Each of you receives a copy of the following letter:
It is with great sorrow I write to you this day. Your friend, my father, Petros Lorrimor has died. Father spoke of you often and had hoped to see you again before the end. I am saddened that he did not get that chance.
As part of father’s final wishes, I am sending you this request. Father has asked for you to travel to Ravengro and participate in his funeral and sit in on the reading of his last will and testament. If you would consider it, we would be honored to have you act as one of father’s pallbearers. Please call upon me at my home when you arrive.
I wish you safe travel to Ravengro and look forward to your arrival.
Packing your belongings, you immediately began the journey to the town of Ravengro in western Ustalav.
After facing unseasonably warm weather and clear skies on the roads, you finally arrive. You barely notice your surroundings as you quickly making your way to the Lorrimor manor. The door opens before you have a chance to knock, a young woman greets you by name and introduces herself as the Professor’s daughter, Kendra. She leads you into a large foyer where several other people wait in solemn silence.
Thank you all for coming. My father instructed me to contact you in the event of his passing. Although I do not know any of you, I know of his great respect for each of you.
She pauses and clasps her hands together tightly in her lap. Your pardon, this has been a stressful time.
Kendra takes a deep breath and continues, Your arrival is well-timed, as father’s funeral is scheduled for this evening. The custom in Ravengro is to bury our loved ones in caskets, placing them into the care of Pharasma's faithful. I will need help moving the casket from the church to the Restlands, the blessed burial area where we lay our... deceased. She says the last word with a small crack in her voice.
As I asked in my letter, would any of you be willing to help bear my father to his place of final rest?
Kendra seems very upset at the moment, and respectfully asks that you hold questions until after the funeral. She is willing to reveal two items: 1) her father apparently suffered a fatal accident near the ruined Harrowstone prison - he was found fifteen days ago by the Sheriff's men during a routine patrol in the area, and 2) her father's will is to be read immediately after the funeral, and all the characters are asked to attend.
A relatively tall, heavily-armored dwarf briefly surveys the carnage around him, before stepping over several orc corpses, he trots over to a nearby human soldier. "Easy enough fight, eh laddie? Now yer blooded, y' c'n stop th' other lads from mockin' ye in th' barracks?" Before the other can respond, he laughs and slaps the soldier on the back. A shout draws his attention, and he turns to face the messenger approaching on horseback and hands him a letter. Nodding in thanks to the messenger, he tears the letter open and reads it quickly. Spitting into his empty hand and rubbing it over his bald head, he mutters to himself before yelling at the soldier again. "Tell th' others that I'll be away fer a bit, seems like duty calls. Best warn 'em that Azkhoth Khazrothi'll be gone, or they'll piss themselves with fear when I don't show up to help 'em out next time." He laughs at the soldier's expression and waves him away.
As the soldier nods and scurries off, he scratches his long black beard thoughtfully. Well, seems like ye do want me to head east a bit. Bloody pity, that, but ye have yer reasons I'm sure, Angradd. Good thing my kit's always nearby... best not to waste any time. Seeking his waraxe and taking it out of a nearby a nearby orc skull, he cleans it off quickly and sheathes it before wrapping his dorn dergar around his waist, he gauges the sun's position in the sky and starts walking generally eastward, toward Ravengro.
As he arrives at Lorrimor manor, Azkhoth nods in greeting to Kendra, taking her hand and muttering something vaguely sympathetic as he enters the house. As she asks for pallbearers, Azkhoth clears his throat and speaks up. "Well, I knew him off and on fer a few years--he's done well by the Khazrothi. Least I c'n do as the clan's representative here." With that, he shrugs awkwardly, scratching his beard and looking around to see who else volunteers. Odd thing t' be called to... but there's a reason I'm sure. Pity anyways--few enough humans know of us, much less have earned spots as clan-friends.
Mithias presents his condolences to Kendra. He is a tall, broad-shouldered man dressed in dark, travel stained clothes. His dark hair and beard are well kept and touched with frost here and there. He has the distracted air of a scholar and when he shifts under the weight of his pack, items within clink and slosh.
"I am deeply sorry for your loss my dear. Your father was a great man and helped me beyond measure in my time of need. Carrying him to his final resting place would be the least I could do."
Firavel is tall and slim, fairly non descript for an elf. His pale skin and near-white platinum blonde hair, however, stand out from his black, many pocketed, clothing. The hilt of a long curved blade he wears on his back sticks out from behind one shoulder, a bow and quiver behind the other.
Firavel narrows his pale blue eyes and looks around furtively at the other people there and their somber silence then at Kendra and her barely contained tears. Perhaps this is no grand jest. Perhaps he is truly dead.
"It would be my honor to help transport your father to his final destination," he says to her with a sympathetic smile. And maybe test the weight of the casket to be sure it's not empty. Or better... I wonder if I can get a chance to view the body.
"My apologies for asking, but do the traditions here allow for a viewing of the honored departed? I feel I would like to pay my respects to him."
After taking a moment to eye up the relative heights of everyone in attendance, Girvin shrugged slightly and added "It would be an honor, Kendra. Thank you." The fiery haired gnome was dressed as well as he could be considering he had just arrived off of the road - a full length brown coat covering his well worn armor, and a wide brimmed black hat bearing a feather that looked at least as tall as the three and a half foot gnome.
His reserved attitude was unusual, and evidenced how highly he regarded the recently deceased. After speaking his peace, Girvin stepped back and leaned against the nearest wall while he waited for the day to unfold.
A lone rider approaches the manor at a hustle and quickly dismounts and tries in vain to brush the dust of the road off his clothes. Walking up to the front door and taking off his heavy riding cloak to reveal a young man with mild elven features partially hidden under wild and unruly dark hair. He is dressed in fine travel clothes all in varying shades of green.
"I, I am terribly sorry I'm late," his voice cracks with emotion, "I only received news a few days ago and came as fast as I could."
Sethis walks up to Kendra and clasps her hands, "Miss Lorrimor, my name is Sethis and I was a student of your father. I am so sorry to hear of his passing." he pauses to reign in his emotions "He spoke of you often. Please if there is anything that I can do for you don't hesitate to ask."
Realizing he may be making a scene he steps back and allows Kendra to see to the rest of her guests.
Kendra's face pales at Firavel's question. With tears in her eyes, she responds in a small voice, No, his injuries were... too much... his face...
She seems truly upset and closes her eyes, putting her hand to her head. She pulls out a small handkerchief and dabs her eyes before continuing:
I'm sorry, it's been stressful these past few weeks. Are we ready to head over to the Temple?
Kendra leads the party to the Temple of Pharasma, an ornate building on the western road. An elegant stained glass window takes up most of the southern wall, a surprise in this otherwise backwater town. Inside the Temple, a closed casket waits upon a table flanked by several young acolytes.
Kendra speaks, "As his closest relative, I am to lead you to The Restlands. As is our custom, please refrain from speaking until we arrive."
Walking to The Restlands is difficult as the thick humid air makes breathing harder as you struggle under the weight of the casket. As you enter the graveyard, you idly note the care and attention given to the area. The acolytes of Pharasma obviously take pride in discharging their duties in Ravengro.
As Kendra turns onto a pebble path, a small group of people standing nearby take notice. Almost as one, they move to block her passage, with an older man declaring, "That’s far enough! We don’t want no necromancer buried with our kin. Take him outside of town if you want, but he ain’t going in this ground!"
Kendra’s demeanor swiftly turns from sadness to anger, "What do you mean ‘necromancer’? she cries out in denial. The Temple has already given their approval, why to you seek to stop us?"
The older man replies, "You don’t get it, woman. We don’t care what the Temple says, he’s not welcome here! I suggest you and your friends just move along." He straightens up as he gestures as the men behind him, "Me and the boys are standing up for the rest of our town, and we’ll do what needs doing!" he says as he brings his right fist into the palm of his left hand with a meaty smack.
If you have any specific questions about the Professor after looking inside the casket, feel free to ask.
There are a dozen men blocking the procession. At a glance, they all appear to be unarmed, dressed in the simple clothing of common farmers or laborers.
Assume you have your typical "adventuring" gear.
Also, carrying the casket requires two hands...
Please post what you want to do. Once everyone has posted, I'll summarize and we'll move ahead as the situation dictates. Please include skill checks as necessary.
"If it isn't too much of a burden on you Kendra, I would appreciate seeing the professor one more time before we put him to rest." The statement had seemed innocent enough, until it's repercussions came to fruition. The casket opened like a Pandora's box full of bad emotions - sadness, guilt, and anger flowed over Girvin serving to further dampen the emotionally saturated atmosphere. Having quite quickly seen his fill, Girvin stammered a brief apology and acquiescence to continue the day.
Bearing the casket proved more of an emotional burden than a physical one for the small statured Teech. He quickly found the comfortable carrying height of the others was just above his shoulder, meaning that a voluntary upward push was required for him to bear any weight. It was while trying to decide how much upward force to apply to provide the most aid over the longest distance when their little caravan was upset. The gall of these townsmen to attempt to sully the good professor's name on the day of the funeral was unbelievable, and Girvin was just about to blurt out an angry retort when he thought of something better.
From somewhere behind the speaker a voice rang out, followed by a few muffled grunts of agreement. "Maybe we should leave this to the priests, shouldn't they have the final say over the dead?"
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11 Diplomacy
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15 Sense Motive
Ghost Sound SLA, DC 12 to resist
Azkhoth bows his head briefly as he views the professor's body, before moving and taking his position and shouldering the casket. Pity for such a friend of the Khazrothi to be lain low... but such is the lot of everyone, and all we can do is work to defend those who live. At least it was quick, though death is always cause for some sorrow.
As the group proceeds toward the ceremony, Azkhoth lets his mind wander, remembering the few times he'd interacted with the professor twenty years ago, as well as his time walking with Petros immediately after rescuing him. A curious one--chattier than any of the clan, and curious enough for any three runesmiths. A good man too; truly interested in well-nigh everything, and pleased to share that knowledge too.
Upon entering the cemetery, Azkhoth glances around at the goings on. A bit different from military or Khazrothi burial grounds, but the priests are devoted as they should be. And the professor will be interred with the earth--perhaps I'll give a brief invocation to Torag afterward. As the group confronts the burial party, Azkhoth frowns and shifts his grip on the casket. "Aye, as th' gnome says. And what's all this talk o' necromancy? Lorrimor was a friend o' the dwarves, laddie--I doubt he was a raiser o' the dead. Besides which, th' clerics here are like t' bless th' ground if it's needed." After speaking, he squints slightly, trying to get a better gauge of the crowd's mood. Be a pity to have to fight now, especially with the Professor's body and all. Harming these would be unpleasant--but as Angradd teaches, a first strike is sometimes necessary.
Diplomacy Roll to Aid Another, directed toward Girvin.
1d20 ⇒ 7 Diplomacy
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 Sense Motive
Edit: And bleh to those rolls. Ah well.
Firavel looked down into the casket, impassively. So, the old bastard really is dead. Why don't I feel relieved, free from his torments? What..? He felt a wetness under his eye. He swiftly wiped the tear, pulled his hood over his head, and prepared to hoist the coffin, lost in thought. I'm going to miss him...
As the group were confronted, Firavel looked around, coming back to his senses. He focused on the group and it's leader but could not determine their motivations beyond their words. Humans... he thought shaking his head.
Firavel looked for the sound of the voice that rang out behind the mob but couldn't find it's source. "Indeed," he said, following along with the thread of conversation. "The professor I knew," he began, admittedly not very well... "was not one to involve himself in such matters. In fact he went out of his way to protect people from such things."
Sense motive: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Bluff, if necessary, since there's a bit of stretching of the truth / making stuff up: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Trning to his fellow bearers, he whispered: "Perhaps we should prepare to place the good professor on the ground, in case things should turn sour."
Mithias doesn't bother looking in the casket, as he has little reason to doubt the truth of the matter.
At the cemetery, he looks at the gathered crowd with disgust.
"Go home, or the professor wont be the only one filling a grave today."
@Firavel "Yes, I agree."
"You've got some nerve interrupting a funeral.
Looking at the rest of the group and ignoring the man who spoke.
"I think you should take your friend home, I don't know if he's been in the cups or what but aggravating a group of strangers on such an emotional day is something you will all regret later on."
diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
or if you feel this is more appropriate
intimidate: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
[editted for spellchecker ]
Confusion breaks out among the men as they begin looking for the first of their number to mention the priests. Several share nervous glances and furtive looks at each other.
The original speaker, smiling grimly and clenching his fists, is taken aback. He spins quickly, forgetting you for the moment, "Don't listen to them, the old man obviously used his evil magic to fool the priests! It's up to us to save the town from more necromancer's tricks!"
From behind you, a strong voice replies, "I'm sorry to hear you think so little of us, Gibs. Perhaps you may have a different opinion when you are facing your own end?" A short man walks up the path past you to stand before the older farmer. He is easily the oldest human you have seen in town, and he wears the formal robes of a Pharasma priest.
"I knew Professor Lorrimor for 20 years, and he was no necromancer. He is going to be buried in this land, blessed by my hand, and watched over by my Temple!" As he speaks, the group behind Gibs begins to shrink back, somewhat resembling children being scolded by a parent. "Now, I think it's best if you all went home. Go on, all of you get on home."
While several of the men meekly turn to leave, Gibs looks at the priest and opens his mouth to retort. Before he can speak, several men grab his arms. Pulling him back, they finally turn him around and lead him away. From the look on his face, it was obvious that the priest's words did not affect his disposition.
The group moves away and the old priest turns to Kendra, "My deepest apologies, Kendra."
She closes her eyes and sighs. Unshed tears well in her eyes as she places a hand on the priest's arm, "It's not your fault, Father. I just don't know what's happened to the townspeople lately... so cruel..."
Standing tall, she quickly wipes her eyes, "Please, let us see this finished. Will you walk with me, Father Grimburrow?"
Several men are gathered at the gravesite, curiosity evident as they watch you approach. The old priest directs you to lower the casket into the open grave. After you finish, he speaks for several minutes about Pharasma and her obligations to the deceased, ending his service with a prayer for Lorrimor's soul.
Kendra approaches the grave, and drops a single flower into the hole to land on the casket. Turning back to the group, she asks, "If any of you would care to speak a few words about my father, now is the time."
It appears that your clever subterfuge and measured responses got through to enough men to delay what was quickly becoming a fight. Had circumstances been slightly different, combat would have surely ensued.
Characters are not required to speak at the funeral, but all are given the opportunity. If you choose to speak, please roll a Diplomacy, Peform, or similar social skill check. A character may take 10 for this check.
Waiting a short amount of time to give other people a chance to speak before stepping up.
"Professor Lorrimor was a great man. He was at his best teaching and nurturing at the university but also loved the journeys he would take to learn and discover new or forgotten things. It is because of him that many people, myself included, have taken what we have learned and become better for it." pausing to clear his throat and wipe away a tear."Thank you Professor for everything. And may your memory continue to inspire all who knew you."
After that Sethis will step back his eyes never leaving the coffin.
diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Firavel is lost in his own thoughts as he explored the effect the professor had on his life. The bastard has been plaguing my every waking moment since we met all those decades ago... Why do I miss him? Blinking back to reality when they were asked to speak, he silently shakes his head in reply, before returning to his introspection.
Following Father Grimburrow's excellent service, and Sethis' kind words Girvin took a brief moment to compose his thoughts before stepping up. "I've only known the professor for under a year, but he had a considerable impact on me in that time. I'm a foreigner to these lands and had undergone some difficulty initially integrating into society. Lorrimor's kindness and sense of exploration made us fast friends, and I still consider him the closest companion I've had in recent memory despite our infrequent time together. Although nature teaches that all things have their time in the cycle of life, his passing is surely a great sadness to us all as one of our world's brightest lights has just been extinguished.
Thank you, Lorrimor for your life, your work, and the impressions you have made on all our lives. You will be sorely missed."
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14 Diplomacy
Azkhoth scratches his beard and looks around awkwardly. "I knew th' Professor off 'n on fer many a year. Glad to have done so; he was a good friend a' th' clan. Lorrimor, gods protect, and Torag see ye safely on th' way t' yer final rest." With that, he scoops up some nearby dirt and dumps a small pile on the casket, glaring at anyone he notices looking strangely at him. He spits in the dust remaining in his hand and rubs his palms together, creating a small amount of mud, which he rubs onto his cheeks. "Zpět na Zemi."
With that, he steps back and stands silently with his head bowed.
Using google translate to Czech for Dwarven. Not sure what other language would fit well, so that should serve.
Part 1 of 2
After the last person speaks, soft sobs can be heard from various attendees. It appears that what you said has struck an emotional chord with several people. Kendra stands up and moves to grave facing the crowd, "Thank you, one and all, for your kind and heartfelt words. Father?"
Father Grimburrow shuffles up to stand beside her. Taking her hand in his, he raises his other to the sky, "Now we commend into your care, Petros Lorrimor, devoted teacher, scholar, friend, and father. Please watch over his soul as he stands before you for judgement."
The acolytes attending the ceremony punctuate the end of Father Grimburrow’s prayer with a low monastic chant, starting as a dirge, but ending with an uplifting chorus that seems to soothe the raw emotions throughout the crowd.
Kendra leans over and hugs the priest, "Thank you." you hear her say.
Moving toward you, she raises an arm, "Let’s get back to the house. This weather won’t stay tolerable for long, and I don’t know about any of you, but I could use a drink." Turning toward an older man in the audience, she inquires, "Vashian, are you still coming over tonight for the reading?"
The man she speaks too is an older human with close-trimmed hair and a neat beard. His stance and manner indicate years of military training that has yet to disappear. He nods slowly, and in a gravelly voice, "Yes, dear, I’ve got to go home to retrieve it, but I’ll be along shortly." Kendra clasps her hands together and bows her head in appreciation.
When you arrive at her house, Kendra insists on all of you staying in her house, at least for one evening, as her guest. Without waiting for an argument, she begins assigning you to rooms. Though the house is very clean, almost every wall is covered with a bookshelf – the Lorrimor manor likely has more documents, scrolls, and books than many libraries you have visited. Even the bedrooms have shelves and stacks of books in nearly every available space.
After making sure everyone has a room, she meets with you in the study where you spoke with her upon arrival. She provides a drink for everyone (even if it's only a glass of water), and proposes a toast to the memory of her father. Kendra begins by saying that she does not have any idea what the will contains since her father was constantly updating and changing it based on his latest research and findings.
Before any real conversation has started, a knock at the front door announces the arrival of Vashian Hearthmount, Councilman of Ravengro, and the executor of Lorrimor’s will. Kendra hurries to the door, then leads him into the study. Without pramble, he pulls a large scroll case from his jacket. Holding it up for everyone to see, he purposefully turns it so that the unbroken wax seal is clearly evident. He pulls a small knife from his belt and deftly slides it under the seal, opening the scroll. Placing the knife back in his belt, he turns the scroll sideways and begins to unfurl it. As the scroll opens, a small key drops out and lands with an audible ‘clink’ on a wooden table. Vashian glances at the key, then back to the scroll. He begins reading:
I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.
Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until all principals can be in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.
To my old friends, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.
And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.
Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.
I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro on this first day of Erastus, in the year 4711.
Vashian rerolls the scroll and places it on the table beside the key. "Mrs. Lorrimor, I have fulfilled my duties as executor, if there is any further business regarding your father’s will, please call upon me at your convenience. If you will excuse me, I am sure you have much to discuss. I will see myself out."
The current date is 3 Rova, 4711. The will was written and dated approximately two months ago.
Part 2 of 2
Kendra stands and moves to the door of the study. Pausing, her voice cracking with emotion, "I will go retreive the chest for you, please wait here."
She returns a few minutes later with a small wooden chest reinforced with steel bands along the edges. She sets it down on the floor in front of the table where the scroll and key rest. "I do not yet know what I plan to do with the house and belongings my father left me, but I will have a decision well before a month passes."
"Unless there are any other pressing issues, I would retire for the evening. If acceptable, I would like to meet with you here tomorrow morning to answer any questions you may have, as well as provide any information you desire. And thank you again for coming, it would have meant much to my father to know that the only people he cared about other than his family repaid that love by being here tonight. Good evening." Kendra turns away from the door and heads for her room.
The small key on the table fits opens the locked chest with a solid click. Inside the chest are several old tomes and a worn journal. Three of the tomes appear to be scientific texts, and they are tied together with a note indicating they should be delievered to Montagnie Crowl, a professor at Lepidstadt University.
The other tome is a rich purple color with a brass scarab on the cover containing an eye set into the center of its back. An ornate lock prevents the book from opening, though you can see the edges of the pages appear to be golden in color. This book has a note asking that it be returned to Embreth Daramid, a judge in Lepidstadt. Strangely, the note asks the delivery to be handled discreetly, and includes Embreth’s home address.
The journal appears to be the personal diary of Petros Lorrimor. A note is tied to the outside with the words “Read Me Now!” written in what you recognize as the Professor’s handwriting. The journal appears to cover the past fifteen years of Lorrimor’s research into evil beings and organizations. A majority of the entries are mundane in nature, simply reporting results from examining documents on various arcane and mathematical theories. As you flip through the journal, you begin to notice several sections that have been circled with red ink.
Ten Years Ago:
The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous.
Two Months Ago:
It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?
One Month Ago:
Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense—the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I’d rather not let the others know about my curiosity—there’s plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I’m a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.
Twenty Days Ago:
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something—no, strike that—someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.
Eighteen Days Ago:
I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.
Seventeen Days Ago:
Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost me too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don’t have time to update my will, so I’ll leave this in the chest where it’ll be sure to be found, should the worst come to pass.
It is approximately 8pm in the evening when you finish your initial review of the chest’s contents.
Kendra has given you a room in her house to stay in tonight, though you are free to seek out different accommodations if you desire.
To identify the books, a variety of knowledge checks might be able to determine what they are as well as who might be interested in them. The purple book must have its lock opened before examination, and it requires a successful Disable Device check to open it without destroying the mechanism.
Let me know what, if anything, you wish to do.
Before Kendra leaves he will bid her good night and then check all of the doors and windows to make sure that they have been secured.
Sethis will skim through the unlocked books attempting to discover their import.
knowledge planes: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
knowledge history: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
"Now what do we have here?"
Mithas will also peruse the tomes and, letting his curiosity get the better of him, he tries pick the lock on the purple book.
Knowledge(Arcana):1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Knowledge(Nature):1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Disable Device:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
During the funeral a lanky dark haired man had come, hurried and still dusty from the road, spurs and sword clanking softly.
Late. Damn it.
He slowed as he approached and stood quietly in the back hoping he hadn't drawn too much attention.
When the ceremony ended he followed Kendra back to the estate, speaking quietly to her out of earshot of the others, probably apologizing for arriving late and offering condolences. He seemed to know her. They spoke closely like long lost friends returning to each other, glad at each other's company but sad at the circumstances that brought them together again.
After the reading of the will and the reveal of the books, the man walked Kendra to her own room, returning to the common room in time to see one of the 'friends' named in the will picking the lock on a bound tome.
"Are you sure that is a good idea?"
You are able to identify the scientific tomes:
On Verified Madness
This jet-black book is a treatise on aberrations and other entities found on Golarion that possess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark places between the stars in the night sky.
Serving Your Hunger
This green covered text is a copy of one of several unholy books sacred to the goddess Urgathoa. Lorrimor’s notations liberally sprinkle the margins.
The Umbral Leaves
This gray lexicon is a translation into Common of the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon.
You do not have any clue what this book is about or what the symbols represent.
While attempting to disable the lock, you manage to break the tool that you are using. Its small size and intricate mechanism appear beyond your current skills.
"Alas friends, books are decidedly not my strong suit so I'll leave them to you for now to do what you will. I need to check on Vincent outside, and then I'm off to bed for the evening. If I can't help with the readings, maybe at least sleeping on what we've learned from the journal will help enlighten our path tomorrow. If you need me for anything feel free to wake me - any service I can do to aid Lorrimor's wishes and memory is worth a few hours of sleep - otherwise I'll be up before the sun." With a brief nod to the room, the gnome took a step backwards then turned and headed for the door. He could be heard returning to the house about ten minutes later as he made his way to his room for the night.
"Are you sure that is a good idea?"
"Probably not, but I can't get it open anyways, so I guess my curiosity will have to remain unfulfilled. As for these other tomes, any of the ones I recognize could get us in deep trouble. It might be in our best interests to keep them out of sight."
I fill you guys in on the info that is under the spoiler, so feel free to take a look.
"They are not dangerous because of what they are. They are dangerous because of what they represent. They are merely ideas that rational people are right to fear. The ignorant and the zealous would see posession of these tomes as a form of proof of corruption. We have already seen such things at the graveyard. It is not as if keeping them together makes them worse. One is as bad as all in the minds of such people. I have always found it interesting that people who would condemn others for knowledge do not realize they are the very people who serve the purposes of the ideas found in books like these.."
During the reading of the will, Firavel looks around the room, disintrested, until the reading came to the 'favor' requested of the group, whereupon his face went pale. Stuck in this backwards villiage for a month?? I'll die of boredom! Damn that old man.
He sits impassively as the trunk is brought in and opened, not really caring about the contents until he saw Mithias attempt and fail at opening the purple book with the ornate lock. Interesting. The man seemms to have some ability but is unable to open it.
"Let me have a look at that one... Mithias, was it?" he says picking up the purple book and examining the lock. While the other pall-bearers read and discuss the other tomes, Firavel pulls out some of his tools and, over the next few minutes, examines the lock thoroughly but does not attempt to open it.
Taking 20 on Perception and Disable Device (I'm not sure which I need so posting both) to determine the difficulty of the lock (and if there happen to be any mini-traps or other pitfalls)
Perception 20 + 6 = 26
Disable Device 20 + 9 = 29
"If anyone doesn't mind, I think I'll hang on to this book," Firavel says, holding up the locked purple book. "It'll give me something to play with for the month we're stuck in this town. We can discuss things, like the contents of that diary, further in the morning"
"Fine. Just be careful. Just because books aren't dangerous doesn't mean that the knowledge in them isn't. These books without locks are disturbing enough. I would be wary of any knowledge Professor Lorrimer thought worthy of locking up."
I'm going to assume people have gone to bed, feel free to post retcons for anything you want to accomplish during the night.
Kendra wakes each of you the next morning. It appears she has spent her time preparing a breakfast of sausage, biscuits, fresh fruit and a variety of juices and water. Somewhat surprisingly, the food turns out to be some of the best you’ve had in many months.
She is dressed in a solid black dress, common, she says, for people in this region after the burial of a loved one. She also indicates that while she appreciates her father’s interest in her well-being, none of you should feel obliged to stay with her for an entire month.
In response to your initial inquiries, here is what Kendra relates 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.
Feel free to ask any other questions that aren't covered above.
Firavel savours the breakfast. Oh my! Kendra, this is delicious!"
When Kendra mentioned that they were not required to leave, Firavel looks at her. I wish. "Well... I feel like I owe your father something, and a month isn't really that long, in the grand scheme of things. Besides," he added with a smile, "if this is what we have to look forward to every morning, I'm going to be sorry to leave."
Firavel listened intently to Kendra's response to the questions surrounding the death of her father. "What can you tell us about this Harrowstone? And, for that matter, what can you tell us about the town? Any places or people we should see while we're here, aside from Alendru I suppose? Or avoid, like that Gibs character from yesterday?"
What do I know about the town and Harrowstone?
Knowledge (local)?: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
Knowledge (nobility)?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Kendra thinks before responding, "Well, Harrowstone was a prison south of town. It held some of the worst prisoners in all of Ustalav. But about fifty years ago, there was some kind of accident, and a big fire got started. About half the prison burned down, and a bunch of people died. After that, the prison was abandoned"
"As for people to see, well, Father Grimburrow at the Temple is a nice man, and my dad was friends with Sheriff Caeler's dad, so he might be nice to meet. But people to avoid? I'm not sure, most people in town aren't mean at all."