Fate of the True Empress

Chapter 3: The Haunting of Harrowstone, session 1

A week has passed since comprehending the murderer of the Underforge. Lannor, a mage who specialized in transportation magic and act as the role of messenger and liasion, delivered a few messages to the party who are resting at the Red Hammer tavern. Professor Petros Lorrior, one of their friends, mentors and their “go to person” for all things arcane and weird, sent word that he knew where to find a piece of the Keystone.

However, the message arrived a week late, and Lannor had another piece of news about Petros – he was dead, and the party were all somehow included in the late Professor’s will. He had retired from his post as a Professor of Death Magic (teaching how to counter Death Magic, more specifically) and went back to his hometown of Ravengro, but died from an accident.

Lannor also gave two pieces of intriguing news to the party. Thanks to the haul found in Riss’ lair, Lorehaven is now able to detect the magical signatures of the Lorekeepers. The Watchers have found two cases when a ritual requiring significant magical energies belonging the Lorekeepers were performed. A minor one was performed 30 years ago, and a major one just 5 days ago.

As Petros died 5 days ago, and his burial will be the next day, Lannor arranged for the party to travelled by cargo train to Ravengro. While on the train, clockwork golems ambushed the party. One of the golems head off to engineer’s cabin to derail the train (or worse), and Hayate and Gabyrs gave chase on the rooftop. Koaxia attempted to wrestle a huge Clockwork Golem but failed. Learning that the golem self-destructed upon being incapacitated, Sethren, Alexius and Koaxia wrestled the train compartment door open and pushed out the large clock golem before it explodes. Upon destroying the rest of the golem, the party realized that golems were built by House Cannith.

Upon reaching Ravengro, the party find the place to be insular and unwelcoming to strangers. Ravengro used to provide a prison known as the |Harrowstone Prison and it was rather infamous, as all type of notorious criminals were sent there to be tried and then executed. It burnt down 70 years ago due to a prisoner’s riot, and everyone who was in the prison perished. Koaxia was warned by Father Grimburrow, a priest of the Goddess of Graves and Births, Pharasma, not to breach the topic. He kept emphasizing that there no uprising of undeads or such.

They met Kendra, the Profesor’s daughter, and learnt that as part of the burial rites, they would have to be the pallbearers. Upon questioning Kendra on Petros’ death, the party learnt that he was found near Harrowstone, his head smashed in. The sheriff that led the search party believed that the Professor was killed by a falling gargoyle.

Suspecting Petros’ lawyer, Alexius conducted investigation into him but found him to be clean. Gabrys chanced upon an old contact with the Judge back when he was a triple agent – Shandar. She is now a council woman of the town. Gabrys went to see her (after donning a convincing disguise) and persuaded her to give him leave to search the town’s archive for anything concerning the prison. Gabrys was looking for what happened just before the fire at the prison. He got a reference to the document, but the document was missing, and the town hall was closing then.

Meanwhile, Koaxia befriend Zoltan, the owner of the Laughing Demon tavern, while eating Vampire Stakes (it’s a beef steak with toothpicks stuck into it). From rumours, the townsfolk believed that the prison was haunted.

At night, Hayate and Gabrys were investigating the Professor’s office when the sleep-walking old servant walked into the room. In a moment of carelessness and bad luck, Hayate stepped on a spilt ink pot, waking her up. Gabrys knocked her out, and planted her next to a young chap in the inn.

The next day, while the party was bringing the coffin to the burial grounds, a group of farmhands, local thugs, labourers and such led by an ex-solider, Gibs, stopped the group. They believed Petros to be a necromancer, and wanted to run off the party so that they could dump the coffin downriver. Sethren rebuked them, decrying their attempt to deny burial. Koaxia implied that they would have to face Father Grimburrow’s wrath if they persist in holding up the funeral and Alexius pointed out that they did not have the slightest idea on how to deal with the body of a nercomancer. That last thing he said may come back and haunt him later.

Gibs stomped off in anger, and the remaining mob dispersed. Father Grimburrow was shocked at what happened and was appreciative that no one was hurt. Sethren gave a moving speech about what a friend Professor Petros was, and that it was a shame that his many good deeds in fighting the Undeath went unnoticed and misunderstood.

The townsfolk’s attitude towards the party is now friendly.

Notable NPCs

Father Grimburrow, priest of Pharamsa (Goddess of Graves and Birth)
Councilwoman Shanda
Councilman Gharen
Zoltan, Tavern Keeper of the Laughing Demon
Kendra Lorrior
Petros Lorrior
Lannor, Messenger and Travel Magic Specialist
Gibs, disgruntled ex-solider

Important Lore

Prison of Harrowstone

Important Clues

Golems – was manufactured by House Cannith. Likely to be activated in the train by the two horsemen trailing it.
Shanda – Has a letter allowing Gabyrs to search the town archive
Town Archive – Gabrys was looking for anything significant before the fire 50 years ago and found reference to a file.
Lawyer (Gharen) – Alexius investigated Gharen and found him to be quite ‘clean’ besides the usual scandals.
Zoltan – Friendly with Koaxia
Hayate – Found a warding ritual against undeath when searching the Professor’s study
Father Grimburrow – Remembered Koaxia, warned about bringing up Harrowstone casually among the locals

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