Carrion Crown

Broken Moon Chapter 1 - The Shudderwood

Atop the highest tower of Schloss Caromarc, the group saves Count Caromarc from the casket that he had been entrapped in for four days. The Beast of Lepidstadt has fallen into the waters far below. Caromarc immediately instructs Aricelly to use the Bondslave Thrall and attempt to control the Beast. When she tries, she discovers that the Beast is in the river, but is unable to move his legs.

The group makes their way down to the river to save the Beast and finds him in the river with his lower body completely severed. As they are pulling him out, a vicious 9-headed Hydra emerges from the river and attacks them. The battle is gruesome, but eventually Lorian finishes the beast off with a shocking grasp that bursts the thing’s heads.

Back at Schloss Caromarc, the Count tells them about how the Whispering Way had taken over his manor and used the Bondslave Thrall to force the Beast to steal the Seasage Effigy from the University of Lepidstadt. He overheard them discussing some ritual, and thinks that they may be using it to revive the Whispering Tyrant. As an investment in Ustalav’s future, he gives the group a large sum of money to help them track down and defeat the Whispering Way.

Caromarc points the group towards the Shudderwood, saying that is where the cultists mentioned they were going next. If they were going to the Shudderwood, he estimates they would be going to Ascanor Lodge, and the only way to get there is through the Silent Path. He also informs the group that if they are going to try to go to Ascanor Lodge, they will need an invitation. He suggests they could get one from somebody they know who is politically connected, or may have some connection to the Esoteric Order of the Palantine Eye. The group immediately thinks of Judge Embreth Daramid.

Back in Lepidstadt, the group talks to Daramid and she offers to get them invitations and help them out with lodging while they stay in town to wait for invitations and their new equipment to arrive. They pass a week in town, Cebo gets into a bit of trouble after he is caught cheating at cards, then the group receives their invitations and leaves for the Shudderwood.

They find the Silent Path and begin making their way through the Shudderwood. It’s a quiet, eerie place with little life and little light. They travel throughout the day until they must set up camp in the middle of the narrow path through the trees. During the night, the group is attacked by Ettercaps, and drive them away easily.

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However, afterwards, during Aricelly’s watch, a strange harp music begins to play. When Lorian wakes up for his watch later, he finds that Aricelly is not there. He hears the harp music as well, but is able to fight off it’s charm effects. The group follows the harp music to find a tower, and inside finds a horrible abomination – a Weaverworm, who has charmed Arricelly with her music. The fight is brutal and disgusting, but Xue eventually slices the creatures entire backside off and she dies in a puddle of her own goo.

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Wrapped up in cocoons inside the tower, the group finds multiple corpses of goats, a horse, and two humans. They find a letter on one of the human corpses that they recognize as an invitation to Ascanor Lodge. When Arricelly speaks with the dead corpse, she finds his name is Echtmoor Dravin, from Lepidstadt.

Back at the Silent Path, they find that somebody has been around their cart, but did not seem to steal anything. They follow the tracks the person left, which continues down the path the way they were going. After several hours of travelling, they spot a horrible sight – the corpse of a human man, tied naked to a tree. A bundle of purple flours has been stuffed in his mouth and a silver hunting knife plunged into his chest.

When Lorian moves to pull the knife from the man’s chest, he trips a trap that fires a dozen crossbow bolts, many of them finding their target in Lorian’s chest. He falls unconscious, gravely injured. With the trap already tripped, Cebo takes the knife, the group loads Lorian into their cart and moves on down the path.

After nightfall, the group finally sees Ascanor Lodge in the distance.

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