Chapter 5: Vengeance and lost tomes

The magi who will talk to the prisoner stands outside a storage house where the prisoner is held tied up. Outside stands a surly guard. The day is soon over and the sun begins to set, clouds are starting to form up and there is a slight breeze. The magi can feel a light drizzle coming from the sky. The guard looks at the magi and states. [color=red]The prisoner is tied up and awake.

Mariella thanks the guard and enters the storage room

[color=red]Good Evening. This has been a very bad day for me. The last thing on my to do list before I get some sleep is Interrogate Prisoner. You have two choices. You can tell me everything I want to know in which case you will live and will eventually go Free. Or you can play games with me in which case your life as a fully functioning male human is over and you will feel pain like you have never felt before and end up dead or a cripple. Like I said it's been a bad day so I am happy with the second option, but the neighbours would probably appreciate it if you kept the screaming to a minimum.

Heinrich puts on a stoic face and speaks with the lowest voice he can reasonably muster (deliberately and utilizing Mariella's current appearance) - [color=red]Do you see what this Lady looks like? If it seems to you that she just finished wrestling with boars, plucking their tusks with her bare fingers for back-scratchers and skinning them with her own teeth, then you are not far from the reality. What all do you know of crimes perpetrated against this manor?

[color=blue]The following is said in Pomeranian.

[color=red]Please have mercy I am just a pawn in her game to. I have not committed any crimes against you my most merciful magi. I will tell you what I know and then I hope that you release me. The man seems scared and is almost in tears.

[color=red]Think of my wife and children. I have only transported some strange goods and other supplies to the blasted witch that you know as Hedwig. She gave me silver and I purchased items that she told me to find, all sorts of strange glassware and other strange utensils in Kolberg, some writing material and foodstuff. Please have mercy upon me. The man sobs for a moment then collects himself.

[color=red]I left the items in a strange location where her brute for a manservant took the goods further into the area. He where a strange one, not sure if he where entirely human… He behaved almost like a dog in the shape of a man, but still with wits. Then the man pauses for a moment.

[color=red]I have only served her to care for my family; they must be on the brink on starvation as I have not been home for days. I will tell you how you get as far as I have but then please release me so I may go back to my wife and my little Hans and Gretel.

[color=red]From Kolberg you go east and then…. And when you come to… you then turn southward and stops at the old oak in the clearing. Walk three laps around it and then you are there. I know that it sound strange but really when you walk three laps around it the area around you change and you are in a new clearing. The forest is thick and very old around you and two paths lead from there. I have not walked any further, only met the manservant there and Hedwig. Now I have told you all I know, please spare my life.

Once Mariella is happy that she understood what has been said [color=red]Heinrich please use one of your spells to confirm he is telling the truth as he knows it.
She hurries out of the room leaving orders for the sentry to remain on guard.
Onc back at the council chamber.

[color=red]Yannick , I suspect we have a family which will be murdered by the witch . Can you fly out and check on them ?. Ardeth I presume you wish to accompany me to hunt for this hedge mage , I am not fit for battle without some rest so I suggest we set out immediatly I am recovered. Yannick should also have returned by then so that he and Krispin may accompany us if they wish.

[color=red]Agreed. We have a score to settle, the sooner, the better :imp:

Heinrich happily complies slightly uneasy that Mariella seems... happy... for Mariella color=blue, he says lightheartedly, feigning wounded pride - [color=red] I would've gotten around to it. But Heinrich comes across looking like he wasn't on the ball. Freshmen! :wink: Heinrich moves back to the prisoner and says - [color=red]To be sure, let's go over this again... and makes vaguely ominous motions and body posturing to maintain the veneer while casting Frost Breath of the Spoken lie. [color=blue]or whatever the exact wording is...

Krispin nods, looking a little wan. [color=red]I would like to protect the man's family, if I can. If there is a battle, I would try to flee with them to safety, unless Yannick’s scouting reveals that they are already beyond my power to save them.

He pauses. [color=red]This score predates me and is yours to settle, but as always, I'd urge you to try not to kill her. From what I hear, she has never tried to slay any magus outright, so it might be we could work together for some common goal.

The spells determine that the man speaks the truth and he also tells you that he is not expected until in about three days.

[color=red]"I would prefer to protect the mans family as well Krispin , however we are limited in what we can do without showing our hand. However given her modus operandi they are most probably already dead, if we are lucky she plans to kill them later in which case we probably have a until after the expected meeting.
If it where just a matter of her attempts to kill members of this covenant and steal our resources I may be willing to deal. But she is an honourless cur who would make Constantia appear a paragon of virtue, she murders entire families to cover her trail or for pleasure it is hard to tell such a monster has no place on God's earth so I will send her to meet her maker and face his justice.

Krispin sighs. [color=red]Perhaps you are right, but I mislike it still. Try not get too badly hurt.

Protecting this man’s family is my primary interest. Not only is it the right thing to do, it turns an ally of hers into an ally of ours, which is even more valuable. I will go alone if I must, but I will not allow them to be harmed any more than they already have been.

Heinrich reports the accuracy of the testimony and waves a farewell. - [color=red]Justus and I are leaving. Godspeed and we'll return from Durenmar as quickly as we can.

[color=red]I will. I'll have a present :smiling_imp: for the witch if she should turn up.

Turns to the prisoner:
[color=red]The woman you were working for is responsible for the deaths of around two dozen people. She sent men to murder us, keeping their families hostage. Their families were murdered even before the men showed up here.
Tell me where I can find your familiy. With a little luck, you haven't been missing long enough to arise her suspicion. There may be a chance for their survival.

Yannick waits for an answer. After getting it...

[color=red]Oh, and I need your clothes. A little disguise can sometimes go a long way :slight_smile:

Depending on the whereabouts of the mans family, Yannick will fly or ride. He won't take the direct route, as to mislead any spies. Somewhere not to near, he'll disguise as the prisoner.
With "disguise of the prisoners visage" a little disguise can go even further...

[color=blue]Max: Yannick will take some of his special sling bullets as well.

Yannicks face freezes, but he remains silent.

The prisoner tells you where you can find his family. There is little effort in securing his family and if nothing else should be prepared we can fast forward to the area where Hedwig can be found.

Thats the only thing I wanted to do before going after Hedwig, except make sure I have laed curse plate inscribed with her name to help with penetration

If the man’s family is safe, Krispin sees little reason to go along. He will remain with the family, bringing them to the covenant if possible.

Then we proceed.

A late afternoon the magi stand in sight of the old oak that the prisoner mentioned in his confession. The weather is fine and there is not much wind. It seems like a rather desolate location though a weak magical aura can be felt, perhaps of the first magnitude. Around the clearing there is a thick impenetrable forest that emits the classic depression feeling of the Pomeranian. Trees are twisted and gnarled. Around the old oak there are lots of spring flowers that grows, colouring the ground and standing in a stark contrast to the forest tree line.

From the sky above a bird of prey lands in the old oak. It monitors the situation and then strikes down at a rabbit in the grass. There is a short struggle and then the bird of prey begins to feast. Other than the sound of flesh being ripped from bone there is little sound here.

Now what magi are here and have you brought any extra men?

Mariella is going after her, I am expecting Yannick and Ardeth. Unless someone else wants it I don't intend to bring any grogs she has demonstrated Mentam abilities and Grogs just give her extra weapons to use against us

Yannick would like to go after her. But we need at least one magician at the covenant. She attacked the covenant when we were away before...

One more thing: we should ask our prisoner how he came to be catched by Constancia. This may be interesting.

Now, tactics:
I think Yannick should stay in his black adder shape. If one of you secretly carries Yannick, then Hedwig is likely to believe that there are fewer opponents than there really are. Drop him somewhere, so he can move in position. Yannick can easily cast spells while being a snake :wink:
Or bite her ankle...