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To Wear the Carrion Crown (Inactive)

Game Master Haldhin

Running the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.


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

"Well," Oorin says after a moment, "that adds a bit of gravity to the situation, doesn't it?"

"While I'm curious about the substance in these brass vials I think we should explore the caves first. I'd rather deal with any surprises before they have a chance to surprise us. What do the rest of you think?"

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa stands completely taken by surprise at the gifts, staring at her new weapon and wondering about the implications of the stranger's explanation until Oorin speaks. She turns and nods, "I agree. Let's find out if there's anything else down there."


Yiftal watches your reactions closely.

Karl speaks, and Yiftal leans forward to better see what he holds. His nostrils flare noticeably, Yes, that is their sign. In some places, simply having it in your possession is asking for death. Carry that with care.

The gifts are yours now, and what you do with them is up to you. Leaving them here will not change his fate. As for granting him final peace? That is beyond me, but no way I know of will make him whole.

The other voice chimes in, Indeed, he chose this way knowing the truth of his fate, hoping his sacrifice would aid you.

As Karl asks his last question, Yiftal asks to see the items. He looks them over for moment, growling slightly as he examines the dagger and sword. These arrows bear weak magic, but they would useful against lesser undead. But these weapons, they have been in the service of evil. They themselves are like the arrows, weak but useful, but they must be used for mighty deeds to wash the stink of their heinous crimes away.

So what my friend means is yes, but they won't be much help by themselves. the other voice adds with a hint of irony.

-----

They can answer another round of questions if people have more.

Yiftal identified everything; 2x +1 arrows, +1 dagger, +1 short sword


Yiftal's form shifts and he once again resembles the human man as he first appeared. He hefts the handles of his wagons and pushes the cart out of The Restlands, disappearing from view over a small hill.

Before you do anything else, the acolytes ask you what they should do with the half-elf's body? They intend to burn the crawling hands and giant centipedes unless you direct them otherwise.

The group investigates the cave at the back of the crypt. You easily discover the pile of broken equipment - of note, you see that many of the shattered arrows in the pile are identical to the two you found in the sarcophagi. The party continues following the cave until it exits in a small cave about a mile away from The Restlands.

What would the group like to do now?

-----

Some possible options for the party after they emerge from the cave include:

  • Return to the Temple of Pharasma
  • Return to the barn and field in an attempt to discover more about the blood trail
  • Research the following topics: Whispering Way, Harrowstone Prison, the people who died in the prison fire
  • Visit the General Store for Harrow readings
  • Visit the apothecary
  • Visit the school
  • Visit the prison and locate the location of Professor Lorrimor's death

Let me know what people want to do.


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

As the group emerges from the cave, Karl takes a moment to rest, and sharpen his greatsword with his new whetstone.

What shall we do next, friends? I admit, I am at a bit of a loss for where we should proceed next. Part of me wants to hare off to investigate the location of the professor's demise, but it seems to me that we would be better served with more information. Roland, Oorin, he smiles at the man and the gnome, different in aspect, but both obviously quite intelligent, you're the smartest, right? Maybe you two could find out more about these whisperers in the professor's books, or at that school, and the Prison fire too. I could go back to the barn and see if I can pick up the trail again. What do the rest of you think?


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)
Karl wrote:
What do the rest of you think?

Roland looks back at the tome he's been carrying under his arm. He's itching to start flipping through, and finding what secrets the Professor left to him.

Patience. There is important work to do, first.

"I agree that we should be better informed before we go to the prison. Oorin and I can certainly look through town records, and see what we can come up with."

The alchemist glances over at Michael, the single-minded paladin lingering behind the group, brooding.

"I never put much stock in soothsaying... but after today's revelations, I'm not certain what to believe. There's no reason we might not also stop by the store again, and see what insights this fortune teller may have."


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 think the acolytes should bear the body back to the temple. Perhaps the priests can discern something from his corpse that we cannot."

"I agree that we should investigate the prison and the fire that occured there before we actually venture to it. At some point, someone should take the brass vials to the alchemist and see if he can identify them."

Oorin absentmindedly strokes his sideburns. "I admit some curiosity about the Harrow readings myself. While I've never met anyone who truly had the gift, there were many in the colleges at Katheer who swore by it."


"Wait! The journal says that the Professor suspects that this is a hidden armory for those fighting this Whispering Way. Are these weapons we have discovered those that we seek?"

"Surely we can search a little longer?"

Take 20 anyone?


In reading back through the thread, I'm afraid I might have given the wrong impression about the exact contents of the false crypt which led go less investigation than intended. I'm not sure I did, but it's tough sometimes to know what you guys are reading versus what I'm typing... Since this information is somewhat important, I'm going to retcon slightly and assume you all swing back by the crypt after emerging from the cave to take your time and search everything. Hopefully this clarifies the situation a bit regarding the false crypt. Feel free to ask if something isn't clear...

You find the following:

  • There was another set of tracks leading into the crypt, to the last sarcophagi on each side, then back out of the crypt. These tracks were intentionally obscured
  • You find tracks matching those of the half-elf leading from each of the sarcophagi to the pile of broken equipment (weapons, potions, arrows, etc). Due to the amount of equipment, he must have made several trips.
  • All of the equipment was broken against the wall of the cave.
  • You find small burlap fibers in the sleeves of the half-elf's shirt - he apparently carried the burlap bags.
  • The bags had only been inside the sarcophagi for a short time since there were very few loose fibers under the bags
  • The centipedes came from the cave, moving through the broken equipment (tracking liquid from the broken potions) and emerged into the crypt where they fought with the half-elf

What Actually Happened:

So the half-elf came into the crypt carrying the burlap bags of crawling hands. He brushed away the tracks that were there from Professor Lorrimor. He then took all the items for fighting undead out of the false sarcophagi, went into the cave, and destroyed it, leaving a pile of debris. Finally, he placed the burlap bags into the open caskets with a single arrow as bait in case anybody came searching for the hidden equipment again. After he finished, the centipedes emerged from the cave and attacked him.

Assuming we're good there and moving on...
I've got Karl moving to the tracks south of the barn and Orrin and Roland interested in researching a few topics. I'm going to say Michael goes with Karl (until TPB Michael returns).

Though they complain about it, the acolytes finally agree to return the body to the Temple. You get the impression that the physical labor aspect of the request is what's bothering them. :)


@ Karl:
The trail ends shortly after exiting the field to the west as it enters the small river running through town. There are two areas of note in that direction: a larger house with a small barn (M2 on the map), and a smaller house with a barn (Q). There is one field near M2, and two fields near Q.

Let me know how you want to proceed. People are moving around town at this time (around 2pm), but it seems everyone is minding their own business. If you decide to search, please roll some Perception checks, along with Stealth if you're trying to hide (or remain inconspicuous) while looking around.


@ Roland and Oorin:
If both of you spend time researching, it only takes 4 hours to find information about the prison:

Please make two checks: Knowledge (history) for Roland, and Craft (stonemasonry) for Oorin. You each receive a +2 modifier on these checks due to the extensive records available in Town Hall.

DC 10:
Harrowstone is a ruined prison—partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place.

DC 15:
Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison’s underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact. The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, Vesoriana, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occurred.

DC 20:
Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav’s executions during that era were carried out. The fire that caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison’s dungeons immediately prior to the conflagration. It was only through the self-sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping—the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.

DC 25:
At the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in
a desperate attempt to end the riot.


@ Oorin:
Jominda Fallenbridge runs the apothecary shop. Her store has a surprisingly good selection of herbal and alchemical provisions, including material components for minor arcane spells.

She looks over one of the vials, but is unable to determine its exact function. She notes that the vial has a lid that flips open, but she is unsure if doing that is a good idea with the vapor inside.

If desired, she will use her abilities to identify one of the vials at the cost of 25 gp. She would need you to return the following day to give her time to prepare.

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa assists the acolytes in returning the body to the Temple. Upon arriving she finds the priest and explains what they found in the false crypt. "Sir, you'll want to take a look at this body. I didn't know what else to do with it and felt it would be wise to consult you first." Pointing to the features they found on him, she adds in a low voice, "We think he might have been one of them."

diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


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

C: Stonemasonry 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 7 + 2 = 23

Oorin will ponder this information for a bit, keeping it in the back of his mind should any of prove important later (as well as waiting to see if Roland gets that DC 25 check).

-----

Oorin will thank the apothecary, pay the 25G for the Identify and leave one of the vials with her.

Current monies: 8G, 11S, 11C

-----

Oorin's plans unless interrupted:

Return to the Professor's house and go through the vast collection of books again looking for more on The Whispering Way. Hopefully, recent findings will make it easier to narrow the focus of the search and see if anything's been missed.

Regardless of whether that succeeds or not, proceed to the General Store and see if the shopkeeper actually has the gift for Harrowing.

After that, start trying to hook up with the rest of the group.


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)

Knowledge (History) 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 11 + 2 = 31

Roland has regained his composure since the incident at the crypt - once again, amongst books he's in his element. He hums and haws a bit as he pours through the information on the old prison. Finally, he turns to Oorin.

"It says here there's five particularly notorious criminals who were immolated along with the warden and his staff. I think this might be pertinent."

Assuming Oorin makes his intention to sojourn to the local apothecary known, Roland nods.

"I'll stay and see what I can learn about these villains."

Roland will stay behind to do just that, researching what he can on the five criminals.

Knowledge (History) 1d20 + 11 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 11 + 2 = 21


@ Shanoa:

Father Grimburrow has the man brought into a small room toward the rear of the Temple. Yes, my dear, he is most certainly one of them, though I have only heard of these - I've never seen them in person, he says pointing at the stitches in the mouth and on his throat.

It may be possible to try and speak with his corpse, though I am certain it would fight against the spell. If this is something you wish us to try, return tomorrow morning with five questions to ask. I will cast the spell myself, giving us all the best chance to find out what it knows.


@ Oorin:

Looking through the collection again, now that you have discovered the half-elf cultist, is a much faster endeavor. In only a couple of hours you discover the following:

  • The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers— the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

  • Exact details on the society are difficult to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way’s goals are discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.

-----

When Oorin visits the General Store, he is told that she will visit Kendra's house at noon the next day. Apparently she is feeling ill and is unable to see him.

-----

It's probably around 8pm for Oorin at this point, and I'm thinking most of the other characters would be back at Kendra's by now.


@ Roland:

The five criminals are: Father Charlatan, The Lopper, The Mosswater Marauder, The Piper of Illmarsh, and The Splatter Man.

Each of them requires a separate check, I'll go ahead and roll for you, with an additional +2 bonus

Father Charlatan:
You do not discover anything about this criminal.

The Lopper:
When the Lopper stalked prey, he would hide in the most unlikely of places, sometimes for days upon end with only a few supplies to keep him going while he waited for the exact right moment
to strike. Once his target was alone, the Lopper would emerge to savagely behead his victim with a handaxe.

The Mosswater Marauder:
Only 5 years before his hometown of Mosswater was destined to be overrun and ruined by monsters from the nearby river, Ispin Onyxcudgel was a well-liked artisan and a doting husband. When he discovered his wife’s infidelity, he f lew into a jealous rage and struck her dead with his hammer, shattering her skull and his sanity with one murderous blow. Wracked with shame and guilt, Ispin became convinced that if he could rebuild his wife’s skull she would come back to life—but unfortunately, he could not find the last blade-shaped fragment from the murder site. So instead, Ispin became the Mosswater Marauder. Over the course of several weeks, the cunning dwarf stalked and murdered nearly 20 people while searching for just the right skull fragment. He was captured just before murdering the daughter of a visiting nobleman from Varno, and was carted off to Harrowstone that same night.

The Piper of Illmarsh:
You do not discover anything about this criminal.

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

-----

It is now about 8pm and the Town Hall is closing. I'm going to assume Roland returns to Kendra's at this point to reconnect with the rest of the party.


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 spends the afternoon examining the fields, and keeping an eye out for an opportunity to enter the barns without being observed. If anyone seems to be taking too close an interest in his activities, he moves on, but takes careful note of the person. If he thinks he can do so unseen, Karl will also attempt entry into the houses.

Perception Checks:

1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28

Survival Checks:

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

Stealth Checks:

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
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 does indeed return to Kendra's. He drops his new book and his satchel, heavy coat and cane off in his room, and briefly considers either pouring over his new tome, or starting work on another batch of serum... but his grumbling stomach changes his mind.

He heads downstairs in time for most of the others to arrive back at the house.

"Ah. It's been a long day, and it dawns on me that I've eaten little. Perhaps some dinner is in order?"

He then clears his throat.

"I've... ah... also found some information regarding the prison and some of it is... shall we say disturbing? And a little too similar to certain events around town."

He crosses his arms, and frowns, trying to figure out exactly what to say next. After a beat, he speaks again.

"Either the prison - and indeed the town itself - is haunted, or a very sick individual is re-enacting the crimes of the past."

His stomach growls again and he blushes.

"Ahem. As grim a topic as it may be... perhaps we can discuss this further over that dinner I mentioned?"


@ Karl:

Spoiler:
Though you are unable to find any more tracks, your time is not entirely wasted.

Although you do not manage to get into the houses, you are able to see through windows. After spending enough time to get a good idea of the layout and furnishings, you unfortunately do not find anything that holds your interest.

As you scout around the last field (the one farthest west), you see a man standing behind the small barn (near Q on the map). He appears to be staring at the back of the barn, and somewhat oddly, he doesn't move for several minutes He limply holds a shovel in his right hand, seeming as if he was going to drop it at any moment. Something about the way he stares at the barn appears unnatural to your hunter's eyes.

After nearly five minutes, he shakes his head and stands up straighter. He looks from side to side, as if trying to figure out what was happening. Tightening his grip on the shovel, he turns away from the barn and stomps to the front small house. He throws down the shovel and enters the house, slamming the door shut behind him. As he does this, you get a clear look at his face - it's the same man who was leading the mob at the cemetery trying to prevent the Professor from getting buried.

You move closer to the barn, carefully picking your way through the field. Once you are within fifty feet, you see a large wood pile stacked neatly under a small overhang.

A voice from your right grabs your attention, "Hey you, get off my property!" A crossbow bolt thuds into the ground about ten feet away. You see the man standing at the side of his house holding a light crossbow and starting to reload. "That was a warning, I won't miss next time! Now get out of here!"


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 etches the man's position into his memory, shakes his head and departs, keeping his eyes on the man until he can interpose hard cover between the two of them. Don't forget your shovel, Gibs, as you seem to have forgotten your manners. He returns to professor Lorrimor's house.

How overcast is it today, or is it clear? Karl is contemplating returning after dark and I want to know if the star and moonlight will give him a reasonable chance to spot clues.


The sun has been hidden almost all day, and it appears to Karl that the moon and stars are going to be concealed for most of the night as well. There is always a chance that the clouds could break for a few minutes, but it's much more likely to be a dark and dreary night in Ravengro.

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa nods at Roland's information. "I'll help Kendra throw something together. By the way, I spoke with Father Grimburrow about the body we found. He's going to attempt to speak with it tomorrow and invited us to be in attendance, but wanted us to provide questions. Anything you'd like to ask?"


Kendra has a decent stock of food available, so assume the group gets a hearty meal. I'm watching the thread and will update as needed, but let me know if there are any outstanding questions/issues that I've missed.


Arthur returns to the Professor's house to use whatever reference material that may be there.


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 returns to the house and informs the others of his activities as he tucks into the tasty supper.

Well, I went back to those trails, followed them to a few different fields, but wasn't able to find much of anything of use. The last field I checked, I think that man, Gibs, the one who tried to stop the professor's funeral, you know? I think it was his. I saw him standing out by his barn, holding a shovel, for all the world, slack jawed and mesmerized. Then he snapped out of it and went inside. I tried to get a better look, but he spotted me and warned me off with his crossbow. I tell you all, I have half a mind to go back there tonight and find out just what he was digging up, or burying... He's not the only one with a shovel.

Karl looks at the others expectantly. It's going to be a dark night, I'd wager. Hardly any moon or starlight to speak of. Should be easy to move about unseen, but what I wouldn't give for a hooded lantern.

Shadow Lodge

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

Between bites of food, Shanoa responds, "I 'spect they'll have one at the general store, but they may have closed up shop already. I'd be happy to join you, as I'm curious as anyone, but I'm not so much one for sneaking."


GM Screen:

Chances of Professor Lorrimor having a hooded lantern - 25%

1d100 ⇒ 75

Kendra perks up, One of those lanterns with a shade on it? I think my father had one of those. She rises from the table and hurries from the room.

She returns a few moments later with a hooded lantern in her hands, Is this what you meant?


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 grins at the stroke of good luck, looking for all the world like a small boy given a gift on his name day. That's just the ticket, Ms. Kendra! But... a troubled look passes over his face I don't suppose you have any lamp oil to go with it, or know where we could get some at this time of night? If you have any, I'd gladly pay you for it, with my promise to bring the lantern back in good working order or replace it if it gets too badly banged up. The young half elf looks hopeful and turns to Shanoa, With how dark it will be out there, it probably wont take much in the way of sneaking as long as we keep quiet. We'll travel light, no armor to speak of and hopefully be in and out before anyone's the wiser.

Can I use aid another to assist with a stealth check?


Kendra grins, Oil, you say? Of course. With a house this large, I've had more than enough to use before all of you arrived. I'll go fetch some from the pantry.

She has more than enough to fill the lantern which can keep it lit for 6 hours.

Don't think that would work if both people are trying to be stealthy. That said, you will be receiving some pretty sizable circumstance bonuses from the darkened sky, wind, and (potential) precipitation.


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 listens to Karl as the group eats. After most of dinner is done, but before anyone leaves, he dips his finger in his drink and draws a wet "V" on the table.

"Someone in this town is in terrible danger."

Now that he has everyone's attention he goes on.

"Shortly before Harrowstone Prison was gutted by fire, five particularly notorious men of tremendous evil were delivered to it's doorstep. I suspect these five men may have been instrumental in the escape attempt that led to the fire, and the tragic loss of life."

Roland clears his throat.

"I also suspect it may be their spirits - or their legacy - that can account for some of the strangeness we've seen in town since our arrival. Two of the villains I have learned little of. They were called Father Charlatan and The Piper of Illmarsh. The other three, however..."

Roland stands and begins pacing around the room.

"The Mosswater Marauder was a dwarf artisan who discovered his wife was being less than... ah... loyal to him. He murdered her in a jealous rage, smashing her skull to bits with his hammer. What was left of his sanity died with her, and in his delusion, he believed he could bring her back if he could just rebuild the skull. Unable find the final blade-shaped piece, however, he resorted to murder to find a suitable replacement. He killed 20 people before he was caught, moments before murdering the daughter of a visiting nobleman from Varno."

Roland stops by the table and sips his drink, then looks around the faces of the group before continuing.

"The next was called The Lopper. A murderous lunatic who loved the element of surprise, he would pick a target, then hide out in the most unusual of places in waiting. Sometimes, he'd wait for days with only a few supplies to keep him going, waiting for the right moment to strike. When that moment came... he would leap from hiding, and savagely behead his victim... with a handaxe."

As he says "handaxe," Roland looks pointedly at Karl. After a moment, he walks over and taps the drying "V" on the table.

"Our final fiend is Professor Feramin, known as The Splatter Man. Feramin was a well-known, and published scholar in the field of Anthroponomastics - the study of personal names - at the Quartrefaux Archives of Caliphas. Unfortunately, during his studies, Feramin began associating with evil beings, and soon became obsessed with how names could be used to control and terrify others. His reputation in ruins, and cast out from the halls of academia, he continued his research in secret. It was during this time that he began murdering, to study the effects of death on the names of the victms. Every few days, he would arrange for his victim to find a letter from their name written in blood. Once he had spelled out the name, he would strike at his victim, killing them in a most gory fashion designed to appear like an accident."

He again taps the "V".

"So, I repeat. Someone in this town is in terrible danger."

Roland sits back down and sips his drink again in the tense silence that follows his revelation.

"Harrowstone Prison has a history as a place haunted by the restless spirits of those who were slain in that tragic inferno. This cult, the Whispering Way, may have done something to awaken the evil left behind by some of the most notorious killers ever to grace its walls. That is what we are up against."

He sighs, rubs his temples, and then looks to Oorin.

"I may be prudent for us to also learn all we can about Father Charlatan and The Piper of Illmarsh before we brave the prison."

Shadow Lodge

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

Shanoa considers this. "It's likely some local who knows the legend and is playing a tasteless, if at least harmless prank to stir up the old fears. But if it's a copycat who's targeted a living resident, she is indeed in danger. Then, of course...there remains the possibility this is the work of some undead evil from the prison. Can we risk talking to the sheriff about this? Where else might we find out which woman in town have a name starting with a V?"


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 shakes his head at Shanoa's statement. That Lopper sounds like whatever it was tried to take my head on that barn. That thing was no prank! It meant to kill me, and almost gave me a broken neck for my trouble. Sorcery or spirit, that thing meant me harm. By the end, his voice is raised, although he lowers it immediately and has the good grace to look remorseful as he mumbles out an apology to Shanoa. Sorry, that thing still has me a bit worked up. Anyway, if what we've learned about these Whisperers is true, raising dead spirits sounds like just their cup of tea, and who knows, maybe someone or many here in town are a part of it. Ms. Kendra, you live here, what do you think of all of this, and do you know any woman here in town whose name starts with a V?


Kendra has been sitting back this entire time, obviously overwhelmed with the information being revealed. When Karl speaks to her, she nods slowly.

What do I think? Well, I don't know... There have always been stories about the haunted prison, but none of us really thought they were true. I mean, there have been people going in there for years but none of them have ever found anything. But now? I don't know, things around here have changed in the past few weeks...

She gathers her hands into her lap, As for people in town who have names starting with the letter 'v'? Well, there is Vrodish, you all saw him earlier at the statue. He's a deputy here in town, but you said woman, right? And he's a man. Hmm. Well, there is also Sarianna Vai, though it's her last name that starts with a 'v', not her first. She owns The Outward Inn, up on the square. She's the only one I know, but I'll keep thinking about it.

Shadow Lodge

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

Nodding, Shanoa responds, "Let's go meet her tomorrow. No reason to scare her - don't want to start a panic, but it'd be a good idea to look around. What about the dead cultist? Can we ask him what they were doing at Harrowstone? What else might he know?"


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 clears his throat a bit before speaking. "To add to what Roland said, there is evidence that the prisoners had rioted and taken control of parts of the prison before the fire started. Some evidence suggest that it was the Warden and a few guards who actually set the fire as a self-sacrificial means to prevent the prisoners from taking further control." Oorin pauses, "There was also mention that the Warden's wife was present at this time though no reason as to why. One would think that, if a riot were in process, getting her to safety would have been the warden's first concern. It may be nothing more than coincidence; it was simply an oddity that I noted."

Oorin lowers his voice before continuing, "As for The Whispering Way, I was able to find out a few more tidbits there as well. As we suspected, finding a stable formulae for creating liches is high on their priority list but one of their most important goals is to find a way to free a being known as "The Whispering Tyrant". I've learned that this group will go out of its way to examine, and even experiment at, places that are haunted in the hopes of gleaning such information. Perhaps that's what we stumbled across here: not something they've caused but something they're taking advantage of...that's just guesswork, of course."

"A few last bits: the group's official symbol is, apparently, a gagged skull; something to look out for perhaps. Also. the group keeps no written records. Supposedly, the secrets of the group can only be passed on by whispering; speaking out loud or use of the written word doesn't work. How far that really extends is anybodys guess but it would explain how they've maintained such secrecy since before recorded history."

Oorin sits back muttering to himself, "Hmmm, I think that's it. I do tend to ramble a bit sometimes. Oh, yes! The "Harrower" is paying me a visit at the house tomorrow (I hope that isn't an inconvinience, Miss Kendra) and is she truly has the gift, it could be valuable indeed. Such magics aren't well understood and can be virtually impossible to defend against. Of course, you have to be able to understand what you've been told as well."

He turns to Karl, "I wouldn't mind accompanying you. I can move very quietly when the situation demands it."


"Could that 'V' be related to the man, the one whose statue we found that at?"


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 welcome your company Oorin, and your keen eyes and wits.Karl taps his temple with a long index finger. Was it the dwarf, Mosswater, was he the one who only killed women? I must have confused him with the Splatter Man. Vrodish might be in danger, but will he believe us without proof? That's a problem for tomorrow I guess. What do you think, Oorin? Should we wait a few hours until the rest of the town is likely asleep before we take our midnight stroll?


I'm paying attention and enjoying the rp, chiming in when situation needs it.


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

"Hmmm, once the light fades, people will start to move inside their homes or head for the tavern paying little attention to any concerns but their own. While the tavern is still noisy and people stumble home we'll attract less suspicion even if someone should happen to notice us. Another hour, perhaps?"

Oorin yawns. "It's just as well, I'm tired but I don't know why; slept like a log."


Leaving an hour from "now" would make it about 10pm, well after most people in Ravengro have turned in for the night.

When characters leave Kendra's house to investigate the barn, please give me four stealth and four perception rolls each.


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 politely bows out of any evening excursions - it's fairly obvious that the idea of wandering in the dark doesn't appeal to him after today's ghostly revelations.

"I can also take the opportunity to begin brewing up something helpful. I know a few mixtures that may of great help to us in our investigation."

And more serum. I must have more serum.

After the others have gone, Roland awkwardly excuses himself from Kendra, heads up to his makeshift lab, and closes the door. He spends the next half-hour or so getting his equipment running and some chemicals bubbling.

Must be careful with this batch of serum. Can't have the same aggressive reaction as today...

His eyes turn toward the book the Professor left him.

But first...

He opens the book and begins reading...

I'm a little fuzzy on the Brew Potion rules - and don't have a book on hand. Is it possible for me to brew up some CLW potions tonight?


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

Let's wait until the town's abed, Oorin. Distracted eyes are well and good, but I'd rather have them firmly shut if we can.

When they leave, Karl leaves his armor and most of his gear behind, taking only his knives, cestus, and shovel. He dons a large, dark green, hooded greatcloak from his traveling clothes and moves quietly into the night.

Stealth:

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Perception:

1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19


Brew Potion Feat
Potion Creation Rules
General Magic Item Creation Rules


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 follows Karl leaving his Xbow behind.

Stealth:

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Perception:

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13


@ Roland:
A potion of CLW would take you 2 hours.


Shanoa's rolls:

Stealth:

1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12

Perception:

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

GM Screen:

1d20 - 15 ⇒ (3) - 15 = -12
1d20 - 15 ⇒ (15) - 15 = 0
1d20 - 15 ⇒ (18) - 15 = 3
1d20 - 15 ⇒ (17) - 15 = 2

1d4 ⇒ 4

-----

Karl, Oorin, Shanoa:
The three of you move out into the dark night, cautiously heading south and across the small river. Shanoa stumbles as her foot slips on a submerged rock, but the splashing does not appear to attract any notice.

The rest of the trek is uneventful, and you reach the pile of firewood under the cover of darkness. Karl opens the shroud of the lantern and a bright beam of light illuminates the large pile. As the three of you look over the wood, a few of the logs on the bottom seem to grab your attention.

You notice that the logs are not actually supporting any weight, and they slide out of the pile without disturbing any of the other wood. Behind the logs you removed, you discover a blood-stained war razor and a waterskin - from the dried crimson streaks on the waterskin, you can tell it was recently full of blood.

Karl:
The blood on the razor and waterskin is identical to the blood you followed from the monument.


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)

Darn - I don't seem to have the 50GP required for the materials. Ah well. Roland will spend 12GP worth of materials to start two batches of Alchemist's Fire, instead. I think our Fire Wizard can find a use for it as an alchemical focus. ;)

Batch 1: Craft (Alchemy) 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 8 + 1 = 24 This batch will be done in 3 days.
Batch 2: Craft (Alchemy) 1d20 + 8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 8 + 1 = 12 FFFFFFFFuuuu... I'll need to spend another 3GP to recover this failure in a week.

Ah, and here's my work around for the CLW potion - the Discovery I'll take from the tome will be Infusion, and as I can make CLW extracts - voila! I'm now a supplemental healer! :)


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 shutters the lantern and crouches down near the logs. His voice is low and hushed.

That's the same blood I tracked from the statue to the fields. I'd stake my life on it. Same color and consistency. Should we take the razor and waterskin, or leave them here? We don't seem to have made many friends here, and I don't want to be caught with these. If they're undisturbed, Gibs shouldn't know that he's been discovered.


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 agree, leave them here," Oorin whispers. "We're not even sure what the purpose of painting a bloody "V" on a statue was for. I think we need to find out more about this Gibs fellow and what other secrets he might have in his house."

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