DUNGEON MASTER: The party has spent the day delving into two disturbing matters: the identity of the most vile prisoners in the history of Harrowstone, and the nature of a secret organization called the Whispering Way. Research is hungry work, however, and by dinner everyone has worked up a healthy appetite for the piping hot strudel and pepper ribs which are served by Kendra and her new helper Johan.
DUNGEON MASTER: Later that evening, when the party is seated comfortably in the drawing room, nursing cups of cider, Kendra grows increasingly quiet and pensive. Finally, she takes a deep breath and addresses the group:
"I have decided to sell the house," she says, her voice full of firmness and determination. "I am happy here in Ravengro... but it is so _small_. With father ...gone... now, I have no reason to stay. I want to see things--cities, and castles and forests...
SOLAR CE’NEA: Dear Kendra,
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan slowly sips at his cup of cider in thoughtful contemplation, "I understand your ties with this land are not as they once were. Have you considered where you would like to visit as your first place of interest?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Dear Kendra, I understand your misgivings, I am sure you could do many things, I am one who loves to travel, and you would be more than welcome to join me even if it was just to the City, but perhaps now is not the best time to make such a decision? Your loss is great and your heart is heavy. perhaps give it a few weeks to decide, but the choice is purely yours of course, I will support whatever decision you make
DUNGEON MASTER: "I have been thinking about this for some time now, even before dad-I mean, Professor Lorrimor's death. My mind is quite made up. In fact, I've already started making arrangements. There will be an agent coming next week from Lepidstadt next week. I have a few things--repairs, and packing and such--that need to be completed before then. If some of you could spare a few afternoons helping me with those things, I would appreciate it ever so very much."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes, of course, we would be more than happy to assist!
DUNGEON MASTER: "I think I will go to Leipdstadt, first, and then--well, I'm not sure. I want to spend some time in the places he taught."
DUNGEON MASTER: "Thank you, friends."
DUNGEON MASTER: "You know, I think it will be good to be away from here. I have felt so --stifled-- of late."
DUNGEON MASTER: "But enough of that!" she says taking a deep breath. "Do any of you like to visit taverns? The Laughing Demon is not too disreputable, if you have a mind to frequent such places."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan smirks, "I have been known to knock back a few cold ones from time to time."
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar Laughs, I too do not mind a drink. Are you thinking of coming with us loverly lady!
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Yes well it has been a while since I've enjoyed a few beers with such good company," Johan replies.
DUNGEON MASTER: "Me? Oh, no--it's not really an appropriate place for someone in my--position... The townsfolk to love to go there, though. They're all famous gossips!"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar laughs again, I am sure you would be welcome anywhere mylady! but we will keep that taven in mind!
SOLAR CE’NEA: So my lady what do you do for entertainment at night around here?
DUNGEON MASTER: "Me?" she seems suprised by the question. "I read, of course. Sometimes we used to play cards, or talk about things--but most nights, we would take turns reading to each other."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Aaaah sounds wonderful, the aquisition of knowledge with those you love!!!
DUNGEON MASTER: "It is--was, a wonderful thing," agrees Kendra.
SOLAR CE’NEA: I am sorry Kendra, I didn't mena to raise painful memories.
DUNGEON MASTER: "But you must not worry about me like that. He has always been going into danger, and I always knew he would leave this world someday."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar asks as gently as he can, "Did you get to see him, after he had past? were you able to have a viewing?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "What? Well, yes--it was the priests who found him, and Father Grimburrow called me up right away to see what I thought should be done. It was --well, awful, of course, but not so bad after the first look." She breathes heavily as she speaks, but her face is brave.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Not so bad?? was the Professor badly injured? or do you mean that it wasn't so bad accepting he had passed? Whilst tlaking Solar walks over to Kendra and takes her hand gently holding it softly
DUNGEON MASTER: "He died--didn't you know?--he died after a gargoyle broke off a tomb in the Restlands and hit him on the head. His head was--very badly injured." She accepts Solar's galantry without protest.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Ah, no, I am sorry, no one had told me, you were very brave having to deal with that dear Kendra, I would have had difficulty with that. Again my apologies.
DUNGEON MASTER: "It is in the past," she says firmly.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan shakes his head, "I am sorry to hear such tragic things. Let us not dwell on the past any longer. Your father, he gave you such opportunities with your education and fostered a passion for knowledge. I just know you will do well for yourself in whatever path your journey takes."
DUNGEON MASTER: "I.. thank you," she replies. Her eyes are clear, but there are tears in her voice.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes Johan is right, Dear Kendra, If you would like I would enjoy sharing a book with you for the rest of the night. There are many tomes in your incredible library I would love to hear you read from if you are up to it.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I think I will call it a an early night if you don't mind so I can get up early tomorrow morning," Johan replies.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes, Kendra do you mind if we take these books with us in the morning (he shows the books they recieved in the will). Solar continues: "perhaps it is time to secure the house and once that is done we can do some of that reading if you are up to it?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Certainly; my father left them to you."
DUNGEON MASTER: Between them, Johan and the rest of the party does a thorough check of the premises and then everyone sets in for the night. Solar and Kendra are the last ones to bed-- their figures are silhoutted against the candlelight in the window as they read to one another late into the night.
The next morning dawns as clear and bright as the one before.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan yawns as he stretches, breathing in the cool morning air. "I don't know about you but I'd like to sift around the old prision today for clues or tracks."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar looks surprisingly refreshed for a light night, "That sounds good my friend, did you want to go straight to the prison or would you like to visit the Priest first, I am happy with either and have no preference of what we do first."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Hmm, yeah maybe we should first speak to the priest before we explore the ruined prision. I don't think we have had an opportunity to speak to him in person yet," replies Johan.
SOLAR CE’NEA: I am happy with that! with that Solar prepares for the day ahead and says his goodbyes to the Loverly Kendra for the day.
DUNGEON MASTER: The party finishes their morning meal and heads out to the Temple of Pharasma [E on the map].
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "So what is it we wanted to speak to the preist about? Did we want to query more in depth about the circumstances of the late Professor?"
DUNGEON MASTER: This temple is devoted to Pharasma, the Lady of Graves. Ravengro’s only religious structure, the temple is also the town’s most elaborate building. Its eastern facade displays an intricate stained-glass mural depicting a stern Pharasma judging Count Andachi, one of Tamrivena’s most infamous previous rulers.
Within, half a dozen black-robed alcolytes attend to their duties, under the watchful gaze of a scowling Father Grimburrow.
SOLAR CE’NEA: I am curious in the final movements of the Professor, I would like to know if he came to the Priest for assistance or anything like that
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I agree with that direction of queries," replies Johan.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar heads over to Father Grimburrow, and descretely asks "Father may we speak to you?...in private"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Eh? You!" he barks at a ashen-faced subordinate. "Keep things in line while I meet with these guests!"
DUNGEON MASTER: He leads the party into a sparse office of plain stone and old wooden furniture.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar happily walks to where the Priest leads him but looks around to see if anyone is paying an unuasual amount of attention to them [Perception 1d20+0=14
DUNGEON MASTER: Every alcolyte in the church studiously avoids looking directly the party of out-of-towners.
DUNGEON MASTER: "So. What is your business here today?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: "Father, my friends and I were entrusted in the Good Professors will to complete some tasks for him and for Kendra's future, however we need to follow the Professors movements in the month or so before he died as there are some things that are confusing us and makes completing our task difficult. Could you perhaps help us by telling us of any interactions you have had with the Professor leading up to his death, or if you can think of anything involving the professor recently that was not the norm." Solar speaks clmly but with some urgency in his voice to emphasis the importance of his query.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Diplomacy 1d20+0=15
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan replies, "We really would appreciate any information you can help us with in this regard." Aid Other (diplomacy): 1d20+1 = 4
DUNGEON MASTER: "Didn't see much of him," replies Grimburrow roughtly. "Old wizard was always in and out of town. Some folk did talk of him nosing about here the week before he died, but he wasn't interfereing with the Restlands or this temple, whatever else he was doing."
SOLAR CE’NEA: When you say around here, what do you mean, if he wasn't looking in the restlands or this temple?
SOLAR CE’NEA: Is there someplace else he went to?
DUNGEON MASTER: "The woods, the towns, the old prison, the river, the lake--around here. Just not in my graveyard. Wise man. Enough folk thought he was a necromancer that he'd likely'd been burned if they caught him spending too much time in there."
DUNGEON MASTER: "Spent some time out in the moor too, I hear."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan sits there, absently tongue fucking a piece of dried fruit out from between his teeth, since it had lodged itself there since breakfast that morning. "Now I am really confused. You just said he had no business in the Restlands however how was it he meet his demise at the hands of a gargoyle within the Restlands itself? Where abouts did this tragic accident occur if you don't mind me asking?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "I did, and I don't like it any more than you do," replies the old priest with a characteristicly dour look. "It was along the outer wall, near the north side next to the moor. Can get a boy to go show you."
SOLAR CE’NEA: We would apprcieate that Father, perhaps we could go look now. I would also like to pay my respects at the palce my good friend the professor died.
DUNGEON MASTER: The wrinkled old priest calls over an alcolyte--just a boy, by the looks of him. He leads the characters out the door. On the way out, they pass a coin box with a slit large enough to admit one silver coin at a time.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Thank you Father for your help, I appreciate the service you did for the Professor, here is 2 silver to go towards the good work you do for the community.
DUNGEON MASTER: "Well then bless you," replies the old man, just a bit gruffly. "The coin box is over there."
DUNGEON MASTER: The boy leads the characters out of the temple, up to the road leading to the Restlands. As they enter, he makes a spiral motion over his heart and bids the party do the same.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar Respectfully follows the boys lead. Once they are clear from the priest, Solar Ask, "well my friend what is your name and what do you do here for Pharasia
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan accepts the protocol of the church boy without any further fuss, performing the appropriate hand signal before entering the Restlands.
DUNGEON MASTER: "The name's Eugen," he replies somewhat timidly.
DUNGEON MASTER: The boy proceeds to the northern edge of the cemetary, which looks out at the desolate moor. "We found him here, sirs," he says, pointing out a section of the wall where one of the regularly-positioned statues' heads has evidently broken and fallen to the ground.
SOLAR CE’NEA: It is a great privalige to serve such a wonderful God, I admire those that have the discipline to do so, I fear my wonderlust and desire for knowledge does not meld well with a religious life, but I have great respect that serve such an improtant fuction for the Community and her holiness Queen of the afterlife
DUNGEON MASTER: "Yes, sir. If you don't be needing me, I ought to return."
SOLAR CE’NEA: just before you go I was wondering if you Had met the Professor before his untimely death?
SOLAR CE’NEA: Sense motive 1d20+0=14
DUNGEON MASTER: "I'd seen him sir, but we did not never talk to one another."
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar notes that the boy seems humble and shy.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Where did you see him?
DUNGEON MASTER: "He came by our temple now and then. Everyone in the village does, Sir."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "You are a good lad, you best be heading back to the church. We will be paying our respects to the late Professor now," replies Johan.
DUNGEON MASTER: The boy hurries off, leaving the party alone in the quiet graveyard. A southerly wind blows down from the moor, laden with the scent of heather.
DUNGEON MASTER: [Perception, please.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Percpetion 1d20+0=17
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+6 = 18
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar finds some interesting text on the wall that has no significance to anyone other than his interest in knowledge and he forgets what he was there for briefly [perspection 1d20+0=1]
DUNGEON MASTER: The gargoyle-headed statues all stand about seven feet tall. They are interspersed along the ten-foot high wall at regular 50' intervals. While obviously quite old, they all seem fairly sturdy.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar looks for a way to get up to the Headless Gargoyle so he can check for damage caused to the Gargoyle
DUNGEON MASTER: The gargoyle statues all stand about 7' off the ground--without the head, the top of the broken statue is about at eye level.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar looks at the neck of the Gargoyle where the head fell off to look for signs of tampering or if the stone has fallen becasue of age deteration. Perception 1d20+0=16
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Let us see what we have here," Johan says as he inspects the condition of the broken section of the gargoyle's neck. He removes one of his leather gloves and runs his hand across the surface, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Perception check: 1d20+6 = 12
DUNGEON MASTER: Neither Solar nor Johan notices any unusual chips or markings marring the broken statue.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar tries to determine if magic was used to create the head to fall.
SOLAR CE’NEA: by using Detect magic
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan replaces his leather gloves as he shrugs his shoulders, "This gargoyle looks exactly as it should. Shall we make our way to the prison for a quick look around?"
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar detects no signs of magic.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes, I don't think we are going to find anything here. I ma still suspsious but we don't seem to be finding anything to suggest foul play.
DUNGEON MASTER: The morning is getting well on when the party decides to leave off investigating the graveyard and head back south towards the ruins of Harrowstone Prison. This reminder of Ravengro’s original purpose looms over the town from atop its bleak hilltop, a constant inspiration for tall tales and bad dreams. An overgrown track leads up from the village towards the ruins perched atop of the hill.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Johan Perhaps it would be good time to start looking for tracks to see if anyone else has been this way lately
DUNGEON MASTER: Harrowstone is located on a barren hill south of the city of Ravengro, the stark, sagging roof of its central structure visible through a large gap in the surrounding wall. A partially overgrown track leads from the southern edge of town, winding around the base of the hill and then back up along its southern slope to the prison itself.
SOLAR CE’NEA: WHile Johan is attempting to find Tracks Solar does his best to motice everything around him and identify possible dangers perception 1d20+0=19
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Never have I heard better advice. Especially considering the townsfolk shy away from this place given it's notorious history." Johan will study the track leading to the prison from the Restlands. Survival check (tracking): 1d20+7 = 18 (20 vs. Humans)
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan discovers no signs of recent travel between Ravengro and the old prison.
DUNGEON MASTER: For his part, Solar discovers no obvious signs of danger--although it does occur to him that the track is fully visible from the town below, and anyone who cares to look will be aware that the party has chosen to visit the old ruin.
*** DUNGEON MASTER sent IMG_21112011_220223.png,... ***
DUNGEON MASTER: A sagging wood and metal gate set between a pair of stone guard towers once barred entrance into Harrowstone, but the gates now hang negligently open, creaking softly in what wind touches the ruined bars.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perception 1d20=8
DUNGEON MASTER: The stone wall that surrounds most of the prison grounds is covered with creeping ivy.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan inspects the front gate for a moment, before walking into the open prison grounds closer towards what appears to be a tree in the courtyard.
DUNGEON MASTER: [Will save please Johan.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Will save: 1d20+2 = 21
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan experiences a sudden rush of claustrophobia and the split-second sensation that his skin is on fire.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan suddenly grasps at his face and neck in horror as he gasps for air.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "What the hell was that? Did you feel that too": Johan splutters as he regains his bearing.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Feel What? WHat just happened to you? was this like what happened at the restlands with the tombstone with my name on it?
SOLAR CE’NEA: Are you ok?
DUNGEON MASTER: The moment quickly passes, and Johan suffers no lasting ill-effects.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I don't know, I felt like my skin was burning for a second and then everything went black. This place gives me the creeps even more than the Restlands."
DUNGEON MASTER: At their side, Mesodias makes a sound in his throat that sounds a little bit like "aunt".
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan replies to Mesodias, "I here you buddy. We are here to help so why don't they keep to themselves and leave us be?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perhaps they are not good Haunts? Solar eyes the area nerviously
DUNGEON MASTER: The party proceeds forward along a broken flagstone path towards a gnarled old oak standing about midway between the gate and the entrance to the main complex.
To the west stands a small brick manor house overgrown with thick sheetsof gray-green ivy. The roof sags ominously, and the front door hangs askew.
To the north, a two-story stone building looms in the center of the prison grounds. Ivy and moss cling tenaciously to the walls, while above the wooden shingles of the roof are often missing entirely, exposing the wooden rafters of the upper structure to the sky. Here and there, leering stone gargoyles perch on the eaves, once functioning as drainspouts and decorations but now seeming almost to serve a more ominous role of sentinels. Many of these stone decorations have crumbled away and lie in ruined piles on the soggy ground below. Windows in the building’s facade are narrow and blocked by grills of rusty iron bars. Stone columns support a slumping wooden balcony over the building’s wooden front doors, both of which hang askew and reveal dark glimpses of chambers within.
SOLAR CE’NEA: "So Johan, what do you want to do? where should we start?" Solar asks
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Let's check out this smaller house (pointing to the west) before we explore the actual prision itself," replies Johan.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I'm not sure how safe these builds are so let's not be hasty or disturb things unecessarily," replies Johan.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar says' perhaps we could push against it, just to check it is stable?
DUNGEON MASTER: [Perception, please.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: perception 1d20+0=18
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+6 = 24
DUNGEON MASTER: While Solar pushes tenatively against the side of the house, Johan notices that the crumbling masonry is barely able to support the old roof, and that the entire structure is indeed in danger of collapse.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan places one hand apon Solar's shoulder, "Wait, look here and here, the masonry is unstable and might fall if we open the door any further."
SOLAR CE’NEA: "Can you see anything that can help reinforce the roof" Solar asks as he looks around for some strong wood or metal tht they can use to hold the roof up
DUNGEON MASTER: While the party pokes around the old structure, they notice a number of rats scurrying about a broken tower to the north.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan moves away while judging the integrity of the building, "I think it would be best if we leave this building for the time being."
SOLAR CE’NEA: I'll happily take your advice in this matter johan, where to next?
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar notices nothing nearby that is capable of propping up this old structure--in fact, he soon realizes that the whole house is so far gone that it would take a true genius to restore the building without first demolishing it.
DUNGEON MASTER: Other than the front door, the main complex has a couple of other obvious entrances:
To the east stands large pond of dark, muddy water spreading out along the eastern section of the prison grounds. Here and there, bits of ruined wall protrude from the water, and thick tangles of reeds and cattails grow along the muddy shores.
There are also a pair of ivy draped balconies to the east and the west of the main building.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Let's scare off those rodents, or put them down if they won't move along and check out the main building for clues," replies Johan.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Fair enough Solar says as he grabs and sets up his crossbow
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan prepares his bow, "Wise choice, pick a few of those filth buggers off from a distance first then cut them down."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I hate rats, no good for cooking and their hide is useless or disease ridden at best."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Aside from my crossbow all I have is my dagger and I don't think wasting my spells on rats is a good idea, however it depends how thigs turns out doesn't it
DUNGEON MASTER: The old stone tower, its wooden roof collapsed and its crumbling walls thick with ivy, extends ten feet above the twenty foot-high wall. Several dirty, bedraggled rats scurry about outside, and a dozen more eyes watch from within the broken structure.
DUNGEON MASTER: [Perception, please.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perception 1d20+0=5
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+6 = 23
DUNGEON MASTER: As he turns his attention to the tower, Johan realizes that instead of the few scattered squeaks of a few lonly scavengers, what he hears-dimly-is the screeches of hundreds and hundreds of the filthy creatures.
DUNGEON MASTER: [The tower is currently about 100' away.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Gorum protect us! Let's get out of here for the time being. There are too many rats in there for us to deal with arrows and steel."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "What the hell have they been eating to get to such large numbers?" Knowledge (nature): 1d20+4 = 13
SOLAR CE’NEA: Again I'll happily follow your lead, but do know that I can emit a scream that can daze animals and also cause them harm
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "There are hundreds of rats in there fro the sounds of it, unless this is another haunt trying to keep us out?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: hmm perhaps we should leave them be, I don't think it is a haunt becasue I see them too, I don't know much about haunts but you have seen the last too by yourself, I can see these ones.
DUNGEON MASTER: [Johan knows that rats will eat absolutely anything they can get their filthy jaws on. Apparently, there is enough scavenge around this ruined prison to support a small colony of the creatures.]