Six Kingdoms

Session 11/7/10

Some light is shed dimly

The enemies defeated, the party found a man chained to a bed in the room near where the last foe had fallen: Neville Sainte-Bayard, the kidnapped husband of the innkeeper Sylvie.

 

Neville is in no condition to talk at any length, even after some magical healing.*  He does reveal that he overheard a man matching Chenault's description talking about a meeting in Saint Francis Square.  The chest in the room belongs to the same man.  He also knows that the man took rooms in the City.    

 

They open the small wooden chest that rests against the wall.  Inside they find a variety of small items, some money, and a letter.  The letter reads

 

Du Mort- 

 

Go to Chalon at once.  House Ducharme's new wunderkinds are investigating the loss of the Rosary.  Avoid them if possible, but make sure they find nothing.  The innkeeper will have to die for a certainty.  There are several of our aumenti at the farm with her husband, including one hunter.  Use the aumenti if you need assistance, and make sure the man dies.  Clean out the farm.  

Return to the Acra when you are finished, Neph watch over you.  

 

The companions now had a name to put to the monsters who had occupied Neville's farm: aumenti.  The word translates rather poorly from Peninsular as "augmented ones," and Morgoth suddenly remembers reading a cryptic reference in his copy of the Lemegeton to "Rituals for Bynding the Disparate Spirits of the Otherworlds Within a Man's Humours," and surmises that this may refer to a process of augmentation. 

 

Such rituals, he informs his fellows, invoke otherworldly spirits into the flesh of a human being, transforming them into something superhuman, or perhaps more accurately, metahuman.  He speculates aloud about the effects that infusion of otherworldly spirit into a man on that man's soul.  Certainly, such an augmentation should not be undertaken lightly, and there is no doubt that the church would consider it a heretical practice.

 

The letter contains other interesting nuggets to the discerning eye of the party.  "The Acra" was an ancient fortress built by the Templars in the Holy Lands that was cast down by the slave-warriors of the God-Kings of Oestera.  It hasn't existed in over a millennium.  

 

"Neph," too, is an interesting word.  The context in the letter suggests that Neph is a being who can guard, like perhaps a pagan god or a guardian angel.  Morgoth also makes a connection with a scriptural passage here.  During the Great Revolt in Heaven, there were not two factions, but three: Eru's adherents and the adherents of his Ancient Foe and those who stood apart from the war.  This third group fell as surely as the second when the Revolt was defeated, but according to some purpose of Eru's or perhaps as a mercy for not taking up arms against Him, were merely cast down to Earth rather than cursed to abide in Hell.  Possessed of the free will of the Fallen, some occasionally came to be masters over the men of the Earth.  Others bred with their human chattels.  On rare occasions, such matings would produce strange and powerful, sometimes monstrous, offspring.  The scriptures refer to these beings as the Nephilim, loathing both their fathers the Fallen and their human mothers.

 

Of course, ancient scriptural references aside, no one has a reliable report of anything resembling a Nephilim in modern times.  

The party has several dilemmas now.  What is this Neph?  Where is this Acra?  Who is making aumenti and using them to steal Church relics? 

 

With many questions but few answers, the party gets some rest and then heads back into Chalon.  They nose around Saint Francis Square and begin investigating inns to see if the key that they found on Chenault / Du Mort opens anything.  After a few days, they try the inn directly across the street from Sylvie's Honeyspring Inn, a place called the Emerald Lancer.  Sure enough, the key found on Du Mort matches the door to a room that the innkeeper is just about to clean out for non-payment.  

 

The party finds another small trunk in the room with a few changes of clothing, some more money, some knives, a clerical collar, the rayed sun holy symbol of the Church, and a small vial of sulfur.  The trunk also contains another short note, in the same hand as the first:

DM-

The courier's name is Jean Cadet.  Lons-le-Saunier, August 5, Wind Dancer.  Bring everything you find to the Acra.  

The trunk also contains a list of 8 names that Bernardine is surprised to recognize as a list of Inquisitors that are based in or near Chalon. 

*In the Six Kingdoms campaign, near-death experiences often have a long recovery time, particularly when either the damage was not purely hit point damage (such as resulting from deprivation) or when the nearly-dead person is an ordinary human rather than a classed individual.  In Neville's case, it was both.   

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Soramain Soramain

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