When we last left of, our intrepid hero was facing certain doom. What shall become of him, you ask? O woe is me, not Eckhardt! Not my favorite character, said one reader who definitely did exist… *cough*
Eckhardt finds himself utterly disgusted by the Baroness, and now knowing for certain that she must be in league with some cultist activities (not to mention he recognizes Alric Eisenhaurer on the wanted poster from earlier) he charges at her, halberd lowered. At that precise moment, a few things became apparent in Brother Rufus’s mind (the Morr Priest that escorted Eckhardt); “Shit, did I really just let him in with all his weapons?” & “Damn, I better tongue him…”
Opening his mouth, he unleashed a long sizzling tongue dripping in acid towards Eckhardt. It wrapped around his throat but failed to ensnare him. However the sizzling tongue burnt him severely in the limited seconds it was around his throat, causing him great pain.
-Least Eckhardt got some tongue action…
Biting his tongue (ha!…) Eckhardt continued on towards the now screaming Baroness as her fate drew near, and Morr’s bells rang. And indeed they did ring for the Baroness as Eckhardt swiped at her and with his trademark blow, severing her head. As her head rolled to the side, Eckhardt reacted in disgust at the sight of two long protruding eye-stalks growing out at both sides of her head.
Job done, Eckhardt thought. Mission accomplished, time to celebrate!
“O… I’m in a castle. High up. Surrounded by guards. Guards! Is someone shouting for guards? Shit…”
Indeed. Alric has left the room and is roaring at the top of his voice for more guards, as the other two guards that had followed Eckhardt upstairs come in. One wielding a halbard, another a sword. Both are wearing chainmail but full plate helmets. They charge at him. Eckhardt is hard pressed to maneuver in the small confined space and is holding them off as he looks at his options. He see’s a window that could be his exit, and tries to make a dash for it but one of the guards cuts him off.
Rufus flicks out his tongue again towards Eckhardt but misses. Eckhardt deflects an incoming swipe on his right from the guard, and dodges an attack from the one his left flank. Seeing an opening, Eckhardt strikes out at the guard with the halberd, two deadly blows land, striking him down. The other guard comes in with a blow, landing true. Eckhardt takes it in his stride and returns the blow. The guard is hanging on for dear life. Rufus, the Morr priest (who by the way has Kemmler’s diary now) decides to flee, not fairing his chances.
Eckhardt finally kills the guard as Rufus leaves. Not wanting to waste any time, he runs towards the only window.
Looking down from at least 4 stories high, Eckhardt is unfortunately facing the cliff-side of the castle. Nothing but ragged rocks greet him below. Some even speak with the voice of the GM, “Jump! You know you want to! Go on, life is shit anyhow!” But ignoring that voice, he looks up instead to see his options. It looks like a hard climb, but Eckhardt reckons its doable, but far too risky and it would mean having to leave his halberd behind.
Hearing more voices now, Eckhardt readies himself. 3 more guards come in. One with a sword and shield, another with just a sword and one with a halberd. Eckhardt reckons the halberd wielder is the biggest threat and goes for him. Rufus comes back as well and starts flicking his tongue at Eckhardt.
Eckhardt is whittled down and bleeding profusely as the fight carries on. He has killed the halberd wielding guard with a cunning strike, but heavily wounded and barely holding on, he doesn’t fancy his chances. Playing a more conservative fight, Eckhardt decides to parry an incoming blow and dodge another which he is proving to be very effective at. He see’s an opening with the guard opposite him that has the shield, and goes in for the killing blow. He lands true, but he leaves himself open as the guard comes in with a strike, and only just barely misses as Eckhardt catches it with his halberd. Rufus however is Eckhardt’s undoing as the acidic tongue flicks out and wraps itself around Eckhardt; the acid burns around his throat and the pain is too much as Eckhardt falls unconscious.
“Kill him!” shouts Refus, and the guard is about to comply when a voice is heard, “No… I want him alive!”
It’s Alric Eisenhaurer. (At this point he uses a fate point which leads to Alric’s intervention, otherwise the guard would have run him through)
Back on the docks, the party are growing increasingly concerned about Eckhardt.
As they discuss what they should do, a dozen beggars show up at their boat.
“Please kind sirs, would ya have a penny to spare?”
“Or something to eat at least?” says another.
“Maybe a loaf of bread?”
“We be poor folk, only after a few coppers, kind sirs.”
Ulrico, probably a case of wanting them to go away quicker than their smell can reach his nostrils, tosses them a hefty portion of his own rations.
The beggars fight amongst themselves for the meager rations and tot off back towards the town scoffing their rewards.
The party have come to a decision; Durgin, Ulrico and Tafwick head off towards the Garden of Morr, as Eckhardt did state he was going to go there to hand over the book.
Kall Horst and Borri remain on the boat. Kall fears for Belvar’s safety and stays close to him at all times, while Borri, well… Borri does what dwarfs do best. He drinks. Not much is left of Josef Bugman’s Triple-X now at this stage.
As they continue through the town towards the distant walls of the Garden of Morr, the party can’t help but feel at unease. This town gives them the creeps, and would appear all but abandoned if it wasn’t for the few stragglers here and there.
Along the way they pass a large garden that must’ve been a park at one stage in the center of town. Now, it’s trees are bare and not a single bird chirps from within its domain.
Further up, approaching them, they spot a woman clutching a small clunky blanket in their arms. She walks up to them, saying, “Good sirs… would you happen to have any medicine on you?”
Tafwick remarks that Ulrico is a dab hand at that sort of thing, and Ulrico inquires as to what she needs the medicine for.
“It’s for my baby you see. The physician here is next to useless, and I don’t know what to do. Can you at least have a look? He’s very sick.”
Ulrico gets closer and the woman unfurls the blankets in her arms to reveal a tiny baby.
– Spiderbaby! Dougal was right!
Ulrico is horrified although does a remarkable job at not showing it, possibly out of fear that Durgin the Child Killer might have a go at this young-un. But it’s quite apparent that the baby is turning into a spider. Multiple eyes are growing out of her forehead and instead of a pair of legs, the baby has tiny little hairy spider legs.
“… I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do for him. Sorry,” Ulrico says in his calmest voice. The woman walks on.
“What was all that about?” Tafwick and Durgin ask.
“That was a mutant… Something is very wrong here.”
The party draw their swords and continue on ever more cautiously towards the Garden of Morr.
They reach the garden. Overgrowing and unkempt, they remark how unusual it is for a priest of Morr to let his treasured garden to get out of control like this. The party also notices that the headstones on many of the graves are cracked, some parts even missing.
They continue on into the temple. The place is eerily silent. They see on the ground, a dust trail of footprints, leading in and out of the temple.
They see a door at the far back. They approach it but its locked. However fear not, says Durgin, as he smashes the lock with his axe, although not before Tafwick has a go with his lockpick, but proves that he is anything but skilled at the art.
They ransack the priests room after finding it deserted. Tafwick takes a vial that contains some liquid, although there’s no label. Not much else is found. There is plenty of books however, but Tafwick doesn’t make a note of going through them and there are far too many for the time that they have.
“Hello? Brother Rufus?”
They hear a mans voice.
Tafwick hides in the shadows as Ulrico, the face of the party, comes out and greets him, sword in hand. The man is middle aged with balding grey hair, and dressed in dirty commoner rags. He appears highly alarmed at the sight of Ulrico and even more so at the shattered door.
They tell him that they were looking for their friend, Eckhardt, and that they thought he might be here. The man tells them that he was looking for Rufus, the local priest of Morr, as a burial needs to be arranged.
Not getting anything useful information out of either, the man leaves. The party, with no leads to follow, make their way back to the boat.
Meanwhile, at the barge…
Kall Horst see’s a hooded man approach.
Part 2 of this blog will be written up later during the week!