Carrion Crown

Garric's Diary: Feb 4
Fire, and cutting it close....

Day 10: Morning
Dragos learns a little more about The Whispering Way – its chief goals are to release the Whisphering Tyrant and to learn to make Lichs. Their symbol is a gagged skull. Those whose learn too much are murdered and their skulls are mutilated to prevent speak with dead from working. Dragos believes this must be the last useful bit of lore stored away in that dusty attic, and there is no need to return.

I am interested in a blacksmith to craft new weapons for me, and I can think of no finer blacksmiths than dwarves. As it turns out, I am in luck in our creepy little village. Jorfa may have been one of the original inhabitants of the area – she is the village blacksmith. She’s lived here since shortly after the prison was built, about 150 years. She remembers the fire as the darkest night of the village’s history until recent times. She takes my 10 gp as a commision for two wingblades.

Day 10 & 11:
Spent resting in town, and assuring the safety of our patron’s daughter

Day 11 Evening:
We go to the townhall meeting. The room is packed – close to 50 people seated in the small room to begin with, and a good-sized (50+) crowd is stuck outside as well. So, maybe 1/3 of the village has shown up. The 4 council members are seated up-front, and there are saved seats for us in the room. There is loud arguments going on before the meeting – stopping just shy of pushing and shoving. Once the council starts to address the crowd, they quiet, and we go up on stage with the council. They council proposes that we investigate the prison. Too many strange occurences seem to be traceable back to “personalities” at the prison at the time of the fire. People start shouting about sending us vs who’s going to pay us vs ….. There is a rapid drop in the IQ of the villagers at this announcement. Just as things seem to be at their peak, there is a flash of light, and suddenly… all five of the lanterns in the room explode. I ask the people to calmly exist the building… but the don’t want to listen to me. Thankfully Nicki(m) is more forceful and Czynforde is more eloquent, and order is slightly restored… they behave more like adults and leave more efficiently as a result.

Things are looking better…. the people are listening… when flaming skulls break through the windows. We are forced to deal with them instead of fighting the fire. Czynforde smites one mightily, while Dragos does some odd martial / arcane combination and devastates a skull with a mighty blow capable of killing it many many times over. I, on the other hand, managed to get myself set on fire. However, I was able to help save Kendra but putting out the fire on he, while Czynforde helped heal her. Nicki(m) went to help save her, but got himself set on fire instead; I dragged her out, limping myself. We look around at the fire, and realize we cannot fight the fire: 875 sq ft of the building is burning at this point. Czynforde refuses to stop fighting the fire, and so I go back in to talk him into fleeing. Before I can persuade him, I am overcome by the smoke, and fall over. Cyznforde is forced to stop fighting the fire to save me, and drag me from the building. He is able to heal me enough to stabilize. Czynforde and Yorick pray over me, and with a good night’s rest and Iomedae’s blessing I am fine the next morning.

Day 12 Afternoon:

After yesterday’s events, we have been commisioned by the town council to investigate the prison and stop these events. The town will pay us 500 gp each if we do so (on top of the 100 pp from the Lorimer estate if we keep the daughter alive until day 30). I may be able to afford those weapons soon after all! We venture out to the prison, and choose to explore the western balcony first. When Nicko and I venture onto the terrace, the executioner’s scythe materializes. We find it exceedingly difficult to fight it off…until Nicko thinks to grapple it! As soon as he grappled it, the others were able to start damaging the malicious weapon. I bravely leaped into the grapple myself, risking my limbs in the process. Nicko was able to pin the scythe to a bench; once that was done, we were able to tie it up with rope, and prevent it’s escape. After that, it was only a matter of time until we destroyed the foul spirit animating the weapon, leaving only a sad broken scythe tied to an old stone bench. Soon, we will need to venture into the prison and see what foul horrors lurk in wait for us.

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Garric's Diary: Dec 17
We break into prison

Dec 17 session – Patrick, Jeremy, Dana, Topher

==

Day ?8? (Day 4 of Dragos’ week of research)

After the arrest of Gibbs, he is taken to the town prison. Nicki(m) will stand guard over him in the morning – more to ensure that he isn’t harmed than to prevent escape.

Czynforde and Yorrick are patrolling The Restlands to help prevent further zombie invasion.

I will need to sleep for a while, and will then check back in on Nicki(m) and Gibbs.

Dragos has done some more research and learned about the Whispering Way: secrets and philosophies that are passed along in secrets, in whispers. He also has learned that at the time of the fire, there were 5 notorious prisoners who were there, and had seized control of the dungeon. They had been in control of the lower levels for several hours. The warden (Hawkren) triggered a deadfall to secure the prison – but trapped 24 guards and himself (and his wife?) in the basement at the same time. The GUARDS started the fire in an effort to quell the riot, but it got out of control.

Dragos has also learned more about some of these notorious prisoners. Father Charlatan. His real name was Sefic Corvin. He was technically not a murderer – he simply commited so many blasphemies that the churches demanded his punishment. He travelled Ustalev disguised as a priest – but was part of the Sczarni (a Varisian mafia-style organization, active all over Varisia and neighboring countries (including Ustalev). He buddies had murdered 6 or so city guards in an attempt to free him, but it didn’t suceed.

Vance Saetressle, also known as The Lopper, would stalk his prey by hiding in the most unlikely of places with little supplies. Once the moment was right though, he would emerge and sever his victim’s heads with a handaxe. At this point, Dragos’ research is interrupted by the closing of the building for the night.

Talked to Gibbs. His theory is that it is the fault of The Professor. Not open to reason.

The house is a little beaten up after last night… The daughter will have to get a glazier to come in from Lepistadt. She knows we’ll have to go there after the 30 days (to return the books), and hopes that we can take an order for more glass to a glazier there.

Clarification: the wife’s remains were found on the GROUND level, NOT the dungeon!

Hear rumors that, near sundown, you can hear the warden’s wife. Also, one of the barmaids at the Laughing Demon was fired after an argument with Zocar (who is known to NEVER fire anyone!)

Pretty sure that Palantine Eye book (the locked book) is a very complex lock. I am able to open it. I do not recognize the language, so I close the book back up, do not relock it, and mention it to Dragos.

As we heard the rumor about the warden’s wife at sundown… we wander off to the prison to do some initial investigation. The home on the prison grounds, near the main entrance, seems ready to collapse under any weight, so we avoid it. The prison itself seems to be in bad shape as well…. though perhaps in better condition. Many gargoyles still line the building, and the windows along the walls are barred. The two Nicki’s get a sinking feeling – they’ve seen these bars before (in their visions). The balcony above the main entrance seems likely to fall if anyone stands on it – avoid stepping out onto it. We avoid entering

Exploring the prison grounds, we find a marshy area formed near a collapsed section of the wall in the SE. In addition, the section of prison here has experienced a structural failure – and a possible alternate entrace. Rather then entering here, we keep exploring.

We find a semi-stable prison guard tower in the NW corner of the prison. We climb up, and find that the wooden stairs within are fairly rotten, but otherwise see no real issues. We start exploring the rest of the grounds from the height of the wall. Oddly, there are not guard towers at each corner. We do see balconies and platforms all over the prison. We suspect these were used by the guards to keep an eye on the grounds. Near one tower, the rats seem to be particularly thick, and end up swarming us. We fight them off, and they disperse. After finishing up exploring along the wall, we head to the ground, and check the ground level of the towers. There is nothing to be seen. We also never hear the warden’s wife.

When we return that night, Nicki(f) checks the Palantine Eye book, and identifies it as being Varisian – but it is in code. She also identies the oiaja board, in terms of how to use it – we can ask the spirits (if present), one question and get a yes or no answer. Or, we can get possessed. It depends on our will save…. FUN!


Day 9 (confirmed with the DM)

The next morning, we go to check in on Gibbs. During the night, he woke up, walked to the bars, shook them, and started screaming. He denies this ever happened, has no memories of it, and thinks he’s being set up.

Dragos does more research on the Whispering Way. He learned that a focus of it was on the making of liches and bringing back the old Lich King. People suspected of knowing too much would be killed, and their mouths mutilated so as to prevent their corpses from speaking.

Dragos also learned more about the prisoners:

The Moss Water Maurader, a dwarf named Ispen Onyxcudgel, lived in the town of Mosswater. Only 5 years before the town was overrun and destroyed by monsters from the river, he found out his wife was unfaithful. He slayed her with his hammer, shattering his skull. He become convinced that if he could rebuild he skull, he could get her back. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the narrow blade-shaped piece, and started killing others.

The Piper of Illmarsh has no recorded real name. Before he snatched his victims, he taunted them with a flute. He would paralyze his victims with a poison called Lich Dust, and then allow his pet stirges drink them dry. (This sounds like our encounter at the tavern with the stirges)

The Splatterman, Haim Ferryman, was a professor of anthroponumasitics (names and origins), and taught at the Capital. Somewhere along his studies, he encountered a succubus. After that, he became obsesses with the poswer of a person’s name, and how he could terrify and control people. He ended up losing tenure as a result, and became obsessed with the connection between a name and a person after their death. He arranged for his victim to come across a letter of the victim’s name, one letter at a time. Once he had spelled out her whole name, he would kill his victim in a cunning trap. (This sounds a lot like Gibbs).

The Council has called for a town-meeting in 2 days (Day 11), and tells Dragos about this. They request our attendence at this meeting. The plan is to allow the people to voice their fears, etc. But, they also want to develop a plan of action on what to do moving forward.

In the course of wandering through the town, all of hear more and more about uncharacteristic (particularly violent) encounters between people. Something has the town on edge. Even kids are now getting into fights rather than playing. The whole town seems to be descending into darkness. We hear another new rumor as well – about the prison. One fellow thinks this has to do with Harrowstone – the original executioner’s spirit haunts the western balcony, and on some nights you can his scythe being carried around on the balcony. This villager claims to have seen this himself.

We have 4 iron/glass vials that may be able to trap spirits (the syphons). We need to untwist the casing to open the vial in the same round that a haunt manifests, before or after it manifests. We must be in the area of influence. If it reduces the haunt to 0 hp, the mists turn green and the spirit is gone. If not, it hurts the spirit with positive energy and is otherwise expended.

Perhaps we need to return to the prison?

We should all attend this town meeting on Day 11.

Dragos still has 2 more days of research permitted to him.

It is now dinner-time on day 9.

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Garric's Diary: Dec 3
We arrest a Graffitioso and go to Jail

dec 3 session – all players present

======
Day ?7?

When we wake up in the morning, all of us are together again at breakfast At breakfast, Kendra introduces us to a new wizard in town, Safira. As we were eating, there was a knock at the door, somewhat tenative. The Sheriff had shown up to tell us there was another desecration last night at the Guards’ Memorial – the letter ‘S’ in blood was left.

I cannot help but think that they are spelling the prison warden’s wife?

After breakfast, we begin to go our separate ways.


Dragos will research for the day. He covers himself in dust, and risks dangerous scroll cuts to his hands. While researching, he hears sounds from below. He is mostly certain that they are humanoid voices raised possibly in anger…. but as unfriendly as the village has been, he chooses (wisely in my opinion!) to ignore them and not investigate.

During his research, he has learned that most of those fiends sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months there. Jack Ketch resided here, and did his dirty government work here (executions happen here). The fire happened during a prison riot, so in some ways its a blessing! The prisoners had even managed to sieze control of the dungeon just before the fire. The warden and 23 of his guards deliberately gave their lives to prevent the prisoners from breaking out.

The 5 most notorious prisoners in Harrowstone had certain nom de crimes: Father Charlatan, The Lopper, The Moss Water Maruader, The Piper of Illmarsh, and Splatterman. We think we have heard a child’s song about some of these – maybe Father Charlatan and The Lopper, and possibly the Splatterman all get mentioned in that creepy little ditty.

And, we are reminded that is this is the actual CENTENIAL of the fire.

Dragos will now join Czynforde in doing the 3rd patrol


I, Garric the Vampire Hunter, will clean up statue, and then nap so that I can guard the statue from furhter harm that night. In becoming a vampire hunter, I have learned that it is sometimes necessary to take their ways, and become nocturnal, but I remember no other Vampire ever behaving this way. It is quite odd.


Nicki (f), Nicki (m), Czynforde, Yorick, and Safira go to Father Grimburrow at the Temple of Pharasma. When they arrive, they found a blood-painted ‘O’ on the Temple itself! The fiends have descecrated a holy place of Pharasma! Father Grimsburrow was stressed to begin, and gets very alarmed by reports of zombies in the Restlands (the Church of Pharasma considers undead to be abomination, an incredible offense in their eyes). The group is fairly certain that his is truly alarmed and horrorified – this is NOT duplicity on his part.

The Party helps the cleric gird himself, and then all proceed to the Restlands. Here, they witness an odd rite. The priest tastes the ground, says a prayer, and then admits there were undead here. He is horrified, as he lacks sufficient acolytes, and the village lacks sufficient guards to patrol the area. The group volunteers to keep an eye on the Restlands, an area of slightly over 2 acres. Why does suck a small village (just over 300 people) need such a large boneyard anyhow?

Grimsburrow heads off to inform the Town Council, in the form of a visit to Vashian Hearthmount, their nominal leader. Grimsburrow heads back to the Temple to clean off the bloody ‘O’. The group chooses to buy a whistle to provide to a method of alarm for two body patrols. The rest of the group will lounge comfortably at the northern covered bridge. Patrols will be done in 4 hour shifts.

While wandering around town… the group overhears a fool in town. The man claims there is a link between the dish names at the Laughing Demon (ie, corpse chowder) and events happening (ie, an unpopular merchant leaving town). Czynforde believes this to be the gospel truth, but I remain unconvinced myself. Perhaps if I had heard this honest fellow, I would have been convinced myself, but Cyznforde had previously muttered under his breath about fiendish t-rexes, whatever those are. I personally think the dear knight had a little too much under the noonday sun with his helmet on.

Safira and Nicki (m) will take the first shift, Yorick and Nicki (f) will take the 2nd, and Czynforde will head back to the manor to inform the rest of us. He hopes Dragos will join him.


Nicki (m) hears a rumor about the Apothocary shop owner – that she does more than brew potions, she makes drugs AND poisons. She is part of a network, and sells them in other towns. The rumor monger knows this is true because the Sheriff always hangs out around there, and why else would be do that?!? (People can be…. dim…… The Sheriff is unmarried as I remember)


Nicki(m) and Nicki (f) take the midnight to 4 am shift. I am the only other member of the party awake. The rest are asleep at the manor

At the Lorimer residence, The Professor… is still dead… and in the living room, trying to go all Cronus on Kendra. Kind of gauche if you ask me! The professor is distracted by Yorick, and tries to lick his face with a hideous purple tongue. This is like no zombie I’ve ever heard of! An additional two zombies made their presence known by smashing the windows of the living room. Czynforde manages to drag Kendra away from the animated remains of her uncle, while Yorick keeps drawing the attention of the fiend. Safira slams the fiend with a magic missle, and then screams so loud that the evil creature’s lower jaw is knocked loose! Once Kendra is dragged free, Yorick is able to stop distracting the rotting corpse, and skewers it on his sword, (re)killing the fiend! The group is then able to turn their attention to the new zombies (bad zombie! get off the furniture!), and makes short work of them. Dragos displays an ability to particularly damage them with magic as well, and Czynforde calls upon his Gods and SMITES on foul beast back to earth’s embrace.

Kendra is not poisoned according to Safira. Czynforde, Safira, and Yorick all agree she is alive and conscience. She may be paralyzed though. Just as they accept this, she exhales deeply, coughs, and starts to move.

Yorick goes to fetch Father Grimsburrow. He is the epitome of the elder warrior, girded for battle, and prepared to place his life on the line in defense of the good and innocent. He sends Kendra upstairs, and douses the former Professor (now a Ghoul) in Holy Water… which dissolves slowly under the Bath of Righteousness. He similarly douses the other two zombies. Grimsburrow recognizes one of the other zombies as wolf bait from a month or two ago.


In the meanwhile, the two Nicki’s are patrolling in the Restlands…and then they are not. They are standing in front of a wall, and in the wall is a barred window. Behind them is a pile of moldy straw, and a stout iron-bound door. There is a bowl with prison mush (with maggots for extra protein!) on the floor. Oddly….neither sees the other. Suddenly, they see their names being painted on the cell…stopping just before their last respective letter. They then find themselves back in The Restlands. Nicki (f) is in Mage Armor, so they were …Somewhere….


I see a hooded figure (slightly tall, slightly heavy for a human) approach the statue with a slopping bucket. They are moving very cautiously, trying not to be observed. I observe them paint the statue, and start to follow them back… towards the village? It arrives at location Q, the home of Gibbs Hefenous. I smell rotting meat coming from the barn next to his home. I go to the jail searching for the sheriff, and find a deputy. He leaves me in the jail while he fetches the sheriff. I suggest we go quietly to where I saw the creature. We enter the barn, and immediately smell rotting meat. We hear flies, and see a pile of slaughtered pigs. The deputy is sent for the group, and the sheriff and I enter the house. We enter a disheveled kitchen, and see a war razor and a bucket that had contained blood. Gibbs appears to be telling the truth, as he knew it, when he said he doesn’t know about it. He is taken into custody. While some of the villagers want him to burn or hang, we will protect him until we can investigate further. It is possible he was being used by some Foul Creature.

=
end of day (24 hr period)
end of session
end of level!!!!!!!!!! (level 2, all around!!! wooo!!!!)

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Garric's Diary: Nov 5

(Apologies on the spelling and the formatting)

Session starts at night – Nickolai, Nickoletta, and Garric have “gone for a walk” that just happened to include the crypt. Dragos, suspecting something was up, followed them. The others are off, doing whatever it is that lawful good gentlemen do in their time together.

1st night: went into the crypt the prof left notes about….

opened coffin, found loot
many arrows (silvertipped and magical)
+1 ghost-touch (8?)
+1 undead bane (2?)
holy water
vials with a golden liquid (clw)
vials with greenish colored liquid (unknown)
scrolls
detect undead, hide undead, protection from evil
sunrods
darkwood case
board with letters/numbers and planchette (ie, oija board)
4 iron and glass vials in with board (iron capped bottles)
tiny clouds of churning vapor
6 more empty spots for other vials

WE HAVENT SEEN THE OTHER PARTY MEMBERS TO MENTION THIS LOOT TO THEMTHEY DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT OR ITS SOURCE

The next morning….
met with “Meerta Straylock”? from the town council
varshin heartmount (human) – leader? (1st among equals….)
shanda faravan (human)
gharen (also a human) – town’s “unofficial historian”
meet in an auditoreum type area, but very informal
horrendous diplo rolls, but meerta advocated for us
1 of us here can get access for 1 week (patrick)

Garric talks to sheriff
there was a guard last night
mentions unsettled feeling after domestic dispute
boris and natasha
neighbors heard loud nasty argument, boris kicked out
Sarae-anya Vai singing tonight at the Outward Inn
most of town should be there

Nickolai wandering around town
sees notice that Sarae-anya Vai performing tonight
sees a small scuffle after an argument

Dragos has 1 week access to town archive
researching Harrowstone and what happened
1st days research – harrowstone is a ruined prison, partially destroyed by a fire in 4661 (exactly 100 yrs ago), and stood vacant since that date. Also find interviews w/various townsfolk since that time claiming the prison is haunted as well as missing persons reports where majority (not all) are in vicinity of the prison

Nicoletta went to Unfurling Scroll (school/magic shop)
hears the sound of a raised adult voice (ie yelling). Kids come out for recess 30ish min later sedately (like scolded), and prof looks a little unhappy and angry

Went to Outward Inn for music and dinner
tavern owned by Sarae-anya
went down to basement for show
food at Laughing Demon better
but owner (Zocar?) is here for the music
move of an inn than a tavern (lodging, less on foood)
her song is on Wiki page – The Wind That Shakes The Barley
3 stirges show up – lock onto client (Kendra), Sarae-anya, and random townsperson

Garric joins deputy to guard statue that night – nothing happens (end of 2nd day in session)

Dragos researches some more. Harrowstone built in 4594, village of Ravengrow founded at same time (for guards to live). Fire destroyed a large portion of the underground E wing, but left structure above relatively intact. Prison’s warden and wife died in the fire, but no one knows why she was in prison – her body found in the basement. Statue for guards, etc built a few months later. Originally, prison was only local prisoners, but with time, fame grew, and security rep grew – so at the time of the fire, the number of dangerous prisoners was at all time high. Many were sent from distant lands, etc.

Nickolai, Nickoletta, and Garric wander the down (Garric after we wakes up). Post has a wedding annoucement in center of town – nothing else really on the post. Nick^2 run into Sheriff Benjin – he heard about last night’s incident w/stirges… not uncommon sight, unusual to have them in buildings though. There was a near bar-brawl in Laughing Demon. Feels townspeople are more on edge than usual – stuff with monument, stirges, etc. People are edgy.

It is now ~mid-late afternoon on the 3rd day of this session (day ?6? in the campaign)

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Character Name/Class
Know your Party

Czynforde – Paladin of Iomedea
Garric – Vampire Hunter / Scout (“Rogue”)
Nikolai – Barbarian
Dragos Petran – Magus

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