Carrion Crown

Party Preparations and Political Problems

Day 13
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The group spends the day finishing the clearing of the stairs, and manages to make a gap in the rubble large enough for them to pass through, so they return to town. On their way out, they inspect the items in the property room alcove. The holy symbols are no longer magical nor cursed, and they untangle easily. The axe is uncursed as well but still magical, and Negrodamus identfies it as a +1 handaxe.

Once they reach town, Viktor heads to the temple to inform Father Grimburrow of their progress, and to buy a scroll of consecration so that he may create a new cemetery on the Harrowstone grounds to bury remain they find. He trades some of the holy symbols for the scroll. Father Grimburrow tells Viktor that a town hall meeting has been scheduled for noon the day after next, in which the council intends to vote on a solution to the recent happenings in town. Some townspeple apparently blame the troubles on the heroes’ interference with the Harrowstone spirits.

Necrodamus visits Master Ghoroven at the Unfurling Scroll and sells the handaxe, using some of the proceeds to purchase a scroll of detect magic, so that they can remove the darkness in the southern chamber when they go to face the Splatter Man.

Night 13
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The night passes uneventfully, except for an unsuccessful attempt by Mike to seduce Kendra, after which it is decided she may not be interested in men.

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The Lopper Gets Axed

Night 11
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The group sets up a watch rotation and they rest in the guard rooms. The night passes without incident, although Solemn hears laughing coming from the northern chamber during his watch.

Day 12
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The group heads into the northern cellblock, where they find a 30-foot-deep pit covered by a rusty grate. While they are searching the cells, a ghostly figure wielding a large axe screams and charges them through the door of a cell. It strikes some nasty blows, and the blood from the wounds appears to turn into mist and flow into the spirit. Concerned that the spirit might grow too strong to kill, John begins firing his +1 ghost touch arrows while Block furiously casts disrupt undead. The constant damage manages to overwhelm the spirits attempts to heal, and they bring it down without too much difficulty.

The group recognizes the spirit as that of the Lopper, and Solemn agrees to be lowered into the pit, so that they can search for his remains and any items he might have hoarded. They find several items of value, including a ring of keys.

They spend the rest of the day attempting to clear some of the rubble blocking the stairs, then retire to the guard barracks to rest again.

Night 12
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The night passes without incident.

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An Inquisitor in Chains

Day 11 cont.
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In the battle with the skeletons, the party suddenly sees Block fall to the ground wrapped in ghostly chains, where he immediately goes into some sort of seizure. They rush to dispatch the remaining enemies and hurry to aid him. Solemn attempts to revive him by dumping some of his drugs into Block’s mouth, thinking perhaps that the shock will rouse him. The others begin sprinkling the chains with holy water. The chains begin to be eaten away, and when Crunch opens his haunt siphon, the chains are shattered. The party briefly catches a glimpse of Father Charlatan standing near Block, before the ghost and his chains are pulled into the siphon and destroyed.

Viktor uses some of his spells to heal the damage Block suffered from the skeleton and his seizures, then Block tries to explain the visions he saw. The group then returns to their explorations. The southern hallway seems unnaturally dark, and Viktor remembers that the Splatter Man was held in an area of total darkness, so they decide to save that area for last.

They head into the northern hall, stopping along the way to open side doors. The side doors appear to lead to guard barracks, and behind one of them they are attacked by a burning headless skeleton. During that fight, both Il-kor and John are nearly incapacitated by the skeletons flaming claws, but the group manages to vanquish the thing before they fall. Exhausted from the multiple attacks and low on spells, the group decides to make camp in one of the barracks rooms rather than try to make the treacherous climb back out.

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The Death of Block

Day 71?
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Block awakens in the Temple of Pharasma. Father Grimburrow is standing over him, thanking Pharasma for the success of the ritual. When Block asks what is happening, Father Grimburrow informs him that Vikto was unable to heal his wounds from the skeleton fight, and that he bled to death before Crunch could carry him back to town. Father Grimburrow offered to perform a raise dead spell if the party could supply funds for the material components.

It has been two months since Block’s death, and the rest of the group has long since left town, but they have been sending back occasional small amounts of gold. The materials for the spell have finally been accumulated, and Block has been returned to life.

The priest informs block that his friends traveled east toward Lepidstadt, and that he should follow the same path, since the University staff can likely point him further along their path.

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A Skeletal Surprise

Day 11
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Upon waking up, Block informs Viktor of his dreams and tells him that he thinks the holy symbols may be trying to tell him something. Viktor proposes that Block attempt to go back to sleep and try to remember the dreams in detail. The same dream recurs but they gather no new information from it.

By now it is approaching midday so the group heads for Harrowstone. Since they have exhausted all ideas on the second floor, they decided to tie off a knotted rope and descend down through the hole in the east wing to the dungeon level. They climb down into the same chamber in which Mike was attacked by the ectoplasmic guards, but encounter no further resistance there.

They light torches and proceed westward into what was once the main hub of the lower level. The floor here is covered in loose rocks from the deadfall that buried the stairs, as well as the charred bones of dozens of prisoners and guards. The torch carriers begin to split up so as to shine a light down the adjoining halls, but as they do eight of the skeletons rise up and begin attacking.

The battle begins, and the party is doing well. Several skeletons are dead and few heroes have been hurt. Things start looking worse however, when a skeleton suddenly claws Block as he attempts to cast a spell and he collapses to the ground.

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A Discouraging Day

Day 10
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Rested and healed, the party heads back to the prison. Before they head upstairs, they decide to make a fresh attempt on the locked property room. Solemn manages to pick the lock finally, and the group begins to loot the room. In the east wall, Block and Mike find a secret alcove containing some strange items.

The alcove contains a bloodstained handaxe, a tangled pile of silver holy symbols, a moldy spellbook, a blacksmith’s hammer, and a tarnished flute. A detect magic spell reveals the goods to be magical, with the exception of the flute, but closer analysis reveals a curse on them as well. The group decides to leave the items in the alcove, but Block brings the holy symbols with him, so he can attempt to untangle them.

The group then heads upstairs to search for Father Charlatan, since Vesorianna had inferred that the Piper and Father Charlatan were both held upstairs. They find his cell, and what they deduce are his remains, but no spirit seems to be present. They spend the bulk of the day scouring the upstairs for any sign of a ghost to be defeated, but except for a large stirge on the front balcony, there is no sign of anything hostile. Eventually they destroy the remains in frustration, then head back to town.

Night 10
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Block is unable to sleep well, tormented by a dream in which he is battling a group of men in guard uniforms before being dragged to Harrowstone and chained up.

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Entrance and Exit

Day 9 cont.
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Negrodamus – a wizard dispatched by Professor Lorrimor’s contacts in Lepidstadt – arrives at the estate. He arrives just in time to see Jim storming out the front door. He heads inside and introduces himself to the party members who were at the mansion.

Meanwhile, Jim (who has been smoking more of Gibs’ drugs) arrives at the Temple of Pharasma. Several days ago, Father Grimburrow had admonished him for channeling negative energy within the temple. Angry about it, and high enough not to care about the consequences, Jim begins channeling dark energy inside the temple while exposing himself to the acolytes. Father Grimburrow calls for the sherriff, and Jim is run out of town.

The rest of the group returns to the estate to find Jim gone and Negrodamus waiting in the common room. Introductions are made, and the new arrival is filled in on the situation at Harrowstone, at which point he agrees to aid the party.

Night 9
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The night passes uneventfully.

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The Piper's Swan Song

Day 9
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The PCs (minus Il-kor) gear up and head to Harrowstone. On the way out of town they find that the memorial has been vandalized further, now reading “VES”. Between their own deductions and the information from the warden’s wife, they agree that the vandal is spelling “VESORIANNA” as part of the Splatter Man’s campaign to destroy her spirit and free the prisoners.

They reach Harrowstone without incident and proceed to the stairway. Heading upstairs, they arrive in the mess hall. There they are attacked by three stirges, but manage to kill the beasts while sustaining only minor wounds. They head to the western cells, when they are suddenly surrounded by eerie music and the flapping of many wings. Most of them are shaken by the effect, and the situation suddenly gets worse when the cells begin opening and releasing skeletal prisoners into the room.

The battle begins, and the PCs begin dispatching the skeletons, but suddenly Crunch freezes in place. He sees the Piper slowly advancing toward him surrounded by a flock of stirges, but the other PCs see only a large number of bleeding wounds appear on Crunch’s body. Knowing that the Piper is near, Viktor begins channeling energy, damaging the skeletons and hopefully the Piper as well. One by one, the Piper attempts to paralyze the heroes with his music, in most cases succeeding for a few rounds, and all the while more skeletons continue to join the battle.

The battle rages onward until Viktor’s stores of energy are exhausted. By then most of the group have shaken free of the Piper’s trance. They begin destroying the skeletons, and Viktor turns his efforts to stabilizing Crunch’s bleeding while casting spells to locate the Piper. Once the skeletons are down, Viktor and Block work together to eliminate the Piper, with Viktor using detect undead and Block flinging holy water where Viktor directs him to.

Finally, the song stutters and fades completely, and the few skeletons still trapped in their cells collapse. Wounded and out of spells, the PCs are nevertheless excited at having defeated the first of the Harrowstone Five. They decide to return to town, rest, and return the next day to finish off Father Charlatan.

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Last Rites

Day 8 cont.
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Once in town, Viktor, Solemn, Crunch, and John head for the temple. They explain to Father Grimburrow about the remains from the furnace and ask him if he will perform a brief service at the Restlands. He agrees and the party sets out.

The funeral begins normally, but the priest’s incantations are cut short when a nearby grave bursts open and a group of zombies emerges. The PCs battle the creatures, aided by Father Grimburrow’s healing. When the battle ends, the funeral is hastily completed, and the PCs feel a sense of peace radiating from the newly buried bones.

THEN THE PARTY LEVELS UP!

All but Viktor choose to continue advancing in the classes they began with, and Viktor chooses to begin advancing as a cleric of Pharasma, believing that his religion will aid him more in practice than in theory.

Night 8
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Another night passes without incident.

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Return to Harrowstone

Night 7
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Night passes uneventfully.

Day 8
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Several of the party (Viktor, Crunch, Solemn, Il-kor, Block, and John) set out to continue their exploration of Harrowstone. Upon entering they immediately return to the room with the hole in the floor to pick up where they left off. They enter the room to the north of it and discover a large iron furnace. The furnace proves to be haunted, and a battle ensues. Crunch is nearly downed, but the party quickly uses several vials of holy water to subdue the spirit.

Inside the furnace, Solemn discovers some human remains. Viktor suggests that the bones be brought to the temple for a proper burial, in the hopes that that will put the spirit to rest for good.

The party also begins exploration of the western half of the first floor. In two rooms animated restraints attack the PCs, but they prove more of an annoyance than a true threat. Another room contains animated branding irons which give Solemn a rather severe burn, but then cease moving.

While exploring the prison infirmary, John and Block are attacked by a poltergeist, but Block’s undead-disrupting spells overwhelm the spirit before too much damage is done. Simultaneously, Solemn is attacked by a group of large spiders that had made their nest in the prison’s chapel. He suffers minor damage from their poisonous fangs, but between the supplies found in the infirmary, and a few potions found in the chapel, the damage is quickly healed.

In a workshop on the first level, the PCs encounter a ghostly woman who turns out to be Vesorianna Hawkren, the wife of the former warden. She explains that her husband’s spirit had been keeping the prisoners’ ghosts in line, but that a group of “robed figures who spoke only in whispers” came and used some sort of ritual to capture the warden’s essence and take him away.

She has been attempting to fill his role, but she has no symbol of office, and the five worst prisoners are quickly growing in power beyond her ability to subdue them. She asks the PCs to subdue the Lopper, Father Charlatan, the Splatter Man, the Mosswater Marauder, and the Piper of Illmarsh, and to locate her husband’s badge. With those tasks done, she believes she can quiet the remaining Harrowstone spirits and protect the town.

She provides the players with the layouts of the two above-ground floors, and tells them she believes the Piper and Father Charlatan to be upstairs, but explains that since her spirit is trapped in the workshop and she never visited the lower levels in life, she cannot aid them there.

The PCs leave her and make an attempt to enter the last room on the main floor (the property room) but are unable to bypass the locks. Knowing that they are likely to encounter some of their main foes upstairs, they decide to return to town and come back the next day fully rested and ready for combat.

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