excerpt from THE TRAVEL JOURNAL OF MOTHER BASILLA BENEDICTA, PRIORESS OF THE KISVARDA CHAPTER OF THE SISTERS OF OUR MARTYRED LADY
24 April. The Town of Dertflinghan – My heart is uneasy. My bodyguard, Hugo, has joined Sir Mannleigh and his companions as they head south to the Graveyard of Old Dertflinghan. In daylight, this seemed the wisest course but, as evening approaches, I feel as if I am in danger. I have decided to barricade myself inside the church where I intend to keep an all-night prayer vigil until morning. However, before I proceed further I should explain the chain of circumstances which has placed me in this precarious position. Perhaps the act of writing will in itself clear my heart and mind.
As per my previous entries, I took a coach to the small village of Vechi, where, after being rescued from a band of roughs, I hired the German gentlemen Hugo Forst to accompany me eastward. Yesterday morning, the wagon track we were following joined a larger road and the sign at the intersection indicated that my destination was less than a day’s march away. We had hardly made this discovery when we were startled by a man’s voice from the trees behind us. We soon learned that the gentlemen was Dr. Richard Alcock, a well-known scholar from Oxford. He led us on a small trek through the trees to a small camp where he introduced us to the rest of his travelling companions.
It seems that the leader of their party is the gentlemen adventurer Sir Thrustam Mannleigh. After some discussion, I learned that these good people were, like me, headed for the village of Dertflinghan to inquire after a missing, or at least, unaccounted-for person. However, whereas I am searching for our missionary representative Sister Anthia (who has not answered my correspondence for over a month), Sir Mannleigh and his companions are answering a request from a Kastor Von Dertflinghan. I must admit, I found it hard to avoid becoming suspicious when I learned that two people had gone missing from the same small settlement within days of one another.
In any event, as they were in the process of breaking-down their camp, Sir Mannleigh insisted that Hugo and I should accompany him to the town. With my growing doubts, I was only too happy to oblige. By evening, I was to learn that this chance meeting was no chance at all, but instead a legitimate example of divine intervention. But again, I move ahead of myself.
We made our way onward and just before dusk we saw the small cluster of dwellings appearing before us. As we drew near, some townsfolk came forth and met us in the town square. Their disposition could best be described as amicable yet reserved.
We were in the process of making arrangements for food and lodgings when a couple of rustic fellows came running through the fields yelling warnings in our direction.
Everything else happened rapidly, and no doubt, my observations will seem scant and inaccurate. As the villagers ran to their homes, barring doors and windows behind them, I saw a dark figure moving around behind the church.
Sir Mannleigh’s hound also drew our attention to a pair of great wolves moving towards us in the gathering twilight.
It was during this search that, in the fire grate of the church cellar, we found a promising clue. Ms. Poundwood produced a scrap of burnt paper caught in the gap of a grate stone. I immediately recognized the writing as being in Anthia’s hand, and it ran thusly;
“…told me that the most likely source of the problem would be the mausoleum. I expect to take his advice in hand and to depart sooner rather than later. This place has eyes. I must leave it one way or another. Either way, if…”
Knowing that the remnants of the Old Graveyard of Dertflinghan lies to the south of the village, Mannleigh has decided to head in that direction as it offers him the only explanation of skulduggery in this cursed valley. I have sent the good Mr. Forst along with Mannleigh to be my eyes and ears while I stay behind and try to further investigate the strange happenings that surround this place.
It was long overdue, but Chris and I finally managed to align the dates and make it happen. We were playing against the clock a little, but my new baby is a good sleeper and we managed to proceed without interruption. Here was the table laid out as Dertflinghan. I finally had the opportunity to use my new evergreen bases, and I have to say, it was a fun table to play on.
Although, for the purposes of the story, the Mannleigh expedition came from the west, Chris deployed on the south entrance to the town, directly across from the vampires, in the woods on the other side of the palisade.
As I mentioned in a recent post, we’ve decided to switch entirely over the Tom Weiss’s campaign system. This means no more advances for characters (we weren’t really getting any anyway, and they aren’t necessary), no income, and no characters dying. Instead, we are keeping track of minor and major victories, with major victories allowing the winning player to add a new character or henchmen group to his roster. This game shook down as follows:
Controlling Mob at Game End (2 VP) – neither player
Most KO’d enemy characters (1 VP) – 4 each, neither player
Capture Female Victim (1 VP) – vampires achieved
Kill Master of Evil (1 VP) – monster hunters achieved
Result – 1 VP each; Draw
Can’t wait to play the next one. Hope you enjoy the photos, and as always…
Thanks for Reading,