Note: Historical and geographical accuracy was never an intention to this game, and any actual appearance to the real world equivalents is purely coincidental and/or poorly researched.
The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Krieger Von Brawn, German old-fashioned Knight
Lyubov “Love Sausage” Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress
1st of November in the year of Our Lord 1620
Location: Dunwich, England
Each of the members have traveled far and wide to reach their destination. Each had the dreams of an African Ju Ju man showing them the path to take to reach the All-Saints Monastery overlooking the town a Dunwich below to the southwest and the encroaching cliff to the west. The monastery looked to be a converted watchtower from the days of Roman occupation with substantial additions to the leeward side of the large stone parapet tower. The sky was cast gray and a cold wind from winter’s heart blew in early this year. The travelers huddle at the main entrance door to shield themselves from the bitter wind. With heavy knocks upon the stout wood door it was no long before a monk dressed in a simple dark brown woolen robe and rope sash answered the travelers’ calling.
“we’ve have sought out your monastery.” one of the travelers said attempting to shake the cold from his body as the travelers entered a simple main hall heated from modest hearths. “Has anyone recently traveled here?” Another traveler continued. The monk shook his head and asked if travelers would allow him to fetch Brother Silas as he would be a better answer to their questions. The young monk trotted away leaving the travelers an opportunity to look upon their surroundings.
The inside of the monastery was a simple as the exterior save if better repair. The spare furniture consisted mostly of pews and long bench some with stout long tables of dark wood. The walls were a simple plaster over the stone and wooden structure with simple tapestries of images from scripture. The other monks regarded the travelers with little interest and continued with their daily duties.
It wasn’t long before the young monk returned with an older monk similarly dressed with a tonsure hair cut such as many of the other elder monks her an a simple wooden cross about his neck. “I am Brother Silas. What brings travelers such as yourselves to our monastery?” he asked with a kind and humble tone.
“We ask if you have a Master Solomon Kane here?” The travelers replied.
“we do in fact, he has been here for some time. Unfortunately, he is not well and soon will be with our lord and savior.”
“It is important that we see him. We each have travel many miles to reach this place, and each of us has been moved by his wanderings. Allow us one last visit.” the travelers spoke. Brother Silas was moved to allow these travelers to pay their thanks and respect to a man that had done so much righteous work in his quest for justice.
High in the tower was Solomon Kane’s chamber. A slowly dying fire provided the only light and heat to his small stone room. Its red-orange glow revealing only a slouch hat on a bed post and a cat headed staff leaned against the wall. When the travelers entered the chamber the tall, lean man turned to face the door which stood opposite to his bed. The man’s long hair was white with age and his expression was dour and grim made pale by his age. Yet his piercing blue eyes still were still filled with a divine fire as he gazed upon the travelers. The travelers had no doubt, Solomon Kane was dying.
Solomon Kane leaned himself up ever so slightly to speak with the travelers, each he remembered his is traveling days. He allowed himself a slight grin as each of them filled him with hope. N’Longa dream magic had brought more Wanderers. The Last Wanderers.
Solomon took his time to speak.
“There is great evil in this world. Evil and injustice that is whispered as superstition beyond man’s comprehension. This world needs Wanderers to seek out these injustices and great evils to become paragons of justice. Upon the table next to the door is a small box with bronze signet rings with the fleur de lis upon them. This symbolizes your commitment to walking the Path of Kane. Evil with attempt to lure from this path but those who stay true will be able to summon forth a righteous rage to combat the darkness. Taking up one of these rings you make a oath to side with god in the fight of good and evil. The path is a difficult one and not all that walk it will survive with their mortal body, but their immortal soul is assured salvation. Choose to walk my path or return to your former life.”
Each traveler reached into the small wooden box retrieving a small bronze ring. As the last of the travelers placed their ring upon their finger, the small fire in the chamber died, and with it, so did Solomon Kane. The last Wanderers of Solomon Kane remained in the small stone chamber of the monastery tower for a moment longer in silence. Some reflected their experience with Solomon Kane while other offered a prayer to god in his name. Outside the wind died down and the clouds broke to allow the little seen English sun.
The Wanderers returned to the main hall and discussed with Brother Silas what had occurred. Brother Silas spoke that he would make the needed arrangements and the Wanderers were free to stay at the monastery until the funeral. Supper would be served soon and Brother Silas offered the Wanderers a place at the table. Each agreed and as they ate, Simon VanHadley told a censored version of his first encounter with Solomon Kane finishing with a toast of the monk’s dark ale, “To Solomon Kane.” Each Wanderer recounted their tale of meeting the Puritan Wanderer with another toast, “To Solomon Kane.”
It was as the young Russian Noble Annastasija Grunov was finishing her story that a light argument could be heard at the main entrance. It did not take long for the Wanderers curiosity to draw them to the heavy wooden doors. There a monk was talking to a man with of fine dress. He appeared to becoming quite frustrated dealing with the humble monk. The Wanderers quickly interfered with this gentleman.
“I seek the aid of Solomon Kane, a Villain has captured my wife! I know he stays here by the this monk insists that Kane can no longer help anyone. What is the meaning of this?” the gentleman blustered. It was Captain MacLeod who informed the stranger of Kane’s death. The stranger quickly calmed himself begged pardon from the monks. He introduced himself as John Hollins a wealthy merchant living in Dunwich. I told the wanderers that he suspected Duke Gregory Banner of kidnapping his wife Mary. When Hollins sought the constabulary to investigate the Banner Estate he was denied. Losing his temper,he sought out Banner and accused him of the kidnapping. Banner used this to challenge Hollins to a duel of blades. Hollins agreed to save both his honor and should he slay Banner in a duel he could force the Constables to allow search of Banner’s Mansion. During the duel Hollins managed to wound Banner in the arm drawing blood. The duel was called then despite both men wanting death of the other for satisfaction. He came to the All Saints Monastery to seek the aid of Solomon Kane.
The Wanderers agreed to help John Hollins and they traveled with the merchant down to Dunwich. Hollins explained he hoped to sneak into the Manor to find and rescue his Mary. However, Duke Hollins has allowed his manor to become a den of scoundrels and pirates. This would prove to much of a challenge for Hollins with out the aid of a skilled swordsman or pistoleer. As the Wanderers traveled the road back to Dunwich, from this hill in the last rays of the setting sun, a ship could seen out in the water at a much greater than distance from Dunwich than needed. William MacLeod time as a Royal Marine, knew this was a common strategy for smugglers and pirates. From the distance the ship dropped anchor, it would be impossible to read its marking even with a powerful spyglass. At Dunwich there was a disagreement about the plan to rescue Mary. Krieger Von Brawn was stubbornly against the idea of taking a skiff to approach seaside. He claimed it would take far too long, it would be dangerous, there was no guarantee of passage, and he would risk his life simply wearing his heavy armor of the choppy waters surrounding Dunwich. He left the other Wanderers to make his entrance by the front door. He flatly stated that he would wait until after dusk before making his approach and left.
The Wanderers traveled to the fisherman docks after most men had retired for the day. They were fortunate to locate a lone fisherman who finishing his work before he lost the sunlight. Captain MacLeod asked for use of a skiff for the night for 5 pounds. The fisherman told the Soct, that not only would they have the boat, but the fisherman himself would row them out to their destination.
As the Wanderers and John Hollins made their way to the rocky beaches of the Banner Estate. Krieger Von Brawn moved toward the Manor. The property while extensive, had fallen into disrepair. The Shrubs and grounds were over grown and choked with weeds. The large mansion had chipped paint and fallen boards from neglect. Even the heavy wroght iron bars upon the windows were rusted. Von Brawn made no effort to conceal is presence and noticed a half dozing face in a second floor window notice his arrival. He reasoned that the man was a guard as Krieger’s presence caused the face to vanish from sight. This fact did not break his stride no deter his focus. He pounded on the heavy door and waited…and waited. He mental prepared himself for a fight as he waited. An elderly servant answered the door after much time. Von Brawn wasted no time and faster than the eye could follow Krieger’s gauntleted fist made contact with the elderly man’s jaw. The servant fell instantly with a soft thud and looking from around a corner a maid shrieked in panic at the sight of violence and disappeared down a dark corridor. Von Brawn knew he could not catch the maid. He ducked into a dimly lit room concealing himself behind heavy curtains. Even in heavy armor he remained completely silent waiting for his would be foes to find him.
Krieger Von Brawn waited nearly ten minutes before he heard men searching the mansion for this intruder that attacked the butler. Von Brawn silently slid his long sword form his sheath and held his breath as he heard men begin to search the room he was in. There were three men in the room one searching on the opposite side of the room, one at the door with the ligh, and one whose heavy boots were slowly shuffling toward the curtain.
The books moved slowly, Von Brawn could feel a bit of sweat forming on his brow in anticipation. The searching man stood but a pace away and grasped the thick material of the curtain to reveal Krieger’s hiding spot. As the curtain was pulled back, Krieger Von Brawn launched at the searcher with blinding speed. His blade slicing through the other man killing his instantly. It was then that Krieger realized who the searching men were. The were the Dunwich Constabulary hunting the man who assaulted the Duke’s servant. Krieger only thought of escape as he eyes only saw the pistols of the constables being leveled at him. Krieger threw his shield at the the man blocking the door simultaneously ruining his shot as the constable sergeant reeled back from the attack. Krieger had made it to the door as the other constable fired his weapon. The shot penetrated through his heavy armor like a needle through cloth and Krieger could feel the burning sting of lead as it tore into his upper chest. Krieger pushed past the constable at the door and the servant behind him with little effort and ran toward the front entrance of the manor. As he felt the cold sea air hit him he almost thought he had escaped, but then he noticed to guards each armed with wheellock muskets at the ready. The guards had heard the shot inside a were waiting for him. Each bullet struck the German noble like hammers. Krieger’s body nearly gave out, but deep within himself he mustered the determination to keep moving when most men would have blacked out. Von Brawn stumbled down the stairs of Banner Manor. The guards paused a moment shocked that a man could be still standing with such wounds before rushing the armored intruder using their muskets as clubs to bring him down. Krieger Von Brown could not withstand further onslaught. He was knocked senseless with a blow to the head.
On the other side of the Banner Estate the rest of the Wanderers reached the small beach that sat below the rocky cliffs of the Manor above. MacLeod was pleased with the fisherman’s skill to navigate the skiff among the rocks and glad he paid the man some handsomely. It was the Russian Strongman who discovered tracks that led the wanderers to the black rock cliffs. Yet it took some searching by Sir Barnabas Ridd to locate the tunnel entrance. The tunnel was wide enough to allow a small hand cart to travel back and forth through the nearly straight passage. It was only a dozen or more paces down the passage that the wanderers found their way blocked by a and iron bar door. The Russian Strongman attempted to pull the door off its seawater rusted hinges, but they held tight. Anastasia remembers a set of lockpicks she had and attempted to force the lock despite only reading how to do such a task from books. Miraculously, she picked the lock though made it impossible to ever lock again.
The wanderers continued along the passage cut into the stone until they heard the sound of men laughing as if they reached a lively tavern. Wasting no time, Lyvbov Kolbasy charged in with his great axe held high over his head. He soon discovered himself in the large cellar of Banner Manor. The cellar was filled with nearly two dozen pirates all enjoying themselves with drinking and gambling until the strongman cleft one their own skull with his mighty axe. As the first man fell pirates reached for their knives and cutlasses to carve this intruder to pieces. However, Sir Ridd and the others were quick to back Kolbasy in the cellar weapons at the ready. The two sides held for a moment. The pirates would likely be the victor in a skirmish with the Wanderers by sheer numbers and the Wanderers knew this. Sir Ridd opened a parley with thier leader, the first mate of the Bloody Hand, Stumpblade.
“Surely your men will likely defeat us in mass combat, however; I think the losses to your side would be catastrophic to you leaving you less than a skeleton crew for your ship. Let us leave with the girl and we will give you and your men the time it takes us to leave and locate the constables to flee to your ship.” the English noble said slyly.
“I purpose a counter offer. You select your champion and we select ours to a duel such as they did in King David times. Because you drew blood of mine crew, it shall be to the death and I choose the weapon.”
“I accept.” stated the Russian stepping forward arrogantly.
“Good, the weapon will be knives and I will be my champion.” smirked Stumpblade as he drew his nasty knife and twirled it between his fingers menacingly. Upon seeing the knife, Captain MacLeod recalled where he heard the name Stumpblade. It was the name of a vicious and deadly knife fighter who was rumored to have killed over a dozen men in a ‘fair’ knife fight. The Russian was big and strong and knew something of fighting, but with short blade in the confined space of this cellar, his odds were stacked against him. Stumpblade was pirate welcomed fighting in tight areas from years of below deck ship confrontations. He was more skilled with the knife than any man. The Russian size and strength would be used against him. Unless, Russian held tight the pirate in grapple. The strongman already boasted that he wrestled bears for the circus, perhaps if he could manage to lock up his opponent he could would have a chance. As the pirates cleared a space for the duel each cheering in bloodlustful glee of this gutting of the giant axeman would slain of their own, Captain MacLeod whispered his tactic to Lyubov.
As Stumpblade stepped into the small circle of sweaty drunk pirates he removed his shirt and was naked from the waste up save a gaudy silk kerchief upon his head. He tossed his knife from hand to hand in anticipation while the large Russian simple cock his head to the side with an audible crack. The pirate was first to strike and slashed at the Russian scoring a deep scratch to his left upper arm. Lyubov swung back in fury catching nothing but air as the nimble Stumpblade leap away only to drive another attack. The pirate lunge was too aggressive, and Stumpblade was shocked as his larger foe sidestepped the thrust which caught one of his own men. Lyubov used this chance to place the first mate of the Bloody Hand into a half Nelson leveraging his own dirk over the dark bosom of the villain. If the pirate was to live this would a challenge of strength. Stumpblade tried to pull the stronger Kolbasy’s weapon arm from his body, but the strongman’s blade inched closer to the pirate’s black heart. Soon the tip of dirk pierced the rouge’s flesh with a trickle of blood. The fight was over, Stumpblade did not know it yet. The pirate’s strength was failing against the power of his larger opponent as the blade sunk deeper into his flesh. Then Stumpblade’s resisted faded as his own knife fell to the stone floor lifeless. Lyubov sunk his dirk to the hilt into his enemy, tossed the body aside, and wiht both arms extended sounded a mighty yalp in triumph.
Duke Banner was already at the sea cave exit when Stumpblade’s life left him. John Hollins had kept close eye upon him the entire duel and was also working his way to the exit. As the Bloody Hand’s first mate fell and his victor screamed the pirate’s morale broke and they scattered up the stairs ignoring the Wanderers who had at this time seen Hollins chase after Banner. Anastasia unlike her companions moved to comfort and free Mary from the manacles that bound her to the stonewall.
John Hollins caught up with Duke Banner on the rocky beaches of his estate. Both drew their rapiers and renewed the duel they had earlier in the day. John Hollins raised his blade and spoke, “This time, it’s for keeps.” He lunged with blinding speed his rapier pierced the Duke’s defense straight to the chest. What should have been a fatal blow was absorbed by the hidden chainmail under Banner’s coat.
The two battled savagely trading thrusts and parries. Hollins was clearly a better fighter than Banner, but the Duke’s extraordinary strong mail deflected many would-be finishing strokes. John Hollins put everything in an all-or-nothing strike to his sworn enemy. His thin blade struck true on the chest of Duke Banner. His rapier finally pierced the armor but only a little of his steel cut Banner’s flesh. The armor gave off a strange electric jolt that traveled up the blade and arm of Hollins before his sword shattered at the hilt. Shaken Hollins stared at the broken sword in his hand as Banner countered with a incapacitating blow.
Duke Gregory Banner clutched his wounded side where John Hollins blade had penetrated his mail when Lyubov charged at the noble placing a celft in his skull with his great axe slaying the Duke Banner instantly. Ridd checked on Hollins and bound his wounds. Anastasia freed Mary from the manacles bound to the stone wall and helped her to find her husband. MacLeod captured as many of the pirates as he could though many escaped including a particularly nasty one with a large scar curving upwards from the left side of his mouth giving his face that of a malicious sneer. The pirates were shocked to find constables were already on the first floor conducting an investigation.
John Hollins attempted to free Von Brawn from his sentence of hanging for the murder of a constable of Dunwich. However, Hollins and the Wanderers exposing the Duke involvement of smuggling, kidnapping, and associating with pirates was made Duke as his family was reinstated as nobility.
The Wanderers and the new Duke Hollins attended the funeral of Solomon Kane buried on a bluff overlooking the sapphire seas. Duke Hollins vowed to aid the Wanderers where he could and would keep track of Captain MacBloode the pirate of the Bloody Hand whose crew and first mate were captured or killed by the Wanderers. With only a break in the cold weather, the Last Wanderers begun following the path of Kane.