Whispers from the Darkness

Inside Harrowstone

Text drawn from the journal of Willow, Mistwalker of the Virlych:

21-22 Calistril, 4711 AR

All I remember is tremendous fear and running for my life until I hit something, I think it was a door, full force. The pain to my head knocked me back to my senses, and left me looking around a bit confused. I found myself wondering why I was in the room that was freezing earlier, yet it wasn’t cold at all now…very peculiar. Peculiar indeed. (It would seem that our narrator’s senses were indeed affected by that blow: All reference to her compatriots has disappeared! Perhaps it wasn’t the blow, but her inborn selfish nature?)

I slowly started to head back, wondering what the hell happened and why I suddenly ran from a monstrosity that let out a scream. I must be weak if I’m running from a figure that normally wouldn’t terrify me so. I’ve seen far more frightening things up in the mountains. I must train harder to avoid fleeing from such an entity again. (And now we see her ego! There can’t possibly be things in this world that could affect her so! Tsk Tsk, my dear…)

Skeletons this time? I come back to my senses and meet up with Abel, only to wind up fighting more undead monstrosities. (Abel? An interesting name, with unknown history…research will be required into this…Abel…) The first couple weren’t so bad, but the third is just a nuisance. The bastard called up fire to make fighting him a pain in the ass, or in Abel’s case, a pain in the face. Fortunately for us, we had help from the other side that sent the final one – the one that gave us all that trouble – back to where he came from. Though, the rogue and myself were quite worse for wear by then. I healed up the rogue, not concerning myself with my own health at that moment. We returned to town and went to the temple for healing and rest before we’d take on the second floor of the prison.

Sadly, we discovered that by trying to lay the warden’s wife to rest and do a good deed, we made a major mistake. Somehow, the wards on the prison were tied to the warden’s last name (Hawklin), hence, his wife was the new warden that was keeping all the bad spirits in check…well…sort of. (Really? That was unforeseen. My curiosity is indeed peaked at this revelation!) We wound up having to get Kendra and her stubborn guest, as well as any people in the town to the temple. Sadly, the people were separated, many being in the town hall after darkness fell. While all the other townsfolk were in the temple. Trying to avoid panic and possible riots, we told people that they were doing early planning for the day of bones.

Wound up fighting zombies and Gibbs. Gibbs snapped out of his craze by the time I had him down enough in health, and sliced his own throat to end the madness. (This young woman continues to intrigue. She tells great details about some things, yet downplays other seemingly important occurrences…a trained mind would know better than to dismiss such events. Still, her account offers great perspective to events. ~A.)

Text drawn from the journal of Destryn Dorvinius, Outcast Scion of Ustalav’s House Dorvinius:

21 Calistril (continued), 4711 Absalom Reckoning

……. as I charged down the hallways back toward the screaming faced door room, I saw that up ahead the door was closed. Using my momentum I hurled myself at the door and knocked it off its hinges. As I stood up and looked back I realized that truly none of the others had followed me (the fools). I ran back to urge them to follow my lead only to be tripped as I leaped over Toreg who materialized in the doorway directly in front of me. Abel had himself trapped under the lone desk in the room as the blades whirled around him. I landed ungracefully in front of Abel and yelled at him to run, gathering myself as I did. I sprang up and followed Toreg out the door I had just so unceremoniously entered though. We slammed the door closed and proceeded to find a way around to Willow and Abel, who still hadn’t followed me. I surmised that they must have fled back toward the boiler room, so there we headed. (truly terrifying field trials invigorate the body’s humors indeed.)

After meeting back up with Willow and Abel, who seemed to have battled burning skeletons from the lake (I knew something was off about that lake), (Of course you did) we unanimously decided to head back to town and rest up. Now that life and limb were secure I began pondering the riddle of that bizarre ritualistic writing from the wall. This musing consumed me during the trek back to town and the temple of Pharasma.

21 Calistril (Evening), 4711 Absalom Reckoning

I was peripherally aware of the argument between Toreg and Father Grimburrow after we entered the church. I was on the verge of putting all the pieces of the riddle together. The professor’s journal entries about the Whispering Way, his death during his investigation, the bizarre ritual…the pieces were fitting. Then I had it! They were stealing the warden’s spirit and his transcended “authority” is what was holding the unruly spirits of the prison in check. The theft of the warden’s spirit is what stirred everything up, and his authority had passed to his wife, who was the only thing containing them now. Unfortunately, just as that realization came, I saw the Father and his acolytes finish the ritual “laying” the wardens wife to rest. (Hah!)

Fantastic!!(sarcasm there)….. who knows what would be descending on the town now. I tried explaining to everyone what had just happened, but I am still unsure if I adequately described the gravity of what had occurred. I urged the Father to get everyone inside the church, as hallowed ground would be much safer against the undead. Once again fate was not on my side as the sheriff rushed off to alert the town council, whom in undoubted civil procedure would call a town meeting. This would of course draw everyone to the town hall instead of the church, and they all would be vulnerable there. Hence lies the issue in these Palantates of the west. By throwing off their noble lords, the rustics have no shepherd to tend them.

Before thinking (very out of character I must admit), I rushed to the town hall to warn them of the impending apocalypse. On my way out of the church I ordered Abel and Willow to go get Kendra, and told Toreg to come with me. However the headstrong dwarf had already set off to get his cousin the blacksmith, leaving me alone. It only took a few minutes sprint to get to the town hall, but everyone was already assembling there. On the way I noticed a thick fog was settling around the village and an eerie green glow was coming from Harrowstone. I forced my way in to the crowded hall just as the councilman was calling order.

My fears were realized as I caught a glimpse of a floating, burning skull outside the windows, a fraction of a second before three of the hell-spawned things crashed into the room. Pandemonium ensued and I rushed to the citizens defense, thankfully no small children were present to be crushed in the surging mob. Drawing my rapier, I pushed magical energy into it and quickly cut down the nearest skull, dowsing myself in its liquid fire (once again my fiendish heritage payed off). I rescued a dozen or more people from another one as it dowsed a councilman with its liquid fire. After destroying the third skull, I lent immediate aid to those requiring it before helping the sheriff arrange evacuation to the temple.

In the distance I noticed a mob of farmers, that must have heard the bells, making their way to the temple. As I helped keep the lines moving I saw Gibbs rushing to the sheriff, covered in blood. Moving to intercept the crazed man I suggested the safest place for him would be the temple. He seemed to buy that and headed in that direction. Seeing that the bucket brigade to put out the town hall, and the evacuation, were now well organized and would continue unhinged without me, I decided to head for the temple myself.

As I made my way across the bridge toward the temple some sort of ruckus was occurring at the head of the evacuation line. I quickly realized that the mob of farmers I saw earlier weren’t farmers…they were the risen dead. Dashing forward, I hoped to put myself between the fleeing townsfolk and the walking dead. After closing with the beasts I saw that Toreg and his cousin were holding the front line as I flanked the mob. I cut loose with a sweeping blast of flame, and as three or four of them caught fire they turned to face me. I ably parried and dodged a few clumsy blows and managed a strike of my own, downing one. However I was soon overcome by the sheer number of hammering fists and claws raining in, a lucky shot landed across my head. I fell ever so slowly, my vision swimming in and out, blackness overcame me as I hit the ground… (Perhaps drama should be this one’s true calling, as it is applied heavily here. No doubt this will be quite popular in certain circles when it is published. Even the learned need reading materials at times when heeding nature’s call.)

I came to, gagging as Abel poured a vial of healing elixir down my throat. The risen had been dealt with, I can only assume by Toreg, his cousin, and Abel. My companion Abel assisted me (I was still quite woozy) to the entrance of the temple where I found Willow splattered with blood. I surmised that the blood must have belonged to Gibbs as his body was laying nearby (odd that she felt the need to kill him, he only seemed a bit confused when I directed him to the temple). Abel helped me inside to a bench, a blanket, and food. Before passing out I took the time to write these entries. Research indicated that the prison had a great deal of ambient energy circulating within. I must admit that I feel a bit vindicated at the cautious approach taken there. -A.)

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