Mists of Ustalav: A Carrion Crown Campaign

Gertrude's Journal
Aftermath

Prophecy Revealed

In the end it was as foretold. Each hero played their part and once again Tar-Baphon and his minions are defeated.

Allies befriended, bargained, or forewarned since the Whispering Way’s plot was uncovered in Ravengro gathered outside of Adorak.

  • Crusaders led by Alinza Asseni provided the heroes with a safe place to rest and a chance to restock dwindling supplies
  • Tribes of the Shutterwood, now a single strong force, led by Cybrisa Dorzhanev of the Dorzhanev, and Spiritspeaker Amrid of the Vollensag, accompanied by a dear ally, Forthing, lighten hearts and lay uneasy souls to rest, ensuring the mission continues

After many happy meetings, sharing of news, and giving of gifts, the heroes decide to try and sneak through Adorak and into Gallowspire by pretending to be minions of the Grey Friar delivering the ‘vessel’ Kendra to Adivion Adrissant

Shouta’s skills in disguise and deception, combined with Sirinov’s illusion magic allowed the group to get deep into the city unchallenged. Disaster is averted as Shouta convinces a Ravener to let the group pass, presenting an Erinyes bow as an offering.

The bluff doesn’t convince the door guards however, as the group doesn’t have a quick answer for how to open the door. General Sarlock is similarly unconvinced when his unholy blight spell affects the party. The inhabitants of Gallowspire don’t seem convinced by the ruse either and the battles continue to the top of the spire where Adrissant waits with the Carrion Crown. Ronit’s concoctions and magical affinities allow the heroes to ascend the spire, avoiding the trapped stairs of bone and plunging to their deaths. Shiogi’s acrobatic prowess gets the heroes across the gap to the inner spire.

After destroying the unholy braziers of Tar-Baphon, Pharasma herself sends a vision and a messenger with a gift of power. Our Lady once again provided in our time of need.

At the top of the spire, Adrissant drinks the Carrion Crown, releasing Tar-Baphon’s soul into his own body. Without the proper vessel however, the transformation was only partially successful, and but a sliver of power was released into the magus.

As the heroes prepare for a final assault, Adrissant, Falindras, and an armored Gallowdead were ready. Kelda rushed in, drawing their attention, while Shiogi’s fleet feet moved to flank the enemy. Shouta’s arrows and Ronit’s bombs rain down, but the spirit of Tar-Baphon combined with the magical powers of Adrissant made for a terrible foe. Powerful magics washed over the spire, as the heroes unleashed the last of their might at the villians.

Pinned between Adrissant and the Gallowdead, Kelda was struck down in a flurry of terrible blows, but not before the Raven’s Head could wound Adrissant enough for Ronit to destroy his body, forcing Tar-Baphon’s spirit back into Gallowspire. Shiogi, Ronit, and Shouta continued to battle valiantly, until only the Gallowdead remained. I admit I let the haze of battle overcome me as I took up the Raven’s Head from my friend, and unleashed the fury of the Lady of Graves.

It took several moments for everyone to realize that the battle was over. Shiogi handed over the signalling scroll to Ronit, and she summoned forth a great pillar of holy light, signalling our allies to advance on Gallowspire. After weeks of frantic searching and fighting, the battle was over.


Renchurch Reclaimed

It has been almost 6 months since the battle atop Gallowspire. I must admit that while I am thankful each day that we triumphed, and I know that her death was valiant, I miss my friend.
I have strived these passing months to see her wishes done.
When we returned to the crusader’s camp, dirty and exhausted from the trials, Jouan approached me, a resolute sadness in his eyes. He handed me a small stack of sealed documents, final notes from a dear friend who knew she would not live to see the dawn. Many of these were delivered across Ustalav, a last note of goodwill to friends made along an epic journey. The rest were to us, her friends and followers that had journeyed to Adorak. I know not what was in most of them, only that even Kel and Daa, the silly goblin duo shed tears that night.
To me, a request. That Renchurch be restored beyond it’s previous glory, and that all might be welcomed. These last months have been a flurry of activity to those ends.
A vigil was kept over the body of my friend Kelda, as we were determined that she would be laid to rest in the temple she had helped to reclaim. The main temple was cleansed, consecrated, and Hallowed within a fortnight. Before the month was out, a beautiful sarcophagus was delivered and installed within, though by whom I do not know. Though I sent letters and even Sendings to Caliphas, I have received no word from Kelda’s family.
Many of the same faces from that day in Adorak were at the funeral, friends and those helped in times of need. The ceremony was a strange affair, with so many cultures together, each with their own ways. Goblins, werewolves, mongrelmen… where else in Ustalav can they share a room with nobles like Count Caromarc and Margrave Graydon? I know that this sight would bring her great joy, and so it brings me the same.
As the last hymn came to close, so too we closed the tomb, the body laid to rest on a bed of thornless black roses.
Pharasma


Sanctuary of Harmony

Renchurch has been restored. The grounds have been purified and those within toil not against the foulness of the land, but for themselves. The blades that adorned the walls have been melted down and reforged into tools for honest work. The tortured souls have been released, the dead rest easy.
The main building has been rededicated as a temple of Pharasma. I have begun work on a library, to contain the stories of all the peoples of Ustalav. I hope to convince Ronit to contribute many of her writings to our shelves.
Sister Ophelia has become Priestess Ophelia, and now leads a small but growing congregation. I have finalized an agreement with Count Eben Caromarc that upon his death, to provide his creation, the sentient flesh golem known now as Bob, a home in the main tower and a job as a bell ringer for the temple.

To the south, a series of tents has become a refuge for women and children, formally of the Sunrise Foundation. It did not take much convincing to bring them here. In the spring we break ground on a permanent building- an orphanage and refuge for the women and children who are so often preyed upon here in Ustalav.

To the north, Shiogi has founded the Temple of the Soaring Whippoorwill, a monastery and place of learning for Irori’s followers. I am impressed each day to see the progress the young monks make both in their lessons and in the building of the grounds.

Some of the temporary settlements around the grounds seem to be establishing themselves more permanently as well. I believe in another year Renchurch may be a fully functional community, complete with Ustalav’s first above ground tavern serving mongrelman cuisine with goblin waitstaff.

As life returns to Renchurch, I can only pray that we force back the forces unlife that still emanate from Gallowspire.

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Final Battle

General Saylock and his ghosts/angels attack when the heros enter the the temple. Shouta and Ronit die and are quickly revived in the nick of time.

Saylock was a general of the whispering tyrant who was banished. Guess he came back.

A necklace of ki serenity was found nailed to the wall.

The party detected probable traps on the stairs leading up the tower. The party gained spider climb and began to walk up the stairs while hanging off the walls and ceiling.

The stairs were covered in webs and a giant spider attacked.

On the next landing, a group of unholy fire elementals

They attempted to smack at the party on the wall, but they were too short and ran away. They left behind cauldrons of massive evil. The holy aligned fists of Shiogi and Pharasma’s mace consecrate the cauldrons to rubble. Pharasma appears to the group and grant them extra power.

Gertrude tells the lore of the tower with the newly gained power of Pharasma.

Further up the tower the outer wall falls away and leaves e group exposed to the gailing wind. Chains and spikes line the tower. Old fallen heroes haunt the tower either because they fell to their death or were chained to the outside. A whaling surged up and greatly injured the party. The chained skeletons did their best to guard the tower.

The heroes came up to the lower balcony and battled the waiting unholy fire elementals and a flying nightshade. Shouta died, but Gertrude had the resources to revive him.

An elf head pokes out from the top spire. Gertrude remote views to see Adrisant drink the potion to bring forth the soul of the whispering tyrant.

The heroes jump on top. Adrisant has the soul of the whispering tyrant sticking out of his side. Shouta took a couple if hits and was all but dead. Kelda died. The heroes soldiered on and killed the abomination and the soul was returned to the prison.

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Shiogi's Journal: More Wrenchurch

After a quick search of the liche’s laboratory, we found a secret door. There was a mutilated body of one of the minions of Pharasma on one of the tales in the secret room. We carefully bypassed the room that was filled with some pools (Shouta left the door open to a hallway filled with a waterfall (illuminated by skulls)). After passing through a room filled with smoke (made with haunt siphons) with some high monks we found Kendra! Although something was a little off about her. Shouta scouted ahead and found a mirror which tried to suck out his soul. He managed to crush it and three demons were released. Luckily the demons were stupid and went to guard the walls under Shouta’s direction.

Then Kendra convinced us to look for her spellbook. We found a room with 3 stone golems that looked like Urgathoa. They started to attack us and then Kendra and the 4 captives (ie totem masks) also started to attack us. Kelda whipped out the Mace of awesome and everything was taken care of.

Shouta scouted ahead and found a bunch of bodies around a candle in some sort of ritual. We devised a plan to sneak up on them. This plan was foiled by the tin can-ness of Gertrude. Luckily Ronit fired off two blasts of Sunburst and the 8 shadows wilted.

Then we moved on and found a room full of corpses. There was a big bat scorpion that we beat down, while the liche dog attacked us. We managed to kill both (Gertrude had two major dispel effects).

We rested for an hour to get rid of the exhaustion.

Shouta scouted and found 40ish zombies, 4 clerics, 4 phylactories, and one undead body surrounded by a nubulous haze.

Ronit destroyed the world of zombies with a sunburst spell, and then we moved in and cleaned up with lots of punches in the face.

Then we questioned the stoner monks about what was left in the dungeon. Found out about some construct that makes burning people and one metal thing that flies. There is also some sort of burning pit.

We decided to check it out…..

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Owl Eating Fists of Dark Alchemy

A swarm of dead animals including Shouta’s followers attack in te night.

Abby was found in terrible shape, but informed that the guy who was also I the room paid to be transformed.

The room under the sitting room with the giant sword lead to a twisted maze.

Gerturde, Ronit and Shiogi go up and free the demon in the tower. He reveals how to dispel the haunt in the bell tower.

Tethis’s soul is torchered in the hall by a magic rib bone.

In the artifact room whispers begin to rise. Ronit unlocks the door to the mummy tea room. The room is covered in dust thicker than before. A robe is collapsed on the floor and the outline of a body in white dust remains. The coffins and teacups are removed.

On the stairs, the haunts rise again and attempts to turn Shiogi into a werewolf.

At the bottom of the stairs a group a skeletal monks are practicing a forbidden martial art from Iriori’s temple. Ronit recognizes the owl-eating-moon symbol on a belt buckle indicating One was a friend from Lepiatat University. Or at least Ronit believes this is so. A single monk was captured for questioning, tied up and left behind.

The heroes came down the stairs to the Alchemy lab. Two metal and glass gollums began to tick and whirr as fluid pumped in the last bits of necrotic ooze. An alchemist lich stated that all would die, as per the villain want. In the next room extra planar beings bubbled up from a strange room full of green goo and attempted to kill Kelda by coating and suffocating her. The lich went invisible, but Ronit could still see him flying on the ceiling and it was a battle of alchemists. Shouta gaining see invisible and began to pelt him with arrows. Gertrude cast purge invis an Shiogi cloud stepped to punch a very surprised chemist. The room was filled with equipment that would explode with negative energy damage.

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Into the temple

After resting the night, the party begins the next day with some magical reconnaissance. Ronit is able to send her Arcane Eye through a large portion of the temple, giving us a heads-up about many of the hazards ahead. Her friend Abby is inside, being drained by some kind of crystal. We make a plan to dash in and grab her quickly before any serious fighting starts. We are thwarted by a trap in the hallway, a mass suffocation spell which hits much of the group and slays Tethys.
The four robed figures using the crystal are monks using forbidden techniques from Shiogi’s order. Two of them are slain, one of whom was badly injured when Kelda smashed the lens he was holding.
An Erinyes with a flaming glaive seems most put out, as she was trying to warn a spectral figure about our arrival, but he wasn’t listening to her. He sent two spectres into the fight, but they were quickly dispatched along with the Erinyes.
In the next room were two invisible stalkers, awakening mummies with some kind of cold based magics. Shiogi was infected by some kind of powdered drug which was kicked up during the fight.
As the group was debating whether to stay or go back, an invisible lich-dog assaulted the party with powerful magic, and then fled.

The party plodded back to camp, exhausted and bruised. After a night of recovery and further planning, back to the fray.

Pending for exploration and thorough searching are a shrine to a Shining Crusade hero, a room of Whispering Tyrant relics, the room of mummy-tea brewing, and the basement alchemical lab.

Pending for slaughter are two robed monks, 4 mohrgs, 1 lich-dog, another gaggle of monks, a skeletal alchemist, and other unknowns!

The Erinyes was a servant of Mahathala, and she mentioned Addrissant had made a deal with the deity. Something the party did has soured the deal, so bonus for us.

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Carrion Crown - 07/28/2013

Carrion Crown – 07/28/2013

  • After arriving at the witch gate exit
    + We sent out scouts to explore the area around the Witch Gate
    - We sent Kelda’s ranger to a fetid bubbling lake
    - We sent Shouta’s animals to circumnavigate a temple on a nearby hill
    + The animals who headed clockwise around the temple never returned
    - We mounted a rescue mission to see what happened to the missing scouts
    - We found a ruined building the floor of which was covered in singed bodies
    - When Tethys went to investigate, he found the missing scouts
    - He also suddenly smelled something burning, and he ran for his life
    + Gertrude examined the temple using magic remotely
    - She saw a barbed devil wielding a bow and covering the approach to the building
    - She also saw a large robed figure standing in front of the main entrance
    + We decided to work our way around the temple ourselves
    - We ran into several haunts, which Kelda and Gertrude channeled away
    - We then found several carriages, which appeared to be from Caliphas
    - One of these carriages was heaped with 6 dead, decaying bodies
    - While investigating these carriages we were attacked

FIGHT!!!!

- We decided to interrogate corpses via the spell Speak With Dead
We learned that they were a patrol of Lastwall defenders

  • After scouting around the temple, we decided to assault the building via the front door
    + We rushed into attack, Shiogi leading the way
    - We defeated the large robed figure, and forced our way into the temple
    - In the antechamber of the temple we started to hear voices
    - Gertrude opened a door leading deeper into the temple
    - Shouta was geting tossed around by poltergeists
    - He gratefully followed Gertrude through the door
    - We ended up in a large hallway with pews scattered throughout
    - We saw some grotesque ghouls eating something
    - A daemon was overseeing this “feast” from a vantage point near the ceiling

FIGHT!!!

- At the front of the room we found an altar
- It was once an altar to Pharasma, now “repurposed” for Urgathoa

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Witherleaf

Just before dawn, Halloran is given his Atonement and greets the dawn with his honor restored.
The woman is exorcized, releasing a Servant of Pestilences, a servant of one of the four horsemen.
After destroying the creature, the woman is returned to her right mind, but she is very upset. She says we have removed the protection for her people, the Varisians in Witherleaf.
She blames a bone dragon named Marrowgarth and we see fire and explosions in the distance. We resign to travel to Witherleaf immediately, the Knights will come with us.
Once there we find the Varisians, but they turn out to be zombies in disguise. Three woman launch spells at us as a strange magical storm descends on the town. The zombies are quickly dispatched, and the women turn out to be two witchfires and a night hag.
Ronit was victim of a charm spell and wandered off to investigate a barrow. She found a gauntlet of rust, which would be helpful as we were warned by the old woman about a “cage of iron” when we went through the next gate.
Mugluk finds the hand in a barrow of a fallen priest of Pharasma, writings of the Whispering Way cover the walls.
The Knights leave with the woman and the group decides that with the warning, they will leave the large group behind and contact them with a Sending once the coast is clear.
This decision saved a lot of lives as there was indeed an iron cage on the other side, and outside of the cage was a banshee.
The wail was countered by Gertrude’s death ward and the group took it out.
Outside of the deadly trap, the day was dark and oppressive, despite it being mid morning.
The room would be a staging point for scouting and other recon, to find out awaits.

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The ruined temple

The group heads to the “mansion” and encounters Chief Boyageti. He is heading back to town after his long absence to tell everyone about how he has discovered the solution to the town’s woes, Mother Sabrina has showed him the path of the penitent Pharasmans. He is covered in strange flanged swirls, similar, but not quite Pharasman. Unsure about what to do with him, the group continues on after being told about giving an offering at the temple.
At the end of the “road” the temple is there, with a ring of large trees and an area for making the offering. Before any decisions can be made about the offering, the trees attack. Hangmen trees that have been encountered before! The group narrowly escapes being devoured, only to encounter 3 Erinyes posing as servants of Pharasma. When the group doesn’t fall for it, they attack.
The group is split up when Shiogi goes inside and the rest of the group is cutoff by the dreaded black tentacles. Inside Shiogi meets Mother Sabrina, a Handmaiden posing as a priestess of Pharasma. After a tough fight, a search of the area reveals that illusions were in place and the temple is actually a ruin. Also, the handmaiden is a servant of Mahathala, an ex-servant of Pharasma, now a minor illusion deity. The handmaiden was trying to corrupt the town to follow Mahathala. Mahathala is also the one who provided the altered recipe for the Carrion Crown, using the Raven’s Head mace as an ingredient. Definitely some bad blood!

On the lower floor, we find the circle of thorns with an inscription about the perilous path. We head back to town to gather our minions and report to the Chief and the town that the child stealing will stop and Pharasma doesn’t want anyone carving their flesh.
Mugluk finds the withered hand and we head through the gate.

On the other side we find a vampire standing guard. A quick hold spell and a stake take him out of commission. Shouta scouts ahead and finds a linnorm in the caves ahead. We question the vampire and find out he is being compelled to help the linnorm “Savage Sovereign Hagmouth” but that he does so solely because of the compulsion. He was a paladin of Iomedae before he was made undead and wants to be free. He gives us information about Hagmouth and we face off, with the creature’s lava breath being a bit more fearsome than we had expected. Shouta lead off with a well-fired volley at the amulet that was binding Halloran to the creature’s will.
Halloran was saddened that he was not able to get the killing blow, but pleased to be free.
After collecting the spoils and bringing the minions along, it was once more through the gate, with Halorn in tow.

Through the gate we found 4 Knights of Ozem camped nearby, with a possessed woman staked to the ground. They shared that they had rescued her from the nearby Witherleaf and were taking her to be exorcized. We offered to do it the next morning, as we were going to allow Halloran to greet the dawn with honor and needed the rest to prepare the proper spells.
We spent the night surrounded by burial mounds of the ancient heroes of Witherleaf.

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Carrion Crown 5/26/2013

Carrion Crown – 5/26/2013

  • We made our way back into town to prevent the “Old Chief” from doing anything crazy.
    + When we arrived, we learned that someone had called a big town meeting.
    + The old chief was missing though, so we went to go find him.
    + It turned out that Tethys had incapacitated the old chief to prevent him from
    from going to the town meeting and spreading the false gospel of Pharasma
    as described to him by the Devil Sabitha (aka Momma Sabrina).
    - We were able to convince the chief that he didn’t need to harm himself to be
    right with Pharasma.
    - We also convinced him that we had removed the curse on the town and that the
    children would be safe from this point forward.
    + During the ensuing celebration, our follower arrived in town.
    - While at the temple, Mugluck had used the Moribund Key to find a contract
    detailing the arrangement between Sabitha and Adrissant.
  • After divvying up some loot that we recovered from Sabitha’s body, we returned to the
    manor house to try to use the witch-gate in an attempt to track down Adrissant.
    + Again using the Moribund Key, Mugluck was able to find a spectral hand (which we
    know is used to activate the witch-gates) near the entrance to the manor.
    + We activated the witch-gate and stepped through, arriving outside the entrance to
    a cave.
    – On further inspection, we saw that the witch-gate that we arrived at made up
    the entrance to this cave.
    - A trail of some kind of slimy substance led into the the cave. Ronit was able
    to determine that the slime was some kind of pus from a putrified wound.
    + Shouta scouted ahead and saw a vampire standing guard a little ways down the tunnel.
    + We were able to subdue the guard without him raising the alarm, and continued on our
    way down the tunnel.
    + In a large chamber at the end of the tunnel was a Linnorm!
    + We retreated from the chamber to interrogate the vampiric guard.
    - We learned that the linorm was known as the Savage Sovereign, and that he
    demands tribute from those who would use the witch-gate.
    - That Savage Soverign gives a key to the witch-gate to those who offer him such
    tribute.
    - We coordinated our tactics and assaulted the beast in its lair!
    + We quickly dispatched the creature.
    - Shouta was grievously wounded in the fight.
    - Fortunately Gertrude was prepared for such an event and was able
    to step in to save Shouta from his morbid fate.
    - We freed the vampire guard from the compulsion that forced him to serve the
    linnorm, and promised to grant him a clean death after he had a chance to atone
    for his misdeeds in service to the Savage Soverign.
  • When we activated the gate, we traveled through and arrived in a desolate landscape.
    + We were met by a group of the Knights of Ozem.
    + They were keeping a Varisian woman under guard
    - The woman was possessed by some kind of Daemon.
    - We cast the spirit out of her body and defeated it in combat.
    - She mentioned Marrowgarth, the boned terror, who Shiogi recognized as a bone
    dragon known to frequent the area.
  • We set off for the village, to try to deal with Marrowgarth before it had a chance
    to attack the Varisian caravan.
    + On the journey, Shouta’s raven returned with an intelligence report.
    - It brought word of a dragon-like creature that had immolated parts of the town
    with it’s black-fire breath-weapon.
    - We guessed that

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Shiogi's Journal (Leaving Caliphas)

As a group we trudged back with the coffins and we meet Lady Evgenya, undead lady that looks like the decoy (Belova). Hand over the journal, along with evidence that minions went after the decoy. Hopefully after the execution of the saffron scarf we can talk to Ramoska and gain information on the whispering way.

We went back to our room and crashed (letting minions take care of shopping list and arrangements). The next day I got my fist enchanted and then hung out with the monks at the temple of the dancing winds. We decided to ask the vampires where the one that escaped was (more on this later?). Kelda asked about the rune bound chains but was not able to get any.

Siervage pronounced judgement on the safron scarf (shaft of light fell on him and he turned to ash before our eyes). We went to see Ramoska (pretty ugly for a vampire). He is a nosferatu (not a vampire).

“Why did Saffron Scarf set you up”

Worked for Adrissant for a while and then ended up in chains. Never was he paid for the work.

Investigating an elixir (to create a lich) which was keyed to a specific person (to the prince of Ustalav Eduard Ordranti).

Adrissant came to him after he was unemployed by the countess.

Renchurch is the traditional retreat of the Whispering Way. Siervage thinks that the Whispering Way might have retreated here.

Line of succession is in doubt.

Given token to summon the vampires to fight the whispering tyrant.

Go to see Siervage’s Prophet Anastasia and got some good advice (see paper).

Decide to do research.

There is a ruined temple of Desna nearby and a ritual (at least 4 people blessed of Desna) that might connect to a temple of Desna nearby Ruwido.

Found that the viscount’s manor is near Ruwido.

Wytchgates are called circles of thornes (need to find mummified hand which will show up under the presence of a moribund key). Will open up the whispering way’s passages through Virlych.

Take a detour back to the Shudderwood, meet up with old friends (still some seperation anxiety about Forthing). Some grave robbery has been happening (the ones that were stolen were the former leaders of the Mordrinacht).

Then off to Ruwido. After we teleport in we see a familiar figure with a flaming bow.

Found a devil at the top of the ruwido temple of Desna, said something about Sabitha

What was your last memory (Momma Sabrina’s skirt)

Where is momma sabrina (ruwido)

Killed in the current year

Name Misha (what is your name)

Everyone is scared (did friends disappear recently)

Then we make base camp at the temple and the rest of us went out to Ruwido the next morning.

Kelda got us into the town past some guards. Found out there are haunted ruins outside of town. Apparently all bad places.

Went to see Karna the Mystic. We decided to “bless her” with remove curse.

Plamenia Volkov (Professor) Former Professor of Ronit.

Found a guide called Jibywin.

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