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Post  vampyre on Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:07 am

Otto, interesting conversation with a warden and watchkeeper of Hel. I would have thought he would want to accelerate events to their favour but they are seemingly watching and waiting for events to transpire.

I do wonder, how tcan the Mardenstadt and Crosstenmarch bloodlines intertwine they have no children. Though Crosstenmarch mentioned a son, Kut...Otto here has only mentioned two reside here, Dominick and Seffi

Mardenstadts allies undermining his that he craves. I would have thought the wardens would have sorted this out...just how many of the legion are out at each location, just how many locations.

Then Otto gives advice, "He (Crosstenmarch) must find more knowledge. The village has a chance if "the lion can be tamed and hearts channeled to resist the dangers."

Mardenstadt's survival may be essential to ensure Reisen Morgus does not return. I think this must be conveyed to Crosstenmarch...and I think I know how to do this.

The Mardenstadt's have always been here....Dominick always been here.
How many generations of Crosstenmarch's have found themselves here, each seemingly reliving or picking up from the start where their previous had ended.

Otto mentioned the 3 towers, ruins now...I wonder when that particular battle occurred and how many "cycles" have passed since then at Hastenmood.

72 resting places in the cave...when one falls another rises...once again just how many are out there. And yes, they can fall. I wonder if that has ever happened in Hastenmood.


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Post  Admin on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:54 am

Wulfram asks for some refreshment and Madenstadt motions for Otto to get some for him. Honeyed mead and water are provided. “I will bid you a good night, Wulfram. Tomorrow morning I shall have the letter ready for you.”

Wulfram finishes a meal that is provided to him and considers his options. He has been invited to view the residence so he plans that when Otto escorts him to his room, he will indicate that he would accept a tour of the house with Otto showing him around. After all, he has only seen one side of this is time to see another side.

Wulfram is given a large pewter mug of mead. With Madenstadt departed, Wulfram produces his wolvenwort herb paste and mixes into the mead provided. The paste dilutes into the liquid and flecks of the herb can be seen floating within the glass. The liquid itself has become a purple red shade. He has not consumed any so does not quite know what to expect. Cautiously, he begins drinking it and notes it has a bitter taste (like pepper) but that is tempered by a hint of lemon and mint flavour also. FORTITUDE SAVE DC 20. Succeed – the unusual taste is noted and it seems to have a calming effect (+5 bonus on WILL saves for next 24 hrs). Fail – the taste is quite overwhelming and repugnant. Wulfram finishes imbibing the mixture but feels a little ill afterward (-5 temporary HP for next 24 hrs) – the effect is unsettling but Wulfram can feel a difference in his wolf-aligned nature and the WILL bonus can be applied for the next 24 hrs.

Otto sees that Wulfram is shown to his guest room. “Will that be all, sir?”

... “Will you show me the manor?”

“In the morning, Sir. I have several chores to complete for the Master. I am available at first light. Of course, you are welcome to look around before then if you wish. But I must leave you here for the time being. I can show you immediately to your room.”

Wulfram accepts going to his room, but slows and studies the paintings along the way.

“How old are these paintings? Did they come with the family or were they always here?”

Otto replies “they are two hundred years old and yes, Master Madenstadt bought them here himself when we moved into this residence.”

“Were you here at the time, Otto, like the other Otto was?”
Otto stops and stares at Wulfram for a moment with piercing gaze and he smiles. “Yes,” he says. “I have always been here.”
“Was there a family here before then?”
“No, the Madenstadts are the only family who have resided here.”
“So you have been alone in this place before then?”
“As old as the family. They have many generations but this one has gained the powers of longevity.”
“So they were human originally?”
“Yes.” he says simply.
“And they had children, as you said generations?”
“Yes. But Master Madenstadt possesses no heirs to his legacy.”
“So how many are in the house?”
“Just Master Madenstadt and his wife Seffi.”

Where the paintings downstairs are quite grotesque in their nature, most of the paintings upstairs depict dark ages or medieval scenes. Farming, villages, castles. Symbology is mostly of crosses and the ordinary people within them seem hopeful in many scenes, yet in a few they seem troubled or downtrodden. In those scenes wolves become increasingly common as background figures, typically watching. There are also some paintings that depict ordinary people rounding up wolves and either killing or domesticating them. INT CHECK 6. Something is puzzling to Wulfram.

“What is the association with the wolves that I see in the paintings?”

Otto again pauses in mid-step and stops and looks at Wulfram. “The wolves can represent many things. Some are friends and some are guardians. Some watch while others hunt. The wolves were not always hostile. Study more of these paintings and you begin to see.”

“I bid you good night young master. The north-west wing is off limits.”

Otto leaves Wulfram to his own devices and then he retires, going downstairs to the kitchen where he busies himself preparing vegetables and meat for the next day's meals. Wulfam looks at his guest room. It is a large room containing many furnishings (four poster bed, wooden cabinets, magnificent thick drapes and several paintings of people that look like Madenstadt in different styles of clothing. Some of the styles are less ornate but are evidently important, or indicate importance, all the same. The paintings are old but no dates have been inscribed beneath them). There are seven paintings in this room.

Wulfram goes back into the hallway to study more paintings. The hallway is lined with paintings of differing sizes. Similar scenes to those described before. But the mix includes some grotesque imagery as you move along.

INT CHECK 20. It is clear in the more grotesque paintings that two families emerge from the mainstream and the scenes depict their paths through older history. One family is seen embracing prayer, faith and the symbol of the cross and red roses. That family is often shown fighting and slaying large vicious wolves, many shown standing upright. The other family is shown befriending wolves and consorting in secret with devilish looking creatures. That family is shown destroying images of the cross and wearing black roses and if a history can be drawn from the paintings it is one of revulsion against main society and a turning from the light. While both families are shown in paintings together it becomes clear that relations between them were strained. Prayer rituals obviously differed – one family lived in light, peace and happiness while the other worshipped at night, summoned monsters and engaged in lewd practices under the moonlight. A sequence of paintings do show feuding between the knights of each house - “Crusaders” fighting “Demon Knights” and, in all cases, wolves are observers to the fight. Where faces can be examined there are many similarities in many paintings that indicate Viktor Crosstenmarch and Dominik Madenstadt have lived for a very long time (and if it is not them the resemblence is uncanny).

The other notable impression gained from these paintings is that a woman who looks exactly like Lady Viktoria appears as the wife in both Madenstadt and Crosstenmarch families. The current painting of Lady Seffi Madenstadt looks uncannily like Lady Viktoria Crosstenmarch.

“Twins?” Wulfram wonders.

There are no paintings that show both women together. There are no paintings that show both men and the woman only.

Otto appears in the background of all the recent paintings.

Wulfram goes downstairs. He hears the sound of chopping coming from the kitchen. Wulfram ignores that and goes into the wing on the opposite of the dining hall. Hallway with grotesque paintings. Scenes of torture, conquest, rape, brutality. Ends at a door which is locked. Heavy wooden door. There are side doors (unlocked) and casual inspection reveals guest rooms. They all contain paintings of Madenstadt (similar to those in his own room).

Wulfram moves back to downstairs foyer and Otto enters from the dining room side. He sees Wulfram and asks “Is young Wulfram satisfied with what he sees?”

“Yes, I've seen the story in the pictures – is Lady Seffi a sister to Lady Viktoria, or are they twins?”
“They are twins.” Otto tells him.
“What was the reason for Lady Viktoria's affliction?”
Otto looks solemnly at Wulfram and simply says “You should ask Master Madenstadt that question as he is best placed to give you that answer. You asked me earlier about how long the Madenstadts have been here. The Madenstadts have been here forever. This became their fate when they turned to the path of darkness and malice and this world between worlds became a sanctuary, until the Crosstenmarchs' learnt where they had fled to and swore to fight them in the netherworld to prevent their return.”
“But the problem with that is the villagers keep reappearing every twenty years.”
Otto smiles “Do they? Who told you that?”
“I have learned that and I know there is only five years remaining in this current cycle.”

... perhaps we go to kitchen. Otto agrees and leads Wulfram there. DETECT EVIL on Otto ... Yes.

“There is no cycle as you would understand it now. But this netherworld was once ruled by demons. They left after a great battle that happened when Crosstenmarch's ancestors arrived. That is when the druidic watch towers of Loroth, Xoreth and Ochor were sundered by the demon legions and They left knowing that Madenstadt would remain the Master until such time that he meets his end and that event would send the signal for them to return. Crosstenmarch does not realise that his hatred of Madenstadt will bring about his peoples' end. Time passes and the Madenstadt and Crosstenmarch bloodlines will intertwine again – then, in the future, when each side again finds itself in disfavour with the other ... the arrivals begin again. Innocents join Crosstenmarch when he prays. He must find more knowledge before new reinforcements arrive. Each hint or clue uncovers a portion of his past and the complete picture would undoubtedly show him his family's true sin.”

“So ... the innocents he has prayed for arrived and assembled in family groups, they cannot have children ... “ Wulfram looks at Otto “do not be offended by this question but I would like to ask ... what is your role and your counterparts role because you are more than what you portray yourself to be.”

“I will show you. Follow me.”

Otto leads Wulfram through the dining room to the courtyard where he stands looking at the garden for a while PERCEPTION 18 (Wulfram notes that there are well established beds of black roses) before he exits to follow the outer path into the edge of the Darkenwilde and towards his cave. Wulfram might follow him and Otto deliberately moves slowly to allow this.

Wulfram follows him to the cave. If he does so then the entrance to it will appear quite ordinary, until he ventures in a little further opening that leads into a larger cave and the sight inside there is quite astonishing.

Otto is standing in the middle of the cavern, on a stone square shaped platform, surrounded by dozens of solid wooden coffins. They are all closed. Otto begins chanting softly in an unusual language and then he stops and looks at you.

Wulfram waits.

“We are Legion and we are many.” Otto says.
“... so the other Otto is Legion too?” Wulfram asks.
“Yes, we serve the Dark Mistress, Hel, as her wardens and her watchkeepers. Her lieutenant calls to us from beyond the Woedenwood and Darkenwilde. He will be our controlling master when he enters this land. “I am Otto – as are they – and we all share a common collective memory and duty to observe the coming maelstrom.”

“So do you and the other Otto communicate?”
“Seldom in person but yes, on occasion ... does this trouble you?”
“It does not, for if the village was to be attacked and destroyed it could have been.”
Otto nods in agreement.
“Does this lieutenant have a name?”
Otto smiles and says “Of course. You know him well, for he has claimed your name Daywalker.”
“In name only.” Wulfram smiles.
“And we, of course, know more about you since you arrived under the House of Crosstenmarch.”
“then you know my purpose is to protect the village and the innocents after they are called?”
“We do and we know your purpose is one of honour. We, the Legion, enjoy watching you. Reisen Morgus will come and take the Lambs of Sacrifice to Hel before Haastenmoord is laid to waste and is consumed. But the battle may turn in the lambs' favour if the Lion can be tamed and hearts can be channeled to resist the dangers.”
“What you are saying is that there is a chance and that my arrival and that of my friend may well change events that our presence has already upset, such as the Satyrs who also seem to serve Reisen Morgus.”
“You, Wulfram, are pagan. You are of many faiths but not beholden to one single entity or master. You are both cursed and blessed – you straddle a crossroads between worlds and faith. Your strength is your conviction and courage; your will and fortitude carry you forward through this netherworld. So ...yes ... you and your friend have the opportunity to change the balance.”
“What I have learnt here from you I would like to tell only to my friend Hrothgaard. Do you mind?”
“We do not mind.”
“Does Crosstenmarch know any of this?”
“He would if he were not blinded by his faith and dogma.”
“Should he know?”
“That is not for us to decide. Those with the knowledge can choose to reveal it if they deem it proper.”
“You have shown me much – I would presume that Reisen Morgus knows you have done this?”
“He does not.” Otto says. “This was of our own choosing.”
“So these tombs are your collective memory?”
Otto looks around and looks at Wulfram and smirks. “No, this is us. We are Legion. When one falls one rises. We are Legion. These are not tombs.”
Wulfram looks around and estimates there are 72 coffins here.
“How many 'Ottos' are there at any given time?”
“There is one member of the Legion at each location.”
“So you're saying that while Madenstadt lives then Reisen Morgus will not interfere. He will only interfere when Madenstadt perishes?”
“Yes, that is correct. If Madenstadt dies then They will return.”
“Crosstenmarch strives to regain the favour of his almighty god. It is a false hope that he can never realise for he was forsaken long ago. But he can never accept that. He has fallen and found himself here, a victim of conscience and longing for spiritual salvation. Madenstadt has great longevity and dark power. He is a master of ritual and makes his own allegiances and faith. He is a manipulator but master of few souls here. His allies undermine and ursurp the authority he craves to hold over the evils of this land. We simply wait for the event to pass.”
“Is there anything else you would like to know Wulfram, before we retire?”
“No ... let us return and ... thank you.”

Wulfram and Otto return to the manor and go inside. Before leaving the courtyard, Otto says one more thing. He says “There are points of light, sanctuary and lost knowledge concealed across this land. Most are overseen by powerful guardians. Seek them out at great peril. ”

“There is one place that interests me – the dam and the caves beneath – we are planning to visit soon.”
“Naturally.” Otto agrees.
“Thank you.”

“I again bid you good night, young Wulfram.”

SENSE MOTIVE 24 – Wulfram considers that Otto was being entirely truthful and not holding back any of the information he shared. Get the sense that he wanted Wulfram to know for his own particular (selfish) reasons?

Throughout remainder of the night Wulfram certainly feels that he is being watched (if he stays inside his room) and he will hear the sounds of wolves howling and snarling in the surrounding woods outside. He will also hear many slithering sounds and splashes that might keep him on edge throughout the night.

PERCEPTION 18 reveals that the eyes of one of the imposing paintings does change throughout the night. Otto watches him from behind it, where a cavity connected to a secret passage exists behind the wall. WULFRAM PRETENDS NOT TO NOTICE AND IGNORES THAT.

Wulfram makes three WILL saves 24, 19, 16 - he feels the beast inside him being called repeatedly and the urge to change is growing stronger.

Curtains kept partially open ... Wulfram looks outside ... PERCEPTION 25 ... sees six wolves patrolling and on occasion one stands on its hind legs and howls. Other howls respond from the distance. No people to be seen.

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