Blood Oaths and Bacon
After retrieving the Baron’s goods in Zweihänder, we ended the previous session in disagreement on whether to hand them over to him, or destroy them. Eva the Preacher continues to record what happened.
We were still unable to agree on what to do with the vials of liquid, but since Djarin was the one who felt most strongly about it, I argued that we should go with his plan and dispose of the liquid. We poured the vials into a pan, diluted them and then boiled it away.
We arrived back at Sielzen that evening, and went straight to report to Captain Sarkas, figuring it would be better to give the news to the Baron indirectly. We explained how the villagers had used all of the vials, and then killed themselves. Since the Captain wanted a written report, Calthas dictated whilst I wrote things down, but it got to the point where I was unable to continue. What had happened there had been bad, and the deception we were doing didn’t sit well with me, so in the end I left them to finish things up and returned back to the inn by myself.
We were paid part of the reward we’d been offered by the Baron today. Apparently the news of the missing potions had not gone down well, but they accepted our story about what had happened. Captain Sarkas asked us whether anything odd had happened, and I felt a need to report that there had been a bad enchantment on the place, but didn’t know the details of it.
I spent some time in the marketplace trying to track down the cloaked person who seemed to be selling oaths. Eventually I found them. A cloaked woman and a couple of toughs had set up a table, and were encouraging townsfolk to sign oaths with their own blood. In return they would get a reduction in the taxes they had to pay to the Baron.
This was all part of the Order of Redemption, and they seemed to be making use of some very creative, but wrong, interpretations of the holy texts. The woman said that the oath was more important than their standard feudal obligations because it was a choice. The signed in blood part of the pact means it is probably much worse than some simple heresy.
By the time I had returned to the inn, Calthar was there with some pig farmers from out of town. Their village had been raided a night ago – two houses had been broken into and the families taken. Apart from smashed in doors, there was no sign of what had happened.
Calthar was thinking that this was another job for us, and the villagers said they could pay us in pigs. During the conversation it became apparent that our fame had proceeded us, for they recognised us.
It was getting late in the day, so though we all agreed that we would go and help them, we decided to head off tomorrow. That gave us time to check up on some things that the old woman in the cottage had hinted at – that the homeless were going missing from the town. The pig farmers had mentioned that there had been a few disappearances in the villages around theirs as well, so maybe they’re connected.
Djarin and myself (separately) went to talk to some of the street beggars, but they were hard to find. According to them, the “Snatchers” have been taking people off the streets. They could say nothing about who was behind this, but now there weren’t many beggars left.
A few of them had signed the Oath of Redemption, and they had been taken off the streets and to the new church that was being built. They have not been seen since.
It took us most of the day to reach Pigsville, mostly because I took a wrong turn at one point. It was nightfall as we arrived, but we were welcomed in and there was much telling of stories. It seems some of the stories that they’ve heard about us are seriously inflated. At least, I don’t recall us ever slaying a dragon.
Investigating the raided houses the following morning seemed to show that a group of booted men had come, smashed in the doors with axes, and dragged the families off with them into the woods.
Deep in the woods, they had been put on a cart and taken away. There had been a cave they had stayed at, then probably continued to join the main road back towards Sielzen. Djarin was able to track them exceptionally well, and noticed that one of the cart wheels had a nick on it which made them easy to identify. As they got close to Sielzen they pulled off the main road to skirt around the town.
Checking with people on the road, it seems people did spot a cart with people on it, and guarded by what appeared to be mercenaries, or possibly even just hired thugs.
We paid someone to take word back to Pigsville that we were following up leads, then have decided to stay the night back in the town before trying to follow after the cart in the morning. If the people are still alive, then maybe they are being taken as slaves, or maybe worse.