Nightrealms Carrion Crown

The Death of a Friend

An Invitation to a Funeral

Dear Friend of Petros Lorrimor,

Know that as of today, Toilday the 1st of Calistril, in the year of 4711 in Absalom Reckoning, that Professor Petros Lorrimor has passed into the embrace of the Lady of Graves. Per his a priori funeral instructions, the Goode Professor had requested your presence at his funeral, to be held in the Restlands of Ravengro, on Fireday the 18th of Calistril.

As you have been named as a beneficiary of Professor Lorrimor, it is imperative that you make haste in your travel preparations. Funds have been included in this messenger parcel to facilitate expedient travel arrangements.

Please accept my sympathies for your loss.

In sincerest trust,
Councilman Vashian Hearthmount,
Town of Ravengro
County of Canterwall,

A Funeral... Interrupted.

Calistril 18th, 4711

Trouble on the Dreamwake

Another dreary and cold day dawned in the small town of Ravengro, located in the county of Canterwall in the Immortal Principality of Ustalev. A small party huddled in the early morning mists outside of the local graveyard, known as the Restlands, for the funeral of Petros Lorrimor, retired professor from the University of Lepidstadt.

Father Grimburrow of Pharasma greeted the somber crowd, consisting of local Vashian Hearthmount, Councilmtan Gharen Muricar, tavernkeeper Zokar Elkarid, his teenaged son Pevrin, the local apothecary Jominda Fallenbridge, and Petros’ only child, his young daughter Kendra Lorrimor.

Also included in the procession were Ryszard Saul, a Paladin of Iomedae ; Torquemada, an Inquisitor of Iomedae ; and Haza, a Cleric of Sarenrae.

After some brief introductions, the party members volunteered along with Zokar to act as pallbearers, and the funeral procession started moving into the Restlands. Moving along down the path known as the Dreamwake and around a corner to the Eversleep, the procession was suddenly blocked by a half-dozen men.

Kendra stepped forward demanding to know, “What is the meaning of this?”

One of the men responded: “That’s far enough. We been talking and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin into the ground here!

What are you talking about?” Kendra cried out. “I arranged this with Father Grimburrow here…

You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.

Necromancy? Are you really that ignorant?

With that, the bulk of the men rushed forward, swinging rakes, hoes, pitchforks, sickles, and hammers with ill intent.

Luckily, Torquemada had already started to lower the coffin containing the body of the good Professor and had motioned to the others to do so too, enabling them to draw weapons to meet the sudden rush of the angry mob.

A sickle slashed through the air with all the muscle of a farmer behind it, but the blow was too hard and he stumbled by Haza, slipping in the dirt. Torquemada countered an equally powerful but inept blow from a hoe, while Ryszard stepped forward and laid out one of the mob with a single punch. The party quickly realized that these men, while strong and angry, were no match for them. A couple more non-lethal blows and throws left the rest of the mob lying in the dirt or running away from the scene. Ryszard grabbed up one of the unconscious men and shook him away, demanding to know who was behind this vile act. The farmer quickly offered up the name of the now-missing mob leader, one Gibs Hephenus.

Now that the mob had dispersed, the procession was able to make their way to the graveside service for Professor Lorrimor. There were no more distractions as Father Grimburrow led the short ceremony, with Kendra and the party members each having a chance to say a few words about their father, friend, or mentor.

Upon the conclusion of the service, Councilman Hearthmount approached Kendra and the party, telling them that he required their presence at the reading of Professor Lorrimor’s Will. He arranged to meet everyone in a hour at the Lorrimor house, and departed. Kendra then invited the party members to wait at her house whilst everyone waited for the return of Councilman Hearthmount.

The Lorrimor house was a small two-storied home near the center of town. As promised, an hour later, Councilman Hearthmount was knocking on the front door, and quickly assembled the participants in the study for the reading of the The Last Will and Testament of Petros Lorrimor.

Books and Secrets

After the reading, Hearthmount quickly said his goodbyes, as Kendra retrieved the chest of books that the Professor had entrusted to the party’s care. Opening up the oak & iron chest revealed 5 books:

  • Manual of the Order of the Palatine Eye – The rich purple cover contains a brass scarab set with a single eye in its center. The book’s covers are rimmed in polished steel and clasped with a small but intricate lock, the keyhole of which appears to be for a key with a strange, triangular shaft. The key was nowhere to be found.
    Manual esoteric
  • On Verified Madness – This jet-black book is a treatise on aberrations and other entities found on Golarion that possess remote ties to the Dark Tapestry, the name given to the dark places between the stars in the night sky.
  • Serving Your Hunger – This text is a copy of one of several unholy books sacred to the goddess Urgathoa. Lorrimor’s notations liberally sprinkle the margins
  • The Umbral Leaves – This lexicon is a translation into Common of the unholy book of Zon-Kuthon

Also included was a newer book, whose leather cover bore the phrase “Read me now!” This was found to be the Professor’s journal. The party discovered a number of Circled Entries in the Professor’s Journal, which led them to the belief that the Professor’s death may not have been accidental as it had first seemed.

At this point, Kendra asked the party to help her run a few errands, which took the party to the nearby tavern, The Laughing Demon. Ryszard inquired, none to kindly, about the whereabouts of Gib, while also hiring a guard to watch over the grave of Professor Lorrimor for the next 3 days.

Return to the Restlands

Later that evening, the party decided to follow up on one of the notes in the Professor’s journal – an entry suggesting that a cache of tools to defend against spirits had been hidden in the Restlands by the Temple of Pharasma – The Lady of Graves a number of years prior.

The crypt was found in the northeast corner of the Restlands, near the junction of the paths known as the Eversleep and the Black Path. The crypt itself is a freestanding granite
mausoleum, the roof of which is decorated with a pair of leering gargoyle statues. A single stone door with a rusty looking lock sat in the mausoleum’s south facade, but an examination of the lock by Torquemada revealed that the lock is broken, its clasp melted by acid and then put back into place so that to casual observation the lock appears intact.

Entering within, a flight of stone steps led down into the cold earth to a large crypt lined with empty niches. It appeared that no one has been into this chamber for several decades, but a series of tracks were found in the dust and dirt of the floor. The party followed the faint line of tracks to a single large sarcophagus that sits in the deepest part of the crypt. As the group struggled to remove the lid of the sarcophagus, suddenly a pair of giant centipedes came scurrying out of small holes in the walls, savagely attacking the group. Luckily, the vermin were no match for the group and soon lay in twitching pieces on the cold stone floor.

To the victors go the spoils, as the sarcophagus was finally opened to reveal a trove of items:

  • 12 silver arrows
  • 6 flasks of holy water
  • 4 sunrods
  • 10 +1 arrows
  • 5 +1 ghost touch arrows
  • 2 unidentified magical arrows
  • 5 potions of cure light wounds
  • 2 potions of lesser restoration
  • 2 scrolls of hide from undead
  • a scroll of detect undead
  • a scroll of protection from evil
  • a thin darkwood case decorated with an image of scarab with a single eye glaring from its back. Inside this case were a brass spirit planchette and 4 iron and glass vials containing tiny, churning clouds of vapor. (magical)

The party retrieved the items and retraced their steps back to Lorrimor house to plan their next move.

September 18, 2011 XP
Encounter Type XP
Ravengro Thugs (6) Combat (non-lethal) 600
The Whispering Way Research 750
Giant centipedes (2) Combat 400
Total 1,750
Player XP Total Class Level
Ryszard 583 Paladin 1
Haza 583 Cleric 1
Torquemada 583 Inquisitor 1
The Prison on the Hill

Calistril 19th, 4711

Monumental Desecrations

As the party awoke the next morning, they were greeted by Kendra who was in state over an event that had occurred during the night. A memorial statue on the outskirts of town had been defaced – splattered with what appeared to be blood! Kendra was distraught, and the party decided it would be best to check out the scene.

Located along the Ravengro Creek, Ravengro’s most distinctive landmark is a 25-foot-tall, moss-covered stone statue that overlooks the river. The statue depicts a proud, muscular human man dressed in leathers and wielding a truncheon—a depiction of Warden Hawkran. A total of 25 names – presumably the guards who died in the fire – are chiseled into the statue’s stone base. Splattered over the base in what appeared to in fact be blood, was a large letter “V”. There were a number of townsfolk standing by checking out the scene, so Ryszard started following the creek bed in search for clues. About 50 yards from the statue, he discovered an exsanguinated rat, but left the body where he found it.

Reconvening back at the Lorrimor house, discussion ensued as to what the next steps were to unravel what was happening in Ravengro. Once again consulting the Professor’s journal, it was decided that the remains of Harrowstone prison might shed some light into the mysterious happenings around town.


The party followed partially overgrown track that led from the southern edge of town, winding around the base of the hill and heading up to end in front of the remains of Harrowstone prison itself.

Harrowstone’s grounds were contained within a crumbling stone wall, the eastern portion of which has fallen away into a huge pond. The stark, sagging roof of its central structure was visible through a large gap in the surrounding wall and old stone towers, their wooden roofs collapsed and crumbling walls thick with ivy, extended a further ten feet above the twenty foot- high walls.

A sagging wood and metal gate set between a pair of stone guard towers once barred entrance into Harrowstone, but the gates now hung negligently open, creaking softly in what wind touched the ruined bars. Striding forward, Ryszard led the party through the open gates, but stopped suddenly in his tracts. His eyes darted from side to side as he suddenly wheeling around and starting running away from the prison, a breathless moan of fear and panic emanating from his open mouth.

The party found Ryszard down the path, hunched down in the dirt trying to regain his breath. He explained that he suddenly was overwhelmed by the feeling that his skin was on fire and that he was unable to breathe, as if he were stuck underground, or pinnned underneath something heavy and immovable.

Ryszard said he felt well enough to continue, and so the party once again ascended to the top of the hill. This time, the gate passage invoked no fears in Ryszard, and the group entered the prison yard. A curtain wall and towers ringed the prison proper, and to the front of the structure, as a small brick manor house stood overgrown with thick sheets of gray-green ivy.

Recalling the Professor’s words in his journals, everyone examined the nearby buildings, checking the foundations for signs of the strange runes spied by the Professor, but nothing was found.

The Manor House of Death!

Setting their sights on the nearby manor house, Torquemada and Ryszard decided it seemed peculiarly interesting, and against Haza’s advice, decided to investigate the badly sagging structure. Torquemada entered through the front door, but even his impetuousness would not let him proceed far before the loose flooring dissuaded him. Luckily, there was still a bad entrance, and Torque entered there while Ryszard ascended a set of stairs to the second floor. The rooms were filled with destroyed, ruined, and rotten furniture and housewares, but nothing seemingly of value or interest. Then Ryszard plunged through the floor, precipitating a huge collapse of the section of the house he stood in. A section that unfortunately ended up on top of Torquemada, burying him in rubble. He was bruised, but not seriously injured, although it took a bit of time to extract him from the debris.

Finally deciding that there was indeed nothing of interest in the manor house, the party turned their attention to the prison itself.

Harrowstone Prison

A two-story stone building loomed in the center of the prison grounds. Ivy and moss clung tenaciously to the walls, while above the wooden shingles of the roof were often missing entirely, exposing the wooden rafters of the upper structure to the sky. Here and there, leering stone gargoyles perched on the eaves, once functioning as drainspouts and decorations but now seemed almost to serve a more ominous role of sentinels. Many of these stone decorations had crumbled away and lay in ruined piles on the soggy ground below. Windows in the building’s facade were narrow and blocked by grills of rusty iron bars. Stone columns supported a slumping wooden balcony over the building’s wooden front doors, both of which hung askew and revealed dark glimpses of chambers within.

Slipping inside the front doors, they could see that this was once a wide hall flanked by a pair of waiting rooms, but the foyer to Harrowstone now lay in ruins. With little left to hold up the ceiling, the wooden beams above sagged dramatically while the wall to the north contained a large pair of oaken doors.

Passing through those doors, a second foyer was revealed. Streaks of mold stained the walls of this foyer, and the floor below was a thick, gray carpet of fungal growth, while sturdy wooden doors beckoned from every wall.

Choosing the western door, Torquemada had to put his shoulder into it, as it appeared swollen and stuck in place. With a slam, the door flew open, but just as quickly came swinging back into Torquemada’s face! The door burst into flames while faces screamed deep within the wood, faces contorted into agony as their flesh burned. As the party watched in horror, all could see that the remaining doors were also on fire and roiled with haunted faces also!

Finally, the flames started to ebb, and the smell of burning flesh receded as the tortured faces fades from view. Haza attempted to open the north door, but to no avail. Again the door burst into flames as screams erupted from the wood. There seemed to be no way out.

Haza then decided to draw upon the power of Sarenrae for assistance, and summoned a burst of positive energy that flooded the room in a brilliant and soothing burst of sunshine. Quickly trying the western door again, they were able to pass through unscathed, and thus continued their search of the prison.

What followed were a number of small offices, containing scrolls, books, notes, and ledgers detailing the activities and day-to-day operations of the prison. While there was a significant amount of files and records, nothing seemed out of the ordinary or interesting beyond what guards were on duty, how much flour was being consumed, and what prisoners were being held. All in all, nothing beyond normal business records was found.

The last room in this section appeared to be more of an administrator’s office, being a spacious room that smelled of mildew and rot. A long desk and chair sat to the south, while to the northwest a narrow alcove contained a closed safe. Thick layers of dust covered everything in sight. Torquemada examined the safe, but quickly determined that it was locked and beyond his ability to open. The party examined a nearby latrine, but quickly realized they had run out of rooms to explore and would have to backtrack to the haunted foyer.

Once again, the foyer proved to be a thorn in the party’s side, as indeed the burning doors were once again active. Another positive energy burst enabled them to quickly open the north door and proceed though.

The Spiders’ Web

Beyond was a series of corridors and rooms. Torquemada picked one door that led to what appeared to be a small chapel but was now draped with thick sheets of what appeared to be cobwebs, while the rest of the party continued through another door. Suddenly, Torquemada cried out and the party came rushing into the chapel, only to find Torquemada lying on the floor, while 3 giant crab spiders sank their fangs into his flesh! The spiders turned to face the new threat and blades were drawn. A long struggle ensued, but the giant vermin were slain as Torquemada slumped against a wall. Poisoned!

Nonetheless, the group continued on, investigated another nearby room, that was in a shambles. Old.wooden benches lay in ruins along the walls, while rusty chains and bits of rotten rope lay scattered on the floor. As the party entered the room, with a rattle of rusty metal, a pair of manacles suddenly rose into the air and flew forward to attack Torquemada. The shackles slammed against him, attempting to latch to his wrists as the chain beat and whipped through the air. Ryszard found another chain attached to the wall, and clamped it to the animated shackles, preventing it from reaching the men and allowing Torquemada to use his magic to finally quiet the haunted chain.

Weary, poisoned, and running low on magic, the party decided to call it a day and retreat. No haunted doors blocked their path through the foyer this time, and soon the group was outside again. Only an hour or so of time had passed, or so everyone had thought, but outside the afternoon sun was low in the sky. Before leaving, they decided to look once more for the runes mentioned by the Professor, and this time were able to find some faintly drawn runes smeared with blood(?) running along the foundation stones just above the ground. The runes were written in a strange language, and appeared to circumscribe the entire foundation of the prison itself. Haza copied down the runes for later study, and turned to leave.

As they did, the sun dipped below the horizon and dusk fell. Again, minutes had turned into hours, and quickly the group left Harrowstone and made their way back to Ravengro and the safety of Lorrimor house.

September 26, 2011 XP
Encounter Type XP
Giant crab spiders (3) Combat 600
Animated manacles Combat 400
Haunt identification Research 100
Total 1,100
Character XP Total Class Level
Ryszard 950 Paladin 1
Haza 950 Cleric 1
Torquemada 950 Inquisitor 1
Strange Happenings in Ravengro

Calistril 19th, 4711 – continued

Missing Persons

Limping back into town, the party arrived outside of Lorrimor house, only to discover that the front door was ajar. Cautiously entering the house, they called out to Kendra Lorrimor, but there was no response. A quick search through the house revealed that she was not in the home, however, Torquemada noticed a sheet of paper left on a table. The note was written by Kendra and said that she was going to be visiting The Laughing Demon this evening, and that she would see them there. The party quickly hustled outside and headed towards the town square and thence to the tavern.

Arriving at the tavern, they were surprised to see it warm and bustling with activity. Kendra was at the bar talking to the owner/barkeep Zokar Elkarid, while a number of townspeople were sitting at tables talking. A hush fell over the bar as the party entered, but as they bellied up to the bar, conversations resumed, albeit more quietly than before.

Ryzard spotted a number of men who were a part of the mob scene from the other day, and sent over a round of beers. The men seemed bewildered, but respectfully raised their glasses in a toast before huddling back together and speaking animatedly amongst themselves.

Torquemada decided to return to the Lorrimor house, and set off on his own, while Ryszard and Haza relaxed with a few drinks. Torque was passing through the town square when he heard the sound of soft footsteps behind him. Thinking quickly, he cast light on a stone nearby to act as a distraction, and set off behind the nearest row of houses, taking a wide arc to the Lorrimor place.

As he stood in the cold fog across from the house, he was satisfied that he had not been followed. He stepped out into the road, and felt a touch upon his shoulder. An otherworldly chill flashed through his body and he slumped to the ground…

Season of the Witch

Ryszard finally got Kendra’s attention and asked her why she had left the door unlocked. She replied that she hadn’t, but had a copy of the house key for the party since they were acting as her guardians for the next month. Ryszard took the key and told Kendra to stay put, as he gathered Haza and set off for the house.

The first thing they noticed upon heading out through the square was a strange glow coming from the road leading to the south. Upon investigating, they found a stone enchanted with a light spell. Yet nothing else seemed out-of-place or unusual, so they continued onward towards the house.

The Lorrimor house soon stood before them, the front door thrown wide open, and a eerily ambient pile of ooze laying in the road outside the entrance. Haza identified the goop as ethereal ectoplasm, a sign that something otherworldly was occurring. Poking their heads inside the open door, they called out to Torquemada, but there was no response. Outside, however, they found a slime trail leading from the ooze pile around the side of the house and down into the nearby Ravengro Creek. After a search of the area, no other signs were found, and they reentered the house.

To find a fox sitting on the stairs staring at them.

The fox winked and threw its head back over its shoulder indicating the upstairs, and turned and ascended the steps!

Haza was incredulous, but followed the small canid upstairs, only to find it had disappeared. Once again the fox’s head appeared, this time from Kendra’s room, and it once again winked at Haza before it disappeared inside.

Moving to Kendra’s room, an astonishing scene unfolded. The fox was sitting on a nearby dresser, calmly gazing at the party. Torquemada lay on Kendra’s bed, covered in ectoplasmic ooze and unmoving. And an elven woman with long, flowing white hair stood nearby, clad in leathers and carrying staff, sword, and bow.

“I found him this way,” stated the elf as Ryszard and Haza held their weapons at the ready. She went on to explain that she had found him lying in the street outside covered in this ooze, and had seen a strangely luminous and oddly unsolid humanoid moving around behind the house before it disappeared from view. She had checked Torquemada, found that he was alive but unconscious, and brought him inside to this room.

Ryszard had by now detected no evil upon her, and introductions were made. The elven woman called herself Celaphelia, and stated that she had received a summons to come here to the funeral of an old acquaintance, Petros Lorrimor. The messenger had been told that Celaphelia had passed away, and had returned with that message. However, she was clearly alive and anxious to meet up with Kendra and attend the funeral. After informing her that the funeral was two days prior, the group decided to return to The Laughing Demon and escort Kendra home.

Kendra was still at the Demon, and was quite pleased to make Celaphelia’s acquaintance. Two troubadours were now playing flute & lute for the decreased crowd while the party prepared to leave and retire for the night.

Suddenly, over Haza’s shoulders the rest of the group saw two winged creatures swoop down from the rafters above and start to fly erratically in the air above the minstrels… seeming to eerily keep time with music!



By this time the rest of the tavern had noticed the flying creatures and started to flee. The bards stopped playing to stare at the sight of the dancing stirges when suddenly they stopped flapping about and quickly darted towards the party members, their wicked probosci seeking blood! One attached itself to Torquemada while the other lashed out at Haza. Celaphelia moved to protect Kendra while casting a hex at one of the beasts. Torquemada fought off the insectile monster but was rapidly losing blood to the bloating beast. Haza was also in trouble now as the second stirge plunged itself into his neck, but Ryszard was there to pull off the monster as it struggled to free itself from his grasp. Suddenly, Torquemada slew one stirge as Ryszard finished squeezing the life from the other. Celaphelia and Haza healed the party of their wounds, but the travails of the past day and evening had proven too much for Torquemada, who needed assistance to stagger his way back to Lorrimor house for much needed bed rest.

Calistril 20th, 4711

A Long-winded Encounter

The night passed uneventfully, and in the morning, Haza decided to tend to Torquemada’s wounds for the day, giving him a better chance at recovering his strength for tomorrow’s exertions. Kendra and Celaphelia had made arrangements to meet up with Councilman Vashian Hearthmount, and Ryszard wanted to investigate the strange happening around town and at the prison.

Once again the town was abuzz with activity at the Harrowstone Memorial. Another desecration had occurred during the night, this time with someone spelling out the letter “E” in blood on the statue. The local sheriff, Benjan Caeller was on the scene with his deputies, and it was clear little additional information was to be gained at this time.

In the meantime, Celaphelia had been able to identify the strange runes that Haza had copied from the prison’s foundation – they were in Varisian, which Celaphelia spoke fluently, as a native from that wild land of Varisia. The words were invocations of power to the spirits, while amongst those a single name stood out – one Lyran Hawkran.

Ryszard had made his way to the center of town and ducked into The Laughing Demon, and struck up a conversation with Zokar. Ryszard was looking for someone who might have been living in the town during the time of the prison riot, and Zokar suggested checking with the town’s smith, a dwarf woman named Jorfa; or with one of the older townspeople, such as Councilman Gharen Muricar.

Ryszard set off for the Ravengro Forge and met the monosyllabic Jorfa. Although Ryszard attempted to be as diplomatic as possible, the tight-lipped dwarf did not reveal any useful information, and seemed happy to see him leave in a huff.

A trip across town to the home of Gharen Muricar yielded better results, but at a price. Hours passed as the older man regaled Ryszard with tales of his youth, his middle-age, his old age, and his venerable years with no sign of stopping. Ryszard could barely get a word in edgewise, but was told that the Ravengro Town Hall held all sorts of records about the prison and the town itself. Grateful for any excuse to leave, Ryszard said his goodbyes and went to the Town Hall, only to find it tightly closed and shut up.

Meanwhile, Kendra and Celaphelia kept their appointment with Councilman Hearthmount, who grudgingly allowed the allegedly deceased Celaphelia to claim her portion of the estate left to her with the passing of Professor Lorrimor.

Back at Lorrimor house, Haza spent the day tending to the well-being of Torquemada, while doing some research on Harrowstone prison. Unfortunately, amongst the hundreds of books, ledgers, scrolls, and journals, Haza was only able to glean the most basic information about 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.

The party members regathered at the house, and made plans to return to Harrowstone in the morning.

October 10, 2011 XP
Encounter Type XP
Stirges (2) Combat 400
Harrowstone Research 50
Total 450
Character XP Total Class Level
Ryszard 1,062 Paladin 1
Haza 1,062 Cleric 1
Torquemada 1,062 Inquisitor 1
Celaphalia 1,212 Witch 1
The History of Harrowstone

Calistril 20th, 4711

Back to the Prison

The next morning, the party awoken to discover that the night was uneventful. No crazy stirges or bloody statues awaited them this chilly morning, and after a fortifying breakfast, the group decided that the best course of action would be to return to Harrowstone prison and continue searching for clues.

Arriving at the prison in the early morning, this time it was decided to investigate the western balcony further in hopes of finding an alternate way inside. Solid stone steps led upward where a large, rectangular block of stone rested on this weather-beaten stone balcony. Ruined wooden benches lined the eastern wall under a row of tiny, barred windows above and a stout wooden door sat in the wall near the northern end of the balcony.

Moving forward to investigate the stone block, the party was surprised when a rusty scythe wielded by two skeletal hands arose from the debris and started slashing at everyone! Haza went down under a terrible blow, his arterial blood spraying and splattering through the air. Torquemada used the powers granted him by Iomedea, while Celaphelia’s powers were useless against this enemy. Ryszard fought valiantly, and finally the monstrous undead construct splintered and shattered into dust. Haza was patched up, and an attempt was finally made to open the stout door. However, even though Celaphelia enlarged Ryszard, the door proved to be too much to open.

Giving up in frustration, the party returned to the front door, but noticed that the balcony over the front entrance appeared to have a door leading inside also. Rather than face the haunted foyer, they opted to climb up to the balcony and try the second story door instead. Torque slowly clambered up the ruined entryway to the balcony proper, but Celaphelia noticed that the balcony’s main support beam was badly cracked and did not appear safe. She shouted up to Torque but while they spoke about the issue, the very thing they feared happened. The main support snapped and the balcony collapsed on the party below. Everyone was a bit dinged up from the collapse, but no one suffered any serious injury. Unfortunately, the door above was still intact, and even as Torque again climbed up to the second story, it was clear he would not have enough leverage to force the door should it become necessary. As it was, although Torque was able to ensure the door was not locked, it still would not budge, and that route inside was also abandoned.

Forced to go the straight route again, the party reassembled and entered the haunted foyer once again.

The Haunt

The front doors stood closed, but Torquemada shoved them open with a shoulder bash, and the entrance hall lay before them. One by one they entered, looking around at the other doors leading from the room. A quick glance behind revealed that the front doors were mysteriously closed…

Finally, Haza tried to open the northernmost door, and as last time, it burst into flames and slammed shut in his face. Burning faces screamed seemingly from within the wood itself, and the smell of burnt flesh filled the air. Torquemada decided it was time to confront the spirits behind this haunt, and used the brass planchette spirit board to question the haunted spirits, but received no information particularly helpful for his efforts. Haza racked his memories for an answer to this curse, and remembered an old tale in the seminary about “haunts.” Haunts were hazardous regions created by unquiet spirits that react violently to the presence of the living. The exact conditions that cause a haunt to manifest vary from case to case—but haunts always arise from a source of terrific mental or physical anguish endured by living, tormented creatures.

Haza decided that the best course of action would be to confront this unholy terror with holy power. Remembering some old rituals intended for laying the undead to rest, he started a ceremony, sprinkling holy water around the door and upon the doors, while chanting prayers to Sarenrae to banish this evil. Ten minutes or so later, the room palpably felt “lighter” and Haza attempted to open the north door one more time. This time, as the portal opened wide, nothing happened. The haunt had been destroyed!

The group entered the prison proper again, passing through the hallways leading to the collapsed basement stairs and the once spider-infested chapel. Retracing their steps, they continued further north, with Celaphelia investigating a secured blocked door, while Torquemada found an entrance to what appeared to be the prison’s infirmary.

In the infirmary, several moldy cots lay strewn around this room, while doors to smaller, more private sleeping cells hang askew to the west. Old ragged linens and medical supplies littered the floor, and ruined furniture lay broken in pieces around the room, as if shattered against the walls.

Searching through the debris, the group found a number of useful items:

As they gathered up the abandoned supplies and started to leave the room, a ghostly figure appeared in the midst of the party. Shrieking, Ryszard fled the room heading for the prison entrance, while Haza also ran for his life. Undaunted by the evil spirit, Torquemada and Celaphelia fought against the undead spirit, striking out with magical power and hexes, stymying the poltergeist as it turned invisible and continued to telekinetically assault the group. Ryszard and Haza recovered from their fear, and Haza returned to help defeat the spirit as Ryszard finally rejoined the group in the infirmary.

The Ember Maw

Moving to the northeast, the party entered a broken section of the prison. A huge stone furnace dominated this room, large enough for a man to climb inside. An ancient fire had burned away the entire east wall the room, providing a panoramic, if eerie, view of the lake beyond. That same lake had gradually expanded into the room, flooding its eastern half.

Approaching the old furnace, Ryzsard was able to make out Aa soot-caked copper plaque over the furnace entrance that read “Ember Maw.” Suddenly, the furnace front seemed to melt, and a leering skull of metal and bars formed, as a huge roaring fire burst into being inside and a long tendril of fire shot from the metal mouth enveloping Ryszard in a sheath of burning fire!

The party leapt into action, but it proved almost impossible to physically damage the metal furnace, but the party’s magic seemed to take a toll. The burning tongue lashed out at Ryszard again, and he was forced to take cover as the attacks continued. Finally, the mystical powers of the party were successful, and the room went quiet as the furnace resumed it’s normal shape. Torquemada examined the furnace, but only ashes were found inside of it.

However, Ryzsard still could detect evil lurking within the furnace, and investigated further. He found a number of human bones, curiously hot to the touch, even though the furnace and ashes inside it were now stone-cold. Using tools, he was able to retrieve the bones, and soon an entire human skeleton lay on the floor. Pouring holy water upon them, a great cloud of steam arose, and a flickering darkness seemed to rise from the bones to dissipate in the air.

The Way Down

Even though they were now battered, bruised and running low on energy, the party decided to continue onward. Entering a southern room, they found a room where the northeast wall had also partially fallen, revealing the dark, murky waters of the pond outside. Moldering training dummies and other similar equipment hinted that this room may have once been a training area for the guards. In the northeast part of the room, the floor around a dark, jagged hole was surrounded by black scorch marks.

The room seemed deserted, and the faint smell of old ashes drifted up from the pit. As the party peered over the edge into the darkness below, three flaming skulls rose from the pit and attacked! They slammed into the group, setting clothing ablaze as they pummeled the already weary party. As they mustered a final effort, the skulls were smashed to bits, but the group was even more vulnerable than before. Now they decided it would be prudent to return to the town and rest up.

The quickest way seemed to be a door to the southwest, which should have led back to the foyer. Upon opening it, however, another room was revealed. Several rows of wooden benches, all spotted with mold and sagging with neglect, faced a stage walled off from the rest of the room by a wall of iron bars. To all appearances, the empty room seemed to be some sort of auditorium, but Ryszard again sensed evil lurking in the supposed empty room. Another door led to the southwest again, and taking that route, the party returned to the foyer, and thence left the prison and returned to town.


It was still afternoon when the party returned to town, and they decided to rest up and continue to research what they could about the obviously haunted prison.

Ryszard set off to question the garrulous Councilman Gharen Muricar again. This time, he learned much of the ways of drinking coffee and making pastries, but as far as town information was only able to learn that the Warden’s wife’s name was Vesorianna Hawkran.

Ryszard had an encounter on his way back from the Councilman’s, however, that shook him to his core. A couple of little girls were jumping ropes, and were singing a children’s song. It was the words that attracted Ryszard’s attention though, and he was able to convince the girls to recite the words of the Skipping Song to him.

Meanwhile, Torquemada had discovered some interesting information in the Church of Pharasma. He had requested an audience with Father Grimburrow, and was granted one. The old man seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the area, but did not have answers to all the questions that Torque posed. He did offer up use of the Church’s records, which while not as detailed about the prison as the records in the prison offices would have been, did reveal a number of important facts about Harrowstone:

  • 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 — the statue that still stands on the riverbank just outside of town.
  • 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 Lyran Hawkran and 23 of his guards that the prisoners were prevented from escaping—the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.
  • Finally, at the time Harrowstone burned, five particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon and had been in command of the lower level for several hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level, but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in a desperate attempt to end the riot.

No further information seemed to be available in the Church concerning Harrowstone prison. so Torquemada returned to Lorrimor house.

Torquemada vs. The World

However, Torquemada was not to be denied. Thinking back on the recent desecrations at the Harrowstone Memorial, he decided to use the Spirit Planchette and “converse” with the spirits in that area. Leaving the house, he walked down the river to the statue and began to use the spirit board.

Concentrating on the board for an average of 7 minutes seemed to give good results, so Torque focused his thoughts and soon asked his first question.

“Are you Vesorianna Hawkran?”

NO was the response on the spirit board.

“Are you Warden Hawkran?”

NO once again.

“What do you want?”

KILL HER spelled out the brass planchette.

What happened next was hazy and dim as Torque would later recall.

Back at the house, Celaphelia answered a knock at the door to see Torquemada standing there. Suddenly, his weapon was in hand and he was attacking her. Celaphelia tried to defend herself, and Haza heard the commotion upstairs and came to assist. He saw the two fighting, and Torquemada screamed that “she has betrayed us!” Haza was not sure what was going on, but Celaphelia dropped her weapon, yielding to Torquemada. However, he continued to press his attack, and seemed out for blood. Around this time Ryszard returned from his coffee break and attempted to grapple Torquemada. While the two burly warriors struggled ineffectually against each other, Celaphelia disappeared back into the house while Haza conjured create water on the combatants, trying to get them to break up. Finally, Torquemada was somewhat subdued, but then it was discovered that their charge, Kendra Lorrimor had disappeared along with the witch Celaphelia. Torque again starting ranting against her, but Haza was not to be fooled, and would not agree to allow Ryszard to let him go. Torque’s struggles to free himself continued, when along the road from town a number of figures came running.

It was Celaphelia and Kendra and Sheriff Benjan Caeller with a couple of his deputies, all demanding to know what in the Nine Hells was going on.

Torquemada looked around in surprise, wondering aloud what he was doing here and why was Ryszard sitting on his chest holding him down…

October 17, 2011 XP
Encounter Type XP
Slamming Portal Haunt 400
Poltergeist Combat 600
The Ember Maw Haunt 800
Flaming Skulls (3) Combat 600
Harrowstone Research 700
Possessed Torquemada Combat 800
Roleplaying award DM Bonus! 800
Total 4,700
Character XP Total Class Level
Ryszard 2,237 Paladin 2
Haza 2,237 Cleric 2
Torquemada 2,237 Inquisitor 2
Celaphelia 2,387 Witch 2
Unravelling the Past

Calistril 20th, 4711

Speaking with the Spirits

Once again, the Sheriff demanded to know what was going on. Kendra was visibly upset, while Torquemada was seemingly confused about the entire situation. Accusations and recriminations were thrown about as the cold winter winds gusted about from on high. The Sheriff was losing patience with the proceedings, but Kendra took him aside and had a private discussion, which ended with the departure of the local constabulary. Kendra herself was still upset, and did not understand what had happened. As the group retreated into the warmth and protection of Lorrimor House, the pieces of the puzzle began to emerge. Torquemada’s last conscious memories were of using the spirit planchette down by the Harrowstone Memorial. He had been receiving disturbing replies when suddenly, next he knew, he was being pinned to the ground by Ryszard.

Remembering his own incident alone in the Restlands when he attempted to use the spirit planchette to communicate with Professor Lorrimor, Ryszard deduced that the spirit board was not useable without danger. Apparently use of the board left one susceptible to being “possessed” by the spirits you were attempting to contact. Where Ryszard had found himself standing in another part of the local graveyard, it was clear that in Torquemada’s case he not only walked away from the contact point without knowledge, but also attempted to attack the party and/or Kendra. Ryszard announced he was foreswearing use of the spirit board, and everyone agreed that it should not be used alone.

Calistril 21st, 4711

The Five

The next morning the party returned to the Memorial and found the spirit planchette where Torquemada had dropped it the night before. Gathering it up, they returned to the house where Torque announced his intention to return to the Harrowstone Prison offices to see what else he could uncover regarding the mysterious five prisoners. He had earlier made the connection between these prisoners and the local children’s Skipping Song, and wanted to delve further into the past concerning these criminals.

Traveling once again to the foreboding prison outside of town, the party entered the prison foyer cautiously, but there was no sign of the slamming door haunt that had so stymied the group in previous trips. Once inside, Torquemada dug into the prison records to see what could be found regarding the Five.

As it turned out, there was much to be uncovered regarding The Splatter Man, The Mosswater Marauder, The Piper of Illmarsh, and Father Charlatan, though frustratingly little was found concerning The Lopper.

The group discussed their findings and decided to continue searching the old ruin. Moving further inward past already explored areas, a disturbing new room was found. This stark room contained a low stone bench against the north wall and a ruined desk to the west that sat under three narrow, barred windows. An old brass brazier lay on its side to the south, surrounded by several rusty branding irons. Moving to examine the iron further, the smell of burning flesh filled the air and the irons rose up, their tips glowing red hot as they sizzled through the air seeking the flesh of the living and causing everyone to frantically backpetal away from the hot metal. It was not Ryszard’s lucky day, however, and he howled as the hot metal burned into his face and neck, leaving a ferocious red scar that would later prove unaffected by healing magic.

After this brief flurry, the branding irons dropped to the ground with a clang, their tips no longer red hot, but cold and lifeless as they should always have been. Upon further examination, it was determined that the brands were all the same, and did probably indicate that all prisoners in Harrowstone were so treated upon their arrival.

With little else seemingly in the room, the group continued on to the next room, which appeared to be some sort of workshop. Tangled mounds of moth-eaten fabric sat on several wooden tables, each surrounded by workbenches. Various sewing tools— shears, needles, rolls of thread, boxes of chalk, and other objects lay scattered over the floor, while the arm of what appeared to be a skeleton protrudes from a stained heap of fabric to the west.

“Oh, Hell no!” stated Haza as he slammed the door shut.

“But there may be something important in here,” argued Torquemada, as he opened the door once again and entered the room full of sharp, pointy objects.

There was little to fear from flying implements, but almost as soon as Torquemada entered the room, another manifestation occurred – one of ominous import.


Rising from the mound of moldering fabric covering the skeleton, a ghostly but beautiful young woman dressed in a tattered but lovely blue dress arose. In fact, much about the ghost was blue, including her hair, the tears that ran from her pale blue eyes, and the clouds of smoke that drifted from her lips when she spoke to the party, asking for their help.

The ghost – revealed as Vesorianna Hawkran, wife of Warden Lyran Hawkran – went on to describe the great evil building inside Harrowstone Prison that sought to escape the grounds, now that the spirit of her husband had been removed "by men and women in dark robes who spoke only in whispers” who came to Harrowstone not long ago and began to work strange magic around the building’s foundations.

Vesorianna spoke of the evil spirits of (coincidence?) 5 prisoners, all of whom were bound inside the prison walls even after death by the spirit of her husband, the late Warden Hawkran. She went on to explain that it was his force of will, so strong even after his death, that kept the spirits of the damned contained within the walls of the prison. However, now that his spirit had been removed by the stranger Whisperers, the unruly undead were striving to break out. It was only the waning will of Vesorianna keeping them under any control, and even as her will weakened, the leader of the original riot, the Splatter Man, was reaching out in an effort to destroy her. Following his M.O. in life, the Splatter Man was using his powers to spell out her name on the statue at Harrowstone Memorial. Once he finished spelling out her name, Vesorianna said that she would perish and the spirits trapped in the prison would be free to roam the earth.

Vesorianna beseeched the party for help, asking them to destroy the spirits of the Five. Torquemada asked why she didn’t herself move directly against them, and the spirit explained that when the riots occurred, she ran to be at her husband’s side. However, after seeing the smoke and fire coming from the dungeon, she was removed to this room by a number of prison guards. It was in this room that she died, and it was in this room that her spirit remained trapped ever since. While able to look out through the walls and move about the room freely, and could sense the spirits of the Five above and below her in the prison, she could do little more to assist the party. She did offer one final glimmer of hope, however. She asked for the group to find and return to her the badge of office held by her husband – it would be anathema to the spirits, as would any other objects that strongly represented their lives before death.

Armed with this new knowledge about the situation at the prison, and aware that time was not on their side, the group assured Vesorianna that they would do as she asked and left to seek out the Five spirits.

Vesorianna had mentioned that there were spirits in the upper and lower levels, but the party decided to continue reconnoitering the ground floor, making sure that no enemies remained behind to harass them further.

1st floor – Laundry, Bathrooms, and Storage goods!

Proceeding down the hallway, a laundry room was found, filled with washboards, metal buckets, and heaps of moldy clothing. A brief search of the room led to an encounter with an animated straitjacket, that rose from a pile of moldy clothes and tried to smother first Torquemada and then Ryszard, but the collection of linen and straps were no match for fine steel and puissant magics.

The next room investigated turned out to be a privy, much to Ryszard’s relief.

Onward around the ruins, the party finally returned to the auditorium where Ryszard has previously detected evil. The evil remained, and while the party tried to discern its source, the temperature in the room dropped precipitously. Torquemada deduced that this was an effect similar to the slamming door haunt encountered earlier, and used a haunt siphon to dispel the cold effect haunt.

Next, the room behind the auditorium was explored. A locked metal door proved to be too stout to knock open, so Torquemada was forced to disable the lock and gain entry, spying a A bizarre collection of antique goods resting upon wooden shelves that lined the room. Several of the items contained tiny tags with labels written in a careful script. While many of the items appeared to be normal personal effects once carried by the prisoner and surrendered upon being incarcerated in Harrowstone, a few choice items were uncovered in a quick search:

  • A set of masterwork thieves’ tools
  • A bronze war medallion from the Shining Crusade
  • An unframed Taldan painting of Stavian I
  • A set of a noblewoman’s silver hair clips
  • A masterwork punching dagger
  • A pouch containing a dozen masterwork shurikens
  • A masterwork silver hand axe
  • A wand of lesser restoration (12 charges).

With a few exceptions, most of the items were left behind, to be collected at a later date when a more thorough examination of the room’s contents would be possible.

Water and Fire

Finally, the group returned to the old guard post and the remains of the lift system within. The yawning black pit stretched beneath them, opening out into some kind of cavernous space before terminating in a pool of dark water. Torquemada volunteered to climb down, and setting up a rope, began the climb. Unfortunately, he slipped during his descent and fell into the cold dark water below.

Glancing around, Torque could see a cavernous chamber that may have once been an underground
cellblock, but it had long since collapsed. The crumbled walls were thick with mold and stained with soot, and heaps of fallen stones and charred wooden beams lined the area. Water dripped and seeped along the walls, collecting in the dark, murky pool in the middle of the room. To the north, the twisted remains of a wood and iron lift lay in a heap in a shallow portion of the pool. To the west, a partially blocked opening seemed to open up after
several feet into a dark but stable tunnel.

Torquemada struggled to swim to shore, but was stymied by the sudden attack of two ectoplasmic humans. His shouts of surprise and pain roused the group who began to make the descent as Torquemada fought off the undead attackers. Haza plummeted into the water and was unable to make any headway in the murky pond while Ryszard and Celaphelia were finally able to help Torquemada subdue the attacking monsters.

There was little else to discover in the cavern, so the western exit beckoned. Beyond it lay a large room. Four dark hallways exited from this large empty chamber, each striking out in one of the four directions of the compass, and each decorated with a soot-caked brass nameplate affixed to the ceiling just above the entrance. A rubble-choked stairway led up in the middle of the room, while ten skeletons dressed in scorched clothing lay on the ground.

The nameplates read as follows:

  • To the north lay “The Butchery.”
  • To the west lay “Reaper’s Hold.”
  • To the south lies “The Nevermore.”
  • To the east once stretched “Hell’s Basement.”

Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, the skeletons arose and attacked the party. What was not expected was when the skeletons burst into flame as the battle progressed. The group was sorely pressed, and it was only the holy power of Haza’s god that kept the undead from slaying the party outright. As it was, a bruised and battered group finally put down the monstrous undead and sought shelter to rest and catch their breath.

They retreated to the north, and found a portcullis and a nearby guard room. Unfortunately, it was not unoccupied, and the curious sight of a headless flaming skeleton armed and seemingly well-versed with a hand axe arose and assaulted the group. Once again, the party was hard-pressed, but finally managed to destroy the blasphemous being.

Retreating into the guard room, and barricading the door, the group set about resting for the night…


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