Monday, 17 October 2011

Carrion Crown Episode #3: The Demise of Herr Doctor Pruce

We left our heroes in the middle of the haunted Harrowstone prison, or what was left of it after it was destroyed by fire five decades earlier. Now, it is haunted by ghosts seeking to break out of the protective wards that have held them in check, wards it seems that have been weakened by a secret cabal of necromancers called The Whispering Way.

"You can trust me - I'm a doctor."
Early in the session our party ran into Doctor Victor Pruce, an Alchemist researching the nature of spirits. Pruce was clearly quite mad, and had little regard for his personal safety, for example frequently accompanying the paladin, Sir Erudil, in perilous situations.

We spent the session exploring those areas of the ground floor of the prison still unknown to us. Nicodemus banished a haunt from the infirmary using his Turn Undead ability to good effect. We found some cots for infants in the infirmary, which seemed out of place.

We also explored the wing of the ground floor overlooking the nearby Lake Bicsz, which had seemingly collapsed, and it was here that we were attacked by a haunted forge, where Sir Erudil received a severe toasting from its tongue of flame attack. He was duly restored to health by Veneticus. We also encountered some flying skulls that emerged from the hole in the ground which looks to lead to the lower levels. We destroyed these two - Erudil dispatched two in a goodly fury, while Pruce took care of the other.

Worryingly, Pruce continued to place himself in harm's way.

The party retired to Ravengor to rest - and level up - before continuing the exploration of Harrowstone prison. This time it was decided to take a look at the upper floor, accessed via a stairwell. We were relatively happy that we had cleared the ground floor out.

Poop, poop, parp!
The upper floor looked to have been a detention block, with numerous skeletal remains in the cells. We stumbled on what looked like the skeleton of the Charlatan, one of the mega bads that is now haunting the place. Sir Erudil and Nicodemus began to smash some of the skulls, but before they could finish, a ghostly piping announced the arrival of the Piper, accompanied by two large stirges and a posse of skeletons from the cell block. An epic battle ensued, but the piper was weakened by Nicodemus, playing his pipe and casting a Cure Light Wounds on him. Magic arrows from the ranger Braven helped him on his way.

While this was going on, Erudil and Veneticus were busy battling the stirges and skeletons. Veneticus was badly wounded, losing three CON points and having to expend a charge from his Wand of Restoration.

Pruce decided that we ought to seek to communicate with the Charlatan using a ouija board. He told us the warden's bade of office, which we need to subdue the lesser haunts, is in the dungeons. He admitted the holy symbols now in Veneticus' possession are his weakness. The Charlatan also managed to possess Pruce, levitating him into the air and causing him to vomit black blood. We tried to use the ghost trap to catch the Charlatan, but in vain. Pouring holy water on his symbols, and channeling godly energy into them also seems not to have worked.

Don't lose your head...
Proceeding onto the balcony, we encounted the scythe-wielding Executioner, another haunt. This fight turned against us for a while, with Pruce taking a critical hit, felling him and leaving him at negative seven (again, the good doctor hurled himself into the fray, although his leather coat was not up to the task). With the Executioner destroyed, Veneticus sought to restore Pruce with a Cure Light Wounds, but the ghost of the Charlatan intervened, turning the spell into an inflict wounds casting, and slaying the unconscious Pruce. At this point, the Charlatan chose to manifest...

Unfortunately, I'm not going to make the next session as I will be in Portugal. Veneticus is down to only one channeling charge, plus he has used a single Cure Light Wounds, swapped in for Detect Evil. This still leaves him with Hide From Undead, Summon Moster Level 1, and Protection From Chaos (his domain spell). He has also yet to use his other power which will enhance team AC by +2 in a 20ft radius, which is a daily. He still has all five uses of Touch of Law, for what they're worth. Let's hope we don't lose anyone else, eh?

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