Carrion Crown by Kelly

Deeper into Vilrych
From July 5, 2016

The party worked together to split up the crag linnorm’s treasure. We decided to bury the coin at the edge of the forest so that the Knights of Ozem could find it later and add it to their coffers, assuming the party would have no use for it after battling the Whispering Way. We left a marker and used Blodwin’s sending spell to point the right direction to the Watcher Lord.

As we emerged from the trees, the sound of battle was heard. A group of 3 Knights of Ozem were fighting off 2 dullahans. One dullahan plus the mounts of all of the knights had already fallen. (I think 2 knights plus 1 dullahan already lay dead. Correct me if I am wrong).

A quick battle ensued and the dullahans were no match, especially with Cy charging one of them and jumping into has saddle with him. This gave us time to speak to the knights. They were dispatched by The Watcher Lord of Vigil (Ulthun II) to find us. The old Varisian woman we freed from the possession of the leukodaemon a few days before had sent a reward in the form of 1 harrow card each to be used in the most dire of situations.

We attempted to assist the knights in carrying their fallen comrades, but they declined, saying the men died while performing their duties. We then moved up the road with haste, trying to reach Witherleaf. At camp the first night, a foul red mist descended upon our camp. Almost too late, we realized it was some sort of parasitic or vampiric cloud. Blodwin, thinking quickly, used his elemental gem of air to conjure an air elemental after Cy employed his handy Migo Mist Projector to freeze much of the cloud in place. The freezing mist from beyond and the nimble air elemental were able to easily destroy the sanguinary mist in seconds, but none too soon for our helpless mounts.

As we reached the outskirts of Witherleaf, Ahrokma made Cy invisible to scout the place out using the broom of flying. The Tiefling saw no life within the town. There was only corpses remaining from the lost Varisian caravan. We all joined the search and noted the dead were slain by a combination of flame and negative energy. Our thoughts immediately went to Adrissant’s skeletal dragon mount. Some huge footprints only confirmed it. Blodwin questioned one of the dead while others swept the grounds for clues. Stefan then recanted a tale from his studies of a creature called a Ravener…an undead dragon of sorts. Putting all this information together, we could only arrive at the conclusion that Tar Baphon’s mount – Marrowgarth – a red dragon – had been converted to a Ravener by the Whispering Way and that we would soon face it in battle.

This creature is known to be deadly. It is resistant to positive energy and spells and most physical damage. Two things Blodwin took note of: The ravener is susceptible to cold damage and good-aligned weapons. These were information that the gnome hoped he could work with – but they must not be taken by surprise before midnight if possible. He would need time to prepare and pray to the Lost Prince for guidance.

As we concluded the investigation of Witherleaf, a great dust storm blew in from the north. This type of storm was known to occur more frequently in desert terrain, but it was here nonetheless! Each of us ran for cover and Ahrokma in particular took great care to save the mounts, which he did just in time! We all clustered in one of the town’s barrows to wait the storm out. During that time, one of us noted that these storms themselves could suffocate a poor soul, but they were also known for the nasty creatures that sometimes followed to clean up the incapacitated. Sure enough, lightning elementals came through, but by attempting to demonstrate our lack of desire for combat, they left us be. The same could not be said for the troupe of mummies that also arrived. Our party was accustomed to such things, though…and it was them that were destroyed and left within the great blanket of dust that the storm left behind.

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The Monastery of Sante-Lymirin
A super-quick recap

The group had defeated the “abbot,” which was a galbrezu demon in disguise, during the last session.

The group moved to the second story of the monastery and quickly encountered four guards and a witch, Haetna Dubless. Despite her hexes, polymorphing Cy into a bunny, and her lightning bolts, she was quickly felled and the remaining guards fled. Blodwin was able to dispell the polymorph and Cy returned to normal.

In the library they found the reconstructed skeleton of Ootha, the hag leader of the witch coven. As Stephan tried to rip it apart, the four guardian invisible stalkers attacked — the fight was horribly drawn out, but in the end the guardians were killed and the skeleton was disassembled and put into the bag of holding. The remainder of the 2nd floor interior was investigated with no further incident or clues.

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The Road to Illmarsh
Super-condensed Recap

What led the group to Illmarsh?

WAAAY back in Book 3: Broken Moon you had tracked the Whispering Way, along with multiple packs of werewolves, to the battle-ruined town of Feldgrau. You know they had collected a few items along your pursuit:

The soul of the warden of Harrowstone Prison The Seasage Effigy, stolen from Lepistadt University The heart of the packlord Kvalka Sain

After defeating the necromancer Auren Vrood, at the cost of two party members, you were able to take his body to the ghost of the local innkeeper. The innkeeper, perpetually tormented by his complicity in the destruction of the village, agreed to read the mind and memories of Vrood. There you saw him packing items into two chests – the Seasage Effigy into one and the soultrap and heart into another. Two dark riders took the chests and fled south.

Your pursuit took you to Rozenport and then Thrushmoor…there you met a noble patron of the Esoteric Order of the Palentine Eye, Adivion Adrissant. He is not a member of the Order, but he supports them in whatever way he can. He arranged for Arlad’s resurrection and hosted a dinner to meet you and hear your tales. He was nearly killed in an assassination attempt, but the party was able to kill the assassin on the next rooftop fairly easily.

Your hunt for the dark riders led you to a stable on the edge of the city where another assassin nearly killed Stephan, but he and his ghouls were killed and you found information in the stable log books that told you that one rider was headed to the swamp town of Illmarsh. The other went west along the lake to eventually reach Caliphas. (see map)

You chased the rider to Illmarsh, eliminated the entire local church, drove the local sheriff to suicide, ruined a 1000 year bargain between races, doomed a village of skum to a slow extinction by taking away their only means of reproduction, unleashed a trans-dimentional winged horror on the countryside, and nearly witnessed the manifestation of an other-wordly god. But you also managed to get the Seasage Effigy and the artifact known as the Raven’s Head mace.

So the trail leads to Caliphas at this point.

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Feldgrau
Session Twenty-Two

Mal sits atop the butcher shop, cross-legged and rocking back and forth slowly. He holds his black wand in both hands, wringing it like a wash cloth and mumbling quietly. As he recounts his story in guarded whispers, it’s not long before the wand whispers back in its customarily cynical tone.

“First was Duristan; the fallen hunter; the traitor; the beast; the savage. Blodwin was still deaf, crippled by the dead-song priest, and we were spent for the day. We retreated to the barn where our horses had been stabled, all of us but Cy… he wanted to explore on his own for a bit. I was in the loft, trying to make the most of a pile of wet straw when Cy came running, and at his heels was a werewolf. He was fierce, but no match for us combined.”

Getting deeper into his thoughts, Mal begins to rock faster, kneading the wand until his knuckles are white. “Second was the pack of Prince’s Wolves. The next day, after Blodwin had prayed for the ability to cure his deafness, we made for the place where Cy had stumbled across Duristan. According to Cy, Duristan had tried to lead him deeper into the city to meet his friends, but that was obviously a trap. Not far from there, we found a building where the Prince’s Wolves had hidden themselves. They would not open the door to speak to us, so I visually removed the door… I think this only unnerved them, to be honest.”

“This is no surprise… a dog is bewildered if you pretend to throw something that doesn’t exist. These wolves are no smarter.”

“We flicked one of Rhakis’s buttons under the invisible door, proof that we came peacefully, but they still would not speak to us until I dismissed my illusion. Once that was done, they told us that they would not engage the Demon Wolves until their leader was taken care of… something called Adimarus. We plotted different ways to accomplish this, including raiding the mill where he was hiding, but we ultimately decided to lure him back to the butcher shop, far from wandering threats. We again returned to the barn and the horses, and there I summoned a home of dirt and –”

“You have no home, idiot. You may have forgotten everything else, but you should at least remember that.”

“…I summoned a cottage of dirt and wood to protect us for the evening. The next day, Arlad went to the mill to challenge the Demon Wolf leader and we sent Cy to be his invisible guardian. It was a close thing, I hear, but Adimarus agreed and met Stefan in single combat. We all did what we could to prepare him with magic and skill, but Adimarus made it clear to his followers to kill us all if we tried to interfere once the fight began. From the rooftop, hidden from view, I twisted fate around Stefan to continue aiding him, and he eventually slayed the beast. Once down, the Prince’s Wolves burst forth to help us crush the enemy.”

“For a fool, you are occasionally useful. Write this on your hand so you never forget it: deceit and trickery is the core of all true power. Anything else can be stripped away, but shadows and lies live forever.”

With a heavy sigh, Mal slid his wand back into his sleeve and wiped the sweat from his brow. Remembering things in such a way always drained him, but it was the only way to be sure it wouldn’t fade by morning and he had forgotten too much already.

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To
Session Twenty-One

April 4, 2014

The group met the leader of the Prince’s Wolves, a varisian man named Rhakis Szadro. He was working to head off a larger civil war among the werewolf tribes of the Shudderwood and needed to stop the Demon Wolves from gaining the half of the remaining heart of Kvalca Sain. Some of his tribe were in pursuit of the Demon Wolves (who were chasing the Whispering Way), so he gave the group copper and brass buttons from his jacket, tokens of alliance that they could present to his tribe members.

On the road to Feldgrau two demon wolves had snuck up on the group and moved to attack the rear of the party. Malag put one to sleep and Arlad calmed the other, making a swift and easy escape possible.

A short resupply on the outskirts of Chastel and the move to Feldgrau continued. Near the war-torn wasteland of the Furrows, a single long-abandoned Farmhouse stood with an tall, oak tree out front. From a distance the party could see a humanoid form lying against the trunk of the tree. Cy moved in to investigate but the scene was a trap. A vine shot out of the branches and wrapped around his neck. The rest of the group were able to see through the illusion and attack the tree. Stephan rode forward bravely, but was quickly being choked by the vines. Unable to escape the grasp of the hangman tree, Cy was swallowed in the trunk. Malag’s lightning, however, was a show of power that the tree could not survive.

Toward the end of Barstoi’s forced occupation of Ardeal almost two decades ago, Count Aericnein Neska’s troops spent a night in the small town of Feldgrau. When they pulled out the next morning, they repaid the town for its hospitality by butchering its citizens and putting Felgrau to the torch. To this day the village is abandoned and considered best avoided by all.

Approaching the village, the group decided to sneak in quietly and investigate a few of the still-standing buildings. In the butcher shop they found a mixed group of opponents — two skeleton champions, a large undead beast called a menadoran festrog, and a cleric of Urgathoa. Cy attacked through the rear window while the others charged through the front door while under protection from Blodwin’s spells. While the skeletons got in a shot or two and the cleric was able to get off a few damaging spells, the battle was over quickly between Blodwin channels of energy and Cy’s gritty attacks. The worst of the damage fell on Blodwin, who was deafened by a spell from the cleric.

We ended the night here with many more buildings to explore.

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Full Campaign Recap (Books 1 through half-way through 3)

Prologue:

Meeting on the road to Ravengro, strangers combined forces to try and save a fortune teller and her guard from a werewolf attack. Varrik is bitten by the lycanthrope, but it is unknown if his body was able to fight off the curse. Further down the road, two child-bandits discover that it is a bad idea to try and rob a tiefling gunslinger on a dark road.

Book One: The Haunting of Harrowstone

Put her body on the bed.
Take a knife and lop her head.
Watch the blood come out of the pipe.
Feeds the stirge, so nice and ripe.
Drops of red so sparkly bright.
Splatters spell her name just right.
With a hammer killed his wife.
Now he wants to claim your life.
Tricksy father tells a lie.
Listen close or you will die.

Five strangers assembled in the rain to say goodbye to friend, a mentor, an inspiration, or a savior: Professor Petros Lorrimor. With the help of his sole heir, Kendra Lorrimor, the group began to look into his death to see if it really was the accident that it originally seemed.

The town of Ravengro, however, was inhospitable to outsiders. Any thoughts of it being an idylic, charming village would be quickly torn asunder by one look at the dark ruins of the great prison Harrowstone, looming above the village like a tombstone over a grave. Dark looks, closed doors, and even obvious suspicious stares were quickly followed by a mob confronting the funeral demanding that a “necromancer” not be allowed to be buried in the Restlands of Ravengro. Quick talking by Arland and Stephan were able to calm the crowd and the funeral proceeded as planned, followed by a solemn reading of the will at the home of the Professor and Kendra.

The group spent the next month in Ravengro, slowly exploring the village, building trust among the locals, and finding out there was more to the accidental death of the professor than what first appeared. Hours of research was done in the records of the town hall, the library of the Lorrimor estate, and even by a bold daylight excavation of a tomb to gather tools the professor mentioned in his will.

In the hours of research the group discovered the history of the five great prisoners of Harrowstone: the Mosswater Maurader, the Piper of Illmarsh, the Lopper, Father Charlatan, and the Splatterman. It was said by locals that the spirits of those five still haunted the burned-out husk of Harrowstone to this very day. Odd happenings began to affect Ravengro… stirges attacked the village. The dead in the Restlands began to stir and wander the town. This ended with none other than the Professor himself “coming home” to his manor as a wight, leading a group of zombies.

The work of the group led them to investigate the ruins of the prison itself. Odd arcane markings around the base were found, which seemed to be some sort of binding spell. Inside, the structure was riddled with haunts — powerful spiritual remnants of the evil and darkness which once lived here. Also present were the five ghosts of the prison which had to be defeated one by one and then, with the assistance of the ghost of Visorianna (the wife of the warden of Harrowstone), the ruins were finally cleansed of evil.

Before giving up her existence to cleanse the prison, she explained to you that although the spirits of the prisoners had always been restless, the powerful will of her husband was always present to keep them suppressed. However some recent time ago (time is difficult for her to track) men in black robes came and somehow killed or removed her husband’s spirit. With him gone, the prisoners have managed to reappear, growing more and more powerful by the day. Once the five most powerful are destroyed, she would be able to exhaust her spiritual energy to eliminate the rest.

The group took a break from the mystery of the Professor to tend to Varrik, cleansing his soul of the curse of lycanthropy through an ancient and dangerous ritual. Once complete they were then off to the university city of Lepidstadt to deliver a book to an old friend of the professor.

Book Two: The Trial of the Beast

Burghers of Lepidstadt, rejoice! The Beast has been captured! Soon the abomination will be tried for crimes against the good people of Vieland. The Punishing Man now rises in the square outside the courthouse! The logs have been stacked against his flanks and the oil has seeped into his veins. The Punishing Man waits to take his passenger to the depths of Hell! And soon, he shall have his feast…
- Lepidstadt Town Crier

On the road to Lepidstadt the group met and aided a carnival troupe called the Crooked Kin and helped them defeat a phase spider which had killed one of their members.

Reaching the city of Lepidstadt, the group finds the town celebrating the capture of a legend of the area — The Beast of Lepidstadt. Every calamity, tragedy, and misfortune for two decades has been placed on the broad shoulders of this creature and he is finally about to be brought to a swift, burning justice.

Delivering the book of the professor to Judge Embreth Daramid, they find that she doubts the guilt of the creature and fears for its ability to get a fair trial. She quietly hires the group to investigate the history of the beast and see that it pays for the crimes it has committed, but no more.

Upon meeting the beast the group finds it to be a child-like, intelligent flesh golem. While capable of great fury, it is overall gentle in nature and quite terrified and confused. It was captured while stealing something called the Seasage Effigy, an interesting but otherwise worthless murky green statuette depicting a grotesque creature writhing with tentacles. The Beast has no memory of this and the statuette has not been found. The Beast was renamed Fairweather by Blodwin, which he seemed to greatly prefer.

The investigators moved to examine the accused crimes of Fairweather — the murder of ten people in Morast, the murder of six children in Hergstag, and the arson attack of the Karb Isle Sanctuary.

Morast is a quiet, isolated swamp village where the Beast had allegedly snuck in to homes at night and killed person after person. Investigating the village and the nearby boneyard, the group discovered that while the villagers speak of a great crocodile attacking the shoulder of the Beast, Fairweather has no marks or scars from such an attack. There is also clear evidence that many of the graves in the boneyard have been robbed of their corpses.

Finding surgical tools with an identifiable maker’s mark, the group traces the history of the tools from the original maker to an auction house to a retail store, and finally to a place called Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works.

Presenting the evidence so far, the group casts significant doubt on the prosecutor’s story about the events in Morast. Up next was investigating the murders in Hergstag. Abandoned since the murders, the village of Hergstag was once a comfortable farming village. A series of children murders along with witness sightings of the Beast led to the accusation. The investigators, however, found the bodies of the children in a cave beneath a rotting scarecrow where they faced, and defeated Brother Swarm, a wraith that was the true culprit.

Again, by presenting the evidence of the children’s bodies and the existence of Brother Swarm, the group was able to cast doubt on the guilt of Fairweather. The final investigation of the Sanctuary led to battling the ghasts that now inhabit the ruins. Documentation here led again to the Chymic Works of Vorkstag and Grine, so the group went to finally enter the chemical plant.

Once they breached the door, there was a long fight above vats of chemicals with both Vorkstag and Grine plus their mongrelmen slaves. Once defeated they discovered a few points of interest — scars on the shoulder of Vorkstag consistent with a crocodile attack, a cabinet of skins which Vorkstag (a skinstealer) could wear as disguises, and one skin which was of a huge mongrelman and consistent with the Morast townsfolks’ description of the Beast. They also found a deep, hidden pool of floating cadavers.

Before the final day of the trial could start, an angry mob of villagers tried to attack the courthouse and serve their own brand of justice to the Beast. With a minimum of casualties, the group was able to disperse the mob and save the life of Fairweather.

The final day of the trial was upon them and the golden words of Arlad did a miraculous job of saving the life of Fairweather, who immediately left for the home of his creator — Schloss Caromarc. Not long after his departure, members of the Crooked Kin warned that the city folk were not happy with the result of the trial and had plans to follow the Beast and lynch him. Wanting to warn Fairweather and his maker, Count Caromarc, the group raced to the Schloss.

There they found the gatehouse overrun by trolls, which were dispatched, and then they battled through the many buildings over the deadly waterfalls below. Traps and various creations tried to stop the advance of the group. A Brimorak demon standing guard before one of the last buildings, slayed Varrik the Hunter before himself being returned to Hell.

Battling up the final tower, they find the Professor caged and held captive by the aberrant promethium, a vile creation of the count’s that had turned on his master. In the battle a new member of the group, Duncan, was ripped asunder when he got too close to the monster. When hope was nearly lost, Fairweather arrived to aide his only friends. Blodwin used the mechanism on the top of the tower to boost the golem’s already impressive abilities and the promethium was destroyed.

The count paid the group handsomely to never mention the experiments they uncovered in his home, which they readily agreed to, and he informed them that the Whispering Way had attack his home, taking control of the Bondslave Thrall, a device which controls Fairweather completely. They used this to steal the seasage effigy and then moved quickly along the river road. The group returned to Lepidstadt for some leisurely shopping then returned to their hot pursuit of the necromancers.

On the road into the great forest of Shudderwood the investigators rested in Opava, a small village on the forest edge. There they aided the villagers in ending a demon-possessed bandit who was using the tale of a headless ghost to kill and rob travelers on the road. They also met a coven of witches who struck a bargain with Blodwin.

Book Three: Broken Moon

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night,
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the moon is full and bright.

Following the Whispering Way through the Shudderwood, the group stops at Ascanor Lodge, a hunting lodge for nobles and the very well-placed. While initially denied entrance, they aide one of the lodge guests, Durisan Silvio Ariesir, in a hunt and are later granted access. The haughty and proper warden, Estovion Lozarov, is welcoming at first, but becomes less so as the days go by and the group continues to ask questions about the Whispering Way.

They uncover that there are five tribes of werewolves in the Shudderwoods and that the packlord over all of the tribes has recently been murdered. No other werewolf has eaten her heart, so the rule of the packs is in flux — civil war has broken out. As the questioning continues, a giant tarantula is released from the hunting pens and the group has a difficult time defeating it…Corinne is killed by the creature.

After finding the journal of Estovion where he implicates himself in some of the troubles, the group is banned from the lodge. The journal mentioned unknown men, Adivion Adrissant, Auren Vrood, and the involvement of the Whispering Way.

The group moved to the Stairs of the Moon, a long-lost temple to Desna which has become a meeting place and holy site to the five tribes of werewolves. On the ground floor of the temple they were attacked by a Vilkacis, a vengeful werewolf spirit. In deeper rooms they found the body of a Whispering Way agent, she carried onyx gems and a map marked with Ravengro, Lepidstadt, Schloss Caromar, the Stairs of the Moon and a town further east called Feldgrau.

Battling up the tower, the group faced Mathias Mordrinacht, leader of the Silverhides and Cybrisa Dorzhanev, the druid leader of the Broken Ones. Finally defeating them and cleansing the temple, an aspect of Desna appeared giving each of the group boon and glimpse of the future.

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Corrine's Goodbye
Recap

“It’s difficult to remember,” Corrine said with a dismissive shake of her head. “What does it matter? They wanted information on werewolves, or the Whispering Way, or anything else that would be helpful. I mean, we all knew the Way had come to the Lodge, but no one knew why… maybe they like to take in the occasional fox hunt, right?” The little Halfling shifted on her pillow, blindly reaching for her wine glass.

“The morning was boring, as expected. Some noble woman, a Marquise maybe, made her presence known, but I wasn’t impressed. The little weirdo Blodwin gave some traveler the grim details about his dead partner near Opava, too; I’d say it was too much detail, really… especially when I’m eating. Once everyone was satisfied, we split up to see what we could find.

“I asked around, playing the part, you know? I found some woman working in the laundry… her little hellions running around like animals. She had a soft-spot for little girls, I guess, because she told me about Estovian’s office above the library. After a few hours, I met with the rest in a private room and we discussed what we’d found: Blodwin received a warning while he was asleep, Arlad and Stefan found a journal about some moon temple, inside of which was a reference to another book upstairs, and Cy… well, I think Cy mostly just walked around.”

Corrine pauses to watch 3 lithe elves, covered in honey and bruises, get tackled by another into a pile of pillows and flesh. With a grin, she finally says “anyways, we discussed the possibility of my sneaking into the office, or maybe Blodwin walking through the wall, but eventually those honor-bound fools decided to simply ask Estovian for his special book. It turned out to be about some Desnian artifact which none of us know anything about. Estovian seemed very unhappy about the note, but he was a good sport.”

“Things went poorly after that,” she says with a slight frown. “We were discussing the findings when a little girl ran into the room, wailing and screaming about a spider. I followed Arlad to see what had wrecked this girl’s mind, and what we found almost wrecked mine, as well: a spider the size of 4 wagons. It’s a little confusing, how it all happened… I sneaked forward, and then Arlad came crashing in behind me. I saw Cy run outside, and then Blodwin ran in carrying spears from the hall. Stefan was wearing nothing but robes and was obviously hesitant to charge this monstrosity. I was the only one both armed and armored.

“I made my way near the spider, crouched beneath a table. There was no obvious movement from anyone else, so I eventually took my chance… I put my silvered dagger through the tough hide and tried to open the beast. The retaliation was fierce, leaving me wounded and poisoned, barely able to lift my arms. I tried to tumble away as I have so many times before, but the spider was prepared and I was pinned by the monster’s fangs.”

Corrine stared into her wine for a few seconds, quietly swirling her drink. “Like I said, what does it matter? What’s done is done… but I do hope that they find what they were looking for.” She nodded as though it settled the whole matter, then turned to one side and gave her pillow a light slap on the thigh before standing up, giving no care to the wine she spilled in the process. Her pillow laughed and rolled over, stretching seductively, then began to crawl away on his hands and knees.

Calistira’s domain was a feast, and Corrine was eager to taste everything.


Quick DM recap for the part of the adventure seen only by those who lived

The aftermath of the attack of the spider was a mess of accusations and weak excuses. While Delgros the Huntsmaster aided in the combat and was deeply remorseful, he was berated by Estovion the Lodge Master for not securing his beasts, for the giant tarantula was one of the penned creatures Delgros kept around to sell as hunting quarries. Estovion went on to say the attack was the work of Paucy Troabs, the simpleminded groundskeper who has a crush on Madame Ivanja and he was seeking to drive everyone out of the lodge so he could have some alone time with the courtesan.

Stephan did determine that Estovion was the only clearly nefarious character in the bunch, which lead to further suspicions. Delgros added what limited knowledge he had on the werewolves of the forest: they are in 5 tribes but have a single packlord over the whole of the Shudderwoods. That packlord had been Kalvaca Sain, but she was killed in the past week. While the tradition has been for the one who killed the packlord to eat the heart of the former lord and gain his or her power and authority, something has gone wrong in that process and the tribes are unable to choose a new packlord… hence the coming civil war.

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Opava and the Shudderwood

Brief (horribly brief) discussion of what happened on the road from Schloss Caromac to Ascanor Lodge. With the Beast, known lately as Fairweather, freed and staying at the Schloss with the Count, the group was asked by Judge Daramid to move on the trail of the Whispering Way and track them to the Shudderwood.

On the road there, they came across the village of Opava, which has been recently greatly harassed by a ghost on the road to the Shudderwood. This malevolent spirit was not new, it had been known for decades, but only recently did the attacks come frequently. Upon investigation and hearing the tragic tale known as The Tale of Illirio and Daphne the group investigated the burial grounds of the lover Illirio. There they found a group of bandits, the leader of whom had been possessed of a demon. The fight was challenging, but they put down the bandits and managed to put the ghost of Illirio to rest for good.

They also investigated a coven of witches nearby, who were not happy to see them but were mostly non-violent. With a farewell to the sun, they entered the depths of the infamous Shudderwood.

A day or so of travel brought them to the famed Ascanor Lodge, home of hunting in luxury. While at first barred entry, they joined the huntmaster, Delgros Kroitzcer, and a nobleman, Duristan Silvio Ariesir on a hunt for a werewolf. They there assisted in the killing of 3 dire boars that were feeding on the corpse of a stag. Degros departed back to the lodge while Duristan asked the group to stay the night with him in the woods in the hope of getting the chance to slay a werewolf.

Much to his joy and the groups displeasure, werewolves did indeed show up! They slayed a few of Duristan’s servents before giving this dire warning:

“Your false explanations are meaningless. Go tell whoever sent you to stay out of wolf affairs! Let him know that his dealings with Mathus Mordrinacht and the Silverhide pack do not sit well with the other tribes of this wood. There shall be much blood spilled between our kin before a Silverhide packlord sits upon Highthrone. Mathus the betrayer shall never claim the title, and should you and yours continue to support him, the wrath of the wolf packs shall fall upon him! Now leave our territory and return to your cozy wooden den, or share the fate of these poor little sheep!”

Returning post-haste to the lodge, the group was finally granted entry with the help of a letter of introduction from Judge Daramid and a found invitation from a traveler killed by the Opava bandits, Echtmoor Dravin.

They were given opulent rooms and freedom to wander the grounds. They were able to meet one more noble, a drunkard named Corvin Tergsvor, and through questioning they did find evidence that the Whispering Way had stayed at the lodge some time before. (needs more information!)

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The Beast of Lepidstadt
AdventureLog Recap

The followers of the Professor headed to the university city of Lepidstadt to deliver the books to his old friends. There they met Judge Daramid, who asked them to look in to the case of the Beast of Lepidstadt, a recently captured creature of legend who was being charged with multiple crimes. The judge was concerned that due to the hatred of the Beast, it would not receive a fair trial, so she paid them to investigate the guilt of the creature.

The Beast, or as Blodwin named him, Fairweather, was an intelligent construct with a childlike demeanor. It was captured while stealing an artifact called the Seasage Effigy, an unremarkable item in the collection of the University of Lepidstadt. While investigating the crimes, the group found Fairweather to be innocent of all of them, including having been controlled by the Whispering Way to seal the Effigy for them. They found the home of Fairweather’s creator, the deposed Count’s Schloss Caromarc, had been converted by the Way in to a mess of traps and hazards designed to kill their pursuers.

Battling their way through the traps and monstrosities, they eventually found and rescued the Count from his prison atop his tower. He confided that the Whispering Way had used the Count’s devices to control Fairweather and break in to the University. They had left about a half of a day earlier heading south along the Old Forest Road, or Silent Path…

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Varrick's final possessions

ALL SOLD – 1,180gp for each member

Gold

2,060 gp

Weapons & Armor

+1 greataxe (headsman’s axe)
+1 hand axe (lopper’s bloody handaxe)
ring of protection +1
masterwork chainmail
longbow
morningstar
sap
quiver with arrows (19)
silver arrows (7)

Potions

potion of cure light wounds (2)
potion of cure moderate
potion of bloodblock
potion of magic fang
silver weapon blanch (2)
cold-iron weapon blanch (2)
bladeguard
holy water

Mundane items

compass
flask (2)
flint & steel
harrow deck
lamp oil (3)
magnet
torch (5)
trail rations (2)
sunrod
bear trap (3)
backpack
blanket
silk rope
waterskin
rosewood box
mummy skull
bag of teeth

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