"Perhaps one of those who wasn't with us in the crypts can try his luck in getting Father Grimburrow to share the Temple secrets?", Merenso chimes in.
He himself is probably going to stay at the Lorrimor place and try his luck with the Professor's books, although he believes it's a waste of time for him.
Domminia will go to the Unfurling Scroll and will summon Theodoric or bring him along depending if he is still floating about.
She will do the following checks
Knowledge Arcana 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 5 + 2 = 27
Knowledge Nobility 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 + 2 = 16
Knowledge Religion 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 7 + 2 = 16
And Theodoric will check use Knowledge History 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 + 2 = 16
and Knowledge Nobility 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 + 2 = 18
Ysabot: Father Grimburrow doesn't even open the door to your requests.
Merenso: In your clumsy attempts to talk to the locals, they reluctantly tell you that Harrowstone is a ruined prison— partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place.
Domminia: The Unfurling Scroll is a cramped hedge-wizard shop, which has several exotic texts you might be able to purchase, but nothing on the history of Harrowstone.
Theodoric: When asked, Theodoric is able to tell you some gossip that he was privy to when he was still alive.
Some small towns grow up around a university, their
shops and other offerings catering to a scholastic clientele.
Others boast famous festivals or specialized industries that
draw skilled artisans and craftsmen. But in the sad case of
Ravengro, the town’s claim to fame is a prison. And not
just any prison, for Ravengro supported one of Ustalav’s
most notorious jails—Harrowstone. Twice a year, a prison
convoy rounded up the worst of the worst from smaller,
less secure jails across the principality and transferred
them to Harrowstone, often to await death by hanging, but
always to live out the rest of their lives as prisoners.
Fengring spends all day in the Library, and learns little exept what you have already found in the Professors Journal. Namely, that he was chasing after a group known as "The Whispering Way" and that they were interested in Harrowstone in some way.
Idly looking through various tomes, you find only the sketchiest mention of the Whispering way...
The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.
Note that Professor Lorrimor's Journal is now reproduced on the Campaign Tab for perusal.
Diplomacy to gather info1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Kn local1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Kn history1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Ereviss spends some time at the local gathering places discussing current events before heading to town records.
He is genuinely interested in local affairs and listens intently.
Sorry for delay.
At the Unfurling Scroll the proprietor Alendru Ghoroven (retired wizard turned teacher) is a little suspicious at Domminia’s questions, but soon melts like butter at her charismatic beauty.
He offers a large assortment of 0-level spell scrolls,(One to three of each spell.) They cost 12.5 crowns apiece.
He also has a number of more advanced spells on vellum scrolls.
Wiz L1st, CL2nd Expeditious Excavation (trans.) [APG]
Wiz 2nd, CL3rd Touch of Idiocy (ench.)
Wiz 1st, CL2nd Chill Touch (nec.)
Wiz 2nd, CL3rd Minor Image (illu.)
Wiz 1st, CL2nd Mage Armor (conj.)
Wiz 2nd, CL3rd Touch of Idiocy (ench.)
Bard 1st, 1st Hideous Laughter
Bard 2nd, CL3rd Honeyed Tongue [APG]
Wiz 1st, 1st Shocking Grasp (evoc.)
Wiz 2nd, CL3rd Daze Monster (ench.)
Wiz 1st, 1st Reduce Person (trans.)
Wiz 2nd, CL3rd Hideous Laughter (ench.)
Wiz 1st, 1st Magic Aura (Illu.)
L1 scrolls cost 25 crowns each, L2 scrolls cost 150 crowns each.
As well as some devices:
Wand of Cat’s Grace (13 charges) 1,170 crowns
Wand of Slow (6 charges) 1,350 crowns
His most prized possession is a Flesh Golem Manuel which is also for sale for the low low price of 8,000 crowns.
Despite spending time at the tavern talking with the locals, Ereviss learns little more than Merenso.
Searching through the smoke damaged records in the Town Hall, he finds a good deal more in official records that look like they had never been touched after creation.
Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the
same time as a place where guards and their families could
live and that would produce food and other supplies used by
the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and
most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison’s
underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure
above relatively intact.
The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his wife,
although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire
occurred. A statue commemorating the warden and the guards who
lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy—that
statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.
Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only
a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav’s
executions during that era were carried out. The fire that
caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for
the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison’s
dungeons immediately prior to the conflagration. It was only
through the self sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his
guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping—the
guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.
It is only when he puts together secret notes from the official inspector, broadsheet accounts and the private journal of the Mayor that he gains a more comprehensive picture.
At the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious
criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the
commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally
after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already
seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of
the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden
Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners
in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and
nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process
of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started
the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.
Ereviss spends another day in research, with the rest of the party aiding him when they come back after pursueing their own research.
Together they puzzle out more of the disturbing history of the prison.
Originally, Harrowstone housed only local
criminals, but as the prison’s fame spread,
other counties and distant lands began paying
to have more dangerous criminals housed within
this prison’s walls.
At the time of the great Harrowstone Fire,
the number of particularly violent or dangerous
criminals imprisoned within the dungeons below
was at an all-time high.
The five most notorious prisoners in Harrowstone
at the time of the great fire were Father Charlatan,
the Lopper, the Mosswater Marauder, the Piper of
Illlmarsh, and the Splatter Man.
Domminia and Theodoric seem very interested in the Splatter Man. Knowledge History for Domminia 1d20 ⇒ 7 and Theodoric 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
She also wants to know if there is anything Magical about the prison Knowledge Arcana 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15 when she goes with Ereviss on the second day.
Merenso will try to see if he can catch the Acolyte while he is alone and ask for a favor like getting some holy water or borrowing some Harrowstone records:
Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 19
Other than that, he is bored to death while the others investigate, and, having slept through the day at Kendra's house, decides to investigate the one mystery which is still bothers him: the bloody letters on the Warden statue. He goes there at night and lies in ambush.
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Ereviss seems anxious and rubs his hands together as he speaks: "Well, we learned much researching. Tomorrow bright and early let's go to the source, Harrowstone. If we need to lick our wounds some, we can always research again later if the prison proves too exciting and dangerous."
Looking at Morenso, "I know you are impatient. You will see tomorrow what we face first hand. We should not take these threats lightly."
I concur, lets sup and then go first thing in the morning!
On the eve of going to Hallowstone, Domminia prays with Theodoric for luck and then thinks about her siblings fighting the crusades. In a moment of clarity Theodoric regales Domminia with one of his old war stories and she goes to bed.
Having been again rejected at the Temple of Pharasma, you settle down in a concealed hide overlooking the Memorial.
You waken with the dawn. There is shouting and you peek out of your hide to observe Councillor Heathmount kicking awake a couple of village lads put as sentries on the Memorial. They were to try to prevent whoever was drawing bloody letters on the memorial from doing so again.
Yet there it was. The letter “O” drawn crudely in blood on the memorial. You see Heathmount grab a cloth and a bucket of water and starts scrubbing furiously at the blood.
Recapping; this is the fourth letter found. The first ones being "V", "E", "S".
You are a little confused, you don't remember falling asleep. And it's unlikely an experienced hunter such as yourself would simply drop off after only one night.
The companions awaken in the morning to a delicious breakfast, and Xiuj has had time to create one Cure Light Wounds potion for each one of you.
Noting Merenso's absence, you are sure he will catch up with you.
Passing through town on the way, you see a commotion up ahead around the Harrowstone Memorial. The familiar stentorian tones of Councillor Heathmount braying over all others.
Merenso furiously rubs his eyes, sensing something supernatural is afoot. But at least his guess from before is confirmed: someone or something is trying to scribble the name of Warden's dead wife! Luckily her name was quite long, so he should still have about a week to solve this mystery.
He doesn't want to reveal his presence to the Councilor, lest the suspicion falls on himself. He tries to crawl away silently:
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Once he is out of the Councilor's view, he gets up and cleans himself, then re-enters the area while wearing a look of a casual passer-by on a stroll, and tips his hat off to the Councilor.
"Good morning Councilor, it's nice to see that the town pays such close attention to the upkeep of its monuments!"
That's when he sees the rest of the group approaching, geared for the raid on the Harrowstone.
You do have some clues that lead SW, you might be able to track the perpetrator. Probably take the rest of the day at least though. Or you could try a proper ambush next evening; he’s bound to try again, given his pattern.
Thing is, this could be a waste of time; a distraction giving whatever’s in Harrowstone more time to do... whatever.
At your approach, the Councillor becomes all obsequious, dropping his bloody rag where he was wiping what looked like a bloody "U" off the monument.
"Gentlemen! Ladies! It is good to see you again! No, no, things are well in hand here. My lads and I will sort this vandal out when we catch him. Are you off to break the power of Harrowstone?" He questioned eagerly.
The councillor positively quivers in his desire to assist your efforts; his brow starting to bead up with sweat at the thought of going up there himself.
"Oh, no no no Madame Vorsaife! Everything we had we gave to you!"
By the way, Kendra declared her intent to go with you this morning, but you can talk her out of it if you wish. As a character she is a Wizard, but not combat optimized. Whether she goes or stays is up to you. She'll listen to you like she wouldn't to anyone else.
Ereviss will encourage Kendra to come along, but will insist on her staying well back. He appreciates she has a stake in this too.
"Morenso and I can protect you."
To the councillor:
"The church was quite stingy with holy water and assistance. Maybe you can talk to them for us. A few vials of holy water would help a great deal."
Councillor Heathmount flinches, then nods rapidly.
"Yes of course! He and I have a long history here in Ravengro. I will attend to it promptly!"
Kendra approaches Merenso when he appears.
"Mister Kull! You missed breakfast and we were all wondering where you were. Here; I saved a little for you." She hands him a covered bowl full of bacon, scrambled eggs and toast.
"Milady Lorrimor, you are too kind. Even though a day without breakfast is nothing for an accomplished hunter such as I am, your care is very much appreciated."
Merenso consumes the bowl with great appetite, all the while weighting his priorities, and decides that the bloody letters can wait until the Harrowstone is dealt with.
Ready to go on
Ereviss will encourage Kendra to come along, but will insist on her staying well back. He appreciates she has a stake in this too."Morenso and I can protect you."
"Hey, what about me?" Fengrig says with mock indignation. "I don't lug this thing around because it matches my shoes, y'know. He waves his morningstar around, then rests it on his shoulder.
Passing over the bridge, you turn south along the main road. Despite it being morning, the overcast sky barely lightens.
As you pass by the temple of Pharasma, you catch a glimpse of what looks like Father Grimburrow looking grimly down upon you from an upper story window, before he closes a shutter.
As you continue south, the morning fog closes in on you, it’s cold and clammy presence reducing your visiblility to thirty feet. About a mile later an overgrown roadway turns West, eventually leading to the base of a barren hill. The track winds around the base of the hill and then back up along its southern slope to the top.
Looming out of the fog, you see a sagging wood and metal gate set between a pair of stone guard towers that once barred entrance into Harrowstone, but the gates now hang negligently open, creaking softly in what wind touches the ruined bars.
In large rusting wraught iron lettering, the words “HARROWSTONE ROYAL PRISON” are emblazoned over the twenty foot wide entryway.
The stone wall that surrounds most of the prison grounds is covered with creeping ivy, and the blocks beneath that growth are eroded. The walls themselves are 20 feet high and stretch out of sight left and right.
OK boys and girls, what do you do, and in what order.
"Wow, this prison was bigger than I expected. Ladies first? Just joking, never mind me."
Merenso tries to look casual and nonchalant, but all his muscles are tense and the fingers run over the hilt of his longsword. He checks if anyone has recently entered or exited the gate.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20