“Ah,” you say, taking a step back. For a moment you consider pushing Lady Gwenaelle away, but decide you might enjoy touching her too much. “Yes. Very good. Well. My horse. I need to see to my horse.”
Gwenaelle frowns, puzzled. “But surely the grooms can attend…”
“No!” you say. “A true Knight of the Soulblade does not entrust the care of his horse to another man. Otherwise I’ll have to walk, and for a knight to walk is simply undignified…”
You realize you are babbling, turn, and make for the great hall just short of a run. A nagging voice in your head (and, well, other regions) urges you to go back, kiss her, and see what happens next. Nevertheless, you have the most peculiar feeling that you have just escaped from some deadly danger.
You return to the great hall, and see Sir Hamus slumped on the high seat, snoring. Sir Thomas gazes at his father with annoyed contempt, while Ulacht, Father Linus, and Richard wait nearby. Old Gotha wanders along the wall, muttering to herself and brushing at the tapestries.
“Flies,” she says, “flies everywhere! The flies breed like flies!”
“I see you have realized,” says Sir Thomas, “that my father is not up to the task of dealing with these disappearances.”
You look at the snoring old man. “Apparently not.”
“As much as it galls me to ask for help from a southern noble,” says Thomas, “we need your help. We need the help of a Knight of the Soulblade. My villagers and the orcs are ready to tear each other apart. If one more child disappears, it will be a bloodbath.”
“So you don’t think,” you say, glancing at Linus, “that the orcs are behind the disappearances.”
“Don’t be absurd,” says Thomas. “This is the Northerland. All the old horrors might have been hunted to extinction in the south, but this is the edge of the High King’s lands. There are so many things that prey upon both men and orcs here.”
“Bacon!” announces Gotha to no one, brushing dust from a tapestry showing the first High King’s duel with his treacherous nephew Mordred. “Fresh bacon! With some cheese and biscuits, please. Yes, lovely, thank you.”
“Then you have a suspicion?” you say.
“Aye,” says Sir Thomas. “I think the orcs tunneled too far in their mines and reached the Deep, and something has come up from the underworld. Maybe a skinchanger, or perhaps a shadowcrawler.”
Ulacht growls. “We are not fools. We would know if we dug into the Deep.”
“Aye,” says Thomas. “But a skinchanger can wear the forms of its victims, and a shadowcrawler can be invisible when it wants to be. The thing could be lurking in the mines unnoticed, feeding on the children and sowing discord among us.” He shakes his head. “There is another possibility. A sister of one of the disappeared children reported seeing ghosts in the graveyard. I thought it a childish fancy…but I suppose someone among, human or orc, is dabbling in forbidding arts, and has called up some horror from beyond the grave.” He spreads his hands. “I leave it to your judgment, sir knight. Something preys upon my people, and where shall we hunt for it?”
You consider. Both possibilities seem likely.
But the last thing the Magistrius Richard remembers before his poisoning is walking near the dark elven ruin atop the hill.
Where should Ridmark go next?
- Investigate the dark elven ruin. (77%, 10 Votes)
- Investigate the village’s graveyard. (23%, 3 Votes)
- Investigate the orcish mines. (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 13