Within are to be writ the tales of daring and adventure of those who have placed themselves on the path of glory. Share your exploits with other Castlers & Crusaders!
Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:33 am
Karl Jacob Garimm stepped off the river boat onto the old rickety wood plank to the river front dock for the city of Tremaine. Glancing back over his shoulder, across the big muddy river to the Fontaine family holdings. A plantation housing a family that casts a long shadow in the city.
A quick nod to the boat men he had traveled with down river from his home in the region of the Spessart mountains. A slight wench at the sore tired mussels in his shoulders and back. Quick and agile, useful on a river boat, but not overly strong. The poling of the boat, as the muddy river widened, slowed and became swamp surrounded, had been taxing. He had earned his spot on the river boat with work and herb knowledge - useful to aid the crew when an over large river snake had attacked the boat and bitten one of the crew before the oars and poles had driven it back into the water. The work earned him room on the boat food and a few coins to add to his meager possessions. That and names of a few in keepers and public houses that may be willing to trade room in the common room and food for chores, and names of those in the city he should seek out / avoid .
A smirk at the thought of avoiding ... One that hunts witches, warlocks and the evil tends to be unable to avoid those. But first knowledge of the city, and allies need to be found before any hunting begins.
Plus, an inroad must be laid for the order's 'Peace Givers' must be prepared.
A place to sleep first, then a visit to the house and servants of Queen of the Dead - Bella Hein - then a visit to Judge Stemp, and Chief Cove , It pays for a hunter to know if the city's judge and sheriff will support or oppose him in any hunts. Then time to start gathering rumors, lead, threads to pull and trails to hunt.
The young Skata-jagod (Shadow Hunter) of The Order of Lay Brothers of Finsterlunt (Brothers of the Dark land ) look down at his river soaked and mud spattered cloths. Well first, a bath and scrubbing of his cloths, and reoiling of his boiled leather armor, leather boots, belt and travelers pack - this wet river land would require extra care to his leather wear. A bath and a trip to the shrines of the gods and goddesses he relies on to aid him in his hunts. Then, a place to sleep and eat and mend his travel worn cloths. The rest can wait another day.
As he glanced down he saw the blood red sash under his belt, his mark of being a full brother Skata-jagod, Pride mixed with sadness . Pride of the accomplishment, sadness at the cost - to himself but more so for his Master Teacher ...
Karl shifted the old battered broad sword on his hip, adjusted the pack that held all his wordily possessions - including his books to study prepare and record, hefted his walking staff, and headed into his new hunting grounds.
First game tentatively planned for 14 Jan 2019
Cast of characters
Karl Jacob Garimm Class – Witch/Demon/Evil Mage Hunter
Sáibán (Say-bawn) Class - Fae/Seelie Changeling
Jack Dawkins - Class - Rogue / Magic Use
Apollyon - Class - Inventor
Gelidue Umbra - Class - Psychic leach
Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:35 am
14 Jan 2019 recap
Karl Jacob Garimm threaded his way through the muddy streets of Tremaine . Head down, just another poor wayfarer in the swamp surrounded city. Blending in, well blending in to a point, with the poor waifs, beggars, river boat sailors, and common laborers trudging through the mud covered streets.
His dark heavy wool clothing, well-oiled boots, and face, hair and cloths fresh washed each night, and his eyes every piercing and watchful (for those observant and clever enough to notice) set him apart for the common head count that fills the corner of the city.
As he sat down the shoulder yolk, making his task of carrying 2 large buckets of water a little easier and finished filling the kitchen’s water barrel, he stretched his soar shoulders and back. 1 more trip to the local communal well, this time for water for himself. As he walked he gave a long sideways glance at the wall across the street. A large gray wall separating the slums he resided on the edge of and the nearby city of the dead. Memorizing the wall, every crack, crevice, loose capstone, and missing iron spikes along the wall top. A city of the dead in a city rife with power hungry necromancers will be a place a young shadow hunter will surely visit and more than likely visit often.
For 2 weeks Karl has prowled the city streets, learning the streets and the winding alleyway, studying the faces and habits of the town watchmen – and those that are honest, those that take an acceptable bribe, and those who are or are becoming corrupt. He has learned which temples are welcoming to the needy and offer a soup kitchen meal for the poor, and those that are accepting of only the more well-heeled and well off patrons. Learned where the poor and needy gather (all places to watch for predators stalking the poor) where the laborers and sailors gather to eat and drink (all places to gather rumors). He has even spent time learning who are workers and servants of the more powerful citizens of the city. Even a few times delivering fire wood and acting as a day laborer for the homes of Judge Regis Stemp , Chief Damien Cove , and priestess Bella Hein’s temple .
A few more weeks of learning the city and Skata-jagod Karl Jacob Garimm will be ready.
Only a fool hunts in lands he is not familiar with, and if the quarry of the hunt is EVIL dizziness of the night and servants of witches and dark sorceresses themselves, the shadow hunter should be sure of his hunting grounds before starting even the most basic of pursuits.
A recap of a nongame … I had LOTS of com issues, so couldn’t have gamed any way. However, we put together our digital character sheets, built all the needed …. And got a good look at the excellent map of the city (big help on having some of the heavy hitters icons on the map to help orientate myself on who is where and what areas of the city are influenced by who by the way !)
Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:13 am
28 Jan recap
Karl Jacob Garimm, the young Skata-jagod (Shadow Hunter) lowered the water buckets to the floor behind the bar or the common room of the ‘Silver Pony’ inn and winched as he stretched his tired sore back. A nod to the old brute behind the bar, who was kind enough to trade room and a few meals – meant as good dark beers – for a hand full of menial jobs and chores, and Karl walked across the room to lean against the shadowed wall. A glance across the afternoon common room, a table a foolish brigands, thugs, and ruffians. Local miscreants that thought their power was greater than it actually was, and one or 2 other loaners relaxing in the shadowed stuffy room, doing their best to avoid the afternoon’s sweltering heat.
Karl, generally ignoring the local unimportant thugs, perks up at their mention of arson, a fire to make easy work of their rivals in the slums … a fire that may kill some of the rival thugs, but could oh so very easily spread from the rival gang members’ house to other summer dried thatch roofs and wood brittle wood shingles of the other tenants homes. A fire that could devastate and destroy a large section of the slums, kill many … well more than likely not innocent, but non deserving to be burnt alive for just a low level gang rivalry … This may not be a great evil that a Skata-jagod would hunt, but it is a dangerous wrong that Karl could not idly stand by and watch.
Karl finished the old sausage and crust of bread – he had earned earlier for doing a chore for the meat monger down the alley – rambled off, a chore to do for the inn keep, and headed out the door. However, his destination was not to do any chore. He headed to the house of laws, the court house, the office of Chief Damien Cove , sheriff and head of the city guard, the ‘head Hog’ of Tremaine.
Carefully taking a winding path to the House of Law on the main boulevard of Tremaine, in order to make being followed more difficult for any taking notice of the young skata-jagod., Karl makes his way onto the main boulevard, and notices an oddity. A man, pale, slight of build and slightly shorter than average, graceful … a new oddity in a city of strangeness. One that may need to be watched in the future as time allows.
Soon enough Karl was in the office of the sheriff’s secretary. Taking a moment to breath, and loosen the buttons and ties of his heavy woolen coat and linen shirt – proper attire for one from the Spessart region, but a little thicker, heavier, hotter, for comfort in the sweltering Tremaine summer heat. After a time listening to a lady – of middling wealth and above average looks – berating the secretary for the inappropriateness of one of the town patrol’s actions – an assault, a groping, an abuse, the story is heated and more than likely over blown – Karl smirked at the secretory as the lady stormed out of the office. Karl mentally wagered if the note on the complaint would end up on the stack of letters forms notes and the like to be read by the sheriff, or in the waste bin to be used to start a fire. Hesitantly, the secretary smiled back at the young shadow-hunter and eventually put the note on the stack to be read.
After 5 minutes of talking with the secretary – warning of the possible fire, knowing that the city watch normally does not deal with matters in the heart of the slums and ghetto volunteering to attempt to stop the thugs before they do something foolish, and asking the fire brigade be warned and ready in case Karl fails- Karl takes a few copper and silver coins from the secretary’s desk. Leaving half the money on the table.
“I will accept some coin, I do need it. However, my pay is your ear and at times helping me speak to one who may not normally talk to me, or getting me information I may need”
As the young shadow hunter left the court house, and the secretary quietly slides the lady’s complaint to the bottom of the stack and puts the hunter’s note on the top to make sure Chief Damien Cove reads it as quickly as possible, he carefully crosses the road to make his way back to the ‘Silver Pony’ inn.
Wandering his way back to the inn, someone is following him … the pale well (but slightly oddly) dressed graceful man. Karl, slowly changes his path, making sure the pale follower easily trails. Stopping at the local well Karl picked up 2 more water buckets – got to look like chores are being done – and finishes the trek to the inn.
Karl sets the buckets down behind the bar again, and notices the common room is nearly empty … only a small child is in the room, in the corner eating a hard crust of bread.
“Boy, you there, do you know the 5 men that were here at the table? Did you see where they went when they left?” A nodded yes and a hand points to the slums to the north. “If you can find them for me I …” the sentence is cut off as the boy complains he is hungry and hasn’t eaten in a week.
Karl, understanding poverty and hunger stops, and tells the boy – older than he thought, small yes, but not as young – a hobbit boy not a man’s child, so younger looking and smaller than his 12 years would … - to finish his meal. However, a look of surprise crosses his face as the pale stalker walks into the inn – barely holding back a look of disgust.
Caught off guard, the hunter nods to the pale man and offers him a chair, and more surprised as he sits, that the boy walks up and whispers that the other man – that entered the room unobserved, with extra-natural grace, and so easily blended in as anyone else that would be in the in that he was easily ignored – was hunting both Karl and the pale man.
Ashamed at being a hunter that failed to notice he was being stalked, mumbling to himself … Karl offers the 3rd open chair to the skillful sculker, and the hobbit-boy clambers into the 4th.
Soon enough the boy has a meal – again a mug of dark beer – to wash down the hard crust bread, and then a 2nd.
The group introduces themselves –
Saiban – the pale stalker. A fey member of the House of Spring’s New Moon, one of the Seelie Court, sent to instigate a missing far sister - Bridget T'dian
Jack Dawkins – the skilled follower. He was less forthcoming, but obviously skilled is skulking among hiding unnoticed. Agile beyond the natural norm of common man.
Karl knowing he is a stranger in a strange land is completely honest, announcing he is a Skata-jagod A shadow hunter a hunter of EVIL, here to hunt the witches hags demons and the like and see if a chapter house of his order would be viable in this city, but that he is little concerned with the common ‘evils’ of the city; but can’t allow thugs to endanger so may by committing arson. As he talks he relaxes, and searches the area to see if evil is present …. None . At least that makes this meeting more palatable for the young shadow hunter.
The boy mentions his mother was killed recently , … another name Karl has heard, but can’t place, and asks the 3rd member if he was the one that killed his mother and then if he knew who did killer … Karl even more caught off guard blinks trying to grasp the strings of the conversation.
The boy then boldly states he knows where the missing fay-lady is …. She is Bridget T'dian the unhappy wife of the Painted prince, and he – pointing to Jack – can take you to her. You know he works for the Painted Prince himself ….
Karly focuses quickly as Saiban, stands, pulls a concealed short spear and lays it on the table – sensing a fight brewing the shadow hunter attempts to settle the situation without any bloodshed.
Eventually, all agree to first stop the would be brigands and thugs from setting fire to their rival’s house, then go to meet The Painted Prince so that Saiban could see his missing fay-lady, then at least Karl would attempt to help the boy and Jack find the boy’s mother’s killers.
The group winds their way through the paths and alley ways that spider web through the slums, Karl passing unnoticed, carrying a sack of sticks wood and kilning – just another poor worker on another common chore. However, Jack , in a moment of ill-focus and unluck, steps around a building and walks right into the thugs the group was going to confront. Karl, sees and steps back into the shadow, read to pull his crossbow for the heavy leather bag.
Jack eventually – with assistances from Saiban & his fey glamor – brow beats the thug and would be arsons into abandoning their plan and stick with simply stabbing or clubbing their rivals and not risk the entire slums to an ill-conceived fire.
As the thugs retreat back into their home – which was right across the street from the house they planned on setting a blaze – Karl relaxed … he had been in the general area before running errands doing chaos and learning the area to be a more effective hunter, but he had never been this deep into the ghetto and never stayed long. He reached out with his heightened and well-honed senses … EVIL DARK POWERFUL OLD …. Karl drops the sack and spins with his crossbow readied.
An old house, but well mended and cared for house, especially for this area … Karl stalks around the house … closed doors, boarded window, well mended walls, … a doll … in the perfect image of the boy .
Saiban strides to the door of the house, speaking in fey, and tumbles over the doll with his short spear, as he reaches for the door.
Karl yells for the boy to be careful and stay back … as the doll begins to float up slightly and then begins to travel through the air, toward the boy and Jack
Karl steps to intercept the doll as it rapidly lifts up out of reach, but then hesitates as he sees Saiban boldly push open the door, cursing and callings out that Unseelie must all come to death.
Karl rushes to the side of Saiban … “we are not ready . It is evil, I want to see it destroyed too, but we are ill prepared and out of our depths. Think carefully…” A sigh of relief escapes the shadow hunter as Saiban turns – with a look of sadness and melancholy washing across his face – “A hunter ready to hunt hares does not go into the bear’s cave when he sees the bear tracks” Karl whispers to his new fey associate. “But I am not a hunter, I am Seelie and of House of Spring’s New Moon, and I hate her one of the Unseelie”
Karl looks up to see the boy holding the doll, the moment of relief evaporates as he again curses and runs to the boy.
The boy explained he had to examine it, that it is a construct, but it is also intertwined with a life/thought – exactly what the shadow hunter expected and feared, and not even thinking it odd that the boy talked of thins arcane with surety and knowledge … “May I see that to examine it myself ?” Karl asked more calmly than he was.
After taking the doll from the boy and walking into a nearby alley – out of easy eye shot of the house – Karl took a few breaths the resettle himself, looked and saw the evil in and tainting the doll. Then looked again, in that place where magic touches the physical, where the unseen spirits exist, where the boarder between is, and there in the doll a malicious but weak thing, vaguely doll like/childlike but with distinctly …. button … eyes. Aware and searching first for the boy then those around it, then back to the boy. A web of energy tying it back to the …. House … a thing now made of malicious webs, a trap, a hunter/spider’s dwelling and making … EVIL DARK OLD …
Karl begins to explain all he sees, and stops short … A thing tall manlike but ill-defined standing over the boy. Cursing again … “Who are you ??!!?? “ looking at the man/spirit …
“You can see him ? no one else ever sees him. Just me …. He is what saved me and has kept me alive” the boy answers.
As the boy continues to explain, and Karl continues to describe what he saw in the place between, the group walks away for the house, down one alley across to another.
Karl pries out 2 old rusted iron nails and with some effort pushes through the dolls eyes – blinding it even in the in-between realm, but not greatly damaging it …
“You do know it was reading your minds digging for memories don’t you … It couldn’t read mine, my fried protected me, but couldn’t help you all” The boy said off handily
All 3 grown men curse at this … as the group passes a wood fire on an alley corner – some poor lady’s cook fire outside to help keep her squalid house/room a little cooler – Karl drops the doll into the fire and watches as it/the indwelling spirit/thought struggle then be engulfed by fire. The thought spirit destroyed and the connecting web snapping back to the distant spider web/house.
Karl, after fully returning to the physical senses, slumps his shoulders. A month learning the area and carefully preparing to hunt, and trying to avoid the greater political powers in the city, all for not …
He now, as a promise, has to go with the pale-fae to talk to The Painted Prince - one whose reputation and surrounding rumors leave the shadow hunter weary – about his fay wife. Then to Bella Hein, ‘The Queen of the Dead to request a favor of studying in the temple scriptorium to research the Seelie Court – their courts strength and weaknesses, and the UnSeelie the differences between the two, and the unseelie house of webs hunger and EVIL. A talk to Madam Bella Hein would be eventually unavoidable, and she may be an alley for the shadow hunters; however, talking to her at such a vast disadvantage, and with unsettling shadows of rumors about her at the edges again left Karl uneasy …
Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:21 pm
Jack is indeed a skulker! Nice write up.
Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:15 am
11 Feb 2019 recap
Karl Jacob Garimm looked up from the street corner cooking fire as the sickly smoke rose from the burning ‘spider house’ doll up into the afternoon sky “At least that was easy enough to take …”
The Skata-jagod was stopped in mid-sentence as a little red headed boy of a street urchin and beggar stepped from the alley and started talking
“Mister … hay mister” … “That house is dangerous” … “you know it isn’t safe” … “you shouldna go in it” … the boy kept excitedly talking.
At first surprised, and a touch annoyed at the beggar-boy, but then remembering the ‘spider-web house’ and then the invisible friend to the Halfling boy, the shadow hunter took a breath, relaxed, and looked out to sense evil – none, and then looked further into the ethereal … a slight shimmer but nothing significant … at least nothing tied back into the spider web house … that at least was reassuring.
Karl continued to humor the boy for a moment or 2& warns him to avoid the house at all costs that it is deadly dangerous and to make sure none of his friend and fellow beggar-boys and street children approach it. But eventually Karl begins to ignore the boy and looked back to the Seelie and Jack Dawkins, The Painted Prince’s skulker
“You know we can’t just walk into your master’s house empty handed, and not have a plan. He has a party nearly every night and entangles the whole section of the city in his carnival”
The 3 adults continued to talk
The parties are open air, and cover the NE end of the city (Karl mentally marks it as a hunter setting the bait to entice pray into his favored hunting ground, a place favorable to the Painted Prince and a disadvantage to any opponent – like a young shadow hunter who could cause troubles);
The painted Prince ‘holds court’ throughout the party but at different locations each night;
Those seeking an audience are expected to bring him a gift – minimally a good bottle of whiskey or other strong drink but a favor may require a bigger gift –
Bridget T'dian, his wife, attends but is remote in the parties (at this Karl and Sab become more focused, his Lady T’dian was the true reason to need to meet the Painted Prince anyway);
she is harder to approach, but prefers more specific pepper infused drink than the wide-ranging tastes of the ‘Painted Prince’.
Jack could handle the introduction and most of the talking. It was agreed to try and keep everything as simple as possible
Through the conversation the new arrived boy kept cutting in –“ Do you think he (the Painted Prince) is responsible for the missing children” … “does he work with the house” … on and on – Karl felt something was off with the boy, but no more off than the Halfling boy and his invisible friend …
Eventually it was decided that 2 bottles of drink needed to be procured, Jack offered to steal some, but that was not worth the risk. The Halfling orphan mentioned that ‘Gator’ up road at the swamp-gypsy shanties was by far the best choice to purchase good home-brewed corn whiskey, though it was over a mile up trail from the city’s ‘Temple Gates’
Surprisingly, the Halfling boy – why be surprised by anything associated with his new found odd and abnormal acquaintances, Karl thinks to himself – knows the swamp dwelling hunter tracker trapper and more than likely smuggler gator. Though he has never been to his swamp village shack (porch leaned against a tree and in front of a mud waller and gator nest really)
The 4 leave the town (though before leaving Karl quickly stops at “Head Hog’s” secretary’s office to pass word the planned arson had been adverted) and trek up trail to the shanty town in the heat and humidity of the summer afternoon sun.
Soon enough the group has met ‘The Gator’ purchased 10 GP worth of top shelf corn drippings.
Plus, as the Painted Prince’s party would force Karl to proclaim himself a Shadow Hunter officially looking for the Brotherhood to begin to operate in the area, Karl talks to the gator about hunting in the swamps. The swamp denizen admits there are witches hags and other query for the Brotherhood of S to pursue, and easily enough the gator agrees that he would not oppose any hunts – as long as they stayed in areas he advised they stayed in, and remained outside areas he warned against. He would even act as guide on hunts in the dark-swamp for the right price. That was at least good news for the shadow hunter.
As the afternoon slowly drew to a sultry oppressive evening the group trekked back to the city gaits – arriving before they were closed for the evening – and found the same redheaded freckle faced beggar-boy standing in the alley waiting for them to return … Karl mumbled to S & J under his breath about apparently acquiring another child – which earned him a hard stare from the Halfling boy.
The 5 returned to the Silver Pony and cleaned up as best they could from the walk to the swamp village and back. As they made final preparations, it was decided that until more could be gleaned on the Halfling’s mother’s murder, it would be best if he remained at the inn and avoided being seen publicly & the new child-acquaintance should stay to help watch with the hobbit youth.
Karl, Saiban, & Jack Dawkins weaved their way through the Carnival filled streets of the ‘Painted Prince’s’ neighborhood. As they moved through the crowd Karl confirmed that the nightly party was a cover for drawing others into the hunting grounds and making sure their actions indiscretions and nefarious activities were done in an area watched by ‘The Prince’ and his minions.
Soon, the 3 found the center of this evening’s celebrations with ‘The Prince” standing on a make shift stage, holding court, flirting with the ladies, and accepting gifts from …. anyone willing to gift, bribe, or request a favor from ‘The Prince’. As the 3 crossed the courtyard and approached the cluster surrounding ‘The Prince’, Karl relaxed and looked for evil in the crowd … ignoring the common evil of a cheating merchant, unfaithful spouse and even bloody handed ruffian, and focusing on condensed EVIL
… bad … VERY … bad … worse than even what the hunter expected …. From the shadows and dark alcoves … at least 6, more than likely even more, diabolic demonic evils, and ‘The Painted Prince’ himself just as evil – though a glance in the ethereal showed he was a member of humanity (at least nominally) unlike his surrounding servants …
Hissing to Jack, “Do you realize what you’re master is … he is nearly as evil as the house we stumbled across this afternoon … maybe not as powerful but nearly as evil”
The skulker mumbled that he has never seen that side of ‘The Painted Prince’ but … Jack stopped speaking as he approached the crowd surrounding The Prince
The Painted Prince’s informant pushed his was up to the front of the line, ahead of the sycophants and aid seekers, presenting the impressive jug of corn liquid and introducing the nearby Shadow hunter and Seelie
“Jack, my young industrious worker. … You know how to catch my attention, and as we say whet my whistle – sloshing the impressive jug,”
Glancing at the 2 standing behind the skulker, “ And you have brought me the most interesting oddities of the evening … oh yes I heard you took care of a little dispute in the slums for me “ (tossing 3 gold coins to Jack)
Karl begins to introduce himself – emphasizing Spessart mountain he (and his order) called home and being a simple traveler – but The Painted Prince halts him in mid-sentence –
“Oh I know you, KNOW what you are and who you represent. It isn’t often that my little servants (waiving to the shadows surrounding that courtyard) warn me they have been seen and known for what they are. They are not worried about you, but we will see. You young hunter are as we say ‘in the water with very big fish’ I’m sure it will be interesting with you here”
Karl, now on the defensive, answered “Yes, you are reported to know everything happening in this sweltering city, so I am not surprised you know more of me than I hoped. Maybe one day we will meet again with me not being at the disadvantage. Maybe one day I will even know your true name as you know mine” – a weak retort, but the young Brother of Finsterlunt, fledgling Skata-jagod dared not push harder or be any bolder.
“Oh possibly one day you just may, and that will be interesting indeed. But, now, deep muddy water with very big fish. Swim carefully,…”
The Painted Prince’s silk smooth, sweet as molasses drawl and friendly smile bellied the deadly intent and perilous half veiled threat
Then dismissing the shadow hunter, and turning to the bone pale fae, The Painted prince focused his attention “Yes, Oh such unique and interesting oddities,”
Karl loses focus on the conversation, seeing The Grim Reaper taping the hour glass that is his life … blood dripping toward the point of doom, … death is near … Karl blinks and focuses on the servants (both corporeal and ethereal ) of “The Painted Prince” in the area. All targets to be hunted (eventually) but all now predators to be wary of. Especially as the young hunter is standing in the center of the lion’s pride and hunting ground.
Soon, Saiban returns from his talk with the Lady Bridget T'dian and the 3 wind their way through the Carnival crowd, Jack Dawkins & Saiban d’ Fae remaining in the festivities to enjoy the drinks flowing freely and the carnival entertainments of the evening, as the grim shadow hunter worked his way back, back to the safety of the slums, taking circuitous meandering routs, checking his trail to see if he was followed by human foe or extraplanar enemy
Karl mentally ticking off allies – the oh so short list it is ; those he needs to contact to see if they are will be supporter , neutral, or foe themselves – Quean of the Dead topping that list & the possibility of her being a antagonist like ‘The Painted Prince’ chills him to the marrow of his bones; and the need to gain experience to prepare to begin the shadow hunt.
Firs a letter to be prepared, placed in trustworthy hands, to be mailed when Karl Karl Jacob Garimm Brother of Finsterlunt, fledgling Skata-jagod falls in the hunt either to assassin blade, diabolic forces, mystical powers, voodoo curses, or ill luck
Great role playing and set up the situation I feared the most (well almost the most - If Bella Hein turns out to be as evil as The Painted Prince, then it will be my deepest fear).
Again sorry all that I dropped that last hour. Stupid weather and stupid ISP that isn't set up to handle some winds and rain in Oklahoma that is the home of wind and rain!
maximus wrote:Jack is indeed a skulker! Nice write up.
Glad you like it and glad I found the right flavor for your character. I would have called him a Lurker, but that nickname has been taken
Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:37 am
25 Feb recap
Karl Jacob Garimm, the young Skata-jagod, awoke in the corner of a chance alcove of a random alley way in the middle of the Tremaine slums . Hand instinctually reaching for the handle of the dirk nestled in the small of his back. After a few moments recovering from the night’s nightmares – the Painted Prince and his ghostly demonic servants playing primary roles in the dark dreams.
A meandering walk through the slums, to make sure no servant of The Painted Prince – human or ether worldly – was following ended at the ‘Silver Pony’ . Apollyon, the orphan Halfling son of mistress Dianthe Dawar, commonly known as Dawn – the changing “lady of the nigh”, and Oliver, the other more recent youngling to leach onto the party were already up and eating breakfast. Eventually Jack Dawkins ,The Painted Prince’s paid skulker, and Saiban, the pale selie, made their way to the inn after recovering from their evening of drinking in ‘The Painted Prince’s party.
After a discussion – Karl explaining exactly the feel of the Prince and the danger he represented and the demonic servants tied to him ; Apollyon giving more information about his mother and her gruesome murder; Oliver avoiding Karl’s probing questions; Saiban being unusually quiet; Jack making excuses on his employment by ‘The Prince’ and mentions needing to visit the dock, and needing to stop on an errand or two. At the mention of errands, Karl sensed an opportunity and as he had been planning on meeting Captain Fleet / Gabriel Fitte and his sailors who controlled the docks and the wharf side of the city, quickly agreed to join the ‘little stroll’ to the docks. Saiban also agreed to follow along, but kept his reason for going to himself. The 2 children wisely decided to remain in the inconspicuous safety of the inn.
On the walk, Jack noticed a weapons shop … just by happenstance of course … that was owned by Master Smith Tobin. A armory that ‘The Painted Prince’ had an interest in, or more accurately the owner and weapon smith had an interest in paying his monthly ‘debt’ to The Prince or one of his agents.
In the weapon shop, Karl not yet fully aware of the reason for the stop, the shadow hunter complemented the master weapon and inquired about if there was an option to do manual labor in exchange for better weapons than the old battered weapons he currently carried. Unfortunately, the weapon smith had not sold as many weapons this month as he had hoped to, so no trade for labor only cash – something Karl had little of.
Jack, after giving the shadow hunter a chance to purchase a weapon, steps up and … presents the case that Tobin owed money and this was a kind reminder to pay the monthly debt, or if not at some time in the future a ‘less friendly’ collector would require the debt be paid with interest … the discussion continued and came to an impasse … eventually Master Tobin showed Jack a unique master worked weapon an expertly balanced and keen stellate with an adjustable blade length.
Karl wanting to avoid a conflict, and wanting to avoid spilling blood in support of ‘The Painted Prince’ and furthering his ends, stepped in and offered a solution – the skulker could take the weapon and Tobin could offer to make other specialty weapons for ‘The Prince’ and his ilk to offset the required monthly payment.
After leaving the armory, the 3 made their way to the docks and found Captain Fleet and his sailors – all drunk in their favored public house. Karl first to enter and talk to the bar-keep , who was busy concocting the morning drink to bring life back to the drunken sailors, asking for a meeting with the good pirate caption. As the bar-keep left the common room and headed upstairs to tell the Captain of the request, Karl, out of habit, stepped behind the bar finished mixing the concoction and began to poor mugs of the thick drink for the awakening sailors. Soon, the bar-keep returned and for a moment look surprised at the young Spessart traveler pouring the drinks, but then nodded and pushed a mug back toward Karl so he could drink as he worked.
Soon the pirate captain, dress significantly more impressively than any other in the inn, made his way down stairs . Karl stopped his bar-tending and walked to the captain – hiding the surprise that the captain was a Halfling (something he ‘knew’ but had momentarily forgotten) – and introduced himself
Announcing exactly who he was, the order he represented, their desire to begin operating in the city, and clarified they cared little for any mundane common petty evils – including piracy and smuggling, and had no desire to control the city or its citizens. Only a desire to hunt extra-natural evils witches and undead that haunt the city. Karl also offered his skills and services to the Captain for any job great or small – as long as it aligned with the outlook and duties of a Shadow hunter or at least did not run counter to them
The Halfling pirate captain, after hearing the promise that the order had no desire to rule the city, agreed he and his sailors would not oppose any of Lay Brothers of Finsterlunt in the city, and would even pay well for any services preformed. He even, with a smile and laugh, tossed Karl 4 GP for his work behind the bar – “I pay well for any job”
After Karl finished, Jack began to talk to Captain Fleet, some personal and some in the name of ‘The Painted Prince’.
As the 3 acquaintances left the public house favored by Captain Fleet and his crew, Karl looked around and caught the sight of Captain Fleet’s first mate. A hard eyed, brutal, ebony skinned human lady. Karl looked deeper … harsh yes brutal yes … a ball of evil deep down but controlled … nothing exceptional and unexpected … eyes met for a second and Karl nodded back in respect and awareness .
The three wandered through the dock, seeing what can be seen and hearing what can be heard. Merchants looking to make a profit, traders hawking their wares, the bustle of the river side docks. Karl noticed a soap lady all but soaping down travelers and sailors leaving the muddy dock side – the hunter expected to see her or someone working with her to be pick pocketing the sailors and mud spattered travelers, but to his surprise she seemed to be honest.
Karl relaxed and began to look at the crowed dockside again. … touches of common evil, … a merchant using uneven scales … a cutpurse trailing a mark … a mistress hating her lover and her lover’s wife … nothing exceptional … but then a … scent of evil … deep evil … a trail … drifting …. Demanding the hunter’s attention.
Karl meandered up the trail of evil. Not directly following like a scent hound. Not obviously trailing a target, but carefully. Aware of the dangers in this humid riverside city. Karl glancing and sees Jack leaving the crowd of the docks to follow the hunter.
Eventually the trail ends at an upper scale house of ill repute. Locally known as the ‘Gentle Rose’ A house for illicit meeting of loers, expensive girls of the night to ply their trade. Karl once again relaxes and looks at the house … having learned a lesson from the web house of the spider fae in the slums … evil in the house … a point of evil somewhere in the house … but not the house itself. Carefully, nonchalantly, the hunter and the skulker circle the house. Servants and delivery hands in and out of the servants/cooks entrance, front of the house servants in jet black pants and coats perfectly groomed. It will take a little work but easy enough to get in the house. An early morning coal or wood deliverer, an ash collector from the nights fire places, a down stairs servant disappearing into the background of the faceless servants in the house.
“Have you ever wandered about what is in that house” Karl asks the skulker
Jack … blinks in surprise at the question from the hunter … “No, … no not really”
The Skata-jagod nods at the honest answer, but lets a small frown of disappointment show for a moment at his acquaintance’s lack of enthusiasm or interest for a quarry that calls out to be hunted.
After Karl has gathered enough information on the going ins and outs of the house nods the Jack –who was showing boredom at the time spent watching a upper crust mark, a target outside his normal beloved slums and crass dives – and meandered away into the side streets through the neighborhood filled with town houses, homes and shops of the city’s wealthy arcticians and new rich.
Soon enough the 2 split and headed their separate ways – Karl back to the inn of the Silver Pony, Jack toward the slums and portion of the city under control of ‘The Painted Prince’. Karl back to the 2 younglings in the inn and Jack … Karl fully expecting him to be reporting back to ‘The Prince’ all he saw.
A long discussion with the younglings and Karl had more information on Apollyon’s mother and the murder, and with an unneeded request from the orphan to begin to investigate the murder and hunt the individual responsible for the gruesome killing – Karl was already planning on that as his next step, but it was nice to see a little unity for at least some of his new found acquaintance
Karl, with ‘Oliver’ in tow headed back to the main street of the city and in the late afternoon found ‘Head Hog’s’ secretary’s office nearly empty.
Soon enough he had given his own report – about the web house of the spider fae, The Prince & his demonic servants, the Tobin skilled weapons master and the likelihood that the Prince’s men would soon have the exceptionally crafted stilettos, so if murders increased with wounds that fit the weapon’s description the Sheriff would know who to watch and see who was airing the weapons. The feeling he had from the Gentle Rose. Also he asked about the murder of ‘Dream’ and got some little more information – eliminating ghouls, wariwulf /loup-garou , zombies and other more common exceptional evils, and a key given in secret to aid in the investigation.
He also asked for a proper letter of introduction to ‘The Queen of the Dead’ to smooth the introduction and give more weight to his request for access to the temple’s scriptorium and library and hopefully support for the Order’s entrance into the city (and a counter to the danger presented by ‘The pained prince). The letter would be finished and signed by ‘Head Hog’s’ own hand before the sun set.
Karl and Oliver made their way to the building that held the loft that ‘The Dream’ was murdered in. A quick but nonchalant look at the area (middle upper class neighborhood, and across from a common temple to various pantheons’ and powers worshiped in the city but not powerful or influential enough to have their own separate temple. Karl smiled to now be on a proper hunt and head back toward the inn and Oliver.
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:49 pm
11 March recap
It has been a very crazy at work this week, so I didn't get my good recap put together.
If I do get it cleaned up before we paly again, I will post it here.
Worked together especially Karl, Apollyon & Gelidue Umbra to figure out Apollyon's mother was murdered by a spirit. Found a journal from the murdered prostitute that gave evidence that a "V" was more than likely the murder and put together he was the person that was seen sailing into the dock on a magic ship that he folded into his pocket. And also that he is the one Karl trialed to the ‘Gentle Rose’ .
The also found a signant ring with V's coat of arms, and a glyph that prevents scrying on the person carrying it, or in the area it is in - Karl has the glyph, ring and journal att
Karl & Gelidue found the spirit that had been used as the murder weapon, Gelidue revived the fading spirit and the 2 worked together to get the needed information from the spirit
Karl planned an ambush of the mage but (thankfully and wisely) Apollyon convinced the witch hunter the mage would be to powerful for the group to attack .
Jack stole some good cloths for him and Karl to sneak into 'Gentle Rose', but Gelidue (after switching bodies from the boy Oliver to a brutish thug pigbear) told the party he could sneak into the inn and not risk detection.
After possessing a servant boy (the piss bucket emptier) he made his way through the inn, found the mage, talked with him - confirming he was looking for a boy Apollyon's age - but wasn't looking for a hobbit boy, so didn't know 'Dream' morphed the race of her/his child.
Afterward, Karl trailed the mage from the inn to the office of 'Head Hog'. Then talking to Hog's secretary found out the mage was wealthy, but not part of normal Tremaine society (so Karl is assuming he wont have deep political protection)
Karl also got the letter signed by Head Hog for introduction to 'The Queen of the Dead'. Plus he got word there are unexplained murders in the Temple Quarter - maybe this will be something Karl can investigate and the group can handle.
Karl is getting ready to go see 'The Queen of the Dead' - in the new cloths & with his red sash of a Skata-jagod; cloths provided by Jack so he looks nice clean and official and not like a thread bare impoverished common worker (yes I did plan it, so THANK YOU Jack for getting me new cloths
Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:24 am
another quick fly over recap to get the key facts down
Karl met with the Queen of the Dead, got an assurance she would not oppose him and the brother hood. Also she would allow Karl to use the temple library in exchange for an equal time of prayer.
He also was informed that there had been murders of temple worshipers. Also that she expected the painted prince was involved and had an informant or informants
Karl told her of the mage murder and asked for assistance - planning for a cleric to summon the sea captain spirit that was used as the murder weapon and give testimony to the Chief Damien Cove. That is a possibility, but she also gave the group an item that would hamper the mage's powers. An item that would be useful and gives the group a fighting chance to fight the mage.
The group talked to the priests themselves too. I forgot what all was said, but I do remember Saiban was told that to free Bridget T'dian so she could return to the fay land was to find the exact wording of the marriage contract and get the Painted Prince to break his vow to release her from the marriage
Jack took the information and spent time in the Painted Prince's area at the nightly party. And luck had it that he ran into the probable informant and convinced him to .... I don't remember what.
The group planned on using Gelidue to abduct the informant and do a soft interrogation of him
Karl integrated some the murder victims' friends family and neighbors but found nothing useful out - showing there was no link between the victims outside of their attendance of the temple
At the same time Apollyon finally approached a long time friend Torin Melic, the gnome healer in the city, to show he had survived his mother's murder. The reunion was heart felt and touching, and the gnome eventually offered to adopt the young Halfling orphan, and give room and board to Apollyon and the rest of the group.
If I remember correctly, Karl Jack and Gelidue were in the pony inn preparing to abduct the informant and probe his memory to find out if he is the murderer, an accomplish, or a target. If a target then look for clues to the murderer
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:17 am
22 Apr recap
Karl carefully lowered himself onto the pallet of blankets and straw he called a bed. Careful not to wake the drunkenly snoring man curled in the corner of the room. Karl normally did not approve of drinking to excess (or any excess) but tonight, after what the individual had experienced, Karl understood.
Setting in the dark, the young Skata-jagod’s hands began to shake as he thought about the events of the last day. Mixed emotions, and the different effects they had on his body, jumbled together in the dark quiet thoughts.
Excitement of a hunt and having the courage to stride into an arena filled with masses of the undead. Fear of the sheer number and types and powers of the undead. Terror of learning definitively of the demonic powers he will have to oppose. Pride of himself navigating a dangerous situation and somehow threading a path that kept him alive and even redeeming an individual that had entangled himself with great and terrible powers contesting each other in the city. Worry that he now had one he was responsible for and that he would be held account for ….
Glancing at the drunken once informant, Karl thought back to a quote …”IF you save one’s life, you are then responsible for the actions of that life” …
Exhaustion clouded his mind and he could not remember exactly where the quote came from, which mysticism or philosophy it came from. But the weight of it struck home to the young huntsman.
“I wonder, did Master Friedrich Bettia Savigny & Master Philipp Arnim Weiss feel this when the salvaged me from orphanage some 8 years ago, and did Brother Richard Cleasby feel it as he completed my training and assisted me on the hunts ?” Karl mumbled under his breath.
The plan had originally worked well. The Painted Prince’s informant showed up as planned, and he was even more than willing to answer the questions. However, the more he talked the more unsettling the information became
All of the missing individuals had disappeared in the night, after going to confession. They had all been informants on the church to The Painted Prince. … more and more the trail unexpectedly turned from expected Painted Prince, or some other dark force, back toward the church and The Queen of the Dead.
Jack and Saiban had done some further investigating on their own. Jack talking to an close confidant – nearly an adoptive son – of The Prince, who verified what was expected and gave the young skulker advice on surviving in the city with its dangers lurking in the humid air and hiding in the shadows.
Saiban, the Seelie changling adventurer, had a chance to talk to Bridget T'dian, fey bride of the Painted Prince and planned future sacrifice, and covertly found out the 2 clauses to the marriage vow. Protection and fadility. Also that strong magices were used to offer the fey noble protections from attacks – physical and magical – and other dangers. Also, that she was guarded by a shadow demon, one of the 6 or 7 shadows that served as The Painted Prince’s underlings and officers.
While Jack and Saiban were in the Painted Prince’s neighborhood, the gruff orc-blooded bar keep took the young shadow hunter to the back of the bar/inn and showed him a lean-to make shift kitchen so Karl could begin to make meal for the ad hoc group spending more and more time in the … Inn – and so the keep could sell any extra food to other patrons and pocket a few more coins. Soon Karl had a quick soup/stew bubbling. Nothing tasty but at least something to fill the stomach with.
When the 2 returned, Karl couldn’t deny his fear any longer. The missing persons were more than likely abducted by a servant of the temple or Mistress Bella Hein, the Queen of the Dead, herself.
From talking to the informant and searching his answers and sensing his motives, he knew the informant had a touch of greed and desperation to escape poverty, but was not evil. He was one that the hunters sought to protect from the dark powers. Even if the user of the dark power was not evil herself, he – as one that leaned toward the Gutingen Seben in the schism (despite the avowed neutrality on the matter of Brother Richard Cleasby his final teacher) could not easily allow the pitiful informant to suffer the fate of those other abducted informants.
“You have 2 choices. Trust me do as I say or face death” … “You will need to leave Tremaine, or you will eventually be found and the same fate as the other informants will be your fate” … the informant balked at telling the hunter where his wealth was hidden in his room. However the dry comment about the chance of being robed balanced by the likely hood of being found and killed convinced him to tell the hunter where his earthly possessions were stashed.
Karl and Jack left the Inn to go retrieve the terrified informant’s meager possessions, but were careful and made sure they were not followed and the informant’s room was not being watched. It was easy enough to find the small bag of coins and gather what else was needed by the informant. Karl frowned at the thought of having to owe Captain Fleet for a favor. However, Gabriel Fitte and his band of water rats and pirates would be the easiest way to get … out of the city and to a more safe life. Plus as he was originally a fisher, he did have skills in boat so he may find a place among the river pirates.
By the time the 2 returned, …. Was missing. Apollyon, the halfling boy, quickly broke into a story about the queen herself arriving minutes after Karl had left. She had offered him a chance to make amends. They had left … As Karl listened, and watched the Halfling boy as he told the story, along with the others in the room who had been witnesses, Karl knew there was truth in the story, but much else was missing.
Karl doubted himself as the Halfling talked, but then when he finished with a greedy eye on the missing informant’s small bag of coins comment that “he won’t need that any more, how much gold do we get” Karl knew, and knew what he had to do.
A toss of the coin bag, “I haven’t even count it myself, but it is not ours to keep. I’m sure he has a greater need for it than you imagine”. Karl, with the bag of copper silver and a few bits of gold, turned and strode to the temple. For once not being careful, not being cautious not following a winding path, but going purposely direct to the temple.
Karl walked into the temple, hardly noticing the rest of the group trailing behind him, and ignored the acolytes and junior priests of the temple. Going towards the back of the temple and the offices of Mistress Bella Hein ueen of the Dead and Tremaine’s priestess of Baldur.
“Mistress Bella Hein, Priestess of Baldur “, using as proper and formal speech as he could muster, “this is … ‘s it is not much but as it is his, it should be used for some form of atonement”
The high priestess of Baldur the Dead God looked … stone faced, but other emotions played at the corner of her lips and flashed in her eyes. “So young hunter, you wish to buy his soul with that small of a bag”
“No Mistress, you mistake me. I could not afford to buy it if I wanted to, and I have no interest or use for a soul. I simply ask for a just treatment for him” Karl replied
The debate went back and forth. Punishment for actions, proportional chastisement, cost of a betrayal, penance of an action, desperation of need, embracement of evil, mercy and redemption, blind harsh punishment. Without realizing it, the young … had slipped into the thought, speech and arguments of Master Savigny & Master Wess and their Gutingen Seben . Arguments that Grand Master Otto Edvard would frown on.
Eventually, with a smirk, the queen said if it was that valuable to a hunter, the informant simply needed to be retrieved from the temple grave yard. Brought back from the tomb/sarcophagus in the center of garden of stone and place of the dead. And she waived her hand to the back of the temple and the doors leading out the sanctuary to the grave yard behind them.
Karl, having walked along and beside the walls separating the city from the field of the dead, had already sensed the weight and malice of the dead entombed in the garden of stone. He knew that in there were beasts that he would be lucky to survive, even if faced individually much less as a mass.
Grimly, the young hunter loosened his trusted old broad sword in its scabbard nodded and stepped to the doors. A touch of fear crept into the dark shadow of his mind, but then, what does a brother of the Order of Brothers of Finsterlunt, a Skata-jagod live for. How does a Shadow hunter die … is this not what his order existed for. A great fight facing a Legion of the Dammed … Karl didn’t bother to look behind and see his compatriots hesitate and back away from The Queen of the Dead as she offered them the opportunity to aid and assist the hunter.
After entering the garden of stone and the neighborhood of the dammed dead, Karl stopped and relaxed, … sensing, … seeing
Clambering onto a nearby mausoleum. All of the stone, marble and brick houses of the dead were clustered together. All within feet of each other. Here is a better path than the gravel walkways winding though the dead’s’ abodes.
Hopping from roof to roof, and carefully avoiding all those of undead vastly more powerful than what the hunter could handle alone, or ones who could pass through earth and stone if disturbed, the shadow hunter worked his way to the center of the grave yard.
There overlooking the central structure. Not a mausoleum or tomb, more like a square sarcophagus or in the air grave box. Karl stopped. Standing over the tomb, a creature made of the elements of the quickened dead, but not evil … After a moment Karl started to speak.
With respect and giving honor Karl talked to the construct of the dead.
The conversation meandered as Karl gleaned bits of information .
The construct had a will but was to serve the Queen of the Dead too, was not commanded to oppose the hunter in his task, and the undead in the grave yard were tied and bound and held back from attacking the hunter as he traveled into the grave yard. The queen held no ill will for the hunter, and if she did he would have died at her hands not been sent into the garden of stone to be disposed of. He was still in danger from the queen – Karl could think of at least 3 if not 4 ways at his moment, ill will or not, that the queen was dangerous to him.
Eventually, Karl had chased all the points of conversation he could think of and bent to the task of freeing …
Sliding the stone slab covering the opening of the death box to the side, Karl could see the living informant, on the edge of sanity, embraced by 2 undead zombies. With a struggle, and with help from the informant, Karl was able to pull the doomed informant out of the box. However, the 2 walking dead followed him out demanding an oath that service would be paid to The Queen … and oath outside of the ability for the hunter to give.
The desire to kill the zombies boiled up in the hunter, but as he was standing in a grave yard, with the protection of Mistress Bella Hein , there was no need to offend her and needlessly attack one of her servants – one of the missing informants that fell to the fate that Karl sought to save … from.
The construct of the dead lead the group through the grave yard, with Karl walking behind and carefully mentally mapping the grave yard, which undead creature was where, where the greater powers were and where the lesser ones resided.
Soon the group arrived back at the temple, with the 2 zombies stumbling to their mistress and falling at her feet asking for a chance to serve and demanding … be forced to serve too.
Mistress Bella Hein, seated at a table eating with all the other member of the associates of Karl, The Queen of the Dead waved them away without a second glance, and said that …’s life was not hers to give or command. It was now the responsibility of Karl.
Karl forced … to recount his affronts to the Queen and the temple, and proposed a year’s service as fair and just penance for his betrayal.
“Young Shadow Hunter, this time you mistake me. His debt to me is paid. His debt and life are now yours” Mistress Bella Hein replied
Karl frowned at that, it being more than he expected, more responsibility than her was prepared for, and also know those words could cut both to the left and right … all depending on how … acted until his penance was paid in full and with interest. However, Karl had no argument or counter, so simply nodded and glanced at the table.
Food, and of much better fair than the traveler’s soup he had made earlier in the day. An open seat next to Jack, the skulker, the …. Who for some reason looked nervous and defensive. Karl sat, and forgetting manors and decorum momentarily, began to eat as the conversation began again around the table.
Soon, Karl joined the conversation and began to dig for more information
The Queen keeps the army of undead as a tool, a weapon against The Painted Prince.
The Painted Prince had 7 dukes of the demons of the abyss as his servants and protectors – Karl twitched at that, having expected them to be lesser demons of shadow, not powerful nobility of the realm of chaos (so much for attacking one in secret and destroying it to hamper The Prince)
The Painted Prince himself served directly Azul – Karl again twitched at this. A man with a pact binding him to the royalty of abyss. What power would Karl face when he was forced to openly oppose The Prince …. This would be more than what any 1 shadow hunter could handle.
“Why can’t I face a witch a hag a troll, a ghoul or a wights, … something other than the nobility and royalty of the abyss and mages able to pact with such evil powerful demons. Something I know how to fight and have a chance at destroying” Karl mumbled under his breath. “Oh that is easy to solve, there is always a need for ones to clear the like of those from the cities other cemeteries and from around …” Mistress Bella Hein answered – Karl shocked at her ability to hear his offhand comment in the middle of the groups talking. Karl smiled at the thought though. If he survives the next few days he will need to talk with …
The option to break the oath binding The Prince and Bridget T'dian, because killing him would be impossible with their limited power and experience, was either infidelity or injury to Bridget T'dian
Subduction would require one of exceptional beauty, skill, talent, and powers to tempt much less entrap The Painted Prince – and would put an innocent at risk in the trap or for reprisal afterward. After his walk in the Garden of stone and neighborhood or the restless undead, Karl had no desire to put any other innocent needlessly at risk
Injury, various items that were dangerous to fay. However, the magics protecting Bridget T'dian, and one of 7 Dukes of Azul guarding her at all times made an outright attack doomed to fail.
“What about poison …. It does not fall into the actions warded against. Done correctly, the shadow demon guarding her will not realize it was a danger until it was too late. A person doing it to assist her and help free her would not be malicious and would not be detected. A small amount would be a danger (and void protection) but not be fatal” Karl finished. The rest began to think, changing their plan, …
Before The Painted Prince, his demonic protectors/servants, and his ensnared fey wife could be dealt with, the mage V and the danger he presented to Apolloyon must be eliminated
The Ring, lent by Mistress Bella Hein and clutched greedily by the Halfling boy, would damper or inhibit obstruct all the mages magical powers, but only if it was worn.
How to get it on his finger … seduction – and this time with less danger to the temptress during and after the trap.
After the trap is sprung, … Karl knew what to do with a captured mage, any Spessart Brethren would know, even the most junior of novice brothers would know. … 3 cold iron nails, a rag coated with iron shavings. They would prevent flight or magics, even without the ring on his finger. Assistance from the temple to call the spirit witness to the attack and ensure no lie is speak able. Then judgment and a fair just proportional punishment to a corrupted Evil murdering practitioner of the dark arts.
Through the conversations Karl pieced together the cause for Jack’s discomfort. An informant of The Painted prince, eating dinner to his sworn nemesis, at her table, while someone argued for a just but proportional punishment for an informant to The Prince, and risk himself for the informants sake, while attempting to remain neutral and uncommitted to either The Queen of the Dead or to The Painted Prince. Yes, he was an easy mark for barbs and darts. … Karl found humor in the irony of it but still wished to turn some of the barbs away for his closest friend in this corrupt sweltering mosquito plagued city.
The evening dinner ended with Mistress Bella Hein offering a gift of friendship. Another ring – this one without a price tied to it. A ring that could be used to request aid and assistance from The Queen of the Dead, possible to even convers with her from afar (Karl was exhausted by the end of the dinner and wasn’t sure on the specifics of the ring) “But I suppose it could be used in revers too” was the ending of the description given by Mistress …
Karl, exhausted or not, understood the implication of that sentence. If they could call for her aid from afar, or talk to her regardless of their location, she could listen to them or talk to them to and could pull the string back to request assistance from them. Karl, unable to resist, offer the ring to Jack, the skulker, the .. , the information gather for The Painted Prince.
Jack paled at the thought and refused the gift. Karl with an impish half smile took the ring and thanked Mistress Bella Hein for the gift, the evening meal, and the chance of redemption given to … - who after recovering from his entombment with 2 of the quickened dead, was doing his best to drown the events of the evening in the temple’s wine. Then the young … slid the ring onto the silver neckless that held his symbol of Forseti (God of Justice/peacemaker) Uller (God of hunting) Vidar (God strength –hates evil) Sif (Goddess of skill in battle)
“You know for the ring to work, it must be on your finger” the queen pointed out as Karl closed the clasp of the neckless and let the ring fall under his shirt.
A tired nod was the only answer Karl could muster… “If you do find yourself in need of my assistance, make sure you have a free hand at the least”
Karl nodded off to sleep with the last thought …. Who would reap the mage’s soul? The demons or devils, or would he be a soul ripe for conscription into Mistress Bella Hein’s , The ueen of the Dead, … army. Maybe it would be a fitting act to pass it to her at the moment of execution. Maybe then I’ll have the chance to kill it again and then send it to its final punishment with my name branded on it twice ….
Sleep engulfed the exhausted huntsman
Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:26 am
3 June recap
As the odd group of associates set around the grungy table in the back corner of ‘The Pony Inn’ sipping cheap beer, Karl Jacob Garimm glanced over his shoulder at his new ‘ward’. The man nodding off in the corner, exhausted from his day of carrying for the younger Shadow hunter’s cloths, food and the like, and spending time in the temple and at the riverside docks working to atone for his betrayal of the temple and the debt he owes to the young shadow hunter for risking to argue for leniency in Mistress Bella Hein’s, The Queen of the Dead, harsh life ending punishment.
The young Skata-jagod, uneasy at the thought of having a ward to worry about, and help become a more useful person and member of Tremaine population, worried.
Ständige Besetzung verhindert Versuchung - Constant occupation prevents temptation.
The old saying, oh so frequently used on all novice Lay Brothers of Finsterlunt, caused Karl to smirk at the thought. However, the humor soon fled as the shadow hunter refocused on the conversation around the table
How to destroy the powerful mage V… , Apollyon’s father, murder of Dianthe Dawar – Apollyon’s mother.
A ring passed around the table, an item loaned by Mistress Bella Hein’s to aid in bringing the murders mage low. However, the ring had to be placed on the mage’s finger.
Have Madam Virre Noir der Creve Couer, Tremaine’s most famous, most desired, ‘cortigiana onesta’ – courtesan of the finest class, seduce the mage and trick him into accepting the ring … A risk to her, but as she was friends with (and Madame for) Apollyon’s mother, it was a valid option. But it put the beautiful courtesan in peril
Get him to put it on himself – very unlikely
Force him … how do you force a powerful murderous mage to do anything
Erst denken, dann handeln - First think, then act
Another old saying from Spessart , Karl’s far away homeland, bubbled up
The young Karl Skata-jagod, glancing at the nimble fingers of Jack Dawkins and his undoubtable street smarts and knowledge of the city. An ideal began. Seemingly at the same moment the Jack the skulker began to build the same thought
Jack, nimble and quick skulker that he was, can slip it on the mage V.. . Very dangerous on its own
Karl, a traveler from a land near V…’s homeland, can draw the mage’s attention, trick him, misdirect him, and keep him occupied so that Jack can have a chance to slip the ring on him unnoticed. Still risky but possible
Plus, only Jack and Karl would be in danger, at the start of the ambush, much more acceptable – at least to Karl – than risking the courtesan
Now how to get him to a place acceptable for the act …. The mage desires to find his son …
To draw a wolf in, sent the trail with sheep blood, Karl whispers to himself
“We just need to spread the rumor that Dianthe Dawar’s son is alive and has been hiding …. “ Karl’s half thought trailed off … Where …
The impoverished Karl, remembering his month of wandering the city, doing odd jobs, earning a few pennies and a crust of bread, describes a lane, little more than an alley. Behind 3 or 4 walled town houses with small gardens, and inns that catered to the more successful artisans, business men, and moderately wealthy merchants. A perfect place for the ambush.
A step down from the area the Mage resided in currently, but not so poor that it would put him on edge.
Secluded, and out of the way, but not so remote it would be suspicious
Little traveled but not abandoned, so a chance meeting would be possible.
Plus the area around the location offered multiple places for the rest of the acquaintances around the table to hide but be near enough to quickly join the ambush after Jack and Karl initiate the act.
Karl could think of no better place, and Jack, knowing the city better than the rest at the table, agreed.
The next day, the skulker set to work planting the seed of the rumor, along with James there in the river dock. Karl started a similar rumor with Head Ho Chief Damien Cove’s, Head Hog, watchmen, and set to work gathering the items need for trapping a powerful mage.
2 iron spikes, a chain made of the same cold metal, and a rag coated in dust and shavings of iron. Items that the shadow hunter knew would hinder the mag’s powers.
Eventually, the rumor spread and Lady Fortunae smiled on the group allowing the ears of the mage to be tickled by the lie.
After a few days, Jack spotted the mage casing the area the group planned to use as the ambush site.
Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen - He who says A also has to say B.
In for a penny, in for a pound
Two more saying bubbled up form Karl’s youth
Once committed, you are committed for it all
Karl, dressed in the fine clothes Jack had acquired for him a few weeks ago, and boots expertly shied – thanks to Jame’s newfound interest in honest hard work - made his way into the lane. Absent mindedly whistling and …
Surprise, there in the lane a fellow continental, exceptionally well dressed. A noble son of a royal house.
A greeting in the home tongue … a conversation … proper but kind enough … a younger inferior speaking to an elder superior, but fellow travelers from cooler faraway lands in this humid swamp surrounded city
Bauer’s Huntsman, young as he was, in Trremaine smiled and filled his part of the act. The talk continued
A drunken riverboatman stumbling out of the alley between 2 inns. Bottle in hand, swaying as he walked and slurred speech.
The conversation circles, the riverboatman believing he has found an old friend, or met new friends that simply must go with him to the party …. Party … not sure where it is … the conversation circles more and more
The young continental grimaces as his back is slapped by the drunken wharf rat and looks sheepishly at the nearby noble
The drunkard stumbles into the noble mage
The shadow hunter relaxes and trust to his luck and Uller, the hunter god of the Norder lands guidance the hunter
The ring slips onto the mage’s finger unnoticed … the hunter does not smile, relaxes more
The drunkard turns to lead the group of newfound friends to The Painted Prince’s Party, as the young continental rolls his eyes at the frown of the noble at the thought of going to such a common and infamous party
The shadow hunter’s old broad sword slides silently from its scabbard, a whispered prayer to Forseti Uller Vidar and Sif , the 4 patron deities of the Lay Brothers of Finsterlunt , and stakes home … strikes hard into the murderous mage’s side, and introduces himself to the black hearted mage as a Skata-jagod here to bring him low.
Surprise flashes across the mage’s face, then anger.
The mage raises his hand to call forth mystical powers to destroy the young shadow hunter that dared to attack him
Another swipe form the sword, this time dodged by the mage, and then a knife into his back. The knife held by Jack the skulker, who had more skills than setting in shadows and listening to whispers and gossip.
The ambush has been sprung
Saiban – the pale stalker - steps from the shadows and calls his fey powers to enliven the vines in the nearby garden. Vines that grasp toward the mage, but do not find purchases
Other attacks, mental blasts, are aimed at the mage, most missing their mark, the mage in a panic strikes out at the attacking shadow hunter with an expertly crafted stiletto, and does little more than a scratch
The shadow hunter continues to rely on luck and the favor of Vidar (God strength & hater of evil) & Sif (Goddess of skill in battle), and begins to mock the mage to keep him angry and miss focused on the hunter instead of the ring that deprived him of his magical powers.
The ambush continued as all of the group joined the fray, and slowly, with more luck than the group attack could expect, the attacks wore down the strength of the mage. Through the fight the young shadow hunter continued to keep the murderous mage’s attention and received a few more scratches for his effort. However, time and time again, Karel’s sword found its mark and ,fueled by his innate hatred of and desire to destroy evil magic wielders, the attacks bit deeply.
The barrage of attacks ended as Karl raised his sword and struck one last time with a devastating blow. Sensing the end of the fight, the shadow hunter pulled the last hit just enough to render the mage unconscious but not dead.
Grimly, the shadow hunter knelt next to the unconscious body, tied the iron dust encrusted gag around his head, pulled off his boots and expensive robes, then carefully drove the spiked through the mage’s feet and bound his hands with the iron chain.
The rest of the group were shocked by this, but Karl explained the Spessart Brethren traditions to keep a mage bound immobile and unable to flee – whether physically or magically.
As soon as the mage was rendered powerless, the shadow hunter carefully removed all jewelry, cloths, and anything that could be a talisman or magical device.
The murderous mage stripped down to his small cloth, bound and gagged, was dragged to Chief Damien Cove’s office. With Karel, nearly ceromounsioly, requesting a trial by law for the murder of Dianthe Dawar aka Dream, Apollyons mother, requested the sheriff officiate, or ask His Honor Regis Stemp to act as judge for the trial – humbly apologizing for the lateness of the request and strangeness of circumstance – and hesitantly slid the ring tying him to Mistress Bella Hein , priestess of Baldur, The Queen of the Dead herself, onto his finger and ask if she could aid in the trial.
Soon, the sheriff, the judge and the priestess were in the office. All 3 in their official regulinaial and ready for the trial of the mage V.. . The young shadow hunter took a breath, moor nervous now than he was before the ambush.
Karel carefully lifted the mage onto a seat – decorum is due even to a dark heated murderous mage – and revived him from his injuries enough so he could be an active participant in the trial that would decide his fate.
The young Lay Brother of Finsterlunt opened his argument, presenting the evidence, and asked Mistress Bella Hein to call the spirit/witness that was used as the murder weapon. The spirit soon arrived and on seeing the mage could not hide it’s distaste of the mortal that bound it to foul murder.
The Judge, Head Hog, and The Queen of the Dead, took turns asking the spirit and the mage questions. The mage answered the questions showing he was simply seeking what was his, was looking for his son and heir … he was justified in his actions, … he had broken no law … and was the wronged party due to the attack.
Only once did Karl need to interrupt, counter the mage’s defense that ‘his actions were right just and lawful, in his home country’ . Karl pointed out that as a son of the noble house, the mage would not have been tried or convicted of his actions, but that no social norm, no law, or no code would allow the actions to be truly legal. Plus, the murder took place on sovereign Tremaine soil, so the laws or privileges above the law the Mage felt he had would not hold precedence in this case.
Karl silently thanks his mentors, Master Savigny & Master Weiss for the years of training in rhetoric and debate (and not just the physical mystical and martial arts of a shadow hunter) the had provided.
The judge finally turns to Apollyon and asked “You were the wrong party in this. What do you request from this trial”
A moment f silence followed as the young Halfling thought. When he spoke he showed wisdom beyond his youth. “As he did this act in murder, never attempted to contact me or my mother, never offed it peacefully. He killed my mother, so he should have the same fate”.
The judge nodded to Chief Damien Cove, who stepped forward, but then looked at Karel… “Do you wish to act as the executioner for this sentence?”
Karl solemnly nodded “As he murdered this boy mother, I would be honored to” … a look over at the boy “You lost your mother to him, do you wish to hold the blade as I swing it? It would be your right if you desired”
The boy silently shook his head no
Mistress Bella Hein steped forward and carefully prepared a circle of power to contain the soul of the mage. As she finished her mystical ceremony, she nodded and stepped back.
The old battered broad sword that had opened the ambush was raised and slashed down. The life of the mage ended. Karel let out a soft breath
His first hunt as a Skata-jagod in his own right and under his own power ended. Success. The world better for the loss of a murderous mage.
A dark corrupted spirit filled the circle and battled the power of The ueen of the Dead … soon it was subdued, and tamed for … the take it to her garden of stone and field of dead, to be used in service of Tremaine ….
Karl shuttered at the thought.
As she left, The Queen of the Dead reached down and retrieved the ring that aided in the capture of the mage from the lifless left hand of the mage’s ruined dead body.
Karl requested the young Halfling boy be allowed to claim the property of the mage in payment for the wrong. Surprisingly, it took some legal wrangling to get the permission, again, Karl thanked his mentors for their training and guidance.
That evening the group once more set around the grungy table, discussing the evening events and the items they recovered from the mage and his room
Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and ear rings, multiple sets of fine robes and cloths, boots and belts. All the finery expected of the noble son of a royal family. Also, the magical folding boat that the mage arrived in some weeks ago, a miniature cage with a finally carved black cat, other magical trinkets and talismans. Not surprisingly the mage also had a book of spells and incantations. However, no money was found – Jack talked of taking the boat to the river to open it so they could search it for gold and the like.
Karl’s thoughts drifted off as the group talked, then … a mental push, for a moment he held it off, but sensed knowledge not attack. A breath and the door to his mind opened
You know, he was the only son of the house … , his house controls the realm of …, they are a family of necromancer – he was an oddity among them by studying other more ‘clean’ arts and not being only a commander of spirits and maker of undead. Their kingdom is protected by an army of the walking dead and corrupt souls. They will know or soon be aware that the son is no longer among the living and since his spirit has not returned to the reliquary prepared for it, they will know I have prevented its return and contained the soul. I have visited their realm. They are dangerous!
The thoughts of Queen of the Dead filtered into the mind of Karl.
The young hunter nodded knowing some of the information, but had not put all of it together. Then the hunter shivered at the thought of Bella Hein thoughts entering his mind, and his returning to her’s
As the group talked, and James unobserved setting in the corner set to work washing the blood from Karl’s good white shirt, the conversation turned to a rumor of arson in the warehouse district …
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