Shadows Over Ustalav

A Busy Morning

21st October 4711 A.M.

With many of the group having traveled the previous day, the majority had a long lie in. The clean rooms and white cotton sheets of the Outward Inn seemed like a great luxury, as had the opportunity for a bath been the previous evening.

Trig was down earliest, and waved over at Isabot who was working her way into a fairly large breakfast. Unusually for her, she ignored the smells of cooking food and marched out of the Inn: she was on a mission.

She had sadly reviewed her wardrobe earlier that morning. Her travel stained indeterminate brown clothing and tooled badgerhide armor, all liberally festooned with acorns, brambles, animal segments and the teeth of wolves, although symbolic of her Trade and extremely practical, simply did not cut it in the world of human formal occasions. She needed new clothes.

After 5 minutes she located the Ravengro General Store. Just inside the doorway an impressive set of human Plate Armor stood guard, and inside was a large collection of everything from frying pans to footwear. A female human eyed her curiously.

“Yes, err Miss. Can I assist you?”

Trig stood on one leg nervously, as the lumbering human towered over her. “Um yes. I , er..am going to a funeral later on today and as you can see”, she gestured sadly towards her dead animal festooned outfit, “I have absolutely nothing to wear. Can you help me?”

The woman eyed Trig. Trig waited expectantly.

“You need a little help is that it?” Trig nodded vigourously. The woman banged the bell and a human girl came out-taller than Trig. The woman said something to her, slapped her on the head and propelled her towards Trig.

“I’m Julia. I’ll help you find some stuff. Here we go….”

The girl took Trig into a side room, and set about opening boxes. After some experimentation she found a pair of formal boots, a hooded black cloak, a long skirt and some undercoats, and a blouse. Trig assumed these were designed for a young human, but they seemed to fit well enough. “How much?” she asked, looking curiously at herself in the mirror.

“That’s 12 gold pices, though you do look very smart Miss.” said Julia dutifully. Trig sighed and counted out the cash.

As she went back into the main shop with her packages the woman called over to her. “This funeral, it wouldn’t be Professor Lorrimor’s would it?”

“Yes it is.” responded Trig.

“I thought so. I wouldn’t go spreading that fact around town if I were you. That man was not well liked.” The woman harrumped.

Trig bit her tongue. “Thank you very much” she said, and left with her purchases.

Sif meanwhile had finished her breakfast, and was having a wander around the town. She was aware that she was attracting many stares, but after glaring at the first few she got bored with this game and simply ignored them.

The sound of hammering drew her to a shop with an anvil sign outside, labelled “The Ravengro Forge”. Unusually she noted that the owners mark bore a Master Smith Mark next to her name- Jorfa. Following the sound of the hammer she went through to a covered area outside where a female dwarf was hammering out what looked like farming implements. The dwarf stopped, and took a drink of water from a barrel.

“I have weapons for sale Warrior, in the side room through there”. She brought out a couple of swords from a nearby rack. “I can sell them like this sword here, or for 300 gp more like this second sword”. Sif saw that the second sword bore a masterwork mark. “If you have the time or money, I can make you pretty much anything.”

Keryn had decided to take a look at the site of the Professors death before the funeral. Setting off at around 9.30 am, she managed the few miles south of town in good time, climbing the shallow hill upon which rested Harrowstone Jail.

As she climbed the shallow hill up to the Prison she noted that the once well constructed stone road had long since fallen into disrepair, unlike the other routes near Ravengro. Cobbles were missing, and in some places the surrounding heathland had grown over almost to the centre of the trail.

Finally she confronted a sagging wood and metal gate set between the pair of stone guard towers which once barred entrance into Harrowstone. However, the gates now hung negligently open,creaking softly in what wind touched the ruined bars.Looking along the side of the ruin she saw that it was largely enclosed by a 20 foot high stone wall, though appparently some sections on the western side had collapsed, and a large pool had encroached across the boundary of the perimeter.

As Keryn entered she fealt a sudden rush of claustrophobia and the split-second sensation that her skin was on fire. This sensation immediately dispersed, and she stood shaking her head and blinking.

Stepping under the arch she could see that two guard towers were still intact along the wall perimeter, their wooden roofs collapsed and their crumbling walls thick with ivy, extending a further ten feet above the twenty foot- high wall.

Situated in the grounds between the gate and the main prison building sat a small brick manor house overgrown with thick sheets of gray-green ivy. The roof sagged ominously, and the front door hung askew.

Beyond this loomed under the leaden sky a large two-story stone building. Ivy and moss clung tenaciously to the walls, while above many of the wooden shingles of the roof were missing , exposing the wooden rafters of the upper structure to the elements.This must be the main prison.

Here and there, leering stone gargoyles perched on the eaves, once functioning as drainspouts and decorations but now seeming almost to serve a more ominous role of sentinels. Many of these stone decorations had crumbled away and lay in ruined piles on the soggy ground below: the ground where Professor Lorrimor met his fate. Windows in the building’s facade were narrow and blocked by grills of rusty iron bars. Stone columns supported a slumping wooden balcony over the building’s wooden front doors, both of which hung askew and revealed dark glimpses of chambers within, looking for all the world like a gaping mouth surrounding rotting teeth. Keryn shivered in the cold wind.

“I’d best be getting back. I’ve run out of time” thought Keryn, and briskly made her way back to the town, arriving only ten minutes before mid-day. Hastily changing, her companions hustled her along to Kendra’s house.

Milly was there to greet them, Kendra already having left to deal with the arrangements.Black hooded robes were handed out to Sif, Christov, Ysabot and Keryn, and directions were quickly given out of town to the Restlands.

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