The party concludes their interview with the Sheriff. Presently he moves away from the group, and all three heroes along with Kendra make their way back along the road to her house.
DUNGEON MASTER: “It looks like rain,” she says a bit absently, as she unlocks the door.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Are you alright Kendra?
SOLAR CE’NEA: Can I get you a drink?
DUNGEON MASTER: “Not at all!” she exclaims, rounding on Solar with her hands on her hips. “People could have died… may still die! What did you do in that old prison?”
SOLAR CE’NEA: I don’t think that anything we did in the old prison caused what happened tonight. We found that some cultists had been casting ritual spells there. I thikn this has been building for some time, and that your father had happened upon it and was investigating it.
DUNGEON MASTER: “Cultists!” she says angrily, but suddenly stops short. “Why do you say that?”
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “I didn’t want to say anything before the townsfolk, however there is an evil in that old prision, with an unquenchable thirst for blood of the living that these occurances are only going to increase unless we do something to stop them. The whole town is living next to a place with a dark history that attracts these kinds of things. It chills me to the core just thinking about it.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Your father was investigating the Whispering way and we discovered that they have put magic runes all around the prison to capture a soul there of Roden hawkran the Warden of the Prison
SOLAR CE’NEA: both what Johan and I say seem to be seperate events but are connected in some way
SOLAR CE’NEA: We are trying to determine what and stop the evil from rising
DUNGEON MASTER: “I don’t doubt the place is haunted,” she says in reply to Johan, “everyone in the villiage says so, and I belive it from your accounts. But they will say you stirred the spirits up with your activity there… I hope they will be wrong.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: the blood on the statue happened before we went up there. We started investigating becasue of the Statue
DUNGEON MASTER: “The Whispering Way….” she says, thoughtfully. “My father mentioned them, but he only told me little. You think they have come here?”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes my dear they have been and most likely gone, but I think they have stirred up an old evil, that is just starting to make it’s prescense felt.
DUNGEON MASTER: “That is true about the statue, I suppose,” she says in reply to Johan. She lets out a heaving sigh. “You must forgive me, friends… You have done nothing but help me and the townsfolk so far… I have no right to turn on you like this. I am sorry.”
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “We know what evil lies in the prision. We even know the names of the spirits of the damned, the worst of the serial killers and rapists. They are trapped or connected to the prision where they died and this evil existed before we even knew about this town. This evil can be destroyed if we can exorcise it from the prision. This won’t be an easy feat however the towns future depends upon this otherwise the prision will act as a magnet for this cult to experiement in this place of evil.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: I understand my dear, it has been a trying night for ones Nerves, but you must believe me when i say Johan, Mesodious and I will do everything in our power to hlep the town and its people
SOLAR CE’NEA: Johan, This brings a very valid point, If we are returning to the Prison tomoorrow, we should leave very early so others do not see us approaching the Prison, I don’t want to get there in the dark but perhaps we should be there at first light so we aren’t observed by the townsfolk. Ill informed rumors can be very dangerous for outsiders!
DUNGEON MASTER: “I don’t understand,” she replies to Solar. “Have you seen them? What makes you so sure?”
DUNGEON MASTER: “But why must you? Has the prison not been haunted for many years? Why all this trouble now?”
DUNGEON MASTER: [This latter statement is directed in reply to Johan.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Your Fathers notes, the books he has been using, my own knowledge of them and the runes which I recognised at the prison as being something the Whispering Way uses.
SOLAR CE’NEA: I think the troubles are starting now because of what ever the Whispering did
SOLAR CE’NEA: When I say I recognise the runes, I am actually making an educated guess but I am confident that is what has happened. I have a strong gut feeling gut feeling about it
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “What I think has happened is that these Whsipering Way have somehow drawn the evil out of the place to manifest itself. We have faced two powerful haunts, one was a pair of disembodied hands grasping a sythe, and the other was the Piper, one of the condemed who used his powers to make us powerless to move while he drained our life away. I don’t want you to go to the prision but you wiould feel the evil even before you reach the front door to the prision.”
DUNGEON MASTER: “I… I am glad you told me of this,” says Kendra at last, in reply to Solar. “I never liked the way my father died. The gargoyle that supposedly crushed his face—it was no higher than my own head! Unless he stood beneath it with his nose in the thing’s neck, how did it kill him!”
SOLAR CE’NEA: I am sorry Kendra, we suspected something wrong about his death and went to investigate, but we found no proof one way or the other. I think he was discovering the danger looming over this town, and was about to act. I don’t know if his death was an accident or created by the Way or someone else, but we intend to help the town just like your father would!
DUNGEON MASTER: To Johan she replies: “They may have. In any case you have my gratitude and respect. Not many would be willing to confront such an evil. But I am worried for you as well. I heard townsfolk talk—you were seen entering that prison. In Ustalav, a hero and a fool are the same thing.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Hopefully in the process we will discover the truth about your fathers death
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perhaps we need to be less obvious in future
DUNGEON MASTER: “Indeed,” she replies. She sighs, sadly. “My father brought you here for a reason. If he trusted you, then that should be enough for me. Once again, forgive me, friends.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Kendra, While at the Prison, one of the Undead, the Piper, controlled stirges, they attacked me and drained a lot of energy from me and we don’t have time for me to recover naturally, do you think Father Grimborrow would be able to and willing to restore me to full health?
DUNGEON MASTER: “He might,” replies Kendra. “He’s not well-disposed, but he’s honest and not any kind of fool. If he thinks you’re doing Ravengro a service—as I do—then he might help you.”
DUNGEON MASTER: The night passes uneventfully, but for the pitter-patter of rain that begins about one in the morning and gradually grows. Morning dawns to reveal a hazy, overcast sky with a downpour turning the dirt streets into muddy paths—it appears that Kendra was correct about one thing, at least.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan queries Kendra before they leave early for the prision taking advantage of the concealment from the light rain. “Excuse me but I was wondering if you would have any protective spells that could be cast on us to protect us from whatever we find in the prision? I don’t know the names of particular spells but anything would be rgreatly appreciated.”
DUNGEON MASTER: “I do have an armor spell I could cast… it will help lightly those lightly armored for two hours before fading,” she repleis.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “That sounds perfect as two hours is more time than we would care to stay in that place,” replies Johan.
SOLAR CE’NEA: I agree!
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra agreeably casts the spell, and a slight shimmer appears over Solar’s body.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Many thanks my lady!
SOLAR CE’NEA: After speaking to and getting assistance from Kendra, Solar suggests to his companions that they head to the prison first, but they should go through the forest on a short roundabout route and come at the prison from the other side so that the local townsfolk don’t see them arrive at the prison. He also advises Caution and to keep an eye out for possible surprise attacks but knows he is talking to the converted
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Why don’t we enter the prision building with the same section we did last time. I am curious if the Piper has been reanimated again within such a short amount of time.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: I think that is a excellent idea, If he is still there we know what we face, if he isn’t we know we can have some effect clearing out the undead from the prison
DUNGEON MASTER: The party enters the gate via a roundabout route, going around to the west porch. They now stand within the 10’ long hallway they entered last time.
DUNGEON MASTER: The rain is heavy, and casts a pall over everything—the prison looks a great deal gloomier than it did yesterday.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perception 1d20=19
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+7 = 23
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perception 1d20+1 =6 Solar is looking to see if any of the Skeletons in the cages are moving, and listneing for the playing of the piper or the sound of the stirge wing beats
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Let’s get some light in here and check out further in the hallway were we encountered the Piper previously,” says Johan with his greatsword readied in both hands.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar Cast Dancing Lights and sends them down the hallway 1 light goes through the cells on the left, one light on the cells on the right, the other two lights go straight down the hall way one at chest height, one closer to the ceiling
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “If that fuckers pipe is still here I think we should take it and maybe bury it or dip it into holy water to put his damned spirit to rest for all time?”
DUNGEON MASTER: The party treads down the cell block warily, weapons out. Silence greets them.
DUNGEON MASTER: At the end of the first cellblock lies a corner cell, larger than all the others.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan points to the larger cellblock, “That looks like a good place to start.” Johan will inspect the hallway for traps before moving forward for a closer look.
Perception check (traps): 1d20+8 = 28
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan discovers no traps.
DUNGEON MASTER: Although this cell is rather spacious, it contains no concessions to comfort. A skeletal body dressed in the rotting remains of a prisoner’s robe lies slumped against the eastern wall, wrapped in numerous chains on which are affixed numerous weights emblazoned with several different holy symbols.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Do you think this guy was the Piper?”
SOLAR CE’NEA: “No I don’t, if I recall correctly from our research there was nothing to indicate the piper as a priest or a cleric, Let me think about this,” Solar tries to recall if one of the netorious major prisoners was a preist or a cleric or if he collected holy symbols knowledge Local 1d20+11=22
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan will loop the skeletons skull from its body with his greatsword.
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar remembers nothing new about the prisoners of Harrowstone.
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan strikes the skull from the skeleton’s head. It drops to the floor and shatters.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar wonders around the outside of the cell to see if there are any symbols or markings Perception 1d20+1=7
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “I’m happy to leave this guy chained in these magical manicles for the time being unless you wanted to release him and see what happens.”
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “That is if my mundane lockpicks are even able to open these locks?”
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar discovers no symbols or markings.
Away to the east stands a guardpost overlooking the first floor entrance to Harrowstone, blocked from the cellblock by an arc of iron bars. Within sits an old wooden table and a few chairs.
SOLAR CE’NEA: No, I think i am happy to leave him there, However just have your sword ready, I am going to hit him with a disrupt undead spell through the door way
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar cast Disrupt undead at the Skeleton Disrupt Undead – (Ranged Touch Attack)
Damage 1d6=6 against undead
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar’s ray strikes the skeleton with no visible effect.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Let’s check out the passage to the first floor.” With that he moves closer to the arc of iron bars and looks around for a lever or mechanism to open it without having to resort to brute strength.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+7 = 15
DUNGEON MASTER: The bars are rusted in several places and will easily give way to Johan’s strength.
DUNGEON MASTER: To the left, near the center of the level, is an old staircase leading downwards into the gloom.
Ahead lies another, smaller, cellblock. Each cell containes a mouldering old skeleton. [non-animated.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar sends two of the lights in the arc of Iron bars to better illuminate the area
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan notices a lever inside. It is heavily rusted.
DUNGEON MASTER: Thanks to Solar’s lights, the guard post is now better illuminated. Minute cobwebs and rat droppings are now easily visible.
DUNGEON MASTER: There is another exit off this floor, heading out towards the balcony where the eastern wall has fallen away.
DUNGEON MASTER: Additionally, there appears to be an old kitchen about midway along the eastern wall.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “This place is falling apart. I thought as much all this metal would be rusted.” Johan inspects the lever for any traps before he considers putting his weight into it. Perception check (traps): 1d20+8 = 28
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan discovers no traps, and makes short work of the rusted old bars.
DUNGEON MASTER: Flakes of rusted metal swirl around in the air before falling to the floor.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar suggests that the follow the wall around looking for anything that is unuasual until they get back to where they entered the building, then head to the middle of the floor and start investigating the stair down.
DUNGEON MASTER: The south-eastern cells hold skeletons, which thankfully do not animate as the characters approach.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “I’m not taking any chances with these skeletons. They are not moving right now but when and if the Piper comes back you never know.” Johan will systematically remove the head from each skeleton they are approach.
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan skillfully takes the head off every skeleton through the bars
DUNGEON MASTER: Against the middle of the eastern wall lies a kitchen, now nothing more than charred, blackened remains. An adjoining pantryonce contained an abundance of foodstuffs, but it was picked clean by rats and squirrels long ago.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan will inspect the kitchen area for any traps before they look around for any clues or items of interest. Perception check (traps): 1d20+8 = 24
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar sends two of the dancing lights follwoing Johan to help he see properly
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan discovers only rat droppings and pillaged dry goods.
DUNGEON MASTER: The opening at the north-eastern corner of the building opens onto the eastern balcony (R7) The northern portion of this balcony has crumbled away into a pile of rubble amid the gently rippling waters of a dark pool of water. Ivy hangs down from the walls in thick, matted lengths, while dense tangles of vines decorated with deep red and violet flowers adorn the balcony’s edges.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar goes to look near the edge of the building to over look the lake, he has his crossbow at the ready
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar spots something peculiar: near the wall of the balcony, on the inside, lies a gnome’s skeleton. Strips of rotten leather armor and rusted weapons lie among the remains.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar suggests trying to pull the gnome’s body towards them with his grappling hook
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Sure thing, worth checking out what items he has to perhaps identify who he was in a previous life.” Johan will throw the grapple hook to catch part of the gnomes armour and pull it closer for inspection.
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan’s grappling hook sucessfuly catches onto the skeleton. As Johan drags the skeleton across the balcony, a rotten old pouch breaks open, scattering gold coins across the floor.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar suggests tying the rope around him and he will try to go out and get the coins and if there is trouble the other two pull him out of there
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar ventures out onto the balcony to retrieve the coins. He gathers up several before he notices something sinister—the beautiful crimson and violet flowers, which to bear tiny faces.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Initiative check: 1d20+4 = 17
SOLAR CE’NEA: Iniative 1d20+7=24
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar sees the faces and backs out as quick as he can, “pull me back NOW the plant has little faces” he yells.
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar backs off the balcony. Where he stood, a cloud of violet pollen rises, filling the air.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “That might be what got our gnome friend over there.” Knowledge check (nature): 1d20+5 = 14
DUNGEON MASTER: This is an Xtabay. Known for their potent—and ultimately deadly—scent, xtabays are a floral hazard to the unwary. As fast-spreading as ivy, a xtabay’s vines are sturdy and adaptive, making the plant a potential threat nearly everywhere—from gardens to wells to forest groves.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “It seems like it is unable to grab us from where we are so let’s leave it for the time being. We can always come back with a few flasks of oil and burn it down later.”