You are hereby sentenced to live the remainder of your short life in Harrowstone, which, I hasten to add, is a blessing compared to the extent of your crimes and the suffering of your victims. There you will reside in the misery of your thoughts until such time as you are drawn, hanged, and quartered. May the gods have no mercy on your blighted soul.
The final sentencing of Vance Saetressle (‘The Lopper’) 4661 ar
by Jurisdeclaris Axenris the Third.
As our intepid heroes head for home in the night, the great difficulty they faced in Harrowstone weighing heavily on their mind, a new arrival comes to Ravengro. Prior Daniel, arriving late for the funeral and will reading from Lepidstadt, also heads to the Lorrimor place and is brought up to speed on the suspicious circumstances surrounding Professor Lorrimor’s death.
Morning brought a knock at the door. Not zombies this time but news that there’s been another desecration at the memorial. Exactly the same as the last time, a letter scrawled in blood with more blood splattered around the statue, but this time a letter ‘e’ where it was a ‘V’ before. The angry crowds eventually disperse on the promise of a town hall meeting from Councilman Vashian Hearthmount in two days time. Of the offender, no clues were to be found but it was clear that this is the Splatter Man’s mo. If that’s true who could ‘Ve…’ be?
Prior Daniel, re-examining all the pieces of the puzzle, notices the names on the memorial – that of the 25 guards who dies and the warden’s wife, Vesorianna. Ve. What could it mean? Vesorianna is already dead, how can she be a victim of the Splatter Man? The Splatter Man is also dead, who has suddenly started to copy his signature move?
Rather than awaiting on the answers to simply reveal themselves, our team move to uncovering the details of the final prisoner – The Lopper. As a fellow follower of Pharasma’s teachings, and less of a stranger hailing from Ustulav, Prior Daniel convinced Father Grimburrow to grant access to the temples extensive birth and death records and, finally, some detail on the Lopper has been revealed.
With all the information that can be gleaned locally in their hands, the party return to the Lorrimor place to consider their next move. After much head-scratching, Kendra asked ‘What of the runes etched at the base of the prison? Did you have any luck with them?’ After the last, late-night outing to Harrowstone it was wisely decided to await morning.
Alvrana, not needing sleep to the same degree as the other do, decides to hold a vigil at the memorial. Blending in to the night, she’s near invisible in the darkness and lies in wait until morning breaks. Nothing out the ordinary but as she leaves to return she notices Gibs Hephenus leaving his shack. He lives right by the memorial! If he’s seen something, he’s certainly not let on. Maybe a quick investigation of his house is in order?
While there was nothing of interest in the house, Gibs’ old, blood-stained service war razor was found stashed under a pile of firewood along with a waterskin, presumably used to hold the blood he used on the statue. Rather than confronting Gibs directly, the damning evidence was left as it was until Sheriff Caeller arrived.
Sheriff Caeller examines the evidence while two of his deputies keep guard over Gibs. He not only finds the war razor and waterskin but, digging deeper, the body of a dead rat. It’s throat slit to drain it of blood and it’s clearly days dead. It’s clear to Caeller that it’s not been a plant so he takes Gibs in to custody. Gibs seems defiantly confident that everything’ll be cleared up. professing his innocence. While the evidence points to Gibs, why emulate the Splatter Man? Why now? And what relevance does Vesorianna have Finding out more about the prison and the strange runes mentioned in the professor’s journal might help fill in some gaps.
Heading out in daylight, the journey to the prison is uneventful. Investigating the base of the prison a series of sinuous runes were found, etched and then smeared with blood. The runes go around the entire building’s foundation save for the northeast corner, where part of the building has flooded and the foundation has crumbled away. Ashryn quickly identifies that the runes themselves are written in Varisian, and among numerous magical incantations, repeat the name Lyvar Hawkran several times.
Going round the perimeter of the prison was relatively uneventful. It was noticed that were rats occupying one of the crumbling watchtowers but they were wisely left alone. (GM Note: meaning the XP award for ‘defeating’ the encounter was still awarded) Reaching the northeastern corner the runes stop as the structure collapses into a large, dark pool…
’I’ll jump in and check it out!‘, volunteered the brave Kahless. Swimming through the murky depths, he notices numerous skeletal remains at the bottom of the pool. This was the site of the prisons graveyard, now sunken with subsidence and flooded. ’Nothing odd here, I’ll go back to the surface’, missing that the bones, now disturbed, had started to stir with a life of their own.
As Kahless waded back to shore there were 5 glistening white skeletons pulled themselves from the water closely behind him. Calling on the might of Pharasma, Prior Daniel let forth a burst of positive energy, dealing a significant blow and, with the aid of the others, the skeletons were quickly laid to rest. An expert at hunting all manner of unsavoury things, Tey notices that these were no ordinary skeletons but burning skeletons, normally aflame from head to toe but the dark pool had temporarily quenched the flames. Someone wisely suggested, ‘Lets take the long way round…’
Returning to the southeastern corner, out intrepid heroes spot what is essentially an angry pot plant. Seeing that it’s claimed a previous victim, who may or may not be laden with gold, our mighty warriors ambush the only-slightly animated shrub for an easy kill. Sure enough, the body of an inquisitive gnome is found tangled in the vines at the eastern balcony, with with 24 gp, 3 pp, and a single citrine worth 50 gp in his pouch. Easy money.
Now having recorded the full incantation, Ashryn takes a look at her notes to try and decipher what it could mean. It seems to have been part of a larger ritual that involved both abjuration and necromantic magic. Clearly Warden Hawkran has been of significance but what was the way up to? It’s been about three weeks since Professor Lorrimor’s entry in his journal, have they completed whatever foul task they were up to?
850xp each and onwards to level 2!