Carrion Crown

The Funeral

funeral.jpg It’s Lamashan 31st, 4711. The friends of the professor’s slowly come to his house for the funeral. The last two to arrive, Drake and Kerowyn, encounter one of the locals who isn’t happy with all of the strangers coming into town. Drake tries to be polite to the local but the local stomps off after saying his peace. Drake and Kerowyn introduce themselves to each other as they travel through town to the professor’s house. Kendra, the professor’s daughter greets them at the door and ushers them to the parlor where they meet the others: Gloriana, Mira, Raz and Saumuel.

Kendra asks if they would do the professor the final honor of carrying his coffin to the cemetery. All agree but Kendra apologetically realizes that Raz, a gnome, is too short to help. He understands then appoints himself the baton holding leader of the procession while conjuring a baton. Kendra is slightly surprised, but decides to say nothing. She leads the group to the Temple of Pharasma where the professor’s coffin is located then the procession heads toward the cemetery.

Once in the Restlands the procession turns a corner where they meet a mob. Kendra tells the procession she’ll take care of it then approaches the leader. Drake and Kerowyn recognize the leader as the local who met them at the entrance of town earlier. “That’s far enough,” says the leader. “We been talking, and we don’t want Lorrimor buried in the Restlands. You can take him upriver and bury him there if you want, but he ain’t goin’ in the ground here.”

mob.jpg Kendra’s sadness swiftly changes to anger. “What are you talking about? I arranged it with Father Grimburrow. He’s waiting for us! The grave’s already been…”

By this time those carrying the coffin are getting restless to come to Kendra’s rescue. Raz quietly casts a spell and makes it sound like someone in the mob suggests that maybe they should leave the procession alone. Those holding the coffin start lowering it.

The leader interrupts Kendra, “You don’t get it, woman. We won’t have a necromancer buried in the same place as our kin. I suggest you move out while you still can. Folks are pretty upset about this right now.”

Kendra becomes very angry. “Necromancy!? Are you really that ignorant?”

Kendra’s retort angers the leader and he raises his hand as if to strike her then starts to lower it when he suddenly turns to flee after Samuel casts a command spell to have him run away. At the same time Raz has a voice in the mob comment that it looks like the procession isn’t going to leave so maybe they should leave. Those carrying the coffin lift their load and determinedly head toward the grave. The mob leader stops running and turns to return to the mob when he sees it breaking up so he turns around and skulks out of the cemetery.

graveyard.jpg Once at the grave site the father gives the final words then offers others to say something. Raz is the first to stand up. Despite his outlandish dress and hair he gives a moving story about the professor. Others follow suit and tell their equally moving stories about the professor. After the service the few locals who came to the funeral leave and Kendra asks the six remaining friends of the professor to join her at her home where refreshments would be available and the reading of the professor’s will would commence in one hour.

In the parlor there is a buffet laid out for the guests. Raz, wanting to add some joy to the meal, begins to change the flavor of the food; some flavors not as successful as others. Mira notices Raz doing this and quietly suggests to Raz that people aren’t enjoying it and that he should stop. Raz agrees and starts changing the colors of the flowers.

In exactly one hour there is a knock on the door. Kendra excuses herself to answer the door and Mira discretely follows in case there’s trouble. Kendra opens the door and greets Councilman Vashian and ushers him into the parlor. He produces a scroll and shows that the seal has not been broken. As he breaks the seal a small key clatters to the table. He ignores the key and begins reading the will in a bored tone.

In the will the professor leaves the home and his personal belongings to his daughter to use or sell as she sees fit. To his friends the professor asks them to return some valuable yet dangerous tomes to the Lepidstadt University. The group will be paid handsomely for their efforts. He also ask that they stay for one month to help Kendra.

key.jpg Once Councilman Vashian finishes he hands the will to Kendra who thanks him and dismisses him. Kendra excuses herself and returns shortly with a small box of oak and iron. She picks up the key and offers it to the group. One of them takes the key and opens the small box.

Within the box are several old tomes and one relatively new one. The new tome has “Read me now!” written on it. The group of adventurers start going through the new tome and find several entries circled. Upon reading them they start getting suspicious of the professor’s death. They ask Kendra about his death and she tells them what she knows, that he was killed in Harrowstone by a gargoyle face falling on him. The group believes there’s more to it than that.

Kendra offers for them to stay in her house and the group discuss what should be done with the tomes until they can deliver them to the university. After that they decide to check out the town.

While in town they stop at Jominda‚Äôs Apothecary where they build some trust and Raz gets a job. They visit the Ravengro Forge where they meet Jorfa, the female dwarf blacksmith. They have the impression that Jorfa is hiding something but don’t pursue it. Drake decides to buy a needed short sword for Kerowyn. At The Laughing Demon, with its strange cuisine, Mira buys the whole tavern a round of Liquid Ghost, building some trust amongst the patrons. The group then listens to the various rumors and gossip about Harrowstone.

They also go to the cemetery to check where the professor wrote that there were items stored in a secret crypt. They find three possible crypts in the area mentioned. They visit the father at the temple, asking him lots of questions about Harrowstone and the town. After he answers what questions he can he informs them where they could do some additional research.

Day 2
Gloriana stays with Kendra and does some research in the professor’s library. She only finds what they already learned, but it’ll take a few days to go through his entire library.

jump_rope_cut_out.jpg Raz happily heads to his new job. While there he hears some girls sing a very eery skipping song:

Put her body on the bed.
Take a knife and lop her head.

Watch the blood come out the pipe.
Feeds the stirge, so nice and ripe.

Drops of red so sparkly bright.
Splatters spell her name just right.

With a hammer killed his wife.
Now he wants to claim your life.

Tricksy father tells a lie.
Listen close or you will die._

Raz asks Jominda, the town’s apothecary, about the song and she tells him that the song has been around a long time. He finds it very eery.

Drake goes to the sheriff to see if he could get a job with him. While there a kid comes running in shouting that the sheriff needs to go to the memorial. Drake follows the sheriff to the memorial where a crowd has formed as well as the remaining party members. Written in dripping blood on the memorial is the letter “V”. While the sheriff asks questions the adventurers mingle amongst the crowd to hear what the crowd might be murmuring about. They hear some people mention the strangers in town and someone else mention that his cow was killed. The sheriff appoints a couple of his deputies to clean the memorial then returns to the jail. The group of adventurers checks the area and find blood spots leading along the shore going upriver before they loose the trail.

Dead_Cow_2.JPG They decide to investigate at the farm where the cow was killed. When they get there they find the farmer butchering the cow, “No need to waste the meat,” growls the farmer. The farmer is standoffish, but they are polite enough to him that he trusts them enough to let them take a look around. They learn that the cow was killed quickly and that the dogs didn’t bark. The farmer informs them that the only ones the dogs don’t bark at is the sheriff and his friend Gibs. The party thanks him for his time and leaves.

They head towards Gibs’ house and recognize him as the leader of the mob at Restlands. They learn nothing from him as he demands that they leave his property.

Mira and Drake go back to The Laughing Demon and find a few patrons in the morning hour to ask about Harrowstone. One of the locals tells them they should spend the night there then waxes on about the time he spent the night there. Another local razzes him, saying he’s not telling the truth.

In the meantime Kerowyn and Samuel go to talk to Father Grimburrow. They too don’t learn much more than what they already learned. They head to The Laughing Demon and the four decide to check out Harrowstone. On the way out of town they hear children singing the skipping song and find it disturbing.

broken_gate.jpg Once at the Harrowstone they enter through the broken down, creaking gate. Samuel suddenly feels claustrophobic and has the sensation that his skin is on fire. It quickly passes but he’s shaken for several minutes. As they approach the two-story stone building they pass a small brick manor house that is overgrown with gray-green ivy, has a sagging roof, and a door hanging askew. Once at the two-story building they begin to investigate the area, looking for where the professor was killed. Along the foundation where it meets the ground they find the ivy and grass cleared. Along this edge is a series of sinuous runes etched then smeared with blood. They follow the runes around the building but when they get to the back of the building they are met by four giant crab spiders. Kerowyn and Drake are bit in the course of the battle but Drake is the only one affected by the poison. They soon kill the spiders.

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