Western Alliance Runelords Campaign

Hook Mountain: Final Chapter

Hook Mountain: Final Chapter

• The party takes up the task of searching for Commander Lamatar Bayden in the Shimmerglens. They find the swamp even darker and more haunted than it is reputed to be. Upon entering, they run into an agitated pixie named “Yap” who lives up to his name and explains that his mistress, the guardian of the forest, a nymph named Myriana, was also Commander Bayden’s lover. She is ill and the forest has become a reflection of her sickness. Yap is sure the party can save her from her terrible affliction.

• As the party delves deeper towards the center of the forest, strange apparitions and visions afflict members of the party. Faces of people, some familiar and some strange, appear in pools of water and shadows. The group encounters derelict ship in the swamp, several hundreds of miles from the sea, with a long-dead captain sitting at a moldering harpsichord. A white dog appears on deck and then darts off into the forest. Later, when leaving the forest and walking past this spot, they note that the ship has vanished without a trace.

• At the heart of the forest and the terrible sadness of this place, the group finally encounters Myriana, but she is no longer a beautiful nymph, but rather a torn and twisted ghost, still lingering where she was murdered. She rises from the muck and tells her horrible tale: the lamia matriarch Lucrecia knew that Lamatar visited Myriana here, tipped off by the traitor Kaven, and beset them both with a group of Kreek ogres the night Fort Rannick was attacked. They forced Lamatar to watch as the ogres had their way with Myriana, then took Lamatar away. Her spirit, anguished and insane became a ghost. “Return my beloved to me! Or I shall find him with my vines and my dark trees will eat the land and churn your people to bone and misery!”

• The party returns to Fort Rannick to resupply and then sets out to make a final assault on the clanhold of the Hook Mountain ogres.

• The party battles several groups of Kreeg ogres, a hill giant, and discovers a statue of a giant with a large Sihedron medallion. They also stumble across a coven of Annis hags who have infused these caves with evil. They are so powerful that they transform Blunt into…a fish! The party cleverly dumps out the witches’ cauldron, fill it with water, and dumb Blunt the Trout into it. He barely survives. At this point, with no hope of changing back their friend, Sir Gregor prays to his deity, Iomede, to save his friend. Miraculously, Iomede responds and agrees to change Blunt back, but for a price. Sir Gregor must pledge himself as a paladin of Iomede for ever more. He does and Blunt is returned to life, but now as a female servant of both Iomede and Sarenrae!

• The group next encounters Commander Lamatar Bayden, now transformed himself into a frost wight by the coven of hags, who attacks them with his bow and level draining ability, but he is quickly dispatched and his body saved for return to the Shimmerglens.

• Finally, the group enters the main hall of the ogres and discovers that the clan is not led by an ogre, but rather a very powerful stone giant necromancer named Barl Breakbones. After a near-death battle with Barl and his minions, the party is victorious in slaying these enemies and bringing peace to Hook Mountain and the region for the first time in decades.

• But they have also unearthed even darker plans. A letter to Barl from someone named “Mokmurian” lays out designs to attack the party’s hometown of Sandpoint for some purpose. Why would the stone giants attack Sandpoint? Who is Mokmurian? Where is Jorgenfist? And did he just mention a dragon? Time to saddle up and get back to Sandpoint!

• On their way back, they stop in the Shimmerglens with the body of Commander Bayden. Myriana is overjoyed and in her final act, she casts reincarnate upon him, and Bayden is transformed into a centaur warrior, infused with the love and spirit of Myriana. He takes up his role as guardian of the Shimmerglens and this region.

• Myriana also bestows upon Blunt the Gift of Lasting Inspiration, which has both short-term and long-term benefits to Blunt. (gains a +4 insight bonus on all Will saving throws, Craft checks, and Perform checks)

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Hook Mountain Recap
The Story So Far...

The story so far…

• After relaxing a few weeks in Magnimar, Lord Grobaras hired you to investigate what has happened at Fort Rannick near the town of Turtleback Ferry in the Hook Mountains. An old friend from Sandpoint, Shalelu Andosana asks to accompany you.

• After a quiet journey, you arrive at Turtleback Ferry and learn that half the town has Sihedron tattoos. These tattoos gave them perks at the floating casino on the lake, which mysteriously sunk a few weeks ago.

• The mayor of Turtleback Ferry reports that the rangers who guard Fort Rannick are known as the Black Arrows. They are constant fixtures in the town but have all but disappeared in the past 5 days.

• On the way to the fort, the party helps a trapped firepelt cougar escape a trap set by a half-ogre. The cougar leads the party to the Graul Farm, home to an in-bred, backwoods clan of deformed half-ogres. They discover three Black Arrow rangers being held captive and free them.

• The rangers are Vale Temros, Kaven Windstrike, and Jakardros Sovark. Their platoon was out on a scouting mission when the fort was attacked and taken by Hook Mountain ogres from the Kreeg clan. They mounted an attack to retake the fort but were driven off into the woods where they were captured by the Graul family.

• Jakardros is Shalelu’s father. In his younger years, he had met an elf maiden near Sandpoint and they had a child. During an adventure, Jakardros was taken captive and could not return home for months. Shalelu’s mother died during this time. Upon hearing the news from afar that his beloved was dead, Jakardros was too grief-stricken to return home. Shalelu never forgave Jakardros. Behind the scenes, she confronts Jakardros. He explains himself and asks for her forgiveness. He hopes that after this conflict is over with the ogres that he and Shalelu can start over again as father and daughter.

• The Black Arrow rangers ask the party to join them in an assault on Fort Rannick. They want revenge on the Kreeg ogres and to rescue any of their comrades still alive, especially their leader, Commander Lamatar Bayden. The party agrees and they decide a secret infiltration of the fort is better than a direct assault.

• The attack is a success but it comes at a price. Jakardros is mortally wounded and dies in Shalelu’s arms. In the last few moments, both forgive each other. The half-orc sorcerer Zhandre dies fighting the leader, Jaagrath Kreeg. Finally, they discover that the ogres gained entrance to the fort because of Kaven Windstrike. He flees to the caverns underneath the fort, where they meet…

• The lamia Lucretia has taken up residence in the caverns beneath Fort Rannick. She has marked half the residents of Turtleback Ferry with the Sihedron Rune and plans to collect all their souls when the town is wiped out by a massive flood. Already, the Hood Mountain ogres are at work on the dam at Storval Deep, which is quickly filling with water thanks to unnatural rain and flooding. She and Kaven attack the group but are killed after an epic battle. The town must be warned!

• The people of Turtleback Ferry are in trouble! A great flood threatens the town, as well as Black Magga, a giant monster that has been washed down from the Storval Deep. The party saves the townspeople and drive off Back Magga, becoming heroes to the people of Turtleback Ferry.

• Vale Temros has decided to rebuild and fortify Fort Rannick, recruiting new Black Arrows from the region. But he is worried that the Hook Mountain ogres will destroy the dam and wipe out the valley below. He believes that the entire Kreeg clan must be destroyed.

• The party ascends to the dam at Storval Keep, a massive structure built by the ancient Thassilonians called Skull’s Crossing. After defeating the ogre demolition crew, the party unlocks the secret of the dam’s inner workings and are able to safely open the floodgates and stop the dam from bursting.

• Back at Fort Rannick, repair work continues. Vale Temros is worried that the remaining Kreeg ogres on Hook Mountain will attack before the fort is ready. They have also still not found Commander Lamatar Bayden. He was last seen leaving the fort before the ogre attack to go on a “communion walk” in the Shimmerglens, a swampy area nearby. As the leader of the Black Arrow rangers it was not uncommon for him to commune with nature several times a week. However, he had not returned since his last visit to the area.

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Role Call!!

Sir Gregor Warsmith, Human Cavalier
Miska, Aasimar Ranger
Blunt, Drow Cleric
Milan, Human Fighter
Dellnia, Elf Summoner
Khlemh, Half-elf Alchemist
Zahndre, Ex-Half Orc Sorcerer

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Kreek ogres in Fort Rannick

Ogres.jpg
Fort Rannick ogres

Jaagrath.jpg
Jaagrath Kreeg, Leader of the Ogres

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Fort Rannick!
Attack on the Ogres!

After defeating the backwater Graul family of ogrekin, you rescued three members of the Black Arrow rangers. Jakardros, Vale, and Kaven. Jakardros is Shalelu’s stepfather and they have a tearful reunion. They report that they were sent out on patrol by the leader of the Black Arrows and while they were gone, the ogres somehow got into Fort Rannick. Now, it is up to them to take back the fort and get revenge for the deaths of so many good warriors. The PC’s decide to help and devise a plan to sneak into the fort via the waterfall on the west side. Thanks to the insider info from the rangers, the group gets into the caverns behind the fort walls, battles some shocker lizards and a specter, and discovers that Kaven has slipped away from the party.

The group tries to sneak into the main keep building but are spotted by ogre guards and the fun begins! Wave after wave of ogres attack the group but somehow they stave off the assault, taking down ogres and stronger ogre fighters. The half-orc sorcerer Zahndre is particularly good at this as he sends a massive fireball into a decrepit building and drops the entire thing down on three ogres, killing two instantly and severely injuring a third. unfortunately, Jakardros is killed during this battle, and Vale drags his body into the keep along with the party.

Inside the keep, the group discovers the grisly remains of the Black Arrows, their body parts being used and eaten by these monstrous ogres. It is easy to turn this rage into revenge, as the party clears out the first floor and moves to the second. It is here that the climactic battle against the ogre leaders takes place. The party is split between three groups: a couple of ogre fighters, an ogre sorcerer, and the huge leader Jaagrath Kreeg. Mid-way through the battle, Zahndre finds himself fighting toe to toe with Jaagrath and while he fights valiantly, he is mowed down by Jaagrath and killed. A few rounds later, the battle is over but Zahndre is lost. What will happen next? the only place left to look is in the catacombs below the Fort…

Everyone should be at 9th level at this point. Tim will need to decide whether to roll up another character or tell us to resurrect Zahndre.

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Turtleback Ferry and The Grauls!
A backwater town and banjo playing hillbilly ogrekin!

A Friendly Guide
Just before you are scheduled to leave, there is a knock on your door. You open it to find a familiar and friendly face: the elven ranger Shalelu Andosana. You first encountered Shalelu in Sandpoint when she schooled you on the different goblin tribes in the region. She was in Magnimar and heard from one of the merchants that you were buying supplies for a journey east to Fort Rannick. She would like to accompany you. “I am heading that way anyway.” And “I have my reasons”.

ELF FIGHTER 2/RANGER 4 CR 5
Female elf fighter 2/ranger 4
CG Medium humanoid (elf)
Init 3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (
4 armor, 3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural)
hp 53 (6d10
16)
Fort 10, Ref +8, Will +3; +2 vs. enchantments, +1 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk short sword +8/
3 (1d6+1/19–20)
Ranged 1 composite longbow +11/6 (1d8+2/×3)
Special Attacks favored enemy (goblinoids 2)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +2) 1st—resist energy
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 21
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot,Skill Focus (Acrobatics), Weapon Focus (composite longbow)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +12, Stealth
15, Survival +10, Swim +10
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin
SQ elven magic, favored terrain (forest +2), hunter’s bond (companions), PC gear, track +2, weapon familiarity, wild empathy +3
Combat Gear sleep arrows (10), potion of delay poison, potions oflesser restoration (2), wand of cure light wounds (25 charges), antitoxin (2); Other Gear +1 studded leather, +1 composite longbowwith 20 arrows, masterwork short sword, amulet of natural armor +1,campfire bead, cloak of resistance +1, backpack, bedroll, climber’s kit, flint and steel, manacles, silk rope (50 ft.), sunrods (3), trail rations (4 days), waterskin, winter blanket, wooden holy symbol, 8 pp, 2 gp

The Road to Turtleback Ferry

On the third night of your journey, you have set up camp for the evening and set a watch. At Midnight, you are attacked by a pack of 7 Boggards.

Turtleback Ferry
(see page 392)

Population: 430
Mayor and Priest: Maelin Shreed (Erastil)
Inn: the Turtle’s Parlor
Tavern: Bottom’s Up
General Store
Smith: Irontooth’s Metal Goods

Rumors on Page 395
Most of the locals will direct strangers and adventurers to Mayor Shreed at the Church of Erastil. He offers free spellcasting services to the party if they can determine what is going on at Fort Rannick just north of the town.

Biggest backstory: Things have been odd of late: rains came early, livestock missing, hunters and trappers missing. A month ago, the pleasure barge “Paradise” sunk and nearly two dozen people died. And then they lost contact with the rangers at Fort Rannick. Mayor Shreed sent out a group to find out why and they did not return. That is why he sent word to Magnimar’s mayor Grobaras to assist them.

Paradise
Casino barge run by a beautiful red-haired woman named Lucrecia. It attracted locals and neighboring villagers, bringing both money and sin into Turtleback Ferry. No one know how or why it sank and efforts to recover evidence have been blocked by particularly vicious fish that have converged around the wreck. (397)

Mark of the Sihedron
Each day, PCs make a DC30 Perception Check to notice people with the tattoo. Most deny they even have it let alone how they got it. But if made friendly, a townsfolk will admit he got it at the Paradise barge. For a small feel, the tattoo would allow admittance to Paradise without paying the cover fee. Also, many received special perks once on board.

Road to Fort Rannick
Old road leading up along the banks of the Skull River. As the party crosses an old wooden bridge to the western shore about 3 miles north of Turtleback Ferry, they should make Perception Checks. The highest check hears a yowl of pain in the woods nearby, like a wounded cat. Kibb the firepelt cougar is caught in a bear trap. As the party investigates and helps the cougar, they hear barking and breaking of twigs as Rukus and his dogs approach.

Kibb the firepelt cougar leads you down a trail towards an old farm. He clearly wants you to go there, so you follow…

The Graul Farm

The Grauls dwell on a sickly farm in a clearing in the forest. The woods around their land are decorated with several hanging cornhusk-and-leather humanoid-shaped fetishes meant to ward off intruders—an investigation of any of these fetishes reveals they’re stuffed with what appears to be a mix of dirt and human hair. A tangled field of corn and other diseased plants grows in the eastern section of their land, while to the north slump two sagging buildings: a barn and a farmhouse. Both have had their windows boarded over, and moss and fungus grow heavy on the shaded sides of the decrepit structures.

Crowfood
Just outside the farm, you are attacked by an 8-foot-tall ogrekin named “Old Crowfood.” Crowfood’s grotesquely deformed head resembles a giant pumpkin on the right side—a huge puffy mass of tumors and overgrown bone giving his head a lopsided look. The ogrekin stalks the perimeter of the farmstead day and night, constantly on the lookout for intruders and working to scare crows and other animals away from his pride and joy: the cornfield.

You defeat Crowfood and his hounds, but now you are faced with how to approach this old, grotesque farmhouse, and what might be inside… (cue banjoes!)

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Intro to The Hook Mountain Massacre
Part One: The Road to Rannick!

Having defeated the lamia matriarch Xanesha and uncovering her plot to reap souls for an even darker force, something connected to the Sihedron Rune, our heroes are taking some days to relax. It was Xanesha who had manipulated several people in both Sandpoint and Magnimar into a world of lies, deceit, and murder. Even the Lord Mayor of Magnimar was targeting for assassination, but you have successfully saved him and hundreds of people from suffering the same fate. Now, with the Skinsaw Murders solved, your wounds and sore muscles healed, it may be time for the next great adventure!

Winter has come to this part of Virisia which means heavy rains and flooding threaten folks in the wilderness and those in the city of Magnimar are growing tired of the inclement weather. Having gained the favor of Mayor Grobaras, you have decided to stay in Magnimar and enjoy the City of Monuments for a few weeks. The Mayor graciously gave you the deed to Aldern Foxglove’s townhouse since no one could claim it. This has served you well as a base of operations during your explorations of Magnimar. The townhouse is located in the Grand Arch District, not far from Starsilver Plaza.

One of the troubling clues left behind from Xanesha is a letter she received from her sister. In it, this sister reminds her that their purpose is to gather greedy souls for their “Lord’s rise”, which happens when pure souls are marked with the Sihedron Rune and killed. She also invited Xanesha to visit her sister in “Turtleback Ferry” and that “Fort Rannick should be in our control”. In the last few weeks, you have done research and discovered that Turtleback Ferry is a remote village not far from Hook Mountain, west of Magnimar. Although closer to Korvosa, Magnimar has offered to protect Turtleback Ferry and thus control an important trading outpost in the west. Thus, soldiers were sent to garrison in Fort Rannick and fend off any threats to Turtleback Ferry. The most common threat in that part of Virisia are the clans of ogres living in the hills.

Mayor Graboras now comes to you with a request. The rangers of Fort Rannick, known as the Order of the Black Arrows, have not communicated with Turtleback Ferry in weeks. The council is pressuring the Mayor to send a battalion to investigate but Grobaras doesn’t have enough men to spare right now. He offers you 750 GP each for travel expenses and to fulfill this request.

The trip to Turtleback Ferry will take one week by horseback through lightly patrolled rural areas along the north bank of the Yondabakari River.

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The Skinsaw Conspiracy Solved! (Treasure and XP)
My Party went to Magnimar, and All I Got was this Impaler of Thorns!

Here are the totals from Saturday’s adventure! I converted all of the gems, jewelry, coins, and unclaimed items into gold. I used the standard 50% of value for selling items outlined in the

2200 XP per character

9441 GP per character (includes the 6000 gp we each received from the Lord Mayor but not the 1000 GP we received earlier in the night)

Here are the items with owners listed:
1. Hat of Disguise – Blunt
2. +1 Ring of Protection – Miska
3. Ring of Jumping – Dellnia
4. Chime of Opening (5 charges) – Miska
5. Mithral Chain Shirt – Miska
6. +1 Falchion – Zhandre
7. Masterwork Hand Crossbow with 10 poisoned bolts – Blunt
8. Reaper’s Mask – Blunt
9. Impaler of Thorns – Gregor
10. Medusa Mask – Dellnia
11. Snakeskin Tunic – Miska
12. Golembane Scarab – Dellnia
13. Ring of Jumping – Gregor
14. Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds – Gregor, Miska, Dellnia, Zahndre

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The Man Behind the Murders!
Uncovering the truth of the Skinsaw Man

After investigating two murder scenes, the party arrived at the startling conclusion that the creature responsible for the murders in Sandpoint, known as “The Skinsaw Man”, is none other than Aldern Foxglove. He clearly has been obsessed with Blunt since their first encounter during the boar hunt several weeks ago. The next logical place to investigate is the old Foxglove estate, known to the locals as “The Misgivings”. In other words, the place is cursed and quite possibly haunted!

How right they are! The entire Foxglove family tree is littered with dead bodies and evil rites. Vorel Foxglove used the house as a place to practice necromancy and tried to become a lich, only to be foiled by his wife. However, his evil soul seeped into the very stones and floorboards of the mansion. The resulting energy drove his descendants mad. One of them, Traver Foxglove, tried to reclaim the family estate, only to be driven mad, killing his wife and himself but leaving his son Aldern and his sisters behind. When Aldern himself tried to reclaim the home, he fell in with a group of investors to help him fix up his house who turned out to be part of a Magnimar cult that only wanted him to bring back some of the diseased rats in his basement for experimentation. Aldern was bitten by one of the rats and contracted ghoul fever and was transformed into a ghoul. He then began following orders from Magnimar to reap souls by killing and marking the bodies with a seven pointed star: the sihedron.

The party explored Foxglove’s home room by room and found themselves attacked by the house itself. When they finally discover Aldern’s now undead wife Iesha in the attic, she leads them deep into the cellars beneath the mansion to a cave where Aldern is waiting, Vorel’s old laboratory where his attempt to become a lich 80 years ago still remains in an evil fungus that coats the walls. Aldern is here, a twisted ghast version of himself with a war razor. Iesha attacks him and the party helps, eventually defeating him. Iesha falls to ground lifeless now that her torment is over.

The party discovers several interesting items and clues here, including:

  • cages with a small symbol of a pig with a lock for a mouth and an inscription that reads “Pug’s Contraption – Magnimar”
  • Chime of opening (5 charges)
  • pearl ring (300 gp)
  • adamantine longsword
  • hat of disguise
  • 156 gp
  • +1 leather armor
  • +1 war razor
  • ring of jumping
  • +1 ring of protection
  • Iron key with an opal
  • Bronze key, head resembling a roaring lion
  • Letter to Aldern from Xanesha, Mistress of the Seven, telling him to kill victims, do the sihedron ritual, and to return to his townhouse in Magnimar if he runs into trouble.

The party exorcises the evil spirt of Vorel from the house and then order it to be demolished and burned. They receive high praise from Belor Hemlock for finding the murderer. However, there are still clues and they are leading them away from Sandpoint and into Magnimar, the City of Monuments!

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The clues so far...

Sandpoint Lumber Mill Clues

SANDPOINT LUMBER MILL: The most recent murders took place here—the bodies are still present, and little has been done with the crime scene itself. Sheriff Hemlock suggests that this should be the first place the PCs investigate, since he would like to clean the mill up right away and get the bodies buried.

IBOR THORN: Sheriff Hemlock has interrogated Ibor, the man who discovered the bodies at the lumber mill, and doesn’t suspect the frightened man knows much more.

VEN VINDER: This merchant is Sheriff Hemlock’s only suspect, although the sheriff is fairly certain that Ven is innocent and that the murders were committed by someone else.

THE FIRST MURDERS: Three con men from the town of Galduria were found murdered in an abandoned barn south of town a few days ago—their bodyguard survived the assault but has gone insane and was sent to Habe’s Sanatorium—a privately run respite for the insane.

THE RUNE: The star carved on one victim’s chest certainly has significance to the killer, but Hemlock’s at a loss as to what it means. Perhaps an expert on runes (such as local scholar Brodert Quink) can be consulted?

Mill Operators: Ibor Thorn, Banny Harker

THE TIMBER PIER: Timber is delivered to the mill via a small pier that extends out into the Turandarok River. A DC 15 Perception check made by anyone investigating the pier reveals a set of muddy footprints that leads from one end of the pier up to the mill itself. A DC 15 Survival check reveals that a barefoot human man clambered up from the mud under the pier, crossed over to the mill, and then scaled the wall to an upper-floor window.

THE MURDER SCENE: The mill interior is coated with sawdust strewn with footprints and splashes of blood. A DC 10 Survival check reveals what should be obvious— that a desperate struggle took place here several hours ago.

THE ROTTEN SMELL: The lingering scent of decay in the air is curious—it smells almost as if an animal had died somewhere in the room and its remains were allowed to ripen.

KATRINE’S BODY: Poor Katrine was killed instantly when pushed into the log splitter. Her mangled, ruined remains lie on the mill’s lower floor amid heaps of bloodstained firewood. A pale-faced, obviously upset guard stands at attention nearby. The log splitter itself is powered by a waterwheel and consists of a chute in the floor with rotating saw blades that cut logs as they are fed in.

HARKER’S BODY: Harker’s body has been horribly desecrated. The poor man has been affixed to the wall by several hooks normally used to hang machinery. The body is mutilated, the face carved away and lower jaw missing entirely. His bare chest is defaced as well, bearing a strange rune in the shape of a seven-pointed star. This rune (the Sihedron Rune) should be familiar to the PCs, especially if they own the Sihedron medallion once worn by Nualia. Its appearance on the chest of a murdered man should drive home its importance to the PCs, yet they should be at a loss still as to what the rune means. A DC 25 Knowledge (arcana or history) check is enough to identify the marking as the Sihedron Rune, an antiquated glyph that symbolizes arcane magic once practiced in ancient Thassilon.

Closer examination of the body combined with a DC 15 Heal check reveals the presence of several additional wounds. Unlike the deeper slashes on the body, these smaller gashes almost seem to have been made by claws—claws on a five-fingered, human-sized hand. The rotten scent seems stronger near these wounds. The body is only recognizable as Harker’s by a faded tattoo of a raven across his lower abdomen. With his missing face and jaw, his body is in no shape to function for a speak with dead spell.

THE SUSPICIOUS AXE: A handaxe is embedded in the floor near the log splitter, as if it had been dropped there. The handle is covered with bloody finger-marks, and a close examination of the head reveals two things of note. First, smears of what look like rotten flesh and fragments of bone are caked on its blade, and second, the rotten meat stink is strong on it. Someone who makes a DC 15 Knowledge (religion) check can identify the lingering stink of corruption as beyond that which a dead body can normally produce—the axe was likely used within the last 24 hours against some form of corporeal undead.

THE MARSH: If the PCs think to investigate the marsh on the other side of the river from the mill, a DC 20 Perception check reveals a relatively dry spot that bears a number of barefoot human tracks and a lingering stink of rotten flesh. A DC 15 Survival check made at this point reveals that the tracks lead from and into the river, but never away from the site. The spot is hidden by several low banks of nettles, but offers a perfect view of the mill to anyone hidden here.

STORY AWARD: Award the PCs 400 XP for identifying the Sihedron Rune, 400 XP if they deduce the fact that the murderer watched the site and perhaps used the river to cover his tracks, and 600 XP if they discover that the murderer may have been an undead creature

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