Chapter 1 - The Haunting of Harrowstone.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 127 posts
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Thu 6 Jun 2019
at 12:13
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“In my eyes you are free as long as you did not willingly allow yourself to be taken over.  But no matter we can burn your soiled clothings and the animals on this fire.”

SCG uses an arrow

“But first what is the last place time and person you recall speaking to?”
GM
 GM, 289 posts
Thu 6 Jun 2019
at 17:51
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Yesterday I worked as normal and spent the evening at the Laughing Demon." Gibs said, trembling.

"I shared a few words with Zokar but we didn't discuss anything important. Just gossip about...the...the murder...oh gods...

Then I came back here and went to bed. I woke up on that table in the temple. I dunno how those animals got there, and I ain't been down into that cellar since last winter."

Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 39 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2019
at 04:25
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Keanala stayed back, leaning against the wall with her arms crossed.  It was better to let the Paladin talk to Gibs, he was probably going to be more gentle than she would have been.

"Have you picked up or received any strange items recently?" she asked, seeing that the conversation was now getting to the good part.  "Any strange dreams perhaps?  This wasn't the first time that we've found letters painted in blood on the statue in town so you might have had a few...interesting nights..."
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 128 posts
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Fri 7 Jun 2019
at 12:12
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG notes that this place the laughing demon he will have to visit and the man Zokar he will have to speak with.

Rather than more questions he gives the man a reassuring nod...
Darcon
 player, 62 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2019
at 15:42
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Zokar eh? Quite the sinister sounding name. Tell me what you know about this Zokar; do you chat with him often, and does he have an abode in the town?" Darcon prodded Gibs further.
GM
 GM, 290 posts
Fri 7 Jun 2019
at 18:48
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"No, I haven't received anything. No dreams either. No...that isn't right. A week or so ago I had a strange dream, in fact it was the night that Professor Lorrimor died. A nightmare. I dreamed that I was burning alive." He shuddered. "Horrible, but no dreams since then."

"Aye, I chat with Zokar any time I stop by the Laughing Demon for a pint. Can't help it, really. He's probably the friendliest man in Ravengro."




Since you've spent significant time in Ravengro you would already have met Zokar Elkarid or spent some time in his establishment, the Laughing Demon.
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 129 posts
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Sat 8 Jun 2019
at 01:12
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“I have not visited this place though I think I should however good Master Gibbs perhaps you should return to the care of the temple.  This town must have a new sheriff or fall into long nights of terror, I intend to speak to the councilmen or whomever should be in the business of doing so.”

SCG burns the clothing and carcasses...

“What say you master Gibbs or maybe you have no love for temples and clerics?  My parents are clerics so i know first hand they can be a bit much for common men, thus the bar is a better place for men of faith to gather together.”

This message was last edited by the player at 01:24, Sat 08 June.

Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 40 posts
Sat 8 Jun 2019
at 23:48
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"You had a dream that you were being burned alive the night that the Professor died?" Keanala repeated, more to emphasize the information for the rest fo the group.  "That's a pretty coincidence.  Or not.  I've only heard of something like that happening when there is a close relationship between a pair, either by blood or by friendship.  How well did you know the Professor?"

"Or maybe this is some other phenomenon.  There might be others in town who may have had similar dreams.  Perhaps whatever, or whomever, it was that killed the professor was reaching out that night to the townsfolk.
"
Garland Van Burke
 player, 100 posts
Sun 9 Jun 2019
at 02:03
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"We excorsised a spirit from Gibs in the temple. That is a fact. Due to his behavoir and mannerisms during our earlier encounter I suspect this possession was by the same spirit I last researched. Professor Hean Feramin seems the responsible party or as he was more commonly known the splatterman. He was known for his study of langauge and the murder of women after spelling out their name. The same phenomena were seeing at the monument with Vesorianna Hawkran."
GM
 GM, 291 posts
Mon 10 Jun 2019
at 18:00
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Gibs' mind was caught up in Darcon's spell, his true personality temporarily suppressed in favor of a charmed and helpless sense of fraternity with our heroes. As such a flush of embarrassment rose in his face as he contemplated his past actions.

"Well...I didn't know the professor myself. Ravengro is a small town and I had seen him out walking and such, but I never really met him myself. But everyone knows that he was mixed up in the dark arts! He was a necromancer or some such, always researching things that ought be left alone."

Kendra seemed to have mastered herself at this point, at least the green tinge to her cheeks had receded now that the scene was clear and the gruesome evidence burned. Her face showed a mix of exasperated anger and patient understanding of Gib's limited, superstitious views on her father.

She stayed while our heroes asked him any remaining questions that they hand and then led him off towards the temple.
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 130 posts
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Mon 10 Jun 2019
at 18:32
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG shakes his head and nods; he thinks he understands this man and his view of everything through the narrow lens of good and bad...

“Will you treat the priests well or do you think they also traffic in things better left alone?”
GM
 GM, 293 posts
Tue 11 Jun 2019
at 19:15
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Father Grimburrow is good enough folk, although I dunno why he'd keep truck with that professor." Gibs said, sparing a dirty look for Kendra. She rolled her eyes and bundled him off towards the temple.

"I'll make sure the priests keep him out of trouble." She said as she left.



The remainder of the night passed uneventfully. Kendra returned home a perhaps a quarter hour after leaving Gibs with the priests, and in the morning the Harrowstone monument was blessedly free of bloody graffiti.

The small town of Ravengro was a buzzing hive of rumors about the previous night's disturbance. Gossiping goodwives made several excuses to drop by and call on Kendra, a thinly veiled attempt to gawp at her visitors. The house was a bit crowded before she politely shooed them away but the upside was a stack of casseroles and meat pies brought by as a pretext for the visit.

Evidently Gibs himself had not been idle. He had stayed docile at the temple for an hour or two, but once Darcon's spell of charming had worn off he had gotten into a shouting match with Father Gimburrow and then pounded on Councilman Hearthmount's door at nearly three in the morning, waking most of the neighborhood and loudly demanding that Darcon be arrested for ensorcelling him. With no love of the outsiders, but less for belligerent old curmudgeons, Councilman Hearthmount had sent Gibs away without hearing him.

Naturally the young acolytes were as prone to gossip as any small town youngster, and most had returned home after the exorcism. Gossip of Garland's role in the ritual battled with dark rumors of Gibs' role in the murder of the sheriff. There was talk in corners and alleyways of taking actin against him but it looked like nothing would be done in the bright light of day. Seemingly unaware of the negative attitudes that the rest of the villagers held towards him, Gibs was in the Laughing Demon drinking, glowering, and telling anyone who would listen that Darcon was an evil sorcerer.



It was a tense and fraught situation that our heroes woke up to, but they seemed invigorated with new strength and new life. They had a good idea of what haunts and spirits dominated the prison. They had halted the grizzly string of vandalism and murder. And they had won the respect of many of the townsfolk.

Kendra made sure that everybody was well fed and had pockets full of snacks before broaching the subject of their next course.

"What should we do today?" She asked eagerly.



Congratulations, tracking down and halting the vandalism has pushed you over the XP threshold for the next level. You advance to level 3.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 132 posts
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Wed 12 Jun 2019
at 00:49
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"I intend to break my fast the first thing and then track down the councilman and see that a new sheriff is appointed or elected; a town must have good stewardship."

SCG eyes the table hoping for a nice spread...

"We should also check that no citizen is hungry or in need."
Garland Van Burke
 player, 101 posts
Wed 12 Jun 2019
at 10:29
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland got up early in the monring, took a hot bath, and then spent much of his time organizing his notes and research materials. Only pausing when it was time for breakfast which he sat down and ate his fair share. "There is still a great deal we dont understand but for now, unless we intend to explore the prison further, I think the best use of my time is to take Kendra and research one of our remaining four spirits. Specifically Father Charlatan. Though I am concerned that the spirit that was posessing Gibs will continue to do so, we may have only bought some time."

OOC: For anyone still wounded Garland also uses a channel energy on the group in the morning restoring 11 hit points

03:40, Today: Garland Van Burke rolled 9 using 2d6.  channel energy. +1 Cha +1 Blessed touch

This message was last edited by the player at 10:43, Wed 12 June.

GM
 GM, 295 posts
Wed 12 Jun 2019
at 18:03
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Kendra nodded and busied herself with stacking and sorting the research materials that they had retrieved from the prison, sorting through and pulling out any sections that might pertain to the criminal known as Father Charlatan.



Constantine made his way that morning to Councilman Hearthmont's home, the largest in Ravengro, and presented himself for an audience. He was brushed off by an aide who told him that the councilman was much too busy to meet with him, but that he could make an appointment just like everybody else. It seemed that the great service that our heroes had rendered to the town had done little to assuage the councilman's dislike of outsiders.

He was easily able to garner information about the sheriff's appointment though. The town sheriff was an elected official and it would take several weeks to organize the election for a new one. In the interim one of the deputies, Jori Harlan, had been appointed by Councilman Hearthmont as acting sheriff.

He was a doughty fellow, Constantine had met him on patrol but did not know him well. He was taciturn and evidently shared the Councilman's distrust for strangers.



Constantine, if you have further questions for the Councilman or would like to pursue a separate investigation I'll split you off into your own thread. If not you can spend the day at humanitarian pursuits, you can make a Diplomacy check to influence the attitude of the villagers in general.

If nobody has other investigations they would like to pursue we'll call this a research day. You can make your knowledge checks and we'll move along.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 134 posts
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Wed 12 Jun 2019
at 19:24
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG accepted that the councilman was busy and heard of a new sheriff being appointed and was satisfied.. for now.

He inquired if the sheriff had family or children and he would pay his respects and bring food, or perform some service.


Diplomacy check result :20

This message was last edited by the player at 20:10, Wed 12 June.

GM
 GM, 296 posts
Thu 13 Jun 2019
at 18:36
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland and Kendra spent the day in research while Constantine was out in the village, investigating and trying to bolster people's spirits.

The investigation at the house was a frustrating affair, mostly collating and cross referencing old, soggy notes with missing pages and faded script. Garland kept at it hour after hour, poring relentlessly over the scant research materials until at last the elusive information began to take shape. Everything referenced some document, some dossier, that would hold all of the answers that he wanted.

Kendra was dashing about all day, fetching records and carrying bundles of pages. She popped in and out of the town archives half a dozen times, and at home the kettle was continuously singing as she kept everybody's mugs topped up with hot tea.

Of course it wasn't as simple as turning a page and finding all of the information laid out for him. But early in the afternoon Garland had a breakthrough. He was able to hunt down four of the prisoner's true names and arrest records, and after that the fifth fell swiftly into place by process of elimination.

By evening his stack of notes had been pared down to several vital pages, every detail available on Harrowstone's five notorious prisoners.



Constantine's day was equally busy, if somewhat less scholarly. He moved through the town, holding a conversation here, laying healing hands on someone injured there, and in general helping whoever crossed his path.

Sheriff Caeler, he learned, had lived alone. And while the apothecary Jominda Fallenbridge seemed more affected by his death than most there had never been a formal understanding between them. Still, she spent Constantine's visit sobbing on his shoulder as he patted her consolingly, blubbering as she recalled feast days and festivals where she would circle Caeler as he shyly struggled to break his own taciturn nature and ask her to dance.

Although he didn't spend any time in the tavern he knew that Gibs was there, getting drunker and drunker and glowering at anyone that came near him. Zokar Elkarid threw him out at dusk but sent two of his stable boys to make sure that he got back to his shack safely.

It was the last kind act that anyone was inclined to perform towards him.

In fact an undercurrent of darker rumors had been circling the town all day. The acolytes, most young village boys, had told anyone that they could about the horrifying exorcism at the temple. And it was common knowledge that, in his right mind or not, Gibs had been responsible for the death of Sheriff Caeler. There were rumblings and grumblings that he hadn't been arrested already, and the temporary Sheriff was locked in his office with Councilman Hearthmount, unable or unwilling to deal with the situation.

It was near dusk when things began to boil over.

Constantine had been dogged by furtive glances all day, villagers who hurried away as he approached, looking guilty, gossiping in small knots that dispersed when he approached. Oh, there was no ill will towards our heroes, especially the Paladin, who most of the villagers had warmed to.

No, there was dark talk of punishment for Gibs.

As night fell a mob began to form in the town square. There were murmurings at first, and then shouting. Some villagers waved torches and pitchforks. There were shouts about the useless new sheriff allowing a murderer to go free. But the talk remained just that, angry shouting. Until somebody pushed to the front of the crowd brandishing a twisted noose.

It looked like the situation was quickly getting out of hand.



Garland, I rolled a Knowledge History check on your behalf and got a really high roll. You beat the DC by 15, so you research Father Charlatan and the remaining three ghosts as well. I will update their information later this afternoon when I get some time.

The current situation is a mob gathered in the center of town, yelling and looking capable of anything.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 135 posts
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Fri 14 Jun 2019
at 00:31
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG watched as the crowd gathered and the mood darkened, when a man with a noose stepped forward so did the Paladin

“Men, protectors of innocence and men who can be counted upon when it matters most, listen and I will tell you what is known and what may still lie ahead of us.”

SCG waits to see if they will listen...

“The man you speak of is one of your own and an evil spirit was upon him and made him do terrible things; but also a magic protected him as he faced us in naught but a nightgown and a shroud of mist and vapor was spelled around him; and the source of magic remains unknown as it tried to force me into slumber in that night.  No doubt this was what befell the sheriff but ‘twas not the hand or the man that murdered a good man; it was a spirit and the magic that felled him.  Have no doubt this evil desires the blame to fall upon one man one easy to take and kill. “

Diplomacy result 20

This message was last edited by the player at 00:32, Fri 14 June.

GM
 GM, 298 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2019
at 18:35
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Even still, he's a murderer!" A voice called from the back of the crowd.

"String him up!" Another answered.

Constantine moved through the crowd, his words of logic and peace calming the angry townsfolk. Any villager whose eyes he met dropped their gaze, ashamed of their part in such an ugly spectacle. Many broke off, slinking into the night in little knots of two or three.

Only the most vengeful and angry minded remained. Whatever dark presence was tainting the townsfolk, turning them irritable, escalating petty little arguments into violent confrontations, it was strongest in the minds of these.

"Run him out of town! Lock him up!" Murmurs still continued to follow the paladin.

It was a close thing. If the situation had been more dire, or if our heroes had done less to earn the villager's trust previously, it could have been very ugly indeed.

But Constantine's calming words worked wonders, and eventually even the last remnants of the crowd began to disperse.

Just at that moment Sheriff Harlan bustled up, the star that had once shone on Sheriff Caeler's breast looking out of place on his roughspun shirt.

"Break it up, break it up. There will be no vigilante justice here, not on my watch!" He exclaimed as though he alone were responsible for defusing the dangerous situation. He ignored Sir Constantine entirely as he shooed the dispersing villagers back to their homes.

The more fair minded of the villagers sniffed and ignored the sheriff in turn, passing by Constantine to take his hand warmly before returning to their homes.



The following morning was an exciting one at the Lorrimor household. The monument was free of bloody graffiti, Kendra and Garland explained their breakthrough researching the five ghosts, and breakfast was hotcakes with blueberries that had been saved for a special occasion.

The party seemed invigorated and ready for adventure.

"So, what's the plan for today?" Kendra asked.
Darcon
 player, 63 posts
Fri 14 Jun 2019
at 20:19
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Darcon had spent the last day holed up with Garland and Kendra, watching them conduct their research and try to learn all he could about spirits and possession himself.

Of more interest to the mage than the identities of the spirits was the manner in which they possessed their victims, why they were chosen over others, and of-course why the spirits of the prisoners clung on to the mortal plane.

Was it a desire for vengeance on the descendants of the townsfolk who had imprisoned them, or something else?

He awoke early in the morning and dug eagerly into the hotcakes as he waited for the group to come to an agreement of a plan. "It seems our most obvious goal is to find a way to prevent these spirits from possessing anymore victims, and perhaps find a way to destroy them for good," the mage said in between bites.

"How to do this though, is beyond me or any magics I have at my command. Perhaps the priests at the temple may have a way to exorcise them for good?" Darcon added, looking at Garland questioningly.
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 136 posts
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Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 01:11
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"My fear is worse my friends...the crowd last night some of their hearts have hardened and they are turning to darkness, they I fear are next in line for possession."


SCG continues eating breakfast...he seems to eat more than a man of his size.....

"My guess is a seal was broken, not by the professor, but when he was there, perhaps someone allowed him to go in first and then opened the ward and unleashed these spirits.  Based on the old stories that sort of thing can happen, I reckon."
Garland Van Burke
 player, 102 posts
Sun 16 Jun 2019
at 12:51
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Ghosts are strange and enigmatic beings. The things they do are often odd or inexplicable to the minds of mortals but there is always a reason for everything buried in the past of that particular spirit. Much like people they are as different as every star in the sky. That said, I believe we may be ready for a full excursion into the prison. Ive learned a great deal about all of the spirits said to haunt the prison and I have a few ideas of ways to put some of them to rest."
GM
 GM, 300 posts
Mon 17 Jun 2019
at 18:27
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Perhaps someone allowed him to go in first and then opened the ward and unleashed these spirits." Constantine mused.

"Way-gee..." Kendra started around a heavy mouthful of hotcakes and syrup. She swallowed heavily.

"Maybe it has something to do with the runes that we found carved into the base of the prison?" Kendra said. Her brow furrowed as the thought back to their first expedition to the prison.

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"Darcon found Euran Hawkran's name scribed into the runes, although we couldn't find out exactly what ritual had been carried out." She shook her head, sadly remembering her very first visit to the prison, when she and Sheriff Caeler had found her father's body.

"We could ask at the temple about clearing the haunts, or we could investigate the prison. We could stop by the temple on the way. If only we had some permanent way of defeating the spirits." She said, frustrated.

Knowledgeable Garland was easily able to chime in, pointing out that it would be possible to use an object heavily linked to a ghost to defeat it permanently.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:28, Mon 17 June.

Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 42 posts
Mon 17 Jun 2019
at 21:17
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Permanently ending the spirits is going to be the trick."  Keanala paused to chew on a mouthful of pancake.  Each bite was thoroughly enjoyed as if she was eating the most delicious meal in the world.  "Oh, man.  Real food.  Kendra, these pancakes are to die for."

"Is there anyone in town who might be knowledgeable in runes?"
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 138 posts
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Tue 18 Jun 2019
at 00:04
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Constantine tries to eat sweet pancakes with syrup but it’s like his body rejects it as sustenance instead he consumes eggs, meats and milk. When those are in short supply he finds oats, amaranth, honey and fresh fruits more to his liking.

“I agree a return to the prison is necessary; but first we need to be prepared and father grimburrow and the sheriff should be working in concert to secure the town.”