Pathfinder: Carrion Crown

StoneShield's Water Log
Translated from Five Kings Mountain's Runes

Early evening: My group is trying to catch up to our adversaries who are a few days ahead of us. We(they) have decided to go by boat, as it is the fastest option. I didn’t catch the name of the boat or the Captains name because we were surrounded by water, floating on top of a few boards held together by pitch.

Evening; We have cast off and I have talked to the Captain. We is a useless human. He talks of a great beast below the surface far to lightly. I can’t get away from the sound and smell of the water. Torag keep us afloat and look after my companions and myself. A Dwarf should be returned to the stone.

Evening: I have inventory of my gear and laid it out according to need and weight.

Evening: I have taken stock of my gear again and reorganized it.

Evening: I think my first two attempts to organize my gear were to heavy.

Evening: This will be the only time I will ever say that I have to many weapons.

Late Evening: The water is so hard to look at. The moon reflecting off it is playing with my senses.

Late Evening: By Torag’s forge, there is something out there.

Late Evening: I hate the smell of the water and the people who make a living off it. It is damp and sickly. Constantly waiting and wearing away at you until it can pull you under.

Early morning: I saw something huge just below the surface!!! No one believes me. How am I to fight it without land beneath me.

Early morning: That’s it! That’s what are adversaries are after! They are going to somehow bring this huge creature under their control! We have to get shore and stop them!

Early morning: Torag, please hold the water at bay, so that I may continue to battle evil and it’s soldiers.

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November 3

With 3 members of the party marked by Siama’s lichenthropy ward, we confront a pack of Primals intent on ridding the forest of human interlopers. There are 15 in the hunting party and with quick dispatch, the werewolves kill two of the lodge guards and maim three of the heroes. And, within minutes of meeting the wolves, Duristan is carried off by one with Galamir in chase.

It remains to be seen if Siam’s ward are a fantasy though they were acquired with some sacrifice. The heroes, prior to leaving the lodge, used the witch’s services to deflect attention from their attempts to gather more information. Lodge visitors were questioned. Rooms were searched, Duristan’s, Courvin’s. Only more questions are uncovered; why was the general slain, is Courvin a werewolf, why are the werewolves meeting at The Stairs of The Moon, does Duristan have any intellect at all?

The heroes in sympathy with Courvin secured his release, but joined the hunting party with no new information other than a great werewolf convening is to take place at The Stairs of The Moon. They set out to the gathering outnumbered by a magnitude but with no other option for continuing the search for The Whispering Way

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October 6

A confused narrative builds and chaos awaits around every corner as The Witch, The Dwarf, The Rogue, The Alchemist, The Wizard, and The Monk stumble after the Whispering Way. They are led by half-clues and half-truths, and a blunt approach has propelled them ahead if not wholly in the right direction.

They follow a “white-haired, older man” named Vrood. And, until the events of the last 24 hours they were unsure if he had even been at Ascenor Lodge. Again, the party’s heavy handed investigating has confirmed Vrood’s presence and business at the lodge, but at a not trivial cost to the party and some office furniture.

The Tower has turned out to not be a tower, the Respected Lodge Master has turned out to be a sexual deviant of some sort, Grayden has turned out to be dead – and perhaps in league with The Way or a lycanthropic tribe working against The Way. Even the derelict poet Tergsvor is now a suspected werewolf and murderer.

But, imprisonment for a second time has not prevented the heroes from extracting information. The Way has a acquired a third object Kvalka Zain’s heart.

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September 22

Askenor Lodge has much to offer its guests - giant, poisonous spiders, drunken lotharios, high priced companionship by the hour, and an exceptionally discrete staff. The party is “resting” in the lodge after fleeing from a tribe of werewolves intent on clearing the forest of human meddlers.

Currently the party is friendly to all, even a bloodthirsty werewolf hunter, but wary. None in the lodge so far have been forthcoming about the guests in the lodge, the past events, nor the danger that surrounds the lodge. The party is clear that at least one member of the Whispering Way has come through this area yet no one in the lodge environs will reveal anything. And yet there is behavior that is suspicious. The Master of the Lodge, Estovian Lozerov, is nervously guarding his office. When Viska and Carrumati approached his office door, they were unceremoniously shut out at the top of the stairs.

After a frustrating evening of fruitless interviews, the party retires for the second time hoping to rest and rejuvinate after besting the creature spawned out of the dead entrails of an unfortunate traveller. But, just as their heads hit the pillows, a scream shatters the darkness.

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Session 24

We join our intrepid crew as they prepare to set out upon the Silent Path toward Asekenor Lodge. The party expended resources, physical, and spiritual, defending against Count Caromark’s fiendish contraptions. The Count’s paranoia resulted in his experiments being used against him. The Whispering Way made its way through Caromark turning the Aberrant Promethian against his master.

The party battled an Insane Guard, a spider-like beast, the Aberrant Prometian, mechanical constructs and more to finally reach The Count and free him. Through their ordeal, the party confirmed that the Whispering Way had indeed been at Caromark and were on their way, according to The Count, to get to “The Wolves.” The Whispering Way numbered in the dozens with one older member distinguished by white hair.

As the party settles in to rest they recollect and surmise that the Whispering Way is gathering objects in their diabolical work. The Warden of Harrowstone’s soul is one and the Seasage Effigy another.

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A New Member

Weeks have passed for the party of five. And their members grow as their exploits distinguish and dishonor them. The dwarf, rogue, witch, alchemist, and ranger have been joined by an inquisitor and a wizard. Jolag has been a trusted if not trustworthy companion. She appears it seems just as needed, releasing the party from prison, fighting side by side against foes, bringing news when none is to be had. And Ly who joined the party after they rescued her from Schloss Garris. To the party Ly is still unknown. They have not had the time in expedition nor battle to judge her motivations are loyalties.

Two of the heroes at least witnessed the wizard examine a teapot for the sole reason of looking like she was examining it before she surrepticiously placed it in her pack. Their watchful eye may have been felt, for the wizard later and just as surrepticiously returned the teapot. In all else she has been of the party but none of them is sure why.

She was notably absent At Schloss Garris in the fight against a vampiress and shadow demon that inhabit the Schloss. However she rejoins the party enroute to Schloss Carromarc. She acquits herself well in the party’s encounters with enchanted dogs and magicked weapons. Though still remaining oblique in some part to the fray.

Ultimately, as the six approach the last gorge crossing, Ly in cosmic solidarity falls into the river two hundred feet below the rope bridge. She, Carumati, Galamir, and Veremo (who had fallen in the and bobbed up before) with the help of Sollen and Jolag climb to the top of the cliff face and resume the exploration only to find a alchemically preserve menagerie of sea creatures one of whom “leads” the heroes to their next opponent.

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Session Fourteen

The party returns from Morast with little time to prepare for The Beast’s trial. Perfunctory discussions with Lasme do little to help Carrumati and Galamir form a plan of attack. A brief audience with The Beast confirm what Professor Deramid suspects – he is not to blame for at least some of the stated crimes. He is not the creature seen in Morast. The lack of scaring proves it.

It is decided that Carrumati can be called as a witness and Galamir can serve as her questioner. She acquits herself passably under Galamir’s direction but does not withstand well the cross examination of the prosecution. Her closing statement is brief but only serves to outrage the spectators. Rotten fruit flies at Carrumati.

The party now must hurry to question the strange sisters who remain from the ghost town that is Hergstadt. They stop at the windmill Starrow, Garrow, and Flict oversee. The sisters are taciturn – niggardly in their offering of information yet it is clear the youngest would say more if allowed.

Traveling on to Hergstadt, the party reaches the abandoned town after nightfall. They are met and one held in the grasp of a demonic child.

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Session Eleven

Harrowstone is no more. The Splatterman came after the party as Sollen awoke from coma. With Viska, Carumati, and Galamir pinned behind the portculis and Veremo shot through the iron bars at the specter. It took several attacks to vanquish him — silver arrows, fire, tackling. Viska falls and Gallamir must revive her. Carumati falls and Viska must administer her own potion to her. Finally, The Splatterman is gone and the party returns to the sewing room in search of Vesoriana.

Vesoriana conducts a last ritual with the help of the heroes. Each in turn relates the killing of one of the Five. The warden’s widow spirit requires the details of their killing and their death. With the last story, Vesoriana screams as a torrent of black ooze pours from her mouth and ruins begin to tremble. And she is gone.

The heroes run for the outside dodging the falling ruins. Carumati and Galamir carry Sollen and Viska part of the way but all ultimately are free of the haunted prison now nothing more that ash and rubble.

In town Viska, Galamir, and Carumati go to the temple with The Inquisitor’s head in a sack so as to return it to Father Grimborough. Sollen returns to Kendra with two priestly guards to watch over her. That evening the party attends, at Councilman Hearthmont’s invitation, a council meeting. In a crowded chamber house the heroes are thanked and congratulated. They are rewarded with a chest filled with 300 gold points.

Their duty now is to protect Kendra for the remaining 20 days.

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Sessions Nine and Ten

A miserable, horrifying, slog through sinister ruins is taking its toll on the party. Sollen lays unconscious, Gallamir displays disfiguring scars, and Viska is returned from the dead. The portcullises at the mouth of the basement cells repeatedly test the heroes. The magic infecting the Harrowstone Prison plagues the party’s efforts. The Inquisitor succumbs to the attacks before the party recovers the Warden’s badge of office and leaves the five to continue the work on their own.

In the basement cells there is all the evidence of demon prisoners. The murderers were held in basement wings labeled to do honor to their punishment; Nevermore, Hell’s Basement, Reaper’s Hold, Ubliet. The torture devises belie the inhuman gore fest prisoners create in their captives. The devises hold the evil and attack the heroes trapping them, stabbing them, and coming alive to slash and hack. And though one poor soul, Alfie, leads the heroes closer to their goal, and weapons and treasure seems easily gathered, the depth of living dead villainy toys with the party. Each time they recover, the magic resumes – they become trapped, they become paralyzed, they are possessed, enfeebled and bloodied over and over again.

The Piper, and The Marauder, The Charlatan, The Lopper are bested, but The Splatterman still plays with the heroes. He toys with their psyches and works to split the party. Viska, Gallamir, and Carrumati remain trapped behind the portcullis staring into the pit used for gods know what.

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Session Eight

The party is split, separated by an enchanted door that slammed behind Viska, Sollen, and Galamir. The screams from inside, pleas for rescue, spur Veremo and Carumati into action. They try repeatedly to break down the door and save their companions from whatever attacks them.

Ultimately the door comes down and Carumati and Veremo help to extinguish a horrific specter attacking Viska and Sollen. Galamir has retreated to a side room gathering his nerve for another attack. Once free of the ghoul, the heroes collect provisions – healing and protective items that they distributes and carry away with them. They begin a long night of exploring the remainder of the prison ruins.

Their first encounter is with the ghost of Vesoriana Hawkran. She is confined to the remains of sewing room that seems to be her prison within the haunted prison. Vesoriana informs the party that she is all that remains keeping the forces of the Whispering Way and the Five evil ghosts from re-animating a horrible force in the prison and the town. The party learns that people in Ravengro do indeed play a part in the plan, and that should the Warden Hawkran’s Badge of Office not be found and returned to Ms. Hawkran the Five will succeed.

Room by room the party continues to search Harrowstone with the new goal in mind. They muck, Sollen personally, slash spiders, suffer branding, collect additional tools of survival and ultimately find Warden Hawkran’s office. A safe inside the office occupies Galamir and Sollen and yields yet more provisions. As the heroes prepare to rest for the remainder of the night, Carumati the first “watchman” hears the distinct cry of a half-orc.

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