Carrion Crown

The Deciever: Part One

Day 7: Tamravena

Following their harrowing misadventure with the Sandman the party ventured onwards towards Tanraenva. On the way the party encountered several wall guards who were fending off a group of undead Orcs. The party intervened to save the desperate guardsmen, successfully defeating the vile undead. The guardsmen were thankful, but the party felt that they were being shifty and holding something back. Grimriver attempted to intimidate the guards into revealing whatever secrets they were keeping, but guards remained close mouthed. Bodine did, however, notice that the guardsmen were infected with spores from a native plant that would slowly kill their victims and eventually raise them from the dead. Bodine tried to warn the guards of the spores, but they did not listen and continued on their way back to the wall. Frustrated by the guards’ lack of cooperation the group moved on towards Tanravena.

The party arrived around midday in Tanravena, and headed to the nearest inn. While getting supper at the inn the party overheard some rumors that a local Duke’s wife and daughter had gone missing. They pressed a few locals for more information about the Duke, who was identified as Duke Tenenbrae, and learned of even more strange happenings: one of the Duke’s sons had been seen for strange burn wounds late at night at the church of Pharasma, and the Duke himself was seen at the local magic shop purchasing large quantities of sleeping potions. Intrigued, the party decided to investigate Duke Tenebre and the disappearances, and headed to the local magic shop to question the shopkeep about the sleeping potion purchases.

At first the shopkeep was uninterested in “sinful gossip”, but when Grimriver revealed that he was an inquisitor of Pharasma the shopkeep was eager to impress the Dwarf with her devotion (a bit too eager, thought Grimriver). When asked about the sleeping potions she confirmed that Duke Tenenbrae had indeed purchased many sleeping potions from her recently, and Duke Tenenbrae said that they were for his son who was having problems sleeping. The shopkeep also told the party that she was suspicious of the missing Lady Tenenbrae, and believed that she might be a witch who used crystals to weld otherworldly powers against her foes.

The party decided to visit the Duke later and inquire about this strange affair, but Kendra noted that they could not visit the Duke unannounced and would need a noble to request an audience. Bodine revealed that Lucian had connections with nobility and might be able to get an audience with the Duke, and tried to convince Lucian to make the arrangements. Lucian agreed, but only on the condition that Bodine spend some personal time with his partner. The two of them spent a romantic evening shopping for a proper outfit for Bodine’s audience with the Duke.

The party reconvened later that evening at the inn. Just before the party retired for the night Lucian announced that he was going to go midnight stroll to “attend to some errands”. The party thought Lucian’s behavior a bit odd, but didn’t question him about it.

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The Betrayed
Meeting Sedeptra

The heroes had just finished an encounter with the werewolves in Shudderwood forest. Suddenly a terrible fog rolled in from nowhere. The fog was so dense they lost sight of each other and had no indication of their whereabouts. Anathema, K’avron and Domino become separated from the others in the fog and found themselves in a darker, more malevolent forest. As the fog lifted they heard sounds of battle and rushed towards it. They found a woman who was battling for her life from some Festrogs. The party defeated the Festrogs and sat and talked with the woman for a while. Her name is Sedeptra and she is associated with the church of Pharasma. They decided to journey with her after they discovered they had been transported several hundred miles from the Shudderwood, and now found themselves in the southern county of Barstoi. They came upon what seemed to be a graveyard filled with ghouls and were attacked by them. After defeating the ghouls and doing some exploration they realized that the graveyard was a farce, a cover up for a village that had been destroyed. Within the “graveyard” was a cathedral structure. Once they entered they were attacked by Allips. After defeating the Allips they discovered a flayed body by an altar and a spell of Undead Control that was active. They dispelled the undead control and found a note by the body.

The note read,
“To die at the hands of those that pose friendship… the slaughter of innocence of careless whispers and pleas. To this end bring forth the betrayal of life in death. This is the ingredient needed. This you will find by the Furrows. The last element is the most important. A betrayal of your own, a sacrifice. Do not fail…”
Also, on the back of the note was a symbol of the Whispering Way.

They traveled down stairs into the catacombs of the cathedral and fought some skeletons. After the skeletons were defeated, and after realizing that they were Barstoi knights, they went back upstairs and cast Speak With Dead on the flayed body.

They discovered that he was part of the Whispering Way. Whispering Way was recently at this site and he was killed and betrayed by them.

The current leader of the whispering way is Adivion Adrissant.

The Whispering Way came here for an ingredient for the Crown.

Sedeptra used her powers to try and see what happened at this site. She saw a prosperous farming community. Men in black armor, presumably the knights of Barstoi, with a general showed up. The knights were ordered to kill the villagers and buried them in mass graves. Some knights rebelled against the general, feeling remorse for what they had done, and they themselves were killed and buried. Later workers came and demolished the village and set up a mock graveyard instead. Armaments and balista were brought into a bunker and sealed away under a building looking like a cathedral. Then several people brought the body of the general into the bunker and threw it in haphazardly. The building was then sealed and partially buried.

The heroes ventured further into the catacombs and found the bunker with all the weapons and ballista. Sedeptra used alchemist’s fire to start burning things. A carved skull floated in the center of the bunker beneath a necrotic shadowfell rift. Suddenly the skeleton of the general “Barnibus” manifested and attacked the heroes calling them “betrayers!” He summoned skeleton troops to fight by his side, which was summoned from bone debris that that littered the floor throughout the bunker. The heroes defeated Barnibus and thereby closing the rift and cleaning the undead taint from the area. The heroes burned all the ballista and armaments causing the bunker and cathedral onto to cave in itself.

Epilogue:
The heroes discovered that some atrocity had occurred at this site during the civil war between Barstoi and Ardeal. Somehow the Church of Pharasma was involved. The Whispering Way came here to collect an ingredient for some diabolical thing called a “Crown”. Whispering Way are willing to kill their own people to this end. It may have been Whispering Way that stirred up the undead in this place, however it was already ripe with the conditions to foster undead abominations.

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Journal of the Shadows
Adventures Within Ustalav

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