Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Carrion Crown - Session X

Session 10: The Dungeon of Harrowstone III (23rd January 2013)

This is the final session of the first adventure module in the Carrion Crown series: The Haunting of Harrowstone.
Harrowstone Prison - used without permission

Our GM will be taking a break for the next few weeks whilst he returns home to a land Down Under. Our ranger has said he would run a short game to fill in until our next foray into Ustalav. I think he said it was a chivalry and sorcery type game involving knight and wizards. Sounds fun, and I am looking forward to it.

Anway, here is the write up of the final session in this particular module...

The Pathfinders
Arsok – Half-Orc Conjurer
Moebius – Elf Conjurer
Nicolai Alamrys – Human Rogue
Zef – Human Ranger
Zirul – Half-Elf Cleric

From the Diary of Nicolai Alamrys (Day 13 – morning)

I awoke late this morning to a knocking at the door. The effects of the celebrations from the night before left me feeling a little worse for wear, and I slowly staggered downstairs to see the sheriff at the door. It seems another letter had been scrawled in blood upon one of the walls of the buildings in the town centre. We were not overly concerned with this news as this was only the fourth letter of the warden’s wife’s very long name, Vesorianna, and we had plenty of time to spare before we had to resolve the problem of Harrowstone.

When I readied myself for our next foray to the prison on the hill, I noticed that the hand-axe had gone. I searched for it frantically but could find it nowhere. Moebius suggested I spoke to Father Grimburrow about the axe and left me to it. So, when we made our way to the prison for, hopefully, our final visit, we called off at the temple of Pharasma. Father Grimburrow and his acolytes were hard at work renovating their garden; the sack of gold I gave them yesterday was being well spent.

Father took me into the temple and up to the altar, above which I espied my hand axe. I made to grab for it but Father Grimburrow was quicker. He tripped me, my head hit the font, and he grabbed the hand axe from the shelf. He then purposefully lowered the axe into the font of Holy Water. I watched in horror, but after a few moments my head seemed to clear and I saw the axe in a different light; the curse had been lifted.

The Reaper’s Hold

We all headed up to the prison to continue with our quest. We made it back to the central room in the basement which had the plaques above each door. We decided to head through the door marked The Reaper’s Hold. Beyond was a short corridor ending in a portcullis that was in the down position. On either side of the corridor was a door. We opened the door on the right and entered what looked like a guard room. Inside we found the winch that activated the portcullis and decided to raise it and then wedge it in the open position. We decided to ignore the room opposite and made our way into the room beyond the portcullis. Inside we found several cells with their iron doors ajar, but all turned out to be empty. In the far corner of the room we found a door that led into a further room beyond.

The room beyond appeared to be a torture chamber, in the centre of which there was a rack with a skeleton in guard uniform upon it. Around the room were a variety of torture implements and a massive iron maiden. We split up and investigated what was there. Zef removed a large disk from the racked corpse’s mouth and found a set of keys beneath it. He grabbed them and stuffed them into his pocket. Nothing else was found in the room, so we decided we should return to the room in the corridor we had missed. It was then that a couple of us noticed that there was something unusual with the wall to our left upon entering. Zef was able to quickly pop the secret door open and we all entered a narrow, winding corridor that led into the darkness for about thirty or so feet. I was bringing up the rear, so would have been last to enter the room beyond if things didn’t take a strange turn.

The Splatter Man

Moments after entering the room, my companions began to beat at the wall opposite with their weapons and a few began to panic, fear spreading across their faces. Not wanting to join in with the madness, I decided to keep watch in case anything came out of the water-filled oubliette in the centre of the room. Zirul poured Holy Water into the oubliette and Zef started to hit the wall with the Hammer from the set of artefacts that were supposed to help us against the five dangerous prisoners. After a while, the wall began to shudder as my companions began to throw spells at it. All this was strange to my eyes, I could see no reason why they would attack a blank wall, but I later found out that something was affecting their judgment and that they could see their names being written in blood, letter by letter, upon the wall in front of them. Whenever they struck the wall by might or magic, their names started to erase, so they all wished to erase their names from the wall. It seemed that at a point when all of their names were erased, there appeared a ghostly apparition from the oubliette.

Dressed in prison uniform and incorporeal to look at, the apparition began to cast a spell. My companions turned their attention to the new arrival just as five large rats appeared within the chamber. All hell then broke loose as the magicians in the party fired off many spells and summoned an array of beings from beyond this plane. Zef got to work with his bow but was struck a mighty blow that almost killed him there and then, and I tried to pick some of the rats off with my crossbow. I managed to pin one to the wall but it was proving difficult to take down the Splatter Man. The air was full of magical discharge and the battle continued for several minutes before we realised that it may have been better to attack his rat minions instead. These were taken out very quickly but not before they were magically grown in size. I managed to stab and kill one from behind at the same time as a couple of the others were destroyed by Zef and the mages. Zirul used his Blessed sword and chopped the Splatter Man in half. It seemed that the Splatter Man could indeed be hurt more by hitting his minions than his ethereal body.

Zef and the others were seriously injured, so Zirul healed them whilst I jumped into the oubliette and swam to the bottom to retrieve the Splatter Man’s corpse. I also found some magical items at the bottom of the flooded pit. I kept the magical ring of protection and a magical mithril dagger, but gave the magical sword to our cleric as he would be best suited to using it.

The Warden’s Safe

We decided to rest up a bit so returned to the warden’s safe room to see if the keys that Zef had found fitted the lock. The safe opened when we found the right key and inside we found a pile of legal papers, a sack of gold coins and several magical potions. We put these into a sack and loaded them onto Moebius’s mule waiting patiently outside.

We next returned to visit the wardens’ wife to ask if we had indeed put an end to the Splatter Man. Vesorianna responded that we had indeed put paid to him but she reminded us that there was still one more to destroy before she could finally rest in peace. We assured her we would be heading back into the prison depths directly to complete our mission.

The Marshwater Marauder

There were only two more rooms to check in the dungeon so we decided to check out the one opposite the portcullis control room first as we had already been that way and it seemed the quietest. Famous last words!

Zef pushed open the door to a medium sized chamber. Inside it appeared to be a guard room. Several suits of armour and weapons were stacked against the walls. In the centre of the room was a table; upon which was the body of a dwarf. On another table were a large hammer and three skulls, with pieces broken off and put together in attempt to make a fourth skull.

As soon as Zef set foot into the room, the leathery body of the long dead dwarf on the table stirred into un-life. The dwarf began to attack and the three skulls upon the table rose up and flew towards us. Zef was hit by the Marauder and he staggered under the force of the blow. A piece of his skull flew off to fill a gap in one of the ones flying around the room. Zirul summoned the power of his god and cast it at the skulls which all exploded in a shower of fragments. I managed to squeeze between the combatants and caught the Marshwater Marauder unawares with the dagger I had picked up in the other room. He collapsed to the floor.

After the tough fights we had had the day before, this fight was a bit of an anti-climax. We had destroyed all of the ghostly prison ringleaders.

We didn’t find anything in the room itself but noticed the faint outline of a secret door in one of the walls. We managed to open it without mishap and entered an armoury beyond. The room was full of all types of masterwork arms and armour, as well as several magical items.

We shared these amongst ourselves and investigated the final room in the lower level. Inside we found that the room was burnt out by the fire the prisoners had set when they attempted their breakout. We headed back upstairs to the warden’s wife’s room and, as we entered, the warden’s wife appeared and smiled at us. She confirmed that the last of the prisoners had been defeated and she was now at liberty to pass over to the other side. She thanked us, sighed and dissipated before our eyes.

All of the armaments were loaded onto Moebius’s mule and we headed back into town. We noticed that the birds had started to return to the prison grounds and began to sing. As we walked trough the town centre, we were mobbed by the townsfolk, congratulating us and wanting to hear our stories. The mayor managed to guide us back home safely and requested our presence at the Town Hall the following day for a presentation.

We rested, healed, and divvied up the treasure we had found in the dungeon over the course of the rest of the day. Zef, Zirul, Moebius and I also headed to the merchant’s place and traded our treasure for items more suited to our personal needs whilst Arsok visited Gibbs in prison and found that he was no longer screaming and no longer possessed. In fact, he seemed unaware of his surroundings and couldn’t remember why he was in prison.

The Reward (Day 14 – morning)

The following morning, after our usual poor breakfast of gruel, we headed to the Town Hall. There was a long, boring ceremony in which we were given a hefty sum of gold as a reward for ridding the town of its curse and promised we would always find a warm welcome in Ravengro. Zef, wriggled with embarrassment and it was easy to see he was not comfortable with the situation.

Once the ceremony was over, we found we still had a couple of weeks left to make good our promise to the professor. We spent the next two weeks looking after Kendra before finally packing our bags, collecting up the professor’s books and heading off to Lepistadt to fulfil the final part of our pledge in his memory.

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