Carrion Crown - 42 Ale House Group

Ghanima's Journal
Freaks & Monsters

Lepidstat
Dear Diary

The paladin seems to think she’s the boss of the group. Imagine that, ordering me where to go and what to do? Oh, the look on her face, PRICELESS! She thought she could keep an eye on me. And then, she realizes I’ve slipped away and she’d been watching a stranger for 5 minutes! I’m sure they went off to that library or whatever. I’m more interested in finding out about this monster they’re going to burn. Something seems odd, all of the stories about what it’s done sound . . . vague. I tried to get into the courthouse to take a look, maybe even talk to it. Too many guards wandering around in there. I’ll try to befriend some of the guards. Maybe get one of them to let me in to see it. But for tonight, an inn. A place to sleep without holier-than-thou companions chanting and praying and meditating constantly. A nice tavern where I can listen to gossip and find some . . . interesting . . . locals.

On the Road
Dear Diary,

The freak show invited us to travel with them to Lepidstat. As deals go, I can’t complain. Those few nights of sleeping in a tent, ON THE GROUND, do not bear thinking on. I know I wanted adventure, but I wanted adventure with a well appointed room to rest in at the end of the day. Lepidstat seems to be a decent city. Certainly more fun than little Ravengro. It looks like Goliath won’t enter. Something about Erastil not liking cities. Fair enough. I left the cold weather and camping stuff with him & the wagon at the freak show. Back in a city gives me some opportunities to play.

On the Road
Dear Diary,

We ran across a traveling freak show today. Poor fools, if they couldn’t defend themselves from the horrors of this land, I don’t see why they were traveling on the back roads. Or at least travel in groups. They let that deformed tiny head girl go off by herself to gather water. I can’t imagine any of the water in the swamp being worth the effort. Off we went, searching for her. We had the promise of payment up front, and well worth the trouble of a bite. A spider that disappeared at will. Neat trick, wish that I’d picked it up when it bit me. Anyhow, we brought back the corpse of the girl and the ringmaster still gave me the dagger. Pretty solid of him. I thought he would refuse and I’d have to lift it later. The half-orc of course tried to refuse to take it. He even tried to pay for it! If he wants to throw his own money away like that I won’t object. Ringmaster refused though.

Now I have two daggers that seem to have magical qualities. I’m starting to wonder what it was about that bloody handaxe that I found so compelling. It did a great job in the prison, true. But I feel like it’s a bit too conspicuous for city work. If we ever get to a city. Not sure what to expect of Lepidstat.

On the Road
Dear Diary,

I can’t sleep. I kept expecting we’d find a mage or sorcerer near the prison. Casting illusions or something. I figured the town was about to get hit by a right convincing con. But now, I keep seeing flaming skulls when I try to sleep. The professor tried to convince me all those gods were real. I thought it was just proof he was a gullible fool.

Ravengro
Dear Diary,

Hopefully my letter and its contents make it back to Caliphas. I paid the messenger enough to do an honest job of it, but you never know. If I find he didn’t deliver it, well, let’s just say I have a memory for faces.

If I’d realized we were going to be traveling cross country, I might not have sent as much back. Well, the supplies didn’t cost too much but I hate having less than 200 with me. Lepidstad might give me some opportunities to restock, as it were.

As usual, it was left to me to keep us from being robbed by the boatman outside Ravengro. He thought we would pay 15 gold each for the honor of his risky boat? Hah. And do I hear a word of thanks from the party for it? I half expected the paladin or that half-orc to insist on paying full price, plus a tip! At least Jaeger seems to appreciate the savings. Though I think he assumes we’ll use it on that boomstick of his.

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The Prison

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14 Neth, Sunday

The heroes visited the Prison, finally. Their resolve is admirable, and I eagerly await the results of their forays into to the ruin. The rogue continues to prove resourceful if not amusing. After the spirits of the place slammed doors in her face, she quickly and quietly removed them from their hinges after the cleric doused them with holy water.
They managed to avoid or overcome most of the spirit’s attempts to snare them, but the spiders in the church almost finished two of them, the rogue and the archer. Odd one there. He uses a bow, but I think is destined for something different, it’s…intriguing and worth watching.
They found the warden’s wife. Well what was left of her, anyway, and the remnants of what she was. The echo of what she once was. The spirit spoke to the group, detailing the events that happened there, so many years ago, and even gave them advice on how to end the haunting. It should be interesting to see if they can. She also saw the Way working their magic on the place, and figured out that her husband’s spirit is now missing. Oh, the five want out, to turn Ravengro into a ghost town, literally.
These heroes have done well so far, but then, they haven’t really run into any of the five, and don’t know how to use the items they’ve found. I think I will watch and see with great interest. They…interest me.

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Strange Happenings

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9, Neth 4715, Toilday

The heroes, and I think I can call them that now, continue to pick at the ravel of the mystery, and add to their understanding of Ravengro and Harrowstone. They know about the Five, and the fire in the prison, but will they unravel what is really going on? I fear they will not, and the true villains will prevail. It would not matter them after that, since they would have all perished, but Ravengro and Ustalav would never be the same. But I get ahead of myself.

They are doing well, and have gained the city’s trust now, and even were invited to the town meeting to calm people’s nerves about the odd goings on about town. It speaks well of them that the heroes (I still have questions about that title for them) were able to accomplish becoming trusted in a little over a week’s time. Most adventurers lack the amount of respect this group is showing, and it has served them well. They would do well to hold on to that humility as time goes on. The priest and the mage even volunteered to teach the young of the town about magic.

The Huntress threw caution to the wind and attempted the use of the planchette herself, and something went wrong. The Splatter Man found her to be certain, and only the timely intervention of her friends stopped him in time. I fear what would have happened if he, if it, had been able to finish spelling her name. But this is beyond that. There is something there, something that I can’t quite see, but for now, her friends seem to have spared her anything dastardly. Care must be taken with these things, they trifle with things they cannot fathom!
10, Neth, Wealday
The monument was desecrated again, with a bloody “E” this time. The group thinks that whatever it is that’s doing this is spelling out the warden’s wife’s name, Vesorianna. I find that to be a sound assumption. The roguish one and the Paladin went to the monument, and the rogue made a guess about where the trail would lead, and told them that the trail led to
Gibs’ house. They found a razor and bloody wineskin in the woodpile near Gibs’ shack, and ran to fetch the Sherriff. Gibs once again proclaimed his innocence, and ignorance of how those things got there. Neither the Sherriff nor the Paladin sensed any deception, but the Sherriff granted that he would have a deputy stay and watch Gibs’ house

Things were quiet for the next day or two, much to the dismay of the rogue and ranger, who both stayed up over the nights to watch the monument. The mage and cleric made their appearance at the school, and while the children came away with a better understanding of divine and arcane magic, I’ve a feeling they are more impressed with the flashier magic of the arcane kind. The third night, the night before the town hall, the quiet changed. Both the rogue and ranger spotted a figure making his way to the monument, carrying a war razor and skin, laden with some liquid. Both feared they knew what was in the skin. Their fears would soon be realized. Gibs spotted them in their hiding spot, and with a voice not his own yelled that “You shall not prevent our escape! The woman will die again!” No one is quite sure who Gibs meant, but the group thinks Gibs meant Vesorianna, the Warden’s wife. Why Gibs thinks she would need to die again though, remains a mystery.

13, Neth, Starday

The night of the town meeting. The group prepared for the meeting and rested during this day, waiting to address the town. People filed into the building, eager to hear solutions for the odd happenings in the town. The council started and very shortly announced that the adventurers were going to investigate the problems and find a solution, but nothing more would be discussed that night. Lamps throughout the room burst, spewing oil and flames throughout the crowd. The heroes were quick to act though, and through sheer determination and will got the people moving towards the door. Several of the group set about trying to put out the flames, but the flames seemed to have a mind of their own. As if that were not bad enough, several burning skulls flew through the windows of the town hall, intent on attacking anyone left. The paladin and cleric made quick work of them, but diversion was enough, and the group had to escape the burning building before they too were consumed in the flames. The building was a complete loss, but their quick thinking made sure that all of the people of the town were able to escape. Now more than ever, the town turned to the strangers, some looking hopeful and beseeching, others with blame in their eyes. Why had this happened to their town, and why now? The group was determined now, more than ever, to find out what was at the bottom of the town’s misfortune. They turned their sight towards Harrowstone, for they knew the answer lay in that ruined prison…

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Strangers in Town

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The group is interesting to say the least. There are times when I wonder whether they are more likely to be dangerous to their enemies, or to each other, but they are effective.

In the few days after the will was read, the group began investigating the town, trying to make sense of the Professor’s death. I think they begin to suspect that there was something else involved, other than simply a statue falling on him. I am beginning to agree. His death remains shrouded even from my vision.

It did not start out well for the group. The townfolk are a distrustful lot, more likely to run you out of town than they are to give you any information about the town. The group did not let this deter them though, and began their investigations into the town, the mysterious group The Whispering Way, and the old prison, Harrowstone. I was surprised how quickly they found information, and even more suprised by their methods. The Hunter and the Paladin used the professor’s books and studies to find information about the Way, gathering bits and pieces and cobbling together what the could about the necromancers. The soft spoken 1/2 orc sought out the temple of Pharasma. Belying his kind’s nature, he spoke wisely, and with compassion, and was able to convince them of the group’s well meaning ways. He found where the tomb was that the Professor’s journal mentioned. What tools for fighting spirits were in the tomb, and why would the professor need them? He would gather some of the others and find out shortly enough.

The little rogue found a more interesting way of gathering her knowledge. A late night visit to the Town Hall revealed much about Harrowstone, and she was careful to try and keep her visit a secret. Did she get everything back in place, I wonder?

The Ranger and Wizard both started in the Inn chasing rumors, and the Wizard spoke at length with Zokar, learning bits and pieces about the town, the Way, and spending freely, which always makes people more grateful. The Ranger spoke with some of the local farmers and spent his helping on the farms. Farmers always appreciate help from a trusty hand, and the Ranger proved he was just that. The farmers began to warm to him, and that will go far in gaining them trust. As the day grew long, the two teamed up again, to discover the truth about the rumor of disappearing merchants, who may have wound up in the stew. To their relief, they found nothing but normal meat in the Laughing Demon’s larder.

The 1/2 orc Cleric gathered the Paladin and the Hunter to investigate the tomb, and to their surprise, found that the tomb had already had a visitor. The Hunter was able to follow the tracks once inside, and by her estimation, it was probably Professor Lorrimor who left the tracks behind. These tracks led to a few discoveries. First, the tomb was oddly empty. A place where the faithful of Pharasma were supposedly interred, there were no bodies in any of the niches. Second, they found a sarcophagus with several items that would appear to be for fighting spirits, rather than a body. Third, they found that the tomb was not vermin proof. Two giant centipedes attacked, and one managed to snack on the Cleric’s leg, before the Paladin created many centipede parts. Taking the tools with them, they met up with their compatriots back at the Lorrimor house, where they identified the spirit fighting tools. Chief among these were the Spirit Planchette, and Haunt Siphons. The first of which they used in an effort to gain some insight from the spirits. On the two following nights they asked the spirits for guidance, and they were warned to “Stop the Five”, and that none of the five remained alive.

On the day after their treasure finding, the group split during the day again. Several going to the temple of Pharasma to research the Five, the Ranger again working the farms (and the people of the town), and the Hunger and Rogue going to visit the Harrowstone Memorial.

The first group found little information on the Five, only able to find information on Father Charlatan, but it was information they did not have until then.

The Hunter and the Rogue found a curious sight at the memorial. A crowd grew all exclaiming about some desecration that was done to the memorial. The two found blood splashed on the memorial, a the letter “V” painted in blood on the statue’s foundation. Even more curious was the trail the Hunter found, leading directly to an old shack, which they found belonged to an old ‘friend’, Gibs. Suspicious though it was, the Sherriff quickly let them know that until they put the blood in Gibs’ hands, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to lock the man up.

I will continue to watch. It appears the group may have stumbled upon something more than a simple funeral and will.

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The Haunting of Harrowstone
The Professor's Will

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Professor Lorrimor passed away. That’s how it started for the group. Letters were sent to them all, telling them that their friend passed, and that they were named in the will. So, they all came to Ravengro to pay their respects, or find out whether or not they were going to be rich.

Things didn’t start well. A group of townsfolk greeted them as they carried the casket, trying to stop the funeral. Luckily cooler heads prevailed, and the group dispersed before it came to blows. The funeral proceeded, and the will was read. The group would indeed get rich, after they spent a month in Ravengro, ensuring that Kendra Lorrimor was settled, and then delivered several tomes to the professor’s colleagues in Lepistadt.

When the group found the books, they were indeed books that studied evil subjects, except for the professor’s ledger. It detailed an evil much closer to home. The Whispering Way was up to something in Ravengro, and more specifically Harrowstone, the old burned down prison on the outskirts of town. The last entry dated the day of the professor’s death stated he was going to investigate a ritual the Whispering Way was performing on the building foundations.

This all left the group curious. Who were the Whispering Way? What was so interesting up at Harrowstone? What did the Professor have to do with any of it? At least they had a month to figure out what the answers could be…

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