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DM Corvus' Carrion Crown PBP (Inactive)

Game Master CorvusRed

United by the death of a common friend and teacher, five heroes must face the horrors of Ustalav's past.


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Female Changeling Witch 4; Init: +2; Perc: +0 (+9 - Kieli); Fort: +2; Ref: +3; Will: +4 (+2 vs Fear)

Knowledge: History 1d20 + 7 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 7 + 4 = 18

Sorry to hear that, Iesha! Hope your trip improves quickly!


female Half-elf Cleric-4

Iesha gathers up all the papers that look important to take with them for further study.


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"Fortunate we are that none of th' town's young adventurers felt th' need for a fire here."


Female Changeling Witch 4; Init: +2; Perc: +0 (+9 - Kieli); Fort: +2; Ref: +3; Will: +4 (+2 vs Fear)

"Agreed. Well, if we have everything we wish to look through, shall we head back now and do some reading?"


RESEARCH RESULTS:

Professor Feramin was a celebrated scholar of Anthroponomastics (the study of personal names and their origins) at the Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental association with a succubus twisted and warped his study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation was ruined, he’d lost his tenure, and he’d developed an uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between a person’s name and what happens to that name when the person dies. Every few days, he would secretly arrange for his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood, perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim’s name, he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess using a complex trap or series of rigged events meant to look like an accident.

With a successful foray into research under their belt, the party decides it may be time to return to town for the evening. The ominous thunder of another storm coming down off the mountains to the northwest only eases this decision.

Finding shelther once again at the Laughing Demon, Zokar provides the fine food and ale that they've more or less grown accustomed to. The inn itself is relatively quiet, with few patrons this evening. As the food arrives, the patter of rain sounds on the roof.


female Half-elf Cleric-4

"OK, now we know more about yet another of the big 5. Any ideas about what we should do next or how to handle these spirits?"

@the new people:

Iesha is a young half-elf, about 5' 6”, with a dusky (almost Vudran-like) skin tone, brilliant purple eyes and silvery-white hair. She has a birthmark/tattoo of Shelyn's symbol on her right shoulder. Her hair is worn long and loose to mid-back, tied in place by a Varisian scarf with the knot on the right. She also has multiple small braids, died in a rainbow pattern beginning on the right, framing her face under the scarf. She is wearing the light armor of the Shelyn temples (polished and enameled copper with Shelyn's symbol surrounded by four roses, one in each traditional color) over a traveling outfit of a loose gold hakama skirt, a gold sleeveless shirt and gold fingerless gloves starting just above the elbow and enhanced with flowing trim. The whole outfit is wrapped with a saffron-colored sari embroidered along its edges with roses in green, red, gold and white.


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"It's thinking I am to return on th' morrow, after some rest, and essay th' second floor. 'Tis that, or bring tools to clear th' stairs below."

Peredur is a slightly older half-elf, and at 6'3" towers over his slighter comrade-in-arms. The contrast doesn't end there, as his hair is colorless and his garb is much more subdued in hue than hers--studded leather armor with no other decoration with a somewhat charred tan cloak, and the rest of his clothes are brown or grey. A simple wooden Pharasmin spiral is fixed to his armor at one shoulder. His accent betrays an origin in the more rural parts of Andoran.


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

In the center table, a gaunt and lanky man still covered in road dust pokes suspiciously at a steaming bowl of stew. “What did you call this, again? Corpse chowder?” He swivels his head back and forth between stew and innkeep, eyes wide in mock horror. “You...you did say you buried old Lorry, didn’t you?” He raises a mouthful with a trembling spoon and chews it thoughfully.

“Well, your village, your customs, I suppose. Just can’t imagine that Lorry would have enjoyed being eaten. Not that he would have enjoyed being stuck in a wooden box and buried either, mind you. But him being dead, I doubt it would have upset him much.”

“Not that being dead in a box in the ground is a happy thing. If I asked any of you, ‘I’m going to stick you in a box in the ground, would you rather be alive or dead?’ I bet you’d say ‘Alive!’ quick enough. At least then you’d have a chance, right? You could hope someone would come by, you could shout for help...”Help! Help! Oh, Pharasma save me, I’ve been buried alive! Help me, please...anyone...”

Perform(Comedy)--too soon?: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

His shouts trail off in a suffocating gasp, and he takes another big bite of stew. “Huh. Zokar, your cooking makes cannibalism seem like a viable alternative.” His bland tone makes it hard to tell if he’s giving the innkeep a compliment or an insult.

“So I missed the funeral, did I?”


Zokar's usually impenetrable good humor seems to falter a step at the morose bard's humor. But it is for only a moment. He laughs and slaps the man on the back.

"Lorrimor told me of you, yes. The sour bard. Humor black as Ustalav midnight. Eat more, it will improve your outlook. Drink more, it'll only help too." he winks and laughs again before walking off to do whatever it is he does when not berating customers.


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

The inn's door suddenly slams open, and a woman comes striding into the common room. She kicks the door closed behind her without looking back, dark eyes already taking in the people seated and enjoying their dinners.

She appears to be Chelaxian; she has the classic dark hair and eyes, combined with pale skin. Unlike the typical Chelaxian - if such a creature exists - she has not bothered to make herself appear beautiful and wealthy. Her face would probably look softer with a little makeup; as it is, it can only be said to be handsome.

Her hair is tied back in a warrior's braid. A chainmail vest glistens with rain. Tough, black cloth covers the woman's body. A sword rides on the left side of her belt, a pouch on the right.

"I am looking," the woman says, her voice abrupt but musical, "for the domicile of the late Professor Lorrimor. Blast the weather for delaying me this long, I'll not waste more time. I would pay my respects to his heirs, even if I was not in time to hear his will read."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

A tall half-elf sitting at a table with four others waves Eloise over. "It's in luck you're being, ma'am. For in truth, when we've finished th' meal, we'll be returning to th' late Professor's house. You're welcome to join us; his daughter has been pleased to see so many of his friends."


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

"Daughter?" The morbid-minded stranger looks over at your table sharply, squinting at the ladies there. "Which of you is Kendra Lorrimar? Well, you, obviously enough, you've got his eyes. I'm hoping that's heredity, not necromancy."

He pulls a kerchief from his pocket, shakes a bit of filth from it ruefully, then sweeps it around in a rustic approximation of a courtly bow. "Hecsadmir Chevedzku of Graidmere at your service. Don't call me that, though, it's been so long since anyone's called me something polite I'd not recognize it. Heck will do, or Sour Heck if we're in a roomful of Hecks. Which I hope never happens, because that would mean we were in Graidmere."

"I am so very sorry I missed the funeral, though if you expected a letter to find me in Graidmere in just a few weeks time, you're a bigger optimist than your father. The messenger took so much time you'd think he'd had his legs bitten off by a manticore, when really it was just the one leg."

"Is it too late for me to see Lorry off? I brought my drum, which I guess will have to be enough, since I couldn't get a dirge singer here to Ravengro for ten silver. Which, come to think of it, is just as well, since I'm down to eight now, and plan to drink down to around three.


female Half-elf Cleric-4

Iesha blinks in surprise at the newcomers.

"Um, welcome. I am Iesha shadowstar-Petrosca, a friend of Professor Lorrimor. Sit down with us while we finish our meal, then come with us to the professor's home. Kendra has been most generous about allowing us to stay...and there's a lot to fill you in on. Much that shouldn't be discussed here."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"I am Eloise Tow," the Chelaxian woman says as she sits down at the table. "I may attempt to sing a dirge for the Professor, but I can not promise a good result. He... was my teacher once, and I learned a great deal, so I shall try, but my singing voice was never my strong suit."

Eloise sighs, and looks down at her hands. "The weather was against me the whole way," she says in a softer voice. "My donkey lost a hoof iron after the mudslide, so that took even more time... I must find some way to apologize to Ms. Kendra Lorrimore and the Professor's memory."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"Peredur ap Erevel, I. It's thinking I am that we should return to Kendra's quickly, as she might be worried for our safety. Then, and you're willing, we can guide you to th' Restlands, to pay your respects to th' Professor yourself."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"I would appreciate that very much, sir ap Erevel," Eloise says, and she briefly bows her head.


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

Sour Heck clearly needs very little invitation to join you. He drags his chair across the room, plonks his bowl of stew down on the group’s table and squeezes in.

“Then you’re not Kendra? Funny, your eyes do look like Lorry’s. Meaning you look at things the way he did--you know, thoughtful--not that your eyes are the same color. Or colors. Thoses eyes [/i]are[/i] both yours, aren’t they?” He shrugs apologetically to Talia. “I’m wearing mismatched stockings myself.”

He finishes his stew, using his fingers scoop the last drops into his mouth, then flips the bowl over and drums idly on the bottom until the others are ready to go.

So who were the five at the table before we arrived? Peredur and four others...Talia, Iesha, and who else?


The trip back to Kendra's is short, and thanks to the warm meal, the chill of the storm is a minor inconvenience.

Her relief is palpable when the group enters the house. She is sitting in a stuffed chair, attempting to read one of the innumerable volumes that line the walls. A fire warms and lights the room, Young and beautiful still, but the lines of grief and worry on her face seem near permanent now.

She stands and rushes to the party, embracing Iesha.

"Oh, I am so relieved. I have prayed for your safety..." Upon seeing the new faces, she composes herself.

"Greetings, I am Kendra Lorrimor. Please, make yourselves at home. Let me know if you need anything at all."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"Kendra, these be other friends of your father's--Eloise Tow and...Sour Heck, it were? We met at Zokar's."

ETA: The other two were the PCs you're replacing, who haven't yet been written out AFAICT. Two human males; one middle-aged and wearing a Pharasmin spiral, the other in nondescript leather armor.


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

“That’s very kind of you, Kendra. My mother always prays for my safety, which must confuse the gods greatly, considering the beatings she’s delivered to me in the past.”

“Were these prayers on account of the world being a horrible and dangerous place, or is there some specific misfortune you expect to befall me soon?”

I’ve read the gameplay thread up to this point, so I’m fine with a montage of you folks filling Sour Heck in, rather than you writing up a full summary.


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

The Chelaxian woman collects a donkey from the tavern's stable and leads it to Kendra's house by the reins.

Once everyone is inside, Eloise goes to one knee before Kendra and hangs her head. "I offer you my condolences on the passing of your father, milady Lorrimor," she says, "and my apologies for my tardiness. He was a great man and I owe him the debt of a lifetime. Please consider my steel and my Arts to be at your disposal, should you have a need of them."


female Half-elf Cleric-4

"There is a need."[b]

Iesha looks cautiously at Kendra. There is evidence that Professor Lorrimor's death was not an accident. He was researching a group known as the Whispering Way. They were after a soul trapped within the old burnt prison here. We are investigating. The investigation has already cost the life of one member of our group. If you're willing to help, we'll fill you in on the details."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

Knowledge (arcana) on the Whispering Way: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25.

Eloise rises to her feet, her mouth a thin line and her dark eyes practically spitting fire. "Murdered?" she says, her voice charged with emotion. "Murdered!"

Eloise's gloved hand trembles on the hilt of her longsword -- and it does not tremble with fear. "They shall pay," the Chelaxian woman says, clearly angry. "I will be happy to help you! They - shall - pay!"


Kendra seems taken aback at the odd man's humors, but smiles. "I cannot stand any more misfortune, friend. It has been too frequent a visitor as of late."

Kendra gasps at Iesha's news, and collapses back into her chair.

"Murdered?" she speaks to no one in particular. She stares off into nothing, fresh tears flowing from her eyes. "Oh, father... "


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"'Tis sorry we are to bring you th' news this way. In th' depths of Harrowstone, we spoke with th' ghost of Vesorianna Hawkran, th' warden's wife. 'Twas she who told us of how th' Whisperin' Way cultists bound her husband's spirit, so that she's th' only ward on five great and evil spectres; and how your father came upon th' cultists as they did th' binding and was killed for it. She's charged us with helping her bind th' five, lest they slip their bonds and haunt th' town with more than th' minor bogles we've faced thus far."


female Half-elf Cleric-4

Iesha blanches, as best she can. "I'm so sorry, Kendra. I should have tried to find a way to tell you first. Rest assured, we will find and deal with the perpetrators. But first, for his sake, we must repair the damage they did, in order to protect this town and it's people."


Female Changeling Witch 4; Init: +2; Perc: +0 (+9 - Kieli); Fort: +2; Ref: +3; Will: +4 (+2 vs Fear)

Talia looks crestfallen at causing Kendra pain. "Our apologies, Kendra. We should have taken you aside. We are still investigating, and will find out what really happened, and why. If there's anything we can do..." Her voice trails off, words failing her.

Turning to the newcomers, she says, "My name is Talia. I apologize for my reticence through dinner; my mind has been occupied on putting together what we have learned from the day, and what our next moves might be. It is a pleasure to meet other friends of the late Professor, and I am glad you could make it to pay your respects. If you wish, I am confident that I and my compatriots would be happy for your aid in investigating his death and the haunting of this town."

Talia's tall, pale form bows to Eloise and Sour in turn, her dark hair brushing the floor. From outside, a raven is heard cawing, whereupon she gives a faint smile.


Sour Heck cocks his head ironically. "All this time, I've been thinking how Lorry dead is a lot like Lorry alive--there he goes, off to chase another mystery."

"I come to hear his will, and find out he's left us a mystery to solve." Heck shrugs. "That's Lorry all over. And it beats what my grandfather left us--thirty years of debt to the tax man. Thank you very much, old friend."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

The ranger paces around the room, pausing briefly to absentmindedly straighten a lampshade. "Passing strange, it is, that so many of Petros' friends and colleagues have been willing to render you aid, Kendra...some, even to death. Why, th' only one who offered naught was that noble fellow, Adrissant. That brings to mind that we'd offered to guide th' pair of you to th' Restlands to pay your respects, and we should also tell Father Grimburrow what we've found thus far. Let us be away."


Kendra nods, and stands to join the party.

"I have not visited my Father yet today, and will accompany you."

The rain has mostly subsided, and the trip to the temple of Pharasma is not entirely unpleasant. Inside the party finds Grimburrow kneeling before the altar. As they enter, he turns to rise. The difference, height wise between a kneeling and standing gnome minimal as it is, he still dominates the chapel around him.

Father Grimburrow himself greets you with his typical sour face, though his words belie his inner relief at your return.

"You have had some luck in your endeavors at the prison yes? But we are still in the grips of this crisis, I know." He takes Kendra by the hand and smiles--what only accounts to a brief rearranging of the wrinkles in his face-- "Is there anything you need my dear? Anything any of you need? I hope you are ready to return to complete your work come morning."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"Good priest," Eloise says, as she gives Grimburrow a brief, military-style bow with one fist on her heart. "I have joined these worthy people in the investigation - and redress - of the late Professor's death. What I need is information. Please, all of you, tell me more about what is happening."

She hesitates for a moment, then adds: "That, and possibly a holy symbol, if we are to be dealing with the undead."


Grimburrow hands Eloise a wodden symbol of pharasma, The spiral symbol all her worshippers carry.

"Go with The Lady's blessing."

The party leaves, and moves to the graveyard. As night settles, several lights are seen moving alog the paths of the Restlands. While previous encounters may initially lead to some hesitation, the party catches the meter of Pharasmin prayers being chanted by what must be several of Grimburrow's acolytes.

During the journey, Kendra fills in Eloise as best she can.

"I reported my father missing to Sheriff Caeller after he disappeared one night. He is oft to wander and travel, but he has always told me. He did not that night. A pair of Caeller's deputies found him at the ruin of Harrowstone prison... part of the stonework there had... had come loose and crushed him. Or so we thought." she sets her jaw, the previous renewed grief becoming a glitter of rage.

"Our friends here arrived shortly after for the funereal. Some of the local cowards seemed to think my Father did not deserve to rest among their kin, but the situtation was diffused, thankfully. After the burial, my father's will was read. He has requested you stay and assist me with settling my accounts here, through the end of the month. In the meantime, we've had some sisues. Stirge attacks, the dead have risen. During a town meeting, the spirits of Harrowstone manifested themsevles somewhow and nearly burned down the hall with most of the town inside. We were lucky to have such heroes here to help. From there, I do not know the sepcifics of their journey to the prison, but they were hired by the town to deal with the malevolance that has been brewing there." She looks at Eloise and Sour Heck and smiles. "I am glad more of Father's friends have come. This situation is... daunting."

"We are almost there."

any of the party want to fill in any gaps, please do so.


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"Daunting indeed," Eloise says in a grim tone of voice. As the group comes closer to Professor Lorrimor's grave, however, her expression softens to simple grief, and she starts to sing a dirge in the langage of lost Azlant.

Perform (sing) 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18.


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

I wrote this first part before I saw Eloise’s post.

Heck pulls Eloise to one side of the path and confers quietly with her as the group approaches the graveside.

“There’s no time to teach you any of the Kellid dirge forms that traditionally accompany the funeral drums I’m going to play, which is probably for the best, since they all sound like wolves drowning. Instead, just follow my beat in Pharasman plainsong.” He hums a few bars of a meditative chant. “Just like in church, yes? Minus the uncomfortable seating. Whatever you want to say to Lorry, just chant it out--it’s a very forgiving form, no one even expects you to rhyme. Good gods, you could set a shopping list to plainsong if you wanted.” He takes a deep breath and belts a passable imitation of a gnome singing a Pharasman hymn:

“One sturdy burlap bag,
Twenty feet of leather cord,
Five pounds of offal,
Half an ounce of rat poison.”

He ignores any reactions to the outburst and goes back to speaking quietly to Eloise. “Just relax--however bad you’re afraid you’ll sound, it’ll be better than that. I’m sure Lorry will have no complaints.”

Here’s where Eloise breaks into her dirge.

Heck’s jaw drops. He listens to the first measure of Eloise’s song dumbstruck, then starts quietly tapping a beat in the air. He pulls a hide drum from his pack, and starts following her lead with a doubled beat, careful not to disrupt her performance. As is traditional, one half of his beat gradually falters and falls away, leaving half the music to punctuate the other’s absence. When her dirge comes to an end, the drum stops sharply, leaving the Restlands in silence.

Performance (drums) to aid another’s performance: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"Good drumming," Eloise tells Sour Heck, and briefly squeezes his shoulder - not painfully, just as a sign of companionship. "Very good."

Sighing, she puts the symbol of Pharasma around her neck and approaches the grave. "Hello, Professor," she says as she sketches the spiral sign of Pharasma. "Better late than never, I hope..."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

Peredur's face betrays a growing tension as he hears Sour Heck's quiet commentary during the approach to the grave site, but as Eloise begins to sing and the bard drums along, he visibly relaxes. The echoes of the last drumbeat die away among the tombs of the Restlands, but the half-elf continues tapping out the beat with one hand on his sword hilt. "Lovely, that were. Th' both of you. Wheree'r Petros is, it's thinking I am that he hears and approves."


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

Heck raises an eyebrow at Eloise. "Meh, I was mud for a flower to grow in. If you ever need work, you could make a living as a dirge singer. The pay's bad, the food's terrible, and you're on the road too much, but you meet the most interesting people. Some of them while they're still breathing."

He stage-whispers to Peredur, "If you think of a way to pass the hat to wheree'r Lorry is, let me know."

He stands quietly for the rest of the visit, remembering the curious spirit of Petros Lorrimor, who loved to laugh.


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

The half-elf laughs. "Aye, that I will."


female Half-elf Cleric-4

Iesha nods. "You both are quite good. I understand why you were amoung those he chose to summon."

She sighs, then continues. "Let us retire to Kendra's home and we can fill you in on all that's been happening here. he's left us quite a mess, but so far, we've been able to handle it."

She pauses, remembering "Well, mostly."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

Eloise smiles briefly at Sour Heck. "It's a thought. I've been more after giving the dirge-singers work to do, though - provided any cared to strain their vocal chords for bandits and such. It's a job that pays a bit, the food's not always good and you're on the road too much for, but you do meet interesting people... Sometimes while they're still breathing. But do not think ill of the earth that grants flowers life, Sour Heck. It takes earth and sky to make green things flower, after all."

The Chelishwoman winks at the Ustalavian Bard before she turns to Iesha.

"If all the Professor had summoned me for was my ability to remember old songs, this would be a much lighter occasion, milady. Wish it were so. Yes, let us adjourn to the Profes - to Milady Kendra's house. I am eager to get started."


female Half-elf Cleric-4

After they return, Iesha pulls out her notes and adds them to the papers they've recovered from Harrowstone.

"This is what we've been able to learn so far: There was a riot and escape attemot about 50 years ago in Harrowstone. The Warden, Lyvar Hawkram, and many of the guards were trapped in the lower portion of the prison when the warden triggered some sort of deadfal to seal that area. The prisoners attemted to secure the only other way out, an elevator. The remaining guards secrued it and were attempting to hold them while waiting for help when the warden's wife, Vesorianna, arrived tryng to find why her husband was late for dinner. Apparently, they lived in a manor on the grounds of the ptison."

She pauses for breath, reviewing some of the notes and their conversation with the lady's ghost. "Mrs. Hawkran panicked and in an effort to save her husband, sent the elevator down tot he lower level. the guards siezed her and locked her in a secure room while trying to stop the prioner's renewed escape attempts. Somehow, a fire started and the guards fled, leaving Mrs. Hawkram and the prisoners on the upper level, uninvolved in the riot, to die when smoke form the fire filled the prison."

Iesha stops, briefly, obviously upset at the events. "I'm sorry, it bothers me a bit. Most of those people were probably sentenced to death anyway, but not like that. The result, due to our nation's history and curse, that the majority of the souls rose as undead, powered by hatred of those who left them to die. However, both the Warden and his wif also rose and held the prisoner's spirits in control. The place was cursed, haunted, but not dangerous if you stayed away."

She picks up the professor's journal. "When professor Lorrimor and Kendra returned here to live, he began researching the place and learned of the Whispering Way's interest in the place. He believed they wanted the soul of one of the firmer prisoners. As you can see from his last note in the journal, he realized when they were going to act and set out to stop them...on his own. He...failed."

Iesha chokes back tears, swallows and continues. "Working from his notes we found that just before the riot five new prisoners, described as the' worst of the lot' had been transferred to Harrowstone. We've been tryng to learn what we can of them, but the records are old and incomplete. what we have so far on them is this:

The man known as the Lopper was one Vance Saetressle who killed eleven people by decapitation.

The Piper of Ilmarsh, whose name no one ever learned, killed victims whom he paralyzed with lich dust by feeding them to his pet stirges.

Sefick Corvin, also known as Father Charlatan due to his habit of impersonating members of the clergy was an accessory to murder and blasphemy.

The Splatter Man, the one who seems to be having the most effect on the town, was once Professor Feramin, a talented and learned man who obssessed with imagined power of names and started murdering mostly women via elaborate traps involving spelling out their names in blood.

We've so far been unable to learn anything about the fifth menber of the group, the so-called The Mosswater Marauder."

She reviews her notes again. "What we learned from Vesorianna today is that the Way was not after any of them. They instead, captured the soul of Warden Hawkram, thus removing the major force keeping the spirits of the prisoners trapped. Mrs. Hawkram is doing her best to keep them contained, but she is being attacked by the Splatter Man, who is trying to destroy her and free all of the spirits. He's been somehow causing her name to be spelt out, in blood, on the monument to the Waren and the guards, and Mrs Hawkram herself."

She shivers, remembering. "That is what resulted in the death of one of our original companions, Taanyth Tuilinn. He was murdered and his blood used to mark the monument."

She turns to Peredur. "Have I covered everything?"


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

Peredur nods. "Aye, that's th' most of it. There's but a few things you missed--when we spoke with Vesorianna's ghost, she charged us to find her late husband's badge of office, for with it she'd have th' power to keep all th' spirits bound. Th' badge is on his body, in th' lower level, so it's the elevator we need. Or th' time to move th' deadfall, which I'm thinking we lack.

"To lay th' five worst spirits to permanent rest, we're told, will take something belonging to each. All of their belongings, though, sit back of a heavy door and a well-made lock; th' key, of course, is with th' warden's body.

"Best we be settling in and making an early start on th' morrow. There's much to do, and little time to do it in."


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"What of the Warden's spirit?" Eloise asks. "Are we charged with releasing it from these Whispering filth? And should we do anything to safeguard the Warden's monument against more of these morbid writings? A consecration ritual, perhaps..."


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

”The Mosswater Marauder? I’ve been up to my knees in every mossy, watery corner of Ustalav, and heard every midnight horror story boasting about infamous local cutthroats.”

History (Local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10

"Never heard of that bugger, though."


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

"Send this Feramin to th' Lady's judgment and give Vesorianna th' badge...that will stop th' desecration. We know naught of where th' Warden's spirit were taken, for now. It's thinking I am that th' freeing of his spirit will have to wait on dealing with Harrowstone, protecting Kendra, and seeing Petros' books safely to Lepidstadt. Then, though, it's on th' trail of th' Whisperin' Way I think I'll be." He looks around at the rest of the group. "And from your expressions we'll be doing this task together, hey?"


Female Human Bladebound Magus 4; Initiative +5; Perception +2; hp 22/34; AC 15 (11 touch, 14 flat-footed); Fort. +5/+6; Ref. +2; Will +4

"Books?" Eloise says, her eyes widening slightly. "What books might these be?"


Male Half-Elf Ranger 4 (Urban Ranger archetype)| Init +5|Perc +14/+16 for undead| HP 36/36| Saves F +6/R +7/W +3; +4 vs. ench.

The ranger seems faintly worried by Eloise' question and instead of replying himself looks over at Iesha.


Male Human (Ustalavic) Bard (Dirge Bard) 4 (Initiative + 6, Perception +7, AC 13 (10 touch, 13 flat-footed), Fort: +4, Ref: +4, Will: +4, HP 34/34))

"So we'll enter these haunted ruins tomorrow morning?" Heck sighs. "I've always suspected I'd wind up murdered by bloodthirsty ghosts. Seems almost a relief to know for sure."

"Taking all of Lorry's books to Lepidstadt calls for a caravan, not the lot of us. Which room is his library?"


female Half-elf Cleric-4

"Actually, only a few are to be taken there. He had several unpleasant, not quite banned, books he was using in his research. He wants those sent to the University in Lepidstadt, in the care of one Professor Montagie Crowl. There is also another tome, locked securely, to be delivered to an Embreth Diarmid as well. We're to be paid 100 platinum when we do so."


"They have been kept under lock and keye in the meantime. I assure you both, they are nothing malicious. The measures taken by my father are a product of this usual thoroughness."

Back to the house, with Eloise and Heck shown their quarters, Kendra then bids the party good night and retires.

Day 8

Another gray early spring morning greets the party. Breakfast is served, simple and filling. Kendra also leaves out a parcel for each of you as well, containing bread, cheese and fruit. Kendra herself, however, is nowhere to be found.

Any business in town, or are we away back to your horrible deaths? err, I mean the prison...

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