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To Wear the Carrion Crown (Inactive)

Game Master Haldhin

Running the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.


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Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

"I can only ask questions about myself?" Michael asks, frowning. That tool could possibly provide some information about the Professor's death, but he would have to get Kendra in here so the cards could focus on her, her link with the Professor was most likely the strongest of all of them.

"Very well. I will ask a single question. One about my future, and that is relevant to our current dilemma. If you gave me that armor and I were to wear it into all my battles, will I accomplish great and noble deeds that would make its former owner proud?"

Nine d10 rolls:
1d10 ⇒ 10
1d10 ⇒ 5
1d10 ⇒ 7
1d10 ⇒ 5
1d10 ⇒ 9
1d10 ⇒ 9
1d10 ⇒ 9
1d10 ⇒ 7
1d10 ⇒ 8


Marta nods slowly and closes her eyes. Her lips twitch, and her head starts nodding from side to side, then around in a wide circle. This continues for a minute or so, before she freezes in place with a low moan.

Perception DC 10:
For the first time, you notice that the only other person in the store is a large man standing beside a doorway leading toward a back room. He watches closely, but does not appear ready to interfere in the reading.

As if nothing happened, Marta opens her eyes and studies the six stacks in front of her. She chooses one and pulls it forward. She quickly gathers the other stacks and pushes them to the side.

"I have heard your question, and have selected your cards. Here is the first."

She spreads the selected stack to her left so that nine individual cards lie face down in front of her. Her hand begins moving across them, back and forth, until she suddenly grabs one. Turning it over, she gasps and turns to look at you.

"The Paladin."

She stares at the card for several seconds before placing it down above the row. Moving quickly now, she draws all the remaining cards without comment, placing them in a grid three wide by three high.

"Attend me, Paladin."

She begins pointing at the cards, starting at the upper left corner, "The Paladin, The Beating, The Big Sky."

Her hand moves to the second row, again moving from left to right, "The Fiend, The Uprising, The Keep."

She pauses noticeably before moving to the bottom row, "The Forge, The Bear, The Cyclone."

Marta's hand hovers over The Paladin card. "I am sorry to have questioned you, but there is no doubt - you are what you claim. This location is notable, and it is the strongest card in this reading. You have two others with strong meaning..."

She continues along the top row, "The Big Sky, in a position of strength. It indicates a time of momentous change lies ahead of you."

She then moves down to the bottom right, "The Cyclone. An unstoppable force brings nothing but destruction. This will not be a random event, or natural disaster, but this cataclysm will happen by mortal hand."

Marta looks at you with wide eyes, "You stand on the precipice, Paladin. A force is being assembled that will lay waste to all that we know and love. Your fate is intertwined with these events... So to answer your question, your destiny is not certain, but you will have the opportunity to perform great and noble deeds that will make us proud. Come with me."

Marta gathers her cards and leads you to the armor standing in the back of the store. "When I inherited this armor, I found a inscription on the inside of the breastplate. It reads Singual - apparently it means 'Strength of the Soul' in Ancient Azlanti. If you wish it, the armor is yours. I will accept one thousand gold pieces in payment, at your convenience - do not worry about paying now, I do not want to deal with it, and I know you do not have it. But I also know you will pay me back the thousand, and more." she says, grinning at this last part.

"Jorfa at the forge can size it for you. I will have it delivered to her today, so stop by to meet her later. Now, if there is nothing else, I must rest. The reading was... stressful."

-----

Singual is a suit of Masterwork Full Plate Armor, but it must be resized for Michael before he can wear it. Jorfa can provide the time required to size it correctly.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 3

Michael's chest swells up with pride. The Harrow Deck had called him a paladin! Marta said the reading was "strong" with him! This wasn't just some trick or some fate...no...Iomedae Herself had intervened and guided Marta's hand to show her the truth. Michael was sure of it. Which meant...the Divine had truly accepted him as a paladin of Her glorious being!

Michael grins happily and as soon as Marta is out of the room he throws his head back and starts banging his head forward and back, his hair flipping over his face. He puts his hands in front of his body, one parallel to his shoulder, palm facing upwards, and the other towards his stomach, his fingers dancing across the air, as if he were playing a guitar. Michael makes a few sounds like a metallic beat with his mouth and strums the air guitar in an awe-inspiring, high-paced solo. After a full thirty seconds of invisible air rock, Michael stops and pumps his fist into the air triumphantly. "Recognition get!"

Now that that was settled...huh. Michael crosses his arms, lost in thought for a moment. "There was something important I was supposed to do with the rest of the group today...but...I can't really remember what it was? Crap. Ah well, they probably don't need my help anyway. Oorin-kun Aneurysm is there with them, he's a wizard (I think) so if they run into any trouble, I'm sure he can just summon an angel or something to help them."

Frowning, Michael bites his lip. "Wait, but then what am I supposed to do all day? Oh, I know!" Slamming his fist into his hand excitedly. "I'll go check on Miss Kendra. We've been gone all morning, someone should really go check on her to make sure she's alright."

With that, Michael heads back to the Lorrimor Estate. He opens the door and walks into the foyer. "Miss Kendra? Miss Kendra, it's me, Michael! Are you in?"


Michael hears footsteps approaching and Kendra appears from one of the back rooms. "I'm here, Michael. Have you and your friends finished helping the Sheriff?"


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael laughs sheepishly and rubs the back of his head. "Yeah, about that..we kind of got separated earlier. Now I don't know where they are. But I bet they'll be back sooner rather than later. In the mean time, I came here to check up on you. How are you doing today? Are you feeling any better?"


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 looks at Shanoa, Shouldn't Michael be here by now? What do you suppose happened to him?


Kendra responds, "Yes, I'm feeling much better today... um... thanks for asking."

She looks around and suddenly grabs a scroll off a nearby table, "Michael, how would you like to help me with something? I'm supposed to drop this off by Councilman Hearthmount's house, but I'm swamped right now. Do you suppose you could do it for me?"

Sense Motive DC 15:
Kendra is getting uncomfortable and wants to give Michael something to do out of her house


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Michael smiles in relief. "I'm glad to hear it. You have a package that needs to be delivered? Absolutely! Shall I pick anything up for you at the market while I'm out? Do you need any food restocked or anything like that?"

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa shrugs. "Do we go and find him or just go on without him?"


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

I would like to have him along, but we could spend all day looking for him. Karl turns to the Pharasman priest. Father Grimburrow, if our friend Michael comes looking for us before we return, would you mind telling him where to find us?


@ Michael:
Kendra thinks for a moment, "No, I need to run some errands later and I have a few special requests I need to discuss with the shopkeepers. But thank you for the offer!"

Kendra takes Michael's arm and leads him out the front door, "Councilman Hearthmount's house is right up the street, across the river, near the Temple. Thank you again, Michael." She quickly walks back inside and closes the door.

Perception DC 20:
A solid "click" is heard as Kendra turns the deadbolt

@ Everyone else:
Father Grimburrow nods, "Of course, if you can tell me what he looks like, I'll be happy to direct him."

-----

In what can only be divine coincidence, Michael sees the rest of the party exiting the Temple as he arrives at the Councilman's house! :)


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 4

Michael blinks as Kendra grabs his arm and guides him out the door. "Oh, well, okay! You can count on me, Miss Kendra, I'll make sure the scroll gets to him!" The door shuts behind him and Michael sighs happily. "I'm glad to know she's alright. Ah well, it's time to go deal with this other thing. Hopefully the Councilman is in a better mood now."

Michael walks up the street, crosses the river, and finds Councilman Hearthmount's house. He knocks on the door politely.


An older human woman answers the door wrapped from head to toe with a thick quilt she is clutching in a bony hand. She peers at you, tilting her head slightly. Her voice comes out in a screech, "What do you want? Be quick, it's cold out and I've a chill!"

-----

I should have also noted the party saw Michael strolling up the road when they left the Temple.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael blinks in surprise. "Well, that's not the Councilman!"

"Ahem. Sorry ma'am. Is Councilman Hearthmount at home? I need to speak with him. Won't take but a moment, I assure you."


"Do you think I would be answering the door if he was here?! Now are you going to leave, or do I call my boys?"

If possible, her voice is even more shrill than before.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

"Ah hah ha ha! No need, ma'am! Sorry to have bothered you!" Michael turns and runs away. He runs into the middle of the street, next to the temple, then stops and pants. "Damn, she was scary. Has everyone in this city lost their minds, or what? Where is Oorin-Can-Handle-This when you need him?!"


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 calls out after Michael flees from the elderly matron.

Michael, come on! Daylight's burning!


I assume everybody is heading to The Restlands. Please let me know if you are doing something else. I will have that IC post up tomorrow morning.


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 with the group headed for the Restlands.


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Michael blinks. "Wait, but...where did you guys...ah hell, why not? Wait for me!" He smiles and follows the rest of the group.


The Restlands are quite peaceful this early in the morning, and only a few others are in the graveyard when you arrive. Entering through the southern gate, you see an older couple standing near a headstone to the east, while a man leans against a handcart to the northwest. The weather is also being kind, though the thick gray clouds blocking the sun bode ill for the rest of the day.

Perception DC 20:
The man with the handcart appears to be resting in front of Professor Lorrimor’s grave.

Perception DC 27:
You saw the man surreptitiously watching your group as you entered The Restlands.

Following instructions provided in the Professor’s journal, you quickly find your target – a large granite mausoleum in the northeast corner of the graveyard at the junction of two paths. The roof is decorated in an older style incorporating several leering gargoyles along the roofline. A single stone door sits in the south side of the mausoleum with a rusted lock holding it in place.

Fortunately, a cursory examination of the lock reveals that it is actually broken. Someone obviously took care to arrange the lock so it would appear undamaged to casual viewers.

Knowledge: Engineering DC 15:
The crumbling stone on the corners, along with the worn edges of the carvings, indicate this crypt is one of the oldest in the graveyard.

Knowledge: Engineering DC 20:
At the time this building was constructed, using so many gargoyles would have been very unusual. These would have been a warning to people of that time that they should stay far away from this crypt – and the superstitious locals probably would have complied.

Knowledge: Religion DC 15:
Surprisingly, you cannot find any reference to religion on the outside of the crypt. Your experience has been that nearly every grave marker has some religious decoration, no matter how small, but this crypt does not have anything. Would have been very strange, almost taboo, for someone to build a crypt that eschews all religion.

Roland; Craft (alchemy) DC 20:
Your experience with caustic agents allows you to quickly determine that small amounts of acid were used to melt away part of the clasp. This was a deliberate act, nothing natural could have caused this particular damage to the lock.


Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21

The Slaughter Priest notes the presence of a man resting in front of the grave of the Professor. He finds that to be disrespectful and moves to shoo the man away.

"Ho! You there! Be on your way!"

Intimidate 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23


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

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

Karl turns to Roland and speaks softly It looks like someone's been here recently. Maybe they're still around?. He then turns to the young acolytes as he indicates the man with the handcart. Is that the gravedigger? Or one of the cemetery groundskeepers?


Male Human Paladin (Undead Scourge) 1

Yes! Finally a skill check I can succeed!
Know (Religion) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20

Damnit! I finally succeed a check and the information granted is "There is no information!" *rage*

Michael examines the crypt with suspicion. "Very strange. This tomb is completely neutral. There is no sign of any worship or deity. Which is odd, I mean, you'd really have to go out of your way to build a crypt without at least a statue of an angel or something, it's almost part of the architecture style...Almost like...this place wasn't really built to be a resting place for the dead at all."

Michael draws his sword and walks forward, slashing at the lock to break it completely and knock it aside.


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 winces at the loud clang of steel meeting the rusty lock.

Well, so much for the stealthy approach. Does anyone have a light?

He pulls one of his javelins out of the harness on his back, and tests the point for sharpness before flipping his grip so that he is ready to throw and then eases open the door.


@ Arthur:
He turns to watch The Slaughter Priest approach. The man appears to be a human male wearing loose coveralls and a white wool shirt. His face and hands show the wear of a man who has spent many days working outside. He stands up from his cart and pulls his hat off his head, rolling it up and holding it by his side.

Arthur sees the muscles in his cheek twitch a few times before he speaks, "Peace, neighbor. I mean no disrespect to this fine man here." He indicates the Professor's grave with his hand.

"But since you're here, I'm looking for someone who might be able to help me. I have a delivery the Professor ordered, but with his passing, I am unsure where it should go." He indicates the back of the cart, which contains a large iron-bound chest. "Do you know anybody who might be of assistance? A family member or friend here in town?"

(Arthur only for these checks; others once they get close to the man)

Perception DC 20:
You notice the man's eyes appear to be golden.

Sense Motive DC 30:
The man appears to be enjoying this, apparently finding amusement in this encounter.

-----

@ Karl:

Renauld looks at the man for a minute, watching as Arthur calls out. Turning back to Karl, "No, sir. I don't recognize him. He certainly does not work here."

-----

@ People in front of the crypt

A stone stairway descends below the ground nearly fifteen feet before coming to a flagstone floor. Your view becomes obscured beyond that due to the height of the doorway and the angle of the stairs.

You could see further if you descend the stairs, lack of light isn't the problem right now.

Survival DC 15:
You notice a set of footprints clearly outlined in the dust on the floor. The trail descends the stairs and continues deeper into the crypt.

Survival DC 24; Perception 29:
You notice another set of footprints cleverly hidden within the first set - as if somebody followed the first explorer and was careful to step precisely inside their footprints. As such, this hidden set was made after the originals.

Shadow Lodge

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

perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
knowledge: religion: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8

Shanoa feels strangely uneasy upon entering the restlands, something she didn't notice yesterday at the funeral. Upon arriving at the crypt, she nods at Karl and pulls out a lantern, lighting it and then holding it up to the entrance.

survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

Peering down the stairs, she looks back over her shoulder. "Someone's been here. I just hope those are the late Professor's footsteps in the dust." Gripping her morningstar firmly in one hand, she holds up the lantern in the other as she takes a few tentative steps down the stairs.


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

Survival (Aid Another): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Perception (Aid Another): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15

Karl nods as Shanoa points out the prints in the dust. I would have missed those... May I move ahead of you two a bit? Perhaps all hope of stealth is not lost. Stay back if you will, let me get a bit ahead.

Karl moves lightly down the steps, trying to put some distance between himself and the others, trusting his sight to keep him alert to others.

Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22


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

"I didn't see them at all," Oorin admits pulling out his crossbow and loading it.

Trying to hold back another large yawn, Oorin wonders, Now why didn't I switch to a more useful selection of spells?

Turning to Karl and Shanoa, "Do the prints go both down and up or just a single direction? The latter would be highly suggestive."

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa freezes and her blood runs cold at Oorin's comment. Whatever made these prints is still in here! Finding her voice, she says quietly, "Just one way - leading deeper into the crypt."


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)

It's been a busy day!
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Craft (Alchemy) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Ffffffuuuuuu

Roland is distracted as the group enters the Restlands, a little nervous even. As they arrive at the crypt, he looks up at one of the leering gargoyles.

It's been years since I've paid much attention to the old Pharasman teachings... and yet now, suddenly, I feel the weight of it.

Karl wrote:
It looks like someone's been here recently. Maybe they're still around?

"Hmm...?" Roland starts, clearly not having been paying attention. "Oh?

Michael wrote:
"Very strange. This tomb is completely neutral. There is no sign of any worship or deity. Which is odd, I mean, you'd really have to go out of your way to build a crypt without at least a statue of an angel or something, it's almost part of the architecture style...Almost like...this place wasn't really built to be a resting place for the dead at all."

Roland jumps at the loud "KRANG" of Michale's sword against the lock, then joins the others peering inside the crypt.

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Groan.

Shanoa wrote:
"Someone's been here. I just hope those are the late Professor's footsteps in the dust."
Karl wrote:
"I would have missed those... May I move ahead of you two a bit? Perhaps all hope of stealth is not lost. Stay back if you will, let me get a bit ahead.
Oorin wrote:
"Do the prints go both down and up or just a single direction? The latter would be highly suggestive."
Shonoa wrote:
"Just one way - leading deeper into the crypt."

Still inside?

He looks back up at the gargoyle.

Oh, Professor... what have you gotten me into?

Roland gulps, his hands visibly shaking as he wipes some sweat from his brow, and he's gone a bit pale.

"Well..." His voice squeaks, and he loudly clears his throat. He tries to smile and show some false courage and fails miserably. He withdraws a vial from his pocket, which contains a blue serum that glows faintly, and clutches it in his left hand. His right hand has a white knuckled grip on his cane. "Shall we... uh... progress?"


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

"Excellent!" Oorin proclaims cheerfully, "That's means our intruder is still down there; maybe we can finally get some answers!" He pauses for a moment and then says, "Imagine how disturbing it would have been if the prints only came up." Oorin (apparently) finds something amusing in this and begins laughing.

He then notices Roland looking at the gargoyles. He analyzes the tomb for a few moments. Certainly not how I would have designed it.

Oorin begins mentally constructing blueprints in his head of how to construct a better tomb.

P: Architect 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7

Strangely, he can't think of a single improvement. He knows it's there though. He continues thinking until the movement of the party pulls him back from his thoughts.


The interior of the crypt continues ahead fifty feet before ending at a rough stone wall. It is dimly illuminated by bluish-white light from four magical torches set into the walls. Ten sarcophagi are located within, five on each side of the crypt.

The footsteps in the dust continue forward, apparently ending at a crumpled humanoid form on the floor near the fourth sarcophagus on the right side. The form is clad in a dark robe or cloak, and lies face down with its outstretched arm touching the side of the stone casket.

Perception DC 20:
Two more crumpled forms are located near the rear wall on the left side.

-----

Karl notices the body by the fourth casket, and he gets the spoiler text (others can still roll for it). He is currently standing on the floor at the bottom of the staircase.

Currently, Karl is at the bottom of the stairs, Shanoa, Oorin, Roland, and Michael are at the top of the stairs. Arthur is talking to the man by the Professor's tomb.

Roland - you got the earlier check, you didn't need to roll for the spoiler. That was my intent by putting "Roland" in the spoiler tag - others would have had to roll the alchemy check. Sorry for any confusion - no need to retcon, nothing gained or lost either way. Is that okay?


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 calls upstairs in a low voice.

You all might want to come down here and have a look at this. There are at least three of them, and they are not in good shape.

He stays where he is at the bottom of the stairs, unsure of what might have struck these people down.


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)

Ah! Now that you've pointed it out, I see the punctuation was suggesting that. No worries. ;)

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Much better.

As they pass the doorway, and head into the crypt, Roland glances at the shattered lock, and finally notices the burn marks.

Someone burned through that lock.

He doesn't have time to linger on that thought.

Karl wrote:
"You all might want to come down here and have a look at this. There are at least three of them, and they are not in good shape."

Roland creeps down the stairs with the others and glances at the bodies, noting the other two near the rear wall. He creeps toward the robed body near the crypt, half expecting it to spring to life at any moment.

"I have some skill with anatomy..."

Trembling, he reaches to examine the body...

Assuming something terrible doesn't immediately jump out and attack me, I'm looking for cause of death.
Heal 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17


Sense Motive 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

"You say that it is for the Professor, then I will take charge of this matter."

"Give the book to me."


To keep the timing correct, I'm delaying the response to Roland for a post or two.

The man looks at Arthur for a few seconds, then lets his gaze wander over him. His eyes widen and his face brightens as he meets Arthur's eyes again. His mouth become a sly grin as he says, "Oh, you misunderstand me, sir."

He pulls a keyring from his pocket, selects a large iron key, and opens the chest. He reaches in and retrieves a long object wrapped in heavy cloth. Turning back to Arthur, he unwraps the package until he is holding a sheathed katana, "I don't have any books in here."

"Oh, by Pharasma, just give it to him!" a gravelly voice calls out.

The man looks back at his cart, "Shut your yapper, rock-for-brains! You've got your job, I've got mine!"

The gravelly voice replies, "And you suck at it. Give him the sword, we've got more deliveries to make!"

The man grimaces, but holds the katana out hilt first toward Arthur.

-----

Arthur does not see anybody else around (for the disembodied voice).

Also, Arthur noticed that the man reached very deep into the chest... much deeper than seems possible given the dimensions.


Ah, nevermind, I was reading my notes on the wrong encounter! That's what I get for posting at work. Sorry for the delay...

Roland reaches forward and touches the body - he can clearly see it is a half-elven male, young, but not a child. The body is cold to the touch, and massive lacerations are evident across his chest and abdomen. The outer edges of the wounds are dark blue in color, but not from bruising. Roland places the time of death at approximately ten to fifteen days ago.

The man is wearing a black outfit, complete with darkened metal pieces, soft black boots, and a black cloak. He has two empty scabbards and several pouches around his belt. A short sword and dagger lie nearby on the ground, and both are also covered in the substance that darkens the metal blades. Despite this, Roland sees green stains along the blades of both weapons in the magical light of the crypt.

Perhaps most unnerving are the thick stitches used to sew the half-elf's mouth together (done prior to death).

As Roland examines the body, he also notices the forms on the back wall are not humanoid. Whatever is back there has a large segmented body, hundreds of chitinous legs, and at least one set of serrated mandibles nearly two feet long. It does not appear to be moving.

-----

Roland is about fifteen feet from the back wall, and about thirty feet from the bottom of the stairs.


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 replaces his javelin and draws his greatsword as he heads towards the crumpled forms near the rear wall on the left side.

What is it, Roland? How did he die?

Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14


Karl starts to make out the details of the creature on the back wall at twenty-five feet. Large segmented body, hundreds of tiny chitinous legs, mandibles the size of his forearm. Based on what he can see, the body appears to be about a foot in diameter, and about twenty feet long.

The creature is technically "medium" so it fits into a five foot square, but it has a long body that I would estimate to be at least 10 feet long. In this case, there are two of them tangled up and wrapped around one another, making exact identification difficult at present. Giving you this to help guide what your character may or may not see if my IC post doesn't provide enough imagery. If any of the characters move within ten feet, they see another set of mandibles, and can start to make out the two distinct creatures.


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

Are any of the sarcophagi open?


Karl the Bastard wrote:
Are any of the sarcophagi open?

None of the sarcophagi are currently open. All of them have heavy stone lids that can be pushed off to the side.

EDIT: I should also add that the dust on the floor has been quite disturbed starting at the third sarcophagus - it is obvious that a fight ranged throughout the room from that location throughout the crypt toward the back of the room. That means the footprint trail leads in thirty feet then essentially disappears. Those who noticed the trail would easily determine the prints match the boots worn by the dead half-elf.


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 calls upstairs in a low voice.

You all might want to come down here and have a look at this. There are at least three of them, and they are not in good shape.

Oorin heads down the stairs, eager to see what Karl and Roland have found. He is grimly fascinated by the sewing shut of the mouth on the corpse.

He turns to Roland, "Can you think of a reason for sewing the mouth shut? Spite and maliciousness perhaps, or a darker reason?"


To recap: Arthur is talking to a man with a magic box; Karl, Roland, and Oorin have descended into the crypt, I am going to DMPC Michael down there as well, and Shanoa
is outside at the top of the stairs. Next couple of days should be fun! :)


The Slaughter Priest steps forward to the man and takes the katana from him. "This will slice your balls off if you don't handle it right."

He takes a gold coin and tosses it to the man. "Your job is done."


The man narrows his eyes and emits a feral growl, "Watch your mouth, mortal..."

A low chuckle interrupts him, "Easy my friend, I like him. He should do fine."

The deep voice continues, "Keep your coin. As payment for this service, tell your friends to come meet us."


Not easily daunted, The Slaughter Priest declares, "Wait then and I shall summon them."

"Where are the others?" Arthur asks of Shanoa.


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)

Do we still have the acolytes with us?

Roland turns his head back to the others.

"Half-elven, by the looks of him. Badly cut up. I'd say from whatever that is." He points at the mandibled creatures in the corner. "The wounds look... odd. Maybe poison? It's hard to tell on a cursory examination. Based on his state, I'd say he broke into this crypt and met his fate perhaps a fortnight ago."

Oorin wrote:
"Can you think of a reason for sewing the mouth shut? Spite and maliciousness perhaps, or a darker reason?"

"Hmm... well it looks like the sewing is older than the time of death. So this was done while the young man was still alive."

He recalls the conversation with Arthur earlier, and his suspicion about the Professor's death.

"Mutilating his mouth would also make it difficult to use Speak with Dead magic. If he was part of the cult the Professor was investigating, it's possible they do this to themselves to ensure their silence... even beyond the grave."

Still... maybe there's something more...

Knowledge (Arcane) 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32


The acolytes are staying outside the crypt until the party gives them the "all clear". They were not enthusiastic when your group found the strange footprints leading into the crypt, and decided to let the people with weapons go in first. ;)

Roland spends a few minutes examining the stitches in the mouth. He finally decides that the common thread and crude work does not seem to be consistent with the expensive and precise work normally required for such practices with arcane or divine significance.

During his examination, however, Roland determines the stitching over the half-elf's mouth allows it to open very slightly. Additionally, Roland notices several small scars on the half-elf's neck, right above the dead man's larynx. The restricted opening of the mouth, coupled with the damaged larynx, would have severely restricted the half-elf's volume and pitch if and when he decided to speak.


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)

Wait...

Roland frowns, looking at the self-inflicted wounds.

"The stitches aren't taught, so he would still have been able to speak. But he's also done some damage to his larynx. It's unlikely this man would have been able to do much other than speak in..."

Roland turns to look back at Oorin and Karl, his face pale.

"... in a whisper. He is one of the cultists."

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