Merriks Journal

[ooc]I didn’t find a better place to post this, so here goes:
This is an ‘In character’-journal of Frazzlerunnings Character in Bazhells ‘Carrion Crown’ Campaign.
It will contain spoilers.[/ooc]

Date Calistril 13, 4713A.R., Wealday, Location: Ravengro, Ustalav.
Recent events have lead me to start a journal, to leave a trail of breadcrumbs, for those that might want to follow them.

My name is Merrik Obrandir, I am a devoted follower of Pharasma. I am currently 24 years old, born in Andoran, and found myself, accompanied by my younger brother Gareth, on the way to a funeral, here in Ustalav.
We were ‘invited’ to attend, because Gareth once saved the life of the (now dead) Professor Lorimor, which lead to us later on spending quite some time with him, getting to know him and his studies of unusual things. We also should be present at the time to hear the reading of his last will.

Now, we arrived in Ravengro earlier today, just in time for the funeral. The professors daughter, Kendra, offered us positions as pallbearers and we accepted.
Bringing the coffin to the cementery, we were awaited by a group of townsfolk, that refused to have the professor being burried here, for fear he would return as undead, and raise the others burried in that graveyard with him.
The townsfolk wouldn’t even listen to Kendra or the towns own high priest (Father Grimburrow, a fellow follower of Pharasma), and went as far as threatening us, until Gareth spoke up. His silver tongue once again calmed the situation, so far so that the townsfolk a minute later peacefully departed and the funeral could be finished without further incidents.

Right after that, we escorted Kendra back to her home, where the reading of the professors last will was held. Gareth and I were surprised to learn that we were included, and by a substantial amount.
A total of 5 people (including us two) from all over Golarion (as it seemed) were tasked to ‘take care of Kendra’ for a month, and subsequently bring a small chest of books to a library in Lepidstadt, where we would be handed out the money from the heritage.
A spark of interest kindled in all of us, so we opened the chest of books, looking over the items. Two of those were books of vile nature, a third not much better, one was held shut by an intricate scarab-beetle as clasp.
Lastly there was also the journal of professor Lorimor himself. A thick and relatively old book, its first entries some decades ago.
Curiosity lead us to reading a couple of the last entries, whick spoke of an organisation or rather: evil cult named ‘The whispering Way’.
Appearently, the Way has a connection to a nearby, abandoned prison.
Searching the ledger a bit more thoroughly, it seems the professor is interested in the prison because of the connection to the Way.

We will probably have a look at that prison in the month we are bound to be here.

[ooc]So much for the first entry.
I plan to make one entry per ingame-day. Right now we are in the middle of the second day.
Any feedback is welcome.
Also… Why do ooc-tags not work?[/ooc]

Date: Calistril 14, 4713 A.R., Oathday, Location: Ravengro

Kendra let the 5 of us, that were granted a share of the heritage, sleep at her house. She also brought us a nice breakfast in the morning and lead us through town to show us around.

On our way through town we found some droplets of blood on one of the main streets leading out of town towards Harrowstone, the previously mentioned abandoned prison.
The townsfolk, well, most of them anyway, seem to be suspicious of Harrowstone, speaking of ghosts and haunts and undead.
I also didn’t mention before, that Harrowstone was the place where the professor died.
Now that trail of blood seems to have been droplets from a bucket of blood, but we couldn’t determine where they originated and which way they lead, as we lost the trail again after some feet. (Ref later today)

After that, we went to the church, to visit Father Grimburrow, speak a quick prayer and generally get to know him a bit better.

On our way to the townsquare we saw some kids playing in the street. Gareth decided to play some tunes to the rhyme they jumped rope to. Thats when it got weird. We later came to the conclusion that Gareth’s playing attracted whatever made the strange buzzing noise, like the flapping of enormous insectous wings, that we heard coming from the direction of the woods near Harrowstone. It ceased a minute or so after Gareth stopped playing.

After checking if the source of the noise was coming back again, but without letting Gareth play another note on his instrument, (it didn’t come back,) we headed to the ‘laughing Demon’ the local tavern, it’s name playing on the superstition of the townsfolk and the stories heard about Harrowstone.
The owner of the ‘laughing Demon’, Zokar, was a good friend of the professor and he attended the funeral on ‘our side’. He’s good natured with a wicked sense of humor, as his menu shows, listing things like ‘Vampire on Stake’ and such (the ‘Vampire’ is quite a good meal).

We also used the time to get to know the 5 of us a bit better. Besides me and my brother, there is Therapart, a huge man, strong and imposing, but brighter than you might expect, even though he seems to have lost most of his memory not too long ago. He is, like Gareth and myself, a follower of Pharasma.
We also have a human monk, devoted to Torag. He’s a silent, contemplative guy, with not much of value on his hands (but a huge collection of throwing stars… whatever there is to make of that.)
Lastly is a human mage, wether he is a sorcerer or a wizard, I don’t know. He’s talk-active, even more so than Gareth at times. I don’t know if he follows any god or not, but it seems he doesn’t.

After our meal, someone spotted Gibbs on a nearby table, eating alone. Gibbs was the speaker of the group of townspeople refusing the burial of the professor. Gareth went over to speak with him and said that he’s a nice enough guy, but… chaotic at heart.

When we looked at the posting-poles on the town-square later on, the sheriff greeted us. We went on to his ‘office’ and spoke with him about things, introducing ourselves and such. I brought up the topic of the professors death at Harrowstone, and wanted to know his insight. He thinks the cause of the professors death lies in the ruins conditions, a stone falling on his head. He mentioned some cuts in his clothing, but thinks they would be coming from thorns in hedges or something.
Lastly he mentioned some writings on the prisons walls, looking like they would have been painted with blood. He couldn’t read them.
We told him that we’d be going to the ruins tomorrow, before the sun goes up, just to give the people of the town nothing to worry about.

After visiting the sheriff, we went to Resthaven, the graveyard of Ravengro. The professor mentioned a false crypt on Resthaven, and after intensive use of detect magic we found one that, as it turned out later, was the right one.
It seemed like the professor was here as well, but before him a long time passed where no living passed through.
Inside the crypt was a false sarcophagus that was filled with magic items to help fight supernatural enemies, like haunts, ghosts and the like.
While we looked over the items, two giant centipedes slipped out of cracks in the walls and ceiling, but Therapart quickly dispatched one of them, while Gareth and the mage shot their crossbows at the other one, killing it.
We took all the things from inside the sarcophagus, but I’m going to bring back what we didn’t need once we leave Ravengro.

Coming back to Kendra’s house late, we informed her of our plan to go to Harrowstone early tomorrow, and what we found in the false crypt.
With that we all went to bed.

No matter what anyone says, no climbing took place whatsoever. And no falling took place either. And no hysterical Kendra being creeped out by our wannabe Batman.
(Am I allowed to post OoC stuff in here? If not, I’ll just erase this one.)

Sure, post your thoughts, maybe spoiler them, to have the thread mostly clean.
Regarding the actions during the night: Supposedly the journal gets written just before going to bed, so maybe it will be written down the next day. (Most likely so.)

Date: Calistril 15, early morning, 4713 A.R., Fireday, Location: Ravengro

Seems like not all of us went straight to bed yesterday. Around midnight I (and most of the house it seems) were awakened by the sound of a man falling from the roof. The silent Torag-devoted monk ruined the gutter of our hosts house when he tried to have a nightly view of the city, broke it off the roof and tumbled down.
Kendra … well, lets say her reaction was appropriate (and awoke those that the fall didn’t).

Now we are off to Harrowstone, before the town awakes proper.

Date: Calistril 15th, 4713 A.R., Fireday, Ravengro

When we headed out the door (after Kendra made us a nice breakfast even if it was early), we didn’t go straight to Harrowstone, as we thought we’d do. We spotted some torches off the main road, right at the stone Memorial.
(The memorial was built for the fallen guards at the fire of Harrowstone.)
We decided to investigate that gathering and found that a small crowd surrounded a young pair (the memorial seems to be a favored spot of young pairs to ‘meet’). Among the crowd was the sheriff questioning the pair, that apparently discovered the memorial splattered with blood. As we couldn’t really help the sheriff, we went on with our scheduled task, investigating Harrowstone.

We entered the prison-ground through a part of the outer wall that broke and crumbled since the fire. A sizable pond has developed as well, but we avoided the murky waters. Though we did expect some kind of burnt down remains of the prison building, it looked to be in a good enough shape.
We took a look at the wall and it’s towers but found nothing but a large bunch of rats, at least ten dozen, though my companions say it’s double that number.

Next we went to the Warden House. Though it looked like it could collapse by looking at it the wrong way, Gareth wanted to look inside. Therapart then shoved him in, for no reason at all… needless to say, that the building did collapse around the two of them.

We then went to the site where the professor was struck by a piece of a gargoyle statue falling from the roof. We didn’t find much evidence, but some rubble from broken stone. What we did find was the writing along the base of the prison buildings wall. It seems magical and did contain a name, but we couldn’t really figure it out.

Investigating the prison further, we went up to a balcony, where (at times when the prison was in use) criminals were slain. Just as we took in our surroundings, a flying scythe with boney arms arms attached attacked us. Marius, the monk got hold of the scythe while the positive energy and some attacks from others dispatched the ghostly attacker.

From the balcony we entered the cell tract on the first floor, where we were surprised by skeletons, stirges and a ghostly flutist. Fighting in the closed quarters of the cell tract didn’t seem like a good idea, so we went back out to the balcony, pulling the skeletons with us as we hoped. Waiting for them to emerge through the door, Therapart and Marius quickly broke their undead bones. While our attention was on the skeletons a massive stirge attacked Gareth from the skies! It got a hold of my brother, sucking blood from him. Gladly it was not the time for him to go to Pharasma, and we could kill the huge insect before it got too bad.

Still not too unnerved by the things we had found already, we went back into the cell tract, looking for the ghostly flutist, but it was gone. We continued our investigation of the cell tract to find the remains of a man, wrapped in many chains, the chains locks having holy symbols of many different religions on them. I insisted we leave the remains untouched, the locks being there for a reason. Gareth remembered that this looked like the punishment for people imposing priests.
But all my words failed, when Therapart went into the cell, taking with him the skull of the prisoner. Alfrem, who up until this point was a (more or less) reasonable fellow, found a book under the chains and took that from the supposed imposter.
I really have to ask myself why I should help or heal those people, if they so easily dismiss my words, disrupting the rest of the dead, or even push persons into dangers.

Still we kept together, exploring the abandoned prison some more, still with not many signs of a fire. The rest of the first floor didn’t hold much of interest, so we went down to the ground floor.

The next room we entered seemed to be the infirmary, but it too held a surprise for us. A gruesome ghost appeared out of thin air, in the middle of the room.
It must have reminded Gareth and myself of the night our mother died and our sister was kidnapped, frightening us to the bones, making us flee the room for some breaths. We found our courage again when we were trapped in the foyer of the prison, where all the doors slammed shut around us. Here we had to resort to the haunt siphons we found the day before. Those at least seemed to drive off the gruesome ghost, but not before it somehow bound Alfrem in ghostly chains, much like those we had seen on the body of the imposter. I channeled positive energy and with that broke the chains and the nightmare that held the wizard.

This was enough for all of us to make our way back to Ravengro.
Gareth and I went to the church of Pharasma, to speak with Father Grimmburrow about what we encountered, and maybe get some informations of Harrowstone we didn’t already know (which wasn’t all that much). He seemed a bit upset that we had been in the prison, but we had settled that with the sheriff the day before. In essence he was more angry at the law preventing him to give the bodies that still scatter the place a proper burial, which I do understand.
We didn’t find out much more from the Father though.

Later that day, before we headed back to Kendra for our evening meal and rest for the night, Gareth helped Therapart to get a longbow from the ‘adventurers store’ in Ravengro, so that we could at least use those arrows we found in the false crypt, now that most of the haunt siphons couldn’t be used against haunts anymore.

We didn’t really make plans for the next day, but I rather not run straight back to Harrowstone.

I was only able to get so much written down, and some things are still missing, but I’m not going to expand that any further now. The next ingame day shall be written down another time.

I find offended by those claims. Alfram was NEVER reasonable.
But yeah, nice post. Gotta respect the tenacity to keep working on those.

oh how i love Playerjournals xD
if u keep that up maybe u get an XP for that xD

To Merrik, besides his brother, Alfrem was mostly reasonable. He didn’t climb to roofs in the middle of the night, he wasn’t that scared of rats, he didn’t push people into unstable buildings and such.
Yeah, he shot at a balcony-supporting beam. Not the most inspiring action, but hey, what’s the fun of a crossbow, if you don’t sometimes shoot things.

Wow! I maybe get one XP! Now I have a motivation to keep it up! /sarcasm.
I’m doing this for myself mostly, to reflect on the events that happened. If someone else has fun reading those entries, bonus.
I do want to get feedback on my writing, but I wont get any, if I just type that into a doc on my drive, for that I have to put it somewhere where people can read it. Hence, this place, as it also contains the GM and fellow players, who know the story as well, point me to things I (deliberately?) missed, or wrote in a manner that didn’t reflect the events. Thing is, I will write some things differently, because I want to write this Journal as if Merrik would have written those words.

If its about telling u how u can made it better than i have to tell u it seems a little cold or not filled with feelings if that makes sense…

Understood, though I’m not sure how to go on about that

Date: Calistril 16th 4713 A.R., Starday, Ravengro

I’m glad I could talk the others, mainly Therapart, into not running straight back to Harrowstone. He seemed grumpy, but I think staying in town today was for the better.

Trying to get a bit of good reputation among the townsfolk, I asked Gareth to play at the town square some of his songs.
It seemed to have the desired effect on the people and mostly the children liked my brothers performance, though I heard him do better. Maybe the events of the last days keep bugging him as much as me.
Getting on the good side of the people wasn’t my only reason to ask for him to play though: I had kept in mind that his first song in town, played to some children playing ‘jump the rope’, resulted in a strange buzzing sound coming closer. I had hoped that would happen again, and we could slay whatever it might have been, but nothing happened today when he played.

While I kept at my brothers side and Alfrem went into the laughing demon to gather some money by playing cards, Marius looked at the posting poles again. From that we learned that the splattered blood does not come off of the memorial stone. That peaked our interest and we went there. Alfrem tried to remove the blood with prestidigitation but not even that did it (though the blood vanished for a short time, it appeared moments later again).

As that didn’t produce much of a result we wandered back to Kendra’s home. Finding Kendra reading in the study of her father we were reminded of the library the professor had collected.
Kendra also declared that she finally decided what she would like to do in the near future: she will not leave Ravengro, and she applied to help at the ‘unfurling scroll’.
(The unfurling scroll is the local schoolhouse combined with a magic item shop.)
I had to comment that I think this would be a great idea and that I encourage her to do that.

The remaining afternoon we spent in the library of Professor Lorrimor, going over his books to find bits and pieces of information that might be helpful in our endeavor to clean Harrowstone from those haunts and undead.
About Harrowstone itself we didn’t find much information, except that it was destroyed by the fire in 4661 A.R., and that it used to house only local criminals, but later on more and more dangerous individuals got sent, and executed, there.
At the time of the fire, there were five very insidious prisoners:

  • Father Charlatan (this is probably the one in chains, the one whose skull is in Theraparts backpack now, while his book is in Alfrems possession)
  • The Lopper
  • The Mosswater Marauder
  • The Piper of Illlmarsh (likely the flutist we met when we first enter the cell-tract on the first floor)
  • The Splatter Man.
    We didn’t find out much more about these men today, but maybe when we go over the books on another day, some interesting information is still to be found.
    I can’t shake the feeling that we have to find out more about those five before we will be able to clean the prison.
    And I think we are missing something. A connection being right before our eyes, but we don’t see it.

We also were looking for information about the Whispering Way in the Professors library, and we did find a thing: It is a very old cult of necromancers, going back to maybe even before Absaloms founding. Their most notorious member was the Whispering Tyrant.

With that we went to our evening meal, that Kendra prepared for us. We really have to thank her for her hospitality.

Tomorrow we will probably again head to Harrowstone. Though Therapart is not that dumb brute some might think he is when first they meet him, he got really bored today, having nothing to beat upon.

Date: Calistril 17th 4713 A.R., Sunday, Ravengro

It was not only Therapart that wanted to get back to Harrowstone today. Alfrem and Marius supported that decision, so after the breakfast Kendra prepared for us, we where on our way to the ruined prison again.

Back in the ground behind the broken wall, I wanted to try something with the used haunt siphons. As Gareth remembered, those magical vials have a secondary use, once they helped neutralize a haunt: thrown like a flask of alchemists fire, to shatter on the ground or enemy’s armor, it sets free the captured negative energy in a burst.
I tried this out on the swarm of rats we had found in one of the prisons observation towers along the outer wall.
What we found out at that test is, that it doesn’t do the enemy as much damage as it does against a haunt… would it not have been for Alfrem finding within him the power to summon fire, casting burning hands.
Still, as that spell has a very short range, some of the rats managed to get to his feet, crawling up his trousers. Marius quickly helped out and threw the rats back into the burning mass, but Alfrem already ran shrieking.
Without his help, it was a tough fight, as neither Gareth nor myself were of much help to Marius and Therapart, who tried to keep the rats back.
Theraparts greatsword plowed through the vermin in wide arcs, slicing a dozen at a time, while Marius kicked and punched and stomped and smashed at the living mass.
I was of really no help in this fight, but in the end Therapart and Marius killed most of the rats, and the remaining few scattered fast enough to hopefully never come back again.

Gathering Alfrem again, we went into the prison building, where we discovered that the doors in the first room were haunting us again. This time a vial of holy water sprinkled on them quickly ended this haunt.

Moving through the long hallway I only remember running through last time, we came to the infirmary again, where, much like we anticipated, the invisible ghost awaited us. Now that we were better equipped and knowing (or expecting) what was about to happen, we instinctively planned our approach:
Marius was to enter the room first, as he could easily deflect the projectiles the ghost was throwing at him. He also seems not to be feared easily.
After the ghost tried to frighten the monk, Alfrem used his burning hands, making it easy for Therapart to pinpoint the (now again invisible) ghost, so he could shoot a ghost touch arrow at it.
Gareth boosted the morale of our allies, but before I could do anything, Marius grabbed an arrow from Theraparts quiver, stabbing it at where the ghost must have been. A terrifying scream filled the room, before the presence vanished.

After we took a quick breath, we searched the room, finding several vials and some potions, as well as a healers kit and some other things intended to help persons in need.

The next room we entered held a very large furnace, but was also notable for the fact that one of it’s walls has, since the fire, turned to rubble. Right outside the remains of the wall, the pond stretched out. Some part of the floor towards the missing wall has dropped some inches as well, extending the pond into the room.
While we examined the view of the pond, the temperature in the room seemed to climb and become unbearable hot.
Looking at the furnace, it’s front had animated, transforming it into a visual much like a skull leering at us.
Alfrem again was one of the quickest of us to react, sending magic missiles at the furnace, though they didn’t do much damage.
I followed with Pharasmas power over the water, sending icicles into the maw of the skull, again to not much of an effect.
Suddenly a fiery tongue shot out of the metallic face, headed towards Therapart, but luckily it didn’t hit the fighter.
Before Therapart in turn could strike at the furnace, Marius discerned some bones between the ashes and coals within the huge stove, and having a hunch, grabbed them and hurled them into the pond.
Alfrem followed his example and casted mage hand on a piece of slag deep in the furnace, pulling it and the remaining pieces of bone out.
Dropping those bones into the pond as well seems to have robbed the haunt of the furnace of his power, as the face transformed back into the usual front it should be.

This was not the end of what happened in this room though:
Shortly after the furnace was dealt with, a bunch of skeletons emerged from the pond, stepping into the room.
Alfrem again was the first to react to the situation, invoked his burning hands another time, but this time it did us more harm than the skeletons.
These skeletons ignited and burned, their bones blackening, but the fire did not damage them. At all.
Before anyone else of us could act, they were upon us, clawing at us. Alfrem took the brunt of the attacks, being surrounded by three of the now burning skeletons, gaining some deep cuts.
Marius smashed his fists against one of the skeletons, but missed, I think. Therapart swung his sword masterfully, hitting two of the skeletons, but could not down them.
Then I brought up Pharasmas spiral, channeling her holy power, filling the room with positive energy, destroying all of them at once.

From this room we went on to find ourselves in a trainings-room. This one as well had it’s outer wall crumbled. In the middle of the room was a gaping hole in the floor, and a small streamlet from the pond dropped water down.
Naturally, some had to step close to the opening, peering down. A small body of water is directly beneath the hole, but the floor surrounding the pool seemed to be unusually clean and free of dust, unlike all the other rooms we looked through up until this point.
Getting a hunch, I casted bless just before three disembodied, flaming skulls floated out of the hole and up to us. Even though I did this I was too surprised by the … things … attacking us, that I didn’t even get to cast another spell, or channel energy so quickly were they dispatched by Alfrem, Marius and Therapart. Gareth at least could improve their morale with a quick song.
We decided to not go down that hole that day, as we weren’t equipped at all.

The next room we entered seemed to be some sort of courtroom, having a number of benches lined up, a bit of free space in front of that and a railing that kept it separate from another room that held a comfy chair and a small desk. As we stood there, thinking of the use of a courtroom inside a prison, I felt a chill run down my spine, but I must not have been the only one, as the others reacted just as well.
Whatever happened next, I’m not all too sure. To me it seemed like another spirit haunting this room, so I got out the last of the unused haunt siphons and activated it. If it did have an effect or not I don’t quite remember, just like I don’t remember who and how we overcame that haunt in the end, but I never was the best at remembering things.

After the judges room, we found a heavy metal door, locked and still sturdy. It took the combined effort of Gareth (picking the lock) and Therapart (forcing the door open) and quite a bit of time until we could enter the room beyond. It was a storage room, containing many different things, like a painting, hair clips, and a wand of lesser restoration.
Taking all those things with us, Alfrem searched the room even more thoroughly, with a casting of detect magic, finding a hidden vault behind a secret door. Inside this little space, we found five more items, though I suspect they belong to those five terrible prisoners.
There was a collection of a dozen holy symbols, most likely those that Father Charlatan used, but they were not magical; a bloodstained handaxe, probably the weapon the Lopper’s favorite weapon; a tarnished silver flute, which can only belong to the piper of illmarch; a moldy spellbook and a smith’s hammer.
Though I don’t like to have those, probably evil, things in our possession, I agree that we better take them before the ghosts of those prisoners might be able to get a hand on them, now that we opened them the door.

With that we had worked our way through the one half of the ground floor of the prison. As it was still just past noon, we went on to explore the other half.
The first room we found there was a long hallway with a number of smaller rooms attached, that seemed like offices, judging from their content.
Wanting to get a better picture of the prisons day to day business, we set to work comparing the many papers we found. This took some hours, but in the end we had a good understanding of the prison’s workings, and had found out a great many things about the five main prisoners at the time of the fire, though I will not go into the details here, as it really did not help us figure out what happened when the fire broke out, or when the Professor died here.

This whole haunted prison is not really an explanation of why the professor died here, and I still doubt that it simply was a worn out stone smashing down for no reason other than bad timing on the professors part.
On the other hand, Pharasma took the professor, so it must have been his time.

Even though Alfrem found another source of magic, seemingly from the next room over, we decided to call it a day when we finished with our research in the prisons papers, the sun already standing low on the horizon.

We now have the items of the ‘big five’ here with us in Kendra’s home, and come the morrow, I will prepare some other spells than the days before. For one, I would like to see if the belongings of the five would show up as evil, and for the other, I think Pharasma granted me a bit more of her power for the things we did at Harrowstone.

We will try to finish exploring Harrowstone tomorrow as well, so it’s late now when we all hit our beds, and it will be early tomorrow.

Date: 18 Calistril 4713 A.R., Moonday, Ravengro

We didn’t go to Harrowstone this day straight out, instead went to the Adventurers shop first, to sell some things we found at the former prison and had no use for. We also went to the church of Pharasma, where I wanted to get some more holy water, thinking it to be useful.
Father Grimburrow noticed us, so Gareth and I quickly talked to him about our plans for the day. He seemed a bit wary at first, but not when I showed him the used haunt siphons.
I would gladly have some more of those too, but the priest has no means of getting them as well.
At least Gareth could sweet talk him into getting some more flasks of holy water to use on the prison grounds.

Back in Harrowstone we got into the room where Alfrem had detected some magic yesterday. It turned out to be the Warden’s Office and it had a little safe. As with the items found in the infirmary, we took what we found, splitting it evenly. (Unlike the things we found in the false crypt, I don’t think of this as stealing, as it all belonged to the prison, which is abandoned now. The things in the false crypt were there for safekeeping, for a time of need. We are using them for the right reason, but I will replace them later on, when I have the chance.)

The next room we entered was a winding hallway, leading to several other rooms. It on itself wasn’t really of notice. From there we entered a room that had been a chapel, I believe. Right now it was the hideout of a number of child-sized spiders, and they quickly attacked us for entering their space.
Alfrem was the first to react again, fighting back with his burning hands, then letting Therapart and Marius do what they do best, decimating the unusually large vermin. I could not help much here again, only using the ability from Pharasma’s water domain, conjuring small icicles.
When the fight was over we could look into the chapel a bit more thoroughly, finding a cabinet in the webs of the spiders containing some flasks of holy water, a scroll and a wand of cure light wounds. Luckily we didn’t need to use that one right away.

We inspected a “preparation of prisoners room” next, having a great many chains and rope and manacles in it. Apparently sensing us living beings entering the room, a pair of manacles sprung to life, attacking us, but the fight was over so quickly, I don’t even remember what happened. Nothing useful or informative was in this room though.

Another door was opened but this one surprised us all: Some branding irons rose quickly, shooting at us at such high speed that we could not defend ourselves. Alfrem, Marius and myself took away a branding of those irons before they went back to the ground from where they came, their duty done. Still we carry those brandings, just like a prisoner would. I even tried pouring a bit of holy water over those scars, yet they remain. I sure hope they are just a sign of the haunts getting to us and not a real permanent branding.

The next room hide a more pleasant surprise, though still a ghostly one: the warden’s wife, undead like most of the prison’s inhabitants we found in the last days, but she didn’t right out attack us. Well, to tell the thruth, she did attack. She slapped Gareth for bringing ‘prisoners’ (meaning Alfrem, Marius and me, for we bore the brandings) to this room. Gareth could calm her though, clearing up the issue with the scars on our fore-arms, yet Alfrem told her that we would be the new prison guards.
The ghosts next question was just as surprising for me though: ‘Who killed Father Charlatan?’
Dumbfounded I answered that we all did, and that seemed to relax her some more. The ghost then wanted to know if we had seen her husband, the warden, and when we are going to fight the others.
Talking with the ghost a bit more, we found out that she can’t leave the room, but she wants to help us fight the remaining four of the ‘big five’. She seemed confident that she would be able to contain their evil spirits once their manifestation on this plane is destroyed, like Father Charlatans is.
She also told us that she could feel her husbands presence up until the day the professor died, but since that day hasn’t felt it, and in fact she feels less powerful with every passing day.
Also the Splatter Man is out to kill her, but we don’t know how he would do that.

The warden’s wife then let us out of her room through a secret door, leading into a laundry. Here we encountered more of the haunts manifesting in the prison, this time in form of two straightjackets, rising from a bunch of cloths, attacking Alfrem and Gareth. Using Channeled Energy and Theraparts and Marius strength we could dispatch those haunted fabrics without too much harm to both Alfrem and Gareth.

Night drew near and we had finished exploring the ground floor of the Prison at this point, we called it a day and went back to Ravengro, expecting a nice comfy bed and some hours to rest before thinking of the things we found out today, but we weren’t granted this much peace.

We near made it to Ravengro when Gareth and Alfrem heard something unusual coming from the same direction we were traveling: screams of pain and angush.
Naturally we hurried to make our way to the village, to find zombies and skeletons attacking.

Therapart and Marius charged them with their weapons of choice, greatsword and fist, slashing and slamming at the bony creatures. Alfrem again used his burning hands with great effectiveness against the undead, while Gareth inspired us all, starting one of his warsongs. I tried to get in the midst of the undead, to have as many of them in the circle of positive energy I was about to channel. This would be one of my last channelings of the day.
Within some seconds we greatly reduced the number of undead at this place, but more and more made their way to us, we were practically swarmed.
What made fighting the undead even more horrible was that they seemed to be recognized by townsfolk, one of the zombies even looked much like Professor Lorrimor. The number of undead also suggested that much of the dead from the Restlands has ‘awoken’ and made their way to the village, haunting their living relatives and friends this night.
Marius went to the Professor, grabbing and restraining him with his hands, trying to reason with him, while Therapart simply hacked at the undead near him.
Alfrem did as before, burning some of the skeletons, and Gareth kept up his song while letting loose a crossbow bolt at another of the skeletons, though that did not much to slow the monster down.
Thinking that channeling was the best course of action I did just that, using the last I could of Pharasma’s power I was granted, destroying some skeletons just like Therapart and Alfrem did.
Yet still some more undead came at us.

As the undead remains of Professor Lorrimor were not to be reasoned with, Marius used them to fight another one, flinging the body at the other skeleton. Therapart missed a swing in the heat of battle, and Alfrem conjured magic missiles to fight some more undead, but did not get away from others. I noticed them ganging up on the sorcerer, so I positioned myself next to him, casting hide from undead on the both of us. I would have liked to include my brother as well, but he wasn’t in my reach, standing right next to Therapart and not too close to the other undead to be in immediate danger.

Therapart and Marius fought two more skeletons, Gareth even hit one with his crossbow when three flaming skulls appeared over Kendra’s house. I went to Gareth’s side, to try and protect him, while Alfrem conjured some more magic missiles destroying one of the skulls quickly. Another one flew down to Marius, attacking him, while the third went for Therapart.
Marius got hit, just like Therapart was, but the monk smashed his fist at the flying head with such a force that it was knocked back into the other one next to Therapart.
Having no better idea, I doused the flaming skull by casting create water, while Gareth continued playing his warsong and shooting at one of the skulls.
Marius and Therapart then finished them off with a thrust of a greatsword and a kick of a foot.

Gareth then, after making sure the undead have been dealt with, rushed to the door of Kendra’s house, but the poor woman was so distraught that she didn’t recognize my brother when he entered and hit him with a frying pan. She quickly let it fall and screamed in despair as she saw her failure, going to tend to his wound.
I did the same to my comrades, helping them with the little magic I still had left today. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.

Gathering the bodies of the defeated undead at a larger patch of land, to burn the remains, Father Grimburrow took me a bit aside.
Asking me what has happened today at the prison I gave him a quick report, leaving out little, but concentrating on the haunts we encountered, as well as the helpful ghost of the warden’s wife.
He seemed a bit surprised at my openness, but quickly caught himself, contemplating the things I told him. Lastly he told me that there would be a Council-meeting tomorrow, and that we would be asked to come for a questioning, thus another trip to Harrowstone would not be the best to do.
I thanked him for bringing this to our attention and for the support of our case that he had promised.
He also invited Gareth and myself to go over the churches archives, to get some more information of the prison. I think my brother and I will do just that tomorrow before the questioning.

As I told the others of the questioning, I got mixed returns, as I expected. Gareth and Marius didn’t speak up, I think both of them expecting this to just be a formality.
Therapart and Alfrem though didn’t seem to like the idea of being questioned for something they thought of as ‘doing the right thing’. (I do question myself if those two have the same reason as me to go to Harrowstone, namely cleaning it of the undead and haunts housing there. Alfrem seems much more interested in the spellbook he found, the one that once belonged to the Splatter Man.
Therapart on the other hand seems not interested in the prison and its history at all, concentrating more on worldly possessions, but without being greedy. He is a man I simply can’t read.)

So much for this interesting day, now I’m going to bed in Alfrem’s room as he seemed to be afraid of something no one else can see…

Date: 19 Calistril 4713 A.R., Toilday, Ravengro

Despite all the events of the last days, I had a good nights rest. I think the bed in ‘Alframs room’ is a bit softer than the one I had in the one he uses now. I just don’t know whatever he had with the room… though I dare not question him.

The ‘Questioning’ of the town council was scheduled after noon, so we had plenty of time to have a nice breakfast. Kendra was a bit more quiet though, but after having her dead father come back from his grave… Gareth and I can relate with that.

Later my brother and I made our way to the temple of Pharasma. While Gareth went into the archives, putting his nose into those old books, I went out to the restlands, trying to help the clergy with the cleanup after the countless bodies that rose the night before.

Alfram in the meantime went to the ‘unfurling scroll’, the locale school/library/magic shop, while Therapart and Marius went to the ‘laughing demon’ passing the day with cardgames or somesuch.

Gareth could actually find some interesting tidbits in the old ledgers of the temples archives. He periodically gave me a rundown of his findings through a spell, but I’m not the best at remembering, an area more suited for the sorcerer and my brother.

After noon we went to the town hall, to meet the council and answer their questions. The town even had chairs with a permanent custom zone of truth cast on them. Even if we wanted, we would not have been able to tell lies, so we had to not tell the whole truth, leaving out some bits of the story, like Therapart bringing the skull of Father Charlatan to town, or our encounter with Vesorianna for example.
In the end the meeting went over better than expected, mostly thanks to my silver-tounged brother, smooth-talking the council members. He even got them to (sort of) hire us to clear out Harrowstone, a task we already had set us to do.

After the ‘Questioning’, I met up with Father Grimburrow again, finishing our work at the restlands. He told me that there aren’t enough bodies of the dead, that there are more graves open than bodies found. I promised to have an open eye and deal with those missing skeletons. In exchange he promised to try get his hand on some more haunt siphons.

Gareth used the afternoon to do something not as grim, lightening the spirits of the children in town by playing for them.

Therapart went to the local smithy speaking with the dwarven head, as he has said, while Marius was ordered to fix the roof and water drain of Kendra’s home.

I think having had this day not physically fight any ghosts or undead did all of us some good. Tomorrow we will be back at the prison, going for the Piper of Illmarch first. Let’s hope it doesn’t have too many of it’s blood-sucking friends…

Date: 20 Calistril 4713 A.R., Toilday, Harrowstone

Alfram seemed to have a nervous breakdown or something, so we went to Harrowstone without him.

We entered through the front door, and I think the holy water sprinkled on the doors has driven out the ‘bleeding doors haunt’ permanently. Or at least I hope so.

Marius heard some noise coming from the chapel, and as we went there, we found new webbing covering the door frame. Some more spiders have made their home in the chapel, so we went in, taking care of them. Nasty things those spiders were, shooting webs, trying to keep us out, or entangling us. Didn’t help them much in the end though.
Most of the gnome sized insects were being taken care of by Marius and Therapart, with Gareth and me just trying to shoot them with our crossbows, but not helping much besides.

As has been discussed the day before, the Piper of Illmarch was our primary concern this day, so we went to the upper floor, where we first encountered him. He did have his stirges with him. Those little creatures are distracting and an inconvenience, but the larger one is really dangerous.
While I was attacked by two little ones, Therapart had the big one on his neck. With my dagger I didn’t have much of a chance to defend myself, so I was rather occupied. The Piper in the meantime tried to take us down with his music, but Gareth was after some seconds able to help us defend against that, getting us out of a really tight spot, would he have not been with us.
I was able to try out a new spell Pharasma granted access to: spiritual weapon. Though it only lasts for a couple of seconds, not even half a minute, it helped take down the piper, though again most of that was done by Marius and Therapart, while Gareth warded us against his demonic music.

Having fought the Piper, we went to check on the warden’s wife, gaining confirmation that the Piper would not be set free again, if we can stop the Splatterman before he can kill the spirit of Vesorianna.

We then went to the hole in the room behind the furnace. Gareth informed us that the ‘room’ below the hole was called “Hells basement”. We expected some more flaming skulls to rise, but that did not happen.

Having expanded most of my daily spells, and the others feeling that down in the basement of the prison some nasty things awaiting us, we decided to rest for the remaining hours of the day, thinking of what to expect once we go down there. We decided to stay in the Prison, not going back to Ravengro, just out of convenience. I just hope Kendra doesn’t worry too much about our wellbeing.
At least we did think of bringing some rope to climb down the hole tomorrow.