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cynarion's Carrion Crown PbP

Game Master cynarion

Professor Lorrimor, the renowned investigator and arcanist, has died. You came to his home in the town of Ravengro to pay your respects, but quickly discovered there was more to the wily old man's death than met the eye...


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male human (Shoanti) ranger

The Sheriff, dozing on his chair with his feet on the desk, is startled awake.

Petros...what brings you here at this hour?


old male human (Varisian) diviner 7

A grave need, Benjan. The Professor is even more intense than usual. There are things afoot that it's best you--and everyone else--knows nothing about. But I know of all the people here, I can trust you to keep your mouth shut when it's needed. So I am telling you--and you only: I am going to Harrowstone, tonight.


male human (Shoanti) ranger

What? But Professor, you--


old male human (Varisian) diviner 7

No buts, Benjan! The Professor sighs. This is important. More important than I could explain. I just don't have the time. If I don't return...come look for me in the morning. The danger will be over by then. I am trusting you with this information--use it as you see fit, but keep it to yourself as long as you can.


male human (Shoanti) ranger

All right, Professor... I don't like it, but you're not usually wrong about these things. I'm sure I'll see you again in an hour or two.

The Professor nods in response, then leaves as quickly as he came.


male human (Shoanti) ranger

Back in the present...
But he wasn't back in an hour. Or two, the Sheriff recounts. I had to go look for him, like he suggested.

The Sheriff leans forward, his eyes distant as though his mind isn't really in the room with you.

We found him, he says without emotion. He was at Harrowstone, like he said he would be. I don't know what he was doing there, and I don't want to know. I think the only reason the old man chose me to tell where he was going is because he knows I have no imagination, and I wouldn't ask questions.

The Sheriff swirls what's left of his brandy and downs it before continuing.

He was on the ground just outside the walls of the prison building. The top half of a gargoyle from the roof had come off--landed on him. The Sheriff looks at Kendra, an unspoken apology in his eyes. He would have died instantly, he says by way of reassurance.

We brought his body back that day. The rest, you know. We had to keep the old man's confidence--he had told me specifically not to tell anyone else. And we didn't. But I think now's the time.

For what it's worth, he says to Kendra, I'm sorry.


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2

Thoroughly rebuked, and with his guts feeling none the better for it, Septimus remains quiet. I suppose the best way out of here is by playing docile. Besides, I'll take "drunkard" over "pervert" any day.

He remains near the front of his cell, straining to hear, trying to pick up the gist of the conversation. Carriage...monument...Harrowstone. How interesting. It seems like the old man met a grisly end. I'll have to see why these men are investigating. If they're bringing alcohol to a prison, they're my kind of folks, anyhow...


HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

Dragomir raises his glass, holding out in salute.

The Professor, he says solemnly, and drinks about half of whats in the glass.

If anyone else wants to toast, he waits a few heartbeats afterwards to give others their chance before continuing

Sounds like you and The Professor were friends Sheriff.


male human (Shoanti) ranger
Dragomir Vuk wrote:

Dragomir raises his glass, holding out in salute.

The Professor, he says solemnly, and drinks about half of whats in the glass.

The Sheriff, having already emptied his glass, eyes the bottle momentarily before choosing to simply bang his glass on the table in agreement.

Dragomir Vuk wrote:
Sounds like you and The Professor were friends Sheriff.

Well, I don't know about 'friends', exactly. But we got along just fine. We understood each other. I never really knew what he was doing...but I got the impression we were pretty much in the same line of work--just the stakes were higher for him.

He looks at Kendra. I'm sorry you had to find this out, I really am, but between the letter painted on the monument last night and the general suspicious nature of folks in this town...if things continue the way they are, I can see them getting out of hand. And much as the Councillors will want to keep this a 'local' problem with a local solution, I think you lot-- he waves an arm taking in everyone in the room, and likely your companions back at the temple --are probably the only ones capable of carrying on the Professor's legacy.


female human diviner

At the Sheriff's words, Kendra slumps forward, and puts her face into her hands.

She doesn't cry, but she does seem emotionally overwhelmed.

What is that legacy, exactly? Her words are muffled as she talks into her hands. She rubs her face for a moment and then puts her hands back in her lap.

I have been trying to work that out myself these last couple of days. My father was a complex man. Somehow I doubt that being his inheritor--whether by blood or not--is a simple task.


Male Human Oracle 2

Walter steepled his fingers and leaned onto his knees in his chair, thinking analytically. When the toast came, he looked around awkwardly as he hadn't anything to drink or raise or thump. "Is that... everything? Can you describe the state of the body, was there anything nearby? You said he was carrying a lot of things-- was anything missing, or empty?"

Walter tried to keep a cool demeanor, analytical and distant. He was too driven to cry for the Professor again, especially now that his death was looking even more suspicious. "You said it was a gargoyle-- Harrowstone has grotesques on its walls?-- so... isn't that kind of suspicious?"


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2

Septimus suppresses a bout of nausea at the sound of a voice he never thought he'd hear again. Kendra? Of course she would be here. She lives here. Septimus, you bloody fool. Why not go to Ravengro, you'd thought. And yet you'd left reason number one off the list. She'd be here.

Septimus shifts uncomfortably in his cell, suddenly feeling the full brunt of his hangover. If only I could get my gear back from these appalling oafs, I'd brew up a remedy. But that would mean making an appeal to this lot...to Kendra. If it were just these strangers, sure, I could say I knew the Professor. Call myself a doctor from Lepidstadt. Get them to spring me a bit earlier than that ugly Sheriff would on his own. But with her around?

Oh, what the hell. Rock bottom is rock bottom, no matter how many pieces of jagged glass are in the bottom of the ravine.

If it's assumed I can hear and identify Kendra's voice, I'll proceed with an addendum describing what Septimus says.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Yep, assume you can hear everything, clear as a bell. Your hangover-augmented senses are doing you a service, for a change. ; )


male human (Shoanti) ranger
Walter Vheist wrote:

Walter steepled his fingers and leaned onto his knees in his chair, thinking analytically. When the toast came, he looked around awkwardly as he hadn't anything to drink or raise or thump. "Is that... everything? Can you describe the state of the body, was there anything nearby? You said he was carrying a lot of things-- was anything missing, or empty?"

Walter tried to keep a cool demeanor, analytical and distant. He was too driven to cry for the Professor again, especially now that his death was looking even more suspicious. "You said it was a gargoyle-- Harrowstone has grotesques on its walls?-- so... isn't that kind of suspicious?"

Well...I don't know if Miss Lorrimor should hear some of the details you're asking for, Sheriff Caeller says awkwardly.


female human diviner

Kendra presses her lips together.

If Walter needs to know, please, don't hold anything back on my account.


male human (Shoanti) ranger

All right.

The Sheriff chews his lip, his eyes roving around the room as he contemplates how to begin. Eventually he sighs, leans forward, clasps his hands together on his desk, and starts his explanation.

We found the Professor's body right near the east wall. He was lying on his back. Like I said, pretty much half a gargoyle from the top of the walls--about this big-- he motions a shape roughly four feet by two and a half feet --had come off the walls and landed on him. Crushed his head, his neck, and his upper chest.

As for whether it was suspicious, well, there are two answers to that. The gargoyle falling off the roof isn't that suspicious. I'm not sure how much you know about Harrowstone, but after the fire, the entire eastern wing of the dungeon level collapsed. It wasn't too long before most of the eastern wall above it collapsed too. So there are cracks all through the building, and parts of it falling off aren't all that uncommon. This just happened to be a large one.

But, like you say, for the Professor to be crushed by a falling statue when he was so sure that something was going on? Yeah. That was suspicious. And so was the fact that, as you probably suspect, all the stuff he was carrying was missing too, save for a few bits and pieces with no real value.

We tried to investigate. Quietly; we didn't want to stir anything up that the town couldn't handle. But between having no evidence, the Professor's warning to keep quiet, and the fact that I am not willing to lead my men and women into Harrowstone itself, we were left with very little to go on.

When you all showed up yesterday, I wondered about what kinds of people you were. Acquaintances of the Professor tended to be...maybe 'victimised' is the best word, in this town. But your reaction to Gibs and his band of troublemakers--yes, Father Grimburrow told me all about it--told me maybe there was more to you than met the eye.

Like I said, I believe the Professor trusted me because I don't have an imagination and I'm able to keep my mouth shut...but he trusted my judgment too. So here I am, hoping you can help me out by solving a murder--one I can't talk about with anyone else.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Benjan Caeller wrote:
Like I said, I believe the Professor trusted me because I don't have an imagination and I'm able to keep my mouth shut...but he trusted my judgment too. So here I am, hoping you can help me out by solving a murder--one I can't talk about with anyone else.

You can rest assured that we'll do our best to bring the murderers to justice, Theron said, ending his silence. He had been thinking about whether or not to tell the sheriff about the note that the professor had left them, but finally decided that it would be best to avoid involving him any more than necessary. After all, if the sheriff didn't want anything to do with Harrowstone then he certainly didn't want anything to do with the Whispering Way.

However, before that, I think we are going to have to figure out what exactly it was the professor was trying to do... or trying to stop. Whatever it was, it must have been important, and going into Harrowstone may very well also lead us to his murderers. I know that you prefer to avoid the place, but can you tell us anything about Harrowstone? Any specific things we should be careful of?


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2

Septimus groans. Does the only route out of this prison run through a worse one? Well, it's not like I'm a stranger to them...a-ha!

Steeling himself, Septimus bangs against his cell bars with the dinted cup that has been his only companion for the past several hours. He speaks in a ragged but strong voice. You want to know about Harrowstone, do you? Well, how lucky for you. You've come to the right place. He pauses. It's a prison, isn't it? I think. You know what a prison is?

Septimus’s voice takes on an intensity that could be the vestiges of the alcohol in his system – or a true passion for the subject. Or both. It’s sort of hard to tell at this distance. A prison is a big damp dungeon. Uninhabited by man for hundreds of years, perhaps, but not by…other things. The kinds of things that might - to the untrained eye - be harmless. And yet…

His voice takes on a dainty tone. ”Oh heavens, I’ve been trapped in Harrowstone for three days. My rations have run out. Perhaps I should eat some of those delicious-looking mushrooms next to the refuse chute. They would go so well with this lightly salted filet of rat.” Septimus emits a drawn-out choking noise. Whether it’s related to his current condition is an open question until his voice takes on a harder edge. How many violet circles were on those delicious-looking mushrooms? Oh, you didn’t count them? That’s too bad. You’ve just eaten a Vomiting Purplecap. So called for what your companions will do when they see the color your face has turned from the near-instant necrosis of your body above the neck.

Septimus almost grins. And that’s hardly the worst of it. Do you have any idea what kinds of strange creatures, lost to time, might have chosen to make their residence in the darker tunnels of such places? Consider, if you will, the grick. A worm the size of a man, with a mouthful of tentacles bigger than your forearm. You might think the worst end you could come to when facing a grick would be to be slain by its terrible bite. And yet I have heard tell of men and women consumed piece by piece, still living, mere inches from the arms and armor they thought so protected them.

You know what protects one in a dungeon? Knowledge. And I have that in spades. Release me from this prison, and perhaps I will tell you more of the other one.

Bluff (Untrained):
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

Knowledge (Nature):
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Knowledge (Dungeoneering):
1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29


HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

Erk, said Dragomir.

He then stopped, clearly thinking... and the thoughts were evidently not coming quickly or smoothly.

Hang on, has he really been there or just doin' a 'fer instance'?, he asked with furrowed brow.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 Lol! Glad 1 is not an auto fail.
Dungeoneering: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16

Theron was caught off guard by the sudden speech yelled from the cell block. Initially the man's words almost seemed convincing, but Theron could hear a hint desperation in his voice. I think he's just coming up with 'examples' to convince us that he'll be useful enough to take him out of that cell. Theron explained to Dragomir. Though... I'm not familiar with everything he's talking about, but it seems that he's not bluffing about his knowledge.

After hesitating for a moment, Theron shook his head. Even if his offer to help is genuine, I don't think we should involve anyone else unless absolutely necessary. Let's just stick to the people that Professor Lorrimor summoned in his will.


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Male Human Oracle 2

So, the entirety of Harrowstone was coming apart? The Professor had gone there to fight the Whispering Way and had ended up being killed-- either by accident, and looted, or on purpose and then made to look like an accident. What did they want?

Had a ghost killed him? Did ghosts work for the Whispering Way?

Walter thought hard but his concentration was broken by the man's speech-- which was admittedly rather dramatic sounding.

Sense Motive - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16

He turned to Theron and agreed-- albeit very quietly. "I don't think we're in the business of hiring adventurers," he said, the word 'adventurer' taking an almost negative connotation in Walter's vocabulary-- real heroes didn't sell the significant cultural finds they discovered and real heroes definitely didn't grave rob, two things Walter had heard adventurers were privy to at a moment's notice. "Plus, this is... something we have to do, yeah."


male human (Shoanti) ranger
Theron Adrezi wrote:
I know that you prefer to avoid the place, but can you tell us anything about Harrowstone? Any specific things we should be careful of?

The shorter list would be the things that you don't need to be careful of, the Sheriff says dryly. I don't care what anyone else says, Harrowstone is haunted, by horrors that will kill you soon as look at you. You had best be on your guard if you do go inside, because anything in there--anything--is going to be aching to kill you, just for the pleasure of it. The local kids dare each other to go into Harrowstone--

Sheriff Caeller's explanation is interrupted by Septimus' soliloquy on the putative dangers of the prison.

Sheriff Caeller's Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Deputy Vrodish's Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21

The Sheriff doesn't react as Vrodish--the female deputy sitting on the chair at the other end of the building--gets up to snatch the dented cup away from the prisoner.

That's quite enough out of you, you hear Vrodish say. Sit down and shut up.

This is where Dragomir speaks up, and then Theron, and then Walter.


female human diviner

Kendra looks even more harried--if that's possible right now--as she lets out a sigh.

Sheriff, can I please see that ledger?

The Sheriff hands it over wordlessly.

Kendra takes a brief look at the most recent page, then claps the book shut.

Septimus, she calls down the hall to the cells. I know that's you. I would ask what you are doing in a cell, but I suspect the answer is fairly obvious to both of us. What happened this time, dare I ask?


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2
Kendra A. Lorrimor wrote:


Septimus, she calls down the hall to the cells. I know that's you. I would ask what you are doing in a cell, but I suspect the answer is fairly obvious to both of us. What happened this time, dare I ask?

Septimus pointedly ignores the cross-banter between the numerous voices who seem to have seen through his bluff and emits a small sigh of dismay at the confiscation of his cup.

He puts on his best air of civility - which, given the circumstances, is pretty transparently just an air - offering a condolence in return to Kendra's exasperated reply. Dearest Kendra. My deepest sympathies. I am truly sorry for your - our - loss. I gather that your father was truly an inspiration to all of us.

Would that I could offer these condolences as a free man. Yet this time, if no other, my crime was committed through no fault of my own. I arrived in this fine hamlet just yesterday evening. In the darkness, I confess, I mistook a common creeping thornbush for a deadly specimen known as an assassin vine. How could I help but get a better look when the health of the local populace was as stake? And how was I to know the house belonging to such an overgrown garden was occupied? As I've told Sheriff Caeller here, my investigation was no misdeed, merely an attempt at aid by a road-weary traveler who had, yes, stopped earlier at a wayhouse for a fortifying drink or two. A victimless crime, unless you count myself.

Abruptly, Septimus goes silent, seemingly upset by the direction in which his pontifications have taken him.


female human diviner
Septimus Smythe wrote:

In the darkness, I confess, I mistook a common creeping thornbush for a deadly specimen known as an assassin vine. How could I help but get a better look when the health of the local populace was as stake? And how was I to know the house belonging to such an overgrown garden was occupied? As I've told Sheriff Caeller here, my investigation was no misdeed, merely an attempt at aid by a road-weary traveler who had, yes, stopped earlier at a wayhouse for a fortifying drink or two. A victimless crime, unless you count myself.

Abruptly, Septimus goes silent, seemingly upset by the direction in which his pontifications have taken him.

Kendra massages her temples.

Septimus... She stands up from her chair, and marches down the corridor, standing before the man in his cell. Vrodish hovers protectively.

One day, Kendra continues, I pray you will learn to moderate that tongue of yours. It can get you into not inconsiderable amounts of trouble, in case you don't remember.

Septimus:
Septimus may be somewhat surprised at Kendra's appearance--she is not wearing the skirts and blouses he is used to, having changed into riding breeches, a shirt and a bolero jacket, and on her right thigh is a rather large curved dagger in a tooled sheath. She looks a lot more confident than Septimus remembers, too.

Kendra looks back down the corridor to the Sheriff. Is his story true? she asks.

The Sheriff nods.

Then please, release him to my custody, Kendra says. I'll make sure he doesn't get in any more trouble than he already has. In fact, she says, turning back to gaze into Septimus' eyes with her own flinty stare, I think Harrowstone might be just the place to shake him out of his morose self-pity.

There are conditions to your release, though, Kendra adds. You will stay with me, and will abstain from drinking for at least a week. I don't care what withdrawals you go through--I want your head clear. Do you understand me?


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2

If Septimus is surprised by Kendra's appearance, he makes no outward sign beyond the momentary shadow of a raised eyebrow.

The dagger suits you, Kendra he says. Yet is is clear that I am in your debt. I believe your conditions are acceptable. So long as I do not have to pay room and board, that is. I've precious little coin to rub together at present, but had hoped to remedy that by plying my trade here in Ravengro. I trust there is room for a small laboratory in the residence?

As for Harrowstone, the offer is intriguing. Shall we discuss it over a drink? Septimus smiles. Of water, he quickly appends.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Meanwhile, back at the temple of Pharasma...

Lem finds a good stopping-point in his research and looks to see if Iona is available, quietly approaching her.

Excuse me, Sister. I just wanted to thank you for your assistance in our research. This information is invaluable, and might very well save our lives when we go into Harrowstone. One small request, though, if I may--can you direct me to whomever has charge of your temple supplies? Specifically, I would like to acquire some Holy Water for our expedition, and will gladly donate money to the church in exchange for some.

Diplomacy (+1 more if it counts as gathering info) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12


Male Human Oracle 2
Quote:
The local kids dare each other to go into Harrowstone--

Walter wondered if Vesmara would know something about Harrowstone, or maybe one of her sisters could point him towards someone who knew something. They had first-hand experience with the strangeness of the prison. He smiled in his own cleverness and then realized that asking Vesmera what she knew about the local death trap and ghost prison might raise alarm bells in her. He frowned and furrowed his brow and tried to decide if that might make her cry again.

He remembered he still had the flowers in his bag. Zero-sum? Make her happy, make her sad, she stays at neutral?

After listening to... Septimus? Speak more at Kendra, he stood up. Did Kendra know him? He glanced at Theron and Dragomir, trying to find out what they thought. He'd only just become comfortable around everyone else.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Walter Vheist wrote:
He glanced at Theron and Dragomir, trying to find out what they thought. He'd only just become comfortable around everyone else.

Theron seems uncertain about bringing Septimus along with them. Sure, the man could as smart as the Professor and walking library of knowledge for all Theron knew, but he seemed like a fool and the inquisitor could easily imagine him getting them into trouble or worse. Sighing, Theron walked over so that he could get a better look at who they were going to have to be dealing with. He could only hope that being sober for a week would help matters.

Kendra, are you sure this is wise? I don't know how you know him, but if Harrowstone is as dangerous as everyone says it is then he could die. Or get us killed. Surely there are better ways to straighten a man up... assuming that's your main reason from wanting to send him with us.


At the Library...

Normally, Rajuna prided himself on his patience and dogged tenacity - diligently setting about a task until it was done. Perseverance and patience were practically art-forms among less savoury professionals. But this wasn't a normal day, was it?

Aside from experts in the 'horizontal arts', women don't all but say they want to bed you... do they? Raj had only infrequently had lovers, and none of them were what you might call 'pretty' or could appreciate the difference between a shrimp fork and a stiletto. Raj can almost hear what Maggie Moonrunner would say, "They are both for stabbing, right?"

The rogue hrumphs and tries to concentrate on research, but his head isn't in it. He feels like a truant set at a deliberately pointless task. After another couple of hours of wading through musty tomes in the grave-quiet library, Raj is just about ready to track down a shrimp fork and stab himself in the eye with it. He starts pondering what mischief he can get into that probably won't get them banished from the library.

Whimsy Roll: 1d100 ⇒ 89 Awwww... no luck yet. :)


Male Human (Varisian) Alchemist (Preservationist) 2

Septimus doesn't wait for Kendra to further tarnish his reputation. If Harrowstone is where I meet my end, then so be it. I'll be the first to admit that Professor Lorrimor and I had a somewhat...strained...relationship, but I wouldn't be offering myself for indentured servitude if I weren't getting something out of the deal. Truth is, I haven't added anything worthwhile to my collection in some time, and Harrowstone offers an interesting venue for such activity.

And being sober for a week may be a refreshing change of pace. However, should Harrowstone be as dangerous as you suggest, it would be wise that I have a contingency clause for emergency liquor written into this contract.


female human diviner
Theron Adrezi wrote:
Walter Vheist wrote:
He glanced at Theron and Dragomir, trying to find out what they thought. He'd only just become comfortable around everyone else.
Kendra, are you sure this is wise? I don't know how you know him, but if Harrowstone is as dangerous as everyone says it is then he could die. Or get us killed. Surely there are better ways to straighten a man up... assuming that's your main reason from wanting to send him with us.

Kendra sighs, watching as Vrodish fishes out the keys to open Septimus' cell.

Septimus is a brilliant man, she says, before adding when he's sober. When he drinks, his judgment becomes...impaired.

It's clear from her manner and tone of voice that she is thinking of specific examples.

When we go into Harrowstone, having him with us will be a boon--and I'm sure that between you and Rajuna, you can keep him in line. If nothing else, Lem can talk his ears off.

Satisfied, Kendra heads back to the anteroom. She closes her eyes for a moment as if determined to bring herself back to the now, and then opens them and turns to Walter.

Walter, is there anything else you need to know about Harrowstone? In fact, does anyone have any more questions for the Sheriff, or can we go home and talk about what we still need to do before we tackle the prison?


Male Human Oracle 2
Kendra A. Lorrimor wrote:


Walter, is there anything else you need to know about Harrowstone? In fact, does anyone have any more questions for the Sheriff, or can we go home and talk about what we still need to do before we tackle the prison?

He wanted to ask the Sheriff if the front doors were locked, but shied away from the comment. "Yes-- um, er, no. This is sufficient," he stated, matter-of-factly. He turned to the Sheriff and clutched his bag, supposing they were going to leave soon. "Thank you for the information, um, sir. We all appreciate it, um, including those of us who aren't here right now." He nodded with finality, and then glanced among the others uncertainly to make sure he was correct in finishing up the conversation.


middle-aged female human cleric

The Temple Archives

Lem Longbarrow wrote:
Excuse me, Sister. I just wanted to thank you for your assistance in our research. This information is invaluable, and might very well save our lives when we go into Harrowstone. One small request, though, if I may--can you direct me to whomever has charge of your temple supplies? Specifically, I would like to acquire some Holy Water for our expedition, and will gladly donate money to the church in exchange for some.

Iona nods in appreciation of the praise, and squints at the little priest, who can only just see over her desk.

Holy water? Well, any of the acolytes can sell you holy water--no, not me, I'm too busy. Just head upstairs and find someone who looks like they're not doing anything important. She takes in the holy symbols on Lem's armour. You may not be familiar with the way a large, permanent temple like ours works, but we do sell it at cost, so donations are unnecessary.

Iona looks intently at Lem's face for a moment. So...what did you find? What did you learn about those other prisoners?


male human (Shoanti) ranger
Walter Vheist wrote:
"Thank you for the information, um, sir. We all appreciate it, um, including those of us who aren't here right now." He nodded with finality, and then glanced among the others uncertainly to make sure he was correct in finishing up the conversation.

Sheriff Caeller stands up from behind his desk, and comes around to place a companionable hand on Walter's slim shoulder.

I don't envy the road you've chosen, son, he says, his voice thick with emotion. But if you have any other questions, you know where you'll find me.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2

Theron decides to accept Kendra's word on Septimus' 'brilliance', though he can't help but feel concerned when the man mentions collecting 'samples'.

Kendra A. Lorrimor wrote:
In fact, does anyone have any more questions for the Sheriff, or can we go home and talk about what we still need to do before we tackle the prison?

After thinking for a moment, Theron decides that there is at least one thing that he needed to mention to the sheriff before they left. It was risky to give hints that the professor had left information for them, but he felt that he needed to tell the sheriff this as a courtesy and to try and prevent a panic in the town.

There's one thing I wanted to tell you sheriff, though I don't think you are going to like it, Theron began, and then spoke softly so that his deputy wouldn't hear. Theron wanted to prevent a panic, not cause one. After finding some of the professor's notes we became concerned and began doing some research on Harrowstone. Remember that 'V' from last night? Well, that mark seems far too similar to something that one of the prisoners, the Splatter Man, would do: spelling out his victim's name letter by letter before killing him.

He pauses for a moment to let the implications of that sink in. I sincerely doubt that this is a coincidence. If there's something happening with Harrowstone we'll try to stop it, but in the mean time... well, the best suggestion that I can think of is to watch for another letter tonight, not necessarily in the same place, and clean it up before people notice.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

Yes, quite right. Thank you. As for the research, well, we’ve found out quite a bit. The Lopper was a man named Vance Saetressle. He stalked his poor victims for days, ultimately beheading them. Right now we’re finishing up researching the Mosswater Marauder, thanks to a good find by Karrik. Apparently this “Marauder” was a dwarf named Ispin Onyxcudgel. He found his wife cheating on him and smashed her skull with a hammer. In that act he lost his mind and went on a killing spree, trying to find just the right skull fragment to help him reassemble that which he…destroyed.

Lem pauses for a moment, a look of pity on his face as he looks off in the distance for a bit. Then he continues:

But the worst is Professor Feramin, otherwise known as ‘The Splatter Man’. He would spell out his victims’ names in blood, maggots, or some other offal, one letter at a time. When he finished spelling their name, he slew them. Theron wisely suggested that the letter “V” written in blood last night might be somehow related to the Splatter Man. So here is what concerns me, Sister.

The halfling leans in closer, speaking more quietly.

Everyone here just accepts that Harrowstone is haunted, and I don’t doubt that it is true. But I have to assume that the restless spirits therein are somehow confined to the building and the surrounding area, otherwise you would have a great deal of spiritual activity in Ravengro, right? But that letter “V” from last night—that was found here in town. I think it was done by a flesh and blood perpetrator who knew of the Splatter Man’s tale and wanted to make it look like the ghost of a murderer is wreaking havoc on the citizens of the town. Ghosts can be contained and put to rest, especially when they are confined to one locale. A living murderer who wants to reenact past crimes, that is much worse. If I hear of anything else, I’ll let you know.

The priest starts to leave, but something catches in his mind and he turns back to Iona.

Oh, it’s probably nothing, but I noticed that all of the inmates were admitted into Harrowstone by a man named Gurtis Vortch. Do you know anything about him?


HPs 16/(26)28...AC18/Touch11/Flatfoot17/CMD 18||HP 26/[28]| Fort:+5 ;Ref:+2 ;Wil+0|Percept +1/Sense Motive +5 Male Human Ustalav Varisian Fighter/2 *12 Con /Fort:+4

Nice catch on that Lem... I missed that


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Raj:

As you become bored, you begin leafing through tomes at random, seeing where your instinct takes you. You endure accounts of torrid love affairs in Lives and Loves of Westcrown's Nobility. Fungi of Kyonin is considerably less exciting--until you come across a description of intelligent puffballs. The folio Moſt Erneſte Accounts of Lyfe in the Mwangi Expanſe is just downright dull, even if it does look to be more than a thousand years old.

That's when you come across an unassuming linen-bound book titled Legends of Thassilon. One chapter describes a relic named the dusk moth, which is said to enable direct communion between the user and Desna herself. There is no mention of what has happened to the dusk moth in the ten thousand years since the fall of Thassilon. But it's certainly an interesting story.


male human (Shoanti) ranger
Theron wrote:

Remember that 'V' from last night? Well, that mark seems far too similar to something that one of the prisoners, the Splatter Man, would do: spelling out his victim's name letter by letter before killing him.

He pauses for a moment to let the implications of that sink in. I sincerely doubt that this is a coincidence. If there's something happening with Harrowstone we'll try to stop it, but in the mean time... well, the best suggestion that I can think of is to watch for another letter tonight, not necessarily in the same place, and clean it up before people notice.

Sheriff Caeller regards Theron critically for a few moments, as if waiting to see if the Inquisitor is making some kind of joke. It quickly becomes apparent that he is not.

If that's the case, the Sheriff says, it only means we need to find out where that blood came from even more urgently. If it belongs to an animal, that's one thing, but if it's human*...

Until we can get to grips with this, you are probably right--secrecy will likely be the best policy. With any luck we'll be able to solve the mystery before anything gets out of hand.

I'll make sure we have at least one person on duty at all times during the night, but there are only five of us--if any of you are willing to volunteer a few hours a night, I can tell you I'd be much obliged. Somehow I doubt the person responsible intends to strike during the daylight hours...

*:
No, Sheriff Caeller is not being racist by not including the other sentient races...I just can't think of an expression that the straightforward Sheriff would actually use to refer to the collective sentient races of Golarion.


middle-aged female human cleric
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
Oh, it’s probably nothing, but I noticed that all of the inmates were admitted into Harrowstone by a man named Gurtis Vortch. Do you know anything about him?

Gurtis Vortch? No, I can't say I've come across that name. Presumably, if he was admitting criminals, he was a guard? But I have no means of verifying that.

As for the incident with the monument, Besmer told me all about it this morning. He seemed thoroughly scandalised, but then, he's still young. I'm not sure what the fuss is about, myself; it strikes me that there's no evidence yet that this is anything more than a prank. I admit your explanation sounds plausible, but at this point--with no other information to be had--I think it's wisest to avoid jumping to conclusions.


Male Human (Varisian) Inquisitor 2
Benjan Caeller wrote:

I'll make sure we have at least one person on duty at all times during the night, but there are only five of us--if any of you are willing to volunteer a few hours a night, I can tell you I'd be much obliged. Somehow I doubt the person responsible intends to strike during the daylight hours...

Glad that the sheriff was taking this seriously, Theron nods in agreement. I think someone will be able to volunteer. We'll see if anyone can do it when we all meet again to make our plans for dealing with Harrowstone.


At the Library...

Rajuna shelves the interesting text on ancient Thassilon and starts searching for something less remote and nearer to his burgeoning interest in spell-slinging.

Nine-Toes could throw the odd spell... why can't I? Damn useful having a spell or two in a pinch. There must be a book on Wizarding 'round here.

Raj hunts the shelves for a Wizard's Primer, a 'how to', or anything that might let him know if he has 'what it takes' to cast simple spells.

Cyn, feel free to ignore this bit - I'm just laying the foundation for his later Rogue Trick and Class Level choices.


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2

For brevity’s sake, I’ll assume I can find a non-busy-looking acolyte after we’re all done with research.

Pardon me, brother or sister or whatever title is appropriate , I am Father Longbarrow, humble servant of Desna. My companions and I are undertaking an expedition into Harrowstone, to put to rest the stirring souls of the unfortunates within. I would like to purchase some Holy Water from the church, to help ward off the evil spirits trapped in the prison. How much do you have available for sale?

Assuming a response…

In my travels I have donated away all I have to those in need. At present I do not have funds to pay you, but I will receive a sizable inheritance in 29 days’ time. If the word of a holy Father isn’t enough to assure you that I will pay as soon as I can, I can sign over the will to the church of Pharasma. Should I meet my end in Harrowstone, you can collect the full amount owed to me in 29 days’ time, and I promise to vanquish some of the undead before my passing. Are these terms agreeable?

Diplomacy 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17

Not my best writing, but wanted to get this in before my long commute home.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

Raj:
After some more time searching, Raj finds a book on magical theory. The author is Alendru Ghoroven.

While the book spends most of its latter chapters dealing with the interactions between magical energy and the mind of sentient beings, the earlier ones focus on the characteristics required of an individual to enable them to cast spells. The theory is enough for Raj to get the idea--and he finds himself thinking hmm...what if I rearranged my thoughts just so, and tried to do that...

Make a d100 roll to see what spell Raj manages to cast--completely by accident as he taps into the localised magical energies, much as a sorcerer would usually do.

01-30: prestidigitation
31-40: detect magic
41-50: ghost sound
51-60: mage hand
61-70: message
71-80: open/close
81-90: spark
91-95: drench
96-100: jolt

From now on, Raj can cast that spell at will if he makes a DC 15 Intelligence check first as a swift action. If you roll from 91-100, you may record that cantrip in your spellbook when you get it, even though it's a 'rare' cantrip.

I should also tell you that all the books are protected by permanent book ward spells; the bookcases generate them daily. Nobody has used detect magic or anything similar down here, so I haven't had the opportunity to tell you yet.

I will otherwise leave the effects of the spell you cast completely up to you. : )


mysterious male human purveyor of plot
Lem Longbarrow wrote:
I would like to purchase some Holy Water from the church, to help ward off the evil spirits trapped in the prison. How much do you have available for sale?

You do indeed find an acolyte who can help you, whose name is Irel Levant.

We usually have a fair amount for sale: probably a few gallons, at least...

There is a pause.

We make it in bulk, he explains.

Lem wrote:
In my travels I have donated away all I have to those in need. At present I do not have funds to pay you, but I will receive a sizable inheritance in 29 days’ time. If the word of a holy Father isn’t enough to assure you that I will pay as soon as I can, I can sign over the will to the church of Pharasma. Should I meet my end in Harrowstone, you can collect the full amount owed to me in 29 days’ time, and I promise to vanquish some of the undead before my passing. Are these terms agreeable?

Irel seems to believe you, but is unwilling to make such a decision himself; he asks Father Grimburrow to speak to you.


old male human cleric

Father Grimburrow's glowering countenance is just as creepy as it was this morning. Strangely, his mood appears much more upbeat.

I believe we can trust Master Longbarrow here to pay his debts, Father Grimburrow says to Irel. He turns to Lem.

You are welcome to the holy water--take as much as you need. There is no need to sign over your inheritance, you obtained that by your own means, and I would not gainsay the Professor in his wishes. I only ask that you make a donation to the church at a later date, that you deem to be suitable recompense.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

The temple has enough holy water on hand to make 24 flasks, with the supply being replenished at the rate of four flasks per week, but never going over the 24 flask limit.


mysterious male human purveyor of plot

After a long day, everyone is glad to get back to Kendra's house to rest--but serious discussions are needed to prepare for any attempt to assail Harrowstone.

###

Assume you are all in the lounge of Kendra's house again. It is around 5pm. A few questions worth answering include:
---when are you going to head to Harrowstone?
---are you going to have a default marching order?
---who is going to take the two scrolls that Flori used to have?
---who's going on patrol?
---when are you going to tell Kendra she can't come to Harrowstone?

Sorry for being brief/abrupt; I have a fair bit of work on today and so can't write some of my usual lengthy posts. Feel free to make plans amongst yourselves. : )


Male Halfling Cleric (Evangelist)/ 2
Father Grimburrow wrote:

Father Grimburrow's glowering countenance is just as creepy as it was this morning. Strangely, his mood appears much more upbeat.

I believe we can trust Master Longbarrow here to pay his debts, Father Grimburrow says to Irel. He turns to Lem.

You are welcome to the holy water--take as much as you need. There is no need to sign over your inheritance, you obtained that by your own means, and I would not gainsay the Professor in his wishes. I only ask that you make a donation to the church at a later date, that you deem to be suitable recompense.

Lem's smile and pleasant demeanor when talking with Irel fade to cold courtesy as Grimburrow addresses him.

Thank you, Father. We will put it to good use, and I will repay you as soon as I can. Good day. I said "Good day, sir!"

Lem will then ask Irel to show him where the holy water is stored and will fill 6 flasks-worth of Holy Water. w00t!

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