Iron Kingdoms - Adamantine Will
Episode 1 : The Beast of Gedon - Part 1
The train powered its way through the winding mountain passes that cut through the Upper Wyrmwall mountains. The train briefly stopped in the high altitudes at a small stop to for more water. At this mountain side town the travelling party of the Order of Illumination. Sat outside one of the two inns, overlooking the sweeping landscape and green fields with grazing cattle, the party was taking a break and enjoying a local meal. Brother Eckert Talbot, a wiry middle aged man, sat drinking in the landscape, contemplating his journey, his life, his place in life and his faith. He prayed that Morrow would bring him through and allow him to repent his sins.
Sat next to the priest was the regal looking Darcey Dimiani. Daughter of the Dimiani family of Llael, and daughter of the Earl of the Dimiani House, land holders of Voxsauny, and the city of Rhydden. She wore a voluminous Robe d’Llaelese, a fashionable dress of petticoats and finest cloth from Merywyn. She sat picking at her food, a plate of finest beef, local root vegetables, and a glass of the wine, her own that she buys that comes from Llael. She did not seem impressed by the local drink that had been served - fermented goats milk. She absent mindedly played with a mechanical puzzle box. Her hair was a dark auburn and wavy and was waist length, but tied back to stop the wind making a mess of it.
Also sat at the table was the roguish looking Beck Hurst. His durable leather coat was unbuttoned to make it more comfortable to sit. He sat eating, taking his time tasting the food and making notes. His hands were gloved, to hide the burns he had acquired as a apprentice in Corvis. He swilled the local alcohol in his mouth, trying hard to work out all the components and the adequate words to describe the concoction.
Finally there was Gregore MacLuken. He was in his typical jerkin and trousers, wolfing down the food and starting on a second serving of goat meat pie. He seemed happy to be enjoying the ride and to be out of his plate armour.
Soon it was time to board the train once more. The train had many carriages, and the witch hunters had their own private cabin. Other cabins carried livestock, jacks, soldiers, cargo, and other travellers. With a blast of steam and a whistle the train pushed on to Fharin.
At Fharin, the smog blanketed city, the party switched to a horse drawn carriage, and continued on towards Fort Falk and then North to Corvis.
The city walls of Corvis loomed, and the carriage passed through the south gate. Here they changed carriage and were taken through the winding streets, and over the web of bridges, to the Ecclesiarchal district. Here dominating the city stood the imposing Cathedral of Corvis. The towering baroque spires loomed over the small city houses. Freshly cut stone from the recent rebuilding of the cathedral was already beginning to become stained by soot and filth. Outside in the main square, surrounded by looming figures of the Ascendants and venerable tombs, the Prelate, Father Dumas, came to greet the new arrivals. The bald crowned priest looked in his 60s, but he was far younger. He looked over the papers of the witch hunters and informed them that quarters for them had been prepared within monastery and nunnery. Darcey said little, as Brother Talbot explained that she had taken a vow of silence, and so she would never speak on first meetings. Dumas proceeded to invite them to dinner that evening so that they may get a good start for the next day as they travel to Gedon. As he left a young woman in white with jet black hair ran from behind a statue to join him.
With the chance to explore the ‘City of Ghosts’ the party split up. Beck headed to the University of Corvis, and to visit his mentor, the now reclusive and somewhat eccentric, Dr Reynard Hadley. The sat and caught up with each other, as Reynard tended to his home built coffee bean roaster, preparing a batch of new beans from Zu.
For Gregore the city was something of a novelty, and so he lost himself in the busy streets and passed by the arena to watch a fight between a Ogrun and a Trollkin.
Brother Talbot meanwhile remained at the Cathedral, speaking with Father Dumas about matter of faith and the troubles in Gedon. Apparently since the last message to Caspia, 3 more deaths had happened in the area in and around Gedon. Apparently there is also the issue of a heretical text being found in the region and that has made its way to Corvis - the Psalms of Ekris. Apparently the book spoke of the deception of Morrow and how true faith is found within following the faith of Menoth. Dumas was surprised by the construction of the book, and the subversion of the new and old faiths. To more astute readers the book is in fact promoting self strength and veneration over others.
In the markets of Corvis, Darcy went looking for a gift for the middle brother of her 3 older brothers. She had gobbers trying to get her to buy pocket watches and shoes, and she witnessed a brave man shouting down a Trollkin as they argued over the price of a cow. She eventually settled on getting a leather bound journal that bore her brother’s initials.
That evening the troupe enjoyed their meal with Father Dumas, and were joined by the same girl they had seen earlier. Alexia, his niece. They spoke some more about the recent events in Corvis and Caspia, and the troubles with the Menites of Sul.
The next morning the group awoke, with many finding their doors to their rooms sealed shut. Beck had played a prank - he’d glued them in. Darcy knotted her sheets together and climbed of the window, while the others either battered their door down or called for help. Beck sat out in the courtyard laughing, with the others looking on unimpressed. Their carriage awaited and took them out west and towards the Thornwoods. A half day travel through the rolling, foggy lands of ancient Morrhd, and to Gedon and the Gedon woods. The church of Gedon could be seen in the distance, and they had passed 2 villages on the way, and the people living in these looked like tired, frightful country people.
There was cries from the nearby field, and Gregore lept from the carriage and was followed by the others. They came upon a pair of villagers being beaten by 4 men. When asked why the violence was being inflicted upon them the attackers told their visitors to either fuck of or show some proper credentials. They claimed their victims were thieves and gypsies. When it was clear words were not going to make a difference, Darcey, who was had been travelling in her leather armour, pulled her knife and threw it at one of the men, hoping to disarm him. Gregore stood his ground, taking a strike to the head, before disarming the man with his expert swordsmanship. Brother Talbot rushed to the aid of those who had been beaten, and tried to stood the man ready to lay another blow with his club. Beck drew a concussion grenade and hurled it, knocking two of the men to the ground, allowing Darcey the opportunity to rush in knockout one of the men with her club. The attackers soon gave up, and they were all soon joined by Captain Dexer Hornbeck. The portly captain called for a stop of the fighting. He explained that the men were soldiers, disguised as villagers, as a way to tempt the beast of Gedon out and to set traps. They had left their duties, and regardless of the accusations, the people they had beaten had taken enough punishment, criminal or not. He asked for the forgiveness of Brother Talbot, and then took his men away while ordering others of his soldier to attend to the injured. He then asked that they attend the Alderman’s manor this evening for dinner so that they may discuss with the other Reeves the nature of the beast.