Elda appears during breakfast; Castiel helps Kendra with dishes.
Church; seance; minor tension with Castiel over the willingness of spirit to assist/his distrust of Elda. Uses wiegi board to ascertain if the spirit is willing. He is. Elda channels Gutxi Estebe, Cleric of Pharasma 4,000 years ago. FOught against Whispering Tyrant.
Party asks Gutxi about the Whispering Way, symbols found at the prison, etc., but communicating is dificult w/out full posession, which Elda would rather avoid.
Return to prison; fight and defeat Piper of Illmarsh. Dirk plays cursed flute and, after the ghost has ben vanquished, Kaladahr tackles him while Castiel rips the flute from his hand, ending his trance.
Kazack appears and watches form afar as the party recovers from their battle. He makes himself known to the party when they head his way. There is some suspicion about what he's doing there, but ultimately they decide to let him tag along.
Dirk and Castiel retrieve the rest of the cursed items from Vesorianna's room and hand them out to the party while the rest stay with Kazack (still don't fully trust him).
Explore top floor; attacked by animated scythe, and Kazack proves his worth by assissting with his acid spells.
They explore the hole on the first level; Severon climbs down first, and sees ectoplasmics rising to do battle. Dirk is next down while Elda secures a second rope; the rest of the party follows soon after. Ectoplasmics defeated. Kazack swims out into the submerged part of the basement but finds nothing.
They come across a scorched room with skeletons and four doors. Kazack notices scratch marks on the wall. (skeletons trying to dig themselves out.)
Research Whispering Way (success. The Group is focused on creating Liches, freeing Whispering Tyrant, etc.)
Got to prison, transcribe strange symbols on the strange symbols. Part of a larger ritual involving abjuration/necromantic magics; etched in stone and smeared with blood. Goes around entire buildings foundation, save the NE corner where the building has collapsed. Ivy and grass has been cleared away from the runes a short while ago.
Severon and Dirk do rubbings of the runes. 1am.
Go show Vesorianna the etchings; the men and women in black robes came and put the symbols around, but whatever ritual they did they did out of her sight, but she felt it. Felt like a horrific storm with no wind; chilled soul; very being was being pulled apart. Instant. Husband's spirit was taken. No other info on the runes. Info on a thin gray skinned human. Bone staff. Leader. Killed someone in the courtyard with foul magic (month ago).
Going upstairs, the Party encounters another set of haunted manacles, which they defeat.
To the right of the stairs, the party comes across the dining hall, with a collapsed wall that leads out onto a rickety wooden balcony. Heading towards the balcony, the party is attacked, and defeats, a group of three Sturges.
The balcony's crumbled edge leads to vines that lead down to the river and up towards the roof. Dirk jumps the gap between the collapsed wall and the balcony and is greeted with a puff of purple gas from the flowers on the vines; one of the vines comes to life and attacks, but Severon kills it with an arrow from afar.
With his grappling hook and rope, Dirk scales the side of the building up to the roof, revealing another balcony across the way; he starts towards it and is attacked by a Sturges.
Hearing the commotion on the roof/Dirk's yelp of suprirse, Severon attempts to follow him, but fails to leap the gap between the dining hall and 1st balcony; he falls into the river below. The rest of the party uses rope to try and haul him back up. By the time they have, Dirk ahs defeated the Sturges, though not without being severely injured.
Dirk drinks a potion and continues on to the second balcony, which leads to a gazebo-type tower. BY the time he reaches it, Severon has finally managed to follow him up to the roof.
Inside the gazebo is a lot of rubble; on closer inspection, Dirk finds a trap door beneath the rubble. Severon is motioning him back from across teh roof, and Dirk—guessing it'll take about 20 minutes to clear the rubble—decides to go back.
Severon and Dirk rejoin the party and Dirk tell them what he's seen. They move on to the Kitchen area, where all they find are empty pantries.
The move on to the main cell block; there's a skeleton in each, each seeming to have died from smoke inhalation. They also come across a large room with a table and chairs, connecting to a balcony; possibly an interrogation room or guard station.
They come across a big private cell; as they enter, Severon and Barry hear the jangling of chains. There's a skeleton in there, chained and weighted down with holy symbols. The party surmises it must be Father Charlatan. Castiel traces a holy sign on the skeleton's forehead, to no visible effect. He wants to take the weights off and see if anything happens (i.e. a ghost appears so he can smite it); Severon wants to keep them on. The two grapple over it and Dirk, while they do that, replaces the weights. Kaladahr finds Father Charlatan's journal, but there's nothing special in there; just a mundane accounting of his day-to-day life in prison. Castiel decides to let the matter drop and move on.
The encounter more cells, with moldy skeletons inside; suddenly, a flute begins to play, seemingly coming from everywhere at once. The skeletons come to life, some shambling out of cells whose doors have been busted open.
Severon notices blood coming from Barry's eyes; Barry appears frozen, staring at a certain spot in the room. Severon also notices cuts appearing on Barry's wrists and arms.
A skeleton strikes Castiel and, though it doesn't seem like the skeleton did much damage, the Paladin collapses. Ghostly chains wrap around him. Severon, Dirk and Kaladahr are left to fend for themselves for awhile.
Barry also regains his senses and is able to point out the spot where he saw the ghostly flute player; Severon throws Holy Water at the spot, but doesn't hit anything. It's impossible to know where the ghost is at the moment.
Dirk attempts to free Castiel—from what he assumes is some kind of binding—by dumping Holy Water on the chains binding the skeleton of Father Charlatan; he then tries removing the weights. Neither seem to have any effect.
Kaladahr casts disrupt undead on the ghost-chains binding Castiel, which eventually shatters them. Castiel wakes up and rejoins the fight.
Dirk runs off to get the flute from their stash of items from downstairs; the others fall back towards the stairs, defeating the rest of the skeletons on their way and hounded every step by the Piper. Barry attempts to channel, but it doesn't seem to do anything.
They successfully reach the stairs; when Barry vanishes from sight, the Piper turns it's attention towards Severon.
The party wakes up on the 6th day; Dirk takes a bath, the party buries Tuck (again), and then they devote themselves to researching the remaining identities of the five ghosts in the prison. It takes them nearly the whole day, but the party is able to supplement Dirk's local knowledge in order to find out about Father Charlatan, so named because he was a travelling con-man who took on the guide of various religious clergy and dealt in false miracles. While not a murderer himself, several of his Sczarni followers were. The party retires for the night. (TP=26).
The following say (7th) the party heads out towards the temple to do more research; en route, Drik notices a new bulletin on a message board, detailing the appearance of another bloody letter on the Harrowstone monument. Dirk continues on to the temple, while the rest go to check out the monument.
While Dirk researches The Lopper, Severon is able to determine that the bloody "E" is scrawled in chicken blood. He also finds a small set of tracks, but they have been purposely and skillfully hidden so they cannot be followed. Severon suggests looking for people who have reported missing chickens, and people whose names begin with "VE;" Castiel goes about town, asking about chickens and names; there are some missing chickens, but the trail doesn't lead anywhere. Someone does remind him that the name of the warden's name was Vesorianna, though, and—given what they know of the Splatterman's MO and that he's the one sapping Vesorianna's spirit—they conclude that it's likely her name being spelled out. The use of chicken blood and the tracks, however, point to the likelihood that the Splatterman has "mortal" help; possibly the robed men who took away the Warden's spirit.
Dirk learns that The Lopper—Vance Saetressle—is known for stalking his victems, lying in wait in unlikely places, sometimes for days, before lopping their heads off.
The party meets back at the house and retires. (25 TP).
(8th day)Party researches the Piper of Illlmarsh; his real name is a mystery, but he was known taunting his targets with mournful dirges using his flute. They attempt to research more, but come up empty handed and retire for the day. (24 TP).
(9th day)The party continues their research and learn about the Marsh Water Marauder. Ispin Onyxcudgel was a well-like dwarven artisan and a devoted husband, until he found out his wife was being unfaithful. In a rage, he killed her with his smith's hammer, shattering her skull. Then, driven to insanity by his actions and grief, he tried desperately to bring her back to life by reconstructing her skull, but he couldn't find one sliver. He killed in search of that final piece until he was caught in the act of trying to kill a nobleman's daughter.
Their research (mostly) done, the party decides to venture back into Harrowstone. Their first stop is the prison infirmary, where they once again encounter—and defeat—the poltergeist. This time, however, they feel able to continue searching, though the rooms connecting to the infirmary prove to hold nothing of value.
They continue on to the furnace room, which is half-collapsed and flooded; Castiel wades out into the water but returns having found nothing; Severon does the same and is attacked by three skeletons. He's able to yell out that only bludgeoning weapons can harm them, and the others (except Barry) respond appropriately.
They defeat the skeletons and are about to leave when Dirk decides to check out the furnace, and is struck with a tongue of flame as the once cold embers roar to life. The haunt, "Old Amber Maw" is ultimately captured within the Haunt Siphon Dirk throws at it.
Castiel breaks down the door to the next room, where the training hall awaits them among more ruined walls and scorch marks. There is a hole towards the middle of the floor, into which a stream—connected to the river which partially floods this room as well—runs.
As the party enters, the room is rocked with explosions, and flying, flaming skulls appear.
After defeating the skulls, the party looks down into the hole; Castiel, with his darkvision, sees water twenty feet down, but it's impossible to know how deep the hole goes. They decide to continue on.
The next door leads them to an auditorium; Kaladahr and Severon notice a sudden drop in temperature, and Castiel is struck with a sudden frost as he passed through a certain spot. Unharmed, he warns the rest of the party to avoid that spot.
The party comes to two sets of stairs: one, leading down, is blocked by rubble. The other, leading up, is accessible, but the party decides to finish exploring the main floor before going up.
They find the storeroom and Dirk picks the lock; inside, they find several items:
Wand of Lesser Restoration (x12 charges)
Masterwork Punching Dagger
Masterwork Thieves' Tools
Masterwork Shuriken (x12)
Bronze War Medallion from Shining Crusade (40gp)
Painting of Stevana the First (100gp)
Silver War Razor (Unknown value)
Silver Hair Clips (35gp)
A more thorough search of the room reveals a hidden room behind a bookcase, opened by pushing a certain stone. Inside the party finds several items with strong auras (as revealed by Kaladahr) and faint traces of evil (as revealed by Castiel):
Bloodstained Handaxe (Necromantic/Abjuration)
Holy Symbols x12 (including one from each deity worshippe dby the party members; Necromantic)
Moldy Spell Book (Every aura)
Tarnished Silver Flute (Charm/Necromantic)
Smith Hammer (Necromantic/Transmutation
The party identifies these objects form their research as the probable weapons/instruments belonging to the five ghosts. There is some debate on what to do with them, and some worry that simply touching them will either activate a curse or potentially summon the spirits associated with the items.
Kaldahr decides to test the waters by picking them up one at a time; he picks up the hammer first and, while he's not able to tell exactly what the magic on it does, nothing seems to happen. He waits a couple minutes, then sets it down and moves on to the next one, and so forth.
Holy Symbols-Negative effect on divine spells cast by/on the wearer.
Flute-Hurts/staggers Sturges and will hurt the spirit of the Piper of Illlmarsh, but anyone who plays it can't stop playing, and continuously receives damage while playing.
Axe-A +1 handaxe that does an additional 1d6 damage against Flaming Skulls
Spell book—When Kaladahr opens it, he sees his name scrawled in blood in the margins. A double-take and his name has vanished; he continues reading through the book and finds the following spells:
Summon Monster IV
Gust of Wind
(Unbeknownst to the others, something happens to Kaladahr during his time flipping through the book).
There is some tension in the party revolving around what to do with the items; Castiel wants to try and destroy them outright, as they are evil, but Severon wants to use them to help defeat the ghosts. Dirk sides with Severon, but is unable to bluff Castiel into thinking that trying to destroy them might actually be dangerous in its own right. Eventually, the party agrees to seek out the council of Vesorianna; they tear up Castiel and Severon's cloaks and wrap the items up, keeping them seperated while Kaladahr carries them in his pack.
En route, they stop at the Warden's Office; Dirk picks the safe contained within:
Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds x4
Potion of Lesser Restoration x3
Potion of Remove Disease x2
They seek out Vesorianna; Kaladahr suggests showing her the book, but Dirk thinks it's unnecessary. The party just tells her what the items are, but she can't tell them much about them than they don't already know, except that she believes they will be purified when the spirit associated with each is defeated. She also tells them that if they bring her a symbol of her husband's authority, she can banish the five once they have been suppressed.
The party decides to hide the items in Vesorianna's room; Dirk uses his skills in stealth to find an appropriate spot.
Severon, a friend of Professor Lorrimor, arrives in Ravengro during the night. He'd originally been invited to the Professor's funeral but didn't arrive on time. Kendra fills him in on some particulars and tells him that the others summoned by her father's will are picking up her father's investigation of Harrowstone. He hurries to the prison.
His introduction to the party is somewhat strained; Castiel jumps to the conclusion that Severon is another enemy and is ready to lead the charge against him; Severon draws his bow and they stare each other down for awhile. Dirk suggests everyone lower their weapons, as Severon doesn't look undead. They do and Severon explains his presence. The party is surprisingly trusting and takes him at his word. He's thankful, but suggests that they might want to…not be so trusting in the future.
The continue their exploration of the prison, and stumble across a room that contains the ghost of the Warden's wife. She explains to them that, even in death, her husband has been keeping the ghostly inmates of the prison in check, including the five worst criminals. Then robed men came and performed some kind of ritual, and her husband's spirit disappeared. The wife's guards were all defeated and she was imprisoned in the room. She's been trying her best to suppress the ghosts and the energy of the place, but it has been…difficult; the spirits of the Five have been causing the ghostly energies of the prison to run amuck, and one of the Five—the Splatterman—has been actively draining her energy. She says that if they can defeat the five, she can keep their spirits suppressed. The party commits to helping her.
They continue exploring the prison again, this time with a purpose. They come across a laundry room, where they are attacked by—and defeat—a haunted strait jacket. Next they come across the shitter, and find nothing of value.
Next they come across what appears to be the prison infirmary; moldy cots fill the main area, and various doors leading to private rooms. As they spread out to explore, things start flying through the air; a scalpel strikes Castiel and bounces of his breastplate; a rock hits Dirk in the chest. The apparition appears in brief flashes, and Kaladahr is able to identify it as a poltergeist. The Poltergeist then shrieks, and Severon and Dirk are consumed by it's aura of fear and flee from the room. Severon comes to his senses first and returns to join the battle, though he can do little but watch as Barry continuously fills the room with positive energy as Castiel defends hi and Kaladahr attempts to locate the invisible enemy. By the time Dirk arrives, the battle is already over. Barry expends the last of his energy curing the party, and informs the group that the Poltergeist will return in a couple of days.
They explore the room and find:
2x Healer Kit
3x Vials of green Anti-Toxin
2x Vials of pinkish Blood-Block
3x Smelling Salts
2x Vials of blue Soothe Syrup
4x red Potions of Cure Light Wounds
The party decides to revisit the Warden's wife to see if she can tell them anything more before returning to the Lorrimor house for the night.
As they start down the hallway towards the wife's room, a multitude of floating blue orbs appear in the air; the adventurers are shaken with fear, but the orbs disappear without accosting them.
The party continues to the wife's room, but she can't tell them anything new, and suggests they do research in town.
The party returns to the house; Kaladahr researches in the Professor's library while the others go to sleep. He doesn't find anything that relates to the prison or ghosts, but he does categorize the library; specifically, he finds several sources concerning The Whispering Way.
The morning of the 5th day (-1TP, Total=26). The Sheriff stops by to tell the party that the town is having a meeting later in the evening, and that the mayor wants them to be in attendance. The party agrees.
After breakfast, the party goes to the chapel to research the ghosts in Harrowstone, specifically the Splatter Man. Dirk uncovers his true identity: Professor Feramin, who studied the importance of names (True Names, for the purposes of summoning and/or controlling creatures). After an incident involving a succubus, he became obsessed with his research; his reputation was ruined, leading to a lose of tenure and, one could argue, his sanity. His MO as the Splatter Man involved spelling out the name of his victim in blood, letter by letter over a period of time; when the last letter appeared, the victim died.
After the research, Kaladahr again tries to identify the magic of the planchette the party found in the crypt at the beginning of their adventure. It is made of brass and is used in conjunction with a spirit board (or any surface on which the appropriate letters are inscribed; a piece of wood, sand, etc.).
The party goes to the Harrowstone Monument; along with the name of the Warden, his wife, and the guards that perished during the fire, there is a bloody "V." The bloody letter, having been drawn two days prior, is dried and crusty; they are unable to discern what kind of blood it is, but they can tell it's clean. (There's evidence of past disease, but it's long since faded). They also can't identify anything that might tell them who drew it. They contemplate taking some shavings of the blood, but decide against it, and head back towards town for the meeting.
On the road back, a figure ambles towards them form the opposite direction; Severon identifies it as a zombie and charges, striking with its Greatsword. Berry is close behind, and identifies the body as Tuck, and strikes him down with his own greatsword. He spits on the body afterwards, verbally assaulting and kicking it until Castiel admonishes him for treating the dead poorly.
Castiel carries the body back to town with them, intent on burying Tuck once again, but leaves him in the backyard of the Lorrimor house, saying he'll bury him after the town meeting.
They arrive with Kendra (who they take with them after telling her about Tuck and his zombified corpse in her backyard). The sheriff is posted just inside the door, and the mayor—on a platform on the other end of the room—waves the adventurers forward to join him and the rest of the town council. The councilman explains the situation to the gathered townsfolk—how the ghostly energies of Harrowstone have caused all sorts of supernatural trouble in town. He also says that the adventurers have volunteered to investigate Harrowstone and solve the problem. (The party is unsure that they said anything of the sort, though they think that Berry might have said something to the sheriff.) Dissenters in the crowd raise objections about involving strangers in their affairs, and even those who seemed accomodating of the announcement start to turn against the party.
Castiel steps forward and attempts to placate them, but it backfires and the mood of the crowd towards the party grows darker.
Before anyone can say—or do—anything, the lanterns lining the walls of the meeting hall fly in to the air and smash into the ground, igniting oil fires. The party leaps into action, but the fires grow faster than they can put them out. The townspeople, including the councilmen, are frozen in fear and panic.
As the party continues fighting the fires, Severon attempts to get the people to move to the center of the hall and move towards the exit, but his words go unheard. Flaming skulls fly out of the oil fires and begin attacking the adventurers and twonspeople. Two of the townspeople are lost to fire.
Finally, Castiel is able to get the townspeople to move towards the exit; they make it out, and no one else is lost. The party stays inside; they vanquish the creatures and put out the rest of the fires even after the sheriff flees, claiming it's a lost cause. They save the hall. (TP +2; Total=28).
The mayor offers them 500 gold apiece to solve the issues of Harrowstone; the party attempts to get half up front, but to no avail. They return to the Lorrimor house, exhausted, and go to sleep. (TP -1; Total=27).
The party wakes and gathers for breakfast, including Dirk, the new arrival who will be taking Tuck’s place on the team. It is the third day since the (original) party arrived in Ravengro.
Tuck asks the others to fill him in on what’s happened so far. The party tells him about the professor’s journal and the books in the chest; which he asks to see. As he flips through them, the party revisits the issue of the book with the lock on it, and Kaladahr asks if anyone know how to pick locks.
Dirk volunteers and, after some discussion—Kaladahr and Berry are all for it, but Castiel wonders if they might not be opening a hornet’s nest trying to force their way into the book—Dirk makes his attempt.
After breaking a lock pick, Dirk says it’ll take him about an hour or so of careful work to do the job; the others go do their own thing.
Dirk makes it through the lock an hour later; Berry volunteers to open it (slowly; carefully) and the party discovers that the book is written in Varisian. It so happens that Dirk can speak the language of the gypsies, but it’s not just a matter of translating; the text is in code, and he estimates at least 8 hours to break it.
They leave the book alone for the moment and head into town. They find nothing new on the message board, and decide to visit the Blacksmith.
The Blacksmith is a dwarven woman who has no work for them (since none of them are trained as smith-hands) but can make shuriken if Dirk ever needs to replace any of his. She also has some masterwork arms and armor, including a full set of Master Works Full Plate. She mentions a possible use for a bear pelt, but the party has already sold the one they received from their fateful bear-hunt. Berry attempts to hit on her, to no avail.
They look around the smithy for a while, but ultimately leave empty handed as they can’t really afford anything at the moment.
Next, they venture back to the potion shop, to see if the Apothecary has any work for them (beyond keeping their eyes out for potion ingredients). She doesn’t have any work, per se, but does mention that, if they’re willing, they can do her a favor: Get the sheriff off her back. He’s been constantly poking around her shop, as if searching for illegal activities.
The party agrees to confront the sheriff; when they do, they discover he doesn’t really have any evidence as to her alleged poison and drug trafficking and, indeed, it’s not even much of an issue in the town. He is evasive and the party—especially Castiel—is able to glean that maybe his motives for harassing the apothecary have less to do with law enforcement and more to do with his personal feelings towards her.
When the party confronts the sheriff about his feelings—Berry is the one who befriends him and gets him to open up—he admits he has a thing for the Potion Lady; he’s been poking around her shop in order to make sure she’s taken care of, updating her locks and making sure her store is otherwise secure. The party volunteers to talk to her on the Sheriff’s behalf.
The party returns to the apothecary and tell her what they’ve learned; they ask if she feels the same about the sheriff and, while she hasn’t given it much thought, she does admit that he’s not the worst person ever. The party attempts to convince her that he’s a nice man, a catch even, even if he is a little…awkward in his methods. Dirk says that, at the very least, she should talk to the sheriff about the situation, and she agrees.
The party reports back to the sheriff. (+5 Trust Points. Total=27).
Kaladahr suggest going to Harrowstone next, but Castiel suggests they do some research into the place first. Dirk, who lived in Ravengro with the Lorimoor’s for a few years, is able to tell them some of the local history surrounding the place. Castiel suggests returning to the Temple of Pharasma to see if they can access the records room yet; he, Kaladahr and Berry make their way there while Dirk returns to the Lorrimor household to attempt to crack the Varisian code in the formerly locked book.
At the temple, the Priest is still hesitant to allow the adventurers into the records room, despite the fact that they have been mingling with the townsfolk, and have even done some good. His acolytes are still wary (?). He finally acquiesces, though, after Kaladahr points out that they even lost Tuck trying to help one of Ravengro’s farmers. They learn several things about Harrowstone, including that it was home to four notably notorious criminals: Father Charlatan the Lopper; The Moss Water Marauder; Piper of Illlmarsh, and the Splatterman. (+3 to checks to identify Ghosts).
Meanwhile, back at the house, Dirk thinks he’s figured out the code, but when he goes back to try and decipher it, finds that it’s not just a simple letter-for-letter replacement. He’s back to square one. When the others return, they eat and retire for the night. Kaladahr hides the chest (along with the books) in his room. (TP-1; =26)
The next morning (4th day) after breakfast, Castiel goes to the temple to do more researchon Harrowstone, while Kaladahr and Dirk stay at the house (to do research in the library/decode the Varisian text, respectively) and Berry heads out to question the townspeople.
Berry doesn’t find out anything new, but he does come across a sickly looking figure. He approaches slowly, and the figure turns, leaps and slashes at him. As Berry leaps back and draws his sword, he can see that the creature was once human. He cleaves it in two with his greatsword. Crouching down to examine the thing more closely, he sees that it is clearly an undead. He rushes back to the house to inform the others of what has happened.
Berry leads Kaladahr and Dirk back to the site of the attack, but all they find is some goop. Kaladahr explains about undead and eldritch energies, etc. etc. Berry suggests taking some of the goop with them, but Kaladahr assures him it’s not necessary. Kaladahr and Berry head to the temple to inform Castiel; Dirk returns to the house to continue his deciphering.
Castiel suggests going back to the site of the attack to look for tracks; they do, and fins some leading back to the cemetery. They arrive to find an open grave—dug up from the inside. Castiel says there must be a necromancer around, and that perhaps they should now head to Harrowstone sooner rather than later. They tell the Sheriff about the undead (+1 trust point; total=27)
Back at the Lorrimor house, Dirk has informed Kendra of what happened, but she doesn’t know anything about undead issues in town, other than the fact that it factored into her father’s research somehow. He shares his frustration at not being able to decipher the book, and she says she can aid him, taking time out of her busy schedule for 1 8 hour session. He thanks her and says he may take her up on that later. The others arrive, and the party prepares to go to Harrowstone.
They’ve divvy up their equipment—including the spoils from the crypt and giving Dirk Tuck’s thieves tools—and Kaladahr gives Dirk Tuck’s thieves tools (so he can replace his broken lock pick. By the time they reach the prison, it is night. Dirk thinks he hears something as they approach, but Castiel assures him it’s just the wind.
The party enters—Castiel first, followed by Kaladahr, then Dirk and finally Berry. As they pass through the gate, Castiel is suddenly struck with the sensation of burning from the inside out, and is shaken. The rest of the party enters without incident, guided by Kaladahr’s magical light.
The first place they decide to check out is the manor house, next to the prison. Once again, the door hangs askew, allowing them easy access; inside, while searching, Castiel knocks a table into a wall and it collapses; Castiel manages to roll out of the way but Dirk, distracted, gets hit by a brick as he leaps away just a little too late. The party then sees that the entire house, including the roof, is unstable, and they hastily leave. Berry heals Dirk.
They debate going back outside the walls and heading towards the spot where the Professor was killed by the falling Gargoyle, and decide to go to the place opposite that on the inside of the walls. Kaladahr sees giant rats (about the size of a small dog) prowling around the walls and the tower; he casts his magical lights up so the others can see, and draws even more rats, chittering and glaring. They don’t try to follow as the party retreats from that portion of the wall, and Castiel suggests they explore that area at a later date, when they’re better prepared to face what is likely to be a swarm/horde of the creatures.
The party continues into the prison, through the main entrance. Castiel leads the way towards a door on their left; as soon as he crosses the threshold, the door slams closed behind him, cutting him off from the others; in the main hall, the doors slam open and three cackling skulls fly out of each; Castiel bashes his way back through the door as the skulls whirl about the air, then disappear back through the doors from which they’d appeared.
The party continues back through the door. As they explore the halls beyond, they come to a small room and are attacked by a pair of floating manacle; it is a battle of attrition, neither side able to strike the other, though Kaladahr has a close call where the manacles try to snap around his wrists. He avoids them, but still comes away bruised. They eventually strike the haunted manacles down and, when they prove not to be a threat, take them and move on.
The next room, they are attack by fiery brands, flying through the air. The party manages to dodge them and the iron brands fall back to the ground, their fiery glow fading.
As they approach the next room, the opening of which has a thick layer of spider webs draped across it, Kaladahr and Castiel are discussing possible tactics involving a Burning Hands spell being fired over the Paladin’s shoulders (as he is the vanguard); Castiel turns with a bemused expression, but before he can say anything, the party is jumped by three spiders. After defeating the spiders, the party ventures inside the room warily; in the northwest corner of the room, Dirk finds a web covered cabinet. Kaladahr and Berry are able to identify the items within:
5x Vials of Holy Water
1 Scroll of Lesser Restoration
1 Wand of Cure Light Wounds (15 charges)
They exit the room and continue exploring, pausing just inside the largest room yet.
The party is still in Lorrimor's house in Ravengro. Upstairs in his room, Tuck asks Kendra how Lorrimor died: a Gargoyle statue fell on him while he was exploring Harrowstone, the Haunted prison on the outskirts of town. She thinks he might have been doing some kind of research there, but isn't sure.
Kendra goes back down to talk to the others; Castiel asks Kendra about Harrowstone, which the Professor mentioned in his journal, and she gives him the same information she just gave Tuck.
Berry decides to retire to his room at the same time Tuck decides to join the others; they ignore each other in the hall.
Back in the Professor's office, Castiel lets Tuck read Lorrimor's journal, and the party decides to pick up where Lorrimor left off, starting with the Temple of Pharasma, which may have a list of the people who died in the fire that claimed Harrowstone.
Tuck suggests leaving someone behind with Kendra (he seems a bit paranoid) and the group decides on Berry; Tuck tells Berry they're leaving (but not where) and not to screw up while they're away.
The group decides to explore the town on their way to the temple. They come across a group of children jumping-rope, singing in Varisian. Tuck, who speaks Varisian, listens as they sing a morbid song about heads being lopped off and other gruesome deaths. They give them a wide berth and move on.
They find a building with a mug and a bed on the sign and, assuming it to be a tavern, go inside. The Outward Inn has a tavern in the basement, and the bar is being attended by a human female. Castiel and Kaladahr both order drinks, and Castiel asks what's going on in town. The Barkeep tells Castiel about the Laughing Demon, a restauraunt—and competitor—that, according to local gossip, serves "corpse chowder" soon after merchants "leave town." These merchants are never seen again, and the barkeep warns them against ever going into the backroom. The party kind of gets the sense that she's bad-mouthing the competition for her own sake.
The longer they stay, the more people arrive at the bar; Castiel mingles with the crowd, listening to gossip, and learns that, apparently, the Potion Lady also deals in poisons, drugs, and other illegal substances. Tuck overhears the same information about the Laughing Demon, and Kaladahr learns that if you're near Harrowstone after sundown, you might just hear the ghost of the Warden's wife wailing into the night.
The party leaves the Outward Inn and continue on toward the temple, stopping at message boards along the way. The postings seem to be more or less the same, and in the same handwriting, suggesting that one person goes around and posts the same messages on all the boards in Ravengro. Tuck notices a message from a farmer whose livestock is being attacked by a bear. He keeps the message.
The party continues to the temple; it's evening by the time they arrive. They enter and are noticed by the head priest, who motions them forward.
The group approaches and Castiel introduces himself as a Paladin of Pharasma, saying that the group is helping the late Professor Lorrimor with his investigation into Harrowstone. He asks for the records of those who died in the Harrowstone fire. The priest confirms they are likely in the records room, but he is hesitant to allow them entrance.
Kaladahr asks if there's anything they can do to prove themselves/expedite the process, and the priest suggests they spend more time in town, making themselves known, meeting the people. They are a suspicious lot, and the priest is no exception; even Castiel's connection to the church offers him little good will, though the priest does invite him to come and worship in the temple whenever he'd like.
The party leaves empty handed; Tuck suggests just taking what they want, but the other two are opposed; Castiel, in particular, is adamant they not steal from a temple, especially one belonging to his faith.
The party continue on to the crypt mentioned in the Lorrimor's journal, located in the same graveyard where they buried the Professor. As they pass by a particular gravestone, Castiel sees an inscription on the stone that includes Tuck's name and what appears to be a sinsiter—or at the very least, disturbing—prophecy, possibly of death. The inscription is dated fifty-four years prior. When he mentions this to Tuck and they look back at the gravestone, however, the inscription is gone. Tuck's not sure what to make of it; he wonders if Castiel is seeing things.
The door to the crypt has a lock, but on further inspection Kaladahr finds that the lock is decayed to the point where it no longer functions. He opens the door and the party enters.
Inside the crypt, they find footprints in an otherwise dusty room, and assume they belong to the professor. They follow those footprints to a door, and that door leads into a room with a staircase that leads down to a sarcophagus. They find no traps or signs of magic along the way.
It's not until they open the sarcophagus that Kaladahr begins sensing magic; they find several items of note, some which he can identify, and some that he can't:
Silver Arrows x12
4 Sun Rods
16 flasks of Holy Water
17 Magic Arrows
+1 Arrows x10
+1 Ghost Touch Arrows x5
Unknown Arrows x2
Scroll of Hide from Undead x2
Scroll of Detect Undead x1
Scroll of Protection from Evil x1
Potion of Lesser Restoration x2
Thin, darkwood case decorated with the same scarab and eye of The Manual of the Order of the Palantine Eye, the book found in the chest in Professor Lorrimor's office that has a lock on it. The case contains a spirit board and brass spirit planchette (though Kaladahr can't tell what kind of magic is attached to it) along with 4 Haunt Siphons.
Haunt Siphons x4—Glass and iron vials inscribed with strange, possibly necromantic runes, and containing swirling vapors.
Before the party can divvy up the loot, they are surprised by a pair of Giant Centipedes. During the ensuing fight, both Kaladahr and Tuck are poisoned, though they manage to overcome the effects of the poison easily enough and the party defeats the monsters in a few hits.
Kaladahr attempts to harvest the poison sack form one of the centipedes but accidentally slices it open, plashing himself in the face with the poison and suffering more of it's effects for a moment. The attempt to harvest the sac from the second Centipede is successful, though, and Tuck empties out one of his canteens so they can store it inside, either to use or sell later.
They take gear and leave the crypt, Castiel dragging one of the Giant Centipedes along with him as they return, without further incident, to the Lorrimor household.
Castiel asks Kendra if she can identify the magical items that Kaladahr couldn't, but she doesn't have any success. Meanwhile, Tuck goes to check on Berry to see if anything happened while they were gone. They begin arguing; Berry is upset that they went to the Crypt without them; Tuck says he told them they were leaving and it was his fault if he didn't ask where. When Berry says he can't identify the magical items, Tuck asks him what good he is and storms off.
They eat dinner—Centipede for Tuck and Castiel, beef for Kaladahr and Berry.
They sleep. (Trust Points take a -1, for a total of 19).
In the morning, Kendra makes Berry and Kaladahr eggs while Tuck and Castiel continue eating the Centipede meat.
They head out soon after, intent on going to the farm. Tuck wonders if they should leave someone behind with Kendra again, but the rest say he's just being paranoid.
They decide to stop at the Alchemist shop on the way to the farm to see if they can sell the Giant Centipede poison. On the way, they encounter groups of people whispering. Kaladahr overhears talk of a monument being desecrated at night. Castiel approaches the crowd directly, and they clam up almost immediately. He uses his charm to coax details out of one of them, albeit grudgingly; a "V" was scrawled in blood on teh Harrowstone Monument.
The group is curious, but decide to check it out later, and head to teh Alchemist shop. Kaladahr leads them in, expressing greetings as he walks through the door.
The Potion Lady wants nothing to do with the poison, and claims not to have any dealings in such things—despite what the sheriff, who she says has been hounding her about this exact thing, seems to believe.
Tuck suggests that the poison could be used to create anti-toxin, as opposed to being sold for nefarious purposes, and Castiel ultimately uses charm to push the idea through. The party receives 30gp, which they divide among Kaladahr, Castiel and Tuck, since Berry wasn't there for the fight.
They continue on to the farm; some children are chasing chickens about, and the party sees an older man in the fields outside the house. They approach him about the bear; his ramblings are nearly unintelligible, but they manage to confirm that a bear, or something, has killed some of his livestock. Eventually, he summons his son, who who is easier to understand, and he explains that little Jimmy did, indeed, see a bear attack one of their cows. Tuck questions little Jimmy, who's chasing one of the chickens, but his only description of the attacking animal is that it's "Big and black and fat."
Castiel asks how much the man is willing to pay them; he offers them three chickens, and Tuck replies that they should just do the job and let them man keep his livestock. Castiel agrees.
They go to the site of the attack, and the son explains that when they discovered the cow, it had already been half eaten and the creature was gone. The family ate the rest.
They discover tracks and Castiel confirms that they are, in fact, bear tracks. The party tracks the bear to a grove with a cave; a mid-sized black bear lumbers out to meet them.
Tuck acts first, drawing his weapons as he moves away from the group.
Castiel decides to charge the bear, drawing first blood on the creature.
Kaladahr moves to the side of the bear opposite Tuck, drawing his bow.
The bear attacks Castiel three times, but all of his attacks glance off of Castiel's armor.
Berry charges the Bear next, striking but missing with his Greatsword.
Tuck charges the bear, striking a glancing blow with one of his swords.
Castiel strikes again, but misses.
Kaladahr moves up and fires his bow, but misses.
After a few rounds of combat, in which a couple more attacks are made, including a magic missile from Kaladahr, the bear scores heavy hits on Castiel, Berry, and Tuck, leaving the first two unconscious and the last severely wounded. Tuck stands his ground for one more attack before retreating as Kaladahr works his way around the bear.
As the bear moves in to strike Tuck down, killing him outright with its third blow (and ripping his face off), Kaladahr begins climbing up the cave.
The bear attempts to follow him as he continues to climb, firing a magic missile at the creature.
The rock gives way beneath the bear's claws and it falls while Kaldahr continues to ascend. Using his bow, Kaladahr succeeds in finishing off the bear. He descends teh cave, stabs the bear with his blade to make sure its dead, and then begins tending to Castiel and Berry. Tuck is obviously dead.
Kaladar drags Berry and Castiel into the cave for safety, where they recover in an hour or so. In the cave they find various treasures:
The group takes some of Tuck's equipment, but Castiel insists on burying him with most of it, save for his gold. They set aside ten to pay for funeral costs, two to place on his eyes in accordance with Pharasma's teachings, and Castiel and Kaladahr divide up the rest. Castiel skins the bear and they take the pelt with them as another piece of loot.
They go back to the farm, carrying Tuck's body and show the farmer the bear pelt as proof of their kill. (Trust points +2; total=21). The farmer thanks them, once again offering them him his chickens as payment, and saying he'll try and help them build the coffin for Tuck, even though he doesn't really know how. They thank him for the thought, but decline both, and return to town.
They bury Tuck. (Trust point +1 for following the proper procedures for Tuck's burial, including the involvement of the priest. Total=22).
Returning to the house, Kendra introduces them to Dirk, who arrived at Kendra's request to pay his respects to Lorrimor, albeit a little late. He greets the party, and gives his condolences for their loss. Kendra reveals that Dirk lived with them for a few years when he was younger.
Castiel is the first to arrive at Professor Lorrimor's estate, where he meets Kendra Lorrimor, the late professor's daughter.
While the Paladin and Kendra are exchanging pleasantries,Tuck arrives; he sneaks around back rather than join the conversation. He attempts to gain access to the house by picking the lock on the back door. Unsuccessfull, he then climbs through an open window while Kendra leads Castiel inside.
While Tuck is perusing the Professor's office, noticing—but not trying to unlock—a black chest inside teh room, Castiel is enjoying refreshments while Kendra waits for the rest of the party to arrive.
Kaladahr is next to arrive, and while he is introducing himself to Kendra, Berry shows up and proceeds to interrupt their conversation to introduce himself as well. Kendra leads them both inside to enjoy refreshments for a moment, but then decides that they've waited long enough and should head to the gravesight; the missing person (Tuck, listening to their conversation behind the office door) can meet them there.
Tuck attempts to follow them at a discreet pace but Berry notices they're are being followed; the group turns to look at Tuck, who tries to play it off like he was just heading the same direction, but it was definitely shady. Kaladahr asks how Tuck knows the Professor; Tuck replies that that's his business.
They arrive at the gravesight/funeral home, where Kendra asks if the 4 adventurers to be pallbearers. They all agree.
As they near the gravesite, a mob of peasants come into view.
A member of the peasantsGibs Hephenus steps forward as the group nears and, despite Kendra's assurances that she's cleared everything withFather Grimburrow, accuses Lorrimor of being a necromancer unworthy of being buried in their graveyard.
Tuck glares the villagers down but that only incites an attack. Gibs runs away at the first sign of violence.
Despite Castiel's calm suggestion that they all put the casket down together, Berry drops his end prematurely. The rest try to compensate, but ultimately drop it and Lorrimor's body falls out.
Tuck has just enough time to glare at Berry before the villagers are upon them; one stumbles during his charge, planting the head of his shovel into the ground and folding himself, hard, over the handle. He collapses to the ground, vomiting. Another tries to strike Castiel, but his weapon just dings off of the Paladin's breastplate; a third tries to strike Kendra, but misses and hits his buddy behind him with his shovel; a fourth misses Tuck, and the last misses Kaladahr in.
Berry tries to redeem himself by striking the puking peasant with his greatsword, but falls to incapacitate him fully; Tuck attempts to push Kendra back into the crowd of non-hostile villagers behind the group, but fails; Taladahr tells Kendra to duck and casts acid into the eyes of the villager still near her with the shovel, and Castiel strikes that same villager down with his sword.
Kendra ducks and casts Mage Armor on herself.
A green haired villager with a pitchfork approaches the group from behind; Berry tries, again unsuccessfully, to incapacitate the vomiting peasant (who's now bleeding out as well); Tuck rushes to Kendra's side and disarms the pitchfork man before he can get close enough to strike. Kendra stays where she is.
The Villagers flee; Castiel stabilizes two of the downed villagers, and Berry casts a stabilizing spell of his own. None of the villagers die.
Tuck helps Kendra to her feet; she thanks him, and hurries over to her father's body and begins trying to get it back into the coffin. Tuck helps. The four pallbearers complete their duty.
Father Grimmsburrow gives a short sermon and then Kendra asks if anyone would like to say something on her father's behalf. \
Castiel steps up and, with an eloquent speech and an appropriate passage from the book of his god, extolls the good professor's virtues. His words are so moving, Kendra regains some of the trust she lost in the party when they dropped her father (Trust=20).
Berry apologizes for dropping the casket and begs forgiveness.
Tuck says nothing, merely putting his compass in the casket before returning to his spot (still glaring at Berry).
Kendra invites them all back to the estate for refreshments while they wait for the will to be read. They all agree.
There is little talking; Kaladahr wanders Lorrimor's library, where he finds and reads a book containing information on the Whispering Tyrant; Tuck goes back to wandering Lorrimor's office, curiously touching—but not opening—the black chest.
An hour passes; the executor of the will, Councilman Vashian Hearthmount, arrives. He first states his unease at having foreigners involved in local affairs, and then unrolls the scroll containing Lorrimor's last will and testament. A heavy brass key falls to the ground. In his Will, Lorrimor leaves everything to his daughter, save for the contents of the black chest, which he asks the party to deliver to a university for the payment of 100 platinum each (4,000 gold). He also asks, however, that the party not leave for a month, and stay with his daughter while she adjusts.
Kaladahr picks up the key and the party follows Kendra, who shows them to the chest. Inside are 4 books.
Kaladahr takes Serving Your Hunger. He also takes The Umbral Leaves, since Tuck refuses to take the other, preferring to leave it alone until it's time to transport them.
While Kaladahr reads from The Umbral Leaves—without sharing any of its contents—Tuck asks Kendra to show him someplace quiet.
Kendra takes Tuck up to show him the rooms. After they leave, Kaladahr finds the Professors Journal, which chronicles his investigations into a rising cabal of Necromancers. He has even stolen some records from the temple, and planned to go back for more, but never got to it before his death.