The Lorrimor Legacy

18: Mystery of the Black Goat!
Journey to Lepidstadt

Aaron, Variel & Narsius awake to find their companions missing. The Innkeeper Toven Grimm claims they checked out at the crack of dawn, before they arose. Taking him at his word, they check out themselves and head out of town to the Crooken Kin’s campsite, where they discover their comrades never arrived.

Heading back, they spend much of the day scouring the city for their friends. Nisca they find about lunchtime, shopping in one of Tamrivena’s better clothiers. She hasn’t seen the others, however, and joins in their search. Though they come across many rumors of disapearences, most attribute them to Orc spies or raiders. Their best lead, however, comes from an old Scarzi out in the slums, who claims his daughter was kidnapped and brainwashed, and is now working in the Black Goat as a mindless barmaid!

Late in the day, as they are traveling back to the Black Goat, they are ambushed by three assailants who prove to be none other than Auric, Versithe & Ozric! The three prove no match for their former friends though, confused as they are, and the gang manages to disable their misled allies and take them prisoner. Dragging them back to the Crooked Kin’s camp where they can be tended to and watched over. The three seem to be suffering from some sort of madness or enchantment, mumbling about “He who sleeps in Darkness” over and over.

Now night, the gang heads back again to the Inn, where they find the place bustling as Selros the Black performs his tricks on-stage. When the magician asks for a volunteer, Narsius steps up, and the Selros closes him up in a box, from which he shortly vanishes! The rest of the gang charges the stage, demanding to know where their friend went, but before Selros can even answer, Aaron’s old rival the Phase Spider makes a surprise appearance! Pandemonium erupts in the Black Goat!

Selros quickly casts a spell, filling the stage and surrounding area with a thick mist, allowing him to slip from view. Aaron too disappears, whisked away to a private duel with his rival on the Ethereal Plane. Nisca & Variel climb onstage & manage to find a trap door, from which they spot Narsius fighting off three mechanical men (and winning)! The two provide supportive fire that helps Narsius fell them before dropping down themselves.

Meanwhile, Aaron finds himself fighting for his life against the amorous “Feaster in Watery Shadows,” who still hungers for his flesh (to plant her babies in, she claims)! Although poisoned and trapped on another plane, he still manages to defeat her and force her to return him to the Physical world, where he quickly rejoins his comrades in the caverns bellow the Black Goat.

Working their way through a series of secret doors, they eventually find a large cavern containing a glowing circle etched in Aklo runes, encircling an eye, and beyond, a black pillar covered in hieroglyphs. They are interrupted in their investigations by setting off a dart-trap, however, which doesn’t do them much injury, but does heighten their caution. They are also surprised to discover a rather confused Ursus stumbling out of a nearby tunnel. He tells them of how he too was ambushed when he came to meet them this morning, and only awoke when he heard them working their way through the caves.

Together they continue on exploring first a moist set of caves containing an underground river and a strange glowing pool, before heading don another tunnel containing ancient stairs leading deeper under the earth. The stairwell opens up to a small chamber lit with ever-burning torches, showing two doors and a hallway leading off to a large, vaulted chamber.

Strolling in to take a peak, Aaron & Nisca find a dark pit surrounded by more walls covered in hieroglyphs. A voice speaks in Aaron’s mind, asking “are you here to free me?” As Aaron converses with the voice, he soon senses great evil from the shadowy pit. But by then it’s too late! He and Nisca find themselves increasingly confused, leading the entire gang quickly into a frightful battle with the Sleeper in Darkness as they try to rescue their friends, as each in turn also find themselves on the precipice of madness. Though Nisca falls under the creature’s sway & shoves Narsius into the pit, and Ursus begins wildly swinging at the bevy of mind-controlled barmaids while he himself struggles with the mind-numbing confusion (slashing at the very girl they’d be asked to save!), Aaron, Variel & Narsius (when his head is clear enough) all manage to bring the Sleeper low.

After digging Narsius out from under the monster’s corpse, they manage to save the lives of all those they’d fought that had been in the Thing’s thrall. Selros tells them of how they’d stumbled across it while doing renovations to the Inn, and promises them a big reward for their help breaking it’s spell. The gang turns to explore the two unopened doors before they head back up, discovering an unholy chapel. After desecrating(?) the font of unholy water, they find a tome made of black metal plates writen in ancient Aklo, the same foul language used elsewhere in the caverns. They decide to keep the book, in hopes someone at the University of Lepidstadt might pay well for it.

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17: On the road again...
Journey to Lepidstadt

As they are setting up camp with the Crooked Kin, Variel(having finished his Atonement at Soldier’s Rest, Tamrevena’s temple) arrives – causing a bit of a stir with his elk-skull helm. To distract and comfort the mourners, Auric recites a grim poem, which does little to cheer them, but does prove his skill and shows that he too is a tortured soul.

In the wee hours of the morning the camp is attacked by a swarm of Bats which Ozric& Aaronfail to drive off. After waking practically everyone in camp with Ozric’s gunfire & Aaron’s blowing of the signal horn, they are joined by several of the swifter-waking members of their gang. Variel, Ozric & Auric manage to do some damage with impromptu flaming oil-flasks (damaging Aaron, Ozric & Niscain the process), while Nisca finishes them off with a loaded Haunt Siphon.

The following morning they set off for Tamrevena. While scouting ahead as an advance party, Variel, Versithe, Aaron, Auric, Nisca, Narsius& Ozric have a run in with a hungry Dire Wolf. Though it puts up a good fight, it proves far less of a hazard than the Bats. The beast dispatched in short order, they leave it’s remains for the Crooked Kin to deal with.

They reach Tamrivena that afternoon, first leaving offerings & seeing to it the pinhead Aleece is buried good and proper at Soldier’s Rest before parting ways with the Crooked Kin (who choose to camp outside the city walls rather than subject themselves to the city authority’s scrutiny). The Heros of Harrowstone continue on into the main city to sell goods, resupply, and seek an Inn for the night. The Inn they find is called the Black Goat, a popular – if peculiar – place. While Aaron, Ozric, Narsius & Versithe all choose to share costs for the “Adventurer’s suite,” Nisca chooses to take a private room nearby, leaving Variel & Auric to rent cots in the common room. THey are all amazed (Ozric especially) by Hourhazred, the clockwork automiton maid that tends the upstairs rooms, while Nisca and Narsius happily spend a little extra for private baths in their own rooms.

Auric lounges in the taproom watching Sedros the Black’s magic show on stage, chatting with the Innkeeper Toven Grimm, and noting the strange insect-like efficiency with which the staff performs their duties. As the rest of the gang beds down for the night, he lingers to chat with the stage-magician after his show…

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16: One of our Pin-heads is missing!
Journey to Lepidstadt

The Heroes of Harrowstone find their associate Ozric amongst the dozen strangers that make up the “Crooked Kin” traveling freak show. Ozric introduces them to his new friend, Auric Svalan, a depressed storyteller and former advisory to the lord of Clover’s Crossing (a ghost town since being overrun by Ghouls) he’d met in Tamrivena. As Variel was still finishing up his atonement in that city, Ozric thought he’d meet them en-route, and his new pal decided to accompany him. Approaching the Kin, they find the freakish performers quite distraught. Their Ringmaster, Kaleb Hesse, steps up to grandly inform them that one of their number stepped away to look about the nearby woods, but never came back. One of the Pin-heads, Aleece, has been missing now for hours, and the Freaks haven’t been able to resolve how they should search for her. Given it is so dangerous in these parts, he offers the Heroes a magical dagger given him by the court of the Prince of Ustalav if they will go and search for her.

After some internal debate, the group eventually is won over by Aaron’s heroic instances and agree to help. Leaving Ursus behind to protect the Freaks, the group follow Aleece’s trail, eventually leading them down into a small river valley and a bog. After milling about having lost the trail, they hear a woman’s scream, and charge into a clearing where they are ambushed by a Phase Spider. Hit-and-run tactics work well in it’s favor, as it skips in and out of the Etherial plane, managing to poison half the party *(nearly killing Auric and Varsithe) before they do it enough injury to force it to flee.

After taking a breather and using some magic to recover, they search the clearing, finding not only Aleece’s corpse, but an assortment of valuables once owned by the Phase Spider’s other victims. Returning to the caravan, they give Aleece’s body to her grief-stricken sisters and accept Kaleb’s reward. Kaleb then persuades the heroes to escort them to Lepidstadt (they are traveling there to perform for the crowds gathering there in anticipation of the execution of the legendary Beast of Lepidstadt), an arrangement some in the party are quite reluctent to agree to.

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15: Mother May I?
Journey to Lepidstadt

Two weeks pass swiftly, as the gang prepare to leave for Lepidstadt. Variel leaves early to handle business in Tamrimvena, accompanied by Ozric on the assumption it’d be best not to travel alone. Ursus finds himself fought over by the 5 Avanaki sisters, who stitch a map into his cloak so he can find his way back to them. Varsithe wears out his welcome by womanising at the Laughing Demon using a variety of disguises, while Nisca finds herself with a band of followers made up of former deputies tired of working in a backwater like Ravengro (they agree to follow the main party to Leidstadt in a few days, once Kendra has finished wrapping up her affairs – she still wants to help them find her father’s killers, after all).

Well supplied & with the well-wishes of a thankful towm, the Heroes of Harrowstone set up along the Old Mountain road on the 1st of Desnus, reaching Bleakwall by nightfall. Nisca suggests (somewhat reluctantly) that they might do better to seek haven at her mother’s castle (the ill-reputed ruin of Castle Andatchi, no less) than camping on the boarder of Belkzin, kingdom of the Orcs. They arive as dusk settles, and are challenged at the gate by surly guards who rapidly change their tune when they find Nisca with them. Once inside they meet George the Hunchback, who tends to their horses before leading them inside.

In the great hall they are introduced to Nisca’s mother, the frightening yet beautiful Anca, who provides them with a sumptuous feast (one she does not participate in, merely watches). Narsius figures out quickly she is a Vampire, and shortly thereafter both discern they share a burning hatred of the Whispering Way.

Bedding down for the night while Anca excuses herself to tend to some “rabbits in the garden,” Aaron later awakes to the distant sounds of screaming along the road. Marshaling Nisca, Narsius & Varsithe out of bed, the four slip out of the castle using a secret exit known to Nisca, & head for the disturbance. They soon find a large war-band of Orcs fighting some unseen force. Taking pot-shots and dropping one, however, changes the focus of the war-band (who would much rather fight a foe they can SEE), who proceed to charge. While Aaron meets their charge head on, and Varsithe & Narsius support as bet they can with missiles & magic, it is Nisca drawing herself up to threaten them that really seems to stop them dead in their tracks, cowering or falling back for a moment – pausing them long enough that most are caught in a fireball released by their invisible menace. The survivors are quickly mopped up, caught between enemies on both sides.

Afterwards the invisible ally reveals herself as their hostess Anca, doing her part for the defense of Ustalav. After traveling back to the castle she apologizes for not being able to see them off in the morning and takes her leave, while Nisca notes her adopted sister still seems intent on her death. Day comes soon, and they set off for another uneventful day of travel, at least until late afternoon, when the come across a strange carnival…

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14: Last Gasp in Harrowstone!
The Haunting of Harrowstone

A fierce battle commences as the gang fights for their lives. The Splatter Man summons Dire Rats to hazard them as Variel lunges across the room to dig through the rubble for his bow and ready a ghost-touch arrow. Versithe draws first blood with one of his magical crossbow bolts, but the Splatter Man retaliates with hitting them all with emerald darts of force. Poor Ursus, Nisca & Aaron miss the battle, the former for being unconscious, the latter two for taking too long racing to join the fight.

Kendra holds up the Splatter Man’s spell-book & proceeds to start ripping pages out of it; for each page destroyed the ghost gives out a screech. Meanwhile, Variel & Versithe continue to pelt the Splatter Man with missiles. Even so, the angry ghost manages to hit them with more of his own emerald mystical shots, causing Versithe to fall (at least until Ozric hustles over to pour a potion down his throat and get him back into the fight). Narsius tries, and fails, to bring the ghost under his power, but the combined artillery of Variel & Versithe seems to do the trick, as before the Splatter Man can finally lay hands on the archers, he falls to Variel’s last, well-placed arrow!

While the gang is taking stock of their injuries and lost resources (mainly the majority of magical ammo & a flaming skeleton), Narsius sends his ectoplasmic minions down the water-filled Oubliette to find what may be found. It returns with a sword, dagger & ring. The sword & ring prove to be magical, while the dagger is made of mythral – after some discussion, the sword is given to Nisca and the Ring (which has protective qualities) is passed on to Aaron.

Regrouping, they decide to return to town for healing, rest & resupplying. The following morning Aaron retrieves his Greatsword from the smithy (now that it is finally repaired), before rejoining Ursus, Variel, Versithe & Narsius in heading back for a final run in Harrowstone to find and face the Lopper (Kendra still recovering from the ordeal the previous day remains behind with Nisca).

Back in the central hall of the basement, they head for the Oubliette, ut are blocked by a headless, burning skeleton with an axe to grind. Though it proves resistant to Narsius’ influence, it can’t stand up to the combined force the rest of the gang can bring to bear, and quickly falls.

Moving cautiously into the Oubliette cell-block proper, they are still caught off-guard when the Lopper pops out through the grating in the center of the chamber and gives Ursus a whack with his axe. After he next gives a bloody blow to Versithe the gang realizes that the more they bleed, the more he heals, so Ozric & Narsius commit themselves to staunching and healing their allies while they fight. Luck is with them, however, as the Lopper stumbles after missing badly, leaving himself wide-open, a fact most everyone is ready to take advantage of. After being hit hard by the party’s combined artillery (magical, missile & otherwise), the Lopper narrowly escapes by slipping through a wall to recover briefly before leaping out again at Ursus, only to fall to the barrage of magical arrows, bolts, spells & holy water readied by the expectant company.

Triumphant, the troupe sends a willing Versithe down to search the Lopper’s Oubliette to gather his loot before heading back to meet with the Warden’s wife. An overjoyed Vesoronnia receives her husband’s badge of office, using it to cleanse the entirety of Harrowstone of its’ hauntings before giving it to Narsius with newly granted magical powers against the undead and herself ascending to her eternal rest.

After they return to Ravengro word of their success quickly spreads. Once healed at the church and having received their promised reward from the town council, the townsfolk gather to give them an additional bonus, along with free rooms at the inn, free drinks at the tavern, and a general good will that promises to make their remaining weeks in Ravengro pleasant ones!

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11: A new face
The Haunting of Harrowstone

4/11/4712

Back at Lorrimor House, they find Varsithe, an Ulfen mercenary formerly of the Professor’s employ, sitting on the doorstep. Varsithe was also invited to the funeral, but was delayed. After introductions and an update as to what he has missed, he readily agrees to join in cleaning up the mess up at Harrowstone and the transport of the Professor’s overdue library books.

4/12/4712

The following morning they head up to hit the prison again. Leaving Kendra outside with Ursus & Ozric, a team consisting of Nisca, Narsius, Aaron, Variel and newcomer Varsithe head inside. Squeeking past the luminous Orbs that menace them as they enter, Vaeiel & Varsithe manage to pick the lock on the Warden’s safe and safely recover the Prison’s payroll (500gp), as well as a handful of healing potions.

Continuing to explore, they find stairs going down (blocked by rubble), stairs going up, a broom-closet, the latrines, a chapel (where they are ambushed by otherwise outclassed Crab-spiders), and an Induction chamber (where Variel overcomes a feeling of melancholy and shatters animate manacles with a well-placed arrow).

They eventually head back to the infirmary and their old foe the Poltergeist. This time prepared, Narsius uses the scroll purchased at the Unfurled Scroll to see that which cannot be seen and as soon as the spirit makes its’ move, hits it with his dirge of the dead, cajoling it in the tongue of the dead to parlay. Now watched over by their new friend, they strip the Infirmary of useful magical & alchemical potions & supplies.

Accosted by the Orbs on their way out, Narsius & Varsithe are driven into full-blown panic for a few minutes. Once recovered & rejoined by the rest of their team, they head back to the broken lift, and Vesithe sets his grappling hook in a secure spot so they may all begin rappelling down into the darkness of the prison bellow…

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10: Vesorianna
The Haunting of Harrowstone

4/10/4712 (continued)

The phantom vanishes, growling in an inhuman voice as things start flying about the Infirmary. Kendra, feeling faint, is hustled outside by Ursus & Aaron, leaving Narsius & Nisca to deal with the increasingly threatening poltergeist. With knives and other random debris flinging themselves at them they rush to join the others in the prison yard. As they turn back the doors swing shut as an inhuman voice shouts “AND STAY OUT!”

Injured and stressed, the heroes stumble back to town for a bit of lunch and for some a visit to Father Grimburrow for healing and advice. While Ursus trains behind the Lorrimor house, Nisca and Ozric hunt for more information amongst the Town Hall records in search of details they may have missed, wondering why the locals didn’t properly inter the dead and clear the place 50 years ago, amongst other things. The answer is the confusion caused by the Palatinate revolution a little over 30 years before. Variel asks Father Grimburrow if he knows of any temples dedicated to Erastil in the region and is told of Soldier’s Rest a church of Pharasma that also keeps shrines dedicated to a half-dozen warrior gods (including Erastil). He can find it up in Tamrivena, a city up near the north border of Canterwall. Variel also meets with Alendro the Wizard, proprietor and teacher of the Unfurling Scroll, who agrees to sell him a scroll of See Invisibility.

4/11/4712

The next morning Ursus, Narsius, Nisca, Ozric and Variel head back up to search the area past the offices. They find the Warden’s Office very peaceful, as well as containing a locked safe (but no key!). Their first attempt to use the Planchette fails completely, leading them to suspect this may be a “safe” area, thanks to the Warden’s former occupancy. The hallway outside proves less so, when their second attempt in asking “How do we stop the Splatter Man?” is answered with another question, “HOW-DO-YOU-SPELL-YOUR-NAME?”

They head back through the central hall and around through a door to the left, leading them to a nest of corridors and more rooms. In the first room they explore they are attacked (and in Nisca’s case, injured) by flying red-hot pokers. This proves too much for Nisca who, despite being healed by Narsius, chooses to retreat to the safety of Lorrimor House to nurse her burns (and her pride).

The next chamber they check out proves to be a washroom, where they are surprised and terrified by the sudden appearance of a ghostly maiden. The phantom makes no hostile moves, however, instead pleading for their help. After taking a few moments to regain their composure, they settle down to take in what she has to say. She introduces herself as Vesorianna, the warden’s wife, and she has been all that holds the Five (and, really, all the prisoners of Harrowstone) in check until now. Until a few weeks ago, her husband, trapped bellow in the Dungeon, had kept the haunts here in check. But then Black-robed cultists (whom the party surmises must be agents of the Whispering Way) arrived and performed some sort of ritual around the base of the prison, and she hasn’t felt her husband’s presence since. It was also during this time she witnessed them murder Professor Lorrimor for spying on them, using masonry to crush his head while they held him down to make it look like an accident.

Ever since the haunts have been restless. Though she has done what she can to help the party by suppressing the Piper and Father Charlatan after their defeats from manifesting again, she still feels their powers growing, while hers grow ever weaker. The Splatter Man’s use of Gibs is brought up and she explains that if her name is completed, she will be destroyed and all the ghosts of Harrowstone will be set free to ravage Ravengro (and beyond). There is still hope however! If they can beat the other three most infamous prisoners, she can suppress them, and if they can find and bring her her husband’s Badge of Office, she can cleanse the entire prison of it’s supernatural presence, and at last can rest. If they seek tools to help them in this quest, she points out that the tools of the Five are still in the Property Room in the South-Eastern corner of the Prison, beyond the Iron door.

An alliance in place, the heroes push on through a hidden panel they found to a laundry room, where they spot something rustling under a pile of rotted clothing. Investigation results in a surprise attack by a straitjacket with a will of its’ own. Ursus is so terrified by the animate clothing he flees out into the darkened halls to later be found sitting insensate in a fetal stupor, leaving Ozric and Variel to slash and cut at the thing as it grabs and nearly crushes Narsius to death. Once Narsius is freed and stabilized, they decide a retreat is in order, half-carrying him and Ursus back to town for healing at the Church and lunch at Lorrimor house.

Recovered (and rejoined by Kendra), they head back up to Harrowshire. They get no further than the entrance, however, when they are startled (some more than others) by glowing orbs that flit in and out of existence around them. Swiftly retreating in a (mostly) organized fashion to the Warden’s Office they wrestle for a while with the Warden’s Safe using the crowbar they brought back up with them. They stop after they hear something crash and tinkle about within, while still proving unable to get it open.

Hustling past the strange orbs they return to the Iron door where they prove to have much better success with their crowbar and Ursus’ muscles. Within the Property room they find many pieces of masterwork gear and weapons, some very nice pieces of art and jewelry, and even a magic wand, but not the tools they seek. It isn’t until Ozric spots a secret door that they find the hidden vault containing the five objects precious to the most notorious of the prisoners:

  • The Lopper’s Axe (taken by Ursus),
  • the Splatterman’s Spellbook (claimed by Kendra),
  • the Mosswood Marauder’s Hammer (picked up by Varael),
  • leaving the Piper’s Flute & Father Charlatan’s collection of Holy Symbols (both shoved into a sack by Ozric).

Feeling like they’ve achieved enough for the day (and with night fast approaching) they take their loot and head back down the hill.

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9: Tormented Souls
The Haunting of Harrowstone

4/9/4712

With Ozric still out of it from blood loss and his experience with Father Charlatan, the group decides to spend the next day doing research at the Ravengro Town Hall while he recuperates. Aaron discovers much of the tragic story behind the Mosswood Marauder, while Niscaand Narsiusdiscover nothing new on either Father Charlatan or Vesorianna.

Meanwhile Varielwanders about town to do a little shopping and gets to know both Jorfa the Smith and The Avanaki family that run the General Store. That night though, Varielfall prey to a terrifying nightmare wherein he is a prisoner up at Harrowstone, trapped watching in his cell as his name appears in blood above his bed. Waking, he discusses the event with Narsiusand the others, who in turn point out that while the rest may have been a dream, someone has still written his name in blood above his bed.

4/10/4712

The following morning Narsius, Nisca, Aaron, Variel, Kendra, Ozricand (a little later) Ursusbegin a search of the eastern side of the main floor of Harrowstone Prison. In the auditorium they note a heavy, locked metal door behind the caged area that proves too hard to bypass. Passing through the main hall towards another exit however sets off a cold spot that both frightens and freezes them, scattering them across the room. Unable to figure out how to disrupt the haunt, they flee quickly to the next chamber.

Here they find the remains of a training area, the far end of the room (and prison) collapsed into the lake. In the heart of the room a charred hole to the lower levels, all that remains of the old lift, beckons. As Ozricmoves up to investigate though three skulls float up, catch fire and attack! They prove little threat though, falling swiftly to Ozric‘s bullets, Variel’s arrows and Aaron’s scythe. Narsiuscomplains bitterly about not having a chance to bend them to his will.

Turning northward to the next room (also partially in ruins and falling into the lake), they are quite startled by an oven that seems to come to life, transforming into a giant metal skull with flame inside its’ mouth. Though impervious to blade or bullet, spells and a haunt siphon prove to do the trick in dispelling it before any harm is done. Sifting through the ashes inside they find a set of charred bones still hot to the touch. Removing them gingerly they experiment to see if the bones might counteract the cold spot in the Auditorium (it doesn’t). Finally they remember the Bronze Planchette and use it to try speaking with the bones of the owner on how to put him to rest. After the Planchette spells out “W-A-T-E-R” they take the bones to the lake’s edge, tossing them in and hoping for the best.

Continuing on, they find the old prison infirmary, but before they can adequately search the room they are ambushed by a horrifying apparition. Its’ awful screams prove too much for Varieland Ozric, who run in terror as quick as they can, only stopping outside to babble incoherently at each-other. Narsiusreaches out and in the tongue of the dead calls out “parlay!” That brings it to pause and consider the white necromancer long enough that it reveals that it is a manifestation of all the pain and anger of all the prisoners who suffered in this place, and that it cannot rest as long as the “Five roam free!”

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8: Father Charlitan
The Haunting of Harrowstone

Next morning our heroes consider their next action, eventually choosing to go along with Ozric’s suggestion to use the Bronze Planchette to seek answers from the spirits as to who released the Five Prisoners causing so much trouble now. The answer is surprising – Vesorianna, wife of the Warden?

After lunch Ozric, along with Nisca, Narsius, Aaron & Kendra, head up to the Prison to finish their exploration of the upper floor (and perhaps discover if the Piper of Illmarsh is still lurking around). Searching through previously explored territory reveals nothing new (though Ozric swears he thought he heard music, and singing…); pressing further they find in one of the larger cells a skeleton weighted down with heavy chains, each bearing a different holy symbol. Another room proves to be a badly fire-damaged kitchen. In one of the further cells they are ambushed by a pair of irate crab spiders who prove particularly underwhelming. As they turn they are confronted by an ominous archer with, apparently, a stag’s skull or a head. Before things can get out of hand, Variel Forestwalker removes his strange helmet and offers his aid. He had been passing through town when he heard all the frightful rumors of this place and heard that our heroes were the ones to seek out if he wished to lend a hand. With Variel in tow they are also soon joined by Ursus, who was running a bit late.

Climbing a ladder they fond in one of the cells, they step out of a rubble-strewn chamber to enjoy the view of the highest balcony of the Prison. Ozric lingers behind to poke through the rubble inside the tower, only to be ambushed by an exceedingly large and cranky Stirge. Though the blood-sucker is swiftly dispatched, it still manages to injure Ozric, who in turn falls into a mysterious swoon. As the party watch in horror his body becomes bound with phantom chains that writhe and constrict his unconscious form. Not knowing what else to do, they pick him up and head for the exit.

Ozric awakes to discover he is being tended to by an unfamiliar red-headed priest at the Church of Pharasma. He has just been raised from the dead, states the priest. Apparently the Stirge killed him months ago, and his associates left him at the Temple for burial. They failed to stop the haunting, instead leaving town after Kendra too had died to finish their other task, to return the books the Professor had left them to Lepidstadt. The good father had seen fit to return him to life because Pharasma had given him the word that “death follows in his wake.”

After wandering about Ravengro -almost a ghost-town by this point – he shoulders his back and quietly leaves town to follow his friends north. After some harrowing encounters on the road with a floating giant head, bigoted guards in a city along the way, and a spooky traveling carnival, he reaches Lepidstadt to find his friends already dead, having been caught inbetween the Beast of Lepidstadt and an angry mob. Revenge in his heart, Ozric asks about for allies to go hunt the monster.

A doctor wearing a plague-mask entreats him into an alleyway to discuss how he might help, only to stab him. With his blood the Doctor begins writing his name on the ally wall. Ozric manages to yank the mask off, revealing the face of the red-headed priest… just as he awakes, just outside of the prison as his friends are carrying him back to town to see if the priest cant save him. The haunting of Ozric dispelled, they decide it is still a good plan to visit Father Grimbrow just in case.

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7: Fear the Fire!
The Haunting of Harrowstone

That evening Nesca, Narsius, Beja, Ursus & Arron attend the Ravengro emergency Town-hall meeting to discuss the recent rash of hauntings, Gibs’ arrest for the local vandalism, and to address the town’s rising concerns. But while Aaron and Nesca are in front of the crowd, the oil-lamps flair up and set the building on fire!

While Aaron directs the panicking crowd to calmly exit the building through the front doors, the rest f the gang set about either following Kendra’s example to stomp out the fire with their cloaks or help those caught in the flames. But trouble is doubled when a pair of flaming skulls burst in through the windows – though they swiftly fall under Narsius’ sway and soon dunks the in the river. With much effort the gang rallies and puts the fire out – help from the crowd via the bucket brigade Narsius calls for proves invaluable on that front.

With the crisis averted, a thankful town counsel offers 500gp per party-member if the gang can break the haunting curse of Harrowstone Prison and thus free Ravengro from its’ current predicament. Narsius leads the flying skulls back to the church of Pharasma & asks for their aid in disposing of them (and seeing them properly buried in the Restlands) – a task Father Grimbrow not only agrees to, but is further told if he or his comrades ever need healing, they shouldn’t hesitate to call upon the church for aid. The Sheriff (and others in town) all seem fairly liberal in their offers of aid.

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