Carrion Crown

The Burial

The date:

02/16/4712

The Principals:

Corinus Astium: Worldly traveler from Cheliax, Taldor, and Ustalav. He is a wielder of both Steel and Magic and carries a wicked Scimitar on his hip.

Drago Voce de Caliphas: Caliphat writer and chronicler. This eager adventurer seeks to settle things with his colleague the Professor.

Franz Grunwald: Scholar of the first tier. Favored student of the great Professor. He is under some… personal issues he needs to settle and hopes this is a chance to unburden his soul and free his body.

Rikka Tinuron: Faithful and determined adventurer. She lets Pharasma direct her and uses her religion as a tool to achieve her goals.

The Adventure begins…

A mismatched group of adventurers reach Ravengro, drawn by the death and funeral for their father-figure: Professor Petros Lorrimor (Deceased).

No sooner does the funerary procession begin than the locals make known their dis-trust of outsiders. A group of surly towns folk confront the party, now carrying the Professor’s casket, and attempt to run the group out of town. In doing so they accuse the Professor of Necromancy – an accusation too evil for Kendra Lorrimor, the Professor’s daughter, to allow to pass. An argument ensues where the group refuses to allow the Professor to be buried in the town’s cemetery, named The Restlands. Cool words, spun by the party and led by the great swordsman, magus, and word-smith Corinus, calms the situation and the surly bastards disperse without bloodshed. No further distraction blocked the funeral, which completed on time.

After the funeral the Principals took an hour to familiarize themselves with the town – heading to the The Laughing Demon for a quick drink. The group takes in just how hostile the town of Ravengro is to outsiders before moving on to the Lorrimor place to hear the reading of the Professor’s Last Will. After bequeathing his worldly possessions to Kendra, and his spellbook to Doctor Adivion Adrissant the Will asks two favors of the Principals: First, stay with Kendra for a month so she stays safe and lands on her feet after losing her father. Second, bring the books, located in his Chest to Lepidstadt University to be dealt with there.

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Hangin 'round town

An exciting night was spent at the Lorrimor place, catching up on some reading on the books left by the Professor. After just a small amount of debate, Franz (yeah it was Franz and I am sticking too it) opened a letter addressed to Doctor Montagnie Crowl, to whom the books are to be delivered. The letter wasn’t too important, it just said to destroy the books, along with the ‘others.’ Hmm… I hope it isn’t important that the Doctor doesn’t get that note.

Sadly, the group did not find the same courage in opening up The Fourth Book left in the Professor’s chest. Surely if the book is locked it must be important.

The day begins with four tasks to perform: Collect information on the Whispering Way, learn what we can about Harrowstone Prison, collect gear from a false crypt that may help us with any investigation of the prison, and learn the names of those who perished in the fire at the prison.

Overnight a statue of great import, the Harrowstone Memorial, was desecrated. Some fool painted the letter V, then spattered blood over around (as well as parts of chicken) the scene. The memorial is dedicated to the guards who died when the prison burnt to the ground. It contains the names of the Warden Hawkran, his wife Vesorianna Hawkran, and about 20 other names.

The Principals learn of the desecration via the town marshal, Sheriff Benjan Caeller who (keeping to the theme that Ravengro hates outsiders) accuses the group of the destruction. Reluctantly the sheriff sees this group is not to blame and agrees to allow them to investigate.

Add task five to the to-do list for this month: Who would damage this monument which the townsfolk hold so dear? What does the ‘V’ stand for? What jumps to the collective mind is someone’s name: perhaps specifically the name of someone on the statue: Valissiana perhaps? Or maybe it is a threat to someone: Councilman Vashian Hearthmount, Drago Voce de Caliphas. Or maybe it is a symbol (V = 5?, or an arrow pointing at something?…). Unable to track the source of the blood, and unable to make more sense of the crime scene the party leaves: heading to the Church of Pharasma in to see what more can be learned.

On the way to the church, the party comes by a group of young girls jumping rope. The song is unfamiliar, but Drago is able to translate it – though not really able to make sense of it. After attempting to jump some rope (and failing miserably), Corinus makes a small connection with one of the lines: ‘Watch the blood so nice and brightsplatter and spell her name just right.’ This may have to do with the bloody V – is it confirmation that the desecration is spelling out a name – and specifically that of a ‘she?’

The group proceed to the church where Rikka convinces Father Grimburrow to allow them access to the church’s library, in which they learn a little more about the Whispering Way and quite a bit about the prison.

They fail to learn about those who died in the prison (specifically who the prisoners were), and failed to ask about the crypt.

Having not asked about the false crypt, and thus not disallowed from going there, the group waits to evening and proceed towards the Restlands to investigate. Corinus – out of pure bravery and pride in his ability to stand and fight – strolls straight into the cemetery’s front gate while the rest of the group stealth around the side of the Restlands and over a wall.

As Corinus approaches the corner of Eversleep and the Dreamwake roads, he meets a a lone mourner sitting outside a great mosoleum. Having nothing to hide and nothing to fear Corinus approaches the man and bids him sorrow for his loss. The mourner’s only loss is his own warmth and life-blood: the Zombie turns toward Corinus and…

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Death almost did us part!

… The grisly zombie shuffles forward and lunges to attack. Corinus is in The Restlands separated from Rikka Franz and Drago (whoever decided the group should split up should listen to Corinus more often, never split up!) As Corinus sees a man – or something – lurking by the Professor’s grave and yells a warning to the group.

The zombie lunges at Corinus, but Corinus is the faster and slashes at the monstrosity with his scimitar. A bright star got in his way briefly blinding him and he missed his mark. The other three rush to assist the magus but are waylaid themselves by a group of zombies just as an extra zombie comes out of the shadows to attack the isolated fighter-mage. Working as a team the three who stuck together make quick work of the undead surrounding them, but Corinus proves no match for a double team of badass dead blokes. Taking a blistering series of hits from both zombies Corinus falls, bleeding profusely, and barely surviving. In his eyes a large wolf-like man-beast comes out of the shadow and takes down the two zombies. The werewolf finishes his task just as the other three companions get to the scene; and so the beast fleas.

Rikka prays for Corinus, who appears worthy and is healed enough to get back up and fight. And they will need him to – there is still the false crypt ahead…

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To the Crypt!

With the dead-men killed again, the heros move on to their initial goal – finding the crypt. From the Professor’s journal the group new approximately where the crypt was supposed to be, as they turn in that direction Rikka sees the someone… perhaps the Professor and decides to follow him. Noone else could see this apparition, but hey, there is no harm in following near invisible forms of dead people, right?

This time it worked out. ‘The Professor’ led the group to a crypt. Corinus pulls out his scimitar and attempts to break the lock but finds the lock already cut open with acid.

The group moves in and follows a pair of foot prints to the back of the crypt where they find a tomb. They open it up only to find the crypt has no body it it – instead it is filled with various adventuring gear, including potions, scrolls, a spitit planchette, some haunt siphons and some silver, ghost touch, and enchanted arrows. The group take the goods and head out.

On their way out the group encounter a pair of giant centipedes – the battle is quick, furious, and leads to no real damage to the party (though Franz complained that a bite he received might have been poisoned).

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Into that wooded area nearby... what's it called again?

The hidden crypt has been found and picked clean so the party heads back to the Lorrimor house to sleep the rest of the night.

Upon entering his room, Franz notices bars covering his window. He searches his room and finds it changed – he is now in a prison room, small and isolated. He is unable to contact his friends, and the only two things in the room are a rotting pile of food and a pile of dirty hay where his bed should be. He tastes the food (why would he taste the food?) which immediately voids the contents of his stomach. He turns to the bed but as he does he begins to see something scrawled across the wall in what appears to be blood:
FRANZ

When the names is spelled out Franz comes out of the vision… or dream… or whatever it was.

Late the next morning the group wakes up and warn Kendra of the zombies and werewolf. She seems to think the zombies are a rarity, and the temple of Pharasma should be handling things like this so they don’t happen. The group then goes to the temple and after a brief discussion about werewolves (no there is no reason to worry that one is around, but do you know of any?) the four heroic librarians boldly attempt to learn yet more about the prisoners who were at the prison when the fire occurred. Despite valiant and persistent effort by Drago, Franz, and Rikka no further information could be gleaned from the temple’s library this day. This information is a beast to be tackled another day!

So what of the next day? Rather than tackling the beast in the library, Corinus suggests a different tact – perhaps a visit to the Watcher’s Wood will come in useful? Corinus has several motives – first, he has a calling to visit the wood – something from his memory… no not really a memory… a previous life perhaps… that draws him to the wood. Perhaps it is the same ‘memory’ that laughs at him when he makes a joke noone else seems is funny. Second, there was a werewolf that helped them in the battle against zombies their last visit to The Restlands. It does not seem like there would be a werewolf welcome in town – the only logical place for such a beast would be in the Woods near town. This werewolf could be important – why did it help the group? Was it the mysterious figure Corinus and later Rikka saw at the Professor’s grave? This creature could be a valuable ally, and as shown against the zombies – the group is desperately in need of a powerful ally.

On the way into the woods Corinus sees a hooded shape, who then proceeds into the woods. Corinus is confident he recognizes … her, but where from? An image of a large barbarian / ranger woman comes to mind (as does an image that this woman would find the company of Rikka particularly delightful). He also thinks that this ‘woman’ could be an ally. Of course, this form is not quite that large, and not moving quite right, and noone else seems to think this person is a she… Is this too a memory, or whatever?

The group follows this… person… into the woods. She takes a very deliberate route and leads the party to a clearing filled with several stones. Without thought – as if led by destiny, Corinus moves towards the stones, and the rest follow. As they move in the sky darkens and the edge of the clearing fills with a dark mist. in the mist are a series of red glowing eyes. Heedless of this, Corinus moves forward…

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