Ghoul

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907 posts. Alias of Dennis Harry.


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Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge - the Ziggurat

The group heads to the Ziggurat and they do indeed see what Twang described. With the lack of ability to hide as well as Twang did, the Raven headed statue begins to turn towards the group watching your approach!

Not sure Carella, you would probably need to explore to discover further.


Shadow's Status

OK, there is enough interest to continue and so we shall.


Shadow's Status

I know we have been slow for a while so I wanted to gauge interest in continuing here. Only 4 PCs and still a bit slow. We all still up for this?


Shadow's Status

All the group knows is that this is where the Crown was rumored to be. Who has it and what they are doing with it was never revealed only that the place was dangerous. And it is clearly a horrific place though it not become dangerous, yet.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

Twang nearly disappears in the shadows of the Gorge allowing Vasilios to conserve his arcane energies.

To the right Twang enters the end of this box canyon, and sees a huge rib cage embedded into the clay canyon floor. The ribs stick some 15' out of the ground and they all arch up to a large bone plate. It looks as if the creature that these bones had come from had some sort of shell covering it.

Within the rib cage is a pile of men and women in various stages of decay and rot. Although even a large man could walk between the ribs, none of them are doing so. Around the rib cage are several decayed stumps that seem to be dangled in nets crafted from thick vines.

It is hard to tell if any of these souls are alive or whether all are undead, the only thing he knows for sure is that it is a scene of horror.

To the left Twang sees a four story ziggurat of adobe topped with a large raven statue rises some 50' upwards. The raven's head is even with the tops of the canyon walls. It is currently facing in his direction. Upon each of the landings below the raven are skeletal guards standing at motionless, silent attention. You can hear the wind moan as it blows through their bleached bones. Each is holding a spear tipped with a slender bone blade. Black raven feathers fluttering in the breeze adorn the spear shafts and head bands of these deadly guards.

Twang returns to the group, scouting complete but with only grim tidings...


Shadow's Status

Map finally up!


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

Nadima shivers, "Do any of you have a spell to scout ahead or do any of you have skills to scout unseen?"

Twang, give me a stealth check to both the right and the left.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

It occurs to all of you that the moment you were in sight of this area, the drumming ceased. It became such a background drone that its disappearance took a moment to register. Odd...


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

The heroes proceed forward once more. The stake and skull marked path you have been following leads ahead and opens up to surround a large dark oak tree. You have a distinct feeling that something dark and sinister is watching you. Looking up, you can see the dark forms of giant crows circling high above you. Their haunting cries echo through the canyon like the spiteful laughter of a ghost.

To your right, is an opening in the Gorge which thereafter forks left and right once more.

To your left is situated the tree, what is past it is hard to see in the gloom.

Perception DC 19:
Atop the cliffs from this vantage you see large skeletons looming above, they do not seem to be looking at your group directly, just staring ahead. The passing cloud cover reveals them in its grey's as the skeletons are all painted black as night. There are several spread at 100' intervals atop the walls above the gorge.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

As you continue to walk deeper into the Gorge, you hear a distant booming sound. Perhaps thunder?

Ravens feast on the carcasses of what appear to be relatively fresh bodies hanging from the butte's.

They eye you with a stare that you mistake for hatred but can an animal foster such feelings for the living it has never seen before?

Still you press on, the last 100' of the cavern becomes darker still and more macabre. Here the walls are lined with countless dead hanging upon wooden stakes. The Gorge narrows as you near what is perhaps the end but to what will it lead?

The booming is louder still as you approach.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

The lower road would appear to be the safest bet if being effected by storms is the group concern and so it is the lower road taken by the heroes.

Dark Powers ONLY:
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9 Over a 10 is a success.

Entering the maw of this forsaken region, you notice hard nodes of rust red dirt. In fact, not a rock can be seen in this area of the gorge. Everything is made of sun baked, wind swept, brick-like mud. The canyons are quite square with sheer vertical walls of hardened adobe. Most are between 15' and 40' deep. The ridges between the canyons are only lightly rounded while the canyon floors are very square. At the bottom of the canyons are small, dried up streams that trace white patterns in the baked earth.

The very feeling of death seems to seep from the ground in this place. Even the hottest desert would seem more alive than these desolate canyons. High up in the sky you can see a great crow riding the wind currents in lazy, graceful circles. It seems to be the only other living thing in sight.

As you get deeper into the gorge along a beaut is a wooden post you assume somehow hammered into the earth. Hanging from it is a set of manacles that you from afar mistook as wretched vegetation but as you get closer you realize is a corpse with its tattared clothes buffeted by the winds making it look like wretched vegetation.

For at least a quarter of a mile these posts are placed at every beaut. A not so subtle warning that to enter this place is to die.

Nadima stares up in horror, "What is this place and who would do such a thing to these people? The Chelaxians are kinder to their foes..."


Shadow's Status

I know that Nezter and Carella are active in other games I run, let's see when they check in over here. After how bad the boards were in the fall I'm never sure if games are updating for people or not these days.


Shadow's Status
Twang* wrote:
For the short sword, I'd like a sword of wounding, if you approve. I was looking into all kinds of serious until I noticed that I was in the homebrew section of the wiki.

Approved.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

Out here, there are not many options, perhaps in the Gorge there may be. The storm is unlike anything Twang has ever seen, or heard of, literally it appears to be raining lightning bolts! It dances ever closer to your position as you watch it comes quite swiftly, giving the group the urge to rush somewhere anywhere. Then as suddenly as it charged towards the Gorge it dissipates leaving the horizon bleak one more.

Whatever it is, it is not natural, at least not where any of you hail from. Vanifirous did mention that different Realms produce oddities such as this though. It seems that it is lucky that the Gorge is as far as your group needs to go...


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Gorge

Khalid sighs and looks at the group, "I have lost too many already, my people, the Vistani are here somewhere. I am going to seek them out and find my own way out. I bid you all good luck but I will not go forward to a dark place for a stranger".

---

Two days after leaving Khalid behind in Harmonia and taking a boat to close in on the place where they have been asked to go the small crew, including Nadima, arrive in the area that seems to be the location of the Gorge. To the east is the land of Bluetspur, the change form one land to another is quite striking. As much as the stone of this area in Kartakass is bereft of vegetation, the next land over seems almost scoured of life as opposed to bereft. It is dark here in Kartakass but this land of Bluetspur it seems even darker though it is less than 100' away from you! In the distance are lighting strikes and a low rumbling thunder.

The gorge slants downward into a dark space. It appears that you can head into a valley within the gorge or take a high road in the upper cliffs.

Nadmia shivers, "Ahead I see a gorge. I am not sure what we will face but we may wish to enter this place prepared or is it too soon?"


Shadow's Status

I will let you choose what is level appropriate so uncommon or rare but not very rare or legendary.


Shadow's Status
Vasilios Teras wrote:
Uh... what does a wand do in 5e?

Make that a staff!


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

Vanifirous nods, "I do indeed have some travel supplies I can spare. I will wait here in Harmonia unless you need to return north? I assume you came from Skald as they are really the only two cities within Kartakass to speak of".

He supplies you with enough rations to make it to teh caverns and back. The next post will advance us along.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

Vanifirous frowns, "You seem to know little of what you get yourself into. I do not seek to offend as I find myself in the same predicament with great frequency.

Dark forces lurk in the shadows and in the light, what little light there is, in these realms. I seek to sell you nothing but I am well provisioned from my latest journey and may have resources I can share with those who seek to right wrongs and fight the good fight. I am loathe to do so if you are unsure what if any dangers you may be facing".

He slings his backpack over his shoulder and draws two items, a wand and a short sword. "I am not entirely sure what these do but you may have them, especially if you will agree to journey one day to meet with the Doctor".

Any of you who need a wand or a magical shortsword, feel free to make these two items something you would find useful for characters at your current power level. Once this conversation is over, we will proceed to your search for the Crown.


Shadow's Status

BUMP in the Night!


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

He nods, "To where will this adventure take you? Are you sure your group is well equipped for such a quest?"


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

"I fear I have gievn you the wrong impression, the good Doctor is in Darkon, my homeland. I was simply reaching out to ascertain whether we could work together at some point.

If you've no purpose here and are merely wandering I can certainly lead you through to Darkon to meet with him now".

Remember, you are actually heading to the area near the Realm Bluetspur to recover the crown for Arikel, this was supposed to be a pi stop for supplies only. However, the group can certainly abandon that quest if they so choose!


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

"Yes, Doctor Rudolph van Richten".


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

The man responds, "No, I was born in Darkon. Most peoples were either born in these lands or were "brought" here by some calamitous when these lands formed. It's... complicated.

So few can see such patterns as if there is some force at work that makes the appearance of new locations seamless. Some sort of normalizing hypnotic trance is what the Doctor believes it to be. Those from the outside are more readily able to identify the oddities experienced in this place.

Yes, we know of some who found their way home though we know of more who died trying.

Where are you currently heading?"


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Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

The shadowy figure laughs at Nezter, "That's a funny one, I'll have to remember it".

He pauses for a moment at Vasilios and Twang's suspicions, "I understand your trepidation. Strangers arriving in a strange land, though by far not the strangest lands on this continent I can assure you, and a cloaked figure asks you to step into a dark alley with but a gesture. A reason to be suspicious is not outright hostile.

Your manner of dress and selection of weaponry gives your presence as strangers away, especially in Harmonia.

I am Vanifirous Gortndam. I hail from a nearby land, to the north named Darkon. I work with a man who has spent many years trying to understand the very questions you are likely asking yourselves. How did I come here? Why did I come here? How do I return?

We have few answers but we are always seeking out those who would be willing to aid us. Perhaps in helping us, we can help you?"


Shadow's Status

Slow going as we have been I've got a number of interesting Ravenloft adventures to run so we'll be the tortoise and not the hare...


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

As you enter the dusty alleyway the shadowy figure, who is half-way towards the other side of this open alley, alley being a relative term as the buildings are not exactly right next to one another but close enough for casual observers not too see or hear this interaction raises a hand as if you have come close enough, "You are strangers in this land. Some of you I have seen before, others I have not.

How have you come here and why do you return to Harmonia?"


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

The cloaked figure pulls back into the alleyway slowly and ever so slightly beckons your group to follow.

Do you do so?


Shadow's Status

BUMP


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - Harmonia

The group rests for the evening at Maria's home and over the next day makes their way back to Harmonia. Horseback speeds the ride back this time!

As the group once more enters Harmonia Vasilios and Twang find the reception form the locals non-existent. The trip to the general store is a bland interaction with the merchant grunting at questions though the store does have in stock your needs.

Anything in the Handbook can be obtained here for the base price listed. Feel free to choose what you like and document it on your character sheet.

As you exit the building the afternoon grows dark with ominous clouds overhead.

Perception DC 20:
You see a cloaked figure standing at the corner of a nearby building paying the group more attention than you have seen from any other local.


Shadow's Status

I will get the group to Harmonia tomorrow.


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Road South

The group stops in once more at Maria's home where her husband is on the mend and the group gets home cooked meals, a warm blanket, and a reprieve from the wilderness.

The family discusses with you the area of Kartakass that your group has been asked to journey to, "You may wish to go through Harmonia and pick up further provisions unless speed is what you seek. My son can guide you to this place but he will not enter. None who have entered it brfore have ever left, at least those were the stories I heard as a child", states Maria's husband.

fast or Slow? Sorry for the delays, trying to get some kind of rhythm established here unsuccessfully lately...


Shadow's Status

Kartakass - the Road South - The Group

Nadima sighs, "Well at least we've more allies to make this journey with then?"

She looks at the two newcomers hopefully.

"People disappear and reappear here so much I wonder if the locals are somehow immune to these effects?

We have to travel south as Carella stated and recover an item, her family heirloom, that a young girl may avoid the fate of marrying a terrible cruel man.

I am Nadima cleric of Gerana. Awkward and mystifying as this situation may seem, will you join us? You know Nezter and we can assure you, the rest of the locals here are not friendly. I left my friend behind in the capital city to seek out an answer to the riddle of how to return us home. Come with us and if we succeed and she succeeds we can return home together and aid this poor young woman".


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

Akriel responds to Carella's question, "Some are Druids, others their shape shifting servants. They generally leave patrons alone, they must be particularly rowdy this night to have bothered your group.

Better I do not speak his name in this place servant of the Morninglord, he has ears everywhere whence his name is uttered.

I will arrange for horses for your group to speed your journey. Good luck and may our Morninglord go with you!

Sleep here for safety if not comfort and take whatever horses you find in the stable come morning".

In the morning Louis says his goodbyes having fulfilled his task of escorting Brother Lazlo to Skald.

Elaris decides to remain behind as well, "I'll find us a way out of here for when you return with the crown okay Carella?"

---

Kartakass - the Road South - The Group

After a fitful night's rest and a light breakfast, the now five heroes ride south once again on a quest for this crown of soldiers. As the sun rises, mist can be seen ahead, causing trepidation for the four. As the mists recede it seems two new figures have been deposited on the road before you.

Nezter, you recognize these two from Absolom, they are mercenaries, like you.


Shadow's Status

Absolom - Twang & Vasilios

A few weeks ago rumors began to swirl of a portal right outside of the Temple of Gerana.

Hell Nezter has not been seen since so it's very much a mystery to those in the know.

Hoping to cash in on whatever the mysterious magics may be, you both poke into that same alleyway hoping to discover the trigger to the magic but when the mists rise, you both get more than you bargained for...

-------

Kartakass - Twang & Vasilios

The mists recede only after you wander about and realize you cannot possibly be in Absolom, the walls to the alley were much loser than that!

You stand on a road in the middle of nowhere, trees to each side and the sun is beginning to rise, from the north, a group approaches on horseback, one rider a familiar face, it is Nezter. It seems the rumors of a portal were true! But to where has it brought you?


Shadow's Status

To facilitate, let's say that Twang and Vasilios were part of an adventuring group in Absolom and knew Nezter in passing as that is where he hails from as well.


Shadow's Status

Between the boards and end of summer vacations, what a mess.

Anyway, let's get this rolling once more.

We're going to have the two new PCs start together and have a chance encounter on the road as this IS Ravenloft after all :-).


Shadow's Status

Ugh, update tomorrow, friggin boards..


Shadow's Status

Boards were a disaster last night, next update will be Sunday and will include the new PCs.


Shadow's Status

Just got two new PCs. I am going to bring them in as soon as possible so we can get going in the direction of the Crown. Once I figure out how to incorporate them, I'll update the gameplay thread, within the next day or tw.


Shadow's Status

Understood, take care. Hope things get better soon!


Shadow's Status

We may have lost Louis, I shall recruit once more!


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

The woman's brow furrows as Lazlo mentions the Morninglord, "I fear I am not familiar with the Morninglord good Sir but I should think that with such a name and such companions that you would indeed be a man who would aid those in need such as myself".

Lazlo:
The woman clearly has some means or allies if she can arrange this meeting in this Inn. It may be that she needs outsiders to aid her if this Druid has any influence within Skald. His name may well be known to you as a former local...

Akriel nods at Nezter's comments, "Indeed, many such creatures serve the interest of my unwanted paramour. He believes me to be in Harmonia still which is why we meet here clandestinely. I've a few friends here within Skald but not many.

One such friend is the old man whom you met that provided you with the entrance key. He was a friend to my Father and a Sage, of sorts. His knowledge of the land is excellent but his body unable to roam as it once did, time catches up with even the best of us I fear.

My time runs out but hope springs anew, perhaps this is a belief of your Morninglord yes?

My hope is that your group is still willing to aid in the recovery of the Crown. If so, our travels here were not in vain. Between the border of Kartakass and the land known as Bluetspur is a land that belongs to neither territory. It is within this place, described to me as a dry desolate canyon, that the Crown was lost or taken. The legend is that this place is where "the bones lie". Though what that means is not clear.

Unfortunately, this location is east of Harmonia which requires passage south once more. I would be ever so grateful if you could quest for this Crown and return it to me here in Skald. It is too dangerous for me to return to Harmonia now. In fact, even here I am in danger. I shall have my friend await you here in the common room each night. From him you will learn of my hideaway here in Skald and then we shall meet, I long to lay my eyes upon my lost heritage".

History Lazlo and Louis ONLY DC 15:
Bluetspur is a bleak Realm ruled by seemingly no one. It is ravaged by storms nightly making it unable to support any life on the surface. It is a Domain to be avoided at all costs.


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

Dust and cobwebs are thick in what seems to be an not oft used stairway here in the Inn. The stairs creak so loudly it would take a Master Thief to sneak down them without alerting those below they were coming. Nezter uses the key to unlock the door at the bottom of the stairs.

The door opens into a small bar. The bar has been used as storage for the furniture that has likely been broken in bar fights if its condition and the events earlier tonight are indicative of what takes place here with any frequency.

Some of the chair legs have blood on them as if they were used as weapons in the past. The bar itself is small and has a mirror behind it which is spotless. Seated at the bar looking a bit nervous is Akriel.

There are two doors here, one leads inside the other may well lead outside though not knowing the layout of this place too well yet, it is difficult to determine. Both are barred with stout wooden beams.

She breathes a sigh of relief as you all come through the door though a look of apprehension quickly follows when she sees unfamiliar faces, "Thank the Gods you have arrived".

She stands and takes the key from Nezter locking the door behind you all. She gestures at the bar where there are enough seats for everyone a few extra since some of those who first set out are no longer with the group.

She takes in another deep breath, "Before we begin, it seems that some old faces are not with you but new faces are. This is supposed to be a secret meeting. I'd like to understand why these strangers are here and your other friends are not". Her face is determined, the fear gone she almost seems imposing as she asks the question.


Shadow's Status

Carella finds within the envelope a skeleton key!


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

As Nezter suggests that the group head up to the rooms, you walk through the the inn which seems peaceful and stately (without a snarling werecreature threatening anyone at any rate) in its ancient grandeur, you can't help feeling that some of the eye shaped knot-holes in the old pine paneling contain some semblance of consciousness.

As you get to the second floor where your rooms are supposed to be, a twisted old man hobbles up to you, and whispers, "You'll find your pretty in the secondary bar which you can access through the stairs at the back of the third floor." He the breaks into a coughing fit and the stench of his breath is remarkable. During this interruption, a small leather wrap falls from his vest onto the floor. He then hobbles along hurriedly back towards the direction your group came in.


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

Nadima shakes her head, "It's not supposed to be a blind search, she is supposed to meet us here. Perhaps she fears too many eyes in the room to approach us here in the main room? Assuming she is here of course".

The Crown of Soldiers does not ring a bell Lazlo.


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn

Nadima chimes in, "A young Lady, her name is Akriel. While we were imprisoned we heard her being accosted by a man who she claimed wants to marry her.

He is a wandering bard and druid of these parts who has been seeking her hand in marriage. He has a violent temper and cannot cope with her rejection of him.

According to her if we retrieve the secret Crown of Soldiers that was lost by her ancestors her betrothed the good Doctor Dominiani could face and defeat the Woodsman and they could be together.

We agreed to aid the woman in her plight. Now I wonder why she would send us to such a place. Though considering the reception in Harmonia, this one almost seems warm by comparison".


Shadow's Status

Great RP so far folks, I'll let it continue to roll before I step in once more.


Shadow's Status

Skald - the Old Kartakan Inn - All Together Now

Nadima sits at the table shaking badly she is clearly terrified.

The patrons act as if nothing happened and the one who collided with Nezter still has yet to return.

A barmaid comes to take drink and food orders once more, "Half off for your meals tonight". She grins.

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