Carrion crown


First Post
Moving onwards through the seemingly deserted town Load decided to fly ahead and scout. He found there was another group of undead present in the area around the town square.

Forewarned the party slowly moved forward. Several more zombie creatures were present together with a slightly broader creature than looked very muscular. Loag cast a spell on Andurin and he grew in size, doubling the reach of his weapon and he charged into the battle, quickly impaling several zombies on his lance. Loag muttered a word of power and with a burst of fire, several of the zombies were killed instantly and the rest were burned to a significant degree. David had moved forward into the fray by this point, only to come face to face with the strange muscular creature, who with a mighty blow knocked him into a shallow grave in the earth which he then had to spend the next several rounds trying to get out of. With a final flourish of his weapon Andurin killed the remaining zombies and the entomber.
Moving onwards the group next decided to enter the local tavern from which there was a glimmer of light. After ordering 3 meads at the bar they struck up a conversation with the barman, asking him what was going on.

"Well, it's the Count you see, Count Reiner Heydrich, he's an undead who lives in the Castle and he sends his zombies out to try and find Ireena. He believes she's the reincarnation of his late wife. He makes sure its dark all the time so he can move about. Rumour is he's a vampire."

Not liking the sound of this ther party retired for the night and decided that the following day they would investigate the local church.

The next day was just as dark and gloomy as before. Moving towards the church they came to another intersection where a dead horse lay in the street, being chewed on by several zombies, but there were also stange dog like creatures and also what looked like a ghoul. Wasting no time David acted first and teleported into a nearby empty building. Cursing David's lack of courage, Loag whispered the words of a spell and a several walls of flame spread across the street. Being single minded and not intelligent the undead moved through the walls, taking damage from the heat and meaning only a few managed to get through to Andurin, where they were quickly slaughtered.

Moving on the party reached the church and noted that the church and graveyard appeared to be deserted.

Or were they...

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First Post
The church was a gray, sagging edifice of stone and wood, set atop a rise. The shadows of the castle seemed to stretch to cover the church too. Light seemed to flicker through holes in the roof and there was the sound of hoarse chanting within.

The group decided to investigate further, opening the door they found that the interior was a shambles, with overturned and broken benches littering the dusty floor. An altar seemed to have strange claw marks on it. Suddenly a wild-haired old man popped up from behind the altar and screamed at them.

"You can't take my son away from me!"

Before the party could respond he launched a spell at Andurin, trying to fix him in place but Andurin shook off the effects. Meanwhile David was attacked by a zombie who burst through a wall. The old man then tried to cast another spell at Andurin, trying to cause fear in his mind, but Andurin was made of sterner stuff and shook it off.

Mumbling the words to a spell Loag blinked out of his placeand reappeared nearer to the altar. At this point another door opened and a strange bony like creature moved out, and cast a spell causing a burst of sound to hit both David and Andurin to very little effect. Having enough off the combat, Loag created a burning wall of fire around the old man, the strange bony creatures and the zombies, burning them horribly. David tried to attack one burnt zombie but unfortunately the strap of his armour came loose, meaning he had to spend a round repairing it. Andurin meanwhile, managed to grapple one of the zombies and throw it into one of the walls of fire, destroying it utterly. The old man, frustrated that his spells seemed to have no effect, tried to command Loag, to make him walk into a wall of fire, unfortunately he had forgotten there was a hold in the floor, which Loag fell into. Andurin then destroyed the last zombie. By this time the wall of fire had disappointed and then charged the old man, skewering him on his lance.


First Post
OOC: Apologies readers for not updating sooner, unfortunately I lost some of my notes for the last session. Essentially after the fights at the church Load polymorphed into a nightmare and flew the rest of the group to the castle roof. In one of the chambers near the top they met one of Reiner's victims who revealed that the Count was in the crypt. They then flew down to the crypt and defeated the count, although it was a close run thing.


Spoiler Alert:

- Tune in next time when things get hairy - quite literally.

- Will Renthie's gender issues ever be resolved.

- Will David ever do anything useful in a fight?

- Will Bob the mule ever be able to get away from the idiots he has to work for?


First Post
The party had received help from the Judge in Lepidstadt, advising that there was a potential clue to the Whispering Way's whereabouts at Ascanor Lodge in the Shudderwood.

Setting out the following day they found that the Shudderwood was filled with large, towering pine trees that blotted out the sunlight. Broken branches and occasional shrubs abounded. There was an eerie stillness about the forest. Moving into a clearing Loag flew ahead and spotted two strange bone like snaky creatures hiding in the undergrowth. The party prepared themselves and started to advance.

Suddenly an incorporeal, misty crimson figure rose out of the ground and slashed at Renthie, it's insubstantial claws seeming to bypass his armour and seeming to suck at his very Life force. Loag murmured the words of a spell and bolts of pure energy struck the creature. A second misty creature appeared next to Andurin, striking him unawares. This was followed up by one of the bony snake like creatures charging at Andurin, although he was able to fend off its attack. Starting to become surrounded Renthie stepped backwards and cast a spell, causing a burst of flame to strike at both the bony creature and the crimson creature. At the same time he yelled out, "The insubstantial creatures are Crimson Deaths, the others are Bone Nagas."

"Thanks for the info", yelled David, tumbling into place and striking one of the Crimson Deaths. At the same time Andurin hit the second Crimson Death, while Renthie resorted to bashing the bone naga with his shield, battering it severely. In retaliation the Bone Naga tried to hit Renthie but he dodged out of the way easily. Within a few more moments David had destoryed the Crimson Deaths and Andurin had finished off the Bone Nagas.


First Post
Moving further into the Shudderwood the party heard a strange haunting melody, almost harp like in nature. The music seemed to be emanating from an old, ruined watch tower. Everyone except Renthie felt compelled to enter and investigate.

Inside they found that long, taut strands of shimmering silk filled the tower's interior, forming a pattern running from floor to ceiling. Half a dozen cocoonlike shapes hung from the ceiling. The party started to look around, when all of a sudden a large spider like creature appeared. It moved towards the strands of silk and started to play them like a harp.

David was entranced by the music and started to move towards the Spider. Loag tried to cast a spell, trying to raise the creature into the air but the creature resisted. Annoyed by the effect that the Spider was having on everyone Renthie cast Silence and moved forward, quickly preventing the Spider from making any noise and casuing David to come out of his trance. Andurin, annoyed by the Spider charged it, bearing his lance and gutted it, seperating its body into several pieces.


First Post
Moving closer to Ascanor Lodge the party were now only about an hour away. At this point they encountered a young woman who was wondering around the forest and they quickly persuaded her to join them. Reaching another clearing the group found the pale corpse of a naked man hanging from a large yellow pine, bound to the trunk with rough cords. His mouth was stuffed with large, pale purple flowers, and his wrists annd ankles were swollen and dark with bruises marking where his bindings cut into his skin. A large silver hunting knife embedded deep in his chest seemed the most likely cause of death.

Loag cast a spell, trying to see if there was any ongoing magical effects but found nothing. David decided he wanted the hunting knife and tried to move forward but Loag held him back. Renthie, however, moved forward, deciding to investigate the body to ascertain the cause of death. At this points he struck a trapwire and the floweres in the corpse's mouth opened, firing large steel bolts at Renthie.

The party then decided to move on to the Lodge.


First Post
Arriving at Ascanor Lodge the group were met by a surly, uncooperative ha;fling who intordued himself as Brelik. He refused to let them in initially, saying, "I apologize for any misuderstanding, but as the porter of Ascanor Lodge, I cannot permit your entrance at this time. You do not have reservations in our books, and depite your claims, I have no evidence to justify allowing strangers into the lodge. From the looks of you, unlike the rest of my guests, you haven't come here to take a peaceful retreat. I want no trouble, so off with you all, and take whatever troubles you bring somewhere else!"

It was only the application of some hard earned cash by David that changed Brelik's mind and allowed them to enter.

At this point, a woodsman accompanied by a noble came into view, walking out of the Lodge. They appeared to be having some kind of argument, the woodsman shouting, "For the last time Duristan! I'll take you there, but I ain't bringing my dogs!".

The noble, Duristan saw the group, and said, "What ho chaps, we are hunting werewolves, will you come with us". Relunctantly the party agreed.

The trail led to a small clearing where the trampled ground and snapped brush showed signs of a struggle, the soil was soaked with blood as were the tree trunks. The corpse of a stag which Duristan had placed there for the werewolves had been moved, finding it after a short while Marion was able to tell that the corpse had tooth and claw marks in it, similar to those made by a wolf.

Suddenly the group were attacked by a group of wild dire boars but quickly made short work of them. Loag was concerned that the party were being scryed upon so he cast Detect scrying. As he did so he made a loud cry and quickly passed out.

As it was getting darker Duristan suggested setting up camp and instructed his bearers to lay a trail of blood and met to attract the werewolves. Just as it was reaching midnight there was a loud cry and a snarl. Rushing towards the sound the party saw a werewolf with the dead body of one of the bearers in its mouth.

"Stop", shouted the werewolf, dropping the body, "Why have you entered Vollensag territory."

"We mean no harm", replied David, "We are merely here to hunt".

"Your false explanations are meaningless. Go tell whoever sent you to stay out of wolf affairs! Let him know that his dealings with Mathus Mordrinacht and the Silverhide pack do not sit well with the other tribes of this wood. There shall be much blood spilled between our kin before a Silverhide packlord sits upon Highthrone. Mathus the betrayer shall never claim the title, and should you and yours continue to support him, the wrath of the wolf parks shall fall upon him! Now leave our territory and return to your cozy wooden den, or share the fate of these poor little sheep!"

At this point there was a loud howling in the forest and between 20 and 30 werewolves stepped out of the undergrowth, their teeth bared.


First Post
Realising that the odds were against them Loag instructed everyone to grab hold of him and he teleported them all back to the Lodge.

On arrival they were met by the warden of the Lodge a man called Estovain who apologised for the confusion earlier and advised that the Lodge was open to them at any time. Most of the party went to bed but Marion and David decided to do some sneaking about. Inside, Marion found Estovian's private office and discovered a journal which suggested that Estovian had been working with both the werewolves at the Hall of the Stars and the Whipsering Way.

After about an hour David, hiding in the shadows saw Estovian come back into the lodge from a northerly direction.

Resolving to investigate further the next day the party headed steadily northwards until they came at last to the Hall of Stairs, they found it being guarded by more werewolves ho warned them off. Reluctantly they headed back to the Lodge to come up with a plan.


First Post
The following day the partty were in a qunadary, they had no real leads to follow up. David elected to investigate the other visitors to the lodge. One of them advised that they had seen Estovian roughly north east, towards the town of Feldgrau. Loag decided to try and scry on Estovian and discovered that he was in a shop, similar to a chandlery, and he appeared dead.

With no other leads to follow the party headed to Feldgrau. Arriving there they found a strangely deserted town.

In the shadow of a crumbling towere lay a barren swath of muddy red earth that likely once served as the town square. A large trench had been excavated in the centre of the square, and a confusing jumble of half-unearthed bones jutted from its churned earth. In the centre of the square were a horde of skeleton and several curates of the Whispering Way.

The skeletons were the first to act and moved forward to attack. At the same time one of the curates cast a spell, causing Andurin's eyes to cloud over, turning him blind. The second curate murmured to herself and a wave of dark and unholy energy rained down from the heavens on everyone. David tumbled his way around the battlefield and managed to destroy one of the skeletons. Loag murmured the words to a spell and a glittering golden area surrounded the two curates and some of the skeletons, blinding them. Although Andurin was blinded, his horse wasn't and under his direction it charged in a striaght line, destroying skeletons right and left, finally ending with his lance being buried up to the hilt in one of the curates, slaughtering her. Loag managed to cast a spell on Andurin, removing the effect of the blindness. With a mighty blow Andurin killed the other curate and the skeletons they had animated crumbled to dust and were no more.


First Post
Overlooking the town square stood the battered remanants of what was once an impressive tower. Entering the party saw two stronger looking skeletons and a strange looking man whose skin had been flayed away who introduced himself as Auren Vrood.

One of the skeletons attacked Andurin whilst Vrood moved towards David and attacked. Andurin quickly destroyed one of the skeletal figures and moved towards Vrood. Whilst attacking David's blow was deflected by Vrood and David yelped in pain as he struck himself in the groin. Finally Vrood was no more. At this point the party found soem notes advising that the Whispering Way were looking for other artefacts and were heading to either Blackhaven or Illmarsh.

The party elected to head to Blackhaven so they saddled up and rode on.


First Post
Blackhaven was a dark dingy town, perched on the edge of nowhere, on the way to nowhere.

Arriving at the gate David asked two of the guards on duty if they had heard of the cult of the Whispering Way.

"I don't know about that", answered one of the guards, you best see Marshal Bennet."

Taken to Bennet;s office they asked him for more details, he advised he wasn't able to help them with their cult problem but perhaps they could help him with his.

He continued: "The War of the Four Kingdoms - Gallantaria, Femphrey, Brice and the Northlands - almost tore the Old World apart, but the four sides turned away from the abyss and made a fragile peace which has lasted up to the present day. Yet this peace is constantly being eroded by the many agents of Chaos who seek to aggravate old rivalries. The Old World can never know true peace until its barbaric past is finally laid to rest."

"High in the Brician ranks was Karam Gruul-the Inquisitor General. Gruul was swift in urging Brice to war, and his was the guiding intellect and the dark magics which lay behind many of Brice's military successes. It was he who prepared the murderous fire-traps along Brice's borders; he who had thousands of war prisoners dragged, screaming, into his Tower of Inquisition, where horrific deeds were perpetrated; he who tortured and killed peaceful Bricians with his 'traitor-hunts'; he who assasinated his fellow generals when they spoke out against him; and, finally, it was he who remained unseen and unknown while his men died on foreign soil. Not for nothing was Gruul nicknamed the 'Hand of Death".

"When peace finally came, a condition of the armistice was that Gruul should be made to stand trial for his crimes against humanity. But the warmongering Brician king claimed that Gruul had died in the Last Battle and that his body was but one of thousands ploughed under the earth. Moreover, the king denied any knowledge of Gruul's atrocities and he ordered that all mention of Gruul be erased from his country's histories and monuments. Most believed that Gruul-whose face was known to so very few-had not died; and so began the Great Manhunt. But no sign of Gruul was found; it was as if he had never existed. His damned Tower of Inquisition was razed to the ground, but the villian himself escaped us. Since then, a constant vigil has been maintained for signs of Gruul's inevitable return. And now, at the cost of many gallant lives, we have at last obtained news as to his whereabouts!"


First Post
"Gruul is in Blackhaven, and his presence here can only mean that he is planning something terrible, some plot important enough to make him risk exposure after years of hiding. However, we don't know exactly where he is, or in what guise, only that he is here. Find Gruul for us and take him to face justice at the High Court in Lepidstadt."

"There are rumours that Blackhaven is in the grip of a secret society called the Cabal of the Werewolf. All we know about this organisation is that its members are said to bear the Werewolf's Mark, and that it is supposed to have connections with a powerful clique of Brician nobles who are hell-bent on starting a second War of the Four Kingdoms. If this is true, then Karam Gruul must have dealings with the Cabal. Word has reached me that an inmate of Craven Asylum, Matra Ouspenkaya, is claiming that she was a member-but is now a victim-of the Cabal. This could be the break we seek, you must go and question her to find out if there is any truth in her wild ravings. Next, it is said that Cabal members meet in a docklands tavern, the Last Octopus, which you should also investigate. Finally, it might be worth your while to visit Silas Entador, a useful wretch who is one of our paid informers and who lives in Malt Lane."


First Post
"Here is a Letter of Introduction to Doktor Welsh, the Director of Carven Asylum, advising that you are relatives of Ouspenkaya. I have also uncovered that one of my own men, Conrad Zaar who lives in Weathern Mill may be working for the Cabal."

After Bennet had finished speaking the group decided to split up so they could investigate these leads. David decided to go to the Last Octopus whilst Andurin and Dezrak headed to Craven Asylum, meanwhile Loag decided to head to Weathern Mill.

Loag discovered that Weathern Mill was an impressive tower standing alone on a low hill, above a shanty town on the southern edge of the city. Apart from the vanes creaking the mill seemed dead.

Investigating the mill Loag found that both the cellar and the ground floor of the mill seemed deserted, apart from a leaflet which read:

"Written to All the People of Blackhaven:

When all is becoming clearbeneath the lamps of the lighted, who gain their brilliance from the traveller from afar, there remain those of coin and commerce and busy head, who alone remain steadfast in decrying the four square. Others who, like the pheonix, despise the serpent that eats its own tail, must search and find we who know, so that the world may be governed by heart and mind and fellowship. The wise and kingly kill not the Last Octopus but read therein the beauty of transformation, thence apply themselves to seeking the mercy and happiness of the Eternal Fraternity of the Rosy Chalice."

Putting the information contained within the leaflet as the work of the mad Loag headed up into the loft of the mill where he came face to face with Conrad Zaar, who attacked. Quickly backing away Loag slid doen the loft ladder and fireballed the loft and Zaar. Zaar retaliated by firing arrows at Loag before moving to close in. Loag steadily backed away until he was outside and then cast a spell causing a wall of fire to appear. Enraged Zarr tried ti run through itdying in the process.

Thunder seemed to rumble overhead from a clear sky and three bolts of lightning struck Zaar's body, causing it to glow and then to rise. Picking up his armoured face plate and greatsword Zaar moved slowly forward, silently, to attack. Loag murmured a spell and flew up into the air, from which position he rained arrows down on Zaar. At this point the mill, which had caught on fire exploded and Zaar was caught up in the explosion, seemingly destroyed by the flames.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

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