The Carrion Crown

Haunting of the Fountain 4-10-13

Mitch

I am not one to record my thoughts or experiences, yet with the death of the professor I have decided to start a record of events following his death. I do this in hopes of gaining a better understanding of my abilities, and the events that surround his demise.

I arrived just in time to see that the funeral procession was beginning, I am very glad that I made it in time, as I was worried that I would arrive to late, due to my work with my father. Approaching the group of people that were around the coffin, I was more than a little surprised that the professor did not have a large congregation of mourners. I had expected that the professor would have had a much larger group of mourners and from the distress that his daughter was showing, she also had expected a much larger group than was present. With the town council in attendance, the only other mourners were a group of two scholarly looking men, a knight, and a demon (although I later learned she was a teifling, the mix of human and infernal heritage).

The group of us picked up the coffin and started taking it to its final resting place in the cemetery. The walk was short lived as I spotted a man on the hill near the entrance to a tomb, and once I spotted him I mentioned it to the knight in a whisper, in order to keep both of us aware of his movements, as he seemed unhinged. He started shouting shortly after I spotted him, something about all of us getting caught by a creature with many legs, whatever that means, and he ran into the woods after his short speech. Yet that was not the strangest event that transpired during our short journey with the coffin, as when we approached the final resting place of the professor, a mob of angry villagers was there to meet us. I attempted to talk them down, as I have little desire to hurt other living people. While I think given time I would have been able to talk them down, and show them that they should stay and mourn the passing of a friend, the knight had us all lower the coffin and then interposed himself between us and the villagers, placing a hand on his sword with a purpose toward violence. This caused the villagers to leave, and allowed us to finally put our friend to rest. Each of us said a few words about the professor, some of us more coherent then others, and then retired to the manor house of the late professor for the reading of the will.

While I was not expecting anything of note, what was given to those of us who attended the funeral was not what I had expected. It seems that the professor now expects us to spend a month here in the town, with the purpose of helping those in the village, and then return the books he had collected to help with his research back to a library in one of the larger cities in the region. We will be paid for the return of the books, yet I have an unsettling feeling being in the village, and was looking forward to leaving sooner rather than later. The others seem to have no issue with staying, yet the initial confrontation with the villagers does not have me in the best of moods to stay. One of the scholars found what looks like the personal journal of the professor, and noticed a number of things that the other have taken to be clues, and are all were all interested in exploring the same path that killed the professor.

Since the sun had not yet set the group decided to go to into town and talk with the clergy, something I do not think is wise, as the clergy has always looked upon me with hateful eyes. In an effort to allow the others the best chance at gaining information, I stayed outside along with the teifling. It did not take long before one of the scholars, the smaller of the two, came out and started walking around the church. Following the scholar, we found him standing next to a door, and it looked like he was attempting to break into the church in broad daylight. It took us a great deal of work to convince him that such an action would be both futile and does not prove that the professor would have done the same. I personally think it took a lot longer to talk him down than would be normal for any other person, I have a sinking feeling that this small scholar will pose a number of larger problems for the group due to his inquisitive nature.

Going back to the manor we ate dinner and were interrupted by a ghostly tapping from one of the windows in the upper floors of the manor. Approaching the window we saw the ghost of a bird, and if that wasn’t enough it screamed murderer and flew away. It was at that point that the teifling pulled her “gun” and shot at something in the darkness. Following behind the others I picked up my pack and went into the darkness with the rest of the group.

It was at this time, while trying to track the thing the teifling shot, that we were told by the paladin, turns out he is a holy knight, that the head priest said that a ghost of a girl has been seen near an old memorial to the souls of guards killed in a prison riot that happened years ago. With this new information, and the lack of ability to track the thing the tiefling shot, we headed toward the war memorial. Upon arriving nothing seemed out of place, each of us took to looking at various things in the area, as I do not think anyone else had any prior experience with ghost, as I sure did not. I moved close to the small scholar, as he was writing down the names on the memorial, I dediced to take a different approach, and made a rubbing of the names, just in case he lost his copy. It was while we were working on this that the rest of the group started making sounds that were both a bit of wonder and fear. The reason for this is that a ghost of a small girl was walking up the fountain near the memorial, and it was only after she dropped off some flowers in the water that we all realized that she was not actually a ghost, but rather just a very pale girl. As she tried to run away, the knight managed to talk her into staying and we learned a number of things, one of which is that the ghost bird we saw was her pet. It was while she was talking that a sudden explosion of water occurred behind us, and three spectral birds started trying to attack the girl. The knight took to shielding her with his own body, while a few of us attempted to kill the ghost. We managed to eliminate two of them before the small scholar figured out that this was a haunt, a residual energy left behind by the dead, and located the body of the girls’ pet bird.

Taking a moment to collect ourselves, the paladin decided that it was time for the girl to go home, and we escorted the girl to her house. The paladin ignored the girls pleas for quite, and awakened the girls’ parents by knocking on the door to the house. The father was most disappointed and angry with his daughter, yet the paladin did not seem bothered by the fathers anger. Taking that last moment we all decided that the best way to end the haunt would be to follow the advice of the small scholar, and seek out the killer of the bird, which happened to be the same crazy man we saw in the cemetery. Heading into the woods, we started searching for the path to this madman’s house, and it was a blood trail that helped us to get there, as it seems that the thing that the tiefling shot was the crazy man.

It took quite a while to finally traverse the distance from the town to the house of the madman, and house is a courtesy, as he lived in a shack attached to the top of a tree. It looked to easy, and proved to be that way, as the paladin accidently tripped a trap, falling into a pit with sharpened stakes. Further progression toward the shack, included a trek across a trapped bridge, and the tree house was inaccessible without a means of climbing up the tree, as the trunk had been coated with a poison that acted upon contact. We were a bit too loud however and the crazy man heard us and attacked, throwing a barrel of some foul substance on one of the party. I managed to talk him down and he allowed us access to his home, and the inside was just as crazy as the outside. The man was clearly deranged and the crap he had in his home just drove that fact home. In order to end the haunt we needed this insane man to come with us and apologize for killing the bird, yes I know this sounds crazy as well, and I was finally able to convince him to come with us to end this, if for no other reason than it would give him some piece.

Making our way back to the memorial, it took just a short amount of time for things to fall apart. As soon as the crazy man apologized he started having convulsions, and the four gargoyle statues on the fountain gained a semblance of life and attacked us. The small scholar was able to tell us that the gargoyles were not real, only manifestations of our own fear, and with that revelation they vanished, little more than tricks of light. Unfortunately the dismissal of the gargoyles signaled the arrival of something worse, and we brought that something with us. A extra planer creature exploded from the body of the crazy man, killing him in its birth, and attacked us quickly, sending out a cascade of light toward myself and the knight and tiefling. While it knocked out the other two, I was just stunned by the turn of events.

The fight ended quickly however, as the two scholars managed to lob bombs that the beast, and one of the scholars actually turned into a monster himself for a time. The small scholar collected some samples, and we took the remains away from the memorial, as there is no reason for the death to spook the rest of the town. We went back into the forest to collect the information from the “not –so-crazy” mans’ house. Afterward we went back to the manor and rested for the night. I have a feeling that this will not be our only encounter with the dead in our stay here in the town, I only hope that we have the ability to survive the month we have been asked to stay for.

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Mitch

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