Iron Kingdoms - Adamantine Will
Episode 1 : The Beast of Gedon - Part 3
In the clearing the troupe sat under a tent with the other gentry of the town and ate a luncheon of cured meats and pickled vegetables. The Alchemist, Hurst, attended to Brother Eckert’s wounds, using some prepared bandages to help bind flesh and staunch bleeding. The priest of Morrow was already feeling better.
The others were watching the hunters and nobles. Hurst had spotted one man was carrying what looked like a copy of the book they had been sent to destroy - the Psalms of Ekris, or at least their distorted version - the Red Talon of Menoth. Hurst tried to follow the hunter but he was less than subtle. Darcey was watching the young poet and the Alderman’s daughter. She did not seem too distressed, while the poet had been told off by his father, the young woman had been let off lightly. The poet, angered, explained to Darcey how his father had often spoken of his disappointment in him, and that he would rather have a better son, rather than let him inherit everything. Darcey also heard Brother Valenor speak to his sister. Darcey could only make out what the young woman said - that tonight would be the best time. Darcey sensed something sinister was going on.
The hunters and townsfolk and the troupe return to Gedon, and to the largest inn, The Troll Gate. The hunting lodge was filled with the trophies of hunting. There were antlers, horns, skulls, and even the skulls of some rare animals from the Thornwoods. There was much merriment and drinking and singing, as outside the snow drifted down. There was some conversation by Brother Eckert as he tried to find out more about the faiths and beliefs of the region. He listened to the folklore, the tales of hags, of ghost and of the strange fae that had been rumoured to haunt the woods. He also listened to what little the the townsfolk knew of the Blackclad druids.
Darcey spotted in the back of the inn, behind the stairs, the town’s banker, and the Alderman’s wife. The two of them were being particularly amorous, and together they headed out of the back of the the inn. Hurst was also watching, and followed them.
Outside was frigid, but it seemed the Alder Lady, and her lover, did not care. They were drinking and laughing in the storeroom. Hurst crept forward to listen some more, when he heard a blood curdling cry of pain and the terrified screams of the woman. Hurst watched as something dragged the banker away. Taking the opportunity, Hurst threw a concussion grenade, stunning the beast. With the sound of the commotion Eckert and Darcey ran out of the inn to find out what was going on. More grenades were thrown, and guns fired. The wolf, an Argus, unleashed a skull splitting bark at Hurst, but it failed to stop the Alchemist. Darcey threw a cinder bomb, startling the creature, and setting it ablaze, causing it to flee into the night.
Hurst pursued it, and followed it as well as being soon joined in his pursuit by a group of town watchmen. After tending to the injured banker, and calling on his faith healing, Eckert and more men had caught up with Hurst and his tracking party. Along the way, as they headed to the woods, they found a curious item on a falling tree trunk. It was a pendant and had fur on it. It was a star of Morrow, and had the Waal family name on the back of it. The group then continued into the woods.
Darcey had ridden from the inn to the Wall manor house. There were only a few rooms with light coming from the windows. She sneaked into the manor house via the kitchen, using her hidden wrist blade to break the locks. She crept through the house, and then upstairs. She noted the large family portrait on the wall. It showed the Waals. The Alderman, his wife, their baby daughter, Valenor, and their other son, who was dressed in the garb of a priest of Morrow.
Darcey continued up the stairs and found the Alderman’s room. She looked under the door and was sure there was alight on in there and that someone was on the floor. She broke in and found the Alderman, dying. He has a knife in his chest and was coughing up blood. He looked at Darcey, ‘He took my daughter’. And just as he passed away he looked at Darcey again, as if looking at his own daughter.
Darcey continued searching the room, and the daughter’s room. She found nothing and went down into the basement. There she searched around in the gloom. She turned and dodged just in time as one of the servants of the house attacked her with a dagger. The man screamed, ‘Die and seek retribution before the true god!’. Darcey spun about and smashed her mace into the man’s jaw, almost killing him. Darcey checked his body and found a copy of the Red Talon, and in the man’s chamber there was a small altar, and in the book a map that led into the forest.
In the woods, Eckert and Hurst were still following the tracks of the beast. It then occured to Hurst that he knew who’s star of Morrow it was, as he recalled the painting he had seen the other night. He also realised that they must be somewhere at the epicentre of all the murders. And in the gloom, aided by his blessing, Eckert see in the dark, and make out the shape of a hunting lodge.