The day began, like any other.
The day progressed, like any other.
Until the messenger arrived...
This day is unlike any other.
Death. The loss of someone meaningful. An employer, a teacher, and above all, a friend, Professor Lorrimor; has passed.
The day slows down. Everything slows down. You must now prepare your things and head for the town of Ravengro. His daughter requests that you come. One of the professors wishes was that you be present for the reading of his last will and testament.
Full of sadness, anxiety, mourning, and even fear, you make way to Ravengro. You will honor the professor's last wish.
In time you will be able to explore the town, for now, you make your way to the Restlands, as noted by the "P" north of town.
You make it right on time, several people are gathered for the professor's funeral. It looks like you will have time to meet some of them and share in their grief before things get started.
|Jen the Alchemist|
Earlier in the day
Soon after the news of Professor Lorrimor's death arrived, Jen acted swiftly to arrive in time for the Professor's funeral. Ravengro was a hard days ride from her hometown, and after finishing her Father's last rites, she essentially only had a day to make it to Ravengro. Using the archaic right of the nobility to commandeer horses in a time of great need (designed thousands of years ago to ensure the nobility could gather their soldiers for battle), she rode swiftly and constantly to Ravengro.
Her riding was especially difficult, since as a lady, manners dictated that she could not straddle the horse and instead had to keep her legs dangling off one side of the horse, an exceedingly challenging task when the horse is riding at a gallop. All she could do was occasionally shift herself so that her bent knee was clutching to the saddle while her arms clung to the horse's neck.
The bandits in the area did not notice her in time as she zipped along the road. She had left in such a hurry that she could not change into anything more comfortable or somber for the event, but the dust that covered her creme colored dress certainly helped in that respect. Jen tried her best to clean it off, but it seemed that at least some of the dust would remain embedded into the dress for an eternity, creating a dreary look. Having ridden through the night, Jen arrived for the funeral with some time to spare. On the other hand, her horse died of exhaustion and joined some other decaying things on the side of the street.
Continuing from the discussion earlier.
Soon, the funeral would be starting, and Jen stood up from the harrowing table. Her hands drift unconsciously to her dress, trying to dig out the embedded dirt, but to no avail. She sidles up to a wall and reaches under the top layer of her dress to pull out a pair of white gloves, perhaps the cleanest thing with her at the moment. Soon after putting them on, she returns to the group at the harrowing table.
Her voice takes on a more formal quality and she looks more elegant with her gloves on. "Come now, let us not dawdle on the future, for there are many important things to be attended to in the present."
Anselm nods solemnly at Jen, and stands to follow. He disappears into his room for a few minutes and returns, having donned traditional black funeral robes. They billow around him as he quickly descends the stairs, and the holy symbol around his neck quietly jingles on its long, fine chain. He travels light, carrying just The Bones Land in a Spiral. He always found it a dour, dire book, but nonetheless thought it appropriate to bring. He walks for the door and opens it, turning to address his companions. He speaks up to be heard over the chatter, his voice projecting and echoing a bit.
The young lady speaks the right; it would not do to be late. Much though I would enjoy everyone's company in this more relaxed atmosphere, we have been called here for a reason and must attend to that duty. With that, he walks to the door and makes his way to the funeral, a lethargy now present in his stride.
1d6 ⇒ 6, 1d9 ⇒ 5 The Twin (Cha, N)
Harrowed Feat: Kara gets a +2 bonus to any one Charisma roll for this day, for drawing a Charisma card. She can assign the bonus after the roll is made, but it must be before the result is revealed.
Kara quickly draws a card while following the others to the funeral. The Twin, huh? They signify a duality of purpose or sometimes indecision. Could the request for my presence at the reading of the will have a different meaning than I think?
Realizing she is frowning, Kara tries to pass it off as sorrow at the loss of the Professor. It proves to be pretty easy, as she actually is in a little bit of anguish at his death. The Professor was kind to her, giving her her first true job as a Harrower and never once doubting her ability. I will miss him... She hadn't known him long, but she liked him.
Kara replaces the card into the deck and pockets the deck into her scarf, hiding it from view.
Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 7 + 4 = 15 (+4 from pocketed scarf)
Before long, a young woman approaches and introduces herself as Kendra Lorrimor.
Thank you for coming. It is nice to see my father's old acquaintances honoring his last wishes.
I know you have had a long and trying journey to get here, but I must ask a favor of you. My father's casket will need 4 pallbearers, and I would be honored if four of you would be willing to perform that task.
I will give you a few minutes to decide, and to mingle with the other's in attendance, Thank you again.
Anselm nods to Kendra, his eyes soft. I will. The response comes quickly and with a decisiveness and firmness of voice. He walks up to the young woman and offers an embrace, a deliberate motion.
I'm truly sorry about your loss, Kendra. Please know that I will do anything I can to help. Anselm studies her carefully, trying to gauge her emotional state.
Kara steps forward, agreeing to be a pallbearer as well. "Is it heavy?" It is quite clear to everyone that Kara isn't exactly known for strength. But with four people carrying the casket, it shouldn't be too difficult, right?
"Kendra, please don't hesitate to ask if you need something. I can't even imagine how you feel right now." She leaves it at that, not wanting to impress herself upon Kendra too much so soon.
Apologies for the late posting everyone
Before the funeral
Iagon sighs and rubs his suddenly moist eyes with the palms of his hands. Professor Lorrimor...I can't belive it. He was so...steady, like a boulder that could withstand any trials of time. His passing leaves such a glaring gap, in research, in his community...in life itself. With another sigh, Iagon pulls himself to his feet from the sturdy desk in his small office. He folds the letter carefully, almost delicately, and tucks it into the pouch at his belt, then makes his way to his even smaller bedroom, carefully locking up behind him.
Though he dreaded this trip, and the finality that it represented, Iagon began to pack for the road. He didn't have a wealth of posessions, but he was careful with those that he had, and even packed up his arms and armor, however unused they may be. A rented, chubby little horse that looked more like a donkey than a horse brought him to Ravengro, and he follows the instructions to the Restlands with a heavy heart.
Iagon bows his head in respect at Kendra's words, though the movement allowed him to conceal his red-rimmed eyes, as well. He looks about at the peculiar group in attendance, and placesa hand on Kendra's shoulder, a fond gesture that he hoped was not out of place. There are many here who would be happy to bear the weight of a man so great as your father, Kendra..
He glances at some of the more sturdy members of the group, and offers a smile that is tinged with sorrow and regret. It's nice to meet others whom the Professor would call friends, though I wish that it was different tidings that bring us all together today.. He chokes back a sound of grief, then nods as if to show himself that he was okay. I would be happy to be a pallbearer, though I fear that I'm not so robust as some of you.
|Jen the Alchemist|
In Jen's few moments of hesitation, four volunteers quickly offer their services as pallbearers, leaving her slightly disappointed but mostly very relieved. What if my strength fails me and I drop him? What if I trip on my dress? Those lingering doubts are pushed away after the spots were filled up.
It would be a terrible irony if after all he has done to support me emotionally and financially, I couldn't support him physically for a few minutes.
Before long, Kendra approaches you all again.
Thank you for volunteering and offering to help with this last deed for my father. I will lead our procession through the restlands, it will be a short distance up a path called "The Dreamwake." That will turn a corner down a second path called "The Eversleep" where we will walk to father's burial plot. Thank you again, this means very much to me.
Those of you who are carrying the casket are considered to have both hands full as you carry the heavy coffin down the paths
As you reach the halfway point, and round the corner down the Eversleep, the way ahead is blocked a dozen or so surely looking locals. The tallest, a wiry retired soldier named Gibbs, who seems to be leading the group, steps forward:
“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!”
Just what we didn't want at a time like this... I'm sorry, Kendra.
Anselm stops and shoots a glance at Kendra to see if she recognizes the man. He tries to understand what Gibbs's reasoning is. Best to grasp his stake in this before phrasing an argument. The weight of the casket becomes secondary to calming Gibbs. Funeral rites are such sensitive, personal matters; it's important for people to be sure they're understood.
Sir, we meant no disrespect. We have no quarrel with you. I'm sure we can come to an understanding if you can explain your position.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Iagon grunts at the sudden halt forced upon the group. Having had enough trouble moving with the weight of the coffin, he was unsure how long he could stand with its weight. He huffs out his words in short breaths. And why...is that...sir? Are these not...public grounds?
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
The men seem unmoved at Anselm's request, and Kendra swiftly responds, her sorrow quickly turning to anger.
“What are you talking about?” she cries out. “I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He’s waiting for us! The grave’s already
She is interrupted mid speech by Gibbs
“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.”
|Jen the Alchemist|
Necromancy! This is news to me! Her appearance as a dainty little flower does not change, but the thoughts begin to circulate through her head. This is not possible, that Lorrimor was a necromancer. He taught me everything that I wanted to learn and then quite a bit more. The time I broached on the subject of necromancy, he said that he had nothing to offer. Of course, I cannot merely present this fact to the crowd either...
"Good sir, I know that as you are a gentleman, that you will allow for reasonable and civil discourse. There need not be fearmongering here, in these times. There are enough real horrors in the world that we do not to invent our own." She pauses for a moment to think out her argument. "I present to you the first piece of evidence that the great Professor Lorrimor is not a necromancer, and that piece of evidence is standing right in front of us today."
"This brave Paladin, Anselm, serves the noble god Iomedae and has presumbly been crusading through these lands to defeat civilizations from all sorts of evil. Now, as we all know, the key to a Paladin's power is his oath that he has taken to preserve the tenets of his god, and all that is lawful and good in the world. As such, a paladin cannot willingly associate with evil, unless in the search of that evil's redemption. Now, I ask you, would a paladin honorably carry the coffin of an evildoer?" She answers her own question. "I think not. That only leaves us with the conclusion that Professor Lorrimor was not evil, and very clearly not a necromancer. The Professor might have duped a single person, but could he have really deceived a god? Not a chance."
"Item the second. Over his travels across the world, the Professor has made many connections with plenty of people and his funeral is well-attended. We can all attest to his upstanding character and endless generosity. A necromancer, by contrast, shares none of these qualities. Many seek no company aside from the protection given by their undead, yet the Professor sought the ties with the living instead. All of us here can attest to the Professor's innocence."
Afterwards, Jen adjusts her white gloves and lowers her gaze, indicating that her arguments have concluded.
Necromancy? Really? Those undead in Lastwall might've had something to say about that. There must be more going on here than I realize. But what is a wholly different story.
Anselm notices the warmth coming to his cheeks as Jen mentions him. Despite having walked the path for more than 20 years, it still made him blush whenever people talked about him. He's never had to work on humility. It's even been a source of discomfort at times, as everyone around him constantly looks up to him to be the example of the community. Now, his temper is sometimes another story...
He grips the casket tightly, trying to calm himself and steady his words. His voice comes measured but cool.
Sir, perhaps you are not familiar with precisely how I met the Professor. Long story short, we recovered some cursed artifacts that summoned restless spirits of the Knights of Ozem. Surely, if the Professor held sway over the undead as you say, he would have been able to put them down, instead of screaming for my aid.
Anselm pauses to breathe, and proceeds to argue a point he finds slightly distasteful, calling upon his nature as a source of authority. It's always felt somewhat wrong, as though he's granting himself too much authority. But all that aside, the facts are what they are: Paladins are granted certain abilities, and as a Paladin Anselm has those abilities. But it's wise to use them for good, even if it makes him feel like he's overstepping his bounds. What's one man's feelings in the overall scheme of things? And he's not that uncomfortable, anyway.
I am, indeed, a follower of Iomedae—one of her chosen Paladins. And throughout my years of interaction with the Professor, I have never detected any evil from him whatsoever. Don't you think that over twenty some odd years, longer than some here have been alive it seems, that there would have been at least a hint of evidence of what you claim?
I think we have disproved your claim. Our position has been respectful; I ask that you show us the same kindness.
His piece said, Anselm finds himself able to relax his grip on the casket, but the adrenaline of the accusation still keeps his heart pounding in his chest.
I don't think that was too hot-headed. But I'm not sure this fellow will listen to reason...
Iagon watches the impressive display with more than a bit of admiration in his fellow pallbearers and friends of the late professor. A man of integrity with friends of integrity. His grieving daughter should not have to suffer through this.
He looks upon the group with barely concealed disgust as he sees fearful men, desperate men. Though he felt certain that the arguments of the young lady and paladin would prove adequate, he can't help but to add his own opinions, especially as he glances at Kendra's wet-rimmed eyes.
Look, sir; you're impeding a perfectly lawful practice in a public place. I'm certain that the local sheriff or magistrate would not want trouble in his town, particularly when nothing that we're doing is against the law. I would ask that you please get out of our way and allow us to continue. If you have concerns, you should be taking it up with your authorities, and not taking it into your own hands.
Diplomacy - not sure if it's considered "trying again" since the first attempt wasn't me...if I can't use the roll...oh well.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Kara aches to speak, to lend her own voice to refute the accusation against the good Professor. After all, if he was a necromancer, wouldn't the cards have told her something? But instead, she keeps her mouth shut, not uttering a word. Kara has found that being a Harrower brings about a certain sense of illegitimacy to everything she says. If this man is especially skeptic of her ability to divine, he would claim she is a fraud and all of her arguments would be seen as lies. Plus, she is rather young, and that lends its own issues to her ability to persuade.
So instead, Kara just listens to Jen and Anselm's points, nodding her head in agreement, but not speaking a word. She will voice her own opinion to her fellow mourners in private later on.
The mob shoots you all venomous glances, but slowly disperse, mumbling and cursing you under their breath.
As the pathway clears, an old man in priest clothing approaches, Kendra greets him as Father Grimburrow. She explains what had happened, and Father Grimburrow shakes his head at the mob's audacity.
Both of them apologize profusely to you, and the father encourages the procession to continue with no more delay.
Iagon shakes his head at the crowd, making a mental note the leader of the mob, the fellow called Gibs. I'll have to speak to the local authoriites about that one. Efore I leave town. I'd not have him causing Kendra trouble after we've gone.
He bows his head in deference to the father, gripping his own holy symbol, a decorative key on a chain about his neck, as he does. He nods for the ceremony to continue, not wanting to pierce the serenity of the moment by speaking out.
Razvan lets out a breath as the crowd slowly moves away. He was thankful for the intervention by the Charismatic Paladin. This situation is certainly more than it seems. Everything had happened so quickly. Razvan strains to listen to the mumbled conversation of the departing crowd hoping to learn something.
Perception:1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20
As the crowd moves too far away to hear, Razvan replays the entire encounter over and over again trying to remember anything he may known about the leader of the discourteous mob that slandered the Professor.
Knowledge(local):1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Sense Motive:1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Arriving at the professors burial spot, the Father delivers a solemn and thoughtful service, Kendra follows with some loving words about her father. As she concludes, she asks:
If there is anyone else in attendance who would like to say a few words, or share a story of their time with my father, it would be much appreciated, and we will hear those words now. Please step forward if there is anything you would like to share.
He's actually dead. This is it.
Anselm rises and slowly steps forward. The jingling of the chain around his neck makes him consciously aware of his holy symbol. He nods in respect and deference to the presiding priest, glad that he took some time earlier to refresh himself on Pharasman rites.
He reaches the front of the congregation and clears his throat. While not the most familiar with funeral rites, Anselm is still a spiritual leader, and so addressing a congregation at a time like this is something he's familiar with.
The Professor took me on as a green Paladin of Iomedae, a score and two years ago. Our first adventure together took us to a battle site in Lastwall, and it served as my initiation into the Pathfinder Society. Since then, we have recovered many artifacts from similar battle sites. His thirst for knowledge and adventure was unmatched among everyone I've known. We have lost a great man today, someone who has done more for the Pathfinder Society—and civilization as a whole—than most can ever realize. Yet as Kendra says, it is important to celebrate his life as we honor him. I am sure everyone here today can add to what I've said, and more eloquently.
With this, he waits for the next person to step forward, giving them a solemn nod.
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Bolstered with a little bit of confidence at Anselm's words, Kara too steps forward. She keeps her words brief and avoids mentioning anything about the Harrowings she performed for the Professor. But she does speak freely otherwise, and from the heart.
"I have only know the Professor for a short time, but he made quite the impression on me. When no one else was willing, the Professor gave me a job. To think, he was willing to put his trust in a young girl fresh out of the Academy! I am eternally grateful to him for that." She looks up and kisses the fore and middle finger of her right hand, raising them up in a sort of informal salute. "Thank you, Professor."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Iagon Steps forward as the woman closes her final farewell. He glances down at the casket, his brown eyes moist and his mouth turned down in sadness. It's still hard to believe; it seems like just.... He pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs, the speaks, his words hoarse with grief.
The professor and I had worked together for several years, though not near the time that the Sir of Iomedae can boast. However, I consider those to be the best and most productive years of my young career. I was a frequent employee of the professor, though at times I felt as if I should be paying him for his tutelage instead. He and I spent many long nights and far-too-early mornings poring over dusty tomes time and again, in search of some new hidden mystery.. He smiles wistfully.
I will always remember the look on his face when he would find just the passage for which he was searching, or when he would tie together the elements of a particular puzzle to solve it. He showed a youthful zeal, and his eyes would light up in delight. Sometimes, he would even clap thunderously, then say "Ho, boy, we've done it again!". His grin widens in memory, and he doesn't seem to care if it seemed inappropriate, so lost was he in the memory.
Professor Lorrimor gave me more than I could have ever given back, and for that, I am eternally in his debt. He was a great man, and will be remembered for generations as a father, a teacher, and a friend.. He pulls a silver ornate key from where it hangs on a chain about his neck, and kisses it. May the Master of the First Vault judge him fairly.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
As the kind words for the professor wind down, and people start to make their exit from the Restlands, Kendra catches each of you before you leave.
She thanks you for peacefully resolving the issue with Gibbs, and for those of you who spoke at the funeral, she thanks you for your kind words. She asks that you come back to the Lorrimor estate before leaving Ravengro, she would like to give you food and drink and she tells you that your presence was requested for the reading of the Professor's will.
The Lorrimor house is marked by "N" on the map linked above.
Once you are all present, Kendra offers each of you a drink and tells you that in order to proceed with the reading of the will, you must wait on Councilman Vashian Hearthmount to arrive, and he has currently has some other business to attend to, but should arrive in about an hour.
This is a great time to introduce yourselves to one another and ask Kendra about 'things.'
Iagon spends the remainder of the service in reflection, his mind playing through the various cases that he and the Professor had worked on through the years. The conclusion of the service breaks him from his reverie, and he nods politely to Kendra before going his own way from the Restlands.
He takes his time making his way to the Lorrimor estate, touring the small town with a keen eye for the general attitude and day to day life of those who would call it their home. He comes upon the estate from the north, and brings all of his traveling possessions inside...which makes his entry rather comical. Luckily, Kendra allows him to stow his armor aside in a closet, allowing him to accept a drink and speak freely, not in huffing breaths.
He looks about the room at the varied attendees, and thinks of the common thread that brought them all together. As I said before...it's a pleasure to meet those whom the Professor would call friends. He was a great man who did great things, and I'm sure that I could trust each of you as I could the Professor himself, such a good judge of character was he. My name is Iagon Idrantis, and I'm a cleric of Abadar and keeper of lore in Karcau. I manage a small library to be honest, but our specialty is in the unique, so the Professor came to me on several occasions to access the library's histories.
His name is pronounced (Yay-gone)...sorry if a bit unclear. Perception for the walk through town:
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
His face did not show it but the half-orc was surprised that he had been included in the Professor's will. Razvan had served faithfully and competently but none of his service seemed of such significance that he would have imagined himself worthy of the Professor's regard. As the others begin the solemn journey to Lorrimor estate, Razvan slips away.
Stealth:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
So many question...Why did the Professor include me? How did he die? Why were those people so afraid? This is just the sort of mystery that would have intrigued the Professor...Just the sort of things I would have reported to him.
After slipping away, Razvan wanders Ravengro listening to whatever chatter he can overhear particularly whispers regarding the Professor's death. He does not tarry long before working his way towards the Lorrimor estate.
Perception:1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
Razvan arrives at the Lorrimor estate feeling somewhat out of place among the other guests. He is cautious to reveal his connection to the Professor and remains as quiet as possible. When the opportunity presents itself, Razvan speaks to Kendra:
M'lady Lorrimor, please forgive my intrusion on your grief. I received news of your father's passing and funeral service and hastened to be here yet received no word of the circumstances of his passing. If it is not to painful might you be able to tell me how your father passed?
Diplomacy:1d20 ⇒ 11
Sense Motive:1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
guards the execution balcony on the western side of the prison, and that on some nights, his scythe can be seen patrolling the balcony on its own, as if carried by an invisible spirit.Your sense motive gives you a lot of sorrow and pain from Kendra.
Kendra smiles politely, clearly hiding some pain in her eyes as she answers Razvan's question:
He was doing some research out at the harrowstone prison, a gargoyle or some other heavy piece of the wall fell from above and...
She stops, weeping, and choking on the words, trying very hard to maintain her composure.
Anselm doesn't tarry on his way to the estate. It's proper to be punctual.
After seeing Kendra lose her composure, he steps up and tries to comfort her.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
While standing in front of the group, he turns to address everyone.
I suppose I haven't really formally introduced myself. My name is Anselm, and I am a follower of Iomedae originally from Cheliax. His voice sours over the name 'Cheliax', but he continues.
May not be the best place to mention at a time like this, but I'd rather present the truth than a lie. And hopefully the present company knows that the common folk don't really worship Asmodeus. I think it would be best to share the happiest memories we have of the Professor, and focus on the positives. I'll start. What I most fondly remember of my time with the Professor is the exploration. We've travelled to many different parts of the world, and have seen much. His passion for his work was infectious, and not infrequently did I volunteer to accompany him independently of his requesting my presence. Something that journeying with the Professor has taught me is that even though people are different in their own ways, they're still the same in the important ways.
A pain wells in Razvan's throat and tears sting his eyes as he sees the effect his question had on Kendra Lorrimor. It is soon followed by a tumultuous feeling in the stomach that commonly follows the realization of a mistake that cannot be corrected. A flood of heat surges up Razvan's neck and ears. The rhythmic pounding of his own heart is uncomfortably noticeable echoing in his own ears. Razvan is jealous as he watches the paladin move to comfort Kendra. Suddenly resolved to take away Kendra's pain, Razvan stammers pleadingly:
M'lady...I, I didn't mean...mean to upset you so....please, please do not cry...so, so sorry...please forgive me...
Iagon cringes at the obvious painful sobs wracking the young womans body. Fearing even more what his next question would inflict, he curses quietly at himself...but it had to be asked. Kendra, I'm sorry, but...was it surely an accident? I don't know how dangerous this prison is, but I never knew your father to be anything but exceedingly careful. I remember being lectured more than once when I left something out that could have caused an accident.
Sobbing, but now more in control of herself, Kendra speaks again.
Thank you all, I am sorry to be such a mess. Do not worry Razvan, you have done nothing wrong, I am just... well... just... a wreck. [b] She laughs nervously before looking to Iagon [b] Yes Iagon, as much as anyone knows it was indeed an accident, no one could have predicted a stone decor falling off of a building, despite his caution.
As she finishes speaking, there is a gentle knock at the door.
That must be the councilman, if you will please excuse me...
She soon returns with councilman Vashian following her. No Sense Motive check is necessary to note that he doesn’t completely approve of strangers being involved in local matters, but he keeps his comments to himself, focusing his involvement entirely on the reading of Petros’s will. Kendra isn’t sure what’s contained in the will, since part of
its stipulation was that all of the PCs must be present for its reading. Councilman Vashian produces a scroll case,shows that the professor’s personal seal is unbroken, then breaks the wax and opens the case. As he does, a small iron key falls out of the tube, clattering noisily onto the table. Undaunted by the key, the councilman begins to read,eager to be done with the business and to get back home.
He clears his through and begins:
“I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this
parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with
the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and
personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or
sell them as you see fit, my child.
“Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this
document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading
of this document to be delayed until all principals can be in
attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I
have two final favors to ask.
“To my old friends, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are
few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of
what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many
of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and
inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge
of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.
“And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire
a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one
of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward
legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under
lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have
borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable
for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my
daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the
danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting
my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver
the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who
will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.
“Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of
another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend
that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is
safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone,
and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she
desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal
gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum
of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these
funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in
Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon
the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month
after the date of the reading of this will.
Once the will is read, Councilman Vashian looks to Kendra, who thanks him and dismisses him. She puts on a brave face again and thanks you for everything, telling you it will take her a few weeks to decide what to do with her father's estate. She then dismisses herself to next room to leave you discuss everything in the will.
Please let me know when you have had time to digest all of this, and I will deliver the books he spoke of to you.
|Jen the Alchemist|
Sorry, I was away for an interview. This game moves quite speedily.
Jen looks at the strange assortment of people mentioned in the will and realizes that now that they are connected by Professor Lorrimor's will, she didn't have to keep all of her secrets for them anymore.
"The darker side of his profess...oh. Yes, there were many things that the Professor had to do and on some of these, I collaborated with him. It might be best not to ask too many questions about that, especially for the paladin, but it was all for the greater good. We have to do this for the Professor. He sacrificed many things to the cause, and his legacy shouldn't be one of those things."
Iagon looks at Vashian with respect. A man of the law, about time...I would speak to him about the group in the Restlands. His concerns are soon forgotten, though, as the severity of the Professor's requests hit home.
He finds himself nodding at the young woman. I agree...without any shadow of a doubt. I would be nothing without the Professor and his tutelage...and his caring, over the years. I owe him this, and more...as I suspect many of the rest of you do, as well. He looks around the room. Anselm, Razvan...well met. And you, young ladies, what may we call you? Seeing as how we're all here as those closest to the Professor, we've no doubt more to share than a common cause.
Anselm listens quietly to Vashian. Hmm, controversial books? Maybe that's why the others thought he was a necromancer. Ah, superstitions. He mentally sighs, and can't help but feel a bit of pity for the unenlightened locals. He listens to the duties requested of him, and arches a brow at the bequeathing of money to him. That's... quite a bit of money. I knew that the Professor did well for himself, but 100 platinum each? The Church will definitely appreciate the donation.
He stands and gives a small bow to Iagon. Well-met, good sir. Yes, indeed. This is the least I could do for the Professor. He helped me temper and focus my efforts within the Church of Iomedae. Working with him helped guide my path through life. While I knew that Iomedae chose me, I was unclear how I would do her will. Professor Lorrimor helped me find my way, in his own way. Probably best not to mention the specifics of that path right now... He turns to Kendra, and tries to adopt a smile despite the grim mood. Even discounting my oaths to Iomedae, I would be honored to serve you in whatever ways I can, Lady. Please do not hesitate to ask. With that, he goes quiet and waits for others to have their say.
|Jen the Alchemist|
Oh, I wasn't saying it was too fast. It was a compliment about the pacing!
"Ah, Mister Iagon, I have completely forgotten to introduce myself. I am Jen, a scholar much as yourself. Although, now that we are in closer-knit company, I must say that I focus more on the controversial subjects of scholarly research. Perhaps the trunk of books might even contain some of those."
She nods to Kendra. "Regardless of hardship, I will see those books to his colleague."
After Kendra has left the room, Kara speaks to the rest of the group. "I am Kara Soltani. I feel... humbled by the good Professor's gift of 100 platinum coins. I have never seen such money, much less envisioned myself with such a wealth. It almost feels wrong to accept such a sum. Of course I will honor Professor Lorrimor's wishes and deliver these book."
Unconsciously, Kara pulls the Harrow deck from her scarf and shuffles it idly. "Something worries me though. We are to stay here for a month in order to watch over Kendra and ensure that she is, what were the words... "safe and sound." That is an odd choice of words if all we were doing is ensuring she can make it through her grief. I hate to say it, but I fear that the Professor may be alluding to something a little more dangerous. Maybe the mob we encountered? Or something else?"
Realizing she's been shuffling the Harrow deck, and understanding how that can aggravate some people, she hastily puts it away. She then picks up the key and examines it. As she does so she waves her right hand over it and mutters a few words, "Arcane auras shine bright."
Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Just an ordinary key, or are there any strange markings on it? Kara casts Detect Magic on the key as well.
Razvan addresses the group, "It is clear the Professor has decided that we should work together. I was not in the habit of questioning the Professor when I served him and I will not start now. We are to protect M'lady Lorrimor that much is clear. Apparently, the tomes the Professor has tasked us with returning to the University are neither virtuous nor legal. It would obviously be dangerous for them to be connected to M'lady Lorrimor."
Razvan looks at Iagon,"I think the Priest should store the tomes with his possession. That way if they are found and there is trouble we limit their connection to M'lady Lorrimor. The Priest can claim that he is under holy orders to return the books. Not the strongest cover but it should suffice for now."
Not waiting for the Priest to consent, Razvan continues,"We need information. If the Professor's death was not accidental then we need to know who killed him and why. It will be more difficult to protect M'lady Lorrimor from unknown foes. I suggest that the Scholar and the Priest remain here and see if they can find any of the Professor's notes regarding the Harrowstone Prison where he was killed. I am sure that the Professor must have a book or two concerning the Harrowstone Prison. They can also keep an eye on M'lady Lorrimor. I will accompany the Paladin and the Harrow Card reader to see if we can find some answers in town. That pair should be charming enough to loosen the locals tongues, if anyone of us can. The Paladin's shiny virtue will likely be the fastest way to resolving their suspicion of strangers...and make no mistake we are strangers. I can act as the a servant and keep an open ear and watchful eye, it is a role I have played many times. I think it best to start with Father Grimburrow and Councilman Vashian. Grimburrow seems sympathetic to M'lady Lorrimor and I would guess he may know a bit about Harrowstone. Obviously, the Professor trusted the Councilman enough that he entrusted his will and the contents of the will to him."
Razvan pauses a moment and then as if it just occurred to him states,"I guess it would be wise to look for a place to stay and acquire provisions for our stay..."
At Razvan's last comment, Kendra enters back into the room.
I will have none of that Razvan! You will all stay here! The house has more than enough room, and more than enough means to take care of you while you are in town. It would be selfish of me to ask you to stay somewhere else while you are in town on my behalf, though I can assure you that I am fine.
I took the liberty of gathering the chest, containing the books my father's will mentioned, I know you hadn't asked for them yet, but I couldn't help but interject at mention of finding somewhere else to stay!
The chest itself is a relatively small object of oak and iron. Kendra, nervous about the contents, offers the key to Razvan.
When you open the chest, the key fits perfectly in the lock:
Within are several old tomes and one relatively new one. The newest tome sits on the top and bears the phrase “Read me now!” scratched into the leather cover.
The other tomes comprise the books of dangerous lore mentioned in his will—three of these have notes tucked into them indicating that they should be delivered to one Montagnie Crowl, a professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt University. The fourth, Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye, has a note indicating it should be delivered to Embreth Daramid, a judge at the Lepidstadt Courthouse (although the note asks for this delivery in particular to be handled discreetly, and includes the address of Embreth’s home so that you can deliver it there).
Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye: The rich purple cover contains a brass scarab set with a single eye in its center. The book’s covers are rimmed in polished steel and clasped with a small but intricate lock, the keyhole of which appears to be for a key with a strange, triangular shaft. The key is nowhere to be found.
On Verified Madness: This jet-black book is a treatise on aberrations and other entities found on Golarion that possess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark places between the stars in the night sky.
Serving Your Hunger: This text is a copy of one of several unholy books sacred to the goddess Urgathoa. Lorrimor’s notations liberally sprinkle the margins.
The Umbral Leaves: This lexicon is a translation into Common of the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon.
Spoiler 2 below is what is found in the "Read Me Now" book.
Circled Entries in the Profess or’s Journal
Ten Years Ago: The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous.
Two Months Ago:
It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?
One Month Ago:
Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense—the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I’d rather not let the others know about my curiosity—there’s plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I’m a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.
Twenty Days Ago:
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something—no, strike that—someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.
Eighteen Days Ago:
I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.
Seventeen Days Ago:
Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost me too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don’t have time to update my will, so I’ll
leave this in the chest where it’ll be sure to be found, should the worst come to pass.
Iagon stares at Razvan incredulously, then clutches the ornate key hanging about his neck. You must know little of Abadar, good sir. My patron has also been called the "judge of the gods", and I do not think that he would look kindly upon such dishonesty.. He sighs and shakes his head. I could pack the books with my belongings, certainly, as it was the Professor's last wish. But I'll not lie directly to whomever counts for the law in this town.
The conversation is interrupted (a welcome reprieve in Iagon's estimation) by Kendra and the opening of the box. Iagon's eyes widen at the trove within, and he instantly years to scan the tomes, no matter that some of them were akin to poison for his lawful mind. The goddess of undeath and the lord of pain? Professor, what had you gotten yourself into?. His eyes narrow after the reading of the journal. Kendra, did your father tell you anything more than is wtitten here about the Way, or what he had found at Harrowstone? What do you know about the prison itself?
I knew nothing... He kept his work to himself, all of this information is as shocking to me as it is to you... My father does have an extensive library in the estate, perhaps during your time here you can do some research there to look into these matters. There are other places in town you could likely research as well if you are seeking to look into the things he has mentioned.
Looking over the books, Anselm loses himself in thought. His brow knits, his face wrinkling in a way that betrays his age. It's not hard to see the amount of worry and concern present. That's... concerning. I knew that Petros was involved in studying some of the darker things of this world, but had no idea that his studies went this far. It certainly explains his frequently employing my talents, though. I shall have to look over these more carefully later.
Coming out of his thoughts, he nods and turns to Kendra. I also have interest in the contents of the books, for obvious reasons. Perhaps Iagon and I could review them with whoever else is curious? Their content comes as a surprise to me, and it seems especially relevant to the goals and desires of the church of Iomedae that I try to finish his work if possible. But first, of course: how can we make you more comfortable, Lady? I am happy to do whatever I can for you at such a difficult time.
"I think that both Anselm and Razvan are right. We must study these books, but I think that it would be within our best interests to survey the area for a sense of how others feel toward Professor Lorrimor. We know that there is some negative sentiment out there, but just how widespread is it? Obviously there's danger here, and if the Professor wants us to take care of Kendra, we must know what we are up against."
Kara then turns to Kendra, addressing her. "I know you say you'll be fine, but the contents of this chest and the Professor's own wishes alarm me. I wish to do exactly as he asked, and that means protecting you, not only making sure you are comfortable."
Finally, she turns to Razvan. "I would like to accompany you, if you wish Razvan."