From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:
Once we got back to Ravengro we visited Jeorfa. Dragging the box of things we found in Harrowstone with us we asked the smith if she could take any off our hands. After looking everything over, with minimal grumbling for her, she said she could pay us seven hundred sails (GP) for it. However, it turned out she was willing to offer considerably more in trade. I believe it was her way of showing gratitude for the service we were performing for the town. When all was said and done, the group came out better armed and armored.
After that we headed back to Lorrimor Mansion, ah the adventuring life, and got some rest.
Our seventh day dawned and, after another fine breakfast, the party was off to Harrowstone once again.
We headed for the southwest corner and the property room Vesorianna’s spirit told us about. A locked, heavy, metal door blocked our way. The Halfling, Tosticks, looked the lock over with admiration for some time before she nimbly applied her skills. After seeing how easy that door seemed for her, I checked my pockets to make sure everything was still there.
Inside we found several shelves of healing supplies. Avriel went through it all and carefully collected anything useable. A couple healer’s kits, three vials of Anti-Toxin, two vials of Anti-Plague, three doses of something called Blood Block, three doses of Smelling Salts, two vials of Soothe Syrup and four healing potions (CLW).
Roan noticed one of the shelves looked odd and upon closer examination it turned out to be part of a concealed door that opened on a small room with the Five’s possessions. We looked the item’s over and Marten told us they were possessed by haunts. We decided that no one should carry more than one. This is how they ended up being dispersed:
(This had been a table but the WYSIWYG editor couldn’t handle it)
- Character——-Five’s Real Name————Five’s Nick Name————Item
- Roan—————Vance Saetressle————The Lopper———————Hand Axe
- Avriel————Sefick Corvin—————-Father Charlatan————Collection of Holy Symbols
- Liam—————Ispin Onyxcudgel————Mosswater Marauder———Smith’s Hammer
- Tosticks———Unknown————————-The Piper of Illmarsh—-Tarnished Silver Flute
- Ravan————-Hean Feramin——————The Splatterman—————Moldy Spellbook
Marten’s curiosity with anything arcane led him to grab The Splatterman’s moldy spellbook first. He had quickly opened it and started perusing then suddenly stopped. (He actually saw his name all over the edges of the page.) When we decided that it would be best for each person to carry only one item the sorcerer suggested I should take the book. His reasoning seamed sound but counter to his previous behavior concerning such tomes.
The last room on the first floor held multiple benches facing a podium on a stage that was separated from the audience by iron bars. Avriel approached the stage and felt a strong cold come over her. (Chill Touch) Her dhampiric nature seemed to allow her to dismiss it with only a shiver. Marten was able to discern that the stage housed a haunt he referred to as a ‘Cold Spot’. We made note to return and collect the haunt on our way back to Ravengro.
The last two doors led to stairs, one set went down – blocked by collapse, and the other up. We went up to the second floor.
Once there we entered a large area that, based on the collapsed exterior wall, probably sat on top of the training room below. A handful of those damnable mosquito-like stirges were disturbed by our arrival and came looking for blood. They were not much more successful than the last swarm we ran into, although we did end up with more welts.
Having found nothing of interest there we moved along a row of cells containing the bones of prisoners and then found the remains of a burned kitchen. Soon after that we came to another area with iron bars separating a semi-circular area. It was a guard’s station that also had doors to the frail balcony over the main entrance.
Next to the guard’s area was a larger, nicer cell with a skeletal body in chains. When we checked closer we saw the chains had weights stamped with numerous different holy symbols. There was also a journal nearby. (Have we read this?) We had a feeling this was Father Charlatan’s corpse. Avriel called upon Sarenrae to reveal any undead and saw the ethereal form of a hunched, balding man with tattered robes and holy symbols hanging from his neck, waist and arms. Father Charlatan was standing behind Tosticks and Avriel assures us his intentions were not benign. The priestess swung at the ghost with the mass of holy symbols partially disrupting his form. The rest of us tried to help, but we could not hit what we could not see. Fortunately the spirit was unable to permanently harm the halfling before Avriel dispersed his form. Once we were sure he was gone we grabbed the journal and left the room.
Shortly after, my companions and I were passing through a corridor with cells on both sides. Ancient ash and moldy bones were the scenery when we started hearing flute music. The Piper had found us. Skeletons arose in their cells and attacked while the haunting music began to play on each person’s fears and it looked as if The Piper might win. Luckily we had our own musician. Tosticks, in a flash of intuition, pulled out the tarnished silver flute, which had belonged to The Piper in life, and began playing. The result was a scream of agony as the undead flutist came into view grasping his head with both hands as if his skull might come apart. The skirmish turned in our favor.
However, I found myself unable to move as the apparition turned its maddened stare my way. I recall seeing a host of disturbing things intent only on the torment they would inflict upon me. As the warriors pressed the advantage Avriel channeled Sarenrae and a slight pulse, like the ripple of water after a stone is dropped in, ran through me. The skeletons that were in the hall with us simply fell to the floor lifeless once more. Liam found both his head and the path to the nightmarish foe clear. The cavalier gave into his nature and charged leaving The Piper flickering between worlds. A moment later the ghost was struck again by two vibrant bolts from the sorcerer, and disintegrated in front of our eyes. I was thankfully able to move again. After that Avriel applied Sarenrae’s gifts to tend our wounds.
Around the next corner we found a door behind which stood a ladder leading to the roof. Roan climbed it and found a stuck trapdoor. With a feat of strength that few could duplicate the ranger shoved the trapdoor open. For his effort sizable rocks rained down on Roan, then Liam at the bottom of the ladder. As the two most experienced adventurers in our party looked down at the rubble that nearly crushed their skulls, a gigantic, bloated stirge dropped in and pinned Roan to the ladder. Liam reacted quickly and speared the creature even as it was attached to the ranger. Unfortunately the vile stirge had already found Roan’s blood and left him looking a little pale. Up on the roof was nothing but a view.
The last door on the second floor was stout and locked. Again, Tosticks put her larcenous skills to use and the lock soon clicked open. Beyond was actually a large area open to the outside world. I do not actually remember the details well, (Can’t remember the description) I was a little too focused on the two skeletal arms wielding a rather sharp looking scythe. It was probably the executioner’s spirit. Marten said something about it being some sort of construct then Avriel decided to try one of the haunt syphon’s we had picked up in the empty crypt. Quickly the syphon’s swirling contents darkened and the scythe and arms clattered to the floor. Probably should have tried those things earlier.
With another floor cleared we figured it was a good time to call it a day. On our way past the stage room we used another syphon to capture the cold spot haunt then stopped in for a short visit with Vesorianna before we left. A little walk to the temple where we buried the syphon holding the cold spot, based on Marten that was the way to put it to rest, then we relaxed for the remainder of the day.
Day eight and it was time to go spelunking.
Upon entering Harrowstone we proceeded upstairs, removed the ladder Roan had become acquainted with the day before and carried it down to the room with the scorched hole in the floor. After a sunrod was dropped, down we went. Avriel was first and as soon as her first foot touched the ground below screams of torment and agony erupted and two spirits attacked. The rest of us climbed and dropped as fast as we could and soon we managed to defeat our foes. The room was covered in soot and blackened by fire. Everything, and everyone, in the room had burned beyond recognition.
The only way to go from there seemed to be a hole in the wall about four feet across. It led to a four way intersection with plaques labeling each direction. The way we had come was called ‘Hell’s Basement’ and the others were ‘Oubliette’, ‘Nevermore’ and ‘Reaper’s Hold’. Cheerful. We chose ‘Reaper’s Hold’.
A couple doors and a portcullis. The portcullis was effective at keeping us out so we chose one of the doors. It led to a guard room in disarray with a bed, a table with a smiths hammer and three skulls that had been shattered and on the floor a well preserved dwarven corpse with bright red hair. As I had come to expect, something unliving was there. The three skulls lifted off the table and rebuilt themselves as the dwarf got up, or at least his ghost did. Ispin Onyxcudgel, The Mosswater Marauder, had crazy down pat and a spectral skull floating by his head was the perfect accessory. Of course, they were going to attack us but we beat them to it. Avriel channeled Sarenrae again and the pulse re-shattered the skulls when they hit the floor. It was obvious that Onyxcudgel felt it too, but before he was able to act Roan put a silver arrow through his heart, or at least where it would have been, and The Mosswater Marauder faded away.
A look around turned up a secret door in an alcove. Tosticks yet again went after it with zeal. However, this one appeared to be impervious to her deft touch. If looks could destroy doors, the halfling would have incinerated it on the spot.
When we checked the other room we found the means to open the portcullis. Soon we had entered an old torture chamber. The varied accoutrements included a fire pit, iron maiden and wrack complete with a long dead body. The poor soul had suffered considerably and was missing both hands. Liam noticed a concealed passage to the east while he looked around the room. At the same time Tosticks noticed two disembodied hands had started climbing the cavalier’s legs. Liam’s armor kept him from noticing the light creatures, but when the halfling warned him he started flailing around trying to knock them off. The rest of us were oblivious to his plight because at that time Avriel ran toward and into the iron maiden that had mysteriously opened. (An illusion, she failed a save and thought she saw her mentor in the maiden) We then noticed Liam, at this point being strangled by the hands.
Marten’s vibrant missiles streaked through the air and pelted one of the hands knocking it to the ground. The hands proved difficult to hit and before we could finish them Avriel managed to break out of the iron maiden and, while she was still a bit bewildered from the enchantment, she stumbled after the hand skittering across the floor. It felt more like chasing mice than a battle. Eventually, Roan and I were able to end the ‘digit-al’ menace. Afterwards, Roan noticed that the body on the rack had something wedged into its jaw.
The warden’s badge of office was ours.