A Plea For Help
After a few days of rest, research, and relaxation, minus Dann who is helping Niska Mvashti, a elderly local druid, they are approached by Sheriff Hemlock at the Rusty dragon. He begins by once again thanking the group for all they have done for Sandpoint. He goes on asking for help, there has been a murder in town, last night at the lumber mill. Two bodies were found this morning, they were discovered by one of the mill’s workers, Ibor Thorn. But the thing that bothers him most is that it is the second set of murders in the last few days. He needs the help, but is afraid the group might also need help as the murderer may know of them to, at which point he hands the group a piece of bloodstained parchment, with Spiff’s name written in blood on the outside of the folded parchment.Handout 2-1 The sheriff provides the following leads.
He suggests the group begin at the lumber mill as the bodies are still present, and he would like to clean up as soon as possible. Ibor Thorn, the man who found the bodies is still in a holding cell below Sandpoint’s garrison. Ven Vinder is the sheriff’s only suspect though he is fairly certain he’s innocent. Sheriff then explains that two days ago a patrol of guards along the Lost Coast Road were attacked by a man obviously sick and insane, flesh fevered, eyes wild, mouth frothing, and clothes covered in blood. After the guards subdued him they investigated the barn and found the mutilated bodies of three men. All three bodies were to mutilated to identify, a piece of parchment was found on one of them, Sheriff Hemlock hands it to party to examine.Handout 2-2 Tarch Mortwell, Lener Hask, and Gedwin Tabe are notorious con men who the sheriff explains he forbade from operating their con games in Sandpoint. The insane man was identified as Grayst Sevilla, and was handed over to Erin Habe, caretaker of a sanatorium south of town. The sheriff provides the party with a letter of introduction to Habe. The sheriff deputizes the group and supplies badges after they ask.
The Lumber Mill
They begin at the lumber mill were a crowd has gathered but is held at bay by the watch, having been told to expect the party the watch let them into the lumber mill. Inside the mill is covered in sawdust with footprints and splashes of blood. Examining the tracks Rengar detects the scent of rotten meat and finds a set of footprints that entered through a window on the second floor. One body, that of Katrine Vinder, lies mangled, in a heap of bloodstained firewood on the lower floor, it appears she was killed in the mill’s log splitter. The other body, one of the mill’s operators, Banny Harker is found affixed to the wall by several hooks. The body id mutilated, the face carved away and lower jaw missing. His bare chest has a seven-pointed star carved into it. They identify the star as the “Sihedron Rune”. Examining the outside, Rengar finds where the prints of a barefoot human man clambefed out of the mud under the pier, crossed to the mill, and scaled the wall to a window on the second floor. Rengar decides to check the shoreline on the other side of the river but finds nothing.
Having searched the lumber mill and it’s surroundings, the group decides to head south to the sanatorium. They arrive at the sanatorium and are met by Erin Habe, who claims he is to busy to speak with group. After showing him letter from sheriff and some smooth talk he relents and lets the group speak to Grayst. He shows the group to a large room and returns with a man in a straight jacket with pale and gangrenous skin, wild hair, and milky white eyes. He is unresponsive until he spots Spiff, he starts talking about his lordship saying he would visit, and has a message he made me remember, “He said you should come to the Misgivings soon, to meet the Pack, for they have something wonderful to show you” While listening Spiff recognizes he is suffering from ghoul fever and decides to cure him, but as Spiff approaches Grayst collapses with a moan, moments later he rises a ghoul and the party quickly dispatch him. After dispatching Grayst they notice Erin on the other side of the room quite freaked out heading to a door. They ask and he tells them to go ahead an search the sanatorium. After some thought Garret recalls “the Misgivings” is another name the locals give the abandoned Foxglove Manor. They head upstairs to search and find a old and senile blind man on the second floor. Continuing to the third floor the find a empty cell, Grayst’s empty cell, and a cell occupied by a man afflicted with lycanthropy, after a short discussion Eon says he will return when he finds a cure. The final room they find has a large table with a patch of dead, decayed flesh. Returning to the first floor they find Erin with a old man in robes before they depart and head back to Sandpoint and resupply before heading to Foxglove Manor.
Having returned to Sandpoint, the group, still minus Dann who has not returned, is enjoying a meal at the Rusty Dragon, when the sheriff finds them and informs them there is a local farmer from the nearby farms that he thinks they should speak to. He takes them to meet Maester Grump who is frantically babbling about walking scarecrows. After calming him down, he recounts how the southern farmlands have become plaqued by walking scarecrows who come out at night, the farmers knew the problems began at the old Hambley place, as things haven’t been right there for a few days. A group of the locals went up there yesterday evening and were “attacked folks that looked like corpses but fed like starving animals, They even ate the dogs”. The sheriff asks the party to investigate. After a short trip they come to the outskirts of the Hambley farm. Following the road they come to a scarecrow among the crops, Spiff steps forward and pokes it with his sword releasing some of the straw within. They continue down the road, as they approach a crossroad with three scarecrows, two of them rip free from their bindings and attack. Garret lets loose with a volley of arrows dropping the first as it approaches, Eon fire an arcane missile at the other before Rengar steps forward and cleaves it in two. Moving along, feeling the scarecrows attack when you get close Garret decides to take target practice at range as the party winds through the fields on the way to the farmhouse. The first two scarecrows are filled with straw, but the third bleeds as the arrow strikes. Removing the hood they discover it was a farmer inflicted with ghoul fever tied up, he was on his last leg before turning. As they continue through the fields, with Garret continuing target practice, they find one more barely living scarecrow, one of straw, and eleven ghoul scarecrows. Finally reaching the farm, they decide to check out the barn first. Inside the barn they are met by six ghouls. Spiff steps in and immediately attacks dropping the first of the ghouls. Rengar steps in attacking two. Blue begins his routine of bad humor, the ghouls oblivious but it seems to inspire the group. Garret launches in with a volley of arrows, while Eon slings arcane energy. Spiff then moves in and channels the positive energy if his deity, killing two and wounding the others. They quickly dispatch the remaining ghouls with ease. Moving to the farmhouse, they find it in a terrible state, beyond the main room they see a decaying corpse on a table, but between them stands a ghast. Rengar immediately charges forward to engage, after swinging wildly the ghast strikes Rengar and his muscles all tense up and he finds himself unable to move or talk. Eon steps in releasing jets of flame from his hands, before Spiff smites the vile creature. Examining the body they find a seven-pointed star carved in the dead bodied chest, and a single piece of parchment pinned to its tunic, again with Spiff’s name on it.Handout 2-3 They also find a rusted iron key. With Rengar’s paralysis wearing off, they tend their wounds and decide to head to Foxglove Manor. Meanwhile, back in Sandpoint Dann returns and speaks to the sheriff. The sheriff informs him of where the party has gone to, and tells him there has been another murder in town while the party has been gone, and gives Dann a note addressed to Spiff that was left on the latest victim.Handout 2-4 Dann sets out to catch up with the party.
After another days travel they come to the remains of a buildings foundation as they approach Foxglove Manor, a few sickly looking ravens perched atop the stones, clumsily fly off as the group passes. Entering the manor from the front, they are greeted by a high ceilinged, creaking room that smells damp with the tinge of mold from the air, wooden floors, walls, and furniture. Moldering trophies hang on the walls, but pale in comparison twelve-foot-long stuffed manticore in the center of the room. A few members of the group briefly hear what sounds like sobs coming from somewhere upstairs, and Eon momentarily catches a whiff of burning hair and flesh.
Heading up the winding stairs they come to a hall lined with doors to all the rooms of the floor. The first door opens to a small room with another flight of stairs to the ground floor. Continuing they come to a room with a child-sized bed, a chair, and toy box. While examining the room Spiff suddenly becomes convinced his parents are trying to kill each other and whoever survives is going to come after him next, next he sees his mother wielding a torch, and his father, covered in festering tumors with a knife, and then he snaps out of it, realizing that wasn’t his parents. Next the party enters a large room with padded chairs and a couch facing a large alcove lined with stained glass windows. From left to right they depict, a large pale and ghostly scorpion, a gaunt man holding out his arms as a dozen bats hand from him, a moth with a strange skull-like pattern on its wings, a tangle of dull green plants with bell shaped flowers, and a young maiden sitting astride a well while a spindly spider the size of a dog descends a string of web above her. Eon thinks the subjects depict classic necromantic spell components. Following the outer wall the next dooe reveals an entire bedroom caked with thick, spongy layer of dark green, blue and black mold. Inspecting the room Blue hears a child’s fearful voice ask “what’s on your face mommy?” and for a split second feels the need to claw at his face. The next door opens unto a washroom, with a iron tub causing the floor to sag slightly around it. They send Blue in to investigate and the floor gives out under the gnome’s additional weight. Blue swiftly jumps and grabs hold of the floor as the tub and the floor fall to the washroom below. The final, outer room of the hall is what appears to have once been a fine chamber. The bed is smashed, walls gouged, chairs hacked apart, and paintings torn to pieces, with the exception of one, which hangs backwards, otherwise untouched. Searching the room the group turns the painting around revealing a portrait of a beautiful dark haired woman in a thoughtful pose. Eon, Garret, and Rengar, hear a female voice say" what do you get up to down in the damp below" and suddenly are filled with rage and the desire beat a woman, with none around they let loose on them selves, Garret draws his bow and shoots himself in the foot, Rengar starts swing his double axe wildly in an attempt to kneecap him self, and Eon begins hitting himself in the face with his staff. Blue quickly tries to daze Garret with a arcane cantrip, but he brushes it off and the three continue to end there own lives. Blue then tries the same on Eon, who also brushes his spell aside, and they continue to harm themselves. After a few more seconds of beating themselves they all snap out of it. The next door reveals a stair ascending to the next level, but the group decides to finish exploring the second floor before heading up. Next they go beyond a set of double doors towards the center of the manor. Inside they find a room with dusty, cobweb covered paintings, covering the walls. clearing the cobwebs the paintings reveal, to the north the portraits reveal a tall, middle aged man with long dark hair and nobles clothes, a stern-faced brunette woman. The five to the south reveal portraits of Traver and Cyralie, their son Aldern, and two daughters Sendeli and Zeeva, all identified by plaques with there names. After the last of the portraits is cleaned off, the rooms temperature drops, causing the parties breath to frost and the figures in the portraits shift to those of dead folk. Kasandra and Lorey, the two to the north, slump into tumor-ridden corpses. Traver grows pale with a long slit in his throat with blood covering his chest. Cyralie blackens and chars. Aldern’s flesh darkens with rot, his hair falls out, and he turns into a ghoul like creature, and Sendeli and Seeva’s portraits frost over. Vorel’s portrait frame and all, erupts into a explosion of fungus and disease. Moments later everything reverts to normal and Blue starts growling, clawed hands outstretch, claiming " Aaargh, I’m a mold monster". The rest of the group gives him a look of “whatever” and moves to the final room of the floor. Entering the final room of the floor they find, a room, while dusty, doesn’t show signs of water or mold damage, the lone exception is a dark stain on the desk near the rooms window. Inspecting the desk, Blue is overwhelmed, believing he has just killed the person he loves most. Overwhelmed with despair, he moves to the desk, retrieving a silver-handled dagger to cut his own throat, only to look down, seeing a splintered piece of wood is his hand and wonder where it came from.
Meanwhile aided by the ability to transform himself into a bird, Dann has tracked the group to the farmlands, and now to Foxglove Manor. Reverting to human form he approaches the manor, passing a group of sickly, unnatural looking group of crows, that clumsily fly away as he passes, and enters the mansion.