Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 151 posts
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Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 17:55
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG scratches his head and knows not what to think....he awaits some additional information from the sobbing lady
Darcon
 player, 69 posts
Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 20:11
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Darcon stood behind Constantine and Garland, gripping his staff tightly and listening to the ghostly woman's sobbing. Her story was moving, yet horrifying at the same time.
The mage could but guess at the anguish the fire had caused to have made so many unquiet spirits trapped within these burn walls.

"Can you confirm if the spirit attacking you is Hean Feramin? If so, did you notice any difference or lessening of his attacks in the last few days?" Darcon asked cautiously, wondering if their exorcism of Gibs had any affect on the spirit of the Splatterman.
GM
 GM, 316 posts
Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 17:55
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Yes, I can sense five distinct presences here in the prison. I can feel them, malevolent, hateful, yearning to be free of this place. It is all that I can do to keep them trapped here as my husband once did. Although I can sense them it already seems that you know more of them than I do, I sense nothing more than their hate and their power. I know not what their names are, or how to defeat them.

Two of them are in the cell blocks above us. The other three, the most powerful, are below, in the dungeons."
She gestured to the ceiling and to the floor.

"I...I did feel a lessening of the attacks upon me in the last several days. It is a respite only though, I can still feel this...splatterman...lurking below. Surely his power is not broken.

If only I had...if only..."
A sob wracked her but she choked it off with a look of broken determination.

"It was my husband's force of will and his authority over this prison that kept the evil spirits caged for all of these years. If you could bring me the symbol of his authority over the prison, his badge of office, I would be able to gain some of his control.

I am not strong enough to defeat the evil spirits myself, but I can keep them from re-manifesting. Go forth, defeat the five spirits that haunt this place, and bring me my husband's badge. Do this, and I will banish the evil in these walls permanently!"
She commanded. Ghostly tears still rolled down her pale blue cheeks, but there was iron in her voice.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 18:42
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Thank you ma'm."

SCG looks determined, and having not realized that any cells were upstairs, thinks about it...

"Finish clearing this level, then upstairs for the two and then down below for the three?"
Garland Van Burke
 player, 113 posts
Tue 2 Jul 2019
at 00:05
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Listening carefully Garland was guarded, knowing that when it came to spirits things were never easy and much like people sometimes there was more to know then they were saying. "If we stop the spirits and return the symbol of office to you and if we banish the darkness from the prison, what then? Will you also move on, or will this plan force you to linger here in this world?"
GM
 GM, 318 posts
Tue 2 Jul 2019
at 18:14
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"I...I do not know." The ghost said sadly, seeming to waver like a shimmer in the air. "I've been trapped here for so long. Yearning for so long. I only know that the evil spirits of this place must be stopped. Do this, you must! You mussst!"

Her words grew fainter and fainter, fading as if into the distance she slowly disappeared. Her presence could still be felt, keeping her husband's vigil over the prison, but the apparition in the workshop faded away.

Kendra stepped out of the room, her eyes glistening. She scrubbed at her cheeks but nodded in as businesslike way as she could manage to Constantine's suggestion.

"Where should we look first?"
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Wed 3 Jul 2019
at 14:05
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG points clockwise...
"The reamining doors on this level."


Door 1 first
GM
 GM, 319 posts
Wed 3 Jul 2019
at 18:48
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Our heroes moved to the door to the right of the workshop. It was as charred and rotten as any in the prison and unlocked, they were easily able to push inside.

The room was as macabre as any they had seen so far. The center of the floor was taken up by a roughly made wooden chair bolted to the floor with rusty pinions. Leather straps at the arms, legs, and back were stiff with age and left no doubt that an inmate would be restrained here. A cold brazier sat in one corner. On a workbench before it was a collection of long handled brands, each stamped with a letter or a number.

In this chamber new inmates were branded with the prisoner numbers that they would wear for the remainder of their lives. Usually short lives, the headsman's axe fell heavily in Harrowstone.

After only a few minutes of exploration the faint smell of charred flesh began to drift through the room, a barely detectable undercurrent. The smell was faint, and only Keanala's nostrils flared from the scent. Just in time she was able to shout a warning to her compatriots.

So it was that none were flatfooted as the brazier flared to life and the branding irons began to glow with white hot radiance. They rose into the air and began to whirl about, swirling around the rough chair in the center. Suddenly they burst outwards, streaking towards the party.

The other three were galvanized by Keanala's warning, dodging away or raising shields to deflect the white hot pokers. Only Keanala herself was unable to move in time. The smell of burning flesh filled the chamber for real, displacing the ghostly smell, as a brand pressed itself against her flesh.

With a clatter all the swirling brands fell to the floor. The horror animating them dissipated. Each was cold to the touch. The only clue that the haunt had attacked was the agony of a charred P burned into Keanala's flesh, just below her left collar bone.



A haunt manifests in the room which Keanala perceives before it triggers, so nobody is flat footed. Burning brands shoot out as +1 flaming arrows, one of which hits Keanala. Keanala, you take 9 damage.






Explored Rooms:
A1 - Entryway
A2 - Foyer
A3 - Auditorium
A5 - Property Room
A6 - Offices
A7 - Warden's Office
A8 - Chapel
A9 - Stairwell
A10 - Furnace Room
A11 - Induction Chamber
A12 - Workshop
A13 - Branding Room - You are here

Unexplored Rooms:
2 - ???
3 - ???
5 - ???
6 - ???

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:03, Wed 03 July.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 155 posts
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Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 12:57
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"In some instances it seems the haunt is targeting specific people in our group.  Do you need ease in your burn?"

SCG moves to lay hands upon the burned flesh....
Garland Van Burke
 player, 114 posts
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 19:16
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland stops, waiting to see if the haunt remanifests itself with a spell ready. Should nothing remanifest he takes a moment to search the room, trying to see what remains that might cause it to stay here. "We need to take care of these smaller spirits as well as the large ones. "


12:16, Today: Garland Van Burke rolled 23 using 1d20+3.  perception check.
GM
 GM, 321 posts
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 19:19
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
The haunt in the branding room had expended itself, temporarily, and our heroes were free to continue their exploration of the prison.

They cautiously entered the room closest to the workshop (A14), fortunately nothing accosted them. The room was a laundry, moldy piles of prison uniforms were stacked in rolling carts and large wash tubs stood against one wall. Casks that had once held lye and other chemicals had long since corroded through, spilling their powdery contents to stain the stone floor. There was a tin chute at the far end of the room, it was just large enough to squeeze through and looked as if it led to the cesspit behind the prison.

The next room (A15) was a privy. Wooden benches had been sanded smooth, charred now, with openings that led to a sewage trough. It too emptied into the midden, but was far too narrow to traverse.

The last unexplored room (A16) was filled with moldy cots, old cabinets, and several private sleeping rooms. The decor made it obvious that this had once been the prison's infirmary. While more care had been given to the guards the manacles near several of the beds made it plain that prisoners had been treated here as well.

While the linens and instruments were too rotted and rusted to be valuable a search of the room revealed a locked cabinet near the back. The lock held firm but the charred wood of the door was easy to pry open. Inside was a wax sealed crate full of supplies.

With the remainder of the floor explored our heroes gathered at the stairwell in the center of the prison. The stairs leading down into the dungeon had been collapsed by the deadfall so many years ago, the only way down was through the collapsed elevator shaft in the training room (A4). The stairs up were perfectly serviceable, leading up onto the dark upper floor of the prison.







You explore the remaining rooms in the prison but aren't attacked by any further haunts or creatures. The items that you find in the infirmary are:

2 healer's kits
3 vials of antitoxin
2 vials of antiplague
3 doses of bloodblock
3 doses of smelling salts
2 vials of soothe syrup
4 potions of cure light wounds

Explored Rooms:
A1 - Entryway
A2 - Foyer
A3 - Auditorium
A5 - Property Room
A6 - Offices
A7 - Warden's Office
A8 - Chapel
A9 - Stairwell - You are here
A10 - Furnace Room
A11 - Induction Chamber
A12 - Workshop
A13 - Branding Room
A14 - Laundry
A15 - Privy
A16 - Infirmary

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 156 posts
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Sat 6 Jul 2019
at 01:59
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“Each of you should have a healing potion and the other stuff as well.  I trust if it is needed you will use it to aid me.”

SCG stares up the dark staircase looking with dark vision to see any dangers.

He also has his shield tilted in the event of falling debris

This message was last edited by the player at 02:01, Sat 06 July.

Garland Van Burke
 player, 115 posts
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 03:21
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland takes one of the healing kits, a potion of cure lights wounds, and an antitoxin for future use. Once pocketed he follows Constantine upstairs, holding his morningstar at the ready.
Darcon
 player, 71 posts
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 09:54
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Darcon followed behind the others, moving cautiously and swiveling his head to look back once in a sudden while, as if he expected a haunt to manifest just as the party's back was turned.

"The spirit mentioned there are two of the spirits upstairs, and they are not as powerful as the ones down below. We may not be able to destroy them ourselves, but we should be able to defeat and weaken them enough for the spirit of the constables wife to cage them again, assuming we can locate her dead husbands badge," he remarked to the others as they moved up the stairs.
Darcon will take a potion of CLW and 1 antitoxin.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 14:06
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“Aye the badge; it might be here or possibly even held in town as an artifact.  We can inguire later on.”

SCG will make sure all the first aid gear is taken and none is left behind.
GM
 GM, 322 posts
Mon 8 Jul 2019
at 19:07
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Constantine moved upwards through thick cobwebs, up the worn stone steps, into the darkness of the upper landing. The others trailed behind, their weapons at the ready. Kendra clutched her breadknife in one hand and her satchel full of notes in the other.

The stairway led to a door of iron bars that was standing ajar. It hadn't been locked at the time of the fire, but could be slammed shut to isolate the top floor of the prison in an emergency. As Sir Constantine pushed through the rusty metal squealed in protest, flakes popping from the stuck hinges to float down the stairs.

The layout was somewhat more open than the narrow, claustrophobic stone corridors of the first floor. There were two openings to the west of the chamber that led off to the cell blocks, and another to the south east. This was likely where the prisoner's remains were to be found. South of the stairs our party could make out what looked like a checkpoint or guard post, and to the northeast an open area with benches and tables. Probably a mess hall.





Unexplored Rooms:
1 - Cell Blocks
2 - Guard Post
3 - Cell Blocks
4 - Mess Hall
5 - Cell Blocks

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:07, Mon 08 July.

Sir Constantine Godalming
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Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 12:02
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG turns first right to better view the area beyond the stairwell looking both left and right; if he sees nothing he goes back down the hallway to get a better view of the areas to the left of the stairs.

“Wait here.”
He whispers to the person behind him on the stairs
GM
 GM, 326 posts
Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 18:29
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Constantine did a brief circuit of the upper floors, peeking into the cell blocks but remaining close to the central stairwell.

The mess hall could be seen from the stairs. Rickety tables and narrow benches were tossed about in a disorderly fashion but it appeared to be empty otherwise, no threats or clues could be seen. Although the fire damage was much lighter here on the upper floor a portion of the wall had collapsed, probably due to damage below. With a little work with a pickaxe or lever it would be possible to get out onto the first story roof.

The guard post could be seen through the bars of a security cage that extended onto the landing. Constantine tried the door to the cage but found it locked, but in relatively good shape. None of the locks on the upper floor were as rusted through and damaged as there rest of the prison. It could be picked or opened with a key.

The remaining passages led off to the cell blocks, narrow and shrouded in shadows pierced here and there by beams of light that shone through the sagging roof.

As our heroes moved onto the landing Darcon and Keanala called for silence. The could hear the faint, haunting sounds of flute music coming from the eastern cell block.





Explored Rooms:

Mess Hall

Unexplored Rooms:

Eastern Cell Block
Western Cell Block
Guard Post

Sir Constantine Godalming
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Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 19:28
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"No signs of trouble; the mess hall, cell blocks to the right and the guard post and other rooms on the left.  No signs of anything dangerous yet."
Garland Van Burke
 player, 117 posts
Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 22:26
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"If this is the home of an intelligent ghost they have likely made it into their own personal place. Anything not pleasing them has been disposed of." Garland remarks as he points toward the east side. "I hear sounds coming from that direction, perhaps we should start there."
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 160 posts
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Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 16:02
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG looks towards the east, yet hears nothing, so he inquires


"Shall we try and enter through the middle door, the door adjacent to the mess hall or down by the guard station?"
GM
 GM, 327 posts
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 19:00
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
At Constantine and Garland's suggestion our heroes moved cautiously towards the haunting music.

The north door opened into a kitchen. Rats had long since eaten any foodstuffs that had survived the fire, and anything remaining had rotted away. The stove was rusted through, the implements pitted and useless. There was nothing of interest there.

The party was likewise disappointed by the center door, a simple broom closet.

And so it was as the adventures moved cautiously into the cells that the tension began to build. The music remained faint, barely detectable, as they moved through the barred rooms. The doors here were sturdy wood with thick iron locks and a barred window to let the jailers look into the cells. Each was bare except for long rotted pallet of straw and a bucket.

Several held ancient corpses.

Halfway down the hall the flute music rose to a sudden trill, rising in a cacophonous shriek that seemed to tear at the ears. The pace increased to a frantic tempo, and the ghostly flute music competed with the growing sound of buzzing wings. From a crumbled hole in a shadowy corner of the roof vile little insectoid bodies began to boil out. Vicious stirges buzzed forwards, probing, sucking proboscises waving wildly through the air.

And at the opposite end of the corridor, hoovering between our heroes and the hallway leading out of the cell block, the ghostly figure of the Piper of Illmarsh hoovered into view.







The ghastly apparition said nothing but it continued its eerie dirge, flute music crashing against our heroes ears. The otherworldly tune was relentless but only Darcon seemed shaken by it, the music seemed to flay his nerves bare.

But it was on Garland that the specter focused its main attention. The cleric felt fear sap his will, the dread will of the ghost trying to pin him in place. He shook off the ghostly influence, but even as he did tiny pinpricks of pain lanced through is throat and wrists. Oozing droplets of blood began to seep from tiny holes that appeared there.



ABCDEFGHIJKLMN 
  +   +ST1ST2+   +1
  +   +ST3ST4+   +2
  +   DOR  +   +3
  +++++  +++++4
  +   DORCONGARDOR   +5
  +   +KND +   +6
  +   +KEADAR+   +7
+++++++  +++++8
       ILL DOR   +9
         +   +10
++DOR+DOR+++++   +11
   +     +++++12
   +          13
   +          14




On the first round of combat four stirges crawl through a hole in the ceiling and the Piper of Illmarsh manifests behind you.

The stirges spend their turn getting into position.

All party members make a will save vs the effects of the ghostly music, Darcon fails and is shaken.

The Piper targets Garland with Hold Person effect but Garland passes. He fails a subsequent save against the effects of the attack though, and takes 2 damage.


CON - Constantine
GAR - Garland, 2 damage
KND - Kendra
KEA - Keanala
DAR - Darcon, Shaken


ILL - The Piper of Illmarsh, AC 16, Touch 16, Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6, Channel Resistance +4, Incorporeal

ST1 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST2 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST3 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST4 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1





This message was last edited by the GM at 19:17, Wed 10 July.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 161 posts
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Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 19:32
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“Avaunt shade!  Your time is done and you must move on.”

SCG wonders temporarily if he can break the spirits flute and cage or if those are as immaterial as the spirit.

“Can anyone hold off the sturgeon; and aid with the spirit?”

SCG prepares to smite the evil shade in front of him....

Wanted to move into place between the shade and the rest of the party and be prepared to smite the specter....I thought I may not be able to get an attack in immediately.....


"Choose wisely dead thing if you mean to attack, if not tell us how we may help you to move on."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:56, Wed 10 July.

Garland Van Burke
 player, 118 posts
Thu 11 Jul 2019
at 02:28
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Feeling tiny little pin pricks all over his body made Garland wince in pain but he had a plan for this particular kind of encounter. He reached over grasping his holy symbol tightly and thrust it forward. "It seeks a battle, not parley. If this works, destroy its pets!" he says as he looks at the spirit holding the symbol at the ready as he moved forward and began his incantation. "Submit to the lady of graves Judgement or feel her fiery wrath!"

OOC: Move forward and use turn undead. If he fails a DC 12 will save he flees for 1 minute and is set on fire with Garlands Blazing channel feat
GM
 GM, 330 posts
Thu 11 Jul 2019
at 19:18
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Constantine moved forward to defend his allies and Garland cast forth his hand towards the specter, calling on the power of light to repel it. The Piper seemed unaffected by the wave of channeled energy.

The ghost didn't smirk, or gloat, or show any sign that it knew that party was there. It simply continued its keening dirge, the music whipping the stirges into a frenzy and draining our heroes morale.

Kendra flailed wildly at the stirges as they buzzed towards the group, battering at one of them and trying to push it away.

The others buzzed past, sinking their sucking proboscises into Kendra, Keanala, and Constantine. The buzzing little horror that headed for Darcon swooped in but missed, buzzing angrily as it circled. And still insectoid bodies continued crawling out of the hive.




ABCDEFGHIJKLMN 
  +   +ST5ST6+   +1
  +   + ST7+   +2
  +   DOR  +   +3
  +++++  +++++4
  +   DOR  DOR   +5
  +   +KNDST2+   +6
  +   +KEADAR+   +7
+++++++CONGAR+++++8
       ILL DOR   +9
         +   +10
++DOR+DOR+++++   +11
   +     +++++12
   +          13
   +          14



Constantine moves up and makes ready to smite the Piper. Yes, last round was the first round of combat. If you would like you can make an attack against the Piper to represent your readied action from last round, and then you can act normally and take your full turn.

Garland, the Piper passes his save and is not turned.

Kendra uses the Aid Another action against the stirge attacking her, anyone that targets ST1 gets +3 to their attack.

The stirges move forward and attack the party.

ST1 attacks Kendra, attaches, and does 1 CON damage.
ST2 attacks Darcon and misses
ST3 attacks Keanala, attaches, and does 1 CON damage.
ST4 attacks Constantine, attaches, and does 1 CON damage.

Three new stirges crawl out of the nest.

The Piper continues to play his flute causing everyone in earshot to make a will save. Darcon, Keanala, and Garland fail and are Shaken. Constantine passes.

The Piper targets Darcon with a Hold Person effect but Darcon passes his save and is fine. He also passes the subsequent save and takes no damage from the attack.

Garland, who is already affected by the Piper's dirge, also passes his save and takes no damage.

Darcon and Keanala, because you didn't act last round you get an additional standard action this round. If you don't act I will NPC you for the next round.

Constantine, you can take your readied attack from last round in addition to your turn from this round. And you can smite him before you attack, if you would like.




CON - Constantine, ST4 attached, 1 CON damage
GAR - Garland, 2 damage, shaken
KND - Kendra, ST1 attached, 1 CON damage, shaken
KEA - Keanala ST3 attached, 1 CON damage, shaken
DAR - Darcon, shaken


ILL - The Piper of Illmarsh, AC 16, Touch 16, Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6, Channel Resistance +4, Incorporeal

ST1 - Stirge, AC12, Touch 12, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1, attached
ST2 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST3 - Stirge, AC12, Touch 12, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1, attached
ST4 - Stirge, AC12, Touch 12, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1, attached
ST5 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST6 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
ST7 - Stirge, AC16, Touch 16, Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1