Carrion Crown

HoH: Recap of Day 002

Desecration, Investigation, Preparation

Ravengro.jpg

Provided with a map of the town by Kendra, and setting forth early in the morning, unfortunately for those that had plundered the late professor’s spirits, the party had intended on discussing the previous day’s events in the Restlands with the town’s sheriff. This plan was swiftly curtailed, as they promptly discovered something had stirred up a commotion in town.

Following the villagers, the party was lead to a 25-foot-tall, moss-covered stone statue of a proud, muscular human man overlooking the river on the outskirts of town. Pushing their way through the crowd, they could now see that a “V” had been written on the statue’s base in what appeared be dried blood. What was likely the same blood was also splattered on the rest of the statue and surrounding area.

Soon after their arrival, so too arrived the the sheriff, Benjen Caeller, and a pair of deputies to disperse the crowd, believing it to be a prank perpetrated by local children. Taking this opportunity to discuss Gibs Hephenus and his mob with the Sheriff. Clearly wary of the outsiders, he assured the party that all involved had been warned against any further impropriety involving the party. When pressed to take further action, Benjen pointed out the impracticality of imprisoning a dozen people in a small sufficient town of about 300 people, particularly when no fatalities were involved. Not particularly satisfied with this response, but having no further recourse the party were forced to settle.

With the crowd now dispersed, the deputies began the task of cleaning the statue. Offering their services to the sheriff to track down the culprit, they were give the opportunity to examine the area prior to any cleaning. Unfortunately the recent crowd removed any possibility of finding any tracks, and surprisingly there was no sign of the source of the “blood” or a trail of it leading to or from the scene.

With no visible leads, they took the opportunity to examine the statue in further. Dedicated to all those who died in the fire at the prison, a total of 25 names are chiseled into the statue’s stone base. With Harrowstone coming up twice in the last day, the party relied on their internal resources to try and recall anything they knew of the prison:

Harrowstone is a ruined prison — partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place. {XP Rewarded: 50}

Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro was founded at the same time as a place where guards and their families could live and that would produce food and other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large portion of the prison’s underground eastern wing, but left most of the stone structure above relatively intact. The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison when the fire occurred. A statue commemorating the warden and the guards who lost their lives was built in the months after the tragedy—that statue still stands on the riverbank just outside of town. {XP Rewarded: 100}

Most of the hardened criminals sent to Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it was here that most of Ustalav’s executions during that era were carried out. The fire that caused the tragedy was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners had rioted and gained control of the prison’s dungeons immediately prior to the conflagration. It was only through the self-sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping—the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro. {XP Rewarded: 200}

Their curiosity sufficiently peaked by the entries of the professor’s journal and now this defacement a visit to the prison was now clearly in the party’s future. Electing to not wait until until nightfall to explore the Restlands, they headed there next.

After spending the better part of an hour nonchalantly searching the graveyard, testing doors of various crypts, and avoiding the any passing townsfolk the party happened upon a freestanding granite mausoleum with the single stone door latched with at rusty looking lock. With a quick test of the door it was clear the lock was no longer functioning, and a closer look revealed that the clasp had been melted, likely by some form of acid. With the false crypt revealed, the party proceeded inside.

Within, a flight of stone steps lead the party downward into a large crypt filled with dust lined burial niches and floors. A very clear set of tracks in this dust leads deeper into the crypt, and then back again. Following them the party was lead to a single large sarcophagus that sits in the deepest part of the crypt. Just as they were to investigate the contents the party was ambushed by a pair of giant centipedes, a creature that often makes it’s home in graveyards. After they over came their initial shock, the party promptly dispatched the beasts. {XP Rewarded: 400}

Returning to opening the sarcophagus, the party discovered the cache of which the professor wrote:

Examining the case closer, the party deduced that decoration was the same design that appeared on the cover of the Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye, which was among the books in the professor’s, and now the party’s, collection. Opening the case they found the following inside

These vials sat in velvet-lined indentations to the left of the spirit board and planchette, along side six additional indentations where additional vials once laid. The party deduced these were Haunt Siphons, a powerful tool for dealing with the undead. Leaving the crypt, the party restored the door to the condition in-which they found it, and headed into town.

As the party arrived in the town square, intending to stop at the local tavern for a meal prior to the evening activities. By that time it was later in the summer’s day and a group of farmers had just taken up places in the town’s gazebo and began performing music with rustic instruments. Taking a few moments to enjoy the music, a low buzzing sound began to to permeate the general area, but the musicians took no notice and kept playing.

The buzz continued to grow louder until the music was pierced by a scream. The party turned to find that two tiny insectoid creatures each with two pairs of bat wings, a tangle of thin legs, and a needle-sharp proboscis had come out from the eaves of the tavern and had began to frantically dodge. The party identified these pests as stirges.

stirge.jpg

As the town square began to the devolve into chaos, the music stopping, the party attempted to draw the attacks of the beasts away from the townsfolk. Struggling to hit something so small, the beast put up a surprising defense, landing on party members multiple times and stinging them like giant mosquitoes. Eventually though the party prevailed, much to the thanks of the townsfolk, who now seemed slightly less wary of the party. {XP Rewarded: 400}

With no other interruptions to their evening the party enjoyed a meal at the tavern, and retired to their lodgings to continue their investigation the subsequent day.

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