|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Yes, two things of interest. Thing th' first, we now know who Father Charlatan was--th' temple archives were quite useful in that regard. Thing th' second, there is a meeting at th' Town Hall to discuss th' recent unusual events, so Iesha and Aleksandr were unable to examine their records. We should like you to come with us when we return, though it's grown late. There are people there whom you may know, people whom we don't, and we'd rather not insult them by accident."
"I will certainly accompany you if you wish. We may still be able to catch the Council if we hurry."
Kendra wraps herself in a cloak and leads the way back to the town hall.
You reach the town hall as the sun begins to set. Four people are milling around outside. One you recognize, Vashian Hearthmount: plump and aged, but once clearly very strong. He is dressed in finery and posses an imperious air about his person.
The other three Kendra introduces you to.
"Councilwoman Mirta Straelock" seems affable enough. She smiles, and shakes hands with each of the party. she is a middle-aged woman with an earthy, friendly look about her tired face.
"Councilwoman Shanda Faravan" is a severe looking woman with greying hair pulled back in a tight knot. She dressed plainly in dark clothes. She also shakes hands with each of the party, but eyes them with open mistrust.
"Councilman Gharen Murican" is the last. He is roughly the same age as Hearthmount, but in alarmingly good shape and cheer. He energetically shakes each hand in turn, then plants a kiss on the back of Iesha's hand.
"Ah, a foreign beauty unparalleled and unseen in these parts for so long," he says with mock wistfulness. "We must get to know each other. Perhaps dinner?" The other three council-members roll their eyes in practiced unison. Kendra stifles a smile.
Hearthmount nods a greeting to each of you.
"Was there something your friends needed, Kendra? They certainly have our thanks and that of our church in dealing with the... unpleasentries last night."
Iesha smiles and greets the councilmembers in turn.
"I'm pleased to meet all of you as well."
She answers Councilman Murican as she shakes his hand. "Perhaps another time, Councilman. There are far more weighty matters at hand that must be dealt with. Business before pleasure."
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Peredur keeps quiet for the most part, introducing himself but letting Iesah and Aleksandr do most of the talking.
"I realize it must be difficult to consult strangers about local problems, however, sometimes an outside eye can see the problem more clearly.
Here she pauses, to think out her next words.
"Professor Lorrimor, our mentor and friend, Kendra's father, believed there was a threat to Ravengro coming from Harrowstone. He suspected that a group of necromancers were trying to use, in some fashion, the spirit of one of the prisoners who perished there so long ago. That appears to have been what he was investigating when he...died up there. If we can learn more about the prison and it's -inhabitants- at the time, we may be able to complete his work and end any threat to Ravengro due to necromantic interference with the place."
She looks each of them in the eye and continues.
" We simply ask your help in researching this and your permission, should it be necessary, to do whatever it takes to put an end to the cause of the current...issues."
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Though you may question why you weren't told before this, Petros wasn't even certain enough to tell his own daughter of his fears, so I guess that he wished to avoid a panic if they turned out to be groundless. With th' strange events of th' past few days, though, 'twould seem that he may have been right."
Iesha's Diplomacy Check1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
At first, the council, Hearthmount in particular, seem to swell up with some conflated sense of importance--most assuredly out of fear, as Iesha explains the situation... but her words, and delivery sooth egos and fears.
Hearthmount sighs, and nods. Resigned acceptance shows in his eyes.
"If you truly believe that we can prevent further... unpleasentries... Please, make use of our records as you see fit. We need no more descrations, of the dead nor our memorials." Here he nods to the group and the council disperses.
Hearthmount turns back as he leaves, rearing himself up to his full height, trying as he might to remind the party, and probably himself, of his station.
"You will make no mention of any ghosts, or restless dead, or anything to the town. A panic would tear Ravengro apart."
With that, he is gone.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Peredur nods wordlessly at Hearthmount's directive, then after the councilor leaves turns back to the rest of the group. "This leaves us with but two questions: who would go where on th' morrow, Temple or Town Hall; and what shall happen to disturb our dinner tonight?"
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"It's doubts I'm having, Iesha. We still know naught of th' other four miscreants, so I think we're best off learning more of them 'fore we essay Harrowstone."
"I know we need more information. I'm just concerned that things are getting worse so fast that we may already be to far behind to do anything about it. I guess I'm just a bit frustrated at how little we seem to have accomplished. Why don't we revue what we already know and work from there."
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Kendra, you seem troubled. Have you aught to say on our plans?"
"I worry of the outcome of such an expedition. You have clearly proven yourselves capable... but as you know, my father was most capable as well." Her eyes fall to her food, her fork poised midair for a long moment before she drops it to her plate. "I am in no rush to lose anyone else, new friend or old." She smiles at Aleksandr and Iesha "You must be most careful if you journey there. Most careful... And while I know nothing of the condition of the ruins, if any records there are still intact, they could prove useful as well."
The meal finishes up, and Kendra retires early.
the evening is given over to the party for any activities they wish to pursue. Otherwise, we will proceed to Day 5.
Iesha will spend some time creating lists of all that we've discovered so far, one for each of us, with elegant decorations and fancy lettering. She will then go to her room to rest.
Iesha's updated notes:
A sinister organization of Necromancers, the Whispering Way has been active in the Inner Sea region for years. Members seek alliances with the undead--and it's most notorious member is certainly Tar Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant. Though the cult existed long before the Tyrant came along.
The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies, transmitted only via whisper, and never written. Their exact goals and nature are impsosible to pin down for this reason.
The only obvious goal of the Whispering Way is to engineer the release of The Whispering Tyrant. To this end they apparently investgate many haunted locales to research the nature of undeath and to sometimes capture unique monsters.
Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too much of the Way's secrets meet their end in hideous ways: mouths and faces mutilated to prevent communication via speak with dead spells.
The ruined prison known as Harrowstone was built in 4594 and was partially destroyed by fire in 4661 (fifty years ago). The locals predictably believe it to be haunted.
The town of Ravengro was founded at the same time as a home for the guards and support staff of the prison.
In the fire that destroyed the prison, the warden, his wife (no one knows why she was in the prison) and 23 of the guards, as well as all of the prisoners. The remaining guards panicked when the prisoners found another way out, and started the fire in a desperate and successful attempt to stop the escape.
A statue was erected on the riverbank nearby in memorial of the guards.
After the prison was established, its success lead to dangerous prisoners being transferred from locations all around Ustalav.
The temple had records of the transfer of five prisoners labeled as 'highly dangerous', 'the worst we've had in centuries' and giving their names as: Father Charlatan, The Piper of Illmarsh, The Lopper, The Mosswater Marauder and the Splatter Man.
When the prison burned down, the prisoners had taken control of the basement in a riot and had been in command for several hours. Warden Hawkran had triggered a deadfall, trapping himself and many of the guards in with the prisoners in an effort to prevent a mass escape.
The local girls have a skipping song that seems to relate to the prisoners:
"Put her body on the bed,
Take a knife and lop her head.
Watch the blood come out the pipe,
Feeds the stirge, so nice and ripe.
Drops of red so sparkly bright,
Splatters spell her name just right.
With a hammer killed his wife,
Now he wants to claim your life.
Tricksy father tells a lie,
Listen close or you will die."
The temple also held records on the so-called 'Father Charlatan'; to wit: one Sefick Corvin, noted to be a prisoner of Harrowstone, killed in the fire that destroyed the prison. His crimes are listed as blasphemy, impersonating clergy members, dozens of counts of extortion, and accessory to the murder of several members of the Lepidstadt watch. Devan Caromarc, count of Lepidstadt at the time, had requested the transfer of the prisoner known as 'Father Charlatan' to Harrowstone for eventual execution.
The barmaid noted during the stirge attack that they seemed to flap their wings in time to the music. So, some relation to the Piper of Illmarsh?
Also, for some reason, someone painted the letter 'V' in blood on the monument.
Day 5: At breakfast, Iesha will hand everyone copies of her organized notes.
"Ok, so this is what we have so far...at least what I could remember of what we've found. It looks like we still need to locate information on the four remaining, so-called, 'worst' prisoners; The Piper of Illmarsh, The Lopper, The Mosswater Marauder and the Splatter Man. Can anyone else think of any other information we've had or might need?"
She pauses to review her notes.
"So far, most of the information we've obtained has been from the Temple's records. We finally have permission to check the Town Hall records, though. Hopefully they have details on these prisoners as well. Who wants to go where today?"
"It looked formed to me. What do the rest of you think? Deliberate or accident? There's enough going on here that my impression could be just paranoia."
She looks around at the rest of them.
"And I'd like to try the town hall today as well. Maybe a new place will inspire me.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Th' letter looked to me as though 'twere there deliberately, but 'twasn't brushed on. It could've been an accident, though. Best we wait to see if any other sprays of blood turn up, to compare.
"I'll return to th' temple, for fortune's favored me there. Taanyth and Aleksandr, what of you?"
"Off to the town hall, then."
Kn_history: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Iesha, I think you get another +4 bonus for the quality of the town hall records.
Peredur returns to the temple.
Knowledge (Religion) check: 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 7 + 4 = 15
I think you're right. Aleksandr and Alzano can add in as well, either as aid another or as the main roll with me aiding. Also; researching 1d2 ⇒ 1 1= Mosswater Maurader, 2=Splatter Man; I forgot we already had info on Father Charlatan as well.
Alzano heads to the town hall and gets to work on looking through the records. "I'll see what I can find about this Piper fellow... Illmarsh is a long way away to be transferred."
Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 7 + 4 = 31... I am a font of information!
"Wow, Alzano, that's great! We should have brought you before. You seem to have an instinct for where such records are filed."
Peredur whiles away another day in the catacombs beneath the church of Pharasma, while Alzano and Iesha find a note regarding the Piper of Illmarsh.
"He never gave his name. He never spoke after we caught him. He just hummed that melody over and over. Wistful, haunting even. Got under my skin for sure.
Good thing we took his flute, because he was somehow luring his pet stirges with that cursed thing. After he paralysed his victims with Lich Dust, he'd summon the winged beasts to suck the poor soul dry! Let him rot in Harrowstone!"
I will assume Aleksandr is researching at the temple with Peredur and roll for him. One of you needs to specify who you are researching however.
Aleksandr's Knowledge Religion check: 1d20 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 9 + 4 = 23 Pick a fiend
|Peredur ap Erevel|
Unless Aleksandr has another idea, let's go with the Lopper, since that's the first couplet in the rhyme.
Alzano's eyes go wide and he rubs his arms, now covered in goosebumps. "Dracu'mi! The bastard had stirges for bloody pets!" he swears in Varisian, showing the record to Iesha. "Lich dust too... nasty poison. Wonder if we should find some antitoxin before we head to the prison."
"It couldn't hurt, that's for sure. I'm not powerful enough to neutralize any poisons we might contact, but I did see an apothocary shop in the town square. Perhaps they will have anti-toxin, or can make some."
Vance Saetressle: prisoner, transferred from *illegible*.
Crime: eleven murders by decapitation.
Cause of death: 'Perished in the fire at Harrowstone Prison -- no body recovered. Aged twenty four years.'
Iesha and Alzano make their way to Jominda's Apothecary. Jominda is an attractive young woman, who busies herself behind the counter counting her goods as Sheriff Caeller wanders from shelf to shelf, poking and prodding at different things.
"Come now, sheriff. You know I would never supply such things." she smiles at the man.
She nods at the newcomers as they enter.
"Hello and welcome, how can I help you this day?"
Iesha, suspecting that they don't have enough to purchase anti-toxin, nevertheless stops by the Apothocary, to see if they even carry something that might work and to price it.
"I'm not sure if you can help at this time. We're investigating the -recent events- with the permission of the council. This may involve investigating Harrowstone itself. We've lerned tht one of the prisoners, the man known as the Piper of Illmarsh, used a poison made of lich dust to paralyse his victims before feeding them to his pet stirges. Is there an anti-toxin for that poison? Would any samples, should we come in contact with them, even still be effective?"
She turns to the Sheriff (if he's stil there).
"Sheriff, we'd also like to ask you about Professor Lorrimor's death up there, if you have time."
Jominda raises a curious, somewhat amused eyebrow at Iesha.
"Lich dust? I don't really know how long it would remain potent. I do have antitoxins available should you need them of course..." She looks at Caeller for a second. "Is one of Harrowstone's ghosts your prime suspect for the defacing of the memorial, Sheriff?" She grins.
Caeller laughs. "With the lack of any evidence, I would not be surprised!" He leaves, casting a long glance at Jominda before he does.
"If you wish to speak, I will be at the town jail," he tells Iesha on his way out.
|Peredur ap Erevel|
"Good eyes, Aleksandr! If th' others managed to learn of theirs, we'll have but two more to find. Back to Lorrimor's now, I'm thinking. It's troubled I am by th' quiet last night, and I fear tonight will be less calm by far." Peredur gathers up the copy of the death record and thanks the acolyte on the way out.
"Thank you for the information. I'm not sure we'll need it, but it's nice to know an antidote exists. How much would such an antidote cost? And what other potions might you have available?"
Iesha will study the wares Jominda has on display.
A selection of potions are listed on a parchement on the wall, as well as a few displays containing a few alchemical substances See 'special substances and items, table 6-9.
Illusion of Calm
touch of the sea
Iesha will survey the list, then say"Thanks for the information. We will certainly be back to stock up once we're ready to act."
She will then leave and head over to the jail.
"Professor Lorrimor thought that there was something strange going on at Harrowstone, something out of the ordinary. He'd been observing the place for a while, looking for signs of necromantic activity. I don't want to upset Kendra too much, so I'd like to ask you about just what happened and how you found him up there. Would you be willing to fill us in on the details of how the Professor died?"
Caeller pauses for a long moment. His eyes grow distant, and he stares beyond the passing people.
"Kendra... Miss Lorrimor grew concerned after her father did not return one night. At her request, the deputies searched the area. We found him soon after among the ruins of Harrowstone." He pauses, then swings his gaze to Iesha. His eyes speak of painful memories. "He had been up there for no reason we could discern. We saw no signs of any foul play. He was laid low by bad luck, bad timing, and an ill wind. Some great chunk of the Prison wall had come lose, and crushed his skull."
"Was there anything else you need?"
"There were no indications of any foul play, no hint that anyone - or anything - else was there?
"Thank you for the information. We will do our best to aid you and this town, by combating the -problem- at what we believe to be it's source. If there is any other way we can help, please, let us know."