Carrion Crown

The Barrister and the Beast

At the courthouse, the group meets with Barrister Gustav Kaple, who is in charge of the Beast’s defense. He welcomes the group, explaining that no one has been willing to aid in defending the Beast and as a result, he has no evidence to work with.

He tells them that the trial, set to begin in two days, will cover three specific crimes from among many the Beast is suspected of – the murders of several villagers in the swamp village of Morast, the abduction and murder of six children from the village of Hergstag, and the arson of the Sanctuary Asylum on Karb Isle. Each crime will have one day of testimony devoted to it, and at the end of the three-day trial the judges will rule.

Kaple leads the group into the dungeon level of the courthouse and they meet their new client, the infamous “Beast of Lepidstadt.” Standing over 8 feet tall, he appears to be stitched together from spare body parts. Negrodamus recognizes him as a flesh golem. Speaking with the Beast, the party realizes that he possesses basic intelligence, rather than being mindless as most constructs are. He denies any part in the crimes of which he is accused, and cannot explain how he came to be in the dungeons, remembering nothing of the University break-in.

At this point, Kaple urges the group to begin collecting any evidence that they can find to assist in the defense – to travel to the scenes of the crimes and investigate.

View
The Judge's Suspicions

After Embreth Daramid pays the party what they are owed for the safe delivery of Prof. Lorrimor’s collection, she asks if they are staying in town for the trial. They are unsure, so she explains the situation. The Beast of Lepidstadt has been the resident “boogeyman” for the Vieland region for years, apparently responsible for countless terrible crimes. It has finally been captured, fleeing from the scene of the break-in at the University. It is being put on trial in two days, however she is not convinced of its guilt.

Judge Daramid (as she explains, she is one of the three judges for the trial) believes that the Beast is not the savage monster it has been portrayed as, and that someone is using the Beast’s reputation to cover their own crimes. However, as a judge, she is bound to rule only on the evidence presented and she has none to back up her suspicions. She offers another 100 platinum pieces if the party can investigate the matter and act as defenders for the Beast at trial, while keeping her out of it.

They accept and are instructed to meet with Barrister Gustav Kaple at the courthouse.

Meanwhile, Negrodamus finishes his inventory of the ransacked workshop. Apparently, while many things are damaged, only one item is missing entirely – a relic known as the Seasage Effigy. The relic had only recently been purchased by the University, and while it was known to be magical, its properties had not yet been identified. A search of the grounds reveals nothing, so Negrodamus meets up with the group at the estate, and they head to the courthouse.

View
Arrival in Lepidstadt

The party spends the night in a tiny little inn in Cortaud, then sets out with The Crooked Kin’s caravan the next morning. During the journey, Negrodamus befriends Prince Zar, the Human Caterpillar – a dark-skinned man with no arms or legs. The journey takes most of the day, and just as night falls, the caravan arrives at the gates of Lepidstadt. Kaleb steps forward and converses briefly with the guards, then informs the group that they are free to enter the city. He and his caravan will be setting up their show just outside the gates.

Realizing that the city may be largely closing down for the night, the group quickly gets directions to Embreth Daramid’s house. She accepts the one book promised to her by the will, and directs the group to deliver the rest to Prof. Montagnie Crowl at the University.

A few of them head to the University, where they are directed to Prof. Crowl’s office in the library. On their way, they notice that the University’s workshops have been ransacked, and that guards are posted outside. They meet with Professor Crowl and deliver the books, inquiring about the workshop break-in. He explains to them that the infamous Beast of Lepidstadt destroyed the workshop, but thankfully was captured by the town guard as it attempted to flee. Since the Beast has been responsible for countless crimes, it is being put on trial in two days, after which it will likely be put to death by burning.

Most of the group return to the Daramid house to receive their payment, but Negrodamus stays for a while to chat with his old professor, and volunteers to help inventory the lost or destroyed items in the workshop.

View
Freaks and Phase Spiders

As dusk approaches on the second day of the journey, Il-kor and Mike (who are acting as the group’s advance scouts) notice a group of gaudily painted wagons up ahead. Mike sees banners advertising them as a traveling group of performers, so the party rides up to meet them.

The performers are a strange lot – more of a “freak show” than a performance act in truth, but they seem friendly enough, and the party is welcomed by their ringmaster, an albino named Kaleb Hesse. He explains that The Crooked Kin (the name of their troupe) are headed to Lepidstadt as well, intending to make some easy coin from the crowds gathered for the trial. Unfortunately, when they stopped to repair a wagon wheel, one of the performers – a young woman with a tiny head – disappeared into the surrounding swamp.

The Kin are scared to venture into the swamp, but don’t wish to move on without her, so Hesse asks for the party’s aid – if they can find Aleece, he will reward them with a rare piece of equipment. Never ones to pass up adventure or gear, they agree, and set off into the swamp.

John quickly picks up Aleece’s trail, and they follow it into the swampy underbrush. Eventually, they lose the trail in a small clearing surrounded by tall grass. They begin searching for a new trail, when they hear faint cries from the grass to the south. They rush toward the source of the cries, only to find that it was a trap as a phase spider materializes behind them and savagely bites Negrodamus!

The group struggles to deal with the spider’s attacks, as after every attack it shifts to the Ethereal Plane to avoid blows. Eventually they huddle together with weapons drawn so that any attempt the spider makes at an attack will bring it face to face with readied weapons. The group manages to drive the spider away just in time for Viktor to heal Negrodamus with some antivenom and a lesser restoration spell. A further search of the grass around the clearing reveals the body of Aleece, apparently slain by the spider.

The group returns the body to the Kin for burial, and Kaleb Hesse provides them with a +1 shapechanger-bane dagger in return, as well as proposing that the two groups travel together for the remainder of the journey. The party agrees, and they continue onward, reaching Cortaud after nightfall.

View
The Road to Lepidstadt

Before setting out, Negrodamus purchases horses for the group and gets directions from the store owner on the best road to get there. He learns that it is about 100 miles to Lepidstadt along the Old Mountain Road, which passes through the foothills of the Tusk Mountains throught the towns of Tamrivena and Courtaud, and then follows the Lesser Moutray River up to Lepidstadt.

The party sets out, and with the new horses, manages a good pace, arriving at the outskirts of Tamrivena near nightfall. They secure lodging in the common room of the small village inn and rest the night there.

View
Final Days in Ravengro

Days 16-30
-————————-
No further trouble pops up while the group waits in Ravengro for the remainder of the month required by the Professor’s will. Several of the group take odd jobs around town to earn a little extra cash before the group intends to set out for Lepidstadt.

Kendra Lorrimor announces that she intends to stay in Ravengro for a time, using some of the funds from her father’s estate to help the town rebuild the library that was lost in the attacks.

Solemn also has an announcement: because it is a tradition among his orc ancestors not to take an adult name until after one’s first adventure, and since his first adventure is now concluded, he is changing his name to Fag├╝t.

View
Town Hall Disaster

Day 15 cont.
-——————
As the PCs approach Ravengro they see a large pillar of smoke. Hurrying into town they find a scene of chaos in the town square. Apparently, the town meeting was interrupted by an attack by several flaming skulls. The sheriff and his men managed to defeat the things, but the resulting fire caused several deaths and the loss of the town hall and its library.

Among the dead is Gibs Hephenus, the local drug dealer. In talking to the town council, the group learns that Gibs was the one responsible for the vandalized memorial, and that the attack by the skulls occurred just before the council was prepared to issue a formal arrest order.

The council urges the group to do whatever is necessary to prevent further attacks, at which point the party explains they they have just returned from defeating the last of the Harrowstone ghosts, and that the town hall attack was likely just one final desperate attack. They agree that if any further trouble arises during the remainder of their stay that they will investigate. With things seeming wrapped up, the party retires to the estate.

Night 15
-——————-
Nothing happens.

View
Battle in the Nevermore

Day 15 cont.
-—————————

The group hesitates at the edge of the magical darkness that marks The Nevermore, Harrowstone’s solitary confinement wing. From within they hear the Splatter Man taunting them, imploring them to come into the darkness. Eventually Negrodamus steps forward and reads from the dispel magic scroll . The darkness proves too strong to dispel entirely, but it recedes, forming a globe of darkness near the ceiling.

In the dim light from the group’s torches, the Splatter Man cannot be seen, but instead, scattered around the room, scrawled across the walls, the party begin to see their names being spelled out in blood. Their wisdom begins draining away, as their names near completion, due to the sense of panic it creates. Concerned that they might die like the Splatter Man’s victims if their names are completed, the group opens their remaining haunt siphons. The names vanish from the walls, but without the magic of the haunt, the unstable walls and ceiling begin to collapse.

The party is hit hard by falling debris, and when the dust settles they move to begin healing, only to notice that another figure has appeared in the room. The Splatter Man steps from inside a cell and battle begins. Necrodamus leads with magic missile, and seeing another wizard, the Splatter Man gets excited and begins giggling. He counters by summoning four dire rats and then retreating through a wall to the far side of the room.

Finding it difficult to pursue him because of the rubble, the party begins battling their way past the dire rats. Viktor takes position in the center of the chamber, channeling energy to keep his party healed while damaging the ghost. The dire rats fall quickly, but the Splatter Man uses the time they bought him to send a series of maximized magic missile spells at the party, splitting his targets, and seriously wounding everyone. Some of the group reach him, only to have him flee through walls again.

The group fights a battle of attrition, struggling to keep everyone standing as they position themselves to give the ghost nowhere to run. They finally corner him, and a combination of +1 undead bane arrows from John, disrupt undead spells from Block, +1 mace attacks from Solemn, and Negrodamus’s last magic missile manage to bring him down for good.

The party searches the room, finding the remainder of the warden’s gear, then they return to Vesorianna to verify that their job is done. She assures them that with the ringleaders defeated and the badge in her posession, Ravengro should face no further problems from Harrowstone.

The party heads back to town, triumphant.

View
Invisible Enemies

Day 15
-——————-
The party decides that today they will find a way into the Splatter Man’s chambers and finish things. They begin to leave the guard barracks, when suddenly Viktor stumbles into a nearly invisible gray ooze, which had set itself up in ambush. He is badly burned by the acid, so he retreats while the others battle the ooze. The ooze proves easy to hit but tough to kill, and John is also burned before the fight ends. Viktor heals himself and John, then the group begins the task of opening the gate.

All of their efforts combined prove unable to pull the gate open by the chain, and attempting to lift the gate meets with similar failure. Solemn, Il-kor, and Mike decide to pool their engineering and device-disabling knowledge to attempt to disassemble the western hall’s winch mechanism and use its parts to fix the southern winch. A few hours of tinkering later, the task is done. Viktor begins cranking the winch, which groans and shudders but manages to pull the gate open.

View
The Marauder and the Maiden

Day 14
-——————————-
The party returns to the dungeons beneath Harrowstone, and proceeds into the western wing. While searching the guard barracks in that wing they are attacked by the Mosswater Marauder, along with three screaming skulls. The skulls’s screams cause some of the party to be shaken, while their slam attacks deal minor damage. The Marauder himself swings his hammer for Solemn’s head and connects, causing a ghostly skull fragment to fly out and animate into a fourth skull. The party forms a defensive line to minimize the damage done by the skulls, but the Marauder continually teleports around the room, next hitting Negrodamus with the hammer. Eventually the skulls are all destroyed, whereupon the Marauder vanishes.

The part continues through the western cellblock, finding nothing of value until they reach a room containing many implements of torture. They fan out to search the room, when Il-kor spots something strange. The iron maiden in the corner is swinging open to reveal Kendra Lorimoor trapped inside. He rushes to save her, only to realize too late that it was merely an illusion. The iron maiden closes on him and he is pierced by countless spikes.

At the same time, several severed hands begin crawling out from among the chains and debris to attack the group. The hands are dealt with rather quickly, but Il-kor remains trapped during the battle. When the group frees him, he appears pale as if from blood loss, but no wounds are visible, as the iron maiden appears to have no remaining spikes. In the torture room, the group finds the body of Warden Hawkren on the rack. They take his keys and badge. They still can find no way past the gate of the Splatter Man’s chambers however, so they return the badge to Vesorianna, then make camp for the night to plan their next day.

Night 14
-————————
Nothing interrupts the PCs as they sleep.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.