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To Wear the Carrion Crown (Inactive)

Game Master Haldhin

Running the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.


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Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl stays awake late into the night, reminiscing over old times and trying to piece together what the next day will bring. I'll need to talk to Kendra in the morning and see what she knows of her father's activities. Perhaps he confided in her. Also, I'll need to figure out a delicate way to find out the cause of the professor's death. Blade, spell or something worse? That's something I must know if I'm to undertake this hunt. No sense haring off after quarry that has tricks I don't know about. And this 'Whispering Way', maybe she or one of these others know something about them. But, if the Priest is around, things are likely to get ugly. I don't know what it is about him, but wherever he goes there is conflict. Does he bring it with him, or does it follow him where he goes? No matter, the morning will bring new challenges and troubles I am sure.
Karl eventually picks out a room and begins his nightly devotions. Armor is rolled out and inspected for rust and weak points. When he is satisfied as to its condition, he moves onto his weapons, taking care to sharpen his greatsword, javelins and daggers before he finally falls into a fitful sleep. When the dawn comes he awakes with a start.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

As Michael slowly unhooks his massive plate armor from his body, he thinks about everything he has seen today. Discovering the secrets of the intentions of the Whispering Way, meeting all these people, and attending the funeral where he did his best to touch the hearts of everyone.

Michael looks up at the ceiling and smiles to himself. So many people came to the Professor's funeral. The Professor knew so many different and interesting people. Michael was sure he was happy to have the chance to spread his knowledge among such a diverse and caring crowd. And seeing how everyone who knew him was so passionate about who he was and how he had helped them....yeah. Michael's smile widens as he nods firmly. The Professor must have been happy, to the very end.

That thought comforts Michael, and he drifts off into a dreamless sleep.

Shadow Lodge

F Human Inquisitor 4 {HP32/32; AC16/12/14; F+5 R+4 W+8; Init+7; Perc+10}

Shanoa rises early the next morning and finding Kendra, offers to help in the Kitchen with breakfast. She mostly works in silence, unsure how to approach the many subjects she wants to talk about. When the group is all together, she finally broaches the subject: "I know it must be difficult for you so soon after his death, but could you tell us what you know about how your father died?"


@ Priest: Kendra tells you that while she appreciates the integrity of your inquiry, as far as she's concerned, everything inside the chest is your property to do with as you see fit.

-----

This begins the conversation the next morning... I'm going to bullet point what she knows instead of trying to type a conversation back and forth since we're still kind of in Boxtextia, the Land of Unavoidable Information. Assume characters make any checks to determine if she is being sincere and telling you everything she knows

Kendra is dressed in a solid black dress this morning, common, she says, for people in this region after the burial of a loved one. Here is what she knows about her father's death:

  • She reported her father missing after he failed to return home on Moonday, Arodus 17th. She met Sheriff Caeler early on the 18th. (The 17th corresponds with the journal entry dated "Seventeen Days Ago")

  • Her father would frequently leave the house on research, but he always returned home before nightfall. The only exceptions were when he planned a trip to visit a colleague, but he always told Kendra ahead of time when he would be away overnight.

  • Given his advancing age, Kendra was concerned that he might have hurt himself and been unable to return home.

  • A standard patrol of the area surrounding Harrowstone discovered the Professor's body on Wealday, Arodus 19th.

  • A large piece of masonry apparently came loose from the building and struck Petros in the face, crushing his skull. The sheriff theorized that he looked up right before the masonry struck him. Father Grimburrow indicated that Petros likely died instantly.

  • He was kept in the Temple of Pharasma under gentle repose spells until his burial.

Kendra indicates that she does not know much about her father's work, but Alendru Ghoroven, the teacher in town, may know something. He owns a small school and scriptorium in town called The Unfurling Scroll.

@ Roland: The Professor did not have a lab set up in the house, and all of his recent research in his house was purely scholarly, no experiments. But he was friends with Jominda Fallenbridge, a local who owns Jominda’s Apothecary. If the Professor needed anything dealing with alchemy, Kendra is sure that he would have spoken to Jominda about it.


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)

The next morning, Roland heads downstairs to rejoin the group.

He sits quietly, munching some toast, as Kendra goes over the events surrounding the Professor's death.

I have an idea regarding why his face may have been smashed, but don't know if Roland would or not. Do I know how Speak with Dead works?
Here's a skill check.
Knowledge (Arcana) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Wow!

Roland looks a little troubled by the description, but doesn't say anything.

He asks about a lab, and Kendra informs him about the local apothecary. He looks a little disappointed at the prospect of having to go to town for any alchemical needs.

"Would you be opposed to me setting up a small lab somewhere in the house? Perhaps a cellar or attic, where it would be out of the way?"

Afterward, he adds to the others.

"I do have some business in Ravengro today, as I must see to getting a letter to the University to inform them of my leave. As we're going to be staying as guests of Miss Lorrimor for the next month, it may be a good idea to get a lay of the town."

"We may also be able to speak with the sheriff and this Alenrdu fellow. Perhaps even get an idea where the crypt the Professor spoke of is located, or inquire after it at the temple?"


=> Roland's Knowlege (arcana) skill check result:

Coincidentally, Roland recently attended a symposium that covered a variety of topics related to deceased humanoid bodies. One of the most popular panels was an ethical roundtable debate regarding the use of Speak with Dead. He managed to take copious notes during the debate, and he has no trouble recalling details about the spell, including the stipulation that the corpse must have a mouth in order to respond to questions asked of it.

Kendra wouldn't mind if you set up a small lab, provided you guarantee her that there won't be any strange odors or gases permeating the house. Essentially, as long as she doesn't know it's there, she permits it.

Taking liberties with the symposium, but figured that a "dead body" conference might be something he would enjoy. :)


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)
DM Haldhin wrote:
Taking liberties with the symposium, but figured that a "dead body" conference might be something he would enjoy. :)

You would not be wrong. :)

Roland seems troubled by something that he isn't sharing - at least not within ear-shot of Kendra. If asked, all he says is:

"Something about the Professor's death troubles me. I'll explain later."

Roland gets Kendra's help picking an out-of-the-way, well-ventilated, upper floor room to set up his lab. If large enough, he also moves his belongings there and make use of it as a room.

With that taken care of, he grabs his cane and his coat and joins anyone else who intends to sojourn into Ravengro.


Just so we're all on the same page, I'm going to hold the current scene inside the house until everyone has a chance to talk to Kendra. After that, we'll have a few options, including moving into the city.


Male Gnome Wizard (Fire) 3 (HP 19/24 AC 13, T 13, FF 11/ F +3, R +3, W +3/ Init. +2/ Per. +2)

Oorin would happily have started researching immediately; likely not even noticing the passage of time unless someone were to specifically point it out to him.

Regardless of whether he ended up inadvertantly pulling an all-nighter or not, Oorin has no questions for Kendra.

Having led a largely trouble free life (excpet for one major problem of his own making), Oorin hasn't quite developed the "adventurer-suspicious-of-everything" attitude yet and Roland's statement troubles him deeply.

It would be difficult, though not impossible, to "aim" a piece of masonry on purpose to crush someone's face. I wonder...

Oorin will find out where the accident took place and go there. He'll also enquire about which bulding the masonry actually fell from.


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl will accompany Oorin to the scene of the professor's death. He also wants to visit Alendru Ghoroven and the temple of Pharasma.

Will the rest of you join me in a visit to Alendru Ghoroven's, then to the scene of the professor's demise and finally the temple of Pharasma? We have as busy day ahead of us; we should not delay.

Karl will also request that they take the locked journal with them on their travels.

Kendra, I thank you for your hospitality. If time permits, I will try to bring in some fresh game to add to the table.


@Oorin: You begin idly flipping through a few books, and before you know it, you have found several that mention The Whispering Way. You grab a few and start reading just to see if anything interesting catches your attention.

Surprisingly, you are startled as you look out a window to see the sun rising - you have spent all night buried amongst the books in the Lorrimor house. Thankfully, your night was not wasted; you discovered the following information:

  • The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

  • Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.

@ Karl: Do you mean the locked Order of the Palantine Eye book? I believe Priest currently has the Professor's journal.

Kendra thanks you for your generosity, but assures you not to worry if you don't have much luck. Game has not been very plentiful in the surrounding area for a few weeks, so it may be more challenging to find something than you're used to in typical wildlands.


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

@DM Haldhin yes, the locked book. I'd also like to try the key to the chest on the lock of the book.


@ Karl: It's a sizable book, but it can easily fit inside a backpack.

Unfortunately, the key for the chest is too large to fit the lock in the book.


Will study the Journal and in the morning will ask my companions for their wisdom.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael nods eagerly, now refreshed and ready to learn about his beloved master's death. "I am with you, Karl. Let us venture to Alendru Ghoroven's and see what information he may grace us with. Miss Kendra, I hope you don't mind? If you require some assistance, comfort, or company today, please tell us, and we will elect one or more of us to stay behind with you. Unless you have a preference, of course."

Shadow Lodge

F Human Inquisitor 4 {HP32/32; AC16/12/14; F+5 R+4 W+8; Init+7; Perc+10}

"I too would like to see the scene of where he died for myself, but I think we should visit the temple and see about that...equipment first."


As plans for the rest of the day become the topic of discussion, a loud knocking at the front door interrupts the conversation. "Ms. Lorrimor, it's Vrodish and Riff, are you in there?" a male voice calls from outside.

Kendra looks at you all, "They're deputies here in town, excuse me." She opens the front door and allows a pair of men inside. Both are humans wearing padded armor covered by a royal blue tunic bearing the Ravengro crest.

One of the men speaks, "Your pardon, ma'am, but the Sheriff sent us over here to fetch you and your guests."

Kendra seems surprised, "Of course, Riff, may I ask what's going on?"

Riff looks at his companion then back at Kendra, "I think the Sheriff should be the one to tell you, ma'am. Can you all please come with us?"

She turns to you, ”I’ve known the Sheriff for a long time, and he was friends with my father. He wouldn’t bother us unless it was necessary. I think we should go.”

-----

I am going to assume you all go. This is not an arrest or anything of the sort, just an official request for your presence. You are welcome to make any preparations you wish prior to leaving, including getting whatever gear you want, casting spells, etc.

If somebody does not want to go with the deputies, please tell me what you would like to do instead and I’ll cover it in another post.

-----

You follow the deputies outside and into the street. Throughout Ravengro, you see people heading toward the center of town, north of your position. Many have puzzled looks on their faces, and some are walking so fast they are almost jogging. The deputies lead you in the same direction as everyone else seems to be heading.

A large group of people is clustered in the town center, all staring at a large statue. You can pick out many different voices, all of them in disbelief. As you get closer, you can see the people are standing about twenty feet away from the statue behind a large rope that has been raised completely around the monument.

Three men are inside the rope, a male and a female dressed like the deputies accompanying you, and another older man who also wears a longsword. ”Sheriff! We got them for you!” one of your companions calls out. The Sheriff, along with half the crowd, turns to look as you get closer.

The Sheriff is an older man with a deep scar on his right cheek. His other is puffed out slightly as he chews on something, revealed to be tomac when he turns his head and spits a glob. Rubbing it into the ground with the sole of his boot, he turns back to you, ”Ms. Lorrimor, I hope you are feeling well?”

”I’m doing as well as can be expected. What’s this all about, Benjan?”

He holds her gaze for a moment before pointedly looking over each of you. He is obviously trying to glean some insight about you as he narrows his eyes slightly. Spitting agin, he steps to the side, ”This, Ms. Lorrimor, is why I roused you.”

Behind the Sheriff is a large statue ofa man in uniform holding a cudgel by his side and wearing a badge. The plaque on the base reads “Warden Lyvar Hawkran, hero of Harrowstone”, with dozens more names engraved below that title. Most disturbing, however, is the large letter “V” that has been painted across the plaque in bright red liquid. The monument, and the ground around it, have had the same liquid thrown around, as if somebody were spraying it about.

The Sheriff speaks to your group again, ”Found it early this morning. We roped it off and started looking around, but we haven’t found anything yet.”

He looks at Kendra for a moment before continuing in a lower tone meant only for your ears, ”Not to tempt Phrasma so soon after the burial, but we always asked your father for help when we had something strange to figure out. I’m not sure if you have any of your father’s talents, but this has us tied up like a calf for branding. We don’t know where to start, what we’re looking for, or why this happened. If there is anything you can do to help, it would be much appreciated.”

Kendra looks from the Sheriff to the statue. After a long pause, she shakes her head, ”I’m sorry, Sheriff, my talents lie in other areas, I can’t help you.”

She then turns to look at your group, ”But even though I won’t be of much use, my father had a number of talented and devoted friends who shared his passions. Perhaps one of them might be able to help?”

Shadow Lodge

F Human Inquisitor 4 {HP32/32; AC16/12/14; F+5 R+4 W+8; Init+7; Perc+10}

Shanoa nods and follows the men north into town, several clear glass vials clinking at her side. She feels an uneasy chill as the red V comes into view. After Kendra's introduction, she asks if she can take a closer look and crosses the rope for further inspection.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10 - perception
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14 - heal - is this blood? (and if so, human?)
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 - knowledge: religion - any religious significance I might know that matches this?
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10 - survival - tracks?

edit: wow, what a lousy bunch of rolls.


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl agrees to accompany the deputies, but without explanation of the reason for the sheriff's request insists on being armed and armored before leaving the Lorrimor house. He also brings the locked Order of Palatine book in his backpack and takes care that no one outside the party sees it.

Karl also asks to examine the ground around the statue and almost bumps heads with Shanoa as he searches the area.

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Survival w/Track: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)

Roland, coat and cane in hand, is clearly nervous following the deputies. He hangs toward the back of the group as they head to the statue, and keeps to himself. Upon meeting with the sheriff, Roland can't meet his gaze.

When the sheriff reveals the defaced statue, however, Roland's nervousness is replaced by curiosity. He joins Shanoa over the rope, looking at the marks, and carefully avoiding bumping into Karl.

As with Shanoa, is this blood?
Heal 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Maybe some knowledge will also help identify it?
Knowledge (Nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Do the markings have any occult significance?
Knowledge (Arcane) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Roland is too focused on the defaced statue to really notice tracks or other discrepancies.

Before the sheriff starts shooing people away, or leaves himself, Roland attempts to attract his attention.

"Um, sheriff... ah, excuse me. I, uh, don't suppose we might be able to discuss the, uh, circumstances of Professor Lorrimor's death with you? Also, some of our group was, uh, curious, about the spot where he was found..."

He shifts uncomfortably while speaking, and has trouble looking directly at the man.


Male Gnome Wizard (Fire) 3 (HP 19/24 AC 13, T 13, FF 11/ F +3, R +3, W +3/ Init. +2/ Per. +2)

Since Oorin neither slept nor studied his spellbook, his spell selection is unchanged. Cantrips: Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Mage Hand; 1st lvl: Unseen Servant, Hold Portal, Burning Hands

Oorin is curious as to why the entire group would be summoned and follows eagerly taking his belongings with him. When he sees the statue he stares at it for a moment, taking it all in, before muttering, "Interesting," in a somewhat distracted fashion.

He casts Detect Magic (giving no thought to how overt spellcasting might be perceived) focusing on the statue, liquid and ground around the statue.

After that, he clambors onto the statue poking his nose into every crevice.

Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13 (Anything stand out in general?)
Craft: Stonemasonry 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24 (Anything unusual about the workmanship on the statue?)
K: Arcana 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21 (Does the "V" symbol have any mystic meaning?)


Here is a cumulative list of what you have discovered so far:

  • The "V" and the drops all over the statue and ground are the same liquid. It is definitely blood.

  • The blood is not from a human.

  • Unfortunately, there is not enough for you to conclusively identify an animal it came from.

  • The markings do not have any religious significance that you can remember.

  • The markings do not have any arcane (magical) significance that you can remember. Specifically, the letter "V" does not have any mystic meaning in this context (i.e. it might have some if used in a different way, or with additional symbols, but it doesn't mean anything by itself).

  • There have been so many people around the monument, there is no way to find any specific trail leading to or away from the statue.

  • The statue was created by an average mason, likely human. Importantly, based on the way certain blood droplets have dried within the details of the statue, they were tossed about from the south side of the statue. (The "V" on the plaque is on the west side)

  • As you all continue searching the area and sharing information, Karl catches a glimpse of red on the south wall of Town Hall about a foot off the ground. (Town Hall is to the Southeast of the Monument.

@Roland: The Sheriff agrees, though he asks you to meet with him later in the day once the square has been cleaned up and the crowd dispersed. Any time after noon would be fine.

@Oorin: You do not detect any magical auras on the statue, liquid, or ground around the area.

Some muttering can be heard after you cast your spell, but essentially it's some version of, "Look! I think he just cast a spell!"

-----

I am using monument and statue to mean the same thing, hope that's not confusing anybody.

Just wanted to give an update in case people wanted to discuss what they've found so far. We're not moving ahead quite yet.


Male Gnome Wizard (Fire) 3 (HP 19/24 AC 13, T 13, FF 11/ F +3, R +3, W +3/ Init. +2/ Per. +2)

Oorin turns to the others, "Nothing magical here; well...at least, not in and of itself. The overt nature of the display makes me think that it was meant to send a message: but to who? And for what purpose? If it had just been to cause terror then the use of humanoid blood would have been more effective than animal. Any thoughts?"


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael steps up and closes his eyes, shaking his head in pain as he realizes someone has been gravely injured. He opens them again, and they glow a soft blue as he turns his divine gaze upon the statue.

Michael detects evil as a standard action, using a move action to concentrate on the statue and identify all evil auras or evil intent the statue might possess or have been exposed to.

"This is quite a disturbing scene. Sheriff, who exactly found the statue like this? Who reported it to you? I'd like to ask them a few questions."


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)

After scratching at some of the blood, and pondering the statue for a while, Roland looks at Shanoa.

"I don't think this is human blood."

Oorin wrote:
"Nothing magical here; well...at least, not in and of itself. The overt nature of the display makes me think that it was meant to send a message: but to who? And for what purpose? If it had just been to cause terror then the use of humanoid blood would have been more effective than animal. Any thoughts?"

"I can't think of any occult significance to the letter 'V.' Could this have something to do with..." Roland stops himself and glances at all the people still milling about. He lowers his voice. "That group the Professor was investigating?"

Roland steps back behind the roped off area and takes in the whole monument as Michael speaks with the sheriff.

"'Warden Lyvar Hawkran, Hero of Harrowstone.' Perhaps the defacement is aimed at the memory of this man?" He looks to Kendra. "Do you know who he was? Or why he might be memorialized here?"


Having joined the others, The Slaughter Priest declares: "I am not great on book learning but there are some things that I read in the Professor's journal that demand answers. Perhaps you all have the answers that would shed light. If you do not mind, I would like to ask you some questions."


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl shrugs There's been too much foot traffic here for me to pick out the tracks of whoever did this, but... Huh, what's that on the Town Hall?

The half-elf wanders over to the southern wall of the edifice to get a closer look. As he departs he calls over his shoulder Whatever questions you have Priest, I'll answer them if I can, but you know I'm not much for books myself.


@ Michael: You do not detect any evil.

@ Roland: Kendra responds, "Warden Hawkran was in charge of Harrowstone Prison, just south of town. About 50 years ago, the prisoners started a massive fire inside the building. Warden Hawkran was able to keep them from escaping, but he ended up dying inside the prison with his wife and several guards. The town had this built to memorialize him and all those who died in the fire."

@ Karl: As you arrive at the Town Hall, you find what attracted your attention. It appears to be more of the same blood as on the statue. A dried trickle begins about a foot off the ground and has run down the side of the building to the grass.

-----

The map of Ravengro has the memorial near a river on the SW side of town. I have moved the memorial to the town square for our game.


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)

Roland is contemplating the significance of the defaced statue, and Kendra's explanation of it's significance, when the Slaughter Priest joins them.

The Slaughter Priest wrote:
"I am not great on book learning but there are some things that I read in the Professor's journal that demand answers. Perhaps you all have the answers that would shed light. If you do not mind, I would like to ask you some questions."

"I'd be very interested to hear what you've found, and would be happy to assist... but perhaps when we're once again in private." Roland gestures at the townsfolk who are still milling about.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

The fire...Michael's ears perk up at the mention of that. The Professor's journal mentioned something of the sort. Michael turns to Kendra and asks, "Do you know any other details about this fire? Who started it, and how? Was it a magical or mundane fire?"


Roland Savardson wrote:

Roland is contemplating the significance of the defaced statue, and Kendra's explanation of it's significance, when the Slaughter Priest joins them.

The Slaughter Priest wrote:
"I am not great on book learning but there are some things that I read in the Professor's journal that demand answers. Perhaps you all have the answers that would shed light. If you do not mind, I would like to ask you some questions."
"I'd be very interested to hear what you've found, and would be happy to assist... but perhaps when we're once again in private." Roland gestures at the townsfolk who are still milling about.

"I see something of the Professor in you, Roland. Perhaps, we can discuss it at the nearest tavern. Those people do not believe in tall tales."


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

When Karl finds the blood on the wall of the town hall, he stops up short and immediately surveys the ground for additional clues or tracks.

perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27

Haldhin, what is the ground like here? Muddy? Cobblestone? Is it a high traffic area?

As Karl performs his search, he warns any nearby townsfolk away in a gruff manner.


@ Michael: Sorry, missed your earlier question: One of the sheriff's deputies found the statue early this morning, right before dawn as he was finishing his nightly rounds. He indicates the deputy named Riff who came to get everyone at Kendra's house.

Kendra considers Michael's questions, "I'm sorry, I don't really know much more about the fire. The Town Hall records might have more information though. They have scrolls that date back to the town's founding, so I'm certain you would be able to find something about Harrowstone and the fire in there."

@ Karl: The ground is mostly grass and packed dirt. It is not muddy, but it is still wet from earlier rain.

You scan the ground closely looking for anything out of the ordinary, something, no matter how small, no matter how insig... Wait! What's that?

A small oak stands alone nearly 50 feet behind the Town Hall (150 feet from your current position). The sunlight breaks through the leaves to catch the tree in such a way you happen to notice another speck of red clearly on the bark.

As you move to the oak, you see a droplet of blood has dried on the bark of the tree about three feet off the ground. Scanning the area, you see a dense copse of trees 75 feet away, and as if your eyes were pulled toward the spot, you see several spots of red on the ground near the edge of the grove. More drops of blood!

Does Karl wish to continue searching? (Another Percep roll)

Karl is killing these rolls!

-----
Generally speaking, all of the blood is not 100% completely dry. It is still tacky to the touch, but it is more "dry" than "wet". Consistent with this happening overnight (i.e. it wasn't there at 6pm yesterday).

At this point, the adventure becomes largely party driven as the characters begin searching for information on a variety of topics. I'm going to let the party drive for a bit and respond as needed. This part of the story isn't linear, and I'd prefer to let you discover things rather than impose a railroad solution.

Potential encounters specifically mentioned to the characters so far include: Sheriff Caelar, Temple of Pharasma, Town Hall, The Unfurling Scroll, Jominda's Apothecary, the site of Lorrimor's death, and the false crypt in the Restlands. Other possible routes of investigation in town include two Inns, the Forge, the Bank, and the General Store.

And that doesn't include Sherlock Karl and what he is finding with his amazing powers of Perception. :)

Anyway, if you guys get frustrated or hit a roadblock, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll check regularly throughout the next few days to respond asap to events as they happen.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael walks over to Riff, his detect evil spell still active and centered on the man, and speaks politely. "Good morning. I understand you were the person who discovered the statue like this. I have a few questions, if I may:

Around what time did you discover the statue?

Did you see anyone suspicious around the statue?

When you discovered the statue, was the blood wet and bright red, or darker and dry like it is now?

Have there been any mysterious disappearances recently? Perhaps a wife or husband who didn't come home?
"


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl walks back to the others. I've found something of a trail. Very faint, but I believe it is the same blood as is on the statue. Would any of you care to accompany me?


Michael Thronedweller wrote:

Michael walks over to Riff, his detect evil spell still active and centered on the man, and speaks politely. "Good morning. I understand you were the person who discovered the statue like this. I have a few questions, if I may...

Around what time did you discover the statue?

Riff fidgets as you speak, obviously a bit nervous, ”Well sir, I had the evening patrol last night, so I started at midnight. I was finishing my last round near on six this morning, going back to the jail to report, and that’s when I found this… So mabye three hours ago.“

Quote:
Did you see anyone suspicious around the statue?

”No, I didn’t see nobody. I had a lantern too, one of those nice ones that stays lit in the rain! So I shined it around, but I didn’t see nothing.”

Quote:
When you discovered the statue, was the blood wet and bright red, or darker and dry like it is now?

”Oh, it was bright red and wet. I could see it running down parts of the memorial. Not real fast though, like when you first start bleeding some game before skinning it. More like after you’ve had it strung up for a bit to let it all drain out.”

Quote:
Have there been any mysterious disappearances recently? Perhaps a wife or husband who didn't come home?

”Nobody missing that I know of… Well, finding the Professor out at the prison was 'sterious, but that’s it.. Yep, that’s all. “

Sense Motive DC 15:
He is holding something back, not sure if he should tell you or not.

If you made the Sense Motive check:

Diplomacy DC 15:
He lowers his voice as he leans in toward you and earnestly confides, ”Well, I’ll tell you what, the past few nights, the south road has been really dark, I mean real black dark, even without the rain and storms. My lantern went out a few nights ago down there, first time it’s ever happened too – and it still had fuel - the light just went out. And last night, on my second trip around town, I started losing my breath and getting jumpy, like something was out there, watching me. Not saying I’m ‘fraid or nothing, but it was not normal. At. All.

He pauses and suddently gets an anxious look on his face, ”Please don’t tell Sheriff I said nothing about that, alright? He wouldn’t like me telling tales.”


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)
The Slaughter Pries wrote:
"I see something of the Professor in you, Roland. Perhaps, we can discuss it at the nearest tavern. Those people do not believe in tall tales."

Roland is taken aback by the compliment.

"Well, thank you Arthur!" He looks back at the statue. "Strange to think I arrived in town just yesterday, and suddenly there's so very much to be done. One moment."

He turns to Michael, Oorin and Shanoa, noticing that Karl has disappeared.

"Arthur wishes to discuss some of the finer points of the Professor's journal at one of the local taverns, and I yet have business in town. The sheriff also agreed to meet with us this afternoon, if we desire."

Karl wrote:
Karl walks back to the others. I've found something of a trail. Very faint, but I believe it is the same blood as is on the statue. Would any of you care to accompany me?

Roland's eyebrows raise, and he looks at the Slaughter Priest.

"We can convene later if you'd prefer to look into this trail, first, or I can come with you now. It's your call."

Shadow Lodge

F Human Inquisitor 4 {HP32/32; AC16/12/14; F+5 R+4 W+8; Init+7; Perc+10}

Shanoa looks over at what Karl had found. "You're right. I'd like to see where this trail leads - we can meet back at the tavern later, if you'd like."


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

Michael nods slowly. "So it's safe to assume this crime took place close to three hours ago...let's follow the tracks Karl found for now."


The Slaughter Priest shows a sign of the single-mindedness that has made him what he is -- a killer. "I cannot put off this matter for another hour and I implore you to see the urgency. We must discuss this now, Roland."


Male Human Alchemist 4 (HP 28/28 - AC15, T13, FF12 - F+5 R+6 W+2 - Init+2 - Perc+8) (Effects: +2 save vs Poison)
The Slaughter Priest wrote:
"I cannot put off this matter for another hour and I implore you to see the urgency. We must discuss this now, Roland."

Roland is a little surprised... and a little unnerved.

This must be quite urgent indeed. It would give me an opportunity to unburden my suspicions, too...

He nods.

"Very well."

He turns to Shanoa.

"I guess you and Karl can follow the trail. Perhaps Michael or Oorin will accompany you as well. Arthur and I shall head to the tavern and compare notes. When you've completed your search, we can all rally there and plan our next move."

He then adds to Kendra.

"Miss Lorrimor, I don't know how interested you are in following in your father's investigative footsteps, but your familiarity with the town may help Karl and Shanoa in their search. I'm sure we all understand if you'd prefer to head home, however."

He then turns back to the Slaughter Priest, and gestures with his free hand.

"Lead on, good sir."

So many questions. Just what have I landed in the middle of?


Male Gnome Wizard (Fire) 3 (HP 19/24 AC 13, T 13, FF 11/ F +3, R +3, W +3/ Init. +2/ Per. +2)
Karl the Bastard wrote:
Karl walks back to the others. I've found something of a trail. Very faint, but I believe it is the same blood as is on the statue. Would any of you care to accompany me?

"Indeed I would," Oorin replies. "If we can determine the type of blood used or the manner in which it was done we may get some answers." Oorin is thinking out loud at this point. "Perhaps it was the slaying of the beast that was important...some ritual perhaps and the statue defacement was mere spite...or a distraction..."

Oorin shakes his head in perplexity, "Too many unknowns. I confess, had I known a mystery awaited me here I might have come better prepared."

Oorin then lets out a monstrous yawn and seems immediately embarrased by it. "By the Eldest, where did that come from?"


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Karl gives Roland an understanding grin. Don't let him scare you too much. he nods his head toward Arthur. He's really a big softy.

He then turns to Michael, Oorin, and Shanoa. If you'll follow me, I'll show you what I've found so far.

Karl leads the others to the town hall, then the lone tree, pointing out the drops along the way. Finally, he leads them to the copse of trees and says, This is as far as I came before I brought you here, but if we keep our wits about us, hopefully more will be revealed. Please be mindful of where you step and what you touch, the sign of our quarry may be nearby. Shanoa, you know something of tracking, don't you? Any help you'd care to give would be appreciated. Michael, Oorin, keep your eyes peeled for clues. You may spot something I miss, and hopefully we can gain some insight as to what manner of creature this blood came from.

perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

Any aid another's on Perception and Survival you guys want to help me out with would be awesome.


Any taverns you can recommend, DM Haldhin?


The Sheriff has been moving around the area attempting to disperse the townsfolk, "Nothing to see now, move along." It is obvious the people respect him as they begin moving off to other concerns.

Do you want to share details of your discoveries now, or do you want to meet him later and reveal information then? I'm assuming the latter, but please correct me if wrong.

@ Roland: Kendra prefers to return home. Now that she owns her father's house and everything inside of it, she wants to start figuring out exactly what she has, as well as what she is going to do with it. She will be there throughout the day if you need her for anything.

@ Karl: You continue searching the area but don't see any other sign of blood. Following the line of blood from the Town Hall, to the oak tree, to the small grove, you are fairly sure of the direction the trail seems to be leading... Perhaps the trail ends here, or perhaps one of your companions will aid you in finding the next clue?

@ Priest: The tavern in town is called The Laughing Demon. It is northwest of the town square, overlooking the river that runs through town. Several people are heading there, gossiping freely about the desecration of the statue.

Once you arrive, you have the option to sit in the common room or rent a private room for one gold piece per four hours.

Regardless of your decision, a few minutes pass before a large rotund man appears at your table, "Zokar Elkarid, owner of The Laughing Demon, at your service. You helped bury the old Professor, right? Well, he was a good man and it was a shame what happened. I'd be my honor to serve you myself... Let me buy you a drink, to remember him by."

After taking your order, he is keen to help if you need something, but he respects your privacy and stays away unless you ask for assistance. You also note that other tables in the tavern are waited on by servers, not Zokar himself.


The Slaughter Priest nods his thanks to Zokar Elkarid.

Shadow Lodge

F Human Inquisitor 4 {HP32/32; AC16/12/14; F+5 R+4 W+8; Init+7; Perc+10}

Shanoa looks around to see if she can find any further clues to follow.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20 - perception
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22 - survival


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael will keep his eyes peeled and maintain his concentration on his detect evil spell.

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Survival: 1d20 ⇒ 13


Shanoa points to the barn behind the grove, and the group moves ahead.

Getting closer, Karl notices another small splatter of blood on the ground near the northeastern corner of the building. This one is different from the others, however, in that it was clearly dropped from something that was moving toward the barn, then stopped when it reached the corner. Looking up, Karl sees a small field of winter wheat - the blood trail leads there.

(The field is nearly 200' x 200' in size, and between three to four feet high. It is difficult to see the ground more than one square away - meaning you can see everything within 5' of you, but beyond that range objects would be "concealed" for our purposes.)

Michael, I'm noting that your detect evil is up and running, it's just that nothing has pinged your radar yet.


Half-elf Ranger (Guide) 4 / Rogue 2 HP: (37/37) 49/49 / Init +4; Perception +16; AC 18/13/16; F+(3) 5, R+9, W+5; CMD: 21; Conditions: Mummy Rot - Con Damage: 4, Cha Damage: 4

Instead of trying to sift the wheat from the chaff, I think I'll seek the high ground.

Karl climbs to the roof of the barn to look down on the field from above, searching for trails and flattened sections of wheat.

Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23

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