The Story According to Adivion [spoilers & halftruths]


Carrion Crown

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I envision such a conversation between Adivion and the PCs in his townhouse in Caliphas, or perhaps his estate in Ardeal, over tea, sometime between the end of book 3 and the start of book 6.

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I did not write the "Carrion Crown" poem. It was Petros that discovered it, almost nine years ago, back when he was putting together the Order's records on the Whispering Way. We studied it together, him and I, and concluded that it was written during the lifetime of Tar-Baphon. Or rather, during his undead years, but before his destruction, if you can call that a "lifetime." It seems to describe a way to constitute a new phylactery.

We decided that such a treasure would be immeasurably tempting to any members of the Whispering Way. So I took advantage of the role I previously held at the Quarterfaux Archives, and I had it published under my name. I even joined the Whispering Way during this time. Disgusting organization, really, if you can even call it that. It is a shadow of whatever it once was, a fully decentralized mess of necromancers and other wretches with delusions of grandeur. It is not run like a sophisticated, modern organization should be run. It turns out obsession with dead people doesn't translate over into logistical finesse with living ones.

I digress. My role in joining the Whispering Way was to fish out any real threats within it, and keep tabs on them. The Carrion Crown poem was the bait. Petros had affection for this sort of opposition research, as I'm sure you are aware. All manner of necrophiles sought me out to learn more, or try to coordinate work on assembling the ingredients. Some even managed to get quite far under my guiding hand. Petros and I didn't feel any threat from having the poem "out there", as it had been in quite wide circulation for some time immediately after Tar-Baphon's defeat, and it gave him no boon then. However, as an added protection, I was there to mentor the would-be reborn-Tyrants to "guide" their progress. Sometimes this was straight into the waiting arms of Pharasmin Inquisitors. *smug grin*

So, the case of one Mr Vrood. The Order, as you know, has its fingers in many pies, particularly in the northwest. It was time for a change of power in the Shudderwood. The details and motivations for this, are, how do you say, "Esoteric." I gave Mr Vrood an invitation to Ascanor Lodge so that he could retrieve the packlord's heart for me. This plan, as you are doubtlessly keenly aware, was a complete disaster. Not only did the fool Vrood fail to actually deliver the heart to me, but the only worthwhile mind in all Ustalav had to pay the price of his crude insolence.

Why didn't you tell the Professor about your arrangement with Vrood?
You must understand, my involvement with Mr Vrood centered around Ascanor and the Heart. He did not reveal his other ventures to me, and he moved quite quickly to enact them. I first learned of Vrood's activities in Ravengro from Petros via pigeon, but before I could encode a response, I was already being invited to his funeral. This is where I gave in to vengeance and sought out your services. Vrood had gone too far, and he needed to be eliminated.

What do the other lines of the poem refer to?
Petros and I came to the conclusion that the stanzas of the poem do not each strictly refer to a specific object, but more generally refer to abstract concepts that were key elements in the life of Tar-Baphon. However, I would imagine for the poem to be successful, the bar would be quite high.

Where are the components now?
Doubtlessly with one of Vrood's lackeys who escaped your blade. Likely hiding in a hole somewhere. A hole, no doubt, blocked by divination magics. I am anxious to discover where they have gone. Perhaps you can help me in this?

I understand Hawkrin's Ghost, the Packlord's Heart, and the Feldgrau Skull are all part of the poem, but how does the Seasage Effigy fit into this?
It is clearly not a component that the poem describes. The Way often Whispers mysteriously. It is obviously very important to them. I will reach out to Professor Crawl in Lepidstadt to see what we can learn from him.


Love it, absolutely love it.

Contributor

Seconded. Fantastic work, Mr. Freund!


Love it too. Your bold regions refer to how to handle what the PCs say. How about some suggestions what happens when the PCs outright accuse him of having Petros killed and try and attack him.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Fantastic! I'm currently trying to balance having the heir to the tyrant be

Spoiler:
either Kendra, Adivion, or Lorrimer himself
, depending on who the PCs suspect least so this should be quite handy. I especially like how well this works with the suggestions from the Adivion thread about placing him in the earlier adventures.

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