Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Carrion Crown - Part 3


Session 3: Stirges and Zombies (10th October 2012)

The Pathfinders
Dukker Jamas – Human Cleric (Player has become DM)
Kazimir – Elf Fighter (Not present)
Moebius – Elf Conjurer
Nicolai Alamrys – Human Rogue
Zef – Human Ranger

From the Diary of Nicolai Alamrys (Day 4 – continued)

I am still feeling rather poorly as a result of the bite from that centipede. I think it will still take a few days to get all of the poison from my system. Dukker has been working tirelessly to help both myself and Zef to recover from our ordeal.

This evening was quiet as Zef and I rested up, which meant that Moebius was able to investigate the mystery further. He was not able to find out too much more, but he did deduce that the locals do not like speaking of the events of 4661; the burning down of the prison.

Stirge Attack (Day 5)

For once, the day dawned bright and sunny. Sometime during the very early hours, Dukker had decided to leave us – apparently he had been called back to his home temple for some urgent reason. After taking a leisurely breakfast (gruel again), Zef, Moebius and I left Kazimir in charge of Kendra and headed into town. As we were passing the gazebo in the centre of town, we heard a folk band playing a few tunes. We decided to stop and have a listen, as well as get a feel for what the folk around here did for entertainment.

Out of the corner of his eye, Moebius spotted a couple of stirges flapping towards us rapidly. He yelled a warning, but they got to us so quickly that one was able to attach itself to my shoulder before I could react. The only thing I could do was throw myself to the ground with the parasite between me and the solid earth. Everything then happened quickly. Whilst I struggled with the stirge attached to my shoulder, Zef had rapidly approached me and grabbed my dagger from my belt. Moebius yelled at me to close my eyes, but the next thing I knew I was waking up with a splitting headache, no vision, and feeling quite nauseous. Apparently, I had trapped the stirge beneath me, but not stopped it from sucking my blood. Zef tried to stab it with my knife before Moebius cast some bright light spell that dazed everything within a few feet of me – luckily this included the two stirges which were summarily dispatched. Unfortunately, being caught in the spell led to me feeling like the morning after the night before.

I actually awoke in the Laughing Demon being plied with drink and being hugged and back slapped by the locals for saving them from the flying horrors. Whilst this was going on, I managed to grab a morsel of information about the proprietor, Zokar, and his food. According to my now unknown source, anyone who is taken out back and watches him prepare his Zombie Chowder runs out of town screaming never to be seen again. When asked if I wanted anything to eat, I politely declined.

After all of our nerves were sufficiently steeled by alcohol and praise, we decided to investigate the prison on the hill. Zef, Moebius and I headed on up the path to the ruins sat atop the mound. The walls surrounding the prison seemed to be in reasonable shape but are broken down in places and covered in ivy, and the path approaching it was overgrown and looked like it had not been regularly used in a long time. We entered the grounds through a hole in the walls. Looking across the courtyard we could see that the gates swinging in the breeze were made of wood and metal. On both sides of the gates there are two strong towers, and there are a few other towers along the walls. The one on the western wall appeared to be full of rats; we’ll avoid that for now.

We took a look at the lake that seems to have formed at one end of the enclosure. It is dark and dreary without any wildlife present around it. From a distance I lobbed a stone into the water, but it sank without more than a less than unusual plonk and splash. No birds flew from the reeds which makes me think something may be keeping them away. For now, I did not wish to investigate further. We decided that we had seen enough and returned to town.

Zombie attack

Zef retired to the more quiet of the two pubs we knew, whilst Moebius and I went to Zokar’s place for a bite to eat and a few beers. We chatted to the locals, who seem to becoming more accustomed to us being around, and generally passed the rest of the afternoon and evening there. I only popped out for a brief breath of fresh air, but wound up in the local trading establishment. I didn’t get much information out of the proprietor or his wife but they did ask me to make an offer on a suit of masterwork plate mail whilst I purchased some adventuring kit. I mentioned that I didn’t know much about armour, but a friend of mine might be interested in just such an item.

When I returned, Moebius had got side tracked into talking about music with one of the musicians from the gazebo earlier today. He did, however, manage to find out that if we tried to go to the prison, the ghost of the warden’s wife will drive us away.

We left at a reasonable time and made our way back to Kendra’s house. On our way home, we noticed a person being sick down a side alley. Moebius and I went to investigate and see if the chap was alright, but the overpowering stench of the grave assaulted our nostrils. We tried to back up and get away from the now obvious zombie but it moved very quickly. It slammed me against the wall a couple of times, my head striking the wall on both occasions, and I woke up back at the pub again.

Again, Moebius had saved my life with magic. This time he had summoned a great mastiff to deal with the walking corpse. The villagers, again, were thanking us for saving them from the horrors assaulting this town and plied us with more food, drink and hearty congratulations. I found out that the local cleric had healed me – I was slipping towards death when I was found – and my companions and I were required to attend church the next day as we were now considered part of the congregation of Pharasma. We were also able to find out that the zombie was a local farmer who was buried three months ago.

The Crypt (Day 6)

As a party, we attended the short service in the morning. Afterwards, we approached Father Grimburrow to ask him about the stirges and zombie. He informed us that they get a ‘riser’ a couple of times a year, but the one last night had been the first one in a while. He was a little surprised when we told him how fast it moved. I think our activities over the last few hours had convinced the good Father that the town needed somebody to investigate the goings-on in the town, so he gave us his blessing to go to the crypt to recover the items that Professor Lorrimor had mentioned in his missives. We made our excuses and left, but on our way out of the graveyard we noticed that the acolytes were reburying the farmer’s corpse in a few more pieces than we left him, a few of the bits were held back to be buried elsewhere.

We were accompanied to the crypt by an acolyte; presumably to make sure we were good for our word and didn’t desecrate it. We were let in by one of the acolytes already in attendance, and were led down the first flight of steps by torchlight. I recovered my mirror and crossbow and a little later Zef recovered his bow. Upon entering the rear corridor, we again heard the snickering of the centipede, but Zef and Moebius made short work of it this time, now that it could be seen in the torchlight. Zef did pick up a nasty bite in the process, but not bad enough to stop us from searching the lower crypt and the sarcophagus upon the dais. We found many trinkets within brown Hessian sacks. I didn’t reckon much on the stuff in there as it only seemed to comprise a load of arrows, a Ouija Board (that Moebius later told us was magical), a manual of some sort, a few healing potions, a scroll, and some vials within a box – apparently they contain the spirits of something or other and are useful for fighting the undead.

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