The Ghosts of Kerker Hall

The people of Kerken share thoughts on Karl Falke

  • Pyotr and Doctor have a meal with Agatha Gruft
  • Bring conversation around to the Falke family – Frederik, Margarethe and their son Karl.
  • Karl is a popular “malcontentant” in town – him and his lazy cronies.
  • He doesn’t talk about his lost hand, story changes depending on who you ask about it.
  • Ex soldier who returned to town some 10 years ago.
  • Demi approaches the gossiper Mrs Shultz at the bakery.
  • Karl is not pitied – always drunk/bad hygene.
  • Lives at his run-down farm plot.

Demi makes a new friend.

  • The three decide that they need to find the ghost of Margarethe at Kerken Hall.
  • Best chance is with a blood relation – Karl…
  • Demi buys a bribe of strong alcohol and goes to talk to Karl.
  • The pair spend the afternoon sharing gripes about the younger generation
  • Learns Karl’s bitterness because the he blames the townfolk for his parents death.
  • The town constalntly compares him to his parents – and found lacking.
  • Demi promises to bring him recognition in the eyes of the town.
  • They return to Agatha’s house to meet the others.

Where we meet the inmates of Kerker Hall.

  • The four of them ride up mountain to Kerker Hall
  • The castle is falling apart after 30 years of neglect and harsh weather.
  • Ominously quiet. Flitting shadows seem to be watching them. Shadowland…
  • They spot strange new runes inscribed on the castle foundation in the last months
  • Blood, fallen rocks and drag marks show where Prof. Gruft died.
  • Carefully make their way through decaying halls – face the ghost of the local Judge.
  • In the burnt courtyard, the burning ghost of a prisoner faces them
  • Pyotr kills it with one of the silver arrows taken from the crypt.
  • They see the chared remains of soldiers lying around – shadows gathering..
  • They return to the entry hall, and the Doctor uses Karl’s blood to call out for Margarethe.
  • The call rouses many more ghosts – Margarethe speaks
  • The ghost of Frederik was taken – she is only barely containing the worst ones
    • The Nephwrack ‘Letterman’
  • She warns – the wards have been broken – and you just woke the dead…
  • The four flee – chased by the hungry ghosts of the burnt guards.
  • The doctor risks life and limb to give one-hand Karl time to get on his horse…

Where they seek the intercession of the Silver Heron.

  • Shaken, the four realise they need help before the nephwrack kills Margarethe.
  • They prepare a lavish feast with the last of their money.
  • They offer the feast to the local god of the Silver Heron – begging for help
  • The moon shines through the clouds, and they see the shadow of a flying heron…
The Missing Girl

Where we see how Siegsdorf picks itself up

  • Aujaq, Vlad, Mal and Hailong head into town to survey the damage.
  • Locals are working together to clean up
  • Stories are spreading of “Mal, the Demon killer”
  • They return to the Temple, and talk to Father Alte.
    • Demon book had been moved to his private locked study
    • Search through the burnt remains of the library
    • Fire was started in the private study – locked desk was broken up.
    • Cant identify remains – which books were stolen/remained…
  • Father Alte is broken up at the loss of his young daughter – Hilde.
    • Her hand was found near thetemple altar…

Where we learn the identiy of the mysterious woman.

  • Laima return to visit with Trader J.Rimbaux
  • Social visit, talking about the Wichtel attack.
  • Laima describes the mysterious woman – Rimbaux identifies as Hilde
  • Hilde is famous in town as a pious and dutiful daughter of the priest.
  • Some nasty gossip about her unladylike pursuit of Teufel when he arrived in town.
  • Pointed towards the “Black Sail” tavern for more salacious gossip.

Where Aujaq dispairs of civilised life

  • Explores the coastline near Siegsdorf.
  • Notes the ‘threats’ that the townfolk are afraid of – avoids easily.
  • Gathers beautiful and precious items from the sea for spirit-gifts

Where we sample the less cultured taverns

  • Mal and Hailong go to the ‘Black Sail’
  • Listening infor gossip and socializing
  • Fail to learn anything, and Mal is distracted telling tales of his ‘demon killing’

Where we discover where the Wichtel hid.

  • Vlad, Laima and a maid visit Teufel’s workshop/home for dinner.
  • Building is open, sounds of movement insode.
  • House has been thoroughly and methodically trashed
  • The four workers have been killed in their beds
  • 6 Wichtel are manning the furnace bellows and trying to coat bodyparts in glass.
  • Dead body seated – covered in glass.
  • Maid sent to get help, Vlad and Laima frighten away the Wichtel
  • Mal chips at glass body – remains of tortured Teufel.
  • Aujaq calls up an upset workshop-spirit
  • Vlad and Laima search the building – ‘cooked’ accounting books and too much money.
  • Hailong examines the bloodstains
    • a woman was in here doing the torturing…
    • Wichtel fled into basement.
  • Learn that a woman and wichtel came and tortured Teufel and left.
  • Teufel’s diary gives history of affair with Hilde – detailed research needed.
  • Uncover secret passages to smuggler’s cave.
  • Bricked up doorway to ancient ruins.

A grieving mother’s story.

  • Laima returns to town to comfort mother Alte.
  • Learns more of Hilde and Teufel’s story
  • Alte family grieving over severed hand of Hilde… Blame the wichtel
Book from Hell

Where the unemployed become sailors

  • Vlad and Mal seek out a crew for the ‘Crouching Tiger’
  • News of trouble in Reiherheim – rivver crews looking for work.
  • Mal and Vlad hire a small crew of 5 for a short trip – good pay, easy coastal journey
  • Laima hires half a dozen bodyguards.
  • When loading the ship, Icewalker Shaman (Aujaq) comes to join
  • They burn thehide of the Simhata that murdered the last crew… (Spirits not impressed)

Where a town prepares for celebrations.

  • The journey is fast and surprisingly uneventful. Good winds
  • Met at the docks by the Merchant Rimbaux, he’s prepared accomodations.
  • Vlad leads them to talk to the local priest – Father Alte.
  • Alte proudly shows off the new cathederal – with stained glass and an attached school.
  • Laima sends the priest away – they look at the books – T’he Abyssic Guide vol1’ is there
  • Aujaq sees the city father spirit inspecting his new home – Proud warrior ‘Angel’
  • Vlad goes to warn Alte about the book – he promises to keep an eye on it.

Where we settle into a new town.

  • Vlad tries to meet his brother – the glassworks are closed.
  • Laima meets with Rimbaux – makes an investment.
  • Mal goes for drinks with the crew to celebrate.
  • Aujaq stays on the ship – notes movement in the water.
  • Follows, finds ‘Wichtel’ entering the city.
  • Briefly ambushes one – its wearing armor and carrying weapons! Runs away.

Where we visit the Blessing Fair

  • Aujaq mentions the Wichtel to the others – they scoff at the idea
  • Wichtel are just vermin
  • They wander around the town fair – Vlad meets his brother Teufel
  • Some family issues – but Teufel is getting married!
  • Invitation to all for evening dinner.

Wyld War returns to Siegsdorf

  • The big blessing event, City Father makes an appearance.
  • Chaotic attacks begin, scattered around the town square.
  • Wichtel randomly attacking townfolk and setting fires
  • City Father gets mad and goes to help.
  • The group turle behind their mercenaries.
  • Vlad spots a Wichtel on a demon dog attacking a nobleman -goes to intervene.
  • Aujaq and Mal protect Vlad while he tries to banish the demon,
  • Demon finally leaves after Koda (Aujak’s guide spirit) gets in on the action.
  • Nobleman is effusive in his thanks.
  • Laima and a pair of guards uses interruption to make for the Church library
  • Interrupt a woman looting the library – leading a band of Wichtel
  • She sends her band to kill Laima.
  • Laima flees, but looses her guards to the Wichtel and Demon Dog.
  • Vlad and the others deal with 2 other Demons and Wichtel bands
  • When they arrive at the library, it is an inferno.

Where suspicions grow.

  • All meet back at the ‘Crouching Tiger’
  • Share stories.
  • They ask about the happenings in the church – Laima is evasive and everyone realises it.
In the shadow of Kerker Hall

Where the town of Kerker learns about the threat

  • Demi rings the town bell – calling out the Guard.
  • Guard examine the burnt body of the zombie and exploded grave…
  • Doctor talks with Father Grimm about protecting the graveyard – they ward it.
  • Corporal Shultz of the Guard learns from Pyotr how to kill Zombies.

A cache of relics is found.

  • Demi takes Father Grimm to town to convince them to send more guards.
  • Doctor and Pyotr search the temple for the hidden crypt.
  • Find hidden casket of potions and weapons to hurt ghosts.
  • Pyotr takes casket to the house where the Doctor is staying – discivered by Agatha Gruft.
  • Doctor convinces Agatha – this is what your father didn’t want you involved with…

Investigation of the clues

  • The group spend some time uncovering more information.
  • The Doctor investigates “Whispering Hunger”
    • Cultists investigating ‘undeath’ and the underworld.
    • Suspected necromancers, searching for eternal ‘life’
    • Rumours of an ancient ghost helping them – Moros, sorceror-king of a vanished empire.
  • Demi ingratiates himself with the locals,
    • Corners Mrs Shultz: husband still has nightmares – man chanting his name.
    • The bloody letters – like murders committed by “Letterman” a sorceror from Reiherheim.
  • Pyotr continues his hunting and helping the locals as winter fast arrives.
    • Learns about the local heroes: Friedrich and and Margarethe Falke – Last warden and wife.
    • Friedrich trapped himself in with rioting prisoners.
    • Margarethe died in fire maintaining the mystic wards.

The Bloody Letters Return

  • Screams, and more bloody letters and a slaughtered lamb – “M A R”
  • Pyotr chases the tracks – finds young Timmet Shultz lying on the frozen ground.
  • Child was on errand from his mother, then awoke in field.
  • Doctor sees evidence of ghostly influence.
  • Bring child back – parents very grateful.

A voice from the beyond

  • Doctor wants to try summoning ghosts.
  • Pyotr and Demi go to get one of the protective amulets from Father Grimm.
    • Grudgingly loans one.
  • Doctor summons ghost of Margarethe Falke – everything was done right, but only momentary glimpse.
  • Tries again with ‘Letterman’ ghost. Similar result.
  • Doctor and Demi theorize that the ghosts are still bound to Kerken Hall and cant escape.
  • They investigate the town records.
  • Margarethe was a student of the ‘Heptagram’ on blessed Isle – licensed Sorceror
  • They make plans to enter Kerken Hall and rescue the ghost of Margarethe.
Dead men tell no tales

Where their trip is fraught with danger

  • The three take a boat to Reiherheim, the board a stagecoach to Kerker.
  • Around 60 miles away – 4 days by coach along the roads winding through the forests
  • Joined by a merchant – selling fine cloth and amulets.
  • Demi learns about the worsening trade in Kerker – town is dying.
  • Very narrowly avoid meeting with hungry ghosts and creatures of the woods

Unfriendly Welcome

  • They arrive in the tiny village, overlooked by a ruined castle
  • Locals give them the cold shoulder “damned strangers”
  • The Doctor is met by Agatha Gruft – young daughter of Professor Gruft
  • Settle in to the local Inn – Tarnished Cauldron
  • Pyotr tries to talk with the locals, sharing stories – bad reaction from locals
  • Local Karl (one handed) berates them for “their soft city habits”

Where the locals show their superstitions

  • Next morning the funeral is held.
  • Interrupted by Karl and his gang of malcontentants-
  • Don’t want Professor Gruft buried with the “decent folk” of the town.
  • The Doctor berates them and shames them into moving aside.

Where we learn about the Professor’s past.

  • The will is read out – Doctor asked to help Agatha settle into town properly.
  • Doctor is asked to return some “unsavory” books to the University of Reiherheim.
  • The books are a collection of tomes on the Dead, Underworld, and Necromancy…
  • On reading the Professor’s journal, we learn he was chasing a cult
  • His last entry was going to investigates events at the ruined Kerker Hall. Killed?
  • The Doctor decides to keep the Tomes, and give other books to the university.

Where we try to make friends with the locals

  • Pyotr investigates the surrounding forest – timid animals and wild plants.
  • Starts hunting wild game and bringing to local butcher – who is very happy!
  • Demi ingratiates himself with the local gossipmongers. Learns some town history.
    • Kerker Hall was a prison meant for the most dangerous in Belicht
    • Town grew around it – guards’ families and supporting trades
    • Prison riot barely stopped by self sacrifice of the Warden – accidental fire
    • In the 20 years since, the town is dying off, and the Hall is haunted.

Uncanny events begin in town.

  • Bloody letter “M” defaces monument of Kerken Hall Warden
  • Pyotr tracks down footprints – leads to Town Guard Deputy’s house.
  • Deputy doesn’t know what happened (really) and goes to investigate.
  • Doctor suspicious and checks on Professor’s grave.
  • One of the dead digs itself out – panic..
  • Pyotr distracts it – arrows don’t seem to do much but annoy it.
  • Demi tries to get help from town, but his calls misunderstood as “scared foreigner”…
  • The Doctor manages to eventually burn it – while spilling burning oil on Pyotr.
Vendig Intrigue

Ascending Air 22nd, year 473

Where concerns are raised in the Senex household

  • Bishop Aldus Senex talks to his son after mass.
  • Vlad’s brother Teufel is missing in Siegsdorf – rumours of impropriety
    • Running with “the wrong crowd”, involved with wrong women..
  • Aldus wants real news, not rumours, asks Vlad to pay a visit.
  • Vlads wants word on who might be summoning demons.
  • Laima overhears, and offers to help by tracking down sales of “banned books”.

Where reputation grows in the Blue Lady

  • News arrives that Captain Raddim and the “Nymph’s Fancy” is back in town
  • Hailong and Mal pay a visit, and ‘convince’ the 1st mate to pay a visit.
  • Mal notices hte Captain and crew gearing up for a fight and following
    • ○ Mal runs for the town watch.
  • Hailong and 1st Mate ‘Ghost’ talk about smuggling, which results in drawn swords.
  • Captain Raddim and crew burst in.
  • Mal, with Corporal Mörhe burst in with the night watch in tow.
  • Hailong scares the Captain into “playing friendly”, weapons go away.
  • After the guard and crew leave, Raddim and Ghost threaten repercussions, and leave.

In which Mal takes an unorthodox ride.

  • Mal is trying to delay the “Nymph’s Fancy” from leaving.
  • Sees a wagon pull up, cloaked man makes a payment to the Captain.
  • Boxes are transfered. Mal rides along underneath.
  • Boxes left at the ‘abandoned’ ruined castle in the Thieves Quarter.
  • Wagon then goes on a roundabout trip through town – ending at the house of Bauer.

A meeting in the Night

  • Laima gives news that ‘The Abyssic Guide vol1’ has been sold in Siegsdorf
  • Hailong, Mal and Laima plan to run a sting to catch Ricardo’s criminal acts.
  • Vlad is reticent to be involved.
  • Hope to reveal to House Ragara and gain their favor (and keep them out of Vendig)?
Imperial Piracy

Ascending Air 10th, year 473

Where we encounter some suspicious merchants

• Hailong and Mal notice “Merchants” behaving odd at the ‘Blue Lady’
• Hailong distracts, while Mal goes to search their ship.
• ’Danaan’s Favor’ is a disguised fast ship – not a real merchant.
• Mal sneaks onboard and takes some suspicious papers – gets noticed on the way out
• Chase through the streets looses the Merchant’s guard.

Where Hailong finds some business opportunities.

• Mal and Hailong examine to stolen goods.
• Left behind was a House Ragara Military uniform (armor and swords)
• Stolen log page of travels ~10 days travel time from home port to Vendig.
• Highly secured (failed) letter to captain – secret orders? Written in High Realm (noble’s language)
• A small private journal of the captain (Ragara Syn Hae)
• A couple of bags of jade coins !!! (buy a ship with this!)
• Demi translates the journal and orders.
• Lady Ragara Syn has ongoing trade with Ricardo Bauen. She has lost too many shipments.
• Suspicion that Ricardo is cheating her – sent Captain Hae to investigate.
• Captain has bought property – Lady Syn is planning to pay a visit.
• Hailong sees business opportunities – contacts Lady Laima Waarches

In which a devious plan is formulated

• Hailong meets with Laima to offer some information.
• Laima has a longstanding grudge with Ricardo Bauen – wants to burn him.
• Bauen family has had a suspiciously fast rise to power and riches.
• They hatch a plan to bring down the Bauens – uncover illegal activities.

• Laima goes to a Metzalar council meeting and gives a speech singing the virtues of Ricardo. Makes many of the other Metzalar very amused… And one of Ricardo’s aides very uncomfortable.

• Hailong compares the “lost shipments” to ships in Vendig – Captain Raddim of ’Nymph’s Fancy’ shows up as a suspicious character – not a real merchant.

A ship is given a new lease on life.

• Hailong and Vlad meet at the dock and corner the Harbormaster.
• The ship that brought in the Simhata is still occupying space – Vlad pays to “take care of it”.
• Vlad and Hailong organise a shipyard to refit it.
• Hailong pays off the Harbormaster to inform him when the ’Nymph’s Fancy’ is in port.

Where a demonic plot is uncovered.

• Vlad and Pyotr pay a visit to the possessed child & family.
• Vlad lays out the bones and wooden toy collected over the weeks – and carries out a surprisingly fast exorcism.
• Demon wails about “unable to finish it’s task”and “The master will be revenged”.
• Pyotr noticed a familiar (and ominous) smell of wet fur and coppery blood, reminding him of the loss of his brother.
• Vlad then finishes the Exorcism by attacking the incorporeal demon until it returns to Malfeas.

Evicting Squatters
Don't overstay your welcome

Eighth day of Ascending Air, year 473

In which we prepare for a country outing

• The Doctor searches around Vlad’s house for the munificent antivenine, takes it for pressing need.
• Demi makes some “anti-venom” that will boost resistance, cheap, but not a cure.
• The Doctor get a sling made by Demi, and prepares bandages and poultice for healing burns.
• Demi carefully separate the “Ardent resin” into 4 small vials and attaches to the end of arrows.
• They purchase a wagon load of sandbags to prepare for the spiders.

In which the Doctor fails to command.

• The Doctor, Demi, and 10 guardmen of Merchant Prince Ricardo take a horse-drawn wagon.
• A few hours along the road the get to the Doctor’s estate – a few scattered “statues” of wood.
• The guards are ordered to make a sandbag barricade at the gate, while Demi and the Doctor examine the bodies.
• Shattered remains are Hungry Ghosts effected by Wood Spider Poison.
• One is the local messenger – with letters for the Doctor (and others undelivered)
• The Doctor gives a speech about driving away the deadly, numerous, supernatural spiders.. Guards not encouraged

In which they plan for fire

• Everyone hunkers behind the barricade.
• Launch an Ardent Embrace Arrow – starts to burn down the estate.
• Grass and trees start to move violently.
• Demi is terrified and hides in wagon.
• Doctor knows it’s a distraction, moves to the back to get out of the way – ambushed by Large Wood Spider.
• One guard gets off a round – Spider engulfed by sticky, flaming resin. Digs into the rotten, mouldy ground.
• Demi realizes its healing itself – yells at guards “Its healing! If it finishes we’re doomed”. Guards drop bows and run!
• The Doctor run for the wagon, and thows a vial at the spider – only manages to leave a burning puddle on the ground.
• The Spider attacks the wagon, narrowly missing the Doctor.
• Demi starts frantically smacking the Spider with his walking stick.
• The Doctor slings the last vial at the Spider’s head – It screams and curls up, but Demi is caught in the splash of flaming resin.
• Demi and the Doctor frantically cover the flames with sand and take off Demi’s burning jacket – not before he sustains major burns.
• The Doctor rescues some of the rare herbs and components before the estate burns down completely.

In which we hide uncomfortable truths.

• Demi is taken back to Vendig, and the Doctor treats his burns very carefully A couple of weeks of recovery from the burns.
• Metzalar Ricardo is unimpressed by the shoddy outcome, but puts the Doctor up in a small house to treat patients.
• The wooden messenger has a letter from the Doctor’s old sponsor – Mr Bekenn – “come speak to me at Kerker village.”
• Arrangements are made with Ricardo providing the tickets for the stagecoach – after a month of clinic duty.

A Woody Problem

Start of of Ascending Air, year 473 after the Illustrous Founding of Vendig

In which the Doctor makes preparations…

  • Doctor has been living with Vladof for the last week
  • Investigating wood spiders – they like poison and other natural toxins
    • Also very poisonous themselves
  • Vladof isn’t tha interested in this problem…
  • They pay a visit to Demi’s store “The Acrane Couldron” for antivenom.
  • Demi happily chats to her good customer Vlad, and hints “happy you are settling down!”
  • Makes a great batch (2 doses) of Munificent Antivenin with the help of the Doctor.

In which we find a mysterious threat.

  • Mal spends time watching Waarches household.
  • Following the handmaiden Vilkata on her talks with shady people.
  • Mal’s contacts afraid talk about those hooded, shady people.
    • Don’t ask, for your own good.
  • Hears about an estranged Waarches daughter north. One of the militant faithful
  • Sends a note to contacts to ask for reason of estrangement..

Where spiders cause a woody problem…

  • The Doctor leads Pyotr and Vladof back to her estate.
  • Beginning to show signals decay and fungal growths
  • Doctor enters house and tells spiders to leave.. (Or else: Pyotr)
  • Not impressed, spiders threaten back..
  • Pyotr and Doctor try to burn down the house, wet fungus overgrown fires.
  • Make a hasty retreat, Doctor bitten – shoulder starts to turn wooden.
  • Antivenin used, leaves her vomiting, sweating and weak, but alive.
  • Head back to Vendig.

Where we pay a visit to church.

  • Mal takes a ship upriver to Reiherheim.
  • Spots lady Regina at prayers, waits till finished to introduce himself.
  • Regina is worried about her mother, hates Vilkata the handmaiden.
  • Shares the rumours – bad things “happen” to mother’s opponents,
  • Regina suspects Vilkata, who’s been around since mother’s childhood.
  • Mal agrees to help Regina in her efforts. He’s suspicious of Vilkata too.
  • She blesses him – she glows with a faint aura a moonlight.

In which thoughts of vengeance lead astray.

  • The Doctor comes clean to Demi – her spider troubles.
  • Unable to pay – needs things to drive off wood spiders.
  • Can’t pay for ingredients though.
  • Demi introduces to her patron – Lord Ricardo – newest member of Metzalar.
  • Doctor convinces Ricardo that the wood spider infestation is a threat to Vendig.
  • He agrees to fund Demi and provide some men and wagons to retrieve Doctor’s goods
    • So long as Doctor lives in town and works for him.
Trouble in Vendig
Unexpected Complications.

End of the month of Descending Fire, year 472 after the Illustrous Founding of Vendig

In which Pyotr tells his story to a rapt audience

  • Pyotr and friends drunk at the Broken Drum, celebrating the Simhata kill.
  • Lady Laima and entourage come visiting – out of place nobles slumming?
  • Pyotr believes Laima is besotted with him, agrees to bring Simhata hide for meeting at House later..
  • Mal follows Laima home – well guarded house on the main canal – rich quarter of Vendig.

In which we visit the court of the Forest King

  • Vladof searching for strange plants – pays too much for a bonsai fir. Doctor notices and is intrigued
  • They visit Pyotr – need to go to Maiden Vale – home of the Forest King.
  • Leave early next morning – Pyotr little hungover -leads them near a Mountain Bear den – hurred withdrawal
  • At the Vale – Pyotr sleeps off his hangover, Doctor collects grubs and plants.
  • Vladof summons the Forest King – makes a present of the bonsai and acts subservient.
  • King agrees to give a single favor – loan of an “Artisan Flower”
  • They leave.

In which Mal raises questions

  • Mal questions Broadmann and Pyotr about the odd behavior of Lady Laima.
  • Convinces Pyotr he needs help carrying the Simhata hide.
  • While Pyotr is enthralled by Laima, Mal cases the house
  • Pyotr leaves with a “gift” of silver, and promises to hunt the most exotic hides for Laima.

Where we learn not to take from the Forest Court.

  • The doctor starts experimenting with strange grubs from Maiden Vale.
  • The grubs feed on flesh and dead wood – and grow fast!
  • The Doctor looses control of the now fist sized grubs of vines and wood, and runs for help.
  • Vladof and Pyotr are convinced to help save the Doctor’s patients.
  • A Wood Spider is making its lair – distracted by poisoned foods allowing the two to rescue the patients.
  • The house is warded, and the Doctor needs to abandon her land to stay with Vladof

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