Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Adventures Pathfinder Campaign Setting Pathfinder Player Companion Pathfinder Accessories Pathfinder Miniatures Pathfinder Fiction Pathfinder® Society™ Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible Products Pathfinder Apparel & Gifts Pathfinder Licensed Products
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

PaizoCon 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path #47: Ashes at Dawn (Carrion Crown 5 of 6) (PFRPG)

**½( )( ) (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #47: Ashes at Dawn (Carrion Crown 5 of 6) (PFRPG)
Show Description For:

Add Print Edition: $19.99

Add PDF: $13.99

Non-Mint: Unavailable

Facebook Twitter Email

Chapter 5: "Ashes at Dawn"
by Neil Spicer

A killer stalks the streets of Caliphas, a murderer whose victims are already dead. Something is preying upon the ancient vampire clans of Ustalav’s capital, a mysterious foe who threatens the centuries-old truce tenuously held by generations of both the living and the undead. Into this madness enter the heroes, closing in on the death cultists of the Whispering Way. What role do the deadly necromancers have in the undead murders plaguing Caliphas? What secret grudge exists between the cult and the rulers of the night? And will the heroes be able to save the capital without sacrificing their very souls?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path includes:
  • “Ashes at Dawn,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 11th-level characters, by Neil Spicer
  • A gazetteer of fog-haunted Caliphas, the mysterious and deadly capital of Ustalav, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • A terrifying look into the blasphemous church of Urgathoa, goddess of gluttony, disease, and the undead, by Sean K Reynolds
  • Laurel Cylphra’s attempt to steal a soul stealer in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by F. Wesley Schneider
  • Six new monsters by Crystal Frasier, Patrick Renie, and Sean K Reynolds

Each monthly full-color softcover 96-page Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-312-5

Ashes at Dawn is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (561 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF: Fulfilled immediately. Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at


See Also:

Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

**½( )( ) (based on 5 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Potential but needs work

*( )( )( )( )

There's quite a few good things about this installment:

1. Caliphas - great setting, gazzetteer article has some wonderful details to help bring this gothic urban setting to mist-shrouded life.

2. The vamp courtyard - Quinley, Luvick, Countess are all interesting NPCs and their is some good story/rp potential for the notion of helping the vamps.

However, this adventure comes on the heels of a side trek and mostly feels like a side trek as well. The background motivations for the villain's plan are too opaque to the players and as written most parties would probably wonder why they are going to this bother. Additionally, the

tailor villain
is fairly forgettable and the last part of the adventure while a well written crawl feels stapled on. All in all, this is a very uneven adventure but with some good parts that a GM willing to hack together to fit the campaign better will get some good mileage out of. With the support articles the book would merit 2 stars but as this primarily a review of the adventure material I will indicate 1 star.

Ashes at Dawn or We haven’t done vampires yet, right?

*( )( )( )( )

If you are looking at this book expecting it to be a part of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, it is attempting to reconnect with it. In the same way you attempt to halfheartedly reconnect with relatives you don’t like but try either way cause, “hey they are family….I guess”.

The module is a meh as a vampire story. More could be done with the vampires instead of just making them victims who don’t really care what is happening to them, but dismissingly get the PC to solve their problem be blocking them from proceeding or TPK them.

Overall, the adventure path is just starting to remember about the overall theme of the AP and attempts to wake itself up to that fact. Yet it has left the plot so neglected it has to block the PCs from advancing just to make sure they know what they are supposed to be doing.

Module is meh alone, but when a part of the AP it becomes easily forgotten.

Awesome Supplement!


I don't have much to say about this adventure other than that if you like vampires (which everyone should), then you'll like this adventure. I'm not sure why other people are being so negative about this one, it's probably my favorite adventure in the whole adventure path!

Horrible installation

*( )( )( )( )

I've been a GM for the entire Carrion Crown now, and this stands out as the thorn in an otherwise good Adventure path.

Book 1 + 2 was very good, book 3 a bit week, book 4 a bit off to a side, but good. Book 5 horrible, and book 6, ok, but a bit too much dungeon crawl. Since it's basically one big dungeon.

*****************SPOILER WARNING**************

So book 5 starts out with the characters having to go to Caliphas, so far so good.
They are confronted with an enemy they have to kill, with a magic item they now have to find a reason behind.
The scenario now presumes that the PC's will investigate this, not too big a leap, with the Order of the Palatine Eye (OotPE), a big assumption but reasonably.
To find out anything, they have to succeed on some very high DC knowledge checks, and not just 1 but 3. DC 27 spellcraft, DC 30 knowledge arcane, dc 40 knowledge history. If any are failed, the story stalls without a bit of fiddling.

My players were actually very brilliant here, they remembered from book 3, that the guy giving credentials to the whispering way was Advion Adrissant, and he was from Caliphas. But there is no mention of him in this book 5, especially not if players actually look him up.

They find the Whispering way HQ to be gone, and gain an ally, claiming they can get info from vampires. This bit is fine. Now they have to go talk to vampires.

But to get there, they have to kill a vampire?! Ok, my players got around that. They talk with the head honcho vampire, who claims to have information, if they help solve the murders. The thing is, he doesn't know anything, or the scenario has no knowledge he has... ok so he is manipulating the PC's? Fine.

They talk to the vampires, which apparently are incredible dense, especially the inquisitor. 30 min. used on talking with all vampires, and they have enough clues to solve the problem.
After a fight with some drug dealers, who hangs out approximately 50 meter from the head honcho....

They find that the documents are false and/or that the stakes are table legs bought by the vampire tailor. And here the chain jumps off again. Instead of going in and killing the vampire, like good little sociopaths, my group just went back to the head honcho and gave him the evidence.
I could have forced them to kill the tailor, but no, their method seemed more logical. So let the vampires duke it out, and gave them his diary.
They get the Nosferatu freed, which only happened because he promised them information, for hey, vampires killing vampires, who cares.
He didn't have any info (Well until the end of the scenario)

After this they have to go to the Abbey, because of some slim chance it has anything to do with the Whispering way.
Kill a bunch of people, and a demon.
But it has nothing to do with the Whispering Way, it just a crazy countess wanting to be younger. Evil perhaps, but in the grand scheme of things, a lot hoo-ha over nothing really.
What really bugs me here? The abbey has a great story, but the PC's have no way to discover the story. Or gain any real insight into why there are spider swarms everywhere.
At the end of the dungeon, they have to fight a bloodknight, and then the boss. The fight is basically in the same room, but is described as two seperate fights. Really bad.

Then they get a letter from the nosferatu telling them where to go... which is basically where they thought they have to go to stop the Whispering Way, e.g. Gallowspire.

So let’s sum up what the PC's did this story? The talked/killed (to) some vampires, perhaps killed a tailor, killed a bunch of people, thing and witches at an abbey.
Hindered exactly 1 whispering way agent, who did not work on the Carrion Crown.

The whole scenario feels like a bad placeholder.

Ashes to Ashes


Questions of morality versus ethics, good and evil, right and wrong, about when to sacrifice one for the others, about the end justifying the means to achieve a goal, about striving for personal power for oneself above even one’s own family, perhaps even about the true meaning of family and loyalty pervade this 5th installment of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Just how evil is evil enough to cause a person devoted to the cause of good to sacrifice the goals of the group he or she is bound to protect? These are difficult questions for any good-oriented party, whether they include a paladin or no, to deal with as they try to uncover the cause behind the murders of those who are seen to be deeply heinously evil by the standards of most good oriented gods. Some may think that this adventure would test the vow of a paladin too severely. Once the paladin chooses to help the unabashedly evil vampires is he or she on the slippery slope to damnation?

I love adventures which force players to play their characters making real choices and have real (within the game) consequences. Paladins have great rewards of power for the cause of good but also carry a heavy burden. Should the Game Master make light of this burden or should he force the player to really think about the meaning of running such a character? I would say this really depends on the GM and his or her players. My own players are all old grognards for the most part and have dealt with such questions on more than one occasion. I know they would love the role play opportunities this adventure provides.

But some groups are not able to handle such ethical and moral decisions. This is where a good GM has to know his players. Some groups are all for the mechanical aspects of the game and care little for role playing. Rather than tell them they are not playing the game right, which is at best subjective and at worst elitist and condescending, I would say to them, ignore the questions and let your players hack and slash or work with the vampires as they decide. Of course I am of the opinion that it is never the GM’s job to tell the players how to play their characters or play through an adventure. You defiantly have to gage the maturity level of your players. In the hands of a good GM, this adventure can become a pivotal and memorable one for the players whether or not you are running the Carrion Crown AP as a whole or just want to dip into the vampiric underbelly of Caliphas.

It would be relatively easy to alter this adventure to stand alone. Simply remove references to the Whispering Way and alter the ending such that it ends when the PC’s find out who is murdering the vampires and dealt with them and perhaps the vampires too, if they so choose. Though I would expect some retribution of the part of the leader of this clan, who may or may not be at home depending on the individual GM. Alternatively the GM can use this adventure to start the PC’s on the path of the Whispering Way at a later level than the path assumes, particularly if other adventures in the vicinity have been run which are located fairly nearby and not directly related. What this means is that this adventure is highly portable with some minor work and of even greater value to GMs who, like me, run their own campaigns rather than the strict Adventure Paths.

To Neil in particular, I think you did a masterful job of creating an adventure that delves into these questions spoken above without forcing any particular group or GM to HAVE to play a certain way.

As for the remainder of this AP, there is an always helpful article on a location in Golarion, in this case the city of Caliphas, which is directly relevant to the adventure and includes some interesting personalities the PCs may encounter in the city. Next is a continuation of the deity articles, this time the featured deity is Urgathoa. Then there are the standard AP articles, the fiction piece and the Bestiary with some useful and some strange monsters. Now the bestiary also includes an odd page, a short piece on PCs as vampires and a town stat block with a paragraph on travel TO Caliphas as well as an encounter table for the slums and sewers of Caliphas. This might have been better placed elsewhere, at the head of the AP perhaps, so it could be noticed by the GM easier while he or she is preparing for this adventure. Given the constraints of the placement of text in the introduction and Part One of the adventure I can see why this wasn’t placed there. I am very glad it wasn’t simply left out, though I do question its placement at the head of the Bestiary.

In short then, I believe this installment of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path does everything it set out to accomplish and more, thanks to the skill of the author in particular. I have trouble giving this a perfect score due to the strange additions to the Bestiary. But the main adventure was so masterfully done that I have to award this five stars as well.

Welcome Julie Iaccarino!,

A Pirate's Life,

The Gem,

Parade of Tributes: Wrath of the Righteous Characters,

Remembering Mike McArtor,

©2002–2015 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.