Episode 1 : The Beast of Gedon - Part 2
The carriage trundled down the muddy road to Gedon. The town in the dying daylight was blanketed in fog, with only light from the houses and the church of Morrow to guide the carriage in. The streets of the town were muddy and townsfolk and those from the villages were taking carts back from the market.
The carriage passed through the mud caked town centre, and up toward the Gedon manor house, which was where the Alderman of the town and the lands made his home. The house was 3 stories tall, and was a grey stone building, built up upon the old hunting lodge that stood there during the Thousand Cities period. The gravel courtyard had many more carriages sat in waiting and from within there was the sound of music and laughter.
The Alderman, Sir Terron Waal, came out to greet the church investigators. He was joined by his wife, Jeuruse, and his daughter. He of course wore the regal blue of Cygnar. He offered the party to stay at his manor as they sought the truth behind the beast of Gedon.
The party was brought into the house, finding the main hall festooned with all manner of hunting trophies. They had the coats and gear collected, and their boots cleaned, and then presented to the other gentry of the township. In the drawing room many men and ladies were gathered talking. Amongst them was the Captain Hornbeck, and another lady played the harpsichord. Once introductions were done they party was free to speak to others. Investigator Beck Hurst walked amongst the crowd and listened to their conversations. Sitting with the ladies of the house, Darcey Dimiani, who was offered the utmost respect as a noble of Llael - and who outranked many of those present - listened to the superstitions of the older ladies. She heard how tonight was a night of ill omen, for Calder hung in the sky almost full, and that Laris was also a pregnant moon and almost blood red. Artis also sat low on the horizon, and shone a pale green. The elder lady warned the younger women to stay indoors, and to not stray with any man. Darcey, being able to speak to other women as part of her vow, offered more reason, and told the younger ladies of age a simple prayer to Morrow, and how to bind together a small bouquet of herbs, such as lavender, angelica, basil and carnations, which would ward off evil forces.
Gregore spoke to the soldiers who were present. They explained that they had in the last year seen the beast once. That is had two heads, and that its howl chilled the heart. They claimed it was as big as a man, and that it seemed impervious to gunfire, and that it only killed on the full moon of Calder. They also spoke that old legends told of such beasts being weak to silver.
Brother Eckert sat and listened to the Alderman, his wife, the local banker, and their son, the Menite priest, Valenor. Valenor wore the white robes of the old faith of Menoth, and his face was covered by the enclosing mask of bronze, save for the cross shape slit. They spoke of the beast, and Valenor explained how it was clearly the work of the Blackclad druids, the foul worshippers of the Wurm. He would see all their kind incinerated. His far called for calm, as this beast may not be their doing, and that those druids were still men, regardless of their faith.
With the night drawing on they feasted. The local poet read some of his latest work, only to be interrupted by a soldier arriving with dire news. Another villager had been found dead along the Woodsman road.
The troupe, with the Alderman, Captain Hornbeck, and Valenor, rode out to find the body. Darcey remained behind to see what else they could learn.
After riding through the town and almost into the woods they found a dozen soldier who guarded the body. Investigator Hurst immediately set to work, asking if the body had been moved. He noted the large paw prints, and the size of the bits. This was a big wolf, with two heads apparently. He looked over the dead man and opened his black leather bag filled with the alchemical equipment of his business. He was able to give an estimate the time of death. He asked that the body was taken and stored in the cellar for further examination. Valenor was most disgusted by this, asking that the body be burnt to save the town from the restless dead.
Meanwhile in the manor house, Darcey was in the chapel, praying to Morrow, but she had decided to lurk in the chapel, allowing her to watch who else made use of it. She watched as the Alderman's wife came in to pray, and then was approached, scooped up, and passionately kissed by the town banker. It was scandalous, and Darcey listened to them as the sought to find somewhere private to continue their adulterous affair.
When the other's returned it was a relief to Darcey. She has been approached by the poet, when had taken a shine to her, offered her a flower, and sought to impress her with his poems. Hearing the others return, Darcey was able to leave the poet without hurting his feelings him.
In the morning, Brother Eckert lead a small prayer in the chapel, attended by Darcey and Hurst, and those others of who had stayed at the manor house. Hurst then went to look at the body some more, and to also concoct more powder for a concussion grenade. On the body he found traces of wolf hair, but was unable to make much sense of it. The bites looked real enough. And the description of the soldiers and the bits fitted that of a Argus, a strange two headed wolf. But could that be the case? Hurst had already taken to suspecting the Menite priest.
Later that day they all rode with the Alderman and his men to the north where a large hunt had gathered. Many of the gentry of the land and hunters were ready to try and flush the beast out, and kill it. The assumption was that it was a wolf.
As the day progressed, wolves were heard howling as they fled the hunters, only to be killed in their droves by those armed with rifles who had ambushed them. Hearing a scream for help the troupe rode to see what was wrong. Far away from the hunt they came to a clearing and some ruins, and there on top was the poet and the Alderman's daughter, fending off 5 very large wolves. The troupe went to aide them. Darcey levelled her rifle and fired, and felling on beast as the shot splintered its skull. In response another wolf charged at Darcey. Its gnashing teeth tearing into her. Gregore leapt to her aide and drew his great sword down onto its back, rending flesh and fur, and then struck twice more, and severed the creature head from its neck. The other wolves darted into cover, as Hurst ran through the tree line, taking aime and firing his pistol. His shot struck true and another of the large wolves collapsed. Brother Eckert did the same, but on the other side of the clearing. He invoked Morrow's name, and from his staff leapt a blinding flash of light that scorched the largest of the wolves. The beast howled in pain and ran for the holy man.
Darcey, seeing her chance, mounted her horse and rode forth and had the two youngsters mount her horse. The large wolf tore at Eckert, taking the priest into its jaws and shaking him about like a rag doll. Gregore again ran to his aide, and hacked away at the wolf with his sword, and decapitated the beast. The last wolf was then soon killed by the combined power of Eckert and Hurst.
With the two youngster rescued and berated for coming to the hunt, they rode back to the hunting party, where they were thanked and rewarded for their bravery and help.
The investigators watched as wolf upon wolf was heaped in a large pile. Their corpses ready for skinning. The wolves they had killed were also added to the collection, being that they were fine examples of Dusk Wolves. But was the Beast of Gedon dead?