Carrion Crown

Day 74

A dying Ulat-kini told the members what the skum were up to. They found Croon and he took them in a submersible out to the Tern Rocks. They went down into the water until they found the cave; upon entering, they killed the 3 dimensional shamblers waiting for them. A portal began to form, and….

Day 73 pt 2

The trials of the past few days have taken a severe toll on all the PCs, but perhaps none so much as our two dwarves. Rurik has had some sort of mental break, obvs, and Bazgar (formerly Pound) is now suddenly claiming to be someone named Gratchet and has no recollection of any of the others, where they are, or why.

Tattiana, Elian, Fairlight, and Gratchet decide to bring the baby back to Horace Croon in Illmarsh; they intend to ask him to deliver the babe to Cesadia of the Sleepless in Thrushmoor. This is their only (relatively) close ally, and they have little choice but to trust the inventor and Cesadia to help the child.

Rurik and Tripsin stay to watch the house. Rurik is definitely acting out of frustration and horror at himself as he tries to smash down walls and/or burn the mansion to the ground (which would remove their only path forward toward the current goal, bee tee dubs). By 3pm, the rest of the party is back and ready to take the dimension door to wherever it might lead.

It leads directly to a tunneled slide which deposits them rudely into a large cavern. Here they’re confronted with the preserved body of the Pact-Forger, ol’ Cassius Undiomede himself. They check out the nearby lectern holding Cassius’s journal, which provides them with a deeper knowledge of the Neighbors, what they are (skum / ulat Kini), what they aren’t (female), and what they need (breeding women).

Down one path, the party members where ambushed by Iq’lothatuaa, the Insane Broodchief and 6 skum. They then moved into a central cavern, known as the Fosterling Nursery, where they encountered a single living woman in a room full of dried out husks, rocking a dead baby. The party then moved forward an encountered the Color out of Space, an alien lifeform that was apparently responsible for the dehydration going on around here. They caused enough damage to force it into retreat, and then explored some more. The only path out appears to be flooded and then blocked by falling debris and rubble. The did locate an enchanted helm, and there may more treasures in the nasty-smelling garbage dump. They party members need to thoroughly explore the cave tunnels for an exit.

Day 72 pt 2 - Day 73

While in the Order of the Recondite Sea temple, Vicar Caleb Voltairo came out of his quarters to confront the party. After summoning oozes to help attack them, Caleb fell in battle causing the oozes to double in size. The party eventually killed them as well, and then continued to explore. They located the secret rooms in this cathedral, and found two Scions of the Sea magically tethered there to protect the Orders’ “fostering rooms."

After defeating both Scions, the party members each began to experience some psychological problems:

- Tatiana is experiencing some psychosis; the possible results are as yet known
- Rurik is troubled with paranoia and has difficulty accepting help
- Fairlight is occasionally displaying a dissociated personality
- Tripsin has developed a phobia of green creatures
- Elian has been troubled with some mild, short-term amnesia
- Bazgar already has his share of mental health issues — plus, he’s also experienced things like these before

In one of the fostering rooms, a terrified couple tells of having brought their infant daughter here for fostering. The child is nowhere to be found.

The party members found a stack of corpses all missing heads, plus one corpse dressed as a wealthy merchant. They found a note in his pocket directing him to meet the Rider at the Old House, which Croon later tells them is the old Undiomede mansion. The corpses’ heads appear to have exploded.

Rurik sanctifies the church and then burns it. He drags the statue to Dagon out into the street and destroys it. Tripsin consecrates the temple to Desna as his vision has instructed.

Fairlight wandered off to do some shopping, and then met back up with the party to go see Croon. Croon answered questions about the Neighbors, the Dark Rider, Fostering, and Undiomede House.

The party headed down the dusty swamp path to Undiomede House:
Undiomede House is a 200-year-old, two-story stone manse built on the shore of a small, swampy lake near the edge of the Soddentimbers, 2 miles east of Illmarsh. The house is constructed of mortared stone for both interior and exterior walls. As a result it has weathered the years fairly well despite 7 decades of abandonment. The ground floor has flagstones, while the floors of the second story are wood and sag alarmingly (though they are sound unless
otherwise noted). The ceilings are 10 feet high unless otherwise stated. The wooden roof sags and is riddled with holes, allowing the elements to ravage whatever furnishings once stood in the house. The house’s wooden doors remain intact (though they can easily be broken with a DC 5 Strength check), but all of its windows are now little more than gaping openings in the walls with only a few fragments of glass in their remaining wooden frames. The house consists of two wings around a central dome with a cupola and widow’s walk. Unlike the wooden roof covering the rest of the house, the stone dome is still intact.

Inside the house, they found the central circular section of the house was built around an old ritual site. They were attacked by a Marsh Giant, then they found one of the moits of Shub-Niggarath along with a tome on the Outer Gods of the Dark Tapestry in the central altar. Elian and Tripsin investigated this, while Rurik and Bazgar eliminated the moit using a frost spell. Rurik then disintegrated the altar with no effect. They explored part of the main floor, and discovered the Dark Rider’s abandoned starving and dehydrated horse. Tattiana began caring for it.

Upstairs they discovered the Vizier Albor Voltiaro searching a room. Once he was dead, the slugspawn that had infected him exploded from his skull and attacked them, as well. Bazgar and Fairlight also killed the slugs that emerged from him. The party located a round disk of sorts that may have something to do with the Phase Door lock in the circular entrance.

In the nursery, they found a page from Manus Undiomede’s journal, explaining the end of this family line and that the Undiomedes not only participated in the Pact, whatever that is, but their founding ancestor is the one who forged the Pact. Manus killed his father when he discovered what was to become of his baby sister.

The party, upon further exploration of the upper floor, was attacked by two Hounds of Tindalos that materialized in the master bedroom. Bazgar found something in the attic, and then took the stairs up to the cupola where he saw a huge monster land on the dome above.

The party fought not just one, but two, Shantak on the roof / cupola / widow’s walk.

At the end of this battle, sorely bruised and beaten, the party heard an infant begin to wail. They stormed back into the mansion and located the babe in the arms of the last vicar. The vicar placed the child on the ground and prepared to defend himself. Rurik, surprising everyone, targeted and killed the baby. Fairlight immediately resurrected the child. Here we leave most of the party members wandering about the compound aimlessly with haunted eyes and demeanors.

Day 72

The party is camped about 1 hr outside of Illmarsh; they set up watches. Bazgar waited until Rurik was asleep and then put his hand in water. The ploy works, and Rurik wakes up warm and damp. In retaliation, he inks everyone’s face except Tattiana (who was on watch).

The next morning, they make their way into Illmarsh and start asking around about the dark rider. They’re told that “no one has been through in months, except for Gaster Lucas.” Gaster Lukas is an import/export merchant in town to set up some deals. Elian, Tripsin, and Tattiana investigate his room at the end and see that it hasn’t been occupied for days. The other rented rooms show evidence of recent stays, but nothing of interest.

Meanwhile Rurik and Bazgar question the barkeep at the Wall-Eyed Kraken but get no info. Fairlight learns that Gaster is tall and heavier, with gray hair, and dresses like he has coin. They also learn that Horace Croon, the inventor, has a house here in town.

Their nosiness attracts the attention of the Mayor, Early Greedle. He sends the sheriff to escort them to his office where he comes clean: there have been disappearances, and he feels like a puppet of the Vizier (HMFIC at the Recondite Order of the Indomitable Sea, the local temple to Gozreh). He asks for the party’s help in resolving the disappearances and finding any information that will help him depose the Order.

The party is firmly escorted from the Temple, but Elian and Rurik manage to use invisibility and Ghost Sound to sneak back in. They find four “priests” chanting “Dagon, Dagon,, R’lyeh, Dagon,” and eventually end up killing them. They are just about to explore further when TO BE CONTINUED flashes on the screen.

Day 69 pt 3 - 71

By 6pm that evening, they had retired to the Flute and Strings Inn in Thrushmoor. Bazgar found a trader to sell him another keg of black powder. Fairlight noticed two men playing Mumblety-Peg, one of whom was cheating. He and Elian helped the cheated man get his money back.

The morning of Day 70, Tripsin received his info on the Way from Cesadia. Then they set out for Illmarsh. Just an hour or so outside of Thrushmoor, they came up the inventor Horace Croon, attempting to bring his boat to pier during a sudden storm. They party looked on as they boat crashed, and then they helped Croon to shore. During this time, they were ambushed by Naga. That evening, the party members had some odd dreams.

Rurik: dense fog – he must search to find his salvation
Fairlight – facing a group of people and asking them questions, suddenly realizes they can’t all be telling the truth.
Bazgar – scaling a mountain, he gets tot he top to see an army charging up the other side.

After rising on Day 71, the party gets most of the way to Illmarsh before dark. They will only have about an hour or so of travel before reaching the town.

Day 67-69

The party decided to lay in wait for the WW reps to come back to the warehouse. While waiting, Bazgar went through the books in the office and discovered that the warehouse was simply a front for the organization. Most of the equipment and food stores here are not even documented in the ledgers.

As the three men enter, Bazgar engaged them, prompting a fight. The party defeated the WW reps and then spent the next day selling off the contents of the warehouse. Following the sale, hey burned the warehouse down. Rurik spent the day consecrating the bodies of those killed. On the morning of day 69, the party followed the river down to Thrushmoor, where Tattiana took down a wild boar for their meal.

The decided to investigate the treasure marked on the map from the ogres and located a small metal statuette of Calistria (goddess of trickery, lust and revenge), the image of a slender woman with a wasp for a head. They also found part of a skeleton pinned down by an anchor – his bony wrist still wore a bracelet with the words “The Sleepless” engraved on it.

They used magic to speak with the skull and learned that this man, Pietro, was killed by his lover’s husband. He asks that they bury his remains next to his love, Maria Bissonnette-Sardou. While they are “speaking,” Tripsin summons the spirit of Pound who tells them that Bazgar Ungrav is indeed alive.

Day 67

On the morning of Day 67, the young dwarf they party has come to know as “Pound” tells a story. In this story, the tale of Clan Hammerhaft and Five Kings Mountains is revealed to the party members and they discover that the dwarf is named Bazgar. Bazgar tells them that the one he knew as “Pound” was actually killed by a Priest of Torag.

All of this is rather strange and disconcerting to the team, however, they listen readily and seem to accept Bazgar as one of their own.

The party move through Rozenport, speaking to Major Cromwall, Fergus Deadblaze, and finally, Mayor Sharpbrook before finally receiving 600 gp for the heads of the cave trolls and hill giants removed from the city over-look. One of the party members asks about any news of the Whispering Way, and due to his exceeding diplomacy, is directed via a crude map to a large warehouse in town called “Morehouse Wares.” Inside, they discover a trap door down into a series of caves. Inside one of the cave alcoves, they unfortunately open a chest containing a powerful sedative gas and each of them falls fast asleep.

When they awake, they find themselves stripped of valuables, gear, and weaponry, and chained to a tall metal pole in the center of a disc that is secured in four places by chains to the area surrounding it. A total of 8 guards are there, at 2 least two of whom are manning the machinery and preparing to drop the party members deep into a spike abyss.

One by one, they manage to break their bonds and narrowly escape instant death. The guards are defeated and one is saved for questioning. He relates that a man named “Mathieu Chiquet” hired him and he knows only that the man intended to send a message to whomever is directing the party toward the Way.

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. :)

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.

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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