After visiting the (well equipped) smith in town, the companions heard a commotion outside. Following the crowd to the Harrowstone Memorial, they discovered that someone had painted a large ‘V’ in blood across the base of the monument. More blood was splattered across the monument and around the immediate area.
The group met with Father Grimburrow at the Temple of Wee-Jas, and convinced him to provide them with access to the temple’s library. There, they spent two days researching Harrowstone further, where they discovered that the fire that destroyed the prison was caused while trying to stop rioting prisoners from escaping. At the time of the riot, there were 5 particularly notorious criminals being held – Father Charlatan, the Lopper, the Mosswater Marauder, the Piper of Illmarsh and the Splatter Man.
The Splatter Man’s method of killing was of particular interest – he would spell out his victim’s name in blood one letter at a time over a period of a week or two before killing them. The party immediately sought out the names of everyone in town that started with a V. There were three main suspected targets – Councillor Vashian Hearthmount, Father Vauran Grimburrow, and Deputy Vrodish (who was one of the deputies that found the body of Petros Lorrimor).
Plans were made to keep all safe, until a second letter finally appeared. The ‘E’ scrawled in blood suggested that none of townsfolk were the target, but perhaps the perpetrator is trying to spell out the name of Vesorianna Hawkran, wife of prison Warden Hawkran and one of those that died in the fire?
What if Vesorianna in fact didn’t die in the fire? Or did the Splatter Man somehow escape? Could this just be a copycat? Or perhaps something altogether different?
As the new companions walked back to Kendra’s house pondering these questions, they heard a rather disturbing rhyme being sung by some girls playing skipping rope:
Put her body on the bed.
Take a knife and lop her head.
Watch the blood come out the pipe.
Feeds the Stirge, so nice and ripe.
Drops of red so sparkly bright.
Splatters spell her name just right.
With a hammer killed his wife.
Now he wants to claim your life.
Tricksy father tells a lie.
Listen close or you will die.