Clover's Crossing


Carrion Crown


So, I ruled that on the road from Ravengro to Lepidstadt, the party will be passing quite near to the infamous ruins of Clover's Crossing.

The new party bard's player was fooling around with a guitar and making up songs from the "Bardic Knowledge" fact sheet I had given him and, well, the ditty about Clover's Crossing was pretty memorable and now the whole party wants to go there!

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody did anything cool with Clover's Crossing and, if so, what?


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

So, I ruled that on the road from Ravengro to Lepidstadt, the party will be passing quite near to the infamous ruins of Clover's Crossing.

The new party bard's player was fooling around with a guitar and making up songs from the "Bardic Knowledge" fact sheet I had given him and, well, the ditty about Clover's Crossing was pretty memorable and now the whole party wants to go there!

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody did anything cool with Clover's Crossing and, if so, what?

Funny I'm just about at the same point and had been thinking to do the same thing. I haven't developed it much yet but I had been thinking of ghouls meets tremors with sinkholes emerging or parts of the fields subsiding. I am toying with replacing the

Spoiler:
phase spider
from the Crooked Kin encounter with this scenario. Clover's Crossing feels much like HPLs Lurking Fear. Plus ghouls don't have much of a presence in CC.

One other thing and it is just a pet peeve of mine I suppose. But Clover's Crossing? Really? In a country called Ustalav with a very eastern european if not russian feel, Clover's Crossing really sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be great if were in the English or Irish countryside. I know theres quite a few similar names/locations in CC or Rule of Fear. Ravenloft was also a mish-mash but still... Anyways I've been doing a lot of renaming to try to keep the cultural feel of Russia/ eastern europe of NPCs.

Dark Archive

Comrade Wyrd, perhaps just call it Пересечение Клевера instead, da?


Bumpity-bump!

Yeah, I haven't had too many exciting ideas.

Sinkhole. Desecrated church. Ghouls. has been pretty much the extent of my thinking.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

Sinkhole. Desecrated church. Ghouls. has been pretty much the extent of my thinking.

I did this.

Actually had a lot of fun with it. There are some additional cool ideas further in the thread.

Contributor

Nice all! Clover's crossing pretty much came from the intro quote to ghouls in Classic Horrors and got picked back up in Rule of Fear.

I should warn you, though, that sinister Ustalavic record keepers once tried to claim Clover's Crossing was a town in Lozeri, as a trick to raise that county's taxes - going so far as to move its location on several official maps to back up their scheme. This rasied several eyebrows, even among those unfamiliar with the region, as the "crossing" no longer appeared on a river. After the town's "disappearance," though - along with its significant drop in collected taxes - current maps again depict it in its proper position south west of the Lamand River, in Caterwall. The maps in Rule of Fear and the Carrion Crown Poster Map Folio are correct.

Damn deceitful tax collectors.


Here in Galt, servants of the state, whether tax-collectors or cartographers, who are found guilty of deceit or incompetence are dealt with firmly.

Vive le Galt!

Anyway, my party hasn't even gotten to Lepidstadt yet and they've already got 5th-level members. I think I'll dip into the old handbag of dirty DM tricks and throw

Spoiler:
a wight at them! One who is served by a couple of ghasts and an army of ghouls!

Pathetic adventurers, you will rue the day your shadow crossed the threshhold of Clover's Crossing!

The Exchange

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I wanted to add something extra in between Ravengro and Lepidstadt, so I made a side adventure at Clover's Crossing.

Spoiler:
I also wanted to really reinforce into my player's mind that the Whispering Way are out there doing "bad stuff" so had the Ghoul problem be started when a local Whispering Way Necromancer got a scroll of Create Undead from Auren Vrood in exchange for keeping an eye on Kendra Lorrimior in case she looked to closely into her father's death. Unfortunately, this necromancer wasn't that strong, and the ghoul he created with the scroll overpowered him, gave him Ghoul fever and, of course, when he died he rose as a ghoul. Thenthese 2 ghouls started feeding on corpses in the church catacombs, making tunnels under the church graveyard and kidnapping townsfolk and turning them into more ghouls...

I run my campaign in the Fantasy Grounds II virtual table top (VTT) program and so I made a few maps for the area - they can be found here: Clover's Crossing Maps

There were ghouls and a couple of ghasts under the church and the remaining town people had fled to the other side of the Lamand River.

Spoiler:
I also created a letter from Auren Vrood to the necromancer (I called him Ravodan) in order to reinforce the link between the happenings in Revengro and the Whispering Way, and that they may still have dastardly things to do, and to also re-stress the baddies name (we hadn't played for a while and my player's had basically forgotten a few threads):

My esteemed colleague Ravodan,
I trust your ambitions are progressing well? I still don’t understand why you left us to go off on your own and to that miserable backwater too! However, we all must seek our own route to the Way.
I contact you now to seek a favour, for which I adequately reward you with a boon that you have asked of me for some time. Within the tube with this letter you will find a scroll containing one of my most potent spells.
Now that I have given you your reward in advance I come to the crux of the favour I ask. I have recently departed Ravengro after acquiring the first ingredient that the Way requires in our preeminent task. But, during our mission, an old “friend” of ours stuck his nose into our business. It seems our old Professor Lorrimor left the university a few years ago and moved to Ravengro with his daughter. How I hated the out dated ramblings of that naïve do-gooder – ramblings that no one will have to listen to ever again as I put a permanent stop to his snooping. However, his daughter Kendra may still pose us a problem if she looks too deeply into the “accidental” death of her father.
It is any such problems that the remaining Lorrimor can cause that I wish you to avert. Keep an eye on her and make sure that she doesn’t leave Ravengro, or look too deeply into the circumstances around her father’s death.
I recommend that you leave using my payment to you until this task has been completed. There is great reward to be had, but there is also incredible danger if you are not prepared and strong enough. Do not attempt the ritual until you are ready!
I look forward to hearing the results of your observation and subsequent experiments.
Yours in the Way and beyond,
Auren.

Hope this is of use to people...


Thank you for your post! I will probably steal your maps!


MartinB: What cartography program did you use to make those maps? They are quite good.

The Exchange

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Darkstrom wrote:
MartinB: What cartography program did you use to make those maps? They are quite good.

Thanks! :) I use Campaign Cartographer 3. To make these I used extras from the Dungeon Designer and City Designer add ons. However, quite a lot can be done with the base Campaign Cartographer 3 installation.

I'm useless at drawing/artwork, but apps like this make even me able to make passable maps! I've done some overland maps for the Carrion Crown AP - Carrion Crown overland maps these were again made with Campaign Cartographer and the Jonathan Rovers overland style.


MartinB wrote:
Darkstrom wrote:
MartinB: What cartography program did you use to make those maps? They are quite good.

Thanks! :) I use Campaign Cartographer 3. To make these I used extras from the Dungeon Designer and City Designer add ons. However, quite a lot can be done with the base Campaign Cartographer 3 installation.

I'm useless at drawing/artwork, but apps like this make even me able to make passable maps! I've done some overland maps for the Carrion Crown AP - Carrion Crown overland maps these were again made with Campaign Cartographer and the Jonathan Rovers overland style.

That's what I thought. I've got it, though I'm not very good using the program. :)

The Exchange

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Darkstrom wrote:
That's what I thought. I've got it, though I'm not very good using the program. :)

Took me a while to grasp it. What helped me a lot are Joe Sweeney's excellent tutorial videos.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I put the collapse of the church as a very recent event, and that the village folk were all mysteriously sick (one acolyte even told the party he thought it was ghoul fever). The church had sent for help from Tamrivena for some disease removal, but no word had been heard back yet (and at this point the only cleric able to cast remove disease at Ravengro had his powers stripped from him for ignoring the prison). The party was more concerned with the Whispering Way, and skipped over the whole ordeal, reporting to the church of Pharasma at Tamrivena about the outbreak.


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Rise from your Grave, Old Thread of the Undead!!!!

I wish Pett had been given more pages for 'Trial of the Beast'. So far its been a blast to run (we'r on day 2 of the trial) and some of the personalities have been great to role-play, yet I wish there was more than one page detailing the journey from Ravengro to Lepistatd. Afterall, one does not just simply journey through Ustalav, especially with all the awesome material presented in 'Rule of Fear'. Below was my attempt to incorporate some of that book into my campaign, other DMs are free to steal or alter this as they see fit, it worked pretty well for me.

An extra traveler:

I had already introduced Adivion Adrissant at the Petros's funeral, so decided to use him as a further catalyst of discontent: He hires the PCs (paying 100 gp) to accompany him to the last known sighting of the Whispering Way, the abandoned town of Clover's Crossing. Adivion served as an information dump on the organization, and since my PCs knew that the group was responsible for the tragedy of Vesorianna's second loss of her husband as well as other possible unsavory things, they decided to not only accept the payment but to also accompany him on his investigations.

What's really happening behind the curtain:
: At this point in my game, Adivion has just renounced his membership to the Order of the Palantine Eye due to the loss of his colleague. Upon investigating the incidents of the professor's death, he's become aware of Auren Vrood and his machinations. At this point, it is Auren, not Adivion who seeks to create the Carrion Crown. Adivion (still quite evil), through the use of divinations, has come to realize that the last known place that the WW was seen was Clover's Crossing. This is true, as Auren Vrood had plenty of reason to go to the town.

IMC, as the AP begins (a month before this journey), the local inhabitants of Clover's Crossing hit upon a deep onyx shaft beneath the town. As they began to mine it, they uncovered a tunnel that lead to the lair of forgotten exiles from the underdark, a large pack of ghouls. As the ghouls overran the mine, the villagers attempted to collapse the cave to seal the threat. They miscalculated, and the result was a massive sinkhole forming underneath the town church, opening the whole town to the ghoul's feasting. In a matter of a night, the ghouls had secured the town and the shaft of onyx. Quite crafty, the ghouls stashed every corpse they claimed until they also rose as ghouls. They began to hide during daylight to avoid suspicion, resting within the glittering ebon tunnels of the mines, only to emerge at night to add to their pack any foolish enough to stay in the town after sunset.

Through the whispers of his organization, Auren became aware of this phenomenom even as he desecrated the grounds of Harrowstone and stole the soul of its Warden. Upon arriving within the town, he quickly cowed the ghouls and secured the mineshaft. After spending many days procuring the sizable amount of Onyx necessary for the coming tasks before him, Auren moved on to Lepistadt, but not before leaving an emissary, an undead member of his order to secure the shaft for future use and to kill any who might come after him. As for the ghouls, those who were not enslaved by Vrood's spells re-gathered themselves at the town hall, unable to reclaim their tunnels until something tips the balance of power in their favor, like the destruction of the WW agent.

As it is, I had Adivion wanting to utilize the spell Contact other Plane at the place where the WW was last seen. I created a 'mechanical' reason for doing so if AA was pressed: the percentage of a truthful answer about someone's activity would be much higher in a place where they had been most recently seen. In this way, I sort of set up Adivion as a condescending jerk who was obviously dabbling in higher circles than the PCs, someone who was also against the WW due to Petros's death, but also was insatiable for knowledge to the point that he would perform risky spells to achieve it (like Contact Other Plane Not on Magus list I know, but I plan on using on of the different versions of him that the community's put forth.)


My encounters in Clover's Crossing:

1)Ghoul Scouts: (EL 3) As the PCs come upon the abandoned river town, two ghouls lurk in the remains of the buildings, keeping an eye on anyone coming. They use their stealth to see how many people there are, then flee towards the largest gathering of ghouls that weren't destroyed or recruited by Auren Vrood. I allowed the ghouls about 100' between their location and the party, giving a round of stealth before the ghouls bolted. This alarmed the players, as every undead they had encountered so far always came right at them, even the smart ones like The Lopper and The Headless Captain. My players didn't pursue; had they, I probably would of lead them to the town hall, the location of about three dozen ghouls and a large pack of festrogs. (Prepared for that, in which case AA would've used Chain Lightning to save them) Instead, they immediately questioned Advion as to what was going on with this town and so forth. He set them at ease by replying, "Don't worry, we won't be here long." He then directed them to the church, where he believed the WW was last (He didn't explain how he knew this, instead feigning exasperation).

2)The Church (EL 6): While the church still stands, its walls now frame the sinkhole that leads to the Onyx shaft. I wanted to use the monsters from the Bestiary in the back of the module, so I had the WW's forces be the Skeletal Mage (who wore a gag to symbolize its allegiance to the WW), the Armored Ogre skeleton as muscle, and two Whirlwind skeletons as bodyguards. Not too bad of a fight, the players rolled pretty well and dropped the Ogre quickly before getting around the sinkhole and taking down the remaining skeletons and their champion. Looking at the sinkhole, Adivion spoke about "the rumors of this town being true, but near that shaft isn't a safe location for the spell I wish to cast, I can't have any interference (looking at the sinkhole and its unknown depths)" Had they decided to explore the shaft, he would have discouraged them but if they persisted, they would have fought a large pack of ghouls.

3)The Inn (EL 6): The most secure building closest to the church is the inn, made apparent by its sturdy wooden doors and elevated windows. Despite this, the interior is infested with beetles, 6 normal Giant Beetles and 2 Slicer Beetles (Bestiary 2). Once cleared out, Adivion begins clearing some room and casting his spell. It takes a bit of time to do so, and as I had the travel times sort of pre-mapped out, he began finishing the spell as the sun was setting. At this point he abruptly stood up and said, "No... the fools! Why would they try to do that? My associates, I must depart immediately (handing over promised gold). If I were you I would either leave this town as quickly as possible or secure this building for the night. Your assistance was most.. helpful." and with that, he teleports away. This got lots of groans from characters: they already didn't like AA, and now he was leaving them for the ghouls, so to speak, without even telling them what he had learned. At this point, the first of the howls began filling the dusk sky, howls from the starving ghouls finding the remains of the WW members and realizing that the town was their's again...

Night of the Living Dead or Running of the Ghouls?::
I wanted to do a "zombie horde" trope for my group since that's one of the few ones that Carrion Crown doesn't really feature. In this case, I made up quick rules for shoring up the defenses, be it bracing doors (Know, Arch/Engineer to raise break DC), creating barricades (Str checks) and so forth, yet my players weren't biting. They didn't like the idea of being trapped in a building with an unknown horde encircling them. Remembering their tied-off horses at the edge of town, they immediately ran as fast as possible towards them. I decided then that I would employ the "Chase" mechanic to simulate the PCs being pursued by the ghoul horde. While the ghouls had no chance of catching them once they were on their horses, the Festrogs were a different story and thus justified what transpired. . Also, I should mention that the party had acquired a wagon to carry all of their loot, so I used it as part of the chase. Here's my "Running of the Ghouls (or a Chase in Ustalav)" mechanics:

The Festog packs start 5 turns behind the PCs, but automatically clear any obstacle they face. Furthermore, the amount of Festrogs in each group grows larger, from 1 Festrog to 3, to 4, to 5, to 7 to 10. Each pack also starts one turn behind the last one. What this did was create a timer for the PCs to clear the obstacles. Certain obstacles I denoted that only one person had to succeed at for everyone to pass through, while others required individual successes to pass through. Here's my obstacles, which I laid out randomly before them. Obstacles with an asterisk required only one check for everyone to be able to pass through, while those without required individual success:

-Overflowing Creek: Go Around? (Survival DC 15) or There's a Shallow Crossing!(Perception DC 20)
-Stagnant Swamp Gas: Hold Your Breath! (Fortitude DC 15) or It's Only Bad Near the Water. (Knowledge:Nature DC 20)
-Ghostly Lights: They're hopefully not harmful.. (Will DC 15) or Be Cleansed, Spirits! (Channel 4 pts of positive energy)
*Fallen Log: Push it out of the way! (Strength Check DC 15) or Go Over it. (Ride DC 20)
-Grasping Branches: Duck and Dodge! (Reflex DC 15) or Hack them Away (8 dmg to AC 10)
*Scarecrow in the Road: What hurts this thing? (Knowledge Arcana DC 15) or We Don't Have Time for This! (Bullrush vs CMD of 18)
*Broken Wheel: Jury Rig It? (Disable Device DC 15) or Fix it! (Knowledge Architecture and Engineering DC 20)
-We're in Bat Country: Get them off me! (Fortitude DC 15) or This Whistle Should Disperse Them.. (Knowledge Nature DC 20)
-Bumpy Trail: I've ridden worse. (Ride DC 15) or Hang On! (Reflex DC 15)
-Injured Hoof: Tough it out, we're almost there! (Handle Animal DC 15) or No Horse Left Behind! (Heal DC 15)
*Zombie Hitchhiker: Get Out of the Road, Brainless! (Succeed on Overrun attempt vs CMD 14) or Back to your Grave! (Channel 8 points of positive energy)
-Ancient Church Marker: I can read directions! (Linguistics DC 20) or That Prayer shows the Nearest Church is North! (Knowledge: Religion DC 20)
*Why are wolves chasing us too?? I am the Alpha! (Intimidate DC 15) or Here's a Bone! (Handle Animal DC 15)

This created a pretty hectic sequence in which the players were quite afraid of being swallowed up by the horde. One PC, the Magus Dhampir, kept failing on the Swamp Gas and encountered about three ghouls before another PC intervened and went back for him. The fact that they were Festrogs and not actual ghouls was sort of a saving grace, as a paralyzed PC in this sequence would have meant certain death. After all was said and done, my PCs escaped far into the night, eventually riding straight into the camp of the Crooked Kin.

The Crooked Kin (EL 6):
I don't hate my PCs enough to throw a Phase Spider at them, so I changed the encounter. Looking at the Zuvembie (CR 4) from the Bestiary 3, I thought that its Corpse Call ability would create a more feasible reason for one of the Kin to be lured away. As for the reason of its existence, I had its lair (where it lured the CK member Aleese) be an old strip mine that lay just a few hills beyond the main road where the CK are encountered. Essentially, at some point in the past, a classic tale of nature vs. industry transpired, with this sight once being a druid's grove that was destroyed in the name of greed. The mine is collapsed, but it essentially lays in a 30' deep hole with a collapsed trail leading out of it. This let me give the PCs second saves so I didn't feel bad about the addition of the former druid's corrupted companion, a Mandragora (Bestiary 2). Overall, it was a pretty dramatic encounter, but felt more fair than what a Phase Spider can do to a party of unprepared (and mostly depleted) PCs. Plus, I couldn't figure out how the PCs would recover Aleece's body or the Spider's treasure if it had stashed both of them on the Ethereal Plane, which is what they usually do.

Tamivrena (EL 6ish-7):
I wanted to emphasize the intolerance and fear that the people of the border town felt, especially in light of the history of the Orc invasions from the West. Since my group contains a Dhampir and Tiefling, I had the CK tell them about "being an outcast" and how they wouldn't be staying in the city. Instead, they would send their most normal looking member (The Huge Ulfen , Trollblood) for supplies while they waited outside of town. Unfortunately, a lot of the CK grew bored as they waited the afternoon for Trollblood to return, and as they grew bored, they began practicing, which quickly lead to performing. Before he knew it, The Ringmaster had a crowd of a few dozen villagers, which grew to about 100 in an hour. Usually this was a good thing, but a number of folks, resentful of foreigners, freaks, and devil-blooded folk decided to mark the group, and when the CK finally rolled again in the middle of the afternoon, they were intercepted by the most hateful of the group, the town drunkard and his cronies. Essentially, this encounter consists of the Raider(Barbarian 6) and a bunch of Bandits (Warrior 1) from the GMG. They demanded all of the gold they "stole" from the townspeople and then some, but my PCs weren't having it and layed them low.

Orcs [EL 6ish-7):
Since they were still fresh from one fight, I had to throw Orcs at them, especially since they are so close to the border of The Hold of Belkzen. A had an overzealous scout give one round of advance warning before my warparty descended on them in the middle of the night. My war-party consisted of an Orc Cleric (Gorum) 3, an Orc Barbarian 1, an Orc Ranger 1, an Orc Warrior 3, and 8 Orc warriors, 2 of whom I had the CK slay with crossbows. It seemed dicey, until the Magus leveled a Color Spray that wiped most of the warriors. Still a fun fight, and enough to boost my PCs XP a little. Also, while two big combats are good, the CK add a little too much extra action economy versus any fight, especially against multiple combatants. Even against singular, powerful opponents, there's a danger of roasting the CK when they're supposed to be used in Lepistad. Thus, while I pretended like things were out there during the following couple days through Courtraud and to Lepistatd, I steered away from any further actual combat until the events of the Trial.

Courtaud:
I didn't really flesh this place out too much other than to describe the locals as employed farmers and young lordlings, some of whom they would encounter on hunts as the skirted some of the hills and forests. I made sure to describe the latest sighting of "The Devil in Grey", whom I plan to use in the next module. I described the city itself as a scattered collection of large mansions and miniature castles dotted amidst ruins, as if the conquests of the past still shone through the civilizing of the demesnes.

Grand Lodge

There is a night of the living dead component at the end of Broken Moon if played right but an interesting take on things none the less.


I plan on using Clover Crossing too

I like the Way being there and taking over the church im going to use that not sure if im going to use AA like that but maybe cause I do plan on having them meet him in book 1

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