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View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Carrion Crown: Part I - The Haunting of Harrowstone



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Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 04:17 PM
Ustalav. The name brings many images to the listener's mind, but none of them good. Mist-shrouded forests where creatures that fear the light roam. Moonlit graveyards where the burial is merely delay. Rain-drenched cities where the evil that men do becomes a horrific truth.

It is into this forbidding place that you have all journeyed to attend the funeral of the late great Professor Petros Lorrimor. Slowly but steadily, you've met on the road to his home of Ravengro, and have gotten a chance to introduce yourselves to each other.

You're about an hour away from the town when you see an old Varisian woman in a disheveled black cloak. She has cataract-shrouded eyes, stringy white hair and quite a few gaps in her teeth. Before her sits a little table, and she sits on a stool by the road, shuffling a deck of cards.

"Greetings, fellow walkers of the roads. Bound for Ravengro, eh? Come closer, and let old Mother Blackharrow have a look at ye."

WildPyre
2011-04-27, 04:50 PM
Harris nods to the old woman and pulls back his hood, his eyes catching the light as his face is revealed a friendly smile curled his lips, his handsome face seeming to illuminate the dreary world around him. The young man walks along with his new companions, using his spear as a walking stick, and his strange wolf-like creature at his side as always. He steps closer to the woman, letting his free hand rest on Lupix's head in a calming manner as the creature sniffs the air, it's expression making it's intelligence evident, the glowing rune on it's head matching that of it's owner and displaying their connection.


"Well met miss. I'd not expected to see anyone this far out from town.

Ulmaxes
2011-04-27, 05:16 PM
Gurpest, traveling a few feet behind the rest of the group, suddenly spurs ZipZip into a sprint, flying past Harris and within feet of the old woman.
His wild purple hair flops around him, armor shining in the light. He does not have his lance at the ready, but keeps it in-hand nonetheless.
ZipZip screeches to a halt, his leather barding shifting forward slightly as he quickly decelerates.
Gurpest raises an eyebrow (moreso than necessary), and seems to be scanning the woman's vicinity intently.
(Detect Evil on the woman, then the cards, then the table and stool.)

Greystone
2011-04-27, 05:43 PM
Kara peered at the old lady and smiled, smiled in the same practiced way she had smiled since she had learned that her long canines were off putting to most civilised folks.

"Hello Madame" she took in the cards with a quirk of the eyebrow "Do you give readings?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 07:36 PM
Garpest doesn't detect anything untoward, evil or otherwise.

When Kara notes the cards, Mother Blackharrow draws her lips back in a gap-toothed grin.

"Why yes. I am a Harrower of some skill."

She seems to look past them for a moment, then refocuses on them.

"Despite being so different, and coming from so many different places, you are all bound for the same place for the same reasons. It appears fate has found you, but for weal or woe? Take a card, just one, and we shall see."

She lays the deck out on the table, and smiles again.

arkol
2011-04-27, 07:50 PM
The small halfling curiously approached the old lady after the others. He didn't say a word as the others said their greetings, but upon being asked to pick a card he looked more like a viper than an halfling. His hand darts towards one of the cards:

"THIS ONE!" he says very excited.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 08:09 PM
The small halfling curiously approached the old lady after the others. He didn't say a word as the others said their greetings, but upon being asked to pick a card he looked more like a viper than an halfling. His hand darts towards one of the cards:

"THIS ONE!" he says very excited.

He notices a design on the back, a swirling spiral that anyone of a religious bent can immediately identify as the symbol of Pharasma.

Mother Blackharrow flips over the card and looks at it.

It bears the image of a statue of a bird, a bird with a huge tail fanning out behind it. Above the statue is a key.

"Ah, The Peacock. A great beauty that can only be preserved if frozen in time, like from the glare of a cockatrice."

[roll0]
[roll1]

The Peacock is the Neutral Key card.

WildPyre
2011-04-27, 09:07 PM
Harris raises a brow gently and smiles as he reaches forward, tapping one of the cards with a gloved finger.

"I'll take this one... and thank you for your generosity Mother Blackharrow."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 09:11 PM
Mother Blackharrow nods as she takes the card and looks at it. Like the last one, it has the image of a key at the top. Below it is a man hunched over a workbench surrounded by locks, fiddling with a particularly large one on the bench, his eyes intently focused on his work.

"The Locksmith. It represents the keys you need to unlock your fate, to open the way to some new place, puzzle or hoard."

[roll0]
[roll1]

The Locksmith is the Lawful Neutral Key card.

Greystone
2011-04-27, 09:12 PM
Kara smirks as the halfling darts in front of her to get his card. Her smile is replaced by a thoughtful expression as she notices her companions card. Without a tremor, the red headed woman reaches forward and selects a card.

"This one" she says softly, gazing intently at the card.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 09:15 PM
Kara smirks as the halfling darts in front of her to get his card. Her smile is replaced by a thoughtful expression as she notices her companions card. Without a tremor, the red headed woman reaches forward and selects a card.

"This one" she says softly, gazing intently at the card.

Mother Blackharrow takes the card and shoots a knowing smirk at Kara. This card contains a magnificent throne, carved of stone and plated with gold and silver. Hovering over the empty seat is a gilt crown.

"The Empty Throne. It represents those who are gone, a ghost of the past who has taught you something important."

[roll0]
[roll1]

The Empty Throne is the Lawful Good Crown card.

Greystone
2011-04-27, 09:23 PM
Kara nods, a knowing smile similar to the old woman's. She dips her head with respect and steps back to allow the rest of the party to step forward "Thank you Madame"

Ulmaxes
2011-04-27, 11:35 PM
Garpest drops from his saddle and finally comes within arm's reach of the table.
After glancing at the others and gauging their reactions to the cards, he slowly points a finger towards the card nearest to him after a brief moment of uncertainty.

"Well, then...that leaves this one...to me...then. Also, um, hello."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-27, 11:58 PM
Garpest drops from his saddle and finally comes within arm's reach of the table.
After glancing at the others and gauging their reactions to the cards, he slowly points a finger towards the card nearest to him after a brief moment of uncertainty.

"Well, then...that leaves this one...to me...then. Also, um, hello."

"Hello to you, Child of the First World," Mother Blackharrow replies as she takes Garpest's card. It depicts a smiling man in a jester's motley juggling a multitude of objects, like eggs, candles, children's toys, knives and torches. At the crest of his arc is a golden key.

"How appropriate. The Juggler. He stands for destiny, the gods, and those who play with the fates of others. Much like how your Inheritor plays her games with you as the piece, hmmm?" she purrs.

[roll0]
[roll1]

The Juggler is the Chaotic Good Key card

Ulmaxes
2011-04-28, 01:46 AM
Garpest freezes, staring completely blankly at the old woman.
After a full beat, he finally responds:
"That she does...that she does."
He seems (alarmingly) calm and introspective as he studies the card intently, his bulging eyes actually residing for a moment.

WildPyre
2011-04-28, 02:07 AM
Harris gives the kindly old woman a polite bow after looking his card over for a moment, wondering if the others were able to see a connection to their own life in the card as he was... it certainly seemed as if his new gnomish friend had at the very least. Carefully he tucks the card into a safe place where it won't get damaged and nonchalantly places a pair of glistening gold pieces on the woman's table.

"For your troubles Mother... if there's any other kindness you might be in need of, please ask."

chrisrawr
2011-04-28, 04:35 AM
Cam jogs up behind the party, backpack jangling as shovels and canteens bang against the odds and ends he'd hastily jammed into a mess of traveling gear. Worst of all were the ends of the chains, wrapped around his arms - they would rattle with each step and clank with each bounce, a normally cheery sound turned grim by circumstance.

Fumbling with his apologies he manages to spit out "Snake in my bedroll," before his attention is wretched to the obvious oddity - again with a little difficulty, he mumbles something resembling a greeting, and manages to avert his eyes long enough to shoot a pleading glance of inquiry around the gathered.

Greystone
2011-04-28, 11:59 AM
Kara took pity on the flustered half-elf "It's quite alright, we were just talking to Madame Blackharrow here" the red headed dhamphire pointed towards the cards "We were having a harrowing reading. Why don't you pick a card as well?" She gave the man a supportive smile. as she said this, hoping that he would perhaps calm down and relax.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-28, 05:07 PM
Harris gives the kindly old woman a polite bow after looking his card over for a moment, wondering if the others were able to see a connection to their own life in the card as he was... it certainly seemed as if his new gnomish friend had at the very least. Carefully he tucks the card into a safe place where it won't get damaged and nonchalantly places a pair of glistening gold pieces on the woman's table.

"For your troubles Mother... if there's any other kindness you might be in need of, please ask."

Mother Blackharrow smiles.

"Kind of you to offer, dearie, but you needn't trouble yerself. Old Mother Blackharrow's seen the fates of many in her cards, and the opportunity to read yours has proven interesting."

She then turns her gap-toothed grin at Cam.

"Pick a card, child of the wood."

chrisrawr
2011-04-28, 05:20 PM
With a final glance around, Cam hesitantly plucks a card from the middle of the remaining pile. He relaxes perceptibly when nothing bites him. "Thank you," he says hoarsely, a bit unsure of the phrase. He was out of practice talking with actual people, in real words. It would be difficult adjusting, but he owed it to Petros.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-28, 07:49 PM
Mother Blackharrow flips the card and examines it. It depicts an insect dressed in incredibly handsome clothes, seated by a wall shuffling a deck of cards not unlike the ones you've been drawing. Near the insect is a key.

Mother Blackharrow chuckles.

"The Cricket. He is like the grig, a joyful being who spreads delight when he fiddles and jumps. This card predicts quick travel, and the reward at the end of a long journey."

Now that everyone has drawn, she shuffles the remaining cards back into a pile.

"The cards have spoken, and it looks like you need to be on your way. Shouldn't keep the girl waiting, after all. Perhaps I'll see you again sometime."

[roll0]
[roll1]

The Cricket is the Neutral Good Key card

Ulmaxes
2011-04-28, 10:17 PM
Gurpest snaps out of his daze, straightening his shoulders and looking at the woman directly (in a non-Detect Evil way) for the first time.
"Thank you for your kindess and words of wisdom, m'lady. May Iomedae watch your steps and bring us together once again." His voice rings clear and true, his deep respect shining brighter than even his armor.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-04-28, 10:59 PM
"You're kind to offer, young man, but I suspect she knows old Mother Blackharrow can take care of herself. But it's always refreshing to meet your kind. Your Inheritor has such fine manners."

Greystone
2011-04-28, 11:40 PM
Kara chuckles "hard not to when it is a sin to be rude" she turns to the rest of the party, expression becoming somber "I suppose it is time to continue on to the professor's funeral"

WildPyre
2011-04-29, 06:37 PM
Harris gives a small bow to the kindly old woman and turns to leave, dreading the funeral but not wanting to be late for it.

"She's right, we should be going... thank you again Mother, it was a pleasure meeting you.

arkol
2011-04-29, 06:39 PM
After everyone has picked their card Cade is still looking at his rather puzzled.

"Is this good or bad?" he asks showing his card to everyone.

Ulmaxes
2011-04-29, 10:00 PM
After everyone has picked their card Cade is still looking at his rather puzzled.

"Is this good or bad?" he asks showing his card to everyone.

Garpest saddles back up on ZipZip.
"It means you've a destiny, just like us. Now let's hurry up and go meet it!"
He makes motion to leave as well, but not before nodding honorably towards Blackharrow.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-01, 06:35 PM
After bidding the Harrower farewell, you travel for about an hour before arriving in the town of Ravengro. Waiting for you in the town square is a young human woman, about 25 years of age from the look of her. She's trim and attractive, despite her red and puffy eyes and the dark, conservative clothing she wears.

"Thank Pharasma you made it. I was beginning to wonder if you'd be the only ones attending. No one else has come to pay respects to my father, and with the way things are in town these days, even very few folks from Ravengro have come out for the funeral as well. Oh, but where are my manners. I'm Kendra. Kendra Lorrimor, though I assume you guessed that."

chrisrawr
2011-05-01, 08:43 PM
Cam hangs around the rear of the procession, hood covering his more obviously Elven features. He wanted to tell her that there'd been no chance of his not coming, but it came out "Yes, of course." Hardly appropriate, given her last words, but he was already too ashamed of himself to clarify. Instead, he turned away, hoping he didn't appear too much of a skulk.

Greystone
2011-05-01, 09:12 PM
Kara had met Kendra two or three times over her time of knowing the professor. The Dhampire takes Kendra's hand and says "I..."she looks around "We came as soon as we heard. It was the least we could do"

WildPyre
2011-05-01, 11:13 PM
Harris pulls back his hood once again as he approaches the woman and offers her a small, courtly bow.

My deepest condolences Kendra. Your father will be sorely missed. He was a kind and brilliant man in a world that is so often found wanting in such attributes."

The young man looks about the square curiously his companion lightly nosing his hip.

You say there are troubles in the town? I hope it's nothing so dire as to interrupt your father's burial... he deserves to be put to rest in a dignified manner."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-01, 11:49 PM
"Oh no, nothing like that. Lately there've been strange sounds and lights in the town, and people have gotten a bit more surly than your average Ustalavic folk."

Greystone
2011-05-02, 01:34 AM
"More surly? By the gods, that doesn't bode well" Kara chuckles "That must be a terrifying sight"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-02, 02:55 PM
Garpest (on ZipZip) makes a quick patrol sweep of the area, looking for anything out of place or suspicious.
He then greets Kendra with a quick bow and condolences along with the rest of the group's greetings.

"I crossed paths with a shopkeeper here once. Horribly bad-tempered woman. If what you say is true, I shall do all I can to avoid her." He looks back and forth quickly, just checking to see if she happens to be within earshot.

arkol
2011-05-02, 03:01 PM
Unsure on how to react to such things in humans lands Cade waits and observs the others as they greet Kendra. Finally he steps foward and very quickly says:

"My deepest condolences Kendra"

And just as quickly he steps back.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-02, 04:25 PM
"Thank you. Thank you all. The funeral is tommorow. I've prepared some rooms for you to stay in at my house. Please, follow me."

She leads them to a modest mansion in the town, the late Professor's home. She shows them to the guest rooms and lets them get settled.

"I'll make some supper," she says as she heads downstairs.

WildPyre
2011-05-02, 04:35 PM
Harris offers the woman another small bow before she leaves. "Thank you for your hospitality."

The young summoner turns and heads into the room he was offered, his companion Lupix already making himself at home by curling up for a nap at the foot of the bed, weary from the days travel. He smiles and nods to the creature as it lets out a yawn. ""Yes it has been a long day hasn't it? We should rest our feet before supper." He reaches down and scritches his friend behind the ear before he begins removing his armor, setting it off to the side neatly, no doubt to be polished later.

arkol
2011-05-02, 04:54 PM
Cade follows Kendra with his hands behind his back, unsure on how to act. To however happens to be near him he whispers:

"This IS awkward..."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-03, 08:06 PM
"Really?" Kendra asks.

"How so?"

arkol
2011-05-04, 02:42 AM
That was actually meat for someone of the party to haer not Kendra... oh well... let's roll with it, literally in this case :smallbiggrin:

"What? I though we were going backward"

Bluff :smalltongue: [roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-04, 03:46 PM
"Backwards? What are you talking about?"

arkol
2011-05-05, 04:07 PM
"Er... what?" says Cade trying is best to look confused.

"I was under the impression that your father's house was that way." he poitns to the opposite direction they're going.


more bluff
[roll0]

chrisrawr
2011-05-05, 04:36 PM
Coughing, Cam interrupts, "Sorry. Been a while on the road. Can we get some food, and water, please?" he looks around the group for reassurance.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-05, 04:39 PM
"Er... what?" says Cade trying is best to look confused.

"I was under the impression that your father's house was that way." he poitns to the opposite direction they're going.


more bluff
[roll0]


"We're IN my father's house," Kendra replies.

She looks at Cam.

"I was just about to get some supper ready. I'll call you when I've set the table."

Ulmaxes
2011-05-05, 10:19 PM
After triple-checking that ZipZip would have adequate lodging for the evening, Garpeset promptly begins investigating anyone in the house he hasn't met yet, getting name, title, position, and any recorded instances of violence they may have been associated with.

[roll0]

Afterwards, he finds each party member (starting with Cade) and investigates their individual backgrounds, generally checking for any hint of any insidious backgrounds or motivations.
At the end, he also asks how they knew the Professor (his tone of voice shifts abruptly at this last question to being one of genuine interest)
[roll1], and will post more for each person if necessary.

chrisrawr
2011-05-07, 05:28 PM
Cam shrugs and frowns at Garpeset's questioning. "Don't do much," he says, and turns away when asked about the late professor - effectively ending the conversation.

arkol
2011-05-07, 05:56 PM
When Garpeset comes to him, the halfling happily tells him the tale of how his parents fled slavery from Cheliax and how they found their way to the Palatinates. The story itself it nothing otherwordly but Cade uses his magic talents to actually ILUSTRATE it with a series of translucid images. The images flicker in an out of existance as if they're not strong enough to stay in this world for long and the colors are pale and lacking depth and variety. There's a blue hue in almost all of them.

Then he adds: "Being from Cheliax my parents were terrified when I spontaneously started... this" he opens his arms, the images all around him being more then enough to explain what "this" was. "They thought I was possesed by a devil or something. The professor explain them that it was not the case and he helped me furtehr develod it..."

A rather freeform use of prestidigitation. Hope it's alright

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-07, 06:26 PM
It's just fine. Kudos for creativity! :smallsmile:

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-09, 06:22 PM
The evening passes quickly, and after a nice, warm meal and a fitful sleep, Kendra leads you to the Restlands, Ravengro's cemetery. Standing at the gravesite is a gaunt man in the traditional robes of a Pharasmin. Apart from yourselves, only a few others have come to attend.

Which of you would like to serve as pallbearers? There's room to accommodate six people, with a minimum of four.

WildPyre
2011-05-10, 03:40 PM
Having already informed the others that he had been a student of the Professor's, when the small motly group had met on the road, he didn't feel the need to go into detail about his family life or the way his father had worked himself ragged just so he could attend school at all. Lupix had, as always, been able to pick up on the young summoner's uneasyness and sat by the door, lifting his head and offering a protective growl at Garpest.

The next day he donned his now shining parade armor and acompanied Kendra and the others to the Restlands, a solemn expression on his face.

Harris will most definitely offer to be a pallbearer.

chrisrawr
2011-05-10, 04:03 PM
Cam studies the faces of the few he'd not had a chance to travel with as of yet. People were hard to get used to, after so long - the forest, the jungle, the wastes; these things were orderly. You could learn their secrets and listen for their songs, and immerse yourself in their secret worlds.

Humans had none of this. You had to pry out their secrets with words, and guard them with words, and their feelings and stories were words. There was no intimacy through the barriers of words they'd erected, no reprieve from grief through their words, no listening beyond their words. You could tell from the furrows around a great stump that a snake lay hidden underneath, but the meanest-looking Human might hide the a heart of sweetest honey, with only words to tell them apart. Humans lay hidden beneath their tapestries of words, lest others see their inner beauty, their secret pains, their wretched shame.

And so, Cam studies the faces of the few gathered, to honor the memory of a man who diced with Fate, laughed at death, and danced with the spirit of fire, and he makes no words within himself to describe these things, but carries them on his face, and in his posture, and in the sad movements of his body.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-15, 10:40 PM
Once all the pallbearers are ready, Kendra takes her place at the head of the somber procession, and leads you along The Dreamwake, the gravel road that winds through the Restlands. As you round the corner onto The Eversleep, you see a group of about a dozen surly looking locals blocking the path. One of them steps forward, an elderly but wiry-looking man, as soon as he sees the procession.

"That's far enough. We been talking and we don't want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain't goin' in the ground here!"

chrisrawr
2011-05-16, 10:51 AM
Sense Motive [roll0] - I'll edit this post based on what I find out, as well

Diplomacy, if I try tact [roll1], and Intimidate, if I don't [roll2].

Edit: Cam will hold his ground for now, if he attempts one or the other in a related post, refer to these rolls.

Cam barely stops himself from dropping his edge of the coffin and reaching for his weapon, startled by the similarity to a cornered predator the people seem to be. He notions with a free hand that they should lay down their load, adding, "Kendra might need us," in hushed tones.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 12:44 PM
These locals are clearly offended at the proceedings, but it isn't clear why.

WildPyre
2011-05-16, 02:50 PM
Harris motions for the others to set the coffin down. He didn't want to drop it and disrespect his teacher, but it was clear these men were going to let them pass easily and parlaying while carrying such a weight would be difficult.

Perhaps we can discuss this rationally gentlemen, just let us set this down for a moment...

One three yes?
One...
Two...
Three.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-16, 03:18 PM
The tall man in drab, dirty gray robes helps in setting down the coffin. He then approaches the elderly man. His face is covered by his the shroud of darkness under his hood - only the grayed and slightly dirty flesh on his chin is clearly visible. He speaks for the first time in a deep, slightly raspy voice, "and why, pray-tell, do you not wish for the late Lorrimor to be buried in the Restlands?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 06:47 PM
Kendra's sadness swiftly transforms into anger.

"Yes, what are you talking about?" she cries out.

"I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He's waiting for us! The grave's already been..."

"You don't get it, woman," the leader replies.

"We won't have a necromancer buried with our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-16, 07:36 PM
The Ghost disliked the ire directed to his former mentor, still the notion of him delving into necromancy is not entirely surprising. He was an academic and did like to explore everything, but surely there is a difference between dabbling in necromancy and being a necromancer. Gray replied with his voice remaining eerily calm, his words spoken slowly, yet delivered forcefully, "on what grounds do you accuse this great scholar of being a necromancer?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 07:47 PM
"We don't gotta explain ourselves to the likes of you, monster! Knowing you, you probably wanna eat him anyway! That's what your kind does to their dead, ennit?"

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-16, 08:40 PM
For an instant the comment confuses the Ghost, "my kind?" Having ventured into city so rarely and having only dealt with those who respect him in the past few years, he almost forgot about the racism toward 'his kind,' of which he had little to no affiliation. "Ah yes, I see. I do not eat the dead anymore than you do. I bury them... where they wish to be buried. If you won't explain yourselves, then I will resume burying him... where he wished to be buried. I ask again, on what grounds do you accuse him of being a necromancer?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 09:02 PM
"Sod you!"

((You're not likely to get them to budge unless you're a bit more persuasive...or frightening. Reason alone won't help you here. You've got to get them to want to listen to you.))

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-16, 09:19 PM
The Gray Ghost was a patient man generally, but this was grating his patience. His tone changed drastically: it was starting to sound angry, and even more forceful than before, "Petros... my friend... is dead... in a coffin next to me. You disgrace the dead; you halt his funeral precession; you refuse to tell me why. I am not so patient that I will tolerate your insolence any longer. My request is simple and reasonable: tell me... why... you accuse him of being a necromancer... now," the words clearly came from teeth clenching and the last was accompanied by a guttural scowl.

I knew... I hoped he would at least tell me though...

Intimidate: [roll0]

chrisrawr
2011-05-16, 09:31 PM
Post reserved; I'm in and out of contact with internet and I want to make something useful of this space where he can perhaps do something to calm Ghost, or reinforce his intimidation

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 09:40 PM
"It's his fault! We saw him skulking around Harrowstone in the dead of night! He was makin' a curse on the town, he was, and we're gonna stop it!"

The men advance, a collection of hoes, rakes and scythes in their hands.

"DRIVE 'EM OFF SO WE CAN BURN LORRIMOR IN PEACE!"

Sorry guys, turns out Diplomacy was what was needed. I misread the bit. It's a fight now, so roll for initiative. And be warned that your trust in the town will take a nosedive if you kill any of these men.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-16, 09:57 PM
The Gray Ghost screams in rage, "why are you attacking us? WHAT IS HIS FAULT?!?"

Geez, sorry guys. I just wanted them to explain.

Initiative: [roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 10:55 PM
"HE CURSED THE DAMN TOWN!"

A group of about six men advance.

I just remembered something I really should've told you all. I run initiative differently. In my games, the player with the highest initiative bonus rolls against the highest initiative of the enemy group. Whoever's highest goes first. You all take your turn as a group, so there's no tedium of waiting for the person ahead of you in initiative order to post. Since these are just a bunch of rabble, you're pretty much guaranteed to win initiative, so make your moves as you please. Just remember to avoid killing these guys. They only have 4 hp each!

WildPyre
2011-05-16, 11:13 PM
Harris stepped forward quickly and cleared his throat, his hands held up in a motion to halt the townspeople as his eidolon hunched down and growled as if ready to pounce.

Wait wait wait! There must be some mistake! I assure you this man would not and COULD not curse anyone!


Diplomacy
[roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-16, 11:24 PM
The townsfolk stop.

"What are you waiting for?! Drive 'em off!" the mob leader barks.

"Shut up, Gibs!" one of the others replies.

Then he turns back to Harris.

"You say he couldn't have cursed the town. Why not? He was a wizard, right?"

((Petros did extensive studies into the arcane and its nature, but its actual practice eluded him despite years of research. His daughter, Kendra, has the magical talent he lacked.))

WildPyre
2011-05-16, 11:54 PM
Yeah that's what I assumed. He'd been refered to a lot of things but never one that explicitly stated he was a caster.

Harris stood his ground, straightening his parade armor, more to show it off and to 'make sure they knew just who they were dealing with' than to actually straighten it. His voice was stern but not threatening, more that of an authority figure.

He taught me a great many things about the arcane arts, and it's thanks to him that I was able to reach the level of mastery that I have as a summoner, but you have my word that the proffesor was never able to ben the weave of magic himself. His studies were purely acedemic. If somebody has cursed your town, I guarentee you that he was not the one who did so, and after the funeral I'll do my best to uncover who did.

chrisrawr
2011-05-17, 01:58 AM
Initiative: 1d20+2; Sorry I was unavailable for posting during this action, I was watching animes without access to interbutts, and missed out on what looks like a good time :D We'll just assume that Cam had wanted to say something relating to how the professor aided him in destroying many undead during their time together, and how he was more likely trying to protect the people - and of course, Cam couldn't find a good spot to butt in with all the yelling. Intimidate: 1d20+2


"ENOUGH." Cam shouts, ripping the heavy chain from his chest, and whirling its weighted ends up to dangerous speeds. "I do not wish to fight, but I cannot let the professor's spirit be sullied by fire." [[OOC: If there is something unattended and wooden/rock around that Cam can smash with the end of a chain, he will do so as part of an intimidation effect - 1d20+7, 1d10+6 ]] "You can either leave, now, in peace, or I can carry you off after my friend has departed."

edit: My post posted empty. No text was written and none of my rolls were recorded. Odd :/ Is there any way of accessing database rolls?

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-17, 05:56 AM
The thugs eye each other, and one by one, they sullenly disperse, shooting venomous glances at you and Kendra as they pass. The one named Gibs pauses and gives the Professor's coffin a good solid kick, though this injures his foot and pride more than the casket itself. Kendra fumes a bit and the others in the procession breathe a sigh of relief.

For talking the mob out of a fight, you've earned 600 XP and 1 Trust Point.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-17, 12:13 PM
"My sincerest apologies, Kendra," the Ghost says, "that cur, Gibs, was being an incorrigible racist. I didn't expect aggression to come of it. Harris, I thank you for dissuading them." The Ghost positions himself at the corner of the coffin again, "let us go lay your father to rest."

arkol
2011-05-17, 12:23 PM
Cade was so taken by surprise that he wasn't even able to react at all. To him the professor was a respected man of the comunity. To know that the comunity didn't feel like that was... incomprehensible.

He was so shocked that he didn't have a reaction. Furtonelly everything ended just as quickly as it had started...

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-17, 12:45 PM
"My sincerest apologies, Kendra," the Ghost says, "that cur, Gibs, was being an incorrigible racist. I didn't expect aggression to come of it. Harris, I thank you for dissuading them." The Ghost positions himself at the corner of the coffin again, "let us go lay your father to rest."

Kendra smiles at the Ghost.

"They said they were going to burn my poor father! Thank you all so much for standing up to them. I'm sorry for the assault. The traditional Ravengro greeting is a sullen but polite glance, not an angry mob."

"Indeed!" a voice comes from behind them.

One of the other members from the procession comes up to join you. He's an older gentleman in an old, but well-made suit. He looks portly, but it's the kind of portly of a man who was a tough fighter before settling down, rather than that of a lazy nobleman.

"Pardon me, I don't believe young Miss Lorrimor has introduced us yet. I'm Vashian Hearthmount, one of Ravengro's Councilmen. I assure you the actions of Mr. Hephenus and his ilk were atypical. Those men were merely local farmhands, all of low character. Had it amounted to a fight, the beating you no doubt would have administered would have been punishment enough. As it stands though, I'll seek out the sheriff after the ceremony to report the incident."

A few moments later, a gaunt old man in Pharasmin vestiary comes from further up the path.

"What happened here? I heard shouting and thought someone had gotten hurt."

"A few of the more ignorant townsfolk got the idea into their heads that my late father was a necromancer and didn't want him buried here, Father Grimburrow."

"Not this year, not now!" the elderly priest exclaims as he traces a spiral on his chest with his fist, a common means of devotion to Pharasma in Ustalav (Basically like crossing yourself in the real world).

"The danger is past though. Our guests convinced them of the truth and they're gone now."

"Thank the Lady. Well, if there's no more trouble, let us proceed."

Father Grimburrow returns to the gravesite as you take up the coffin again. There's no further trouble as you arrive at the grave site where Father Grimburrow and two Pharasmin initiates await.

The assembled group waits for the casket to be lowered into the ground.

chrisrawr
2011-05-17, 12:51 PM
Cam re-wraps his chain, and then lifts his cloak above his head, ashamed of his rashness. He reaches down for his handle, and lifts with the others.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-17, 02:31 PM
Father Grimburrow calmly waits for the coffin to be lowered in.

"Pharasma is with us from before our births, and with us after our deaths. All who live come before her judgment. They are weighed on her scales and are rewarded or punished as the quality of their soul demands. Petros Lorrimor was never in Ravengro for very long, but whenever he was, we knew him to be a brilliant and gentle man, always willing to aid a neighbor, or offer his wisdom. And he brought that wisdom wherever he travelled. Here today are people new to Ravengro, whose lives were touched by our departed friend. Petros has gone now to Pharasma's side, and I think I may speak for all of us in saying that when it is his time to be judged, she will not find him wanting. Kendra, would you like to say a few words?"

The young woman fights back the tears and steps forward.

"I rarely had the opportunity to accompany father on his expeditions, but one thing that I'll always remember about him was his willingness to risk his life for that of others.

One of his adventures that I did witness was when he and a knight from Lastwall, Sir Able, were investigating a desecration of the dead in the village of Grayce, near Caliphas. The monsters had been summoned from their graves by a hag that lived in the nearby woods, seeking to bring back her daughter, a changeling girl who'd been raised by the village. Most of the villagers wanted to give the poor girl up to the hag so she'd leave the village in peace, but my father stood up for her. He led Sir Able and some able-bodied men into the woods and found the hag where she lay. They defeated her and ended her reign of terror for good, saving not just Grayce, but the life of an innocent girl. I was never more worried for my father than that day, fearing he'd be eaten by the monster, and never more proud than when he returned and told us that everything was going to be all right now and forever.

As Father Grimburrow said, some of my father's former associates have come to pay their respects as well. You have already seen the same nobleness in them that my father showed. If you would please come forward? Share your stories of my father, and show them what kind of a man he truly was."

At this point, I invite everyone to make up a story about your connection with the late Professor Lorrimor as you see fit. If you REALLY wanna be uplifting, make a Diplomacy or a Perform check. :smallsmile:

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-17, 05:44 PM
The Gray Ghost has no desire to flaunt himself, and his accomplishments, but to speak well of one of the few he had known worth speaking well of was truly an honor.

"I have had a tough life by the standards of many. I am... part-orc. I have nothing, but that which I have earned with the sweat of my brow. When I tried to get schooling in the arts of magic, no one at all supported me, no one would even speak with me - until I met Petros. He saw past my race, past my poverty, past my experience - he saw me for who I was... and for who I could become. He shared with me something both of us value greatly: knowledge. He believed in my potential when no one else did. My path in life was steered more by his guidance than by any other... for what he has given me, I am eternally grateful. May Pharasma judge you well, Petros."

Diplomancy: [roll0]

Booyah! I totally just critically diplomatized them all!

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-17, 05:52 PM
+1 Trust Point

Note that this is a one-time award. More successful diplomacy checks won't get extra Trust Points.

chrisrawr
2011-05-17, 07:22 PM
Camthalion bows his head and says nothing, his own tale of suffering would detract from the personal focus of the professor's funeral.

arkol
2011-05-18, 03:59 PM
"I..." - starts Cade - "I've.. humm...got a pretty similar story from er... Ghost there. Not as... bad? Yeah...

WildPyre
2011-05-18, 05:51 PM
Harris takes his turn to stand up before those gathered, a solemn expression on his young face.

"Friends... We gathered here today have all had our lives touched by Professor Lorrimor. Whether we were the recipient of his generosity, understanding or patience, we've all been blessed to have our roads cross with this great man's. So let us not, on this day mourn his loss, but to celebrate his life and remember fondly those days we were blessed with his council countenance. For truely we are all better people for having known this extraordinary man.

He was a scholar without equal... a humanitarian without peer... and a friend without judgement. An honorable heart, a gentleman and a gentle man, in a world that is far too often found lacking in these, most beloved traits. He left the world a better place than he found it, and our hearts and lives similarly.

Professor Lorrimor... you were a mentor, a friend and an inspiration. Thank you."

He bows his head in respect, hands folded infront of him and steps off to the side, allowing the next speaker to step forward.

BigRob
2011-05-19, 01:23 PM
Jacob steps forward, clears his throat:

''The professor was a great man, a noble man, but he will live on not just in are memories but in his works, I hope we can live up to the challenge of carrying on his works...''

All the while Jacob fidgets with varies vials and scrolls upon his person, clearly not used to public speaking.

Ulmaxes
2011-05-19, 11:57 PM
Garpest rides up on ZipZip, and stands up on him (putting him slightly below eye-level for most, but the improvement in height is enough.)

Looking at the group for a moment, he takes a deep breath and begins.

"The Professor...was a crazy old fool. He had odd habits, and odder people around him all the time. I honestly didn't understand him. Not at all. Not how sane people act at all.
I don't understand him, and I think he liked it that way.
I owe him for more than I can really explain, so I'll say this: this world...and village...wasn't good enough for him.
He earned his way out; and I can only hope to do the same."

He bows deeply in the Professor's direction, sits back down, and the two trot back to their place.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-20, 09:41 AM
After a few of the townsfolk eulogize, Father Grimburrow says one final prayer, and then the initiates begin to cover the grave.

Kendra approaches you as everyone starts to leave.

"Thank you again for being here. There's still the matter of my father's will, though. He included all of you in it, and stipulated that the will was not to be read until you were all present. Please return with me to my home. Councilman Hearthmount has some things he needs to do before he can come to preside over the reading, the least of which is making sure Old Man Hephenus gets what's coming to him for this!"

Kendra escorts you back to the Lorrimor house, and puts a pot of tea on.

"Does anybody want anything in their tea? Honey? Cream?"

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-20, 12:03 PM
Gray keeps silent on the way back to the Lorrimor house. Not only is the mood rather glum, but his mind is lost in reflection. He thinks as much he could of the old hermit's death when he was just a boy. The experience seemed less real then. Even though he can remember things about the death, like how he left the corpse sitting there for days before burying him, he still can't remember how the incident made him feel.

Petros was the second closest thing that he ever had to a father. Losing them both before really coming to know them is distressing. Still, selfishly, he wonders what Petros might have left for him. While the Ghost was quite fond of Professor Lorrimor, he never knew to what extent the feeling was reciprocal. His thoughts are interrupted by an offer. After a second to switch gears and process the request, the Ghost replies, "yes, I'll have tea, but straight, please."

Ulmaxes
2011-05-20, 12:27 PM
Garpest leans forward at the tea offer.
"Honey, please. lots and lots of honey. Oh, and some tea with it, too."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-20, 12:45 PM
Kendra smiles, for the first time that day, and nods.

"Would ZipZip like something to eat? I've got some jerky in the cupboard."

chrisrawr
2011-05-20, 01:20 PM
"Just tea," Cam mumbles. It'd been a while since he'd had civilized tea, and the thoughts of 'home' that came with it made his heart ache.

WildPyre
2011-05-20, 04:30 PM
Harris smiles softly to Kendra, resting a friendly hand on her shoulder for a moment.

"A bit of honey would be lovely, thank you. Is there a tavern in town where I might be able to get a room? This business with the town people thinking they're cured may take a few days and it would be improper of me to overstay my welcome in your manor."

As they walked Harris took in the surroundings as much as he could, the area certainly didn't seem very cursed so far, but such things were often subtle and there was a chance the towns people weren't just imagining things. He did know one thing for sure though, if there was a curse the Professor couldn't of had anything to do with it.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-20, 10:19 PM
"The only inn in Ravengro is The Outward Inn. But it's a very good inn. Sarianna Vai runs a clean and comfy establishment, and they usually have performances in the evenings from local musicians and storytellers."

She sets the tea set on the table and begins pouring for the guests. After about an hour of chit-chat or so, Councilman Hearthmount arrives. Everyone can see that the relief from before had worn off, and he doesn't completely approve of you as strangers. Nonetheless, he approaches with a scroll case in his hands.

"Tea, Councilman?"

"No thank you, Miss Lorrimor. Let us just stick to business."

He holds out the case to show that the wax seal of the Proffessor is unbroken. He then breaks the seal and opens the case. As he does, a small iron key falls out of the tube, clattering noisily onto the table. Undaunted by the key, the Councilman takes the will and begins to read:

"I, Petros Lorrimor, being of sound mind, do hereby commit to this parchment my last will and testament. Let it be known that, with the exceptions of the specific details below, I leave my home and personal belongings entire to my daughter, Kendra. Use them or sell them as you see fit, my child.

"Yet beyond the bequeathing of my personal effects, this document must serve other needs. I have arranged for the reading of this document to be delayed until all principals are in attendance, for I have more than mere inheritance to apportion. I have two final favors to ask.

"To my old friends, I hate to impose upon you all, but there are few others who are capable of appreciating the true significance what it is I have to ask. As some of you know, I have devoted many of my studies to all manner of evil, that I might know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it. For knowledge of one's enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.

"And so, over the course of my lifetime, I have seen fit to acquire a significant collection of valuable but dangerous tomes, any one of which in the wrong circumstances could have led to an awkward legal situation. While the majority of these tomes remain safe under lock and key at the Lepistadt University, I fear a few that I have borrowed remain in a trunk in my Ravengro home. While invaluable for my work in life, in death, I would prefer not to burden my daughter with the darker side of my profession, or worse still, the danger of possessing these times herself. As such, I am entrusting my chest if times to you. I ask that you deliver them to my colleagues at the University of Lepidstadt, who will put them to good use for the betterment of the cause.

"Yet before you leave for Lepidstadt, there is the matter of another favor--please delay your journey one month and spend that period of time to ensure that my daughter is safe and sound. She has no one to count on now that I am gone, and if you would aid her in setting things in order for whatever she desires over the course of this month, you would have my eternal gratitude. From my savings, I have also willed to each of you a sum of one hundred platinum coins. For safekeeping, I have left these funds with Embreth Daramid, one of my most trusted friends in Lepidstadt--she has been instructed to issue this payment upon the safe delivery of the borrowed tomes no sooner than one month after the date of the reading of this will.

"I, Petros Lorrimor, hereby sign this will in Ravengro on this first day of Calistril, in the year 4711."

Councilman Vashian then looks to Kendra.

"Thank you, Councilman. Have a pleasant day."

He heads out the door, and an awkward silence settles over the dining room. Kendra puts on a brave face.

"Well. It looks like you won't be needing rooms at the Outward Inn after all. I'll need at least a few weeks to decide if I want to sell my family home or remain here in Ravengro. In the meantime, you can stay here. You already have free rooms, and I'll provide board as well for the month the will requests you remain in town. 'Scuse me for a moment while I get that chest the will mentioned."

She stands up and leaves the table.

chrisrawr
2011-05-21, 10:46 AM
Cam gets up and follows her, wary of both the trunk's contents and the professor's last words. Protecting his daughter is the least he could do...

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-21, 02:03 PM
The Ghost rose as well, mostly because he was interested in the hidden knowledge within the tomes. So, he followed Kendra.

Overall, he found the professor's request to be a bit odd. Still, he likely would have honored his quest even without the promise of one hundred platinum coins, but that did make it worth while. As he followed her, he contemplated what to do during his month here - surely Kendra would not find herself constantly in need of assistance...

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-21, 09:43 PM
Kendra brings the box back and places it on the table. It seems to be a simple affair of oak and iron. She picks up the key and nervously hands it to the Ghost.

"Here, I'll give you the honor of opening it."

When he does so, the key fits perfectly, and inside they see that there are several older tomes and one relatively new one.

The newest tome sits on the top and bears the phrase "Read me now!" scratched into the leather cover. The other books are apparently the ones you have to deliver. Three have notes tucked in them that indicate they are to be delivered to one Montagnie Crowl, a professor of antiquities at Lepidstadt University. The fourth has a note indicating it should be delivered to Embreth Daramid, the judge mentioned in the will. The note also asks that the delivery of this particular book be handled discreetly, and includes the address of her Lepidstadt home.

Upon closer examination, the four books meant for delivery are strikingly different:

One has a jet-black cover with a strange green-gold color for the lettering on it, spelling out On Verified Madness. It appears to be a scholarly treatise on abberations and other entities found on Golarion that possess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark place between the stars in the night sky.

The next is sickeningly gray with a grotesque fly depicted on the cover. The text reveals it to be Serving Your Hunger, the foul text sacred to worshipers of Urgathoa, the goddess of gluttony, decay and undeath. Lorrimor's notations liberally sprinkle the margins.

The third bears an even more unsettling image than the last, a jawless skull with a spiked chain threaded through the eye sockets. This one turns out to be a Common translation of The Umbral Leaves, the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon, god of darkness and agony.

The last book, the one to be delivered to Judge Daramind, appears very different from the rest, with a rich purple cover that has a brass scarab with a single eye staring out of its back in the center. The note says that this book is called the Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye. The book's covers are rimmed in polished steel and clasped with a small but intricate lock, the keyhole of which appears to be made for a key with a strange, triangular shaft. A key that appears to be not present with the book.

"Certainly an eclectic collection," Kendra says, clearly disturbed.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-22, 01:50 AM
Sensing her discomfiture, the Ghost says to Kendra, "I wouldn't worry about these. The professor was a scholar, and he said in his will, 'know the enemy and inform those better positioned to stand against it.' These books only lead me to believe the words should be taken very literally."

The Ghost removes the newest book, the leather tome with an urgent request to be read scrawled into the cover. He opens it and begins to read.

Knowledge(arcana): [roll0]
Knowledge(history): [roll1]
Knowledge(religion): [roll2]

BigRob
2011-05-22, 10:44 AM
Jacob, has mostly kept himself to himself. standing at the back, not really engaging with the conversations and following the group.

When the books are revealed him lights up, and seem suddenly more active,
''Ah these tome's seem interesting indeed!''

he peers at the books, and the trunk they where in .

BigRob
2011-05-22, 10:46 AM
Knowledge Arcana: [roll0]
Perception :[roll1]

WildPyre
2011-05-22, 01:03 PM
Harris nods solemnly and assists in looking over the tomes, giving Kendra an assuring smile. "Ghost is no doubt correct Kendra, it's not uncommon for a scholar to ivestigate the darker side of things in order to better learn how to shed light upon them. Whenever magic is involved, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't know at least the basis of necromancy, if for nothing else then to how to better defend against it."


Knowledge Arcana [roll0]
doubt my Knowledge Planes would help, so that's about all I have to offer at the moment.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-22, 01:07 PM
"At least I can see how that awful rumor Gibs was spreading might have gotten started," she says bitterly.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-22, 01:43 PM
His mind mostly interpreting the text as he reads it, the Ghost manages to respond rather distantly to Kendra's comment, not a hint of inflection or emotion in his voice, "it is a far nobler thing to confront evil that does not address you than to spur yourself to action only once it faces you." Still focused in the book, he adds, "you should not concern yourself with the fears of farmers wholly ignorant to your father's true endeavors. Let them lambast the dead, their foolhardiness has no ill effect on anything unless we let it."
So what does the "read me now" book say?

chrisrawr
2011-05-22, 02:26 PM
"Perhaps..." Cam says, before he can stop himself.

Ulmaxes
2011-05-22, 02:27 PM
Garpest stands aside; although intently listening to anything said, he does not make an attempt to approach or decipher the texts.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-22, 04:27 PM
The leather book turns out to be Professor Lorrimor's journal. The majority of the entries are relatively bland, accounting for day-to-day activities in a small town. Several of them, however, are circled in red ink. The first one comes from ten years ago:

The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous.

The next circled entry is from two months ago:

It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?

The one after that is from one month ago:

Whatever the Way seeks, I am convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense--the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I'd rather not let the others know about my curiosity--there's plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I'm a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.

The next one is from twenty days ago:

It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something--no, strike that--someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.

The following circled entry dates from eighteen days ago:

I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation--hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.

The final circled entry is also the last entry in the journal:

Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost me too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don't have time to update my will, so I'll leave this in the chest where it'll be sure to be found, should the worst come to pass.

Kendra is shocked by what's in the book.

"So he knew. The last date was the same day his body was found. He knew something bad was going to happen to him and that's why his will brought all of you here and had you stay. He wants us to finish what he started."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-22, 04:41 PM
"I think you are right, Kendra. Did your father tell you anything about any of this? What is 'Harrowstone'?" The Ghost tries to recall anything he knows about the Whispering Way or Harrowstone.

Knowledge(arcana): [roll0]
Knowledge(history): [roll1]
Knowledge(religion): [roll2]

BigRob
2011-05-22, 04:49 PM
''And where is this prison he speaks of ?''

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-22, 05:17 PM
Kendra goes into the library and brings back a pair of books, then opens them and hands them to you:

"Harrowstone is a ruined prison--partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it's haunted and don't enjoy speaking of the place."

The book provides the following information:

Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison's underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact. The prison's warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occured. A statue commemorating the warden and the guards who lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy--the statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.

Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav's executions during that era were carried out. The fire that caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison's dungeons immediately prior to the congregation. It was only through the self-sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping--the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.

At the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the common belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in doing so trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.

The other book contains information about the Whispering Way:

The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way's most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.

The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers--the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and the nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

Exact details on the society are difficult to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way's goals are discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too many of the Way's secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via spells that enable communion with the dead.

For a successful knowledge check to learn about Harrowstone, you've recieved the following XP awards: 50, 100, 200 and 400, totaling 750 for this information.

For a successful knowledge check to learn about the Whispering Way, you've recieved the following XP awards: 50, 100, 200 and 400, totaling 750 XP.

Total XP: 1,500 XP

arkol
2011-05-22, 07:12 PM
Cade remains quiet for the whole process of the will reading and the tome analysis. All the talk has got him a littel confused. Last time he checked this was a short jorney to attend the funeral of a friend and a mentor. Now people are talking about stalying for a month and missions and necromancers... this was all...

GREAT! Cade had always dreamed about going into great adventures but he never tought he would have the chance. Nothing ever happend to him! But now stuff WAS happening.

Still he kept quiet as to not show too much enthusiasm in such a somber situation...

Still he somehow had to inform his partents...

When the commotion about the tomes die sout a bit he asks Kendra:

"Is there any reliable messenger service in town?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-22, 07:39 PM
Cade remains quiet for the whole process of the will reading and the tome analysis. All the talk has got him a littel confused. Last time he checked this was a short jorney to attend the funeral of a friend and a mentor. Now people are talking about stalying for a month and missions and necromancers... this was all...

GREAT! Cade had always dreamed about going into great adventures but he never tought he would have the chance. Nothing ever happend to him! But now stuff WAS happening.

Still he kept quiet as to not show too much enthusiasm in such a somber situation...

Still he somehow had to inform his partents...

When the commotion about the tomes die sout a bit he asks Kendra:

"Is there any reliable messenger service in town?"

"Well, not really. You might be able to send something with a traveling trader or musician if you pay enough, but there really aren't any official couriers."

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 12:39 AM
Seeming to find his tongue, Cam interrupts the others reading, and in hushed tones, says, "I think we shouldn't be reading these any more than we need to. Some evils are best left to those who study them under bright light and far from the damned." Glancing nervously around, Cam takes a step back. Then, as if ashamed, he sulks away, heading outside for some air and privacy.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 11:30 AM
Seeming to find his tongue, Cam interrupts the others reading, and in hushed tones, says, "I think we shouldn't be reading these any more than we need to. Some evils are best left to those who study them under bright light and far from the damned." Glancing nervously around, Cam takes a step back. Then, as if ashamed, he sulks away, heading outside for some air and privacy.

Kendra follows him.

"Are you okay?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-23, 01:01 PM
Garpest immediately begins gathering his things and making sure ZipZip is prepped for travel.
He looks around at the others, and if addressed, simply states:
"Well, I can't speak for everyone here, but I'm going, and think that anyone who respected this man and his efforts against evil will too. ZipZip and I fall well into that little category."

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 03:08 PM
"Fine," Cam mutters, "I've just seen how evils can call to other evils... We should keep close watch. On you. On the books. On the house." Seeing her worried for him, he adds, "I am... not used to talking so much. And I'm not much for talking now." With that, he heads off to see what he can of the town before nightfall.

Survival, I suppose, and a couple perceptions for good measure :>
[roll0], [roll1], [roll2]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 03:18 PM
Cam finds that Ravengro is a pretty peaceable town, all things considered. They have a general store, a forge, an apothecary, and even a moneylender. There's also The Unfurling Scroll, a small school run by a wizard who doubles as a merchant of minor magics. Apart from these places and the peoples' homes, the only thing of note is the Harrowstone Memorial, just outside the town by the river.

As he's exploring, Cam notices a set of silent ghostly tracks start to form, making its way past him and south in the direction of the prison. Closer examination reveals that they seem to be created by a wagon being drawn by a team of horses.

Meanwhile Kendra returns inside and hears Garpest talking.

"I agree, but it may not be wise to investigate the prison so soon. We know about the prison and the cult, but is what we've read is true, those five infamous prisoners might be the ghosts my father's journal mentioned. We should find out who they were, so we know what to expect. We can probably find information about them in the Archives at the Town Hall, or maybe the Temple of Pharasma."

BigRob
2011-05-23, 04:48 PM
With a some what more focused look in his eyes ,

''Yes I believe Kendra is right, we should investigate this individuals to see if we can glean information about what could be holding these ghosts here !"

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-23, 04:59 PM
After reading the books, the Ghost summarizes the contents of the books for everyone who is interested.

"Yes, I too agree that we need to investigate these individuals further. Cam is being foolish if he believes learning of one's enemy is needless. I for one will be trying to gather as much information as I can. Frankly, I've never had any experience with the undead - aside from a bit I've read in a few books. Figuring out HOW one would even stop a ghost is probably something we should learn first."

"Kendra, I am sorry, but since we are charged with protecting you, I must ask that at least one of us stay with you. Would the Hall's records be available right now?"

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 05:00 PM
[roll0]
Cameron begins following the tracks, not wanting to involve the others - it could be dangerous, and the professor wants his daughter to be safe; much luck he'd have, trying to stop her from coming. Besides, he knows a thing or two about the departed...

Ulmaxes
2011-05-23, 05:10 PM
Garpest shifts uncomfortably, scratching a particular section of his scalp (as he's prone to doing when uncomfortable).
"Yes, but time IS of the essence. The entries clearly show that waiting and planning resulted only in grief for your dad. If you want to plan, fine, but I want us to get moving as soon as possible. If you have anything specific for me to help with, please direct me to it."

Diplomacy check to make Garpest's determination go over a little smoother- [roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 05:12 PM
After reading the books, the Ghost summarizes the contents of the books for everyone who is interested.

"Yes, I too agree that we need to investigate these individuals further. Cam is being foolish if he believes learning of one's enemy is needless. I for one will be trying to gather as much information as I can. Frankly, I've never had any experience with the undead - aside from a bit I've read in a few books. Figuring out HOW one would even stop a ghost is probably something we should learn first."

"Kendra, I am sorry, but since we are charged with protecting you, I must ask that at least one of us stay with you. Would the Hall's records be available right now?"

"No trouble, I don't think I should be in any danger tonight. You'd probably have to ask nicely to be let into the town hall, but I'm sure they'd allow you if you're persuasive enough."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 05:15 PM
[roll0]
Cameron begins following the tracks, not wanting to involve the others - it could be dangerous, and the professor wants his daughter to be safe; much luck he'd have, trying to stop her from coming. Besides, he knows a thing or two about the departed...

As Cam follows the tracks, he sees the ruins of Harrowstone in the distance, atop a barren hill. The stark, sagging roof of its central structure is visible through a large gap in the surrounding wall. A partially overgrown track leads away from him, winding around the base of the hill and then back up along its southern slope to the prison itself.

As Cameron follows the tracks, they eventually fade before the trail loses its well-worn footing. Any further and he'd be headed towards Harrowstone alone.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 05:17 PM
Garpest shifts uncomfortably, scratching a particular section of his scalp (as he's prone to doing when uncomfortable).
"Yes, but time IS of the essence. The entries clearly show that waiting and planning resulted only in grief for your dad. If you want to plan, fine, but I want us to get moving as soon as possible. If you have anything specific for me to help with, please direct me to it."

Diplomacy check to make Garpest's determination go over a little smoother- [roll0]

"I understand, Garpest, but rushing in without a plan also resulted in grief for my father too. It pays to be prepared. Have a strategy. Besides, it'd be foolish to investigate a supposedly haunted ruin at night."

arkol
2011-05-23, 05:27 PM
"Who runs the town hall?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 05:54 PM
"You'd need to speak to someone on the Town Council. Councilman Vashian Hearthmount you've already met. The others are Councilwoman Mirta Straelock, Councilwoman Shanda Faravan, and Councilman Gharen Muricar."

She takes out a map of the town and marks down where their homes are.

"Any one of them might allow you access, but they likely won't let all of you in. You're strangers here, and Ravengro's pretty insular, in case you hadn't noticed."

arkol
2011-05-23, 05:57 PM
"We could try to... "casually" befriend them before asking anything... any of them known to frequent a public place at night? Tavern? Gambling or anything like that?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 06:00 PM
"Everyone here mostly keeps to themselves, I'm afraid. And they likely wouldn't discuss business at the Laughing Demon. That's the local tavern, by the way. Perhaps we can catch them in the morning. It's getting late, and nobody in Ustalav is caught out of doors after dark."

She looks around.

"I'd have thought Cameron would have returned by now."

arkol
2011-05-23, 06:13 PM
"I didn't mean actually ask them today. Just get to know them, show them we're just nice people, and tomorrow when we ask, they would be more... inclined to accept... maybe. But alas it seems that won't be possible..."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-23, 07:11 PM
"If there might be some danger, then perhaps it would be prudent to find Cameron," the Ghost wedges a scrap of parchment into the book, closes it, scratches his chin and says, "anyone care to join me?"

arkol
2011-05-23, 07:14 PM
"I'll go with you." says Cade already heading for the door.

WildPyre
2011-05-23, 08:22 PM
Harris nods and looks up from one of the books, having been leafing through it and allowing the others to chatter back and forth. "I'll join you as well, it seems the most prudent course of action at this time." He motions to his companion, the large wolf-like creatures standing up and going to his side as he heads out with Ghost and Cade.

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 08:28 PM
With the spectral trail gone, and a feeling of forbodence forming in his gut, Camthalion regretfully turns back towards his home for the next month, with a last glance over his shoulder at Harrowstone. If the professor believed that there was something worth doing there... He'd discuss it with the others in the morning.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 08:39 PM
He runs into the others as they look for him.

arkol
2011-05-23, 08:40 PM
"Guess our expedition ended before it started...

Everything alright Cam?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-23, 08:43 PM
Garpest nods at the others.
"I shall stay and watch over Kendra. ZipZip and I should prove more than able in protecting this area in case of foes.
Go and find our wayward friend."

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 08:55 PM
"Something's traveling between there and Harrowstone," he says, motioning towards where the trail started. "It's got wheels, probably carrying things." (If Kendra isn't with them) Eying each of them, Cam adds, "We can't let Kendra come to danger. The professor's spirit would never depart in peace, knowing we'd let her come to harm."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 09:09 PM
When the rest of them look, there's nothing there. No tracks at all. Then when Cam looks at them again, he can't see them either. It's as if nothing had been there at all.

chrisrawr
2011-05-23, 09:28 PM
"What's..." Cam clears his throat, sore from so much use. "What's going on here. This town? Harrowstone? What madness has the professor left for us?" Cam moves past the others, back toward the house. "Disturbing the spirits, or disappointing them... I'll regret this," he mumbles.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-23, 09:32 PM
After finding Cam, you return to the Lorrimor house for the evening, after Kendra makes another delicious supper, complete with kolash (kolash is a spiral bread traditional to the Pharasmin faith).

Little does any of you know as you settle in for the night, that the spirits have already been disturbed.

You awake the next morning to Kendra yelling for you.

"Wake up! Come quickly! Something awful has happened!"

So you're all aware, the supernatural influence of Harrowstone is affecting the minds and temperaments of the townsfolk. Every day the haunting continues, you'll lose 1 Trust point at sundown. Now, your current total is 20 again.

arkol
2011-05-23, 09:40 PM
Cade Freedom - CN Halfling Socerer

Still yawning Cade gets up and slowly drags himself to Kendra to see what's going on. He casts prestigiditation on the way, since clearly there's no time for a morning bath.

WildPyre
2011-05-23, 09:54 PM
Harris Dillon Duvale III - NG Human Summoner

Harris grabs his armor, trying to don it as he heads out of his room to heed Kendra's call. Luckily the armor was light and manuverable, but still he'd only have it half on by the time he got there, and regretted that he hadn't had time to summon his companion yet that morning.

"What's the matter Kendra? What's happened?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-23, 10:28 PM
Garpest, Gnome Paladin

Garpest, being a light sleeper, leaps downstairs towards the shrill voice. He completely ignores his armor and is only wearing the basic garments. He does manage to grab a Longsword on the way out the door, however.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-24, 12:06 AM
Before Kendra's news, the Ghost simply stared at Carrack. The centipede clung to the half-orc's arm, the creature's head raised to his eye level. Together they sat, nearly motionless, only a few words spoken. They sat like this for over an hour.

Kendra's nascent cries stir him. "That should do, my friend. We are needed," he speaks softly to the arthropod, who subsequently scuttles down his arm, disappearing within his robes. The Ghost rises and heads outside to see what the clamor concerned.

Not that I fully understand what they mean, but we have 21 Trust points, right? 20 (initial) +1 (deterring violence) +1 (funeral speech) -1 (sundown) = 21 TPs. I tell you, it would be simply AWFUL if we run out of TP.

chrisrawr
2011-05-24, 01:22 AM
Truth be told, Cam never really did know whether to sleep, or to meditate at night. He'd tried both, and neither gave him as much rest as he'd like. Sometimes he'd pick up remedies from herb-women and alchemists to remedy his lack of sleep, but most of the time he just went tired. He'd just been getting out of bed when Kendra's cries flew through the morning calm. Unwrapping chain from arm he hurries, bare-footed and pajama'd, through the house toward his charge.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 05:51 AM
Not that I fully understand what they mean, but we have 21 Trust points, right? 20 (initial) +1 (deterring violence) +1 (funeral speech) -1 (sundown) = 21 TPs. I tell you, it would be simply AWFUL if we run out of TP.

Right, forgot we were at 22. Sorry!

BigRob
2011-05-24, 12:00 PM
Grabbing a pair of breeches, his spear and finally his bandolier of potions, he sprints towards the sound of Kendra's distress !

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 12:31 PM
Kendra is standing at the door, and drags the group to the edge of town, where most of the townspeople appear to have gathered.

Before you stands the Harrowstone Memorial, dedicated to those brave souls who died in the tragic fire. But that memory has been desecrated in a shocking way. The monument is covered in blood, splashed on it like water. The surrounding area is splattered with it as well, and displayed prominently over the names of the fallen is the letter "V," written in blood.

The townsfolk's expressions are a mixure of horror and curiosity.

"Who would desecrate the monument?! Tha's crazy!" cries one of them. When you look to see who it is, it turns out to be Gibs, the man who tried to disrupt the funeral yesterday.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-24, 12:53 PM
The Ghost's attention is less concerned with the desecration of the monument. He asks, with a slight tremble in his voice, "more importantly, where did this blood come from? It is a lot of blood... I am really hoping it is livestock, but is... anyone from the town... missing?" The Ghost was almost sure it was livestock, but the more horrible possibility had to be excluded.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 12:58 PM
Councilman Hearthmount does a quick head count, and shakes his head.

"Everyone's here. And I haven't heard of anyone complaining about missing livestock."

"Maybe someone killed a deer or something? A big rat, maybe?" one of the other townsfolk says.

arkol
2011-05-24, 01:03 PM
Cade Freedom, CG* Halfling Sorcerer

Cade looks around for a trail of blood



perception check for the search

perception [roll0]

and an arcane knowledge check in case the whole thing is magical. Thrown in a detect magic as well with a side of spellcraft.

arcana [roll1]
spellcraft [roll2]

* in case you're wondering why I changed alignement... I didn't. I thought I was CN :smallbiggrin:

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 01:06 PM
Cade can't seem to find a trail. And there's nothing magic about the blood on the monument. Just a statue slick with gore.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-24, 01:09 PM
After Hearthmount's head count, the Ghost breathes a sigh of relief. He starts speaking, but it is little more than a mumble, "perhaps a deer... maybe. It would have to be a lot of rats... but why a 'V'? What could 'V' mean?"

Things of religious, local or historical significance that *might* have to do with a letter 'V'

Know(religion): [roll0]
Know(local): [roll1]
Know(history): [roll2]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 01:10 PM
There doesn't seem to be any particular significance that you can tell.

WildPyre
2011-05-24, 04:03 PM
Harris frowns as he steps forward, having just gotten his armor on correctly and straightening his cloak. He rubs his chin as he looks closely at the memorial making note of any names on it starting with the letter V to see if any of them stand out.

"Very curious... perhaps a disgruntled family member, though why they would wait until now is beyond me."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 04:07 PM
None of the names begin with V.

arkol
2011-05-24, 06:08 PM
"Could it be..." thinks Cade...

He places his hand above his eyes and looks towards the tip of the V shape.

"What's in that direction?"



I assume we're using the traditional italics=thoughs ?

So now I'm guessing the V could in fact be an arrow or pointer or whatever. Heh. It's worth the shoot.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-24, 06:28 PM
The Ghost had a suspicion that what he thought might be true, but he wasn't certain. Still, he needed to see the records anyway, might as well use this event to get his foot in the door. "Councilman," he said as he stepped up to Hearthmount. His voice dropped to a whisper, "some of the information Petros left for us... either this is a bizarre act of senseless vandalism, or this might be connected to what he was investigating before his... death. I am not certain, but I have a suspicion that the answer to this puzzle may reside in the town's records. Can you grant me access?"

Diplomacy: [roll0]

chrisrawr
2011-05-24, 07:37 PM
Camthalion

Cam doesn't understand anything of what's going on - He looks around for tracks, but the townsfolk appear to have trampled everything neatly. Noting the Ghost's conversation, he hopes the others have more insight.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 08:26 PM
"Could it be..." thinks Cade...

He places his hand above his eyes and looks towards the tip of the V shape.

"What's in that direction?"



I assume we're using the traditional italics=thoughs ?

So now I'm guessing the V could in fact be an arrow or pointer or whatever. Heh. It's worth the shoot.



Just the river and the surrounding hills.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 08:27 PM
Camthalion

Cam doesn't understand anything of what's going on - He looks around for tracks, but the townsfolk appear to have trampled everything neatly. Noting the Ghost's conversation, he hopes the others have more insight.

Give me a survival check.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 08:41 PM
The Ghost had a suspicion that what he thought might be true, but he wasn't certain. Still, he needed to see the records anyway, might as well use this event to get his foot in the door. "Councilman," he said as he stepped up to Hearthmount. His voice dropped to a whisper, "some of the information Petros left for us... either this is a bizarre act of senseless vandalism, or this might be connected to what he was investigating before his... death. I am not certain, but I have a suspicion that the answer to this puzzle may reside in the town's records. Can you grant me access?"

Diplomacy: [roll0]

"I'm sorry, Sir. The town hall is not open to visitors. If I made an exception for you, everyone'd flock to it for the most inane reasons."

Not high enough.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 09:56 PM
Cam finds a small trail of little blood spatters, as if it had dripped from some kind of container. They lead away from the site of the desecration to a nearby shack.

WildPyre
2011-05-24, 10:02 PM
Harris Dillon Duvale III

Harris pats Ghost on the shoulder and motions over at Cam. "I'll see what I can do about getting us in later... is seems our friend Cam may be on to something." He turns to follow Cam, the blood trail seeming to be the more immediate point of focus.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 10:23 PM
The townsfolk notice this and follow. As they approach the shack, Gibs cries out.

"Wait a second! That's my house! What you playing at?!"

Perception checks please. And feel free to be thorough (take 10 or 20 if you wish).

chrisrawr
2011-05-24, 11:24 PM
Taking 20 for 27 With a hushing gesture toward the gathered crowd, Cam takes a minute to study his surrounding intensely.

Ulmaxes
2011-05-24, 11:27 PM
Sense Motive on Gibs: [roll0], as well as a solid Detect Evil on everyone (especially him)
Perception check (takes 20), so 24

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-24, 11:29 PM
The bloodstains lead to a pile of wood behind Gibs' shack. When Cam lifts it up, he finds a large razor, big enough to qualify as a weapon, caked in drying blood, and an empty, bloodstained wineskin.

Gibs rushes over and shoves him.

"What are ya sniffin' around my wood for?! A man's gotta ha-"

He stops short when he sees the weapon and container.

"What in Hell?!" he exclaims.

chrisrawr
2011-05-25, 01:58 PM
Cam takes the man firmly by the shoulders, looks him in the eye, and clearly asks, PEEKABOO! "You. Last night. Where, Gibs? You didn't do this. I need to get you out of the way, so we can figure out who did."
[roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-25, 02:19 PM
Gibs looks confused and scared.

"I...I don't remember! I think I woke up in the middle of the night, but I don't remember going back to bed!"

A middle-aged, rugged-looking man walks up to the two.

"I'm sorry, Gibs. I told you to behave yourself yesterday, but this is going too far."

"But Sheriff Caeller! I have no idea how that got down there."

"Neither to the rest of us, Gibs, but until we figure out who has an alibi and who doesn't, you're the prime suspect, since that's your razor and wineskin, covered in the same blood that's on the monument. Until we can prove it wasn't you, you're gonna have to stay at the Jail. Come on."

Gibs looks like he's about to protest or punch someone, but his head sags and he sighs.

"Fine."

The man, now identified as Sheriff Caeller, escorts Gibs away.

Kendra approaches Cam.

"That was amazing! It probably would've taken days for us to figure out what was going on and you figured it out in a matter of minutes."

She smiles shyly at him.

chrisrawr
2011-05-25, 04:55 PM
"There's something not right here," he says, bluntly. "And if it has to do with Harrowstone, and the death of your father, we might not have days." He makes eye contact, hoping to convey some hint of condolence, before turning to the others."Does anyone have a clue as to the message left here, or even if it's a message?"

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-25, 05:57 PM
The Gray Ghost watched as Gibs was led away, "even though I find the man truly repulsive, I honestly don't think he did this - or at least not knowingly. I can't imagine why he would. If Harrowstone is truly haunted, then I have one suspicion. 'V' might correspond to one of the prisoners, but I need to see the town records to confirm or refute this theory. I could try to bully one of the councilman - but I think that would ultimately bite us in the ass," as he said that his centipede crawled out of his sleeve and, in under a second, ran the length of his arm before crawling into the hole in his robes by his face. The Ghost does not react but continues speaking as if nothing happened. "Are any of you gifted with words? I am almost certain I will be met with resistance due to my heritage."

arkol
2011-05-25, 06:04 PM
Cade follows Cam and waits for the rest of the group to join them before speaking, in a whisper to avoid any townspeople to overhear him.

"The man is either a very goog actor or he was framed... persoanlly I doubt his acting skills, but we can never rule out anything. But if it was him he's already secure. If it was not then I guess it's up to us to find out...

The town archives seem to be off-limits for now. We can either gain access with some... less official ways, with potential very bad results if we get caught, or we can try something else. Maybe see if we can get in the good graces of the town..."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-25, 06:12 PM
The Ghost frowns, "Cam is right. We might not have days. We certainly don't have time to go 'get chummy' with the town. There are other councilmen, perhaps one of them will be amenable to our request." He turns to Kendra, "which council member would you guess is most likely to grant us access?"

WildPyre
2011-05-25, 06:36 PM
Harris shakes his head as he opens up his coin pouch, giving it a jingle and counting the coins inside. He tisks as he looks up at the others. "Honestly it's like none of you have ever talked to people before. I'll go get us into the town archives." Harris palms a couple of gold coins and turns, looking to find Councilman Hearthmount again.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-25, 06:49 PM
The Ghost frowns, "Cam is right. We might not have days. We certainly don't have time to go 'get chummy' with the town. There are other councilmen, perhaps one of them will be amenable to our request." He turns to Kendra, "which council member would you guess is most likely to grant us access?"

"Any of them might, if Councilman Hearthmount has already turned you down. You might also talk to Father Grimburrow for access to the Temple of Pharasma's archives. They've got detailed obituaries and records on everyone here, and you could ask him about that hidden cache my father's journal mentioned."

She points out the Father, who has begun directing his initiates to clean the memorial.

I'm still calculating the XP reward for solving the mystery of the desecrations, but because you figured it out without killing Gibs, you've recieved 2 Trust Points!

arkol
2011-05-25, 07:42 PM
Cade Freedom, CG Halfling Sorcerer

Cade hustles to catch up with the human and tries to grab him

"Look Harris, I don't think bribing these people is a good idea. They don't seem to like us much and a bribe won't be seen with good eyes..."

WildPyre
2011-05-25, 08:06 PM
Harris stops and turns to look back at Cade with a sigh, rolling his eyes.

"Your faith in me is underwhelming. I assure you there's a fine art to dealing with town councils. I'm open to suggestions on how to spend my time, but since I gave these people my word that I'd look into this 'curse' I'd appreciate such suggestions being put forth quickly."

He seemed rather impatient and annoyed at the moment, looking back at the minor chaos taking place around him.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-25, 08:48 PM
"Hmmm, I'll check with the temple," the Ghost then starts to head over to see the priest, but he stops after two steps. Turning around, he says "nice work, Cam. That was... good."

He then continues over to the priest, "Hello Father Grimburrow. This desecration is a senseless shame. It doesn't seem to make any sense. I... thank you for orchestrating Petros's funeral. Were you close to him?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-25, 09:41 PM
Garpest, Shining Knight Gnome Paladin

Garpest rides up to the Priest alongside Ghost, waiting for a chance to leap into the conversation. At an appropriate time, he chimes in:
"We wish to enter the temple's archives. Our only motivation is to aid this town and the late Professor in whatever way possible, and those archives may hold the key to ridding this town of its resident ghouls and pests."

[roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-25, 11:31 PM
Father Grimburrow eyes the pair warily.

"I knew him about as well as anyone else in this town. He visited the Temple several times when conducting his research."

He's taken aback a bit by Garpest's request.

"I'm afraid it's not that easy, good sir. These are records about the loved ones of many people in this town, and beyond. While I respected the Professor, that does not entitle you to barge in when you please."

To be truthful, Garpest would have beaten that check if he'd rolled a 20. :smallredface:

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-25, 11:57 PM
"Father... did the professor visit the archives about three weeks ago?" the Ghost asks rhetorically. His voice drops to a whisper, "we are after the records of those who died in the fire long ago. The same information the professor was after three weeks ago. We have fragments of information, but only suspicion beyond that. Petros believed he was on to some vile workings afoot in Harrowstone. His journal that he left for us strongly suggests that his explorations led to his death. The man said in his will, words which stick in my head, 'knowledge of one's enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.' Please understand, we only ask for the ability to carry out Petros's final task, and for that we only need information. If you need, only one of us will go and you can observe his studies if you desire."

Diplomacy: [roll0]

chrisrawr
2011-05-26, 01:52 AM
While the others aid one another's diplomatic persuasions, Cam continues trying to help in his own way. Taking the bloodied water skin, which was probably used to transport the blood, he smells and tastes whatever residue is left. As he savors the sample, he looks around for an alternate blood trail - getting the blood into a water skin must've been messy - hopefully the suspect left a trail on his way here, as well.

Taking 10 for 17 on a Knowledge:Nature to see if I can identify the blood, another couple minutes looking around to take 20 for 27 on a search, and [roll0] to follow the trail if I find one.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 09:10 AM
"Father... did the professor visit the archives about three weeks ago?" the Ghost asks rhetorically. His voice drops to a whisper, "we are after the records of those who died in the fire long ago. The same information the professor was after three weeks ago. We have fragments of information, but only suspicion beyond that. Petros believed he was on to some vile workings afoot in Harrowstone. His journal that he left for us strongly suggests that his explorations led to his death. The man said in his will, words which stick in my head, 'knowledge of one's enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.' Please understand, we only ask for the ability to carry out Petros's final task, and for that we only need information. If you need, only one of us will go and you can observe his studies if you desire."

Diplomacy: [roll0]

Technically that shouldn't win, but I feel I gotta throw you a bone for that well-written post.
"I see."

Father Grimburrow eyes the memorial, his acolytes scrubbing furiously at it.

"If you're so certain that this information will help the town, then I will let you, all of you, look for what you seek. Discreetly. Stop by this afternoon, once all the commotion has died down."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 09:12 AM
While the others aid one another's diplomatic persuasions, Cam continues trying to help in his own way. Taking the bloodied water skin, which was probably used to transport the blood, he smells and tastes whatever residue is left. As he savors the sample, he looks around for an alternate blood trail - getting the blood into a water skin must've been messy - hopefully the suspect left a trail on his way here, as well.

Taking 10 for 17 on a Knowledge:Nature to see if I can identify the blood, another couple minutes looking around to take 20 for 27 on a search, and [roll0] to follow the trail if I find one.

The blood tastes like rat's blood, and Cam does find an even fainter trail of blood spatters from it. It leads to a nearby farmstead, where Cam finds a dead rat in the field. A rat about the size of a gods-damned wolverine, but still a rat.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-26, 01:25 PM
"Thank you, Father," the Ghost bows respectfully, "we shall be the soul of discretion. I will see you this afternoon." The Ghost decides not to ask about the crypt now, on the off-chance the question would somehow anger the priest. He bows again before leaving. "Hmmm, I wonder..." he mutters under his breath as he stares at the desecrated statue.

arkol
2011-05-26, 02:20 PM
Cade Freedom - CG Sorcerer Halfling

"Hmmm... I guess I might as well help out..."

And wit hthat he recasts prestidigitation and helps clean out the statues.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 02:23 PM
You know, just for that I think I'll give you a free Trust Point, since you're doing your part to help the town. :smallsmile:

Ulmaxes
2011-05-26, 03:32 PM
Garpest nods. "My...friend (he seems to be surprised to say the word)... speaks true. We will honor your people to our utmost ability. Thank you."
He checks with the others, adding his Prestidigitation efforts to cleaning up the statue and surrounding area.
He then catches up with Cam as he discovers the tracks leading back to Gib's place.
"What have you found thus far?"

chrisrawr
2011-05-26, 04:04 PM
"We need to talk with Gibs. The blood was from a rat, and the tracks seem to be his." Cam frowns - all of this deceit and activity over a monument? - another sad reminder of the differences and barriers between his life and... this.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-26, 04:13 PM
For long minutes, the Ghost stared at the monument through the Hood over his face. Lost in thought he pondered while the blood was slowly washed away. Then, separately, the Ghost reached the same decision as Cam, but for different reasons. Without a word to anyone he turned and headed to the Ravengro Jail. He enters as says to the sheriff, "I was hoping to have a word with Gibs."

WildPyre
2011-05-26, 04:37 PM
Harris stares blankly at Cade for a moment as the halfling turns from the conversation to clean the memorial. He tehn let's out a loud sigh and drops his head, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"So... right then. I'll just head back to the mannor to summon my eidolon Lupix if anyone needs me. He seems to be the only bloody damned one in this group that listens anyway."

He turns and heads off back to the Kendra's manor to prepare his ritual, using his short spear like a walking stick, it's blunt end tapping along the street.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 04:41 PM
For long minutes, the Ghost stared at the monument through the Hood over his face. Lost in thought he pondered while the blood was slowly washed away. Then, separately, the Ghost reached the same decision as Cam, but for different reasons. Without a word to anyone he turned and headed to the Ravengro Jail. He enters as says to the sheriff, "I was hoping to have a word with Gibs."

Benjan eyes him warily.

"If it's about what happened out there, I'll spare you the trouble. Gibs has no idea what he was doing last night. He remembers waking up from a nightmare in the middle of the night, but he doesn't remember falling back asleep. Only waking up to the commotion in the morning, followed by your friend's uncovering of his stuff."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 04:46 PM
Harris stares blankly at Cade for a moment as the halfling turns from the conversation to clean the memorial. He tehn let's out a loud sigh and drops his head, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"So... right then. I'll just head back to the mannor to summon my eidolon Lupix if anyone needs me. He seems to be the only bloody damned one in this group that listens anyway."

He turns and heads off back to the Kendra's manor to prepare his ritual, using his short spear like a walking stick, it's blunt end tapping along the street.

As he passes by the town square, he sees a group of five little girls playing a skipping rope game at the side of the road. Each of the girls take turns jumping in the rope while singing two lines of a rather disturbing song:

"Put her body on the bed.
Take a knife and lop her head."

"Watch the blood come out the pipe.
Feeds the stirge so nice and ripe."

"Drops of red so sparkly bright.
Splatters spell her name just right."

"With a hammer killed his wife.
Now he wants to claim your wife."

"Tricksy father tells a lie.
Listen close or you will die."

The way in which the girls switch from skipping to passing the ends of the rope to each other to keep the whole thing going is strikingly well choreographed.

WildPyre
2011-05-26, 04:52 PM
Harris stops and smiles faintly, though more at the young girls rather than their morbid song. He leans against the haft of his spear, listening to the girls as they play and offers a gentle round of applause once the song was done.

"That's an interesting song you were singing girls... where did such cute girls like you pick up such a nasty song?"

He gave them his best friendly smile, trying not to intimidate what were possibly skittish young girls who would be rightfully wary of strangers.


[roll0]

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-26, 05:20 PM
The Ghost says softly, "actually, I think Gibs is innocent - even though the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against him. I know he said he doesn't remember anything about the incident - and I believe that. I want to talk to him about the things he does remember."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 07:16 PM
Harris stops and smiles faintly, though more at the young girls rather than their morbid song. He leans against the haft of his spear, listening to the girls as they play and offers a gentle round of applause once the song was done.

"That's an interesting song you were singing girls... where did such cute girls like you pick up such a nasty song?"

He gave them his best friendly smile, trying not to intimidate what were possibly skittish young girls who would be rightfully wary of strangers.


[roll0]

The girls, who squeak in surprise when Harris interrupts them, calm down quickly when they see his warm smile.

"We don't know, mister. It's just something kids here have sung forever."

Befriending the children has earned you 1 Trust Point.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 07:19 PM
The Ghost says softly, "actually, I think Gibs is innocent - even though the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against him. I know he said he doesn't remember anything about the incident - and I believe that. I want to talk to him about the things he does remember."

The sheriff quirks an eyebrow.

"Interesting. Well, we don't have a policy for keepin' visitors out like at the town hall, so go 'head and talk all ya want with him."

He shows the Ghost around the corner to the cells, which there aren't very many of, and all except Gibs' are empty.

"Gimme a shout if you need somethin'."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-26, 07:42 PM
“Thank you, Sheriff,” the Ghost bows humbly before heading to Gibs's cell.

“Hello, Gibs,” the Ghost says to the man. “I know you don't like me, and, honestly, for the way you've treated me, I don't care for you much either. However, I don't believe for a second that you did this. I want to help you clear your name in order to get at the truth. Are you willing to talk to me?”

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 08:43 PM
“Thank you, Sheriff,” the Ghost bows humbly before heading to Gibs's cell.

“Hello, Gibs,” the Ghost says to the man. “I know you don't like me, and, honestly, for the way you've treated me, I don't care for you much either. However, I don't believe for a second that you did this. I want to help you clear your name in order to get at the truth. Are you willing to talk to me?”

"Depends on what you wanna talk about," he says bitterly.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-26, 08:46 PM
The Ghost smiles slightly from under his hood, "you said you had a nightmare last night, I understand if this seems a silly request, but could you tell me everything you remember about this nightmare?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-26, 09:54 PM
"We need to talk with Gibs. The blood was from a rat, and the tracks seem to be his." Cam frowns - all of this deceit and activity over a monument? - another sad reminder of the differences and barriers between his life and... this.

Garpest nods. "Let's head to that jail then. First, let's head back and get our things. I feel utterly exposed without my armor and lance."
He looks around and notices that Ghost and Harris are both already gone.
"Hrm. Well, it seems the rest of our band have other plans. They'd better not be up to anything that we should know about..."
He updates Cade on Cam's findings, and lets him know where they plan to go.
Garpest also finds Kendra and lets her know they're heading back, and offers to escort her home.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 10:17 PM
Garpest nods. "Let's head to that jail then. First, let's head back and get our things. I feel utterly exposed without my armor and lance."
He looks around and notices that Ghost and Harris are both already gone.
"Hrm. Well, it seems the rest of our band have other plans. They'd better not be up to anything that we should know about..."
He updates Cade on Cam's findings, and lets him know where they plan to go.
Garpest also finds Kendra and lets her know they're heading back, and offers to escort her home.

Kendra politely accepts.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-26, 10:18 PM
The Ghost smiles slightly from under his hood, "you said you had a nightmare last night, I understand if this seems a silly request, but could you tell me everything you remember about this nightmare?"

"I don' see how a bad dream proves I din't do this."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-27, 12:20 AM
"Gibs, right now, everything is pointing to you having done this. Except for one simple thing... motive," the Ghost pauses a second, scratches his nose and continues, "try as I might, I cannot fathom any reason at all why you would do this. Yet, all of the evidence says you did. I am wondering if the contents of your dream might explain a bit. It may not, but what do you have to lose by telling me?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 02:12 PM
Gibs sighs.

"You got a point there."

He thinks for a moment.

"Okay, I dreamed I was goin' down the steps of some big stone buildin', and I came to this one room with a guy standin' in the middle of it, holdin' a book. He was wearin' some fancy-arse clothes, but he din't look like no noble. He looks at me an' he grins and says, "Hello, Gibs Hephenus." I ask 'im how he knows my name an' he says "I know many names, Gibs Hephenus, and yours belongs to me now!" Then I woke up."

arkol
2011-05-27, 02:27 PM
Cade Freedom, CG Sorcerer Hafling

"Oh ok thanks. I'll be right over when I finish this. I'll meet you at the jail or failing that we meet at house."

Cade then resumes the cleaning and while at it, he trys to pick up some conversations with the acolytes maybe trying to get some information about the town, rumors or something else.



Diplomacy check to "gather info"

[roll0]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 02:29 PM
One of the acolytes mentions that Cade should visit the local tavern, The Laughing Demon, and ask the tavernkeeper about his secret ingredients.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-27, 03:01 PM
The Ghost leans into the bars a look of concern slightly leaking onto his face, he presses Gibs more with questions - now more interest in his voice, "do you recall anything else about how he looked? Details are good, no matter how minor... Have you seen him before? What color were his clothes? How big was the book? Could you see the cover - what it said?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 03:22 PM
The Ghost leans into the bars a look of concern slightly leaking onto his face, he presses Gibs more with questions - more more interest in his voice, "do you recall anything else about how he looked? Details are good, no matter how minor... Have you seen him before? What color were his clothes? How big was the book? Could you see the cover - what it said?"

"I don't remember too much, he dressed kinda like Lorrimor used to, and he had somethin' on his hands. Somethin' dark. Couldn't tell if what it was. Ink? Blood? It got really hazy after that, then I woke up."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-27, 03:43 PM
"Good, good... that helps..." The Gray was lost in thought for several seconds then he asked, "can you remember anything else that was in the room?"

After Gibs's answer he continued, "okay, what about after you woke up, I know you said you don't remember going back to sleep... but do you remember doing anything at all? Getting a drink of water? Going outside? Anything?"

Trying to think of any ritualized magic/spells that concern possession, mind-control, etc, that would involve blood or ink on the hands, possibly dreams relating to the possession... something that fits this.

know(arcana): [roll0] OHHHH YEAH! The Ghost is CRITICALLY SMART!
know(religion): [roll1]
spellcraft: [roll2]

WildPyre
2011-05-27, 04:28 PM
Harris smiles softly and nods as he takes a seat somewhere nearby the playing children, figuring here was as good as anyplace to call his companion. First however he would use one of his summoner tricks, drawing a summoning circle in the air with his fingers and calling forth a celestial pony. The elegant golden maned creature prancing and dancing around for a couple of minutes to put a show on for the children, though it would only last a couple of minutes with Harris watching in amusement.

"Songs like that normally have some sort of legend behind them, you don't know any more?"

He chats with the children for a while, tracing ut the lines for his summoning ritual on the ground as he does, preparing to call forth Lupix.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 09:14 PM
"Good, good... that helps..." The Gray was lost in thought for several seconds then he asked, "can you remember anything else that was in the room?"

After Gibs's answer he continued, "okay, what about after you woke up, I know you said you don't remember going back to sleep... but do you remember doing anything at all? Getting a drink of water? Going outside? Anything?"

Trying to think of any ritualized magic/spells that concern possession, mind-control, etc, that would involve blood or ink on the hands, possibly dreams relating to the possession... something that fits this.

know(arcana): [roll0] OHHHH YEAH! The Ghost is CRITICALLY SMART!
know(religion): [roll1]
spellcraft: [roll2]
"Nothin', I'm sorry," Gibs replies.

"Oh, wait! There was a pile of straw on the floor, and the whole place smelled like blood and sh*t."

The Ghost knows that this definitely sounds like a case of possession, or possibly lycanthropy. Gibs doesn't appear to have any obvious scars, so lycanthropy is out of the question, though. Under almost any circumstance when something takes control of a person's mind, whether it's a fiend, a spirit or a curse, the victim essentially blacks out during such an event, having no knowledge of what happened until they emerge from control to see the results of the actions something has used them to carry out. Blood and ink could be ritual components, but usually a normal mortal can't carry out a possession. The possessor is usually something not of this world, whether an outsider from the planes beyond, or the remnants of someone who still lingers in this one.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 09:19 PM
Harris smiles softly and nods as he takes a seat somewhere nearby the playing children, figuring here was as good as anyplace to call his companion. First however he would use one of his summoner tricks, drawing a summoning circle in the air with his fingers and calling forth a celestial pony. The elegant golden maned creature prancing and dancing around for a couple of minutes to put a show on for the children, though it would only last a couple of minutes with Harris watching in amusement.

"Songs like that normally have some sort of legend behind them, you don't know any more?"

He chats with the children for a while, tracing ut the lines for his summoning ritual on the ground as he does, preparing to call forth Lupix.
A few of them shrug.

"Nope."

One of them looks at the lines.

"Whatcha doin' there, mister?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-27, 11:05 PM
Garpest, Gnome Paladin and ZipZip

Overhearing Cade's conversation with the locals...
"You go ahead and follow up on that. I will see you this evening."
He and Cam head towards the prison.

Hope you don't mind me going ahead and making that call for you Cam. Your call if you wanna do something different.
Also: how far into the conversation with Gibs do we/I arrive?

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-27, 11:31 PM
You hear Gibs describing his dream to the Ghost.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-27, 11:42 PM
"Gibs," the Ghost says calmly, "thank you for telling me this. I am confident that you are innocent. I apologize, but it may take me some time to clear you name. I swear that I will though. Honestly, right now, the safest place for you to be is in here, though. One final question: do you recall anything traumatic within the last week or so? Any blood loss? Any wounds? Bitten by any animals?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 12:06 AM
"No, nothing like that."

chrisrawr
2011-05-28, 12:12 AM
Thanks a lot, Ulmaxis - your liberties kept me from having to type out a huge wall of text, and helped keep Cam in character. He's really been speaking too much, lately, I think. No stopping it now! I've had a couple busy days but tomorrow I should get some quality sulking in.

Cam stands, arms folded, in a corner of the room, and listens as Gibs describes his dream.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-28, 03:49 AM
Could the possessor read Gibs mind? How was the control established? Is there danger of others becoming controlled? If the host knows that I know, will they come after me? The sharp orc's mind races over the possibilities.

The Ghost then contemplates how much he wants to tell Gibs. He decides that the less Gibs knows for the moment, the safer they both were. After a few moments, he decides what should be said, "Gibs, you've been framed. I intend to expose the true culprit, once I know who it is, but, again, here," the Ghost pointed to the floor of the room, "is the safest place for you at the moment. Thank you for cooperating," the Ghost gives a curt bow, then turns to leave.

He was so focused on visualizing Gibs descriptions that he only now notices that his fellow lodgers have joined him in the hall. "Ah, Garpest, Cam - did you find anything else interesting?"

arkol
2011-05-28, 02:35 PM
Cade Freedom, CG Hobbit Halfling Sorcerer

Before Gerpest leaves Cade adds:

"Doesn't sound like much, but I'll check it out anyway. Might find something else..."

When Cade finishes the cleaning he asks for directions for The Laughing Demon and trys his best to get there.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 02:40 PM
The Laughing Demon is pretty easy to find, being right off the town square. It's a warm, friendly looking establishment despite the name. Upon entering, Cade sees a round-faced man with a well-groomed moustache and a big smile on his face behind the bar. Cade recognizes him as one of the other people who'd come to pay respects to Professor Lorrimor.

"Ah, Petros' little halfling friend! Come in, come in! Zokar Elkarid's the name, food and laughter's the game!"

arkol
2011-05-28, 02:52 PM
Cade Freedom, CG Average Sized Halfling Sorcerer

Cade laughs an amused laugh.

"Actually I'm not little. I'm about average ahah!"
He gets to the bar and has to climb the bench like it is a tree. When he finally emerges and sees the barman again:

"Hello!" he extends his hand for the man to shake. "Cade Freedom's the name. Nice to meet you Zokar!" he adds with a smile.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 03:01 PM
Zokar shakes vigorously.

"So, what'll ya have this mornin'? A nice vampire steak? A big bowl of corpse chowder? Maybe just a liquid ghost?"

arkol
2011-05-28, 03:06 PM
Cade Freedom, CG Hungry Average Sized Halfling Sorcerer

Cade cannot help but raise an eyebrow at the foods names.

"Well... now that you mention it... I haven't eaten yet... what's in that vampire steak?"

Ulmaxes
2011-05-28, 03:32 PM
He was so focused on visualizing Gibs descriptions that he only now notices that his fellow lodgers have joined him in the hall. "Ah, Garpest, Cam - did you find anything else interesting?"

Garpest, Gnome Paladin

"Cam found the source of the blood-a rat."
Garpest looks around, and makes sure they're well out of Gib's earshot.
"And the tracks leading to it, and back, are Gib's. Either that man is completely guilty, or he's being controlled. Did you get anything special out of 'em?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 03:34 PM
"Well, there's a story behind that, my friend!"

Zokar begins telling Cade a tale about how he and a few friends once encountered a particularly nasty vampire that had been haunting the Restlands. The story starts off creepily as any Ustalavic ghost story, but quickly becomes ridiculous as Zokar talks about how the two of them fought in its crypt through one day and into the next. According to him, his friends watched the fight in shifts, one fellow sleeping and another awake, then they'd swap places and fill each other in, until finally he drove a wooden spike through the thing's chest. And what he discovered was that if you impaled 'em just right, they didn't turn to ash, but rather were nice and ready for grilling!

Then he takes out a small rack of wooden stakes with the vampire steaks on them. They appear to be just choice cuts of beef served in a unique way.

arkol
2011-05-28, 03:39 PM
Cade waits patiently for the end of the story. He then laughs at it's conclusion and adds:

"Okok I'll have one of those then. And a good beer!"

While he waits he observes the place.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 03:59 PM
"Here, try a liquid ghost!"

He pours him what appears to be a pale ale. It actually seems to glow faintly with a greenish tint. When Cade tries it, it turns out to be quite sweet. Zokar hands him a vampire steak.

"You're alright, kid. The best way to meet the horrors of the world is with a jest. If one can laugh at the worst life has to offer, there's little left to fear!"

He has a good laugh himself.

"You and your buddies can dine at the Demon on the house today for figuring out what was going on with the memorial."

arkol
2011-05-28, 04:06 PM
Cade is taken a bit by surprise. Everyone is so... distant in the town, and yet this man is inviting a bunch of strangers to offer them a dinner...

"Well that's... very generous of you. I'm sure everyone will want to come. The beer's great by the way."

He starts eaing the steak.

"Oh.. can I invite miss Kendra too? She's been so generous to us. I would like to bring her too!"

As the meal goes on Cade then asks:

"So.." nom nom nom "... Zokar ..." nom nom nom "... did you always live around here?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 04:29 PM
"Sure, Miss Lorrimor's a sweet girl. She was just a wee lass when her father moved here with her, and now she's all alone. Good for her to know she's got friends."

When Cade asks his next question he smiles.

"Yep. Ravengro boy, born and raised."

arkol
2011-05-28, 05:04 PM
"Well I only ask because you seem so... unlike the rest of the town. Maybe even the rest of the country..."

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 05:08 PM
"Well, there's a reason for that, son. You've proven yourself to be good people, and that makes you okay in my book. Really, the people here ain't so bad. They just need some time to get used to ya. And my philosophy on life never sat well with some of the stricter Pharasmins. Here in Ravengro you don't get fanatics like out in Kavapesta or Barstoi, but the Pharasmin Penitence holds a lot of sway here in Ustalav."

arkol
2011-05-28, 05:48 PM
"I take that to mean that you workship someone else?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 05:55 PM
"No, I just don't think misery with the promise of a better afterlife is very comforting. So many Pharasmins just can't take a joke, y'know?"

arkol
2011-05-28, 05:58 PM
"You're an odd man for this country Zokar. Very odd indeed. But I, for one, am gald you are! This town could use a few more laughs...

What about the Professor. Did you knew him? Well you most certainly did knew him, but did you knew him personally? It seems not many people in town actually did... "

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-28, 06:46 PM
"Kept to himself mostly. Little Kendra was really the only person he ever shared anything with."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-29, 01:35 AM
"Aye... he is innocent. It seems like it is almost certainly possession... possibly lycanthropy, but that seems more of a long shot. He should be kept here - perhaps some of us should even watch him tonight..." The Ghost trails off for a few moments, before suddenly starting again on an entirely different line of thought, "Father Grimburrow should be expecting us soon, we should find the others soon so we may uncover the identities of those prisoners - I'll be frank, I expect this 'V' may make a bit more sense after that. Something is definitely afoot."

Ulmaxes
2011-05-29, 02:32 PM
"It'd better.
Cade is off sniffing out leads at a local tavern, and Harris is completely missing. Finding him around town shouldn't be too hard though."
He thinks for a moment, and seems to want to speak, but is hesitant.
"So, should we...get the others, or just go ourselves? What...*awkward pause* do you think?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-29, 02:42 PM
"Your friend in the fancy armor is outside, chitchatting with some of the local kids from the looks of things," Sheriff Caeller observes.

chrisrawr
2011-05-29, 04:46 PM
After a brief hesitation, Cam contributes with a rejoinder, "Grab everyone. Meet up. Archives, then Harrowstone." Shivering, he thinks to himself, "Something's not right there. I need to know what made those tracks."

arkol
2011-05-29, 06:14 PM
"Pity. We sure could use someone with some insight on the professor. Well... guess we're on our own.

How much do I owe you for the wonderfull meal Zokar?"

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-29, 08:25 PM
"I said it was on the house today, friend. Your thanks and a smile is all I need."

Ulmaxes
2011-05-30, 02:21 PM
Garpest, Gnome Paladin

Let's get to it, then.

Can I just say "Everyone meets back up and heads to the Archives"?
Or do we need to RP our way there?

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-30, 03:01 PM
I was actually just about to say "You all meet up and go to the Temple" before you posted. :smallwink:

After Harris summons his eidolon, wowing the little girls, and Cade is done hobknobbing with Zokar, the group meets up and heads for the Temple of Pharasma. Father Grimburrow is waiting at the door.

"Come in, please. Follow me."

He escorts you to the temple archives.

"What exactly are you looking for?"

At the moment, you won't be able to find specific names until you become aware of them. Also, by using the temple records, everyone gets a +4 bonus to Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) checks for this research. Have at it!

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-30, 03:10 PM
"Thank you again, Father. To start, information on those who died in the Harrowstone fire - particularly prisoners," the Ghost replies, and on the Whispering Way... he thinks to himself - deeming words on the subject to be unfit for the temple. Without further discussion, the Ghost sets into the books. Within two minutes over a dozen volumes are in front of him and he is thumbing through them at a startling pace.

Info on prisoners:
Know (history): [roll0]
Know (local): [roll1]

Whispering Way:
Know (arcana): [roll2]
Know (history): [roll3]
Know (religion): [roll4]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-30, 03:19 PM
The temple has nothing new to add about the Whispering Way that the Gray Ghost didn't already know, or hadn't learned from Kendra's books on the subject. On the prisoners, however, he learned quite a bit:

Originally, Harrowstone housed only local criminals, but as the prison's fame spread, other counties and distant lands began paying to have more dangerous criminals housed within the prison's walls. At the time of the great Harrowstone Fire, the number of particularly violent or dangerous criminals was at an all-time high.

The five most notorious prisoners in Harrowstone at the time of the great fire were Father Charlatan, the Lopper, the Mosswater Marauder, the Piper of Illmarsh, and the Splatter Man.

You'll have to make separate checks to learn about each prisoner.

Also, 75 XP all around for what you've learned so far.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-30, 03:48 PM
"Father Charlatan... the Lopper... Mosswater... Marauder... Piper of Illmarsh... Splatter Man..." the Ghost mumbles mostly to himself to commit the names to memory, but loud enough that others can hear him. As he goes to exchange some of the irrelevant tomes for others, he says to the others, "the five prisoners are Splatter Man, Father Charlatan, the Lopper, the Piper of Illmarsh and the Mosswater Marauder." Without further delay, he delves into researching them - in an order of relevance he sets arbitrarily based off of their names.

Splatter Man research:
Know (history): [roll0]
Know (local): [roll1]

Father Charlatan research:
Know (history): [roll2]
Know (local): [roll3]
Know (religion): [roll4]

The Lopper research:
Know (history): [roll5]
Know (local): [roll6]

The Piper of Illmarsh research:
Know (history): [roll7]
Know (local): [roll8]
Know (arcana): [roll9]

The Mosswater Marauder research:
Know (history): [roll10]
Know (local): [roll11]

arkol
2011-05-30, 04:07 PM
Cade enters the temple with the rest of the gang.

"I got us a free dinner tonight!" he says spontaneously. "We just need to get to the tavern tonight. At least SOMEONE in the town appreciates what we're doing."

If anyone asks Cade makes a quick explanation of what happened in the tavern.

After a few minutes of book reading Cade is getting bored. He's not much into books and while he understands it's important to find something he knows he won't help much.

"Hmmm. I think I'll go take a walk outside. You guys yell when you're done kay?"

And with that Cade steps outside and takes a stroll around the main plaza.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-30, 04:11 PM
He finds the following information about the Splatter Man:

Professor Hean Feramin was a celebrated scholar of Anthroponomastics (the study of personal names and their origins) at the Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental association with a succubus twisted and warped his study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation was ruined, he'd lost his tenure, and he'd developed and uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between a person's name and what happens to that name when the person dies. Every few days, he would secretly arrange for his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood, perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim's name, he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess using a complex trap or series of rigged events meant to look like an accident.

Of Father Charlatan, he finds the following:

Of the five notorious prisoners, only Sefick Corvin was not technically a murderer, yet his crimes were so blasphemous that several churches demanded he be punished to the full extent of Ustalavic law. Although he claimed to be an ordained priest of any number of faiths, Father Corvin was in fact a traveling con artist who used faith as a mask and a means to bilk the faithful out of money in payment for false miracles and cures. He became known as Father Charlatan after his scheme was exposed and his Sczarni accomplices murdered a half-dozen city guards in an attempt to make good on the group's escape.

The Lopper's information is rather disturbing:

When Vance Saetressle stalked prey, he would hide in the most unlikely of places, sometimes for days upon end with only a few supplies to keep him going while he waited for the exact right moment to strike. Once his target was alone, the Lopper would emerge to savagely behead his victim with a handaxe.

Another disturbing one is the Piper of Illmarsh, whose real name is unrecorded:

Before he snatched his victims, the Piper taunted his targets with a mournful dirge on his flute. He preferred to paralyze lone victims by dosing their meals with lich dust and then allowed his pet stirges to drink the victims dry of blood.

And last, but certainly not least, the Mosswater Marauder:

Only 5 years before his hometown of Mosswater was destined to be overrun and ruined by monsters from the nearby river, Ispin Onyxcudgel was a well-liked artisan and a doting husband. When he discovered his wife's infidelity, he flew into a jealous rage and struck her dead with his hammer, shattering her skull and his sanity with one murderous blow. Wracked with shame and guilt, Ispin became convinced that if he could rebuild his wife's skull she would come back to life--but unfortunately, he could not fine the last blade-shaped fragment from the murder site. So instead, Ispin became the Mosswater Marauder. Over the course of several weeks, the cunning dwarf stalked and murdered nearly 20 people searching for just the right skull fragment. He was captured just before murdering the daughter of a visiting nobleman from Varno, and was carted off to Harrowstone that same night.

500 XP to each of you for this information.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-30, 04:52 PM
"By the Gods..." the Ghost's face grew pale as he read the horrors the criminals committed. He made the connections right away, but he had to know of the others... there was something crawling in his mind, a fear of actions to come, a premonition of the horror lurking in Harrowstone... fate has dealt me a dark hand... at that he withdrew his harrow card he received on the road the day before, "the Vision," he muttered softly. The words in Petros's will resound in the Ghost's mind, 'knowledge of one's enemy is the surest path to victory over its plans.' Slowly turning the card about within his fingers, he tried to enter the mind of a killer - the long-dead Hean Feramin.

He suddenly jumped up from his seat and frantically began searching through other volumes. First, he hunted for anything he could learn of the death of Professor Lorrimor. Second, he records of the town's current inhabitants, those whose names begin with the letter, 'V' - the potential victims.

If relevant, Lorrimor:
Know (local): [roll0]

If relevant, 'V' names
Know (local): [roll1]

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-30, 05:11 PM
The only person whose name began with a V was Councilman Vashian Hearthmount, but there's nothing in these records to suggest he's the target. For one thing, Hearthmount was about twelve when the fire struck Harrowstone, and secondly, none of the Splatter Man's victims had been male.

The records involving Professor Lorrimor are brief, but grim. He was found near Harrowstone, beneath a fallen statue. His face had apparently been completely crushed by it.

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-30, 05:23 PM
After a long while reading, the Ghost finally attempted to speak with another, he approaches Grimburrow, "Father, I... this is extremely important - have there been any other, potentially macabre, displays in town like the monument this morning in the past week or so?" The burden of knowledge weighed heavily on the Ghost, his face was whittled to exhaustion by the horrors in his mind.

Archpaladin Zousha
2011-05-30, 05:28 PM
After a long while reading, the Ghost finally attempted to speak with another, he approaches Grimburrow, "Father, I... this is extremely important - have there been any other, potentially macabre, displays in town like the monument this morning in the past week or so?" The burden of knowledge weighed heavily on the Ghost, his face was whittled to exhaustion by the horrors in his mind.

"Not until a few weeks ago, no. Mostly just strange noises and people seeing things like fires and such. Oddly, though, they seemed to coincide almost perfectly with Professor Lorrimor's passing. I assume that's why those brutes that disrupted the procession believed him responsible. The Memorial's desecration is truly the most macabre thing that has happened since the discovery of the Professor's body."

SanguinePenguin
2011-05-30, 05:35 PM
"So, there have been no other displays of... blood or... of animal parts - no other letters appeared in town? Nothing present that could be construed as a letter when the Professor was found?" The Ghost knows some piece of information is missing... he wonders if he looked into things harder, would it turn up? Or is he condemned to wait for the information to reveal itself?