"We'll certainly keep you abreast of any issues sheriff." Drace said diplomatically. "If there is anything that we can help with specifically. Let us know as well."
Drace's eyes go wide at the mention of the necromancer. "What has happened in the Restlands?"
Nodding at Sentir, "How many days was it since the first letter? Two? If it follows the same pattern...it might be worth taking a closer look at this. Though I'm interested in learning about the other prisoners as well."
It's been three days since the first blood splatter letter.
"Access to the Town Hall is out of my jurisdiction, unless you have some specific piece of information you need out of there that you can't get out of the Temple." The Sheriff explains to Vivian, then fields Sentir's inquiry, "There's some of the villagers grumbling about forming a militia, but it's all talk right now. I think you folks would probably agree with me that that would probably be a bad thing for you, with all the suspicion in the air. I might ask the Council about having a town meeting, if things don't start quieting down."
He then answers Drace about the Restlands, "Like I said, there's been rumors about undead coming out there. I can't really go into details, but I'd stay away from there unless you know something that I don't. This Splatter Man definitely wouldn't be buried in there, so it doesn't appear related on the surface."
Once you're done talking to the Sheriff and looking around the Monument, feel free to make your Investigation rolls at the Temple or declare an alternate action if you wish.
What do we do? Back to the temple to find some answers in the library? Or elsewhere? I'll need a shortbow too, but I'm a bit short in money so far...
If we go to the Temple, resarch roll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8 Not tonight, Josephine...
People are scared if they speak of forming a militia and taking the law in their own hands...That can't end well.
Having kept silent when dealing with the Sheriff, Teilaenthis responds when the library is mentioned. "Yes, hopefully more answers can be found with further study."
Best if I let the others deal with the local constabulary... with oddities such as this about, superstitions turn too easily onto those like me.
At the library, Teil begins to direct the others in research in the same manner that worked well the day before.
Take 10 for an 18 knowledge history, hoping others aid in the search.
"Found this buried under a pile of manuscripts." Drace said handling a book gently. "It seems like it could be useful."
Knowledge History: 1d20 ⇒ 19
Since I'm after the fact, I will aid Teli in his research. I will leave the choice of who to research to him. I don't want to step on him if he has an idea.
Tara Follows behind Teilaenthis and Drace, helping them by carefully pulling books and looking through old records of former parishioners of the faith. As she shifts through some old records, she sets aside anyone who held a position at the church along with any interesting cases of swindling. "Here, these might be of use to you as well. I'm not sure where else to go from here."
Untrained Knowledge History Aide Tiel: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Ok, with the library bonus to Teil's 18 and the successful aid by two of the party, that's enough for another name.
The Temple appears much more subdued today than yesterday, as most of the clergy are not present. The couple of acolytes who do remain take turns in the library working, looking up occasionally to keep tabs on the group's activity.
After another exhaustive day of pouring through the archives, Teilaenthis and the rest of the party work together to discover some information about the prisoner known as Father Charlatan.
Father Charlatan (Real Name: Sefick Corvin)
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 traveling 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.
Let me know if Sentir has a day action, and if the rest of you want to do anything in evening, otherwise we'll move to the next day.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan would have also assisted with the research at the temple. Sorry for not posting in a couple of days-- real life has been rather challenging of late.
Day 6: Pharast 30th
As you awaken on the next day, Kendra informs the group that she's heard that the village council has called a meeting at town hall for tomorrow evening, and suggests that you all attend, despite not being explicitly invited.
Feel free to declare your actions for the next day, making the research rolls as appropriate and declaring which prisoner you're attempting to research: The Lopper, The Mosswater Marauder, or The Piper of Illmarch.
"We aren't invited? We actually find clues, save the Inn from stirges, and even prevent a general undead uprising and the town STILL doesn't trust us? By whatever unknown god watches over me, I am losing patience with these people." Sentir gripes.
Knowledge History: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
The Piper of Illmarch
Drace will help out with the research.
Knowledge Assist: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Sorry for the gap! Wedding stuff is coming to a crunch for the next three/four days then I should be alive for a little while again.
Not sure if Sentir is leading the research this time or if that was an aid-another on Teil...
Teilienthis continues to voraciously research the library.
Take 10 for 18 or:
Assist Sentir: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Following the group back to the temple, Tara offers a quick morning prayer to Pharasma before helping Teil with more research. "I don't think that it was a personal snub, Mr. Damutu. We just were not personally invited, most likely because we are just temporary inhabitants." Pulling out some tomes, Tara leaves them within easy reach of both researchers.
Know. History Untrained Aide Another: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
"Thank you for letting us know about the town meeting, Miss Lorri... er... Kendra. I concur with that our presence at the meeting would be prudent. Did you happen to hear of any specific agenda items on the docket?"
Stefan also assists with research at the library.
Takes 10 on Knowledge (history) - Aid Another for 10 + 3 = 13.
I don't think you can take 10 on an aid another roll, Stefan: from the PRD: Aid Another
Aid AnotherYou can help someone achieve success on a skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you're helping gets a +2 bonus on his or her check. (You can't take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character's help won't be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.
It looks like Vivian is correct on that, but the DC necessary for the Knowledge check has been reached already for today so no need to roll Stefan.
"I believe the meeting is to discuss all the strange events in town, that is the vandalism, the undead sightings, and the stirge attack." Kendra replies to Stefan's question, shuddering at the thought of the last event. "Presumably after the discussion they will try to come up with some solutions."
* * *
The mood continues to be even more somber than one would expect at a temple dedicated to the goddess of Death, as a few acolytes come and go throughout the day speaking to each other in hushed whispers. From what little information you can gather from eavesdropping, the majority of the clergy were busy yesterday with dealing with some zombies infesting a local farm. The dark glances they offer to the group suggest that they probably would not be willing to talk with you all about it, however.
Nevertheless, the group is allowed to research in peace, this time with Sentir leading the investigation. At the end of day, information concerning the Piper of Illmarch is discovered, misfiled in with musical theory. Perhaps they do need to reorganize their library after all.
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.
* * *
On your return walk to the Lorrimor residence after a long day at the Temple, you hear a blood-curdling scream that seems to originate near your destination. Quickly picking up the pace, you soon discover Kendra standing in severe shock at the door, while a zombie paws at her with a groan.
Although covered in dirt with its face smashed in, you believe that the zombie bares a striking likeness to Professor Petros Lorrimor.
Here is a link to the map. The squares outside the home were a little unclear, so I added them. My apologies that some of them are slightly crooked. It's a trial run later when we have to deal with maps with 10' squares.
Drace's Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Sentir's Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Stefan's Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Tara's Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Teilaenthis' Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Vivian's Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Z: 1d20 ⇒ 6
K: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Initiative (Round 1)
Vivian <= Up
Tara <= Up
Stefan <= Up
Drace <= Up
Sentir <= Up
Vivian, Tara, Stefan, Drace, and Sentir can go. I'll bot Tara and Drace as necessary once everyone else goes.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Vivian's emerald eyes widen with shock and fear. She takes her short sword with a trembling hand, and reluctantly tries to hit the walking monstruosity
Sh.Sword: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
dmg: 1d6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 1 = 4
Her blade goes nowhere near the rotting flesh
"Kendra!" Tara's feet move before she realizes what she is doing in an effort to get closer to the unnatural abomination. Her hand flits its way to her holy symbol as she calls on Pharasma to flood the area with her presences.
Channel to harm undead: 1d6 ⇒ 5 DC 12 for half damage
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan moves forward, gesticulating with his right hand. His gold-and-onyx ring glows brightly, and then a ray of white energy fires from his outstretched palm at the zombie.
Casts disrupt undead.
Ranged touch attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 1
Sentir's mind breaks free of the book work they have been doing, as he sees the shambling monster in front of the door. He dashes forward, just behind the doctor and Tara, leaving Drace clear room to charge.
With his blackened and scarred hands, the oracle lifts his crossbow and fires a bolt at the creature, hoping to send it back to it's grave.
"Watch out Kendra, we are coming!" he shouts tot he obviously terrified woman.
Crossbow Attack: 1d20 + 2 - 4 ⇒ (15) + 2 - 4 = 13
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7
Despite experiencing a horrific realization, Vivian moves in to engage the zombie, but her foot slips and she fails to connect with her short sword.
Tara calls upon Pharasma to flood the area with positive energy designated to harm undead. Although the zombie is injured by the burst, it resists the worst of the effect.
Quickly casting a spell, Dr. Von Herzog shoots a ray of energy at the undead creature and burns a little of the dead flesh.
Unable to aim properly in the chaotic situation, Sentir's crossbow bolt misses its mark and lodges itself into the door frame. This missed due to the penalty you receive from firing into melee.
Will Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Drace quickly closes with the creature and strikes out with his scimitar, quickly cutting the zombie down.
Drace Scimitar: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Confirmation: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Damage: 2d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 5) + 6 = 16
As it collapses in an inert pile at Kendra's feet, the young woman continues to stare at the zombie with a mixture of horror and revulsion. "No, no, no. This cannot be! I simply cannot bear this!" Without another word, she flees from the doorway and retreats into her room.
Feel free to make a perception check now to look at the spoiler in my last post if you haven't already.
Vivian put her short sword back to its scabbard, and runs after Kendra, shouting to the others
Dispatch this corpse, quick! There must be no trace, for Kendra's sake
Then she will do her best to soothe and confort the woman, listening to her when needed, talking when she can, even if the words are hard to come sometimes
Diplo?: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
After the fight, Stefan takes a closer look at the now-still zombie, checking to see how fresh the corpse had been.
Heal: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
I think it might be safe to say that he recognizes the corpse after the fight is over...
"By the Lady of Graves! What foul necromancy is this?!"
Sentir nearly vomits at the sight of the undead's face. "Dear gods, known and unknown...". He shudders and turns away. The Professor's body, forced to return against his will as a mindless, shambling undead.
"I think this means we will have more to report at the town meeting tonight...Drace, Teil, shall we bury the Professor? I'm not great with a shovel, but the Professor is worth it.". Overcoming his wave of disgust, the oracle grabs the battered and bloody body.
A point of clarification: The town meeting is tomorrow.
Chasing after Kendra, Vivian finds the woman's door locked, while anguished screams can be heard behind it, muffled slightly as if into a pillow. After some gentle coaxing, Kendra allows her inside, but has very little say as she remains in shock, alternating between sobbing and beating her fists on the bed.
As everyone in the group was familiar with the departed Professor in some fashion, it's easy to identify him as the destroyed zombie before you. With his training, Dr. Von Herzog ascertains that what little decay the body shows is consistent with the date of his death and transformation into an undead creature.
Yes, please let me know what you're doing with the body.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Staggering backwards at the realization of who the zombie was, Tara's features contort in regret and anger. "Professor." she breathes out, reaching a shaking hand down to the remains. "I'll go fetch Father Grimburrow. He should know about this." Allowing Sentir, Drace, and Teilaenthis to guard the body, Tara races towards the church, banging on the door and demanding Father Grimburrow attention at once.
Tara will race towards the Church as quickly as she can and try to drag Father Grimburrow back to the estate.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
After Vivian enters the house to comfort Kendra, and Tara runs off to fetch a senior priest, Stefan looks up at his remaining companions. "Let's move him away from the house. There's no need for Kendra to see this again."
Father Grimburrow appeared annoyed when his dinner is interrupted by Tara, but his expression quickly changes to concern once she explains the situation. Calling two of the temple's acolytes to accompany them, he follows Tara back to the house.
Arriving on the scene, he examines the body with a pained sigh, "Things have gotten worse than I thought. I expect each of you to keep this in the strictest confidence, but the dead have been rising in the Restlands, the foulest perversion imaginable of a site dedicated to the Lady of Graves. We've been looking into what might be causing this, but haven't discovered anything yet. I have been hoping that you might have found something useful in our archives." He looks to the group for confirmation of that while his acolytes begin covering the Professor's body in a shroud for removal.
Saddened that he had to cut down the very professor he came to bury, Drace spoke softly.
"We've been researching some of the more prominent prisoners that were killed in the prison fire, so far some of the odd events in the town have matched their crimes while they still were alive. We haven't yet researched the Town hall records however." Drace explained to the priest. "If there is anyway you can help us get access to those records, we might be able to speed up our investigation."
"Why is there a connection between those prisoners and the town?" The elder cleric asks, rubbing his forehead, "I can't get you access to the Town Hall records, the Council doesn't open them up for newcomers unless you have a position in the government. I'm sure anything you need to find will be in our archive."
"Oh yes, before I forget," Father Grimburrow continues, now looking at Tara, "That symbol you asked about with the scarab and the eye? That represents some secret society called the Order of the Palatine Eye or some such nonsense. My acolyte couldn't find any additional information about it other than the name."
Speaking up Teil adds, "From what we have learned, several of the events that have occurred seem to have links to the old prisoners. Specifically the red lettering and the stirges. So there is a link, whether it is supernatural or mundane remains to be established."
"The prisoners died a violent and brutal death - being trapped in the prison fire, I'm tempted to think that either someone is re-enacting their crimes on the town as a copycat, or someone has called their spirits back and this town is conveniently nearby for them to prey on."
A look of appall appears on Tara's face as the oracle snaps at Father Grimburrow. "Sentir!" she snaps, flushing with embarrassment and anger at his outburst. "I am just as upset with what is happening here as you are, but you do not need to take out your frustrations on Father Grimburrow." Crossing her arms and turning away from the man, her features soften as she looks to the spiritual leader.
"Thank you father, I appreciate the information. It may be important later, but right now I don't seem to be able to find the connection." The anger and fear drains out of Tara as she watches the acolytes remove the professor's body. "Father, if there is anything I can do to help out at the Church, please let me know." Listening to Drace's and Teilaenthis' comments, Tara looks concerned.
"Stirges? Oh, that must have been when Dr. Von Herzog and I were finishing up research in the manor library. Let's hope that the Lopper and the Mosswater Marauder may have something to do with the undead infestation." Crossing her arms to keep some warmth in, Tara turns her gaze towards the Restlands, feeling an uncomfortable chill with the thought of someone creating undead and unleashing them into the populace.
|Dr. Stefan Von Herzog|
Stefan places his hand on Sentir's shoulder, "Now, now, my friend. Father Grimburrow has been more than gracious with us. There's no need for sharp words."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Stefan looks left and right to make sure the acolytes aren't in earshot. He steps close to Grimburrow, and says in a very quiet voice, "We found the Professor's notes on what he'd been working on during the week before his death. He was convinced that an ancient cabal of necromancers had taken an interest in Harrowstone Prison. However, he had not yet deduced exactly what they were attempting to accomplish. On the day he died, Petros noted that he was planning to return to Harrowstone to try to learn what they wanted, and he feared that he would not return. He also mentioned that Harrowstone hosted malevolent spirits that had thwarted his earlier attempts. We have concluded that the Professor was unable to stop the cabal, and whatever they did at Harrowstone is the direct cause of the disturbing turn of events that are now occurring."
"Oh, it's all right. It's a stressful time for us all." Father Grimburrow says in response to Sentir's words, although his eyes do focus a few moments on the Oracle's hands, "I merely hold most so-called secret societies in disdain, for no one can keep secrets from Our Lady of Graves. Not to mention they are typically formed with sinister motives."
He then listens closely to the information gathered so far by the party, frowning as the evidence piles up, "Dark times indeed. Please keep me informed on your progress. Although, you may very well need to venture into the prison to discover the truth. I'm keeping acolytes posted outside the cemetery gates, we should be able to prevent anymore of the dead from leaving the Restlands, but the sooner we can stop this the better. You will still have access to our archives as long as you need it. Will you be attending the town meeting tomorrow? You may be able to sway the town leaders to assist you."
As the conversation continues, The Pharasmin acolytes finish covering the Professor in a shroud and begin a series of short prayers to re-consecrating the body.
Sentir's anger blows out quickly at Tara's repreimand and then Grimburrow's kind answer. the young oracle hides his burned and blackened hands self-consciously before answering, contritely, "Forgive me, Father. It was merely the stress of seeing the professor again....We plan on going to the meeting. Will you speak for us? I know many in town are suspicious of stranger,s doubly so in these dark times. Someone of your caliber might be able to calm those waters? We all need to work together to stop whatever darkness is growing here.". Sentir's voice is tired now, and honest.
"If time permits, I'll attend the meeting, yes. I'm quite sure you're more than capable of speaking up for yourselves though." He looks over at his acolytes who have finished praying over the corpse, "We will need to return him to his rightful place, please let me know if you have encounter any more dead." He waits a moment for anything additional before departing with his priests.
Let me know if have anything else for Father Grimburrow or Kendra tonight or wish to do another activity, otherwise I'll move us to the next day.
Vivian stays with Kendra as long as needed, trying to soothe her pain and anguish, to confort her with words and gentleness.
She doesn't say it, but the redhead stays with Kendra to protect her and because she is herself afraid of what might happen.
She waits anxiously for the group to come back, and blames herself for not asking Drace to stay at home to protect them.
Kendra asks to be left alone after a couple hours in order to try to get some sleep, although she is fine with someone standing guard outside if you wish.
Day 7: Pharast 31st
Kendra seems much more calm in the morning as you all begin stirring, although there's very little happiness in her eyes. Once everyone is together, she says, "I cannot thank you enough for honoring my father's last wishes and staying here while I get my life in order. I do not think I could have survived the incident from last night without you here. I have only one additional favor to ask: Please find whatever is causing this and destroy it. I fear that you do not, it will destroy all of us." She sniffles slightly at the thought of last night's incident, but manages to refrain from crying again.
Assuming you are all going to the Temple of Pharasma, go ahead and make your Knowledge rolls and let me know which of the two remaining prisoners you want to research (The Lopper or Mosswater Marauder).
"I think we feel the same way, Kendra." Sentir says gently, looking at the rest of the group. "I promise, at least, to get to the bottom of this and prevent further violence.". His voice is simple and solemn.
At the library, Sentir knows Teil is the smartest of all of them, able to navigate these books with unerring accuracy. The oracle, hands deep in his shelves merely helps find books for the brilliant teifling.
Knowledge Local Aid: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25