CHAPTER 3.09 - REVELATIONS

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Re: CHAPTER 3.09 - REVELATIONS

Post  vampyre on Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:58 pm

There is still something not quite right in Lord Crosstenmarch's speech. If Hel has sent their souls here...and I think not, for she only deals with the souls of our people, not other cultures where she is not heard of and if these souls are to be hers, with her servant in this world...why have they not taken the souls by now. WIth a 20 year cycle...I do believe that Crosstenmarch's concern of people thinking this is a game...and it is only me that really feels it truly, does not ring true. Their are more than enough powers to take their souls...what is holding them back. Are they waiting for the 20 year cycle to be completed...if so, then this is surely a game that is been played by the gods (Loki I feel) after all.

But I am just a champion...not prone to thinking such. Why do these people concern me so. I smile, of course, any champion would seek to protect innocents against the interfering powers of hapless and pathetic gods...and yes I am thinking on Loki when I think this.

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CHAPTER 3.09 - REVELATIONS

Post  Admin on Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:51 pm

The communal gathering passes uneventfully. The villagers are pleased that Wulfram has returned safe and well and are alarmed that the Summoner and his monster were able to enter Haastenmoord so freely four nights ago.

Lord Viktor Crosstenmarch stands to address the people of Haastenmoord. SENSE MOTIVE 21. Wulfram gets the sense that he perhaps has got the message that he hasn't been upfront with the people. Viktor looks at him as he stands.

“Friends, we face grave danger. I seek to learn more about the enemies that are out there and, in doing so, I have sought to protect you not just physicially, but also spiritually. I have kept knowledge from you so that you would not be scared or alarmed – I did so willingly and dutifully because I believed that the Lord Almighty would keep our foes at bay.

But no longer. I must be truthful and even more honest with you all. Know this. I have never lied to you. But this world contains many secrets and sometimes it is necessary for those to be kept. And then the time becomes right to reveal them. This is that time.

You are all brave and very faithful. I pray now that you understand what I am going to share with you. It is vital that we stay strong in our faith at this moment when it appears to be failing us. It is not. Our faith is now the beacon that draws our foes closer. We have always known that they surround us -”

“We grow tired, old man!” Dierk Einshaden demands loudly. “I have kept my tongue quiet for long enough. Now tell us all what it is that you know.”

Crosstenmarch pauses and acknowledges Dierk's outburst, nodding quietly as he does so. He looks at Dierk with an ashamed expression on his face. For a moment he looks defeated and very weary. Then he regains his composure and continues speaking.

“We are all lost souls.” Viktor tells them. Everyone stays quiet, listening. “All of us died a long time ago. None of us are related. Search your hearts if you cannot search your memories. You will feel that this is true. Do you each remember how you arrived? Most of you cannot. Forget what it is that you think you know. We are caught between the worlds of light and darkness. We have all died and been delivered into purgatory. It remains unclear why this has happened to us. But I have been searching out answers wherever I can. You should know that in this we are all equal. I am no better than you and each one of us is important. Particularly our newest arrivals, Wulfram and Hrothgaard. Together we now number forty souls. Forty of us, lost and damned to this place!”

“You're crazy,” Dierk says. Some of the other villagers are looking uncomfortable “Some of us have already figured out we are dead and when we found ourselves here we were simply grateful to have a second life. What are you trying to say? Are we doomed? Who are our enemies in this place and what have we ever done to them?”

“Nothing.” Viktor responds. He looks at Dierk. “You have done nothing to them. But my father and his father before him and all of their ancestors were locked in an eternal struggle with the Madenstadts. I know this. Madenstadt represents everything that is dark and twisted and evil. I tried to do something different o my kin and attempted to reason with him, to make a bargain. And for my foolishness I have paid a heavy price. My wife, dear Viktoria, now has Madenstadt's sickness.”

(PERCEPTION 17. Most of the villagers are making the sign of the cross. Some are praying softly. Otto does not. He is just watching)

Wulfram tells Hrothgaard “Just keep watching the butler ...” PERCEPTION. Wulfram notices that Otto notices you talking. He is completely expressionless.

Some of the women gasp and several of the men look horrified. Dierk scowls. Viktor continues speaking. “Yes, Viktoria bears Madenstadt's curse. Their lust for blood. But the good Lord sent Wulfram to answer my prayers and he delivered us salvation. Her curse is fully contained and Viktoria is no danger to us.” The villagers look very relieved.

“This means that Madenstadt wishes to continue his ageless rivallry with my bloodline. And some of you are well versed in the tools of misery that he employs against us. The wolves, mostly, but now it is apparent that he has gained more allies. Wulfram was abducted by one of these the other night and, fortunately, he lives to tell that tale. The Summoner is only one powerful enemy that confronts us. There are others. Each will take their time and their turn, so be cautious in the wild. Stay together. Be prepared to defend yourselves. The time has come for all of us to defend Haastenmoord!”

SENSE MOTIVE 26. Definitely seems to be some intent to awaken the villagers to their fate.
Crosstenmarch pauses and watches for further reactions.

Wulfram considers that Otto may be the pivotal person in this. That Viktor might know something more about the enemies' timetable ...

“I have prayed for guidance and forgiveness to atone for my family's deeds and my wayward pride. And, in answer, a second champion was delivered to us – Hrothgaard. Like Wulfram, he is a powerful warrior and can help protect us.”

The villagers are looking quite hopeful. There is relief on their faces. PERCEPTION 26. Dierk looks sceptical about the message.

“Fine words, Viktor,” Dierk calls again. “But you haven't told us what will happen if we don't stick together and defend this village.”

“Don't you understand?” Viktor responds again. “Our enemies will join together and overwhelm us. They will erase Haastenmoord from the map, as they have done with other places. One such place was Rosenrot ... that is a place some of you will have never heard of. And rightly so. It can only be found in the Darkenwilde, days from here. It provides direct evidence of past tragedy against good people. My father failed to protect it and it fell to darkness.”

... a wave of concern is expressed by the audience. PERCEPTION 20. Otto is looking at Viktor quite pointedly, which is perhaps the first sign of any form of expression that Otto has displayed.

“I also need to share something else (Wulfram is watching Otto who is watching the people) – some of you have been led to believe that this is a game. A game played by the gods, with us as their pawns and some of us assigned to be their champions. This is not actually true. The gods have forsaken us, if we have forsaken them. That is why I cling to my faith so obssessedly. I believe it will bring not only myself salvation but provide all us with hope and a path for returning fully to the mortal world. We are dead to everyone who ever knew us. But our souls survived and have been diverted from their journey to our normal afterlives. Search your hearts and you will find we have come from different cultures, different times but have formed family units for a common purpose. Necessity and survival. The dark mistress of the underworld (Hel), is responsible for this. She wants your souls and she has dispatched her dread lieutenant, he who must not be named, to collect them. But she cannot claim us unless we die again. And I have vowed to never let that happen. Other gods have no part in this, save for their occasional interference – hence the misunderstanding we can reach that this is the 'gods' game'. If you won't believe in my god then I urge you to hold fast and believe in something. The Dark is rising against us and we will not let it take us!”

Some of the villagers are growing scared. Dierk says “We will gladly defend Haastenmoord against anything that might seek to take us. But what is coming next? Is it Madenstadt – your enemy – or is it going to be 'he who shall not be named'? Will it be the wolves, or this summoner, or something far worse? We have heard the wings above us – is that another vicious creature? What of Painbringer or the Mud King? What should we prepare ourselves to face?”

Hrothgaard says “Prepare your hearts. Train. Get strong. I will help you in this.”

Friedheim says “We will follow your wise counsel, Viktor, we will widen our patrols to search out further signs of danger, if you wish it.”

Viktor says “I wish for Dierk to make us new weapons. The time has come for us all to be ready and strong together. I will send word to Madenstadt that his influence here is most unwelcome and I will tell him to stay his ground. If he does not ... measures against him will be taken.”

“Are there any others here who wish to speak their mind about the events that are unfolding around us?”

Wulfram looks at Otto. “Do you wish to say anything Otto? You seemed displeased before.”

Otto looks back at you, saying nothing, looking expressionless. And then he looks at Viktor and Viktoria. Then he straightens himself up, brushes dust of his collar, and says “I have nothing further to add as I believe Lord Crosstenmarch has been perfectly clear with all of us. “

The festivities of the evening resume half-heartedly but the villagers drink a little more and then clean up and depart for their homes to rest.

Friedheim, Wulfram and Hrothgaard.

What did you think.

“That was interesting. I have never heard anyone openly challenge Viktor before in our gatherings, let alone address him a “old man”. I thought that was quite disrepectful, considering that Viktor was definitely being more open with us about the situation that we're facing.”

“Perhaps he was more open than Otto wanted him to be. Otto was not very impressed when Viktor told us that his father presided over Rosenrot previously.” Wulfram says.

Hrothgaard, looking confused, says “What is Rosenrot?”

Friedheim looks at Wulfram for that to be explained.

Wulfram says “Rosenrot is another village, long abandoned.”
“I see. I think I am beginning to understand” Hrothgaard says.

“What do you mean?” Wulfram asks.

Hrothgaard looks at Wulfram and replies “Well ... Crosstenmarch told us that his father failed to defend it and it was taken by darkness. I think Crosstenmarch is now afraid he will fail like his father did. You tell me Rosenrot is an abandoned village, so I think Haastenmoord might suffer the same fate.”

Friedheim says “I think you're right Hrothgaard. Viktor certainly does worry a lot about protecting us. That is why my family are rangers. We regularly extend our patrols if Vikor wishes it because he is often growing concerned about some of the things we find in the woods.”

“From tonight you may find things have changed because of what he has said. Things may get more dangerous.” Wulfram looks at Hrothgaard. “Perhaps one of us should stay in the village at all times. So tomorrow, if you wish to train then I will cross the lake to look at the cave.”

“That sounds good,” Hrothgaards says. “Stay strong brother. I am going to retire for the night” he leaves clasping a keg of ale.

Wulfram turns to Friedheim “You may wish to consult with Dierk and sek to have this hall reinforced. It would be the safest refuge and gathering point if the village were going to be attacked.”

“I agree completely,” Friedheim replies. “I will see Dierk in the morning to discuss the arrangements with him. Rest safely this evening and we'll talk more of this perhaps during the day tomorrow. Good evening.”

Wulfram stands in the warm glow of the herath fire, thinking on the events that have unfolded that night. He then pulls up some blankets and sleeps in a chair in the great hall. Although he rests easily he does hear wolves howling that night, mostly distant.
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