Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Carrion Crown - Part 6

Session 6: Harrowstone (7th November 2012)

The Pathfinders
Kazimir – Elf Fighter
Moebius – Elf Conjurer
Nicolai Alamrys – Human Rogue
Tomas – Cleric (absent)
Zef – Human Ranger

(Note to Matt – 1250 Xp was awarded this week)

From the Diary of Nicolai Alamrys (Day 9 – afternoon)

We left Tomas in the chapel of Pharasma to carry on re-sanctifying it. The rest of us headed towards the end of the corridor after a brief spot of lunch to keep up our flagging energy levels. The room beyond the door was triangular in shape and appeared to all intents and purposes to be a branding room. Scattered over the floor were a multitude of branding irons with hand etched serial numbers, and a large brazier turned upon its side. We (Kazimir, Moebius and I) began to poke around the debris with our boots until Moebius and I started to smell burning flesh. When we looked up and mentioned this to Zef, four of the iron rods lifted from the floor. The tips of the brands started to glow red hot. I knew Tomas had a bucket of water on the go to aid in his cleaning of the chapel, so I swiftly ran to grab it. In the meantime, all I could hear were incantations, and grunts and cries of pain emanating from the room until my return. It appeared that the situation was under control when I returned just a few seconds later, but both Zef and Moebius had been badly burned by the branding rods. As soon as they saw the bucket of water they thrust the rods into it, quenching the fire upon them immediately.

Just as the last hisses of steam were dissipating, we noticed that Kazimir had joined us – Kendra had got sick of him moping around the place and she requested that he go join his companions and earn his keep. He mentioned that he had passed Tomas going in the other direction on his way up to the prison, and said that Kendra needed a new bodyguard whilst he was away, but the cleric was rather uncommunicative an donly grunted in response.

The Warden’s Wife

We collected our wits and moved out of the branding room to the next door along the wall. This door popped open with the minimum of effort from Kazimir and we all entered. We could see a room full of sewing paraphernalia and the skeleton of someone at the far end of the room. I also happened to notice a door to the right of us hidden behind a few drapes that partially obscured it. Before we could investigate further, an apparition appeared before us. The blue woman wept continuously, but managed to ask us if we were the new guards. We answered in the negative but mentioned that we were here to cleanse the prison of evil. We managed to question the shade of the prison warden’s wife further for the following information…

  • There are five items in the lock-up that can be used against the five most evil prisoners; those that Moebius had garnered the names of earlier
  • She declared that she is the new warden now that her husband is dead, but her time is limited
  • The Whispering Way cultists arrived and set about casting a ritual
  • They murdered the professor and wrote the incantation around the prison that we saw on the way in
  • The Splatter Man is daubing the statue in town – when her name is spelt out, she will cease to exist and the five prisoners will be free to leave the prison
  • The cultist’s leader is a thin grey-skinned humanoid with a bone breast plate, and a dark staff with a gagged skull upon it
We thanked her for her aid and advice and made our way through the semi-secret portal I had spotted earlier, perhaps there were more secrets to be found through here we thought at the time, or why else try to conceal the door?

The Laundry Room

The next chamber revealed itself as a laundry room; clothing and linen was scattered all over the floor and a constantly running drain led to the cess pit we had noticed outside earlier.

I began to prod around the piles of linen with my rapier until the clothing started to move of its own volition. I jumped back in fright as an animated leather strait jacket arose from the laundry pile. Zef managed to grab hold of the jerkin whilst Kazimir and I proceeded to rip it to shreds using our swords; the remnants being finished off with one of Moebius’ rays of acid.

Luckily no-one was hurt in this encounter, although Zef did get embraced by the jacket at one point. Zef and Moebius were still nursing severe burns from those branding irons, so it was a good thing that this animated item was put down so quickly.

Other than the iron door situated way back past the vestibule, we only had one more door to search behind on the ground level of the prison. As it was getting late, we decided to try the door and then head back for some well earned rest, and to try to get those injured tended to.

The Poltergeist

As soon as the door to this room opened we were faced with a haunting apparition. I tried to throw some Holy Water at it, but its fearsome visage made me drop the missile in fright. At this point, the ghostly apparition let out the most horrendous scream which caused Zef and me to immediately take flight in fear of our souls, closely followed by Kazimir. A rather shocked Moebius then brought up the rear, muttering something about who was supposed to the brave ones.

Our fear had run its course by the time we got back to the vestibule, so we stopped to take stock of our position. None of us were harmed and the ghost had decided not to follow us. Looking out of the door we noticed that the evening was drawing in, so we decided to call it a day. I just made a quick detour to the steel door to check out its lock. It looked way beyond my skill to attempt to unpick.

Gibbs Strikes Back (Day 9 – early evening)

We headed back to town; Kazimir and I visited the statue, and Zef and Moebius went via Father Grimburrow’s office to see if he could alleviate their suffering with a bit of ecclesiastical jiggery-pokery. He healed the worst of their wounds, but at the cost of them both attending service the following morning. Moebius was not too happy as he had things he wanted to study, but Zef was beginning to like this god Pharasma; she and the ranger have a lot of things in common. I see a full blown conversion coming on with him.

Kazimir and I set up watch on the statue, me near to it with the horn at hand, and Kazimir close by to give heavy support if needed. Towards the end of my shift, I spotted a person in nightgown and sleeping hat approach the statue with a struggling dog in one hand and a rather large razor in the other. I aimed up with my trusty crossbow and let loose just as the perpetrator was about to start his grizzly ritual by slitting the dog’s throat. The quarrel flew true and stuck fast in the man’s shoulder causing him to drop the dog, which ran off yelping. I blew on the horn, to summon Kazimir to my side. He proceeded to swipe the villain off of his feet with the handle of his glaive, but before he could deliver a coup de grace I stopped him and cautioned it may be best to take the dauber alive. Kazimir delivered a very well aimed blow that knocked the person senseless. When we discovered who it was, we were shocked to find out the night prowler was none other than Gibbs; Zef’s mortal enemy.

A second wind of the horn brought forth the townsfolk from the Laughing Demon. Amongst them was the sheriff who, seeing the situation for what it was proceeded to arrest Gibbs and drag him off to the gaol.

The Ouija Board (Day 10)

We rested up for the rest of the night, all of us having a good sleep, and awoke early. Zef and Moebius headed off to the 6 o’clock service whilst Kazimir and I paid a visit to the sheriff’s office. We didn’t manage to get much out of Gibbs other than he was ‘sleepwalking’.

The sheriff was to head off to Gibbs’ house to see what he could find so we asked to accompany him. He agreed to this and on our way we bumped into the others. We all arrived at Gibbs’ house and entered his main living room where we saw a message daubed in rabbits’ blood on the wall (we know it was rabbit’s blood because of the two tiny corpses left lying in the middle of the floor. The message stated, “You shall not prevent our escape”.

Zef wanted to get to the bottom of this now by any means possible, so he produced the ouija board he had been carrying around with him since breakfast. He set it up, placed his fingers on the main mat and promptly stood up. He made for the rabbits, put his fingers into the blood and began to daub a fresh message on the wall, “The woman will die again”. He then returned to his seated position and came back to himself.

Wondering if there was some other kind of spirit channel in the room, Moebius cast a small spell and realised there was a faint emanation of magic coming from a water skin that was once filled with blood (we could see the dried stains of it around the mouth of the skin).

We all made our excuses then and left the sheriff to his investigations; Zef and I popped off to see Father Grimburrow on how to use those Haunt Siphons, and Moebius and Kazimir went to the Unfurled Scroll to purchase a Knock spell scroll. We managed to get Father to empty one siphon for us with the promise of returning another soul for him to send on its way to Pharasma. We agreed and met up with the others on the road leading to the prison.

Back to the Poltergeist

We made our way straight back to the room containing the phantasm that frightened us so much the day before. We prepared ourselves and burst into the room. One of the ways in which souls could enter the siphon was through persuasion (the other being that it needed to be subdued sufficiently by force or hemmed in by a circle of salt to want respite from its suffering). I tried to reason with the ghost but my well rehearsed oration was drowned out by another soul wrenching scream.

This time we all ran except for Zef, who had decided he would not run from the undead ever again. After running for quite a distance, we came to a halt and realised that our companion was not with us. We headed back into the prison complex expecting to find him dead or worse, only to find him grinning from ear to ear. He had loaded his bow with one of the magical arrows and let fly. The apparition had just exploded when the arrow struck returning the tormented soul back to whichever hell it had come from.

As it had taken us a while to get back to our compatriot, Zef had had time to search the room, where he found the following items…

  • 2 Healing kits
  • 3 vials of anti-toxin
  • 2 vials of anti-plague
  • 3 vials of blood block
  • 3 vials of smelling salts
  • 4 potions of Cure Light Wounds

After we had got over the excitement of seeing our trusty ranger alive and well, and bearing gifts, we noticed one last door in the room. We stepped towards it …

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