Carrion Crown AP

Days 17-18, Lamashan 25-26
Exposition and Exploration

Arising from their short snack and water break, the adventurers made their way into the next room, containing an old brass brazier and various rusty branding irons. Branding irons which rose up, suddenly glowing red-hot, and flew at our brave explorers. Taras and Galifreyna ended up with scarred brands from the encounter before the glowing irons floated back to their resting placed and cooled.

They then found themselves in the prison workshop, strewn about with various sewing paraphernalia and moldering heaps of cloth. And a skeletal arm poking out from one of the mounds… As they entered, the translucent, pale blue form of a young woman rose up and addressed them as “the new guards” come to relieve the cowards who locked her here years ago. They and found the ghost of Vesorianna Hawkran, wife of Lyvar Hawkran, the once warden of Harrowstone.

Vesorianna explained some of the prison’s history, as well as her own. Seeking out her husband when he was late for dinner; the emergency dead-fall being triggered, sealing guards and prisoners alike in the dungeon; a desperate last-ditch attempt by the guards to contain the prisoners by dropping barrels down the supply-lift shaft; the accidental setting fire to the lift; her becoming locked in the workshop as the fire in the dungeon grew out of control; and her eventual demise, along with several other guards and prisoners due to fire or suffocation.

She was also able to confirm many of the groups’ theories on what had been happening around Harrowstone. Black-robed cultists that “spoke only in whispers” had come to the prison and set about inscribing something on the foundation. They had been interpreted by the capture of an old man, presumably the professor. She described a “whirlwind of darkness” that the leader of the black-robed cultists had called forth to kill the professor, and then how they had disguised his death by smashing his head and face with fallen debris. The “villains” then completed their ritual out of her site and she felt and the instantaneous disappearance of her husband’s spirit, long ago constrained to the dungeon he perished in. She relayed how his presence had kept the other ghosts and haunts in check, and with him gone they are rising in power. She has done what she can to fill Lyvar’s position of power in the prison, but something (later identified as relating to the Splatter Man and the bloody letters in town) is sapping her ability to do so and will in time destroy her, releasing the angry spirits from the prison. Vesorianna was able to point out 5 distinct personalities of evil in the prison and tasked the new guardsmen with their defeat and with finding her a symbol of her husband’s office over the prison. With that she would be able to banish the haunts of Harrowstone entirely.

Before Galifreyna could point out the hidden door she had spotted, Taras ran out and bashed down the door to the adjacent room.

Next door, in the old laundry, Elsbeth prodded at a slightly moving pile of moldy old clothes, releasing an animated straight-jacket that flew at her, attempting to wrap and bind her in its clutches. It was quickly doused in oil and set aflame, narrowly missing the imolation of poor Elsbeth, as well.

The gruop elected to spend the night in the prison, barricading the doors to the workshop.

At Vesorianna’s urging, they eventually made their way back to the prison property room and located several items, distinct to each of the 5 major spirits in the prison. The warden’s wife warned the party that while the items may give them an advantage to defeating the spirits, they also carry a dangerous link to the individual spirits they represent.

As the group ascended the stairs to the next floor and began exploring the Western cell block, Galifreyna heard the haunting sounds of a far-off flute. The Piper of Illmarch was near…

(spoiler: they defeated it)

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Days 16-17, Lamashan 24-25
gold and ghosts

Continuing on from the last game, the party explored the area around the pit in the old training room and ventured through the broken wall into the next room. Most prominent in this room was the old furnace, a old stone and metal contraption, reaching far back into the walls, and capped with a face-like opening. A face that became more pronounced and skull-like as it roared at the trespassers and lashed out with a fiery tongue, narrowing missing the group. They poked and prodded at the leering furnace for a few seconds before “tactically withdrawing” into the nearby infirmary.

…which was unfortunately the home of a poltergeist. The Poltergeist coalesced into frightening visibility in the center of the room (sending Hadrian and Orzo fleeing down the hallway), and then disappeared, beginning to telekinetically hurl various instruments at the party members. The group was eventually able to put the angry spirit to rest via a series of positive energy attacks, though Mirram warned everyone that she believes these restless creatures are able to rejuvenate themselves over a period of days. The group, drained of many abilites, spells, and powers, made their way back to town to rest for the night.

In the morning after a brief excursion about town to seek aid in overcoming some of the task before them, the group ventured back up the hill to Harrowstone. Elsbeth was able to obtain a loan of a magical, silver morningstar from the Pharasmin temple, under the understanding that she would use it glorify Pharasma, and that it was to be returned to the temple.

Stepping through the front door, burnt, ghostly faces rushed out of the door, slamming them closed, and disappeared through the various broken down doorways of their previous visit. The party located some small offices housing various old prison documents and spent several hours here, locating more information on the prison and several inmates of interest. They then found the warden’s office and, after pillaging the warden’s safe of documents, petty cash & payroll, and emergency supplies, made their way to the eastern wing.

The prison once housed a small chapel, dedicated to Pharasma, though now inhabited by several Giant Crab Spiders. The group made short work of the vile arachnids, and found a small cache of religious supplies in a cabinet behind the altar. Across the hall is the old Induction Chamber. The sparse, ruined room carried the psychic echoes of years of shame and anger, which over time served to animate a pair of manacles, forever carrying out its role of restraining prisoners. They smashed it.

Taras, under Mirram’s guidance, made a quick lap around the hallway, taking care to step on every tile and stone.

Ended shortly after midday on the 25th of Lamashan, at the prison.

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Day 16, Lamashan 24
Burning rats and flaming skulls

Short version:
Went to the prison. Found some runes inscribed on the foundation and smeared with something. Copied the runes (in Varisian, part of a larger ritual, Abjuration and Necromancy magics, no active magic detected).
Fought a haunted scythe. Set some rats on fire.
Went back to town, talked to some folks.
Went back to the prison at night. Woooo, spooky.
Found a locked metal door.
Found a cold spot, ran through it.
Found a room with a pit, fought some Flaming Skulls.
Ended in the pit room, positions noted on a rather awesome map.

GM Note: yeah yeah, both Dishonored and the new class DLC for Borderlands 2 came out this week…

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Days 12-15, Lamashan 20-23
Of Words and Flames

With the sheriff’s “temporary guests” released, the group met back together at Kendra’s house to plan out the day. They were interrupted by Melchor Runarios, a Chelish farmer whose crops were being ravaged every few nights. He also reported finding large holes in the ground near his fields and seeing greenish-yellow lights in the fields in the early mornings.

The party spent the day digging through Professor Lorrimor’s library, uncovering some more of the history of Harrowstone and the prisoners present during the fire in 4661. After spending several hours in rest that evening, they set out to the Runarios farm, pausing briefly to inspect the goods of a tinker who was in town for the night. A harper traveling with the tinker entertained the townsfolk while they browsed the tinker’s wares. Unfortunately this situation also attracted the attention of several stirges, who attacked the nearby party members. The group made short work of the over-large blodsuckers and continued on to the farm.

Before dawn the next morning, the group found light shining from various holes about the farmer’s field as several cat-sized insects crawled out of the ground and began feasting on the crops (except for one introduced to the joys of Feather Token, Anchor…) The glowing vermin (Fire Beetles) were quickly dispatched and some of their still luminescent guts collected, and later given to Zokar.

Returning to the Lorrimor house, Taras answered an incessant banging on the door and found himself face to face with his old pal Sheriff Caeller and 2 deputies, gently inquiring as to the party’s doing of the night before. The blood-splattering vandal had struck again, this time drawing a large “O” but at the gazebo in the town square instead of the now-watched statue. The well-trod ground did not offer up any clues and the group made their way to the temple for more research, arriving in time to be greeted by a gnomish druid from the nearby town of Spiral’s Bend.

The druid introduced herself as Lorien Alyssia Romana Astrian Shaduron, and spoke briefly with Mirram as the Father was collected. They walked to the memorial statue, accompanied by Taras and Elsbeth, and the druid was able to lay the cold spot haunt to rest by way of a metal shard, the heat metal spell and specific instructions to Father Grimburrow on the burying and consecration of the metal sliver. The days research turned up information on two of the most notorious prisoners and more history of the prison fire. That evening they enjoyed Zokar’s newest creation, Stuffed Worg and bought a round or two of the house special drink, Pale Ghosts.

After a restful sleep and a morning shockingly devoid of anyone knocking on the door, the party returned to the temple and were able to research into the remaining prisoners’ names mentioned in Harrowstone’s history. That evening Kendra informed them of a town meeting called for the next day’s, Sunday, evening.

Following church services the next day, Mirram enticed one of the Councilmen into obtaining access to the town records; while the rest of the group did some checking up of local history on names and families uncovered in their previous research, Mirram was able to meet with Council Hearthmount and offered to assist the council in resolving the ongoing troubles.

That night, in the crowded town hall, the city council formally “announced” how the party had been working with the council to settle the village’s problems and that the council was now requesting that the group formalize their roles in the investigations. Without warning, the oil lamps lighting the room exploded, throwing burning oil about the room. The group began fighting the spreading fires as the panicked townspeople fled. As the flames began to come under control, several flaming skulls flew into the room and began attacking the remaining locals and the party. They were handily dispatched and the flames brought under control with the assistance of some of the assorted acquaintances the group has made. The council, realizing the hazard the party would be facing, offered an increase to their payment, as long as they are kept in the loop of the groups plans and deeds.

We ended with the group agreeing to the council’s offer and making their way back to Kendra’s house.

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Days 7-12, Lamashan 15-20
Of Books and Blood

We picked back up with the party entering the temple records and conducting some further research into the Harrowstone prison and the Whispering Way. The next day, a Sunday, had some members attending services at the Pharasmin temple while the others took the day off and relaxed at Kendra’s house.

The group was awakened early on the morning of the 17th by one of the city deputies; the Harrowstone memorial statue had again been defaced (the shape of an “S”), and the sheriff assumed that the party would be interested, their previous good deeds getting them in farther with the locals. Investigation around the statue confirmed the previously seen boot prints but they were unable to track them very far into the woods. Taras, joined by deputy Riff, cleaned off the statue while the others enjoyed some more time off. Galifreyna vistied Alendru Ghoroven at the Unfurling Scroll and spent some time with his research materials, but was unable to turn up any new information. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Mirram began nightly outings to the statue, hiding in the woods to keep the grounds under watch while also avoiding the deputies who had been assigned a similar duty. The days of rest had, for her, been an adjustment of her sleep schedule to remain fully aware and prepared for the long, cool nights.

The 18th of Lamashan was another day of research, this time (if I recall) at the Lorrimor’s house, making use of the professor’s extensive library.

On following day, while wandering about the village, Elsbeth and Taras encounter a terrified young woman, carrying a sobbing child, running into town towards the temple. They follow her and arrive just in time to learn of an attack on her family by a group of reanimated skeletons in the Restlands; her husband and father are still there. Father Grimburrow sends a young priest, Padrik, to do what he can to help while the Father gathers acolytes for a proper response. The adventurers quickly accompany Padrik to the cemetery, getting there just as an older man is struck down while a younger man dispatches a skeleton with a stout length of tree branch. Elsbeth, Taras, and Padrik are able to destroy the skeletons and Padrik is able to rebuke death on the older man before he slips away. (Acolytes later arrive to tend to the reburial of the animated corpses.)

The group rests up for the remainder of the day, planning on staking out the memorial statue that night. As they make their way into position, Elsbeth is spotted by two on-duty deputies, also in-place in the woods. They send her on her way, but she is able to slip back into the trees, unseen. Several hours pass when Taras and Elsbeth find the area about them suddenly dropping in temperature, sapping away their Strength and even their very lives. After taking some damage, Taras runs out of the chilling area, alerting the deputies, who act under the assumption that this is the person desecrating the statue. In short order he is tackled, pinned, tied up, and being lead to jail, where a few poorly chosen phrases have the sheriff fully convinced that Taras is the perpetrator.

Back at the statue, Elsbeth, Mirram, and Galifreyna are able to piece together what they know about cold spots, and while Galifreyna seeks out Father Grimburrow, Elsbeth and Mirram work together to toss a bundle of flaming rags into the center of the cold spot…which also happens to catch the woods on fire. One of the deputies, Vrodish, returns and hastily begins fighting the growing fire, all the while calling for assistance from the nearby Elsbeth, Mirram having hidden back in the woods. Elsbeth refuses to assist, claiming that the area is evil and that the evil must be destroyed, attending only to flames to venture outside the area of effect she was earlier able to determine.

Deputy Vrodish finally gets the blaze under control and seizes Elsbeth to take her to the jail for purposely setting the forest on fire, putting the village at risk. She complies, willing to state her case before the sheriff. Galifreyna returns with Father Grimburrow, and after a brief discussion with Mirram, the three follow on to the jail to speak with the sheriff on the matter. With their stories backed up by Father Grimburrow, Elsbeth and Taras will only spend the night in jail and make a minor payment to the town for the disturbances. Father Grimburrow knows how to fully destroy to cold spot, but does not have the materials to do so; in the morning he will send for a druid in the nearby village of Spiral’s Bend to assist him.

Game ended on the morning of Lamashan 20. Taras and Elsbeth have been released after paying 5 sp each to the town coffers and having given their word to Sheriff Caeller to follow any orders from him or his deputies in the future.

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Day 3-7, Lamashan 11-15
Of wolves and songs

We begin with the party splitting for the night. Elsbeth and Hadrian have made contact with Goodman Reinave regarding whatever has been attacking his sheep and are going to keep watch over his flock; while Mirram and Taras elect to stay in the Lorrimor house to rest so that they may return to the fields for work the following day. Galifreyna has taken ill and retired to her room for the next several days to recuperate.

Late in the night, Elsbeth and Hadrian do indeed discover what is killing Reinave’s sheep; several wolves are spied prowling the edges of the farm. Though surprised when one of the wolves begins speaking as it is actually a worg they charge into action and kill the worg, gravely injure one wolf and chase the other away. Elsbeth and Hadrian keep watch during the rest of the night but it passes without further excitement. In the morning Goodman Reinave pays them for the confirmed kill, which they then drag into town and sell to Zokar Elkarid.

Mirram and Taras journey to Coger Malwrest’s farm to see about some more work for the day. This day’s work goes much better than the previous, though Taras is sent to join the “women folk” for some slightly lighter work. That evening they meet up with the others at The Laughing Demon.

While finishing dinner, the tavern’s patrons suddenly find themselves facing a blazing fire in one corner of the room where 2 locals had been playing cards. The fire is quickly extinguished to find that neither the cards nor the table have been burned or even singed, though a faint odor of smoke hangs in the air. The final card played was The Uprising, which represents overwhelming strength that catches the subject up in something much more powerful.

The party retired for the night but were awakened early in the morning by a pounding on the door. It was Pevrin, informing everyone that the Harrowstone statue had again been vandalized. The group made their way to the statue to discover a large “E” painted in blood on the statue’s base. A search about the nearby grounds turned up distinctive boot tracks but they quickly lost the trail. Taras offered to clean the statue again while the group split up once more.

Mirram returned to Malwrest’s farm and engaged the locals in some discussion of the recent desecrations, but her work was brought to a halt by an incoming storm. Taras had just finished cleaning the statue when, to his joy, the storm broke and washed away any remaining blood and/or evidence.

Hadrian and Elsbeth went back to Reinave’s farm to track the remaining wolves to their lair, finding the injured wolf dead in its cave. Here they found the remains of several sheep and a months-long-dead corpse of a human. They received payment for the bounty on the wolf, buried the human body, and (having met up with the others) brought its belongings to the sheriff to see if anything could be identified. With no known missing locals or recent travelers through the city, the two laid claim to the goods by way of local custom.

On the way back to the Lorrimor house, the companions passed a group of 5 young local girls skipping rope. Not too out of the ordinary, until Mirram and Taras happened to overhear their rather unsettling skipping song. Taras approached them, carefully, to inquire about the song, but was unable to discover anything other than “it’s just song that’s always been sung around here.” Later questioning of other locals was unable to confirm this as a known local song.

After an uneventful night, the group escorted Kendra to the temple of Pharasma, as Mirram had previously arraigned for her to have access to the temple’s town records to try and find out further information of subjects mentioned in the professor’s journal. The party then visited the Emeras farm to investigate the death of several of their cattle (mysteriously drained of blood). spent some time in town before retiring for the day, with the plan to be fully rested in order to keep watch over the farm at night.

That evening they spoke briefly with Kendra about what she had been able to research during the day and then positioned themselves at various locations around the Emeras farm. Several hours later, they heard and then quickly converged on the slaying of one of the remaining cattle to find a floating red mist drifting away from the now blood-drained cow. After the battle resulting in the demise of the icky blood ghost, Mirram offered to pay Goodman Emeras for failing to protect the cattle, which he eventually accepted.

The party made their way back to the Lorrimor’s library to attempt to identify the creature and then reported their slaying of the vampiric mist to the sheriff. After having deputy Riff confirm their story, the sheriff produced a previously unposted reward and, following a short discussion, the group took the reward money to the temple for donation.

Requesting of Father Grimburrow that Kendra be allowed further access into the temple’s records, the party was pleased to discover that their good deed and actions in town were beginning to pay off, as Grimburrow reluctantly offered to let the party into the temple archive, with proper supervision of course.

The session ended mid-morning with jubilant celebration over this beginning change in events.

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Day 2-3, Lamashan 10 - 11
The Journal and the Crypt

Convenning for lunch at the Laughing Demon, the group spent some time chatting with Zokar Elkarid and planning various activites for the afternoon, most pointedly, Taras and Mirram cleaned the blood from the desecrated memorial statue. They also used this time to scout around the area for more clues but came up empty-handed.

Heading back to the Lorrimor house, the travelers discovered that Kendra had left, attaching a 2nd lock to the chest of books, along with a note.

Discovering the posting poles about town, maintained by Zokar’s son Pevrin, the group set about a couple different areas of town, seeking various forms of employment or information. An apple pie was involved.

As evening fell, the group returned to the Laughing Demon to enjoy Zokar’s newest creation, a tuber and ham dish he called the Executioner’s Scythe. According to the tavern owner, the dish was based on a story shared by a friend his son; supposedly the lad had seen Harrowstone’s executioner walking around one of the prison’s balconies, scythe in hand.

Galifreyna left after dinner to speak with the innkeeper Sarrianan Vai of the Outward Inn. There she discovered Kendra dining with the well-dressed man who helped to carry the professor’s coffin. He reintroduced himself as Adivion Adrissant and invited Galifreyna to join them, but she declined.

Shortly, the group and Kendra met up in the Professor’s library and read the professor’s journal. After lengthy discussion, they decided to approach Father Vauran Grimburrow about patrolling the Restlands for troublemakers (due to a posting) and were able to convince him to let them enter the cemetery alone.

The group took this opportunity to venture into the false crypt and uncovered a hidden cache of items; various magic arrows, potions, scrolls, and a darkwood case containing a spirit board with a Spirit Planchette, Brass, and several Haunt Siphons. Also two giant centipedes, which, though separated, they quickly dispatched. The group completed their patrol and reported an uneventful night to the head of the clergy. Returning once again to the Lorrimor home, Kendra and Galifreyna identified all the cached items and they party retired to a short rest.

After a few hours sleep, Hadrian, Taras, and Elsbeth sought daily employment at a nearby farm, serving as threshers for the grain harvest. However, this hard labor proved to be too much for Taras and he shortly quitted the fields. Galifreyna, fully rested returned to the temple to aid in further healing and then had a mostly uneventful encounter with local old crazy man, Larkin. Mirram stayed at the house to keep Kendra company and see about some simple duties.

Session ended in the early evening, with the various group members heading back to the Lorromir house.

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Day 1-2, Lamashan 9 & 10
Funeral of a Friend

A dreary day greeted the rag-tag group of travelers who gathered at the entrance to the Restlands cemetery. After a brief greeting from Kendra Lorrimor, the funeral procession entered the cemetery, with Hadrian, Elsbeth, and Galifreyna serving as pallbearers alongside of Adivion Adressant, an old colleague of the professor. Rounding a bend in the path, the group found their way blocked by a motley collection of townsfolk and local ruffians. Harsh words were spoken and the local citizens could not be talked down from the ensuing fight, which resulted in several of the locals knocked out and the apparent leader shot with a arrow, though still alive. The townsfolks suddenly scrambled to their feet and fled. The rest of the funeral passed without serious incident, with all attendants speaking kind words of the professor.

Kendra led the travelers back to the Lorrimor home and, while awaiting the arrival of Councilman Hearthmount, introduced themselves and spoke of their time with Professor Lorrimor. Hearthmount soon arrived, produced and read the will as required by his position, and then departed as soon has his duties were carried out. The will requested two favors of the travelers. One, that they convey a collection of tomes to colleagues of the professor in Lepidstadt; and two, that they remain in Ravengro for a month to assist Kendra in seeing to her father’s affairs and aiding her in this time of need. A sum of 100 platinum coins is being held in escrow for each legatee by Embeth Daramid in Lepidstadt. Kendra produced a small chest which opened with a key that had been provided by Councilman Hearthmount.

The chest contained several books, along with the professor’s missing journal. A difference of interpretation in the wording of the will, combined with some ill-chosen words resulted in the distraught and emotional Kendra retiring early, clearly upset with the current situation. The travelers split up and tended to various needs about town.

A horrified scream pierced the next morning’s dawn, which the travelers, joined by Sheriff Caeller and 2 of his deputies, quickly followed to the fleeing forms of two hysterical youths near the Harrowstone Memorial statue outside of town. There they discovered what appeared to be the shape of the letter “V” painted in blood on the statue’s base. A quick search of the area turned up a bloody waterskin, which was then taken into evidence by the sheriff. The milling crowd of “investigators” was not able to locate any more clues.

The group returned to the Lorrimor house and soon discovered that Kendra had somehow found her way into the locked chest containing Lorrimor’s books. Another confrontation ensued and the young woman fled to her room in tears. After a few attempts to make peace with the daughter of the recently deceased, the group again ventured into town to see about their day.

Session ended with the group reconvening in the townsquare, late in the morning.

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Death of a Scholar

Professor Petros Lorrimor is dead.

Scholar, companion, employer, teacher, mentor…friend. His death comes as an unexpected shock. The summons from Ravengro’s solicitor states that you have been named in Lorrimor’s will and requests that you be present for its reading.

The courier’s parcel also contained a short message from the professor’s daughter, Kendra. Though brief, her message repeated her father’s desire for you to be present for the reading of the will and she hopes that you may be able to participate in the funeral as well, if you arrive in time.

You’ve had to travel hard these last few days. The rain certainly isn’t helping, adding to the already dismal atmosphere, but the journey has been mostly uneventful. If you press on into the night, you just might make it to Ravengro in time to help bury your old friend.


 
 

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Boon Opportunity
Get 'em while they're hot!

Ok, folks. Here is a chance to help yourselves out a little bit. If anyone reads this post before we start playing this campaign, let me know. You can earn a boon for the group that’ll be in effect for all of 1st level.

Conversely, if no one sees this and informs me, well, then the monsters get a bonus…

8/18/12 EDIT: Well done, Barry! The group was offered an option of a +1 to all non-combat d20 roles or a +1 to attack and damage for all of 1st level. After little deliberation, they selected the combat bonuses. Players were tasked with applying the bonuses themselves.

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