Vivian does her best to help Kendra with her chores as an hostess.
When she appears to be ready to cry, the redhead provides her as discreetly as possible with an handkerchief.
Sleight of hand: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Thank you for your hospitality, Miss Lorri.. Kendra.
Vivian takes a glass of Chelish wine, with a smile, and drinks it slowly, enjoying the sensation.
She seems to keep an eye on Kendra, always ready to bring her moral support or mundane help if she looks like to need it.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Another mourning... I've lost my own father so long ago, it now seems fortunate. It's harder when you're grown up enough to realise. My memories of my father are rare...
Vivian sighs, and tries to compose herself, before being too caught up in her own pain.
She tries to change the conversations topic
This is quite a charming house, Kendra. Have you always lived here?
Vivian can sense Kendra is holding up well at the moment despite the dark topics, perhaps having company in her house is helping her manage her grief. She does, however, accept any handkerchiefs offered.
"Thank you, Vivian. When Father retired from teaching, we moved here from Lepidstadt where I was born. I was 10 at time, so that was around 15 years ago. I have seen a bit of the country, though, traveling with my father. Despite the rural location, he did assure that I received quite a good education, hiring the finest of tutors when he could not instruct me himself. He also inducted me into the arcane arts, as I'm sure most of you are aware, he was quite skilled."
"I noticed much more paranoia than normal from the villagers as I traveled up this way." Drace spoke with a nod. "Was it a gradual change? The old superstitions have declined of late in the capital."
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
"Hmm. The only thing I encountered on the road from Lepidstadt was bandits. They waylaid us and absconded with most of my traveling funds and valuables-- including my medical bag."
When it is mentioned that the townspeople avoid the site where the professor died, the teifling's ears perk up. "I would see this place where your father was killed, and that the Townspeople avoid. Your father was willing to take risks when the risks were worth taking, but was not so foolhardy as to be killed by a decaying statue... if he was the man I remember. It may be that he left a task undone..." Something that will make all this worth it...
"Truthfully, Drace, I would say their suspicion has gotten worse in the last two weeks, although I'm hardly a good judge of character at the moment." Kendra admits with a sigh, then frowns at word of Stefan's troubles during his trip, "I'm so very sorry you were set about by brigands on you journey here! I do hope they didn't harm you. Perhaps our local general store has some items to partially replace what was stolen? I would be happy to help you with that in whatever way I can."
In response to Teilaenthis' intention to visit the site of her father's death, Kendra says, "If that's what you wish, I can give you directions. I don't think I could face it myself at the moment. It's not difficult to find, as it lies on a hill just south of the village, although there are rumors that it is haunted, but that's a common rumor for most abandoned places in the area."
* * *
Kendra moves the conversation to more idle chit-chat as the group awaits Councilman Heathmount's arrival. At precisely an hour, there is a staccato knock on the front door and Kendra lets the Councilman inside. After some initial pleasantries, he looks about the sitting room with an expression denoting disapproval at the presence of strangers, but makes no verbal mention of it.
He then takes a seat at the desk and produces a scroll case from his jacket, showing those in attendance the unbroken personal seal of Petros Lorrimor. Once everyone is satisfied, he breaks the wax seal and opens a case. As he does, a small iron key falls out of the tube, clattering noisily onto the table. Undaunted by the key, the councilman begins to read, evidently eager to be done with this business and to get back home.
“I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.”
“Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until all principals can be in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.”
“To my old friends, Teilaenthis Arcanos, Sentir Damutu, Vivian Deberth, Tara Eliade, Drace Kross, and Stefan Von Herzog, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance of what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one’s enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.”
“And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepidstadt University, I fear that a few I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these tomes herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest of tomes to you, posthumously. I ask that you please deliver the collection to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.”
“Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor—please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time here in Ravengro to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt—she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.”
“I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro on this first day of Calistril, in the year 4711.”
Upon finishing, Councilman Heathmount looks to Kendra, who quickly thanks him and shows him to the door. After dismissing him, Kendra puts on a brave face and addresses the group, ”I want to thank you all again for coming, I know the journey here was not easy, nor perhaps what my father asks of you. I will need at least a few weeks to decide whether or not to sell this house and leave this village, but in the meantime, if it would not be a terrible inconvenience, I ask you to stay as my guests as my father requests. There is plenty of space for all six of you here and I am happy to provide you room and board for the 30 days.”
She waits briefly for any input before excusing herself to retrieve her father's trunk.
One month? Well... If I have to stay there, I'll need to buy some new clothes. I don't want to stink... And of course I'll send a letter to my mother so she won't be afraid of my lenghty absence. But if that can help you, Kendra, I will be there. Of course, we Pharasman respect the last will of the departed, but I'll stay with you with pleasure, and I will be glad if you agree to come to visit me in Karcau later.Have you ever gone to the opera?
One hundred platinum coins? that's quite a sum... Lorrimor was richer than I imagined. Not that I truly thought about it, of course. Keeping Kendra safe and sound? Was the professor fearing something, for him and for his daughter?
in which month and year are we?
Sentir turns from his appraisal of the bookcase, to hear the strange and unusual will being read. While it was unexpected, Sentir was warmed to hear that even after death the Professor was reaching out to help others, either the general public with these artifacts, or in the individual in the shape of his daughter.
The actual demand of the letter was easy to agree to. Sentir had no family, no friends (worth speaking of) and surely nothing else other then the road and lonely treks between towns. A month of good food and rest (combined with helping good people) would probably be good for his wounded soul. Besides, many he could study a little while he was here....perhaps Ustalav held the deity for him, hidden amongst the Professor's books?
“I would be honored to fulfill your father's last request, Kendra. Please, consider us your honor guard and friends, and I make that promise after this month is up. Any blood of the Professor is blood of mine.” It is a tad overblown but generally meant well. Then he pauses and thinks.
Yet, this is not the will of a man who passes due to an unfortunate accident. It seems very well....planned. Do you not agree, Dr. Stephan?". He asks, looking to the other in the room who seemed to know him best.
"I don't have any pressing manners to return to, I had hoped to drag my feet on my return to the capital anyway. I am more than happy to honor his request and stay awhile. I am sorry to hear of your encounter with the bandits however." Drace said looking at both Kendra and the Doctor.
"I wonder what your father was working on, it was just recently that he changed his will. He must have been working on that caused him to fear for his safety, and yours Kendra." Drace spoke as he continued to sip at his brandy. "Did he talk or mention anything specific about his work in the last two months?"
"My family...has a reputation for tracking down and investigating suspicious happenings. Your father was a great source of information to us. If there was something he was researching here in this village..." Drace trailed off leaving the rest unsaid.
"The opera? It has been quite some time, but I would be happy to visit you in Karcau sometime after all this is over, Vivian."
To Sentir and Drace, she then says, "Thank you for accepting my invitation, I'm not sure the significance to the recent change in my father's will, nor the subjects of his recent investigations. For better or worse, he tended to keep me out of such things for my own protection. If you'll excuse me, I believe it may be prudent to examine my father's trunk, it may hold some answers. Even if it does not, I would like to have the matter dealt with quickly. I would like to give you all more time to consider my offer in any case."
A few minutes later, she returns with a relatively small chest composed of oak and iron. Retrieving the key that fell out of the scroll case, she nervously looks to the group, ”Who would like to do the honors?”
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
"I will most certainly honor Petros' request. My solicitor is managing my affairs back in Lepidstadt, and she can certainly keep things pending for me indefinitely until my return."
Nodding at Drace's observation, Stefan says, "It does seem telling that Petros changed his will less than two months ago. If I know my former professor, he would not have done that unless he had a good idea that his life was in danger. Kendra, I think we should all have a look at those books he's entrusted to our care."
Ninja'd by the GM! Editing to add...
After Kendra brings in the chest, the doctor answers, "I would be honored."
He takes the key, but before he unlocks the chest, he announces, "First, let me examine this chest for magical auras." The doctor speaks a few arcane words and makes some odd hand gestures. His eyes then glow faintly.
Casts detect magic.
If it is the magic within items such as books he fears, it is clear why I have been called. Also, it seems that there may yet be a way to make my foolish sacrifice worthwhile...
"I will be of whatever assistance I can, and magical tomes and objects are something of a... study of mine."
Stefan finds the key fits perfectly in the lock and opens the chest without incident. Inside there are four old tomes and one that appears relatively new. The newest tome sits on the top and bears the phrase 'Read me now!' scratched into the leather cover.
Three of the older books have notes tucked into them indicating that they should be delivered to one Montagnie Crowl, a professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt University. Looking through these books, you determine they are comprised of the following:
• On Verified Madness: This jet-black book is a treatise on aberrations and other entities found on Golarion that possess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark places between the stars in the night sky.
• Serving Your Hunger: This text is a copy of one of several unholy books sacred to the goddess Urgathoa. Lorrimor’s notations liberally sprinkle the margins.
• The Umbral Leaves: This lexicon is a translation into Common of the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon.
Underneath those books is another older volume that has a note on top of it indicating it should be delivered to Embreth Daramid, a judge at the Lepidstadt Courthouse, although it asks for this delivery in particular to be handled discreetly, and includes the address of Embreth’s home so that you can deliver it there. The book itself has a rich purple cover that contains a brass scarab set with a single eye in its center. Its covers are rimmed in polished steel and clasped with a small but intricate lock, the keyhole of which appears to be for a key with a strange, triangular shaft. It does not have a title on the cover.
You can roll Knowledge (arcana, local, or history) to try to identify this book.
Opening the newer book that suggests you read it first reveals that it is Professor Lorrimor's journal. Although the majority of entries appear to be relatively bland accounts of day-to-day life in Ravengro, leafing through it quickly reveals that some of the entries have been circled in red ink.
The 18th of Pharast, 4701
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.
The 15th of Abadius, 4711
It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?
The 25th of Calistril, 4711
Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense—the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I’d rather not let the others know about my curiosity—there’s plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I’m a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.
The 5th of Pharast, 4711
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something—no, strike that—someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.
The 7th of Pharast, 4711
I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.
The 8th of Pharast, 4711
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.
”Oh my gods!” Kendra exclaims as she reads the journal, ”It would appear you all were correct all along, my father most likely was murdered! If not by this Whispering Way, then perhaps by the spirits that haunt the prison! That last entry was made the day before they found his body.”
Kendra's life is maybe between our hands, my hands. Not under my watch. This is my responsability.How to make everyone think he's useful? Play on their strengths, Vivian... Let the bookworms have their fun. And that big man, Drace? A soldier, probably? The other girl? Dunno...
Turning toward Doctor Stefan, Teileanathis and Sentir
What strange and unusual books... Boys, I'm sure you'd like to have a closer look at these tomes? The poor professor has probably left some notes. Check for anything about the Whispering Way, Harrowstone and so on...
Looking at Drace and Tara
Drace- i know you are a boy too of course, and maybe Tara would like to check the books too, even if she's not a "boy"...Nevermind!-would you be so kind as to check the house, see if everything is all right? Kendra must know she is safe. Tara, if you don't want to peruse the books, I guess our host would like some company and some words of comfort...
The redhead nearly blushes
Sorry, we Pharasmin are used to take charge and give orders in time of crisis, like a when a woman delivers her child, or a man lets out his final breath... I didn't want to sound rude, and I apologise.
Vivian takes Kendra's hand in hers
Kendra, we don't know if your father was murdered or if it was an accident. His last will shows he was worried about something, but his death could have been accidental. We will try to find what happened, and we will do our best to protect you. This is another shock for you, surely.But you are not alone, we're here, with you. and if one month is not enough, I'll stay more. I promise.
Diplomacy to calm Kendra, if needed?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
After reading the journal Drace cursed softly. "He should have let us know...this is exactly what we investigate."
Clearing his throat Drace looks at Kendra as Vivian calms her down. "What happened to Harrowstone? It burn down? In either case this is something that needs to be investigated."
"Stay here a moment, best to make sure we're really alone." Drace said nodding once to Vivian as he moved to ensure the doors and windows were properly locked or latched, and that no one unexpected was in the house.
As people discuss the journal, Teil instead concentrates on the books in question. If the Professor thought these dangerous, then surely I must tread with caution.
Knowedge History: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Expressing more confidence in his role in the mission before him, the teifling becomes more assertive in his normally blunt manner. "The professor seems to have considered these books and those they must be delivered to to be of the utmost importance. We should certainly look to fulfilling these tasks in order to learn more of what is happening in Harrowstone, once our month has passed."
Sentir nodded approvingly as Drace went to check the house. It was obvious they were now treading in deep water, with ghosts, burned prisons and secret cults. It was frightening, but not totally unexpected. The Professor dabbled in many areas, and obviously was dedicated against evil. Sentir just never guessed it was so....direct a connection.
He sidled over near the books, as Teil examined them with an obviously practiced eye and hand. Still Sentir was good with words and paper, and he takes in the bound books, hoping to help the brilliant teifling.
Aid Another with Knowledge History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Raising an eyebrow at the strange request from the late professor, Tara straightens her mourning gown and allows the others to inspect the chest and read aloud from the professor's journal. "The professor, murdered by a horrid cult?! I cannot let this injustice stand." Slamming her fist down, Tara stands clearly agitated. For a brief moment, she looks positively monstrous.
Almost immediately, Tara flusters and shrinks back, clearly uncomfortable. "I'm sorry for my outburst, Kendra. But to think that the professor may have been killed by such brutes makes my blood boil." Taking a deep breath, Tara looks uncomfortable at Vivian. "I am aware how Pharasmin's operate, I've studied and lived with them after I left Professor Lorrimor's tutelage." Seeing Teilaenthis inspecting a strange tome, Tara tilts her head.
Something about the book appeared strangely familiar, but she couldn't quiet place it. Maybe it was in the professor's collection when she came to study under him? "Kendra, it will be my pleasure to stay here to help. After all, things are beginning to get interesting around here." Offering a comforting smile to the Lorrimor heiress, Tara returns to her seat, as she await for Drace to return.
Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Looking over Tara's shoulder, he also examines the book
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11
Shrugging his shoulders, he picks up the journal again and thumbs through it. The Whispering Way... Petros warned me about them all those years ago... and that warning is why I abandoned my studies of magic for medicine. What did that book he'd lent me all those years ago say about them...?
Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Vivian's words appear to calm Kendra for the moment, "Yes, yes. You are right. I shouldn't rush off to conclusions in my current mood. I would appreciate all of you staying here for the month and helping me get to the bottom of all this."
Before Drace moves off to check the house, Kendra answers his question about Harrowstone, "Yes, there was a fire there many years ago, and it used to be a prison. I'm afraid my knowledge of the place only extends that far at the moment."
Drace finds the doors all locked and bolted, and the windows locked. There are also shutters on every window, but none of them are currently in use, although curtains obscure activity inside the house for the most part. He does not see anyone else in or near the home at this time.
The purple covered book with the eye and scarab looks vaguely familiar to Teilaenthis, Sentir, Tara, and Stefan, but none of them can quite place it.
At Tara's outburst, Kendra merely seems to echo her anger, albeit less overtly, "Do not trouble yourself over it, it's very upsetting news. I hope we can harness your passion in finding out what happened to Father."
After a few moments of contemplation, Dr. Von Herzog recalls some significant facts about the Whispering Way.
The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.
Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.
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.
”I can tell you one thing, Father would never rush into anything without doing research first if he could not help it. Perhaps you should find out all you can about Harrowstone and the Whispering Way before you go to the prison? I would not want to see any of you kind people to meet the same fate. You may want to consult some of the local libraries in town, as well as the one my father kept in this house. The town hall, the temple of Pharasma, and the Unfurling Scroll all keep sizable collections, but they may not be forthcoming to strangers, although I'd wager that old Alendru at the Scroll would charge a fee.” Kendra suggests after thinking things over logically for a minute.
We've reached the more sandbox-like part of this first book, so in an effort to to prevent things from slowing down due to the players being unsure what to do next, I'm providing a list of potential options. Currently we're going to go day by day on actions, since some things that occur at this point in the story are time dependent. At the present moment in the game, it's evening on the first day.
Visiting locations in town: I'll be providing a map and legend of all the major locations of Ravengro on the campaign info page. Most business establishments are closed after sundown, with the exception of the tavern and the inn. This is the obvious choice when making purchases around town. If you wish to engage NPC's for local rumors or for a Diplomacy (gather information) check about a research topic please pick the locations where you want to perform these actions. How long these actions take depends on what you're trying to do.
Rumors: You can canvas the village to see what the townfolk are currently gossiping about. It requires a Diplomacy check and takes 1d4 hours to complete. Also, it'll help if you tell me what location in town you're visiting to hear these rumors.
Research: You can make a one time check Knowledge check to ascertain what you know already about the following topics, or spend a full day researching in a local library. As Kendra's dialogue hinted, some of the libraries might require some coaxing to utilize. To save some time, I've indicated which libraries are useful for which topics, since Kendra would have a good idea of this and to save us all some time.
• Topic: Harrowstone Prison (Town Hall, Temple of Pharasma, Unfurling Scroll), uses Knowledge (history or local).
• Topic: Whispering Way (Lorrimor Place, Town Hall, Temple of Pharasma), uses Knowledge (arcana or religion). Dr. Stefan knows a lot about this topic already, but he might not know everything.
Investigating locations mentioned in Lorrimor's journal: He specifically mentions a false crypt and Harrowstone.
Something else I haven't listed: The list above is provided to just give you some structure if necessary, you can ultimately do whatever you wish.
If you have any questions about any of these, please ask.
Taking a deep breath as Kendra echoes her passion, Tara rubs the back of her neck. "I would suggest that we all move in at least pairs, if not a group. I am personally interested in visiting the local chapter of the Pharasmian temple to see if we can convince them to allow us use of their library. It also sounds like a perfect place to do some base research, unless someone wants to visit the graveyard to look for the elusive false crypt? Of course, I would like to change before we depart, if that is alright with everyone."
Teil looks at the priestess appraisingly. "I work well in libraries, researching and such. I would accompany you to begin there before we start formal exploration." Unless your temple will shun me as many have...
Sentir stands up, prying his eyes from the intriguing books. It was just on the tip on his tongue, but he could recall nothing. He could tell Dr. Herzog knew something, but the young oracle didn't ask. Instead he turned to Kendra and said, “I promise I will do my best to uncover the shadows surrounding your father's death.” he nods to Tara and Teil.
“I trust you to the library. I will head to the local watering hole to find some info, and perhaps smooth over our little ruckus at the funeral. Will anyone join me, or otherwise back me up physically?” he looks imploringly to Drace, armored and armed. Might be nice to have some muscle around.
Sentir moves toward the door, nodding to the others. “We have a lot of work to do.” It seemed a bald statement, but useful. Looking at the strange book titles, he adds, Let's not stay out after dark, nasty business going on. .
I'm going to allow the others a little time before proceeding forward, although I wanted to point out a couple of things. First, it's early evening so you won't be able to get any real research done today at any site outside of the Lorrimor home. Also, if some of you end up going out to the tavern or inn, please let me know what sort of information you're looking for (i.e., gathering information about Harrowstone or listening to rumors).
Whatever we decide, I think it can wait until tomorrow morning. That will leave the more educated of us time enough to check on the books, and get maybe some information, while all the over talkative, hyperactive redheads of our group take care of our gentle hostess.
She smiles and winks at Kendra
If Tara and Teilaenthis -can I simply call you Teil?-go to the temple of Pharasma, Sentir and Dace to the tavern, I 'll go to the Town Hall with Doctor Stefan for some info on Harrowstone. On the afternoon, we'll check the cemetary for the false crypt mentioned by your father, Kendra. As a worshipper of the Lady of the Grave myself, I'm not that confortable with entering a tomb, even if it's a fake one. I'll let you decide, Tara, if the priests approval on that subject shall be needed and asked for.
"Teil will do. And we can go to the library in the morning. I may retire to a room rather than join you all in a tavern, my appearance can have a disquieting effect on certain townsfolk."
"Staying here for the night is probably best...let the town's temper cool and we can get a fresh start in the morning." Drace echoing Vivian's sentiments. "Sentir and I will see what we can dig up around town. I was thinking it actually might be better to stop in on some of the shops in town, they're likely more used to talking to travelers - especially ones who are spending coin. We'll have more information to work from as the day progresses at least."
Drace pauses to think for a moment. "Do you wish for one of us to stay with you Kendra? Or come with one of us? I don't want you to think you are being abandoned as we follow up on your father's work."
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan nods in agreement. "Perhaps the research should wait until the morning. I would not mind having a drink and a meal at the tavern, now that it's getting late."
He pauses a moment, as if deliberating whether or not to express his thoughts. With a sigh, he adds, "I am somewhat familiar with the organization that Petros mentioned in his journal. The Whispering Way is indeed a cabal of necromancers, and as Petros alluded in his journal, they're more than that. The members seek immortality through undeath. The group is also very, very old-- old enough that it counts the Whispering Tyrant himself as a member. The group guards its secrets closely: they don't commit their lore to writing. Their secrets are whispered to each other in person. Outsiders who learn too many of their secrets usually turn up dead."
He pauses again, perhaps for dramatic effect, and looks around the room, meeting the gaze of everyone. "I think we can safely assume that the Whispering Way is responsible for the death of the good Professor. If this organization is indeed operating in Ravengro, we must be extremely cautious. Our very lives may depend on that!"
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
After a few moments of awkward silence, Stefan steps closer to Kendra and asks quietly, "Miss Lorri... um, Kendra. You mentioned the existence of an inn in town. Might I enquire if you know what rates they charge for rooms? Since my coach was waylaid, I am presently a bit short on easily accessible funds. I am presently thinking that I might attempt to set up a temporary practice in town so that I might draw some income locally. To that effect, is there a practicing doctor, healer, or midwife in town? I believe that it would be prudent if I introduced myself. Of course, that part should wait until the morning."
Sentir laughs, a bit falsely to himself. He would have sworn it was earlier in the day. Where had the time gone, he thought to himself, looking at the distant sun settling low in the sky. The darkening landscape looked quite unfriendly. he shook his head and turned to Drace.
"Do you have coin, to spend? I have to say, I'm fresh out of gold to buy to loosen tongues. I doubt a bunch of shopkeeps want a disreputable burned oracle and an armed to the teeth man wandering around." Sentir shurgs, perhaps misjudging the circumstances and maybe Drace really was rich.
He then gave Dr. Herzog an odd look, "You want to move here? Have you noticed don't seem all that friendly. Not the place I'd like to put down roots, Doctor."
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Raising an eyebrow at Sentir, the doctor replies, "Petros asked us to stay a month at least. That would be time enough to set up a temporary practice-- especially as I don't currently have enough funds to return to my office in Lepidstadt. And there is no Bank of Abadar in Ravengro that I'm aware of, so I would not be able to cash a letter of credit were I to have my solicitor to send me one."
In response to Drace's question to Kendra about staying with at least one person in the group, she answers, "I hardly think it would be fair to ask any of you to serve as a *Ahem* bodyguard, but I certainly would be willing to escort you around town and assist where I may."
With some of the group expressing interest in visiting the local taverns, she then explains, "There are two establishments in town that the locals visit. The first is a tavern the Laughing Demon, it's owned by Zokar Elkarid, whom you've all seen him today at the funeral. The other is located inside the Outward Inn. Most of the farmhands tend to drink at the Demon, while travelers and those with more resources spend time at the Inn. Occasionally the Inn hires a bard or a musician to play for the crowd."
"I believe the rates at the Inn are quite consistent with the average prices for rooms in this part of the country. Although if you want start a temporary practice, you may need to get the word out using the posting poles. Most healing in the village is done either through the Temple of Pharasma or medicine obtained from Jominda’s Apothecary." She adds in response to the Doctor's questions.
Ok, for those of you who are planning to do something tonight, please post what that is and where you are going. Once we've covered that, we'll move to the next day.
"More bad history of our country..." Drace said shaking his head at the Doctor's revelations. "I am tempted to agree with you in either case. They are known for their subtlety and perseverance."
As the conversation floats around the room he pauses to listen to Sentir. "People will see what they want to see." Drace said sagely. "With luck they will see two travelers looking to spend coin and make small talk. Either way, I need more trail rations, fish hooks and other supplies just in case. We'll stop at the tavern afterwards - my treat, not to worry."
"That is a good idea Doctor, an extra bit of income never goes wrong. It may help relax everyone too."
If the offer is open, Drace will stay at the Lorrimor house and wind down for the night.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
If Kendra offers to let him stay at her home, the doctor will accept. However, he would not impose on her by asking that she put him up for the night. If there is no offer of accommodations, Stefan will then take his leave for the evening and check in to the Outward Inn for the night.
Kendra insists that she has plenty of room in her home for all 6 of you, and, perhaps with Vivian's assistance, sets up beds for everyone, although two of you will need to share a room with twin beds. The night passes uneventfully until morning.
Day Two: Pharast the 26th.
Your sleep is interrupted shortly after dawn with some loud banging on the front door. Afterwards, Kendra gently, but firmly wakes each of you up by advising, "There's been an incident nearby."
Once everyone has awoken, you find Kendra in the kitchen preparing a light breakfast of toasted bread, jam, and freshly brewed tea. After a brief apology to Drace for not currently having any coffee, she explains, "Someone vandalized the Harrowstone memorial! The drew a letter 'V' in blood and splattered the rest around the grounds! I do not have any more details yet, that was Zokar's eldest who was at the door earlier informing the town."
If you want to change your actions today based on this, let me know. I'll wait again for confirmation before moving on.
When Kendra appears to wake Tara up, it is clear that the cleric has been up for some time. No longer dressed in her heavy mourning gown, Tara wears a simple exploring outfit, favoring the lighter colors of Pharasmin worship. As Kendra mentions an incident, Tara quickly puts down her personal copy of The Bones Land in a Spiral, to follow Kendra to the kitchen.
Tara offers to help Kendra the best she can, but with no formal training in cooking, the best she can do is set the table and fetch butter and sugar for everyone. As the last person files in, and Kendra inform the group about the memorial, Tara furrows her brow. "The Harrowstone memorial? Why would anyone want to deface something like that?" Nibbling at a piece of toast, Tara continues to move around as she helps clean some of the pots used for cooking.
Vivan, did you want to share a room with Tara?
"Yes, it was constructed to honor the guards and other prison workers who lost their lives in the fire. I really have no idea why anyone would vandalize it, especially in that vile of a manner. I hope it's not related to what happen to Father, but..." Kendra trails off, indicating she's already beginning to jump to conclusions.
"It might have been, it might have not. In either case as much as I would like to check the place out. I'm concerned that our presence would cause a problem from any of the villagers. Is there a town sheriff or guard that we can ask to keep the villagers away?"
Sentir yawned and made his way to the table. He soon realized he had missed some important news, while he had stumbled through his morning routine. Vandalism, blood? Perhaps even something darker? Allt he rumors they had thought about last night swirled again.
He nodded along with Drace and added, "I'd like to come with you, Drace, to check out the scene of the crime. I'm sure you could use the back-up. None of us should go anywhere alone."
"Yes, we have a sheriff, Benjan Caeller, and four deputies. You can probably find someone at the jail, but I would suspect that some of them are at the monument right now. I believe I will come along, if that would be all right? Just allow me to gather my things." Kendra requests as she makes her way out of the kitchen, adding, "At the very least my presence may soothe any suspicion that may arise by the presence of strangers."
Drace nodded to both Sentir and Kenra, "I would definitely welcome your company Sentir, Kendra."
Looking towards the rest of the party "Are we splitting up for the day, or will we all go to the Memorial?"
Pursing her lips and thinking about the choice, Tara contemplates. "I'm sure that the library will be there in the afternoon. This defacement, however might not be. I would like to inspect this monument. It may give us something else to research, as well, Teilaenthis." Drying her hands off, Tara offers a friendly good morning to Drace, before heading upstairs to grab her spell component pouch and other gear, just encase of an ambush.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
When Kendra knocks on Stefan's door, she finds him studying a large leather-bound tome. He closes the book as quickly as he says, "Come in." He takes the news with grim interest.
Not long thereafter, the doctor descends the stairs dressed much as he was the previous day, although today he wears a blue cravat.
Over breakfast, he remarks, "I would like to inspect the monument as well. I'll join you all."
Ok, since that's 5 votes to check out the memorial, we'll proceed with that. If Vivian chooses not to go, I'll run her stuff separately as needed.
Kendra needs relatively little time to ready herself, and soon the group leaves her home to proceed to the Harrowstone memorial. The air is cool and crisp, although when the sun peaks occasionally out of the clouds, the temperature is almost comfortable. Kendra leads you along the town road that goes west for a bit before curving to the northwest. Once you reach the south bridge, you leave the road and following the shoreline for 200 feet before reaching the memorial.
A small crowd of villagers have gathered around the statue, but a tall, middle-aged man in a wide brimmed hat along with two young men and one woman work to keep them back from the statue.
The statue itself is a 25-foot-tall, moss-covered stone statue that overlooks the river. It depicts a proud, muscular human man dressed in leathers and wielding a truncheon. On the base is chiseled a number of names.
Smeared on that base, you can clearly see the letter 'V' smeared in a red liquid, presumably blood. Covering the rest of the base, part of the statue, and some of the nearby sand and grass is more blood, drying in the sun.
Kendra walks to the edge of the crowd and calls out to the man in the hat, "Sheriff Caeller, can you tell us what happened here?"
He gives Kendra a strange look and quickly assesses the men and women who accompany her, "I think it's plenty plain as day. Who are your friends?"
In a confident, self-assured manner, Kendra replies, "They came for my father's funeral. Old friends and acquaintances. We're all clearly troubled by the news of this, so we thought we'd take a look."
"Huh, not a very appropriate welcome to town, is it?" The sheriff observes dryly.