Our penultimate instalment ended with Alvranna slumping out of the haunted mourning maiden with deep, bloodless, holes where the spectral spikes penetrated all over her body. With the perils of the torture chamber defeated, our heroes take a look at the skeletal figure on the rack.
The long dead corpse on the rack is surrounded by several discarded knives, branding irons, and pliers. The large, bloodstained wicker basket which had contained the animated hands sits at the head of the rack. Examining the body reveals the grisly truth of its demise: broken bones, severed hands, dislocated hips and shoulders and numerous long, thin needles that have been driven into the ears, eye sockets, elbows, hips, and knees. The skeleton also has a shattered jaw where a metal disk has been wedged in. Obviously the object that was used to shatter that part of the face and extracting it reveals it to be the warden’s badge and that the poor, tortured soul on the rack must have been Hawkran.
With the badge in hand and Alvrana’s wounds healed by Prior Daniel, another discovery is made. A secret door in the eastern wall that opens into some sort of natural passage! The rough stone walls of this natural cavern drip with moisture, leaving stagnant pools of water on the uneven floor… which then starts to move! Now understanding why the earlier rooms were so dust free, the perambulating puddle is identified as a grey ooze! The potent acid this ooze secrets will make short work of any organic or metallic material, how can it possibly be defeated?! Grit, once again, comes to the rescue with his stony fists entirely immune to the ooze’s corrosive touch.
The passageway opens into the north west corner of the cellblock. With only one remaining, this must be “The Nevermore”. Several iron doors line the walls of this partially ruined cellblock—the doors themselves hang askew on their hinges, revealing empty cells beyond. Partially burnt wooden support timbers still function to the north, while to the south they’ve collapsed and caused cell walls to crumble as well. Rivulets of water drip down the southwestern wall to create a shallow pool in this ruined portion of the room, with overflow filling an oubliette hole in the middle of the room nearly to the rim.
Just moments after entering there’s a sharp drop in temperature and blood begins to weep from the walls. Worse yet, the droplets start to coalesce into a letters, starting to spell out names in a familiar hand writing… A combination of the haunt siphons and Prior Daniels holy power quickly put an end to this ghoulish spectral activity. The writing was undoubtedly the Splatter Man, has he finally been defeated?
A blood curdling howl answers, as the shade of the Splatter Man leaps from the flooded oubliette in the centre of the room! The Splatter Man starts his assault by floating through the walls to cast an insidious spell… As a master summoner, Ashryn realises that he’s summoning a horde of dire rats! As a master strategist, Alvrana realises that rats don’t have hand and can’t operate mechanisms so dashes over to the cell to close the door on them and trap them in. Again, Prior Daniel’s holy fury is best suited to this fight but what was that that the old lady told Ashryn? ‘His words have power over him; tear the pages of his life to weaken his resolve’? His spellbook! Ripping the Comprehend Languages spell from the book, the Splatter Man screams in anguish. A volley of magic missiles whistle through the air, each finding a different mark. He was a powerful wizard in his day so the damage is significant! “What about a more powerful spell…” Already a master at summoning, Ashryn shreds the Summon Monster IV spell holds no interest to her and is almost instantly rewarded with a blood curdling shriek… “I could have used that, you know I want to study magic!”, Alvranna wailed. Thankfully, for her, the Splatterman fell before Ashryn could reach the next page and almost straight away a shift in the atmosphere could be felt as Vesorianna’s spirit reasserted control over the prison.
Heading back upstairs to Vesorianna’s mortal remains, her husbands badge is handed over, as promised. Using the warden’s badge symbolic authority over the unrest she’s able to actually cleanse the ruin entirely, stripping it of both haunts and the angry ghosts of the five prisoners forever. As she does so, she sighs in thanks to the PCs as she fades away as well, the warden’s badge settling softly to the ground as she vanishes. The badge, however, remains and continues to glow softly from then on, and functions as a rod of lesser ectoplasmic metamagic. Ravengro is now forever free of the restless spirits from the old prison!
The villagers could already feel the stifling oppression that had been suffocating them had lifted and were waiting on the victorious party with cheers and gifts as they returned. That’s not all that was waiting for them… there was also a mysterious letter…
To whom it may concern,
If you are reading this, then congratulations. The ghosts of Harrowstone have been banished, and you are in all likelihood the ones responsible. I am impressed by your victory; enough so to nearly eclipse the fact that I would much have preferred your quest to fail. Please don’t be offended by this; I have nothing against you personally, but I was rather looking forward to observing the unleashing of Harrowstone’s spirits, and the resulting effects on Ravengro.
I suppose I should explain a few things. Firstly, as you may have already surmised, the previous visitors to Harrowstone, the ones whose actions precipitated the threat to Ravengro, were there at my behest. That being said, however, the endangerment of the town was in no way my, or their, intention. The mission they were there on was not of your concern; suffice it to say they accomplished their goals and departed, unaware of the potential consequences to the prison’s ghostly inhabitants. It was only while reviewing their actions that I realized the opportunity which they had accidentally unlocked— the chance to witness firsthand the spectral multitudes being freed of their shackles and, more than likely, claiming Ravengro as a literal ghost town. I thought it unlikely that any of Ravengro’s inhabitants posessed the intellect to discern what was going on, or the skill to prevent it; yet knew that outside interference might still prevent the release of the spirits, hence this letter.
I want you to know that, had this spectral emancipation been my primary intent, I would have been most angry with you, and felt obligated to destroy you for your interference. Fortunately for you, my lost opportunity was an unlooked-for one, and hence my only emotion at its loss is mild disappointment. Therefore, I bear you no ill will, and indeed hope that, should our paths cross again, that our interests might be more aligned to each other. Your triumph in Harrowstone marks you as a cut above the verminous rabble who largely populate this world, and I would much prefer to know those of such potential as allies rather than foes. Still who can say what the future holds?
Things found this session:
+1 keen longsword (Keen: This ability doubles the threat range of a weapon)
+1 mithral dagger (Mithral weapons count as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals)
ring of protection +1.
Rod of lesser ectoplasmic metamagic: The wielder can cast up to three spells per day that have full effect against incorporeal creatures, as though she were using the Ectoplasmic Spell feat. Limited to affecting spells level 3 and lower.