Game Master Daniel Penfold 351

A run through of the Carrion Crown campaign.


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Male High Azlanti DM

Hi all,

So here is the thread we will be using for the game.

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

Evrasi Pedrise grew up in Lepidstadt and served in the church of Pharasma ever since she was a little girl. Her faith was true but untested, and she had a naive trust that her goddess would protect her in all ways.

However, one day brought a challenge to her childlike belief. A crazed cultist attacked the city with a small army of undead minions, and Evrasi was separated from her family and fellow clergy in the ensuing chaos. She prayed for deliverance, but none seemed to come. Suddenly a man appeared and used arcane, divine, and alchemical means to destroy the undead and defeat the cultist.

Afterwards, the man introduced himself as Professor Lorrimor and told Evrasi that blind faith saves no one. Inspired, Evrasi set out to refine her faith through trials and wandered the Inner Sea region. A few years later, she received the letter informing her of the professor's death...

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Male High Azlanti DM

Ravengro - a tiny little backwater in Ustalav. Whatever possessed your friend and mentor Professor Petros Lorrimor to come and live here you do not know.

Word reached you recently, however, from Petros' daughter Kendra (whom you had never met) that he had died suddenly and what is more he has named you as a beneficiary in his will. And so you found yourself in Ravengro. The local villagers for the most part watch you with a wary eye as you knocked on Lorrimor's door and they appeared to be whispering amongst themselves.

The door is opened by a tall, elegant young woman in probably her early 20s. It is clear that she has been crying, and she introduces herself as Kendra Lorrimor.

GM note to all: Please introduce yourselves to Kendra and each other at this point.

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

The wagon ride to Ravengro was slow and bumpy, but nothing Evrasi wasn't used to at this point. The last two years have been constant travelling from one place to another. Returning to Ustalav was something she often thought about, but she hadn't thought it would be this soon, or under these circumstances.

Rereading the letter as the wagon approached the town, Evrasi wondered what the professor could've wanted from her that required her presence at the reading of his will. The two had communicated via letter for several months after they met in Lepidstadt, and she credited the elder man for her recent travels throughout the Inner Sea region.

Arriving, the wagoner dropped her off just outside of the south end of town. Paying her driver, Evrasi headed towards the address of the late professor's house. She knew the suspicious nature of her fellow Ustalavians, and so was not surprised by their whispers.

Seeing Kendra's face cut deep. Evrasi curtsied in greeting. "I am Evrasi Pedrise. I am so sorry for your loss, Miss Lorrimor. Your father was a great man, may Pharasma judge him fairly."

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

A slender gloved hand slipped several coins into the waiting hand of the coach driver before withdrawing back into the carriage. The limb,clad in a silk turquoise blouse custom-tailored to fit its owner's long limbs, avoided brushing the edges of the door.

An unusually tall and reed thin figure stooped and stepped out onto the cobblestoned street, straightening its spine to a ramrod stiffness. At 6'5', the figure towered over most humanoids.

Ortensia didn't spare the driver another glance as he scrambled back to the front of the carriage, snapping the reins to spur the horses onward into the gloomy Ustalavian night.

The halforc gave her surroundings a brief, appraising glance before she picked the direction the map included in the letter she'd received indicated. She ignored the stares and harsh whispers of the locals as she glided past, one hand fisted in her long skirts to avoid tripping on the uneven pavement.

She was more than accustomed to stares and mutterings. Even the occasional screams and sounds of receding footsteps. It was better than being outright assaulted in some places.

Still, it was a tad tiresome. Then again, what could she expect from ignorant masses?

She made her way through the tiny provincial backwater villager of Ravengo swiftly with her long,sweeping stride until she approached the manor of what had been the home of the dearly departed Professor

She felt a bittersweet sense of disappointment. She was unused to such emotions of sorrow and rage.

The old, worldly professor was one of the few people she had been become fond of. Who had earned both her respect and admiration. Who looked past her outward appearance.

She had traveled far to pay her respects. What surprised her the most was the part about a will reading. She knew he was fond of her for her keen mind but to award her something in case of his death?

Her presence was to pay her respects and to indulge her curiosity.

When she knocked, she curtsied to the tall, sorrowful woman that answered. "My condolences. I am Ortensia Obsidia Deephevy.
May the goodly gods cradle you in your grief."

Male High Azlanti DM

Kendra welcomes you all into the Professor's house and thanks you for your kind words.
She offers you both some tea and explains that the funeral will begin shortly as she has made all the arrangements. The plot has been prepared in the Restlands the local cemetery. Ustalavic tradition has the coffin carried along the paths of the Restlands until it meets the centre, where they will be met by the priest, Father Grimburrow.

She also asks if any of you would like to be pallbearers for the coffin.

Male Elf Bard/1

Head low, eyes hidden underneath the large hat, Taliesin made a strong point of hiding his own identity as he arrived in Ravengro. The gesture only stirred the villagers’ curiosity even more. He didn’t care. In fact, he was used to it. Always traveling, no place could hold his attention for long, forcing him into the constant position of a strange. In a way, he enjoyed it. He’d sell his words for the best tales around, eat and drink with abandonment, bend the lyre at his own pleasure, save a few faces for the record. He saw the world as a succession of stories and smiles, and he felt all the richer for it.
As the slender male goes for the door, he decides to let the hat go – at least for a second. One might think it was out of respect. Far from it, he wished an unimpeded scrutiny of anyone he’d meet on the other side of the door.
He greets Kendra with few words. “Taliesin. My sympathies.” – he lets his expression do the talking, as usual, all the while his eyes hunt for her own reactions. The bows his head lightly to the other guests, studying them intently as well.

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

The tall halforc inclined her head respectively to each newcomer,scanning their faces briefly to commit to memory and took a seat. She crossed her legs and adjusted her skirts, setting the bulging backpack she had grown accustomed to carrying everywhere beside her. It contained one of those adventurer kits intended for an investigator her mother insisted she use.

Other than the chain shirt she wore on her person at all times, the only thing she carried were her clothing and implements. After paying the driver for the last leg of her journey, she was quite...broke.

No matter. She had trail rations to last her a week. She was sure she could earn coinage within town somehow without much trouble.

Gratefully, she accepted the tea and handled it delicately. Her littlest finger was held up and out as she lifted her veil to sip. Hm. Quite good.

Hm? Why, yes. I would be hornored to act as a pallbearer.

Male High Azlanti DM

Kendra thanks you and you all head into the Restlands (see map). Kendra leads the procession with the coffin behind. A small number of villagers follow behind.

As the procession reaches the halfway point where the three paths meet you see that the way ahead is blocked by a group of about a dozen surly looking locals. At the head of this group is a tall, elderly but wiry old man who says the following:

"That's far enough. We been talking, and we don't want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain't goin' in the ground here!"

Kendra is swift to respond, "What are you talking about? I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He's waiting for us! The grave's already been..."

The old man interrupts: "You don't get it woman. We won't have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now."

"Necromancy!? Are you really that ignorant?"

GM note - What do you guys want to do?

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

Evrasi, hands on the coffin of her idol, wanted nothing more than to rush to the defense of Kendra and the professor's honor. However, knowing that would cause the coffin to fall, she held her ground. "Countrymen, I do not know what rumors have besmirched this man's reputation, but I would have fallen to the undead in my youth were it not for Professor Lorrimor's intervention. I stake my honor, as a human being and as a cleric in the service of Lady Pharasma, on his integrity and innocence of these crimes."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19Diplomacy,Aid Another

If you have an ounce of decorum, you shall allow us to proceed with the burial of a respected and exceptional member of your community. If you would excuse us, you are disrupting a funeral. Ortensia added after the human woman among their procession attempted to beseech to the rude group.

She wore a black mourner's cloak, her grip secure. She would not drop her end.

Male High Azlanti DM

With Evrasi and Ortensia's words the crowd mumbled amongst themselves and then dispersed, shooting venomous glances at Kendra and the others. Their leader who Kendra reveals is a man called Gibs Hephenus is the last to leave but grumbling he does so.

Father Grimburrow comes along the path and seeing what has happened, commends Evrasi and Ortensia for dealing with the situation peacefully.

"I apologise on behalf of the town for the disturbance", he says. "There will be no more disruptions I am sure."

With that the procession continues to the burial site. The coffin is lowered slowly and reverently into the plot and Father Grimburrow asks if anyone would like to say a few words over the grave.

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

Nodding respectfully to her superior in their faith, Evrasi approaches the grave and picks up a handful of dirt. "The Lady of Graves has kept her mysteries from us. Many would claim that this is a cruelty, for it has deprived the world of the Last Azlant. However, Pharasma knows the fates of all who live and have lived. Those who find faith in her wisdom know that her guidance, whether she enlighten us or keep us in the dark for a time, will lead us to peace when she approach her for judgment."

With those words she sprinkles the pale dirt into the grave, moving her hand in a spiraling motion so that it left an imitation of Pharasma's holy symbol upon the lid of the coffin. She nods to Father Grimburrow and Kendra. Bowing her head, she begins to pray in Varisian to her goddess, her whispers sorrowful.

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

May his soul rest in peace. Mayhap he'll be reincarnated upon Golarion to continue what he loved most: delving in the mysteries and lore of this world. I am not religious by any means but I shall surely miss the Professor. He was my mentor and I admired him dearly. I shall miss him.

Ortensia curtsied, lowering her head to the coffin and its contents in a final farewell. An odd stinging sensation pricked at her eyes.

Odd...was it raining?

Male Elf Bard/1

Taliesin contemplates the succession of scenes without interference. Measuring his companions was his concern right now. Afterwards, he simply listened to their words, keeping to himself. He passes the opportunity of a spoken farewell, simply taking his hat off and following the rites in silence.

Male High Azlanti DM

Father Grimburrow completes the service and Kendra invites Archon, Ortensia and Evrasi back to her house for the reading of the will.

About an hour later councilman Vashian Hearthmount arrives at Kendra's house, he appears to disapprove of the three of you being involved but says nothing. He produces a scroll case and shows that the Professor's seal is unbroken and opens the case. As he does so, a small iron key falls out of the tube and clatters nosily onto the table. He starts to read out the following,

"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 favours 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 favour- please delay your journey for 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 100pp. 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."

Male High Azlanti DM

Kendra says she knows where the chest is the Professor refers to and comes back shortly with a small chest which the iron key opens. Inside are 3 books with a note saying they need to be handed to Embreth Daramid.

There is a fourth book which appears to be a journal, etched into the outside cover is the phrase, READ ME NOW.

The journal appears to be mainly very basic, detailing investigations and happenings the Professor looked into. Six of the entries have been circled (presumably by the Professor):

10 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.

2 months ago: It is as I feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?

1 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 bout 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.

20 days Ago: It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something-no strike that-someone who was held in Harrowstone. But ho, 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.

18 days ago: I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghost, 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.

17 days ago (Day Professor died): 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.

GM note - Sorry for the info dump. Any rolls people want to do let me know and what do you guys want to do next?

Male High Azlanti DM

Evrasi you know the following (based on skill checks):

1) Harrowstone is a ruined prison - partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect its haunted and don't enjoy speaking of the place.

2) Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison's underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact. The prison's warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occurred. A statue commemorating the warden and guards who lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy- that statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.

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

Male High Azlanti DM

Ortensia you know the following:

1) The Whispering Way is a sinister organisation of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

2) Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way's most notorious member was Tar-Byphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed for much longer than even that mighty necromancer.

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

Male High Azlanti DM

GM note - I should point out this is info you yourselves know, it may be possible to do research and discover more.

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Feeling melancholy from the funeral and the encounter with the ignorant locals, Ortensia discarded the black cloak and folded it neatly into her lap. She helped herself to hot tea as she waited for the will to be read.

Perhaps some documents or even a rare book would be gifted to her,signed by the Professor.

Ortensia was doubly glad for the veil she wore to obscure her mouth from gaping open in astonishment at the reading of the will.

...Oh my.she murmured,yellownand red eyes wide.

A hundred platinum pieces? Why, that's...!

Then again,it was a long way to Lepidstadt. But she wouldn't have to worry about money for several months with that much coinage.

Oh, if only she could thank the Professor for such generosity!

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

...So we have about a month before we can even collect our inheritances. she mused.

Examining the tomes with interest, she appraised them. 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20Appraise
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15Know (Arcana)

The journal,however,proved most interesting of all.

...That's quite peculiar. These dates...Whispering Way...Oh my. Milady Kendra, I'm afraid that your father's death was a matter of foul play.

Drumming a thin finger against the cover of the journal, she shifted in her seat. A creeping sense of indignation rose within her.

If the Professor was investigating something that involved one of the most notoriously evil and foul cults known across the Inner Sea, it could very well ended up being the cause of his premature demise. But why would necromancer death cult murder an old man?

Just exactly what did the Professor stumble upon?

Also,vicious curiosity. She would repay the Professor's kindness. By finishing whatever business he started.

Slapping the cover of the journal,Ortensia declared in a voice steely with conviction.I propose an investigation into this Harrowstone place the Professor visited. He died because of whatever he found there. It has something to do with the Whispering Way. I shall go alone if I must...but I would appreciate the company. I want to know the truth.

She plucked at her sleeve for imagined lint.We should start on the morrow in the cemetery. The Professor presumably stashed something away that could aid us.

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

"I agree, Ortensia." Evrasi's serene face hardened at the half-orc's mention of foul play. "I personally would like to investigate that list the professor wrote of at the Temple. Any information we can gather before heading up to that surely accursed place would be to our benefit. I, for one, shall accompany you to this stash tomorrow. I will go with you and any one else to Harrowstone, but only once we are prepared."

She then turns to Kendra, kneeling beside where she sat and held her hands in both of her own. "I shall also fulfill the Professor's wishes to aid you in whatever way I can, my dear. If there is anything I can do for you, count me as a sister in this."

"I am from Lepidstadt," Evrasi said to the others, "and I am familiar with Madame Embrerth Daramid. She helped me keep in touch with the Professor as he traveled." She sighed. "This has been a trying day for all of us. If there is nothing else required of me from any of you, I shall retire, but no not hesitate to fetch me if something arises."

Going to her room, Evrasi pulls out her holy symbol and begins to pray to her goddess, asking for strength and guidance for the trials ahead.

Male High Azlanti DM

Ortensia you think that the books are worth a minimum of 400gp each.

The books are:

Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye - A book written in code that is used by a secretive society called the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, a society for good although exact details of what they do is unknown.

On Verified Madness - a treatise on aberrations and other entities found on Golarion that posess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark places between the stars in the night sky.

Serving Your Hunger: One of several unholy books sacred to the goddess Urgathoa.

The Umbral Leaves: A translation into common of the unholy books of Zon-Kuthon.

So it looks like you are investigating things first, there are several places that may hold information:

The Lorrimor Place
Ravengro Town Hall
Temple of Pharasma
The Unfurling Scroll

Please let me know if you are investigating things individually, where you are going and what you are researching.

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

The coach deposits Sister Zephra in town, but she has difficulty finding the Restlands and when she gets there it is growing dark and the ceremony has already finished. Finding Father Grimburrow, she introduces herself and after some effort manages to learn from him where Professor Lorrimor and his daughter lived. Finally, she knocks on the door and bows to Kendra. "How do you do," she says somewhat out of breath. "I am Sister Zephra. Your father invited me?" She looks past the grieving daughter to see the others, and gestures as if to say she would like to enter.

"How do you do?" she says to the others, noting Evrasi's holy symbol with a special nod of respect, but kindly smiling to the others as well. "Forgive me, but I seem to have arrived too late for the service. It's not my fault, though! The carriage was late, and-- well, that doesn't matter now, does it. I am so sorry for us that the Professor has passed! I am sure he is in a better place, at rest, but it is a sad thing. A sad sad thing. How did he die?"

Once brought up to speed, Sister Zephra looks troubled. "The Whispering Way! I know about them!" she exclaims. "By the pricking of my thumbs, if necromancers caused the Professor's death, they will suffer the displeasure of the Lady of Graves! I will happily accompany you to the temple tomorrow, if you will have me. Is that-- is that all right?"

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Ortensia gave the new arrival a sidelong look, taking in the rushed introduction and overabundance of enthusiasm stoically.


Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

I am Ortensia. This is Miss Pedrise. And Mister Basileus. Welcome Sister Zephra. The reedy halforc spread her hands in a welcoming gesture to those gathered in the room.

I recommend that the first place we investigate is the Restlands. There is a crypt mentioned with a cache the Professor maintained during his investigations so we should collect anything it contains. Ortensia gestured to the journal. If we are dealing with members of the Whispering Way, who are a notorious cult of necromancer s and undead, we must be prepared to deal with such opponents. Also, we must ensure we do not succumb to such insidious elements. Disease, insanity, crises of faith. Are any of you willing to see this investigation through on behalf of the Professor's memory?

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Sister Zephra beams at Ortensia. "Great," she says somewhat vacantly. "It seems we will be working together! Would you like to know more abouut me? I'd like to know more about you. I'm from Lepidstadt too! I grew up at the temple to Pharasma there, until I moved to-- to, a different temple, never mind, that doesn't matter. But Professor Lorrimor wrote to me all the time, or at least he used to, not so much after I moved. But he was a great man, I always thought so. How did you know him, if I may ask?"

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

Evrasi nods in mutual respect to her sister in the faith. "Greetings, Sister Zephra. I too grew up at Lepidstadt's temple, and you do seem familiar to me."

We can work out a cohesive backstory to them in the discussion thread if you are interested :)

"As to how I knew the Professor, he saved my life and challenged my faith. I owe a great deal to him, and I am willing to challenge this cult in his memory." Her lavender eyes lock with Ortensia's red/yellow ones, her expression determined.

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Ortensia found herself quite unsuited with dealing with someone so gregarious and excitable. Even more so with someone interested in her as a person instead of flinching away as though she were some terrifying specter.

Ah. Yes. I am from the Lonely Coast, a farmstead called Houndshearth owned by the Deephevy dwarven clan. I was adopted instead of outright slain by the dwarves out of pity, I suspect. I was a straggler from a roving warband of orcs, halforcs and halfgoblins that were slaughtered and its survivors captured or ran off.

Ortensia plucked nervously at her silk blouse as she recounted her history,unused to telling it aloud. Ah-hem...I was a whelp merely following my parents. I do not remember much of those times. My adoptive mother was no more than a child herself, by dwarven standards, but had me spared and raised me to be civilized. She was kind and loving, something alien to me.Patient but heavy handed. I came to appreciate and grew fond of her. She herself was a geokinetic, formerly believed to be an oracle of stone. She realized I myself showed psychic potential and sent me to learn under the Professor hoping he could help me learn to use my power. He sponsored me and I was given an appropriate teacher, writing to both him and my mother during my tutelage.

She fiddled with the cravat bunched at her throat. Thus, I found myself in Ustalav to develop myself. I am an occultist and found these lands more suitable to my needs. The Professor was my mentor and inspired most of my decisions regarding my wanderings.

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Ortensia held Pedrise's gaze, yellow sclera giving a faint outline around her crimson irises. Her pupils caught the flickering candlelight like an animal's due to her darkvision.

When the other woman did not flich, she gave a satified nod.

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Zephra's eyes glaze over a bit while Ortensia tells her story. It's not that she's not interested, it's that she seems to have difficulty following her story. She mouths words to herself as if trying to parse out their meaning. "Oh my, you are smart," she says in awe. "I've never met an oculist before. Pleased to meet you, Ortensia."

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Zephra blinks and smiles at Evrasi. "Miss Pedrise? Have we met before? You do seem familiar. Were you at the convent with Mother Mareschi? How nice to see you again!"

Male High Azlanti DM

Ortensia you do some investigating at the Lorrimor place, this takes about an hour and you discover the following:

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

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Ortensia managed to discover more about the Whispering Way cultists and their modus operandi through the late Professor's extensive library and notes.

Especially concerning how they disposed of those outside the cult learning their secrets.

...Pardon me, Miss Kendra, but how exactly did the Professor expire,if I'm not being too forward. If that makes you uncomfortable, I do apologize.

Male High Azlanti DM

Kendra says, "His body was found just outside of Harrowstone. It appears that an ancient gargoyle and hit him on the head face first. His face was smashed." Kendra starts crying again at this point.

About an hour later Ortensia and Evrasi make their way to the Temple of Pharasma (wasn't sure if Zephra or Archon were joining them or going to one of the other areas)

After a quick word with Father Grimburrow they went to do some research which took most of the day.

They discovered the following:

1) At the time Harrowstone burned, 5 particularly notorius criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.

2) Originally, Harrowstone housed only local criminals, but as the prison's fame spread, other counties and distant lands began paying to have more dangerous criminals housed within this prison's walls. At the time of the great Harrowstone Fire, the number of particularly violent or dangerous criminals imprisoned within the dungeons below was at an all-time high.

3) The five most notorious prisoners in Harrowstone at the time of the great fire were Father Charlatan, the Mosswater Marauder, the Piper of Illmarsh, and the Splatter Man.

Father Grimburrow advised that the church was unaware of the crypt being used as a storehouse. He is happy for you to use anything you find there if you are investigating Harrowstone but asks that anything you don't use should be returned to the temple.

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

(Zephra accompanies Ortensia and Evrasi to the temple. Don't want to split the party if we can avoid it!)

(Also, did we not learn the name of one of the notorious criminals? There's only four listed there.) :)

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

Hm. That's suspicious. Perhaps to prevent from anyone to commune with the corpse. No need to attempt extreme methods such as exhuming. Best to let the Professor be. Ortensia murmured,more to herself than the others. Harrowstone is the site of a tragedy and much death. Most likely steeped in hauntings. Which makes it a site of interest to the cultist for their machinations. They likely murdered the Professor when he encountered them up to some nefarious tasks. He mentioned something about Harrowstone's foundation we should look for.

Male High Azlanti DM

GM note: The other prisoner was known as the Lopper

Between the three of you you find out the following more detailed information about the 5 prisoners:

1) Father Charlatan (real name Sefick Corvin): Of the five notorious prisoners, only Father Charlatan was not technically a murderer, yet his crimes were so blasphemous that several churches demanded he be punished to the full extent of Ustalavic law. Although he claimed to be an ordained priest of any number of faiths, Father Corvin was in fact a travelling con artist who used faith as a mask and a means to bilk the faithful out of money in payment for false miracles or cures. He became known as Father Charlatan after his scheme was exposed and his Sczarni accomplices murdered a half dozen city guards in an attempt to make good the group's escape.

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

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

4) The Piper of Illmarsh - real name unknown. Before he snatched his victims, the Piper taunted his targets with a mournful dirge on his flute. He preferred to paralyze lone victims by dosing their meals with lich dust and then allowed his pet stirges to drink the victims dry of blood.

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

By the time you manage to research all this it is starting to get dark- what do you want to do?

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

"Shall we head over to the crypt? It being dark outside is no hindrance as it is likely dark inside as well."

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

The more we can do, the better. I see no real risk. Ortensia agreed. She fiddled with the personal momento she kept on her at all times, a childhood toy that was a mock flail made of stone and iron gifted to her by her adopted family. It was no bigger than a wand,its chain made up of linked stones and its weight a stone carved into the likeness of a plump smiling hedgehog.

It was a precious keepsake that doubled as aweapon as she used it as an implement, the other being the monogrammed gray moleskin gloves she always wore.

Male High Azlanti DM

The crypt mentioned in the Professor's journal is located in the NE corner of the Restlands and is a freestanding granite mausoleum, the roof decorated with a pair of leering gargoyle statues. A single stone door with a rusty looking lock sits in the mausoleum's south facade and you can see that it appears as if the clasp of the lock has been melted with acid and then put back into place so to the casual observer it would look untouched.

Opening the door you see a flight of stone steps leading down to a large crypt lined with empty niches. You can see the Professor;s tracks leading to a single sarcophagus which lies open. (GM note - I am just going to assume you get some of this identified without having to roleplay).

Inside the crypt is the following:

a dozen silver arrows
four sun rods
10 +1 arrows
five +1 ghost touch arrows
two +1 undead bane arrows
five potions of cure light wounds
2 potions of lesser restoration
a scroll of detect undead
two scrolls of hide from undead
a spirit board with a brass spirit planchette
6 haunt siphons

As you look you hear a slithering noise behind you and see 2 Giant Centipedes- I need everyone to roll iniative. zQhs/edit?usp=sharing

Above is link to map of the crypt.

Male High Azlanti DM

Sorry map link is

Female Human (Varisian) Cleric 2

Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15Initiative

Female Half-ork (Black orc) Occultist/6

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12Ranged Attk.
1d6 ⇒ 5Telekinetic Projectile

Ortensia heard the slithering sound,and started at the sight of the oversized vermin. She scanned the interior of the crypt and spotted several loose chunks of stone that had broken away scattered here and then.

No need to get too close. One of the wretched things could make its way up her skirts.

With a mental flex, she sent one large chunk of rock flinging towards one of the vermin.

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Sister Zephra steps closer to the creature (five foot step), moving away from the sarcophagus, and draws a dagger (move action). She readies an action to stab the first one that comes within her reach (standard action).

Male High Azlanti DM

Archon fires his bow at one of the creatures but misses and the shot goes wild.

The centipedes then move forward reaching Zephra and Evrasi. As it reaches Zephra she strikes first with her dagger, cutting through its chitinous flesh and striking through to its heart, killing it instantly (Critical!)

The other centipede tries to attack Evrasi but misses.

As the hunk of rock from Ortensia's mind comes flying forward it hit the remaining centipede between the eyes, killing it instantly.

The crypt falls quiet.

Human Warpriest (Pharasma) 6 | HP 39+11/39 | AC 21 T 14 FF 18 | F+8 R+6 W+10 | BAB +4 | Init +3 Per +9 | Conditions: defending bone, 5h 55m; divine favor, 1m; false life, 6h

Woo-hoo! That's a good sign, a critical on the first attack!

Let's get to looting! Oh wait, we already found all the stuff. :)

Zephra stands listening for a moment, to be sure there are no other creatures in the crypt. She looks at the others. "I wonder how long those have been down here!" Shrugging, she begins moving the cached supplies to her backpack for them to examine later at Lorrimor House.

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