The Dragon's Carrion Crown

Game Master The Dragon

An account of Rosalind Levatainn and Henric Xantian's travels throughout Ustalav.

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

Chapter 1 - The Haunting of Harrowstone

The First of Lamashan, 4711AR, 11:00pm
Just outside the Restlands of Ravengro

Zokar Elkarid was kind enough to lend Rosalind and Henric each a room to change in, if they wished. It seemed they would be attending the funeral as well. Once he and his son were done closing up the inn, the small party set out for the Restlands. The night was quiet, the face of the full moon clear in the sky. Zokar's lantern illuminated a cone-shaped section of the path ahead.

The only sound was the crunch of gravel under their feet. As they drew near the entrance to the cemetary, the houses thinned out and gave way to a well-maintained field.

Across the field, a whitewashed wall rose out of the ground, standing roughly the height of a grown man.

The path continued through the wrought iron gate, currently swung wide open, into the Restlands beyond.

Before the gate, the funeral procession, such as it was, had gathered. They were talking in hushed voices, the flickering light of their torches, lanterns and, in the case of Adivion, floating, disembodied point of illumination bathing the congregation in an eerie mix of stark black shadows, and soft, golden light.

Few locals were in attendance. Beyond Adivion Adrissant, Zokar and his son, Pevrin and the six black-robed acolytes, who had taken position around the coffin, only four people were there. Two of them were women, roughly twenty-five years of age. The first was somber, but clearly felt somewhat awkward. She had short, spiky hair that was clearly being held in place by some sort of grease.

Both of the men were middle-aged, both wore a mourning attire that spoke of wealth and a high social position, but whereas one was pudgy, with a well-developed belly and a combination of goatee and trimmed, pointed moustache that might well have made him look quite sharp in his younger days, the other was fit, well-muscled, the lines on his face indicating a penchant for laughter and rogueish grins. His salt and pepper hair was short-cropped, whereas the fat one wore his slicked back in a tied off ponytail.

The other woman steps forward to greet you. "Hello. I'm Kendra, daughter of," She chokes, but clears her throat "Petros Lorrimor. It's... I can't say how grateful I am that you came. I know he wanted you to be here."
She's young, and dressed as befitting for a funeral. She has dark hair, and her eyes are dry, but puffy and irritated.

She took a closer look at Henric, and furrowed her brow as if trying to remember where she'd seen the man before.

Henric remembered - his hand on his best knife, cutting off another piece of scalp, tossing it across the room to join the growing pile of chestnut hair and bleeding tissue - seeing her as a young girl, playing outside Lorimmor's house in Lepidstadt, years prior.

Rosalind may have spent time with Kendra, when you were small, if you want her to. Lorimmor left Lepidstadt for Ravengro fifteen years ago, but with Kendra being twenty-four, you could easily have been childhood friends, or very much *not friends*. Regardless of whether you met, she doesn't seem to remember you right now. It's up to you if you want to make something out of it.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Rosalind was thankful for the chance to change, swapping out her battered cloak and boots for a nicer dress and shoes more befitting of a funeral than a dusty tavern. Just because she was an outsider didn't mean she had to dress in poor taste, and Petros certainly deserved the respect of a well-dressed freak at his funeral. To wear something so shabby would have been a disservice to one of the few people she could call herself even remotely "close" to.

She recognized the woman before her, even if the look in her eyes said that the memory was not mutual. She'd met Kendra a few times when they were both young, albeit Rosalind two years her junior. They had been friends years ago, but for a girl who clung so hard to memories and anybody who showed her even the slightest bit of warmth--and whom she fortunately hadn't vomited black bile all over--it was a little disheartening to see her now completely unaware of who she was.

"It has been so long, Kendra," she said, offering her hand toward her with a solemn bow of her head. "I don not believe you remember me, not that I could blame you after all these years. Though I wish we could have met again under better circumstances. As someone who recently lost her mother, you have my deepest condolences."

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

Henric had taken the opportunity to change elements of his clothing - black may have been cliché, but it was certainly the most appropriate shade for such a somber occasion. He checked himself in a small mirror, ensuring that no blue was showing beneath the carefully-applied pigments. He straightened his collar and cravat, snapped on his cuff links, and slid the vial into the breast pocket of his coat.nit was better to be safe than sorry.

"I'm sure you would understand, old friend," he muttered, combing his hair one last time before joining the small party.

so late so dark so why are there so few people why didnt he trap it has to be a

The crunch of gravel helped to silence the thoughts, as he fell into the rhythm of steps and cane. The steady noises, the bobbing of the lantern, the occasional flutter of wings as some night-bird passed in unseen places nearby. All were comforting and predictable. The way things should be.

His eyes skimmed over the others gathered, picking out details and filing them neatly away. The position of the lines on the trim man's face; the stance of the other; the slight fidgeting of the awkward woman. He was just studying the relative positions of the acolytes when Kendra's voice snapped him from his thoughts.

The sense-memory of the knife cold in his hand, he cleared his throat, inclining his body in a small, stiff bow. "Henric. I am sorry for your loss, Miss Lorrimor. Your father was one of my closest associates, and a good man." He straightened, unsure whether to confirm their previous meeting, while trying to ignore the memory - gods knew how old - of knife scraping against bone, of the tune whistling on his lips as he worked.

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

For a moment, Kendra looked confused. Then recognition lit her eyes. "Oh, Rosa!" She closed the distance between them almost at a run, and embraced the sorceress in a tight hug. If the small shakes Rosalind felt going through Kendra were sobs, she repressed them well. "I'm so sorry - everything is just... dreadful."

She pressed Rosalind close one last time, before letting go of her, and spoke in a low voice. "Would you stay with me after the funeral? I know it's a little strange to ask, after all these years -" She broke off and took a step back, smoothing down her attire and wiping at her eyes surreptiously.

Once she had regained a measure of her dignity, she returned Henric's bow with a curtsey. "Thank you, Mr. Xantian," She recalled his full name, "That he was."


"Now that everyone is here, we're ready." The guests put out their torches and lights, and the scene was plunged into a few seconds of darkness, until your eyes adapted to the night.

The black-clad acolytes heaved the decorated coffin onto their shoulders, and the funeral procession formed up behind them, Kendra in front. They began their slow march into the Restlands.

The cemetary was well maintained. The distinction between the grass and the gravel path was sharply defined, the grass itself kept at just that length. The tombstones were likewise free of moss and other growths, although incriptions had withered off in places, Henric could make out with his nightvision. The graves themselves were neatly lined with hedges of varyous heights.

The sky was cloudless, lit to something approaching brightness by the full moon and countless stars. The autumn air was chilly, but still. Somewhere off in the distance, and owl hooted, the only sound not originating from the funeralgoers themselves.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Rosalind smiled, meeting her old friend in the tight embrace of someone who clearly understood what she was going through. She held tightly onto her, patting her back and nodding. "Of course I will," she said gently. "Given certain circumstances, my leave of bereavement with the university is an open-ended situation, and I will be here for as long as you need." She didn't want to go into details about her own tragedy on a day meant for Kendra to grieve, so she kept vague and supportive, smoothing her own dress out a little and stepping away to give her space for others to offer their condolences, surprised to find it's only seemingly her and another present from out of town.

During the procession she kept quiet, head hung low as she shuffled slowly along the dark cemetary path, gaze focused largely on her feet and making sure she didn't trip and embarrass herself. Not that she would say anything about it, but she silently cursed Petros for deciding his funeral ought to be at night.

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

"You've grown plenty since we last met," Henric said with a small smile, standing stiffly once more, as if incapable of a relaxed pose. "A shame that such events led to our reacquaintance. It pains me to see so few in attendance."

As the procession began the slow walk, he looked over the small party. The pale girl draped in black was intriguing - where had he seen her before? An image crossed his mind of a girl waltzing across an Opparan ballroom, her pink and gold dress luxuriant under the enchanted lighting, extending a slender arm to him with dark eyes full of promise, but that was impossible. Shaking his head, he resigned it to a mere confusion of a previous self, though as he took his place near the back of the procession, his lips formed the name, commiting it to memory.


"Here," he offered, cocking an arm to the girl as she shuffled along the path. "You seem unsteady." Perhaps it was the ghostly memory, the chivalrous urge of his previous self, but the girl was apparently struggling to see comfortably in the dark - and he was, at heart, still a gentleman.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Rose very nearly drew upon her magic as she felt the arm against her, gasping in surprise and nearly acting on pure instinct. It was only the mention of her unsteady pace and the voice she recognized as that of the other outsider visiting for the funeral that kept her from chilling that arm down to the bone. "Thank you," she said cordially, drawing in a sharp breath and digging the fingers of the opposite hand into their palm as she felt the tingling in her arm that said panic was setting in and her skin had begun to darken. Thankfully, the light and her very modest dress would obscure it, but it was still an instinct she wanted to bite down on before she slipped into a coughing fit, or even worse, into tongues. "I'm not used to traveling by moonlight. By your notice, however, I'd say you've eyes much keener than a normal man's."

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

"Keen eyes are the only thing abnormal about me," Henric lied, holding his arm for Rosa to use for stability or guidance as she wished. "Some would say it's inherent in my bloodline, others would point to hours spent studying by candlelight. Whatever the cause, I'm thankful for them."

After a moment, he asked, in the most gentle and respectful tone he could muster, "So how did you know the Professor?" The half-remembered memory refused to leave, the face of the woman in the ballgown briefly flickering over Rosa's in the moonlight. Not now. This is neither the time nor the place for such nonsense.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

"I'm sure they are," she said beneath her breath, so abnormal herself that she found the need to point out that it was the only thing to be peculiar in its own right. Not that she said anything, certainly not wanting to offend or question this kind stranger with pressing questions. Instead, she took the offered arm and began to walk, more steadily moving with his aid. She felt the tingling in her opposite arm ebb, the chill sensation across her slowly easing away and leaving her calmer, and she let out a soft sigh of relief as it faded away completely. "He was a colleague and close friend of my mother. And then, in recent years, a teacher and colleague of mine. In some capacity or another he's been a friend for most of my life. What about yourself? I don't recognize you from the University."

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

Henric may not have been the most comforting person, seeking company in his tomes and admixtures rather than other people, but all the same, it was good to know the small gesture was helping put the girl at ease. She mentioned recently losing her mother. This can't be an easy time. To lose a parent, and now a close friend...

youve lost more so much more fire falling buried alive lost lovers lost friends lost yourself lost

Blocking out the whispers, he focused instead on the girl at his arm. Her breathing was evening out, after a moment of apparent panic. He could feel the muscles of her arm relaxing, her strides evening out, seemingly more confident walking in the darkness with a guide. "From the sound of things, you have lost much in a relatively short time. Still, I am thankful to see another was willing to make the journey for Lorrimor, as I did. He deserved it." His voice dropped slightly, a sorrowful note entering. He certainly deserved more.

"I knew the late Professor for much of my life, as well. Until mere weeks before his passing, we were corresponding regarding theoretical alchemy. I considered him my closest associate, and a very dear friend. There is so much we could have accomplished that will now never be known." After a moment's silence for the lost potential, he continues, "While I may be from the university, I'm not surprised you don't recognize me. I tended to keep to myself." Where I had less chance of being discovered. Even in a place of academia, gods know what would have happened! "What was your area of study?"

Making small talk felt strange. On the one hand, it was a pleasant distraction from the whispers, and would suffice until he could imbibe his potion and sleep soundly. On the other, was it disrespectful? He'd never been entirely sure.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

"Professor Lorrimor didn't have many people here in Ravengro, certainly not enough to fill out a ceremony as he deserved. Coming here was the least I could have done. Especially given the mysterious tone of the invitation; I don't believe I was merely invited to watch him be put into the ground, and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm not the only one." Her eyes became a little better at adapting to the light, but she didn't release the offered aid, neither refusing his kindness nor moving away from a rare act of aid from a stranger. She kept to such a small group of people and rarely had the chance to merely talk with strangers, so she took it where the opportunity presented itself. "Before my mother passed I served as her assistant for my undergraduate studies. I don't know how the University is going to handle the remainder of my time, but I'll likely be continuing along her path, studying arcana and religion with an emphasis on old and forgotten lore and cults. There's something of a personal interest those topics have held for me since I was very young. What's your field, that you've lucked into near-total solitude?"

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

"I suspect you aren't. Did your invitation also mention being a beneficiary of his will, then?" he asked, glancing down at Rosa. He could feel the paper in question within the inside pocket of his coat, bumping occasionally against the two vials. One for emergencies; one to facilitate sleep. Of all the formulae he'd scribed over the years, it was amazing how frequently he mixed those two. "Your study sounds fascinating. An interesting juxtaposition of the arcane and the divine. I dabbled in theology for a while, but unless you're older than you look, that was probably before your time."

Watch yourself. You could be giving away your age. At least you can pass for a fit fifty.
fifty lives for fifty selves has it been that many quiet watch the waltz

"My current studies are focused on physiology and anatomy, though my passion is alchemical science. I've never been terribly interested in its applications for warfare, but there's a fascinating complex subtlety to it. I'm currently in the process of writing a thesis unifying several other seperate discoveries through an examination of base properties, though I fear it's coming along slowly." His cane found a particularly slippery patch of gravel; his shoulder dipped slightly as he corrected his stance. "My solitude is a self-imposed exile. Physiological study tends to see one elbow-deep in unfortunate cadavers. It doesn't tend to win you many friends. It can get lonely, but it facilitates efficiency."

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

"I did indeed receive such a mention. It would appear we've been called here for similar reasons, whatever they are." The revelation only deepened her curiosity at this whole affair, wondering what matters the professor had in store for two very disparate academics. Something seemed strange about the whole matter, adding it to a list of concerns likely to go unspoken during her stay. "Mine is a strange combination, but I believe that hidden somewhere in the middle of both fields lies some forgotten piece of information I feel I have need for." Rosalind felt she was giving away a little too much, clearing her throat and shifting conversation back to her chivalrous aid. "Understandable; I wish my own field were as conducive to alone time. Long periods of solitude by which to work on your theses and examine your objects of study must be very useful."

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

The other guests also kept their own murmured conversations as the procession trailed along. Eventually, the flickering light of a torch appeared in the distance, and gradually grew closer. There was some whispering among the acolytes, "Old Antrellus... supposed to be closed off", "... he get in?", but it was quickly silenced by their senior member with a hissing "Quiet!". Up ahead was a man, kneeling before a tombstone in a small, unkempt burial plot. An improvised torch was driven into the ground, burning brightly enough, if with an excess of smoke. The man himself was as unkempt as the plot. He wore a coat that had been patched enough times that there was more patch than original fabric to it. The hair above his receding hairline was tattered and grimy, and his beard had taken on a life of its own. He was perhaps in his mid fifties, although the dirt made it hard to discern his age with precision. He spoke fervently to himself in a low voice, the words scarcely discernable at distance beneath your own conversation.

Perception 12:
"I'm sorry, my love. But you weren't... You..." His breath hitched, but he resumed, volume but a whisper.
Perception 15:
"I'm so sorry. They will come again, from leng, it is written, you'll see my love," his voice picked up
"The beast has many legs." With that, he noticed your procession. Taken quite aback, he stood, seemingly unsure of what to do next.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15

Rosalind regarded the man curiously as her barely-adjusted eyes scanned across him. If anything, his makeshift torch hurt her eyes' adjustment, giving her a glimmer of light that her gaze tried to shift toward comprehending at the expense of robbing her of more understanding of the darkness around her. A little curse left her lips and she tightened her grip to Henric in response. "Not to sound arrogant," she whispered to the other visitor, "But rural Ustalav is not a place I like to stay particularly long. Superstition has its roots here moreso than anywhere else, and it's often troubling how little higher education reaches out of the cities. Which leads to men like this."

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

"As productive as it is, a change of pace is also beneficial, even if it comes under such circumstances." Shortly after speaking, the chorus of whispers began, echoes of an unfamiliar voice in his mind.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (7) + 6 + (3) = 16 Burning a use of inspiration.

you werent im sorry many legs it is written come again youll see the beast my love from leng im sorry

It took him a moment to realize the jumble of whispers had come from the shabby man who now stood hesitantly before the mourners, and were simply repeating, echoing and multiplying. He closed his eyes briefly, as if to shield them from the torch-light, and the action helped him sort the words as if rearranging them on a page.

"I had quite enough of superstitious small towns in my youth, and finding such things so soon is disheartening indeed," he muttered back to Rosalind, before raising his voice to the stranger. "We are mourners, much like yourself. Let us pass." Though he made no move toward the weapon concealed in his cane, his tone was clipped and authoritative.

Sense motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13 Hmm. Might be a bit distracted.
I'd like to make a knowledge check on that place mentioned under the second spoiler. I'm trained in arcana, history, and religion; if any of them would be appropriate, I'm happy for you to roll the check for me. They have the same bonus (+8, with another 1d6 from free inspiration).

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

"Pass!" He shook his head, as if to shake something out, then struck himself hard in the face with the heel of his palm, twice. Looking up at you again, he turned and took off towards the forest north of the cemetary. The other funeralgoers were disturbed, but shook it off and carried on.

Speaking of uneducated countryfolk...

A while later the path took a sharp bend, working together with a cluster of trees to conceal a group of some twenty men and women, holding torches. They were farmers, some of them young, some old. A few had brought their farm implements. Most seemed nervous, but determined. Some were angry, faces contorted in sneers. They did not quite fit the 'angy mob' description, but by the looks of it, that could change quickly.

The funeral procession ground to a halt, the acolytes unsure of how to handle the group blocking their path. The ringleader stepped forward. He was an old grizzled man, wiry, and stood like he knew how to handle himself in a fight.

"That's far enough. We've been talking, and we don't want no professor Lorrimor buried in the restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but by the Lady, he ain't goin' in the ground here! We've got kin to think about!" There were noises and shouts of agreement and encouragement from the farmers. Kendra responded swiftly, moving up in front of the coffin, her sadness transformed into anger. "What are you talking about?" she half-shouted, "I arranged it with farther Grimburrow. The grave's already been dug!"
Zokar spoke up as well. "For shame, Gibs! To think you'd drink a man's ale, then turn around on him the same night!" He cussed out the leader. "And you, Mercan, does your wife know where you are?"

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Rose's eyes widened with sudden fear and concern, as "rural Ustalav" reared its ugly head in even worse ways. Hateful, ignorant locals who somehow believed a good man didn't belong buried among their families as if he were a monster. As if he were anything other than a good man. A good man who had the gall to find an education and learn. For that, he wasn't allowed peace? She could tell by the sparse turnout at his funeral he likely wasn't a very popular man in Ravengro, but this was an entirely new low.

Anger took her, indignant fury at these people and their hateful ignorance welling deep inside of her, and she only realized too late that it was having an adverse effect on her. Her eyes eyes blinked, opening to reveal a deep abyssal black, her pale hands shifting into a pitch colour as well, and she was thankful for the darkness and the commotion that would keep her eyes off of her.

"How dare y'gh--" She felt the guttural, inhuman language leave her throat mid-word, and tried to lean into the tailspin with some coughing, as though she were sick and choking on her word. The coughs certainly didn't sound fake, spitting up a few thick strands of black bile that splattered onto the ground. Some deep breaths helped her regain herself, fingernails dug into her palm to reign it all in as she tried to speak again. To make up for her coughing fit and momentary lapse, she spoke louder, voice carrying as she tried to keep emotion for edging her words too much. "Profess Lorrimor was a great man. I don't know what you believe he did, but he has more than earned the right to be buried here, where he belongs. Your families are in no danger, and only hate and ignorance drive you to believe otherwise. Stop fearing this kind, departed soul, for he is no danger to anybody."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

From a rambling madman to an angry mob. What's next? A peasant rebellion? Shaking his head, Henric stepped forward to say something, when Rose opened her mouth and apparently dissolved into a coughing fit. He turned in concern, catching a glimpse of black bile splattering on the ground, the sight of the girl racked with guttural, throaty coughs. His eyes narrowed briefly, his memory working for some kind of diagnosis.

Finding none, he settled for placing a steadying hand on Rose's shoulder, trying to help her keep her balance. After she spoke, he raised his own voice in agreement. "Pharasma's boneyards are a sacred place. Much danger lies in burying the dead in unhallowed ground. The grave is dug, and coin has already changed hands. Allow us to proceed."

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

Here and there, people seemed to be trying to hide their farm implements behind their backs, before realising the futility of their endeavor. A few peasants, standing in the back of the crowd quietly broke away and made off into the night. Most remained, but barring a few angry faces, they hesitated, waiting to see what happened next. The tension was palpable.

A man's voice tentatively breached the silence. "I heard he helped mrs. Peyval out back during the drought in ei-"
Gibs wasn't to be deterred, however, and broke him off. "It's a sacred place all right! That's why we can't have him here. He's been dabbling in things, he has, things that are best left alone! There hasn't been as many outsiders in town since the prison burned as there's been starting when he came back! How about Rorek's Stead, ehh?! And now he dies, all sorts of strange things start happening. You tell me that's a coincidence!" His outburst was met with scant few shouts of agreement.

He was visibly surprised by the lack of support, and cast a furtive glance back at his crowd. What he saw inspired an intense expression of seething rage as he returned his attention to the procession.

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Rosalind's face lit up a little at the remark about strange things going on in the city. She'd been unaware of any, but her faith in Petros as a good man didn't waver for a second. "Or perhaps, the strange things claimed their first victim, a man taken before his time." She sucks in a deep breath, speaking more loudly as this time she adresses the crowd amassed behind the foremost man. She knew it only took one furious lunatic to rouse an uneducated, superstitious lot. "The professor was a good man! You fear him because you have no idea what his work was, not because you've any proof he 'dabbled' in anything. If you truly believe this cemetery to be sacred ground, then let the friends and family of a kind man grieve in peace! He has committed no crime, and you have allowed yourselves to be blinded by your fear."

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

The crowd was thinning now, the tension seeping away like air being slowly left out an inflated bladder. While the villagers looked ashamed of themselves, and shot each other furtive glances, Gibs was visibly shaking with anger. It was quite apparent that he was controlling himself, supressing some reaction. Acutely aware that he had lost control of his crowd, the grizzled leader turned and left, but not before shooting Rosalind a look. The amount of hatred it contained was... unusual, to encounter. It said 'I'll end you', that look, no words neccesary to convey the message.

One of the younger farmers, quite an ugly young man, with a somewhat elongated face, seemingly made longer by the mop of brown hair rising from his head, spoke up. "I, erh. Yeah. You're right. We're sorry. We'll just go now." With that, they filtered away, some of them in groups others alone.

Kendra's hands were shaking a little. When her anger subsided, it left little behind to keep her going. Her shoulders slumped and her voice was a little faint, as if she was not quite sure what just happened. "I can't believe they did that."

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

As the crowd dispersed, Rose shot fierce glares toward the mob through the darkness, rather furious that they had done such a thing but not wanting to further rouse the mob by insulting them anyway further. Instead, she turned her attention away from those unworthy of her time to the grieving daughter. Pulling away from Henric, Rosalind moved over to Kendra, placing a hand on her shoulder and holding it firmly. "I am sorry you had to experience that," she said lowly. "They had no right, and they were wrong about your father."

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

many legs im sorry best left alone sacred ground my love the beast strange things coincidence my love no crime

Thankfully, Henric was able to disguise his low growl of frustration as annoyance at the dispersing mob. Pulling a handkerchief from a pocket, he dabbed at his brow, checking the cloth surreptitiously in the moonlight and concealing his relief at seeing no pigment upon it. So it was holding, then. Good.

His eyes flicked to the black bile on the ground, the strange substance Rosalind had coughed up in her earlier fit. That doesn't look at all healthy. At any rate, the girl had removed herself from his arm (just as well, the disconcerting image of the girl in golden silk was becoming too tangible), and was comforting Kendra. His assitance wasn't needed there.

Answers, however, were warranted. With that in mind, he approached Zokar, folding his handkerchief and tucking it back into his pocket as he did so. "I fear the late Professor mentioned little of unsavoury dabblings in our correspondance," he says calmly, every tiny motion measured. "What are these strange happenings they attribute to him?"

Male Human Expert 2/Alchemist 1/Warrior 1

Kendra took a couple of deep breaths, and placed her hand on top of Rosalind's. "You're right. They didn't" she said. "Let's just get this over with."

Zokar seemed a little lost at the first part of the sentence, but nodded along in understanding as Henric asked him about 'happenings'"'s just local superstition. He had foreign visitors from time to time, real posh; 'E read books no-one else could understand," The other professor, Adrissant, standing nearby delicately sniffed at this, "And then, there's the whole thing with the prison. They tell some pretty scary stories about the place, no-one ever goes there, see? The older folks say that the priests failed to cleanse it back when, after the fire; I wouldn't know nothing about that though, 'was before my time. Anyway, Petros, Pharasma keep his soul, died up by that place." He paused at this, sombre. "The strange thing might be Maliana saying she'd seen a ghost. But you know how it is; she was with Leromar, the lad was sure to have been telling her stories, getting her a little scared, I recon." He adds, "But there has been some strange things going on. You saw the burning cards yourselves, fer example! You just don't get stuff like that in Ravengro, things used to have order to them here."

He shook his head. "That reminds me." He turned to his son, who'd been gripping his farther's hand tightly. "Run after Jominda lad, tell her we won't need the sheriff. She'll have gone down by Benjan's house: it'd be good if you could catch her afore she wakes him up, ehh?" Pervin nodded, and took off, kicking gravel in every which ways as he ran.

Male Samsaran Investigator (empiricist) 2 | AC 15; T 11; FF 14 | hp 7/7 | F -3, R +4, W +1 (+2 vs. death effects, neg. energy, neg. levels) | CMD 12 | Init +1 | Perception +11 (+1 vs. traps) | Inspiration 4/5

"Foreign visitors and unusual books are hardly out of the ordinary for someone of a scholarly bent," Henric mused, setting the tip of his cane in the gravel again. "An old prison - or indeed, any old building - is bound to have its share of stories and superstitions. The burning cards, I'm afraid I can't explain," he admitted, rubbing his cheekbone with his thumb. "Perhaps they were coated with some kind of alchemical compound..." He spent a moment staring past Zokar, before snapping back to the present.

"Thank you for explaining, Zokar. Perhaps we should move this little party along, now that our way is clear?"

Female Human Oracle/Sorceror 1 | HP 11/11 | AC 17, Touch 13, FF 14 | CMD 12 | Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1| Per +3 | Init +7|

Giving her friend the faint smile of someone hoping to encourage her to press on, she nodded. "Yes, let's. You have been through more than enough." She resumes walking beside the grieving daughter.

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