Carrion Crown: Kyle's

Adivions proclamation

Making his way around to several of the congregated areas of the city, where travellers are organising mounts or caravans to flee the city, Adivion sets himself to make a speech for his candidacy to become the new mayor. Adivion casts enlarge and airwalk on himself, so he may be seen and heard by the masses. He clears his throat before he begins his speech, walking above the crowd to grab there attention.

“People of Carrion Hill, I beseech thee a moment of thy time, to listen to reason and quell thy growing fears amongst you. I know you are all afraid about the sudden death of Mayor Heggry, the reports of a serial killer stalking the crown, and rumours of a beast destroying parts of the tangle. I stand before you committed to resolving all of these crisis this great city of yours faces. Even now one of my closest friends, Ecthelion Talamar and his friends, working alongside lieutenant Zephyr of the crows, inches closer to ending the life of the mass murderer and locating this so call beast. But he cannot do it alone, we need a mayor to bring order to this chaos. I know in your hearts how much this city cared for and adored its mayor. Heggry truly was a great man whom cared for his city and its people. I wish to continue his great legacy, by advocating myself, Adivion Adrissant, to fill his position. This trully is a dark time, but if anything about Carrion Hills history is true, its people are resilient, survivors when faced with adversity and its city in peril. People whom have lived through much darker times then that which is before you today.

I consider myself lucky, for I like you, have know hardship and loss. I have lived in fear. I have let such fears get the better of me in the past. But I have risen above my fears, as can you. If you must leave this city, then go. But not before filling out a ballot paper and having your say as to whom should run this great city. Just remeMber to vote Adivion Adrissant. Take solace in your hearts as you leave, to know this city will return to its former glory. That by my hand and the actions of those closest to me it will be saved. I am not a harrower, but I can see the foundations of a utopia. A city whose people shall become eternal, not like those souls given to the mines, rather engraved in history knowing that this day, this oathday the 1st of Arodus, Carrion Hills people changed Golarion for the better. A city that goes beyond those of the heavens. Beyond those of fables like Atlantis. For I will build this city into a beacon as bright as the sun. As rich as all the dragon hoardes in the land. As noble as the knights of Ozem. A port to rival that of Absalom.

Those skeptics amongst you will ask how can he promises such things. I know what this city squanders. Its poor are forced to live out short lives working the vats in the filth. Forced to scavenge for food, while honest jobs and a life worth living, goes to the dead. While the fatcats on the hill in the crown prosper, and the city rots and decays. The residents of the tangle and filth, always looking to the crown and wondering why they can never rise to such heights. A people forced to pay hefty taxes, forced to use substandard and tawdry middenstone materials, second rate to that which the land can provide. A material that keeps you poor by requiring constant maintenance to keep structures stable, keeping the fatcats rich.

When there is people like myself who can provide the tools necessary to make this a city of legends".

Adivion air walks back down to the ground, clutching his sceptre in one hand and some wood fhips in the other. He moves his hands about calling forth a fabricate spell and turning the wood chips into a pile of finely crafted wooden beams. He hoists his sceptre into the air and showers the crowd with coins of gold. Many of those witnessing the spectacle begin to gather up coins, using there own garbs as pouches. Others look at Adivion as though he is some sort of angel. Before he airwalks above them once more.

“These are merely a few tools that will transform this city into something much grander then seen anywhere else in Ustalav. I can promise prosperity for all. The Abdar clerics fill there own temples with gold, which rightly belongs to Carrion Hills people. A disempoered watch forced to enact unjust laws. A watch required to undertake their duties with little finacialn support. A watch required to keep their tongues holstered and sheathed despite the fraudulent and unscrupulous activities that occur before there very eyes. Noble crows whom have there wings clipped.

This city needs a reckoning. It needs an honourable man like me, Adivion Adrissant, to support you, the common and decent folk. Someone willing to support grwoth and industry, to clean up the cities filth, to remove the corruption that stalks the streets. To ensure no belly goes hungry, no man is left homeless. A place that evey man woman and child can live in a city they deserve. Safe, secure, whose people religious beliefs are not squandered to a few shrines about the city. Rather monoliths and temples of such grand structure the hill will reachout and touch the heavens. A city that will not have to fear foreign invaders.

But these are merely words and ideals. For them to become truth Carrion Hill needs change. I am that agent of change. Do not look back, and say what if. When the answer to redemption stands before you. For redemption to be achieved you must vote for me, Adivion Adrissant before you part these walls. Take a stand. Make your voice heard. For together we can become eternal".

Adivion takes a deep breath, as the crowd grows eerily silent. Those before him offer quizzical expression, speechless at his presence. Then a single clap echoes from the rear from where Adivion stands. An old man with a thick grey matted beard and hair, supporting a glass right eye, claps. Soon othrr claps break out. Thrn cheers. Until finally the crowd erupts into applause. Pale men wearing black cloaks begin to set up ballot tables. Almost as though they are ready, long cues, ten to twenty men long, crowd around ready to vote. Advion himself his assaukted by pats on the back as he moves through the crowd.

His elatedness briefly halted by a man. “Abdar will not forget your words, nor will the thieves of this city”. Bob the Raven knights squire pushes the man away, aiding Adivion through the masses so the pair can move to there next target area to gather votes.

“A great speech me’lord, my master would be pleased”. Bob the Raven knights squire retorts. “Thankyou, I juwt hope the cities people see reason through this madness”. The two move down Aurgury Avenue, followed by several more men carrying fold out tables ready to take votes.

“If it was not for the words of my friend Ecthelion, I don’t think I would have fome this far”, Adivion thinks to himself as he moves down the avenue. Bob with his weapon drawn, taking precaution thanks to the threats against Lord Adivion.

View
Underneath the Asylum

Map players original

Incubation

Slae pen

Crystal monoliths

Torture victim

Portal gems

The gusts of wind pushing the foul stinking cloud around the portal chamber and dead brain creatures makes Amanadlon’s eyes water as he wearily gets off the cold floor. Smashed gemstones show how destroyed the portal is as his body shrinks back to its normal size. With a great smile he grabs Ravenknights arm in a warriors embrace “Well done knight, we have saved the world from a terrible madness, and killed a foul cultist. Bards will sing of your actions for years to come.” Walking to the centre and moving the corspe of Crove to one side the elf starts singing praise to Desna and sprinkling holy water through the area once holding the giant heart of necromantic energies to consecrate the entire room. Marking a holy symbol of Desna on the inert portal stone work Amanadlon has marked this as one of the holy pilgrimage sites for Desna clerics to visit. This way there will always be someone keeping an eye on the older gods entry way.

Looking at the tired and weary heroes, the thought strikes him that truly his new friends at the Saviours of Carrion Hill, even if the city slept unknowlingly above the madness seen here. No longer are they the heroes of harrowstone, this deed is more worthy to be known as the Saviours. Having completed his holy rituals he turns to the assembled heroes “If anyone needs healing or the taint of diseases purged we will need to rest here tonight for my prayers to be renewed with fresh energy clean of taint.”

Picking himself up off the floor, Ecthelian looked around. The door had been closed with the barking dog on the otherside. Ecthelian had wanted to pat the dog affectionately… ‘it will be mine, and I shall call it Wolfgang’, he had thought, but the butterfly had slammed the door in its face!…. “HEYWHY YOU do THAT for butterfly?” Ecthelian yelled angrily at the butterfly, who looked quizically at the Raven perched on the floor next to it. He wanted to pull its wings off, and he started to move forward to do just that, when he noticed the walls were bleeding.. only that the blood was gushing upward. He stared at it for a moment, before he began to fall.. upward… or was it downward? He didn’t know anymore. He hit the floor hard and the wind was knocked out of him. Lying on his back, he could see the Raven and the Butterfly upside down on the roof. He felt the blood from the walls pooling around his back…Then there was darkness. He slipped on his goggles of Nightvision so that he could see once more. The room he was in was no longer there… seemingly replaced by scorching fires, and shrill screams. He could hear a river running fast, and when he sat up to look at it, he caught the pungent smell of blood and burning flesh.

Looking around, there were dogs everywhere, eating rotting corpses. “WOLFGANGS!!!” Ecthelian said excitedly. He walked over to pat one, and as he reached down, the dog growled and bit his hand off… A fountain of blood streamed out his wrist, and Ecthelian began to scream. Louder and Louder. Until he had no air left in his chest, and the world went white… He must have been dead.. He was sure it was true.. in the distance he saw a girl playing on a swing.. He approached her, and as she looked around at him, he thought that she looked familiar… “you haven’t forgotten me already have you.. brother?” Suddenly he remembered who she was.. who HE was.. “where am I?” Ecthelian asked… The flowers around the swing replied… the had little faces and swayed magestically in the gentle breeze… “You are in Carrion Hill my son.. but I am afraid your mind is elsewhere… I think that it is time to send it back to your body…I will supress the madness for now, but it will not last forever” The world winked once more…

Ecthelian opened his eyes… it felt like they had been closed for hours… Around him, the world had returned to normal.. His companions stood around him, with puzzled faces…Ecthelian was huddled in the corner…. He stood up quickly… “Well!!! what are we waiting for? There is still evil to vanquish yet!!!” Taking the lead, Ecthelian marched toward the exit.

Amanadlon is weary and saddened that his goddess was unable to break any enchantments on the halfkings mind to save his sanity. I have lost that connection to my goddess and will take a few more days to be able to summon powerful healing spells to help them all keep sane.

View
Learning the truth about the Asylum

An elderly man with white hair and a lab coat tightens the wrist straps on Falkons chair to ensure he is strapped down properly. “My name is Dr Rudolph Van’Richen, and I am hear to determine whether or not your mind is ravaged by madness. There is no need to squirm about in your restraints, this process is painless and perfectly safe. It will be over in a minute”. Rudolph draws closer with a strange looking leech clutched between his tongs.

“This here my friend is a wizard shackle. It will allow me to determine whether or not you are possessed. You see, wizard shackles can supress magical abilities, which, if you are possessed will allow me to communicate with any creature that inhabbit your body, by drawing it to the surface. I do not know if you understand me or not, but it is important that I tell you none the less”. Rudolph moves to push the back of Falkons hair away from his neck.

“You see malignant spirits can come in all forms. Some demonic, undead or angelic. Recently I have discovered a fourth, which zi call a body snatcher, for there alien orientation. Similar to intellect devourers, body snatchers can possess a victim and feed off there energies. In physical form they look nothing more then a black mist or gas with a hundred or so eyes. There amphorous qualities suggest they are not from Golarion, but a distant world from the dark tapestry.

I believe some sort of doorway has been breached or is leaking into Golarion. As in the last fifty years I have spent in Versex I have noticed a strange incursion of creatures in the region. Many of my patients say that the old cults are returming to Golarion, but I have not found enough evidence to substantiate such claims SCIENTIFICALLY. Although in my heart I know such things are truth. But as not to destroy my integrity, like that of Professor Lorrimor I have not published any articals in the Scientific Tribune.

That said there does seem to be a spike in cases of insanity like yours in the region. The most recent cases of intense madness seem to originate from Thrushmoor and Illmarsh to the south. But perhaps my conclusion is wrong, as your profile suggest you are not from the south, but a local. You know Carrion Hill is famous for being a purveyor of ancient religions. The city is adorned with hundreds of shrines and totems dedcated to dead, unknown or lost religions.

They say that the great old ones, whom are responsible for bringing madness to Golarion, who reside in the stars, are drawn to congregational groups of worship dedicated to them. I would not be surprised if at least a few groups in the city, don’t pay homage to the old religions. Even scientific minds like Viktor Von’Drakh can be easily swaddled. Just the other day he burst into my house on Icaball dtreet advocating to unlocking secrets and cosmic truths that will unravel the fabric of the dark tapestry. Time and space were meaningless. Sometimes I feel he deserves a place in here, so I have kept a cell open for finally when his mind unravels. The man has been clearly on edge ever since he came here a month ago. Talking about some bounty hunter he escaped, clearly paranoid, but nit yet dangerous enough to be detained…Ooops I almost forgot the photogensic test". He removes the tongs from Falkons necks, with the leech stretching out its body to try and get a taste of the arcane energies of Falkon.

Returning the leech to its tube Rudolph collects a pair of strange glasses from the work bench. “Ghhhaa…. I really am feeling my age” Ruldolph says to himself while returning to the restrained Falkon. The lens of the glasses reflect the sight like that of a fly, small gems are cut into the lenses which distort ones natural sight.

“Ok, now I ham going to hypnotically suggest you to reveal the fears, delusion or paranoias you suffer from to cone to the surface, as to come up with a clinical treatment for your ailment. Is there anything you would like to say before we start?”

Admin form

Psychological profile

Certificate of insanity


Amanadlon knowledge roll (17+8=25)
Soggoth, proto-shoggoth

Amanadlon remembers the following about shoggoth from his travels and sharing stories.

60040 10151309438763620 1502535759 n

An excerpt from ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ – By Cadeus Seed
“It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any dwarven tunnel—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter”

The definitive description of shoggoths comes from the above-quoted story. In it, Cadeus writes them as massive amoeba-like creatures looking like they are made out of tar, with multiple eyes “floating” on the surface. They are described as “protoplasmic”, lacking any default body shape and instead being able to form limbs and organs at will. An average shoggoth measured fifteen feet across when a sphere, though the story mentions ones of much greater size.

Mythos stories most commonly shows them, although intelligent to some degree, dealing with problems using their great size and strength. For instance, the original one mentioned in ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ simply rolled over and crushed giant albino ogres that were in the way as it pursued a group of adventurers in a crucible of chaos.

The character of the Mad Garundi, Abdul Alhazred, found the mere idea of their existence on Golarion terrifying. He purposely battled such a creature in Orision, before going insane. He descrbed it in a book called “Denizens of the Blind Star God”. Apparently before the ascension of Aroden, during the age of destiny, a shoggoth attached itself to a star that fell from the dark tapestry. Schloars called the event the starstone, a powerful artefact that could allow humans to rise to divinity, like that of Aroden, Cayden Cailean and Iomedae.

Abdul Alhazred spoke of a fragment of the star that fell imbedded in the shoggoth.
The sorcerers we had been hunting found the mysteries of the artifact were beyond even their ability to understand, and they turned to a group of cultists worshipping a god of secrets and forbidden knowledge known as Azathoth— the blind formless chaos that lies behind the stars. One night, when the planets were aligned, the cultists invoked the power of the stone, opening a direct channel between the Orision ruins and Azathoth.

The results were not what they expected. instead of granting the cultists great power and immortality, the shoggoth stone transformed almost every living creature in the city into an immense, fleshy mass, an undulating pustule of fused viscera, rotting loops of intestines, and a powerful baleful stench. Only a few senior cultists were spared, protected by their charms and amulets. Ever since, the city has been abandoned, save for those who dare to dabble in chaos magic, and the nightmare creatures and gnolls who have thus far avoided the worst of its corruption. The sorcery that summoned the creature is forgotten, and its people are forever trapped in a prison of flesh…

The ruined city was a place of cyclopean proportions and weird, tower-based architecture. Just walking through it was disorienting. Towards the rear of the the Aeromantic Infandibulum a mass of flesh quivered. This mass of undulating tarry black flesh exuded the smell of decay, filled with bubbles of vilest air and giving off a very faint luminescence. Its unworldly voice was plaintive, always crying, “Tekeli-li!”. The fearful keening at the noise the creature made – Tekeli-li – gripped my friend Anicus, he was shaken, barely able to move. The creature was without eyes, yet its sniffed Anicus out like a bat homing in on an insect. Its tuberous hide engulfed Anicus, it which his flesh was absorbed into the crature, joining its fleshy mass.

Grumbar unleashed a powerful display of magic, that which did not bounce of the creatures natural ability to resist spells. His spells barely hurt the ooze due to its natural immunities to elemental effects. Cold, electricity and fire barely scratched it. Acid seemed to fare even worse. Poisons did not work. In my desperation I move to destroy the item which gave power to the creature, the Shoggoth stone. The stone itself projected horrific images of the entities the creature had engulfed, like a kaleidoscope of spirits. My arrows did little, and once Grumbar disappeared, it took all my wits and training to fire one final arrow to destroy the stone the creature was bound by. Never in my life have I faced such a dangerous denizen, it trully was not of this world.

Should anyone ever encounter such a creature I would advise them to run. Should any brave soul be willing to challenge such an abomination, should keep their distance. As those engulfed rarely survive longer then a few seconds before they become one with the shoggoths flesh. The creature is slow and blind which are its obvious weaknesses. But more then that, shoggoths are bound by magical stones which are both a device to summon and destroy them. I write this to warn the entire world, that the creatures in the stars do exists. They are more then just nightmares.

Origin and history
The shoggoths were created by the Elder Things. Many speculate the Elder things as elder brains of Mind flayers. Being amorphous, shoggoths could take on any shape needed, making them very versatile within their aquatic environment. Though able to “understand” the Elder Things’ language, they had no real consciousness and were controlled through hypnotic suggestion.

The shoggoths built the underwater cities of their masters. Over millions of years of existence, some shoggoths mutated and gained independent minds. Some time after this, they rebelled. Eventually, the Elder Things succeeded in quelling the insurrection, but thereafter watched them more carefully. By this point, exterminating them was not an option as the Elder Things were fully dependent on them for labor and could not replace them. It was during this time that, despite their masters’ wishes, they demonstrated an ability to survive on land.

Within the Mythos of the old cults, the existence of the shoggoths possibly led to the accidental creation of Ubbo-Sathla, a god-like entity supposedly responsible for the origin of all life on Golarion, though At The Mountains of Madness brings up the possibility of the Elder Things being the creators, having made early life as discarded experiments in bioengineering.

Other connections
When the Elder Things retreated to the oceans, they took the shoggoths with them, but also out of desperation let them develop the ability to exist on land. In contrast to their failing society, the shoggoths began to imitate their art and voices, taking over the cavern city underneath Avandu and creating a twisted imitation of the society of their masters.

Aside from their main appearance in the “Mountains of Madness story” or Denizens of the Blind Star God , shoggoths also appear in other Mythos stories, often as servitors or captives to powerful cults and entities. They are known to endlessly repeat “Tekeli-li”, a cry that their old masters used.

Science
Many speculate that alchemist of the old cults develop protomatter or protomatter implants which allows them there selves to develop shoggoth like abilities, granting a long life and the ability to absorb the life essence of those they devour. Such maipulation of a genome often results in a shoggoth plague, which stories of the old cults about the stars speak of leveling entire planets to nothing but a mass of oozing flesh.

Shoggoths are creatures fueled by chaos, servitors of dark gods and things normally spoken of only in whispers. At one time, shoggoths were servants to a greater race, but after centuries or eons of mistreatment they rebelled and cast down their masters. They are near-mindless predators, always hungry,
though legends say they possess a cunning beyond that of most oozes.

Environment: Shoggoths are impervious to heat and cold and can thrive on minimal foodstuffs filtered from air or water when nothing more nutritious is available. They prefer environments where water or ice is available.

Typical Physical Characteristics: A shoggoth’s form is constantly shifting, as the creature moves, explores, and interacts with its environment. Extremely adaptable, its current form is always the one that is most ideally suited to finding and consuming living flesh. At any one time, a shoggoth has dozens of pseudopods of varying proportions, and it uses them to create hands, suckers, stingers, or tentacles to grab and consume its prey. Its skin glows with a very faint emerald luminescence. Its black tarry flesh is sometimes translucent as well, especially when it has not eaten in a long time. It is capable of secreting a thick, viscous, semiopaque, sticky slime that further enhances its ability to catch and devour its prey. Shoggoths have no proper mouth but create and absorb such organs as needed.

Shoggoths are said to have been around for eons. Legends also claim that, when compared to any other oozes, shoggoths have much greater wisdom. Shoggoths were once the servants of dark powers, but cast off their masters after centuries of mistreatment.

Aboleths may have been the creators but ancient texts imply that an even more ancient race was behind their existence. Appearance Shoggoth have no distinct form.

They change it to fit the situation as need be, having arms, tentacles, or any other form that might help them to catch and consume their food. Their flesh is mostly black, sometimes translucent, giving off a very faint luminescence. Shoggoth have no permanent mouth, but can create and absorb them as needed.

On Golarion, these horrors exist in the deepest, darkest reaches of the oceans or in the remotest ruins and caverns. Within the solar system, they also dwell near the south poles of Aucturn and Akiton.
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Spawn of Yog-Sothoth as read by Mantra from Pnakotic Manuscript

Yog-Sothoth is an Outer God, one of the the ancient, eldritch entities of tremendous power that dwell within the Dark Tapestry. Yog-Sothoth’s appearance is described as a “congeries of iridescent spheres,” a conglomeration of glowing balls of various sizes and colors. Yog-Sothoth is said to be coterminous with all of space and time, and therefore a common belief among members of the Old Cults is that Yog-Sothoth actually is the Dark Tapestry itself, perhaps in some way an actual sapient embodiment of the Material Plane, or even some kind of living, intelligent neighboring transitive plane coterminous with our own, or some other aspect of reality apart from our own standard Material Plane. Worshipers of Yog-Sothoth tend to be isolated (and often insane) Arcane spell-casters such as Alchemists, Sorcerers, and Wizards in search of hidden eldritch secrets, and hope that Yog-Sothoth will reveal these mysteries to them in exchange for their worship. Other common worshipers are usually cults consisting almost exclusively of Witches. Ultimately, Yog-Sothoth actually cares little for their worship, as it has no real need of them except for one purpose; Yog-Sothoth seeks mortal worshipers who will either directly summon it into Golarion’s realm of existence themselves, or who will mate with it to produce a Spawn of Yog-Sothoth or other aberrant offspring who will summon it’s father instead. Once summoned to Golarion (or any other world, for that matter) Yog-Sothoth would be free to ravage the surrounding area and consume any and all life-forms it can reach, corrupting the very space and time it touches with it’s foul and unnatural presence. When this happens, some members of the Old Cults believe, when Yog-Sothoth has finally been successfully summoned to Golarion, it will be the final sign that the Stars Are Right. For as it is written: Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. Imagination called up the shocking form of fabulous Yog-Sothoth — only a congeries of iridescent globes, yet stupendous in its malign suggestiveness. — Luveh-Keraph, The Ancient Founder of the Old Cults Yog-Sothoth is an Outer God and is coterminous with all time and space yet is supposedly locked outside of the universe we inhabit. Its cosmic nature is hinted at in this passage; It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self — not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence’s whole unbounded sweep — the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of earth have whispered of as YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable Sign… — Irellian-Aswiller, Keeper of the Old Cults Yog-Sothoth knows all and sees all. To “please” this deity could bring knowledge of many things. However, like most beings in the mythos, to see it or learn too much about it is to court disaster. Some authors state that the favor of the god requires a human sacrifice or eternal servitude. Yog-Sothoth’s entrance into Golarion’s spacetime will come about when finally the Stars Are Right for this world, and It’s presence will begin the reawakening of the imprisoned and sleeping dead Great Old Ones and their return to power. Their reawakening will cause the sweeping away of the last of the world’s sane mortal races, ushering in an age of darkness, madness, and utter, insane Evil, finally marking the way for the rest of the Outer Gods to turn their collective gaze upon Golarion, to rule a world where all sanity and morality have been cast aside and all creatures great and small are as the Great Old Ones themselves, dancing and singing and raging and murdering in an ecstasy of Chaos and Evil. And if and when this comes to pass, it is said that not even the collective power of all the gods of Golarion would have even the tiniest chance of stopping it. SPAWN OF YOG-SOTHOTH CE Large aberration Senses blindsight 30 ft, darkvision 60 ft. Aura stench Defensive Abilities Natural invisibility, Thick skin which is tough to pentrate without magic weapons Cold and fire effects do not effect the creature Naturally resistant to sonic abilities Tough spell resistance Offensive Abilities Tentacles and bite Blood Drain – the creature can drain its victims of there blood Devastation – the creature can devestate structures dealing massive damage Natural Invisibility – the creature is invisible at all times, even when attacking.

The pale, gaunt man strolls ahead calmly and quietly, as Zephyr and the orderly follow several paces behind.

Every few metres he slows his pace and runs his hand along the filthy middenstone walls and breathes deep of the foetid air, as if to absorb every nuance of the dank and oppressive atmosphere. The lamps dim and flicker and the shadows whisper as he passes. Without turning his head, he speaks. “You appear to be lost, friend. This place is for the broken, the desperate, and the cruel. You do not appear to be any of those things, nor do you seem like an orderly. That leaves only one reason why you would willingly come here. There is something, or someone within these walls that you desire. Am I right?” The figure continues to walk ahead, at his own pace.

“Indeed, I am a orderly isn’t that the reason I am escorting you to your cell.” Zephyr puts on a fake grin towards the other orderly. Thinking to himself who is this strange mysterious fellow, he clearly pierced my disguise with ease (Alter self). Looking back at the strange man he asks “So what are you in here for, looks to me your mind is stable, just a few misinformed facts and an abnormal presence that lurks about you.”

The strange man seems oblivious to the howls and jests of the patients in the cells.

The man says “Of course you are.”

He grins darkly. “You must be new. As am I.”

Leaning closely to Zephyr he whispers “But the reason you’re here remains the same. You want something you cant have. But I can get it for you. Whatever, or whoever you desire.”

The man glances to make sure the orderlies are occupied before turning back to Zephyr, still smiling. His cold black eyes glitter as the shadows wash over them.

“They think me a prisoner. They think you a guard. Both of us, pretending. Neither broken, nor desperate, nor cruel.”

“I will leave this place, one way or another. I simply wish to limit the mess I leave behind. Help to set me free, and I will get you what you want.”

Zephyr raises his left eyebrow while whispering back to the strange fellow “Interesting, offer, how do I know I can trust you.” With a slight thought passing his mind, well Carrion Hills Laws don’t apply in here, as long as he doesn’t disturb the peace of Carrion Hill I could arrange some sorta agreement. Trusting a bunch of murders has seemed to pull off thus far. “With your miniscule time in here, have you happened to come across a Doctor named Crove, he is the man I seek in this god forsaken place.”

“Trust is an abstract concept where I come from, stranger. But if you bear me no ill will, then I shall do the same.”

“I know of the man you call Crove. Broken, desperate, and cruel. He has built his palace out of madness and nightmares, and wishes to expand his dominion. He is dangerous, and should not be underestimated.”

The man bows his head slightly, still grinning. “My name is Ricin, stranger. If this man is what you seek, then he shall be yours.”

“What are you talking about you low life scum! Get moving to your cell!” Zephyr nudges Ricin a couple of times in the back, more so to pick up the pace so that there is enough distance to continue the conversation for the other orderly not to hear.

Zephyr whispers “Where were we… argh yes… Trust, comradeship or business partners. Call it of what you will. As long as you don’t tend to hurt the good citizens of Carrion Hill. Then I have no qualms with setting your freedom. However if you decide to flee without my command to do so. You will leave me know choice but to kill you, good luck outrunning my bullets. Now… Do we understand each other Mr Ricin.”

Zephyr peers back at the other orderly and keeps a fast pace to further the conversation. “As for Doctor Crove, the trick is finding him quickly and that’s where you come in Mr Ricin. Show me a safe passage to where he is without attracting unwanted attention, then you will have your freedom. Its that simple! Do not try to screw with me in the slightest, otherwise I will kill you. Now the key is getting you to trade places with the fellow behind me, so on my command get ready to take him out quickly without bloodshed. So, do we have a deal Mr. Ricin.”

Ricin chuckles quietly to himself “I admire your conviction stranger. Though I do believe you underestimate me, I stand by my word. Your house, your rules. We have a deal.”

“Limiting bloodshed may be difficult, but not impossible. However, the orderlies need not ever know I have escaped. They hold the keys to my cell. Keep them occupied and within reach of my cell, and I will do the rest. I shall follow you, and neither they nor you will even know I’m there.”

Zephyr and Ricin’s trip to the Cellblock

Ricin is lead by two orderlys of the asylum, and followed by Zephyr up a sandy flight of stone stairs scends in a semicircular fashion. Halfway through the stairwell a heavy wooden door with a small, roughly eye level, with a sliding panel built into it, prevemts from accessing the next tier of the asylum. One of the ordelys in a gruff tone says as he opens the door “Your’ve got a nice cell waiting for you here. There is a reason folk are told not to venture into the drilling that goes on in the eternity mines. Your lucky to be alive. Its no wonder your a crazy”.

Thin beams of light escape beneath the door. The light seems to originate from the overcast shadows from the ascending stairs, as a reflection of something metallic. As the ordely opens the door, more cries and wails of agony assault Zephyr and the pale, gaunt man. “After you” one ordelys motions for Zephyr to move ahead of him. The pale, gaunt man moves ahead of his own accord’ catching up with Zephyr, breaking free from the two orderlys grasp (other posts conversation takes place here – see bottom). The gaunt man says something in a soft voice to Zephyr, to soft for his pursuers to understand.

“Well hes in a hurry” one of the orderlys chuckles to himself from behind. The cages nearby begin to rattle and break out in commotion as you are lead down a passage. Numerous figures move about there cells to catch a glimpse of the new inmate.

In one cell a stocky elf gallivants about his small room like he is riding a horse. “Behold, I saw a great fire in the heavens. And it smelled of death, of boiling seas and angles blood. I have seen the wraith of the unholy beast, one who cannot be seen by the naked eye. But whose wraith, hunger and malice makes my skin crawl. I see a cold death of bricks and mortar, for those whom would stand in its righteous path. Carnage, destruction. An unfathomable tomb of earth” .

In another cell an old toothless male human with long mattered white hair sitting in a corner mumbling incoherent nonsense and pulling out his hair in bloody clumps. Upon noticing your approach he shambles to the bars, pointing to the ceiling, asking “Have you come from up there, please lead me to the kitchen so I can prepare dinner for the queen’.

In another cell, kneeling on a slab covered with open wounds, carving various strange designs into his flesh with a piece of broken pottery. The male human body is literally covered from he to toe. He has an athletic build and black hair. He yells out, “My magic runes they will protect me. The portal…the portal is going to open. The tentacle men, I must be ready, the tentacle men will be back. Its coming, it screams in my mind”.

In another cell a man wanders about the room, looking very depressed. “How can I have ended up in here for embezzlement. As you move pass he reaches out of his cell trying to grab those whom move past. “You don’t unerstand, I’m innocent. You have to get me out of here. Bad things… happen here. They change you. I’m not insane”. He continues to try and convince you he is not insane.

An orderly bangs on his door with a sap, “Shudup ya mad dog, or will work ya over. Stop harassing our new guests. You are insane and are to be ignored”. The man in tge cell retreats from his door. “Only two more cells before your new home fletchling” the other orderly says aloud.

One of the cells has a nakend and very hairy man whom paces his cell, growling savagely and salivating. He grows out n a glutteral tone “I am a werewolf. I will change when the moon comes. Then my captors will wish they never locked me up”. At the foot of the mans doorway is a bloodied parchment. Grab that rookie, one of the orderlys motions to Zephyr with his club.

In the final cell an old male human with a long white beared and hair sits on the edge of his slab. The man in the room has he fire and appearance of a mad street preacher. He bellows as you draw close to his cell. “The world is going to end. Don’t you see? its all falling apart! I’m doing this for you. The one from the underground, the one who lives to hate and kill. She will come. You will all die!. In twenty minutes, the queen of darkness will come to devour your souls. Hehehahahaha”.

At the end of the cellblock is a relatively empty cell. A few blood stains of a body being dragged out of blood cover the floor, relatively fresh. “In ya get fletching”, the orderly points his club dangerously at the gaunt mans face. A set of keys dangle from one of the ordelys waist. “Well don’t just stand there rookie, get the animal in its cage”.


An orderly at the door spins his keys on his key chain around one finger, while the other cross his hands leaning against the roors frame. His foot taps against the door impaitiently. The engraved plate behind the orderly reads as Dr Crove Quarters.

Inside the room, the floor of this comfortable bedroom is covered with a rich rug of variegated threads, obviously old yet well maintained. A desk sits opposite the rooms only door. Various papers, books, and writing instruments are carefully organized on the desk. The blankets and pillows on the large four poster bed are artfully arranged, the posts and headboards polished and free of dust. The headboard is made of a hand worked rose wood, with a series of numbers carved in elegant calligraphy in the centre is 42-15-51-15-31-11-44-24-34-33. After searching the room throughly, removing several parchments off the desk and breaking into Croves chest by inputting into the safes combination -“Revelation” (decifered by using the numbers of the bedhead as a grid for the alphabet – 4th column 2nd row equalled R, etc). In the safe you found a piece of parchment that Crove had ripped from his journal when escaping the Yog-Sogoth spawn in the Sunless Grove (previously posted). Elsewhere in the chest contained a rusty iron ring with keys, engrave on the thick metal band is Master Keys. Also in the safw was a leather bag containing 300 pp, a crude map of the tangled tunnels below Carrion Hill and hundreds of fragments of pottery, small pieces of sculpture, tiles, and twisted and burnt bits of metal; a common theme is figures of stylized, twisted creatures and glimpses of things that writhe, formless horrors that are hinted from the fragments. Each has been very carefully cleaned as Grove dug them up in his exploration of the tunnels under the Hill. The map has several Xs in red ink qs to where he dug them up. The strange archaeological relics are worth a total of 500 gp. One of the orderlys watches you suspiciously, as your group removes several letter from the safe. “Make sure you return the items as you found them. Dr Crove is meticulous when it comes to his room. He will probably murdet Dr Von’Richen for allowing you into his room” the guard says sarcastically. “I bet he is on one of his archeological sabatticals beneath the city. Hes lucky the crows ain’t found out about them yet or they would be furious” the other guard adds further. Pushing off the door the first orderly approaches Muerete. “So what do you want with Crove anyway. Its not like hes the sort to cause much trouble but dig around the ruins about the city abit. Dr Van’Richen has always covered for him when off on one of his escapes from this horrible place. We all need to get out of here a bit, or we will go a little crazy spending to much time with the residents”. He moves closer looking over Amanadlon shoulder to see exactly what it was he was reading. After Amanadlon covers it he shifys his gaze back to Muerete. “So whats with the mask? I’ve seen crazies come in for less then dressing up as a dead person. Who are you guys anyway?”. The key swinging orderly swivels on his foot, intrigued by his friends questions he enters the room, before strentching out his arms and giving quite a loud yawn. “So, who are you?”, the man follows up once more.

Croves Letter
Viktor Von’Drakh is an excellent doctor and scientist, has extensively researched the problem of creating a new form of protoplasmic life. I do not understand why Viktor corrects me in calling him an Anomoly, until I saw how he had morphed his body. With his readings in the prehuman Pnakotic Manuscripts and his worship and study of Arwassa, (his god), he has finally succeeded in isolating a process which will transform animal tissue into a form resembling that of the dread shoggoth – a sort of proto-shoggoth matter. Through the process, he succumbed in keeping the human brain intact, though spread throughout the organism, thus preserving intelligence and personality.

Viktors first human success was on himself. His face, although hidden via an alter-self extract, is composed entirely of proto-shoggoth matter. Proto-shoggoth tissue (in the form Viktor has created) is the colour and texture of human flesh, though it is mobile and can change at will. A mass of proto-shoggoth tissue looks like a large piece of human flesh, light brown or tan coloured, with nipple, navels, what seem to be ridges where muscle or bone is sticking up, and even eyes or other human orifices. There may be what appear to be large open wounds that do not bleed, acting as openings to the interior, where intestines and other organs may be visible. The whole continually quivers, breathes rhythmically, and heaves. It can thrust out a limb at will, which resembles a human limb, though it may bend it in the wrong spot, or have thickly corded muscles where they should not be.

The thing may be compared to a purse of human skin that encloses a mass of different organ and body parts. The “purse” is packed too full, so the parts within seem to be pushing out against its walls. Those whom have seen proto-shoggoth. Viktors true proto-shoggoth form have gone insane. He has aided the strange tentacle creatures that inhabit the caverns underneath the asylum. I recently found a secret door in the torture room, of the basement. Due the success of his research I plan to steal the Pnakotic Manuscript for myself. My understanding of the book is that Viktor Von’Drakh acquired the book at Alphon Cormacs manor in the Vielands. I have already got four of my friends, ready and prepared to undertake the ritual so I can to harness the power like Viktor Von’Drakh. Hyve can translate the ancient Aklo dialect and Myre can provide the alchemical reagents, Marshan has a place we can undertake the ritual away from prying eyes and Baskerwell is well versed in the occult of the Great old ones and elder gods of the dark tapestry. All that is needed is to acquire the book from Von’Drakh. I am going to offer a substantial reward to the tentacled creatures beneath the asylum. A few extra test subjects for them a week should help them with their own research. I wonder what they have planned for the large archway they are constructing down there, and the souls we have so dutifully collected for them over the years. No matter, I am sure if all goes according to plan, Viktor and the tentacle creatures will bow before us. For we are the keepers, and the Pnakotic Manuscript is one step towards hidden powers that only the dark tapestry can provide. – Keeper Crove

View
Keeper Myre and the Asylum

Dear Raven Knight

I feel rather silly for writing for your help, but I must simply have aid in the matter. It would be useless for me to go to the crows, as I have no proof of any criminal activity. I heard of your exploits in the Furrows and am hoping that you could advise me. Would be most grateful.

A year or so ago, the organisation “Eye of Amara Society” came to the city of Illmarsh. It called itself a cooperative merchant trading conglomerate, and promised to inspire and aid materially those who joined. I joined the organisation eight months ago, and quit last month, returning to Thrushmoor to take up the magistrates position.

The apparent head of the organisation is Mr Lostalus Black. Mr Black claims to be a gifted psychologist and says that by subjecting the minds of intelligent and sophisticated men to certain particular psychological conditions, their creativity would be released, and they would be able to perform all sorts of wonders. If the businessmen met together, paid a nominal fee to support the order, ad regularly attended meetings, they would be able to share in grand discoveries.

The ‘psychological aura’ created by Mr Black is certainly most queer. I begins by standing on a podium, while all of us attendees are asked to meditate upon certain specific geometric shapes and designs. A sheet containing diagrams of the aforementioned designs is handed out at the start of the meeting to each member. While we meditate, Mr Black begins reciting some sort of invocation in nonsense syllables. Mr Black says these syllables have been carefully chosen to elicit the proper subconscious response from us. As he chants, he begins to gesticulate wildly, and then we are signalled t begin to chant a simple litany of our own. “Ong D’acta Linka, Neblod Zin, Neblod Zin Ong D’acta Linka, Dagon, Dagon, Ong D’acta Linka, Yarl M’ten, Yarl M’ten” and we repeat this nonsense chant for up to forty five minutes to an hour. Mr Black continues to energetically gesticulate and emit strange noises until he seems to reach some sort of finale, when he gestures for us to stop. We then would break for tea and punch. Mr Black was assisted in his work by several thuggish looking Garundi men, and a Mr Albor Voltiaro.

In addition to the monthly special meeting, we have regular inspiration seminars and guest speakers. One thing that brought you to mind is that some of the speakers would urge us to join a lodge to enlarge our circle of friends and make trustworthy business acquaintances. He specifically recommended the Pharasman church as an excellent choice. After learning you are one of a very short list of Pharasman paladins I felt obligated to meet with you, especially after I heard one of your sermons you gave in Caliphas a few years ago.

I must confess Lostalus Blacks methods seem to be working. Two months after I started to attend, he came in with a perfectly astounding item which he allowed me to purchase for a decent price. It had the head of a Raven. After studying the item for some time, asked a local artefact collector Philius Norman to identify it for me. He told me he believed it was a holy mace carried by a Pharasmin bishop, called Prince Adamondias Virholt. Apparently the item was thought lost when Adamondias and his entire crusader army was slain by an undead archmage and a legion of draugr while crossing Lake Encarthan. I have sent the item away to be valued. It surprised me to have two men adorned in black robes ask to purchase it the very next day. I might have found the treasure of a lifetime on my hands. If you come see me in Thrushmoor, I can tell you more about the artefact, especially since I have heard you like such adorned trinkets with ravens. Nevertheless once appraised the item will be put up for sale.

Now for my reasons for distrusting Mr black. After each meeting in which we do the chanting, I feel head-achey and sick, and this continues for some time. I have noticed that since the group I have lost some of my former vitality and force, and feel as if my health is deteriorating. I really could not say whether this has a connection to the “Eye of Amara Society” or not, but t seems suspicious to me, especially since I have noticed acquaintances in the group who suffer from the same syndrome. Another reason for my distrust of Lostalus Black is the extremely tight security and secretiveness that he keeps about himself and the organisation. His Garundi friends do not speak, which certainly does not inspire my confidence.

I would like you and your friends to come and to expose the organisation for a fraud, or prove t to be pen and above board. My next meeting should be less then a fortnight away after this letter has reached you. If it is indeed for real, I would like to know so that I can rejoin and continue to receive those fabulous artefacts that it produces and generate more profits.

Hopefully friends
Magistrate Tillus Padgett of Thrushmoor

Visitor log 1

Notes of Rudolf. Von’Richen (found in Croves room)

Alchemists often speculate that there are things only available to oneself through the darkest recesses of ones mind. That learned truths are not found by looking at a mirror. Rather truths are a revelation of transcendent lights that are only perceived tapping into the electronic wavelengths of the manifested thought. The test subject that I write about can if anything be called a human. Although quite docile under the current prescribed medication, including heavy doses of ‘Flay Leaf’ and double dose of ‘Chuul Tentacle’ and ‘Gelatinous Cube Extract’ administer via a drip over time. The subject is a monstrosity that has managed to take human form. I have never thought it would be possible for a doctor to fear a patient in such a way. But even when medicated, whenever I sense his leering glare I shudder in fear. Even amongst the thick leather straps and his padded cotton suit, which are so tightly bound it would make a claustrophobic man fall dead,

I do not feel safe and take ever precaution know to modern psychology, science and medicine. He scares me. He haunts my nightmares. Goosebumps and utter cold shroud my body whenever I come near him. I just wish there was somebody else in the world better equipped to deal with him. Two orderlies are required to retain watch over him at all times, even when he is asleep. A device has been designed – more a chair then anything – that is used by the orderlies so they can see him for real. Its designs created by the famous alchemist Wosey Penthal, whose design was given to Alphon Cormarc to improve. The device emits an ultra sonic frequency that reverberates the sound in and around it, causing vibrations of light, allowing invisible creatures to be seen by the naked eye while he device is tuned on or after using the device. It appears the ability to perceived awakened pathways us somehow linked into creating a ripple between the astral and material plane. The machine however does have some side effects to prolonged use.

Strange amphorous and tendril like growths appear on subjects whom are continually exposed. That is provided such exposure to the device do not go clinically insane from the reverberations of the device. Some of the orderlies originally talked about seeing distant worlds and tentacled monstrosities. Many orderlies are now permanent residents of the asylum. Something which I originally found distressing and powerless to stop. After purely security concerns regarding the invisible test subject forced the board members of Arkham Asylum to vote to continue using the device, I decided to undertake a significant research project aimed at understanding the implications of the reverberations on human matter.

It appears the reverberations of sound attack neural pathways, awakening parts of the brain usually slumbering or only partially active, in and amongst humans and like minded races. I have only seen such active neural pathways in psions, or those with psychic abilities. As exposure to the pathways continues, the growths – I call proto-shoggoth matter – awakens the brain to new cosmic realities. In the long term the proto-shoggoth matter will eventually overtake the body and brain, creating tall squid like creatures, that identify themselves as mind flayers. Creatures whom have telepathic, psychic and astral psionic capabilities.

When I questioned one of the orderlies whom was fully evolved, transmorphed entirely into a mind flayer, he spoke to me of a distant world. One called Avandu. His description of his distant world sounded like a pirate, and the so called calling of the seas. He was vivid, intoxicated and exhilarated all at once when speaking of he strange planet. A world in which he wished to return to. I speculate to call the creatures aliens, rather evolved humans, due to there origins. The creatures are feverously working at a way in which to return to there homeworld.

The mind flayers themselves have been a great help in diagnosing and curing several clinically insane patients of the asylum. It was beyond my powers or knowledge to help such effected individuals. Those that cannot be helped by the evolved humans, the mind flayers have offered to awaken them, so they may lead some semblance of a normal life. For at the moment I fear the iron cages and stone slabbed cells do more harm then good to a damaged mind. Those that do not get frustrated or angry by their surroundings, usually fall into deep despair or depression, longing for release which only death can provide. There is no way such individuals can be trusted in our community, as not to harm themselves or others. It is for this reason I have entrusted the once orderlies, evolved humans, now mind flayers to help hose minds whom which modern, medicine, psychology, even arcane and divine magic cannot help! They are working with the Arkham asylum wards and patrons to heal the sick and clinically insane, meanwhile searching for a means to return to Avandu.

As not to deviate further, I will return back to the test subject whom orchestrated this mess with his presence. The fact is I never wish to see the test subjects true face. I am complacent with his appearance being a ghost to me. This is as to why I have never experienced or succumbed to any of the side effects of the machine, as I have only ever been in the room with the test subject when the device is turned off. It helps me deal with the utter horror I feel when near him, not to know his true form. It allows me to distance my emotion, considering the man an abomination of this world. Far worse then the transmorphed orderlies or other patients of the asylum. I consider him something written only in literature, told to scare the younger generation.

After attempting to communicate with the test subject under heavy sedation, I spoke to him for the first time. A demon tongue, or a banshees howl would no make me quake as much. My feet turned to flee. I fought the urge to run. But he knew my body betrayed me. I have never thought a human being could sound so evil, but then I remembered e atrocities he had committed. I have battled all denizens of the dark in Golarion, even those on other planes, but something about this man made my knees tremble. I felt like a lamb being served up to a hungry wolf. Thirteen families dead, tortured and killed. There bodies mutilated beyond recognition. What sort of anger could drive a man to such aggression. After I learnt the man had spent a fair portion of his allotted years at Harrowstone prison. I do not know what tortures or persecutions he faced under the meagre eyes of amused guards. I only know that whatever the decrepit individual was subject to, it clearly pushed him over the edge of any mortal reality that his world knew. He spoke of his enjoyment during his youth of killing animals, how the snuffing out of a creatures life was power and a rush all rolled up into one. I learnt how he spent most of is youth on the streets, killing for money. A drunk father of the watch whom use to beat him, a mother who would whore herself out. It is no wonder the subject has a fascination of death.

After receiving a dossier on the subject history, it is understandable why the man is ravaged by madness. Adgrif Yoderbie has known every extreme life has had to offer. In Taldor’s he was gifted with a profound wealth which he squandered on his youth, to the worst squalor of Cheliax’s slums his late adolescences after the death of his parents in a freakish carriage accident which claimed both of there lives During his periods of lucidity his dossier records of how Adgrif luck always granted him the narrowest escapes and the most lucrative heists, and he made a name for himself as a skilled burglar and brigand in Cheliax.

As if cruel fate, like that of an abandoned infant left to defend itself from the despoil cesspool of the slums, his luck abandoned him to the curse of a lifetime. Ever wasteful, Adgrif spent his fortune pursuing hedonist dreams in every port from Cassomir to Korvosa. Soon destitute, he found himself on the streets of Kaer Maga, surviving on the kindness of strangers or more commonly, the purses of those whose throats he slit in the city’s back alleys. Desperate for funds, Adgrif gladly accepted when a strange alchemist offered to pay him to be a test subject for an experimental elixir. Yet while the elixir granted him an incredible boon by turning him permanently invisible, it warped and twisted his mind beyond repair. His first act of madness was, much to the alchemist’s horror, murder. Adgrif killed the alchemist and fled to the dismal alleyways to exalt and despair in his new condition. From then the dossier reports, Adgrif used his invisibility to take whatever he wanted, beginning a reign of terror as he murdered one victim after another. Through these actions, he came to the attention of the local authorities.

Various adventuring parties were hired by Kaer Magan officials to hunt him down. As to the dismay Adgrif escaped and fled to Ravensgro were once more he began his rain of terror, It as after the deaths of almost thirty five individuals in Tamrivena. A hefty bounty was posted for the mans capture, concluding one of the largest legal manhunts in Ustalav history. The entire city Tamrivena was turned upside down looking for Adgrif whom in the process killed over a dozen pursuers. It was by pure lucky coincidence the psychotic killer was incarcerated. It was only due to a loose bag of flour that a detachment of fifty armed men with hounds had managed to corner the psychotic maniac in a warehouse. He killed several guards before being captured in a net, unintentionally entangling himself. After he was committed to Harrowstone, to be executed, it was only when I learnt of his advanced age which originally peeked my interest.

I had been hunting a group of vampires in Caliphas when I heard of Adgrifs affliction from a fellow hunter, Alison Kindler, Ustalav’s most famous writer, the author
of Galdyce’s Guest: Feast of the Nosferatu, Her Wounds Never Bled, Steps Upon the Sanguine Stair, and dozens of other tales. The alchemical affliction had effected him in a strange way, heightening his reflexes and returning his body to peak performance, only seen amongst adventurers in their prime. The affliction had prevented Adgrif from aging, physically. Yet his mind had significantly deteriorated. Due to a possible elixir to prevent aging, it was for this reason the count of Canterwell agreed to have Adgrif incarcerated for medical study at Arkham Asylum, provided any research into an elixir of eternal life was given to Canterwells count. I did not wan o question the counts motives at the time, for it was obvious in his advanced age he was looking to prevent true death. In retrospect, if I had, I might have been able to prevent the strange Eboney Egg that swallowed up Canters house. Another regret which weighs heavily on now an old man…

Many would call the Adgrif a lunatic. But my research has come to create an obvious name for such an individual. Serial killer. A term I do not use lightly. For sure there are those adventuring neanderthals that kill for glory, wealth and riches. But the test subject did neither. His kills were so surgically precision it would make him the envy of any trained expert in the area of surgical anatomy. Even the most stout or gaunt man, whose body with is unshakeable years of dedication to medical research, would not budge when performing a surgery. However over times as one got old, it was common place for one to loose imperturbable hand. As simply the mind and body no longer correlated in the same manner that could be said as with an individual in their youth.

The test subject told me of a dark triangle. In which his perplex mind was being ravaged and pulled in three different direction. The creatures that invaded his everyday thoughts had different appearances. The first creature he described was a large bulborous putrid green tentacled monster. He used the symbolic imagery of a krakren with teeth, that had over a dozen tendrils extended from its face. The second a demon with horns, whom clutched a powerful wand. It appeared to him in the day, and pillaged his mind at night with maddening dreams of the abyss. Dreams of torture, feelings of undeath and true immortality. He often spoke fluently with the third creature. It whispered dark secrets that swathe his mind. The secret promises from a lich bound in a darkened tomb, never to awake without his help. Trapped and bound to an infernal tomb, by a great seal which he must destroy.

The mans mind is unlike that of a smashed panel of glass. My continual studies on the test subject have been like figuring out the most difficult of puzzles. This is due to the subject only remaining lucid from his condition for very short time. My recent account of the intervals of insanity of horrid whispers the man says effects his mind, have disturbingly extended in duration. Is periods of lucidity now only last minutes. The rest of the time is spent conversing in dark whispers, or yelling maddened threats of violence.

I have sought the opinion of various professionals to see if there was a cure to relieve the man from his delusions. This has involved calling upon the aid of some of the most intelligent and wise minds within Ustalav. Alchemical specialist from Lepidstadt University, priests from the Pharasma clergy, Druidic healers from the Shudderwood, remedial specialist from as far off as Absalom, Varisian herbologists, arcane conjurers from the Acadamae of Korvosa, psionic telepaths from Vudra and new science treatments from various professional bodies around Golarion. Counselling, psychosomatic treatments and electro therapy have done nothing to relieve the man of his madness. In my desperation I have turned to a mystic harrower in an attempt to coact the creatures that ravage his mind.

I made contact with Mierela Tsilda, a ember of the once-proud Tsilda. Her family have always honoured traditions of the harrow, letting the cards guide their actions and perhaps more importantly using them to dele into the haunted pasts and future those they read. Additionally, the family’s lineage has been guided and shaped by the machinations of the spirit world over the years, granting the Tsildas a spark of innate sorcery from the grave which enhances her ability to contact the dead or malignant spirits. Mierela inherited this gift from her mother, Siflorica, whose own spirit is said to live on, as to guide her daughter in life. It was never my intention to involve a mystic, but after one day I learnt more then my years of study of Adgrif. More then 45 years of nmy own failures, Mierela was able to make progress. After reading Adgrif two years ago, before he managed to escape, three names of the creatures that surfaced during Mierelas reading. I have been unable to sleep ever sine I heard them. I grip my pen with two hands as to get there names down on parchment…

Orcus

Dagon

Tar-Baphon

Before Mierela escaped with Adgrif freeing him, I learnt of an association between Mierela, Adgrif and a group of dark cultists know as the Whispering Way. Delving further into the Whispering Way I learnt that the alchemist whom originally gave Adgrief the elixir was a recruiter for the way. As the way uses elixir to prevent death and grant mortality, but at a cost of service. I fear what the future may hold with Adgrif on the loose. What torment his inevitable victims will suffer after being confined in Arkham for more then fifty years. I am not a bystander, I have wrote numerous counts and countesses all around Ustalav, only to have my words fall on deaf ears.

I even spent a year of trying to hunt the pair down, only to find the group has created an adventuring party know as the ‘Night Harrows‘. After I barely escaped with my life, learn the Night Harrows consisted of four members. Adgrif, Mierella, Vesnic and a fourth whom I never got her name. Adgrif, Mierela and the Night Harrows must be stopped, before they awaken what truly lurks beneath Adgrifs mind. But I am dealing with powers far beyond anything I can control. If this is to be one of my last messages, for should Adgrif return for me one night, know that I only sought out to discover Agrifs affliction out of scientific curiosity. I have tried my best to warn others of the encroaching danger, but only to be discredited for spending to much time wit the Arkham patients. I now spend my time waiting for an inevitable blade n my back. I will endeavour to heal as many of the Arkham patients in whatever allotted time I have left. Using whatever means I can, for the good of Ustalav.

When Amanadlon scryed on Keeper Crove

Two hideous vaguely humanoid creatures standing six feet tall, viciously gaze in Croves direction. The creatures heads resemble that of an octopus with a pair of bloated white eyes and viscous, oily saliva slowly oozes the length of four slimy tentacles surrounding their beak like mouths. They wear a stifling black tunic, which largely conceals their rubbery, mauve skin that gleams with a malodorous slime. Each hand has four bony fingers and crusty, pointed fingernails. Various bones adorn their twisted fingers, generating an aura of sheer terror.

3 d fantasy places hd 0011

Drowmindflayercover final

Crove moves about the large cavern. The cavern itself glistens with a purplish neo glow, from phosphorus fungi which grows along the caverns walls and ceiling. Every now and then a bright white light flash surges through the room. The flash itself seemingly surges from a corrdior behind Crove, pulsating a naturally powerful psionic energy.

Behind the large two octopus men, a vaulted basalt and quartz arch stretches from the floor to the ceiling, in the centre of the room, inlaid with chips of platinum, gold and silver, and framed with five flawless gems, Faces every now and then appear inside of the gems, depicting humanoid figures in pain and agony, ravaged by madness. The faces commit vile acts upon themselves, from tearing out the own eyeballs to cutting there wrists with sharp implements. Strange runes written in a language you have never seen before adorn the edges of the portal, seemingly a blasphemy to the eye. The squid creatures stand motionless, one at either side of the arch, their tentacle mouths quivering as if silently working their fell magic’s.

Slowly, beginning at the bottom of the portal, crawling to the top of the arch, the runes on the portal begin to glow a deep, smouldering violet. A resonating hum begins to build. A crescendo of twisted screams bellows from the gems, as the empty space within the archway fills with a boiling blackness. Dull green smoke leaks forth from the churning void, and the entire room grows unnaturally cold, as Croves now exhales breaths of mist.

Crove himself is adorned with a purplish, garb, covered with a black cloak. Amanadlon notices the symbol of a mystic theurge (Rolled 19+8 =27) on his purplish garb. Crove moves next to one of the creatures, which seems tired from opening the portal. Looking directly at the creature, Crove says. “Excellent, the portal is fully operational. With it I will be able to draw from more of the old ones to increase my power. I must begin working some wards to prevent the creatures crossing over the planar barrier, like that which happened with the Yog-Sothoth Spawn. Thus far all my experiments have ended in a great success”

One of the squid creatures tendrils quiver as it looks towards Crove.

Moments later Crove looks at the creature with dissent written all over his expression. “The others were fools. They did not know the full extent of the powers they were dealing with, I have nothing to worry about from the spawn, it is to large to fit down here and my wards prevent dimensional travel”.

The creature quivers again.

“Do not lecture me, I intend to hold up my end of the bargain. Just make sure you are ready to call the shoggoth, when I command. The crystals will need time to recharge before we can use the portal again. Just make sure you bring up some slaves to offer as tribute when we summon the shoggoth, so a similar event does not unfold like that which happened in the Sunless Grove. I will have the wards ready. These new powers allow me to weave magics only decades of arcane studies would allow one to achieve”.

The second creature seems to concentrate hard on Crove. Crove turns to meet its glare.

“Stop that! Stop pushing! No amount of sifting through my thoughts will tell you what you wish to know. I alone have the only copy of the Pnakotic manuscript. You know as well as I, the other was lost in the Sunless Grove when the other keepers were slaughtered. With them all dead, and I having the only remaining copy here [Crove points at his head], your only chance of answering your cosmic call of the Elder Ones will only succeed, if you do as I command. If you do not, the stars and the tapestry will be lost to you forever”. Crove ends his statement by slamming his fist hard into the other palm of his hand, to reinforce his statement.

The creatures concentration lessens. Before its tendril quiver again.

“The Spawn is Carrion Hills problem now, I will not have you waste resources on destroying the creature. Carrion Hill would fair better if the entire place was levelled. A cesspool of corruption anyway.”

The creature quivers again, this time moving over to a stone slab, resembling that of an altar.

“No! I don’t care. You now hold no alliegence to Von’Richen anymore. Despite what he might have done for you in the past. Know that if you tell him I will destroy every single one of you, and those of your friends afflicted above”.

The creatures tentacles part open from its face, revealing a beak beneath them. It makes an angry clicking sound with its beak.

“Von’Richens cure will never work. The transformation is to far along for most of them anyway. Move against me and rot down here in the darkness forever. The humans will never accept you. And I hold the only key to your salvation, otherwise you’ll be hunted and killed, treated like an uncureable disease. A plague they wish to be rid of”.

The creature quivers again, picking up some pieces of parchment from the altar.

“Abberrant sorcerers blood? It will never work. Such humanoids are born with a genome specific to their genetic makeup. They do not acquire as you have. Abberrant sorcerers evolve naturally, there blood is the only part of there body affected. They do not undergo full transformations as you have. So it won’t work. No amount of Von’Richen studying their blood will yield any answers”.

The creature quivers again.

“I know enough about your genetic makeup to know it won’t work. Its been nearly 50 years and Van’Richen is no closer to any answers then he was all those years ago. This conversation is a bore, and you have more then enough work to complete. Do as you are told and keep the ruckus minimal. I must concentrate on reinforcing the portals wards”.

Over the next few minutes Crove covers the front of the portal with several magical glyphs scribe on the ground. After which he leaves the room and tge scry fades from Amanadlon view.

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Showdown with Myre

Just about to head out the door for work but here is a quick recap. After leaving the sunless citadel we each split up to follow separate leads. We discovered the locations of the three remaining cultists… the first being in an industrial facility, the second living in an abandoned Aaroden church and the third residing in the asylum. It was decided that we go after the chap in the industrial facility first and after a quick battle Zephyr detained and arrested the man. A lengthy discussion was held as to the best place to hold the prisoner to ensure the beast can not consume him however Zephyr laid down the law and took the chap to the prisons where he is guarded by Crows. Following this there was another lengthy discussion on how to gain entry to the asylum however no real resolution was found. I will flesh it out with more details when I get home.

Walking with the heroes of Harrowstone towards the ababdoned church looking for one of the cultists responsible for summoning the beast of carrion hill, Amandlon quietly observes all around him and muses upon their lives shrouded in darkness. If it is the goddesses will he will help bring light and color back to their lives. Entering the church we quickly find the cultist, who decides to run into the catacombs and surround himself in darkness. Calling on the goddesses fervor we all act and give chase into a slimy water filled catacomb where three aberration worms wriggle out to attack. Summoning divine fire I burn the tainted flesh of the worms while throwing a spear of purity into the cultist. Out of the corner of my eye I see the demon Treerazor striding forth to fight me with his talons. Stunned at this sight my mind goes blank as his demonic talons shred my heart from my body. Silence. I wake surrounded by many butterflies and small animals in a beautiful grassland with a quartet of string instruments playing vigorously that brings joy to my dead heart.

Amandlon stands up brushing the autumn leaves off his fine elven cloak and notices that his elven chainmail is sparkling. Looking up he sees a glorious sun shining strongly through the fluffy clouds making all the jewels on his longsword sparkle. Holding up his jewelled butterfly holy symbol Amandlon looks through the stained glass wings and sees wondrous rainbow patterns washing over all the animals and land. A fine rain starts covering the area with a misty dew and Amandlon holds his face up to feel the warm energy of the rain and startled to hear a halfling voice calling to him faintly at first, then more determined. Amandlon starts to walk towards the voice, glancing behind at the sights behind him, and realising that he has works to perform for the goddess still in Carrion Hill and his new allies need support to bring light into the dark. Amandlon jogs and cartwheels towards a patch of sunlight on the ground filled with orange and green butterflies swirling around him. Looking up into the sun “Yes, sir knight, my time was cut short and I will come back to help you cleanse the world”. The elf vanishes into the beam of sunlight and the animals slowly disperse.

Cold wetness is felt along his back as a quiet breath is drawn into stilled lungs and Amandlon opens his eyes to see Ecthelion exhausted sitting astride his chest. An ebbing warmth is leaving as blood again flows through the elves body. Smiling at the halfling “So I live again to experience the joys of travelling with the heroes eh, ha that was fun. Ecthelion you and I will talk soon about the sights seen on the goddesses home, even though I was a brief guest in her company, it is a place I will enjoy visiting again I think” Sitting up to gaze across the room, seeing the dead worms and a defunct construct, Amandlon senses the horror and fear of the battle still in his allies. Dizzy still he knows that the near death experience has lost him some of his powers until the chance to pray for thanks later. Standing up he starts singing a strong song of battle and spreads positive energy through all healing their wounds and bolstering their abilities briefly to try and change the mood

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Returning to the surface

Making there way back to the surface the intrepid band of adventurers found there welcome wagon of law men cleaning up the rublbe and debrie of the collapsed building of old man Marshan, the owner and sole occupant of the destroyed building with the alien hieroglyphic. The bloodless boodparts of the fallen crows had been placed in large woven black bags. Jimmy the crow yells out “Do these are to go to Viktor Von’Drakh to sort out, so we bury the right body part with the right man”, dangling a large black bag. The sickening smelking slime at the ruined building was not quite as it was before, the morning air and rain had was most of the stench away. Not that the heroes new much better, as Carrion Hill always smelt like a garbage dump. They could understand Kraven Morrhead, there guide, had lost alomost certainly lost his sense of smell. “I smell cheese…” old Kraven said, when returing to the surface. The escaped so called lunatic was still wanted by the asylum guards, but every time Kraven had been taken back he found a way to escape. So the crows did not worry about taking him back. Old Kraven hurt no body and the crows expected to find him dead one day, venturing into the catacombs beneath the city. The act itself was illegal, but the crows simply had a soft spot for old Kraven. He was also the best guide in the city. But Zephyr had been requested to arrest old Kraven by Ecthelion.

“If you need me again you can find me at Hammers Forge after I get out. It should be tonight. I make it my business to known evey nook and cranny of the catacombs and sewers. I can get ya to any place you desire, without that lot knowing”, he motions his head towards a nearby crow member.

It had been less then an hour into there investigation of the ruin house the beast had destroyed. The adventurers had learnt that the insignia on old man Marshan’s house was that of Yog-Sothoth. The beast had used one of the dismembered crow body parts and smeared it on the wall. From this action they could conclude the creature had some intelligence. The bloodknight was still suffering from minor hallucinations from the strange device Viktor had stapped her in. It was strange, as now and then colloured pigments flared up as shapes in the photorecptors at the back of her eye. Her brain was struggling to determine what was real and what was not. The blood knight could remember what the clearly deranged alchemist had said to her.

The blood knight looked a little white in the face. As did Ostarion, his corpse carried wby Muerete with a large stake protruding from his heart.. But the adventurers had gained some valuable insights. At least three keepers from the original six were alive. There life force gave the creature power. Undoubtedly several of the cultist like old man Marshan had undoubtedly been consumed by the creature. Two other bodies had been found floating in the pool of water and black slime in the Sunless Grove. It was obvious that such an act empowered of devouring the Keepers the creatures tether to Golarion, making it grow in power. From the recount of the scared creepers and the facts at the encampment, along with the pnakotic manuscript that had been left behind, it was obvious the other keepers had left in a hurry. Most likely fleeing for their lives and in hiding, to prevent themselves from bring devoured by the beast they had summoned.

The notes they had found at the Sunless Grove campsite suggested the conjuration ritual to open the portal for the beast would draw upon the spiritual essence of the casters. There was un undecifered passage which Ostarion laughed at when he seen read it. It read as “Hideous use of this essence by consuming it, growing in more powerful with the bargain, such that only the end of such essence can challenge an intruders right upon this world”. The bargain with the alien creature had undoubtedly made the keepers more powerful, however doing so had linked the keepers souls to the creature on the far side of the portal. The passage suggested that the creature will grow in power if it can consume the souls of those whom conjured it. However should the agents whom conjured the creature or set them beyound the creatures reach, the spiritual energy will be lost to the creature. In this way killing the keepers before the beast can do the same, or somehow removing them from the creatures grasp, should banish the beast back into the dark tapestry.

An Abdar cleric runs up to Jimmy and his crows cleaning the debris shouting “That’ll have to wait, word of the destruction old man Marshan house has reached the citizens and many citizens are starting to panic. I need your mens help with some looting braking out in the filth, hopefully we can disperse the rioters before they do any real damage. Zephyr will have to nurse that bunch. If more word got out the mayor was dead and this lot was responsible, we would have utter chaos on the streets. Thirteen dead nobles, a serial killer portraying bodies in a grotesque manner – with his latest victim Shae Mistle the famous sculptor – and a beast on the loose, I will need all hands on deck to prevent the city consuming itself in chaos. There are already caravans and wagons being pack to leave the city in the hundreds. Coach houses and stables are the epicenter of clots of mobs trying to arrange transport. It is our job to maintain order in these sections of the city, so no one his seriously hurt. But without words from the mayor to maintain order, we are gonna have problems”.

The Abdar cleric looks at the adventurers. “I ain’t saying you should go around killing folk, but you should keep your weapons handy incase word gets out your suspected of murdering them folk at Belfors, as to deter folk. Let Zephyr protect ya and try and talk em down should you encounter any rioters or looters. Its the crows business to deal with em and not yours, leave it to the watch, we don’t need nore vigilantism in the streets”. With that the Abdar cleric runs down the rroad with the crows in toe.

Nearby the Adivion rests against a sign post. He waits for the crows to leave before comming over and talking. “This city is going to hell and fast. We can still leave if you wish during the commotion. We owe no loyalties to these people. Let them become victims to their own filthy streets. I have arranged horses at quite an expensive price for us to leave. But knowing you Ecthelion, I have also arranged lodgings at the Madman Inn should you feel indebted to this rotten city. But if things escalate further we should leave”.

Returning to Mayor Heggrys manor, the heroes found sitting on the desk where Ostarian was studying is a freshly inked parchment held down with a 1,000gp diamond. On the sheet, written in careful common “My Friend, Ecthelion. I am planning to take a different path and study this tome further. By the time you read this I have already left so do not come for me. For breaking my oath I have left these two scrolls for the fight coming up. Use them wisely. Ostarian the Exile.”

As they wound their way through the impossible rat-nest of buildings that was the streets of Carrion Hill, Don Blanco stopped momentarily.

“Cuervo Caballero,” he said, his voice seemingly smaller than usual, “Do you suppose I have angered La Dama?” His face winced with pain at the vocalisation of the thought that had plagued him since he ripped the stake out of Ostarian’s heart. He scratched the back of his big, bald head in frustration. “I mean, I did kind of… Unkill? Is that a word? That Vampiro,” his shoulders slumped. Ostarian’s demise was still fresh in his mind, “But it was necessary! Our Amigos didnt comprehend what not destroying him would mean! I could’nt tear his head off myself- he was our friend… And I hadn’t the stomach to do it myself.” He paced, his frustration at the situation clearly troubling the half giant. “Sol Caballero passes off a duello to you and his diosa hasn’t given him reason to feel culpado. Why do I feel like I have forsaken La Dama?”

After following the heroes at a distance discretely, the elf wanted to make sure that these people were of good heart and deeds before introducing himself. He had made that mistake when he went to help a family in distress the second week of leaving Greengold, and ended up slaying the villagers turned werewolves trying to trick him. Seeing that they took the cultist alive and handed him over to the crows, was enough for him and his goddess to decide to travel with the group for now. Walking forward to them all assembled talking about marching on the Asylum to find the leader cultist, the elf forget that other folk did not have the keen hearing he did, and coughed politely as he approached. Standing casually and bowing slightly “Greetings Heroes of Harrowstone, walkers of the world of men, I am a fellow traveller Amandlon for those that call my name among humans.” Our paths seem twined like the farrow vines and I offer my bow, wise words and of course the goddess’s blessings upon you all." He raises his head with a trained smile.

Ecthelian had been the only one from Harrowstone who walked amongst the group, yet new comers seemed to take his company as being with him all the way.. It was unsettling to see this. Not because of Pride, or self importance, but because he knew that at any time, his ‘friends’ could do something that would put his life as a Sarenrae Paladin in jeopardy, and tarnish his name and title. It was for this reason that Ecthelian had thought hard about continuing his journey alone. Ironically, he found the idea of ‘free will’ compelling, yet he always came back to the ultimate knowledge that he simply was not strong enough to conquer all evils that were thrown at him… not yet.

Amandlon could see looking into the halflings eyes that he was younger than he appeared, they did not carry decades of experience in them. They did feel pain and heavy burden of loneliness though it seems. Thanks to the goddess I see why my path is here with these coarse heroes now, to lift their burdens and show them the faith to be held in the good and right of helping others. And of course to show them the delights and wonders from being on the open roads, surrounded by sunlight and sounds of nature every step of the way.

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More Bickering

11 years ago

The Raven Knight stood in the middle of the street, one hundred eyes fixated intently upon him.

“I will not allow you to do this Hadrian” Hadrian smiled at the Raven Knight, a trickle of blood stained on his upper lip. “My dear Ulysses, do you not see?” Hadrian nods at the men surrounding the Raven Knight. All stood with the same lifeless determination as their master. “Death does not became us, your words are meaningless here.” The Raven Knight felt the eyes of the village on him. Men, women and children lined the street, their expressions broken. He had tried to reason with them but the vampires hold was strong. He had felt the good in these people burning deep within but he feared his voice no longer reached them. Knowing he could not prevent the morbid procession the Raven Knight stood aside. The procession began to move forward again with Hadrian at it’s head and the Raven Knight watched as the bodies of those he had slain were carried past him, stakes protruding from their chests.

The Raven Knight stood at the entrance of the dark cathedral, the holy symbol of Zura painted above it’s oaken door. Shaking the Raven Knight listened to the black mass being conducted inside and lowered the giant wooden cross beam in place. He knew that Hadrian could not escape.

Kneeling before the door the Raven Knight offered up a pray of forgiveness before throwing the torch at the door. He continued to pray as the flames caught hold of the wooden structure. The shrieks had come first, piercing the evenings sky as the dark spawn within began to howl. The Raven Knight continued to pray as the horrifying sound dwindle and another sound drifted through the cracks and sparks of the fire. The screams of the children, the mother, the fathers infected the darkening sky and the Raven Knight stopped praying. In silence he kneeled at the door as the flames died down.

Present day

The Raven Knight stood staring at Ecthelion, the past fading from his mind. The Half-Knight knew he could not do what was asked of him. So easily his companion disregarded life in the hunt for the dead. Ulysses takes a deep breath. He still heard the screams, they never stopped. He vowed that things would be differently this time. Staring intently at Ecthelion the Raven Knight places his weapons on the ground before him. A pray of forgiveness moves siliently on Ulysses lips as he kneels on the ground, his eyes not leaving Ecthelion. Without shifting his gaze the Raven Knight adresses the Blood Knight. “So fixated we have become on personal honour that we have forgotten why we stand together. Have we not already lost when the goodness in men can not unite? I will not stop you with steel Blood Knight, too much violence already shadows our hearts. Strike me down and take the body if that is your wish, I ask that you only strike true and dishonour me quickly.” The Raven Knight lowers his head exposing his neck to the Blood Knight. Silence fills the cave.

The Blood Knight walks over to the kneeling Raven Knight draws his sword, and places it on his neck.

“For once you have learnt humility Raven Knight. I have given you chance to defend yourself but you have chosen to yield. If I were to take my life, or you my I fear the hope for this territory would diminish. You have acted with bravery and modesty. You’re blood price will not be paid. And as award for your sacrifice I give thee what was once promised”. Sheathing his sword the blood knight gets a pair of braces with a symbol of a raven and throws them at his feet.

“You’re champion has yielded half knight, and by virtue of duel the body of Ostavian the black now belongs to me. I will now take the blood price that is owed.” With this the knight moves to retrieve the body from the wrestler.

The Raven Knight does not look up, a pray begins to move silently upon his lips.

Zephyr holds the binding chain of Kraaven’s. ‘Clap clap chink clap’ "Bravo, bravo that really was eventful, so you Blood Knight solemnly agree to the terms that you will be charge on Ostarians behalf. "Looking towards the Blood Knight for a response “Well….. that is…. only if he is convicted of course.”
The construct shouts “ENOUGH!”

It turns from its patrol and walks towards the commotion.

In a gruff voice the Blood Knight replies to the Zaphyr actions, “I take only what is owed to me crow. Do not question my motives or see yourself bleed. If you want more answers you are more than welcome to accompany me to the witch Anca house Crow”!

“I am a mere humble observer, I do not question your motive until the court hearing Blood Knight. Think of it as a friendly warning. Oh witchcraft its a rather barbaric nature of magic,something that I rather not delve into. Feel free to go on your own.” Xephyr has a large grin on his face.

The Blood knith responded,“Will no others speak. give me my leave mask one at let thee price be paid!”

Dan Redbeard White Muerte’s chest heaves up and down with the anger he feels at the situation. He looked at the crimson visor of the Blood Knight as he approached and sighed. He knew that he had to hand the body over. It pained him greatly, as he felt that La Dama would look upon him with a heavy heart.
The court of Abadar would ensure the body would never rest. The witch would draw his spirit back from the dead to commune with it, further denying his former friend eternal rest. Neither decision was the right one. The Blood Knight reached out to him, his arms ready to take the weight of the corpse.
And yet…

Muerte looked up and felt all eyes upon him, apart from his closest friends, whose were closed in prayer. He saw the smirk of the lawman. The sneer of the guide. Lastly he looked to his little friend, Ecthelion. When Ecthelion’s eyes met his, Muerte bowed his head knowingly and smiled with serene wisdom.
He holds the body out with one hand under Ostarion’s back.
“I cannot do what I feel is right. So I will do what I feel is wise. Lo que siembres, cosecharás.”
Quicker than his size would tell, Muerte seized the stake with his free arm and wrenched it from Ostarion’s chest. He cast the body away from the Blood Knight’s reach and at the ground in front of Ecthelion. In the same motion, he dropped the stake onto the ground and stomped it into splinters.

Ben Lehmann “No”, screams the knight as he watches the body fade into mist. “El Muerete, you bastard what have you done…”

The construct walks up to the corpse of Ostarion and kneels.

It leans close to the corpse and whispers quietly “An eye for an eye makes everyone blind.”

A device appears from the arm of the construct. It looks like a disc with a number of blades protruding from it.

The construct puts the saw to the Vampires neck and proceeds to saw the head off the abomination.

“I have done what none of you could see was the right thing to do, Sangre Caballero.” Muerte said calmly as he gently folded his arms. “Wisdom is Del Sol and pride and honour are the clouds that block its light from us.” He watches on, patiently.

The blood knight screams in rage.
“ARRRHHH… I tire of how many times this group deny me the price that I have been promised. I have done nothing but aid the group and give thy sound advice of a military mind. YET THEE OPPOSE ME. You are all dogs of low honour. I promise and inform you of the truth, and you turn from me and make war, you are nothing but a bunch of oath breakers”!

The construct stands with the head, and places it within its chest cavity.

“Your oath was to Ostarion the Dwarf.”

The construct points at the headless corpse.

“Ostarian the Dwarf has been dead for many hours, Comrade.”

The construct turns promptly and resumes its patrol.

The Raven Knight lifts his head from pray and looks at the Blood Knight, picking up the bracers as he stands. “That is enough, it is over my friend. You had an oath to Ostarion, to help him slay your demon and in turn you would help him defeat Vrood. I offer you the same Oath Blood Knight… you have proven yourself to be honourable beyond belief. There need not be anymore blood shed today.”

The Raven Knight turns to his friend Don Blanoc. “You have acted with great risk but also great wisdom. It takes courage to stand in the face of adversity and stay true to your convictions.” The Raven Knight nods at his friend turning back to the Blood Knight.

“What do you say Knight? Will you allow me to fight by your side?” The Raven Knight pulls out his dagger and places the blade in the palm of his hand, awaiting the Blood Knights reply.

The blood knight addresses his friends. “Yes the dwarf was blood bounded to me, more important than that of a puppet and its creator, incomprehensible to those of a programed mind. Do not speak of understanding of honour of an oath when your fickle words have none”.

The Raven knight responds, “On my name, my honour and code, I will swear to hunt the demon by your side. What say you Blood Knight?”

The construct continues its patrol, but it speaks.

“I do not understand. All of you fleshlings speak of honour and blood as if it is a currency to barter amongst yourselves. And yet you fight and kill one another when it suits your purposes. And with each death, you feed your own annihilation. Oaths are but words, and speaking to the dead achieves nothing.”

The Raven knight says to his comrades. “The Machine shows more humanity than all of us.” The Raven Knight kneels and holds his hands up, the dagger still upon his palm, and looks intently at the Blood Knight.

“ENOUGH, I care not for any of words anymore. A rightful blood price was sort, but unruly denied”
Turning to the Raven Knight:
“Your words are noble winged one, but I tire of the grievances and insults against my honour from members of your group. I have given my soul to this armour and yet the turn from council. And by your friends actions I could not live by thy code or oaths not that thy demand”.

With that, the blood knight makes his way towards the exit.
He turns briefly to Zahpher: “I will find the beast on my own accord old crow and see your will be done by my honour. You feathers of your group may shadow me if they wish, but if they oppose me thy wings shall be clipped. To you winged knight, yours show wisdom and may the blood of many enemies by shared with you arrows”.

The blodod night says to his compatriots. “However to thy other, do not seek my assistance as none will be given. And if thee seek blood for recommence, bring thy coffin as a blood price will be paid and rightful death will be given”.

The construct, yet again, turns from its patrol and kneels before the Blood Knight. It bows its head.

“As you wish comrade. You have aided us in our task, and yet you live. The living may prosper, the dead are our enemy. I hope you do not perish.”

The construct stands, and stares at the party as the blood knight walks away, to prevent any unneccessary killing.

Confusion may have been the reason why Ecthelian had been so still while the events unfolded. The Blood Knight had fraternised with those untrustworthy, and threatened to take the Undead Ostarian to those whom Ecthelian believed would likely raise the Vampire again, and yet, the Raven Knight bows before him and asks him to remove his head… The halfling just did not see how this could help the Paladin in his fight against evil and chaos.. A dead man cannot crush that.. perhaps a Martyr… given the right circumstances… but this was not one of those times….

And then the giant looked down into Ecthelians eyes, with a look that said ‘I know what I should do’, and then decides to do the complete opposite…. Should the vampire have risen there and then, Ecthelian was sure he would have climbed up the big oaf’s body and slapped in the face for his idiocy!!

And the blood Knight.. What to make of him? Threatening to smite an innocent man down just to take the body to a whore who promised a good time? Good to be rid of the man perhaps.. Ecthelian made sure to cast one last detect evil over the man as he walked away from the group.. just to be sure

Zephyr raises a wide grin on his face and nods towards the Blood Knight. " I bid you a good day blood knight, do make an effort to show up at the trial. Otherwise…. the hunter of the beast will become the hunted of the crows."

Thus turning to the rest of the group. “Well you lot truly know how to escalate a situation, all for the worse.” Shaking his head at the golem.“Well! You rather do nicely in the mines, perhaps those spinning blades could do for an upgrade to a drill. As you are now accountable for the dwarf crimes, if he is convicted.”

The construct says “I am bound to the programming the creator has instilled within me. I believe he resides within your city. He is accountable for my crimes.”

“I thought this wild bunch are your creator’s.” Zephyr scratches his head in confusion. “Speak of this person now, as the crows can begin an investigation on this facade person.”

White Muerte had maintained his air of calm. He looked down at Zephyr, his arms folded. “Remind me what use you actually are to us Cuervo. All I have heard from you is preaching of crooked laws and threats of unjustifiable incarceration.”

The construct looks at Zephyr. It turns its head slightly to the side, perplexed.

“I am forbidden from speaking the Creators name, Comrade Zephyr. But he resides within your city of Carrion Hill. He has created a device which will grant us the ability to perceive the beast. The blood knight spoke with him briefly, though I do not know what they discussed.”

It begins to walk away, but turns back to Zephyr hesitantly.

“Forgive me Comrade Zephyr, but I find your laws confusing and contradictory. As are all the laws of this land. The provinces I have visited with my companions have vastly differing laws to those that your city enforces. And the churches our companions follow have differing sets of laws once again. Why is this so? How does one conform to all laws?”

The construct stares at Zephyr.

“Meeeeee!” placing his hand on his chest. “I am the man that’s contracted to make sure that you stay true to the laws of Carrion Hill. The humble guide that shows you how great this beloved city really is. A cracking shot with a gun, and now your private contractor of killing the beast. I am clearly needed in this group, without me you are nothing.” Smiling while looking at Muerte bulging arms. “What do you bring to this depraved group. Picking up and throwing things, clearly any half-wit loathsome beast could do that.”

The construct continues to stare for a few moments.

“…Fleshlings make and enforce the laws?”

Chuckling at the golem “The man that is leaving our group has the only sufficed evidence on this mysterious creator of yours. Bah! He never mentioned of any such device in the past. Now! Stop coming up with bazaar stories golem and tell me the truth that these people are your creators.”

The construct continues to stare.

“If you, as a fleshling, keep the law, that would mean you are required to sleep approximately 46% of your time. Also, any time you are required to collect money and taxes, you will keep some as part of your wage, in order to obtain luxuries.”

The construct pauses a moment.

“The statistical economic efficiency of your city would be increased two-fold or more if autonomic machinery assumed your role as lawkeepers.”

The construct continues to stare at Zephyr

A number of the crows walk down the stairs responding to the whistle blown by Zephyr. One blow of a whistle usually meant for neaby crow to hustle to tbe blower, two was a crow in distress needing immediate aid. Zephyr had only blown once, so the crows took there sweet time.

Old Kraaven spat on the ground in disgust before unravelling the linen he had for trousers and started pissing on the stairs. “Ohhh cut that out ya old bugga” one of the crows said before the group of five began to laugh.

Following them down was an odd looking man whom had clear prism googles on; a narrow divided mustache that began at the middle of the upper lip, with long whiskers pulled to either side of the center. The areas beyond the corners of his mouth were shaved; a stovepipe top hat and wore a black suit with a red top coat. He looked more like a a circus director then anything else.

“Good morning there Gentlemen, My name is Aldus Hammerlock and I’m a Jack (detective). I was commissioned by the Abdar Church to help you with there investigation. Especially after your party expressed concerns of the integrity of a lady called Anca and a man called Viktor regarding the undertaking of your investigation. I am here to replace them and are an independent contractor regarding your case. I see you have already started without me. Things all seem to be all gay (all clear) here, have you toffs (gentlemen) found anything of note. I would like to prevent the need of tom sawyer (lawyers) by clearing up this mess. My techniques are brand new from the campus of the Sincomakti School of Sciences. They call it forensic logic and pathological studies of criminals. The science truely is new age. The Bhaltvrest Hall, Gray Tower, and the Hermitage, guard a diverse collection tomes regarding the techniques and applications in Rozenport. I am one of the most successful graduates and have written several books of my own. But enough about me, I must get to work if the truth about your crimes is to revealed”.

He twist the prism on his glasses, it seems to focus the lens making objects appoear larger to the wearer. “If you require it any evidence must be catalogged and logged to the Abdar church to support your defence. I will do the same with anything I find which shall be made available for you to study”. He began to examine and write a basic description of those whom he could see.

“Just a moment before you leave, I require and examination of those whom are charge with crimes. I need to place your hands in this charcoal and then on the parchment. The charcoal is magical and will tell me any magics you have cast in an area recently. It will also glow a green if you have been in an area within the last 7 days. Like I said truely new age science. So whom would like to be first”.

“A member of our party was deceased, but ceased to continue walking and speaking until recently. He was threatened by another of our party, which provoked his attack. He almost destroyed the threatening party member before he was rendered inert by a shard of wood puncturing his heart.”

“Then my comrades argued about killing one another for quite some time. During that time the stake was removed. Our comrade, the Blood Knight, left moments ago after I removed the corpses head with a blade drone, believing the hostilities would continue when the deceased woke up. I believe the Blood Knight took offense. The blood on my arms is that of the Dwarf.”

The construct points at the headless corpse, and presents its hands to Hammerlock.

“How… what is the common word?” Muerte ponders with an amused smile, “quaint? Yes, quaint. How quaint it is that you try to belittle me. I started out meeting Cuervo Caballero,” he gestures to the Raven Knight, “then travelling with him a whiles. He met Sol Caballero,” he gestures to Ecthelion, “and here I am, aiding their cause to end the plaga of undeath.” His smile diminishes suddenly and what few of his visible facial features harden. “But make no mistake. I am no fool, pendejo. My hands seek a physical weakness on my foe and break him. I have dehorsed a charging knight by seizing his throat. I have won a 30 man battle royale after starting as the first entrant. And I have recently throttled a giant. All tasks im sure a man like you wouldn’t have the cojones to do.”

‎"Have you ever seen a forest prosper with no sunlight? Only the foulest tasting mushrooms, and vile spores will grow in such a place! When I went to the Shudderwood, it was like that! Nought but boggy marshes, and poisonous tangle weeds! I walked through drop vines, and they shied away from my brilliance… for I embodied that which the Shudderwood had turned away for so many lifetimes now – I represented the light, which those of the wood have sought to repel! Light – is the embodiment of all that is good.. and those in the Shudderwood turn me away… turn goodness away!

I saw a disease which had forced its way into the land. That of the werewolf! The smell of wet dog hung thick in the air, could make eyes water, and the stomach contract. The beasts darted from shadow to shadow around me.. afraid of the light! Afraid because the light is the embodiment of all that is good, and lycan disease has no part in goodness.

I took pity on the Shudderwood, for why should it not deserve the chance to break free of the evilness that lurks in it, and to grow, and reach up toward the sun, and embrace it.. embrace all that is good? I sent men there… members of my church, to purge out the evils within, and purge they have, but the disease has stretched further than I had thought! Werewolves have been sighted all over Ustalav, and this can not be tolerated! We must not allow the disease to infect our homes! The church of Sarenrae will be offering a monetary reward for any wolf heads which are brought to them… Culling of the wolf is the safest way to protect your families"

The construct watches quietly from the shadows, its arms crossed.

“Oog.. Oh get off it unit 1!!” Ecthelion responds.

Unit 1.25 steps towards Ecthelion, and hesitantly places its hand upon the shoulder of the decrepit man. It kneels down beside him and looks Ecthelion directly in the eye.

“Virtue and purity. All fleshlings are capable of it. Few are willing.”

The construct stands. It leans close and whispers.

“Having watched and learnt from all of you, I find that the concept of innocence is merely a degree of guilt. If a guilty party is to be apprehended, then a score of innocents must be sacrificed in order to reprimand them. The dead will be judged by their gods. Is this so?”

The construct looks at Ecthelion, awaiting a reply.

“NO!” The construct’s clear misunderstanding of the law and order of things angered Ecthelian, who stepped back before going on, "Purity is NOT something that is always possible! There is no chance of purity for a werewolf when the moon is at its full…See More

The construct stares for a moment.

“I think I understand, comrade Ecthelion. The Lycanthropy virus corrupts flesh. As does the curse of undeath. Actions and natures will inevitably converge.The corrupt must perish to preserve the pure.”

The construct pauses a moment, and dips its head slightly and looks away.

“Ostarian the Wise…he fought to preserve the pure. But he dabbled in arts that were forbidden; arts that will bring about the end of all of your kind. I am to prevent such an event. Therefore, I judged him dangerous in his state, and I beheaded him. His death is mine to bear.”

It looks at Ecthelion again. It looks…pained…somehow. Even for a machine. Its behaviours are beginning to look unsettlingly human.

“I am sorry comrade. I know he was no enemy. But he harmed you. I knew of the nature of his being, but I was unable to understand the change that was wraught upon him, and the danger it presented. I shall not be so careless again.”

The construct stands vigil over the decrepit paladin for the remaining hours. After some time passes, and it is convinced nobody is near, it says

“…the Creator is both wise, and generous Comrade Ecthelion. You have ever been his ally. I do not know the intricacies of his craft, but I believe he may be able to restore you.”

The construct returns to its vigilance.

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Vroods farewell

Vroods eye had kept constant watch over his pupil, ever since he had arrived in Carrion Hill. It was always funny how he had kept tabs on his student. Watching the stake plunge into the dwarfs chest, he was upset at first, but grinned with malice. The dark cloak figure would be happy. A rift had been created and the biggest threat to Vroods and his masters identity now lay dormant. Ostarion had know both Vrood and his master by name and face. The dwarf had extensive knowledge into the whispering way, studying with Vroods master at the same Acadame in Caliphas. But now he did not have to worry about such things.

Salem 1692

Vrood clutched at the shrunken head around his neck, calling forth its powers to contact his master. The shrunken head appeared before the dark cloak figure whom was busy studying the Carrion Crown recipe. Several ingredients were still needed. “Massterr” came Vroods whispers. “Osstarrion the dwarrf is dead. The halfling is vulnerrable, Osstarrion currssed him with an aging spell. He ssuccumbed to the vampyrric tome of the book of eterrnal necrromancy. I knew he could not handle such powerr. It is unforrtunate he will not be joining uss”.

The black cloaked figured continued to write on his parchment, unflinching despite the new news. He stopped writing for a moment. "I will dispatch Clanartus Viliras and the Red Mantis assassains to capture the halfling. They should fare better then Scarlett, her failure was not forseen by my divinations. Ecthelions sisters blood is not pure enough to complete the Carrion Crown elixir. We traded to much to Nalinzarborg for her soul. She has proven to be useless to Orcus and me, a liability worth discarding of when you get the time. Only the blood of Ecthelion will do to complete the elixir. Lorrimor and his friends did a fine job of hiding the facts about the halflings bloodline, but in the end we learnt the truth.

I am personally heading for Caliphas to secure the other subject should the halfling elude us. But I have concerns for Illmarsh as I have lost contact with the riders we dispatched to trade the seasage effigy for the ingredient we need. No more games Vrood, this has gone on long enough. I want you to put an end to our pursurers. Especially Anca the witch. Orcus has informed me she is on the pathway to discovering Ecthelions ancestry. Information that was expensive to come by, and truths that I do not want Ecthelion or his frirnds to know.

“What sshould I tell Lucimarr and Nalthezzarr, they sstill believe I am loyal to Rred Churrch”, Vrood responded.

“Turn there attention to where it belongs, and that is erradicating Tarkus Finleys in tje Tusk Mountains, and Viktor Von’Drakhs Age of Metal preventing the lesser seals from being opened. Marrowgath is hunting Dantz, he saw to much in Xin-Grafar and can reveal my identity”.

“Marrrrrowgath, ssurrely a drragons time is betterr sspent on Ozem”, Vrood replied once more.

“No!”, came a swift and direct response. “I cannot risk it, when we are so close. Those whom know to much must die before they can piece together the puzzle. Cassielt and Ozem will be blind to our strike from the shadows. Kaiden in Lepidstadt is still busy with dealing with unrest and the inquisition trials. This shall be our first strike, the sewers are filled with more dead then those lost at the Furrows. Vorkstag and Grine did an excellent job of preparing our connections within the city. With the elder shaman of the rat folk tribes in Lepidstadt under my direct command, Kitch will prove little but a hindrance. But for now, Dantz, Anca, Viktor and Tarkus must all be eliminated. They were there at the begining. Friends of Lorrimors whom you failed to kill in Ravensgro. I cannot allied w them to learn znything further”.

“The witch is herre in the city, how do I dissposse of herr”, Vrood replied.

“Use Kendra and the demon wolves she brought with her, just make it as though she believs Anca is you. When she is dead kill the others that travel with Ecthelion and bring him to me”. The cloaked figure began to write again, his infernal scriptures and plans for the future were now well on he way. He paused a moment “And Vrood, do not fail me again”.

“Yess massterr”. Vrood rubbed the magical pendant again to dispel its enchantment. “So much to do, so little time. Do you not know you cannot rush art Master”. Vrood turned to the gagged Wilhelm the bardic musician who proclaimed his music to be better then any art in the land. “Now where were we. Arr yes, I was going yo get you to show me how you play the harp without fingers, I think I might make a birthday cake as a surprise for Ecthelion with your fingers as the candles”. Wilhelm looked in horror as Vrood closed in with a sharp scalpel. Windhelm paswed out as his third finger was removed. He stopped his art making for a moment. His art would suffer without a compliant muse, he would have to wait for him to wake.

With that Vrood looked bsck into his crystal ball once more, at Ostarions lifeless body. Vrood considered claiming Ostarion body, to raise him again. The master had commanded him to do it in the past to Ezekial and Ambriel, to learn more about the adventurers. But in his heart he knew Ostarion would be a much harder to soul to submit. “Farewell my favourite student, I am afraid we will never meet again. For the gods will not undestand our art Ostarion. I like you renounce them as nothing more then propaganda to keep the common folk in line. But when Tar-Baphon walks the surface of Golarion again, people will be able to see a true god walk this world once more”. Ostarion dismisses his scrying spell, and starts to ponder of a clevr trap for his pursuers. With Saera at his disposal, and Kendra working with werewolves, a wicked grin crossed his face. “Perfect….”

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