Mists of Ustalav: A Carrion Crown Campaign

Cinco de Mayo

Ronit and Shiogi began to search the house from top to bottom and found a stairway leading down beneath the floor boards.

Shouta and Kelda came out to check on Olaf, the prisoner. Tethis reports that some mist came out of the house and Olaf began to struggle. Quinley staked Olaf to keep him from escaping and propped him up like a drunk in the alley. Unable to question Olaf they brought him into the building and tied him up with the other dominated guards. Shouta posted his friends around the building to keep an eye out on the coming and going of mists and people.

The only room that the heros had not searched was the warehouse. It was filled with lots of crates and tall pallets. A large demon stepped out from the darkness of the far side of the room. Scratching comes up from the floorboards; ghouls burst out from below. Shiogi, Shouta, Gertrude and Quinley became paralyzed with the sight of undead. Ronit threw a bomb and Kelda channeled energy to dissolve the ghouls before they took a bite on the helpless.

The demons were mightly, but cowards. After a few jabs from Kelda and Shiogi they ran into the cover of darkness. Shiogi, Kelda and Quinley flushed them out and they were quickly dispatched with arrows of Shouta.

Suddenly Ronit disappeared. Shouta’s friends were able to track her. Shiogi was unable to grapple her. She was determined to go to the park-very determined. Shiogi then beat her until uncounciousness.

Gertrude carried Ronit as the rest descended the previously discovered stairs. A small guard of vampires were waiting for them. The front guard was easily dispatched.

The next room proved more difficult with several sub-vampire creatures. The creatures surrounded Quinley and drain most of his life. Coffins lined the room. Inside were the missing vampire folk except for Quinley’s mother. Gertrude and Quinley unstaked the hostage vampires and told them to stay calm and out of the possible range of positive energy.

Kelda opened the room and found a line of wooden coffins. She attempted to open the first coffin and it sprung to life and tried to swallow her whole. She broke free and the coffin oddly began to talk. It offered her a deal of 5,000 gp to leave her alone. Shouta produced a bag of plantinum and in strutted them to bite vampires. Kelda and Shouta left, closing the door behind them.

A final room revealed a line of stone coffins guarded by a few more vampire that were easily dispatched. Beyond was an ornate golden casket with a tapestry of the crusades. Inside the golden casket, the Saffron Scarf was in repose. A gate in the back lead down to the labyrinth of the city sewers.

The hostages were released and the perpetrating vampires were staked to be brought to the vampire court. The local city guard took the dominated humans from upstairs.

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Investigators
just the facts ma'am

The party spent several days in Caliphas questioning various parties trying to track down Adivion Adrissant

  • The Adrissant heir has not been seen in Caliphas in years, his father says he travels around the world and has discovered information about Osirion mummies in Cheliax
  • Letters from the heir match the handwriting in the letters the party has received from Adrissant
  • Vissad is supposedly “on sabbatical”
  • In the archives a portrait of Count Grodlych, a fallen priest of Pharasma, turns out to be hiding an entrance to a secret series of rooms
  • The rooms have been ransacked and attempts made to destroy any evidence of what was contained within
  • The party was able to recover a few fragments of information
  • Also met a dhampir named Content Not Found: quinly who followed the group into the hidden room
    • He didn’t seem to want trouble, and offered help
    • He informed us of the existence of the vampire court in Caliphas and would try to get us an audience
    • He says he is trying to avenge his mother, a vampire slain in the recent rash of vampire murders
  • Vampires have been staked and the bodies left to burn in the sun in various areas of Eastern Caliphas
    • Stories of mists and red eyed wolves surround these events
    • The stakes used are distinctive
    • There has been a truce with the vampires for a long time, these murders threaten it
    • The Sunrise Foundation was started by Sire Vage, head of the vampires
      • Supports women and children, but feeds on the women if they don’t find other means to live
      • The receptionist is also a dhampir, but doesn’t admit to knowing about any local vampires
  • The heads carried by Rask are identified
    • A prominent tailor
    • A judge (member of the Palantine Eye)
    • A scholar (member of the Palantine Eye)
  • One of the head scholars at the archives is also a P. Eye member
  • The local temple of Pharasma and the local guard have both been informed of the threat of the Whispering Way in Caliphas
  • In the midst of the investigation, another murder happens, the group decides to try and set a trap for the vampire hunters in hopes of making nice with the court to gather information from them
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Arrival in Caliphas

3/31/2013 Carrion Crown

Chapter 4!

  • Starting in Thrushmoor, we arrange passage for ourselves, our followers, and associated followers on a boat to Caliphas.
    + The journey takes 2 days
    + Gertrude is nervous throughout the journey, due to the History of the Raven’s head’s internment at the bottom of the sea.
  • We made our way to the temple of Irori
    + The temple is situated several miles outside of town
    + We spend the night outside of the temple, hoping for an audience in the morning.
    + When we arrive, Shiogi went up to the temple on his own and he is permitted entrance to the temple.
    + He arranges for an audience in the morning.
  • The next day Shiogi met with the Grand Master of the temple.
    + He is challenged by a guard to a test of his skill. He passed the test.
    + He delivered the book to Loremaster Ito, who agrees to send it on to the unfailing guardians.
    + The Grand Master told Shiogi that there had been a theft of a number of scolls from his temple at about the time that he left.
    – He learned that Itsa was the prime suspect in the thefts
    + After arriving back in camp, he tries to eat some food that had been forbidden, and was not struck down for doing so. Hooray!
  • We next visited the temple of Pharasma to pick up the mail that we had had forwarded there.
    + We had letters waiting for us from Professor Meirtmane, Kendra, the Margrave, and Professor Crowl
    – Kendra’s letter told us that she was scheduled to tour the Quarterfaux archives with Vissad (AKA Adrissant) several days prior to our arrival
    – We also learned that she was staying at The Magesty in room 234 and that she should still be there if she was still free of Adrissant’s clutches
  • After learning of Kendra’s peril, we made our way to The Majesty to see if we could find her.
    + We rented a suite of rooms for ourselves at the inn
    + We learned that Kendra had not been seen coming or going from her room in several days.
    + We were unable to convince the hotel staff to grant us access to her room to see if she was OK
    + We concocted a plan for Shouta and Tethys to sneak into her room that night to see what we could learn
    – Ronit provided the dynamic duo with magical enhancements to make the caper possible
    + During the caper we learn that Kendra had been staying there alone, and that in her last Journal entry she mentioned that she was going
    Vissad the next day.
  • The next day we set out for the Quarterfaux archive
    + On the way we are sidetracked by a commotion in an alleyway that we passed.
    – There were what appeared to be the remains of three vampires.
    + Upon arrival at the archive, we took a tour of the exhibits
    + We found an amulet on the body that was inscribed with a variety of runes
    – Shouta touched it and examined it, gaining one negative level when he did so.
  • After the tour, we were attacked by a headless horseman on the street
    + He apparently knew about us and that we had in our possession the Raven’s head
    + Negotiations quickly broke down and when we preemptively attacked the creature
    + While we were waiting, Gertrude did some remote viewing and saw a statue in the basement
  • We made our way to Vassad’s home
    + The butler met us at the door and informed that Vassad was not expected for several days
    + We decided to wait in the hopes that he would arrive while we waited
    + While we waited, Gertrude did some remote viewing
    – She saw runes similar to those on the amulet inscribed on the statue
    + Eventually the butler ushered out and invited us to come back the next day if we wanted to
  • That night, Shouta and Tethys tried to infiltrate the house to learn more about the things in the basement
    + While Shouta was able to get into the house, he wasn’t able to get into the basement.
    + The household staff came close to discovering Shouta in the house, and he fled the scene
    – It was not clear if anyone of the household staff saw Shouta clearly enough to idenfity him
  • The next morning, we went to the guard station to report on our encounter with the Headless Horseman the previous day
  • We decided to try to determine Vassad’s location via other methods
    + Shiogi visited the Temple of Irori to confer with their scholars
    – Loremaster Ito identified the amulet we found as a Moribound Key
    + Shouta talked to the guards at the city gates
    – One guard confirmed that Vassad left the city via the North Gate about a week ago
  • We approached the city watch with our evidence that Adrissant/Vassad was up to no good and got permission to inspect
    the basement of Adrissant’s house.
    + Ronit detected a secret room in which a large amount of money was secreted.
    + We decided to investigate the gargoyles statue more carefully
    – We managed to decipher the code and solve the riddle that was inscribed on it
    – When we did so, a group of bone demons jumped us and we were hard pressed to fend them off
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So Long Innsmouth!

The party continued through the tunnels with Shouta scouting ahead. We entered a room with several Chisvaa, a single Ulat-Kini, a dimensional shambler, and some kind of toothed hole in the floor (a construct)
One of the Chisvaa had some kind of beetlelike device that breathed cold and left an obscuring mist, Shiogi pushed it into the pit and it was promptly digested.
The rest of the enemies weren’t put down so easily, but the party did triumph. The Chisvaa had been working at some kind of control boards, but we couldn’t decipher them.

We continued ahead to find a glass room, surrounded by ocean. In the center was a bubbling pool and a man with some insectoid creature around his head. As we watched, his head exploded into a mass of tentacles. There were Chivaa around the room and they were very excited by this and committed suicide once a massive creature began to rise from the pool.

We had arrived just in time for the finale of the summoning of the Goat with a Thousand Young. Shiogi showed Sirinov the creature that was spawning from the pool and she urged us to kill it quickly or else.
The massive creature brought to life a mass of writhing fungus to impede our passage, but we unleashed the last of our reserves and killed the abomination in moments.
Flashes of the Goat could be seen in the waters outside the room, but they faded with the death of the creature. The Chisvaa weren’t finished with us however, as masses of tentacles burst forth from their heads. We picked them off slowly, letting Ronit and Gertrude collect items of interest from some storage lockers in the room. The Seasage Effigy was inside.
Sirinov urged Shiogi to cut out a seed at the heart of the beast and to boil the black water the creature had emerged from.
The glass was cracked and the tunnels would fill with water soon so we had to make our exit quickly.
We took a few minutes to check a room Shouta had found earlier which held glass tubes containing heads, including the head of the sheriff. We were able to question him, but we didn’t learn much of interest other than he was in league with the Ulat-Kini/Chisvaa. We took the time to kill some strange creature that was powering the whole system and made our way back to the exit.
With a little time to spare, we examined the mosaics in the first cavern and saw images of Ulat-Kini, Caretakers, creatures of the Dark Tapestry, and aboleths.

Once on the surface, Tethis reported back that there were no more undead in the area, or Whispering Way. He told Shouta about some grey robed people doing rituals at the blacksmith’s. These were Sirinov’s alchemists, Neil has some affinity for molten mithril and they were going to use this to fight, should we have failed.

As we wrapped up business in town, Shiogi was able to negotiate the book on abstruse geometry for the abomination book he had been seeking for so long. We left Sirinov’s people and the new priestess to deal with the creature at the estate.
Plans were made to head to Caliphas as soon as possible.

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At the foot of the Tern Rocks

2/24/2013 Carrion Crown

  • After rescuing Mariel, we returned to town and were met by a mysterious stranger.
    + We noticed that her skin seemed to be unusually green.
    + Her name was sister Gertrude Markoshva, a follower of Pharasma
    + She told us that she had journeyed here to meet Kelda.
    – She was a friend of Sister Ophelia
    – She was mightily impressed with Kelda and had heard much of her adventures
    + She took us to a camp outside of town where the people she had traveled to Illmash with were staying.
    – Mugluk, a goblin witch
    – Kel and Daa, Mugluck’s apprentices.
    – Amaad, a tracker
    – Nalas, a monk
    – Weeshkubble, a mongrel man cook
    + They told us that they came here to help Kelda in whatever way they can.
  • We set out to talk to Horace Croon to arrange transportation on his sub-aqueus research exploration vessel to find the Chisvaa’s lair
    + We find him at home, and he agrees to let us use his vessel the next day
    – The submersible is more like a diving bell than a submarine.
    – Horace also gives us a Helm of Underwater Action that he found at the bottom of the sea on an earlier research expedition.
  • We used a sending spell to deliver a warning to Kendra
    + Kelda remembered that Kendra had told us that she intended to meet with Vassad
    – Recall that last time we learned that Vassad was actually Adrissant in disguise.
    + We tried to warn her of the danger that would accompany such a visit.
    + Actual message: “Joined with Kelda et al. Warning, Vassad is Adrissant of Whispering Way! Shiogi sends regards”
    + We did not receive any response from Kendra.
    – We were concerned that this might be an indication that she was in trouble.
  • We begin our descent in the sub-aqueus research vessel
    + Shouta sees a large squid-like creature in the distance
    – The creature seemed to be casting some kind of spell.
    – It seemed like the creature summoned some giant fiendish sharks and a large water elemental that then attacked the submarine.
    – After buffing ourselves with Freedom of Movement and Water Breathing spells, we jumped into the water and engaged the creatures.
    – We killed the summoned creatures and then chased the squid-like creature away.
  • After the battle, we resumed our descent.
    + Shortly thereafter, we reached the bottom.
    + Shiogi got out and scouted the area immediately surrounding our landing site.
    + He saw what looked like something that could be a cave at the base of the Tern Rocks.
    + We used the Trident of Warning to identify the presence of eight Ulat-Kini patrolling the area. Gertrude scryed out the area and revealed they had spiders on their heads.
    +The Ulat-Kini attacked us as soon as we left the craft.
    + We killed all eight of the guards.
  • We found a cave at the base of the Tern Rocks the entrance to which was covered by a force field of some variety.
    + We were able to walk through the force field, on the other side was an air filled tunnel leading deeper into the cave.
    + After walking down a short tunnel, we entered a large chamber that was dimly illuminated by biolumenescent fungus that was growing on the walls.
    + Two dimensional shamblers attacked us unprovoked, and we were forced to eradicate them.
    + Came across several rooms filled with motionless ulat-kini with spiders on their heads, moved past without disturbing them.
    + Further into the tunnels we came upon a fork in the tunnel we had been following.
    + When Shouta scouted ahead he found a chamber in which three Ulat-Kini were conducting some sort of ritual
    + We decided to explore the other fork, where we ran into a Cerebral Fungus.
    – The fungus told us about “the goats who ride the fishes”, and that the goat was coming … SOON
    – The fungus told us that when the Goat arrived, he would arrive in the chamber beyond the chamber where the clerics were performing their ritual.
    – After we established a conversation with the fungus, it became much less hostile and we were able to break contact and return to the other fork.
    + We attacked the cleric in the chamber with the statue of Dagon
    – We killed them.
    – In the chamber we found a VERY magic mace, which turned out to be the Raven’s Head, a powerful artifact of the church of Pharasma.
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2/18/2013

Kelda talked with the fish frog prisoners with the use of 2 comprehend languages elixirs.
The lady in the pit was used as a nanny.
The masters would feed the caretakers to the “colors”.
The colour from outer space was suspected by Ronit.
The portal amulet could be used as a symbols for friendly relations.
Fish wives are needed for the ulat-kini to make more tadpoles.
Ulat-kini agreed to give a tour to the group.
Amulet of +2 NA and kellid ax of defending
The tunnels that branched off the entrance from the temple is where the Masters come.
The room off of the throne room is where the colors come from.
The heroes went down the tunnel toward the tunnels. Ronit no longer cared to take any notes of the adventure.
A strange black layered creature was standing over a pool emitting a beam of purple light out to a corner of the the room.
Something created by the chisvaa was holding the colored incorporeal gelatinous cube prisoner.
A journal of Cassius Undiomede was found under a fallen statue.
The journal says that Undiomede made a deal with the Neighbors Down Bay, to give the fish wives to the ulat-kini to grant prosperity to the town, now called Illmarsh.
Mella unwillingly came with the adventurers to town.
While the heroes were gone there was an attack on the jail. The sheriff was taken and several deputies were taken prisoner. An old woman who no one had see before and mysteriously disappeared raised an alarm just in time for people to witness spider people with possessed ulat-kini leave the jail.
Was the old woman involved with the chisvaa? No
Did the chisvaa raid Illmarsh today?yes
Did the sheriff go willingly with the chisvaa? No
Shiogi was restrained securely in the jail. He also once again resisted the remove curse spell from Kelda.
Ronit made potions.
Mariel was taken in the night with a struggle and claw marks and a stench was left behind.
Shouta with Kelda tracked Mariel to a house on the edge of the swamp.
Going back to the in, the other alchemists just received a message where Mariel was taken. Also, they reluctantly revealed there are 5 kidnappers and at least one of them was a human.
The alchemists would keep a lookout on the perimeter of the house hike the adventurers would clear out the house.
Rogues and ghasts of the whispering way were torturing Mariel for information.
Agent X from Sirinov came in though the window to help the alchemist.
Agent X identified the seed pod of the black goat of the woods which is the primary god of the Chisvaa.
Shantak is a creature that lives deep in space. Have elephant snouts and drop prey from great height.
The lead assassin, Clanartus, was the stable master in thrushmore. 
Ronit found and activated a stone of sending and intercepted a note from Adrissant. From the voice of the message she was able to identify Adrissant as Visaad from the dinner party in Ravengro.
Agent X disappeared and Mariel returned to the inn.

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The neighbors "down bay"

2/17/2013 Carrion Crown

- Our first order of business was to secure the house.
– We brought the horses into the stables to protect them from the winged beast outside.
– We barred the doors so that we could thoroughly search the house in relative safety.
– We found some milk for the baby in the chamber where we rescued her from the Vicar and his assistant.

- Our second order of business was to search the house for clues about what it was being used for.
– The body we recovered from the roof bore a familial resemblance to the Visor and the Vicar of the false church of Gozra.
– We found both feathers and scales on the roof, presumably from the winged beast.
– Shiogi stumbled into a cloud of Yellow Mold spores, possibly the result having sprung a trap while searching a desk on the second floor.
– In the bedroom, Kelda found a book hidden in the closet. Shiogi determined that the book (The Book of Abstruse Geometry) was written in Aslanti.
– Ronit found a collection of 60 year old tax forms in the library, both for Illmarsh and the surrounding municipalities (?).
– Shouta found no further evidence of his insectile captors in the house.

- As evening approached we turned our attention to dealing with Shiogi’s imminent transformation into a werewolf.
– Kelda and Shiogi sequestered themselves in the cell where they found Shouta, Ronit and Shouta went to the library with the baby to stay out of the line of fire.
– He elected to remove the ring that would have helped him to resist the transformation, so that when he transformed Kelda could cure him of the disease.
– When the full moon rose, Shiogi began to transform. Kelda tried to cure him, but was unsuccessful.
– Shiogi escaped from his bonds and attacked Kelda. Kelda was forced to subdue him.

- We returned to town to try to learn more before investigating the invisible portal any further.
– We first tried to try to find the baby’s parents. We discovered that her parents were the villagers we met earlier in the temple.
– We took the dark rider’s horse to the stable keeper as we agreed to do if we found it.
– He told us of a group of five outsiders who had arrived in town the night before.
– We tracked down the outsiders, and found out that they were a priest of Pharasma, a priest of Gozra, and three alchemists.
– We talked to the alchemists and we learned that they worked for professor Mare Sirinov!
– Ronit and Shouta talk to the junior member of the group. It quickly became clear that she was disgruntled with the conditions of her employment.
– We tried to convince her to spy on Sirinov, but she was to frightened to agree to help us.
– We found the priest of Gozra at the temple of Gozra/Daegon repairing the desecrated building.
– She offers to bless us so that we can breathe water and asks if we would investigate the pools in the back of the temple for her.

- Accordingly, we decided to explore the pools.
– Under the water, we found a large air-filled chamber, with a tunnel leading out of the chamber and deeper into the earth. We decided to explore this tunnel.
– We found a room full of dried out (female) bodies, in which we find a single living woman (Mela) who was cradling a dead baby.
– Mela seemed to be confused or insane, so we decided to make her as comfortable as possible and then move on to explore the exits to the chamber.
– A great stench came from one of the exit tunnels, we decided to find the source of the smell.
– In this tunnel we found a refuse pit, in which Shiogi detected a creature of some kind. We decided to try another tunnel for the time being rather than confront it.
– In the other tunnel we found a tribe of fish men, led by their giant fish man chief.
– We decided to jump them, and we killed their chief. As soon as we attacked, the rest of the the tribe ran away.
– We managed to capture the fish men who ran away. They lead us to a portal that connects to the portal we found earlier in the house outside of town.

- We decided to detain the fish people for the night at the house. Of course that means that we had to deal with Shiogi’s condition …
– Once again after Shiogi transformed, Kelda attempted to cure his disease. As before, she was unsuccessful.
– Shiogi managed to escape from his restraints and attacked Kelda. Kelda was able to subdue him, but was again badly wounded in the process.

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The Church of Gozra/Daegon

- We decided to wait until the end of the morning service to confront the “priests of Gozra” about the shrine to Daegon that we found behind some secret doors in the temple.

- When we confronted them, a fight broke out. Nicola died in the fight, along with all of the false priests who attacked the party. This group included one vizor of the church.

- When the party left the temple, they encountered an angry mob, led by the sheriff.

- Kelda managed to talk the mob down and even turn them against the sheriff who was arrested and incarcerated in his own jail.

- The party rested for the evening prior to heading out to the town-founder’s house, where they suspected they might find some clues as to the whereabouts of the Sea-Sage effigy and/or the doings of the worshippers of Daegon.

- When the party got to the house, the three intrepid adventurers ran into a Marsh Giant, who attacked them unprovoked. They killed the monster and continued to explore the house.

- They found a gnome who had been tortured in the next room that they explored. The rescued him, having to defeat a swarm of insects to do so.

- This gnome turned out to be Shouta, whom Shiogi knew from his adventures prior to responding to the summons to attend Professor Lorimor’s funeral.

- After liberating Shouta, the party continued to explore. They soon encountered another Visor of “Gozra” who had with a baby with him. (Is this the daughter that the townsfolk we met earlier had given up to be a fishwife?) The party killed him and his assistant and rescued the baby.

- We cleared the rest of the ground floor of the house, finding only a badly dehydrated horse in the stables. We concluded that the vizier of the church must have been lying in wait for us on the second floor.

- We charged up the stairs of the central tower to confront him, and ultimately killed him.

- We then encountered a pair of spectres while exploring the upper floor. They gave us a scare, but we destroyed them as well.

- Finally we encountered three Hounds on Tindalos in the final chamber we explored. Fighting a running battle, most of the group made our way to the roof of the tower while Kelda covered our retreat. We saw a giant winged beast patrolling the skies above the tower, so we retreated to the “safety” of the stairwell. From there, we (barely) managed to defeat the hounds.

- In the tower we found an invisible object, which we conjectured might be a portal to another plane, perhaps to the realm of the “neighbors down-bay”.

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The Ills of Illmarsh
Something fishy this way comes

The morning after the events at Sirinov’s estate, a note arrived at the inn, escorted by a contingent of Count’s guards. Sirinov and the Count demanded that the party leave the city. Not willing to start a fight with the Count, the party headed for Illmarsh in hopes of tracking down the Seasage Effigy.
Quite upset over the revelations of the previous day, Kelda sent off a harsh letter to Judge Embreth Daramid and severed ties with the Palantine Eye.

The trip to Illmarsh was unpleasant, and before the party arrived in town they spotted a man in a floundering boat on the water. Shiogi jumped into action monk-style and swam out to the boat, while Ronit changed into a water elemental and tried to assist in calming the waters around the craft. Nikola and Kelda helped to drag the boat ashore once a line was secured.
HORACE KROON’S THE NAME! The party heard time and time again. A strange gnome, he seemed quite scatterbrained, but harmless. Once he was safely ashore, the party continued to Illmarsh, but they would not soon forget the strange man.

Illmarsh turned out to be not only visually and olfactor-ly unpleasant, the residents were decidedly xenophobic
We started our search for the missing Yalla and discovered a gigantic octopus instead
Saving some of the townfolk from the beast bought us a little goodwill, but not from the Sheriff. The mayor was pleased to see us however and asked us to do a little quiet checking on the church.

The church was certainly suspicious, with a strange statue inside that just didn’t seem quite right. The clergy were also quite unfriendly. Nikola was attacked with Command when he opened the door to the private worship room

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Arrival in Thrushmoore

The trip to Thrushmoore was tense, the party constantly feeling watched. Upon arrival, rumors abounded about ghosts in the chapel and common folk gone missing.

The spirits had some answers for us that evening:

  • Professor Mari Sirinov is in Thrushmoore, but is not a member of the Whispering Way. She is associated with them however.
  • She works for Count Haserton Lowls IV, whose palace is on Iris Hill

We know the name of Haserton from the dinner party that Kendra held back in Ravengro, where Horace Fitzherbert was quoting his rant against Dr. Meirtmane, Lim Weftharper’s mentor. He claims that 2 mysterious pillars known as Starstilae (possibly a 3rd on Iris Hill) are proof of Kellid barbarian rituals.
Lim Weftharper however, has a professor that claims there were no Kellids in Versex.
Versex was never directly controlled by the Whispering Tyrant.

In other news, an up-and-comer new merchant is in town by the name of Yolanda Otarov. She has become quite the trendsetter in Thrushmoore and her fashion sense is all the rage.

Following up on the rumors of local missing persons, we found something odd with our Palatine Eye contacts. Some of them had just up and left Thrushmoore in the last few months, while the remaining ones seemed to have no idea what the P.E. was and didn’t know any of the code words. They all mentioned Yolanda and the few we could check had auras of magic about them.
Suspecting some kind of mind control magic might be at work, Kelda cast a Protection From Evil spell on one of the merchants and she immediately behaved differently. She remembered meeting a pretty lady at a bar and asked us to get a message to the P.E. that “Raven’s Solarace was not completed” and that the agent assigned had disappeared. With only a few minutes to work we questioned the merchant as much as possible and tried to assist her in breaking free of the magic once the protection was over.
After that was done we went to the temple and purchased a Sending to alert Judge Embreth Daramid of the message we had received.

In the mean time, Ronit investigated the stables and discovered a letter left in some saddlebags by one of the Dark Riders. The letter instructed the rider to feign going south to Illmarsh, then cut north and east to Redleaf.

Our next stop was to dinner at Yolanda’s…at her invitation. Our visits to the P.Eye contacts had not gone unnoticed. We were escorted to a dining room, and when the other guests arrived they were not guests at all, but Greedspawn. They were dispatched with little effort, but we were only able to track them back to a secret entrance from the sewers.
Upon returning to the dining room, the bodies of the Greedspawn had been removed and replaced with bodies of servants. The city guard was alerted and Kelda and Nikola went to delay them while Ronit and Shiogi continued to search the estate.
Yolanda had brought the guards and attempted to use her mind control magic on them to get the group arrested. When that tactic didn’t work, she disappeared. The guards took that and the word of two agents of the church that there was something fishy going on and Kelda and Nikola were allowed to join in the search of the house.

A symbol of the Demon of Whispers indicated a secret door leading to a fancy bedchamber. Corpses of two nobles drained of their energy (with no visible wounds) lay on the floor. The first was a Palatine Eye contact, the other was the Raven’s Solarace agent.
Behind a large mirror in the room was a symbol of the Demon of Whispers drawn in blood….perhaps a summoning rune of some kind. The party defaced the rune.

Guessing the rune had something to do with the mind control on the Palatine agents, we made contact with the agent Kelda had helped earlier, who had regained her memory. The agent agreed to spread the word to evacuate the other agents, and Nicola intimidated the agent into revealing some information to him alone.

We alerted the guard to everything that we had found and left it to them to do the cleanup.

After all of this, we received yet another invitation…from Mari Sirinov.
Her estate was strange, with a spiraling walkway. We were instructed not to deviate from the path, and despite some strange sounds along the trip, we arrived unmolested.

Once inside, Sirinov had much to say on the topics of the Palatine Eye, Whispering Tyrant, the Tenebreous Veil, and the Dark Tapestry. She claimed that her work with demons and the Whispering Way were a means to stop the Dark Tapestry. She also knew of the Palatine Eye’s plot to assassinate the Count… a plan known as Raven’s Solarace. The Palatine Agents were all silenced at once as a warning sign that such an attempt would not be tolerated; Sirinov warned that further Agents who attempted to infiltrate Thrushmoore would be dealt with more harshly.

On questioning, she admitted serving as a liaison to the Whispering Way, to see if that group would be worth allying with. But, she chose to end her association with the Whispering Way, deeming the Whispering Tyrant too great a threat. In breaking things off, she sent one of the dark riders to mischief in Illmarsh, neglecting to warn him of the surge of Dark Tapestry activity in the area.

Kelda told Sirinov that she was under arrest for her crimes and a battle began. Sirinov led off by summoning a couple of demons, and then let them do the fighting for her while she watched the group. Her magic was devoted to holding the party back rather than directly assaulting them. Near the end of the battle, she offered to give Shiogi the book he was looking for in exchange for doing a task for her. He reluctantly refused. Once the demons had been dispatched and the party was closing in on her, she used some power to send the group back to the inn.

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