Carrion Crown

Fifth Night (days 6-9)

  • 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:

      • Comprehend Language
      • Summon Monster IV
      • Dispel Magic
      • False Life
      • Gust of Wind
      • Illusionary Script
      • Levitate
      • Mage Armor
      • Magic Missle
  • (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:

    • 500gp
    • 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.

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