What's the difference between a sanitorium and a farm infested with ghouls? A corn maze, apparently.
We next to go the sheriff’s office to talk to him. We’re going to check with him first before talking to the bodyguard that survived the original murders (Grayst Sevella, who is now in the sanitorium). While we are waiting, three guards come in “escorting” Ven Vinder, who apparently didn’t take the death of his oldest daughter. They had to subdue him by tying him up, as several of the guards are sporting bruises and split lips. Once they have him put in a cell, we talk to the sheriff. The sanitorium is south of town.
We ride out, and head to the barn (the site of the first murders). Even though it’s been a while, we can tell that something terrible has happened here. Cesar looks around, there has been no recent human traffic, but we find nothing new in the way of evidence. The scene must have been just as gruesome as the sawmill, though.
So, we head to the sanitorium. It is run by a retired doctor from Magnamar. A younger man answers the door, and we are let in to meet the doctor. He mentions that the guard said that the “skinsaw” man was coming, and razors, and too many teeth. We go in to see him (on the third floor). There are noises of other patients (two others), “Blind Sedge” a blind farmer with no family, and a 90 year old man, who often likes to have “fun” with himself. We find Grayst crouched in the corner of his room, sobbing. Solomon thinks that he looks really sick, and is close to death. When his eyes land on Cluddox, he gets very animated, “he said you would visit me”. The bodies we are finding are signs and portents of things to come. His arms tear free of the straitjacket, and his mouth distends out, and a tongue/tentacle come out. While he is attacking Cluddox, I study him in the magical spectrum while Cluddox and Solomon beat him unconscious. While they are fetching a new straight-jacket, Solomon takes a closed look, and he is in the advanced stages of ghoul fever (caused by being bitten by a ghoul, duh). Solomon calls the doctor about it (the doctor should easily have been able to know what it was), and he says that he should have turned him over for treatment, but supposedly wanted to observe the disease. He reluctantly agrees to have his orderlies transfer him up to SandPoint for Fr. Zanthis to cure. Solomon wants to see the other patients, but the doctor talks him down. Cluddox pushes the point, and the doctor allows Solomon to check the others. They look fine to him. We ride back to town with them, and ensure that the man gets healed. Father Zanthis heals him of the disease (which does nothing for his sanity), and we move him to the garrison to try to talk to him further. He doesn’t respond to questions, but he mumbles about “razors”, “too many teeth”, “skinsaw man is coming”, but we are unable to get any more information from him. We release him into the doctor’s care, who takes him back to the sanitorium. While we are here, we talk to Ven. He’s still pretty pissed at seeing us (“you’re friends with that Solomon”). Cesar manages to keep him talking. He doesn’t have any useful information for us, he didn’t know (or want to admit) that his daughter was involved in an affair.
We head back to the rusty dragon for dinner. Before heading up, the guy from the ampitheater comes in to put up bulletins, and he wants me to do some promotional runs to the local taverns two days before the performance (November 10). Nothing else of note happens, so we go up to bed.
The next day, we go meet with Father Zanthis to bring him up to speed. A few more days pass uneventfully. Cesar hears some rumors about the sheriff having concerns that the ranger has not come in for her touch-base with the goblin tribes.
We hear news that the barn (the scene of the first murders) burned down, and witnesses saw a man in a robe watching. We go down to investigate, and find nothing. We head out to Chopper’s Isle and check around, but find nothing. We go back to town. The next day, Cesar gets a package, it’s from the doctor. 300 gold pieces worth of platinum for not talking about what he did with the bodyguard with ghoul fever. We go back to the sanitorium to investigate stealthily. Cesar goes in first and scouts the place. He finds out that the doctor is basically trying to scam the thieve’s guild for money, as the bodyguard may or may not been spilling his secrets. We go back to town and go to bed.
On the 6th, Cluddox talks with Father Zanthis, and he learns that Zanthis has heard that the ranger hasn’t come back to town. Given what happened to us, we should check with her and she might be affected by the evil that touched us, too. We check with the sheriff, and she hasn’t checked in yet. Now, she is officially late. Cesar goes down to the stables, and senses the guy is holding something back, but is not able to get anything more. Solomon goes down and manages to get him to confide that Shalelu commissioned him to make a scabbard for her out of goblin skin.
The next day, the sheriff comes and says we need to hear something from a local farmer. He says that he saw some walking scarecrows. He is mumbling an old Varisian children’s tale about a scarecrow that comes to life and eats you. He says that the farms to the south have become plagued by walking scarecrows in the night. It’s been happening for a while now. He says that on one of the farms, he saw dead bodies eating people, even the dogs. Definitely sounds like ghouls.
We ride down to Farmer Grupp’s farm first. The people around here don’t want to deal much with outsiders, but they tell us that they’ve heard of trouble on farms down to the south. All is fine there, so we head down to the farms to the south. We find that there are a LOT more scarecrows on this farm than any of the others that we’ve seen. The barn looks a little strange, but we need to get closer to really make it out. There is a group of three scarecrows near us, and one of them twitches it a bit. We drop that one and the other one that was a ghoul. The third one is just a scarecrow.
Comment from: [Member]
Well, that made for some good Halloween reading…
Comment from: [Member]
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