Game introduction — The mourners gather at Ravengro
Dragos von Caver of Borca — Ezrite Inquisitor. Age 25, 5’7”, 190 lbs. Pale skin, dark hair, brown eyes. Carries a staff and a longsword. Wears a tall hat with a wide brim, leather vest.
Gregore of Borca — Ezrite Anchorite. Ruddy/Mediterranean complexion, dark hair, brown eyes, late 20s, heavy accent. 6’1” 180 lbs. Appears half-Vistani to those who know about such things.
Katarzyna Lis of Ustalav — Student. Age 16, 5’5”, 100 pounds, very pale skin, pale blonde hair, wears dark glasses that completely obscure her eyes, as she is very sensitive to light.
Abner Jacob Freeman — A self-described “cook”, though his skills are many and varied. Rolls tobacco, and is generally rather quiet. About 6’ tall, lanky, with a heavily scarred face and missing eye. Has a watch on a chain. Wears bracers, a collar and a Dementlieuse Stove Pipe hat.
The story begins with an invitation to the funeral for Professor Petros Lorrimor of Lepidstadt University, and the reading of Professor Lorrimor’s last will and testament. The letter reads as follows:
Dear Friend of Petros Lorrimor,
It is my sad duty to inform you that the eminent Professor Petros Lorrimor has passed away.
You are hereby invited to attend his funeral and the reading of Prof. Lorrimor’s last will and testament, which will be held on 2 May 758.
The ceremony will be held at 1530 at Prof. Lorrimor’s house, in the village of Ravengro.
Thursday, May 1, 758. Ravengro, Ustalav.
Katarzyna Lis travels to the funeral. She meets Abner Freeman on the riverboat en route to Ravengro. They compare notes, and realize that they both knew Professor Lorrimor. They exchange pleasantries and get to know each other a bit, it being a very small number of persons traveling, and it being a small boat. They arrive on the first of May, the day before the funeral and will reading.
Friday, May 2, 758. Restlands Cemetery, Ravengro, Ustalav.
Gregore and Dragos von Caver travel from Borca through the Mists, and arrive on the second of May, the day of the reading.
A young boy greets Gregore and Dragos, and takes them to the Restlands funeral. Dragos chucks a copper at the boy, and Gregore gives him two coppers. And thus it begins. The priests of Ezra are looked upon with consternation and suspicion by the locals. There are two other people heading to the funeral with their small entourage.
The mourners gather at the entrance of the cemetery. There are about 12 people gathered. Kendra Lorrimor is talking to someone, and she seems very sad. Father Grimburrow, who is aptly named, asks for volunteers to serve as pallbearers. Katarzyna is the first to volunteer, and eventually six people agree to serve in that capacity.
People in the funeral procession:
A portly man with a young child.
Adivion — a man with a cane, top hat, and tails, holding a handkerchief — pallbearer
Katarzyna — pallbearer
Abner — pallbearer
Gregore — pallbearer
Dragos — pallbearer
a young boy
Four others, two with bags who arrived with Gregore and Dragos and the young boy.
A piper plays as the pallbearers carry the casket to the grave. Superstitious villagers, led by Gibbs, try to stop them from burying the Professor, citing that the late Professor was a “necromancer” and thus unfit to be buried among the graves of the townsfolk. Dragos steps to the fore, and speaks with the villagers, and the group manage to talk their way past the mob. Father Grimbarrow, a priest of Pharasma, gives a eulogy to the professor at the gravesite. He gives a prayer to Pharasma.
Kendra also tries to give a eulogy, but breaks down. Katarzyna comes to her side, and says a few words about her time at the University of Lepidstadt. Dragos speaks next, and credits the Professor with having pointed him on his path. The tall, well-dressed man, Adivion, speaks about Professor Lorrimor also. The professor’s casket is lowered into the grave, and the mourners toss earth into the grave one by one, ending the gravesite ceremony.
The group breaks up after the ceremony. Adivion, Katarzyna, Abner, Gregore and Dragos return to the estate with Kendra. It’s a two-story house with a wide porch. Lots of wood, dark inside. The professor’s library is comfortable and dark. Adivion has a spirited discussion with Dragos about the nature of existence, gods, and the mists. Katarzyna interjects at intervals in this conversation as well. Gregore does not seem amused by the stranger’s words.
Later in the afternoon, the reading of the will begins. Vashian Hearthmount reads the will.
Kendra is bequeathed the house and all of the late professor’s personal effects.
Of the others present, the professor’s will states that he has two final favors to ask.
The first task is for the group to deliver a small chest containing controversial tomes to the University of Lepidstadt. 100 platinum coins will be paid to each person who delivers the tomes, payable by Judge Daramid at Lepidstadt.
The other favor that the professor asks is for the group to delay a month, and ensure that Kendra is safe and sound.
After the reading of the will, the chest is brought to the study, whereupon it is inspected and opened.
Crate of books
• Read Me First — Journal of Professor Lorrimor.
• An untitled book, with a rich purple cover, with a brass scarab with an eye in the center. This book is locked. The book cannot be opened by Abner.
• “ On Verified Madness” A treatise on aberrations — a jet black tome
• “ Serving Your Hunger” A sacred book of Urgathoa, goddess of death and undeath
• “ The Umbral Leaves” — The tenets of Zon-Kuthon’s faith are detailed in this grisly book, written in blood on pages of flayed skin.This book is thought to be cursed, and radiates with a powerful magical aura.
Katarzyna grabs the “Read Me First” and reads aloud excerpts from the journal therein. The journal contains personal recollections and information about each person present, as well as some persons not present, mainly an ill-fated dwarf. There are cryptic notes about the Professor’s work at Harrowstone Prison, a site that is likely haunted, and references to preparations he was making to help with the task of defeating whatever evil lie therein. There is also mention of a sinister sect called the Whispering Way.
The group also peruse the other tomes, and Gregore is especially disturbed by the contents of “The Umbral Leaves”.
The group turns in for the night, but before turning in, Katarzyna walks the grounds of the estate in the darkness, and feels an unnatural chill in the air.
Saturday, May 3, 758. Ravengro, Ustalav.
There is commotion in Ravengro, as people congregate on the banks of the river to the memorial for the fire at Harrowstone Prison. There is a 25-foot tall statue, depicting a man wearing leathers and wielding a truncheon. There are names of the various people who died in the fire. Harrowstone Prison burned down in 708. There is blood on the statue, and Gregore doesn’t think it’s human blood. There is splattering of blood everywhere, and a “V” on the base of the statue. Adivion appears to have skill in looking at blood, and tells Gregore that he believes that the blood is from an herbivorous creature, due to some attributes of the blood. They talk at length about the possible candidates for the creature, before Adivion has to leave to catch his boat. Adivion is leaving Ravengro to return home, and the boat from Ravengro will take him to the larger river system. After Adivion leaves, Gregore begins to clean the monument, hoping to set the minds of the townsfolk at ease.
Dragos tries to talk to Gibbs, the surly townsperson from the previous day who tried to keep Professor Lorrimor from being buried. Gibbs lives near the memorial statue, and is only marginally less surly and taciturn than the previous day. He certainly gives little information of substance.
Gregore talks with Sherriff Benjan Caeller. Caeller looks around the monument. Dragos and Gregore talk to the sheriff briefly. The sheriff directs his deputies to canvass the area and ask people if they have lost any animals or found any animals dead.
The group returns to the Lorrimor Estate. After breakfast, the group heads to the cemetery, stopping first to speak with the priest of Pharasma, Grimbarrow, who asks his associate Steffon to guide them through the cemetery. They see nothing amiss other than Steffon’s overly thick eyebrows, but they do locate a crypt that might be the false crypt spoken of in Professor Lorrimor’s journal.
Afterward, the Ezrites speak with Father Grimbarrow, and cajole him into allowing them to study the Pharasma archives for information. They are able to glean a few interesting bits of information:
• Ravengro was founded in 641, Harrowstone was built at the same time.
• Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers, who are often undead.
• Tar Barphon, the Whispering Tyrant, is the most well-known of the leaders of the cult.
• The philosophy and teachings of the Whispering Way can only be communicated verbally, via whispers, they are never written down or spoken aloud.
They also learn that the Town Hall has records kept there that could lead to other discoveries. The Unfurling Scroll is another possible place of interest, being a school and a de facto “magic shop” that might have items of interest.
Later that night, at the estate, they learn through conversation with Kendra that Professor Lorrimor died at the ruins of Harrowstone Prison, and the manner of his death was quite grisly, though ruled accidental by the sheriff. The face of a gargoyle statue apparently came loose and fell upon the Professor’s face, presumably as he was looking up at it. Kendra is visibly distressed by the discussion.
Sunday, May 4, 758. Ravengro, Ustalav.
Another day dawns, the group decides to get to know the town a little better. After another hearty breakfast prepared by Abner, they set off for the main square in town, and check out the local shops. There is a forge, run by a female dwarf. There is a moneylender’s market called The Silk Purse, where Katarzyna is shown a magic ring, purported to slow the descent of the wearer’s fall. There is also the Town Hall, but it is closed. Adjacent to the Town Hall is the Outward Inn. Katarzyna makes the acquaintance of Sarianna Vai, the innkeeper, and agrees to perform at the inn the following Saturday, May 10.
As Dragos and Gregore are strolling in the central plaza in town, Gregore hears a disturbing song coming from a group of gypsy children.
“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.”
At first glance, the children and their parents could be taken for Vistani, but Gregore soon learns that they are ordinary gypsies. Gregore talks at length with the children about the content of the song, and their parents question them as well.