Shadowrun: Dark Ages

Beneath the surface

Orion Pendragon was not comfortable in the Phoenix In and decided that he’d be happier in the wilds for the night. He left Dundee by the north gate and attempted to find somewhere sufficiently remote that he would be able to relax. The night was cold and wet however and Orion did not find anywhere comfortable and he eventually gave up and as the the sun began to crawl over the horizon he decided to head over towards The Law to investigate the lights he was there whilst out in the hills. The journey through he rugged land took a while and it was late morning by the time he intercepted the North Road from Dundee that lead to the ruins of Castle Dudhope. As he entered the ruins the day was a fine one, albeit the town was eerily deserted. As he explored the ruins, taking a clay brick here, a tool there, he gradually became aware of the crows in the trees – a great many crows and very quiet. Only the odd call crept from them, deepening the feeling of unease surrounding the ruins. It was then that he caught movement out of the corner of his eye and heard the faintest hint of giggle? Quickly he turned to see but it was gone. Then, a few moments later, more movement this time towards the ruins themselves! Again, whatever it was disappeared from sight. Orion cautiously approached the ruins in the eerie silence and as he stepped through the incomplete entrance archway he smelt the unmistakable metallic twang of blood… fresh blood. And there it was again, a giggle… a childs giggle.. and with that his nerve fled and he swiftly left the ruins even as a faint sound of a childs disappointment drifted ont he wind behind him. Vowing to return with help Orion made his way back to Dundee to find Brother Claudius.

Meanwhile Fen MacBás checked on the health of the child at the Cathedral and spoke to Father Christopher, the exorcist again about the proposed exorcism. Pressing the priest and making it clear that he intended to make it happen, he obtained a more precise list of the things that were needed for the exorcism, including nightink (the nearest store of which was at the cathedral in Perth), three pounds of powdered silver (that was going to be very, very, expensive) and something to pull on the denizens of hell – a piece of a magical creature with a firey nature. And with that he set out to speak with his new friend Jason the Apocathery about some of the bits he needed. The Apocathery wanted to hep and could arrange the silver, but he would need fund – lots of funds. Deflated, Fen nevertheless found out all the things The Apocathery might need so that he might begin to build up a fund, and then he set out again to make some money.

Meanwhile, back at the Drimmie Lodge the others woke, stiff and sore from their encounter with Sir Wall. After a filling breakfast of Traditional Scottish Porridge (so salty you can stand a spoon up in it! yuk) the left and returned to Dundee. The road was quiet, the journey uneventful and as the afternoon wore on the group passed through the Slums the thoughts of many were on what to do about the threat in the Sidlaws. Some of them though, they noticed the tension in the air.. The streets were quiet and as those people who were out hurried furtively about their business. Murdo stopped at a street vendor, a Mr John Bell he said, to buy a pie and around his surprise at the decent quality of the produce learnt the reason for the tension. Last night had seen several gruesome killings and rumours and fear were spreading through the slums like wildfire. Rumours of beasts unleased ont he slum streets at nigh, rumors of a cabal of elves and trolls who taken to the taste of human flesh, even tales of the dead walking the streets. Several mangled corpses had been discovered including that of a young boy.

Tired and aching the group headed mainly for the university to rest, recuperate, regroup and seek aid. Agnes Cid Sitron-Blodåre and Elara a’ Tog went to the library where they rested and took advantage of the small collection of books the university had begun to build. Meanwhile, Deputy Sherrif Struman, Murdo (Murdoch) and Sir Arthur Fergusson retired to a lounge to rest, tmull over the evens of the day and begin to think about the murders in the Slums. As evening began to fall Orion Pendragon, having returned to Dundee from Castle Dudhope, sought out Brother Claudius at the university but in his absence resolved to speak with Deputy Sherrif Struman about the odd events occurring up at the castle. After a frank discussion of interests they agreed that Orion would help them deal with the problem in the Slums and then Deputy Sherrif Struman would help him investigate the mystery up at the castle. Resolved, Struman summoned some guards and spoke with the others. They resolved to head out in small groups into the slums to find the culprits, however Murdo remained behind, too injured to be of assistance.

As night fell and the darkness grew they headed to the slums. Before the teams dispersed Deputy Sherrif Struman decided to talk with Father Christopher at St Peters and se if he had heard anything that might be useful. When they spoke with the good father they heard again the tales of the corpses, learning little new, until Deputy Sherrif Struman revealed tot he good priest his suspicion that the culprit were ghoul like creatures, men infected and afflicted by a terrible curse. Even as he described these creatures from experience the Priests face grew ashen and his eyes wide and he swiftly told them the tale of the creature that Fen MacBás had bought to him…. and then the panic set in as he realized that he had sent Fen and the boy tot he cathedral and that one of these afflicted creatures was held within the heard of the church in Dundee! He quickly begged Struman to go to the cathedral and find Fen and DO something about the boy! Struman agreed and they all left the church. Struman left for the cathedral as the other teams split up and began to move into the slums to look for the killers. A matter of minutes later screams rang out across the streets and the party started running. They quickly came to a grizzly scene lying in a side street, three bodies dead on the street, their throats torn open, bellies opened, and bits chewed. They were mostly cold – something had been feeding and had been disturbed. Bloodied footprints led from the scene, two adults heading in one direction another heading in a second and lastly a child’s prints heading a third way. Witht he trails going cold by the second they split up and headed after the culprits, leaving the guards to deal with the mangled corpses. Sir Arthur Fergusson had little luck; the trail of the two he was following swiftly went cold and people scattered from the nobles dour countenance. Agnes and Cid had similar luck. Orion and Elara were on a similar road until Orion did something dangerously stupid. Opening himself to the astral he channeled all the magic he could into one of his spells and then, in a moment of madness, her tweaked the spell on the fly, forcing the magic down new paths. Desperately he tried to hold the magic together, to guide and channel it, to control it… and even as it scorched his flesh and burned new paths and patterns in his mind, it worked. A pulse of magic flowed from him and in his mind he felt where the one they were chasing was – not far, in an alleyway. As the spell ended Orion began to loose consciousness but with his last breath he told Elara the location – “Alleyway, half-mile”.

Astonished and afraid that her friend was dying on the floor in front of her – his body still twitching from the spell, blood seeping from his eyes, ears and nose – she also knew the killer was getting away. She has a choice to make and make it she did. Leaving the bleeding corpse of her friend behind she ran for the alleyway a spell ready on her lips. As she rounded the corner of the alley she was greeted by a sight that stilled the spell on her lips and gave her pause.

Deep in the shadows the figure of a young girl knelt on the floor, her blood-covered hand lifting chunks of still-warm flesh up to her mouth where small teeth as sharp as steak knives tore at the hunks. As Elara stared on the child raised its blood-red eyes, glowing faintly in the moonlight to meet her gaze and in a soft voice said “Hello. Do you think I’m pretty?”

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NickSchurch

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