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Varisian Chronicler's Skinsaw Murders

Game Master Ludomancer


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The surviving heroes return to Sandpoint and report their finding to Mayor Deverin and Sheriff Hemlock. Father Zantus listens to what you've discovered about Ezekial Tobyn and Nualia studying the journals you've found in Nualia's room. He resigns himself to the idea that Father Tobyn wasn't man everyone thought he was, and that, given Nualia's demonic features, Tobyn's body was probably sacrificed at the temple of Lamashtu under Thistletop.

Mayor Deverin sponsors a funeral for the two fallen heroes of Sandpoint, Markum and Quinion, and a ceremony is held in their honor at the cathedral.

After mourning the loss of her brother and father, Ameiko Kaijitsu reopens the Rusty Dragon. She adopts Vuvo, who later becomes a companion to Shalelu.

The wizardress you encountered with Orik remains locked up.

Two months pass since your final return from Thistletop, and Sandpoint has been relatively peaceful. According to Shalelu's reports, the goblin tribes, who had been united under Nualia, have fallen to bickering among themselves; they no longer seem a threat to the town. No one has seen the barghest you've spoken of, including Shalelu, who keeps a constant on Thistletop and the Nettlewood. Still, there's been some unverified troubles in Sandpoint, including occasional reports from residents of seeing hairless, scrawny humanoid with wrath in their eyes. There have also been accounts of parents whose children swore that they've seen attic whisperers, child-like undead, in their homes. For the most part, though, Sandpoint seem at ease.

Praxim:
The description of the wrathful creatures match the sinspawn you fought in the catacombs under Sandpoint.

Rhianni:
You've gained a bit of renown in the town. Cyrdak Drokkus has asked you to serve as an opening act for his plays, recounting your adventures against the threats of goblins and Lamashtu's servants. You get 200 gp for your performances. In addition, you can make eight weeks worth of profession checks to supplement your income with your fortune telling.

...

One day, approximately two months later, each of you receives a letter to meet with Sheriff Hemlock, requesting your presence for a meeting. He invites you to a room the White Deer tavern, and when you all have arrived, a grim-faced Hemlock explains himself.

"First, let me thank you again for all you've done for Sandpoint. It's fortunate that you've proven yourselves so capable, because we've a problem that I think you can help us with - a problem that I with I didn't have to involve anyone with, but one that needs dealing with now before the situation grows worse.

"Put simply, we have a murderer in our midst - one who, I fear, has only begun his work. Some of you doubtless remember the Late Unpleasantness, how this town nearly tore itself apart in fear as Chopper's slaying went unanswered. I'm afraid we might have something similar brewing now.

"Last night, the murderer struck at the sawmill. There are two victims, and they're...they're in pretty gruesome shape. The bodes were discovered by one of the mill workers, a man named Ibor Thorn, and by the time my men and I arrived on the scene, a crowd of gawkers had already sprung up. I've got my men stationed there now, keeping the mill locked down, but the thing that bothers me isn't the face that we have two bodies inside. It's the fact that this is actually the second set of murders we've had in the last few days.

"I come to you for help in this matter. My men are good, but they are also green. There were barely able to handle themselves against the goblin, and what we're facing now is an evil far worse than goblins. I need the help, but I'm afraid that this particular murder knows one of you as well."

Hemlock passes a blood-stained scrap of parchment to Lym. Lym's name is written in blood on the outside of the folded parchment. Inside is written the message "I do as you command, master!" and is signed "Your Lordship". "This note was pinned to the sleeve of one of the victims by a splinter of wood" Hemlock explains. "Now, I don't think you actually had anything to do with this...that this is just to throw suspicion on you, but I don't think the town would be so understanding. So, you should keep as quiet as possible about the murders until we have this mystery solved."

"I'd like you to investigate this incident. It would probably be best to start at the lumber mill. The bodies are still there and little has been done to the crime scene itself. I'd like to get the mill cleaned up as soon as possible and the bodies buried."

"One of the victims had a seven-pointed star carved on his chest. I don't much about this, and I'm not sure who does. I've heard there's someone in town who's an expert on runes, but I wouldn't know exactly where to find this person."

"There's also a man who witnessed the first set of murders. Three con men from Galduria were found brutally killed in a barn a few miles south of here. Their bodyguard survived the assault but has become insane and is being kept at a nearby sanatorium."

"We've interrogated Ibor Thorn. He doesn't seem to more than what I've told you. Perhaps there's something more you could find out from him."

"Finally, there's the father of one of the victims...Ven Vinder. He's my only suspect at this time, but I suspect he's innocent. He flew into a rage when we told him about his daughter's death and had to restrain him. He's been kept in a cell to cool off, but you can speak to him if you wish."


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

OOC: Is Lucian present?


Yes.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian looks around, a little bit awed to be in the presence of the heroes of sandpoint. But then he thinks of the evil things he has heard and looks upon the others, waiting for their first move.


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

Tomaru looks to the Heroes of Sandpoint for their leadership.


F/R/W: +10/+9/+10 AC/T/FF: 25/15/21; CMD: 24; Perc: +14; Init: +6; Max HP: 68 Current HP: 68

Over the past few months, Praxim has been moody, always gracious when townspeople come to admire him for his help, but even grumpier once the watching public has moved along. Fed up with people fawning over him for his failure at Thistletop, he tries to spend time with Shalelu, if she'll have him, out hunting and scouting, keeping an eye on Thistletop.

He also spends time checking out these rumours of strange creatures and child-like undead, often wandering the deserted streets in the middle of the night, concentrating non-stop with detect evil, though if he ever detects anything, it's gone before he can get to it, and he doesn't wish to start any panics.

So it is a more sullen Praxim, some of the shine of his unnatural good looks, and some dents and chinks in his armour of confidence, who shows up at the White Deer tavern to hear Sheriff Hemlock.

"Two bodies. A man and a woman? Did they know each other? Any chance they were there in an empty lumber mill late at night for anything obvious? This father might be innocent, but it wouldn't be the first time an angry father has gone into a rage catching a man fooling around with his daughter. Carving a rune into his chest, however, is a bit extreme. And I think we've seen a seven-pointed star before, haven't we Rhianni?"


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian is silent for a moment, taking a sip from his ale and then remarks: "The sooner I can check on the bodies the better the trail! And then I will say what I think."


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Will post more tomorrow...still getting my bookmarks sorted out...

1 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
2 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
3 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
4 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
5 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
6 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
7 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
8 Perform(oratory) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11

8 rolls, nothing above a 12 .. good going.


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

Lym looks at the scrap of parchment with her name on it, and cold chills run down her back.

"I... I..." she stammers, then audibly gulps and regains some semblance of self-control. "Of course I did not order any such thing, but I... well... Is it possible that this is a message from someone to someone else who wishes to have me assassinated? Ahem."

The Wizard gulps for breath again, then continues: "I am no slouch with ancient languages and runes myself. Perhaps I could help...? As Praxim said, we have seen the seven-pointed star before: it is a mark of ancient Thassalonian magic."

Lym carefully brings out the fateful, star-shaped key the party found; the key to the barghest's cell.

"Please do not ask me to relinquish this," she says to the Sheriff. "It is possibly the only thing that prevents a horrible monster from stalking the land freely."


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

Tomaru considers for a moment before replying. "I agree that it would be wise to look into this matter before assuming that a mysterious note left by some unknown murderer is to be believed."


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Rhianni whose association being with the Heroes of Sandpoint, has enjoyed her time reading the cards for her various customers. She even hears that some of the readings seem to have proven true, she revels in the honed talent. Almost believing she is touched to read the will of the gods in the cards, that fate speaks to her. A much more confident Rhianni is present for the meeting.

Yet at the mention of the murders, her face goes white with shock. Evil seems to have returned and worse than it was before. "Mayor Deverin, this is truely dreadful, murders and false trails leading to our friend Lym." She looks at Lym, watching and listening quietly to her response, her ears almost twitching as she leans forward catching every word.

"Sheriff, please the object we found, must be kept safe and secure, Lym is surely the best guardian for such a magical key." she casts a quick smile to Lym.

Lets us prepare and make our way to the sawmill, for surely that is the place to start to prove Lym's innocence.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian asks the sheriff if he could introduce him.


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

"Thank you for your words of confidence, Rhianni," Lym says, bowing her head slightly. "They are most welcome after... this."

The veiled Wizard gestures at the scrap of parchment and its implied accusation with clear distaste.


"We haven't been able to figure out why these two victims were killed, and why in the lumbermill. I was hoping you could help us with that," the sheriff says.

Hemlock looks at the star-shaped key. "I don't know what connection this object of yours has with the murders, but it seems all the more important that we solve this crime. You keep it...you'd know what to do with it better than I."

"By the way, this is Lucian. He's helped me with previous affairs, and given the gravity of the situation, I asked him to help here."


The Sandpoint Lumber Mill lies on the shore of the Turandarok River. By the time you arrive, a sizable crowd has already gathered outside. Groups of nervous-looking town guards stand the entrances to the mill. When you approach, the guards nod silently to you and step aside to allow you entrance.

The mill is a well-built structure of wood with very thick walls. The roof is made of wooden shingles, and the doors are simple timber and unlocked. A timber pier extends out into the river. A small marsh sits on the other side of the river, opposite the mill.

Map (The Sandpoint Lumber Mill is number 25.)


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian will try to enter first and get an impression, checking careful for footprints and other unusual things. For the moment he will order Fang to wait outside..
Take 20 on perception


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

"It is fairly isolated, isn't it?" Lym says, her voice subdued as she huddles in her robes. "Easy access from the woods through the river." After a moment's hesitation, the Wizard whispers a single Word of Power and makes a gesture.

Detect Magic is up; Lym maintains it as long as she can and refreshes it as necessary.


F/R/W: +10/+9/+10 AC/T/FF: 25/15/21; CMD: 24; Perc: +14; Init: +6; Max HP: 68 Current HP: 68

Praxim gives the newcomers both a good looking over (with and without detect evil), and then shrugs, accepting them. He maintains his protective stance over the two women, however, even against these newcomers. If anything, the recent events have strengthened even more his inante chivalry and chauvinism.

He keeps his eyes peeled while at the mill, looking for anything out of place.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Rhianni looks the trapper up and down, the Tomaru a newly acquired acquaintance. She follows quietly, speaking mainly to Lym. Her mood subdued, despite the new brightly coloured red and orange clothes she wears. She lifts her hem up as she walks to the mill and once inside.

Once there, she asks one of the guards if there are any small rowing boats nearby and if so whom might she ask to use said boats. She continues to the guards, "You are doing a good job here, despite the attentions of the crowd. Tell me, has anyone you've seen look more interested in the unfortunate events here, than perhaps is normal? If so please just point them out to me?"

Diplomacy 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

Tomaru walks into the mill slowly, trying to take in the scene.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19


"Aye, yeah, there's a boat at the end of the pier. Don't think no one's using it. Outside of everyone standing around here, haven't seen no one 'specially interested."

As you walk inside, the stench of decay wafts around you. It smells as if a small animal died and it remains were allowed to ripen.

The interior of the mill is coated with sawdust. Footprints and splashes of blood are spread about.

A bloodied log splitter sits in one section of the mill. It's cruel efficiency as a weapon is displayed before you, as the mangled, ruined remains of a woman lie next to the machine, amid heaps of bloodstained firewood. A guard stands nearby, pale-faced and obviously upset.

A man's body is affixed to one of the walls by hooks normally used to hang machinery. His face has been carved away, and his lower jaw is missing entirely. His bare chest has a seven-pointed star carved in it. On his abdomen is a faded tattoo of a raven.

A handaxe is embedded in the floor near the log splitter, as if it had been dropped there.


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

"This is the Vinder Girl." Tomaru points to the woman bisected by the log splitter. "Who is this?" he points to the man pinned to the wall. We really should have asked this before now.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian asks everybody to give him a minute, checking the footprints in the sawdust for an usual pair close to the bodys.
Then he looks at the heroes and says: I am no experts on symbols, but somebody with quite a bit of strength and a loot of hate must have done this. He must have taken his time here, I can not think drawing that symbol was quick. Has anyone any idea what that star stands for?


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

Lym takes one look at the scene, retches, and staggers back outside. She takes a few large, shivering gulps of air before she returns inside and subjects the room to her magic-enhanced vision.

"Horrible," she whispers while looking for magical auras. "Just... just horrible. These poor people..."


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Do you have a picture of the star and the raven


Make a Survival check to analyze the footprints.

The star is a bloody carving in the man's flesh. The raven is a tattooed drawing.

Star


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Survival for bootprints
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


"The man was identified as Banny Harker," one the guards tell you.

Lucian:
The footprints show the obvious - that a desperate struggle took place here several hours ago. With closer examination, though, you can see that one set of prints is barefoot. Moreso, the barefoot prints reek of rotten meat...they may be the source of the smell that hit you when entered the mill.


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Rhianni looks away from the bodies, their injuries assault her mind. Turning to a guard she asks "Have you discovered how the killers entered or left this place?"

She sees the Shoanti looking at the ground, wondering how he can decipher the marks. As he does this she asks, "It is possible that the killers might have come from across the river, should we check the far bank. There's a boat just down there?" she points to where the soldier had shown her.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian waves the sheriff and praxim to him. Showing the footprint and saying: "Usually I wouldnt have a clue from such a simple print what the prey is, and I am still not sure, but rotten meat does point in a certain direction!"


F/R/W: +10/+9/+10 AC/T/FF: 25/15/21; CMD: 24; Perc: +14; Init: +6; Max HP: 68 Current HP: 68

"Are you saying that the person who made this print walked in rotten meat before coming here, or was made of rotting meat himself?"


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

"If I would have to make a guess, the latter. It could be a ruse.... but I am afraid we might have something incredibly unpleasant here. Does anyone has any expertise with the walking dead?"


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

"Not..." Lym gasps. "Not as such. Some theoretical classes in Necromancy, of course, but... Urp. Sorry! I majored in Evocation, never took anything but theoretical lectures in Necromancy. Couldn't bring myself to go into those practicum rooms. So revolting. Um. Let me see... What evidence is there?"

Knowledge (religion) check to maybe help identify the kind of critter that did the killing: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian points to the footprint and says Barefoot and smells of rotten meat


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Rhianni's face turns a little green at Lucian's revelation. "Urgh...." she moves away. "Living dead things, never had much experience of such things, though the cards do tell....well, there are stories, horrible and vile, some may even be true. The dead whose souls still seeks redemption, yet cannot leave on the path to Pharesma. They remain and .... well eat their former lovers and friends in envy of their living lives......I do hope this .... well it isn't surely!!" Rhianni looks horrified that their paths and fortune might take them against such undead creatures.

"Which way does it go Lucian?"


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Wich way do the prints lead, Lucian will also try to get the scent with his dog Fang


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

"I have some experience with them. All who worship Desna are foes of the undead."
Should I know who Banny Harker is... was?


The prints lead to a window on the upper floor.

There isn't any particular reason you should know Banny Harker.

Lym:
The stench is beyond that what a dead body would normally produce.


Female Half-Orc Wizard 5/Cyphermage 3; Init. +2; Perception +8; AC 17 (+3 Dex*, +1 armour, +3 Mage Armour.); HP 39/57; Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +9

"This is... odd," Lym says. She gulps, coughs, and holds her sleeve against her face. "Given the weather and the time of day," she continues, her voice muffled but intelligible, "the smell should not be this bad. Not even dead bodies so violated should stink so."


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian follows the trail to the window and checks outside very very carefully for any clues. The windowsill, the wall...
Take 20 on perception and survival.


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

"There are some undead whose flesh is so spoiled that they give off an especially vile stench."
Edit: Read the discussion thread just after making this post.


Lucian:
The footprints lead out the window. You can see can see more of the barefoot prints on the pier below.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian will check the trail there... it leads into the water?


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

Rhianni moves up to where the rowing boat is docked, she looks around for an owner and in the boat to make sure it looks as though it will keep them all dry and not slide gracefully under the surface of the water.

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22


The boat looks to be in usable condition.

Lucian:
Outside the mill, you can see prints on the wall from the window to the pier. The prints leads to one edge of the pier and into the mud underneath, then disappear into the river.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian follows the prints, then stands at the pier for a few minutes, watching the area, then turning around preparing his pipe.


Female Human (Varisian) Bard 1/Sorcerer 7
Spoiler:
HPs: 42/42 AC:13/T11/F12 Fort+3 Ref+4 Will+6(+8 illusions) Init +6, Perc +5

"Come Lucian, we can use this boat to row across to the other side, you might find more evidence there." says Rhianni hoping this will keep her out of the place of death, the lumber yard.


Male Shoanti (human) Slayer 1

Lucian takes another puff from his pipe before shaking his head. "I am afraid we have a cunning opponent. I really doubt we will find evidence there. I will of course give it a try, but I am afraid its wasted time. The water will makes his scent very hard to follow. I think we should first check all other clues, and if I remember correctly there are a few few."


Male Human Cleric 8; HP 59/59; AC 20 T 12 FF 19; Fo +8 Re +4 Wi +12; Init +1 Percep +6; Channel Energy 7/7

"Maybe we should take a look at the other site before coming to any conclusions."


F/R/W: +10/+9/+10 AC/T/FF: 25/15/21; CMD: 24; Perc: +14; Init: +6; Max HP: 68 Current HP: 68

Praxim stays behind, giving the lumber mill a very thorough search. Taking 20 if possible.

He searches the machinery and the sawdust on the floor, looking for anything that was dropped. He also looks for evidence as to why the two were there in the first place. He suspects the obvious, that the two met there for a forbidden liaison, and looks for evidence on how the bodies are dressed to confirm that, perhaps get an idea if the two were attacked before they could do any actual liasioning.

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