Carrion Crown (GGG)

Session 1
The Last Will and Testament of Petros Lorrimor

Saddened at receiving an invitation to the funeral of their old friend, Professor Petros Lorrimor, our heroes have travelled from distant lands to reach the mist-shrouded land of Ustulav.

Greeted by the good professor’s grieving daughter, Kendra, Tey, an inquisitor of Erastil, and Kahless, a half-orc cavalier from Lastwall, had the honour carrying the coffin to its grave site in the Restlands. The two attendant Councilmen, Vashian Hearthmount and Gharen Muricar, volunteered to share the load while Ashryn and Alvrana followed behind with Kendra and the remaining mourners; Tavernkeeper Zokar Elkarid, his 13-year-old son Pevrin, (yes, Pevrin. PEVrin) and Jominda Fallenbridge, Ravengro’s apothecary and one of the professor’s good friends.

As the sombre procession made it’s way along the Dreamwake path to the Eversleep, a mob of angered townsfolk blocked the way ahead. Their spokesman and ringleader, retired farmer and soldier Gibs Hephenus, tried to halt the funeral:

‘That’s far enough. We been talking, and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin’ in the ground here!’

Kendra is swift to respond, her sadness swiftly transforming into anger. ‘What are you talking about?’ she cries out. ‘I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He’s waiting for us! The grave’s already been…’

’You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.” ’Necromancy!? Are you really that ignorant?”

The mob attacked, hoping to knock our heroes to the ground and take the coffin to be buried in an unmarked grave downstream. Ashryn was quickest of wit, leaping before the mob of angry men, pleading that they be allowed to pass in peace. The sudden appearance of this lightly-clad, young female bouncing before them seemed to fascinate some of the lonely farmhands who dropped their weapons as if under some sort of spell, but the others still approached, intent on knocking out the pallbearers.

The mighty swing of the half-orcs sword literally brushed opponents aside, had it not been sheathed they have surely been split in two. With the inquisitors help, the mob would have been easily been subjugated were it not for one man: Old Man Grimes.

Grimes, the toothless, long-retired, octogenarian farmer, effortlessly held our heroes in abeyance. Summoning the primal power of her patron, Ashryn struck him with a wicked curse, but the dark energies simply slipped off him. Tey swung a blow of his morning star that would knock-out any man alive only to have Grimes deftly knock it aside with his rusty old rake. Seeking to end this folly, Kahless gathered all of his might and struck Grimes with a mighty blow, but Grimes man simply stood there unperturbed, insisting that the half-orc ‘Gert orf my laaand’. Thankfully, for our heroes, the appearance of the towns holy man, Father Grimburrow, was enough to scare off Grimes, who gave one last defiant shake of his blunt rake before scampering back home.

The rest of the ceremony passed without incident. Grimburrow gave a heartfelt sermon to pass the professor to Pharasma’s care and Tey impressed the local attendees with some warm gratitude for all the professors great past deeds. As everyone made their way home, our heroes retired to the Lorrimor place with Kendra to await the reading of the will.

Vashian Hearthmount, head of the Council and the town’s acting solicitor, arrived an hour later to read the will. The late professor asked that our heroes spend a month in the town to aid her finding her feet. He also tasked them with returning some particularly dark and dangerous tomes to his colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt. In return, he would pay each 100 platinum coins on completion of the task.

Vashian, disturbed at the mention of such dangerous and dark books, insisted that they remain in the Lorrimor place until our heroes departure to Lepidstadt. There were already obvious tensions in the town over Professor Lorrimor’s research and given the implied danger of these books, perhaps there was some validity to their concerns. He left giving an ominous warning to take care on the journey to Lepidstadt as there seems to be news that The Beast is on the prowl again.

Kendra brings the locked chest of tomes from the study, but when opened, a relatively new book lies unexpectedly on top of the others, the words ‘Read me now!’ scratched in to the cover. It’s the professors journal and several of the entries are circled in red, the most recent of being the very day he died.

The entries circled all concern a group he calls ‘the Whispering Way’. He speaks of them as far back as ten years ago but more recently mentions of the Way having an interest in Ravengro, starting from two months ago. The Whispering Way seemed to be interested in Harrowstone prison and the professor, suspecting they were looking for someone who died there on the night of the fire, tried to make his own investigations.

His efforts were hampered by some sort of spectral force, mentioning odd symbols etched along the foundations that he was unable to transcribe due to the interference of ‘ghosts’. He was going to seek assistance in a false crypt in the Restlands, knowing that the church of Pharasma stowed the tools to defend against spirits there long ago.

The final entry seems hastily written, mentioning the urgent need to return to Harrowstone/ ‘It is imperative the Way does not finish’, he writes along with it being too late to update his will should the worse happen. It was written the day he died.

Using the professors personal library for research, our heroes discover a disturbing connection. If someone discovers too much about the Whispering Way, they’ll be murdered. In particular, their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead. The professor was found near an outer wall of Harrowstone, his face and neck crushed by a fragment of a gargoyle that had fallen on him in a ‘tragic accident’.

Returning to the graveyard in the dead of night, the false crypt is found exactly as Professor Lorrimor described. Alvrana effortlessly despatches it’s only inhabitants, two giant centipedes, one of which seemed particularly fond of Kahless’s face, to find an array of ghost hunting equipment.

It’s been a long emotional day for all concerned, what with the funeral, the fight simply to have a good man buried, the awful revelation that he may have been murdered then, finally, the excursion to the crypt, so everyone prepares to turn in for the night. Everyone, that is, except Kahless, who heads out to sleep in the garden with his horse, not wanting to befoul the ladies of the house with foul visage, as he howls a curse at the orc who defiled his poor mother with his dark seed into the night air… The ladies of the house are largely indifferent to this and head straight to bed.

Ashryn’s sleep is disturbed by violent dreams of dismembered bodies and rivers of blood, waking with a start at the horror of the scene. As the dream starts to slip away she wonders, ‘was that a voice calling me deeper in to the woods…’ but before she can dwell on this further, there’s sounds of a commotion outside.

There’s a crowd gathering at the monument of Lyvar Hawkran, the brave warden of Harrowstone prison who died in the fire. The statue has be vandalised! A large ‘V’ has been drawn in blood at the statues base, with more blood splattered on and about the statue. Was Ashryn’s dream a portent of what was going to happen? What does the ‘V’ mean? Who is responsible? More importantly, how much XP was earned up to this point?

700 XP each.

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Session 2
A new face, stirges and a cliffhanger

Day 2 in Ravengro and at the end of the last session, much to the delight of Councilman Gharen Muricar, the young ladies of our team had volunteered to scrub the towns monument to the warden of Harrowstone Prison.

Kendra, in a show of appreciation of the hard work they put in and for their assistance thus far, offers to take the party in to town for a meal at Zokar’s tavern, The Laughing Demon.

The party is joined by young Orin, an understudy of Father Grimburrow from the town’s temple. A local of Ravengro, Orin has led a life of dedicated study and knows little of the outside world. While not named in the will, Orin was fond of the professor. Professor Lorrimor was a fountain of knowledge on ways to put down the unquiet dead which had helped Orin, on many occasions, with his studies. After hearing that Gibs had tried to halt the funeral, with the outlandish claim that Lorrimor was a necromancer, he decided to offer his assistance to Kendra.

After being subjected to Zokar’s puntastic dishes names (how poor Pevrin has put up with that his whole life is anyone’s guess) a good meal is had by all. Kendra makes some suggestions for places in the town that could help with researching the prison and the prisoners; the town’s school, The Unfurling Scroll, the town hall and the Temple of Pharasma. Discussions are interrupted, however, from screams from outside.

Rushing out, our heroes see a pair of stirges attacking some performers at the town squares gazebo. They’re quickly dispatched but not before noticing that they seemed somehow attracted to and entranced by the music…

Returning to the Lorrimor place, more research is done in to Harrowstone, learning of Hawkran’s sacrifice, activating the deadfall to stop the prisoners escaping to Ravengro even though it meant he’d be trapped in there with them.

Despite Kedra’s insistence that he’s welcome to stay indoors, Kahless spends another night weeping about his hideous form and shouting curses to the moon about his fathers foul seed, however, is interrupted by a vision of ghostly cart tracks forming on the road outside. The tracks lead to Harrowstone and from the impression made it would appear to be a heavy laden cart drawn by a team of horses, like a prisoner transport perhaps? Before further analysis can be done the apparition fades into the night…

Day 3 in Ravengro and our party find the urge to do some shopping. Alvrana takes a particular interest in Jorfa‘s forge but, alas, there’s no easy pickings to be had.

Orin and Ashryn head separately out to the temple to convince Father Grimburrow to allow the use of their records to investigate the prisoners. On their way the encounter five completely uncreepy local girls playing a skipping game, it’s song in Varisian. Ashryn befriends the children, with a little help from Noot, but they don’t know anything more on the origin of the song. Even though they only know the full information of the Mosswater Marauder, it’s clear that the children’s verse somehow related to the five prisoners that were interned in Harrowstone’s last days.

Grimburrow grudgingly allows Orin access to the temple records to see if any information can be found on the remaining four prisoners. After a long day’s searching, our intrepid heroes find out about the Piper of Illmarsh who fed his pet stirges on the blood of his victims. Could yesterday’s incident at the town square be connected?

With much on their minds our team return home with Kendra. Discussion of today’s revelations is interrupted by a knocking at the door. A little surprised, Kendra heads to answer the door but as she does the knocking changes, first to a thumping then what sounds like several hands beating the door.

The door crashes open as two zombies burst through the splintered frame, the lead zombie looks recently dead, it’s clothes fairly new with no sign of rot or decay. As Kendra looks up to see it’s ruined face, as it crushed under a heavy weight, realisation suddenly hits her that it’s her father, Professor Lorrimor!

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Session 3
Zombie Attack! Third night in Ravengro

It can be easy to boast about how you would act, how brave you’d be in the face of adversity, but the truth is that until you’re toe-to-toe with horror, staring it in it’s rotten, maggot ridden face, you’ll never know.

Kendra’s panic and flight from the zombies is understandable. Losing her father was hard enough, harder still when it transpires he may have been murdered by the Whispering Way but then to have his reanimated corpse burst into the family home in a murderous rage, well, it’s more than most could bear.

Perhaps it was the sheltered life in the temple, his tender age or that he was stuck by a fragment of the door as it burst open but Orin dropped to the floor, unconscious, a dark pool forming by his robes.

Alvrana did not flee but bravely stood her ground. While slow, the zombies unfortunately had the upper hand with their sudden appearance and Alvrana also fell as one sank it’s teeth deep into her collar.

As much as Kahless might try to deny his orcish blood it sang with the glorious song of battle as he quickly dispatched his former colleague, Professor Lorrimor as he split him in twain from head to crotch. Spotting an opening, Ashryn was quick to Alvrana’s aid to stop her bleeding out on the floor.

More zombies came, a reanimated hound burst through the hall window, but all were quickly put down even with Alvrana hovering on the edge of death. Sheriff Caeller, having heard the commotion on his patrols, burst in the house, his deputies in tow, having conveniently just missed the action.

Having recovered from her initial shock, Kendra explained what happened. Concerned for the towns safety, Sheriff Caeller and his deputies sent for Father Grimburrow and coordinated a sweep of the town, should there be any more undead on the loose. He also sent our heroes to the towns grave site, the Restlands, to make sure nothing else was making it’s way to town.

The Restlands was initially uneventful but while searching the grounds something caught Ashryn’s attention. It was a grave stone bearing Alvrana’s name with the inscription:

Come to my world,
and be as I;
as I am now,
soon you will be;
embrace your end and witness me

The date, 4661. The same year Harrowstone burned down. Ashyrn called Alvrana to look but as soon as she looked back it was a word, old headstone as plain as any other, it’s true inscription long worn away.

A portent of death so close to her near-death experience was not a welcome event! To make matters worse, as they left that particular cluster of graves three skeletons rose to attack. Skeletons are no match for our team, with Kahless astride Aegis all but single handedly dispatching them.

The Restlands cleared, Sheriff Caeller arrived with his deputies and Vauran Grimburrow. As the town was now secure, they would hold a vigil to make sure no more dead escaped their graves. This presented an interesting opportunity; with all eyes on the Restlands no one would notice if Alvrana was to break in to the town hall…

Tey and Kahless, being rather less dainty that the rest, volunteered to make their excuses to head back to the Restlands to make sure they stay there as long as possible while Alvrana practised her craft. Sure enough, the records in the town hall proved useful. Alvrana read about one particularly nasty prisoner called Hean Feramin, the Splatter Man. The Splatter Man was obsessed in the power of names, particularly how they could be used to terrify and control his victims. Hadn’t Alvrana’s name just appeared on a gravestone with a date coinciding with the Splatter Man’s firey death? This wasn’t her night…

Reconvening at the Lorrimor place, it’s hastily made secure before a well deserved rest.

Day 5

In the morning everyone realised that Orin is still hasn’t regained conciousness from last nights attack and might need professional attention. The silver lining is that when Kendra takes him to the temple for Grimburrow’s assistance, he finds it hard to refuse her plea for access to the records. Another day hitting the books and another piece of the puzzle, this time Father Charlatan.

As the light fades after a hard days research, our team has the brilliant idea of making their first visit to the notoriously haunted Harrowstone in the dead of night. What could possibly go wrong?

Kahless, riding his trusty steed Aegis, was first to cross the threshold of the outer wall into the prison ground. As he did so he experienced a sudden rush of claustrophobia and the split-second sensation that his skin was on fire. While it didn’t phase the stoic half-orc it did spook Aegis. While he took the time to calm her down, the rest investigated the ruins of the prison.

Ashryn, tried to investigate the ruins of the old wardens cottage but it was apparent that not only was anything of value long gone but the building was structurally unsound. Moving on, the west balcony was next to get to be explored.

A large, rectangular block of stone rests on this weather-beaten stone balcony, while ruined wooden benches line the eastern wall under a row of tiny, barred windows above. A stout wooden door sits in the wall near the northern end of the balcony.

Near the stone block lay an old scythe, the regions execution tool of choice but no sooner had our heroes set foot on the balcony than the scythe began to rise, brought to life by the angry spirits of the many prisoners executed here. After a long, seemingly fruitless fight, our heroes eventually shattered the scythe. Realising that it may be best to wait for daylight, our heroes headed back to town.

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Session 4
Another new face and more of the puzzle revealed...

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!

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Session 5 - The shopping trip
Prior Daniel remembers the plot, loses the plot, and Tey goes inquisiting

After an already eventful day – the discovery of Gibs‘s bloodied war razor, his arrest, a visit to Harrowstone, transcribing the strange runes mentioned in Professor Lorrimor’s journal, a battle with skeletons, and an even more daring battle with a shrubbery – our five heroes head back to home to the Lorrimor place.

Ashryn presents the transcription to Kendra but she was unable to determine what the Whispering Way could have been doing. Seeking guidance, Prior Daniel meditated, seeking guidance from Pharasma. Ashryn and Alvrana, on the other hand, decided to peruse Kendra’s wardrobe for a good outfit for going out for a drink.

A some point during Daniel’s meditation there was an indiscernible shift, like something had just changed. Looking around the room he noticed the window was different. Where there was once a shuttered window there was now steel bars. The view looks out over a mist-shrouded hill, in the distance of which can be seen the flickering lights of a town. Turning back to the room, where there once was a comfortable bed there’s now a pile of mouldy straw and a battered, rusting chamber pot. He notices his name slowly appearing on the wall above where his bed used to be, one letter at a time written in dripping blood.

Just before the last letter appears, Daniel comes back round – he’s still sitting in his meditative pose in one of the rooms in the Lorrimor place. Relieved, Daniel gets up to head back down stairs but as he turns towards the door he see that the bloodied scrawl is still there above the bed!

Clearly perturbed, he calls out for Kendra to come up to the room. Everyone poured in to see what had so badly shaken Prior Daniel and there, written in the same bloodied Splatter Man-sque letters as the memorial desecrations was the letters ‘D A N I E ’, the blood still wet.

A cursory examination revealed of the blood revealed it was, in fact, real. This was no illusion but there was a residual trace of magic, perhaps explaining how it got there.

In his day, the Splatter Man spelling out your name would mean certain death once the final letter was written. With only the ‘l’ to go, it would seem that Daniel has been marked as a target and, understandably, was clearly shaken. Perhaps trying to take his mind off things, Alvrana and Ashryn resume to talking about dresses, how drunk they’ll get, the shopping trip for Kahless’s armour, and so on.
This, unfortunately, didn’t go down as well as it could have and, in an uncharacteristic outburst, Prior Daniel unleashed the wrath of the almighty Pharasma.

Suitably chastened, Ashryn, Alvrana and Kahless head to town, under Daniel’s watchful eye. Some skillful negotiation saw the sale of the Spirit Planchette but something else caught, Alvrana’s eye. A Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone which had been mistake for a simple gem and significantly under priced!

An honest person would do the right thing and point out to the money lenders, Luramin Taigh & Quess Yearburn, that they’d made a mistake. There was no hesitation in doing the ‘right’ thing, Alvrana conspired with Ashryn to try and convince them to sell it for even less, with a promise of split profits on a future sale. The proprietors of the Silk Purse, however, are shrewd and while they didn’t catch on to any foul play, wouldn’t let it go for less than the asking price.

On to the Ravengro General Store where Luthko & Marta Avanaki were initially unwilling to part with their family heirloom but a stirring speech from Daniel convinced them that it was a waste for such a fine suit of armour to go unused when it could be used for a just cause. With the armour bought, for a fair price, Alvrana and Ashryn counted over the change to see if they had enough left over to swindle the Silk Purse. They did and they did.

With both all parties satisfied at the good deeds and mischief achieved, the next stop was to The Laughing Demon for a night cap of some liquid ghosts to unwind. Unfortunately unwinding wasn’t to be on the cards because the cards, quite literally, exploded! A few locals were playing a game of Towers with a Harrow deck nearby when one of them cries out triumphantly as he put his winning hand down on the table. As he did so, the five cards suddenly burst into flames that flare up to a height of nearly 2 feet and sent all the nearby staggering to their feet in a panic. Ashryn, caught in the flash, was momentarily blinded. Unable to see, she heard the faint, muffled sound of numerous people screaming below, as if there were burning victims in a basement.

When the flare ended, the cards remains on the table, unscorched. The card that ‘triggered’ the flames was The Uprising — a card that shows a small army of enraged peasants marching amid a field of flames. The sounds Ashryn heard had aroused suspicion so Alvrana took to the shadows and slipped into the basement. A thorough search revealed nothing, well, perhaps a couple of bottles of wine that Zokar would have undoubtedly really like the group to have. Alvrana saved him the effort of having to wrap them and stuffed them deep in her cloak and headed back upstairs…

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Session 6 - Town meeting
Return of the Tey - The Inquisitor Strikes Back

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?

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Session 7 - Day 8 in Ravengro
The branding irons make their mark

Heading towards the first doorway, the door to this room has fallen from its hinges. The rectangular chamber beyond seems to have once been a chapel, but now thick sheets of what appear to be cobwebs drape everything within in gossamer threads.

Taking to the shadows, Alvranna heads into the room, quite as a mouse… unfortunately the rooms occupants are quite adept at hunting mice and their myriad eyes more than capable of picking out even our very discreet elf.

The three giant spiders that leap down are quickly dispatched and searching the chapel reavels a cabinet covered with webs in the northwest wall still contains a few religious supplies, including five vials of holy water, a scroll of lesser restoration, and a wand of cure light wounds (15 charges).

Noticing the inherent danger of simply walking into a room unaccompanied, Ashryn thinks that seems like such a fun idea and wanders into the next room all by herself to find a set of snapping animated manacles heading straight for her! Prior Daniel expertly dispatches the animated fiend with his hold might and then it’s off to the next room…

Several rusty iron tubs sit in this room, along with washboards, metal buckets, and heaps of moldy clothing. At first there’s nothing of interest here but Ashyrn notices a shape struggling within the mound of clothing, as if a small child or animal were buried within. ‘Could that be another bunny?!’ she must have thought, heading over to investigate but a a strong leather straitjacket flies into unholy life, seeking to throttle our perky little summoner.

Alvranna is quick off the mark and lets loose two arrows before the jacket even gets a chance to move. Despite a solid strike, the jacket keeps coming, even after taking further blows from the rest of our heroes until Noot’s slips inside, filling the jacket until it strains at the seams and bursts in a shower of old leather scraps.

Tangled mounds of moth-eaten fabric sit on several wooden tables, each surrounded by workbenches. Various sewing tools – shears, needles, rolls of thread, boxes of chalk, and other objects lie scattered over the floor, while the arm of what appears to be a skeleton protrudes from a stained heap of fabric to the west.

As our heroes enter, a spectral form manifests immediately before them, rising from the mound of moldering fabric that housed the skeletal arm. The spirit appears as a beautiful young woman dressed in a tattered but lovely blue dress. In fact, much about the ghost is blue, including her hair, the tears that run from her pale blue eyes, and the clouds of smoke that drift from her lips when she speaks

You must be the new guards, Pharasma be praised! We must hurry, the prisoners are revolting !

Now much can said about our team of heroes qualities. They are sharp of wit and sword, brave, capable combatants and fearless. Subtlety and diplomacy, however, are skills that largely elude them so it fell to Prior Daniel to tactfully converse with this restless spirit. It was the ghost of the warden’s wife, Vesorianna Hawkran who died after the guards had locked her here for her safety but forgot she was there in the panic of the fire. She was aware that the spirits of the five prisoners were growing in power since the disappearance of her husbands spirit and pleaded for help putting them to rest. She was also able to reveal, as she told her tale how the professor met his untimely end.

Leaving  Vesorianna behind, they move to a stark room containing a low stone bench against the north wall and a ruined desk to the west that sits under three narrow, barred windows. An old brass brazier lies on its side to the south, surrounded by several rusty branding irons. Suddenly the air is full of the scent of burning flesh as five brands raise into the air, their tips red hot then, suddenly, each one lances towards a different target. The first few missed their marks but one struck Alvranna, searing a brand into her skin. The next would have struck Prior Daniel but at the last moment faltered. The final struck home with Tey, again searing a brand mark into his flesh. Prior Daniel fully healed the wounds, and the burn marks should have faded, but they still remain. Perhaps it’s some echo of the spiritual energy of the prison and will remain until the prison is purged?

Harrowstone’s western wing now clear our crew head to the remaining rooms in the eastern section. Several moldy cots lay strewn around the first room, while doors to smaller, more private sleeping cells hang askew to the west. Judging from the rest of this room’s decor, this must have once been the prison’s infirmary. No sooner had the group filed into the room than a hideous, skeletal, ghost-like figure shrieking into existence, exuding an unnatural aura of fear before suddenly turning invisible.

It was a poltergeist and it’s supernatural aura sent Ashryn running for the hills! Kahless, the brave and stoic warrior from Lastwall, soiled his armour and also dashed out the room as fast as his metal laden legs could carry him. Realising it was a poltergeist, an invisible evil spirit, Tey casts Detect Magic to try and locate it. It’s not, however, a invisible magical spirit so it doesn’t help locate it. OK, not magical, undead/evil it needs to be located… Protection from Evil was next. Finally, aha! Detect Evil!

While this was being puzzled out, Prior Daniel flooded the room with the hold power of Pharama, finally banishing the spectral entity. The room, now safe, our team raided it for anything that might be of value. A search of this cluttered room reveals a number of valuable objects—a pair of fully stocked healer’s kits, 3 vials of antitoxin, 2 vials of antiplague, 3 doses of bloodblock, 3 doses of smelling salts, 2 vials of soothe syrup, and 4 potions of cure light wounds.

A huge stone furnace dominates the next room, large enough for a child to climb inside. An ancient fire has burned away the entire east wall the room, providing a panoramic, if eerie, view of the lake beyond. That same lake has gradually expanded into the room, flooding its eastern half.

A brass plate above the furnace reads ‘Old Ember Maw’ but as they approach, it seems to animate into a leering skull-like visage made of metal and bars. It roars, a fire building deep inside ready to strike out.

Having enough of firey encounters already, Alvranna dives out of reach of the face of the furnace. Kahless grabs his shield and prepares to take the brunt of the blast but the haunt is put to rest before it had a chance to send forth it’s firey blast.

Searching the furnace reveals parts of a skull, some ribs, and a few finger bones. Once sifted out of the ashes deep in the furnace, the bones feel hot to the touch. Hurling them into the lake staunches the spirits wrath and destroys the haunt.

Onwards to the final unexplored room on the ground floor and the northeast wall of this room has partially fallen, revealing the dark, murky waters of the pond outside. Moldering training dummies and other similar equipment hint that this room may have once been a training area for the guards. In the northeast part of the room, the floor around a dark, jagged hole is surrounded by black scorch marks.

This is where the fire started and on the approach to the hole to the lower prison, four flaming skulls spring to life and attack. They are no match for our heroes who quickly dispatch them. The ground floor is clear!

A total of 1,500 each taking everyone’s XP to 5,130. Welcome to level 3!!! Summary of loot.

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Session 8 - Day 9 in Ravengro
Super-happy shiny ending?

The players groggily awaken to the sound to Kahless dashing out and a scream from Aegis. Dashing out to see what could have happened our intrepid team is greeted by a small army of undead lead by a skeletal champion…

Foes dispatched this session:

1 x Skeletal Champion
3 x zombie
3 x skeleton
3 x stirges

Treasure:

Breastplate
Heavy steel shield
Masterwork longsword
15gp

551 xp each taking the new total to 5,681, a mere (?!) 3,319 to level 4!

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Session 9 - Day 9 Continued
Into the depths...

Rejoined by our equinophiliac half-orc, our heroes continue clearing the upstairs room. Kahless unwittingly attacks the mortal remains of Father Charlatan, attracting his ghost to haunt him while Ashryn Batu and Alvranna lark about awaking the Piper of Illmarsh.

In the ensuing struggle, Kahless drops to the floor. seemingly dead at first but quickly enshrouded in spectral chains that are slowly choking him to death. Alvranna uses the flute she found in the secret compartment on the ground floor to combat the Piper’s song with only gushing minor amounts of blood from her eyes, ears and finger tips. This, combined with Prior Daniel’s channelled Pharasmin power ends the phantasma foes and our hero’s head down to the basement.

Moment of the game: Faced with the difficult task of climbing a rope in full plate mail, Kahless leaps down the dilapidated lift shaft astride an super-sized, carnivorous, inter-dimensional bunny.

Foes dispatched this session:
16 x skeletons
2 x ectoplasmic humans
Giant stirge
The Piper of Illmarsh
Father Charlatan

Treasure:

Nowt

1455 xp each taking the new total to 7,136. Creeping ever closer to the 9,000 needed for level 4!

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Session 10 - Rabbit stew
Prior Daniel is HANDY to have around...

With the holy-steam still rising off the skeletons Prior Danies has just dispatched, our heroes take stock of their surroundings. The soot-blackened plaques reveal that they’ve just come from Hell’s Basement. As Tey clears the dust from the next plaque he realised two things:

  1. The floor in this dungeon is incredibly clean! The Erastilian vestibule could do with a good spring clean, I must contact the caretaker here, they’ve done a wonderful job…
  2. There is a flickering fiery light up ahead, getting closer, that appears to be coming from an axe wielding ball of fire and bones.

’Don’t worry!‘, Ashryn cries, ’Me and Noot have this covered…’
‘I really hope that doesn’t explode.’, Alvranna muses, as Noot bounds forward.
CRUNCH BOOOMMM! and Ashryn lets out a yelp as the strangely appetizing scent of roast rabbit fills the air.

Giving the blackened, crispy eidolon a rest, Ashryn summons her chirpy little earth elemental, Grit .
‘Go find out what’s in that room, Grit. Run along and tell me what you find.’
GRIT GRIT!’ is closely followed by a soul rending shriek as the wraith of the Lopper springs up from it’s oubliette, delivering a vicious slash to Tey’s throat.

With help from Ashryn’s shield spell, Kahless valiently holds the wraith at bay while Prior Daniel frantically flips through his book of Pharasmin prayers and burial rights. Not distracted from the life-or-death struggle in any way, Grit things he sees a shiny stone and starts digging.

‘Aha!’ cried Daniel and grabbing the Piper of Illmarshes flute plays a mournful dirge, infused with Pharasmas divine influence, and the spectre of the Lopper starts to take on a more physical form. A wicked grin comes across Kahless’s face as the Lopper coalesces and he lunges forward, skewering the Lopper on his lance.

If a rock could smile, Grit would be positively beaming as he hauls up his new found possessions out the oubliette.
GRIT-GRIT!’
‘Well whatchya got there little buddy?’
And as his new found toys are plucked from his excited little hands one-by-one, he finally puffs out of existence as his prized find, a stone of alarm, is begrudgingly plucked from his rocky little hands.

Three prisoners down, two to go but the next is not far away. In the next guard room the macabre work of the broken mind of the Mosswater Marauder is clearly evident on the table, which is strewn with the fragments of his last victims as he desperately tried to reconstruct the skull of his murdered wife.

A ghostly moan fills the air, the bone shards form into snapping, animated monstrosities as the shade of Ispin Onyxcudgel rises his dessicated corpse. ‘Out the way’, Daniel grumbles, as he pushes past. ‘BEGONE!!’ and Mosswater Marauder is no more.

A thorough raid of the hidden guards vault later and the heroes are moving through the empty cells in the area know as Reapers Hold to the prisons torture chamber.

Prior Daniel confidently strides forward, ‘No one fucks with Pharasghhhfffgllmh’ as a disembodied hand leaps to his throat, intent on choking the life from him. Another hand scuttles off into the darkness, ready to pounce…

’Don’t worry, I’ll get it!’ Kahless offers as he unsheathes 5 foot of razor sharp tempered steel. The blood drains from Prior Daniel’s face. Being a half-orc, he’s not as sharp as the greatsword he has about to swing but the reality of his actions do catch up and he instead uses his brute strength to prise the animated hand off the clerics throat.

The hand fails around in Kahless but then turns and attaches to his face! Having just turned the other hand into a tasty but nutritious snack, Noot bounds to the rescue and grabs the hand in his jaws, pulling it off Kahless’s face.

‘Why you little BASTARD!’ < swing> ‘Oh. I think I hurt your bunny…’

The threat now clear, Alvranna scouts the rest of the room. As she approaches the ominous looking iron maiden the door creaks open and she see’s Kendra trapped within, screaming for help. Rushing to her aid the vision suddenly vanishes as the lid slams shut, trapping Alvranna in. The ethereal spikes within feel as sharp and painful as if they were real as she feels them enter all over her body, puncturing flesh and the cold hard metal scraping past bone as the closes. Having earlier grabbed a haunt sipon, Tey activates the device, neutralising the haunt.

Alvranna slumps out the maiden, close to death with bloodless puncture wounds all over her body…

Foes dispatched this session:
Burning/exploding skeleton (he was a prison guard by the name of Gurtis Vortch)
The Lopper
4 x Screaming Severed Heads
The Mosswater Marauder
2 x Crawling Hands
Mourning Maiden

Treasure
So much it needs it’s own post

XP

A total of 1,401 each. This brings the individual scores to 8,537. Only 463xp a piece to level 4!

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