As per the plan, Vertielle moves on to the "Branding Room", visibly shaken, and hesitates to open the door. She takes a step back, looking around the group.
Maybe someone else will open this one. I'll get the next one. Really, I will.
The stark room comtains only a low stone bench against the north wall, a ruined desk to the west sitting under three narrow, barred windows, and to the south an old brass brazier lies on its side, surrounded by several rusty branding irons.
As the group enters all feel a sensation of humiliation and pain followed by rage.
Five branding irons rise into the air, their tips glowing red hot. They each launch themselves at a different member of the party.
"This haunt feels like the wrath of all the prisoners or harrowstone.
So I don't think this one can be put to rest easily unless you remove the source of it power, the undead prisoners of Harrowstone itself. It likely won't be silenced."
Vertielle grits her teeth as her flesh sears, Gkirkhan smashing the offending iron in half even as the smoke from her flesh wafts upwards.
She sheaths her sword, drawing her dagger.
Oh no. Not again.
With a look of fury, she skins the affected skin to the muscle, tearing an entire piece of singed flesh off and casting it to the ground. Blood runs down her shoulder where the cut was made, staining her skirt and sleeve.
To further the troubling aspect of this room...as Wood's summoned dog vanishes back to its celestial home, Wood suddenly experiences a sharp burning pain as the damage -and the brand- are transferred to him.
I like to use a translation to give others a feel for the length, attitude, and name-dropping in my speech.
Vertielle steps inside the room, whispering back in terribly elven-accented orc,
Dit is presies die idee is, Gkirkhan, ek uitgeoefen het die mes, ek het die litteken, ek het daardie keuse, niemand anders nie. Laat ons hierdie kommerwekkende punte opsy sit vir nou, en kry wat leidrade hierdie gevreesde kamer kan wegsteek.
Her voice is punctuated by a terrible curiosity, a conviction, and lasting pain.
That's exactly the idea, Gkirkhan, I wielded the knife, I made the scar, I made that choice, no one else. Let us put these troubling points aside for now, and find what clues this dreaded room may hide.
Vertielle sighs as she leaves the room, turning left to examine the "workshop". Her weasel were-light again leads the way, disappearing under the doorcrack as she casts detect magic, using the spell to gaze beyond the wood and stone to the unknown beyond them.
Would have been nice...well, less horrible... had that yielded some solace in the form of information. Best check every room for such magic, having run into it twice.
Anything on my magidar? One should always be attached to the things that they control.
She finishes Detect Magic.
One of several reasons I never cared for summons or enchantment.
She places a hand on the door, listening intently.
perception:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 I much prefer the transmutations. Much more practical, generally. Illusions are amusing, of course, but immaterial in nature.
Vertielle stops her conversation with Wood mid-sentence,
Last time, the board ga...
She blinks a few times, her mouth slightly open in utter astonishment.
Only if a) they've recently cast a spell, b)are in the process or have recently used a (su) or (sp) ability or c) give off simillar emanations.
The room contains several wooden tables on which sit tangled mounds of moth-eaten fabric. Each table is surrounded by workbenches. Various sewing tools - shears, needles, rolls of thread, boxes of chalk, and other objects lie scattered throughout the room.
What catches your eye, however is the spot where Vertielle's weasel-light now sits, next to a stained heap of fabric to the west, from which the arm of a skeleton protrudes. Kneeling above this lump is a beautiful young woman, dressed in a tattered blue dress (resembling the fabric above which she kneels). In fact, not only is her dress blue, much of the rest of her is as well, from her hair, her pale blue eyes, to the tears running down her pallid face. She looks up as you enter, and as she speaks, pale whisps of blue smoke drift from her mouth.
"You must be the new guards, replacing those cowards who locked me in here. Do be careful with your pet. Some of the forces here now would be happy to hurt it."
"I...don't know. I know little of magic. they spent some time scratching marks into the prison walls. They seemed annoyed that they couldn't make a complete circle. Then, that little boy came up. They do that...and I try to scare them off, this place is dangerous."[b]
She pauses, distracted for a moment.
[b]"The robed people wouldn't scare. They just whispered. They saw the boy and the leader cast a spell at him...the boy froze then he(the leader) went up to him and whispered something and let the boy run away. I was releived...but the leader just laughed. Then the other man came. The leader cast a spell and the man just...died. They hit him in the face with one of the gargoyle heads. I -think- they took some of his blood and smeared it into the marks they'd made. Then they chanted...and just -pulled- Lyvar away."
She shudders, the memory obviously very painful.
"That's when the prison went mad. Lyvar was sealing them. They feared him still. But with him gone, they grow stronger. Pushing at me. They want to escape. Most are mindless and just want to kill, to get revenge. But there are five stronger spirits, spirits that remined -whole- like Lyvar and me. They lead the others, like they did then. I can hold them, I have some of Lyvar's power over them. But they try to weaken me. If they manage to destroy me, they'll escape and continue to destroy, starting with Ravengro."
"Yes, please, please, cleanse this place. I -think- if you can destroy the five strongest ones, the others will fade. If you can find Lyvar's badge of office -it should be on his...body- and bring it to me, I can be invested as warden and dispell them forever."
"Professor Feramin? No, his thing is different. It's how he kills. He writes his victim's name in blood and kills when he spells it all out. I think he can destroy me just by spelling my name, since we're both...
HP: 28/63 AC 18/14/14: F+7, R +4, W +1, Per:-2, Init: +5, Rage: 6/9
Gkirkhan was more than a little surprised at seeing a ghost, and a friendly one at that, but her story caused something inside of him to spark and flare as his eyes became hard red lights under his hat.
"Can't let them think they can get away with hurting such a lovely lady. If it is fear they want, they will learn to fear us."
Thye ghost of Vesorianna starts to sob again. Through the sobs she tries to talk."My fault..."
She gasps and tries to control herself. She starts again, speaking hurriedly, in short gasping phrases, as if to get it all out before the words choke her.
"I was in Ravengro, at Emelianna's. His sister. She married a local. We were friends, she was...I'd promised her I'd be there so when the priestess sent the message I left a note..."
She is still speaking quickly but is regaining some control.
"It was a boy...Petros...Lyvar's father's name...such a cute boy. And the priestess, she confirmed what I'd hoped...two good bits of news, I new he'd be so thrilled..."
Now she seems to be looking elsewhere seeing the events she's describing play out. You can see her emotions flooding her face, joy, confusion, fear, horror.
"I got back home and Lyvar wasn't there. I was surprised, he shold have been home by then. I went up to the prison to as the guards where he was, but they weren't there either."
She pauses, swallows and continues.
"I heard sounds so I went in...I knew I wasn't supposed to but...I followed the sounds to the training room. Some of the guards were there, looking down the elevator shaft. I asked them what was happening, and the told me there was a riot. the prisoners had taken hostages - the guards, the priest, Lyvar. Lyvar had triggered the deadfall so they couldn't get out."
Her voice is strained, her face twisting into remembered fear and horror.
"I told them they had to rescue him, they said they couldn't send down the elevator, because the prisoners would use it to escape. I pretended to collapse, then rushed past them and released the elevator."
She screams out the next words.
"It dropped too fast...it...crushed...LYVAR!!! I killed him...'
She starts sobbing uncontrollably, gasping out the end of her sad tale.
"I...I screamed, I collapsed...I was hysterical...they dragged me out of the room and locked me here...then the smoke came...but they never came back."
She starts to regain some control.
"I came back here. I can't leave. I could feel Lyvar but I couldn't reach him. Now he's gone and I'm alone. Please help me, please!"
Don't worry, Vesorianna. We'll put the souls here to rest, and we'll track down Lyvar. This cult isn't going to finish whatever hell they plan.
Vertielle takes out her maps, clearing space on a table and spreading them out.
It may hasten things if there is anything-anything at all- that you could tell us about the surrounding area.
After sharing what the group has run into thus far, Vertielle takes notes on whatever the ghostly woman can tell her.