The Last Wanderers of Solomon Kane

Skull of Darkness
In their efforts to defeat a company of slavers, the Wanderers learn something of the strange curse that aflicts the society.

Date: February 18, 1621
Location: The jungle-swamp north of the Kongo River

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress
Friedrick ?????, Bavarian Witch-hunter

Lybov had carved a swathe through men to reach the slaver boss with his giant steel axe stained crimson. The Russian made wide arcs with his weapon cleaving flesh like farmers reap wheat. The slaver boss held his ground shouting at his men to bring down the berserker as his white knuckles clenched his loaded musket. Before the he could even ready a shot, he found the strongman followed by his furious bear engaging him in melee. The slaver boss darted back and raised his musket to parry the heavy axe as Lybov brought it down in a powerful swing arc. The axe sundered the weapon has it flayed open the slaver boss. Continuing in a single sweeping motion, the Russian swept the mighty weapon about him killing another slaver and knocking down a third. Lybov released a powerful roar equal to that of a bear causing a handful of the slavers to drop their weapon and flee in a panic. Frederick with a calm hand from dozens of battles in experience aimed his wheellock pistol at the nearest slaver and fired bring the villain down with a thunderclap of the weapon. Amelius threw a volley of his knives before tumbling into the fray. The English rogue acrobatically spun around his opponent tricked by the scoundrel’s lame gait. Sir Barnabas Ridd found hisself surrounded by three of the cruel slavers as they tried to hack at his with cutlasses. However, none of the low dogs could push past the backwater noble’s sword and shield. On the opposite side of the field, Captain McLeod faced two the brutal slavers as he attempted to keep his fellow Wanderers from being overwhelmed. Amelius quickly stabbed one of the slavers in the back before he could finish his attack on the Scottish marine. The over fell under the Scot’s own blade. Both Amelius and Captain Macleod rushed to aid Sir Ridd who had wounded two of the slavers. The still standing slavers made a quick sweep of the battlefield noting their leader had been crushed and most their allies fallen threw down their swords and fell to their knees begging for their lives.
“Please, please ye masters, have mercy on ‘ur wretched hides!” explaimed on the Englsih brigands. He was murmured in French, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and even German. Clearly, these slavers were a diverse lot. Czarina Anastasia and her hand maiden had just finished freeing the mistreated and battered slaves as the fight ended. Her faced was filled with some concern as she looked over the malnourished and overworked Africans. Even with food, water, and proper healing some would not survive. She, along with Sir Ridd, began to ease the imprisoned natives who looked to have been force marched for weeks. Their wrists, ankles, and necks caked with rust-colored old blood from the shackles and nasty welts from where the slaver’s whip left its indelible mark upon their now frail bodies.
Lybov and Amelius were in agreement to kill the still living slavers as they deserved far worst for what they had done. These were not men as they cruelty was well beyond anything that could call itself human. Frederick offered that they may have useful information to the location of Kurtz’s compound. The still livening men quickly offered up they could take the Wanderers to Kurtz with uncalled for enthusiasm. Captain MacLeod had a better idea.
“We will take a guide to find Kurtz, but we only have need of one.” With that, the merchant marine plunged one of the discarded cutlasses into the ground in front the slaver who spoke. The other Wanderers stepped back to form a circle around the flesh peddlers. The slavers each looked at each other for a brief moment unsure what to do. Their treacherous instinct quickly whispered to each villain to take up a weapon and murder their former comrades. Inside the circle the worst of men turned on each other like hungry rats. The battle royal ended nearly as quickly as it started with only one survivor. A young English pirate, who had been dazed by the Russian’s axe in the first battle and had taken a bad cut to the ribs in the battle royal.

Date: January 1, 1621
Location: The Colony of Marias d’Tarascon

The Wanderers returned from the ancient Atlantean cemetery with a hollow feeling. They had stopped Marcel Tarascon, but they had not destroyed the undead monster. He and his brother Jean had escaped into the nearby swamps to the east. The Wanderers knew that the foul creature of undeath could return at anytime. The Wanderers would make sure that the colony was ready next time. Sir Ridd discussed with the other Wanderers on inducting some of those who fought against the army of the undead into the ranks of the Wanderers.
The bronze rings of the Flour de Lis to Pastor Brucian, Constable Gremin, and Jabari for their efforts. Only Gremin grumbled at the prospect but accepted. They would be the sentinels charged with fighting the Tarascons when they return.
The fighting had left the colony in shambles. Much of the south of Marias d’Tarascon had been razed and burned. The colony’s numbers were less than a third of what it was a month ago. Most of the men were dead or fled never to return. Despite the grim future ahead of the colony, the food stores where never touched and much of wine remained. After the dead had been removed and burned in the south field, the colony would honor those who fought with song and drink.

Date: January 15, 1621
Location: The Colony of Marias d’Tarascon

The Wanderers and colonists had recovered and re-fortified the inn returning much of the building back into the old colonial factory it once was when it was first built. A light palisade had been erected around the inn and would serve as the foundation to a better fortification should any army living or dead seek to destroy the colony.
The Wanderers had recovered themselves from their wounds and felt if Marcel was to return soon, he would have already. Anastasia taught Pastor Burcian how to read the Scroll of Hysoka and the other Wanderers prepared Gremin and Jabari. The Wanderers left Marias d’Tarascon with only the surviing marines and sailors they brought with them. They in good conscience, take any men to fill their losses upon the Radiance. They left Simon VanHadley to study the cemetery and help in the rebuilding as his talents as a healer would be a great boon. The Radiance’s hold was also light on equipment donated to the colony. The Wanderers knew that the mining of the loadstone would take considerably longer without it.
Before the Radiance left, Jabari gave the Wanderers a rough map of the mountains up the River Kongo. She informed the others which tribes in that region would be likely to aid them in mining if they provided the right gift. She also marked upon the map, the places of tribes that would be unlikely to allow whites onto their territory.

Date: January 29, 1621
Location: The Ruwenzori Mountains

Anastasia’s dreams had been grow worst as the Wanders had finished selecting a mining site of for the lodestone to build the apparatus to capture the strange entity at the Gardner Farm back in England.

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Maisma of War (Part 2)
The Wanderers seek out the Sroll of Hysoka to stop the zombie master and his army of undead.

Date: December 29, 1620
Location: The Colony of Marias d’Tarascon

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress

The colony and the Wanderers endured the storm and battle with an army of undead.

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Maisma of War (Part 1)
The Wanderers become entangeled in a murder mystery to ramifactions beyond thier imgainations.

Date: December 26, 1620
Location: The Slave Coast of Africa

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress
Friedrick ?????, Bavarian Witch-hunter

The weather at sea had changed from endless blue of sky and water to a shroud of gray as a fog set in and never lifted. It had been days since any upon the Radianace had seen the sun. Despite the month of winter the temperature remained much like when the Wanderers left England.

Incomplete

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Cat and Mouse
On the way to the Dark Continent, the Wanderers investigate revenge curse of a witch placed on the city of Lisbon.

Date:
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress
Debut: Friedrick ?????, Bavarian Witch-hunter

The Radiance docking to one of the many ports in Lisbon, the last stop in Europe before a another in the Canary Islands then on to the Dark Continent.

Incomplete

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Red Vengeance
The Wanders travel to Torkertown to collect the bounty on Jolly Rodger only to discover a plague in the town is more than it seems

28th of November in the year of our Lord 1620
Location: Torkertown, England

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress

The Wanderers were glad and many smiled as they saw the small community of Torkertown. After the strange night they spent in the woods after the excution of the Jolly Rodger, they were happy knowing this night would be in a warm bed at the inn. Winter was already there in England this year and the air chilled through to the vary bone. Only the events of midnight chilled the Wanderers further.

IMCOMPLETE

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The Hand of Doom
On the trail of Rodigero "Jolly Rodger" Ovando, the Wanderers face revenge from beyond the grave

24th of November in the year of our Lord 1620
Location: London, England

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Amelius Estaba, English Knife Throwing Rogue
Lyubov Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman
Anastasia Grunov, Russian Noble Sorceress

Harmonis Quill have mostly recovered from time imprisonment at the Bethlam Hospital while the Wanderers secured and readied their ship, The Radiance. Quill had been cared for by Aanastasia’s hand maiden who had comforted the poor man’s mind from the horrors he had endured at the hospital and the loss of his young wife, Thessa. The Wanderers were eager to be traveling and hoped that the pirate Roderigo “Jolly Rodger” Ovando had not traveled beyond their reach.

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The Last of Kane's Wanderers
The Death of Solomon Kane and the Wanderers help a merchant rescue his wife from pirates

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.

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Country Death Diaries
The Wanderers investigate a strange farm with mutated crops and mad livestock

The Wanderers On-hand:
Sir Barnabas Ridd, English Backwater Noble
Captain William MacLeod, Scottish Merchant Marine
Joaquin Anton Silva, Portuguese Treasure Hunter
Peter the Wild Boy, Feral man found in European woods
Krieger Von Brawn, German old-fashioned Knight
Lyubov “Love Sausage” Kolbasy, Russian Circus Strongman

12th of November in the year of our Lord 1620
Location: Southern England
“Let us be, or else I cut the wench’s throat!” cried the bandit a top the wagon as he brought his dirty blade closer to the neck of the poor woman in his grasp. He wielder a soldier wielded a shield to the Wanderers.

It was Captain William MacLeod who parleyed first with the remaining bandits not dispatched from the Wanderers’ furious attack. He could not see any opening that would not risk the life of poor captive held by the foul highwaymen. He agreed to let the remaining half dozen bandits go in exchange for the life of the old woman. The bandit eyed the other wanderers sensing his opposition was not unified in this parley and one or would break the contract. Sir Bannabas Ridd also assured the bandits that if go harm be fell the woman they would escape unmolested from his mount. This was enough for the remaining bandits to make their flight in to the foggy woods from where they sprung the ambush of the wagon travelers before the wanderers happened upon the robbery.

The villain clutching the woman cursed out at Captain MacLeod as he pointed with his stiletto at the other wanderers, “Ye break this contract, and I’ll see ye damned to hell!” As he and the other the would-be thieves fled into the thick woods. All the Wanderers held their end of contract and raised no weapon nor gave chase after the bandits. Save one. Peter the Wild Boy notched an arrow into his bow and took aim at the fleeing rogues. With an audible ‘tang!’ the arrow struck from the boy’s hands to the rear escaping bandit’s back slaying him.

Captain MacLeod felt a chill enter him with the knowledge that devil had gained a foothold in the battle for his immortal soul as the life of the bandit left his body. Sir Ridd trotted his steed toward the wagon and assessed the damage of the cart and condition of the woman. Like the wagon, she was well past her prime with scraggly gray hair, but unlike wagon she was still capable of travel.

“May I ask you name fair woman and why you travel on these dangerous roads?” Ridd asked helping the woman from the wagon.

“I am Milred, me lord, and my family were traveling east to start a new life as our farm didn’t yield enough for winter.”

We can escort you to nearest inn or church where you may find additional aid." Ridd replied. Milred agreed and gathered up what possessions she could from the wrecked wagon. Ridd offered her his horse and traveled by foot leading the steed.

As the others helped Milred gather what they could, Peter the Wild Boy set to looting the bodies of the bandits. He found they little few pence adding up to little more than a shilling. Even compared to the ragged red jacket and tattered clothing wrapping on his body, the bandits wore fifthly lice infested rags.

The Wanderers discovered the Hamhock Inn nest among several small independent farms. The two story building’s warm light from the windows was a welcome invitation to the chill of the autumn English rains that bit through to the bone. Inside the warm fire returned the color that the light drizzle and chilling gusts had taken from the Wanderers save Peter. Peter moved to the fire heath to warm himself but he could not shake the growing illness he would soon suffer being unaccustomed to civilized man’s diseases.

The proprietor was a man in his forties with wisps of gray brown hair around his scalp like a wreath. He was a simple but honest looking fellow that eyed the Wanderers’ weapons and armor with a worried brow. He showed the travelers their seat at a heavy dark wood table and offered up stew and ale. Vasili Vorishikin snorted at the weak drink and poured a hefty belt of vodka into his own tankard as well as those around him. Captain Macleod covered the expenses for his fellow travelers and as he paid, the innkeeper Thaddeus Porter asked he and his companions would discover how the folks at the Garner Farm were fairing. Mister Porter was concerned that with the death of Mrs. Garner back in August and the lack of any crops brought into trade from Mister Garner that something horrible may have happened. Porter also worried about the Garner’s youngest daughter. He told the Wanderers that some of the other farmers believe that Garner’s livestock have been infected with hoof and mouth disease or perhaps even anthrax. Even wilder stories claim a curse is upon the farm by spirits, pixies, or demons. The innkeeper doesn’t believe in the tales of ghosts and demons as the cause, but clearly stated to the Wanderers he was afraid of any sort of plague that might be affecting the farm. Yet he worries about the family all the same. Captain Macleod assures the innkeeper that he and his compatriots will investigate the farm tomorrow to set his mind at ease.

After the discussion with the Innkeeper, Captain Macleod notices the wild boy shaken though his clothes are warm and he is close to the fire. Checking his things and asking Mister Porter for some other supplies William mixes a herbal tea that should help prevent the disease from getting worse. Peter eagerly drinks the tea to settle his queasy stomach.

After all of Hamhock Inn have long bedded down for the night, Peter the Wild Boy decided to check on the farm early sneaking out of his room and off to the farm alone. He feels the cold air hit him and is excited to be in the darkness once again. The light rain is not more that a bother and mixes with the excitement of the night darkness. As Peter travels toward the Garner’s Farm he hears a familiar voice call out, “Oy! boy looks like ye traveled the bit of road tonight. Wait I remember you!” A shdowly figures emerge from the sides of the road cast in the rain death halos of a single lantern fluttering and flickering from the precipitation.

With that, the remaining bandits that Peter and the other Wanderers faced surround the wild boy as he reveals two ornate rune marked Khatars and leaps at the villains with a feral scream. The boy is met with a slash of a dirk cutting deep into his flesh, but not before he fells two of the highwaymen, one of which was carrying the lantern the only light source. Peter feels sting of a second blade before he can escape the gang of thugs. For a moment the wild boy eludes his attackers in the night rain. He is too wounded and still reeling from the pain to move far before one of the bandits stumbles upon him in the blackness. A brief exchange or blades and cries ends with the bandit lying in the mud and Peter grasping at his wounds. The other bandits hone in on the sounds of the clash and wildly strike at the wild boy.

13th of November in the year of our Lord 1620
It was early in the morning that the Wanderers met at the same heavy table to meet before heading to the Garner’s Farm. The innkeeper had already ready stoked the fire to ward of the damp chill of the English morning. All had gathered to enjoy a hearty breakfast of ham and eggs save one. Peter the Wild Boy had not walked down the steps from his room. It wasn’t long that the other discovered the boy was missing. Outside Sir Ridd and Vasili Vorishikin picked up the tracks of the impetuous boy.

The rains made it easy to follow Peter’s tracks but hindered vision more than a hundred yards. It was Joaquin Anton Silva’s eagle eyes that first spotted the boy’s battered body. As the others rushed to their companion’s body, the rain lighten to a mist. The boy had been slain by a stiletto to the heart. The nasty weapon still piercing his bosom. Peter had take three of the villain with him to hell as their bodies lay mired in the mud and water bloody. The boy had fought courageously, but was overwhelmed by the numbers of his foes. The two remaining bandits had looted the Wild Boy’s khatars before slinking into the forest once again. The Wanderers moved the boy’s body to the side of the road placing him in a grave with a simple marker fashioned from the surrounding tree branches. Each said a prayer for the young man’s soul before heavy rain picked up again forcing them to continue to the farm.

Approaching from the east the Garner Farm was appeared unremarkable from the other farms the Wanderers had past except for perhaps it was slightly more isolated than the others. As they neared through the rain and mist the Wanderers learned that Farmer Garner had not harvest his crops and they rotted in the fields. More surprising was the size and his potential yield, the melon, cabbage, and other vegetation with enormous in size and quite plentiful. Master Garner was an expert farmer if this field was proof of his ability. The Wanderers were curious to why a farmer with such excess would not even bother harvesting his work let alone barter the excess in the market.

The Wanderers soon saw the plants were not merely gigantic forms of ordinary crops. The flora on the south end of the field were of strange and bizarre color and form often with a sort of prismatic sheen like that of the reflection of a pool of oil or the scales of a fish save of colors none of the Wanderers never thought possible. The plants were also twisted and mutated with grotesque growths and tumors warping the shape of the crops. As the eye traveled north over the field, the crops yellowed and even become grayed and stunted size as if something was draining the life essence such as from pestilence.

Sir Ridd wished to stable his horse as to keep it from the foul vegetation that grew here. He open the livestock pens to allow entry for his steed unaware of the emaciated and crazed cattle imprisoned. The scrawny creatures stumbled to their hooves and charged in a furious bum’s rush toward the egress and fresh meat. Sir Ridd stood stupefied at such a scene yet instinctively went for this weapon. Joaquin Anton Silva with reactions faster than quicksilver slammed the gray board gate and closed the latch as the lead bovine rammed at full speed making an unnatural cracking sound. The beast had snapped its own brittle neck paralyzing its entire body yet its bloodshot eye still filled with rage and its frothy mouth bit air in attempts to grasp the Wanderers who each step back a pace realization. However, the other cattle seeing that this one was unable to defend itself fed upon its still living flesh. The Wanderers gasped in horror of the bloodbath before destroying both the livestock and the field of blight.

During the search of a tool shed to find instruments to aid in the destruction of such abominations, a crumpled bunch of pages were discovered by the Wanderers. They appeared to be written in a woman’s penmanship and read:

June 8th
Father’s crops are performing exceedingly well this year and appear he will have much to sell at market this year. Father still worries about a late frost or drought. The livestock on the other hand appear to be having difficulty putting on weight and many of the calves didn’t survive. Father believes there might be a pestilence affecting the cattle.

June 11th
I am to return to London tomorrow. I offered to stay at the farm until mother condition improves, but father feels I should return to my own husband. My mother is a strong woman full of vitality and her condition will improve by rest and the Lord’s prayer.

August 9th
I have not heard anything from my father and I worry that there is some foul curse upon the farm. I have been having terrible nightmares. They start with me out at the barn looking into the night sky gazing at all of the constellations that Harmonius has taught me. I am alone, but not alone. A bandit or pirate stalks me from the shadows. As I pull my knees to me for comfort I see a strange aura contorting and changing in the night sky. The light moves like water splashed up into the night air.

The Wanderers decided to first check the home in hopes of finding any of the family alive and well. Inside the modest three room home the Wanderers found no one within. The pantry lacked food and no effect had been made to gather up even meager possessions as if to leave. There was a think layer of dust upon everything and a search reveal signs of any disturbance beyond no one bothered to make their bed. The wanderers is discover more pages of the woman’s diary hidden with the tiny cottage.

January 3rd
During the early morning hours as I was beginning my chores, I saw a falling star that actually landed on our farmland! I at first I was frighten by the thing believing it could be a demon or monster. As I trembled, I remembered that all things of heaven would be from the sky and then believed it might be an angel or other artifact of Heaven.
I hurried myself to the part of Chapman’s Brook that runs through my father’s property to discover what the falling star could be fair or foul. What discover was nothing like furious imagination could create. I was merely a rock of some sort in a self-created depression of the earth. Quite more sizable than a man’s head, the porous stone hissed of steam like when a hot pan has water poured over it. I wasn’t sure, but the rock seemed to give off its own light reminiscent of a rainbow more the colours like nothing I has seen even in dreams.
When father awoke, I urged him to look upon the heaven stone, as I called it, the discovery I made. When we both journeyed out to Chapman’s Brook I thought I saw a strange light from the small thicket where the heaven stone had landed. On further thought, however, it was likely my excitement and the rising morning sun. That is what father said, as I am prone to flights of fancy.
When we both arrived to the heaven stone, I noticed that it was almost imperceptibly smaller and when father put his hand to it, it was cool to the touch. I pleaded with him to recover the stone and bring it by to the barn so I could study it further, but he said it was far too heavy and there was work to do.

January 4th
I returned to the heaven stone to further investigate it only to discover that the rock had shrunk in size. Now about the size of a melon, I attempted to carry it myself. I noticed that it was cracked nearly completely open when I went to lift it. It required little effort to pry open and I discovered strange crystals of colours I thought not possible. I took the heaven stone and placed it in the back to the hay loft where I sometimes go to write in my diary.

March 24th
A scholar visited our farm today. A mister Harmonius Quill, a London academic, and by his own admittance, armature astronomer visited the farm today. Oh my! It is quite exciting to believe that our little farm is being discussed about in the London Taverns. Master Quill has traveled here to investigate the falling star and strange lights he heard about in London. He was quite impressed with my talent in writing and appeared to enjoy my company and assistance in his investigation. I showed him the heaven stone and he stated that it was geode and the crystals were merely quartz though he could not explain the fascinating colours they reflected.

March 27th
Exciting news! Mister Quill concluded his investigation today and will be traveling back to London. He posed the question to father if I could be taken back to London to be further trained as a scribe and perhaps take me as his wife. He is older than I would thought my husband would be, but he much more wealthy and refined than the other farmers’ sons. I believe I would be quite happy as his wife living in London, but I worry some about the farm, Nabby is still young and it will be many years before she can marry a man to take over the farm since mother did not bare any boys. Still, I think this is why father and mother were so insistent that us girls were taught to read and write.

May 22nd
My concerns that Harmonius would no longer wish me to study literature and writing after our marriage has become unfounded. I help him with his work detailing the many relics and artifacts he has collected in his studies. He has told be that I have been invaluable in his research and my classification system and organization of his notes, journals, and other books and has saved his months of research time on his study of the Liber Vorago.

May 4th
I received correspondence from father today. He said every thing is well at the farm. The crops while a bit odd looking, are growing much larger and faster than any of the neighbors. Nabby still wants him to take her to visit the caverns on the southwestern portion of the property. Mother is once again spending her days by Chapman’s Brook painting. She said she thought she saw some St. Elmo’s Fire as she out by the brook longer than usual after.
sunset.

May 14th
A rather nasty Spaniard visited Harmonius today. He was a thin many with a curved scar starting from the left side of this mouth curving upward. The scar combined with his gaunt face and recessed dark eyes made him look like a grinning skull. Ovando he called himself and he reeked of ale and other liqueurs. Curiously, he wore a silver bracer that had strange marking upon it and he must have bee wearing it since he was a boy, since there would no way to remove it barring cutting off his hand. My husband ushered away so he could conduct business with the greasy scoundrel. He had never pushed me away like that. Perhaps it was to protect me from the vile rouge, but I suspect there is more than that. It given me chills to think about that Ovando.

The might Russian Vasilii stated that the Wanderers should search the nearby Chapman’s Brook as the dairy pages referenced the ‘Heaven Stone’ falling to there and the blight appeared to be originating from there as well. The others agreed and walked to the north end of the farmland bordered by the small stream. This area was devoid of all color and appeared nearly as an alien world to the Wanderers as they recognized all they saw but it was dead and gray. In a small bend of the stream was an odd depression as if some one had dug a hole. Capt MacLeod suspected in was more lite a crater caused by a impact such as a cannon yet was larger and deeper than any munition he knew of. As the Wanderers continued investigate Chapman’s Brook, Vasilii tripped of a partially concealed chest containing some painting supplies and more dairy pages:

September 16th
I have received a letter from Father… Mother is dead! She passed two weeks ago. I leave for the farm tomorrow. My husband has allowed me to stay until the harvest is over that I can help my father.

September 23rd
I have returned to my father’s farm. He is a shell of his former self and smelled of liquor when I arrived. Nabby is sad and has become frightened of father. IN a drunken tirade, father screamed something about the crops were huge but inedible. The livestock are plagued and feral.

September 24th
It was true what father said. The crops are giant mutated versions of themselves. Strange growths and bizarre colour abound within them. Father offered me a bit of what he called cabbage. It only roughly looked like such a plant. The leaves were longer than my leg and had a strange leathery feel and curious striations looked very much like veins. When I bit into the leaf the taste was incredibly bitter and the leaf oozed a sort of dark ichour thicker than blood. I spit the portion out immediately, but it wasn’t before a few hours had passed that the repugnant taste left me.
The cattle were nearly skeletons of their former selves. Yet they had a sort of madness in their eyes, and one even attempted to trample myself and father stopped only by a study fence. Further by Chapman’s Brook the land had turned gray and lifeless. It was if something consumed all of the colour itself. I could bring myself to visit the stream myself, the loss of mother was too excruciating still.

September 26th
I wrote Harmiounis today. I informed him that my father’s farm would not provide enough food for him and my sister to make the winter let alone purchase the needed supplies for next year. I begged him to allow father and Nabby to move to London and join us. He is a good man and I am certain he will show kindness and generosity to my father and sister as he has with me.

“The pages made mention of caves to the southwest of the farm, perhaps we may yet find the Garners there or at least clues to aid in this mystery.” Stated the stranger in snow white lacquered platemail. The other wanderers agreed and traveled to the Mernie Caves, a set of small cave hidden within the dense woods of the property. Sir Ridd in fact did discover two sets of tracks one larger the other smaller as if a child both disturbed by the larger set exiting once again. The tracks ended at a deep chasam heading nearly straight down. The lantern light they carried to could not penetrate to the bottom nor could a pebble indicate the depth of this bottomless well. The Wanderers said nothing, but each knew what had happened to the smaller set of footprints. Pausing for a brief moment, the Wanderers filed out of the cave with no word spoken among them as the rain continued to pour. The said nothing until most of the distance back to the barn.

It was in the barn that the Wanderers found Nahum Garner. He twisted slowly on a rope noose dangling from the barn rafters that served as his hangman’s gibbet. Below his feet was a over turned milking stool. The body was decayed and little more than bones covered with rotten flesh. The smell of decay and alcohol were over powering and grisly scene stunned a few of the Wanderers for a moment. It was Joaquin who first noticed the scrap of paper tucked in the front of the body he retrieved the note as the others lower the body down save the Captain MacLeod who ventured up to the hayloft to search the once hiding spot of the Heaven Stone. Yet all he found were spalled rock fragments and an odd quartz crystal with colors much like the crops had. Master Silva glanced at the note which as a poem and suicide note:

I tell yer something that will reelly break ye heart more so than lovers never to Be
I have been sittin’ ere drinkin’ till there ain’t nuthin’ ain’t drunk
I have bin sitin’ ‘ere stinkin’ till there nuthin’ but stunk

It ‘ere I made me plan to kill off my own Kind
I went to me youngest daughter implore
Head off to the caves, the ones to ‘xplore

I told her not a sound to Make
Her face beamed angel’s smile and it was lit
I brought my baby to a bottomless pit

I told her close her eyes and turn her back to Me
As she counted to seven
I reminded meself all children see heaven

Never did she cry she made me so Proud
I pushed her down a bottomless well
That’s how to make a quick trip to hell

I went back to the barn to hang myself in shame

Thessa

It was the stoic man in platemail that deciphered the cryptic note written within the poem of, “Be Kind, Make Me Proud, Thessa.” The Wanderers put the body at rest as Sir Ridd inquired perhaps they should take Natum Garner’s body to the local church to be buried with his own kin. The others felt the body was simplely too decayed and still could be plagued and better to be buried with land than anywhere else.

The Wanderers had searched nearly the entire farm without encountering the mysterious author of the diary pages. Yet while Captain Macleod relieved himself and the other Wanderers returned to the home to dry themselves some, Vasilii and Joaquin explorer the root cellar at the back of the home.

After opening the moldy wooden trapdoor to the root cellar both men felt a primeval chill as if some horror beyond man’s comprehension lay in the darkness below. The cellar gave off an earthy smell of decay and rot more in common with catacombs and unearthed bodies. It was a sickly sweet pungent odor that wafted up. More peculiar was the ethereal white glow from the cellar’s packed earth floor. The men descended the steps to determine the source of this unearthly light. Vasilli produced his bottle of vodka breathing in a snort full and dousing a cloth to give to Silva to make the stench bearable. They each stood crouched as the cellar was not nearly high enough for even a boy to stand. The intently scanned the cramped area their view resting on the horror that created the spirit like glow. It was a patch of lichen and fungus giving this spectral shine, but more frighting was the the shape of the fungi. It was in the shape of a human body. Melded in the area that would be the right hand of the mold and fungus was a few more dairy pages. The men steeled themselves against the instinctual terror that screamed at them to flee to save their own lives. The crawled ever closer to investigate further. Neither man wanting to seem like a coward to the other. It was the Russian who pulled at the pages causing glowing spores of yellow-green and white to burst into the air. With their prize the men escaped up the ladder to the rain soaked fresh air.

No sooner than the two had gained their freedom did they set to burning the cellar with the rest of the cottage. Surely the rain would slow the burning, but the men wanted to destroy the thing was occupied the unholy cellar. Little did they care for the safety of the fellows. Who to their credit smelled the smoke long before any danger was posed to them. With their task complete, the two read the final dairy entry despite a sudden sense of fatigue and exhaustion that befell them

October 3rd
That stubborn fool! Father doesn’t want to leave the farm for London. He says a man must provide for his family or he is not a man at all. He spends all of his time in the barn drinking. He has not seen his bed since before I returned to the farm. If I cannot convince him to stop drinking and get a night’s rest I will visit the Hamhock Inn and try to convince Master Porter to intervene.

October 4th
Oh God! Why! I discovered my father’s body in the barn this morning. He hung himself! I went to find Nabby. She isn’t anywhere! What am I going to do?

October 5th ?
I awoke to find myself in the root cellar. I must have fled here to hide. I do not feel well and can barely write. It is the only action I can bring myself to accomplish.

I feel strange. . . I can … I cannot feel my legs anymore and, I can barely resist the urge for slumber…sleep now.

Sleep always

Sleep forever . . .

While Vasilii and Joaquin venture into the diseased cellar, William MacLeod was relieving himself in an outhouse built away from the home. As he contemplated the mystery he noticed tucked to the side of the small shack a piece of parchment with words scratched on it. This was a larger cut of paper than that of the dairy and of higher quality. The ink was a of man’s hand though difficult to read it said:

After stealing the geode from that scholar Quill, I decided to visit the farm that the place it originated from. I found the place quite to my liking, Murder hung over the place like a shroud. The flora is much like the ones I see in my dreams. I believe here is a being from out of time and space such that I was seeking. Perhaps the geode orb was merely the egg for a hatching that has fed upon the life here, I know not, nor cares not. It appears quite insubstantial and anchored to this ‘farm.’ Its growth will surely be impeded as nearly all life here is extinguished. The common rabble of this land will likely see this as a plague, perhaps anthrax. Add too true, there is a disease of this land, though; far worst than any peasant would comprehend! I consulted the portion of the Liber Verago I have in my possession with necromancy. I discovered the creature here will continue to grow here for many years moving from its current larva insubstantial form to a youngling capable of locomotion to feed draining the force of life. To confront such thing will no knowledge of how to confront it would be suicidal, even for one as verse in the occult and arcane as myself. My necromantic visions yielded unto me the form’s sole weakness one must

The Captain flipped the page over hoping for a continuation but found nothing. Nor were there any other loose sheet to be found. Few he finished relieving himself, he was shocked to see the farmhouse ablaze. The rain hissed like the choir of the damned and his party watched the fire from the muddy road they arrived to the farm on. The Russian and Portuguese were leaning upon a larger tree nearly napping.

With no survivors and nothing left to accomplish, the Wanderers returned to the HamHock Inn. It required some effort to keep the men who explored the cellar and torched the cottage awake, but half way back they seemed to recover from the effects of the strange spores. The Wanderer told the story of the Garner Farm to Innkeeper Porter withholding the more ghastly details. Thaddeus Porter thanked the Wanderers for their bravery. He added, that if they ever need a room to stay at in these parts to place their shadow in his door.

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