Looking around at the rest of his companions Vharg motions towards the door. Grab what you need, sort rest later. Hefting his Guisarme Vharg moves out of the Wardens office north to the next room. S5, or if we have already checked that out, then north through the top set of doors in S2
Perrah picks up a healing potion and one to restore abilities. "I doubt i will be hurt as much as others but I can administer to the fallen with these."
Took cure moderate wounds and lesser restoration potions.
"Why a hero? He could have just been foolish. surely this place was his responsibility. Unless someone undermined him in some way, perhaps trying to free the prisoners. But who would do that?"
Mortimer reaches over and picks up one of the potions of Lesser Restoration. "The Unquiet Dead often have the unholy power to sap your life force. These will help." he says. He slips the potion into his belt pouch as he walks back out into the corridor. "Grab whatever's left. Lead us back to the foyer, Vharg."
Pocketing the valuables, you all follow Vharg as he moves back to the entry foyer. This time the door remains open and the threatening presence is missing although the doors are still more solid than what you saw in the previous corridor. Reaching a tentative hand out, Vharg grasps the door handle and turns, pushing the door open into darkness.
Perrah sends her lights flitting down the blackened hallway and flickering shadows creep across the walls of this long hallway. There are doors on both the east and west walls as well as a set of double doors at the end of the hallway to the north. Despite the lights and darkvision, the hall still carries a certain feeling of foreboding as you look down its length.
Map link updated. Had to switch it to a JPEG due to size, just as a FYI.
Treasure list (can you spoiler what you have taken so we can keep it out the fun)
In the safe you find:
- 4 potions of cure moderate wounds - Vharg (1), Perrah (1), 2 more
- 3 potions of lesser restoration - Perrah (1), Mortimer (1), more
- 2 potions of remove disease - ?
- 500gp - ?
Perrah trails along behind the warriors directing her lights ahead of everyone.
Opening the southerly door, you see a large chamber with rows of wooden benches, all of them spotted with mold and sagging with neglect. The smaller door that Vharg looks through opens on to a slightly raised stage walled off from the rest of the large room by a wall of iron bars, with a rotted podium set in the middle.
Doors open off the room to the west.
Map link updated.
Guess room was to display prisoners. Bah! Better to die then taken like chattle. Giving the room a quick sweep of his eyes Perception, Vharg moves onto the next set of door. Double doors leading to the East of S15
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Or perhaps this is the prison's chapel. The bars may be to protect the priest rather than contain a prisoner.
Knowledge (religion): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Perrah re-casts detect magic at the altar area and then moves over to check out the small side door. She does not touch it but looks around first.
Perception check 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
"It looks fine. There maybe magical protections though."
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Moving along the narrow back stage, you come to the solid metal door that sits securely in its frame. Scanning it for traps and giving the all clear, Randu then turns to the lock. Randu and Alexei spend a few minutes working at the lock until finally it gives with a click. Pushing the door open, you look into a dusty room that contains a bizarre collection of antique goods that rest upon wooden shelves that line the room. Several of the items contain tiny tags with labels written in a careful script.
There are any number of items here that seem to have been the property of the inmates or employees. While most look relatively valueless except to their original owner, some do jump out at you including a thin wooden stick that Perrah points out radiates magic.
- MW thieve's tools
- bronze war medallion from the Shining Crusade(40gp)
- unframed Taldan painting of Stavian I(100gp)
- set of noblewoman's silver hair clips(35gp)
- MW punching dagger
- pouch containing 12 MW shuriken
- MW silver war razor
- unidentified wand
As you're all looking over the shelves, Mortimer and Randu find a cleverly hidden catch in one of the shelves that indicates a secret chamber of some kind in the eastern wall. The entrance doesn't appear to contain any traps based on Randu's once over.
Made some assumptions on what you would probably do. Map link updated.
It seems that this investigation is turning out to be quite a bit more... lucrative... then I would have imagined. Could it be possible that the Whispering Way's motives are less sinister, and more financial? After all, even an apocalyptic cult of undead worshipers needs to eat. Unless, of course they're undead themselves. But, they may still want nice things. Then again, they may only want to annihilate the nice things....
Ilya continues to ramble on about the possible motives and counter-motives of cultists, as the party examines the loot stash. As he does, he wanders around the room, childishly drawing swirling patterns in the thick layers of dust.
Perception for hidden things: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
I may have lost the thread of things. Are we still in the caged off section of S15, or have we entered S16?
You are in and around S16, that is where the loot was found along with the secret door. Some of you could be in the small section of S15 if you'd like but I figured a couple of you went in to look at the items if nothing else. The map just shows you there to give an idea of the narrowness of the stage and where you were coming from.
"No Ilya, if the Whispering Way were after money, they would have taken all this." Mortimer says, moving through the room and scrutinizing the tags on the items. He seems distracted, lost in his own thoughts for a moment. Standing next to Randu, his eyes fix on something. "Randu, you see this?" he asks, pointing out the catch. After Randu concurs there are no traps, he steps aside and calls Vharg over. "Vharg! There appears to be a hidden door here. Stand ready and I'll open it." Mortimer lifts the catch and carefully opens the secret door.
Perrah attempts to test the wand for its powers. Knowledge (arcana) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23, Spellcraft 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22 coupled with detect magic
She steps back a little while the magical investigations takes time.
Mortimer releases the catch and slowly slides open the secret door in the wall. Beyond it is a small room, little more than an alcove, that contains a few small shelves. There are currently five items on the shelves, each with a small tag like you saw in the main property room.
The first item is a handaxe that Perrah notes radiates magic. Looking it over, it is covered in old blood stains across it's blade and handle. The tag tied to the handle lists the owner as "one Vance Saetressle, a.k.a. The Lopper".
The next item is really a collection of items actually. 12 holy symbols lie tangled together by their silver chains in a clump on a shelf. Amongst them you can see various symbols of different faiths, including most of your own. Between the silver of the chains and quality of the symbols, they are worth 300gp. There is a tag threaded through one of the symbols that reads "Property of Sefick Corvin, a.k.a. Father Charlatan".
The third item is an old, moldy looking spellbook that is caked with dirt and grime. A small card sits resting against it that labels it as "1 spellbook, personal possesion of a Hean Feramin, a.k.a. The Splatter Man".
The fourth item is a MW smith's hammer, although you can tell it could easily be used as a light hammer in a fight. There is nothing else notable about the object except for the tag tied around the handle that reads "Property of Ispin Onyxcudgel, a.k.a. The Mosswater Marauder".
The last item is a tarnished MW silver flute, which cleaned up could conceivably fetch about 300gp. Tied around the instrument is a tag that simply reads "real name unknown, commonly referred to as The Piper of Illmarsh".
Other than these five items, the room is empty.
Vharg pensively eyes the found objects, careful to touch nothing. Vharg think all these things we find belonged to prisoners of Harrowstone. Pointing with one dirt encrusted nail to the items found in behind the hidden door, he rumbles partially to himself. We have names of important prisoners now. That is good. Cautiously he goes to pick up the bloodstained hand-axe. His hand hovering over the handle. Vharg shakes his head amd the reaches up to touch his black amulet. Perra you said this Axe have majicks? Vharg not touch axe until he knows more. What majicks are on it?
You are right. It would be...premature...to handle the items without further study. We should take them back to Mistress Lorrimor's for examination. With that he pulls out a pair of small tongs from his alchemists kit that are usually used for holding hot beakers and begins carefully pulling the items out and laying them on a blanket to be wrapped up for transport. He is taking care to make sure that neither he nor anyone else directly touches the items.
Perrah hands over the wand to Ilya and shrugs off the chance of great magic. "Yours I believe."
Then she examines the axe carefully, trying to discern its truth. "I am not sure, Vharg."
Detect magic plus Spellcraft roll 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 on the axe.
Then she grabs for the spellbook and quickly leafs through the hopefully arcane pages. "I would like to know the provenance of this. Maybe the spells themselves would be a clue?"
Mortimer moves to grab Perrah's arm. He holds her hand back from the book. "Don't!" he says in an alarming voice. He pulls her away. "I am sorry, Perrah. But Randu has a point. We must not touch anything until we know more about whether they carry the curse of their owners." he says.
Knowledge: Religion on the possibility of these items being haunted and ways to find out if they are without touching them 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21 +2 more vs Undead.
Mortimer calls out a second too late as Perrah picks up the book. You all pause waiting for something to happen but seconds pass by and nothing changes. Shaking her head ruefully at him, Perrah thumbs through the spell book looking for clues. Like the cover of the book, most of the pages are moldy and rotten, illegible ink and stains scattered across the pages. Looking closer there do appear to be some spells that survived intact. Read magic can be used to identify them as per learning spells from a spell book as normal.
Percentile was to determine if Mortimer called out in time to stop Perrah.
The handaxe is a +1 handaxe.
Mortimer, you're aware that items can be haunted just as easily as places or people but like with all haunts, it's often hard to identify them until they've manifested themselves.
Perrah stares and frowns at the page for a moment then shrugs it off, "it couldn't, could it?"
She smiles up at Mortimer and looks down at her stick thin arm held by the inquisitor. "I didn't know you cared? Vharg it is just a slightly sharper axe, no extra magic that I could find. How about trying to disrupt the negative energy? That may work from a distance of a few feet."
Except for Perrah's overeagerness with the book, Alexei is able to grab the remaining four items with his tongs and get them settled on his bedroll. Wrapping them tightly, he makes sure that none of their surfaces are exposed to be touched.
So I assume you're taking whatever valuables were in the other room. Who's taking the bundle of items from the secret room? Also, what's the next step, there's nothing else in the secret chamber?
Rather than trying to exorcise spirits that may or may not be there... Why don't we ask some friends?
Ilya pulled out the spirit planchette and set it on the ground before him. Alexei, kindly lay the items on the ground here. Perrah, the book, too. Now... Ilya spent a few moments scratching letters onto the floor with chalk. Strangely, they were not the letters of the common tongue. He then sat silently for several moments with his eyes closed, before he placed his hands on the planchette.
<Freia, ust lei artifises compromiso ven loe enervete Harrowstone?>
I have no idea what Halfling sounds like... =)
Will Save (-2 for being in Harrowstone): 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 4 - 2 = 21
Mortimer frowns and stalks away into the storeroom, muttering, "Damn fools don't listen." He spends his time there packing the art items and jewelry in a sack. He glances over at Ilya from time to time as he works the Spirit Planchette, a worried look on his face.
Ilya intones his question as he rests his hands on the planchette. After a few moments, the planchette begins to scrape noisily across the stone of the floor. It moves without focus for a minute before sliding to rest atop three different letters. After that it doesn't move again and Ilya picks it up and places it back in its case.
It spelled Yes.
Hair rising on the back of his neck Vharg continues to clutch his black stone talisman, the faint internal heat of the black stone warming his hand and giving him a sense of peace and safety. However as he watches Ilya commune with the spirits his face pales and he has to restrain himself from wildly looking about the room. If items cursed then Vharg say we burn them! Let fire cleanse taint. As if to put action to his words Vharg begins digging into his pack, looking for another torch and flint. Grumbling that he failed to bring any more torches with him he turns to the diminutive halfling. Ilya, Vharg think it not good idea to call otherworld here. Vharg know some places, barriers are weak, like crumbling stone wall. When you look into darkness... It looks back into you.
Picking up his pack Vharg walks back over to Mortimer. You have everything? Good. We finish this floor while light remains. Vharg then proceeds to the double doors East side of S15 opening them cautiously and advancing into whatever lays ahead.
DMJ, how many hours of light do we have left?
Not fearing the dead, Alexei rewraps the items and puts them back in his back. These items will make a fascinating study when we get back. As far as the darkness, a wise man once told me "Darkness is not to be feared any more than light is to be feared. You can find evil and good in both. Fight evil wherever it is and disregard the circumstances." One of Professor Lorrimors more memorable pearls of wisdom. With a smile on his face at finding potential new knowledge, Alexei follows Vharg into the next room.
Vharg leads the way back into the auditorium, this time on the other side of the iron bars. As he and Mortimer move through the center of the room, you can all see their breaths suddenly steaming on the air. Before they can even react, their entire forms seem to be covered in a thin layer of frost.
Cursing, both men jump back and brush the frost from their clothes, their skin blistering just from the brief contact with the intense cold.
Mortimer cold dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 6, Fort: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Vharg cold dmg: 1d6 ⇒ 6, Fort: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Mortimer takes 1 point of Str damage as well. PC status section of Campaign Tab updated.
Map link updated. Just FYI, Vharg and Mortimer's positions on the map are where they were when the cold hit to give you reference points.
As to the time question, you've been in the prison for about 2 hours but you started early so it's only about 1pm or so let's say.
Bhaqk gojz bhooj! Vharg roars as the hoarfrost erupts over his skin, causing frost blisters to erupt all over his skin. Gritting his teeth it's obvious that he is extreme pain. Ilya! Heal me! Vharg demands, a dangerous glint in his eyes. Cowardice spirits! Vharg bellows. Noone listen to Vharg! Vharg say burn. You trust Vharg now. We get out torches. There spirit here. We burn some benches, drive spirit away!
You are more right than you realize, Vharg. But, you have it backwards. They are always watching us, plotting their mischiefs. But, here, wher the veil is thin, we can spy on them. We must take advantage when we can...
We may indeed destroy the relics... but, perhaps not now. The items of one's past can have a powerful hold, even past death. These trinkets may grant us power over the waywards spirits of Harrowstone.
Ilya prattled on to Vharg, until suddenly the other was screaming.
Really, what is all the fuss..? Ilya stared dumbfounded as the two men where covered in frost. Without thought, he bathed the room in living energy.
Channel Positive to heal: 1d6 ⇒ 6
"I remember those words Alexei." Mortimer says. "He chose to fight evil, Randu, and died for it because others would not. If we all choose to fight evil as he did, perhaps we can succeed where he failed. Where he WAS failed." There is a catch in his voice as he says this and moves into the room with the benches.
Why is it so cold? "AGH!"
Mortimer stumbles back, clutching his arm, frost blooming on the leather of his sleeve. He backs out of the room and is bathed in the light of Ilya's healing, which makes his skin prickle as the frozen tissue heats up again.
Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 8 + 2 = 19
"It seems the spirits of the dead don't want us in that room. Perhaps there is another way around." he says, face pale from the pain still wracking his arm.
Perception to see if that was a haunt, a trap, or an attack: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Ilya rummaged around his belt pouch, taking several seconds to withdraw the haunt siphon. I fear if we turn aside every time the spirits wish, we shall proceed no farther. They have had decades to infect every corner and cranny of this place. They are not constrained as we are to hallways and corridors. We will find no easy egress.
Mortimer assesses the area as well as his knowledge of the undead and informs the group. This is what's known as a cold spot. Thankfully they're usually isolated locations that can be easily bypassed if you don't have a means of destroying it. You just need to be careful.
The actual cold spot is a small-ish (10-15ft) burst area in the front/center of the room. You can easily go around it to get to the double doors in the east of the room. The whole room itself isn't the haunt. I'll update the map to reflect this when I get home.
Ilya: You can't generally determine the difference between a haunt or trap except that there are no triggers for a haunt. This is part of the reason why they are so hard to detect. So with your Perception check, you don't find any wires or magic runes or anything, but this could still be a trap that's just well hidden. Mortimer's confirmation is the only thing you've got right now and he could be wrong for all you know. (He isn't but as an example.)
"Mortimer, is there a way to test the area for cold or hot spots before we enter them? I mean you have been hurt and we need to keep these dangers to a minimum." Perrah looks a bit shocked at the cold wounds, a sure sign of her physical weakness.
"Ilya - can we ask some more questions?"