Poking Dead things With Sticks

Schloss Caromarc, a warm welcome.
Updates/recaps

Trolls. Acid. Ugly dogs. Goblins.

Well, they were not kidding about the Count not liking visitors but somehow, with the tattered remnants of what was once a guards uniform and a amulet of a gagged skull things look like perhaps something else is afoot.

The goblins were able to give information that the persons that dropped the amulet left some time again, but what of the Count? And where has the Beast ended up? Also, where is the Seasage Effigy, and why would someone have had the Beast take it? Was it the Count? The Way? The Trolls?

Armed with a few of you able to fall light as feathers, you stand in the gatehouse, roughly 100 feet above the river and falls. Things only scale up from here, a conglomeration of bridges and buildings that get odder and more precarious looking as it goes.

Good luck.

Wealday 29th of Gozran 4711, Evening
Moon: Waxing Crescent
XP: 1,927

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The Beast is INNOCENT! Now what?
Updates/recaps

After gathering what remained of Dr. Brada and his patients into a bag, the party headed back to Lepidstadt ready to prepare for a long night of defending the courthouse from the irate citizens that had enough waiting to see the monster before them burn. Upon reaching the Six Ravens you found guards waiting and going through everyones belongings in a search for contraband that, to an almost comical shocked response, Jushyn admitted to carrying on himself and offered up. Some quick thinking from Niri and then collaboration from Jik, whom Usas gathered and informed of the situation going on upstairs, the guards left exasperated but relieved that it was trial related and someone was once again overreacting to something overheard. Gossipy townsfolk certainly make for more work!

During dinner, and not a second before, Usas went over her own recollections of the soul trade and how souls can be used,

“Quite a bit of demon culture seems to center around souls so the main focus of my studies centered around demons and their involvement in the Soul Trade. Demons get sick enjoyment harvesting souls as acquiring a soul is nothing short of pain and suffering. I have witnessed firsthand the reaping of a soul from an unwilling living subject. That is a discussion, for another time. Outside of self indulgence demons and their acolytes use souls for empowerment and trade.
Uses include creation, recharging and further empowerment of magical items especially creation of intelligent creations. One knowledgeable in the use of souls can cut the monitory and component cost of such creation, though the actual “cost” is obviously debatable. Obtaining a soul does not require a live subject just a fresh or recently dead.
I must say I am impressed on the various means of storing and using soul by demons. I have even heard of procedures where some liquidity the souls in order to mix multiple souls together. There is another tale are about crystallizing souls and embedding them in ink for tattoos and demonic scriptures; but I digress…
Obtaining the correct soul for an intelligent creation is of upmost importance as the attributes that the item would have are reflective of the soul or souls used. Such attributes as spoken tongue and alignment are attributed to the soul component used. There is much debate on the status of the soul after such an item has been created. Some think the soul lives on in the object other think the soul is destroyed and only an imprint remains on the object, another discussion for a later time.
The spectacularly unfortunate or maybe just dimwitted acolytes that are not as successful using or extracting souls can inadvertently become a night hags, devourers or liches.
There are a multitude of procedures to obtain souls outside of magical methods; some creatures have their own innate abilities to obtain them. However no one is as adept at harvesting souls as demons. In the correct markets, usually underground markets, and with the correct clientele should trade can be quite lucrative.”

Knowing what the soul of Lyvar Hawkran may be useful for still doesn’t give many clues as to what the Whispering Way may be up to, perhaps more clues may be found soon.

After dinner everyone packed up and headed to the courthouse, it wasn’t long after going over a possible strategy to protect it that the citizens began gathering and chanting, armed with crossbows, battering rams and ladders. Jik calmed a good portion of them, talked others down and was assisted by Nirinara, who after another leap of faith landed on her feet and persuaded another small cluster to give up and go home. With several calmed and others giving up, the fear of those still out for blood being arrested or overpowered outweighed the bravery fueled by years of fear, hatred and a night of hard cider. The people dispersed without anyone being harmed.

Day three of the trial Chief Justice Khard was not amused by the antics of his city, he let it be known that Lepidstadt was not swayed or run by a mob mentality and that if anyone attempted to harm or harass any member of the defense he would see them whipped or hanged. The last day of testimony went as well as the other two, and after deliberation by the three justices the Beast was cleared of all charges placed against him, the galley above almost broke out into another riot, needing the guards present to draw weapons to get them under control and outside.

After running errands and another meal enjoyed together the party met up with Judge Embreth Daramid once more for payment, she thanked them but again asked for assistance in finding out who the Beast was created by and where his home may be in fear that he may still pose a danger to the people of Vieland and to ask his owner to keep a tighter reign on him.

After returning to the prison to speak with him, the group was able to get the information they needed, the Beast was reluctant to speak it with another prisoner in the jail at the time but wrote the words Schloss Caromarc on a bit of parchment in a large childlike scrawl.

Schloss Caromarc is home to none other than Count Alpon Caromarc. Previously the ruler of Vieland, only abdicating his power to the Palatine Council in the year of 4670. Although 41 years have passed the Count still resides in the area, keeping mostly to himself.

Considering the Beast was thought to be created by Dr. Henri Moritz, a member of Lepidstadt University back in 4690, this is an interesting development.

You have information to report back to Embreth. Good luck.

Fireday 24th of Gozran 4711, Evening
Moon: Waxing Crescent
XP: 3,075

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Blind Hunger....
Updates/recaps

Day two of the trial went amazingly well, Jiks presented a very strong case implicating Vorkstag and Grine for the murders in Morast as well as pointing out that the children of Hergstag were turned into wraith spawn, something a construct is incapable of doing. Even with a silvered tongue the public galley was enraged with the crimes presented and convinced there is only one culprit, the monsterous being that the court is holding. They are planning on taking things into their own hands, they can’t wait another day to see the Beast burn.

The group managed to speak with Karl, although blind he was able to give some information on what transpired that evening and some history leading up to that point.

Karb Isle Santuary was almost completely destroyed in the fire, the basement remained and unfortunately had become home to a group of ghasts. Nirinara was the first down into the darkness and was immediately attacked by the starving undead monstrosities. It was only through divine intervention that she escaped death.

There was little information to be found in the rubble, but what was there has ties to Vorkstag and Grine. The head of the deceased Dr. Brada and three of his patients were also located. The bodies were most likely eaten by the ghasts.

Evening approaches, you have a lynch mob to disperse and then another days trial to go through. Good luck.

Fireday 24th of Gozran 4711, Dinner Time
Moon: New, 1st Quarter on 1st of Desna
XP: 4,525

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Cat naps and Acrobats.
Updates/recaps

With Grine defeated the party fought on, Usas brought Niri up, Jik climbed his way to a daring rescue of Nasta, while Jushyn covered him with arrows stunning Vorkstag with a very lucky shot.

Vorkstag tried to make a hasty escape, finding himself outnumbered and injured, only to be blocked by a rather insane and acrobatic maneuver by Niri who lept the breach, landed behind the Alchemist, cutting him down as he tried to make a last minute desperation grab for a potion.

Quick acting Jik managed to stabilize the murderous Vorkstag who was quickly tied up and as soon as the group finished gathering information and clearing the building (and picking Niri up off the ground from an unplanned catnap) the authorities were notified of the situation and the criminal mastermind of at least a few of the murders attributed to the Beast was placed in custody of the city guards.

Kendra and Investigator Falviere were waiting for the group when they arrived back at the Six Ravens, Desmond mentioned having heard of the testimony the day before and handed over his initial report on the break in where the Beast was captured. Kendra gave the time pressed party Desna Star tea, allowing them to get a bit more out of less sleep.

Good job. Two more days of trial and maybe you can all do some sight seeing!

Fireday 24th of Gozran 4711, morning
Moon: New
XP: 3,200

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Better living through Alchemy.
Updates/recaps

The dog was a breath of fresh air compared to what was inside of the factory. The air was heavy with chemical fumes, causing all that did not have some sort of filter or mask to become nauseated from being exposed to it. The factory workers, Mongrelmen, deformed by nature had even more monstrous features having been badly scarred by the acid they worked with, only three of the eight seemed combative, and the group made easy work of them leaving the non-combative ones to their duties.

The cellar level explained some of what was going on, bodies and body parts were hidden in the area along with the means to sell and move them out of the hidden storage. After examining a cold storage area you all found yourselves faced with two Chymickal Zombies, undead caused by alchemical means rather than evil magics.

The noise of battle only went so long before rousing the interest of the proprietors upstairs, an assault from above rained down in the form of acid bombs and poisoned throwing axes from Vorkstag and Grine themselves, they seem to have found an interest in Nirinara, the catfolk rogue.

The battle has the party a bit worse for wear, resources are limited, Niri and Nasta are down, Jushyn’s bow was badly damaged in a stroke of ill fortune (Desna is not being kind to him tonight) but so far you are all alive, which can’t be said for Grine having been trapped in a web cast by Usas, beaten within an inch of his life and finally freeing himself badly wounded and bleeding to death making a last ditch attempt to escape climbing the vats only to be struck down by one of Jushyn’s arrows, falling and bursting into a blaze of blinding light, leaving naught but a pile of gear behind.

Vorkstag still stands. You have more work to do before bed.

Fireday 24th of Gozran 4711, wee hours of the morning
XP: Held until the end of battle.

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B&E at V&G
Updates/recaps

Hergstag rests. The group was able to find and defeat all six wraith children and the full wraith that had created them. You have managed to find some good evidence that the Beast had done little but be in the wrong place at the wrong time, how the court views it later on only time will tell.

After a few mishaps and recovery of the children’s corpses, you started a less than legal investigation into the mysteries uncovered with the Chymists Vorkstag and Grine. So far you have found that the guard dog was not meant just for looks.

What else awaits inside?

Fireday 24th of Gozran 4711, wee hours of the morning
XP: 2,500

RULES FIX:
In error I misread how heal with the Spelless Ranger works. I also missed the fine print under ACTIONS on the Heal skill itself.
Treating Deadly Wounds heals 1 point per level of the creature, Spelless Rangers add an additional 1d6 to this. UNFORTUNATELY doing this takes 1 HOUR of work. As such I had to remove the 7 HP that Nightstorm recieved from this. The previous mistake the session before on Usas is negated as the Priest healed and channeled all over and the little bit of healing she recieved from this would have been taken care of from that. She will be eligible still for the Ranger, or someone else, to use this skill in this manner at some point within this 24 hour stretch as it couldn’t have happened in the time frame.

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Hergstag. The investigation that will not die.
Updates/recaps

Hergstag.

Not exactly how anyone could have envisioned it. Abandoned, run down, taken over by unruly crops, seeping bogs with quicksand and roaches. The darkness deepens in some areas as you find what was left of the murdered children, undead mockeries that are still intent on finding someone to play with.

The sisters you spoke to seemed to have forgotten to warn you about a last security measure the town folk had put in place, a scattering of bear traps, ready to catch an unwary foot. The children remember though, and have been trying to lure their new playmates into them so they can keep them there just a little bit longer.

The night is long and tedious. Stumble through brush, disarm traps, destroy tiny undead monsters, repeat, repeat, repeat.

This is NOT what you signed up for.

So far you were able to locate a book of poetry in a burned out abandoned building, in addition to this you found Karin’s house which seems to be boarded up.

Hopefully this is worth it all in the end.

Today’s Date: Oathday 23rd of Gozran 4711, Late, Late Evening
XP: 3800

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Trial, day 1
Updates/recaps

Although the party did not get in until the wee hours of the morning the day started off well. Jushyn ,being the last to bed was the last to wake but while he rested Niri and Usas were able to track down the maker of the surgeons tools and trace them, sale by sale, to a Master Vorkstag of Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works. Attempts to contact Vorkstag fell flat unfortunately, they don’t seem very social.

Presentation of evidence by Jik went amazingly well, although the public watching from the gallery above were vocal about their displeasure on the alleged crimes of the Beast they were mostly kept in line by the chief Justices threats to have them removed if they could not behave.

The interview with the three sisters from Hergstag brought a small bit of information, Karin, one of the six children the Beast is accused of murdering, died in her bed two days after the Beast had been chased out by the townsfolk. When questioned his facial response although looking as if smiling or laughing proved other wise, he was in pain but unable to shed tears.

The Beast, or Vincent as Jushyn insists on calling him, was able to give warning of a ghost that walks at night and steals children’s souls. His descriptive of bees and eyes didn’t spark any recognition to Jik as to what kind of undead but as the Bea…. as Vincent told the group he was incapable of stopping or fighting it, it seems likely it is incorporeal.

The group gathered together in the newly painted wagon and started on their way to Hergstag, armed with a rough map showing where the children had been in life and Vincent showed where he had been staying before being run out.

It looks as if it will be another long night, first Hergstag and then back to Lepidstadt to see if the Chymic Works is hiding something.

Good luck.

Today’s Date: Oathday 23rd of Gozran 4711, Evening
XP: 1625 (100 xp boost to level to be deducted from next weeks XP)

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The trial begins!
Updates/recaps

After a late night visit to the swamp village of Morast the party was able to start the investigation into the very first crime the Beast is being tried for, the murder and disappearance of 10 people a year ago.

After speaking with Lazne, the village elder of Morast, you were able to get a very basic desription of what he had seen of the creature that had been stalking his villagers, murdering them and dragging them off in the night. Although the being had similar height and size of the Beast, it was injured during the villagers attempt to trap and kill it and bled. Something you know a construct made of dead parts with no beating heart should not be capable of doing.

After renting enough boats to carry the lot of you up the river to the Boneyard, the last place the Beast was seen by Lazne and the Morast Villagers, you found 6 empty graves, a bloody bottomed boat, an old campsite with the remains of food, wine and the remnants of an alchemists extract of darkvision, a sack large enough to carry a medium sized humanoid deeply stained with blood that held a rusted shovel, a human face,a set of clothes and some heavy knives. Niri also managed to locate a very fine set of surgical tools bearing a makers mark of a raven in flight. The mark should be traceable.

Knowing constructs such as the accused have darkvision, it seems that whoever was lurking here was not in fact the beast but an alchemist of some sort.

In addition to the investigation the group was surpsrised to find they were not alone, a manticore had claimed the small island the Boneyard was located on as it’s nesting site since the people of Morast abandoned it after the being they chased off tainted it with it’s blood. The group was able to defeat the angry mother and although Jik attempted to free the young from death it was not of a viable age to survive outside of the comfort of it’s mother’s womb. Examination of the nest found the remains of a dwarf the manticore killed and brought to lunch on at her leisure.

Returning the boats to Lazne and showing him the disembodied face and clothing he was able to identify it as Nan Klebbum, an poacher that used to visit once a month before they ran the Beast off.

You managed to get back to Lepidstadt and get settled into the Inn of the Six Ravens by 3:30 am, trial starts at 10am sharp. Good luck!

Today’s Date: Oathday 23rd of Gozran 4711
XP:1662

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Welcome to Lepidstadt!
Updates/recaps

After a night spent in Courtaud, the party finally arrives in Lepidstadt. There is a circus type atmosphere as the city prepares for the trial of the Beast, the Punishing Man has already been erected outside the courthouse.

Return of the books to Dr. Montagnie Crowl led to the knowledge that the Beast of Lepidstadt was captured on the grounds. The group was able to investigate the area and were rewarded with a note to redeem for cash for returning an additional book that Dr. Crowl had lost previously.

Judge Embreth Daramid paid each of the group the 100 platinum as per the terms for finishing the last of the Professor’s wishes. She cut off any questions in reference to the Whispering Way with a warning about speaking of such things so freely, not knowing what they may bring down on themselves. The Judge asked that the group take it upon themselves to assist the Defense appointed to the Beast, as he was in over his head and she feared the possibility of a fair trial was all but impossible, in doing so she will pay out another 100 platinum after the trial, but warned she will disallow any involvement on her part if questioned as should the party.

After registering as volunteers for the defense with the court clerks you were introduced to Barrister Gustav Kapple. He gave you a brief rundown of what was to come in the next three days for the trial and then brought you to see what it was that you were working in defense of. The Beast itself.

At the current moment you are leaving the courthouse, heading to the Six Ravens to update Kendra and then leaving for Morast to speak with Lazne, one of the witnesses of the Beasts alleged murder of 10 people almost a year ago.

Good luck.

Todays Date:Wealday the 22nd of Gozran 4711

People of Lepidstadt:
Dr. Montagnie Crowl, head of antiquities department. Eccentric and forgetful. Waves his arms about enthusiasticly when he is speaking. Greying brown hair and brown eyes. Aged 50 or so years

Judge Embreth Daramid, Judge and probable member of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. Council member for the Palatine Council of Vieland. Grey hair worn in a tight bun, ice blue eyes. Aged about 60 or so years.

Picerious Dendromedia, aka Pi, Investigator of Lepidstadt, gnome, light blue hair with purple tips, light blue skin, violet eyes. Age unknown

Desmond Falviere, Investigator of Lepidstadt, Brown hair, grey blue eyes, thin white scar on left cheek just under the eye trailing off to almost his ear. Walks with a cane. Aged between 20 and 30 years of age.

Barrister Gustav Kapple, Barrister for the defense, thining brown hair when not dressed in his white powdered court wig, brown eyes, stutter when he is nervous. Aged about 40 or so years.

The Beast of Lepidstadt, construct (flesh golem), a grotesque mish mash of flesh collected and sewn together. Looks to stand between 7 and 8 feet tall, restrained currently with no less than 6 sets of mancles to a steel chair bolted to the floor in a cell.

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