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 Post subject: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:14 am 
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"Silence is your strongest shield."

As the weeks go by with more strange disappearances, and adventurers popping through town only to vanish into the forest never to be seen again, Farhold grows increasingly uneasy. There are whisperings in the remaining leadership, aside from the Baron who has become all but a recluse. One night, there is a clandestine meeting between three figures of local repute...


OOC: Make a Diplomacy or Connections check to spy.


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:28 am 
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One of the Knot's spies manages to sneak into the meeting and hears everything that passes between those present, which include Sir Valin Darian and the ineffective mayor, Hugo Hallenbeck. Lady Marsten, Sir Bonder, and the Baron were invited, but are conspicuous by their absence. Sir Valin decides to dispatch a messenger to his cousin the King, telling of the strange and tragic goings-on in Farholde, so reminiscent of the fall of Balentyne.

Unfortunately, the Bound man in question lets that success go to his head. Rather than immediately alerting his superiors, he decides to take things upon himself and trails the messenger to the ship he is to sail on. It is at that point that the spy's luck runs out, and a group of Sir Valin's soldiers and the few surviving nuns from the Abbey find and capture him. The report he left behind in his home is not found by the rest of the Bound until the ship is over the horizon.

He knows little of the Knot's greater reach, and nothing of what goes on in the Horn, but between his interrogation and execution, and the results of the message to come, make operations in Farholde slightly more difficult henceforth.

(Failed check, resulting in -1 to Survivability and Secrecy.)


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:12 am 
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The Sister Hospitaler who accompanied Sir Valin awakens in pitch blackness. Her head throbs, nausea bubbling up from a blow struck during battle. Other unwelcome sensations follow, one after another intruding upon her mind. Darkness. Tight bonds, her ankles and her wrists above her head. Wood - a table? - under her back. Nakedness, and heat against her bare skin, something very hot not far from her side. And then a voice.

"So. You were not there with your sisters when doom came knocking."

The sound of papers shuffling.

"An agent has reported that there are several other surviving nuns holed up in Farshore. You and your sisters killed him before he could report their names and where they are hiding. But you yourself, of course, could answer these same questions."

Light at last, but it is not a friendly light. Red light streams from a brazier of coals by the Sister's side as the lid is lifted, illuminating a chamber of horrors. Pokers and brands heat in the coals. Here is a spiked chair, there a rack of saws, and beside them a set of thumbscrews and a coiled rope and noose lie stacked neatly on a table. In the far corner, the Iron Maiden, forged of black wrought iron, broods darkly.

And... a pretty, dark-haired woman, her conservative dress showing no skin besides the face, holding the brazier lid, looking down at her.

"I hope that you will answer these questions without difficulty. For you and I both, but especially for you, because I will endure."

Pretty, but she seems sad.

"I do hope so. But I do not expect it."

[torture chamber - Intimidate 33]


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:57 pm 
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The sister takes a long time to break under Puella's untender ministrations... but break she does, after much praying, crying, and cursing of the heathen witch.

She is hardly coherent by the point her resistance collapses, but Puella manages to glean that a handful of the survivors are in the watchtower of Hamarhal, stiffening the skeleton crew left of Sir Valin's men. (The Knights who accompanied him, by the way, were old friends from his army days, not part of the garrison.) The rest are boarded with citizens of Farholde, or else traveling south, she knows not where in either case.


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:12 am 
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"Show me a memory of each traveling sister, to go with each name. Open your mind. Think of them. Do not resist."

Puella looks down as the tear-stained, burned face, as the woman hesitates.

"Do you need to learn more lessons today? No? Good."

The witch's magic invades the prisoner's mind.

[share memory]


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:26 am 
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"I told you, the only ones I know are the ones with me at the watchtower. Some would have tried to escape and send warning, yes, but I don't know who exactly."

Puella's mental violation reveals that the woman is speaking the truth; plans for the worst were made in the Abbey, and Mother Temperance gave some sisters specific orders, while telling others to follow their own conscience. Each individual sister knew only her own orders, not those of any other until after the fact.


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 Post subject: Re: A Call for Aid (Week 20)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:48 am 
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"Good girl. For your obedience, I will take some of your burden. Don't scream."

A minor charm of healing. Not enough to undo all that was done to this woman.

And the last command proves impossible, for as always, Puella's healing recalls the pain of the wounds that were dealt as it reverses them. And these have been painful wounds indeed.

Still, after passing this second crucible, the spell brings a measure of relief.

Puella watches as the prisoner is dragged off, to join the other gifted sisters being held by the Knot. So the Abbess alone knows the names and the faces. The witch will have to proceed through other channels.


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