RoundTable Adventuring

Carrion Hill
The Wart

Known by frequent visitors such as tradesmen as the Boil, or, more basely, the Wart, Carrion Hill rises over the otherwise swampy southern banks of Kingfisher River, the only solid ground of any reasonable scope in the swampland known as the Wrythe for a distance of nearly 20 miles to east or west. When the river fog rolls in every morning and evening, those who dwell on the hill’s Crown district can look out on a world of white vastness, while those below take solace in the simple fact that the ground beneath their feet is solid and unlikely to wash away a"er one of the area’s frequent rainstorms or seasonal floods.

Carrion Hill
Small City: standard government (mayor); AL N
DEMOGRAPHICS
Population 9,200
Racial Mix 82% human, 5% halfling, 4% half-orc, 4% gnome, 3%
dwarf, 2% other
RULERS
Vanton Heggry, mayor of Carrion Hill (N male human aristocrat 9)
LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Crows, city watch (900 N human warrior 1 guards, 45 N
human fighter 2 sergeants, 9 N human fighter 4 captains)

Carrion Hill is split into three districts. Atop the hill, the Crown serves as the home for the city’s nobility, government, and most of its public works. The hill’s slopes are a thick tangle of buildings and maze-like alleyways; this is the Tangle, where the bulk of the shops and residences can be found. The lowest part of the city, both physically and spiritually, is the Filth, a series of islands both natural and artificial, connected by old boardwalks and stone bridges. The city’s poor and desperate dwell here, as do those industries so vital to the city’s prosperity but so unwanted by its citizens—tanners, gong farmers, street cleaners, the fisheries, and the looming middenstone vats. Yet the Filth is also the city gateway, as the vast majority of Carrion Hill’s visitors arrive by riverboat or barge via the district’s refuse-choked canals.
Carrion Hill is also called the isle of 10,000 temples, and although the nickname is a significant exaggeration (there are actually a mere 180 temples in Carrion Hill, most of them but tiny one-room shrines), it seems that places of worship for gods both vast and slight grow from the very land. Shrines the size of cupboards, painted representations of gods with an offering of flowers beneath, rub shoulders with churches that somehow squeeze balcony upon balcony in tiny frames over almost decadently elaborate pulpits, and above all is the grandest place on the hill—the Ossuary Church of Pharasma.

The western area of the Carrion Hill runs along the southern bank of the Kingfisher River. Much of the city’s waste ends up here, and as such, the water quickly clogs with flotsam so that there are always several barges at work clearing the waterways and removing the flotsam to one of the Filth’s great burn pits. O"en, the transition between land and water is gradual, with shores being little better than quicksand; most buildings along the shore are built on wooden pilings sunk deep into the ground. Stories abound of folk who have found diamond rings, furs, and even magic items in the rubbish here, but also iron, wood, and other common salable commodities. A number of rag and bone merchants employ scavengers like this, and their warehouses are scattered on the edges of the Filth. The stench in the Filth is indescribable, especially in summer, and huge numbers of rats, flies, and particularly a species of maroon cockroach dwell here, making the land an almost living thing. The poorest (and generally newest) residents live in hovels clustered together for safety and stability—a town of scavenged rubbish. Numerous cruel taskmasters have their tanneries, alchemy workshops, and middenstone vats here.

By far the most crowded and populated part of Carrion Hill is the Tangle—the lower and middle heights of the hill itself. A twisting mass of alleys, dead ends, and lightless streets serve as the arteries and veins of the district. Towering around these black footpaths (that are o"en less than 2 feet wide) are claustrophobic houses of wood, stone, and increasingly, Middenstone. Anyone venturing into the myriad alleys without comprehensive knowledge of them or a guide stands an excellent chance of becoming lost, and those who do lose their way stand a excellent chance of being marked by thugs, cutthroats, or worse. However, in these alleys a traveler also passes countless houses, stores, and cupboard-shops selling everything from paper lanterns to decorative pig masks, from clay pipes and strange tobacco to street corner coffee houses at which locals gather to smoke long hookah pipes beloved of the population (the aromatic tobacco does an excellent job at masking the city’s other smells).

The cobbled streets at the top of the hill broaden and are bleached white, and locals joke half-seriously that the streets of the Crown are the tops of countless polished skulls. Buildings at the Crown are larger, and most utilize solid stone and good timber in their construction. Middenstone buildings are unknown in the district, but the color purple is not, for lavender grows in profusion in and around the many olive trees that thrive in the more pleasant air of the high hill. Actual crows are numerous here as well—some say they are waiting for something to happen. Merchants, dignitaries, and the wealthy make their homes here, enjoying the lack of taxes the isle grants.
Two structures on the Crown in particular bear special note. The first is Crown Manor, a fortified castle-like estate that serves as both the Carrion Hill town hall and the home of the city’s mayor. Called Rag Manor by many of the city’s citizens (but never to the mayor’s face) for the colorful and plentiful flags and tapestries that hang from its walls and fly from so many of its tower roofs (yet are only very infrequently changed and replaced as they grow tattered), some 20 members of the Crows normally guard their lord along with one of the sergeants at arms. Crown Manor has served countless rulers of the hill as a last bastion against invasion, and it is said that its extensive dungeons consist of the ruins of no fewer than two dozen previous castles.
The other structure of note on the Crown is the city’s largest and most intimidating church—the Ossuary Church. Built over the foundations of countless other graveyards and crypts, the Ossuary Church is run by the priesthood of Pharasma, although its site has served many deities over the ages. The building itself is white, its walls initially decorated with bones harvested from the depths of the church’s ossuaries for the purpose of making room for the new citizens of the Hill as the older generations passed on, but eventually as a grisly sort of decoration to celebrate the death of a citizen. Within the church, the walls are decorated with beautiful but haunting frescoes depicting Pharasma’s Boneyard. These murals are new, but the tradition is not—the deeper one goes into the vaults and crypts below, older murals for different gods exist. At the deepest level, in vaults the church has locked up and in which dwell strange and hideous monsters, the murals show the ancient rites of the Old Cults themselves.

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Pele I
What I Remember

The mortal mind was never meant to hold the amount of knowledge that I had. Humans at best possess the capacity for 200 years of memories and the elves of sovyrian by contrast can hold up to 800 years, a far cry from the millennia’s of knowledge I had. When my divine spark was ripped from my chest I was given a mortal body with mortal capacity for memory. I fought to hold on to what I had for to long as a result I probably remember less than i might have. But fighting did give me more control over what memories I kept and which ones I had to forget. I no longer remember shaping the coastlines of castrovel and golarion. I no longer remember those long years i spent in the halls of elysium or the under-volcano. I no longer remember the feel of a magma flowing through the ocean, the creation of an island. What I do remember is the time I spent with my sisters Desna and Acavna and my younger brother gozreh. I remember the war, the death of Curchanus, I created the Kodan race in his image. I remember my enemy, the nightmare lord Kosmaro, and how far I have fallen. I might be mortal but my sister was fond of saying, “as long as there is a dreamer, there is hope,” now I am the dreamer, now, for the first time in a long time, I have hope.

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Sojo #2

do people have no respect for those that came before them? this temple is amazing and yet inside we find a group of squatters trying to defile it with sacrifices and other befoulments. They got what they deserved and it was all the more satisfying to make sure that they knew that we had foiled their plans before we sent them to meet their dark master.

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Gar'lumbo #3

And people say Orcs are stoopid. These people didn’t even know the holy symbol of Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters, I know they live in the back woods of no where, but thats all the more reason to know about the cult of people who might want to unleash monsters on unsuspecing towns, Serisously, how have Humans survived all this time being so weak and dumb. I could be ruling this place in a week. But them I’d be ruling a bunch of poor ass, inbred, back woods, fuckwits. Knot how I want to start my clan.

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Gar'lumbo #2

How do you turn a poetry slam into an orcish poetry slam? KA-BOOM MOTHREFUCKER! HAHA! That was great. Best part of the whole day. But i don’t know why that one guy was so angry with that cult laeder. Convincing stoopid people to do thing for you is a great way to get things done. He must be mad he didn’t think of it first. Hey, maybe he can get some tips off of the leader of the cult we are tracking down now, Trickin’ Idiots 101.

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Yoshi II

1 year ago

A peach blossom fell from a tree; it fluttered slowly toward the ground. On its way it passed over the face of a young man sleeping at the tree’s base. Yoshi awoke. The sun had just broken onto the world. Momentary disorientation set in before the events of the previous day flooded into his mind. He was about an just over an hour’s walk from the city gates, which meant over 80 minutes to the dorm in which he kept his belongings. There would be much to do today. He stood off brushed the dirt from his hakama, took his haori from the branch where it had hung for the night and donned it. They were yesterday’s cloths but they would have to do. He took off at a brisk pace but not before taking in the picturesque scene around him.

When Yoshi arrived at the dorms the sun was well into its journey across the sky. He spent what was left of the morning packing his belongings. Over the past 24 hours, thought had given way to hopelessness, which in turn gave way to resolve. There was no reason for him to stay in the river kingdoms.

After a lunch consisting of salted kreuzotter (a poisonous local snake), rice, and umeboshi, Yoshi sought out a ship that would take him down the Dagger river, across lake Encarthan, to Kerse in Druma. His ultimate goal was to get to Absalom but it was best he thought to take the journey one step at a time and search for opportunities as they presented themselves. It wasn’t hard finding ships bound for the merchant capital of lake Encarthan, but finding one that left within his short time frame proved to be the issue —after all he was to be cleared out of the dorm tomorrow. After many parlay’s with many captains, he found just the ship, The Black Mist, a small junk under the command of captain Walren. Walren had recently arrived from Tamran, the only catch was that Walren would need to make a stop at the Isle of Terror to pick up passengers should any be present, before proceeding to Kerse. With the arrangements made Yoshi would be able to leave on the morrow.

This left only one task left, to write to Yoshitomo and inform him of what had transpired and what Yoshi had planned to do to atone for the dishonor he brought to his father. In this Yoshi played the dutiful son, he did not embellish any part of the story, nor did he blame others for his misfortune, he told it straight, his father would appreciate that. After many drafts he was finally happy with what he had written, and now by candlelight sealed the letter with the Haseiwa crest, in the morning he would give his correspondence to the postal runners who would see it across continents and board The Black Mist bound for Kerse.

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Gar'lumbo #1

It’s been days and I havn’t found a single person worth eating. That guy on the bridge would’ve been good, but then he was murdered by goblins. Pathetic. I know Humans are weak, but he couldn’t even keep GOBLINS in line. And the little bastards stole all my cigars.

And his boss can’t even control his woman. She tells us our chest is here and- wait, ha, she probably saw a stronger male and decided to trade up. She’s a smart one.

Whatever, this pathetic cult is way too weak to survive. Killing them is for thier own good.

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Karem #1

You could tell something was off with this group of fanatics the moment we set foot in this place. When you’ve spent as much time as I have around various groups, gangs, organizations, cults, or any other fancy name for a gathering of shit heads, you begin to pick up on the “vibe” they give off.

I may still not be entirely clear on what it is they are doing down in these halls, but at this point it’s safe to say it isn’t good. If the orc and I hadn’t taken it upon ourselves to start poking around, who knows how much further things would have gotten. In hindsight it may have been smart to get the others before venturing so far off the beaten path .. but you gotta play with the cards you’re dealt. I guess the next step is to determine this cults end game and put a stop to it. Sure we could just find our stolen property and leave … but I really don’t take kindly to people nearly killing me. Besides, in my experience, there are always law abiding types who are willing to reward for the “removal” of whatever shit head group is causing trouble.

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Sojo #1

This is why I hate going into Cities. Everyone is always telling you what to do or where to go or not go. like this stupid kid for instance “You can’t go upstairs” But the guy I need to talk to is up there? “You can’t go upstairs” well too bad cause I need to talk to him. and then as soon as I come back down from politely knocking on the door he starts screaming about how we went upstairs and all of a sudden all these fools are trying to kill us. They are really lucky I’m a nice guy and decided to let them live long enough to learn from their mistakes. Unlike the rest of my travelling group apparently. These guys are so murder happy it makes me wonder how they are ever even let In to any cities. And the foppish guy in the pajamas, gave me such a huge stink eye over killing those elementals on the road and then goes straight to murdering Actual people without a second thought. Damned sheltered hypocrite, doesn’t understand how the real world works apparently after being cooped up in that school. Ahh well most of these kids will live to think about how they can not be on the receiving end of a smackdown again and that’s all I can really ask for.

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Yoshi's Wakashu I
on the encounter with water elementals
      mori no kawa
      kara mizu no michi
      owari de wa
      yuuutsu no uta
      mizu ga take naa,
      From the forest creek
      there is a watery trail
      at its end
      a song of melancholy
      the water melts away
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