Chapter 6a A time of Wolves

[color=blue]This story starts in Midwinter after the return of the magi from the other plots to the covenant. I will presume their survival

The Winter is particularly cold , there is a foot of snow settled over the ground and the Tree's are shrouded in ice . Few leave the covenant's buildings except to gather wood and most have been avoiding that for the last few days as a series of Blizzards blow through the area making conditions worse. The weather is bad even by the standards of the local winters.
Over the last few days there have been sightings of wolves around the edge of the covenant and their howls have been heard closer than they normally dare to come.

It is the afternoon , the Blizzard from the morning has blown itself out and woodcutters have been out gathering in wood during this lull.

Other magi may notice a sudden rush of movement through the halls of the covenant but no one knocks on their door
Krispin is disturbed by a hammerring on his door , as seperatly is Justus

Justus rise out of his chair at his desk and walks to open the door. He wonders what on earth could be disturbing him. [color=red]What is the matter?!, he shouts as he walks to open the door.

Knocking on his door is one of the covenant Grogs, Wilhelm, he is still dressed in his furs and covered in snow. He is dripping on the floor including blood from his scabberd
[color=red]My Lord, the woodcutting party has been attacked by wolves, we have two wounded with us and three more are still missing in the woods . Never seen wolves attack like that before it was uncanny , Milord

[color=red]I have to get my coat. Then show me the location. I try to do my best. Go see if there are other magi who wish to join us. Justus walks back into his chambers and pick up his heavy winter fur coat and walks back out to the grogs locking the door to his lab behind him. [color=red]Now show me the way, if there are others coming we should perhaps wait for them.

Krispin quickly opens his door, ushering whoever it is into the small apothecary's workshop outside his sanctum.

[color=red]What seems to be the problem, that brings you to me in such weather?

One of the grogs checks the other magi's labs , he gets no response from Mariella or Ardeth. Some of the other magi did respond.

[color=blue]OOC Ardeth can turn up at any time she just was not in her lab. The others can respond if they feel like it
At Krispin's door is one of the young women of the covenant who helps tend the sick.
][color=red]Please come quickly my lord we have several men hurt by a wolf attack and several others are missing

[color=darkblue]The f key on my keyboard seems to be not working all the time so if you cannot work out what a word is try adding an f

Those magi who are responding head outside as the do the grog Wilhem fills in a few more details.
[color=red]We were just heading back to the covenant with the wood when this flurry o snow hit and while we where blinded a pack of wolves attacked lead by a big white brute , several of the wood cutters panicked and led but we fought the wolves off and I put down one myself . Then we brought the wounded back here and started organising a search party

As the group exits the covenant they encounter Mariella returning she had apparently been walking the walls of the covenant.

[color=blue]Any questions or preperations , and is Krispin going out looking or the missing men or looking ater the wounded first the young women seems to think they are stable or now

Krispin will care for the wounded first and foremost (with magic or artifice), but if they are safe he will join the search party.

Krispin is able to quickly check on the wounded men while the rest of the group assemble. Their injuries look to him to be fairly superficial and not life threatening (Medium wounds) and it is likely that those still out in the forest will have worse injuries.

Accompanied by several grogs the magi are able to find the area where the wolves attacked fairly easily as there is a clear trail there. Still on the ground are three wolves hacked down by the grogs lieing in patches of reddenning snow.
The sounds of wolves howling can be heard but they seem fairly distant . Three blood trails lead of from the clearing one leads back the way you came and was made as the wounded where transferred back to the covenent. The other two lead off into the forest.
Several of the grogs are looking around trying to find the trails of the missing men but it looks like the flurry of snow and wind at the time of the attack hid any trail except the blood.

Justus bends down near a blood patch and picks up a piece of snow with blood.[color=red] Any of my soldaes who could try to gain some information about the owner of this blood is whether he be man or a beast. Wolves in these woods does not exclude that sort of things.

Justus cast a spontaneous spell upon himself. Nose of the (insert name here of good tracking hound that Justus knows about) hound similar as Eyes of the Cat and loose one fatigue level and will gains a whole new sensory insight of the land around him. Unless he botches that is.

You had to say it.
Justus gains 1 warping point and is momentarily overwhelmed by the rush of scents . However after a few minutes rest he is recovered and able to cast the spell.
He does indeed now have a superlative sense of smell .
Mariella is able to determine that the blood shed by the attackers is not human , and the blood of the injured grogs and both blood trails is human, however her lack of talant in intellego spells prevents her from determining more

Justus speaks as soon as he has recovered.[color=red] When I picked up the blood I felt a magical force. Soldaes take care I don’t know what is out there. Should we follow the blood stains or… does anyone have a better plan. I say we make a search and walk as a group. We don’t want the wolves to pick us of alone.

[color=red]I have felt nothing trying to penetrate my Parma Magica. There are three missing men and two blood trails, if there are injured men along both of them we need to follow both if we are to save them. Of course the wolves may have already finished them. Unfortunatly my magic is less than puissant against Animals as I have yet to pursue that branch of Study so I am not certain of my ability to defeat a wolf pack

[color=blue]I am assuming Krispin, Ferrox Justus and Mariella are present

Krispin nods. [color=red]In any case, let us be careful.

Glancing at Mariella, Krispin notices some rust-red stains and raises an eyebrow.

[color=red] Blood on your robes, sodalis? Is there something you'd like to tell us?

Krispin carefully collects samples of the human blood in whatever apothecary’s stuff he has available. If he has map available (he knew people were missing, so he might have brought one), he’ll cast The Inexorable Search to find the missing people.

Otherwise, he’ll follow Justus’s tracking.

[color=blue]The blood stains on Mariella's robes are not particularly noticable even after Krispin points them out, they are fairly small and hard to see on the black robes she wears.
Mariella looks suprised at Krispins words
[color=red]I thought these robes where clean, I must have cut myself in the lab, or it could be from testing the blood on the ground I Suppose
She mutters a spell and the stains turn to dust and she brushes them off (PeCo spont without fatigue)

Krispin is able to gather up the blood samples and using the inexorable search is able to track the three people unfortunatly the map i snot terribly detailed at a fine level and really all he can tell is that all three are fairly close to here. (within a hundred yards but the size of his finger and the scale of the map prevents more precision)

[color=red]We try to find our missing covenfolk then. I go that way, Mariella you go that way. Krispin follow me and Ferrox go with Mariella. If either of us run into more trouble than we can handle then send of a magical flare into the sky so we can find each other.

Justus Felix then turns to the grogs. [color=red]You two take care of the wounded, you follow me and you over there follow Mariella. Now remember to stay as a group and we must return to the covenant before dark. Let’s move out.

The two groups set of in search of the missing grogs. Krispin and Justus have not been travelling long when they spot a body hanging in the branches of one of the tree's. It is some distance off to one side of the blood trail which continues on .

Krispin bites his lip, and then quickly checks if the body is still alive. If so, he takes the man down and tends to his wounds, no matter how serious.

If he is dead or unable to communicate, what does it look like happened to him? What attacked him? Does it look like he climbed the tree, or was he left there?

The man is clearly dead, although there is no clearly visible wound , his body seems to be empty of Blood and possibly some of the other humours have been drained. There is no sign of blood on his clothes or in the immdieate vicinity.

It does not look like he climbed the tree but Krispin can see no immdieate signs of how he got up the tree . There are no tracks visible at the base of the tree , the snow and ice on the tree also seem to have been disturbed very little.

Krispin uses Probe the Secrets of the Flesh to check the state of humors within the body, and to determine cause of death.

[color=red]His blood appears to have been drained, sodales. Vampirism? Something else? I admit I am no expert on these matters.

The Body has been drained of its Sanguine and Chloeric tumours the other two appear to be present in their normal proportions. The cause of death seems to be due to the draining of the two humours however there is no sign of a wound.
Justus can think of no local magical or faerie being with abilities corresponding to this. Although the mention of a white wolf leading the wolf pack could connect to house Tremere as White wolves are common familiars in their house.