Assisting Sheriff Caeller, Tey spent the remainder of his day questioning Farmer Gibs. It was clear early on that he fully believes he’s innocent, but nevertheless it was his war razor and his waterskin, found on his property covered in blood. Using his detect evil spells he could confirm that Gibs was not intrinsically an evil person but there was a fading evil aura, indicating something else was afoot.
Tey and Sheriff Caeller decided hold a night time vigil over Gibs. He’d been asleep for a couple of hours when a change suddenly came over him. He appeared to awaken and made to exit the cell. He tried the door but when it wouldn’t open he roared in rage and thrashed against the bars. The aura from Detect Evil was now strong. Tey cast Protections from Evil and, as he suspected, Gibs dropped to the floor, unconscious, immediately. It would seem like he’d been under some sort of possession or spell!
Sheriff Caeller discusses that the up-coming town meeting is to find a solution to the problems the town has been having these past few days, that the town has always known (but never liked to talk about or admit) that Harrowstone is haunted, that things taking a turn for the worse has coincided with Professor Lorrimor’s death and that both he and the council know that it’s beyond of him and his deputies. Caeller believes that the town may call on the party to be the solution and, given the towns nervousness, would advise against any incursion into Harrowstone until after the meeting.
Still distrustful over the town council (Straelock had owned the Laughing Demon where Ashryn had heard the sound of screams that sounded like they’d come from a basement) both and Alvrana and Kahless stayed outside. Inside the townhall, the towns tempers were getting short as Councilman Vashian Hearthmount led the meeting. Trying to acknowledge the problems the town had faced, intending to then steer the meeting to discussing the solution, the towns’ folk got angrier and angrier. When it reached a peak, the lanterns seemed to flare, as is fed by the anger, and exploded into a burst of flames!
Prior Daniel, a veritable island of calm in a sea of chaos, set his first priority as helping the good people of Ravengro. Guiding his flock in an orderly fashion to the exit he changed the raging sea of panic to an orderly, steady stream.
Realising they were on the wrong side of flow of people coming out, Alvrana and Kahless attempt to get into the building through the side windows. The lithe elf deftly hops up to balance on the nearest window ledge. Kahless rides, on his trusty stead, to the window at the opposite side and makes a heroic leap to crash through the window. Unfortunately he forgot he was bedecked in 50lbs of steel, hampering his movement somewhat, and slammed squarely into the wall.
Meanwhile, inside, Ashryn and Tey try their best to put out the fires caused by the ignited lamp oil. Prior Daniel, Alvrana and Kahless join the fight, with varying degrees of success and accidentally immolated drapes then, suddenly, 3 disembodied flaming skulls scream through town halls windows. Kahless effortly dispatches the first and Ashryn continues to focus on the flames while Prior Daniel, Alvranna and Tey struggle with the remaining two.
Tey takes a hefty blow whilst a flaming skull snaps at Alvrana, still precariously balancing on the window sill. Unable to cross the room in time to assist, Kahless lobs a javelin at the skull harassing her. It’s a close miss but it sails dangerously close to her face, nearly knocking her back out. In other attempts to ‘help’ Alvrana rocks and sizzling acid also fly dangerously close to her face.
Once the remaining skulls are put to rest the fire is quickly brought under control. The town hall has been saved! Delicately interrupting a very personal conversation about the unbreakable bond between one man, well… part man, and his horse, Councilman Vashian Hearthmount announces that the town has found its heroes to tackle the obvious source of the evil that’s plagued the town these past few days, Harrowstone Prison, with a reward of 500gp each for bringing the menace to an end.
Our groups 8th day in Ravengro dawns as our heroes prepare to tackle the haunted prison. A small crowd of townsfolk has gathered to gift small tokens of their appreciation, not just for what they’re about to do but for saving their lives and the town hall. A woman approaches to offer a reading of the future, to help guide them on their path. While the rest politely decline, Ashryn takes her up on her offer and is taken aside…
As she finishes laying out a spread of Harrow cards she points to the first ‘This represents your past. I can see much tragedy… loneliness. Shame, perhaps? A child without a proper home of family. Even amongst the misfits you find yourself with you know you’ll never fit in… ’
‘But the future? Ah, the future holds greatness’, as the next card is flipped over, ‘but it does not come without its own sacrifice. You’ll be faced with great doubt and fear but you must be strong! You have to walk the dark path, with your head held high, to reach the light. Only then will you find where you belong and inherit the power to right past wrongs.’
‘So let’s see what the cards say of the present, shall we?’ Another card is flipped over, ’You’re not ready, that much is clear. This puts you in great peril in with your current endeavours. Should they fail, all will be overwhelmed. Let’s see if we can’t find something in here that can help you out. With such a bright future, we wouldn’t want your path cut short, after all!’
‘There is much here that is unclear, hidden. You must be vigilant. Events are being watched. The owls are not what they seem…’ The last card is revealed. ‘Ah yes, here we are, your opponent… His source of power before fuels him in still. His words have power over him; tear the pages of his life to weaken his resolve.’
‘That is all I have, my child. Since Aroden’s death, prophecy has been a fickle thing but it would be wise to pay heed to what the cards have to say. It would appear that you have an interesting future ahead of you, if only you are up to the challenge. Good day to you and, who knows, perhaps we’ll meet again.’
With these mysterious words, our heroes head out to face the haunted prison…
Again there was no feeling of dread or pain crossing the threshold of the outer wall this time. Heading to the entrance, they’re greeted by what was once a wide hall flanked by a pair of waiting rooms, but the foyer to Harrowstone now lies in ruins. With little left to hold up the ceiling, the wooden beams above sag dramatically.
Heading through the large oaken doors lead to a foyer, with the walls streaked of mold and the floor a thick, gray carpet of fungal growth. Sturdy wooden doors beckon from every wall. The first door was barely open when they slammed shut, screaming visages of the burned criminals faces pouring from the door frames. The doors were stuck fast. Even the brute strength of Kahless couldn’t budge them.
Channelling the might of Pharasma into the doors, Prior Daniel opened them with ease to head to what appeared to be an auditorium. Several rows of wooden benches, all spotted with mold and sagging with neglect, face a stage walled off from the rest of the room by a wall of iron bars. As Kahless approached the stage, perhaps close to where the prisoners of old might hear their final sentence, the room got suddenly very cold. This was no mere chill, the bars quickly rimed with frost as the temperature dramatically plummeted. As the chill spot was localised to the area in front of the stage, it was easily avoided and Tey dispatched the haunting energy responsible using his spells.
Turning their attention to the door behind the stage, a solid metal door barred the way forward. The lock, untouched since the fire in 4661, must have been a little rusty as it took a couple of attempts from Alvrana to coax the door open. Inside, a bizarre collection of antique goods rests upon wooden shelves that line the room. Several of the items contain tiny tags with labels written in a careful script… and they’re swiftly pocketed but a secret door is also found at the back of the room. This storage area only contains five items: a blood stained handaxe, a collection of holy symbols, a moldy spellbook, a smiths hammer and a tarnished silver flute….
Having collected their spoils, it’s off to investigate the lower west side of the prison. The first room seems to be some sort of administrative area, containing nothing but strewn books and papers. Beyond this, a room that must have been Warden Hawkran’s office which, importantly, had a rather nice looking safe…
Although the locking mechanism was complex, Alvrana rose to the challenge of possible riches inside and deftly opened the safe. It mostly contained various potions but what was going to be the prison guards next pay packet sat there in an envelope at the back.
The lower portion of Harrowstone cleared, it was back to the central corridor to decide on the next destination. The prisons stairs were still there, the stair to the upper floor still clear but the stairs down filled with rubble from the fateful deadfall that was triggered to contain the rioting prisoners below. Leaving the stairs for now, our heroic adventures opened the doorway to the main west wing but what were they to find beyond the door?