Cooper Carrion Crown

Meanwhile, in Carrion Crown...(Cut Scenes Part 1)
Other events in the recent past

(This will be a series of “cut scenes” which have taken place or will take place. There is a lot of exposition which is DM only, which I find odd. This format will let you guys in on some of the events that take place behind the scenes. Obviously, without some divination on your side, these posts are for player knowledge alone.)

The twisting dark trees of this forest block out what little moonlight there is this cool evening. A tall oak has crowded out the smaller trees around it, creating a small clearing. The wood is silent, save for the sounds of sobbing and crying that carry over the still forest. Four figures clad in black approach the tree- two men are manhandling a small teenage girl, who is the source of the sobbing. She is below average in height, but the clear distinguishing feature is her head, which is abnormally small. To those who have met the Crooked Kin, she is clearly on of the pin-head sisters.

Aleece: (sobbing) Stop, you’re hurting me! Please…why are you doing this?

One of the black clad figures steps closer to the tree. His green eyes, flecked with grey, reflect the few beams of moonlight that fight their way into the clearing. He pulls back his cloak, revealing a bald head and a sunken face. His skin is a dark grey, and his teeth end in gruesome points. Signs of aged burn wounds, never fully healed, mar the left side of the eerily inhuman face.

Necromancer Leader: Ahh, a sturdy oak. This tree should suffice. Tie the freak to the trunk, Luramin.

Another figure steps forward, also drawing back his cowl as he does so. His blond hair is disheveled, with bits darkened by what looks to be ash. His slightly pointed ears reveal his mixed-race heritage, and a twisted smile manifests on his face as he uncoils a length of rope.

Luramin: As you command, Master.

A third figure drags the girl forward and pins her to the tree, his muscles barely bulging from what little effort he exerts. A slim moustache is visible from beneath the cowl, and wisps of long brown hair free themselves from underneath as a sudden breeze rushes through the clearing.

Aleece: No! Let me go! What do you want?

Aleece struggles against the two men, but her efforts are in vain. The grey skinned man nods to the man with the moustache.

Necromancer Leader: Amadeus, take care of this.

The mustached man backhands Aleece, drawing blood from her cheek with a cruel looking skull ring.

Amadeus: Silence, bitch!

The two male necromancers finish tying the young girl to the tree in a few moments. Initially, she struggles, kicking out and screaming, shrill cries of desperation. At this, the fourth figure, a woman with dark black hair twisted in tight braids and tattoos that adorn her exposed skin steps near to the carnival girl. The woman necromancer whispers something into Aleece’s ear, after which she stops fighting and just whimpers.

A raven sits in the branches of the oak tree, watching as the scene unfolds. The tall, grey-skinned Master also watches, nearly as still and as silent as the raven. Once they are finished, the three necromancers step back, beads of sweat glistening on each of their faces.

Luramin: It is finished, Master Vrood. (He turns to the woman.) Thank you, Brunhylde.

Necromancer Leader, Vrood: (Nodding) Very good. And now we will observe. See how she shakes against her bonds. (Vrood points to the girl.) Watch carefully the fear in her eyes. Yes, little freak, I know you can hear me. See now, the hatred in her twisted tiny head? You see, my acolytes, you can see all of her feelings like a fish sees through clear water. This, THIS, is what we have come here tonight to harvest. Not the pathetic twisted body that houses her spirit.

Aleece: (whimpering) Please…don’t hurt me…I haven’t done anything to you. I don’t even know who you are!

Brunhylde: Hush, child. Let the master speak. You should listen to his words.

Luramin: Hail to the Master!

Vrood: Who are we? We are the inheritors. We are the bridge between life and death; we are the lords of the soul and the keepers of the power. We are those without dogma, without shackles. Those that know what must be done, and those with the will to do it.

With that, Vrood reaches into his robe with long, thin fingers and draws a large glass vial etched with skulls and runes. Inside the vial, a swirling green gas seems to move of its own accord. The way it twists and bellows make it seem almost alive, and for a brief moment, what appears to be a facsimile of a face appears, pressing up against the glass as if yearning for release.

Aleece: What…what is that?

Amadeus: Silence freak. That is none of your concern. Master, you promised me knowledge of the ingredient. My brother and I have served you well.

Vrood: Yes, and you shall have your reward.

Vrood unscrews the runed cap a tiny notch, then brings the vial to his nose. He inhales just a small wisp of the vapors within, quickly sealing the cap afterward. The effect is striking- his green eyes flash red for a moment, then turn the ghastly green of the vapor as even as a similar colored glow surrounds them. He drops to one knee in an intense fit of coughing, then recovers and rises again.

Luramin: Are you okay, Master?

Vrood: (excited, for the first time in the scene) Yes…YES! And this is just the beginning! The power I shall wield when this is finished…it is intoxicating. Amadeus, come forward and let me tell you of your reward.

Amadeus: Gladly, Master.

Amadeus steps forward eagerly. Vrood bends over slightly and whispers words into Amadeus’ ear. The faintest glow of green can be seen, fluttering in the air between Vrood’s thin lips and the ear of Amadeus. After finishing, Vrood straightens up again.

Amadeus: Such a reward! (He drops to his knees) Master, I am not worthy of your gifts.

Vrood: Rise. There will be more such rewards, for you and for us all. Ours is the moment. And now, we must begin the sacrifice.

Aleece: What? No! (She turns to Brunhylde) You said you would release me! You said you would let me go. Please…help me!

Brunhylde: (smiling) …I lied.

Amadeus (laughs loudly, and glances to Luramin with some pride)

Vrood (addressing Aleece, an ironic gentleness to his voice) Ah, but she told the truth. You WILL be released. (The gentle words fade, and those that follow drip venom as he continues) Released from this freakish mortal shell, born again as a spirit, free from the grasp of the Gods. You WILL be let go, let go from the shackles that hold back your ignorant and worthless life. (To the necromancers) Begin the ritual!

The necromancer acolytes and Vrood step forward, each lending their voice, speaking well practiced words in a whisper. These are the last sounds that Aleece shall ever hear.

All, except Aleece: Ah, Necromancy Sweet! Wizard erudite! Unleash the skill, that I instill. The pain surgeons assuage in vain, no Herb of all the plains can Heal. We are the bridge between life and death, we offer to the Way this breath, ripped from its mortal womb, such the bloom, that undeath may triumph.

Aleece: No, NO help! Please, NO…somebody help me…Please, help!

Aleece’s screams continue as one by one, starting with Luramin, the necromancers each draw a wicked looking dagger and take turns: they pace slowly towards the oak, then plunge the blade deep into Aleece’s chest as her screams grow louder. The last to act in this ritual is Vrood, who slits the throat of the poor girl with long, sharpened fingernails. The four cabalists then stand back, silent, as blood oozes from the body, pooling at their feet and seeping into the roots of the tree. They stand this way from some time, until the silence is broken by a “Caw!” from the raven.

Vrood: It is done. Our Way grows stronger by another soul.

Luramin: What shall she be, Master? Will we have another ghoul?

Amadeus looks at his brother with scorn.

Vrood: No. Why would we perform the Rite of Amherst for such a weak creature? No, I have something…special…in mind for this freak’s soul.

Brunhylde: What next, Master? I yearn for the future.

Vrood: Yes…yes…we must seize the future. We must now travel to Lepidstadt, for we have work to do there. The details must be kept to the Whispers, for one can never be sure of who might be listening.

Amadeus: Master, I will stay here until the spirit rises, then bind it to my will. I will follow with my brother on our steeds; we will not rest until we have caught up to you.

Vrood: Your diligence is noted, as is your brother’s. Brunhylde, you will ride with me and the flock. Amadeus, when the spirit has risen, deposit the body near the nest of the spider. No one will suspect anything else but an attack from that beast. Luramin, you will return to your post at Ravengro and once again adopt your disguise. It has served you well in the past. Keep me informed if any questions are asked of our work there. If none are present, await further instructions.

Luramin: Yes Master, I live to serve.

Vrood: Very good. Ride, ride, and ride thrice then. We are done here.

Vrood lowers his voice to a whisper.

Vrood: Benedictus mortis perpetuum.

Necromancer Acolytes: Benedictus mortis perpetuum.

Eve of the Trial

This trial begins tomorrow…two days we have spent running about gathering clues for the defense of this creature with no information of our own concerning the Whispering Way’s next location to show for it. I wonder if we our wasting our time here, it seems obvious that this “Beast” was merely a pawn in their game not that it will likely matter to the mob of people crying out for a pyre regardless of what evidence is laid before them. They are going to demand a scapegoat to sacrifice to their rage and ignorance, the same sad story even in this supposed place of learning.

Mr. Pilat nearly lost his life and his foot during our investigation in Herztag. While the presence of the powerful spirits there all but proves the Way’s involvement they always seem to be several steps ahead, and we have been unable to discern any definite clues illuminating their ultimate plan. Hopefully the remains that were recovered provide more answers and make our journey worth the danger and desecration of the grave that was disturbed.

It is interesting to note however the role this clay trinket played in overcoming the spirits in our path. It evidently holds a great deal of power though it does not radiate magic of any kind; perhaps against certain intelligent undead the symbolic connection or emotional imprint of a particular event may hold some sway over them. Similar emotional connections are responsible for the creation of some spirits…I will inquire at the temple about this.

Arrival in Lepidstadt

The schemes and intrigue of this land do not cease…

We have arrived at last in Lepidstadt through death and danger, leaving on dark revelation and almost immediately arriving on the threshold of a new one.

Against all odds as well as the dark will of those we hunt, the fallen crusader Arden survived our journey out of the Maidensnarl Forest to the city. I still believe the wiser path lay through the foothills of the Tusk Mountains and remain convinced that our passage through Tamrivena was noticed by whatever presence dwells there. While I and Ms. Tousand have been able to keep him relatively stable thus far it has been increasingly difficult after our “gracious” warning by the creature who undoubtedly leads expedition we follow. Despite not arriving in time to prevent the breakage of the seal or stop them from moving towards the next, we were visited by a strange projection warning us to stop our pursuit, lest a multitude of unfortunate fates befall us. The man whose image spoke must certainly be an undead creature of considerable power to emanate such power through a proxy and knows far more information about myself than I am comfortable with. In spite of my trepidation we have no choice but to continue, the Way must not be allowed to succeed in their efforts or all of Avistan will be endangered; with the threat of the Worldwound to the north, I do not know if the Inner Sea has the strength to repel the might of the Whispering Tyrant a second time.

The gravity of this threat, and the progress the Way has already made demand speed and an uncompromising mind to our pursuit. Idle dalliances with passersby or letting one’s compassion get in the way of the true threat provides only our enemies a greater chance at victory; the Whispering Way will be tireless in their efforts and we must be equally so if we are to stop them, we cannot allow our feelings to cloud our judgement.

Now it seems, there may be yet another fly caught in their web… No firm details have yet been given about this so called “Beast of Lepidstadt” but Justice Daramind suspects the Way’s involvement in the crime that led to its capture. The Beast stole an item from the University’s Department of Antiquities known as the Sea Sage Effigy, evidently an item imbued with magics of divination. If the way was involved, perhaps they required such an item to discern the location of another seal. It is too early to tell, and we have only two days to determine the truth. Even if this creature is innocent, it may still be undeserving of, or we may be unable to spare the time to prevent its execution. We will see…

Harrowstone Exorcised...Final Night in Ravengro

It is done. The final spirit haunting Harrowstone prison has been vanquished, the ghost of the foul professor whose obsession with names nearly availed himself freedom for all the restless dead contained there from their captivity. Strange that, even in death he possessed the power to slowly drain strength and potency of the spirit of Warden Hawrkin’s wifewho still yet managed to keep them tenuously at bay within their confines. I am pleased that we were able to put her spirit to rest in a proper manner, to have her accept her fate willingly before Pharasma rather than foolishly attempting to mamifest on this plane as a pain-wrought caricature of her previous self.

Sadly our victory, which seemed so great at the time, soon became quite shallow as upon our return to Ravengro, evil and death continued to plague the unfortunate town. A new enemy seems to have presented herself, one I had been suspicious of for some time and it now seems that those suspicions were justified, though to a greater and far more terrible degree than I imagined. Both Father Grimburrow and Councilman Vashayn dreamt of Councilwoman Faravind attempting to seduce them…more than likely evidence of a spell or ritual attempting to dominate their minds for some nefarious purpose. She had left swiftly in the night, before our final return from Harrowstone, the only evidence of her passing being a carriage trail leading from her home. The others, deciding to venture inside, discovered some dark altar hidden under the stairwell containing a picture and letter from Evelyn’s absent husband Arden-evidently a paladin in service to the Dawnflower. The letter seems to indicate that she has manipulated this man to, out of love, perform evil in order to spare Ms. Tousand’s life (or possibly soul) and in order somehow to find a solution to the dark curse her line suffers from. It is a truly great evil indeed to trick one out of so noble a goal, into darkness; a measure indeed of this woman’s cunning and skills of deception. I am convinced she has connections to my homeland…and possibly knowledge of my own past their, and now it seems likely she is also allied with the organization responsible for the Professor’s death. If this is so I will make her pay for what she has done, and the crimes she has committed. Even after her departure, either her or her likely allies’ influence continued to attempt to cover their tracks. By the time of our departure from Ravengro, both Councilman Muricar and the Sherriff, among others were dead. The imprisoned Gibbs Hephanos was possessed by some spell or power in the Way’s arsenal and was left to die after his purpose had been fulfilled.

The town, understandably confused and panicked, as they were rounded up into the temple to protect against the seemingly random murders were made moreso as Mellic preached to them his sermon of fear, death, and betrayal. I watched with growing anger as he began to turn this group of scared villagers into a group of suspicious accusers, seeing evil in the eyes of their friends and enemies alike. I have seen it all too often, it is the first step towards the creation of a mob. If the people of Ravengro descend into such chaos out of the fear and danger which may yet still remain, Mellic will have done the Way’s work for them. I can only hope that the emissaries from Lastwall, who had arrived at last to gather the remains of Isaac Desericus, will hold true to their word and reputation to keep this town safe and secure from whatever evil still yet lurks here. Their Commander Talvan seemed already to have an inkling of the true threat at work in Ravengro, and saw clearly the importance of maintaining a presence once the others revealed to him the extent of the knowledge we have acquired.

Deeper Into Harrowstone

This prison is larger than it appears from the outside, I had thought we would have finished our quest by now but we still press on through these endless halls, and without encountering another of the spirits yet. However, the day has not been without benefit-the aid of Father Grimburrow has once more proved invaluable to our efforts, as well as that of Isaac. Though unorthodox, his spirit still lends aid; perhaps after our task is done he may move on to his proper judgment.

Discovering that “Father” Charlatan visited Ravengro with a band of five Varisian “clergy” nearly sixty years ago is interesting though perhaps not surprising considering his crimes and the location of his incarceration. More intriguing however is his theft of church property from the town…I wonder why the stolen goods were not returned upon his capture; perhaps the fire occurred soon after his imprisonment. Though in retrospect, after our discoveries further in Harrowstone, I may have been incorrect in assuming the strange weights shackling his body were the church’s belongings, they do no good now to a vanquished spirit and should still be returned to a place where they can be made of use.

The haunting of this ruined prison is far stranger than I had thought. Even I have never heard of an animated crematory furnace lashing out against the living. Thankfully not all our encounters with the remnants of this place were deadly. The ghost of Warden Lyvar Hawkran’s wife, Vesoriana appeared to us and explained much of Harrowstone’s distant and recent history. Evidently the Whispering Way cultists somehow removed Lyvar’s spirit from his place of rest; an action that it seems allowed the five criminals to gain in strength. The inscriptions around the base of the building must hold some piece of the puzzle, I cannot believe I forgot my appointment with Ghorovin… it will be almost unbearable to have to deal with him now. Vesoriana tells that there were five cultists in number, four men and one woman, and that they indeed killed the Professor as I had suspected. She also informed us that she was taking up her husband’s mantle as warden of sorts, trying to contain the evil of the criminal’s spirits and that she was the key to vanquishing them once we had defeated their manifestations. While I am hesitant to accept the word or the aid of a member of the undead, I sense no lies in her words and her efforts are, I must confess, noble. It is at times easy to forget that the aim of a cleric of Pharasma is foremost to ensure the order of judgment applies to all; her aid in destroying these evil spirits may allow her to rest and proceed to whatever fate the Lady of Graves has in mind for her.

However, if we are to do this we must hurry, for she warned that one of the criminals was sapping her strength. Based on our early morning disturbances, the Splatter Man must be the one to blame, for he is but four letters (and therefore four days) away from completing her name, allowing the evils of Harrowstone free reign to terrorize and endanger the people of Ravengro. We were told of a vault containing the confiscated belongings of each of the criminals, and that their usage against them would aid us in our fight against them, though at the cost of a nameless danger that was unknown. We soon found the vault, containing, with a note attached to each penned by the Warden himself, the Lopper’s hand axe, Charlatan’s holy symbols, the Splatter Man’s spellbook, the Marauder’s hammer, and the Piper’s silver flute, as well as a portrait of Taldor’s Stavian I which while certainly quite valuable is surely to be reduced to tatters by the time we leave this accursed place.

We have made our way into the basement now…my magics are depleted for the day and we each have been wounded severely many times during this visit, at least I still have these wands of healing magic and we still have several potions left as well. Even still, I believe we must turn back soon as these items will not last forever. We are proceeding south down a tunnel labeled “The Nevermore”, I see a corpse slumped over in one of the rooms, it looks…like a dwarf.

Operation Vigilant Shadow - Report III

Field Operative XVII
Vigilant Shadow
Report III

Tousand, Evelyn encountered a strange occurrence, name in blood over Lorrimor, Kendra. Lorrimor was sleeping at time, unaware. Checked if magical, not conclusive. Tousand, Hallows and Desericus visited Temple of Pharasma. Exited looking better, probable cause for visit: healing needed for various ailments.

Subject, Vas Mana, Desericus and Hallows visited Unfurling Scroll. Conducted research into Harrowstone. History of prison. Events leading to its demise. Bartered access with Ghorovan, Alendru.

IMPERATIVE: Discovery of connection between Lorrimor, Petros and the Whispering Way. Information is scarce but connection seems overt.

REQUEST: Further agents at this post. Immediate. Mission potentially compromise. Outside of Operative’s jurisdiction.
REQUEST: Information as to procedure involving development. Contact must be made immediately.

Mysterious letters appearing in blood on the Harrowstone Memorial Statue. “E” appeared. (V-E-, have appeared thus far.)Subject, Desericus, VasMana and Tousand accompanied by Sheriff Caellar, Benjan.

IMPERATIVE: Reanimated body of Lorrimor, Petros assaulted the Lorrimor house. Tousand was incapacitated. Subject retaliated and split the husk in two. Questioning within group resulted. Argument ended agreeably. Strange song was sung by five children. Interrupted those inside Lorrimor estate. Group came to some realization. Will have to follow up on this and find more.

Second outing of Subject, VasMana, Desericus and Hallows resulted in finding Hephenus, Gibbs with small child. Gibbs was witnessed cutting the girl and writing an “S” on the monument. (V-E-S-) Child (Elkarid, Pelly) did not survive.

Surveillance ongoing.

“In the twilight, at the ready.”

A Rising Threat

6 Gozreh
Events in Ravengro continue to hinge on the strange and suspicious. To most this town would appear dull and uninteresting, perhaps most of the time it is however I feel a tension in the air, a nameless threat hovers over this place drawing ever nearer like the Boneyard’s baleful moon. Experience tells me these townspeople will not warm to our presence in light of this, but will hunt us out of fear and anger unless sufficient proof or force be gathered to check them; most do not yet feel its menace but soon… We must investigate Harrowstone as soon as possible.
I visited Father Grimburrow on Fireday, to seek entry into the church’s library in order to research the supposed “tools” the Professor spoke of in his diary for “dealing with” the Whispering Way. I was shocked and affronted to be denied access due to my lack of citizenship to the town. Such claims are certainly not standard practice and I suspect them in fact to be at least partially fabricated. Grimburrow claimed that the majority of the library’s holdings contained classified information concerning documents on many key figures and practices crucial to Ravengro. He informed me that due to my station within the church that he would make exception provided I return the next day after the library had been adequately censored.
Meanwhile the others, with exception of Mr. Desericus, who wished to investigate the local magical academy the Unfurled Scroll, traveled the town with Kendra receiving basic information about Ravengro and its people. Kendra must indeed be well liked among the people for somehow the lot of them ended up sharing dinner with Councilman Muricar… I observed his Wealday Chronicles while returning from the church, rumors all but interesting nonetheless; vague hearsay concerning some intrigue in the capital over an alleged elixir of youth as well as ghost tales involving a haunted site known as the Saffron House.
While the others, especially Mellic and Mr. Whitman, drank with the Councilman I instead perused the Professor’s study, surprised to find that he replaced much of his collection of books with tomes containing information about the Whispering Way. There are so many volumes that I could not research as much as I wished that night, instead cataloguing them all to be read later. I was however to discover information which illustrated the gravity of this organization’s involvement here. If the Professor’s sources are accurate the teachings of the Whispering Way are responsible for the rise of Tar-Baphon himself, making their existence almost four thousand years old if the Whispering Tyrant was able to prepare for his return in life. The fact that this cabal has existed for so long in secret makes me all the more suspicious, for when they returned, the others informed me of much they had learned from the Councilman-mostly information concerning the history of the town and how it relates to Harrowstone (I wonder if Muricar would know much of the history and character of the others on the council, it would be helpful to know what to expect from the government of our hosts…) There also was a bard by the name of Stern Urden who revealed his knowledge of the Whispering Way! No tavern entertainer should have any such awareness, even a well traveled collector of lore…we should be wary of him, though I am unsure if the rest share in my suspicions.
The following day, waking again to that disturbing children’s song, itself further evidence of the sinister nature underlying Ravengro due to its strange connections with the ages of the town’s children, I was unable to concentrate on my meditations I had intended to pray in the church, as I had further business with Father Grimburrow to ask him of the lacerations within the Professor’s mouth. As I started to leave however, the entire manor began to smell of smoke as if an inferno raged around us! Searching the house and finding nothing, I checked on the state of the books we are charged with delivering, the Midnight Lord’s tome was again filled with life. Given the book’s fiery history I was sure this phantom blaze to be evidence of the curse it was rumored to possess. Furthermore, the cut Evelyn received on the edges of that “other” volume developed an infection which I was unable to treat. As if such events were not enough, the local sheriff arrived to investigate our involvement in the defacement of the Harrowstone Memorial the night before, which was vandalized with a bloody “V”. After deterring him, at least for the moment, denying our involvement with any criminal activity, I took both of my tome-stricken companions with me to the church, Father Grimburrow confirmed my fears and promised to treat them both the next day (I told them all not to touch those books!!).

Operation Vigilant Shadow - Report II

Field Operative XVII
Vigilant Shadow
Report II

Subject has been busy since last report. Often seen with companions wandering Ravengro proper. Appears to be attempting acclimation into Ravengro social circles. Inhabitants seem weary but are warming up to subject’s and certain companions.

Subject’s companions have been busy as well:
Hallows, (first name determined) Matthias attempted integration with local church, rebuked. Busy researching at Lorrimor estate.
VasMana, Mellic was forbidden to use his firearm within city boundaries, later ignored.
Desericus, Isaac gained short access to the Unfurling Scroll. Entered for short while but left.
Tousand, Evelyn accompanied VasMana to Hephenus, Gibbs home but was turned away.

Entire party entered a crypt. Went unseen for some time. Emerged later on with changed appearance. Dust, scratches, small fatigue. Bags and pouches heavier. Upon inspection crypt was false. Padlock on front was for appearance, false in nature.

Strange occurance witnesses. Bell’s sounds are not immediately heard. Lag time between ring and sound.
Pair of children seen singing a song in the mornings in front of Lorrimor estate. Lyrics attached, may be off. Uncovered that song is sung by most children before teenage years. Child becomes teen, forgets part of song. When child becomes adult, forgets song entirely.
Research on matter. Need to know possibilities. Contact with findings.

Surveillance ongoing.

“In the twilight, at the ready.”

Operation Vigilant Shadow - Report I

Field Operative XVII
Vigilant Shadow
Report I

Subject entered Ravengro. Procures room at The Outward Inn. Room 3; second floor, first door on the right. Places items and locks room. Travels to Lorrimor home to attend funeral. Greeted by female in armor, not battle ready. (Name is Evelyn Tousand) Enters home introduces self to members there. (Lorrimor, Kendra/ Hallows, first name not determined/ Desericus, Isaac) Later joined by stranger with Alkenstarian weapon, speaks with Varisian accent, unknown if it is a ploy. (Vas Mana, Mellic; ID’ed by personal affections upon inspection)

Subject declined to speak for Lorrimor. Distaste was palpable. Subject still unsure about reasons for attending. Attempted to stop potential harm by words. Did not work. Subject attempted to land a blow on assailant (Hephenus, Gibbs); missed. Was incapacitated by magic by member of the funeral party. Came away unharmed.

Subject attended Lorrimor’s will reading. Recieved task to deliver book assortment to Lepidstadt after thirty (30) days of staying in Ravengro. Books have to be inspected at next convenient notice. Unable to at this time.

Peculiar features around Ravengro proper. Feeling. Will determine nature with evidence at further date. Unnatural in essence, unable to document further.

Subject appears intent to follow lead on a “haunted” homestead and inspect Harrowstone prison.

Surveillance ongoing.

“In the twilight, at the ready.”

Origins: Ad Perpetuam Memoriam

A message comes in the descending night.
The story begins as another ends.
Sir, friend, and father you were all to me.
A passing to more calm and peaceful days.

You’ll find no religious zealot in me.
But these are the origins of the tale.
I invoke Aroden, The Last Azlant.
Or whomever rests in the fabric of
the voids, attentive to these great events.

I must travel north, to my old homeland.
It is the will of his will that draws me;
That consumes my thoughts and engenders fear.
Why? What cause? And to whom do we give blame?

It is a long and lonely journey there.
The night is deep and the wind howls with pain.
More death now permeates Ustalav’s flesh.
I have returned because I must, Lastwall.
I am the guard, the barrier, their wall.

Unscathed, I reach the town where ravens grow.
It is dark, damp, heavy with the weight of fear.
Why be a citizen, a denizen
In such a cold, grim, and scarred village?

Alone, I ride to a familiar site.
The former home of Petros Lorrimor.
A knock, rap, and a thump on the portal.
A woman in decorative armor -
pledged to Iomedae – answers the door.

Kendra Lorrimor floats from room to room.
Inside, in the study, the coffin resides.
Amongst books, notes, and treasures, Petros lays.
His face broken, a simulacrum – pray.

I sit to prepare my words of comfort.
I sit alone, waiting for the others.
An unfit Andoran man soon arrives
And goes about talking to the women.
I ignore them but I don’t hide my ears.

A rude man with a firearm enters,
leaving dirt, mud, and debris on the floors.
A solemn priest of Pharasma appears,
speaks few words but makes a strong impression.

Lorrimor always kept strange company,
but this coterie still surprises me.
Few more strangers arrive to pay respects;
there are less than there should be for Petros.
Respect and praise followed this man’s vitae.

Pallbearers, the five of us are to be.
The individuals mentioned above,
and me, to carry the dead to his stone.
The coffin is heavy; heavy on me.

The procession of the dispossessed comes.
Through the Restlands we walked; a death parade.
We march in silence, the Pharasmite leads.
Others walk alongside us, their heads bowed
as my tears quietly fall on the path.

We are halted by a mob of dim fools
Shouting false words about Petros’s life.
Necromancer and demonologist;
Why fear these titles if the man is dead?

Silence them hastily, no death this day.
My intentions are not to kill these men;
I do not, ensuring spells and attacks
Are rebuffed with assaults on their simple minds.
The fight ends soon; no more death on this day.

The burial continues with respects.
Most speak with praise, though disrespect remains.
The eulogy from the priest strikes true
to the hearts and minds of those listening.

Concluding ceremonies involve the
unfurling of the will of Lorrimor.
The five pallbearers, bound by this paper
Are given five books which must be taken
To Lepidstadt thirty moons from today.

Umbral Leaves – a treatise of pain when touched.
I am drained and overcome by my blood.
Faint, I read what remains of Lorrimor.
A diary details why we are here.

We are inheritors to his many tales.
Whispers trying to raise their voices to
a roar – one which must be subdued, silenced.
But nay, time must pass for revelations
to emerge and we must protect Kendra.

This is only the beginning for us.
Choices will be made and who shall we trust?


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