Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Week in the Life of a Witch Hunter: Session 6

The party awoke in the night to the sound of the nuns, Sister Carlotta and Sister Eloquence screaming, their piteous cries filling the dark halls of the keep. Just below their screams could be heard chanting, three deep sonorous voices intoning words unfit for mortal ears.

Aidan the Herald and Sir Ainsley rushed down the corridor, stumbling over the rotting and still slightly animate corpses of the prison's guards. "What the f*ck!" Aidan exclaimed, "How did they get both girls?"

"Nevermind that," said Ainsley, "I thought Carlotta was dead. Was the whole thing some f*cked up dream?! Mitra save us, where are the others." They rushed on, kicking bodies aside. Around the next corner they plowed headlong into Tristram, the three tumbling into a heap. "Tristram?! I thought you were dead too." The Lion, as he was called, did not respond, but mearly raised his head, revealing the bloody and empty sockets of his eyes and the blazing pentagram branded into his forehead. The thing that had been Tristram lashed out at his two companions with a sword already slick with blood.

Aidan parried Tristram's blows then dove to the ground as Aisley let lose a gout of flame from his gun. Tristram's pained cries overwhelmed all other sound save the shrill screaming of the nuns as his bodied toppled in a burning heap. "WHAT...THE...F*CK!" Aidan reiterated.

----
The knights, Sir Fallon, Sir Reginald, Sir Willem, and Sir Robert strained mightily against their chains but they wouldn't budge. Just outside of the cell they could hear Aidan's cursing and the screams of the women.

"How did we get here?" Sir Willem inquired of the others. "The last thing I remember we had just cleared the keep..."
"Witchcraft!" Sir Fallon insisted, "I can feel it everywhere. They must have taken us in the night while we slept."
"But those screams, they sound like Sister Carlotta..." Sir Robert shook his head. "Didn't she die?"
"What about you? I watched you die with my own eyes..." Sir Fallon glared at the paladin. "You reek of witchcraft as well. Another illusion sent to torment us? Another undead beast in disguise put here to catch us unawares?"
"No, its me, I swear it in Mitra's name."

Outside the chanting grew louder, another voice chiming in with the three. Ainsley, hearing his friends voices from inside the cell blew the lock off and rushed in. "Aidan, looks like the whole gang's here..."
"Aside from the ones that turned into undead horrors you mean?" Aidan stepped gingerly into the cell behind him. "Where is Squire Filth?"
"Who?" Sir Reginald gave the herald a quizzical look.
"The dwarf. He came here with you last night."
"Oh...I haven't seen him. Maybe he's in another cell. How did you two get free?"
"What do you mean free?" Ainsley interjected. "We woke up in our tents to screaming. When we came out everyone else was gone. It was like the whole army just vanished. We came to find the girls and instead we find you all trapped in a cell and Tristram's corpse standing guard."

"Speaking of corpses..." Fallon nodded his head towards Sir Robert, "I saw him die and he smells like a bloody witch. Get me out of these chains so I can deal with it..." Aidan looked at Sir Fallon, nodded and began picking the lock on his chains.
"No, I swear. How can you think I was dead?" Sir Robert looked to each of his friends, "We were just together last night. We killed the witch-lion. I was injured. Sister Eloquence nursed me back to health..."
Aidan shook his head. "He's clearly lying." He stepped back and Sir Fallon stood, walked purposefully over to Sir Robert, and broke the paladin's neck.

Aidan wasted no time blowing the shackles off of the others, "Quickly, we have to find the girls."

----
The five friends found the knights' weapons and armor stashed in the next cell and rushed towards the sound of the screaming. The ran down corridor after corridor and down two flights of stairs before reaching a large iron-bound door, charred and blackened, and carved in a crude hand with numerous unholy sigils and prayers to the dark god Asmodeus.

Sir Fallon rushed the door, beating it to splinters with his flaming axe. Beyond the door they saw the two nuns, naked, screaming, and tied to an altar of black basalt. Three lions stood before the altar, their fur soaked with blood and their inhuman mouths chanting infernal prayers. Behind the altar stood Brother Justice, looking quite alive, dressed in black robes and sporting a pair of large curving horns on his head. He smiled at them as the door burst open and plunged his readied dagger into Sister Eloquence's breast, silencing her screams.

Enraged, the Knights of Mitra charged the unholy abomination. They were met by the three lions, one breathing a gout of flame which quickly consumed Sir Willem. The second pounced upon Sir Reginald, tearing his throat out with one critical strike of its mighty jaws. The last sprouted black bat-like wings and began clawing at Sir Ainsley.

Aidan and Fallon slipped bast the beasts, and rushed the altar where the demonic Brother Justice had disrobed and was beginning to have his way with Sister Carlotta. Aidan stabbed at the perversion of his friend, running both the priest and Sister Carlotta though as Sir Fallon took off his head.

Aidan shoved Brother Justice's corpse off of the nuns only to see that they were both already dead and rotten. The two turned, terrified, to see their friends lying burned and torn and the three witch-lions closing in on them.

---
Aidan and Fallon both awoke with a scream. A fire crackled around the campsite where the eleven friends had bedded down for the knight. Squire Filth and Brother Justice sat on watch, nibbling on the remnants of the roast hind they had for supper the evening before. Aidan looked around to see the two Sisters and his other five brothers-in-arms sleeping peacefully, their breasts rising in falling with their rhythmic breath.

"What happened brothers?" Brother Justice knelt next to the two of them.
"I had a horrible dream..." Sir Fallon, sniffed the air, "I think I was bewitched. I can still smell the stink of sorcery in the air."
"I had a dream too," Aidan spoke up, "we had all been captured. There was fire and chanting. Everyone was killed...and you..." he looked at Brother Justice, his eyes widening, "You appeared to be possessed by a demon...you had taken the Sisters and sacrificed them upon some dark altar, then you set the lions on us."
"Lions brother?"
"Yes, three lions." Sir Fallon stood up, "It seems we had the same dream."
"Well I'm hoping that's no premonition..." Squire Worthless Filth filth handed Aiden a wineskin. "We're set to reach the prison tomorrow morning..."
"Tomorrow?" Aidan looked confused. "Didn't we investigate the prison yesterday? I remember it was overrun with undead...and..."
Sir Fallon spoke up, "...and everyone died. Sister Carlotta, Sir Robert, Tristram, and..." he looked hard at Brother Justice, "and you Brother. Devored by a lion."
"Another dream perhaps?" Brather Justice nodded his head in a brief prayer.
"We'd best wake t'others." Squire Filth began walking around the camp shaking everyone. "Up and at 'em, seems like there's witch's work afoot..."