Carrion Crown

Session 5 notes

We decide to head back to town, so as we can sell of the gear we just found and try and catch up with Alyara, the cat-lady and see ifn she got any information about Gibbs fer us. We split up, with a few of us sellin’ the loot, while Fernhook heads to Father Sourpuss to see ifn he can fix the barbarians recent health issues. After we are all done with our current tasks, we are to meet back at the Professors house, to rest and recuperate fer the evenin’, plannin’ on returnin’ to finish clearin’ out the prison in the mornin’. The cat-lady tells us that Gibbs didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, and there were no more letters spelt out on the memorial, either.

26 Calistril, 4710

I wake up and notice that while the Docs bed doesn’t appear to be slept in; he is downstairs lookin’ completely refreshed, so he must have woken up early to start breakfast. Huh, didn’t even wake me up when he got out of bed; I must have been really tired last night.
We all meet downstairs, have a nice, large breakfast and decide that in a few hours we will head back to the prison and see if there is anything else we need to cleanse of evil. So far we have met the ghosts of four of Harrowstones’ worst inhabitants, so we figure there must be one more somewhere in there. We all get our things together and head back on up to the prison; as we arrive, it seems as the spooky doors, chairs and such are still active, tryin’ to scare everyone, but it’s not working much anymore. We head on back downstairs, figurin’ on clearin’ out the area where we last were. Entering the torture chamber through the back of the iron maiden, we start to exit the room when we hear Alyara yell out “Kendra!” Here we go again: Kyxerus, Fernhook and the paladin attempt to hold back the cat-lady as she rushes towards the open lid of the iron maiden. After a few moments, she seems to settle down a bit, not rearin’ to go towards the torture device anymore, and Fernhook works on tearin’ off the lid to the iron maiden, stayin’ out of the way of it tryin’ to eat him. As they do this, me and the Doc head on around the corner and find the wheel that controls the iron gate barring the hallway to this cell area.

Moments later, the rest of the group meets up with me and the Doc and we head on down the only hallway remainin’ that we haven’t emptied out yet. As we enter into “The Oubliette” hallway, the cat-lady opens the door, lets out a whelp of “scary burnin’ skeleton” and she enters the room, releasin’ an arrow into the critter. Fernhook, Ky and the paladin all enter the room, to lay the creature to rest. It takes them a few moments, but the skeleton stops movin’ n’ burnin’.

Before we enter into the room proper, I use a few spells to check out the room from a distance- globes of light illuminate the room and I am able to see a form of some creature in the bottom of the oubliette, but before I am able to determine what it is, the rest of the group, as foolhardy as ever, rushes up to the edge of the pit. The Doc and I closely follow and moments later a ghostly form rises right up out of the ground, gives me an evil grin and touches me across my chest with its sick, wispy hand. Pain instantly shoots through my body as a dark red cloud rises from my chest where I was wounded and slowly engulfs the ghost form. Ky, Fernhook and the rest of the group draw steel and “attack” the form, with their weapons not doing much of anything. After a few seconds of the critter flowin’ ino the floor and walls and suckin’ the ghost blood out of anything it touches and the party swingin’ and throwin’ and shootin’ and not doing much of anything, I decide that I have had enough of this damned place and rush back to the surface, yellin’ “I’m outta here” as I go.

I wait outside the doors of the prison, hopin’ they all return and ifn they don’t, I will head to Lepidstadt and finish off what the Professor wanted us to do with the books. A half an hour or so later, the rest of the group emerges from the prison, proclaim they have cleansed most of the evil taint from the prison and ask if I can determine the magical properties of a few items that they hand over to me. “of course I can” I retort, and get to work lookin’ over the items and gleanin’ what I can from their magical auras. We then head back to the Professors’ house to calculate our next move.

26 Calistril, 4710

The paladin and Ky determine that they will attempt to cleanse the rest of the prison of its haunts while we wait the last few weeks, finishin’ up our oath of the Professor to watch over Kendra fer the month after his will readin’. During this time, I “borrow” the Docs breakin’ n’ enterin’ tool kit and jiggle open the last book we found in the box a few weeks earlier. Readin’ through it, I can’t make hide nor hair of it, as it is written in some sort of code. As the Doc works with this kinda stuff in his alchemy workin’ and such, I hand him the book and after a day, he is able to decipher it enough to understand it is a book titled “Manual on the Order of the Palatine Eye”- it appears to be a book about a secret society with interests in all things political and arcane. It also contains a scrap of paper no one noticed earlier, askin’ that the tome be returned to Embreth Daramid, in Lepidstadt. Great, another book the paladin will want to burn and that we hafta lug across the countryside to get our “inheritance”.

20 Pharast, 4710

It has been nearly 3 weeks since the prison has been cleansed and Ravengro has returned to its usual thriving self; the birds seem to chirp louder, the countryside seems a bit brighter and even the air seems a bit clearer. We haven’t had any dead walkin’ around issues and the townsfolk seem to be a bit more chipper and happy to see the foreigners; they even seem happy to see me! Kendra has told us that she intends on stayin’ in Ravengro and wishes us well on our journey to Lepidstadt. We have purchased a cart and some horses, survival gear and plenty of rations for our week-long journey north.

20 Pharast, 4710

We say our goodbyes to the townsfolk and Kendra, and head out for Lepidstadt. The journey should be rather bland as the path we are taking sees little activity, specially from bandits and such. As we leave Ravengro in our shadow, I feel rather giddy, as I will be returnin’ home; I just hope the constable fergot that little incident from a few years back, the one that ran me off to quieter pastures in Ravengro.

21 Pharast, 4710
Late evening:

We are bedded down fer the evenin’ when we hear the Doc shoutin’ something about critters coming into camp. We all wake up to find we are surrounded by wolves. These critters don’t usually come into someone’s camp like this, so I look around and in the distance I see a wolf, one much larger and more cunning lookin’; a worg leads these critters. In under a minute, Fernhook and Ky have slaughtered the wolves and the Doc pincushions the worg. As it is nearly dawn anyways, we stay up. Fernhook takes the time to skin the worg and other wolves, their pelts will be worth somethin’ in Lepidstadt. We will be headin’ on in a few hours.

23 Pharast, 4710
Late evening:

We have travelled for 2 days since the wolves and other than normal flora and fauna, we haven’t seen anything, not a soul. It’s rather lonely on the road, so I use the time to try out a few new tunes on my harmonica to liven the mood. Again, we set down for the evening and again, during the night we are awoken. Only this time, it’s not to the Doc yellin’ and such, it’s due to a horribly loud explosion causin’ an ear pearcin’ shriek. I wake up to find the rest of the party staggering to their feet, cupping their ears and lookin’ angrily at the Doc. I ask them whats going on and they don’t seem to hear me. What did the Doc do, drop one of his bombs into the fire or sumpin? Anyways, I see the Doc doesn’t seem to be worried about bein’ deafened and he is lobbin’ arrows out into the grass outside of the camp. I toss my globes of light that direction so as I can see better and out of the dark, I see the shapes of bipedal hyena-men, better known as gnolls. It takes a minute or so, but we are able to dispatch them, even the paladin seemin’ to be a bit bloodthirsty. These people I am travelin’ with do not seem to care much for others; I understand attackin’ and dispatchin’ ghosts and protectin’ yerself from wolves, but these are living critters, they might have just wanted to share our fire or sumpin; but these “heroes” don’t care much fer askin’ first. At least the Doc don’t seem as crazy as he did a few weeks back. But he and the paladin do seem to be a bit more “chummy” than they seemed back in Ravengro- that or I just didn’t notice the furtive looks they cast upon each other. And they now seem to WANT to share a tent every evening. Strange.

24 Pharast, 4710

We have travelled a bit closer to Lepidstadt, and I am getting’ antsy to get back to my place of birth. Wonder if any of my old friends will still be hangin’ around or ifn the constable has rounded em up. Will hafta look em up after we get to town and give these damnable books to the rightful owners. Ifn I had “borrowed” these books, I would have been ran down the river to spend time in Harrowstone, but the Professor borrows them and its all well and good; typical halfling discrimination- we ain’t all thieves and rapscallions. Anyways, we will be there soon and all my hopes will be found out.

As we round a bend in the road, we come upon a small collection of carts, wagons and a small group of fellow travelers. I realize who these people are and they, unlike us, are rather famous. These be the Crooked Kin, a travellin’ sideshow act. They seem to be all gathered up into a small group, and I notice a few of em seem to be cryin’ and wailin’, spoutin’ off about someone named Aleece havin’ gone missin’. As we roll up to em, they see to turn and notice us and one of them strides on up to us, an albino human with red eyes and long white hair, dressed in gaudy striped trousers and wearin’ a tall tophat. He shouts out “Ho there, travelers. I am Kaleb Hesse and we are the Crooked Kin.” Alyara steps forward, I guess she feels at home with the freak show and blurts out “why are your friends crying?”
Damn, these foreigners really need to learn to not stick their noses in other people’s business; we have places to see and things to do. “We are but a travelling sideshow act, and we had stopped for a bit to rest our horses. After a spell, we realized that one of our own had come up missing. None of us are really experienced in the ways of the wild and are afraid for her wellbeing.” Kaleb retorts. Alyara says that WE will look for her and asks where she was seen last; damned cat-lady needs to learn to keep her mouth shut and not volunteer for others.

Alyara, the Doc, Fernhook and the paladin head off in the direction of her last known whereabouts and trudge off into the nearby swamp. Ky and I decide it would be best to stay and watch over our horses and gear- while the Crooked Kin may be somewhat famous, I still don’t trust em. Nearly an hour later, those that went off to look for the child, return carryin’ the remains of a little pin-head girl and Fernhook has the remains of a large “spider” over his shoulder. As he plops it on the ground, I see that it is not a spider true, as it has a FACE! As they tell us of what transpired and the combat with the critter and its tactics, I remember what the critter is called; a phasespider. The group of “heroes” explains what they encountered and say they are sorry for the Kins’ loss. The Crooked Kin grab up the little girl and trudge off to their camp, mourning their loss. Kaleb thanks us for our assistance and as a reward he hands over a shiny dagger, claiming that it is magically ensorcelled against ‘thropes and such critters. So now I see why these guys keep helping others so much; they aren’t as altruistic as they make themselves out to be; they are just greedy and require payment for their deeds.

Kaleb invites us to join their camp for the evening, offering food and warmth as well as entertainment. We join their camp and I attempt to liven up the mood and play a happy little ditty for them. During the evening, I see that the Doc has escaped off into the arms (all four of them) of one of the freaks, to which the paladin seems to bristle a bit from. Kaleb tells us that their troupe is on the way to Lepidstadt as well. He figures with the trial for the “Beast”- I heard rumors they finally caught the scourge of Lepidstadt- going on, this would be a good time for the Crooked Kin to ply their trade and make some coin. He explains that while they have travelled all over Ustalav, they really have no skill in outdoors livin’ and ask ifn we would accompany them to Lepidstadt. As usual, the “altruists” of our group accept their offer, and we will now travel with the Crooked Kin; maybe they will keep the cat-lady? She seems happier with them……

Campout on the way to Lepidstadt

Kyxerus sat on his camp stool near the small fire with the others of the party, holding his hands out for warmth. These Ustalavan nights were much cooler than he was used to in Lastwall.
He finally stood and moved to his saddle bags to retrieve his heavy fur cloak. Pulling the cloak out, an object fell from its folds. Glinting in the firelight, it rang metallic as it struck the ground. Throwing the cloak over his shoulders, Kyxerus bent to retrieve the object and remembered it. The medallion they had found in Harrow Stone prison.
Moving back to his seat by the fire, he studied it in the better light. The medallion was made of bronze and stamped with emblems and markings of the Shining Crusade.

Trying to identify anything about the medallion (Knowledge: History 6, Knowledge: Nobility 6, Knowledge: Religion 9)

Kyxerus held out the medallion, “Lemmy, you seem to have a good grasp of the local history. Any ideas about this?”

Session 4

23 Calistril, 4710

We get back to the Professors house and the group makes their plans to watch the memorial over the night, hopin’ to catch Gibbs in the act. After all of the action over the last few days, I am feelin’ rundown, so I decide to retire early, expectin’ that they won’t find anythin’ happenin at the memorial; at worst, they will have some new story about dragons and demons threatenin’ the town.

24 Calistril, 4710

The next mornin’, I awake at sunrise, to find the house rather quiet. The Doc is not in his bed. Maybe somethin’ happened durin’ the evenin’ and they hadn’t returned yet? After freshenin’ up, I head downstairs, hopin to find the Doc cookin breakfast. While I do find the Doc downstairs, he is not makin’ breakfast. Instead, he is clutchin’ a small book in his arms, and talkin’ quietly to himself. Strange…

I try and talk to him, but he does not even seem to notice me. After a few minutes of tryin’ to get his attention, I decide I’m hungry so I head to the kitchen and grab sumpin to eat. I can still hear the Doc mutterin’ to himself in the other room. A few minutes later, the rest of the group trundles downstairs and after they all get together; they tell me a wild tale of the previous evenin’.

Supposedly, there was a town meetin’, which all of these folk from NOT HERE were invited to. The story doesn’t seem too coherent, and seems really hard to believe, but from what they tell me, somehow the town hall caught on fire (the Phantasma cleric must love that) and a riot broke out. Somehow, they were able clam everyone down. Afterwards, they decide to go to the prison and check thin’s out there. Gotta love it, they are here for less than two weeks, brin’ all these strange happenins with em, get the whole town in an uproar, think everyone in my town is either evil or scart of their own shadows, THEN they take a trip to the prison. And they don’t even ask me, someone who has been there hundreds of times, to lead em on their “quest”. Typical.

While in the prison, they are accosted by all kinds of horrors; doors openin’ n’ closin’ on their own, more undeads walkin’ around, and such happenins. While the story seems wildly fantastic, as I had been in there lots of times and never saw any of them thin’s, they decide that they wish to go back, “there is much evil there that needs to be cleansed” as the Phantasmite proclaims. I tell them that ifn they wish, I will lead em on their quest. With my knowledge of the prison and its environs, they gladly accept my assistance. Also, the Doc still seems to be actin’ a bit strange.

25 Calistril, 4710

After restin’ fer the evenin’ and resupplyin’ in the early mornin’, we head back to the prison (the cat lady is tasked with followin’ Griggs and keepin’ an eye on him). As they seem to know their way around here pretty well (only been here just yesterday, my ass), the party splits up, with a few of em goin’ in thru the back way, and the rest of us goin’ thru the front door, all of us meetin’ at the bottom of the staircase at the center of the ground floor. The stairwell to the lower floor seems to be filled with large rocks and other rubble, probably from some sorta cave-in or sumpin.

We head up the stairs and enter a room containin’ a bunch of tables and chairs (probably a chow hall of some sort), a guard station to the south (behind some bars) and to the east and west appears to be multiple holdin’ cells (a few empty, but most contain the remains of its long dead prisoner). The north wall is mostly destroyed, allowin’ a view of the outside environs, a small balcony that surrounds the second floor (probably fer the guards to walk the perimeter) and a small portion of the “pond”.

The holy men (Kyxerus and the paladin) decide they will some searchin’ (to the east and southwest, respectively), while the Doc just stands at the staircase with Fernhook. I decide to go check out the western part of the room, but as I start that way, I am attacked by giant mosquitoes. Two of them I am unable to evade, and they start to suck out all my blood!! The Doc just stands there, as Fernhook helps to remove them from me; I’m not sure what is wrong with the Doc. A bit weak after the attack, the priest gives me a vial of holy stuff that helps me feel better quite quickly. The priest says that everythin’ he searched was empty (other than the common remains of a jail cell) and heads to the area that I was to start searchin’, cuz he can obviously see thin’s better than me.

As he rounds the corner, we hear the clangin’ of cell doors openin’ and the rushin’ of humanoid forms, as skeletons erupt from most the cells. A few of us take on the majority of the attackers, while the paladin and Ky are handlin’ a few on their own. Almost as soon as the battle begins, I also hear a hushed dirge begin to play, from whom or where, I cannot determine. As I am able to dispatch my attackers quite quickly, I rush to help the group of holy men. As Fernhook gets to their side, he decides to just stand there, not even defendin’ himself against the attacks of the newly risen prisoners. Ky and paladin are able to hold off the dead, without my assistance. Moments later, I am paralyzed by some sort of evil sorcery and I see a ghastly apparition appear and slowly begin to walk towards me. A moment later, I am able to break free from its spell; as I do, it disappears from my view. It seems to only appear to those held by its magic.

I realize that this is the creature (quite possibly the ghostly form of the Piper of Illmarsh) that is playin’ the dirge and I use my harmonica playin’ to try and counteract his magic. With my leadership, they are able to fend off the creatures advances and we are able to finish off the skeletons that are attackin’ us. We then turn our attention to the ghostly musician and rather quickly dispatch him.

Durin’ this battle, the Doc seemed to not care so much about us as he did about further searchin’ the area. We eventually find him standin’ in the next room, which before the previous battle was locked behind a large iron door. Openin’ it, it appears to open out upon a large balcony overlookin’ the entire flank of the prison yard. As the paladin steps out to search the area, a ghostly pair of dismembered arms appears, floatin’ in air and wieldin’ a large scythe. The more-melee apt members of the group rush up to the apparition and, with the Docs assistance (finally), they are able to dispatch the haunt.

We head back inside and across from the iron door stands a smaller door, locked but obviously not a cell. The Doc is able to get the door open and Fernhook takes point, enterin’ the small room and climbs up an old iron ladder, built into the wall across from the door. As he reaches the top, he proclaims that the hatch found there seems to be either locked or stuck. As he attempts to force it open, it crashes open, with a large pile of bricks and rocks tumblin’ down upon his head and shoulders (im not sure ifn these people will ever learn). He takes a few bumps and bruises from it but is otherwise able to hang onto the ladder.

What enters the room next from the open hatch, he is not happy with tho- another one of those large mosquitoes from earlier, only this one is even larger, damned near as big as me! It flies down and attaches itself to Fernhook, who jumps down off the top of the ladder, attemptin’ to squash the bug against the floor or wall with his momentum. The paladin enters the small room and together they are able to dispatch the critter; Fernhook is a bit woozy from havin’ his blood sucked out, but claims he is able to continue in his current state.
We determine that the rest of this floor is as empty as it appears to be and head down the stairs into a large backroom, obviously in older times used as a trainin’ room for the guards. Near the back wall of the room is a large hole in the floor, the edges irregular and scarred from the prison fire and years of ruin. Below the hole is a room about 20 feet below us, the ground covered in twisted metal and broken timber; at one time, this was the elevator shaft used to get to the lower level of the prison, where the worst offenders were housed.
We look down into the room below and see nothin’ other than the wreckage and a small pool of undisturbed water.

Tyin’ a rope off, Fernhook takes the lead and descends into the room below. As he climbs down, he announces that other than the pool, he can see nothin’ else. As he reaches the floor and steps into the shallow pool, we see it begin to ripple and moments later, 3 dead creatures erupt and swarm Fernhook. Standin’ at the edge of the openin’, we do what we can to assist, with the paladin climbin’ down to help more directly. These creatures are also easily dispatched and as the two members on the lower floor announce the room is now cleansed, the rest of us head on down as well.

The room appears to just be the receivin’ room for those comin’ from above, with a hallway headin’ deeper into the catacombs to the east. We cautiously make our way to the short hallway beyond the exit and enter into a large room, the center of which contains the ruined staircase, rubble filled and unusable without many days of excavation and rebuildin’. From our vantage point, we can see a hallway to the south and the north and can tell that the room extends beyond the other side of the staircase, but are unable to see how far from where we are. As the holy warriors enter the room, again we see the mounds that once were dead prisoners and guards rise from the floor. Moments later, they are dispatched and we are able to search the other side of the staircase, findin’ yet another hallway.

I notice that next to each hall is a plaque upon the wall. Usin’ my magic, I conjure floatin’, glowin’ orbs of light and send then down the halls, to search them some without actually enterin’. The plaques upon the halls read:

The Nevermore: The hall to the south extends 40 feet then opens into a small chamber; the back wall lined with cells and a large pool of liquid fills the center of the chamber. The entrance is barred.

The Oubliette: the hall to the north is identical to the southern chamber in regards to construction, but the center of the chamber is actually an oubliette, makin’ the one in the other room the same thin’, just filled with water.

The Reapers’ Hold: to the west, down a long hallway, this large chamber houses multiple prison cells. Nothin’ more can be discerned without enterin’ the hallway.

As it is closer to our present location, we decide to first search the room to the south. As the entrance is barred with an old, rusted portcullis, enterin’ the room takes a bit longer than we thought, but we eventually get the gate to open enough for us to slip under and enter the chamber.

As we get closer to room proper, the Doc rushes in and starts to look around fer what he can find. I follow closely and as I reach the center of the room, use my magic to attempt searchin’ the pool- dark, murky water is all I can see. From behind me, the paladin rushes across the chamber, enters one of the open cells, and he begins mutterin’ to himself and scratchin’ at the wall franticly. As I turn around, I see Fernhook doin’ the same, near the end of the hallway entrance. As I look around the room, on one of the walls, near the floor, I see the letters of my name, in what can only be blood, appear. I quickly run over to them, some other-worldly force compellin’ me to try and erase them before my name is spelled out; this has to be the work of the Splatterman.

With each letter emergin’ from nothin’ness, I feel my sanity slippin’. I try usin’ simple measures at first, but rubbin’ the letters with water, even holy water, has no effect. Takin’ a second to think, I draw my crowbar and just start to whack away at the wall. One by one, the letters spelt out in front of me are destroyed. With each letter, I feels my sanity returnin’. After destroyin’ 2 of the three letters that have appeared, with a lurch, I feel released from their hold and no longer see my name bein’ spelt out in front of me. I hear my companions around me reactin’ the same.

Moments later, the walls and ceilin’ collapse a bit, broken timbers and shattered stone eruptin’. We all take a small bit of damage from this, and the floor is now a bit harder to cross, but otherwise we all seem to be fine. Lookin’ around, I do not see the Doc, but I do notice a door is now opened that was closed as we entered the chamber; damned guy is wanderin’ around all by himself, not thinkin’ of anyone else. As I start to head that way, from the pool behind me, with a shriek arises the ghostly form of the Splatterman. Rather quickly, the ghost attacks us, sendin’ magical force missiles at us from its fingertips. Moments later, a trio of large rats appears out of nowhere, surroundin’ Fernhook, who quickly dispatches them.

Our motley band quickly attempts to dispatch the ghost, usin’ all of our implements of holy power. We slowly seem to whittle away at its essence, and as the Doc appears in the room, it seems to get a newfound bit of power. Appearin’ as if he really doesn’t want to assist us, the Doc tosses a few of his vials at the ghost, further erodin’ its essence. With but a touch, the ghost is able to devour our life forces, and we quickly get the feelin’ that we have bitten off more than we can handle. Steelin’ himself, the Doc holds forth the spellbook, obviously the Splattermans, and tears out a page! With a shriek, the Splatterman moves toward the Doc. Two more pages are torn, causin’ the ghost even more weal and woe. The Splatterman attempts to escape by flowin’ thru one of the nearby walls, but with a final action, Doc rips the remainin’ pages from the book, and from a short distance away, we hear the death scream of the Splatterman.

We take a moment to recover ourselves, and as we do, the Doc tells us of a door he had found in a room adjacent to this; the door opens into a small cavern or some such and within this room, the Doc saw a small mass of grayish “ooze” flowin’ across the floor; He then closed the door and returned to find us bein’ accosted by the Splatterman. A moment later, the paladin had opened the door and entered the chamber (damn, I hope these guys will learn eventually). About 20 feet in, he stops, starts screamin’ and swingin’ his weapon about. Seconds later, he is covered in a mass of gray liquid, smoke risin’ from his steel weapons and armor. From outside the door, a few of us attempt to remove the ooze from the paladin and Ky and Fernhook rush in to help. With each swing and blow, the ooze seems to grow less mobile, parts of it appearin’ to become lifeless. Eventually, the creature stops movin’, and the paladin emerges from beneath the mass, his armor and weapons havin’ been eaten away by what appears to be some sort of acid. Removin’ his ruined armor, he dons an armored coat stowed by Ky and we search the small chamber, only findin’ bits of animal bones and broken furniture and such. As we are about to leave, the Doc proclaims he had found a hidden door, and after workin’ upon it for a moment, he is able to release the catch holdin’ the door closed.

As we enter the room, we see what appears to be the prisons torture chamber. The “door” we had entered was actually an iron maiden, in the center of the room stands a rack with a corpse still bound and chained, and around the room are various implements of torture as well. Me and the Doc go and peruse the remains on the rack, while the others search the remains of a small fire pit. The Doc takes a closer look at the remains upon the rack and determines the skeleton has broken bones, severed hands, dislocated hips and shoulders, a shattered jaw, and numerous long, thin needles that have been driven into his ears, eye sockets, elbows, hips, and knees. We find a set of keys in the pelvic area of the skeletal remains. The skeleton still wears a suit of tattered chainmail and a guard’s uniform, and his badge is found stuffed into what once was his throat.

At the head of the rack is a basket and as I go to look into the basket, two “hands” jump out and attack me and the Doc. I bash at one with my crowbar, but miss and a moment later, the paladin is at our side. Unfortunately for him, the hands are now around his throat, grippin’ tightly. After a few arrows are loosed by the Doc (barely missin’ impalin’ themselves into the paladins’ torso) and a few swings are taken by Fernhook, we eventually are able to remove the disembodied hands from the paladins’ neck and end their existence.

Moments later, we hear Fernhook scream “Kendra” and rush towards the iron maiden. As he does so, the door slams shut, trappin’ him within. We are able to pry open the lid to the torture device and out falls Fernhook, his body covered in deep, bloodless puncture wounds. In his weakened state, Fernhook will be a burden to continue on, but the priest is able to use a few soothin’ magics on him to help him recover most of his stamina.

We leave the room, exitin’ thru a door to the north and enter into what was probably the main cell block for the prisons’ worst inhabitants. We head down a hallway and open a door into a room just to the south. As we enter, we see a single large table with two chairs astride it and a single saggin’ cot pushed up against the eastern wall. Several battered cabinets line the northern wall, with a few arrows and bits of chainmail lyin’ scattered on the floor nearby, yet the most eerie sight are the three fractured skulls sittin’ on the table next to a heavy hammer. It looks as if someone has arranged the fragments of the skulls in some sort of pattern, as if an attempt had been made to construct a fourth skull from the broken fragments of the trio on the table. The leathery body of a long-dead dwarf, his wiry red hair and beard still strangely vibrant in death, lies slumped on the ground behind the table.
As we open the door, the skulls upon the table rise into the air and move towards the doorway. Doc steps forwards, throws one of his vials into their midst, and the ragged remains drop to the floor. As we enter the room to investigate it further, a ghostly form rises from the dwarven remains, with another disembodied skull floatin’ nearby, and moves up to Fernhook. The ghost swings its “hammer” and strikes Fernhook about the head, and a tiny “fragment” of his skull erupts from his head, flies towards the disembodied skull and fades into non-existence. Fernhook swings at the skull in a rage, with his favorite axe swingin’ thru it, but causin’ no apparent damage. Everyone else rushes into the room, while I move over to the corner and use my leadership abilities to help the rest. They surround the ghostly form, and end up endin’ the continued hauntin’ by the Mosswater Marauder.

We take a little bit to recover from the recent battles and search the room. We find nothin’ of any value or use and as we are ready to leave, the Doc finds a hidden stone door. Usin’ the set of keys we had found recently, we are able to open the door and find a cache of armors and weapons within- obviously, this is the storage area for the guards of Harrowstone.

Doctor Nim - Personal Journal

“Hi Journal. It’s been a long day, hasn’t it. I’m so glad I found you, and you were so accommodating. To think there were even useful formulae I could transcribe! We’re going to be the best of friends, I just know it!

Why do I feel the sudden urge to eat mushrooms? Hmm, that is odd, isn’t it journal? Probably because you smell so wonderful.

Anyway, as long as we keep that nasty Inquisitor’s paws off you, we’ll be fine. What is that journal? You think I should go get some blood of an innocent villager? Why, I have that here, silly journal. Right in my backpack – never know when virginal blood will show up as an ingredient! What, fresh? Oh journal, you’re so silly. I think I’ll stop writing in you for the night.

Good night journal. Sleep well, for tomorrow we’ll have even more adventures!"

Session 3: Foray to Harrowstone

Personal journal of Kyxerus

The group finally determined to investigate what seems the cornerstone to all the events occuring in the region: The ruins of Harrowstone Prison.

The place is a mess, understandable considering the length of time it has been abandoned.
Our arrival found some areas collapsed probably due to the underground destruction. The eastern area of the prison collapsed into a sinkhole now filled with water. The main gate was sundered and hung askew from its hinges. Two structures stood within the walls; the former residence of the warden and the prison itself.
Investigation of the residence found it filled with detritus and prone to collapse if any ventured within. So we moved to the prison structure itself.

We ventured mostly around the ground floor. In almost every room we found some phantom or ‘geist that caused difficulties if not outright assault. Each was eventually overcome, but I fear that they will return to do more mischief as is their nature unless but to a final rest. I know not what that might entail.
One encounter was with the departed spirit of the warden’s wife herself; Vayanerassa. Found ‘hiding’ in a laundry room she could not leave after her passing, she told of an awareness of others moving through the prison seeking to expand on the evil of the haunted structure. She felt that five of the most notorious prisoners (Father Charlatan, the Splatterman, the Marauder, and two others I cannot recall the name of…) had been returned and were increasing in power. Each of these prisoners could be defeated by the implements they used in life, and these were secured in a vault on the premises. Once defeated, and with the Badge of Office of her husband, she could purge the growing evil of the prison and return it to the abandoned structure it was; empty.
We found the cache of items and some other trinkets and returned to town for an evening Twon Hall meeting as requested by Councilman Hardheart.

Session 2 notes

Early Evening:

Just before everyone settles down for the night, two more guests are shown into the study. A mountain of a man with very light skin and bright red hair and beard, carrying a large shield and axe, enters and announces that he is Fernhook Redman and that he is here for the professors funeral. I inform the man that he is too late for that bit, as the professor had been buried some days ago, but if he would like, I can show him where exactly the professor had been laid to rest. He accepts, but to my horror, he wants to go this very evenin’! The man cannot see at night, has no clue about the strange things that have been goin’ on, has been travellin’ for months the way he makes it sound (even though the professor only died less than a month ago) and wants to go see the grave immediately. What kinda kooks are showin’ up to my quiet little town?

As I get ready to show the visitor what it is he is here for, another visitor arrives; Kendra announces “Folks, I have the pleasure to introduce Doctor Nim, an associate of my fathers, and the premier physician in Ravengro.” A tall, youthful elf, Doctor Nim carried an umbrella over one arm, a large leather satchel over the other and a modified suit of studded leather lined with vials and pockets that clinked lightly as he moved about the room. Turning to Nim, she asked “but why are you here tonight?” Doctor Nim pointed to the couch, “may I sit?” he took a seat as Kendra mumbled her acquiescence.

Nim glanced around the room, taking in the adventurers who had been in deep discourse just moments earlier. Noticing the halfling, he stated “Lemmy, nice to see you here. I’d hoped the Professor, may Pharasma spare him, hadn’t overlooked you.” He smirked at his own joke and assumed a more serious tone. “Kendra, I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s murder. I came as quickly as I could, though I see I’m not the only one. I’ve cleared my calendar and am willing to assist in any way that I can. I assume you’ve interred the good Professor?” Kendra nodded. “Yesterday.” Nim clasped his hands. “I see. Well, that’s good, I suppose.” Peering at the other men in the room, he asked “I’d like to offer my services. I’m primarily a chirurgeon, but I dabble in alchemy and might prove useful, especially if you’re going to be poking around Harrowstone. Crypt raiding is more my specialty, when I’m not healing the sick, but you have to admit, Harrowstone is quite fascinating, no?”

Nim noticed one member of the group was huddled in the back, trying to be inconspicuous. He got up and walked over to the ranger and touched her shoulder. “Why are you so shy?” The ranger raised her cowled head and drew back the hood, revealing her feline face. “I’m cat folk, and you townsfolk don’t seem to care much for my presence. I didn’t want to alarm you, Doctor.” Nim sat back on his haunches and scanned the room quickly for confirmation from the others. “Cat folk, eh? You look like you’re caught by the lycanthropy curse. I’d like to test something, it won’t hurt.” Nim reached into his satchel and momentarily pulled out a green sprig of an herb. He waved it in front of the rangers face. She looked at it curiously, but otherwise had no reaction.

Nim returned the herb to his bag. “Hmm, not a lycan after all, you’d at least flinched from the wolvesbane. No matter, I’m sure I can fix this ailment in time.” He returned to his seat on the couch. “I don’t need fixing”, the ranger mumbled under her breath.” “So”, asked Nim, “where do we go from here?”

I welcome the Doc and tell him I was about to take the newest arrival to the professors’ grave and ask if he would like to come along and get that part of his trip out of the way? He accepts and we leave the manse and head to the Restlands. On the way, I tell the Doc and Fernoc what all has been goin on in the last few days and to keep them awake and their spirits up, I play them some down-home music on my harmonica. We arrive at the grave, and for once in the last few days, nothin strange happens. The two say their respects, have a moment of quiet and then we turn and head back for the professors’ place.

And then it had to happen, couldn’t go a night without sumpin weird happenin. The Doc exclaims “Did either of you just see that?” Me ‘n Fernhook both answer “No”, to which the Doc says “I must have been seeing things then. Never mind. Let us head back home for the evening. I’m tired and could use some well-deserved rest.” It seems that every time a new person arrives in town, things get weirder ‘n weirder.

After we arrive back at the house, Kendra tell the new guests that they are more than welcome to stay here at the house, to which Fernhook explains that he welcomes the offer, but will take up residence at the inn for the evening. “OOOH, I wouldn’t do that” I tell Ferhook. “Lots of strange happenins goins on, specially at the inn”. “I will be OK, little one” intones Fernoc, and he turns, grabs his gear and heads for the inn. “We will be lucky ifn we see him in the mornin’” I say.

20 Calistril, 4710

In the morning, I am awoken by the Doc makin’ breakfast; he is a very good cook as well as a healer. I get out from under the bed (Kendra really needs to have the floor under the beds cleaned up), wash up and head downstairs to assist the Doc in makin’ breakfast- by assist, I mean sample all the goodies he is makin’. As I head downstairs, I notice a quiet, yet somber, sound of fiddle or mandolin or some such stringed instrument wafting through the air. I can’t place the tune, but it is definitely the type of song to be played at this sad time. I also notice that the room that Rachelindria had occupied the night before is empty; her stuff is gone and her battle turkey as well. How strange…

When I reach the kitchen, I see that the Doc has noticed the tune as well and has a perplexed look upon his face. “The sound has been heard all over town, not louder or quieter at any area.” That IS very strange. “Shall we go check it out?” I ask the Doc. “I’m not sure. With all the things goin on lately that you have described, I am fearful of what it might be. I would prefer to stay inside, much safer here.” “Oh, come on Doc, no need to be a feardy cat.” I head for the door, stop at the exit and wave the Doc to come along.

As we head towards the town square, we see horror upon horror- what appears to be recently entombed dead bodies walkin’ about, attackin’ townsfolk, eating animals and livestock. The Doc says we should stick to the edges of the buildings, while I would prefer the direct route, but as the Doc won’t go otherwise, I follow his directions. As we skirt around the edge of town and enter the main square, we see Scooby, the town mongrel, surrounded by a few of the children, a few I recognize from earlier in the week. They are wavin’ around sticks and other objects, tryin’ to keep what appear to be “hands” scribblin’ around, tryin’ to grab the dog and the children. I then notice that the cat lady had also joined us, sneakin’ behind us, all wicked-like. I also see the newest arrival to town, the red-haired Fernhook, across the town square.

“Don’t let those thingies hurt Scooby or the children” I shout. The Doc and cat-lady hold back for a second, trying to determine the best route away from the town square. “We have to save the children. Those things are disembodies hands. While strange, they are easy to take care of. Hit them with sticks and rocks and other whackin’ things.” With this bit of advice, the Doc decides to throw one o’ his vials, which happens to explode in a rain of acid, all over the “hands”, most of it hittin’ Scooby though. “Don’t hurt the dog, you fool” I shout, as the cat-lady runs in and tries to help the children. I draw my sling from my belt, twirl it around and toss a sling bullet into one of the “hands”, shattering it and it falls off the back of the dog. At this time, Fernhook runs from across the square and stands in front of one of the “hands”, lookin’ unsure of what to do.

One of the critters jumps up and latches onto Scooby’s neck, causin’ the dog to yelp and bite at the hand. Fernhook swings his shield about, squishin’ two of the hands that were about to grab some of the girls and the Doc tosses another vial of hurt, finishin’ off the rest of the hands. I run up and check the girls and the dog, find they are goin’ to be okay and tell the children to follow me, I will lead them to their homes safely. The Doc, cat-lady and Fernhook decide to follow me; safety in numbers again.

A moment after leavin’ the town square, we run into Ky and the cleric as they exit the Ravengro General Store. They regale us with a wild tale of dispatching an old couple (supposedly a pair of bazombies, the families grandparents come back from the grave) and fighting a “shadow” from the closet (probably just an old coat or something- EVERYTHING is evil and undead to these two). With all the dead roaming around, I mention the idea of checking out the graveyard; while the rest are frightened of this idea, they agree it is probably the best course of action. Amazingly, the music is still playin’, no louder or quieter than it was at the professors’ place.


As we head to the Restlands, we start to cross over the river, using the covered bridge. On the other side, we see one of the local young boys, perched upon one of the postin’ poles, two dead folk scramblin’ to grab him. Nearby, upon a large skeletal beast, is another dead man, this one all decked out in armor and everything. With my expert knowledge of history and local lore, I realize these are a group of ruffians that were hanged fer their misdeeds many, many years ago. For some dumb reason, the townsfolk figured it would be wise to just bury them near the shore line of the river, hopin’ that in time they would just be fergottin’. As I rush forward to try and protect the young lad, Fernhook runs past me, swings his large axe and misses the dead folk. The leader of the group, astride his mount, gallops forward, attemptin’ to harm the northerner.

Moments later, the rest of our little band finds their nerve and rushes forward to help Fernhook and the kid still perched upon the postin’ pole. The Doc chucks another of his bottles of pain, hittin’ the mounted dead man, and splashes a bit on everyone else around him, includin’ Fernhook; Doc needs to be a bit more careful with then there vials. After a bit, Fernhook whomps the dead guy on the horse, both of them dead critters fallin’ to a heap at Fernhooks’ feet. I tell the child to run along home as fast as he can and lock the door when he gets home; this ain’t no place fer a kid like him to be right now.

First, new arrivals come into town for the professors’ funeral. Then, people start seein’ ghosts and such, and now there are deceased critters and other insane stuff happenin’. It was nice and quiet just a week earlier. You can’t tell me that these people didn’t bring it with em. Gotta get em out of town soon, before there is no town left. Oh, and the music is still playin’.

As we near the graveyard, one of the acolytes runs up to us, out of breath and all. He tells us that the chapel has been overrun, Father Sourpuss is missin’ and that one of the council members is being accosted by “something”, as well. I decide that the councilman is on the way to the graveyard so we should stop to help there first. As we arrive, he is running’ out the front door, slammin’ it behind him. A moment later, some weird ghost thingy comes THRU the door, leaving a slimy trail behind on the door. The apparition looks similar to the councilman, except fer hatchet stickin’ out of the back of its head. The councilman says somethin’ about he didn’t do it, and hides behind a flower pot.

The Doc seems to be gettin’ his dander up, as he immediately throws one of his vials at the ghosty thing. This causes the thing to ferget the councilman and turns on us. After a time, with my expert advice on how to handle the creature, we survive the encounter. Afterwards, the councilman spouts off something about the ghosty bein’ his grandfathers’ ghost, bent on revenge fer sumpin he didn’t do. “It was my father that killed him and left him in the nearby woods. It is just coincidence that I and my father look alike. My grandfathers’ ghost must have mistaken me for my father.” We tell him to get back inside his home and lock the door, though it seems now that that won’t keep everything out.

As we reach the graveyard, we see what look like the remains of an acolyte lying near the entrance. As I go to check on him, we are accosted by a ghoul-wolf, some sorta half-dead wolf critter. As usual, we dispatch the critter and enter the graveyard. Upon the hill, at the end of the way, I notice a lithe figure jumping and dancing around, playing a fiddle. All around, we see the graves either erupting with dead walking or the dead trying to get out. I lead the group forward, protectin’ them as much as my little frame can.

As we get to the hill, we lose sight of the dancer, but combat a bunch of skeletal figures. With my expert knowledge of these creatures, the group dispatches them rather quickly; they seem to be getting’ braver ‘n braver as we go. We again catch sight of the dancer, who happens to be a female elf, wearing tattered and torn clothing and the remains of a straight jacket. I remember a tale of an elven female resembling this one who had her entire adoptive family of gypsies murdered many decades ago. After the massacre, she was taken to a local institution, catatonia setting in on her. The tale pretty much ends there, so no damned clue as to how or why she is here, playin’ around with that fiddle.

She makes her way to the back side of the hillock, and we lose sight of her. Many more dead arise from the ground and my companions make short work of them. I, however, receive a mighty gash across my arm, tryin’ to protect the Doc. I doubt it will be the last time that happens, though. We catch sight of the elven woman, and Kyxerus is able to grab her. As he does, she goes limp in his arms, and the cat-lady decides to stab her anyways. Gonna hafta keep an eye on this one- sneakin’ around, stabbin’ helpless folk.

After I get a look at the fiddle, I remember a legend of a goat-legged creature that would arrive in a small town and ask a random stranger to play his fiddle- the fiddler would become enchanted to never stop, magically altered to not need food, drink or rest as long as they are allowed to play. While the fiddle is played, the dead rise in the local area. The cleric has another bright idea to destroy the fiddle instead of giving it to those that might be able to control or protect it from others that would use it for harmful effects. As such, the barbarian takes a few whacks at it with an axe and splinters the instrument. The remains of it are gathered, for what purpose, I don’t know. Shame, it was a beautiful instrument, too.

Early Evening:

As I search the graveyard for Father Sourpuss , the rest of the group happens to find him and a few acolytes stuck in a crypt up on the hill- the doorway filled in with what appears to be a rockslide. After they are dug out, they say they entered the crypt to prepare it for use and turned around to find the doorway filled in. We then head back to the Professor’s place to rest up and do some more research on whats going on. After a few hours, I head back to my room at the inn, hopin’ the weird stuff has moved on- as I enter the commons room, I see a group of farmers’ playing cards. One of them goes to lay his hand down, and the cards burst into flames! While a bit dazzled, I hear the sounds of screamin’ coming from what would be the basement, if the inn had one. After the screamin’ stops, the farmers are all amazed at what just happened, but I notice the cards appear to be normal now. Not gonna stay here ever again and head back to the professor’s house.

As things haven’t been “quiet”, I decide that while I am staying at the professors’ house, I will do what I can to keep everyone else safe. Best way I know is safety in numbers; as such, during the evenin’, I sneak into the Docs’ quarters and sleep under his bed. I need to be as close to him as possible if I am to protect him while he is in town, being one of the few people that don’t treat me like I’m a child just cuz of my size.

21 Calistril, 4710

I decide to do some more research; The barbarian tells us of his evening he spent in the inn- he woke up during the night in what appeared to be a jail cell, sparsely furnished, with no door. He sees his name written upon the wall in what appears to be blood. As he awakes from his dream, he finds himself back in his normal room with one new addition, his name written on the wall in blood, all but the last letter scribed- Fernhoo. He haggled with the innkeeper and got his money back and vowed to never sleep there again. Damned innkeeper never let me off with payin’ him fer room ‘n board; gotta be cuz the big guy is human.

I spend the next two days doing more research. Goin’ over all the information we have gathered from the professors’ study, the papers Ky brung back from the sheriff’s office and the papers the cleric got from Father Sourpuss, I still am unable to coax anymore information from the papers.

23 Calistril, 4710

During the evening, the group leaves me to the research and goes out and about. After a few hours of goin’ over the same ole books, I get tired and head back up to bed- under the Docs bed again- and during the evening, I am awoken by the Phantasma cleric, saying they are following what a ghost bird told em to do. I tell him they are nuts and I’m staying right where I am.

The next morning, they return, all beat up and everything and tell me some fantastic story about some brain-critter trying to eat their heads and about saving a local girl from being eaten by a flock of birds. They give me a ring to look at; it displays the crest of a local family of little renown and influence.

24 Calistril, 4710

I spend one last day researchin’ and finally get the papers to coax out the last bit of information on the 5 very bad men that were held in the prison before it burnt down: The Splatter-man is up to displayin’ the words in blood on the memorial, or at least that was used to do before being captured and placed in the prison. Everyone else gets the idea that everythin’ goin’ on has somethin’ ta do with the Whispering Guys and the remains of Harrowstone Prison. If the Splatter-man is up to his old tricks, then we are in fer a bit of trouble. Ky suggests we head to the memorial and see if anything was left on it during the night; unbeknownst to me, they have been stakin’ out the memorial at night to see if anyone has been vandalizin’ it in the ways of the Splatter-man.

As we head to check out the memorial (up to 3 letters have appeared so far- VES), the cat-lady spots some tracks leading away from the memorial. We follow them a ways and they lead to the shack of Gibbs, the old farmer from the area. The Doc enters the building under the pretense of doing house-to-house searches due to the dead walking incidents, which Gibbs doesn’t buy and gets irate over. After trying to talk to him, Gibbs tells us to leave his property- other than not sleeping well the last week or so, he hasn’t left his shack, and definitely has not been to the memorial recently. As we leave, we decide to spend the evening spying on the memorial, hoping to catch the culprit in the act; the guests to my quiet, little town determine Gibbs is the guilty party. of course, its one of the townsfolk doin’ everything, it can’t be someone from out of town….

Introduction of Doctor Nim

Later that evening, there was a sharp rap on Kendra’s door. The hostess rose slowly, not expecting visitors at that late hour. Upon opening the door however, she smiled and ushered the visitor in. As he walked into the sitting room, Kendra announced him. “Folks, I have the pleasure to introduce Doctor Nim, an associate of my fathers, and the premier physician in Ravensgro.” A tall, youthful elf, Doctor Nim carried an umbrella over one arm, a large leather satchel over the other and a modified suit of studded leather lined with vials and pockets that clinked lightly as he moved about the room. Turning to Nim, she asked “but why are you here tonight?” Doctor Nim pointed to the couch, “may I sit?” he took a seat as Kendra mumbled her acquiescence.

Nim glanced around the room, taking in the adventurers who had been in deep discourse just moments earlier. Noticing the halfling, he stated “Lemmy, nice to see you here. I’d hoped the Professor, may Pharasma spare him, hadn’t overlooked you.” He smirked at his own joke and assumed a more serious tone. “Kendra, I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s murder. I came as quickly as I could, though I see I’m not the only one. I’ve cleared my calendar and am willing to assist in any way that I can. I assume you’ve interred the good Professor?” Kendra nodded. “Yesterday.” Nim clasped his hands. “I see. Well, that’s good, I suppose.” Peering at the other men in the room, he asked “I’d like to offer my services. I’m primarily a chirurgeon, but I dabble in alchemy and might prove useful, especially if you’re going to be poking around Harrowstone. Crypt raiding is more my specialty, when I’m not healing the sick, but you have to admit, Harrowstone is quite fascinating, no?”

Nim noticed one member of the group was huddled in the back, trying to be inconspicuous. He got up and walked over to the ranger and touched her shoulder. “Why are you so shy?” The ranger raised her cowled head and drew back the hood, revealing her feline face. “I’m catfolk, and you townfolk don’t seem to care much for my presence. I didn’t want to alarm you, Doctor.” Nim sat back on his haunches and scanned the room quickly for confirmation from the others. “Catfolk, eh? You look like you’re caught by the lycanthropy curse. I’d like to test something, it won’t hurt.” Nim reached into his satchel and momentarily pulled out a green sprig of an herb. He waved it in front of the rangers face. She looked at it curiously, but otherwise had no reaction.

Nim returned the herb to his bag. “Hmm, not a lycan after all, you’d at least flinched from the wolfbane. No matter, I’m sure I can fix this ailment in time.” He returned to his seat on the couch. “I don’t need fixing”, the ranger mumbled under her breath.” “So”, asked Nim, “where do we go from here?”

Journal of Alyara

It is a sad occasion that brings me to this foreign land. An old friend is dead. The professor was my teacher at one time. We had seemingly endless discussions on myriad subjects while I studied under him. We loved to debate our different points of view. I had hoped that one day our paths would cross again. Alas it is not to be. Mt friend is dead. They call it an accident. Of course, a gargoyle just happened to fall on him while he was had been investigating the mysterious cult called the whispering way. Highly suspicious.

Now they are calling hm a necromancer and some of the locals tried to bar our way to the cemetery and prevent us from laying him to rest. The were talked down by another member of the group. All of our group has some connection to the Professor.

The professor is survived by his Daughter Kendra. The poor girl is hanging on but it is a very difficult time for her.

Unfortunately it seems my presence has not helped. The people here are all human and non humans are not made welcome. I am catfolk and as such I am more of an outsider than most. Even Kendra turned pale when she got a good look at me. I can only hope it will pass. I like her. She is a good person. I’m not so sure how I feel about the rest of the locals.
I am joined by the others I previously alluded to. A druid, and Inquistor, a cleric all human and a halfling. I thin he is a rogue although some might say all halflings are rouges. They certainly can be troublesome but they can be handy.

While I am still learning about my companions I have some impressions. The druid worries me. She seems eager to burn things, Almost everything. Very strange woman.

The inquisitor is a stalwart fellow. He tries to help but even his fellow clergy reject him because of me and probably the halfling as well. Because he is with us, they refuse to help. well the local priest was a little helpful but not much. Really, as if I were some sort of demon. Fools! There may be real demons about or at least undead.
The cleric really is a quiet one. Hard to know what to make of him yet.

The professor had asked in his will that we stick around for 30 days to make sure Kendra is alright, However, we suspect great evil is afoot from this whispering way and are looking into it. I suspect my friend was murdered and if so, I will exact payment from the flesh of those responsible.
This is our mission now. We have little information but we are making some progress. If the whispering way is active and mean trouble we will deal with them permanently! The villagers may not like me, but I will save them anyway because it’s what he would have wanted and this is the best way to honor his memory.

Rachelindria's Recollections

I traveled south to Ravensgro heeding the beck and call of the dead professor. I scanned the woodlands for his spirit, but found only grey lines and the moldy scent of long dead magic. As I neared the town, a bright pink line of power awaited my spirit sense. Pink is an odd color for the likes of Ustalov. I would have to investigate that later.

I entered the house of the professor, welcomed by the warm orange aura of his daughter, Kendra. A small gathering of the professors associates greeted me. The subtle purple aura of a clergy of Pharasma, a bright blue aura from a small halfling, a yellow aura from large human male and an earthy green aura from a cloaked figure.

I fixated on the magical weave as they spoke among themselves. Every once in a while I felt the pull of a dark grey line of power, snaking its way through the house, but each time I tried to track it, the halflings bright aura wiped it from my senses.

Later, we retired.

The next day, the group decided to explore the Restlands. When we got there, I felt an immense white power. Newly dead and newly powerful, slumbering within the ground. The group wanted to go inside one of the crypts, to retrieve something or another. I didn’t pay much attention. I refused, not knowing where the great white power was lying in wait. The blue halfling stood with me, along with Rocky, my solid companion. Eventually, the others cried out for help, and I sent in Rocky, still feeling weary of entering unless it was necessary.

In the end, there was nothing to worry about. The green ranger slew a couple of vermin and the group brought forth magical items. I tried to discern their make and use, but I am not overly used to such manufactured things. But the men pressured me, so I tried, to appease them.

On the way back to the orange aura’d Kendra, I spied a vile black font of power emanating from Harrowstone. I fell ill, staring at the darkness. I don’t think I can do this, a monetary reward for what, losing my soul to the evil that invades this town?

No, on the morrow I shall take my leave. Back to Lepidstadt to study the mighty Menhirs. This adventuring life is not for me.

Session 1 Notes
as recollected by Lemmy" Skeeter" Bramblefoot

18 Calistril, 4710


Woke up early (dammit), got cleaned up, ate breakfast and then headed to the Lorrimor place. Supposed to go to the old man’s funeral and something was mentioned about his will (don’t expect to have anything left to me, damned old coot).

Arrived at the Lorrimor place, greeted by his daughter- can’t remember her name, oh yeah, Kendra. First time she has ever been cordial to me, probably due to her dad dying recently. She showed me to the study (like I don’t know where it is- been here a thousand times) and excused herself. Wonder how long I’m gonna hafta sit here? Ooh, whats that over there- the professors’ hooch- he won’t need any of this.

After having a few sniffs of brandy, Kendra returns with a tall, burly human male. She introduces us, think his name is Cyrus or Exerus or sumpin like that- either way, the guy is quiet. He sits down on the couch, looks around the room (probably thinking what he might get at the will readin), then stares out the window. I try to get his attention and be polite and all, but he ignores me. His loss, specially ifn he needs help finding his way around town later. I go back to the brandy.

A little while later, Kendra shows up with another human male. This guy seems a bit more cheerful, ain’t right though on this somber occasion, but to each his own, as I always says. Kendra says his name is Bob or Larry, didn’t really catch it, as I was too interested in his symbol of Phantasma he wore openly upon his chest. Just what we need, another Father Sourpuss in town. We really need a priest of Caydens’ to pop inta town; that would get things a bit more cheery here- I really miss the bustle of Lepidstadt sometimes. The two humans start talking to each other, as usual, ignoring the halfling in the room. Even worse, now I have even less of a chance of getting anything. Hope no one else shows up.

Damn my luck, another mourner; this one is a bit different. Ain’t human, not sure what the hell it is. Looks like a tabby cat walkin on its hind legs, but its wearing a cloak pulled tight up over its head and around its body; probably one of them ‘thropes I heard about, roaming the countryside. The critter sidles up to the window, ignoring everyone in the room, and looks mournfully out the window. Kendra didn’t give us a name fer this one, probably Cuddles or Boots or sumpin like that. Never saw anything around here that the professor would likely give this one, so goody! Maybe more for me.

After having to listen to the two humans prattle on for what seemed like days, in walked Kendra again (damn, how many people did the professor know?), this time a female on her arm, followed by what looked like some sort of disfigured turkey. She was announced as Rachelindria Dawn by Kendra, who then turned, says she will be back shortly and left us alone again- how long till the will readin’? Hopefully soon, my luck, the entire army from Taldor is gonna show up and say they were all friends of the professors too. Eek- the turkey is trying to eat me! Someone save me! Rachelindria calls her critter back to her side, pats it on is goofy lookin’ head and tells me that I’m safe from being eaten, unless she tells it otherwise. Gonna hafta keep an eye on this one while she is in town.

After waiting around all day, Kendra returns to the study and asks us if we are ready to join the funeral procession and if we would be willing to be pallbearers. All of the big folk agree, even the tabby cat thingy, but as usual, they ignore me. I can help too; I might not be able to lift the casket, but I can help them make sure they don’t trip over stuff and lead the way, announcing “coming through” and such. If these people need help getting around town, it’s gonna cost ‘em extra now.


So we all go outside- what a nice day it is too, sun is shinin’, birds are tweetin’, even that weird looking bluish raven over there on that tree limb. Outside on the porch are a few of the councilmen of Ravengro; they say a few things to Kendra then turn and ask us if we would follow them north of town to the outskirts of the cemetery, where we will grab the coffin and haul the old man to the Restlands to be buried and such. The motley group that has been assembled all agrees, stating that they will also be the pallbearers as well. So off we go.

We make it to the Restlands, that damned turkey thingy staring at me the entire way, and are met by Father Sourpuss, or has he is known around here as, Grimburrow, and a few of his gravediggers. A few other townsfolk have gathered here; I recognize the tavern keeper (keeps the good stuff stocked) and his kid, there is also the lady who sells potions and garlic and such to the townsfolk to keep the werewolves and vampires at bay. Not sure ifn it works, but they keep buying it up, and no one has been eaten yet. As we arrive, the townsfolk all say their pleasantries to the new arrivals in town, and agin they all ignore me. The religious human trades a strange gesture with Father Sourpuss, probably some sort of hex to keep the tabby cats’ fur from gettin’ on their clothes or sumpin’ like that.

Everyone present surrounds the coffin, hefts it upon their shoulders and begins the procession to the professors’ grave. As I now can’t reach the coffin, I instead go to the front of the line and keep onlookers back, watch so no one trips and other such important things. As we get nearer to the grave, it seems that a bunch of townsfolk have gathered ahead of us, probably here to pay their last respects too.

“That’s far enough. We been talking, and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin’ in the ground here!” nope, guess they ain’t here to play nice. I recognize the “leader” of their group as Gibbs, an older human who owns most of the farmland around town, and as usual for these parts, is mean and foul-tempered, even towards the other townsfolk. Kendra is swift to respond, her sadness swiftly transforming into anger. “What are you talking about?” she cries out. “I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. The grave’s already been…”

“You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.”

“Necromancy!? Are you really that ignorant?” the group of townsfolk steels themselves, grasping their shovels and pitchforks a bit tighter and begin to tread forward.
The Phantasma clergyman steps forward and tells them to stop their current actions before things get out of hand. He tells them some cockamamie story that they actually buy and they turn around, albeit begrudgingly. “damned necromancer had buddies”, I hear a few of them mumble as they trudge away.

Kendra thanks the cleric for his help, and asks if we can continue on. We haul the professor the rest of the way to his final restin’ spot and the coffin is set upon the ground. The Phantasmite and the Wild Turkey lady mention sumpin’ about cutting off the professors head, cookin’ it, and other such nonsense- damned foreigners have no respect for local or personal tradition. This is how the professor wanted to be interred; this is how he should be interred. Some such nonsense about the professor might come back as the walking dead; he was a necromancer after all. After a few minutes, with shock and horror upon the face of Kendra and a few of the onlookers, the two settled upon this bein’ the way to bury the professor. Father Sourpuss says his respects and funeral words and such, and then asks if anyone has anything they would like to say. The two male humans and the cat (it can speak!!!!) all say a few words, respsectin’ the professor and such. Afterwards, Kendra says her goodbyes to the gathered townsfolk, and invites me and the rest of the visitors to her home for the reading of the will, to be overseen by councilman Hearthmount. Everyone agrees, and we all head back.
Now I get to see if the old man left me anything or if he overlooked the halfling like usual.

As we are finishing up, I notice a strange little man crouching in the distance behind some tombstones. As he notices me looking right at him, he turns and runs. Rachelindria tells her turkey “fetch”, and it runs off after the little man. Moments later, it grabs him by the back of his breeches, and while it is able to hold him off for a moment, the man breaks free from the grasp of the critter, bounding off into the nearby countryside. Rachelindria sets off to where her critter caught up to the man and greets her pet as she arrives; they then return back to the graveside of the professor. I mention I have seen the man every so often, but do not know who he is, other than he does not inhabit the town proper.


We arrive at the old man’s home, Kendra invites us into the study and says she will be back in a few minutes, sit and get comfortable. After she leaves, I try to talk to the large human male again. He tells me some story about being from Lastwall, but that’s all I get from him. I see out of the corner of my eye the tabby lookin at me, licking its lips, so I ease my way over to the female with the disfigured turkey, confident she won’t tell it to eat me. We exchange a few words, and as usual for a human, she is racially prejudiced towards halflings. Too bad, she seems like a nice lady, even with her strange customs and garb. And that damned turkey thingy.

Moments later, Kendra returns and announces that we will have to wait for the councilman to arrive before we read the will and asks if anyone would like a drink or something to eat. As he won’t be drinking it, I ask if I can have some of the professors’ hooch. Kendra brings back a bottle of his cheap stuff and I tell her I would prefer the good stuff. She proclaims she doesn’t know where it is, even though it is on the shelf right behind her. She probably wanted to keep it all for herself, selfish child. She tells me that I may have it if I wish, as she pulls it down off the shelf and offers me the bottle. “Let me get you a glass” she says. “I don’t need no glass”, and I take a swig; ahh, the good stuff.

After what seemed like hours, with all the prattle between the visitors arranged around the room, councilman Hearthmount arrived. He sits down at the professors’ desk like it’s his, pulls out a scroll case and shows everyone in the room that the wax seal is still affixed; like that couldn’t be faked. Anyways, as he finishes this flourish, he breaks apart the seal and opens the scroll case. Reaching inside, he pulls out a furled parchment and a small key falls to the desktop, which he ignores or doesn’t notice.

“I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exception of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire………..yadda yadda yadda”, get to where it says what he left for me? Yea! He left me money. Now I can pay my tab at the tavern and pay off the innkeeper for my back rent. Wait! What did he say? We hafta watch over his kid for a month and THEN take back some library books he stole from Lepidstadt before I get my money? Damn my luck. Even worse, the visitors are asked to do the same thing; A month in town with all these weirdoes. Guess I can make some cash off of ‘em and haul them around town, showing them the sights.

After the reading of the will, Kendra rises, leaves the room and returns with a small chest. She places it upon the desk and I give the councilman the key that he dropped. He shakes his head, gives it to Kendra and announces he has to leave. He bids Kendra farewell and exits the house. Kendra then unlocks the chest and begins pulling small tomes out it, reading the titles as she does so. The first book, sitting on top, has a hand-written note proclaiming “read me first”. Thumbing through it, Kendra exclaims it must be her father’s personal journal. She hands it off to the Phantasmite, who opens it to a few pages that have curled corners and such, and says some of the entries have been circled in red ink, noting their importance.

The next book removed from the chest has a purple cover with a brass scarab set with a single eye in its center. The spine reads “Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye”, within it is a note saying to return to Embreth Daramid, in Lepidstadt. It doesn’t appear to be of much use though; it will probably take a much longer reading to determine what it is about.

Next is a musty tome, a jet black cover stenciled with the name “On Verified Madness”. Thumbing through it, the cleric exclaims it is a book on otherworldly creatures and deities and such. It does not seem to interest him much.

The next tome does, however. “Serving Your Hunger”- the professors’ personal recipe book. As he reads through it, however, he realizes this is no cookbook. “This book is pure evil and must be destroyed!” he announces. After going back and forth over doing what the professor wished with the book and just outright destroying it, it is determined to do as the professor wished, to the chagrin of the cleric. I still believe he must have read it wrong.

“The Umbral Leaves” is the last book removed from the chest. A quick scouring of the tome shows it to be a translation of the unholy text of Zon-Kuthon. It’s lookin’ more and more like the professor might actually BE a necromancer. What other purpose would he have for books such as these?

Readin’ through his journal, it is becoming apparent that the professor thought there was something sinister goins on in Ravengro. He mentions the Whispering Way, breakin’ into an old crypt in the Restlands and wantin’ to steal a bunch of stuff. Sure, when I misappropriate something, the sheriff puts me in jail fer the evenin’. But when a human does it, it’s not even noticed; Typical. The Phantasmite says maybe we should find this crypt and gather whats inside. If the professor thought it was important, maybe it is. After a small discussion, it is determined that he will talk with Father Sourpuss about getting’ at the goods. So now this group has aspired to become adventurers in the name of the professor. Great, just what Ravengro needs.

As we were discussin’ current matters, I happened to notice a strange sight outside the window; tapping upon the window pane is a bluish glowing raven. How strange. As I peer outside the window, I see the little man from earlier at the cemetery hiding behind a nearby tree. I inform those present of the bird and the man, and the Phantasmite and the turkey lady both go to the door. As he spots them at the door, the man turns and runs off into the night. The tabby cat and the cleric both go out to the tree the man was hiding behind. They search for his tracks and lose them in the night. They return to the house, proclaiming they could not follow him in the dark.

The group then started askin’ questions about things written within the journal, all of which I was more than capable of answering. What the Whispering Way was (a group of necromancers, active in Ustalav thousands of years ago), tales of the Harrowstone Prison (south of town, high upon a small hill; it housed thousands of the country’s worst criminals; the town of Ravengro was built up south of the complex to house the prison workers; it burned down hundreds of years ago, killin’ everyone inside; how I led the professor there on many occasions to explore the complex), stories of the most evil inmates housed inside (the Lopper- liked to hide for days and then surprise his prey and chop off their noggin’; the Mosswater Marauder, jealous dwarf artisan who kilt’ his wife with a hammer and then tried to relivin her by collectin’ the scraps of her skull. When that didn’t work, cuz he lost one part, he started trying to collect parts of other peoples skulls instead; the Piper of Illmarsh, who liked to feed his birds with the dried blood of his poisoned victims.) I mentioned there was a shrine erected just south of here, commemmoratin’ those that died in the prison fire.

I tell them that if they wish, I will guide them to all the places they need to go around the town and outside of town as well, with the first day being free of charge. But after that, I will need to be paid my commission as a guide. I have debts to pay, and sustenance to acquire and some such things. They thank me for my expertise and willingness to guide them around town and I tell them I will return from my manse in the morning. I bid them a fond fare-thee-well, and retire to my “home”.

19 Calistril, 4710


I arrive at the Lorrimor “estate” just before breakfast; the adventurers sitting around the table, Kendra serving them food, no doubt prepared using the professors’ newly uncovered personal cookbook. She greets me and bids me to be seated and asks what I would like for breakfast. As I had not eaten yet and was ravenous, I gave her a list of things I would like and asked her to surprise me with anything off the list. Minutes later, she returned with a scrumptious meal; she actually isn’t as bad as I might have first thought. Of course, if she had only done this years earlier, I might have thought different of her.

The group scattered around the table were discussing their plans for the unfolding day. The cleric wished to go to the Phantasma church and speak with Father Sourpuss about appropriatin’ the gear the professor spoke about. I told him that the church was to the east of where we were currently, just over the river. He rose to leave, gathered his gear and left the residence. “I will be back soon”, he proclaimed. The remaining members spoke little, while I asked politely for a second helpin’ of breakfast. The remainin’ adventurers wanted to go see the shrine and wanted to explore the area of the Restlands where the professors’ squished corpse was happened upon; I told them after the cleric returned, from the church, we could head to the shrine, then go north to the Restlands.

Within an hour, the cleric returned, proclaiming Father Sourpuss would allow us to enter the crypt to gather the contents; To keep an eye on the cleric, Father Sourpuss sent along an acolyte. The group all rose to head off to the shrine, then the Restlands, with me as their guide. I noted we would need to stop off at my residence, so I could gather my possessions, as it was on the way to the Restlands. I bid Kendra farewell, and leading the band of adventurers, we headed to the south end of town. After a short, but brisk, walk, we arrived at the shrine. And someone had defiled it by pouring what looked like blood all over the base of the shrine. The cleric even went so far as to taste the liquid, proclaiming that it was indeed blood, though unsure as to what kind, humanoid or otherwise; Disgusting, must be a religious thing.

If asked, I told the group that they should say I was with them the previous evening. I did not do this deed, but knowing Sheriff Caeller, I would be blamed for it and have to spend ANOTHER night in his jail. Upon a closer inspection, it appeared that the blood also spelt’ out a very specific symbol, the letter “V”; how strange. We left the shrine as we found it, not wantin’ to destroy anything that someone else had done; maybe it was a religious thing or maybe something more nefarious. We headed north through town, goin’ to the Restlands. As we got closer to the town square, we happened upon a group or small children skippin’ rope and singin’ a little ditty I had been hearin’ fer some time now.

“Put her body on the bed.
Take a knife and lop her head.
Watch the blood come out the pipe.
Feeds the stirge, so nice and ripe.
Drops of red so sparkly bright.
Splatters spell her name just right.
With a hammer killed his wife.
Now he wants to claim your life.
Tricksy father tells a lie.
Listen close or you will die.”

I’m guessin’ it is the towns song or sumpin’, as it has been sung fer as long as I have been here. Anyways, I joins in on the skippin’ rope and singin’ the song; as the children aren’t as coordinated as I am, they trip me up a bit, but I’m able to keep my balance. The girls don’t seem to mind me joining in, until the tabby cat starts yappin’ at ‘em. Scart ’em good, it did. I tells them not to worry; it ain’t no evil ‘thrope from the countryside. They wonder if when they grows up ifn they will be like that, and I tells em nope, not to worry; After that, they then say goodbye and scatter about the town. Even though the song is common here, the visitors with me seem to think it strange. I then continue to lead the group to the Restlands so they can collect the stuff from the crypt.


A while later, we arrive at the Restlands; Using the information found in the professors journal, we head to what they think is the crypt he wrote about searching fer. As we come upon it, I notice that the lock appears to have been melted by some sort of acid and then reattached so as to not appear to be messed with. The cleric throws the door open wide and peers into the darkness below. He wiggles his fingers, says a prayer and poof- he is glowing with a pale white light, shinin’ as bright as a torch. He then steps into the crypt- not sure ifn he is brave or ignerant. The tall human male (think his name is Ky, he still hasn’t said much) and the tabby cat follow the cleric into the tomb.

Me ‘n the acolyte ‘n Rachelindria decide to stay outside and guard their backs; lots of strange happenins’ goins on around here.

A few moments later we hear a few shouts, things like “AHHH, it tried to bite me” and “get the critter” and such; Rachelindria sic’ed her critter on whatever was in there. To see ifn they were okay, I sent in the acolyte. A moment later, he returned, proclaiming those inside were alright. A few minutes later, the cleric and his companions exited the crypt, arms full of things they “found” inside the crypt. Ifn I had done this, I’d be in jail fer sure. They hand Rachelindria some of the stuff and ask her ifn she can cipher what they are, as the cleric says they are magical; they had found the items the professor had to be lookin’ fer.


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