A Bump on the Head

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In the previous session of Zweihänder, we had broken into the headquarters of the local gang called the Heavies, and were interrupted when they were apparently attacked by not-quite-human dark figures. Eva and her companions had fled back to our inn as the place burned down around them.

By morning, the word on the street was that there had been a revenge attack by a rival gang and that the Heavies were pretty much no more. The local street people actually seemed a lot happier despite there having been another fire the night before – that part of the town had more guards and fewer thugs on it, which made things so much more pleasant.

Whilst Calthar went off to check on the warehouse, Djarin and myself had a poke around the burned out husk of the gang’s headquarters.

Specifically, I was looking for any signs of occult, arcane or unholy activity, in the form of symbols or other effects in the area. If the creatures that had attacked the gan were as inhuman as Djarin said, then something may have summoned them. But I found nothing out of the ordinary.

Djarin discovered some unbooted tracks which led back to the wall but at that point he lost them. Possibly they came from over the wall in the first place, so maybe they have a lair outside the city.

By the time Calthar returned, we were clearing out some of the burned down rubble in a search for the body of the creature Djarin had shot. Maybe I should say that I was clearing out the rubble, since I was doing most of the work. By the time we finished, there was no sign of a body, though we did find a hole in the wall as if something had broken through it to escape. More importantly, I was now covered in soot from the work.

Since nobody was around, I tried casting Wytchsight to see if there was any sign of magical residue in the area. Unfortunately, though I succeeded in the incantation there was a manifestation of Chaos, and sharp nails stuck into my feet out of nowhere, causing me to fall in pain. There’s a reason why I try to avoid using magic.

There was no sign of magic – except for a glow coming from my cleavage, where the Baron’s talisman was residing. Pulling it out, it did seem to be glowing softly – nothing powerful, but it had a definite magical aura about it. It wasn’t clear to me what the type of magic was, but possibly it was something to do with misdirection. Djarin’s talisman, which was also kept around his neck, was similarly glowing, but Calthar’s, who kept hers wrapped up in a pocket, was much weaker in strength.

That seemed like a good point to take a break, so I left the other two to their own devices and headed back to the inn where the stablehands were able to throw some water over me, and then I could have a warm bath to clean myself up.

As I finish up these notes, Calthar and Djarin have returned carrying the money chest from the house. Breaking it open, we find about 60 gold crowns worth of brass coins. To be honest I really have no need for the money, and since the other two were trying to figure out how to afford what they need – which will probably help keep me alive – I simply told them to divide it amongst themselves, for which they were suitably grateful.

I have spent the rest of the day in classes at the Order of Redemption, trying to find out more about this heretical cult, though failed to find out anything interesting about it. However, it appears that a family went missing from the district outside the walls last night. Nobody knows what happened to them – they were there in the evening, and not there in the morning.

It seems that the cult were not the only ones interested in the disappearance, for we have been requested by the guard captain to look into things. We spent some time at the tenement block where they lived. Their door had been left open, and all their daytime clothes and shoes were left behind, implying that they had left in their nightclothes.

One of the neighbours, an old man named Fred, said that he had heard noises in the night so we spent some time talking to him. It took longer than expected because I think he was just glad of the company, and fed us old biscuits and tea to keep us there. I must make a note to buy some decent quality tea and biscuits and send them to him.

From what he said, he had heard a sniffing, like an animal, on the stairs outside his door, and then footsteps going upstairs. He had heard voices, and the opening of the door, then a group of people heading down the stairs and out. Whatever happened, it seems to have been without violence. It had happened maybe a couple of hours after midnight.

This put us in mind of the creature that was in the warehouse on the riverbank that we had broken into some weeks ago, so we went to take a quick look at that. There was nothing special there – just the usual security. As the other two headed back to the city, I’ve stopped off at the bars along the waterfront to try and see if anyone saw anything odd the previous night (whilst trying to avoid unwanted attention from ne’er-do-wells on the streets).

I think I may have picked up some unwanted attention whilst wandering the streets, so I’m currently sitting in a busy bar where hopefully it is safer. One of the regular drunks did apparently see something – a group of people in their nightclothes following a shrouded figure towards the main gate. I should probably head back to the city and ask the guards what they saw.

So that could have gone so much worse, so I should probably be thankful that I am still alive. I should probably also learn a lesson not to wander the streets at night alone.

I awoke this morning laying in the gutter with a bad headache, with a hazy recollection of what happened.

I remember talking to the gate guards, and that they said that they had seen no-one even though they had been on watch at that time the previous night. They seemed to be honest, but possibly a bit confused.

Inside the gate was another drunkard, so thinking that maybe some form of magic had been used to hide the passage of the cloaked figure, I woke him to see if he had seen anything. The last thing I remember is the look of fear in his eyes as he saw something behind me – and then there was nothing until now.

I am resting now at the inn, but will need to talk to the others and report my findings. My guess is that the drunk I was with is most probably no longer to be found in the city, and that someone knows that I have been asking questions.

Samuel Penn