DUNGEON MASTER: Afternoon turns into evening, and presently Kendra emerges from her study to discover the heroes once again delving into Harrowstone’s history and present state. Her cursory greeting is interrupted as she notices the thick, red welts that have broken out on Solar and Mesodias.
“Good… Stern Lady!” she gasps. “What happened to your necks?!”
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Here this is for you. It is the head piece from a stirge I thought it might make a fancy quill for your studies?”
DUNGEON MASTER: “What!? Oh my! T-thank you,” she says hesitantly.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “It’s ok we just discovered the prision is haunted and it definately needs to be exercised, not that I have the first clue how to do that.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes my lady we seemed to run into a stirge nest, nasty little critters, I am happy to report they will not be bothering anyone again
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “We may need to spend a few days to recover from our initial exploration of the prision. It was interesting to say the least.”
DUNGEON MASTER: “Well…” she says taking a deep breath. “We always have talked about that place being haunted, but I never thought…”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Actually my lady, could we trouble you for some healing spells, I have gathered from previous conversations that you might dabble in the healing arts
DUNGEON MASTER: “And stirges!”
DUNGEON MASTER: “I am sorry—you must understand that I do nothing of the sort. I cast arcane magic. You must see someone at the temple for curing.”
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “Yes they appear to be very friendly critters who like my ex-girlfriend become quickly attached and quite painful to deal with.”
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra looks at Johan as if she is not sure what to make of his remarks. “Well!” she says again. “I hope you found something worth your trouble. I was going to suggest that we go visit the Outward Inn tonight—there’s a troupe in town, performing there!—but if you’re not feeling so well…” she intones her last statement as a question.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Oh know, a good bath and clean clothes will go a long way to restoring my strenght my lady, I would be honoured to accompany you to the Inn!
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “I second that. We will not let a bunch of stirges to spoil the evening,” says Johan.
DUNGEON MASTER: “Good,” she says smiling. “Let me get some cold meats on the table while you men…” she finishes the sentence with a wave of her hand.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: While they wash up and prepare a fresh set of clothes Mesodias converts Shield of Faith into Cure Light Wounds and channels the energy into Solar to knit up his wounds and replenish his lost blood from the stirge attack.
Cure Light Wounds: 1d8+2 = 8
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Mesodias converts Protection from Evil into Cure Light Wounds and focuses on healing his own injuries sustained from exploring the first section of the prision.
Cure Light Wounds: 1d8+2 = 5
DUNGEON MASTER: The trio washes up and returns down to find a spread of cold meats and bread set out, just as promised. After a quick dinner, washed down with a splash of wine, the group heads out.
The Outward Inn, run by proprietress Sarianna Vai, is a small affair boasting about ten rooms surrounding a wide main floor with and a small stage. Both main floor and stage are presently jammed to capacity this night, as an odd assortment of performers known as the Crooked Kin have come to town.
Kendra guides the heroes to a table halfway down the main floor, which Sarianna has evidently kept reserved. Everything is a bustle of noise and cheering and clayware clanking on tables.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar holds out a chair for Kendra to sit at the table
DUNGEON MASTER: [The party is relatively well-dressed for this event. No armor is being worn, and no weapons larger than daggers are in evidence.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan takes his seat as he looks around with interest as the performers prepare themselves for the nights show. “Well this is exciting. I haven’t seen this performance before I am keen to see what they can do.”
DUNGEON MASTER: With a smile, Kendra settles into the chair held out for her and waves to the barman. “A glass of red, if you please,” she says, a bit primly.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Yes, I will be interested to see what they do, I have seen many performaers but I often find everyone has a diffeernt skill set!
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan asks Kendra, “How often do perfomances like this come to town?”
DUNGEON MASTER: The Crooked Kin consists of 13 performers, all people with a variety of physical handicaps or deformities, plus a handful of additional sideshow attractions. The first up is an albino man with red eyes and long, white hair that hangs below his knees. He also wears a tall red top hat, a long red coat with gold buckles, and striped trousers.
- DUNGEON MASTER sent kalemhesse.png,… *
DUNGEON MASTER: “Almost never!” replies Kendra. “This is the first one in a year at least.”
DUNGEON MASTER: At that moment, the Ringmaster claps his hands for the audeince’s attention. “Ladies and Gentlemen!” he begins. “All about this cursed land the darkness seeps, twisting children in the womb into ugly—yea, monstrous!—forms. Deformed, we gather together where ever we may, seeking to parade our imperfections before gawking citizens, that they may behold the price our people pay for sins past. Thus it is that we come to you… may I present … the Crooked Kin!”
DUNGEON MASTER: The audience breaks into tepid applause.
DUNGEON MASTER: With that he cracks his whip and a puff of smoke obscures the stage, clearing moments later to reveal a woman. She stands nearly 7 feet tall and boasts a long beard coming down to her waist.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar, begins to feel a little uncomfortable, he doesn’t normally see deformities as deformitites, he sees the person as a whole and is more interested in the personality, however he realises that the people performing work this to make money, so he ajusts himself and puts on a happy face, watching Kendra to see her reaction, so as not to offend her.
DUNGEON MASTER: “Greeeetings, fine folk of Ravengro! I am Lidia Gerod, the Bearded Lady. I come to you from the far land of the Mammoth Lords, where my father rules as king. Long, flowing beards are a sign of feminine beauty in that savage land, and there men line up to court me.”
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra makes a small face at this but otherwise her smile remains placid as she continues sipping her wine.
DUNGEON MASTER: Once again smoke covers the stage and clears yet again to reveal pair of twins with distored heads, who introduce themselves as The Pinheads.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan sits silently watching with a concealed expression of curiosity as the individuals display their deformed and tormented bodies before the crowd.
DUNGEON MASTER: Next on stage is the Swarm of Clowns, which turns out to be three men each posessing an extra limb. One has three legs and the other two have three arms. They are indeed skilled acrobats, and perform a number of impressive feats on stage before the smoke obscures them once again.
DUNGEON MASTER: When the smoke clears yet again, a shockingly ugly Ulfen man nearly 8 feet tall stands upon the stage, who introduces himself as Trollblod. He carries a huge bronze brazier in one hand before him, which he breathes through to create a huge gout of flame that shoots up toward the ceiling.
The crowd, whose applause has been somewhat tenative so far, gasps and bursts into generous applause at this performance.
SOLAR CE’NEA: “Now that is impressive” Solar remarks, "that requires some skills!
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra, whose face is starting to glow with wine and with excitement, smiles in agreement.
DUNGEON MASTER: And next comes a four-armed woman introduced as S’jeer, the Vudrani Princess. She holds a tarot deck in two of her hands, and with two other hands begins pulling off cards to offer to the members of the front row as readings. “Come one! Come all!” she cries. “Let me fortell your future!”
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar starts to relax more as it seems that the people from this group are just like other circus perfomrers he has seen else where, they just look very different.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: If Johan has room he will approach the Vudrani Princess and take the card(s) offerred from her tarot deck.
DUNGEON MASTER: There is sufficient room for Johan to make his way up to the stage.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar leans over to Kendra and says, “This should be interesting” with a little sly smirk on his face
DUNGEON MASTER: “Ah, you!” the Vudrani Princess cries as Johan approaches. “Let me tell you what riches awaits a such a strapping young hero as Ustalav needs. For you! A hammer!” she pulls off one card and shows it to the audience before letting it flutter to the floor. A Shield! And—what is this? The Uprising?"
At that moment flames burst out of the card she holds towards Johan.
[Fort save DC12 all or be blinded. Johan automatically fails.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Fort save 1d20+2=7
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan blinks and rubs at his eyes as the light is taken away from him as the rigged tarot card flares up.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar although blinded tries to step up between Kendra and the explosion in a protective stance
DUNGEON MASTER: The Vudrani Princess screams. This, more than anything else, sends a sudden wave of panic through the crowd. Another scream, then another, echoes through the room. The sudden sound of glass breaking and another whoosh of flames sounds somewhere off to the side as those blinded struggle to regain their vision.
[Perception Check, Please]
SOLAR CE’NEA: perception check 1d20++1=12
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Perception check: 1d20+13 = 20 (21 vs. Humans)
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Adj Perception: 1d20+7 = 20 (22 vs. Humans)
DUNGEON MASTER: As the characters’ vision clears, they behold a smoke-filled room. It appears that the shattering of glass came from two sources—the numerous oil-fueld lamps along the walls, which have burst and shattered, scattering burning oil all around the sides of the buildings.
The second source of the breaking sound becomes evident as a skull swoops down from the smoke-obscured heights of the hall, bits of flesh still hanging from its face and graying teeth clattering slightly as it bobs in the air. Flames fill it, gushing out of the eye sockets and mouth.
High above, another window shatters, raining glass down on the assembled citizens.
SOLAR CE’NEA: 1d20+7=15
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Initiative check: 1d20+4 = 12
DUNGEON MASTER: [Flaming Skull—19
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan wipes his eyes as the smoke burn blindess fades to reveal a scene of horror before him. He paused in shock for a moment as he looked around in disbelief in case it was merely a temporary haunt. He silently cursed as he snaped to his senses, people were burning alive, his friends, the performers and the innocent townsfolk had all been included in this nightmare.
DUNGEON MASTER: One skull swoops down from the heights above at the Vudrani Princess, who stands horrified on the stage with her mouth agape. Fortunately for her, the skull misses her by inches, biting a stage curtain instead which presently ignites into flames.
Another townsperson is not so lucky however; a second skull hovers down in front of him and bites him in the throat—the man falls to the floor as his scream fades into a gurgle.
The four fires ignited by the burst lanterns spread outward 5’.
[Presently Johan is at the front with the Vudrani Princess, both of whom are threatened by one burning skull. Thirty feet back Solar and Mesodias stand, prepared to protect Kendra with their lives. THe second burning skull is within 15’ of their location.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that each of the four burning patches of oil are within one round’s movement of every character.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar attempts to identify what type of creature the Flaming Skulls are Knowledge religion 1d20+6=19
If it is undead, Solar attacks the one closest to Kendra with Disrupt undead, If possible and reasonable to do so, he puts himself between Kendra and any visible danger
Disrupt Undead – (Ranged Touch Attack)
Damage 1d6=3 against undead
He then shouts to their mute cleric, “use your spells of creating water to put out the fires, we will deal with the floating Skulls!”
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar recognizes these creatures as flaming skulls, abominations created when beheaded humanoids rise from the dead.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar shouts to all in the room " these creatures as flaming skulls, abominations created when beheaded humanoids rise from the dead." if you can fight undead, help us, if not get out as quick and safe as you can!
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar’s attack strikes through the gloom, hitting the floating skull despite the thick smoke and the agape townsfolk. Holy light bathes the unholy creatures, and fractures appear all over its skull, but it remains floating in the air after the attack.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan curses out loud as he draws his dagger and defends himself. He isn’t sure about the effectiveness of his actions but to hell with it.
To Hit (dagger): 1d20+6 = 21
Damage (dagger): 1d4+4 = 7
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan’s attack smashes through the skull, shattering it into little pieces that fall on the floor. The flames, however, burn Johan’s hand as he slams the thing to the ground. [1d6=3 damage Johan.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Mesodias will stand to shield Kendra from any undead floatig skulls. He channels a cantrip to Create two gallons of water to put out some of the fires blocking the exit from the building.
DUNGEON MASTER: Mesodias’ action extinguishes a nearby fire—three spots of oil now burn at the sides of the building.
Galvanized by Solar’s cry, a number of townsfolk leap to their feet and scramble for the exit, overturning tables and chairs in their haste to get out. In fact there is a minor risk of stampede, as the single door near the front of the inn proves to be something of a bottleneck. A number of citizens are pushed into the flames: two are enveloped screaming near the front left of the inn, and another—one Mr. Avanaki, owner of the General Store, catches fire near the front right of the room.
The remaining skull, seemingly infuriated by Solar’s attack against it, lauches itself into a futile attemt to tear out the Sorcerer’s throat, which instead ends up only knocking over Kendra’s glass of wine.
[Solar and Mesodias are now threatened.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar instantly in proctection mode for Kendra points his hand at the Flaming skull and hits with all his ledritch might Disrupt Undead – (Ranged Touch Attack)
Damage 1d6=6 against undead
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar’s attack disinigrates the skull—the fractures widen as blue light bursts and shatters the undead abomination.
DUNGEON MASTER: [The skulls are now all dead.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan’s hand instantly begins to blister as reaction from the heat caused from shattering the undead skull with his dagger. Johan grits his teeth as he fights past the pain. He rushes over to Mr. Avanaki as he assists to put out the flames burning the man.
DUNGEON MASTER: Johan helps the rotund man to his feet, slapping out the fires as he does so.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Mesodias focuses on creating water to smother the remaining fires to help prevent any townsfolk from being harmed.
DUNGEON MASTER: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-fNnD3PMI_fE/TqgG5ZzYewI/AAAAAAAAAHg/KnZqoHMjZxw/s800/FlamingSkullAttack.jpg
DUNGEON MASTER: A second patch of burning oil hisses out in a rising burst of steam.
For their parts, Kendra and the crooked kin gathers their wits together and act. Kendra jerks a tablecloth fron under one of the tables and with it smothers one of the fires at the front. The Ringmaster and the three-armed clowns pull citizens free from the blaze at the otherside of the stage.
Everthing is a mess of toppled tables, smoke, and chaos. There is a stampede at the door, but the room is rapidly emptying. Three badly burnt people lie on the floor near the fires, and a fourth man lies bleeding at his throat from the skull’s bite.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar, seeing that Kendra is realtively safe, grabs for one of the badly burnt people lying on the floor to take them outside
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan cries out to those remaining, “Are there people still in the building? Is there a basement or rooms out the back?!”
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar takes his charge out into the cool night air. Looking down at her burnt form, he recognizes her as mid-aged woman.
A mist seems to be forming, and the moisture condenses on Solar’s skin.
DUNGEON MASTER: Within the Inn, Johan’s entreaty is answered by none other than Sarianna Vai, an older woman who still retains some of her beauty. “Yes… Yes! There may be! Let me see to them at once!”
She hustles off down the hall to check the rooms.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar gentley puts down the lady and rushes back in to grab another person who is laying in the Inn
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan rushes down the hallway closely behind Sarianna as they look for any suriviors deeper inside the tavern building.
DUNGEON MASTER: The town watch is never far away in Ravengro, and it isn’t long before Benjan Caeller arrives with two deputies. They discover a smoke filled inn that has been effeciently emptied of all inhabitants through the efforts of Johan and Sarianna. Outside, in a neat row, lay the burn victims where they were carried by Solar and Mesodias.
In a huddle near the edge of the commons stand the Crooked Kin, watched over by a pair of deputies with billy clubs.
“So,” says Benjan to the characters, after speaking with Sarianna to hear her version of events, “tell me about it. What started the fire?”
SOLAR CE’NEA: “It seemed that the fire just started and that these flaming heads just appeared and started attacking everyone” Solar says, he believes the Kins reactions were as shocked and surpised as anyones and does not feel the blame lies with them, hence does not implicate them.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: “It all happened so quickly but the floating skulls appeared and attacked everyone without prejudice. One moment they weren’t there, the next there were already in the room.”
DUNGEON MASTER: “Yes, that’s what I’ve been hearing,” Benjan replies with a suspicious glint in his eye. “I wonder what might have stirred up those skulls in the first place? In any case, I suppose you have earned Ravengro’s thanks for your help. If not for you, I’m sure we might have lost some townsfolk tonight.”
SOLAR CE’NEA: “It was our pleasure to be of service!” perhaps we can get these poor injured folk to somewhere where healing can be given to them!"
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra fidgits uncomfortably with her hands as this exchange takes place, but says nothing.