After little more than a week of going on patrols and standing watch on the tower, the party had already grown weary of duty on the Bleakwall. How long would they be conscripts? They were all wishing they had stayed in Jeriko like Gustav.
Erastus 4, 4711
Midway into another dull shift, Pharasma answered their prayers; a runner from Tamrivena brought an urgent message from Captain Rhasrakin. “I have another dark situation for you … it involves the death of a young cadet … head back to Tamrivena with all haste.” On their way back they learned the gruesome details from the tight-lipped messenger, Dillan. A young cadet out on patrol was found with his body sliced to pieces and hanging upside down from a tree outside an old church at the Crossroads.
Erastus 5, 4711
Before dawn, while Ungar and Falcon were on watch, the howls they had heard earlier in the night materialized; a huge wolf, the size of a horse, approached the camp. Falcon fired a warning shot to scare off the beast; it charged! Awakened by the shot, the party rose out of their tent to see Falcon trying to tame the massive beast. In an instant, the beast felled him with a single blow … it looked grim. Thinking quickly, Ritter slept the beast and dragged Falcon’s unconscious body from harm’s way. Dillan raised his halberd and decapitated the beast before it could wake.
Dillan was able to pour two healing potions down Falcon’s throat and before long, the party was on the move towards Tamrivena. During the rest of their journey Ritter told the party of a vivid dream he’d had that night; a dark clothed holy man was arguing with his daughter and moments later was attacked by a spirit. Talk about the dream occupied the party until they reached the Crossroads.
About a mile and a half south of Tamrivena lies a ruined church and a potter’s field. Having convinced Dillan to spill his secrets, the party decided to investigate the scene of the crime. They found a deep cut into the side of the church that led to the tree where the victim, Viktor Usted had been killed. They found the bloody remnants of the rope used to hang the cadet and after spending some time amongst the gravestones found an old stone with the same symbol they’d found earlier on the altar inside the ruined church. They would later determine this was the symbol of the Order of the Called, a fanatical branch of the worshipers of Pharasma.
They made their way into the city and to Fort Vhiled to see Captain Balton Rhasrakin. The captain had to be awakened and was in an even fouler mood than normal. He described the incident; another young cadet, Lora Sorenstav, the daughter of an old Wallguard friend of Rhasrakin’s, was on patrol with Viktor along the Nine Mile Road. The two stopped at the church and heard some sounds outside; Viktor went to investigate and minutes later, Lora found his body. That old friend, now a religious zealot, is Prator Sorenstav, the head of the Order of the Called.
Erastus 6, 4711
The party visited the fort’s quartermaster and stocked up on salt, oil, and a few special rounds for the new blade-pistols that Falcon and Ungar acquired. While Falcon and Ritter poured over city and church records, Josu went to the Order of the Called shrine within Soldier’s Rest. Meanwhile, Ungar disappeared into the city not to be heard of for days.
As Josu walked into the church, his footfalls echoed through the building and as the congregation turned, Josu caught the eye of a beautiful, young girl. Father Sorenstav was giving a sermon on the recent tragedy and after the sermon, met with the girl who Josu would learn was his daughter, Lora. The dashing Josu’s charming ways quickly had Lora speaking about the incident and he learned of Viktor’s inappropriate behavior on the night of his death. Stealing a glance at Lora’s neckline, he noticed a silver-winged pendant that she wore; later she would tell him that it was a church heirloom passed down through the generations.
In their studies, Ritter and Falcon uncovered the 150 year old story of Jakob Karns, a former head of the Order of the Called, who had killed 13 prostitutes in outrage over the red light district in Tamrivena; some of the women were found hanging upside down. They found similar occurrences over the intervening years and also learned that Karns had lost his right hand and had it replaced with a silver hook. After his arrest, the hook was melted down by the Order and turned into a silver pendant, the Wings of the Pure.
The party gathered that evening and it didn’t take long for them to be convinced that Jakob Karns’ spirit was responsible for Viktor’s death. It was too late to destroy his remains … only a fool would go into that cemetery at night.
Erastus 7, 4711
The party awakened to the sound of alarm bells ringing in the fortress. Members of the guard were running towards the cadet dormitory; there had been another murder. Lora awoke to find her roommate, Lena, sliced to death in a similar manner to Viktor. Bloodily cut into the wall next to her bed was the symbol of the Order and the words “You should be glad you did not light a lamp”.
Lora was now a person of interest in two murders; while being interrogated, her father was able to talk the guard into letting her stay with him. Josu spoke with her and learned that Lena, in addition to being more than a little promiscuous was also responsible for arranging the cadets’ schedule so that Lora and Viktor would be together on that fateful night. He also learned that Lora’s father was having an affair … Ritter’s dream was making more sense all the time.
While Josu spoke with Lora, Ritter & Falcon went to the potter’s field to find out who was buried in the grave with the Order’s symbol. They quickly discovered the coffin was buried vertically, head down and inside they found skeletal remains … there was no right hand. These were the remains of Jakob Karns; they salted and burned them and headed back to town.
The party was convinced they needed to destroy Lora’s necklace to put Karns’ spirit to rest. Ritter’s dream was the topic of much discussion; finally, they decided to let matters unfold as they would. After taking a portable forge to the graveyard, and leaving a guard with the smith, they went to the preacher’s house to speak with Lora.
Falcon could see Lora arguing with her father. Lora saw Josu and went outside to speak with him. He started to tell her about the necklace; she reached out to caress his face and started to kiss him. Ritter’s dream was about to unfold … Prator opened the door. “Lora … Lora, please come inside.” “I’ll come in when I’m ready.” At that moment, a ghostly figure materialized and grabbed Prator from behind. As the figure dragged Prator into the room, Falcon jumped through the window and fired a salt-round into the apparition. It dissipated.
With no time to spare, the party went to the graveyard to destroy the necklace. Fearing for Lora and her father’s safety, they took them as well. They quickly melted the necklace and the spirit did not return.
All present party members received 2,000 XP and a hero point.