Ravenloft 2017 (Whitebox Gothic)

Hanging Day in Mordentshire

Attending:
Simon the Monster Hunter (Jesse)
Nasrat Ali Khan (Trevor)
Keegan the Monster Hunter (Ryan)

The adventure opened up in Mordentshire in the aftermath of the introduction of Simon the Monster Hunter. The Ram and Mallet, still home base to our adventuring crew, was all abustle with the upcoming Hanging Day, in which the criminals of Mordentshire and environs were to be hanged. Hanging Day also functions as a major market day and the whole town gathers for the grim entertainment as the criminals are put to the noose.

The crew carried out several investigations, Nasi was introduced to Simon and following the day’s events, a carriage pulled up outside the inn and a letter was delivered from the same mysterious carriage encountered in the last session, promising to help them discover “TRUE EVIL” if they ventured to the Hawthorne mausoleum in the cemetery. Nasi followed the carriage to the cemetery but, seeing it disappear into the tombstones, thought better of venturing in alone at night.

At midnight, they journeyed to the mausoleum and met Eminence Hawthorne, a ghoulish individual who appears to be the owner of the carriage, served by his bizarre rag-wrapped footman Squanders. Hawthorne offered them a deal. He would give them information in exchange for them preventing a cannibalistic cult from consuming the criminals that were to be hanged tomorrow. The cult was made up of four pillars of the community of Mordentshire, and the meal was prepared by a strange “presence from beyond.” Hawthorne wished to have the criminals to himself. If they could ensure this, he would answer one question within his power. If they could in fact destroy the cult and slay the cultists, he would answer one additional question for each slain cultist.

Some minor misadventures occurred in which Simon wandered through the town at night looking for information but finding little. Finally Simon and Nasi staked out the jail and discovered that one of the guards had been bribed by the cultists to deliver the criminals’ bodies to the abandoned cliffside property known as Hook House.

Simon posed as a food vendor for an embittered elderly woman whose nephew was being executed. Then they found the guard and bribed him to let them take the criminals bodies to Hook House. This was accomplished with the bribe. The criminals (two robbers, a rapist and two cow-stealers) were executed after a blessing by Ladavius Spencer, one of the men listed as a cultist by Hawthorne. (In fact, this is one of the priests that had rejected the PCs’ entreaty for a Holy Symbol in Session2). Criminal corpses aboard, the wagon was taken straight to the cemetery and delivered to E.H. He offered them one question on the spot, (see below.)

Then the crew took the wagon up the road to Hill House, stopping at a pigfarmer to slaughter and and “steal” his pigs. (They left a compensation for the poor pigs at his door.) Thinking to use the pigs as a cover for the executed criminals, they approached Hook House, which they found disconcertingly well-guarded — by 13 armed men.

Entering the House, Simon found a strange Swine Demon in the kitchen, preparing a man as food— soon they realized that they were in fact so late that the cultists and/or the Demon had in fact decided to prepare one of their own for the feast. A pitched battle ensued between the crew and the demon; they lit him on fire and Nasi slew him with his Holy Staff. During this altercation, Father Spencer opened the door wonderingly and seeing the combat, fled. Simon and Keegan pursued and slew Calvin Buckham the wool merchant. Keegan then tackled Spencer and knocked him out, capturing him alive. The last of the cultists tried to rouse his guardsmen to his aid, but Simon fooled them with a claim to be agents of the “Circle of Puritanical Wisdom”(!), an order of zealous monster-hunting inquisitors. (Much luck was burned on this unlikely charisma check.) When the cultist, enraged, fought back against Keegan and Simon, they slew him and the guards melted away into the night, hoping to never hear of this incident again.

Nasi meanwhile searched the house and found a silver ring in a secret space behind a painting as well as a secret door in the wine cellar that led down into a steep, stone stairway. However, they wanted only to get the cultists back to Hawthorne and claim their prize, which they did, and Hawthorne granted them an additional question as they had in fact slain the swine-demon as well as the cultists. (Father Spencer was given alive to Hawthorne, who had Squanders get a coffin … as he apparently intended to bury him alive.)

More questions were asked and answered (see below) and we ended there with the midnight conference; the crew intended to go back to Hook House, search the remaining bodies and the rest of the house before any authorities or the emboldened guardsmen returned. Session ended there.

Notes:

The cultists were:
1. Ladavius Spencer (The Drycheeks father that they met in Session 2) – Wiry, old, bad bald spot (Delivered alive but half-comatose to Hawthorne)
2. Calvin Buckham (Prominent wool merchant) – Slain by Keegan
3. Everson Gryphon (Town magistrate) – porkchop sideburns – Apparently butchered by his own brethren and t/or the Swine Demon.
4. Kurtis Scopes (Customs Officer) – scarred ex-Marine.- Slain by Keegan in combat while the guards watched, hesitating.

The questions :

Q:
Where is the witch who slew Keegan’s village? 
A: Hawthorne didn’t know much but a witch had come through Mordentshire from the Oceans of the West. He only knew that she traveled North, to Falkovnia or Darkon or Dementlieu; she had not gone South. (This was not counted as a full question.)

Q: What is the Black Needle?
A: The Black Needle is the most powerful object in the Lands. It will destroy any monstrous Lord of these Lands, Godfrey’s Ghost, the Three Sisters, even Azalin himself. (Most of these names didn’t mean much to the crew, but that’s what he said.) It is quite powerful but its use comes with a price. It is also called the Goat’s Tooth.

Q: Who are the Weathermays?
A: (This involved some editorializing from Hawthorne apparently): They are do-gooders and self-righteous nobles who think they have the right to avenge injustice and so on because their ancestors made a bad marriage with Godfrey long ago.

Q: Where is the sword Derasiteur? This holy blade is in the possession of the Weathermays.

There are three questions owed by Hawthorne to the trio; they decided to retain them for future use.

View
Enter Simon.. the Hunter!

Attending:

Keegan the Monster Hunter – Ryan
Nimush the Spiritualist – Rachel
Simon the Dhampir – Jesse

Nimush has come out of her meditative trance and rejoins Keegan in the Ram and Mallet, while Simon Mignolet and Nasi continue their studies at Guillaume’s townhouse.

Shortly thereafter, a stranger enters the Ram clad in rather ostentatious red leather armor. Moments later, a young woman enters and recites the story of a serving girl pursued on the streets of Mordentshire by a strange wild-eyed night creature. Though unharmed, the poor girl, Katie McGilroy, was terrified and barely escaped to her job at the Wellington House outside Mordentshire.

Simon the Hunter (as the new stranger was called) met Nimush and Keegan and then retired. The next night, Sioban the serving girl reported a strange creature that had crawled around the outside of their serving girls’ quarters, though again no one was harmed. The strange creature matched Katie’s description, including the exotic “devil’s hat” tipped with the broken circle ( a corruption of Uther’s holy circle.)

At this point, Simon the Hunter urged Mrs Cooper to try to get a bounty for this creature, which was set at 100 sp. He enlisted the aid of Nimush and Keegan who joined him in staking out the Wellington estate where the girls worked. Keegan and Nimush watched from the stables while Simon watched from the garden.

During their stakeout, a strange carriage appeared and the heavily cloaked driver beckoned them nearer. Keegan approached bravely and found an enevelope in the carriage, which invited them to enter and ride to meet the mysterious individual who had signed the letter as “E.H.” After conferring, the trio decided NOT to go in the carriage and instead to stick with their stakeout. The carriage asked Keegan if he should call for him another time and Keegan told him to find him at the Ram and Mallet. The PCs resumed their stakehout.

Later that night, they spotted a shape crawling about on the servants’ quarters ( a detached building) and made their way to find the interloper, but found no one. Nimush talked with the girls and tried to convince them to keep the windows shut above all else. Shortly after this, they heard some scrambling in the woods and Nimush and Keegan rushed into the forest to find the source. They found a scene of violence and Keegan managed to track his quarry, finding Simon there. But it was much more than just Simon— a Spider Hag was waiting for them, and threatened to abuse their true names (she had overheard them talking) if they didn’t find the hair of a virgin girl to appease her. A short combat ensued in which Simon dove out of a tree onto the hag before they managed to gang up and destroy her.

The PCs also found 4 dead girls’ bodies spider-cocooned in the tree, devoid of hair but otherwise intact. They buried the girls and sanctified the ground as best they could before burning the hag’s remains, which turned into a foul-smelling smoke when they poured holy water on it. While they did this, Simon the Hunter disappeared yet again.

Making their way back to the Wellingtons’ estate, the patriarch ordered them off his land. The trio made their way back to the Ram and Mallet separately. Nimush and Keegan were surprised when Simon appeared with the “devil’s hat” that Katie and Siobhan had both reported and claimed the bounty! Mrs. Cooper took them to the Mayor’s house where the mayor (Samuel Stowe) reluctantly accepted the hat as proof and paid the 100 sp.

Simon the Hunter left town with Keegan and Nimush and at his makeshift camp outside of Mordentshire, Simon revealed that he was “the monster” all along, a charlatan acting out this ruse in order to hunt the creature and claim the bounty! Keegan at first refused his silver, but they finally made amends and Simon agreed to consider helping them again. They split up the silver and Keegan also sold his gold nugget he had found int he Fallows house.

Keegan and Nimush seemed to be set to wait for the approach of the mysterious carriage, curious as to where it would lead…

View
The House of Torrance Fallows

Attending:

Keegan the Monster Hunter (Ryan)

Nasrat Ali Khan (Trevor)

Simon Mignolet (Todd)

The session picked up with the three companions seeking to learn more about Napier's death and considering whether to aid James Fallows by investigating his cousin's house.

Returning to Napier's house, Simon utterly charmed the sage's housekeeper, Mme Laforge, and she agreed to let them stay there with her as long as they wanted (until such time that the property will be sold, revert to the village, etc.)  They investigated further but found little of value. Simon did find that the reference in Napier's journals to the "Plaguebloom" would appear to reference a very rare and dangerous type of flower that is so toxic that a few blossoms could poison a whole community.  They also ascertained that the "B.W." referred to in the journals must be the "Black Widow" of Borca and that perhaps the strange "Spanish-looking" gentleman at the inn was from Borca.

Finally, they met with Fallows and agreed to investigate his cousin's house.  They scouted the grounds and Fallows offered them their choice of rewards:  They could either take the property or the contents of the house, whichever they preferred.  Briefly. they returned to town to acquire some holy symbols, rejected from both the larger temple of Sacred Weeping Uther and the smaller temple of Holy Dessication.  Fortunately for all involved, Mme Laforge loaned the party her own tin painted holy symbol and allowed them to use Napier's.  Thus after a large meal and a good night's sleep, they returned in the morning to enter the Fallows estate.

Wary of being locked into an evil house, the party removed the doors from all the entrances, save the Northern side door, which they spked open.  Entering from the rear door that looked out on the overgrown garden, they found the first floor mostly empty.  Looking back to make sure that the doors had not somehow shut them in, they discovered that the world beyond the house now appeared to be a torn, twisted hellscape.  Looking through the next window, they saw a blasted arctic plain.  The next door showed the desert where Ali Khan had camped and lost his family to a dragon; the next door showed  Keegan's home village  (Ali Khan who had known Keegan in this time, and recognized the village, did not share this.)  The Southern side door showed a strange amulet on a pedestal— perhaps the very sort of thing Simon was seeking in order to bolster his power.

The rest of the first floor was quiet, though Nasrat did discover a severed head boiling in the kitchen's hearth-cauldron, which narrowly missed vomiting boiling water all over him.   They decided to explore the second and third levels before venturing into the wine cellar.  

The second floor was largely empty, but the third floor had a large attic sewing gallery.  One lit candle perched on a table, and as they entered, it fell into a pile of old dry fabric.  They tried to put out the flames (2 critically failed rolls!) but failed miserably and finally ran back down to the first floor, hoping to find the secret in the cellar before the entire house burnt down around them!

There they found a strange imp with Torrance Fallow's head and a whip made of human tongues, aided by two undead domestics.  The many adventurers who had already perished in the house had been hung alongside the cellar walls, trying to grab anyone who came too close.   A short combat ensued with Ali Khan mightily smiting the imp (critical hit) with both his staff and a holy symbol they had found elsewhere in the house.

As the house was burning down quickly, they quickly fled the scene; after the demon perished, the way looked clear to return to their world. 

Treasure:  Ali Khan found a signet ring emblazoned with a stylized   and also they found some raw gold nuggets int he servants' quarters, as well as what appears to be a valuable gold-plated holy symbol.

View
Welcome to Mordentshire

The characters have arrived in Mordentshire from various places in 17th century Earth.  They are seeking the sage known as Guillaume Napier.

Nimush (Rachel) -  A Native American spiritualist in her early 30s disguised as a man.  Seeking stories and healing to advance her career and understanding.

Simon Mignolet (Todd)-   Metaphysician, a son of a wool merchant family from France who is seeking knowledge and spell casting power.   Has heard that Napier has an amulet that has great spellcasting powers.

Keegan (Ryan)-  Monster Hunter -  a relentless vanquisher of the restless dead.  Former village blacksmith whose village was wiped out by witch’s undead minions.  He’s the only survivor.   Seeks the sage to help him find out why his village was destroyed and help him find and kill the witch.

Nasrat Ali Khan (Trevor)-  Reanimated -  As a living merchant, Nasrat’s caravan took refuge in a cave and found a giant sand lizard, who destroyed his family and colleagues.  He awoke months later in a strange land, pieced together from various corpses.  His matching arms and shoulders (brown) are fit into a back (white) that is missing the bridge of the massive tattoo that (should) span his back.   He has a left tentacle for a forearm.

Session 1 starts with the characters awaking in the common room of Ram and Mallet, an inn in which they stayed after arriving on the Javelin (ship) from Earth.  Discovering their common cause to seek out Napier, they sought directions from the proprietress, Mrs. Cooper, and made their way to Napier’s townhouse.

Note:  The common room was also host to the handsome young blond man and a mysterious stranger who looked vaguely Spanish/Italian to the strangers.

As they made their way to Napier’s house, they encountered James Fallows who claimed to be looking for competent strangers to help them with a task.  They took note but moved on.

Investigating Napier’s house, they befriended Mme Laforge, his housekeeper, and found that the corpse, though locked into his attic office and dressed in finery, had been literally gnawed to death by dozens of little mouths.  He also had a loaded pistol just inches away from his outstretched hand. 

The PCs found his real journal hidden in a secret attic compartment and made their way out just before the constables arrived.

The PCs then met James Fallows and he made them a formal offer to investigate and rid his inherited property of evil spirits.  (Inherited from his distant cousin Torrance Fallows).

The PCs attended the funeral of Napier and briefly met the Weathermay family (mentioned favorably in Napier’s journal).   They found that the Weathermays are hosting the blond stranger (Lils Kasper) and briefly met him.

They inquired with Mrs Cooper about Fallows and she spat, indicating that Fallows are from Dementlieu, with whom Mordent is in a trade war.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.