Chapter 1 - Journal.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 117 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 15:53
Journal
This thread is a record of plot threads, notes, and other important information.
GM
 GM, 118 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 15:54
Journal
Characters



Professor Petros Lorrimor

A renowned teacher, researcher, and explorer. Professor Lorrimor's recent death has drawn a band of heroes together to attend his funeral. United in grief, the Professor's will has also bound them together in common cause.

Kendra Lorrimor

Professor Lorrimor's daughter, an enterprising, curious young woman who tries to remain cheerful despite the grief of her father's death. Our Heroes have been tasked by the Professor's will to safeguard and advise Kendra in the weeks following the funeral.

Vesorianna Hawkran

Once the wife of warden Hawkran, the ghost of Vesorianna Hawkran now haunts the halls of Harrowstone. She has taken up her husband's duties as the ghostly jailer, and expends all of her efforts in suppressing the other evil spirits of the place.

Count Lucean Galdana

A noble from the nation's capital Caliphas. He too came to Ravengro to attend Professor Lorrimor's funeral.



Citizens of Ravengro

Father Grimburrow - Head of the local church of Pharasma.

Councilor Vashian Hearthmont - Barrister and city councilman.

Sheriff Benjan Caeler - Sheriff of Ravengro. Now deceased, he was murdered by the possessed Haephenus Gibs.

Haephenus Gibs - A disgruntled Ravengro citizen who accused the Professor of necromancy.

Acolyte Enos - One of Father Girimburrow's charges and an acolyte in training at the Temple of Pharasma. He looks up to Garland.

Jori Harlan - Previously one of Ravengro's deputies, he was appointed as acting sheriff after sheriff Caeler's death.

Alendru Ghoroven - A retired wizard and new friend of Darcon. Alendru is the proprietor of the town magic shop, the Unfurling Scroll.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:31, Wed 02 Oct.

GM
 GM, 119 posts
Mon 21 Jan 2019
at 15:55
Journal
Knowledge Checks



The Whispering Way

Knowledge: Arcana and Knowledge: Religion can be used to research the Whispering Way.

DC 10 : The Whispering Way is a sinister
organization of necromancers that has been active in the
Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

DC 15 : Agents of the Whispering Way often
seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves
undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member
was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the
society itself has existed much longer than even that
mighty necromancer.

DC 20 : The Whispering Way itself is a series of
philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers—
the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly,
making the exact goals and nature of the secretive
philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

DC 25 : Exact details on the society are difficult
to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way’s goals are
discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering
the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel
to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts
or undead menaces to perform field research or even to
capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull,
and those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are
often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent
their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.</Blue>



Harrowstone Prison

Knowledge (history) and Knowledge (local) can be used to research Harrowstone.

DC 10 : Harrowstone is a ruined prison—
partially destroyed by a fire in 4661, the building has
stood vacant ever since. The locals suspect that it’s
haunted, and don’t enjoy speaking of the place.

DC 15 : Harrowstone was built in 4594. Ravengro
was founded at the same time as a place where guards and
their families could live and that would produce food and
other supplies used by the prison. The fire that killed all
of the prisoners and most of the guards destroyed a large
portion of the prison’s underground eastern wing, but
left most of the stone structure above relatively intact.
The prison’s warden perished in the fire, along with his
wife, although no one knows why she was in the prison
when the fire occurred. A statue commemorating the
warden and the guards who lost their lives was built in
the months after the tragedy—that statue still stands in
the center of Ravengro.

DC 20 : Most of the hardened criminals sent to
Harrowstone spent only a few months imprisoned, for it
was here that most of Ustalav’s executions during that
era were carried out. The fire that caused the tragedy
was, in fact, a blessing in disguise, for the prisoners
had rioted and gained control of the prison’s dungeons
immediately prior to the conflagration. It was only
through the self sacrifice of Warden Hawkran and 23 of
his guards that the prisoners were prevented from
escaping—the guards gave their lives to save the town of Ravengro.

DC 25 : At the time Harrowstone burned, five
particularly notorious criminals had recently arrived at
the prison. While the commonly held belief is that the
tragic fire began accidentally after the riot began, in fact
the prisoners had already seized control of the dungeon
and had been in command of the lower level for several
hours before the fire. Warden Hawkran triggered a
deadfall to seal the rioting prisoners in the lower level,
but in so doing trapped himself and nearly two dozen
guards. The prisoners were in the process of escaping
when the panicked guards accidentally started the fire in
a desperate attempt to end the riot.



The Five Prisoners

Each of the five prisoners is a separate DC25 Knowledge: History or Knowledge: Local check.

The Mosswater Marauder - Only 5 years
before his hometown of Mosswater was destined to be
overrun and ruined by monsters from the nearby river,
Ispin Onyxcudgel was a well-liked artisan and a
doting husband. When he discovered his wife’s infidelity,
he f lew into a jealous rage and struck her dead with
his hammer, shattering her skull and his sanity with
one murderous blow. Wracked with shame and guilt, Ispin
became convinced that if he could rebuild his wife’s
skull she would come back to life—but unfortunately,
he could not find the last blade-shaped fragment from
the murder site. So instead, Ispin became the Mosswater
Marauder. Over the course of several weeks, the cunning
dwarf stalked and murdered nearly 20 people while searching
for just the right skull fragment. He was captured
just before murdering the daughter of a visiting nobleman
from Varno, and was carted off to Harrowstone that same night.

The Lopper - Perhaps the simplest of
the five notorious prisoners interred in Harrowstone,
Vance Stressle was never the less one of the most savage
and violent. He was a psychopath with no discernible motive
that terrorized his community for months before he was
apprehended. His tally was nine murders by the time he was
caught as his random and disconnected assortment of
victims made him difficult to profile, while his expertise
in stealth made him nearly impossible to track. He would
stalk his victim before the kill, often hiding in the unlikeliest
of places for days at a time. Once they were alone he would
emerge and savagely behead them with a handaxe.

The Piper of Illmarsh - His real name unknown,
the Piper of Illmarsh was a drifter confined to Harrowstone
for the murder of two children and suspected in over a dozen
other disappearances in nearby communities. His method was to
lure his victims into the swamps outside of Illmarsh with a
mournful dirge played on his flute. Once isolated he would
overpower his victims, paralyze them with lich dust, and
then feed them to his pet colony of stirges who would drain
the victims dry. Although he was apprehended and sentenced to
hang his real identity remained a mystery.

Father Charlatan - Of the five notorious prisoners
who perished in the fire, only Sefick Corvin was not technically
a murderer. Claiming to be a cleric of several faiths, each one
specifically chosen for the community that he preyed upon, he
was in fact a con artist who had been expelled from the Desnan
seminary in Caliphas for blasphemous acts. He and his Sczarni
accomplices would come to a town under the guise of a revivalist
movement targeting whatever faith was most prominent. Once
installed they would rob, defraud, and extort as much money
as they could before moving on. Unbeknownst to his followers
Corvin also used his influence and mind affecting magics to
bend the young children of the community to his will. When
his improprieties were discovered even his accomplices and
followers could not stomach his acts. The turned on him and
handed him over to Ustalav's authorities.

The Splatterman - Professor Hean
Feramin was a celebrated scholar of Anthroponomastics
(the study of personal names and their origins) at the
Quartrefaux Archives in Caliphas. Yet an accidental
association with a succubus twisted and warped his
study, turning it into an obsession. Feramin became
obsessed with the power of a name and how he could use
it to terrify and control. Soon enough, his reputation
was ruined, he’d lost his tenure, and he’d developed an
uncontrollable obsession with an imaginary link between
a person’s name and what happens to that name when the
person dies. Each day he would secretly arrange for
his victim to find a letter from her name written in blood,
perhaps smeared on a wall or spelled out with carefully
arranged entrails. Once he had spelled his victim’s name,
he would at last come for her, killing her in a gory mess.
He gruesomely murdered nine women before his capture and
internment in Harrowstone Prison.

As his psychosis progressed he became more and more fearful
of losing his knowledge and his ability to cast spells. He
began to hoard and re-copy his old spellbooks, often refusing
to cast even basic magics for fear that he would not be able
to regain them. He also refused to use magic in his
killings, instead using a complex trap or series of rigged
events meant to look like an accident.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:17, Mon 01 July.

GM
 GM, 132 posts
Fri 25 Jan 2019
at 18:41
Journal
Maps



The Town of Ravengro





A. Harrowstone Memorial - The centerpiece of Ravengro's small town square, the memorial is a life size statue on a waist high plinth. The statue depicts a proud, muscular human man dressed in leathers and wielding a truncheon, a depiction of Warden Hawkran. A total of 25 names —the guards who died in the fire of 4661— are chiseled into the statue’s stone base.

B. The Lorrimor Home - This modest home was, until recently, the home of Professor Petros Lorrimor and his daughter Kendra. With the professor’s recent death, Kendra has been left the house as her inheritance.

C. The Laughing Demon - Ravengro's tavern. A small but friendly establishment, its dishes often have humorous names related to Ustalav's lore. Zokar Elkarid holds the philosophy that the best way to meet the horrors of the world is with a jest, for if one can laugh at the worst life has to offer, there remains little to fear. Here you can enjoy vampire steaks (cuts of beef skewered on thick wooden spikes), wolf balls (lamb meatballs served on plates painted to look like the face of the full moon) or corpse chowder (a thick stew with red broth and chunks of meat).

D. Ravengro Town Hall - In classic small-town style, the people of Ravengro use this all-purpose facility for virtually everything, including council meetings, wedding receptions, and, when it rains, even the annual cook-off. Town council meetings are generally scheduled on the first Oathday of the month, and often last well into the night.

E. Temple of Pharasma - This temple is devoted to Pharasma, the Lady of Graves. Ravengro’s only religious structure, the temple is also the town’s most elaborate building. Its eastern facade displays an intricate stained-glass mural depicting a stern Pharasma judging Count Andachi, one of Tamrivena’s most infamous previous rulers. Vauran Grimburrow is officially in charge of the temple, but the day-to-day tending of the flock and maintenance of the temple and the Restlands are largely seen to by a dozen acolytes.

F. Ravengro General Store - Goods of all kinds can be procured here, especially tools and everyday items such as pots and pans. Luthko and Marta Avanaki run the store with their five girls. While they do not normally carry weapons, armor, or magic items, there is a display suit of masterwork full plate that stands guard in the back of the store.

G. Ravengro Forge - A small operation run by the stout, elderly dwarf Jorfa and her apprentices. Jorfa isn’t the oldest person in town, but she’s certainly lived in Ravengro longer than anyone else, having lived in town since before Harrowstone was built. While the majority of her work for Ravengro consists of tools for farmers and fisherfolk, she often forges weapons and armor as well.

H. Jominda's Apothecary - Jominda Fallenbridge keeps a well-stocked supply of pharmacological provisions, both herbal and alchemical.

I. Ravengro Jail - Ravengro itself has never been a crime-ridden town and its relatively small jail has always been more than enough to handle the town’s criminals (mostly public drunkards, vandals, or other minor thugs who rarely spend more than a few days in a cell). Indeed, the cells are typically empty, which is fine with the town’s sheriff, Benjan Caeller.

J. The Unfurling Scroll - A small and eclectic establishment, the Unfurling Scroll serves as Ravengro's library, magic shop, and school house. Tended by Alendru Ghoroven, a retired wizard-turned-teacher, the shop carries scrolls and minor magical items. Most of its custom comes from those farmers who wish to send their children to Alendru for formal education.

Like most magic shop proprietors Alendru has a variety of scrolls for purchase, all 1st and 2nd lvl spells are available. He will also make his own spellbook available to transcribe spells from to anyone who has convinced him that they are a dedicated student of magic. The spells available are:

0th lvl
All except for Illusion and Divination cantrips

1st lvl
Alarm
Mage Armor
Alter Winds
Crafter's Fortune
Erase
Feather Fall
Jury-Rig
Enlarge Person


2nd lvl
Aboleth's Lung
Darkvision
Fox's Cunning
Levitate
Telekinetic Volley


K. The Outward Inn - The board and breakfast provided by Sarianna Vai come highly recommended. The inn has 10 rooms, though it is rare for more than four to be occupied at any one time. Local musicians and storytellers often visit the main f loor and basement tavern in the evenings, performing for coppers at the smaller, more intimate gatherings. Only if the place is really jumping can Sarianna be cajoled into performing herself. Although now retired, she was once a singer of some repute in Caliphas, and her voice remains strong and beautiful to hear.



Harrowstone Prison




This message was last edited by the GM at 16:37, Mon 04 Nov.

GM
 GM, 152 posts
Tue 5 Feb 2019
at 19:23
Journal
Minutia



A list of the Harrowstone staff that perished in the fire

Julius Sedlak
Maximilian Placek
Vanda Adamcova
Barta Lajos
Henkie Bron
Emanual Jaros
Kadgram Stoutshield
Ivan Hosek
Tanyl Underhill
Marie Tomkova
Jaroslav Osetril
Paroslav Mach
Joep Blom
Vartislav Holecek
Horsath Hillbow
Tark of Ravengro
Lyari Elvenblood
Olga Vanovak
Voros Daniel
Bruzrill
Anrend Herbert
Bostirilum Icebraid
Benedikc Holecek
Vesorianna Hawkran
Euran Hawkran

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:41, Tue 19 Feb.

GM
 GM, 174 posts
Tue 19 Feb 2019
at 19:41
Journal
Items



Haunt Siphon



These glass vials are held within stylized cold-iron casings
etched with strange runes, necromantic designs, or other
eldritch markings. Within the vial roils a small wisp of white
vapor, churning as if caught in a miniature vortex of air.
To capture a haunt’s energies within a haunt siphon, you need
only twist the metal casing to open the vial in the same round that
the haunt manifests (a standard action)—this can be before or
after the haunt has acted. You must be within the haunt’s area of
influence to use a haunt siphon. When you activate a haunt siphon,
it deals 3d6 points of positive energy damage to a single haunt.
If it deals enough damage to the haunt to reduce the haunt’s hit
points to 0, the mist inside the haunt siphon glows green—if it
does not reduce the haunt to 0 hit points, the haunt siphon is still
expended and becomes nonmagical. It may take multiple haunt
siphons to destroy powerful haunts. A haunt that is neutralized
by a haunt siphon takes a –5 penalty on its caster level check to
manifest again after its reset time passes.

A haunt siphon that neutralizes a haunt can no longer be used
to harm haunts, but it can be used as a grenadelike splash
weapon that deals 1d6 points of negative energy damage
with a direct hit. Every creature within 5 feet of the point
where the haunt siphon hits takes 1 point of negative
energy damage from the splash.



Spirit Planchette



A spirit planchette is typically found in a
wooden case along with a thin wooden
board printed with numerous letters and
numbers. Nonmagical versions of these divination tools
can be purchased in curiosity shops (typically costing 25 gp);
while these items can be used as alternative components
for augury spells, only magical spirit planchettes allow users
to communicate with the other side. A spirit planchette requires
a board to move upon, but this “board” can be made up of letters
scribed upon any smooth surface—it need not be a prepared board
for a spirit planchette to work.

To use a spirit planchette, you must rest your fingers
lightly upon the planchette’s surface and then concentrate
on the planchette (as if maintaining a spell with a duration of
concentration) for 2d6 rounds while the planchette attunes
itself to the ambient spirits of the area. After this time, the
planchette begins to slowly slide in random patterns across the
board—at this point, questions may be asked of the spirits by
any of the individuals involved in the séance.

The spirits reply in a language understood by the character
who asked the question, but resent such contact and give only
brief answers to the questions. All questions are answered with
“yes,” “no,” or “maybe,” or by spelling out a single word from the
letters arranged on the board. The spirits answer each question
either in the same round the question is asked (in the case of a
yes, no, or maybe answer) or at a rate of one letter per round (in
the case of a single word being spelled out). A spirit planchette
may be used once per day and allows the user to as one question
per seance.

Communication with spirits can be a dangerous task, for
many spirits are jealous or hateful of the
living. Every time a spirit planchette
is used, the user must succeed on a
Will save to avoid being temporarily
possessed and harmed by the angry
spirits. In some areas where the spirits
are particularly violent or hateful (such as
in Harrowstone), this Will save takes a –2
penalty. Anyone who fails the Will save becomes confused
for 1d6 rounds and no answer is received. The
spirits in the area are not omniscient—the GM
should decide whether or not the spirits would
actually know the answer to the question asked, and if they do
not, the answer granted is automatically “maybe.”

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:18, Thu 28 Feb.