Knoxville Carrion Crown

Session 12

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

Before we moved on to the last tower we decided to fall back, clean up and prepare.

Over the last bridge was a large tower topped with a lightning conducting array of iron rods set on a huge metal steeple. We passed through a small arch with stout, iron-bound doors beyond. Tosticks applied her usual delicate touch and the well-made lock clicked open. Inside, books and metal bits were strewn about, a stair case wound along the circular wall to a trapdoor thirty feet above and the remnants of a large metal cage sat in the center. The previous occupant of the cage, a four armed flesh golem stitched together with whatever the creator found lying about, looked up when we entered Guardian of the tower .

We no longer needed to think much about this type of construct, we just reacted. Marten heightened our sense of time while the rest of us attacked. Most of our first assault was spent learning what arcane elements the creature was immune to. Most of them as it turned out. Although it seemed to slow down when confronted with fire or ice. Liam drew the construct’s attention, the two traded blows and the cavalier’s skill was obviously the better. After several well placed attacks, the golem was staggered allowing Roan to land the final blow – Liam was less than pleased that the kill was taken from him.

A quick search turned up only an illegible instruction manual for some sort of contraption. Avriel said she could decipher it the following day if need be so we took it with us. At the top of the stairs we saw that the trap door was worth more than most, it was made of adamantine. With our growing knowledge of golems we figured this would have kept the construct from getting to the room above.

A web choked room with a ladder leading up. Roan noticed faint chalk marks on the wall to the east. It turned out to be a diagram showing devices and mostly visual instructions for their use. As we looked them over a small construct appeared, literally, and after clearing away more webs to display further diagrams, it tried to help us decipher them. Before we could defeat the creature in the next room we would need to get to the roof and activate the apparatus shown in the diagrams.

Liam climbed up first followed by Tosticks. They note a woman in a large bell jar filled with fluid, an iron idol with terrified human eyes that seemed alive and thick webs all over the room. The ladder continued up another sixty feet or so and in the center of the ceiling was a large metal plate. The light in the room came from two windows, as it did in the room below. The bard and cavalier noticed everything as well as another construct as it climbed down the web toward them. This golem was foul, with spider legs and multiple other appendages including lobster claws and tentacles. And it was HUGE.

Tosticks started calling for us to get up the ladder then decided to climb down instead, followed quickly by the cavalier. Liam, thick threads of web stuck to him, jumped the last few feet down the ladder and we all stared up to see something massive cover the trapdoor. We looked at the cavalier and bard for an explanation but a large slimy tentacle snaked down from the trapdoor and snatched the priestess. Marten reacted by coating Avriel with conjured grease. Unmoving, the priestess slipped from the creature’s grasp and would have fallen nearly thirty feet if Tosticks did not react to turn her fall into a slow gentle descent.

Roan sent a vial of alchemical fire chasing the tentacle through the trapdoor and we started the fight in earnest. We learned the hard way that we could barely scratch the abomination and had to change to a delaying tactic while Roan and Marten flew, under Marten’s magical prowess, to the roof. The skies darkened and sorcerer and half-elf both survived multiple bolts of lightning from the heavens while they activated the device. Once they did, our old friend, Frankie the Beast, joined the fray Beastfighting .

The rest of the combat involved everyone applying the full extent of their individual skillsets simply to stay alive while distracting our opponent. Marten was able to manipulate the Beast, via the apparatus, and deliver an unbelievable amount of punishment to the larger construct. However, it was Liam that actually delivered the killing blow.

Also of note, Liam, during a point in the combat that we were skeptical of our survival, made some odd remark to Avriel about being her brother.

After patching up we released the person trapped in the iron idol and it turned out to be Count Caromarc Caromarc . The person in the large bell jar turned out to be the preserved body of the Count’s wife. Roan and he talked some of their relations before Caromarc offered to pay us 3000 sails (GP), via a note cacheable in Lepidstatd. The Count also asked us to look into why the Whispering Way had come to his house and caused so much trouble. We also learned from him that the Whispering Way had the Sea Sage Effigy and they may be on their way to the Shudderwood. Last, Caromarc gave us a letter of introduction to an old, storied lodge in that area.

After resting up we left for Lepidstatd to re-equip before moving on.

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Session 11

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

As we continued through the museum-like building more oddities were placed about. Among other things we saw bodies of a hound, like the one we encountered with the trolls, a sea cow and something that seemed a cross between a monkey and a fish.

Another spiral staircase led up. There Roan found an axe buried in a door he took a liking to.
+1 Keen Great Axe

Past the door was a large room with more curios and three large chests, two empty and the third Tosticks opened and released a couple of flying heads with snakes for hair. One of the heads shrieked leaving the ranger obviously shaken – I think she reminded him of an old girlfriend. Tosticks was ducking and weaving the other until Marten, with a gleeful spark in his eye, ensorcelled it and ordered it to attack the first flying head. Roan, although still shaken, was able to cleave the previously shrieking head in two.

While the sorcerer named his new ‘pet’ Biter, the bard climbed to a trapdoor. She must have been a little out of sorts after nearly having her nose bit off because she missed the gas trap. A miasma filled the room and burned our lungs before we could get out. Once the area cleared we went back to find a small tower on the other side of the trapdoor. It was just an archer’s watch post.

In the lower level, back where the eyeless flesh construct came from, we found three large, black, sealed jars and uncharacteristically decided to leave them that way. However, I did find a nice sword, a scimitar etched with flames, among some debris.
+1 Flaming Scimitar

Next we found a defensible room to rest and while we talked I realized that Count Caromarc was not Roan’s father but a great uncle. I guess I don’t pay enough attention sometimes. Of course if the half-human were not always being so serious…

Outside the building we followed a trail that led to a rusted, iron door at the bottom of a set of stairs. Avriel, with a quick prayer, touched the door and it crumbled in front of our eyes allowing water to rush out and cover the bottom couple of steps. Inside we found a collapsed stair and a hallway. After sloshing through water, the halfling waded, we came to a corner that dropped off into a pit. While crossing we were attacked by axe wielding undead from below.

I got hit multiple times and was unable to do anything except try to get out of the deeper water while the rest of the group went to work. Liam, Roan and Marten laid into the creatures with weapons both physical and arcane while Tosticks bolstered us all with her bardic abilities and Avriel kept me alive.

A quick dive into the pit and Roan and Marten were able to tell that our assailants had been guards of the count’s house before their first deaths.

A large circular room followed, with double doors on both sides and two other doors up high on the walls. Some sort of walkway had once been up there. The room itself was filled with dark water. We decided to start with the closest door up on the wall to our left. Tosticks swam over and was about to use her magical rope to climb up when something bit her from behind. Even after knowing it was there the rest of us could barely make out the reptilian creature. The cavalier, ranger and I all jumped in and swam over to them. Marten ordered Biter to attack, but it missed. Then everyone, except the bard, was treated to a vile and powerful gaze from the lizard-thing that felt like it might freeze the marrow in our bones. Fortunately for us nothing other than that feeling happened. I got to the thing first and, with Tosticks’ aid, skewered the translucent saurian with my new flaming blade augmented with lightning in a manner that would surely have pleased my old master.

Our dead foe sank and we proceeded to climb to the door above. While Tosticks went up, Roan and Marten again searched the water and found nothing of value. Beyond the door we found a rubble blocked stair, possibly linked to the one at the entrance, and a corridor leading to another circular room. I suppose these rooms probably looked like towers from the outside.

Looking into the next room we see more water lapping against cages containing three headless corpses of some sort of apes. A trio of heads with tentacles and bat wings came screaming at us Kev crossley paizo 01 . Tosticks stopped moving at all and one of the creatures tried to kiss her. It failed, and in a moment the halfling snapped back into action and slammed the door with the three heads on the other side. A little prep and Liam opened up the door again and we made short work of them. Roan’s prowess with a bow put an end to two of the foul fliers.

This room is a mirror of the previous and we carefully crossed to another door at the same upper level we were at. Past that door we found an alcove with four vials:
Potion of Displacement
Potion of Gaseous Form
2 Vials of Basilisk Blood (anti-paralysis)

From there we found a door to another circular room like the other two. When we looked in we saw lots of fungi and decided our allergies were bad enough and skipped it. Then on to yet a fourth circular room, just like the last three, with some sort of slime that attacked Tosticks when she opened the door. As it tried to envelope the bard, Marten conjured grease to cover her but the slime maintained its hold. This fight lasted a bit as the creature kept splitting when hit and we had to overcome multiple of them before it was done.

Some of us were seriously wondering how this place got this bad. The trolls did not seem to have gotten past the first guard house. There were the people that the goblins mentioned from earlier, but some of the mess here seemed like it was this way for some time. We found another bridge that led to another tower and hoped we would find some answers there.

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Session 10

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

The rest of us were able to enter after the three wearing guard uniforms got in and we found ourselves in a foyer looking at a large portrait of Roan hung above a huge roaring fireplace. Actually, it seemed the man in the picture, older than the ranger, was Roan’s father. Also of note, the portrait showed a mirror with a large white, four armed ape that appeared as if it was the reflection of the ranger’s predecessor.

As the ranger had never visited this residence, we searched through the house. First room, much to Liam’s pleasure, held racks of wine, cooled through some unknown process. Liam opened a bottle and began drinking. Roan looked at the cavalier disapprovingly but did not stop him. Several rooms followed; larder, kitchen, coal storage, dining room, billiards room, library with lots of alchemical books, trophy and smoking rooms. Roan’s father may not have been a noble, like the cavalier’s, but he had money to spare.

In the dining room, complete with a vaulted ceiling, we noticed two well-crafted halberds above a fireplace, also burning like the one in the foyer, and Roan found a secret door that led to a hallway and an exterior door.

Outside the door we found a bridge to another building. While we went through that building Tosticks found a concealed door. I believe she heard the clink of coins on the other side and got distracted, that would explain why she did not notice the trap and ended up poisoned. An application from one of the wands we found back in Ravengro took most of the pallor out of her cheeks. For a minute there she made Avriel look healthy by comparison. The halfling’s eyes lit up again as soon as she saw the pouches of coin and the fine ivory goats;
(3 Figurines of Wondrous Power)
1. Acts like a Heavy Horse
2. Acts like a Giant “Nightmare” Bull
3. Acts like a Light Horse and the Horns as a Lance
2000 Sails (GP)

Oddly, counter to the noble cavalier’s behavior with the wine, our troubadour, who on occasion showed larcenous tendencies, thought better of pocketing Roan’s father’s belongings.

There was little else of interest there so when we found another bridge we headed for the next building. This time the bridge was narrow and seemed to be an extension of the rock itself. Scaffolding covered one wall as Liam entered a large workshop that looked as if it had suffered from some sort of explosion. Rubble, from the collapsed wall, covered the floor and three large bugs Designdev rust3rd , seriously how do they get that big and why did one of the legendary wizards not craft a crushing boot evocation, crawled out of it and skittered quickly toward the cavalier. The rest of us were stuck on the thin bridge when the four-legged insects started trying to grab the cavalier with their lengthy antennae. Liam seemed to have some innate fear of them and spent the entire time avoiding contact while we picked them off with ranged weaponry.

When we looked around, sharp eyes caught a rod half buried in the rubble;
Rod of Flame Extinguishing

Next up was a rickety rope bridge, replacing one of stone that had fallen – possibly when the explosion occurred. Not wanting to get caught with all of us on a bridge at the same time again we sent Tosticks across first to scout things out. She made it about halfway when a black-winged, human-looking creature Erinye appeared above and started shooting flaming arrows, from a flaming bow, at her. The rest of the group distracted the flying opponent but were unable to do much more than irritate it. In response the dark clad villain threw a vehement curse our way and all, save Marten, were stricken with pain.

While Avriel called upon Sarenrae’s blessing to close our wounds, Tosticks made it all the way to the other end of the bridge. More shots fired, with little effect, and the creature kept coming after us until the priestess seared it with a beam of golden light followed by multiple blasts from the sorcerer’s bolts. The creature fell to its demise in the waterfall below.

Carefully we crossed the bridge and joined the bard then from there we passed a statue of a nymph as we headed to a set of double doors with a stained glass window above them. Inside we found a room full of weird creature bits in various containers. Liam, impatient at a lack of foes he could actually hit, immediately took in the room, decided it was not to his liking and went straight for the first door. On the other side of the door was more of the same plus two elaborately painted sarcophagi, a pile of chains and a spiral staircase.

Avriel took a closer look at the first sarcophagus and noticed it had a slimy sheen to it just before it slammed into her, its body warping making it obvious it was not actually made of stone. The priestess was caught and before we could respond the real sarcophagus opened and a desiccated, bandaged mummy emerged and hit the sorcerer squarely in the chest leaving a residual mark. After being painfully crushed by the odd mimicking creature, the dhampir was saved by the large blades of Roan and Liam. However, Avriel was still stuck.

The ranger and I managed to finish off the mummy while the others helped free the priestess. We noticed that the chains once had been used to bind the real sarcophagus closed – someone removed them before we had arrived. There was just enough time for Avriel to see to our wounds before a flesh construct Faceless flesh golem , the same size as Frankie, came up the spiral stairs. This thing had no eyes and was led around by several small flying creatures, imps I believe, that were connected to the monster with leashes. Fate was with us as the horrid thing fell quickly to several well placed blows. I unintentionally slowed it down with a freezing evocation and the cavalier and Roan cut large swaths in its torso. When the golem fell the imps shriveled up and died as well.

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Session 9

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

The last day of the Beast’s trial came and he was found not guilty, much to the disapproval of the masses. Frankie thanked us and invited us to join him at his father’s place, Schloss Caromarc. And that was what we set out to do after a visit to Judge Daramid, for payment, and a little re-provisioning. While we made the rounds of the various shops and peddlers we overheard people planning to hunt and kill the Beast. Too much work had gone into proving his innocence for us to allow that to happen.

When we arrived we found the manor house was actually built on cliffs lying beyond a roaring waterfall. A fortified gate house served as the entrance. Outside the gate were tied two stocky, dangerous-looking dogs standing nearly twice the height of Tosticks. While we looked the gate house over the door opened and the dogs were released from their leashes.

A small battle ensued, in which trolls Troll and trollhound , something we had only heard about before this day, threw alchemical fire and rocks from above and the dogs engaged us below. During this fray, Liam was once again blackened by fire. He seemed to have a knack for it. I, myself, was saved from being similarly singed by one of my mana fueled likenesses. Once the dogs were down we pressed into the house itself where Roan and a magically enlarged Liam lead us to victory. A lesson we learned was that trolls, and their hounds, required fire or acid to keep them down.

The trolls were forcing goblins to work for them and the goblins were happy to see us. Tosticks spoke their tongue and was able to learn that the human owners left the night before when the castle was attacked. They gave Tosticks an amulet depicting a gagged skull – a symbol of the Whispering Way. After recovering the goblin’s ill-gotten gains, 208 golden sails (GP) and 345 silver wolves (SP), we let them go.

Avriel found a staff thrown into a wood pile.
Staff of Swarming Insects (7)

An inner gate stood in our way and the roaring falls beyond made it hard to hear. On the other side of the gate was a stone bridge, over the waterfall, which led to another gate house. Two more trolls and a hound stood on the bridge and they were looking the other way. With surprise on our side the beasts did not stand a chance.

Once on the other side of the arcing bridge we were able to see another door that led into the next building. That door was guarded by a dog similar to the one we ran into outside of Vorkstag and Grine’s. Coincidence?

Unsure of how to proceed, Roan actually managed to ring a small bell with an arrow. An amazing shot. It seemed as if someone opened a view port momentarily but there was no other response. Eventually we decided some of us would dress as guards, using uniforms we found, and attempt to get passed the dog and the door. Not knowing if those currently inside the manor house were friends or foes we were trying to gain entrance without destroying everything in sight. I had a feeling that we would be unable to maintain that thought process for long.

Three of us in uniforms approached and were able to gain entrance when the door opened from within.

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Session 8

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

Through the trapdoor in Grine’s room we found several works of art, notably
An Ebony Tribal Mask
A Scrimshawed Tusk
A Silver Torc

Tosticks was then attacked by three creations Snapjaw homunculus of the now late alchemists. Made of leather, bone and metal their jaws were as powerful as bear traps. However, before we finished them off Tosticks and I got bit – me on the face.

Tosticks moved to another trapdoor, this one led to the roof, and picked the arcane reinforced lock keeping it shut. Outside we found only the lightning rod, copper in the shape of a raven eating a wolf.

Next we went down to the basement and found dozens of crates, some coffins and some bell shaped something I do not well recall. Among the detritus we discovered several weapon blanches
5 Silver
5 Cold Iron
1 Adamantine

Also in the room was an iron door that frustrated Tosticks. As soon as she managed to open it we remembered the keys we had found earlier. Behind the door was a stairway down into a pool of cold water. In the water were several corpses. Avriel opened her senses to the presence of undead just as two corpses jumped up and literally ran across the water to attack us. The priestess directed Sarenrae’s power into the creatures as they attacked her. A moment later I was able to finish them off.

After that we decided to leave and get some rest. The next morning we went to court and registered all the evidence and gave testimony as necessary. The barrister Gustav won his case and took us out to dinner in thanks.

As soon as the meal was done we headed for Hergstag to gather evidence for the next day’s hearing. First we stopped in at the old windmill on the edge of Lepidstadt to speak with three sisters that were witnesses to the killings in Hergstag. They tell us of a girl named Elsa that was killed and found in the arms of the Beast. This was the main reason for the people blaming him for the murders.

When we arrived in Hergstag we first went to the temple then began checking houses. One house was boarded up, we broke in and found everything in good condition. Upstairs was the bedroom of a little girl, named Karen, with all her things still there. When we went back down stairs we saw the ghost of a little girl. We tried to talk with her to no avail. At the end Avriel had to call upon Sarenrae to chase the ghost off.

Walking around we found a body caught in a bear trap with a necklace around it’s neck:
A necklace with a large turquoise

Next we moved to check a hilltop nearby. There was a scarecrow with a scythe and a pumpkin for a head. A sheep’s jaw had been placed on the pumpkin. Roan, watchful as always, spotted the opening to a small cave, too small for the Beast to enter. Inside we found the remains of four skeletal children. As we emerged from the cave an unearthly creature Brother swarm appeared next to the scarecrow and the normal sounds of nature seemed to have taken on an otherworldly quality.

Tosticks, honing her innate weapon attracting talent, once again drew the ire of our foe. Incorporeal, claw-like hands ripped into the halfling causing Tosticks to grimace in pain. Our priestess of Sarenrae immediately channeled the might of her matron deity to disrupt the wraith-like creature. Everyone started maneuvering and the bard began to sing a dirge. After that the horrid multi-eyed villain did not last long. Screaming, from the children and they’re murderer, erupted throughout the village as the child killer dissipated in front of our eyes.

After that we looked for any evidence, but our only choice seemed to be to take the children’s remains back with us.

At the trial the next day, Avriel spoke to the dead girl, Elsa. We heard how Brother Swarm lured and killed the children and how the Beast actually tried to help Elsa. After the trial we exited the building to find an unhappy crowd. They wanted someone to pay and it was looking like it would not happen. We thought it might get ugly after they had some time to work themselves up.

Once more we were off, this time to the Asylum on Karb Isle. Once there we came across a burned out house with grave stones out front and the front door blocked by collapsed timbers. A short search and I, not Roan that time, found a small hole on the side to climb in through. We crawled inside and found several sharp featured, blue skinned humanoids that quickly attacked. Putting my arcane skills to use I conjured a dusting of fine particulates that blinded several of them, and soon after, they were all dead. A search turned up a fire-warped strongbox and Liam, frustrated from the short fight, ripped it open.

Inside:
Charred documents – we needed Kendra’s help with these
12 Silver crossbow bolts
1 Gold belt buckle – slightly melted
1 Iron bracelet with silver inlay of the moon being eaten by an owl

There were also several deformed bodies badly burned from the fire, one intact severed head, possibly the doctor, broken glass and a vial labeled Vorkstag and Grine Chymical Bleach. This seemed an indicator that the fire may have been started by one or the alchemists.

From there we went back to talk with Kendra about the documents. She was able to discern that the papers were information compiled about Vorkstag and Grine and their nefarious behaviors. Next it was on to speak with Karl, the now blind witness of the arson at Sanctuary. He spoke of the doctor’s dislike for the alchemists and of the shambling, hulking Beast he saw escaping from the flames.

We had what we needed and headed back to our rooms. On the way we came across a now larger and angrier crowd. A few things were overheard that gave the impression they were going to try something foolish. Avriel and Tosticks tag teamed the assembled masses and with their beauty and talent the crowd soon dispersed. However, we were unsure that the peace would hold after the Beast’s next day in court.

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Session 7

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

We left immediately for Morast. There we met with the grumpy village elder, Lazne. From him we learned that the killings started first on the outskirts then became bolder, with Frankie, as he was sure it was the Beast, sneaking into town at night and capturing people in their houses. The townsfolk decided to do something about it and chased the Beast out of town. The villain’s head or face was hurt by the bite of a blood caiman and they left/lost him in the Boneyard – a graveyard.

Tosticks was able to get the old man to aid us in getting to the Boneyard. When we exited the boats, that took us to the graveyard, we saw grave markers tangled with fetishes and a half dozen graves recently dug up. Liam noticed a coracle with blood in it and a sack, large enough to hold a person, tied to it. Soon after that we found some old clothes, the skin of a human face and a nice surgery kit with amethyst handled tools in a fine leather case that had the symbol of a raven carved into it. Also of note was a vial Avriel found that we identified as a potion of dark vision – Marten’s knowledge of Frankie’s (a Flesh Golem) creation, led us to realize that dark vision is something the Beast would already possess.

Before we returned to Lepidstadt, we spoke with Lazne about what we found. Lazne pointed us to the Surgeon’s Flats in Lepidstadt to get information about the tools we found. Once we returned to the city we followed up on the information. After talking to the crafter, and various other people, we finally got the name and address of Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works.

The Chymic Works was dirty, surrounded by a twenty foot stone wall, had leaded windows, two floors, included a tower complete with lightning rod, and smelled nearly as bad a tannery. Of course, we were compelled to get inside. We discussed the best way to do this for some time before an old man exited and locked the gate.

As we approached the old man to question him we noticed a large dog on the other side of the gate. The janitor, or so he described himself, said he was the last one out save for Grine and suggested we go speak to him. He appeared frightened and left. I looked to see if Avriel had smiled at him then realized it was probably our numbers.

Speaking to Grine meant getting past the gate and guard dog. Tosticks picked the lock on the gate then ran to distract the dog while we got inside. Unfortunately, the dog, Flesh golem hound larger and less natural than we had thought, quickly caught the halfling. Quick thinking Marten applied his arcane webbing and allowed us all to get inside. Hmm, perhaps my memory is playing tricks again, but I cannot recall what became of that dog.

With Tosticks’ nimble fingers liberally applied to the locks, we quickly gained entry to the nausea inducing factory. Vats Giant vats of chemicals lined the floor with planks running over them for quick access. We were on level with the tops of the vats and ladders at various points led up to a second/third floor. The bard pointed out shadowy figures moving among the vats.

We stepped back outside and around to another entrance, double doors, possibly for loading and unloading, and gained entrance there with our handy dandy halfling. As soon as the doors were open a conflict began between us and several deformed humanoids. They seemed less like natural creatures and more like they were put together (Mongrelmen). While they were belligerent toward us they were untrained and shortly after Marten layered the area with his arcane filaments they were all dead. Before the combat was finished a fire caught the webs and scorched various crates of goods.

We managed to scrounge one large bottle of fine, sweet, red wine from the charred boxes, the rest did not survive. There was also a small metal box with two dozen labeled vials
12 Alchemical Fire
12 Liquid Ice.

From there we moved back to the first door and found the shadowy figures had vanished but a light could be seen on the second floor with shadows that indicated movement. Up we went. When the cavalier entered the room a small fire-haired man, bearing some resemblance to the assassin we encountered at the crossroads several days previous, turned from a workbench and, axe in hand, charged Liam and ducked between his legs. He stopped short upon seeing the rest of us outside the room and with a quick dexterous gesture cast us into darkness. Having caught us by surprise the wicked little man quipped ‘My axe will see you out’ and laid into Tosticks with his poisoned weapon before running down the catwalk.

Avriel, able to see as well as the little fiend, applied her deity’s power to restrain him long enough that we were able to catch up. A holy symbol was noticeable around Grine’s Grine neck, for that is who it turned out to be, as he commanded Liam to jump from the walkway. The cavalier’s pride was more hurt than his body when he hit the level below. Marten enchanted the evil priest with a vibrant spray of color and Roan peppered him with arrows.

At that moment I watched as another figure, the old man from outside who was actually Vorkstag, stepped out of a door and tossed a vial at Liam. A plume of fire erupted on the floor too far away to distract Liam from spearing the red headed priest above him. A scream followed by a splash was the last we heard of Grine as he dropped into one of his own vats of bleach.

Vorkstag proved harder to hit. He had magical protections up and seemed able to slip out of the way just before we hit him. Finally, I got lucky and ran him through, but he was able to drink a concoction and vanish before I could finish him. When a door opened across the way, seemingly by itself, Roan charged and with a wild swing caught the alchemist in the doorway. Visible again, and staggered from the damage, Vorkstag’s last sight was the metal clad Liam and the flash of his gleaming blade.

Once the old man was dead we noticed that he had a large bite on his shoulder similar to what one might get from the blood caiman. At this point we took the time to patch ourselves up and check over the room where Grine had been working.

We found a variety of potions and some other odds and ends to help pay the bills.

A potion of Bulls Strength
2 potions CLW
Potion of Water Breathing
Wand ???
M/W Heavy Mace
Alchemists Kit
2 doses of Black Adder poison
2 doses of Blue Whinnis poison
1 dose of Death Blade poison
200 GP
4 vials of Anti-toxin
4 Cloudy Diamonds in purple pouch
A collection of books on Anatomy and Surgery
Complete Alchemists Kit

Also we found a set of keys and nearly a dozen flayed skins, used by Vorkstag Vorkstag who turned out to be some foul type of fae able to wear other creatures skins and appear as them. One of the skins was an eight foot tall Mongrelman that could explain why some people thought they saw the Beast.

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Session 6

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

Ravengro behind us, we traveled until we got to the intersection that led off to Pleasant Hallow. It was foggy, similar to the few stories of the fog that precedes the disappearance of entire towns. Similar, according to Roan and Marten, to what happened to Pleasant Hallow.

Several Varisian covered wagons had stopped at the intersection, just off the road. A colorfully dressed albino, named Caleb, was in charge and told us that one of their own, a Pinhead he called her, was missing. Alise, the missing woman, had walked off into the fog and not returned. Caleb asked us to go find Alise; he offered us a prized dagger. We agreed.

Deep in the fog we heard what sounded like a little girl’s voice calling from multiple directions. We were sure this was a bad thing and Avriel getting backstabbed by a dark clad assassin confirmed it. A large spider appeared behind Liam a moment later, attacked him then simply vanished into the not so thin air. Marten managed to control the assassin’s movement with arcane webbing allowing me to pierce the masked assailant and infuse him with the elemental power of lightning. The spider was sinking it’s fangs into Tosticks at the same time my foe dropped then Roan laid into it with his massive blade and the arachnid dropped with a wide swath in its carapace.

The assassin turned out to be of the dark folk, it was covered from head to toe in wraps of clothing – only the lifeless eyes were visible. Among the assassin’s remains we found a handful of coins, a vial of potent poison and of all things, silverware that had Marten’s family crest etched into it. The possibility occurred to us that this creature had something to do with what happened to Pleasant Hallow.

A little searching led us to Alise’s body and a chest of various items; a potion (Fox’s Cunning), a magnifying glass with a golden handle, a wooden box with brass weights and a concealed bottom covering 3 silver ingots (100 sp/e), a walnut travel case with wax sealed locks and keys (superior) and a jar of pickled garlic cloves. Of all the things my memory manages not to recall, why do I still remember pickled garlic cloves?

We took the girl’s body back and the Varisian’s were grieved but thankful. Caleb solemnly handed over the dagger he had promised and, after finding out we had the same destination, suggested we travel together in the morning.

Given the silverware that was found and being a short distance away we decided to visit Pleasant Hallow before the day was out. The place was the proverbial ghost town, that is no real ghosts, and all we found was a bunch of mushrooms being kept in a cellar, like it was food for someone, and a journal from the Sarenrae temple. The journal mentioned that everyone was leaving because things were attacking at night. Oddly, there were no tracks anywhere in the town.

The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived in Lepidstadt to hear numerous rumors of ‘The Beast’ and his heinous crimes. His trial was to start the next day.

We dropped off Kendra and headed over to the University to talk with Montaigne Crowl. A wall of the university was recently crumbled and the room within destroyed. A man was looking over the mess when we arrived and brusque when we tried to speak with him. Turned out to be Montaigne Crowl, the man we needed to turn four of Lorrimor’s hidden tomes over to. He tells us that the Beast broke in, caused all the damage and stole a statue called the Sea Sage Effigy. The Beast was caught soon after but the statue is still missing. After a little discussion we agreed to try to find the statue and return it.

Next stop was Judge Embreth Daramid Embreth daramid to deliver the most enticing of Lorrimor’s tomes, the Manual of the Order of the Palantine Eye. A puckered face greeted us when the door opened. Daramid had gray hair, pulled tightly back into a completely unattractive bun. She paid us the one hundred falcons (PP) each and moved right on to the case of the Beast and her belief that he would not get a fair trial. In the name of justice, not to aid the Beast in any way, she asked us to gather evidence for the Barrister of the Beast, named Gustav Kapel, but we were not to allow him to know she had hired us.

A busy first day in the new city, we headed over to see Gustav. The wealth of this town was displayed via a large clock on a large, squat building in the town square. Oddly a big man-shaped wooden figure stood in the square in stark contrast to the craftsmanship of the time piece. Once we met Gustav Gustav it became obvious he was desperate; he, apparently a man that preferred to be in control, quickly acquiesced when we offered to help. The Barrister barely questioned our motives.

Gustav Kapel laid out the three cases we needed to look into:

• The Swampers of Morast – 10 killed
• The Children of Herstag – 6 children killed
• The Arson at the Asylum of Sanctuary on Carb Isle – one witness, now blind, named Carl

With Kapel’s ok we were able to speak with the Beast himself. Tied down with chains, the Beast seemed to actually be a construct of flesh The beast of lepidstadt. When we entered the massive creature strained against his bonds and fortunately was unable to break free. Avriel and Liam started talking him down and had amazing results. The Beast, whom I renamed Frankie, began speaking. He said over and over that he did not do it. He then told us, with coaxing from the priestess, that there was a girl that had ghost friends that hurt her. The girl died and Frankie took her back to her father who, of course, blamed the Beast.

From there we went back to the University and looked around. There was a back door that had been kicked in from the outside, not something Frankie would have needed as he came through the wall. The door had a small bell, paraphernalia of an alarm spell, on it. We also found that the area where the statue was located was not destroyed like the section around the collapsed wall. A monster on a rampage that just took down a wall seemed unlikely to be able to move carefully a minute later. Another thing that was out of place was a window up high that was clean when all others were grimy. Tosticks used her enchanted rope, she picked up in Harrowstone, to go up and look at it closely. The window’s hinges had recently been oiled.

Once we were done poking around we spoke with Crowl again and a security guard that was with him. We learned little other than the guard doesn’t actually think much and that the Sea Sage is a tentacled creature.

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Session 5

From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:

My memory of things that happened around this time gets a little patchy. You’ll see why in the recounting below.

Once the Warden’s Badge was in our hands we got patched up and turned to the Secret door Roan noticed. We entered a narrow corridor and got accosted by a nearly invisible ooze. Not really able to describe it any better. Tosticks might have a better description though, as she was covered by it long enough to dissolve most of her armor. I do not think she liked the look.

Next we found the place called the ‘NeverMore’, it was a room with a water filled hole. Several of us found ourselves compelled to stop the bloody letters of our names from being drawn upon the wall. With a little elbow grease and some of Sarenrae’s blessed water we were able to stop what might have been our deaths.

At that point a ghostly old wizard Splatter man, in a foul mood, rose from the water. The Splatterman immediately summoned several large ravenous looking rats and sent them after us. Marten drew the ghost’s fire while the rest of us put the vermin down. Our sorcerer traded his bright bolts of power for more of the same from the Splatterman. Only, the visage’s purified mana, while it almost seemed to draw light toward it, was stronger and more frequent. By the time the rest of us finished off the rats Marten was staggered and had trouble focusing.

Even though we had trouble hitting or hurting the old villain we were able to finally put him to rest. Sarenrae’s power, channeled through Avriel, once again overwhelmed our foe.

Once the ghost was gone Roan dove into the water and returned with an extremely sharp sword (Keen Long Sword + 1 ), a finely crafted mithril dagger ( + 1 ) and a ring (protection + 1 ).

Back to Ravengro we went. A stop by the temple, as it seemed Roan may have picked up a souvenir from the rats that he did not want to keep, then on to haggle with Jeorfa. When all was said and done we had upgraded more of our equipment. After that we went back to the Lorrimor stead and found Uleg had been hired to help Kendra move to Lepidstadt. I believe Liam had mixed feelings, happy she would accompany us to Lepidstadt and not so happy Uleg was going too.

Day 9.

As we re-entered the prison this time we saw many more whippoorwills than we had on previous trips. The well-traveled ranger, Roan, mentioned he had heard these birds eat spirits and can even cause the death of anyone that looks into their eyes.

Down to the basement again and on we moved to the section called ‘The Oubliette’. Someone, I’m not sure who, decided we should take the plaques – we did. We expected to find the Lopper, since he was the last of the Five. Instead we found two. The first was a flaming, headless skeleton wielding an axe. This one may have been an acolyte of Vance Saetressle, but it was a terror all its own. I remember Tosticks being hit and then the axe being swung down on me, but that was all. Avriel was praying over me when I awoke again.

After that we found the Lopper himself Lopper and defeated him, but I can barely recall it. I know he was a semi-transparent, bony, giant axe wielding maniac and was our most difficult fight thus far. I also know that we collected quite a decent amount of gear that Jeorfa was interested in.

However most of the above comes from my companion’s recollections. My memory issues did not dissipate quickly and for some time after the fall of that axe I felt lost, wondering how my body was able to go through the motions even though, inwardly, I was unsure I was still alive.

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Session 4

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. Charlatan 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 piper of illmarsh 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. Cc hoh p48 mosswater marauder 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.

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Session 3

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 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.

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