CARRION CROWN - A Pathfinder Chronicle

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    • When Harrowstone Prison burned to the ground, prisoners, guards, and a host of vicious madmen met a terrifying end. In the years since, the nearby town of Ravengro has shunned the fire-scarred ruins, telling tales of unquiet spirits that wander abandoned cellblocks. But when a mysterious evil disturbs Harrowstone’s tenuous spiritual balance, a ghostly prison riot commences that threatens to consume the nearby village in madness and flames.

      Drawn by the death of an old mentor, a group of adventuers quickly find themselves as the last hope of Ravengro. Can they discover the secrets of Harrowstone and quell a rebellion of the dead? Or will they be the spirit-prison’s next inmates?


    • The Last Will and Testament of Petros Raskolnikov

      The renowned Professor Raskolnokov has died. A group of his colleagues and friends travel to his home in Ravengro to see him interned in the earth and hear his last will and testament read. But events in this isolated town threaten to interrupt this solemn occasion, as an evil long thought buried begins to stir...​
    • Crimes Not Forgotten

    • Strange Days In Ravengro

    • Harrowstone


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      The Immortal Principality of Ustalav lies on the northern shore of Lake Encarthan, a grim bastion of civilization amid the barbarian north, where a harsh landscape and a history rich in tragedies inspire a wary population with skepticism, religious devotion, and superstition. A conglomeration of loosely affiliated counties, each run by feuding nobles vying for power and influence, Ustalav is a pitiful shell of its former glory, before it was subjugated to centuries of slavery at the hands of the Whispering Tyrant’s undead armies. While the nation’s upper classes struggle to compete with the very nations that abandoned them to fend for themselves after the Whispering Tyrant’s defeat, the average Ustalavic citizen has it much worse.

      Hundreds of years of subjugation and the residual horrors that plague the countryside have left the people of Ustalav suspicious of magic, religion, foreigners, and their fellow citizens. Beyond their eccentric and insular qualities, Ustalavs often have a dour worldview. They resign themselves to lives of suffering, seeing nothing in their people’s history to suggest there is any hope for a better life. Despite the physical and psychological strains upon its populace, Ustalav nevertheless fosters extremely hardy and tenacious stock: men and women who firmly believe that no matter how bad it gets, history shows it could always be worse.

      Although Ustalav has little to offer its rural peasants, inhabitants of its many metropolitan cities fare somewhat better, and the centers of learning and culture they provide draw trade and travelers from throughout the Inner Sea region. The capital, Caliphas, stands on the banks of Lake Encarthan, and its fog-shrouded streets host some of the nation’s most esteemed centers of trade and academia. In the north, the city of Karcau boasts a thriving culture of music, theater, and other fine arts, and its opulent architecture rivals the excess of even the most exotic Taldan palace. Meanwhile, Ustalav’s northwestern counties have broken from aristocratic rule and formed their own local, democratic government without nobles, calling themselves the Palatinates and providing a glimmer of hope for the downtrodden people of provincial Ustalav.

      MAP (open)
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      Ravengro was originally founded, in 4594 AR, as a town for the people who worked at or supported the infamous Harrowstone prison and their families. At that time the county of Canterwall did not exist and Ravengro lay in the county of Tamrivena, ruled by the unpopular Count Eigen Tolstoy; it was the Count's idea to build a large prison at Ravengro that could house, for a fee, criminals from anywhere in Ustalav. This plan did indeed increase Tolstoy's popularity as other parts of Ustalav moved their prisoners to Harrowstone and money started to flow into the county in return.

      In 4661 AR a prisoner uprising led to Harrowstone prison being burnt down, with all the prisoners and many of the staff, including the warden and his wife, were killed. The prison was never rebuilt and shortly thereafter, in 4670 AR, a bloodless coup occurred in Tamrivena bringing a new democracy to the county and to Ravengro. Many political historians see the fire at Harrowstone and its immediate neglect as one of the catalysts of the move to democracy in the county.

      Today, Ravengro is an self-sufficient Ustalav town supporting a local farming community, and a smaller fishing community. The town predominantly produces wheat, barley and maize, with some fish from Lake Lias supplementing the local diet.​

      MAP (open)

      A. Town Square

      B. The Posting Poles

      C. The Laughing Demon (Tavern)

      D. Ravengro Town Hall

      E. Temple of Pharasma

      F. Ravengro General Store

      G. Ravengro Forge

      H. Jominda's Apothecary

      I. Ravengro Jail

      J. The Silk Purse (Moneylender)

      K. The Outward Inn

      L. The Unfurling Scroll

      M. Council Member's Homes
      M1: Heathmount Home
      M2: Straelock Home
      M3: Faravan Home
      M4: Muricar Home​

      N. The Raskolnikov Home

      O. Harrowstone Memorial

      P. The Restlands

      Q. Zus Skidelski's Shack

      R. Harrowstone
      • Watch This Space
    • All of the following traits revolve around ways characters may know the late Professor Petros Raskolnikov, whose funeral draws them to Ravengro, and whose final will and testament launches the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. You can take a look at these traits to get a general, spoiler-free idea of the types of foes and challenges your character might encounter over the course of the Adventure Path. Knowing that there are going to be elements of horror-tainted landscapes, secret societies, foul plots, ancient magic, politics, and the like should help you build a character that fits more organically into the campaign you’re about to join.

      Chance Saviour: Fate smiled on you and Professor Raskolnikov one day in the not so distant past. Through a matter of pure chance, you were in a position to save the late scholar’s life and did so. His gratitude was effusive, and he promised that he would never forget you. You are unsure of the nature of the summons in his will, but believe he may have listed you as a possible heir in thanks for saving him from an untimely demise.

      Your ability to think quickly on your feet has stayed with you, and you quite often feel that you’re in the right place at the right time. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Initiative checks.

      Subject of Study: Professor Raskolnikov approached you as part of his studies, as he had heard that you had survived a recent encounter with a strange monster or had another fateful encounter. Interested in the conditions of the run-in and the means by which you avoided death or injury, he met with you and maintained frequent correspondence until several months ago. The scars of your experience and his continual reminders of the encounter prompted you to hone your skills lest you someday face the same type of creature again. The professor assisted you in this endeavour, providing you with insight into the anatomy and defences of the creature that attacked you.

      Years of study have improved your combat effectiveness against your chosen foe. Choose a non-humanoid creature type (and subtype if outsider). You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls against creatures of this type. See the ranger favoured enemy suggestions for a list of creature types most likely to appear in this campaign.

      Inspired by Greatness: Whether you knew Professor Raskolnikov well or only in passing, as a colleague or competitor, his career and lifetime of discovery inspired you to be better at what you do. As you honed your craft, you and the professor corresponded, and he was delighted to hear that he had directly or indirectly motivated you to strive for your full potential. Saddened by the news of
      his death, you feel that you should honour his memory by fulfilling his final wishes and attending his funeral, and by ever striving to attain greater heights and someday match the influence and impact of your idol.

      Choose one spell you can cast. From now on, you always cast this spell at +1 caster level.

      Making Good on Promises: At some point in the past, Professor Raskolnikov did you a favour under the condition that he would someday call on you to repay it. After he came to your aid, however, you never saw nor heard from him again, leaving you with a sense of unending anticipation that each day might be the day you were asked to return the favour. Yet that day never came, and your fears and anxiety about what the professor would call on you to do abated. Assuming the old man had either forgotten about you or died, you eventually assumed you’d never have to follow through on your end of the bargain. When you received word of the professor’s death, and that he had named you specifically in his will, your dread of what he could possibly want from you has grown throughout your entire journey to Ravengro.

      Years of living with the fear and uncertainty of the unclaimed debt to Professor Raskolnikov have inured you to extreme anxiety. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saves against fear effects.

      On the Payroll: Whether he needed a bodyguard in a rough neighbourhood, a guide to an isolated archaeological dig, or information on a specialized topic, Professor Raskolnikov was never shy about hiring professionals to help him attain his goals. Over the course of his long career, thousands of people throughout the world served his needs and benefited from his generous wages (usually covered by his academic benefactor at the time). He had contacts in most areas of expertise in every corner of the known world, a knack for recognizing talent, and a desire to be surrounded by the best and brightest at all times. Whatever job the professor originally hired you for, your performance captured his attention, and he hired you many times throughout your career, sometimes even for jobs away from your home, always paying your expenses and compensating you well for your time. In your area of expertise, you are among the best.

      Your years of hard work have paid off, granting you an additional 150 gp in starting wealth.

      Teacher’s Pet: Professor Raskolnikov travelled the Inner Sea region lecturing and teaching at universities in locations as far-f lung as Manaket and Magnimar, and as different in scope as the bardic colleges of Taldor and the battle colleges of the River Kingdoms. Speaking before standing-room-only lecture halls on topics as widely ranging as military strategy, planar anomalies, theology, and agriculture, Raskolnikov’s time was highly valued among those ambitious to benefit from his expertise. Despite this, he still managed to provide one-on-one assistance to the most promising of his acolytes. When he saw the potential for greatness in one of his charges, he took it upon himself to nurture their spark. You were such a student. Over the course of several months, you and the late professor spent hours debating the finer points of your topic of interest, and the intellectual doors he opened for you continue to flavour your outlook on the world.

      You gain a +2 trait bonus to one Knowledge skill of your choosing and consider it a class skill.​

    #2 Childish Grumpino, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
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    • Humans dominate Ustalav’s population, and among them most are ethnic Varisians whose ancestors also called the land home. Whether nobles clinging to the few drops of blood that grant them a claim—albeit a distant one—to the Ustalavic aristocracy, or stoic peasants struggling to make ends meet in the unforgiving countryside, heritage and history are incredibly important to Ustalavs. All modern Ustalavs feel directly connected through familial ties to the centuries of torment at the Whispering Tyrant’s hands and share an inherited acceptance of a life of struggle and suffering.

      Among the populace’s Varisian ethnicity are communities of nomads who travel as far as the Varisian coast, and the wandering Sczarni, who are scorned even by many fellow Varisians for their stereotypical unscrupulous ways. Both unsettled groups are typically considered backward and dangerous, and are thus treated as second-class citizens. In addition, those humans of Kellid decent are treated with contempt, especially in the north, where they are negatively associated with the barbarian tribes of Numeria, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, and the fallen realm of Sarkoris. Despite their relegation to second-class citizenship, Kellids are nevertheless common throughout Ustalav, and the monolithic remnants of their shamanistic society from before the arrival of the Varisians can still be found throughout the region.
    • Dwarves are less than common in Ustalav, yet the proximity of the Fire Kings Mountains to the Immortal Principality means that there is steady trade between the miners, weaponsmiths, and brewers of the dwarven stronghold and the large urban ports on Lake Encarthan. Stout folk native to the land can generally be found in the mining-rich counties of Barstoi and Versex, where they often hold influential positions in local salt and tin mines. While many dwarven traders and tradespeople find themselves most accepted in the metropolitan centres of southern Ustalav, some venture into the more provincial and sometimes prejudiced counties in the east to answer the silent call to stand vigil against the orc hordes of neighboring Belkzen. Though natives of these regions are generally suspicious of (and sometimes even outright hateful toward) non-human visitors, those who take the time to get to know their dwarven neighbours often come around to their foreign ways, appreciating them for their hardiness and staunch pragmatism.
    • Elves are uncommon in Ustalav, especially outside the cosmopolitan capital of Caliphas or the nation’s many centres of learning. Even the oldest living elves are too young to remember the reign of the Whispering Tyrant, but elven memories are long and current elders recount tales of their parents’ generation joining the ranks of the Shining Crusade to drive Tar-Baphon’s armies from the banks of Lake Encarthan. As such, many young elves venture into the Ustalavic countryside, hoping to uncover long-buried mysteries or even to see the land where a not-so-distant ancestor perished. Some elves find themselves subject to deep-seated prejudice from Ustalav’s primarily Varisian inhabitants, who collectively—if subconsciously—hold a grudge against the elves who returned to Kyonin once the Whispering Tyrant was defeated so long ago, abandoning the crippled natives to fend for themselves—a fate from which the nation of Ustalav has never fully recovered.
    • Ustalav isn’t home to any notable gnome settlements, and the inhabitants’ general superstition makes them wary of gnomes living among them. That said, Ustalav is a strange place, and gnomes from around the world often travel there to see its bizarre sights and sometimes even more bizarre citizens. Particularly charismatic gnomes have been known to embed themselves with a travelling caravan of Sczarni, performing an agreed-upon task in exchange for being led throughout the countryside to see the inspiring sights and experiences within. Similarly, some gnomes find themselves accompanying altogether different caravans: travelling circuses. In these cases, their
      freakish companions often provide enough inspiration to stave off the Bleaching, while the gnomes themselves occasionally exploit their people’s rarity by going on display for gawking rubes willing to pay to see a “freak” or “captured fairy”.
    • Half-elf populations are always small throughout the Inner Sea, and this remains true in Ustalav. Minute numbers of such half-breeds can be found in Ardis, Caliphas, and Karcau, though isolated individuals are scattered throughout the nation. The superstitious and uneducated population of rural Ustalav frequently see the pointed ears, inhuman eyes, and fair features of half-elves and mistake them for changelings, tieflings, or other more monstrous half-humans. Such folk then make the offenders’ lives difficult, sometimes even running them out of town. Thus, native half-elves are cautious, and often do their best to disguise their elven traits (see the Integrated alternate racial trait in the Advanced Player’s Guide.) Half-elves from other parts of the world are prone to wandering,
      however, and many find themselves in Ustalav on their way somewhere else or as a final destination, believing the ancient land may hold some answer they seek.
    • Half-orcs are an extraordinary sight in Ustalav, and outside the seedier side of Ustalav’s many urban centres, half-orcs are most often found along the nation’s western border. The Whispering Tyrant ruled Ustalav for nearly a millennium as master of the vast orc hordes of Belkzen, and even a thousand years after the Shining Crusade defeated him and drove his armies back into the wastelands, the residual bloodlines caused by generations of orc attacks on human settlements still pop up in even the most prestigious of families. Though Sczarni are typically capable of defending themselves and wary of outsiders, some vulnerable caravans have been known to hire the occasional half-orc guard to ensure that they have the brawn on hand to counter any unexpected resistance from the nation’s darker denizens. Despite this, half-orcs are seen as monsters by most Ustalavs, and a half-orc in any Ustalavic setting is often the subject of extreme prejudice.
    • As with elsewhere in the Inner Sea region, halflings live and work alongside humans, ever in their wide and ambitious shadows. In Ustalav, halflings are relatively rarer than in the nations of southern Avistan, such as Andoran and Cheliax. As with similarly statured gnomes, halflings may be found travelling the countryside as part of wandering carnivals or freak shows, on display for their miniature stature or performing as acrobats or jugglers. Nobles in the more urban cities of Caliphas, Ardis, and Karcau may look to the prosperous nations of Cheliax and Taldor and follow their lead by employing half lings as servants, ever trying to emulate more extravagant societies. In the north-western counties known as the Palatinates, halflings fleeing from the bonds of slavery elsewhere in the world see the emancipated citizenry as an example of the life they wish to live, free from both bondage and the idealistic crusading of liberty-focused Andoran, and they live and work side by side with the free humans of the region’s peasantry.

    #3 Childish Grumpino, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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    • Ever on the fringes of society, alchemists often gravitate toward Ustalav, where varied centres of science and academia disguise their eccentricities and odd research. Schools like the University of Lepidstadt, Caliphas’s Quarterfaux Archives, and Rozenport’s Sincomakti School, along with the ancestral libraries of Ustalav’s crumbling nobility and long lost crypts of the armies of the Whispering Tyrant, provide ample draw for alchemists from around the world to venture into the haunted land, hoping to learn advanced formulae and discover eldritch extracts. An alchemist may have met Professor Raskolnikov at a centre of alchemical study where he came to speak or at a library where the two studied ancient formulae together.

      Recommendations: Alchemists’ great versatility allows characters of any bent to function well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, focusing their daily mutagens and extracts to the current situation. Those alchemists skilled in Knowledge (arcana), Perception, Spellcraft, Survival, and Use Magic Device will find particular use for their talents over the course of the campaign.
    • Ustalav is a fairly civilized nation where barbarians are stigmatised for their lack of refinement and adherence to traditional values. Many hail from Kellid tribes to the north and east, further adding to the prejudice. Which stigma coloured the other isn’t clear, but to most Ustalavs, Kellid and barbarian are synonymous words, and are often used as such. The Graidmere swamp outside Karcau also hosts its own xenophobic communities of unpredictable swampfolk, born from interbreeding between Varisians and mysterious, marsh-dwelling Kellids. Although Professor Raskolnikov was a man of culture and academia, he nevertheless made many an acquaintance—and even a few friendships—with barbarians, especially when exploring and doing research in their native lands. Thus, wild
      warriors from locations as far-flung as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and even the Mwangi Expanse may have a place in the late professor’s will.

      Recommendations: Barbarians of all types and origins might be summoned to Ravengro, but barbarians from the lands around Ustalav may wish to employ the Superstitious archetype. Kellids attracted to the ancestral ruins that dot the land may also consider the Totem Warrior archetype. Suggested skills include Intimidate, Perception, and Survival.
    • Much of Ustalav’s countryside consists of rural farms and tiny villages, but it also contains some
      of the largest urban centers on Lake Encarthan. The antiquarian archives in Ardis; noble courts and aristocratic intrigue in Caliphas; Karcau’s world-famous opera; and other academies of theater, dance, comedy, and song all draw bards from across the Inner Sea region. But even in rural areas, wandering performers, swindlers, and storytellers are common, and no Sczarni caravan is complete without someone to distract a mark while the rest of the crew lightens his purse. In his travels abroad, Professor Raskolnikov often sought out lorekeepers when conducting research, and had bardic
      contacts in nearly every city in the Inner Sea on the off chance he needed a social introduction while in town.

      Recommendations: Bards are incredibly versatile and can f ill a number of campaign roles. Those who focus entirely on enchantment or mind-affecting effects may find some portions of the Adventure Path challenging; at least passing skill in combat or the ability to magically enhance allies will come in handy. Good class archetypes include Archivist, Detective, and Magician. Suggested skills include Acrobatics, Bluff, Sense Motive, and Stealth.
    • Ustalav is home to numerous mounted warriors and dedicated crusaders. In the south, amid the Hungry Mountains, cavaliers and paladins from Lastwall patrol the scarred land looking for signs of the Whispering Tyrant’s lingering power. In the more lush, wooded areas of northern and western Ustalav, cavaliers of noble lineage participate in competitive hunts, always trying to prove their superior horsemanship. When exploring dangerous parts of the world or hunting for proof of legendary creatures, Professor Raskolnikov often hired cavaliers to serve as escorts; many of these served him more than once, and he became very close to several.

      Recommendations: Cavaliers make excellent team leaders and can be invaluable on the battlefield in any adventure. The Carrion Crown Adventure Path includes a number of traditional dungeon crawls and urban encounters that may present a challenge to cavaliers with Large mounts, so having non-mounted combat options is recommended. Orders that work well in this campaign include the order of the cockatrice, the order of the shield, the order of the star, and the order of the sword. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Climb, and Sense Motive.
    • Nomadic Varisians worship Desna almost exclusively, while most common Ustalavs respect her but pay their truest homage to Pharasma. The Lady of Graves’ faith is particularly strong throughout the nation and has taken on an insular, fatalistic bent seen few other places. Many of her followers believe that they are fated to experience bad things and that their role is to endure and thus to achieve a fair judgement by their goddess upon their death. Professor Raskolnikov was himself more interested in the pursuit of knowledge than matters of faith, but frequently met with religious scholars throughout the Inner Sea, and always took a healer or two on his many archaeological expeditions.

      Recommendations: While clerics of any faith may find themselves summoned to Ravengro, priests of Desna, Iomedae, and Pharasma may find they have the closest ties to the events of the Adventure Path. Clerics who specialize in commanding, destroying, or communicating with undead will be particularly effective. Suggested domains include Death, Good, Healing, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Repose, Rune, Sun, and Travel. Suggested skills include Knowledge (religion), Sense Motive, and Spellcraft.

      Deities of Golarion

      DeityALPortfoliosDomainsFavored Weapon
      Erastil LG God of farming, hunting, trade, family Animal, Community, Good, Law, Plant longbow
      Iomedae LG Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, honor Glory, Good, Law, Sun, War longsword
      Torag LG God of the forge, protection, strategy Artifice, Earth, Good, Law, Protection warhammer
      Sarenrae NG Goddess of the sun, redemption, honest, healing Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Sun scimitar
      Shelyn NG Goddess of beauty, art, love, music Air, Charm, Good, Luck, Protection glaive
      Desna CG Goddess of dreams, stars, travelers, luck Chaos, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel starknife
      Cayden Cailean CG God of freedom, wine, bravery Chaos, Charm, Good, Strength, Travel rapier
      Abadar LN God of cities, wealth, merchants, law Earth, Law, Nobility, Protection, Travel crossbow
      Irori LN God of history, knowledge, self-perfection Healing, Knowledge, Law, Strength, Rune unarmed strike
      Gozreh N God of nature, weather, the sea Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather trident
      Pharasma N Goddess of fate, death, prophecy, birth Death, Healing, Knowledge, Repose, Water dagger
      Nethys N God of magic Destruction, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune quarterstaff
      Gorum CN God of strength, battle, weapons Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, War greatsword
      Calistria CN Goddess of trickery, lust, revenge Chaos, Charm, Knowledge, Luck, Trickery whip
      Asmodeus LE God of tyranny, slavery, pride, contracts Evil, Fire, Law, Magic, Trickery mace
      Zon-Kuthon LE God of envy, pain, darkness, loss Darkness, Death, Destruction, Evil, Law spiked chain
      Urgathoa NE Goddess of gluttony, disease, undeath Death, Evil, Magic, Strength, War scythe
      Norgorber NE God of greed, secrets, poison, murder Charm, Death, Evil, Knowledge, Trickery short sword
      Lamashtu CE Goddess of madness, monsters, nightmares Chaos, Evil, Madness, Strength, Trickery falchion
      Rovagug CE God of wrath, disaster, destruction Chaos, Evil, Destruction, Weather, War greataxe
    • Ustalav is not a land known for its nature-priests, though their presence is more pronounced the farther from civilization one goes in the mysterious land. While native druids are less than common, adherents to the Green Faith often travel to Ustalav to examine the nation’s wastelands, both the residual taint of the Whispering Tyrant’s reign and the war-scarred expanse known as the Furrows. Many have the idealistic hope of ridding the nation of the foul stain of its former subjugator. These
      crusaders of the natural world are most prevalent in the south-western region of the nation, in and around the Hungry Mountains. Savage druids also find themselves drawn to the ancient standing stones that dot the nation and the varied deadly beasts of the Shudderwood. When Professor Raskolnikov had questions on various mysteries and oddities of nature, his druid acquaintances were often the first people he consulted, and many of them became close friends over the years.

      Recommendations: Several portions of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path take place in and around Ustalav’s many settlements, so druid characters may wish to consider the urban druid archetype from the Advanced Player’s Guide. Druids with a particular affinity for the blighted land of Virlych may likewise consider the blight druid archetype. Any animal companion native to temperate land environments would be appropriate for this adventure, particularly cougars, falcons, owls, and wolves. Druids who specialize in overland travel and tracking will also find their talents particularly useful. Suggested skills include Knowledge (Nature), Perception, and Survival.
    • Capable fighters can be found across Ustalav, whether as members of local militias, guards, bodyguards in the service of nobles, or trained hunters. Especially along the land’s border, members of the country’s wary military keep careful vigil, knowing that the greatest threats to the land’s people come from beyond, not within. The famed duelling fraternities of the University of Lepidstadt are also renowned for their traditions and the pride with which they train some of the most capable fencers in the Inner Sea. Mercenaries make a decent living because their talents are in such demand, whether as guards, caravan escorts, or personal bodyguards. Professor Raskolnikov often found the need for protection or hired muscle, and over his long life, he held many fighters in his employ, both locally and abroad.

      Recommendations: Fighters of any ilk will find themselves with plenty to do in this Adventure Path, and any of the fighter archetypes presented in the Advanced Player’s Guide will serve well, Crossbowman, Free Hand Fighter, and Weapon Master being especially common. Suggested skill selection for this campaign includes Intimidate, Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Survival.
    • In a nation like Ustalav, which has suffered centuries upon centuries of torment and strife, people often have little to turn to but their faith. In the Immortal Principality, this sometimes takes the form of religious zealotry. An ever-growing sect of Pharasmin inquisitors maintain the puritanical belief that suffering is a punishment for the people’s misdeeds. These zealots frequently instigate witch burnings and are very suspicious of the arcane arts. Inquisitors of other faiths are somewhat less common, with the exception of Iomedaeans, who still scour the Ustalavic countryside for remnants of the Whispering Tyrant’s reign. Over his long career, Professor Raskolnikov assisted a number of inquisitors by providing esoteric information and lore. Many of them came to him as a source time and again.

      Recommendations: Inquisitors of any faith may f ind a role in this campaign, though those affiliated with Desna, Iomedae, and Pharasma may feel the most connected to the events of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Useful skills for this Adventure Path include Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, and Survival.
    • Masters of both spell and blade, magi constantly search for perfection of those arts. This blending of arcane and martial skill often marks them as different, and therefore not to be trusted, with the common populace. However, the siren call of Ustalav’s fabled centres of learning, the arcane legacy of Tar-Baphon’s rule, and a mercenary’s life all draw these individuals to the Immortal Principality.
      In Ustalav, magi might come from the ranks of the land’s baroque nobility, many of whom receive a motley education including both scholarship and swordplay, or who indulge eclectic whims. Agents of the country’s various rulers, power players, and organizations—like Thrushmoor’s Sleepless Agency—often cultivate a varied repertoire to help them face the nation’s innumerable and often mysterious menaces. Professor Raskolnikov travelled widely in his exploration of the known world and encountered magi in the f ield as well as at the universities, archives, and monasteries he often frequented.

      Recommendations: Characters with talent for both sword and spell will f ind a special connection to the events of this Adventure Path. Magi of the Bladebound, Hexcrafter, Spellblade, and Staff Magus archetypes will all have equal opportunity to shine. Suggested skills include Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Spellcraft.
    • While Ustalav does not feature any world-renowned monastic orders, devotees of self-perfection and the martial arts can periodically be found travelling through the region—may have come from backgrounds of self-training, sportsmanship, or barbarity. However, Professor Raskolnikov’s travels took him far beyond his native land, and he encountered monks in distant cities and isolated monasteries the world over. He fondly recounted his long philosophical discussions with aged monks in far away corners of the Inner Sea region, and was rumoured to have even imparted some of his esoteric wisdom to eager young trainees he encountered on teaching tours.

      Recommendations: Monks’ strong defences and versatility will prove useful in this campaign. Players seeking to customize their monks beyond the standard fare should consider the Hungry Ghost Monk, Ki Mystic, and Monk of the Healing Hand archetypes in the Advanced Player’s Guide. Suggested skills include Acrobatics, Perception, and Sense Motive.
    • Because the source of their divine powers is frequently misunderstood, oracles are often viewed with suspicion by Ustalavs, especially in particularly superstitious regions such as Barstoi and Versex. Despite their aversion to these spiritual conduits, when things turn grim—and they often do in Ustalav—oracles are sought out by villagers and nobles alike in need of healing, soothsaying, a medium’s talents, or other occult services. Many oracles from other parts of the world travel to Ustalav to better understand their own nature, hoping the residual magic of the Whispering Tyrant’s rule or a lost tome in a forgotten library will enlighten them as to their divine purpose. Professor Raskolnikov went through a period of intense study of oracles, during which time he met with many of them, working closely with several.

      Recommendations: Oracles of all mysteries can take part in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, but those of battle, bones, and life may f ind themselves particularly well-suited to the challenges the campaign will present. Similarly, oracles cursed with the haunted, wasting, and tongues curses may feel additionally tied to the themes the Adventure Path presents. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive.
    • Few locations in Golarion are as in need of paladins as Ustalav. Whether one sets out to vanquish evil and eliminate any remnant of the Whispering Tyrant’s long reign or to heal and bolster the downtrodden Ustalavic citizens weary of their years of suffering, there’s never a shortage of good to be done in the Immortal Principality. Non-native paladins frequently serve Iomedae and hail from Lastwall, though holy warriors of Sarenrae are also somewhat common. In his innumerable explorations, Professor Raskolnikov uncovered several holy relics and was often accompanied by paladins of the aforementioned churches. He also had the opportunity to meet paladins while visiting religious archives throughout Golarion.

      Recommendations: Paladins of any variety will find the Carrion Crown Adventure Path rife with evil to smite and innocents to save. The Undead Scourge archetype in the Advanced Player’s Guideis an especially good match for this campaign, though the Divine Defender, Hospitaler, and Warrior of Holy Light archetypes make good alternatives. Suggested skills include Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion), and Sense Motive.
    • There are countless threats in the wilds of Ustalav, and a character with the ability to hunt these menaces is highly valued. Whether serving as a guide on the wealthy’s hunts into the wilderness, stalking the ravaged countryside for undead or other monstrous nightmares, or pursuing a criminal on the streets of Ardis or Karcau, a ranger need not look far to find a niche in Ustalav. Time and again, Professor Raskolnikov consulted with rangers regarding terrain and wildlife while planning expeditions or preparing lectures, and he took the best of them with him on especially dangerous expeditions.

      Recommendations: Suggested ranger archetypes for the Carrion Crown Adventure Path include Guide, Infiltrator, Skirmisher, and Urban Ranger. Good favoured enemies include aberration, animal, construct, humanoid (human), and undead. Rangers with the favoured terrains of forest, mountain, swamp, and urban will find their talents most useful during the course of the campaign. See the druid section for suggested animal companions.
    • With as many Sczarni on the streets and highways of Ustalav as there are, it’s not surprising that the nation teems with con artists, pickpockets, thugs, and thieves. No Sczarni caravan is complete without a number of rapscallions ready to play their role in separating their mark from his money, whether through deception, quick fingers, or violence. Despite the myriad problems plaguing the people of Ustalav, many citizens see the actions of the Sczarni as a pressing concern, and view members with warranted suspicion. At the same time, with as many mysteries and secrets as haunt the country’s nights, it often falls to skilful investigators, detectives, courtiers, and common folk familiar with the ways of the shadowed streets to bring the truth to light. Sometimes, in the course of exploration or research, Professor Raskolnikov would hire a rogue or two to help defuse traps or procure difficult to obtain information, the most efficient of which he remained in contact with after the job was done.

      Recommendations: Rogues of all sorts can be found in Ustalav, but members of the class with the Acrobat, Burglar, Cutpurse, Rake, and Thug archetypes are most common and will find their talents particularly helpful in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path. Suggested skills include Disable Device, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and Stealth.
    • The arcane scars on the land of Ustalav run deep, etched into the very fabric of the nation from centuries of rule by the Whispering Tyrant and his undead armies. As such, it isn’t uncommon for children born in the Immortal Principality to develop inherent spellcasting abilities as they mature. Near Virlych, where the Whispering Tyrant remains locked in his prison of Gallowspire, sorcerers often have an affinity for the undead, while the ancient Kellid ruins of Versex and Vieland are often
      blamed when sorcerers in the county manifest aberrant powers. Elsewhere in Ustalav, sorcerers exhibit signs of celestial influence, perhaps a residuals effect of the forces of good that battled the Whispering Tyrant in the Shining Crusade. Many sorcerers manifesting these and other bloodlines travel to Ustalav to plumb its ancient arcane mysteries for some idea of their own origins, and for many years Professor Raskolnikov was one of the most sought after experts on the subject.

      Recommendations: Sorcerers of the aberrant, arcane, celestial, destined, and undead bloodlines will f it particularly well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, though no bloodline would be a poor fit. Players who wish to use bloodlines from other sources may wish to look into the orc bloodline in Pathfinder Player Companion: Orcs of Golarion—especially given the nation’s proximity to the Hold of Belkzen—and the dreamspun and starsoul bloodlines in the Advanced Player’s Guide. Suggested skills include Bluff, Intimidate, and Knowledge (arcana).
    • Suspicion and superstition are rampant in Ustalav, and summoners often face the worst of both. Seen as cavorting with strange and evil forces (not to mention their often bestial eidolons), summoners typically have a difficult time existing within Ustalavic society. Those few summoners who do live in the region are often hermits living alone in the wilderness or cloistered academics who rarely venture from their libraries into public. Given the nation’s varied, unspoiled wildernesses and nearness to the even denser wilds of the north, many summoners in this region tap into the weird powers of the First World, calling forth never-before-seen feylike creatures from that inf inite potentiality. Alternatively, strange dreamers reach out across the gulfs of space and the planes to command unnameable beings, garnering their service, but perhaps also the scrutiny of other unknown entities. Professor Raskolnikov was known to hold a number of summoners in high regard, men and women he consulted on planar matters, and who in turn approached him with particularly vexing questions of their own.

      Recommendations: Summoners with eidolons of all shapes and sizes will function well in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, though roughly humanoid eidolons will blend in better in social or urban situations. Summoners are likely to receive the most benefit from ranks in Knowledge (arcana), Linguistics, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.
    • In most parts of the Inner Sea region, witches are outcast for their strange connection to powerful forces others can’t understand. In Ustalav, however, witches serve an important role as rural healers and spiritual leaders, sometimes traveling between isolated communities where the beleaguered population has little choice but to accept their aid, despite rampant prejudice. Ustalavic witches are often associated with the ancient Kellid religion, the worship of a mysterious pantheon, and powerful ritual sites scattered throughout the region. Whether a witch’s patron is actually connected with these eldritch forces depends on the individual witch.

      Recommendations: Witches in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path should have ample opportunities to utilize both their magical, mystical, and combat expertise. Any non-aquatic familiars will work well in the campaign, though players may find that bats, cats, foxes, owls, rats, ravens, vipers, and toads f it well in the misty haunts of Ustalav. All patrons will work equally well within this campaign. Suggested skills include Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), and Spellcraft.
    • Ustalav’s legacy and identity are inseparable from the fact that Ustalav was the cradle that spawned one of the most powerful wizards of all time, the dreaded Whispering Tyrant, Tar-Baphon. Although he was long ago imprisoned, the arcane lore amassed by his servants and the crusaders who rallied against him remains alive in modern Ustalav, albeit often buried in dusty libraries and tombs scattered across the land. Many wizards travel to the region in search of ancient lore or artefacts or to teach or study at the various universities and isolated monasteries that dot the countryside. Himself a devout scholar, Professor Raskolnikov found it easy to relate to wizards, and he held many as close friends, colleagues, and competitive rivals.

      Recommendations: While wizards specializing in any arcane school will find the opportunity to shine in the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, those who devote their study to abjuration, divination, evocation, and necromancy will fit well with the themes and plot of the campaign. Enchanters and illusionists may find that many of their talents go unused throughout the Adventure Path. Wizards who take familiars may consider any of the options in the core rules as appropriate. Suggested skills include Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion), Linguistics, and Spellcraft.

  5. [​IMG]

    • [​IMG]


      Carrion Crown is a Dark Fantasy adventure path, set in the broken and dilapidated nation of Ustalav. It mixes themes of fantasy with horror, facing the main characters off against terrifying creatures and an insidious plot to release an ancient evil. Think Dracula, Frankenstein, Eastern Europe and a healthy spattering of Lovecraft, and you're on the right track.

      • This isn't just a dungeon-crawl. PCs will be called upon to investigate rumours, pursue leads and dig up evidence throughout the course of the game.
      • When facing off against the sort of enemies you're likely to encounter throughout this story, preparation and an understanding of your foe is absolutely vital if you want to stay alive. Tred carefully, and don't just charge in blind.
      • Though I'm probably going to stick to the general over-arcing story, I plan on changing some elements of Carrion Crown to head off any meta-gaming dickbaggery and because I just can't help but fuck around with stuff. Apart from anything else, all the NPC names need to be Slav-ified.
      • I'm hoping to run this at a slightly more achievable hour for folks who don't run on 'Murica time. Since most people actually prefer to get more sleep than I do.
    • Starting Level: 1

      Ability Points: 20

      Alignments: Please stick to Good/Neutral characters, in the interests of having a party that won't try to murder each other within two sessions. If you really, really just have to play someone with an Evil alignment, PM me and we'll talk about it.

      Carrying Capacity: We'll play without this since it tends to weigh down the game (hurr hurr hurr), just make sure to list all your gear on your sheet. Don't take advantage of this, though, or I'll lower your character head-first into a goblin pit.

      Deities: All Golarian deities (see Cleric tab above).

      Allowed: Archetypes, Alternate Racial Traits, Carrying Capacity, Hero Points, Extra Maneuvers, 2 Traits (or 3 if you take a Drawback).

      Prohibited: Firearms & Gunslingers, 3rd Party Homebrew, being a meta-gaming turd-blossom, being That Guy.

      Strongly Discouraged: Companions (they slow everything down, so please take their alternatives where you can).

      Hitpoints: Start at the maximum possible for Level 1. When levelling, use the Throw a Dice command from the More Options menu in the bottom right corner of an Iwaku post.

      Experience: You'll level up at key plot points in the adventure. This first adventure will end with you on Level 4.

      Starting Wealth:
      Paladin/Ranger/Fighter/Cavalier - 175gp
      Cleric/Rogue/Inquisitor/Ninja - 140gp
      Barbarian/Bard/Alchemist/Oracle/Witch/Samurai - 105gp
      Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard/Summoner - 70gp
      Monk – 35gp​
    • We're playing over on Roll20, which is a sweet way to simulate the whole tabletop experience online. You'll need to set up an account, which is free so don't panic.

      The time will be set once we've got a decent group gathered. I'll throw up a poll of some kind.

      We'll also be using Iwaku's TeamSpeak server for chatting and so I can yell at you when it's your move on the Turn Order. The server is at:
    • Post a background and overview for your character in this thread. I've provided a simple Pathfinder character sheet in player journals in the Roll20 campaign, which doesn't look too likely to cause everyone's brains to leak out their noses but still handles some stat-monkeying for you. You'll need to join the campaign first before I can assign you a sheet.

      Please also provide an image for your character. I'll be using them to make tokens, because fuck spending money on pretty sprite packs.


    • A Human Alchemist and former student of Professor Raskolnikov's
    • Paladin of some kind
    • Elf Ranger
    • Half-Elf Rogue

    #5 Childish Grumpino, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  7. I am but continuing the noble tradition of stealing cool shit off my southern neighbours.

  9. You love serifs, don't lie.
  13. Hmmm.... Sure, why not. I'll show my interest.
  14. A'ight, folks who are interested in making characters just need to hit that 'ENTER THE GAME' link so they sign into the Roll20 group.

    Then I can assign you dudes a character sheet to work on.
  15. I'm already signed in with my "gorgeous" avatar. XD
  16. I'll make a paladin whenever.
  17. So Paladin and Alchemist.

    Both useful classes to have, yis.
  18. Mirko Zoltov

    Zoltov's father was one of the many nobles of Magnimar who grasped at power during the decline of the Chelaxian Empire. Idaro Zoltov was burned to death by his own folly in a diabolical ritual to draw devils to his service.

    The funeral feast was not yet cold when Mirko's mother took him by the wrist and fled the house before his father's cronies could "take them under their wing". Severing all ties with the aristocracy, mother and son lived in a more modest house on the other side of the city.

    And while his mother's teachings could not dissuade him from the wonder of the arcane, his father's demise at least reminded him of the necessity of sound method and science.

    Zoltov took up alchemical studies at the Magnimar university, and excelled to the point where he was noticed by the visiting Professor Raskolnikov.

    In three evenings they debated heaven and earth, alchemy and arcana. It was something neither would forget. When the Professor returned home, he and Zoltov remained in correspondence, swapping notes and formulas, rare books and rarer glimpses into one another's lives. Over time, the frequency of letters dwindled, but master and student were never far from each other's mind.

    It was an acquaintance that would have a profound effect on both their lives (and deaths).

    #18 Asmodeus, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  19. Awesome I am indeed interested :D
  20. Finished.

    *flips everyone off*
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