Carrion Crown

The Communion scroll from Lady Cybrisa
and the decryption of it

“My friends, gather close. A little closer. No, Closer! Okay, that’s too close… you’re on my foot. Back up a little. There – perfect!

It seems that my time with Professor Lorrimor was well spent. I have deciphered the encoded communion scroll that we have received. As i began the process of decryption, i speculated based on a small sampling that perhaps it was a simple reverse cipher, and indeed that turned out to be the case. Here is the message when the key is applied:

When the moon lights upon the symbol of our goddess, glowing moth harkens her arrival. Commune with Our Lady of Dreams!

Sit within the circle and recite her prayer:

Blessed is the long road, the destination, the homeward path, and all who make the journey.

Let each dream be a bright star in the night sky of your mind, and let it light your path in the day.

Do not be troubled if your dream falters, for there are countless stars in the sky and countless dreams to experience

-pick a new one and change your course.

That’s what it says… seems a straightforward task. Perhaps when the moon rises this night we should follow the instructions."

(Looking down and to the left a bit)… “Yes, well… we can try, anyway, and see what happens.” (Looking back up again.) “What do you think?”

Elian Thorin Donovan
Communion Scroll

View
Pound's Story Part 2
Interview with Ben the Bard, continued

Inquisitor: You’re saying you were outperformed by a dwarf?

Ben the Bard: No! Look, he had a decent voice. Not great, a little gravelly but a nice timbre in a throaty way. Not nasally at all. Besides, the other guy hit the right notes on the flute, okay? Now you understand why I had to get the flute back. They fled to the prison and then… then those freaky little girls showed up, writing my name in blood all over the place. Not good publicity, know what I mean?

Inquisitor: Tell us what the dwarf told you – the Pound fellow. We need to know what he told you.

Ben the Bard: Oh, you spend the whole time insulting me, now you want me to tell you a tale.

Inquisitor: And don’t leave anything out.

Ben the Bard: I know what I’m doing, I’m a professional. Fetch me my lute and I’ll make it something to remember.

Inquisitor: This isn’t a performance, just answer the questions.

Ben the Bard: Oh what a wretched bunch are we. Fine, but I need to stand for a proper rendition. For proper breathing. All part of proper technique.

Inquisitor: Of course.

Ben the Bard: Yes, ahem, presenting the story of Pound, a dreadful tale of terrible betrayal, greed, avarice, distemper, and great woe to befall the dwarves. Sponsored by Vorstag and Grimes, makers of fine detergents and tasty seasonings good enough to wake the dead. Sorry, I’m contractually obligated to say that. Wait, do I still have to?

Inquisitor: Just go ahead.

Ben the Bard: Yes, deep in the majestic Five Kings Mountains, where few people have ever seen, where giants dwell and the orcs feed on raw flesh of unwary travelers. Far below the shattered rock lie the ancient dwarven halls. Deep beneath the mountains, he said, where the dwarves sat on the thrones of their fathers, older than the memory of the gods. Where rivers of molten gold and silver and iron flow without end and the dwarves pound much rock together. Where dancing girls danced and gyrated in the marble courts, dancing girls with great, heaving bosoms and long, pale legs with circlets and tumbrels of amethyst and jade, dancing with ample bottoms shaking and shimmying and perfumed navels also shaking. Where the dancers writhe and prance and cavort and sashay in the great halls. They sashay and pout with ruby lips and golden hair, cavern nymphs thrusting their hips in their too-small bikinis, with their bosoms bouncing like this…

Inquisitor: Let’s move past this part.

Ben the Bard: Tough crowd, that usually works.

Inquisitor: No, that never worked.

Ben the Bard: If you know so much, why are you asking me all these questions? You think I’m dumb? Maybe we should call your employer in and straighten this all out. I wish to speak with management.

Inquisitor: We don’t recommend that. Just get on with it. Please, for your sake.

Ben the Bard: My sake? My, what a dead crowd. I’m not feeling good at all now. Not one bit.

Inquisitor: Tell us everything and we’ll make sure you’re properly rewarded.

Ben the Bard: Rewarded? Exactly how do you mean?

Inquisitor: We’ll make it worth your time. The sooner you finish, the sooner you’ll find out.

Ben the Bard: Well okay, you should’ve said that at the beginning.

Inquisitor: Did Pound tell you his real name?

Ben the Bard: I thought Pound was his real name. Dwarf names aren’t exactly sophisticated. Two syllables is a real stretch. He’s a criminal on the run, am I right? He ran with a gang for sure, must be part of a big operation.

Inquisitor: Continue please. Just the facts.

Ben the Bard: The facts then. Well, there were the lap dances, cavorting, and swiveling of hips and crossing of ankles behind their heads…

Inquisitor: We agreed you would only tell us what Pound said…

Ben the Bard: He said that part. I think the guy is a perv. I saw the granny underpants in his haversack and not only that—

Inquisitor: Please continue – with the story.

Ben the Bard: Fine, he said there’s this old king of a proud dwarven clan that was once great, but now diminished to near obscurity. Real small players, but a good army, go figure. The king believed in the old ways. He had seven sons who aspired to be king. Seven sons who began to die horrible deaths after the arrival of an old wizard. The first was rent to bloody shreds by a voluptuous succubus who—

Inquisitor: According to our records there were only five sons.

Ben the Bard: Five sons, seven sons, they all die gruesome deaths so what does it matter? Death sells… where I come from, anyway.

Inquisitor: What did he say about a wizard?

Ben the Bard: Well strictly speaking he didn’t say it was a wizard, just an old man. What else would he be? Should we say he’s a traveling shoe salesman? Is that more on your level, or should we go with gravedigger? Is that enough facts for you?

Inquisitor: Yes, yes, Just go on.

Ben the Bard: So this old man – this shoe salesman – shows up talking about treasure buried in the mountains in a forbidden place, treasure of immense power that will return the king and his clan to prominence. But the old king will have none of it and throws him out. After that the king’s sons start dying, one by one, leaving but one remaining heir. The old king then falls sick in his bed, presumably with grief, and even the dancing girls with heaving bosoms cannot get him to rise.

Inquisitor: I see.

Ben the Bard: Eventually the old king kicks the bucket, and the last son takes the throne. The old shoe salesman returns, maybe to sell the new king some green satin shoes – catch my drift? Right?

Inquisitor: Go on.

Ben the Bard: The dwarves are ordered by the new king to dig down to the old vault. After years of searching and digging and battling the demons of the deep they find it, just like the shoe salesman said. The salesman then makes the dwarves perform rituals and sacrifice red shoes – need I say more? Uh huh – to open the vault. One day they open the vault, and the whole mountain shakes, but instead of treasure, they find an old city inside. A great city built by dwarves of old, a city the likes of which had not been seen in ages. The shoe salesman runs into the city and disappears, never to be seen again. The dwarves find rich veins of silver and gold they start to mine and move into the old city. But then the abominations and aberrations come out from the dark and dwarves begin to die in droves.

Inquisitor: What kind of aberrations?

Ben the Bard: Ah, aberrant aberrations? How the hell would I know? I’m paid to fill in the gaps, but you’ve already insulted me for a little artistic license. Really horrible things, okay? They certainly bent that dwarf out of shape. He’s a few straws short of a bale of hay, if you catch my drift.

Inquisitor: Did Pound mention anything about Professor Lorrimar?

Ben the Bard: Uh, only that he came to visit during a great feast celebration of their new home. He wanted to study the great ancient city. There were all kinds of strange carvings on the walls. You know, dwarf shit. But he fled, warning the king they had awoken an ancient power. But the king had gone mad, forcing his people to work and fight even as they died. When they finally had enough and fled, he was still screaming orders at them from his tower. His shrieks were the last thing they heard as they closed the gates and left him inside. They returned to their old homes, filled with grief and madness. But one of the king’s brothers had somehow survived and returned to lead the people, what was left anyway. He had lost his good humor – not a fun guy apparently.

Inquisitor: Interesting. Did Pound tell you his part in this story?

Ben the Bard: Hard to say, he was blubbering so I could barely understand a word by then. I did manage to slip some extra coin from him while he cried in his beer. Uh, I suppose I shouldn’t have said that.

Inquisitor: Is there any more?

Ben the Bard: If there’s still time I could tell the story about the Naughty Wench of Caliphas… No, I suppose not. Right.

Inquisitor: Good, then I think we’re finished.

Ben the Bard: Right, so what happens now? If I’m dead, what am I supposed to do?

Inquisitor: We have something special in mind for you. We’d like to offer a long-term contract to perform on a regular basis. Payment guaranteed, with incentives.

Ben the Bard: Long-term contract? Really? Where do I perform? The Wailing Wench? The Dancing Dice? The Bottom Bells?

Inquisitor: We like to call it Hell’s Gaping Maws Inn. Let’s just say you’ll have a captive audience. Lost souls who really need to learn a hard lesson, so to speak. You’re just the kind of man we’re looking for to keep them appropriately entertained.

Ben the Bard: ‘Hell’s Gaping Maws’. Never heard of it, but it has a certain ring to it. What about my instruments? Can I have a Rod of Voice Enlargement, if it wouldn’t be too much to ask?

Inquisitor: Of course, we run a state-of-the-art facility and we like to keep the staff happy. Please exit to your left.

Ben the Bard: Hey thanks! We’re good now, right?

Inquisitor: Yes, to your left please.

Ben the Bards: Great. This way I go. Whoops. Heh.

Inquisitor: Dumbass.

[END TRANSCRIPTION]

View
Elians findings on the map thus far
*way*

Canterwall D6 (Ravengro)
Vieland E3 (Lepistadt)
Vieland E2 (Schloss Caromarc)
Lorzeri F5 (Ascanor Lodge)
Ardeal J6 (Feldgrau is closest)

The path of the way to date? The full path of the way?

Elian Thorin Donovan

View
Pound's Story, Part 1
As told to Ben the Bard in the Laughing Demon, or something like that

CASE FILE: 1332-A61-443K
AGENT: INQUISITOR #7
TRANSCRIPT: ‘BEN THE BARD’
BEGIN:

Ben the Bard: [undecipherable]

Inquisitor: Speak into the rod before you. That’s it.

[Loud feedback]

Ben the Bard: Hello? What was that?

Inquisitor: Don’t mind that. We brought you here to answer some questions about a person of interest. A dwarf that goes by the name Pound…

Ben the Bard: Hey, this thing really makes my voice loud.

Inquisitor: It’s important you answer the questions as truthfully and completely as possible. Dishonesty will be—

Ben the Bard: Hello there! Wow, that really carries.

Inquisitor: It’s a Rod of Voice Enlargement. We don’t have much time so if you’ll be so kind as to pay attention and answer—

Ben the Bard: Well I’ll be damned, Rod of Voice Enlargement, I never saw one of these in Golarion. Imagine how I could do with one of these. [sings] I sing the tale of Ole Rorikstead where a farmer’s daughter had once—

Inquisitor: Stop! That will do. This isn’t a performance. We will ask you questions and you will answer them truthfully. Understood?

Ben the Bard: Alright, yes, but I simply must have one of these rods. I could perform for all of Caliphas and the Lords of Ustalav all at one time!

Inquisitor: That’s no longer necessary. You’ve moved on to more… important business now.

Ben the Bard: What business? Where am I? How did I even get here? And exactly who are you? And kindly move that light. It burns my eyes and I can’t even see you.

Inquisitor: We will ask the questions. The light must stay where it is for your safety.

Ben the Bard: My safety? Ridiculous. You have to do better than that. [sings] On one fine day she met a proud knight asleep in her barn, she made a fair sigh as she peeked at his—

Inquistor: Enough! Very well, we can tell you that you are dead.

Ben the Bard: Dead? How can that be? I’m not dead! Look at me, I’m alive! I can sing!

Inquisitor: No you can’t. You are dead, I assure you. Now, you will answer—

Ben the Bard: Answers indeed! I’m sitting on this chair speaking into a rod with a blinding light in my eyes, how am I dead? How? Tell me how this is! And who are you besides?

[REDACTED]

Ben the Bard: I’m supposed to believe that? I wasn’t born yesterday, you’ll have to do better than that. And while you’re at it, move the light, it hurts my eyes. Please put it slightly to the right, my profile is more dramatic from the right side. It makes my jaw line more striking.

Inquisitor: You died of a head wound.

Ben the Bard: Excuse me? Head wound? My head is perfectly fine. Only a few hairs out of place I hope. Might I borrow a comb and mirror? The light is so harsh, it diminishes my finer points.

Inquisitor: A vase was dropped on your head.

Ben the Bard: A vase? I don’t remember a vase.

Inquisitor: Because it was dropped on your head and you died.

Ben the Bard: I was in Caliphas, standing in the way just beyond the commons. It was market day, very crowded, they said I did not have a permit to perform in the market commons so I stood in a street nearby, plenty of passers-by for a performance. I decided to begin with a new composition, ‘The Fallen of the Rusty Swords’. A vigorous piece, sure to catch their attention.

Inquisitor: Yes, it caught their attention.

Ben the Bard: Of course it did. For my second piece I chose current events, ‘The King and His Dog’ one of my finest. I was mid-way through, the dog finds the king’s lost shoe and the naughty dog decides to chew it. Then… hmmm, [pause] then I’m in the queue, and they send me in this room… Say, are you the curators of the Lusty Loon? A secretive bunch, I hear the acoustics are wonderful, but I do insist on a minimum.

Inquisitor: An old woman dropped a vase on your head from a window above and you died.

Ben the Bard: A vase? How could that be I – I don’t understand. It was a fine day, my voice carried like honeyed thunder. I was in top form. Not too early in the day, and my voice carried in the wind.

Inquisitor: Of course. Now we must insist you answer important questions-

Ben the Bard: I can’t believe I’m dead. I imagine my voice must’ve shattered the vase. Or perhaps the poor woman swooned and accidentally dropped it. Really, I don’t remember it, I think you’re making the whole thing up. Are you trying to get a price concession from me? Ben of the company of Swans, man of tragedy and mirth offers no discount for his services. Except on holidays and feast days. Maybe weddings and special occasions. You are quite wrong. This is a miscarriage of justice. Who else can I speak to?

[PAUSE]

Inquisitor: It was a shit bucket. She meant to drop only the contents upon you, but it slipped from her hands and the whole bucket came to your skull and killed you in a moment. Your body was dumped in the lake.

Ben the Bard: I, I don’t know what to say. Wait, Donaphan didn’t put you up to this, did he? Always was a jealous little snit. Right? Aw shit…

Inquisitor: Several moons prior you were in a small town by the name of Ravengro. Do you remember that?

Ben the Bard: Ravengro? That stinky, inbred prison village up north? Yes, I suppose I do. Why?

Inquisitor: You were there for a week, yes? We understand you managed to find work there at the Laughing Demon, is that correct?

Ben the Bard: You make it sound so difficult. I was seeking to bring a little culture and enjoyment to their dreary lives I suppose. The innkeeper allowed me to ply my trade there for a week. A terrible waste of time, it turned out. And who is this ‘we’? Who are you and why are you asking?

Inquisitor: Who we are isn’t important. All you need to know is that we work for someone very influential who wants us to collect some vital information. We suggest you cooperate or things could get very unpleasant for you.

Ben the Bard: I suppose that’s a threat. You do remind me of those lunatics from Ravengro. I was simply a rising bard, spreading a little song and poetry for a modest fee, and for my effort I get insulted, assaulted, thrown into jail and driven out of town. I hope those stirge-bitten villagers all rot in their little prison.

[PAPERS SHUFFLING]

Inquisitor: You were thrown out of town? How did that happen?

Ben the Bard: Nevermind. I must insist moving the light, it’s blanching my skin, I can feel it.

Inquisitor: According to these accounts you accosted three little girls and the Sheriff threw you in jail. Our department takes those kinds of things very seriously.

Ben the Bard: Did you see those girls? They followed me through town like harpies, singing songs in weird voices about my head mounted on a pike and my family jewels being rent. They were spooky as hell and I couldn’t bear another word!

[WHISPERINGREDACTED]

Ben the Bard: Am I the only man unhinged when girls sing about ramming a hot brand up my ass and being hung by my bowels? No? They were all pulled out of the river all right. Lesson learned, right? Right? Help me out here – please.

Inquisitor: Point taken. Tell us about working at the inn. The Laughing Demon.

Ben the Bard: What about it? I worked there four days.

Inquisitor: Four days? Were you thrown out of town before finishing the term?

Ben the Bard: No. I… my flute was stolen.

Inquisitor: So you left because your flute was stolen.

Ben the Bard: That’s not what I said. You’re twisting my meaning!

Inquisitor: Explain your meaning then.

Ben the Bard: A filthy little dwarf stole it.

Inquisitor: Would that be the one that goes by the name Pound?

Ben the Bard: No, I think it was the other one. They all look the same to me. The flute had been in my family for generations. When you hit certain notes in the correct combinations things happen. Sometimes good things… sometimes terrible things. But the dwarf stole it and I simply had to get it back. My livelihood depends upon it. Depended upon it…

Inquisitor: So the dwarf took it from you while you were performing.

Ben the Bard: No I… I threw it at him. The Pound you keep asking about. How I wanted to pound him.

Inquisitor: You threw your magic flute at the dwarf?

Ben the Bard: He irritated me and he was offensive. As I said, I was a bard on the rise trying to spread culture and enjoyment for a modest fee. I did nothing to deserve that mistreatment. My only regret is that I missed. Had it struck him, he would be here instead of me. Instead he sang and told a story. I guess I… got caught up in the story and forgot about the flute until later. You must understand that the whole inn was captivated by the story. I guess I forgot myself. And he was a good tipper.

Inquisitor: You’re saying you were outperformed by a dwarf?

Ben the Bard: No! Look, he had a decent voice. Not great, a little gravelly but a nice timbre in a throaty way. Not nasally at all. Besides, the other guy hit the right notes on the flute, okay? Now you understand why I had to get the flute back. They fled to the prison and then… then those freaky little girls showed up, writing my name in blood all over the place. Not good publicity, know what I mean?

View
Day 52

The party headed out, still in the underground cavern below the Shudderwood, just after 10am. Shortly after they got moving, Elian and Tattiana scouted ahead and noticed some piles of skins and cloth—that appeared to be breathing.

They got the drop on a couple of ettins, taking one out with a combined coup-de-grace just as the other was waking up. Finding little of note or use here, they moved on.

Just after noon, they were stopped by what appeared to be a cave-in. Backtracking a bit, they found a stone passageway leading to a teleportation circle. One by one, the party members teleported to random rooms, finding themselves in a) a jail, b) an alchemist’s library, c) a pool containing a pissed-off sea serpent, and a crypt.

Tattiana successfully located the map, Tripsin and Fairlight solved the jail-lever puzzle, and Rurik correctly buried the dead body in the crypt. Elian and Pound, on the other hand, figured out how to defend themselves from the sea serpent. Elian handled the elixir retrieval while Pound kept the beast occupied. One by one, the PCs materialized in the midst of what appeared to be a large chess game. They beat the unseen enemy handily.

All party members then found themselves in a whirling blue ether. They discovered that they could drop out of the plane and into reality simply by willing it so, and then found themselves at the base of a spiral staircase. They made their way up the stairs to discover themselves in the base of a ruined tower situated in a large open clearing. They found Cilas, Duristan, Delgros, and D’vana waiting for them. Tripsin became very suspicious of Duristan and confronted him; in response, Duristan shifted into werewolf-hybrid form and howled for backup. In the ensuing battle, Duristan was mortally wounded and only saved from death by Fairlight at the end of the battle. The party took out the 4 dire wolves and 2 hybrid werewolves summoned by Duristan, along with a minimal amount of help from Delgros.

The party members did not ascertain the tribal affiliations of these werewolves, but they did notice an oddly out-of-place carved stone statue nearby. Upon examination, Elian discovered the Black Blade that had chosen him upon his delving into the role of the Magus, and the party also discovered quite a few trinkets to sell. They also noted the sight of a large temple rising in the distance, approximately 1 day’s march away.

Additionally, they netted an amount of XP that brought them all up to 34k and level 8 — ding!

View
The story thus far... Pt 3
Chapter 3: Broken Moon

The PCs head back to Lepidstadt, pausing briefly at the Raven’s Jewel Inn. They are directed to Master Denebro at the curiosities shop to sell off their loot, such as a unicorn head (sigh) and the capacitor from the count’s golem-manipulating machine (more sigh). The gods begin to consider whether the party members are becoming far too powerful for the destiny laid before them and resolve to adjust accordingly.

They also find Daeas at the inn; she has traveled to Lepidstadt to study at the university, as she has exceeded what the Ravengro magician could teach her. She offers to read a Harrowing for each of the party members.
• Tatiyana: has a chance to be heroic in the near future
• Fairlight: a lie stands before him, will he see it?
• Tripsin: must beware the false face
• Elian: his bravery will be tested, and nobility will help when needed
Pound and Rurik decline to sit for a reading, either distrusting Daeas (who has only ever been helpful and doesn’t deserve such treatment!) or believing divination to be bunk (and has divine casters, they should know better).

Judge Daramid tells them the history of the Palatine Eye, at least, as it relates to their rise to government in three of the counties of Ustalav as opposed to the historic noble rule. She wears the symbol of a brass scarab with an eye in the center.

Later at the Inn, Pound tells his sad story, providing the PCs insight to his character and motivations. Finally, the party decides to spend a week crafting and shopping to boost theirs strength for the coming challenges.

Days 43 – 50

The party headed out toward the Shudderwood, largely known as a forested wilderness. On the way, they encountered a tribe of Ettercaps defending an old tower on border; the tower contained the Weaverworm, a malignant arachnid aberration with an underground lair. Upon defeating the Weaverworm, they discovered that one of cocoons contained a relatively fresh corpse carrying a blood-soaked envelope. They were not able to read the envelope but they could tell that it carried the seal of Ascanor Lodge, their intended destination deeper into the Shudderwood.

Not far from the tower, they also discovered an apparent werewolf trap and executed humanoid. They disarmed the trap, recovered the wolfsbane from his mouth, and pulled the MW Silver Dagger from the man’s chest. The also encounter vine monsters and defeat those, as well.

Day 50

Upon their arrival at the lodge, they are greeted – and subsequently denied entry – by the lodge’s Halfling porter, Belik of Courtaud. As they are about to argue, they see a rough looking woodsman heading past them, followed by a young, well-dressed noble. The woodsman is yelling at the noble that he will take him “there,” but will not bring his dogs. The noble sees the PCs and is immediately in awe of them. He explains that he is Duristan Ariesir, a guest at the lodge, and a werewolf hunter. He is in awe of “real adventurers” and asks them to join him and his hirelings on a real werewolf hunt. They agree to do so.

The woodsman introduces himself as Delgros Kroitzcer, the lodge’s huntsmaster. Delgros explains that earlier that day, he was leading a hunt for a stag. When they caught up with the beast, they found it flayed and ripped to shreds, terrifying the others on the hunt. “They believe it to be the work of the ’Devil in Gray,” Delgros explains, although he wants to quell those rumors. Upon hearing of this, the noble Duristan insisted that Delgros take him to the site as he believes the stag’s slaughter to be the work of a werewolf.

Arriving at the site where he left the stag, Delgros is shocked to find only blood-soaked soil, leaves, and tree trunks. The stag’s carcass is gone. Delgros hunts around and the PCs find wolf tracks and drag marks. The follow the drag marks to discover the wild boars that made off with the stag’s corpse. They defeat these, as well.

Duristan is convinced upon an examination of the stag that werewolves caused it; Delgros wants no part of this and returns to the lodge. Duristan asks the PCs to help him set up a wolf trap and they agree. While waiting, two of the hirelings are attacked, one of whom dies (the other is brought back to consciousness by Rurik). They are confronted by a huge female werewolf in hybrid form who asks them why they have come into Vollensag territory.

The PCs begin to explain, but the werewolf cuts them off. “Go tell whoever sent you to stay out of wolf affairs,” she snarls. “Let him know his dealings with Mathus Mordrinacht and the Silverhide pack do not sit well with the other tribes of the wood. There will be much blood spilled before a Silverhide packlord sits upon Highthrone. Mathus the betrayer shall never claim the title, the wrath of the wolf packs shall fall upon him. Now leave our territory and return to your cozy wooden den, or share the fate of these poor sheep!”

The PCs are not cowed, but the large werewolf demonstrates the truth of the situation by howling – dozens of responding howls immediately come from all sides of the party. Duristan insists that they leave immediately, explaining that a female would never have faced them had she not been at a serious advantage.

They party returned to the lodge to find that Belik, the porter, was there to greet and welcome them in. He introduces them to Estovian Lozarov, the warden of the lodge. Estovian explains that Belik was simply unaware of the standing invitations to Palatine Eye guests and shows them to their rooms.

Day 50, Evening – March 7 2015

The PCs met many guests at the lodge, including the Markiza Welgory and her “friend,” Ostovach; stable mistress Quiene Staymor; Cilas Graydon, the Margrave of Sturnidae and retired military commander; and of course, Estovian Lozarov, the lodge’s warden.

Tripsin and Rurik decided to spend the wee hours of the night knocking on doors and waking people up. Through this technique and the use of “sense alignment,” they rather (too) quickly zeroed in on Estovian as the bad guy.

In short order, they learned that the lodge featured quite a bit of nobility-rule promoting art, along with a library that contained some helpful information on the Shudderwood’s werewolf tribes. They also located Estovian’s journal and discovered that he had recently sponsored a meeting between the WW and Mathus Mordrinacht, leader of the Silverhide tribe. They also found documents of Estovian’s that show he supports aristocracy rule and has an anti-Palatinate stance. The journals they found mention the “Stairs of the Moon,” which they soon discover was a temple to Desna, a moon goddess of luck, travelers, the stars, and dreams. There is also mention of an artifact called the “Dusk Moth,” although they have not yet found what that is or what it does.

Day 51

Estovian becomes very suspicious of the party members and, when they’re on their way to question Madam Ivanja and her employee, they hear screams from the lodge. They return inside to discover a monstrous spider has been released from the beast pens and the lodge guests and employees are attempting to fight it off. Belik, the porter, tragically expires.

Ruessa, the housekeeper, tells Tripsin that she saw Estovian fleeing. Currently, Duristan (the reckless noble sport-hunter) and Delgros (the experienced huntmaster of the lodge) are discussing the next move with the party members.

Duristan mentions that he heard of another way out of the lodge; together, the party was able to find a strange painting over one of the fireplaces. They were able to figure out the clue and open the panel behind the fireplace by having each person press with one hand. Down the stairs, they found an underground passage with one solid door and one locked portcullis. The PCs solved the puzzles with the braziers to tell the story of the Whispering Tyrant’s defeat of the king, opening the portcullis in the bargain. A number of cadavers and one yucky ghast began crawling out of a grate in the floor behind the bars and swarmed the players. They managed to defeat all the undead and headed down through the grate, finding themselves in a natural underground cave.

Not far along the cave, they encountered a wounded Dorzanev werewolf in human form (D’vana). They healed her wounds and she explained what was happening out in the Shudderwood. The Vollensag tribe was at war with the Mordrinacht over the slaying of their leader, Kvalca Sain. Not knowing that Mathus Mordrinacht was in league with the WW and responsible for Kvalca’s death, the Dorzanev tribe had sided with the Mordrinachts. D’vana was injured by a Mordrinacht when she questioned Mathus’s motives. Meanwhile, the Jezeldan tribe was nowhere to be found, and the Prince’s Wolves were staying neutral for the moment.

Day 52

In the wee hours of the morning, the party is signaled by the watch after hearing a noise in the dark. They scramble to grab their weapons and find themselves surrounded by four werewolves with crossbows. They are able to defeat these without taking any losses. They’ve also realized that Delgros and Duristan are not really helping much. Delgros allows that they’ve been holding back, mainly because they don’t need the XP. Of which, btw, the party just earned 18.2k, or 3, 033 each.

View
The story thus far... Pt 2
Chapter 2: Trial of the Beast

Day 22-24

While on the road to Lepidstadt, the group encountered what appeared to be a traveling freak show. The leader of the group, an albino man much distressed, explained that one of the “pinheads” had wandered off into the marshy area off the road and had not returned. He offered the group a magical dagger if they would go look for her.

The group found the poor thing, an apparent victim of a Phase Spider. Upon defeating the spider, they discovered a few other trinkets and Aleece’s body. They returned to the travelers with the news and received their dagger. The performers agreed to travel together the rest of the way to Lepidstadt in order to reduce the danger to both groups, and the party agreed.

Day 25-29 – October 19 2014

At about noon while traveling with the Crooked Kin, the party heard sounds of yipping and howling coming from the wooded area to the west. They chose to explore and encountered a small pack (3) of wolves. The wolves attacked, prompting the party to retaliate, and then suddenly a lycanthrope dropped from the trees into their midst. They made short work of all four enemies (?), although Pound did receive a wound from the human-wolf beast. Fairlight found the wolves’ den and located a small male wolf pup inside, which he gave to the Wolf Child in the Kin. Tatiyanna chose to drag one of the carcasses back to the camp and skin it.

Back at the camp, Pound forged a friendship with S’jeer, the “Vudrani Princess,” and Tripsin took a casual walk with the charming Bearded Lady (Lidia Gerod) – although nothing came of that.

S’jeer sheepishly admitted to Pound that she had no real powers of divination. She did, however, tell him of an herb she’d heard could cure the curse of lycanthropy, should he be afflicted. Pound was able to locate the wolfsbane on the day of the full moon, and luckily drank the concoction just in time to avoid turning. Did the herb cure him of the curse? Or simply allow him to shake off the effects?

As he did not turn on subsequent nights, either, the gods grudgingly admit that he must have been completely cured.

Day 30

Finally, the party arrived on the outskirts of Lepidstadt on the 30th day. The Kin bade their leave, intending to set up their show outside the city gates before heading inside to drum up some business. The party was easily able to locate the courthouse and obtain directions to Judge Daramid’s home. There, she thanked the party for the book and promised to double the 100 pp reward if they would look into the case of the Beast of Lepistadt who was apprehended during a burglary of the University Antiquities Department and is currently on trial for numerous murders.

They agreed to see what could be done and began their investigation while turning over the remaining books to Dr. Montaignie Crowl. He showed the group where the Beast was arrested and explained about the missing Seasage Effigy (not valuable, not designed toward any particular god of which he’s aware, the only thing missing from the department, and not located during the Beast’s arrest).

The party noted several clues including a window that had recently been opened, broken-in doors, and he Beast’s apparent bee-line for the Effigy—followed by a terrified rampage in the adjoining auditorium.

They then chose to seek out the Beast’s counsel, Barrister Gustav Kaple, a rather pathetic excuse for a defense attorney. He gave them what information he had and allowed them to interview the Beast briefly. The Beast claims he “not did it” in response to questions about crimes, although he does admit to having been to Herstag. When asked about this place, he mentions friend-Ellsa who is now “gone,” and then begins to wail in sorrow.

Barrister Kaple tells the party that the prosecution will be giving evidence on the Morast crimes tomorrow, and that he’ll be expected to present a defense no later than the day after. The party agrees to go to Morast and see what evidence they can find. Kaple tells the party that any evidence they locate will most definitely mean more if it’s presented by the most diplomatic of the party, and then tells them he will explain how the case will be presented and judged. He does not actually do this, however, as he is stricken with a sore throat and is forced to call the meeting for the evening. He does, however, write up a short explanation of how the trial will work and posts it to the group members under separate cover. Oh – and the party also returns to the Judge to accept their 100 pp EACH. They may also shop in the interim, if they so desire.

Day 30 (part 2)- November 2 2014

Kaple explains how the court / trial works:
• Evidence must be presented to the court by 10am to be heard that day
• Evidence presented by one of the PCs with a Diplomacy check (can be boosted through good RP)
• There is no cross-examination nor unapproved magic

The party members decide to split up; Elian, Tripsin, and Pound head downstairs to question the Beast—I mean, their Friend—while Fairlight, Rurik, and Tatiyana go to the Pickled Goat Inn to question the prosecution’s witness for the Morast incident, village elder Lazne.

Lazne explains that he actually saw their Friend carry off Ethel, the last of the townsfolk to disappear. The next night, the villagers caught Friend in their cunning rope trap as he ran toward the dock area. They rushed him with pitchforks but before they could reach him, a blood caiman came out of the river and pulled Friend back in with him by his shoulder.

Armed with this info, the party headed to Morast, arriving their around 5pm. They explored Morast briefly, checking the dock area, and then noted another dock on the far side of the river. The swamper they met explained about their abandoned “boneyard,” so the party boated across to check it out.

After encountering and defeating a pregnant griffon, the party was able to recover 4 of her unhatched eggs. Exploring the tiny island, the also discovered an abandoned boat complete with a body snatcher/murder kit and an old “potion of Darkvision” vial. They quickly returned to Lepidstadt and began trying to hunt down the makers or last known owners of the surgery tools, eventually leading them to Vorstag of Vorstag & Grine’ Chymic Works.

Day 31

Early the next morning, Pound scoped out the Chymic Works briefly and the party headed to court. Elian, Rurik, and Fairlight presented the following evidence:
• 5 bodies had been stolen from the boneyard before people began going missing (judges didn’t appear swayed).
• Friend did NOT have the expected blood caiman bite mark scar, nor could a flesh golem have healed (judges begin to look doubtful).
• Flesh golem’s already have darkvision, and so Friend would have no need of the potion found, making it unlikely that any of that kit belonged to him (judges began murmuring amongst themselves).
• A mask made of a human face, that Lazne identified as a trader who had been missing since before the beginning of the attacks, was found with the murder kit (Judge Daramid and Chief Justice Khaard have begun to lean forward in their seats, nodding frequently during the PC’s testimony; Judge Aldaar merely sneers).
• The surgery tools can be traced back to Vorkstag’s possession (Chief Justice Khaard reluctantly discounts this evidence as hearsay and not actually proof that Vorkstag was involved or that Friend was not).

(3 successes vs. 2 failures) Immediately after court, the party decides to question tomorrow’s witness, Ellsa of Herstag’s father. After threatening and manhandling the poor, broken drunk of a man and gaining very little from him, they leave him to his misery and head off to explore the town in question.

In Herstag, the group questions the sisters at the windmill and then heads almost immediately to what Friend called “the crow man.” At the foot of a giant scarecrow, they locate a small cave. Inside, they confront and defeat Brother Swarm, a notorious child killer-turned wraith after the villagers tortured him to death with hornets. They also defeated three wraith spawn, found a magic scabbard, and located four kid-sized skeletons. They emerged from the cave through a door hidden behind the altar of the small village chapel.

The party members feel ever so much more experienced, and realize they’re just a bit tougher and more skilled (Ding! Level 5).

November 15 2014

The party decided to check out Karin’s house next, finding a Wand of Speak with Dead over the fireplace, and learning some interesting things upstairs. Karin’s body was found in her bed after her father heard her yell. The window of her room was latched securely from the inside, and any physical killer would have had to pass her father on the stairs on the way out of the house.

With a way to communicate with Karin and Ellsa, the party decided they needed to be exhumed and questioned. Karin told them, “My friend Maarten came & kissed me,” and “It looked like Maarten, but I could see through Maarten, and he smelled like death.” Ellsa reported that the beast “was my friend, but he was not there” when she fell in the hole by the “crow man” while playing. The party members have now accounted for all six of the children’s bodies.

Upon returning to Lepidstadt, they decided to check out the Chymic Works again. This time, Tatiyana, Pound and Fairlight sneaked through the sewer system, nearly drowning due to a plant monster, to come up at the grate in the courtyard while Rurik, Tripsin, and Elian climbed over the gate and up to the second floor loading bay. Elian sneaked around inside, finding Grine at home in his bedroom/laboratory and several mongrelmen working the vats of bleach and acid. They escaped without being detected but did not happen upon any new clues or information.

Day 32

The next day at the trial, the party demonstrated what their Friend really sounds like while crying, explained how Karin couldn’t have been killed by him, and presented the evidence from both girls. This time, their testimony had a marked effect on all three judges (5 successes vs. 1 failure).

After the trial was over, the party first spoke to Dr. Brada’s assistant Karl, the only witness the third crime, murder and arson of Dr. Brada’s hospice. There they learned that the sanctuary started as a place for the mad & deformed, but 4 months ago the place caught fire. Karl was blinded in the fire while trying to drag Dr. Brada out. He saw a large shambling fleshy beast escaping before his sight was lost, and Dr. Brada did not survive the event. His body was never recovered. Upon visiting Sanctuary on Karb Isle, the party discovered that there were twelve graves along the road, and that the cellar entrance had been dug out of the rubble. Inside a metal box they found charred papers with Vorkstag & Grines Chymic Works mentioned several times. They also found evidence that Dr. Brada had purchased or bartered for bleach and acid from the pair. Finally, they recovered Dr. Brada’s head from a group of ghasts that had moved in to the cellar, along with a handful of valuable trinkets to sell.

Fairlight cast an Augury to find out whether they should revisit V&G’s, and got a positive response. They intend to do so.

2080 XP / each

Evening, December 6 2014

On the evening of the second day of the trial, the party decides once again to visit V&G under cover of darkness. First, the successfully evaded the flesh golem hound for what should be the last time. They managed to subdue one of the mongrelmen guards to secure entry into the vats area, and then inadvertently alerted one of the mongrelmen guards; however, lucky for them, they didn’t attack any of these creatures. Instead, they allowed them to escape deeper into the chymic works where they alerted V&G on their way out.

The two alchemists were rather easily defeated; Vorkstag was killed, but Grine was taken into their custody. After much searching and wood-splintering, they managed to find V’s cabinet of “faces & skins,” proving him to be the “skin-stealer” or “shape-changer” of which had previously been referred (on a couple of occasions).

On the way out, Tripsin managed to tame and adopt the flesh golem hound.

They have discovered the following evidence to present from this evening’s work:
• Shambling Man skin
• Blood Caiman scar on Vorkstag’s shoulder
• Vorkstag’s cabinet of skins and faces
• Grine is in their custody
• Ledger of V&G’s customers, of which Dr. Brada is clearly named

They may choose to present this evidence on the third day of the trial, and/or may choose to call Karl (Dr. B’s assistant) as their witness.

1466 XP / each (Total XP each = 13,546)

Day 33: Third Day of the Trial – December 28, 2014

The party presented evidence to the court, including the very skin Vorkstag wore to terrorize Morast and Dr. Brada’s clinic, along with Vorkstag’s Blood Caiman scar, the cabinet full of skins and faces, and Vorkstag’s own confession. He and Grine were summarily arrested for the crimes at those two locations and the Beast was acquitted of all three murders.

Unfortunately, Grine refused to confess insisting he was not a part of the body-snatching part of the organization, and Vorkstag refused to sell him out. While Otto (the prosecutor) believes he has ample evidence to convict Vorkstag, he declines to press charges against Grine.

Judge Daramond is thrilled that the Beast received justice with the help of the party members and happily pays them the 100 pp each for their service to the court. She believes that the Beast may still be in danger from retaliation – the villagers seem less than convinced – and agrees that they should go to Schloss Caromarc to find him in his maker’s home. Count Alpon Caromarc is an eccentric collector and inventor, and the party may seek his help for more information on how the Beast became involved in the University theft of the SeaSage Effigy. She also rewards the party with a selection of gifts. Happy Holidays!!

The party members also decide to allow the Griffon master to hatch the eggs they found for greater profit, walking away from the deal with 19k gold pieces after a couple of days (Days 34 & 35). Combined with selling off the loot and the Judge’s reward, they are indeed “loaded.” Pound, for some reason, contributes much of his shares to the Church.

Day 36: Arrival at Schloss Caromarc

Upon arriving at Schloss Caromarc, the party finds the watchtower taken over by a troop of trolls, complete with goblin slaves and trollhounds. They manage to defeat the trolls, kill the goblins out of necessity, but not before finding evidence that the Whispering Way has been here before them. Things are not looking good for the Count.

The mansion itself seems deserted; the nearby Alchemy Workshop has suffered an explosion, and the party encountered a trio of nasty rust monsters within. After defeating them, they unfortunately tripped a trap on the rope bridge and summoned a huge air elemental. They were, however, able to defeat it without any losses or anyone being thrown into the drink (dammit).

The group decides to return to the mansion and bed down for the night.

Day 37: Waking up at Schloss January 4, 2015

Upon rising, the group fought their way through the remainder of Schloss Caromarc, eventually arriving at the tower. They continued to find curious monsters, previously caged and apparently released by the Whispering Way cultists who had been here before them. Finally, they discovered the Count himself locked in a vicious trap, and were faced with the Promethean Horror he had created from his dead elven wife. After Elian sneaked out and climbed the tower to the Bondslave Thrall apparatus, they were able to call their Friend from his hiding place in the complex and defeated the arachnid horror with their Friend’s help. While Friend lived, he will not leave the Schloss again.

The party members are now aware that the Count was responsible for creating Friend and several other horrible creatures, all in the name of experimentation. He allows them to take whatever they would like from his destroyed museum/zoo and promises to transfer a sum of 3k gp into an account in their name in Lepidstat if they don’t turn him in. He explains that he does not know where the Seasage Effigy is or why the Way wanted it. Waxwood overheard the cultists mention the Shudderwood, and Count Alpon says they probably took the Silent Path through the wood, as it begins just a mile down river of his mansion.

Both the Count and Judge Daramid have more to say, and the party plan to return to the city before they continue their hunt for the Whispering Way.

View
The story thus far...
Chapter 1: Haunting of Harrowstone

Day 1 and 2 – July 20 2014

Tattiana Maynette, female half-elf Ranger
Rurik Ungart, male dwarf Inquisitor (Pharasma)
Elian Thorin Donovan, male elf Rogue
Tripsin Gley, male oread Monk
Joshua Fairlight, male human Oracle
Pound, dwarf Fighter

The PCs find Ravengro in time for the professor’s funeral and meet his illegitimate daughter, Kendra. They manage to get the professor buried with Father Grimburrow’s help, despite a run-in with Gibs Hephenus and a few other townies, and then attend the reading of Professor Lorrimor’s Will with Councilman Vashian Hearthmount.
They learn:
1. that the prof would like for them to spend the next 30 days here in Ravengro helping Kendra,
2. and then deliver some books to Montaigne Crowl, professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt Univ.
3. A fourth book is to be delivered to Embreth, Daramid, judge at Lepidstadt Courthouse. This delivery should be made discretely and to the judge’s home.
4. The books concern the Inquisitor greatly, who attempts to burn them immediately in the fireplace.
5. Kendra saves the books and convinces the Inquisitor to follow her father’s wishes.
6. She also shows the PCs a Harrowing card she discovered tucked in her father’s journal Professor Lorrimor’s Journal, “The Mute Hag.”
7. The PCs investigate the Temple of Pharasma for a list of names of those who died in the fire at Harrowstone 50 years ago, and discover the following names of interest:
a. Sefick Corvin
b. Vance Saetresle
c. Ispin Onyxcudgel
d. Hean Feramin
e. Piper of Illmarsh (real name unknown)
f. Warden Lyvar Hawkran
g. Wife, Vesorianna Hawran
8. The Whispering Way is a cult of necromancers
9. The Whispering Tyrant once held the country of Ustalav—also known as the Immortal Principality—in slavery with his Undead armies. He was defeated, but the Whispering Way may be trying to return him to glory.
10. Most of the counties in Ustalav are still governed by nobles, but the NW counties have formed the Palatinates, a democratic government without nobles.
They meet
a. Zokar, at the Laughing Demon tavern
b. Sarianna Vai, who runs the Outward Inn
c. Alendru from the Unfurling Scroll – he invites them to visit to discuss the WW
d. Brother Grimburrow, priest of Pharasma
e. Councilman Vashian Hearthmount (read the prof’s will)
11. They decide to investigate the False Crypt mentioned in Prof L’s journal and discover a cache of handy items after defeating two giant centipedes.

Day 3 – August 3 2014

The PCs leave the crypt at full dark and make their way back to the tavern. There, Pound engages with a bard and tells him a very interesting story. Additionally, the bard’s flute music draws the attention of two stirges that attack as soon as Elian and Rurik open the doors.

Later, Dae’as arrives at the tavern and Tattiana chats her up. The party learns that Dae’as, a changeling, knows a great deal about Harrowing and studies under Alendru at the Unfurling Scroll. She is also the niece of Harrowstone inmate Hean Feramin, and reveals:
1. The names given to the five most infamous prisoners
a. Corvin – Father Charlatan (not a murderer, but a con artist and blasphemer)
b. Saetressle – the Lopper. Decapitated his victims for no apparent reason
c. Onyxcudgel – Mosswater Marauder. This dwarf artisan was well liked, until he discovered his wife’s infidelity. He crushed her skull with his hammer and then, filled with remorse, decided he could bring her back if only he could find a bone shard that would fill the missing piece of her skull. Although he killed many in search of that shard, he never found it.
d. Feramin – Dae’as claims he was the worst of the Five, and was called Splatterman. She explained that this professor was in league with a succubus and became obsessed with the power of names and naming magic. He killed his victims only after terrifying them by spelling their names in blood over the course of several days. He was instrumental in arranging the riot that eventually caused the fire in Harrowstone.
2. Dae’as also provides a rough sketch of the prison grounds for the PCs.
3. She allows Tattiana to pull two Harrowing cards from the deck. Strangely, the first is the Mute Hag again. The second card, the Foreign Trader, tells her that Tattiana has journeyed far to reach this place.
4. The next morning, the PCs learn that the memorial has been defaced by a V written in blood. They trace the blood back to a disemboweled rat at a nearby farm.
5. They visit Alendru at the Scroll who identifies their Haunt Siphons and Spirit Planchette for them. He shows them how to use the board and upon contacting the Prof’s spirit, reveals that the WW was responsible for his demise.
6. The PCs then decide to visit Harrowstone itself and discover the runes around the base of the prison. The runes make two words, repeating, written in Varisian. Rurik copies them down for further study. The runes were used in a magic ritual involving Abjuration and Necromancy.
7. The PCs entered the prison and only briefly considered the next move before heading upstairs. There, they encountered the Piper in the Western cellblock along with 4 human skeletons. The defeated the skeletons easily, but three of them fell under the Piper’s thrall. Rurik was able to release the fear-frozen party members (Joshua, Tattiana, and Tripsin) by first using a Haunt Siphon to attack the Piper, and then finishing him off by the channeling of positive divine energy.
8. They discovered one of the cells on this floor was much larger than the others, and held a mouldering skeleton chained to the wall with multiple holy symbols attached to the chains. Writing discovered in the cell leads the party to believe that this was the inmate known as Father Charlatan. Rurik entered the cell, prayed to Pharasma over the body, and received a strong sense of unease in return. He pulled the symbol of Pharasma from the skeleton and pocketed it. Trip entered the cell to check out the writing and took the bone of the Father’s left big toe as a trophy. He also pulled the skull from the skeleton and tossed it into the corner. Rurik then removed the rest of the chains and holy symbols from the body and intends to take them with him.
9. The party explored the rest of the second floor, including opening the door out onto the executioner’s balcony. They encountered a haunted construct of the headsman’s scythe, but were able to neutralize it after it stuck itself into the wood of the door. (sigh) Tripsin tossed the now-benign masterwork scythe down onto the prison grounds.
10. At this point, the party intends to adjourn to the Lorrimor residence for rest and to ponder their next moves.
11. The PCs reach level 2.

Days 4 & 5 – August 24 2014

The PCs left the prison and headed back to town, armed with plenty of information (and some stuff to sell). On the way back, they came upon 3 little girls skipping rope and singing a frightening song:
Put the body on the bed
Take a knife and lop her head
Watch the blood come out the pipe
Feeds the stirge so nice and ripe
Drops of red so sparkly bright
Splatters spell her name just right
With a hammer killed his wife
Now he wants to lcaim your life
Tricksy father tells a lie
Listen close or you will die
The PCs are easily able to relate this old “Ring around the Rosie” children’s song to the Notorious Five prisoners who died in the Harrowstone fire: The Lopper, Piper of Illmarsh, Splatterman, Mosswater Marauder, and Father Charlatan (earning 500 XP).

Tattiana goes to the Lorrimor residence to research the prison. While most of the information she found was familiar, recent events did help her understand more about the prison and it’s Notorious Five. Tripsin is concerned about Kendra’s safety and decides to stay with her for the next day or two.

Fairlight helped Kendra decipher a scroll containing a divine spell; in thanks, she allowed him to take the scroll so that he could learn “Soothing Word” from it. Fairlight intends to pass the scroll around to others who are capable of learning and using divine spells (Tattiana & Rurik).

Elian negotiated the sale of the now-uncursed Scythe for 240gp, (40/each), and then dropped by the jail to question the deputies about people in town named “V.” They suggested a couple of names and sent him on his way. Pound requested and received access to the Blacksmith’s facilities for his crafting. He’s begun working on a set of plate.

Rurik and Pound had good food and drink at the Tavern and ran into Alendru; he clarified that the prison is a “nasty place, and getting nastier by the day!”

The next morning, the PCs decided to check out the Warden’s statue and discovered the blood graffiti now read “Ve.” They were not able to track the dusty footprints beyond the grassy ring around the statue and so resolved to lay in wait that evening to ambush the “artist.” The two day time deputies and the sheriff were unhelpful in determining which town citizens had names starting with “V,” claiming they did not have the resources to compile such a list.

The PCs returned to the prison and encountered the Slamming Portal haunt in the entryway. Pound destroyed two of the doors and then the other members were able to dispel the haunt with Holy Water.

They investigated the southwest portion of the ground floor, finding several documents and records in the guards’ and warden’s offices. They also located a safe in the warden’s office, containing several potions and 500 in gold (83/each). The opposite side of the entry way took them through an empty auditorium, and then a training room where they encountered a few flaming skulls—easily dispatched. This room has a square hole in the floor looking down about 20’ into blackness. South of this room they found the property room with a wand of Lesser Restoration, 175 gp of jewelry (29/ea), and some MW thieves tools (handy, since Elian broke his getting into this room). A second alcove in the room revealed five items of special importance:
• Bloodstained handaxe, useful against the Lopper and his minions, but cursed (carried by Rurik)
• Collection of Holy Symbols, originally cursed and too tangled to separate (carried by Elian)
• Moldy Spellbook containing several spells and also cursed (carried by Elian)
• Tarnished Silver Flute, now powerless (carried by Tattiana)
• Smith’s Hammer, makes crafting weapons and armor easier (carried by Pound)
They decide to check out the western half of the ground floor before heading down to the basement.

They defeat a few spiders who had been hiding in the chapel (and found some helpful potions in there), had a near miss with a haunted set of branding irons, and avoided the haunted manacles in the induction room by simply leaving and shutting the door.

Finally, they entered the locked storeroom and encountered the warden’s wife, Vesorianna Hawkran, a tragic and beautiful ghostly presence. With gentle questioning, she tells them:
• My poor Lyvar, I could hear him sobbing. Close, so close, and yet I could not reach him.
• He gave his life to ensure they could never again harm the people of Ustalav, but it seems his sacrifice was in vain.
• He’s gone, he has left this accursed place. Without him here, no force but mine controls the evil that lies beneath. I feel their wrath and rage, growing ever stronger.
• My spirit is now the only thing binding them here to this wretched pit. But I am not as strong as my poor Lyvar, and I feel my grasp weakening.
• Men and women in dark robes who spoke only in whispers worked dark magic within these walls very recently. The effects hit like a horrific storm chilling to the soul. I have not felt Lyvar’s presence since.
• I fear that with Lyvar gone, the spirits of the evil dead grow ever stronger. I cannot hold them for long. With the destruction of the Five, Harrowstone can finally be at rest, and for that I beg you to help.
Vesorianna recognized that one of the Five spirits was defeated, but said that one was also “with them.” She indicated that Rurik may have a “dark passenger.” She asked that the PCs help her, and bring her Lyvar’s badge if they could find it.

The PCs headed upstairs to check out Fr. Charlatan’s remains again, and Rurik felt compelled to enter the cell. There, he fell to the ground, unconscious, and the others saw ghostly chains emerge from the floor and wrap around him. In Rurik’s mind, he awoke to a red-haired priest of Pharasma, telling him that he had died, his body had been recovered from Harrowstone, and his friends had paid to have him resurrected. They had since left town.

With the others channeling positive energy and dousing Rurik with Holy Water, and Rurik fighting off the illusion by force of Will, they were able to defeat Father Charlatan’s spirit with little effort (dammit).

The PCs return to town once more, armed again with information and loot. Pound turns Tattiana now-squashed silver flute into an ingot, which she then gives to the Blacksmith (with some gold) for the crafting of a silver dagger.

That night, Tattiana, Elian, and Rurik lie in wait at the statue. Eventually they encounter a hooded figure attempting to cut open a small animal at the foot of the statue. Upon hearing a noise, the figure turns to leave. After a short chase, they unhood Gibs Hephenus and take him to the Restlands. There, they remove the arrow from his back and heal him before locking him in a crypt for safe-keeping.

The next morning, Rurik, Elian, Fairlight, Pound, and Tattiana leave word for Tripsin to catch up to them and re-enter the prison. This time, they easily slide down a rope into the basement level, immediately encountering two Ectoplasmic Humans. In the next room, the DM decides they’re all killing things to quickly and throws eight skeletons in their way. The skellies become Flaming Skeletons after two rounds, and nearly killed the party just by blowing up as they were defeated. The DM learns a lesson about encounter design, and the PCs learn the importance of Reflex saves and damaging skeletons at range without arrows. At this point, the PCs decide to have a short rest and wait for Trip to catch up.

Days 6 & 7 – September 7 2014

The group continued through the remainder of the dungeon level in Harrowstone, cleaning house. Along the way, they took out the Lopper and Splatterman, cleansed the Mourning Maiden haunt, and relieved former guard captain Gurtis Vorch of us undeath. They were able to locate Warden Hawkran’s remains and return his badge to Vesorianna, which allowed her to banish the remaining haunts and spirits in Harrowstone for good.

At some point in here, a strange dwarf came by the Laughing Demon and left a ring with Zokar. "Give it to the one called “Pound,” he said. “He’ll know what it means.” Pound was visibly shaken by this experience, although he has not yet told his group members of the ring or what it might mean to him.

Days 8-21 – September 21 2014

Having a bit of extra time, the party made a deal with Alendru at the Unfurling Scroll. With a bit of skin from a magical beast, he would be able to make them a Handy Haversack.

The group set out in the direction he pointed and encountered a small tribe of Lizardfolk. They declined to engage with the group, but didn’t help them out when the Dracolisk showed, either.

Rurik initially fell to the fearsome beast, but by Pharasma’s will he was revived, even from his slightly green & pudding-y state. It turned out the Dracolisk provided enough skin and other ingredients for Alendru to craft 6 of the Haversacks, one for each member of the party.

The party reached level 4.

During the downtime, the party members were busy and productive:
• Tattiana
• Rurik
• Fairlight
• Tripsin
• Elian
• Pound

The party realized it would take them about a week to make the journey to Lepidstadt so they packed up the books and their gear and headed northward.

View
Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.