Savage Tale: Rats in the Woodwork
Savage Tale: Timing is Everything
L’longa visits the heroes during their sleep, letting them know that a new adventurer will be joining them on their mission. It is early dawn, when Jacquelines de Fleur arrives at the inn, looking for the heroes. She keeps a secret, but is immediately accepted by the adventurers.
Ziva wakes up in the morning, it seems that Lady Melville’s nightly visit of the hanged man was only a dream. However, she remains suspicious. William learns, that the heart of the hanged man was removed during the night. Ziva has a strong feeling, where the heart might be, and she quickly goes through Lady Melville’s belongings and finds some strange-looking herbs. They confront Lady Melville with the facts, but she confesses, that all she was after, were some mandrake roots, which are very rare and grow only under hanged men. They accept her explanation.
When visiting the old womans body in the gibbet in the outer city at the docks, they are asked by locals to find the monster, who preys upon people in the night. They take a look at the last victims body: his torso is mutilated by something non-human beast, altough his heart is not missing. The murders started after the which in the gibbet ripped up her veins with her own hands, and cursed the people: “I will have revenge by my blood”. Jacqulines examines the location, and finds blood trails, leading to the sewers. Olaf decides that they will return by nightfall to patrol the streets.
Shorty after nighfall, they hear a scream and find a wounded man in his house, whose daughter was dragged off by the monster. By the magical light of Williams sword Jacqulines is able to track down the monsters path, that leads to the sewers. It is there, where they encounter a giant rat, mutated by the witches cursed blood, that ran to the sewers. The little girl is safe and unharmed. After a quick fight, the rat-monster is no more.
Arriving back at the inn, they hear cries and strange noises. The door of the inn is torn off, the stairs are damaged, like something big and heavy had made his way through. Ziva runs to their room, to stop the “witch” whatever she is doing, only to see a surprised Lady Melville in her bed. The others however encounter a huge metallic man-like construct in the innkeepers sons room, trying to crush the hero of the town to death. After a long an seemingly inefficient fight, William spots the constructs weak spot: his heart. They need three well-aimed attack to finally put the machine to rest, while dodging its crushing blows: Jacqulines survives the fight only with incredible luck.
The innkeepers son is barely alive, he is rushed to the inner city for medical aid. Meanwhile the heroes pay a visit to the mechanic, whom they remember back from their entrance to Northampton. The man is badly injured, his own construct wounded him after awakening to life with the help of the hanged mans heart. After Ziva overcomes her urge to kill off the mechanic, they leave the man to his fate. Ziva however steals a few shillings from the mechanics desk, and refuses to leave the money, despite Williams will. “You are no heroes, you are not better then any of us”, shouts the man, as they are leaving.
Back at the inn Ziva tries her best to apologize to Lady Melville for her bad judgement and for calling her a witch. But deep in her heart she is not completely convinced.