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Author Topic: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone  (Read 19686 times)

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Offline BK Geno

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Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2011, 10:40:59 PM »
Interface Unit 256 (temp designation)
Entry 001N:


Alert: Unpacking of all algorithms completed nearly 33% faster than expected. Addmendium: emotion algorithms non-compatible with Interface Unit model, request compatible algorithms during next link up.

The construct looked up from its vigil, having finally finished installing the updates that had been given to it, and looked around, before standing up. Nothing of note had happened other than the initial encounter, and after a moment, it decided began effecting entry. Further information was required before it could return to the two, and it was likely too early for them to be up and ready to hear an apology. It moved slowly and cautiously, ensuring no more noised was created than absolutely necessary, the multiple sensors in its optics scanning and measuring distances, checking for anything out of the ordinary.

Stealth = 15 (d20+8)
Perception = 16 (d20+5)

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2011, 11:08:48 PM »
Kendra arrives downstairs about ten minutes later, drawn by the sounds and smells of cooking, dressed in a dark red dress, her hair drawn up into a bun, looking more refreshed, than last night. "Good morning, both of you," she says, with a smile. "Do the two of you have any plans, for the day?"

The sun rises over the ruins of the old prison, looking less like a terrifying evil lurking atop the hill, and more like a withered and burned out corpse. A brief search of the courtyard reveals, along the wall to the north, a large, stone gargoyle, lying on the ground at an unusual angle, partially broken. If he approaches it, he'll note it's partially covered in blood. However, if he stays close to the wall, towards the gargoyle, when he approaches the thirty-foot tall, old stone tower, its wooden roof collapsed and its crumbling walls thick with ivy, he'll notice a dozen or so rats, peeking out from the tower, watching him carefully. If he gets within fifteen feet of the tower, they'll begin chittering and squeaking ominously as more and more clamber into view.

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2011, 11:21:52 PM »
Lilial Ambersight

"But of course...that means its time to switch sides, I think.  And, should I be cooking, I'll be certain to keep that in mind, Ms. Devonshire." Lilial replied to Celeste, skillfully flipping over the steak.  When Kendra entered, she looked up and smiled at the human woman, and gestured at the food. "I hope I wasn't out of place making use of your kitchen and supplies, Ms. Lorrimor.  I'm afraid that this is what I do to calm my nerves and relax.  But do you have any requests as to your breakfast?"

"As for plans...not particularly.  I suppose that we should look at the books that your father left behind first." Lilial winced as she mentioned the professor, but she tried to smile again. "Other than that...perhaps exploring the town and seeing what we might do.  Might I ask what your plans are?  As...indelicately as it may have been phrased, this is a backwater, and you're an educated woman, from what I've seen.  Do you intend to stay here?"

Offline BK Geno

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Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2011, 11:32:47 PM »
The construct approached the fallen gargoyle, intent on further examination. However, at the irritated squeaking, it flipped the concealed weapons out of its forearms, and activated them. The blade hissed to life, and it raised its right arm, leveled it and the small cylinder that had popped out at one of the rats, took a second to triple check the targeting algorithm, before discharging it at one of the vermin, recognizing them as a minor threat, anticipating that the death of one would disperse the rest.

energy pistol AR = 19 (d20+5)
damage (force) = 2 (d6)

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #79 on: May 04, 2011, 11:40:03 PM »
"Oh, something light, please," Kendra replies, politely. "And, please, feel free to use the kitchen. I must admit, I use my cooking supplies more for my alchemy, than for actual cooking. Oh, but don't worry, I clean everything thoroughly," she says, quickly. "As far as what I plan to do... I'm not certain. Despite how much of a... as you put it, 'backwater' as it is, it does have its own lovely charm, and, well... finding a new place to store all of these wonderful books would be quite a challenge. Besides, I do make a bit of a living for myself, crafting and selling alchemical items to the locals."

IU256 manages to drop one of the rats, just barely striking it through the hole in the wall; the creatures continue to chitter and squeak, though they also seem to find better hiding places, from which to threaten him. Once he moves away from the tower, though, the noise fades.

The gargoyle appears, from examination, to have fallen from its crumbled perch, above, and struck something living, below it, though whatever was there has been moved, the gargoyle moved aside to allow access to the corpse. A DC 15 Heal or Survival check allows him to determine the blood is quite dry, and has been here for a while. DC 20 reveals that it's likely two to three weeks old.

Offline BK Geno

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Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #80 on: May 04, 2011, 11:53:57 PM »
The unit watched the rodents scramble for better cover, still squeaking in defiance, but no longer seeming as willing to threaten it. It ignored them after they realized it was making for the gargoyle, and it gave the blood a thorough examination, before examining the break points on the gargoyle, doubting that whoever had been hit had been hit with the falling statue had had that abyssal amount of luck. It deactivated and sealed the glowing dagger on its left arm before examining the gargoyle, not wanting to damage the scene moreso than it already had been. Something about this seemed very very wrong, and it knew that if it hadn't activated its upgrades, it never would have caught this.

survival = 20 (d20+5)
knowledge:architecture = 17 (d20+3)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 12:15:05 PM by BK Geno »

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #81 on: May 05, 2011, 01:22:12 AM »
Celeste Devonshire

The dhampir shows a touch of color at the cheeks at the comment, "just Celeste...please.  My mother is Ms. Devonshire...she and father never wed."  She gives a slight smile and a shrug.  "Given father's...condition, he decided it wouldn't be terribly appropriate."

By the time that Kendra comes into the room Celeste is well into her steak.  Calling it rare was likely being somewhat generous.  It was warm, certainly, and it had seen fire...it just wasn't what most would consider cooked.  She seemed more than simply content with it and seemed to be rather actively enjoying herself for the moment.  After several bites of the steak, she would cut off a bit of the pancakes and use them to swap up the draining blood and juices, then pop the red tinged morsel into her mouth.  She waited until she had finished the larger part of her breakfast before responding to her questions.

"I do not have...particular plans, of yet.  I admit a curiosity with the books, but there are other matters as well...such as the spirits about the place."

"As regards Kendra's situation here...I have to agree that I would think that she would likely be happier and more comfortable in another city.  Given everything here, I cannot help but think that being here on her own would not be in her best interest."  She looked to Lilial and shrugged a touch, "we are more than happy to help where we can, but...what happens after we leave and the rumors start?"

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2011, 07:18:27 PM »
Lilial Ambersight

Nodding, Lilial paused in her work for a moment, considering, then went back to making the food as she replied, smiling wryly. "Well...very well, Celeste.  I'll do my best to remember that.  I'm just not used to...informality?  It's been...a very long time."

But once Kendra mentioned what she used the cooking supplies for, Lilial blinked, looking at it for several moments before protesting, losing her formality for once. "But...it's such a good set of cooking supplies!  Everything is perfectly laid out, you have just enough space on the stove and counters...I mean, it's perfect for cooking!  Don't get me wrong, I will do my best to clean things up thoroughly...I just..."

Shaking her head, the elf regained her composure, flushing at her own reaction before changing the subject quickly, seemingly embarrassed. "But...I will respect whatever decision you make, Ms. Lorrimor.  If you wish any aid in things, I'm more than happy to help you out.  But...you mentioned spirits, Ms...I mean Celeste?  What do you mean, precisely?"

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2011, 10:19:44 PM »
Kendra chuckles lightly at Lilial's flustered response. "No, no, it was my father who did most of the cooking for the two of us. I mostly cleaned and organized, or used them for my alchemy." While she'll let Celeste answer, Kendra will add, "The old Harrowstone prison is said to be haunted, with the spirits of the hundreds of prisoners who were held, and executed, there."

"I'm not really sure what I want to do, which is why I appreciate the two of you here, to keep an eye on me," she says, with a smile. "For right now, though, I'm doing fairly well. I supply people with alchemical items, and make my own way. On that note, if either of you need copies of any of the scrolls I can make, or any alchemical items, please, ask, and I'll see if I can't make something for you."

****

The blood on the statue seems to be about three weeks old, from his estimates, and an examination of the statue looks like the stones of the building, holding it up, cracked and crumbled, causing the statue to fall from above.

Offline BK Geno

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Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #84 on: May 07, 2011, 01:06:41 AM »
It examined the statue for a moment, before looking up at the fall point, nearly twenty feet above it. After a moment, it turned toward the tower, and hummed softly to itself, considering what it knew about rat swarms, which wasn't much. It then compared the little information about rats to its internal data about its own defenses, before heading back to the town, intent on explaining, once again, that the male that had been buried had likely been murdered, not killed in an accident. On the way, the explorer drone informed it of the crowd around a statue, and it diverted to investigate, though it would have to do so from a distance. It had no intention of trying to involve itself in a mob again.

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #85 on: May 08, 2011, 12:39:59 AM »
Celeste Devonshire

Sliding her plate away after finishing everything and delicately dabbing at her lips with a napkin, she shrugs a bit.  "I mean precisely what I said.  Last eve, during my...walk, I was come upon by a spirit more interested in mischief than talking.  I banished the haunt, but the spirit did not linger to speak."

She seems to ponder to herself a bit, then looks to Lilial.  "I believe you were interested in seeing what books it was the professor had locked away in his chest.  Perhaps there is something there that will shed light on the spirits around this place."

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #86 on: May 09, 2011, 05:20:08 PM »
Lilial Ambersight

Lilial paused for a moment, then nodded. "Ah...I as well had such appear last night.  Though 'appear' is a strong word.  It was...knocking on the walls.  It repeated 5 times, and I wrote down the pattern.  I know it is in a common adventuring code, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure it out."

"And as for the books...yes, I'd be interested in figuring out what books are there.  Of course, we have to ensure that no one makes off with them.  And having those in town see questionable books...would not be good." Lilial frowned, then finished a pair of pancakes for Kendra, sliding them onto a plate deftly as she added. "I certainly wouldn't want you playing host to us make still more difficulties, after all.  And I'm curious what he was investigating.  The Professor...he had such insatiable curiosity."

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #87 on: May 09, 2011, 10:22:25 PM »
Kendra looks a bit surprised, at the mention of the ghosts. "I've heard a number of stories about the spirits from the prison, but there hasn't been anything, here in town, that I know of. But, let me get that chest," she says, heading out to the common room, and retrieving the locked chest, bringing it out into the dining room. "I believe you have the key, Celeste?"

**********

The drone spots a large group of people, including the town's sheriff, gathered around a statue, along the riverbank, a little ways from the center of town. The drone can clearly see what has them upset; blood has been splattered all around the base of the statue, and a large, bold letter 'V' has been painted on the statue, as well. The sheriff is busy keeping people away from the statue, and reassuring them that it's not dangerous, that it's just a prank by some of the local kids.

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #88 on: May 12, 2011, 10:38:55 PM »
Celeste Devonshire

Celeste nods slightly in response to Lilial.  "I was...unaware such had happened.  Alas, I am unfamiliar with codes and cyphers.  My mother, perhaps, but she is some ways away."  She shrugged slightly. 

When Kendra returned with the chest Celeste took a few moments to retrieve the key from her robes before moving over to open the chest and see what waited within.

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #89 on: May 12, 2011, 11:27:07 PM »
Within the chest lie five tomes; four rather old-looking ones, and a newer one, with the words "Read me now!" scratched into the front cover.

The newer one, with the words scratched into the front, appears to be Petros' journal, which Kendra will identify, if asked. The other four books consist of a book with a rich, purple cover, and a large, jeweled scarab with a single eye set into the center on the cover. The book's covers are rimmed in polished steel, and it is tightly locked, the keyhole a strange, triangular shape, with no sign of the key.

The second tome bears the title 'On Verified Madness', the cover a jet-black color, like a starless night sky. The third bears the title of "Serving Your Hunger," and is otherwise fairly nondescript. The last tome is titled "The Umbral Leaves," and is also fairly nondescript.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 11:51:23 PM by Jeramiahh »

Offline BK Geno

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Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #90 on: May 13, 2011, 12:12:14 AM »
The unit examined the statue from a distance, as the explorer drone wandered off, following a local tiny organic animal, likely a rat. After a moment of simply watching and listening, it moved toward the house with the three female organics from earlier, though it didn't attempt to gain entry or alert the organics inside, sitting down in a nearby bush, and waiting for the two to come out.

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #91 on: May 13, 2011, 12:14:33 AM »
He won't be able to get a clear view of the statue, except from the back, personally, without wading through the crowd, gathered around it. The crowd looks uneasy, but most seem to accept that it's only a cruel prank.

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #92 on: May 13, 2011, 12:28:52 AM »
Lilial Ambersight

"Ah, well, I know it is somewhat common code...I just can't remember the specifics, I'm afraid." Lilial replied with a slight smile, but quieted when Kendra went off to get the chest.  When Celeste opened it, the elf reached in to take the journal, but paused and pulled her hand back, giving an apologetic smile. "My apologies, M-Celeste.  I should let you look first.  Though this looks...odd, to say the least."

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #93 on: May 13, 2011, 09:54:12 AM »
Celeste Devonshire

The dhampir gives a one handed shrug to Lilial's comment.  "Do not worry...they are no more mine than yours."  She looked through the titles somewhat curiously, tilting her head to one side.  "Were I to guess...tomes on the undead?  I know not what the madness regards, but shades, shadows and hungry dead seem likely for the other two."  She gives an odd sort of reminiscing smile as her eyes linger on the title 'Serving Your Hunger', "I know father has used a turn of phrase like that on occasion."

Those looking at her might notice that with even the relatively modest blood contained in the steak, her color is already improving, leaving her looking less like her undead ancestry and slightly more...lively.

[Knowledge Religion: 8 + 13 = 21]

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #94 on: May 13, 2011, 07:26:19 PM »
Lilial Ambersight

The elf peered at the books for a moment before shrugging slightly.  Her voice was ever so slightly dry as she replied. "I wouldn't know myself...none of those sound all that familiar.  But if he wanted them transported, transported they shall be."

Reaching in, she fished out the journal and opened it, looking for anything of note, wondering why the Professor would have damaged his own journal in such a way.

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #95 on: May 13, 2011, 10:55:37 PM »
A brief examination of "On Verified Madness" reveals that the book is actually a description of aberrations, and other creatures related to 'the Dark Tapestry', the void between the stars in the sky. 'Serving Your Hunger' and 'The Umbral Leaves' actually seem to be translations of holy texts for dark deities, namely Urgathoa and Zon-Kuthon, respectively, both notes liberally marked with notations in the margins, from the Professor.

Flipping through the journal, she'll find the majority of entries are rather bland, day-to-day accounts of events in the small town. However, six entries have been circled in red ink, the most recent of which was written the day of Petros' untimely death.

Journal Entries
Ten Years Ago:
The Whispering Way is more than just a cabal of necromancers. I see that now. Undeath is their fountain of youth. Uncovering their motivation does not place me at ease as I thought it might. Their desire to be eternal simply makes them more dangerous.

Two Months Ago:
It is as I had feared. The Way is interested in something here in Ravengro. But what could it be?

One Month Ago:
Whatever the Way seeks, I am now convinced their goal is connected to Harrowstone. In retrospect, I suppose it all makes sense—the stories they tell about the ruins in town are certainly chilling enough. It may be time to investigate the ruins, but with everyone in town already being so worked up about them, I’d rather not let the others know about my curiosity—there’s plenty of folks hereabouts who already think I’m a demonologist or a witch or something. Ignorant fools.

Twenty Days Ago:
It is confirmed. The Way seems quite interested in something—no, strike that—someone who was held in Harrowstone. But who, specifically, is the Way after? I need a list of everyone who died the night of the fire. Everyone. The Temple of Pharasma must have such a list.

Eighteen Days Ago:
I see now just how ill prepared I was when I last set out for the Harrowstone. I am lucky to have returned at all. The ghosts, if indeed they were ghosts (for I did not find it prudent to investigate further) prevented me from transcribing the strange symbols I found etched along the foundation—hopefully on my next visit I will be more prepared. Thankfully, the necessary tools to defend against spirits are already here in Ravengro. I know that the church of Pharasma used to store them in a false crypt in the Restlands at the intersection between Eversleep and the Black Path. I am not certain if the current clergy even know of what their predecessors have hidden down below. If my luck holds, I should be able to slip in and out with a few borrowed items.

Seventeen Days Ago:
Tomorrow evening I return to the prison. It is imperative the Way does not finish. My caution has already cost me too much time. I am not sure what will happen if I am too late, but if my theory is right, the entire town could be at risk. I don’t have time to update my will, so I’ll leave this in the chest where it’ll be sure to be found, should the worst come to pass.

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #96 on: May 14, 2011, 01:19:18 AM »
Celeste Devonshire

Flipping through the books, she quirks her brows as she flips through some of the tomes and remembers what they were.  "It seems I was not far from the mark, at least in one regard.  A number of my father's...associates shall we say are somewhat fond of the Pale Princess.  The other...well...I have some familiarity with, though not as much.  They are both gods of death, to one degree or another."

Setting the other tomes aside, she shifts over to peer at the journal with Lilian, frowning slightly.  "And how long ago was it that the professor fell?  Two weeks and two days?"  She raises a brow, looking to the shorter elf with some concern.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 02:06:41 AM by ShamshielDF »

Offline Myrleena

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #97 on: May 14, 2011, 10:49:18 PM »
Lilial Ambersight

Lilial nodded, frowning slightly, then sighed.  She didn't know much about the books, aside from what Celeste had already mentioned, and simply shrugged. "I'm afraid I do not know much more than you, Celeste.  And these notes...well, do you know anything of this 'Whispering Way', Ms. Lorrimor?"

Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #98 on: May 14, 2011, 11:12:53 PM »
Kendra nods to Celeste's question. "Yes... he was found in the morning, sixteen days ago," she says, frowning. "Is there something wrong? And... no, I've never heard of them before. Should I have?"

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: The Carrion Crown, Chapter 1: The Haunting of Harrowstone
« Reply #99 on: May 15, 2011, 01:00:31 AM »
Celeste Devonshire

The cleric sighs softly, leaning back against the table.  "There are some notes from your father that he made the night before his demise.  Notes that particularly concern the Whispering Way."  She pauses to gently caress her brow for a moment, "the Whispering Way is a...cult of sorts that has been around for millenia.  Organized of necromancers that seek to ally themselves with undead or to become undead."  She gives a wan sort of smile, "one of those groups that not even death is a sure method of leaving the ranks of.  Anyway...there have been a number of fairly infamous members, including the Whispering Tyrant himself.  The implications from your father's journal implies a possibility his death may not have been as accidental as we had thought."