Six Kingdoms

Session 11/1/10

Shackles

Dawn finds our heroes moving quickly through streets still mostly empty, bearing the body of an unconscious assassin, bound hand and foot.  Those that do seem them abroad quickly make themselves scarce in the presence of the resolute group of men that have obviously just been in a battle.  

 

At a loss for places to go, the companions go to the house of a solicitor recommended to them by Cyril.  The solicitor grudgingly admits them when their intimate connection the Countess, his employer, is revealed.  

 

Upon being fully apprised of the situation, the solicitor tells them that he believes he can make Bertrand's problem go away if they are able to obtain a confession from Sylvie's actual killer.  The killer is understandably reluctant.  

 

He gives his name as Guillaume Chenault.  Although Chenault is unwilling to give any information about his employer or the purpose in killing Sylvie, he does agree to sign the confession if he is untied and released from the custody of the party.  

 

Morgoth agrees, engaging in a bit of clever wordplay by fully intending to do both of those things, but not in that order.  Guillaume signs the confession, but when Morgoth's treachery becomes apparent, he fills the room with a murky darkness and almost slays the old scholar.  With Morgoth unconscious, Chenault attempts to escape the solicitor's house, but he is severely wounded, bound, and disarmed and can't effect his escape.  He is slain.

 

Before turning his body over to the authorities along with the tale of his death in an attempt to escape, the party discovers a small brass key cunningly hidden in a boot compartment.  They have no clear idea what it opens, however.  

 

The written confession and some smooth-talking from Etienne are enough to clear Bertrand, if barely.  

 

After a well-earned rest, the companions set out to find a weaponsmith who can identify the maker of Chenault's distinctive weapon – a slightly curved longblade with wicked serrations along its convex surface.    After several tries they speak to a swordsmith named Ernest Bayol who is able to identify the blade as fine Toledo steel.  He also shows the party a maker's mark that they can use in Toledo to try and identify the smith.

 

They return to the inn and try Chenault's key on the innkeeper's strong box but find that the key is too large.  It doesn't seem to match anything else in the inn, either. 

 

Stymied on their attempts to locate more information about the Rosary by Chenault's death, they head to Sylvie's farm and apiary outside the city to see if they can find any more information there.   

They find more than they were bargaining for at the farm.  They enter what appears to be a quiet, deserted farmhouse, but they are no more than a few feet into the building when a man leaps around a corner into the narrow hallway where they stand.

 

He is not just any man.  He is shirtless and well-muscled, but is covered on every inch of exposed skin with burn scars in whorls and geometric figures and infernal invocations.  A palpable heat radiates from his skin, and rather than speaking he opens his mouth wide and belches scorching hellfire.  Bernardine takes the brunt of it, crying out.  The templar, daunted but unbroken, surges forward and through the left door, pursuing the man into a dining room.  

A second emerges from a parlor on the right, while three more block exit back out the front door, again breathing fire into the hallway.  The heat scorches the walls and sets small items of furniture on fire.  Valerius steps to the Burned Men outside the front door, using the narrowness of the hallway to prevent them from flanking him and overwhelming with their numbers.

 

After a few moments of this, two of the three Burned Men out the front door begin to sprint with inhuman speed around the outside of the farmhouse, racing for a back entrance of some kind.  Valerius shouts a warning, and the blind friar Cedric moves through the dining room and past Bernardine who, his face transfixed with wrath, has grown to the towering height of eight feet.  

 

Moving into the kitchen just beyond the dining room, Cedric hears the heartbeat of another Burning Man just as it leaps from concealment.  His mace flies up and deflects his attacker's leap, smashing the man into a wall instead.  He can smell the dust as the wall crumbles under the titanic force of his blow.  

 

Etienne blocks the back door as best he can, but is quickly forced into a full retreat back towards the front of the house.  He and Cedric have bought enough time, however, for Valerius and Bernardine to dispatch their foes, and the party makes short work of the remaining enemies.  

 

They hear a bone chilling howl from upstairs.  Bernardine leads the way up the stairs in a rush, finding the top landing blocked by a man even more hideously transformed than the Burning Men.  This one also has some sort of ritualistic tattooing, but his flesh has assumed a deathly gray pallor and Bernardine feels a ball of ice in his stomach that says that this creature is truly unnatural.  

 

With a mighty shout of wrath, he strikes the creature, cutting it from collarbone to hip bone and throwing it thirty feet backwards into a wall where it expires noisily.   

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Soramain Soramain

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