[Carrion Crown] The False Crypt

Carrion Crown: The Haunting of Harrowstone coverSession two of Carrion Crown continued this week after recapping and comparing of notes among the players. Annie (Grift), the Dan (Darius Carfax St. James), a Dan (Sir Horace Gunderson), Toby (Solis and his eidolon Gia) and Tyler (Alexandros Callimachi) were in attendance.

While Grift, Solis and Alexandros retired for sleep, meditation and devotions, respectively, Sir Horace and Darius busied themselves: one with the liquor cabinet, the other with Professor Lorrimor’s books — not the tomes destined for Leipstadt. Those were stowed in a secure place for the time being, despite Horace’s attempt to assume custodianship.

A shadowed presence made itself known to Darius, but proved itself invisible. Shadows lengthened, strange whispers carried through the halls and Darius found the house’s very architecture began to bend and twist as he wandered through it, seeking help. Eventually he and Horace met in a seemingly endless hallway with no doors save one at the very end, emitting green light through cracks in the jamb. Try as they might, Darius and Horace couldn’t escape the impossible hallway or the haunting whispers. In frustration, Darius flung the glowing green door open . . . and Grift was rudely awoken by the gibbering wreck of a bard slamming his bedroom door open, yanking the sheets up tight around his person in surprise.

“Are you, Kendra, currently menstruating?”
— Alexandros Callimachi, not fearing any spectre

The hubbub brought the rest of the house’s denizens into the hallway. Carfax St. James and Gunderson described their seeming shared hallucination to their compatriots, who began a cursory investigation of what may have caused the phenomena. Various techniques employed suggested no commonly detectable form magic had been employed. Kendra Lorrimor averred the house had no prior known history of hauntings in response to the inquisitor Alexandros’ curiously intimate line of questioning.[1]

Recalling that the professor’s journal mentioned a cache of ghost-hunting tools secreted in the Restlands, Grift proposed an immediate expedition to ferret them out, which was met with general positive approval. Concerned about the impropriety of burgling graves, or at least being perceived to do so, Callimachi countered that bobbing lights in the graveyard in the dead of night during a rainstorm wouldn’t score any points with the already troubled townsfolk of Ravengro, so the outing was postponed until the morning.[2]

“I wake and begin the 5:30 chant to Iomedae.”
“I wake for the 5:45 stabbing.”
— Alexandros and Sir Horace

Early risers like unsleeping Solis and Callimachi with his devotions to Iomedae found themselves waiting for the later risers. Eventually, sometime around mid-morning, everyone set off from the house. Grift and Darius split off to talk with Brother Grimbarrow at the temple of Pharasma about the prison fire and list of victims also mentioned in Lorrimor’s notes. Their decidedly different approaches to winning the dour brother’s favor managed to pay off, winning them access to the temple’s archives and services of Brother Aramis, custodian of same, whose cataloging practices were perhaps not up to Carfax St. James’ standards. The archivist set to work sifting through papers while Grift manipulated Aramis into hopping to in service of their cause.[3] Research yielded that Harrowstone was a prison destroyed by fire, and that a number of exceptionally dangerous prisoners had died in the conflagration, not named here for brevity, kept from escaping by the sacrifice of the prison governor and guards’ lives.

Meanwhile, in the cemetery, Alexandros, Horace, Solis and his serpentine eidolon located Lorrimor’s false crypt, a large but almost wholly unadorned mausoleum, save two gargoyles on the roof. While Callimachi and Gunderson considered possible means of entry, the eidolon Gia cut to the chase, nudging the lock to discover it only appeared to be locked.[4] The interior of the crypt was equally bare, its emptiness overseen by two stone angels. Stairs at the rear of the crypt led to a subterranean chamber, which Gia’s darksight revealed as clear of hazards.

“Suck it out! Suck it out!”
— any sensible person’s reaction to a venomous bite

The quartet found a simple stone sarcophagus in the lower chamber. Sir Horace set to work dislodging the lid while Solis and Alexandros provided moral support and well-meant advice. Inside the sarcophagus, they found the promised cache of ghost-hunting tools: enchanted arrows and bolts, potions and scrolls of yet unknown purpose. The thrill of the find distracted everyone but commonsense Gia from the approach of two large centipedes from the walls of the crypt. Callimachi took a heavy dose of venom from one while the eidoloon coiled around and dispatched the second. The inquisitor only stood and felt the venom’s numbing effect spread while the others finished off the remaining centipede — and continued to wait impatiently with a numb leg while Gunderson carefully inventoried their haul.[5]

Finally, they left the crypt and reconvened with Darius and Grift back at the Lorrimor home. Callimachi roused from his venom-induced stupor long enough to realize he himself was skilled in the healing arts, tended his bite wound, poured a stiff drink and wandered off to bed.[6] The rest of the group stayed up to compare notes and identify as many of the tools from the crypt as possible, assigning them to those people who could use them best.

[1] And really, that set precedent for Ghostbusters quotes of which I intended — and intend to continue! — to take full advantage.

[2] I was actually kind of concerned about this. Everyone else was super gung-ho to bust open the crypt right then and there. Being affiliated with a god and a presumed moral code of some kind, Callimachi would rather have talked directly with Brother Grimbarrow about investigating the cache of weapons. That got shot down real quick, so I rationalized that a false crypt with no actual grave inside as the professor’s writing suggested would be okay to burgle, particularly since it was in service to his daughter’s safety.

[3] That would backfire shortly, as Grift attempted to pocket an important document. Aramis had been whipped into being so attentive to their needs there was no good opportunity to do so. Grift settled for scribbled notes.

[4] And that was another strong indicator — after many successful Perception checks — that Gia might be the most effective character in the bunch.

[5] Two points of Dexterity damage, to be precise.

[6] AKA: “Oh yeah, I’ve got the Heal skill!”

3 thoughts on “[Carrion Crown] The False Crypt

  1. Pingback: [Carrion Crown] Harrowstone Prison Blues | Held Action

  2. Pingback: [Carrion Crown] The Scouring of Harrowstone | Held Action

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