Thursday, 13 June 2013

[actual play] Iron Kingdoms - Adamantine Will

Episode 2 : Witchfire - The Longest Night - Part 1

It was Ashtoven, and a week before the Longest Night. The city of Corvis was cold and blanketed with fog, but there was a carnival atmosphere as the Longest Night approached. Mulled wine, sweets and masks and costumes were on sale ready for this night of decadence.

In the month since the events in Gedon, the troupe of witch hunters, led by Brother Eckert, had been acting for the Cathedral of Morrow in Corvis. Under the orders of Father Dumas they had been sent to hamlets and villages and towns in the Widower's Woods - the deep forest that rings Corvis - and they had been tasked with investigating cases of witchcraft, hunting Swamp Shambler zombies, or performing exorcisms. Darcey, being of the Dimiani family had been attending a number of masked balls, and had chosen to wear a Servetta Muta mask, a type of mask where it is held in place by biting down on a bit, and so rendering the wearing mute. Gregore had bought some fine clothes for the festival.

The group were walking back from one of the towns, after an evening of performing a rather standard exorcism. The were following the winding road through the woods, with had a constant air of the supernatural due to the thick mist the penetrated the deep forest. There was the sound of people screaming, calling for mercy and help.

Brother Eckert sprinted down the road and around the corner came upon a scene of carnage. Two hulking trolls were had attacked two wagons, and turned them over. People were cowering under the wagons and a number of people lay dead in the dirt. Some of the victims even had limbs torn off. One of the trolls, seeing Eckert, threw one of it's massive spears. The huge weapon slammed into the dirt next to Eckert. Gregore ran to the priest side to prepare for the inevitable charge. The other troll hefted it's massive axe, bellowed and charged at Gregore, its huge blade cutting deep into Gregore's armour. Darcey and Hurst ran up to aid the others. Darcey levelled her hunting rifle and fired. The shot hit home, and blasted a hole through the skull of the troll with the spears. But the beast still walked. Hurst levelled his pistol at beast, but the shot did little. The troll roared and charged forward, looking to skewer Hurst.

Eckert charged the other troll, seeking to help out Gregore. The priest called upon the power of Morrow, runes glowing and swirling about him, and empowering the others. He then brought down his holy staff on the skull of the troll axer, and caved in the beast's skull. Gregore took another crunching blow, numbing his arm. But he fought back, chopping at the beast with his great sword. Hurst tumbled away from the troll fighting him, opening up a shot for Darcey. The shot rang out and exploded a large hole in the troll's chest. The trolls were dead.

The leader of the caravan thanked the group, and asked for them to help them to the city of Corvis, and with performing last rites for the dead. He also offered remuneration, but Eckert refused.

Back in Corvis, and at the cathedral, the injured and dead of the caravan were tended to, and Gregore was treated for injuries and provided new armour from within the church collection. Father Dumas sat the group down and offered them hot wine and herbal liqueur, and explained to them that there had been a series of grave robberies. As he did so they were briefly joined by his niece, Alexia, who then ran off, told by her uncle to have fun and not to get in trouble. The city watch had not dealt with it because they were too busy with keeping the peace what with the festival coming up. Dumas gave them a list of names and locations where the graves had been exhumed.

At the Fullet Farm to the north of the city, they found the well kept farm and misty apple orchards. The trees looked like groaning spirits. At the farm the met Lorna, a tough and broad shoulder woman, with a dirty apron and grim look. She directed them to the family graves, and mentioned numerous times it must be the work of witches. She dusted the open grave with herbs to ward of evil, and explained that her husband died five years ago, surely due to a hex. She went on to tell the group about the witches trial 10 years ago when a magistrate discovered the coven and had them tried and beheaded. Her husband, Chander, was one of the jurors. She also recognized the other names on the list as Chander's fellow jurors, and was not surprised that they were all dead. She again blamed witches, and made the mark of Morrow.

Hurst rode back to the university to read up on the story, which he remembered since he lived in Corvis almost all his life. The others went on to the northern graveyard. There they found the graveyard groundskeeper, who told them of the execution, and how he found the two graves of the Sylva and Monsonata family, disturbed. The bodies had been taken 2 weeks ago. This tied in with when the Fuller body had been taken.

At the university, in the library pouring over the record books, Hurst had fallen asleep. There was a click of a pistol being cocked...

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