From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:
A long day was followed by staying up half the night staking out the memorial. Nothing happened at the memorial. However, Tosticks complained about having a bad dream involving bars on her window and blood on the wall spelling out part of her name. Since it was Tosticks telling the story we had to see the blood for ourselves to believe it.
After breakfast we researched the Five at the Temple gaining a good deal of insight into the demented killers. On the way to get a fine lunch of “Wolf Balls” we heard flute music on the street ahead. As we approached, mosquitoes (Striges), the size of Tosticks, swooped in and chased everyone off except the flutist and, of course, the intrepid heroes – namely us. The bugs only lived long enough to sting a couple members of the group. Turns out the flutist, named Wolfram, was under some sort of otherworldly control, probably the Piper of Ilmarsh.
No longer famished we were off for more research at the Unfurling Scroll, where we picked up information about the Oubliette of Harrowstone and the Nevermore, a portion of the Oubliette that The Splatter Man was often kept. The proprietor of the Scroll, Alendru, offered us several scrolls of our choosing to aid our quest. No small offer considering the man’s aversion to giving things away. Marten and I, Ravan, tried to decide what scrolls would be best suited to the party’s needs.
That evening we staked out the memorial again. While Tosticks and Avriel were on watch they saw a man dragging something up to the memorial. The man was startled when the girls revealed themselves and ran, leaving another dead dog behind. With Roan’s nose, or however a half-human tracks, we were able to find the man at his house. Roan also found a war razor and a water skin filled with blood as evidence. Shortly after that, we turned the man over to the sheriff and found out it was the town butcher, Gibbs.
Knowing this we went to poke around the butcher’s shop after dawn, but found nothing useful. A little talking with the sheriff and the owner of the Inn garnered the information that a group of six or more people came through town for one night about three to four weeks ago. That was right before Lorrimor died and the weird things started happening around town. The leader of this group was thin, gray-skinned and had strange markings under his black robes. They all had worn black robes. Back in the city, the Guard would have been all over that sort of thing. These bumpkins just thought it curious and let it go.
At this point we were ready to venture back into Harrowstone.
Another look around the outside revealed a second story balcony. We considered climbing up, then thought better of it and entered via the front door into a large foyer with multiple doors and lots of mold. Every door we tried to open slammed shut again. As Liam started to get frustrated, Avriel realized that some sort of Haunt was to blame and chased it off with holy water.
Liam started his ‘Bull in a China Shop’ routine and began to move quickly from door to door kicking them in, scanning and dismissing rooms when nothing grabbed his attention. He slowed down, slightly, when a room full of splintered wood turned out to be hiding some sort of animated chain that attacked the group. It was soon destroyed by Liam, but we realized that there may be more insidious things to come.
We next found a room that had served as a Chapel. Webs all over the room, so of course spiders, the size of dogs, attacked us. The vermin in Caliphas never get this big, if only I had brought some lemongrass candles – really big ones. Only Avriel gets bit, but she seems unaffected by the venom. The spider that bit her was killed soon after so it was hard to tell if it would have had any ill effects from her Dhampiric blood.
An old cabinet, half covered in webs, contains several vials of blessed water (Holy), a scroll (Lesser Restoration) and a wand (CLW). We passed these to the people that can best use them and move along.
Next, we came across an old office with bars on the windows. Liam picked up the smell of singed flesh right before several branding irons lifted off the ground and battered the party then dropped lifeless again. Frustrated we continued our search.
Old material piled on the floor with a skeletal arm sticking out. We looked around from the corridor before entering, as even Liam had become cautious about entering a room without looking. Roan noticed a concealed door but nothing else hiding in the corners. Once we enterd, a ghostly visage rose from the pile of material and addressed us as if we were new guards sent from the town.
Soon it became obvious that the ghost is the Warden’s wife, Vesorianna , and that she was very much aware of her condition. Vesorianna informs us that several black clad people entered the prison about a month ago and managed to capture her husband’s ghost. They took him away, to the north, and since then the Five, terrible spirits now, have been getting stronger and the Splatter Man was using her name to try to break them free. She described the leader of the intruders as a thin man with gray skin wearing a bone breastplate and dark skullcap and mask. Lorrimor was the only one that tried to stop them and they killed him for it.
The warden’s wife told us that if we are able to contain all of the Five and bring them and her husband’s symbol of office to her then she would be able to stop the Five for good and she herself would be set free. The property room, in the southwest section of the prison, holds items of the Five that may be used to contain them. However, she warned us that the items are probably cursed themselves.
We thanked her and left the seamstress’ room. A quick look at the room next to this, the one that the concealed panel probably leads to, revealed only several old rusted wash tubs. We did not even enter.
Next we found ourselves in what appears to be some sort of barracks. The room was in disarray, as if someone tossed everything around in a rage, and like everywhere else, it was covered in mold and decay. Similar to the seamstress’ room, a ghost rose from the floor, but this one seemed blighted and attacked us immediately. Nasty as it appeared, I and Avriel made quick work of it. Among the mess in the room, we dug up another wand (Lesser Restoration) and a box containing an oiled cloth with a roguish assortment of tools (MW Thieves Tools), a bronze medallion of the Shinning Crusade, a painting of Stavian I, several silver hair clips, a dozen silver stars (MW Shuriken) and a silver war razor (MW).
Although tiring at this point, we pushed on and the next room opened with a splendid view of the lake. Unfortunately, it was not through a window but a collapsed wall. Inside was a huge stone furnace with a copper plaque reading “Ember Maw” and a hole in the floor surrounded by scorch marks. Around the room were moldy training dummies. As we start to look around, several flaming skulls floated up from the hole and attacked us. Whether we were getting better, or just lucky, these apparitions provide little difficulty for us.
Now, I believe, it was time for a little rest before proceeding.