Shadows in the Fire

Last modified date

Continuing our weekly game of Zweihänder, we try to follow up on the slavery incident by finding out more about some of the factions in the city. My character, the Preacher Eva Saralva, records what happened.

Calthar and myself headed into the Order of Redemption’s new Church, where we were greeted by a young woman, Sister Eustace, who was happy to tell us about the new church and what was going on.

It seems that there are three main priests, led by Father Landstrom – who is actually from around these parts. The Order itself isn’t new – it’s been around for a long time, but has only recently seen a surge in popularity, partly due to a very generous donor, and the favour of the Baron.

She didn’t know who the donor was, except that he was a merchant of some kind. The other two priests are Fathers Killean and Servis. There are also four brothers who act as their their main assistants, and an assortment of others.

The main worship hall was pretty standard, decorated in a way that emphasised the God Emperor in his aspect of teacher and guide. It was guidance that I prayed for, since I’m going to need it when dealing with this heresy. I waited around until sunset for the service, which was held by Father Killean. There were about 60 people altogether who attended, which pretty much maxed out their worship hall.

Afterwards, I managed to have a short conversation with him, and he mentioned that they were holding classes on their faith, which I would be welcome to attend. The main tenets though seemed similar to that of the God Emperor (which was good, since they claimed to worship Him), except that mortals can ascend to divinity through perfection of themselves, and that it preached obedience to those above your station, though not blind obedience. Improving oneself, and serving to the best of your ability seemed to be of importance.

We were woken in the night by shouts and the smell of smoke – there was a building on fire nearby, and we all pitched in with trying to put out the blaze.

By morning it was clear that there have been four fires that night – all properties owned by the House Martins. The House Martins had been one of the major gangs in the city, until the Heavies pretty much stomped on them. The latter were blaming them for the theft of the slaves from their warehouse, and had burned down the rest of their properties in retaliation.

Apparently some of the Baron’s men stood aside and let it happen, and several of the House Martins had been murdered. The rest were now in hiding, and Djarin was finding it difficult to find any of his usual contacts.

We were called in by the Captain of the Guards for a special “head’s up”. Apparently the Baron was really upset about what happened (then why did his guards let it happen?), and was going to be putting a bounty on the heads of those responsible – Muller and Dupres the heads of the Heavies gang. He was letting us know before hand in case we wanted to do something about it and claim the bounty ourselves, before the two got word of it.

So we decided to scope out the building where they could be found, but the area was being quite carefully watched by the gang’s thugs. I decided to go in alone, dressed in typical peasants clothing, and hoped that I wouldn’t be noticed.

As expected, nobody paid any attention to me, and I was able to get a good idea of the place. The building was some distance from the city wall, though not too far from it. It had 3 floors, and there were a number guards around it.

Djarin is off to try and find the House Martins to see if they can provide some diversionary tactics, and we plan to try to get in tonight.

So, things did not quite go as planned. We had managed to get up and along the city wall, then down on ropes to the street level in order to get around the gang patrols in the area. From there, we made our way across the roofs of the smaller buildings which got us next to the gang hideout without anyone spotting us.

The climbing could have gone better

There was an open window on the middle floor, so we climbed our way up to that. Calthar almost fell, but I managed to grab her hand just in time. Unusual for me to be useful for these physical things.

As we were listening and planning on what to do, a cry went up from outside, and there was the smell of smoke. Apparently someone had provided the promised distraction by lighting a fire in one of the nearby houses. This pretty much emptied the building, which gave us free run of the place. Unfortunately, the two who we were here to grab (they were worth more alive than dead) had also gone outside.

It was then though that the screams started. Afterwards, Djarin said that he saw figures appear out of the darkness – vaguely humanoid with long talons who are tearing the gang members apart. We saw Rienne Dupres ripped apart by one, but of Muller there was no sign.

It was then that these things started climbing the walls of the building that we were in. Djarin put a bolt into one – it fell back into a fire and writhed in pain for a while before possibly dying. The fact that it wasn’t immediately killed was worrying.

I really wanted to get a closer look at these things – to see whether they were truly shadow demons or just men dressed as well. But the others were wanting to leave, and I did not have the courage to argue my case. So we fled, and let the buildings burn and the men scream.

As we left, a group of town guards headed into the area, and this morning it was reported that they had dealt with the heavies. What happened last night I cannot say, but there is something dark at work in the town.

Samuel Penn