Thean Calendar 1684, Secundus 2, Amordi
Picking up immediately where Chapter 2 ended…
The drag marks on the ground end several blocks away in front of a large barred pipe. The bars have been twisted and bent, and something has been dragged through them up the pipe; apparently subtlety was no longer required.
- OPPORTUNITY (Side Passage): You see a short side-passage before the bars and something catches your eye. You move your light source over to get a better view and discover a body. He appears to be a young man, maybe 25, with a mail bag over his shoulder; torn envelopes and letters litter the alcove. You can see no wounds of any kind on his person, however what strikes you is his face. It appears to be frozen in a horrible, terrified rictus. His skin is also blue-black and icy to the touch.
- OPPORTUNITY (Letters): After a thorough search and quick read of the letters not torn to shreds or soaked through with detritus, you find one with another clue to this mystery.
The Nightbringer currently lurks in a stone cellar at the end of the pipe, pondering its stolen illuminator and deciding how best to dispose of it. Rubble chokes the entryway on the far wall, rendering it impassable (although the Nightbringer can slip through easily). The illuminator sits in the center of the cellar, an unlit candle in its holder (Bottenfeld left it and the creature did not think to remove it).
Once confronted, the Nightbringer fights with all of its might to defeat the Heroes. If that’s not possible, it will do whatever it can to destroy the invention before they manage to drive it off. If one of the Heroes thinks to ignite the candle in the machine, the entire cellar blazes with light (considered bonfire strength). The Nightbringer howls in obvious pain as beams from the numerous mirrors pierce its body. It flashes past the Heroes through the nearest exit, its body now torn and tattered. Cries of pain echo after it for some time.
If its path is blocked (i.e., a Hero with a light source is positioned both in front of the pipe and the rubble-strewn entrance), the Nightbringer writhes horribly in the center of the room as the light seeps into its essence. It will try to knock any light source out of the blocking Heroes’ hands, but will otherwise be unable to inflict any harm. If it remains in the chamber for more than 3 rounds, it collapses into a puddle of shadows before slowly dissolving into nothing.
Returning Bottenfeld’s notebook to the Invisible College rewards 3 favor, plus an additional 3 favor if the illuminator is intact and its location given. Reporting the existence & information about the Nightbringer to Die Kreuzritter nets 2 favor, plus an additional 2 favor if the creature was destroyed.
1684, Secundus 3, Terdi
The Heroes deliberate for awhile to decide the best course of action on how to get the Illuminator out of this cellar. Lucia ends up spending the night and subsequent day alone in the cellar, in the dark, guarding the device while Lorenz and Eilísh return to the Manor to recover from their wounds with the Eisen shadow monster and at nightfall they grab their fishing boat, The Stolen Kiss, and sail down the Rothstrom as close to the abandoned house over the cellar as possible. They smuggle the invention up out of the house and take it to Lucia's contact at the Bookstore.
1684, Secundus 7, Soldi
After a few days rest to recover from their battle with the Nightbringer…
Lorenz arranges a meeting with his Die Kreutzritter contact who comes to the manor to speak with him. The sever lack of furniture in the receiving room (and the Manor overall) prompts Lucia to spend some of her hard-earned Wealth and sends Armin out to get a few chairs, plus one for herself for the Library. Lorenz gets some reputation for reporting the death of the Nightbringer and turning in a small piece of the claw he found.
Before the Heroes have a chance to decide their next course of action in the city, the large door knocker at your front door pounds and the sound echoes throughout the empty Manor. Armin is already opening and answering the door and returns to the dining room a moment later. “Master, there is… a… umm… at the door. Well, he gave me this.” And holds out his outstretched hand… …At the door is a well-dressed, well groomed gentleman with a disarming smile.“Good morning Lord and Ladies, I heard rumor that a new Baron or Baroness Drachenheim was named and has recently arrived in town.Might that be one of you?”Lorenz introduces himself.“Ahh, yes, a pleasure. I believe then, this needs to be delivered to you, sir.”
Julias P. Thornton is a barrister here to collect on a 20,000G loan taken out by the previous Baron Drachenheim, Reinhardt Damask.Mr. Thornton is a cheerful individual, and feels somewhat embarrassed bringing this matter to a new Baron, but he must collect the money nonetheless, it is his job.
- OPPORTUNITY (Examine the loan): The loan is genuine, taken out by Lord Damask about 6 months ago, presumably once he had sold off whatever there was left of value in the Manor. All the paperwork is in order and according to the terms of the loan Lorenz, being the new official Baron Drachenheim, is responsible for this debt.
- OPPORTUNITY (Sweet talk Mr. Thornton): “Hmm… I see you truly knew nothing of this debt. I want to be fair, so I’ll give you a 30-day extension to raise the money. I realize this is a hardship for you, but I simply cannot afford to lose much more time, and technically you ARE leagally liable for it. If you cannot pay back this loan in one month’s time, I shall be forced to bring this matter to the courts. I am truly sorry to bring this burden upon you.”
- Give the heroes some time to fret about this development. Once they start to feel a bit more secure, but before they run off to carry out one of their schemes, there is another knock at the door. Armin gives the party a worried look and goes to answer it. He returns, whitefaced, with another card in his hand.
At the door is another man, this one wearing a noticeably more dour expression. “Hershel Hobbs, I am here to collect a debt owed to me by the Baron Drachenheim.” Hershel is all business and has no intention of giving Lorenz an extension. Any attempt at negotiating will only annoy him. He has been waiting a long time to collect.
- OPPORTUNITY (Cross-reference this loan with Mr. Thornton’s): Unfortunatley this loan appears genuine as well, and is for even more money (35,000G), however a few things do stand out. This loan was NOT taken out by Lord Damask, but a previous Baron Drachenheim, one Lord Anselm Karavaccio over 5 years ago. The paperwork here suggests the debt has remained buried in legalities all this time. The chances of both of these loans being brought to your doorstep in the same morning are… remote.
- OPPORTUNITY (Find a legal loophole – requires scholarship): Looking over the paperwork you are able to discover a small loophole that may buy you some time since Mr. Hobbs does not seem inclined to play quite as nicely as Mr. Thornton. This loan includes a clause buried deep in the documents that states if the debt is overdue for more than one year and has changed owners in that time the new owner of the debt can file a formal grievance with the debtor and call for a full review of the loan documents. You doubt the debt will be forgiven, but that should at least buy you some time to figure out a plan.
- Let the heroes fret for a few moments, hopefully they are starting to panic and considering drastic measures. At this point, the sounds of an argument can be heard at the front door. Armin lets out an exasperated “Oh dear!” and goes to answer it once more. He returns chasing two men and a woman into the room, they all seem to be arguing with each other AND Armin simultaneously. Once everyone quiets down enough to sort out the details, it appears that all told Baron Drachenheim owes 5 different debtors for loans taken out over the course of 2 decades for a grand total of 150,000G. All the contracts are legitimate and all the debtors were apparently told about your new title as soon as you got to town. The arguing reaches a fever pitch, each barrister fighting for who gets to be repaid first. Just as they all start to come to the agreement of taking this matter to the courts, Armin speaks up from the corner. “Please sirs, the Baron and his friends are good people. If I sign a guarantee that the debts will be paid will you give us some time to come up with the money? I am well-known around Freiburg and I will happily vouch for my new Master.” The debtors fall silent at this remark and consider the offer. Armin is indeed an institution in this neighborhood and they seem to be satisfied with that arrangement. Before any of you can object Armin has signed each debt and tied his fate to yours. With some final grumbling your guests leave the Manor and you are left alone to ponder just what has befallen you.
- OPPORTUNITY (Go over all these loans with a fine-tooth comb): You three take all your new reading material into the library and pour over it for a few hours. You don’t see any way out of this responsibility other than to repay the loans. The only thing that strikes an odd chord is one of the signatures; Redmund Earhart was present and a witness to all 5 loans at the times of their signings.
- IF THE HEROES ASK ARMIN ABOUT REDMUND EARHART: “Oh, he is a very powerful man in Freiburg. He owns many of the resident buildings across several districts. I suppose it is a bit odd that he signed all of these loans, however it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility. If your intentions are to question Mr. Earhart about these loans, please consider doing so with discretion. He has been an established name in the city for a long time and is very influential. He will not be intimidated by newcomers such as yourselves so easily, and he has the power to make life difficult for you, if he sees you as a threat.”
- Once again before you have a chance to actually put a plan into motion, almost as if on cue, you all hear an enormous CRASH come from the cellar and you feel the foundation of the Manor tremble. As you head downstairs to investigate the first thing you see is the floor of the basement is currently under about a foot of water. It turns out cellar wall nearest the river has partially collapsed, and more water is seeping in gradually. If the heroes wish, they can spend some time and effort patching up the hole as best they can, and they will at least prevent any further collapse until they get a professional to do a more permanent job.
- OPPORTUNITY (Investigate the foundation): Upon closer inspection it appears the foundation is not in any immediate danger from collapse, however it would be best to have someone make professional repairs as soon as possible. One more development makes itself known during the assessment; as you make your way through the basement, on the North wall furthest from the damage you detect an area that seems to have been re-plastered. The work was not recent by any stretch of the word, in fact the repairs appear to have been done so long ago that the overall age of the house makes it seem nearly imperceptible to the rest of the walls. It is obviously door shaped…
- Breaking away the plaster reveals a door whose frame is anchored directly into the bedrock. It stands about 6 feet high, 3 feet wide, and is mostly unadorned except for a single seal depicting a fox leaping over a sleeping hound. Two keyholes can also be seen, one above the seal and one below.
- OPPORTUNITY (Investigate the door – Lorenz only): The door seems to have a strange glimmer you know you’ve seen before. That metal… The door, its hinges, and its frame are made entirely out of Dracheneisen!
OPPORTUNITY (Remember something – Lucia only): That seal of the fox and the hound. You know you’ve seen it somewhere before… Perhaps while you were exploring the multitude of literature in the library?
The game session ended here.