Whispers of The Carrion Crown

A Prayer meditation with a swift kick in the pants
By Chris McGowan

A Prayer meditation with a swift kick in the pants

Knock…Knock….Knock…“This is your predawn wake up Cleric Tudorescu.”

“Thank you,” I called through the door. I had been awake for a couple hours already. I had not been sleeping well the past couple nights. In hopes of calming my mind I cast daylight on the wall on the east side of my room, and knelt into a proper prayer meditation pose. I am to pray at dawn but the closest I can get to a proper dawn in this woe begotten city is the daylight spell. Once in a comfortable position I let my mind drift into the mantra of my prayers, and let my spirt mingle with others of my faith.

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I was not sure how long I had been meditating when I found myself in the weapons practice room of my home temple of Sarenrae. I walked around the room touching the practice dummies and weapons. I couldn’t help sighing as I did so. My spirt was tired… so very tired.

“What makes you sigh so?” Came a voice that should have startled me, but actually was one I hoped to hear. “Gail, my spirt is tired, and I have only begun my journey.” I turned to face a women with hair the color of fall leaves, and eyes the color of spring grass. She had the face of someone who fought hard but was finally at rest, but the concern for my welfare was evident. “I’ve not seen you so beaten down in a long time. You have always been one to pick yourself up and keep going, not matter the way and number of times. What has happened?"

Picking up one of the polished scimitars from the weapon racks I began a basic sword warm up routine. “In the past six days I have had to face horrors and do things I didn’t sign up for. I cannot help those who do not allow themselves to be helped.”

“How do you mean little one?” Gail asked as she pulled a bow staff to lean on.

I did controlled sword swings as I spoke, “I spent 3 days in court trying to save a life of an innocent who everyone believed was guilty simply because he was not “normal”.”

“I can understand why your heart would want you to save this man,” Gail agreed. “Many wanted to kill you because of your differences when you were young. “

“Not a Man, a Beast,” I swung the blade purposefully stopping just short of the neck of a practice dummy. “He was an intelligent flesh golem who had the mental capacity of a four or five year old. He wasn’t hurting anyone, and stayed out of people’s way.”

“I assume you were able to save him.” Gail pointed the staff at me, then went back to leaning on it.

“Our group was able to prove him innocent, but it wasn’t easy. I got very lucky in court, and my companions were able to come up with good evidence but how they did so …ARGH!” I sliced through one of the thickly rolled slicing practice mats cleanly.

“What happened?” Gail rocked back a bit not wanting to be too close to me when I was this frustrated.
“The idiots went off to confront the people who were framing the beast, ALONE!! While I was in court trying to save the beast’s life.” I sliced backhanded and sliced another mat in two.

Gail put her face in her hands and shook her head, “How bad was it?”

I spun to face her and sheathed the sword, “Let’s see, Tyrod and Gregori got arrested by the guard because they were covered in blood, and the SKIN of a well-known business owner was found in the compound,” I slowly walked toward her, “and top of that Delilah was killed by a flesh golum dog, and what do those stupid idiots do? They leave her body there for other’s to take care of. THEY LEFT HER THERE!” I picked up a tankard of water that had been sitting on a table and hurl it at the wall spraying ale and shards across the room.

Gail raised an eyebrow, and glared at me for my actions. “I take it there is more to it than that. What happened?”

“They lost her body, Gail! They didn’t care for their own friend’s dead body and left it to strangers to deal with. They didn’t do what decent people would have done, taken their friend to their god’s temple, or at least a temple of Phrasama. But no, they left her in the hands of guards to have her body stolen and taken who knows where. We tried to find her body so that it could be put to rest, but her body was not at the church if Desna for burial. Her body wasn’t even at the church of Pharasma. It was simply gone! Do you realize what that does to one’s soul, and those that care about them?”

Gail smacked me on the head with the staff, “Hello! Did you forget who you were talking to?”

I sheepishly rub my head, “Yes, well being killed and not being able to be cut down from where you were hanging, and being trapped in limbo is something you do have a little bit of experience with.”

She teasingly poked me in the ribs, “You could say that, now I know Delilah is alive because she is currently studying her spell book in her room at the inn as we speak but what happened to her?”

“Not sure. All we know is that she was found by the Crooked Kin, half naked, and not remembering anything since the complex. She appears to have a large piece of flesh that was sewn onto her to repair the damage the flesh golem hound did to her, but she is alive.”

“That can’t have been what has broken you so. You are stronger than that. Gail sat cross legged on the table top, the staff across her knees.

“I could overlook their stupidity because of the situation they were in at the time, and at least Delilah was back with, not pristine, but at least back among the living. However what we have faced since then has been frustrating.”

“Anything stand out as more frustrating than the others?“

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“It gets really frustrating when I am asked to ‘call down the fire of my god’ and I have to tell them that is not who I am. I’m a healing cleric. My job is to make sure they don’t die, though that seems a harder job than I thought. Sarenrae has not granted me spells that can bring down holy fire… yet. I have seen written in holy texts spells that smite foes with holy fire damage, but they are performed by more powerful clerics than I.”

“Have you thought about using a spell that calls for the fire used to forge your weapon? It’s a lesser known spell but it could be effective.” Gail suggested.

“That is true but this group manages to run into the nastiest of creatures that hurt them so badly that they need their damage to their constitution, dexterity and strength restored. I must have one of those spells available at all times.” I walked around the table pulling my hair in frustration.

“It couldn’t be that bad.” Gail rolled her eyes.

“I used twelve charges off my wand, a scroll and my spell for ONE day.” I turned and shouted at Gail. “And to top that we needed another five to ten of those spells for the next day, but didn’t have them. Hence why we are so beat up right now.”

“Ok, maybe it is that bad.” Gail conceded.

“Sure I can cast a spell of fire but I won’t be able to save their lives.“ I let out a frustrated whine as I wiped my face in frustration. “I have a lot of good spells available to me to buff us in battle, but if I do that, we will die.”

“So buy wands, make scrolls, do something so you have the spells you need on hand when you need them. You are smart, I don’t need to tell you what you need to do.” Gail glared at me.

“If we want to have weapon, and armor to defeat the creatures we are facing we won’t have the gold to buy those things. And before you ask, yes I can make scrolls, up to 6 a day if I must but that is all I can do. I can’t help my group in anyway other than writing out spells. Heck I could even make up wands but it takes at least a whole day to make a simple one.” I flopped down onto the floor mats.

“Depending on how many days you are in town you could make a low level healing wand, and then bust out making scrolls for all of your utility spells. You have the parchment and ink.” Gail hopped off the table, and stood over me. “There you have a plan to take care of your spells concern. Now what else is bothering you? It isn’t just resources. What else is swirling through your head?”

I leaned back on the mat, “I’m a healer not a fighter. If I am the one who is stepping up and taking on the monster, something is seriously wrong, but I’m finding I’m having to do that more and more.” I covered my face with my hands. “I live a life of temperance and patience. Sarenrae called me to bring swift justice to those that bring cruelties into this world, which include the abominations we have recently faced, and will most likely face more in the future. I am not the most skilled in swordplay but I’m not bad at it. If a foe deserves to die, I will make their death swift. The problem is that my companions jump into it so deeply that even with my help they still seem to die.”

I sat up and began wiping away tears, “They walk into traps when they should know better. They take on foes that we know will kill them if they stray too far from healing. Gregori is lying dead in that final tower. His body unable to be retrieved before we left because Tyrod was near death, and though we were able to kill a basilisk on our own, there was no way that Deliah and I had any chance of killing that Gorillon Flesh golem. We had to retreat with our lives. We were so broken there was nothing else we could do.”

“You couldn’t do anything then, but what can you do now? “ She knelt and squeezed my shoulder.

Wiping my cheeks with the heel of my hand, “Stock up on utility scrolls so we have the spells when we need them. Have on hand wands of cure light, and lesser restoration because we will need them. Make sure we have on our persons the spell components for restoration spells, as we are now going against bigger and worse things soon enough. I need to step up more in combat, but to do so I need to have improved armor to stay alive.”

“Good. You have a plan in place, and is one you can put into action.” She gently shook my shoulder, and offered her hand to me.

I looked up at her, and finally smiled for the first time in many days. I accepted her hand and stood to face her. “If my friends are willing to die to end these abominations and undead, so much I. If I am going to die, it will be trying to save my friends.”

“That a girl.” Gail smiled as we clasped our hands together between our chests.

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I came out of my prayer meditation with a gasp. I felt invigorated. My god was with me. My spirt was back. I quickly got dressed for the day. I then went to my companions’ rooms and banged on their doors. “Wake Up! We have much to do today. We need to get what we need and get back to that gods forsaken place. We cannot let Gregori die in vain. We have work to do!”

Leaving them to most likely curse my family linage and tell me what non-anatomically possible thing I can do with my wake up call, I headed down to the dining room to get a good breakfast before starting my preparations to head back to the tower. We have monsters to kill!

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A Letter to Gregori From Kendra
By Joe Lantrip

Dear Gregori Boshi,

ProfessorsDaughter.png Thank you for your wonderful letters. I have not enjoyed anything so much since my father passed away. Your letters have opened the world to me again and I look forward to them every day with great anticipation.

After my father died I was wracked with the loss of a beloved parent, but also a guide into the goings on of the world that is denied me because of my sex. They call us the fairer sex but there is nothing fair about it and I so often wished I could just up and go see the world as my father did. Your letters have opened the window for me again and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So how is the trial going? You left off in your last letter with the end of day one of the trial and it has been several days since your last letter and I await eagerly to hear what happened. You said"“the beast” was somewhat intelligent, which astounds me! Do you think he also possesses a soul? You had mentioned that you thought he might and as such if the evidence shows him innocent then he should be released! The people that feel they were wronged by this beast will just have to keep searching for the truth. Perhaps you will be able to find the real culprits and bring them to justice if it is not the beast.

It does not surprise me at all that Olivia was able to speak so well before these judges. She is a woman with a strong will, a good mind and iron determination. If I ever found myself in such a position as the beast I cannot think of another person I would rather call upon for help. She helped me so much in my grief. She has a way with words that just makes you want to believe! I predict she will have those judges eating from her hand in no time!

Life here is trying. Mrs. Greybeard my nosy neighbor has been trying to set me up with her “young nephew”. The man is in his fifties, ten stone over weight, has gout, and more warts on his face than Mrs Greybeard! He is the least attractive, most boring man I have ever met in my life. He has been a Glassblower journeyman for the past 20 years because he is so bad at it that he cannot earn his masterwork, and never ask him about his butterfly collection! It took all my concentration, will and digging my nails into my palms till they bled to keep my eyes open during his droning lecture! If I married him I am sure I would never suffer from insomnia!

Please write soon. I so miss this window into the wider world you are showing me.

Your Friend

Kendra

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Letter number 3 to Kendra Lorrimor by Joe Lantrip

Dear Miss Lorrimor,

You could look upon this letter as just a continuance of the last one. After I finished that letter we went out in the night to talk to a Hamlet Headman or Elder at a place called Morast. A simple little place filled with a simple folk that spend most of their time hunting and fishing. There we met the Headman of the hamlet , a rather taciturn fellow by the name of Elder Lazne. He told us his story of people disappearing from the hamlet and how the hamlet had set a trap for the Beast and then chased it into the swamps. They then saw the Beast attacked by a crocodile, bitten badly on the shoulder, and then the Beast disappeared into the water and muck. The people of this little community thought the beast was dead until he was captured again in Lepidstadt.

After we talked to this good man we came back into town and went to examine the beast and he had no scaring on his shoulder where the crocodile was said to have bitten him. We entered our evidence at the courthouse and the defense barrister was so taken with Miss Oliva’s skill and composure that he asked her to deliver our findings to the court herself and I must say she was quite persuasive in the way she presented everything. I think she scored several points with the judges with her concise delivery of the evidence.

We are now going to talk to three sisters who accused the monster of killing some children in another village a few miles north of Lepidstadt. I feel that no matter what we accomplish though the Beast is doomed. It weighs heavily on my soul. If the creature is innocent it deserves to live its life as best it can, but what of the people that see this as a way to close a door to their past that will not let them forget? We have nothing for them, we have no opportunity for them to close that door.

Are we helping one creature of God at the expense of dozens of others? Has this creature done no wrong? It has struggled to live for decades, has it committed crimes we are unaware of? If we prove this creature did not happen to commit these crimes are we releasing it back into the world to commit others that we did not know about? Will the populace even let us return it to the world? They are so worked up that even if we show it is an Astral Deva in disguise the people of Lepidstadt may still rip it to pieces.

Such dark thoughts may should not be put in a letter to a friend but I feel that if anyone could understand it would be you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these matters.

Sincerely yours,

Gregori Boshi

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Justice for the Beast, by Jon-Paul
Journal of Delilah Morreo, Day 1

Our first day in Lepidstadt has been quite the eye opening experience, I can see the appeal of the nomad’s life. After returning in the books and completing the requests of Professor Lorrimor, the plan was to explore the city until we could meet with the judge and receive our inheritance. That was the plan, but as the old saying goes, “The best laid plans of kobolds and wizards often end in flames.” So too did our plans.

What was to be a simple delivery and check in, turned into our gathering of motley adventurers becoming the legal defense team for the infamous Beast. I must confess that I am in over my head with this venture. I am accustomed to dry and dusty tomes, occasionally submitting to risk to test theories or subdue the undead, but my training has only marginally prepared me for this outing. I found myself thinking in circles, fixating on the inconsequential, and seeking the wrong information. To top it off, taking on this case may put all of us at risk of the lynch mob as we are tasked with defending the boogeyman, the literal incarnation of people’s fears, as well as the most convenient scapegoat for the townsfolk’s deplorable behavior. Crops go bad, it’s the Beast. Inventory goes missing, it’s the Beast. Cheating on your spouse with the cattle, it’s the Beast.

Yet I am intrigued beyond measure at this so-called “Beast.” He is clearly a construct, a flesh golem, but he is unlike any I have ever encountered. He has, from what I can tell, free will. He has a mind, and though he may not know, or may not be able to communicate, who he really is, or how he came to be, I will get to the bottom of this mystery. My greatest fear is that he may be sentenced to death for crimes he did not commit. I am certain he is no innocent, but I do not believe he is guilty of those crimes of which he is accused. I also fear that the townsfolk may not be prepared for what they are about to do, and how they would react to anything but a guilty verdict.

I find myself filled with nostalgia for the days of a simple academic, but I know there is only so much I can learn from my dear books. I must also do field work if I am to prove my theories if I am to fulfill my purpose of returning the dead to the earth, and ensuring they stay interred.

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The Second letter to Kendra Lorrimor by Joe Lantrip

Dear Miss Lorrimor,

What a delightful letter you sent. I read some of its contents to the others over breakfast and everyone got a chuckle over Master Zokar’s latest dish. The man has a true gift for humor. I am also interested in hearing how your teaching is going. I know it is kind of daunting starting a new chapter in ones life but I have faith you shall soon master it. Children do like to push boundaries but stay firm and I am sure those toads will soon turn into apples.

A whirlwind of events have happened within the last twenty-four hours and here I hardly know where to begin. We are staying in a very nice inn in the middle of Lepidstadt called the Forty Flagons; a sprawling affair that takes up three large building. I think it is the biggest inn I have ever stayed in and it certainly is one of the most expensive. The expense is because of the trial that is currently going on and the demand for all services is at a premium. The Beast of Lepidstadt is of course the trial and a very carnival like atmosphere is taking place in the town; because of this the prices of goods and services have all soared. Be this as it may, the inn is still very nice and the proprietor Lizbeth has been very accommodating of our needs.

The trial had already started the day we had arrived but they were offering a limited number of seats in the gallery the next day for people to watch the trial if they wished. I managed to acquire a seat and spent about five hours watching the proceedings. I must admit I am unsure exactly how I feel about it. On one hand it felt somewhat ghoulish to listen to the horrors that were attributed to the Beast, but at the same time I was fascinated by the sense of history of the moment, and the spectacle of the court. The list of crimes this Beast has committed is long and any one of the charges he is accused of, if found guilty, would be enough to execute him. I am sure many families will be glad for the closure this will bring.

While I was watching the trial the others went to go see doctor Crowl and close out your fathers last request. He was quite happy to take back the books and signed that he had received them. He was also extremely grateful that we returned his old book back to him. He said it had been stolen from him years before and given up all hope of ever seeing it again. An interesting side note to this was that it was in Doctor Crowl’s office/workshop that the Beast was finally captured. He had gone there to cause mischief and steal a carved effigy called the Seasage. No one knows why he stole the carving, nor do we know what he did with it since he was apprehended just seconds after he broke in.

After finishing their business with Doctor Crowl our friends went and had an appointment with Judge Embreth Daramid. If you remember she was the person we had to contact to finish the last request of your father. After we completed that solemn business our friends were discussing the day’s events and what they had discovered at Doctor Crowl’s workshop and Judge Daramid recommended we take that information to the court and enter it in as evidence into the case. She also learned that Miss Tudorescu was a barrister and suggested we might help the court by gathering evidence for the defense.

We agreed to help and have since talked to the Beast and now I am rushing to get this off to you before we go running out into the middle of the night to talk to some witnesses before court in the morning. Please keep me informed of everything going on in Ravengro and I will endeavor to do the same for you here.

With Warmest Regards,

Gregori Boshi

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My first letter io Kendra Lorrimor- by Joe Lantrip

Dear Miss Lorrimor,

First off I wanted to thank you for the wonderful send off you and the rest of the people of Ravengro gave us when we left a few days ago. It was very much appreciated and the gifts that everyone gave us have already been put to good use. I know we met under difficult circumstances and the passing of your father was a very sad time. Even in that dark time though, I meet such wonderful, vibrant people; Zokar and his delightful family, Father Grimburrow and the devout acolytes who helped us so much, and of course yourself who welcomed us into your home and made us all feel so cared for. I feel so blessed to have met such good people and hope to be able to finish your father’s last request and perhaps visit you again soon.

I also wanted to thank you for extending an invitation to me that I may write you about our travels. It gives me a chance to converse with someone who may really appreciate some of the things we may see and will also be able to remind me of some of the good things we have in life. I look forward to reading some more of your wit and good sense that you displayed so well while we were visiting.

You know that we were going on the road to Lepidstadt and were going to camp outside the first night north of the town of Tamrivena. Well things did not go exactly according to plan. First off as we were passing around the end of the lake we saw the worn sign to Clover’s Crossing and decided to visit the hamlet. Sadly it seems to have been abandoned in the past few years. You might ask the sheriff and Father Grimburrow to send some people to check on the place and make sure it is safe before others might move into it. It looked like some of the graves might have been disturbed. After that we kept on the road but realized we were not going to be able to pass Tamrivena before nightfall. So instead of stopping at that grim place we decided to stop before, and while looking for a suitable place we came upon a caravan of most unusual people. Circus Freaks as it turned out.

These people were on their way to Lepidstadt for some trial and festival that was going on there. It appears some beast that has been terrorizing the place for years has finally been caught. In any case these folk were on there way to Lepidstadt and decided to camp where they were and while setting up camp one of their number wandered away into the marsh that was by the river there and the freaks could not find her. We pitched in to help but alas she was attacked by some beast and died before we could save her. We brought her body back to the camp and the poor souls were distraught, but grateful that we had at lest recovered the body. At that point we all decided to join groups and go on to Lepidstadt together.

The next two days were quite easy and we made it to Lepidstadt with no more troubles or delays. Good thing too because I would have hated to miss this trial and execution of the Beast of Lepidstadt. The whole town is packed to the rafters with people coming to see the event. We have not found lodging yet but we will look tomorrow as well as try and find this person. Montagnie Crowl, Professor of Antiquities at the University and successfully dispatch our duty to your late father.

So tell me how life in the village is going? Have you taken over the duties of the schoolmarm yet? I look forward to hearing about your day and the latest gossip. The trek in the marsh looking for the missing girl was quite stressful and I could use some simple diversion.

Respectfully yours,

Gregori Boshi

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A nightmare

With a shout I awoke in my bed in the home of Kendra Lorimor. The sheets sticky and damp from my sweat even though the room itself waas quit cool. I reached over and grabed the mug of cold tea I had placed there in case I woke thirsty and drank it down and tried to get the stench of the nameless town out of my nose. Even though it was a dream the vileness of the place I could still smell.

What was the name of that place? Something Hill.I could not remember the name of it, nor did I recognize the Horror that we had been hunting through the twisted tunnels under the towns small,dense streets but it had felt so real. That smell!

That was not the only thing either. I had been an Inquisitor of the holy church of Pharasma. I could cast spells from her! It had felt so real. I could remember feeling her power coursing through my body as I unleashed her might upon the world. It is one thing to be a follower of the Lady of the Graves it is quit another to walk in the protection of her shadow. To be guided by her very Will.

Such a strange dream.

I wondered briefly if it could be some sort of sending or warning of things to come but shook my head as I set the now empty mug back down on the night stand as I prepared to go back to sleep. No we were leaving for Lepidstadt tomorrow and there was no town like that between here and there. It had all just been a nightmare, probably brought on by the stress that I had been under while here in Ravengro, or maybe worry about carrying those tomes back to the library in Lepidstadt.

I set my head back down on the pillow and closed my eyes but sleep was a long time coming. I kept smelling blood, offal and something else just at the edge of my senses and hearing the awful caw of crows as I walk those dark streets of that dread town.

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Death of Gregori

I was dead.I knew I was dead as soon as I felt the hot caress of that foul creature’s claw on my neck. Intense pain and then nothing. The council woman and the two guards who I hoped to defend were now on their own. My body fell to the floor and my spirit kept going through the Astral plane to the path of Pharasma, Lady of the Graves.

I was standing in a graveyard with mounds of fresh earth stretching off in all directions. Aborez. The one graveyard where everyone who ever died or will ever die has a mound.Not their bones though. This is more like the place where their body fell in time. Or at least that is what Pharasma scholars believe. A bookmark in time. As I looked around I saw other people moving about. Merchants, peasants, soldiers. People from all walks of life and from all parts of the world. They all come here to be judged and sent to their final rest, but without a guide they can wonder the mounds for years.

I felt a weight on my hip and pulled out my dagger. Her dagger. I un-clipped the end of the leather thong and let the weight of the dagger fall, trailing out about two feet of leather cord. The dagger swung freely at the end of the thong. The other end held firmly in my hand.The thong was a fixed to the dagger in such a way that when it was held this way the blade and handle balanced and would end up parallel to the ground slowly spinning like a lodestone pointing north. This however pointed the way to the start of the spiral path to the boneyard and Pharasma’s seat of Judgement.

All true followers of Pharasma carried her talisman just for this moment. We were guides in life and now we had to be guides in death. The blade glowed pale white of old bone and stopped spinning pointing the way. Moving carefully not do step on the mounds I moved over to nearest other person and beckoned them to follow. He was dressed in the armor and colors of Taldan with a device pained on his shield proclaiming he had participated in the Shinning Crusade against the Whispering Tyrant some seven hundred years before. Scholars claim time passes normally in this realm but is unimportant to the shades who are residing here, but that soldier took one look at my dagger and followed me gratefully.
I moved down a row of mounds to a young girl who had a small bundle cradled in her thin arms. From her appearance I would said her baby and she died of starvation. Her clothes and lack of shoes proclaimed her a peasant from Ustalov. Reaching out I touched her and got her attention. There was not so much a sense of touch than a sense of pressure when my had got close to her arm. She looked at me blankly and then looked at the dagger and nodded and turned to follow me.

This continued for several hours as I moved about picking up people and working our way toward the spiral path. My mind could sense the passage of time but it had no concern. I did not breath, I had no heartbeat. I did not feel tired or hungry, happy or sad. I just felt the passage of time. I realized that time also flowed toward the spiral. That it was just as mortal as I and would eventually end in Pharasma’s boneyard too.Such a thought was humbling. Pharasma was the end of all things even existence itself.If this was the case then why did she worry about a few souls who avoided her accounting for awhile?

I was pondered this and other things as i moved across the endless mounds toward my Lady’s Spiral when I spied a most curious scene. A flock of whippoorwills were diving and darting at someone on one of the mounds. This person seemed different than others I had seen, more substantial. He was also damaging one of the mounds. Noe else I had seen had even touched one of the mounds but this person was digging into the mound as fast as possible while snarling and snapping at the birds.

As I moved closer I could see he was a man of some means. His Jacket and trousers were made of velvet sown with seed pearls and small gemstones. His boots were of the finest calfskin and of excellent make. He was obviously a nobleman from Caliphas but why was he digging in a mound I did not know.The birds had caused quite a bit of damage to him but he continued to furiously dig. I saw a cut through his neck so I knew he had been beheaded and then I saw his forehead clearly when he raised up his head trying to drive off the whippoorwills from his back and neck. He had the symbol of Pharasma cut into his flesh and the mark smoked and bubbled.This was one of the more powerful undead that preyed upon our world. A lich or vampire and it was fighting to return.

As I walked up to him he sensed me and lifted his head and hissed, his fangs dripped with blood and saliva. In the real world I would have never stood a chance against such a powerful creature, but here, in this realm I was the more powerful. reached out with my hand and chains rushed out of my palm wrapping the creature up so it could not attack or continue to dig. I then turned and continued to walk toward the spiral way my flock following me and the last being pulled along behind still attached to my hand by the mystic chains.

We walked thus for two more days accumulating lost souls and guiding them to the stair. Sometime on the third day I noticed a change to the landscape. We were several feel higher than the surrounding terrain. We were finally on the Spiral. I looked around but could not see a difference but as I continued to advance the mounds slowly fell away below us and ahead I could just make out the spiral, winding upward also ahead I could see two clerics of Pharama standing on the spiral as if awaiting for us. When I reached them the one on the left held up his hand to stop me and the one on the right reached out and took the chains from my hand and dragged the creature forward while beckoning the others of my temporary flock to follow him. He then lead them on up the path while the other kept me from following. Once they were gone he pointed at my dagger and I could see it was just slowly spinning and the glow had faded from its surface. I looked back up to him for guidance when he suddenly pushed me and I fell off the spiral to plummet into the mounds below. The ground rushed up and swallowed me and then with a shock I woke up back in my own body with the old cart-worn face of Father Grimburrow and a beautiful older woman I did not know.

Since my return I feel different. My fear of water is gone. I still remember my dear sweet Elinor being pulled in to the well by that monster and then seeing its baleful eye looking at me from the depths when I rushed up to cry out her name, but now that nameless dread of the black mire is no more. Water is just water and that monster just got away and all I can do is to try and prevent other Elinor’s from dying.

One thing that bothers me about the whole ordeal is that during the time I was in the realm of Pharasma the only people I saw were either Ustavian or had something to do with the Whispering way. Was this some sort of message that The Lady of the Graves was passing to me, and why do I feel that just before I reached back to my body that some nameless dread had reached out of the void between the stars and tried to snare me with a loathsome tentacle.

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Recap of January 14th, 2017

I don’t have my note book but I thought I would put a small recap.
We picked after the fight with the manacles. We made our way to the laundry room where we were attacked by the animated “Jack”, a straight jacket. We managed to kill it, but we again ran into the situation where people are not informing the healers that we are injured. When someone has lost 75% of the health, it is my opinion that we need to get you back to at least half health before proceeding onward.
We then moved on room by room. We ultimately came to the sewing room(?) where we found the ghost of the warden’s wife. From what I remember, she told us that men in black robes came to the prison and but the runes on the walls. They were the ones that killed the professor and made it look like accident. They had also taken the ghost of the warden who had been keeping the other ghosts/ haunts in check. With him gone they have tried to break out but the wife’s ghost’s power of will was barely keeping them under control. She said she could hold them in check better if she had something of her husbands, which could be found on her husband’s body. That is another quest for us. Another thing she was able to tell us what that we might have more luck killing the haunts if we were to have something of theirs. There was a room which held the prisoners effects. We had searched it before with this new information we go back and try again. We found the items, however each item has a blessing and a curse. How bad those curses would be, we are not sure on all of them. We had cleared the floor. We felt we needed to head upstairs where we had dealt with the piper. See what else we can find there.

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Recap of December 10, 2016

We began the game by rolling initiative. The things went first. I got off Bless to help the group. We moved in to attack it but it went to the ceiling but in doing so it took multiple attacks of opportunity. While I did manage to hit it with a crit we had a devil of a time bringing it down. Not only did it have damage reduction 5 it was damage reduction Magic. We are 3rd level, where would we get a magic weapon. It is true that I have magic weapon, but I had used it as a healing spell from the last battle. Then there was the fumbles!
I had never seen that many fumbles in one night of play.

Gabe’s character went in to do a massive hit to this think and …………fumbled. This allowed the creature to get off color spray. This stunned, blinded and knocked Joe prone and out of the fight for 7 rounds! This similarly happened to Gabe’s character. This left the non melee players trying to attack this thing. Russ threw us a bone and had the sheriff help us and a 1st level cleric to help. Believe it or not the Sheriff did the most damage to it, but the cleric did nada. He was just an extra target to the thing.

With Gabe being immobilized the thing moved down next to him to eat his brain. However the thing had to move, and the process to eat someone’s brain is a full round action. It was his saving grace. The stupid thing’s bite was poisoned and it did strength damage each round until 2 saves in sequence. This caused Joe, Gabe, and myself taking several points of damage.
The stupid cleric opened the door and let the thing out into the town. Sadly we tried to catch him, but no such luck.

Because we saved the town from the creature Father Grimbrow used his own magic to heal our groups wounds. Going forward they will heal our strength damage at no charge. This included getting Randy back to full at no charge. We spent the night at the church and it was uneventful.

We decide to head out to prison. Chris had a readied action that should a haunt go off, I will use the siphon.

We start at the front door and chose not to explore the exterior of the prison. Brineg smashed the front door open. There was a Shaming Portal Haunt in the front entry way. It would take holy water being poured on the doors. The haunt resets after each minute. It is considered a very weak haunt. We tried 1 bottle of holy water and waited a minuted. The haunt was defeated.

We headed into S3. We found papers but it would take 2 D4 hours to review. We gathered them to and will look at her. S4 was the warden’s office. Randy does not have a high enough skill to open the vault.
S5 – no traps and we found the warden’s washroom.
We start to go into S15…. and we end for the night.

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