Carrion Crown

And so it begins...
Carrion Crown Session 1

Oct. 4: Zindelo, Cleric of Desna, Jag, Dhampir Slayer, Mara, Paladin of Iomedae, and Magnus, Arcanist of Coffee, arrive in the Ustlavian city of Ravengro, brought there by the passing of one Petros Lorrimor. Arriving periodically throughout the day, the group makes their way to procure a room at the Outward Inn. After all have arrived, they dine, drink, and listen to the minstrel strum his tunes. Zindelo and Mara, the shiniest guests, meet and discuss religion and the Professor. At the other end of the bar, Jag and Magnus share a few words before lapsing into gruff silence.

Oct. 5: The next morning, the four make their separate ways to Professor Lorrimor’s funeral and pay their respects to the family. Tasked with being the pallbearers, they bring the Professor’s casket into the Restlands for his burial. They find the way blocked, however, by local townsfolk who refuse to let the Professor be buried in the town’s graveyard. Standing up to the unruly citizens, Mara chastises them into submission and they leave the Restlands with only a smattering of grumbles and dirty looks.

Later, as the group and Lorrimor’s daughter, Kendra, are paying their respects, two Stirges buzz down from the sky to ruin the proceedings. Despite their penchant for blood, the party handles the bugs with little incident and finally manages to finish laying the Professor to rest.

After the service, Kendra invites the four back to her house for refreshments. Shortly after arriving, Mara asks Jag to step outside so they can talk. Turning on the Dhampir, she presses him for information about his true intention for being in Ravengro; not trusting a person with his unholy affliction. The others come out to break the two apart, and Mara leaves reasonably satisfied that Jag is on the up-and-up, at least for the moment.

Once the shenanigans are out of the way, the Professor’s will is read. In it, Lorrimor tasks the four to look after Kendra for a month, fearing reprisal due to his recent prying into a group known as the Whispering Way. He also requests that we return some of the more nefarious tomes he collected during his travels to the University of Lepidstadt. Each having had their own encounter with the Professor, the four agree to take up the mission out of respect to the man who impacted each of their lives. Now focused on keeping Kendra safe for the next month, the group investigates the Professor’s diary and the tomes. Through them, we learn:

  • The tomes are rare and quite suspect in nature; a discovery best kept between us.
  • The Whispering Way is a group of necromancers and undead intent on bringing back the Whispering Tyrant by any means necessary.
  • The Harrowstone is a nearby prison that was destroyed by a fire. It’s locale and prisoners are of unknown interest to the Whispering Way.
  • The Warden’s Wife, a woman by the name of Vellso Rihana (sp?), was in the prison the night it burned down for reasons unknown.

That night, Zindelo experiences a strange dream. In it, he seems to be a prisoner of Harrowstone and finds his name written in blood on his cell wall as the fire begins to burn. Wakened by his screams, the party discovers that his name is also written in blood on Kendra’s wall by an unknown hand.

Oct. 6: The next morning, Deputy Raff comes knocking on Kendra’s door asking the group to take a look at the Harrowstone commemorative statue. When we arrive, we discover that a “V” has been painted in blood on the statue overnight. Not having any explanation, we leave the scene with an uneasy feeling in the pit of our stomachs.

From there, Mara and Zindelo break off to talk to Father Grimsburough at the Temple of Pharasma to see if he has any record of the prisoners of the Harrowstone. On the way, the two encounter some local children who are singing a strange and haunting song while playing double-dutch. Zindelo attempts to engage the children in conversation, but none are forthcoming about the origins or meaning of the song. At the church, the two ask Father Grimsburough about the song and the list. He also proves to be resistant and the pair walk away almost empty-handed.

After returning to Magnus, Jag, and Kendra, the party decides to take Kendra out for some fun to get her mind off of her father’s passing. On our way to the Outward Inn, Jag sees as mysterious sight. In a field off the side of the road, he spies a tombstone bearing the name Mara Sunsteel, the group’s paladin. When he tries to point it out the party, the field is once again empty, devoid of any suspicious tombstones. Shaking it off, we arrive at the Inn and do our best to help Kendra relax. A few members of the party discuss the town with the locals as Zindelo’s gift of free beer puts everyone in a more friendly mood. From the townsfolk, we learn:

  • There are rumors that the town’s Tavern serves people in their stew.

Oct. 7: The next morning, Deputy Raff comes knocking once more and leads us all back to the memorial statue, where a bloody “E” has been painted overnight. Putting two-and-two together, we realize that the letters seem to be spelling out Vellso, the name of the Warden’s wife. Having had enough of this vandalism, we devise a plan to camp out by the statue overnight in an attempt to catch the vandal in the act. The Sheriff agrees to spare a few men with Jag, Zindelo, and Magnus joining them, while Mara keeps Kendra safe at her home. The day still young, we’ll have the opportunity to pursue any leads before the camping trip of horrors begins…

Items of Interest or to Follow-Up on:

  • Does the Tavern actually put people in their stew?
  • Get the list of Harrowstone inmates from the Temple of Pharasma
  • The Professor’s journal mentioned ghosts prowling the grounds of the Harrowstone ruins. In it, he suggested that the Temple of Pharasma had items stored in a false crypt in the Restlands that could be useful for fending off the fiends.
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And so it continues...

After much preparation and finally managing to get Kendra to come along, the group beds down for the camp out at the Harrowstone Memorial. Although we hoped to catch a vandal red-handed, the night yields no such luck as the perpetrator continues his mysterious painting at the entrance to the Restlands, this time leaving a dead pig behind with the letter “S.”

Oct. 8 Having no leads on the vandal, the group decides to spend the day dividing and conquering. Zindelo and Mara head to the Temple of Pharasma to ask about the False Crypt, while Jag & Magnus go to investigate the Tavern’s stew.

The sun-shy and coffee-addicted pair make their way to the Laughing Demon, but are stopped short of their destination by a scream that erupts from a pumpkin patch behind the Apothecary. They rush to provide aid and find a farmer being attacked by a pumpkin monster. Undaunted, they spring into action. After dealing some pain to Jag, the pumpkin monster manages to drop the dhampir. Desperate, Magnus throws acid wildly at the pumpkin to try and stave it off. Luckily, a woman from the Apothecary comes out of her shop and kills the pumpkin with a flask of acid. As it melts, the pumpkin’s head hisses ominously. Magnus rushes to Jag’s side to try and revive him, but the woman knows better and kicks the head into the river where it explodes. AND THE KICK IS GOOD! THE CROWD GOES WILD!

After the ordeal, Magnus and the woman (Jominda) work to revive Jag and manage to bring him back to consciousness. The pair thank Jominda, and the farmer returns to the pumpkin patch to thank the two for intervening. The group then converses about the pumpkin creature, learning that they like to eat people and excrete new pumpkin monsters from the waste, giving a whole new meaning to “pumpkin pie.”

Meanwhile, Zindelo and Mara head to the Temple and get Father Grimsburough’s blessing to investigate the False Crypt. Accompanied by two acolytes, the shiny pair sets off towards the Restlands. Once there, their progress is halted when two zombies claw their way out of the ground. Thanks to a valiant effort by Acolyte Steve, the group dispatches of the zombies with little incident.

Afterward, Zindelo and Mara enter the False Crypt in search of the ghost-fighting items. As they approach the sarcophagus, two millipede-like insects fall from the ceiling around them. They don’t last long, however, as Mara minces one and the other flees at the sight of his cubed friend. Free of the hassle, the two slide open the sarcophagus and gather the useful items inside, noting that some items seem to be missing.

Making it out of the Restlands with no incident, Zindelo, Mara, and the two acolytes head back to Father Grimsburough to fill him in on their experience. Concerned, he once again vows to reconsecrate the Restland grounds.

Leaving the Temple, Zindelo and Mara head back toward Kendra’s and run into Magnus and Jag who are leaving the Apothecary. Swapping brief tales of their heroics, they continue toward Kendra’s house, but are interrupted by a drunk man who the group quickly discovers to be a zombie. Mara cuts him down.

Now even more concerned that zombies have made it into the actual town proper, we grab a nearby town-guardsman and ask him to alert the Sheriff of this mischief. In an attempt to get the bottom of this zombie’s appearance, we follow its footprints back to the Restlands and agree that the consecration needs to happen right away. Grabbing Father Grimsburough and our acolyte friends, we all head straight to the Restlands to begin the ritual. Pharasma’s trio says they need uninterrupted time to complete the ritual and the four heroes agree to act as guards should anything try to prevent them from consecrating the ground. Naturally, the undead are displeased with the efforts.

Near the end of the ritual, three skeletons and one Prof. Lorrimor zombie rise from their graves and try to wreak havoc. Pharasma’s trio keeps their focus on the ritual while the party moves to take on the fiends. With our individual efforts, we manage to fend off the undead and allow the priests to finish the ritual uninterrupted.

As the night deepens, we leave the graveyard and head back to Kendra’s where Magnus looks into the Harrowstone inmates once more. This time he learns about the Splatterman (formerly a Professor) who enjoyed preying on people via their name.

Oct. 9 The next morning, the group heads to the general store to sell the Darkwood Case found in the False Crypt. The purveyors are fair, if overburdened with children.

Once complete, we all travel to the Laughing Demon to finally get to the bottom of the soylent stew. Living up to its name, the tavern is resplendent with Halloween-themed decorations and features an array of themed food, such as Werewolf Balls. We all order some food, making sure that some of us try the in-question stew, and find the food to be delicious and people-free. While there, we hear a rumor that the Warden’s Wife haunts the prison ruins.

After a hearty meal and some chatter, we visit Father Grimsburough in hopes of obtaining the elusive list of Harrowstone inmates. Having warmed to us, Father Grimsburough has the list ready and hands it over. It reveals the true names of the remaining Harrowstone criminals. We learn that the Moss Water Marauder (an artisan) killed his wife for infidelity and continued on to kill 20 more people in hopes of finding an appropriately-sized skull piece.

That evening, we attend a town meeting meant to address all of the strange occurrences in Ravengro. As the meeting commences, the group is called up on stage and publicly asked if to help find the cause of the mysterious happenings in town. We accept, but some of the townsfolk are still skeptical. Seeing the hesitation, Mara steps up the podium and delivers and inspiring speech; however, it doesn’t have time to take effect as the lanterns in the town hall explode into flame. The people panic and chaos ensues.

The party springs into action and immediately stars directing groups of people out of the building. When a towns-person is caught in the flames, Jag steps in and hoists the unconscious man on his shoulders. Groups of people make their way out of the town hall as the heroes try to push back some of the fire and funnel people out the door. The matter is further complicated when two flaming skulls burst into the building through the side windows. Getting the unconscious man back up on his feet, the group crushes the skulls while the town council and the man finally manage to escape the building. Although the town hall is lost, all of the people are saved. Huzzah!

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