgrau

Rurik plans to spend the entire day and night consecrating the tomb. Others do some quiet reflection and exploration. Those asleep at 2am are awakened by a strange dream of being lost in a thick fog. They gather the others and find nothing out of the ordinary going on. In the morning, they allow Rurik to sleep in the wagon on the way to Feldgrau. They also find a letter from Cilas Graydon explaining his absence.

PCs approach town from the NW. Gray sky, thick, low-lying fog hinders visibility to 30’ outside. The sound also carries strangely, with the noises they hear hard to pinpoint and sounding ghostly. They encounter a Gallows Tree using an illusion of hanging werewolves to entice the PCs to approach. Some do and are pacified, some are grabbed by vines. They manage to defeat the tree and approach the first building, which turns out to be an old weaponsmith’s building. Inside is a shrine to Jezelda, demon lord of werewolves. On the crude altar, a very bloody recently sacrificed WW cultist.

The next building was a Religious Goods shop, haunted by former owner Harriet Shepherd (Count Neska dissenter). She and her family were among first to be executed. She had a scroll of Blessed Equipment from which those with the “channel” feature may learn.

The next building they approach is trapped and the door is barred from the inside. They disable the trap and come in through the back where they find the Prince’s Wolves. They are able to present themselves as allies here and find some helpful supplies. The Prince’s Wolves leader here is Rhako, packmate of Rhakis, who tells them the scoop and offers up the cache of alchemy recipes.

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Days 54 & 55
Side quests in Ardis

May 17, 2015

Upon arriving in Ardis, the former capital city of Ustalav, guards directed them to the closest inn, a small establishment called “the Prancing Hoof.” The party made sure that the guards knew that Darkis and Fondral Dorzhanev would be meeting them in the city, and the guards will direct them to the inn.

Upon entering Ardis, the party is approached by a young man, dressed as a beggar. He offers them information on a priceless artifact for just a handful of coin; when they accept, he hands them a cryptic note/map.

“Crowned forever the mad king lies
in his hands, a weapon steel
underneath he who dies
Turned sunward, treasure revealed"

The learned from Verkan the barkeep that the necklace portrait was a small version of a famous painting, the Princess Myrcella. Legend has it, she fell in love with a common man and he was summarily arrested for besmirching her honor. On the day he was executed she threw herself from the Palace Tower. The original painting should still be hanging in the museum in Caliphas.

Most of the party moved on to the next inn which is larger, the Prince’s Lodge. Elian & Tripsin visited the Apothecary, where they met Master Tarvel and bartered for both the sale of their extraneous treasures and the purchase of additional gear and enchantments. The enchantments would take at least until the morning, so the party was free to explore the city.

Tripsin learned a bit more about Desna and her writings and shrines.

Then the party decided to see what they could find out about the Mad King. They learned his name was King Tyrus Ustav, and that his body was likely interred in either the Palace Tower or in the Evercrown Cemetery. The party decided to stay the night and investigate the palace tower the next morning.

They went into the tower, explored the lower levels, and found a huge tapestry of Princess Myrcella Ustav. Next, they found her lover, Rogert du Palmere, at the bottom of the well in the lowest level, and tragically, told him that Myrcella had killed herself. Then they stepped into the princess’s tomb and checked out her sarcophagus. They put the two bodies together and swiped the princess’s crown. Trips also placed the necklace around Rogert’s bony vertebrae, releasing his spirit from the confines of the mundane world and nullifying the haunt from the tower.

They then moved on to the cemetery and found the tomb of the king. After Tattiana excelled in solving a couple of puzzles, the party finally located the weapon of lore: +1 Temple Blade of Ki Intensifying.

Back at the inn, Darkis and Fondral Dorzhanev are now waiting with their cart, horses, and war pony.

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Pound Apology to Fairlight
An Inner Dialog of sorts...

Pound: Hmmm…. grunt…

POUND FINISHES HIS EVENING MEAL, PICKING ALL THE REMNANTS OF ROASTED RABBIT FROM HIS BEARD. HE LOOKS THROUGH HIS HAVERSACK AND HE HIS ECSTATIC TO FIND A FEW CHUGS LEFT IN THE LAST BOTTLE OF HISFLOATYWINE.

Pound: Heh, how did I miss this? Ahhh! Refreshing. Must make more.

Voice: Bazgar, this is your mistress, Sarenrae, you should apologize to Fairlight.

Pound: Hmmm?

Voice: You heard what I said. Apologize.

Pound: Me? Why?

Voice: You said some naughty things to him this afternoon. You hurt his feelings.

Pound: Hurt his feelings? He’s a beast slayer!

Voice: That’s not how he is at all and you know it. Now don’t argue with me and apologize.

Pound: Aye mistress. He is confused. A little schizophrenic. Not right in the head. But I’ll do it anyway – for you.

Voice: Good boy. I have plans for him. He will be my servant.

Pound: What about me?

Voice: You can be my servant by apologizing to Fairlight. And taking a bath. You stink to high heaven.

Pound: Yes, yes mistress, I’ll get right on that.

Another Voice: Sure, do it after one more beer.

Pound: Now there’s an idea. Just one more.

Voice: Bazgar, focus!

Pound: Right mistress, aye, another drink and I’ll be there.

Another Voice: The werewolves are hiding the good stuff. Find it.

Pound: Aye. Look at that, now we got a party of one. A tap and we’re in business.

Voice: Bazgar! Apologize. Now!

Pound: Yes, yes, mistress. I’m your humble, willing servant. I’ll bring him a drink. A drink and an apology go together like Pound and beautiful women. Heh.

Another Voice: Get the blind guy drunk first. You can say whatever you want and he won’t remember.

Pound: Now there’s a plan. He won’t give me that sad puppy look again. I hate that. Sorry and drink up. There we go.

That Voice: Who you kidding? He won’t drink. Just open his mouth and force it in.

Pound: Heh, maybe if he gets tipsy he’ll do his night light trick again. On off, on off! That’ll drive the werewolves batty.

That Voice: Makes a great bug zapper too.

Pound: Aye, damn bugs everywhere tonight. Werewolves and their fleas…

Voice: Bazgar! Apologize, now!

Pound: Yes mistress, yes. Right away. One more beer and I’m ready.

Voice: Put it down and do it now!

Pound: Right, yes, forgive your weak but willing humble servant, Glorious Mistress of the Light. Now where is he?

Yet Another Voice: Creepy crawly hands are coming.

Pound: Uhhh…

Yet Another Voice: Hands crawling, crawling out of the forest for your throat. Dirty fingers pushing into your mouth…

Pound: Uhhh… Damn too much water and piss in this beer. Why are they all laughing? Damn werewolves.

Voice: Oh not this again. Remember our little talk about this?

Pound: Yes, aye mistress I do… I remember every word from your righteous lips.

Voice: Focus on me and my will. Do what I say.

Pound: Yes, the righteous lips of Your Divineness… Your divine righteous face… Righteous pale bosom…

Voice: Bazgar… Focus!

Yet Another Voice: Slimy tentacles dripping black ooze, winding around your skin.

Pound: Uhhh… Another beer, yes. Just one more for the road.

Another Voice: The blind guy would just throw it up and waste it anyway.

Pound: And I have to drink twice as much of this werewolf piss to get going. Damn werewolves.

Voice: I’m waiting for an apology.

Pound: I’m sorry mistress, forgive me. I promise to never, ever swat the High Priestess’ arse again…

Voice: Fairlight! Apologize to Fairlight. Now!

Another Voice: Ah, he’ll get over it. He loves everybody.

Pound: That’s what you said about the priestess.

Another Voice: She had a serious stick up her ass, to hell with her.

Voice: Now!

Pound: Yes, mistress. Where’d he go?

That Voice: I love the smell of gold in the evening. Mmmm… nothing tastes like gold.

Pound: Yes, me purse is getting a wee bit light.

That Voice: Elian has a porcelain piggy bank. Smash it. Lots of gold in there.

Pound: He has a piggy bank? Heh, fun to smash those…

Yet Another Voice: The stench of rotting entrails dripping black ooze from eviscerated corpses…

Pound: Uh, yeah, Elian don’t like smash.

Voice: Sigh. How do you get anything done?

Pound: Stout dwarven ale. That gets me up in the morning. Perhaps a boon from my Glorious Lady?

Another Voice: I bet Rurik has some.

Pound: Aye, a peek in his haversack wouldn’t hurt. He might miss it though. I saw him weighing his bottles after a long night once.

Voice: Alright, I’m done here.

Pound: I got it mistress, you can count on me. Yours to command as always.

That Voice: Fairlight doesn’t care about gold. Maybe he’ll give you some. He just gives stuff away.

Pound: He can’t see it, that’s why.\

Another Voice: Get him drunk and play that coin trick on him again.

Pound: Heh, that was funny. Had no idea where all those ink stains came from the next morning.

This Voice: Look, the big cat is sleeping now. Try hooking that cart with the balista up to it again.

Pound: Hmmm, that ranger girl wasn’t too happy about it last time.

This Voice: When she sees it in action she’ll come around. Everyone needs a good mobile balista.

Pound: That’s true. Very true.

That Voice: Would be worth lots of gold, too. Lots.

Pound: Yeah gold… Right after apology, right after this next drink.

That Voice: Cat balista first.

Pound: Hmmm… Launching cats from balistas… Now that just might work…

That Voice: Best idea ever. Do it.

Pound: Yeah, I just need more cats, lots more cats.

Yet Another Voice: They’re coming for you.

Pound: Damn werewolves making me drink this piss.

That Voice: Smash the piggy bank.

Pound: Damn, keg is almost empty. Someone must’ve short-changed them, beer for water. Damn stupid werewolves.

Quiet Voice: Kill them all.

That Voice: Uh-oh, he’s back.

Pound: I know, drink faster. You have to drink piss faster.

That Voice: Elian has a great sense of humor. Remember he laughed and said your name all day after you smashed that rock, remember?

Pound: Was he laughing or crying?

That Voice: Ah what’s the difference? He’ll thank you for it, just like last time.

Quiet Voice: He’s going to kill you. Kill him first.

Pound: Sarenrae, Mistress of the Light, Goddess of Light and Sun, your humble servant seeks your wisdom and guidance. Please hear my voice and grant me a boon. Grant me perseverence and light. Please, divine Sarenrae…

Voice’s Assistant: Thank you for calling. The Divine Sarenrae is attending to important matters and cannot take your call at the moment. Please hang up and call again letter. Kisses and love to all.

Pound: Oh shit, not again. Call me… maybe?

Quiet Voice: She hates you. They all hate you. It’s them or you. Do it now…

Pound: Uh, uh, do something. Do something. Don’t listen. Focus on Sarenrae.

Quiet Voice: Send them to the darkness, all of them…

Pound: Beer’s gone, what now?

Quiet Voice: Kill.

That Voice: Kitty balista.

Pound: Yes! Kitty balista! All right kitty, let’s get this on you. Better this time, you’ll like this. Nice comfy fit. Dwarven quality.

That Voice: This’ll be worth a dwarven king’s ransom.

Not So Quiet Voice: The King demands! You must obey and slay the fiends! Kill them all! Obey!

Quiet Voice: Yes, slay them…

Pound: There we go kitty… Hey, ouch! Don’t hiss at me like that. Hey! Whoops…

CUT TO BLACK.

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Day 53, pt 2

The adventuring party decided to use the scroll to commune with Desna. Upon reading the deciphered ritual, they all fell into a deep trance. Desna provided them with a look at various points in their upcoming futures:

“Look! A glimpse at your future:

  • You are facing a black-robed necromancer wearing a bone breastplate as he stands before a ruined tower
  • You are fighting a terrifying, tentacled monster deep beneath the sea
  • You are confronting a beautiful female vampire spell caster in an underground chamber
  • You are battling a decaying Lich, blazing with arcane power, atop a high spire beneath dark, churning clouds

Tattiana, you will find the hero within yourself
Fairlight, you will see the lie placed before you
Tripsin, you will recognize the false face
Elian, you will find your bravery tested
Rurik, you will find your salvation
Pound, you will see a kingdom united"

They recognized these fortunes as told to them by Dae’as weeks ago, back in Lepidstadt—at least, those who sat for fortunes back then did.

Upon awakening, most of the party members noticed something new and interesting about their friends. They decided to go down and clear out the bottom of the temple.

In the main amphitheater, something had been throwing debris around in a rage. The party members keep catching what they believe are glimpses of a ghostly werewolf figure out of the corners of their eyes.

Inside the dorm, room to the right, they find dirt, dust, and rot. There is a dead woman, identified as a member of the WW, in the corner. She apparently crawled in here to hide once mortally wounded. She is holding a satchel with 2k gold worth of onyx gems which the PCs recognized as reagents for an “animate dead” spell.

The room to the left was trapped at the arched doorway, through the arch is a rusted metal floor that has been recently swept. Flagstones are out of place in the north corner of the room. The party managed to disable the trap and open the door into the secret room where they found a crazed and wounded Estovian. They successfully identified his wound as a werewolf bite.

They also found, 3 Flasks of Wolfsbane Tonic that are still usable, all else was ruined. Room is divided by iron bars, in the first section are shelves and a table covered in alchemical and surgical tools (solid silver, 3k gold worth), another table with rusted manacles attached; behind the bars is a 10’ pit with rusty stains along the bottom and sides.

Room also contains an iron lockbox (DC 25 Disable) containing the journal of the ancient High Priest, explaining the tragedy that befell his son and what he did to try to combat it. Also contains wand of Magic Fang, 26 charges remaining, and a Scroll of Remove Disease.

They successfully defeated both Estovian, who became trapped while trying to flee, and the Vilkacis. Upon finding the poor beast’s canopic jar, they destroyed it to release his soul. Elian advised his friends that they had just shattered nearly 30k gold, but most agreed it was still the right decision.

Cyrbrisa was able to cure Tripsin of his lycanthropy through the use of a very concentrated wolfsbane poison, the recipe of which she taught to Elian. The party members bartered the Dorzhanevs to borrow a cart and horses; a Dorzhanev scouting party will meet them in Ardis to exchange their own horses & Pound’s war pony. There they hope to secure supplies for the coming trip on to Feldgrau, where they believe the Whispering Way is headed (or already there).

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Day 52, Pt. 2, Day 53
4/26/15

The party continued to question Duristan; unfortunately, he told them of his belief that his tribe would help him become packlord. D’vana, distraught and enraged over the murder of her leader, stabbed him in the throat. After burning the rest of the bodies, they made camp for the night.

DAY 53

The next morning, the party moved on along the path until reaching the next tree-line into the Shudderwood. They noted the rising tower above the tree canopy, which they assumed was the Stairs of the Moon.

As they approached the clearing where the temple rose high into the trees, they noted the design of the building. Tattiana spotted a werewolf archer on the first level of the temple; however, the archer noticed Ash peeking out and prepared to fire at him. Tattiana ordered Ash to attack, instead.

The party members began to make a mad dash to the temple, taking fire — and a few crossbow bolts — in the process. Eventually they all managed to ascend to the first level and remove the four werewolf archers from action.

The party sneaked up to the next level and overheard Mathus and Cybrisa, the leaders of the Mordrinacht and Dorzhanev tribes, respectively. D’vana was captured, and trying to tell Cybrisa of Mathus’s plan. Rurik used his invisibility spell and crept up behind Mathus, while Pound rushed Cybrisa. Both D’vana and Cybrisa were mortally wounded, but brought back from the brink of death by Pound and Fairlight. They then helped D’vana explain Mathus’s trickery to Cybrisa, and she offered the party any help her tribe could give. She also told them that the Demon Wolves (Jezeldans), that tribe that turned Duristan and snowed him into thinking they would make him their packlord, was in pursuit of the Whispering Way. Their plan was to recover the larger part of Kvalca’s heart and have their leader (Adimarus Ionacu) consume it to become packlord. She also tells them that she has access to the smaller portion of Kvalca’s heart, and plans to eat it as soon as the PCs are on their way.

Finally, Cybrisa gives the PCs a scroll found within the temple in the hopes they may be able to use it. Rurik and Fairlight ascertain that the script is not magical nor a spoken language, and Elian immediately begins to work out the cypher code.

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