Ancient Echoes

Events following the Council Meeting (1220)

Following on from the current covenant meeting to discuss the Vrykolakos, Neysa volunteers to take some grogs experienced in hunting and combat to hunt these demons down. The grogs are advised to prepare a team for the next morn.

An injured wolf hauled himself (Ukalian) into the covenant just before dawn on the day after the exploration party’s return.

He reports that 4 of the Vrykolakos gathered where he could observe, two wolves, a goat and an owl. They all assumed human form and started across the island heading towards the town, Santorini. Ukalian tracked them to near the town where a shepherd, possibly alerted by the Vrykolakos, attacked him and drove him off, inflicting significant damage.

The team (Father Grigori, Phedra & Neysa) travel to Santorini by ship, dropped by Themistocles, who promptly leaves.

A brief conference of the magi leads to the decision to visit the local Lord.

Tio Vincenzo is a charming Venetian, and a gracious host, he invites us to a banquet at his home that evening. He is also being visited by two mysterious shipwrecked nobles by the names of Lord Tybalt (a Frank) and Lady Kuria (a Greek).

With a little prompting he happily shows off his town, which is showing signs of renovation and new investment. It seems a happy place.

At the banquet the wine is excellent and Neysa offers to dance. In the meantime Father Grigori is required to perform the final rites for two sailors found washed up on a beach. Father Grigori examines the bodies and finds to his horror that they have been completely exsanguinated as well as looking horrified.

During the dancing after the meal Neysa feels taken with a sudden rush of fear which she suppresses with some effort. Father Grigori senses a rush of pure wickedness at this time.

The feasting continues. Father Grigori attempts to murmur to Phedra that there is something unclean about, but being deaf she is unable to make out what he is talking about. Neysa returns to her seat, thanking her admirers. There is another couple of hours of feasting.

As the feast comes to an end, Neysa flirts outrageously with the Lord. She catches Father Gregori for a quiet word after the feast. She asks him if he noticed anything unusual. Father Gregori reports that the bodies were not of drowned men, they had been thrown into the water following exsanguination, their faces a rictus of indescribable terror. He believes that they were victims of the demons. He mentions that he felt a pulse of evil as she danced and asks if it caused her problems. Neysa responds that she is not of a perceptive persuasion.

Neysa asks if Phedra spotted anything. She did not, but stated that she trusts the good Father’s instincts in this sort of matter. Neysa looks around for anything out of the ordinary while partying on into the small hours of the morning. Phedra retires for the evening as she starts to get tired.

Neysa and Father Grigori amble around then return to the scene of the banquet, looking for traces of evil. All they find are servants cleaning away the debris. After some more discussion, they decide to call it a night.

As Father Grigori walks back through the dark, deserted streets, he hears a footstep behind him. He turns to look but sees nothing and continues to walk, quietly singing a rather blood-thirsty hymn and rather regretting his lack of a thurible. He dimly senses an evil presence drawing closer. The footsteps get louder, keeping match with his pace. He keeps going then breaks into a run. Unfortunately, the demon is faster than his wildest dreams and he would have been grappled by a slavering undead corpse from Hell if the weight of his crucifix had not pulled him off balance, making him stumble out of the way.

Calling on the power of the Divine, Father Grigori brandishes his crucifix at the demon, pressing it into it’s face. The crucifix appears to burn the demon and it attempts to brush it aside. It tries to breathe fire on him, but it is dissipated by his crucifix. The good Father continues to wield the crucifix, continuing to burn the demon. The power of God continues to protect the good Father, and the demon begins to back away. Father Gregori refuses to permit it to ravage innocents further and pursues. God evidently agrees as a shaft of divinely bright moonlight breaks through the cloud cover, reflects of Father Grigori’s crucifix and hits the demon. It screeches in unearthly agony and a corpse drops to the ground. Father Gregori gives it the Last Rites and bears it to the church. He leaves it to lay in state and goes to pray at the altar.

Father Grigori then heads back up to the Lord’s manor and heads to Neysa’s chamber, knocking on her door. Neysa has only just gone to bed so she opens the door in her nightclothes. He asks to speak to her. She puts a few more clothes on. He reports an encounter on the way back and explains what happened.

Neysa goes to Phedra’s room and makes a very bright light to shine through the cracks in the door to (hopefully) wake her. Neysa opts for flashes of intense light. Fortunately, this does wake Phedra, who gets up, puts a robe on and carefully opens her door. Being unconvinced that they are not demons, Phedra asks what they want. Neysa reports that Father Grigori has witnessed a miracle and thinks one of the demons is dead. He would like the magi to examine the body. There is a certain amount of joking about the good Father going blind from fingering his crucifix. Phedra rather warily agrees to accompany them.

Our three intrepid heroes head for the church. Father Grigori shows them the body and says another prayer. The body is old and has been stained black with ancient ash and is dry and desiccated. It is becoming brittle as if it were only made supple by the black arts of the demon. Phedra and Neysa conclude that the vis has been purified by God. Phedra surreptitiously checks and finds that there are 5 pawns of corpus vis in the body. She gathers it all into a tooth but cannot get the tooth out. Neysa distracts the Father and easily extracts the tooth. Father Grigori shows the other two bodies as well. Unfortunately, neither Neysa nor Phedra has any knowledge of medicine and they can only agree that they are indeed dead. Phedra adds that there is no vis in the corpses.

Everyone returns to their rooms to try to rest for the rest of the night.

The next day, Phedra awakes at about noon to find that servants have brought clothes, water, fruit etc. His Lordship greets the ladies and hopes that they are enjoying their stay. Neysa indicates that they will stay a little longer before heading back to their “estates” on the coast.

The two mysterious strangers have left early. No-one seems to know where they went at the manor. Investigation at the docks indicates that only the lady left. It is agreed that they will stay one more day then head back on the evening tide. Nothing extraordinary occurs and the magi return to the covenant with Father Grigori. It is agreed that he will return to the town every week or so to keep an eye on the situation.

Everything appears to return to normal with no further attacks or depradations being noticed. The missing fishing boat does not turn up, but the boat transporting the Lady does. It is agreed that the corpus vis should go to the covenants stores.

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Joedylan2000 Phedra

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