Cooper Carrion Crown

What we Take with Us
~MvM

Arrived in the distant land. You are here.
I saw you follow me to the West.
The strange faces collected by the professor were grieving in their own ways, if at all.
The ceremony to this is always the same.
I know you followed me here, promise to remain close.
I could smell you as we carried the remains, when wide eyed peasants hurled words, then blades.
One tried to describe you, with limited vocabulary.
I told him your true name with my long arm, so he would not soon forget you.
The others…
The professor’s collection of faces are capable, if shy to your brand of affection.
There is a necromancer who says he is not, a priest who fears for his enemies, a woman in false armor who shares in my loathing of undeath, a large man whom the professor tricked, as well as his daughter in grief.
You saw them all there in the rain. They were burying rehearsed words in the dirt when I saw you.
I seek to bury words in the living, the words they need to live. That’s what we talked about.
I thought the Wastes were special to you, but you followed me.

He was crushed by a gargoyle, which hand did you push with?
Amongst the professor’s valuables we received worrying books.
Keys and locks, one lock with a key, and one without.
The living to watch.
Your voice leads us to the whispering way, are you telling me they are loathsome?
An old prison…

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The First Letter

To my loving Arden,

The road was too short to the Professor’s home. I felt if I had never arrived, perhaps he would still be alive somewhere. Though he visited my home many times, I never had chance to visit his. It is sad that it had to be on this occasion. I had heard much about Kendra over the years and though we never met it is as if we shared the same sorrow.

I know you and the Professor were close, and if you could have attended the funeral I know that he would have been greatly honored. In truth, the gathering could have used the light of Sarenrae to fill the rooms, there were scant few of us there. It seemed those that did come were his true friends, one even traveled from the Mana-Wastes to be there. Truely there was great love for the man who was taken from the world far too soon. It seems as though there was an accident involving a gargoyle falling from an old rooftop. It is a queer thought to wonder, but I am forced to muse whether he thought that particular statue was of high enough quality, of the right era, and if the sculptor’s fame matched his own. Surely he knew and thought these things as it came barreling down on his head.

Dark thoughts, I know. I have more dark news to report though, my love. It seems the locals thought our beloved Professor Lorrimar was a necromancer or witch, and sought to interrupt the burial. They gave no proof to their accusations, and myself along with the other funeral-goers were able to convince them to leave without further death.

It is not customary to read the will so soon, before the dirt is settled on the grave, but Kendra seemed most anxious to get it done. More dark news, I must report. We all knew that the Professor was a collector of all sorts of information, but it seems that there are several tomes of great evil that he had in his possession. I have looked them over and there seem to be no useful bits to us, but I will continue to delve. I did not think the Professor would leave this world without filling his promise to help my family, and perhaps this will lead to an answer. It seems also, that I must stay with Kendra along with the others for a month. It was the Professor’s final wish, and I would be honored to fill the duty.

I am eager to hear news of you, so please, as your duty allows, write me at the Lorrimar Manor. It has been almost a year since last we saw each other, and I would count down the days until our next meeting if I knew when it would be.

May the Light of Sarenrae fill your days and the glory of Iomedae fill your heart.

Evelyn

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The Funeral of Petros Lorrimor

4 Gozran, 4711

The Professorwas buried yesterday; it is a surreal observation despite its simplicity. To think that he had survived, and unharmed it seems, fills me with a strange sense of uncertainty that I cannot quite place. The strange events of the past day, and stranger details of the Professor’s will seems a grim portent that his death will cause great ripples spreading wide and far to a fate none but the Lady of Graves could foretell.

The caravan I traveled with arrived in Ravengro just after midday. I proceeded straight to the Lorrimor Estate after receiving directions from an approaching merchant come to claim his wares. The prevalence of Pharasma’s worship I had heard so much of must have counteracted (for the moment) the equally numerous tales of Ustalavic suspicion towards outsiders. The estate was easy to identify, its size and ornamentation expensive but sensible though far less extravagant than I expected for a man so widely known and traveled.

Entering into the familiar atmosphere of a a home in mourning, my suspicions were laid to rest for in the coffin was indeed that of the Professorthough my confusion increased just as much because of it. There were signs of work done to the face to a presentable form after the accident I learned later of, which caused the Professor’s death-the priests did well on him. Conversing with his daughter Kendraon the specifics of the coming funeral I took account of those who arrived to pay their respects before seeking Father Grimburrow, a young woman clad in fine ceremonial armor doing her best to provide aid to the clearly affected Kendra, a Garundi man with his hair in braided cords, a powerfully built man whose bored attitude seemed out of place, and a tawny stranger caked in dirt and mud who carried a strange contraption, which i have learned to hate, on his back.

These individuals, along with myself and the Professor’s daughter were to be the pallbearers. Councilman Vashayn, as well as the owner of the local tavern the Laughing Demon and his son, and the woman who ran the nearby Apothecary shop were the witnesses to our procession to the Restlands.

Despite the sanctity of our course and of the cemetery grounds, we were made to remember the suspicion and paranoia of Ustalav’s people. A man named Gibbs leading a mob of peasants did their best to prevent the Professor’s burial on the grounds of many doubtful claims. Despite attempts for diplomacy and reason, the locals, as well as the accented rogue Mellic, were determined to disrupt the solemnity of the occasion with violence. Fortunately, the band was dispersed with little difficulty and none were seriously hurt though I am certain whatever volatile weapon Mellic carries, as well as his eager willingness to use it will cause problems in the future.

In spite of Gibbs’ foolishness, the Professor’s burial was duly relevant and respectful. I gave my farewell I believed he deserved a decade ago; despite the circumstances I was pleased to be able to deliver it at the appropriate time. Mr. Desericus also spoke in turn; I tried to listen though I found myself too irritated at the lack of respect given to the dead as Mellic walked coarsely away from the burial. Mr. Whitman’s history was, as was to be discovered, complicated and less than pleasant and did not speak though I believe Kendra was satisfied with her farewell to her father.

The burial being concluded, the will was unsealed and read; those present at the cemetery were each as well named principles in the Professor’s will. Kendra was bequeathed the Professor’s home and belonging’s as would be expected. However what was left to myself and the others was far stranger; a request by the Professor to deliver four dangerous tomes he researched as part of his lifelong quest to understand the methods of evil individuals in order to combat them, to a Professor Montagnie Crewl at Lepidstadt University after one month, during which we were additionally asked to look after Kendra and ensure her affairs and well being were in order. We each were additionally to be gifted one hundred platinum pieces to be distributed by an Embreth Daramind. I confess in my wildest imaginings I never anticipated myself in such a situation…

Among the books left by the Professor in a locked chest, I was shocked to find, was the hateful religious texts of foul Urgathoa and Zon-Kuthon, whose titles I will not transcribe here, as well as a strange volume entitled “On Verified Madness” containing information on the Dark Tapestry and a locked tome without a key. Despite my warnings, everyone was eager to grab the books and read their contents. Mr. Desericus reached for The Midnight Lord’s tome and was painfully drained in some way (I hope that is all) though I could find no wound on him. We each agreed not to take or read any of the volumes without the others present’ if the Professor was wary of them we should be as well.

Also included was one of the Professor’s diaries which contained information on each of the five inheritors of the Professor’s final request. I am shocked and amazed that the Professor suspected my origins! I thought myself responsible for his “death” by not telling him and now under the pressure of the past day’s revelations I am unsure what to conclude. More unnerving than this however is the discovery of the Professor’s efforts against a group of undead-seeking necromancers known as the Whispering Way who seem to be involved in a dark plot within the nearby Harrowstone ruins that may threaten the safety of Ravengro and moreover, possibly the death of the Professor!

I do not enjoy the circumstances I find myself in although if I am to honor the Professor’s wishes by keeping his daughter safe, these ruins must be investigated to ensure whatever evil is being worked there does not threaten Ravengro. I find myself experiencing a nervousness I have not felt for nearly ten years, though the significance of these uncanny events force my hand. Those who study the wisdom of Pharasma know the difference between coincidence and fate…

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The Death of a Friend
A most unsettling summons

Dear friend:

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the death of my father, Petros Lorrimor, due to a sudden and misfortunate accident. While I do not know you personally, my father spoke of you in high regard, and I am sure that it would be his wish that you attend his burial. You are mentioned in his will, which is to be unsealed and read after the funeral is complete.

If you can find the time out of your no doubt busy life to visit my father one last time, it would mean a lot to me and to his memory. Please come to the town of Ravengro in Ustalov on Oathday, the third of Gozran, when the funeral will take place.

~Kendra Lorrimor

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