Domine Dirige Nos

Disappearing children

(From the pen of brother Godric, Wotan’s Day, (Wednesday), Halig Monath.

So far, certain dark issues have surfaced in Ongus. The party has had to work out what these are and what places we need to visit.

At the moment the issues are:

1. Rumour of plague in the city.
2. Children disappearing, (note Keiran Bode was an apparent target).
3. The individual that asked for a package to be delivered and was violent when it wasn’t.
4. Is Mistress Marta up to something that concerns us.

Places to visit:

1. The pet shop.
2. The dockside.
3. The ship Sweet Azalea.
4. The orphanage.
5. The carnival, (at the moment, not considered highly relevant).
6. Any location relevant to Mistress Marta (maybe).

Deciding to look into the issue of disappearing children, the party made a visit to the pet shop that evening. Entering the darkened shop, Gregor crept upstairs to find the (not) friendly individual concerned about a package, and promptly hit him over the head. He was astonished to find a woman hiding under the bed. Not only was she Chaubretten, but it became clear that Gregor’s blow wasn’t necessary as she had killed the man. She said that she was an operative looking into the issue of disappearing children, which wasn’t occurring in Ongus alone. Several papers and a book (all written in Mercanian) were taken away.

At the cathedral, Godric secured the assistance of a lay brother, Nigor, who could read Mercanian. The most important information was a list of four ships, each with a number, (Blood Helm 4, Savage Maiden 5, Death from Underneath 11 and Sweet Azalea 17).

Agreeing that the Sweet Azalea should be looked at next, Brother Godric convinced his employer, Father Henwick, to write out an ecclesiastical writ to inquire into immoral practices, (prostitution outside licenced premises). This secured entry onto the ship, with the officers ashore. No children were found, although there were animal cages in the hold. When the officers returned, things got ugly. Brother Godric and Gregor were locked in the hold, but the hatch was opened after Godric threatened to set fire to the tar below, (trusting in a higher authority for the welfare of Gregor and himself), and the officers were swayed by the presence of a church writ. One said that when the captain returned they would be leaving. There was also talk of the crew losing a ‘good profit’. Sure enough, when the captain was on board, the ship set sail, after a crew member was put off, (possibly the one that allowed the party aboard).

Inquiries were made at the dock. The dockmaster confirmed that all four ships had visited Ongus. Curiously, Death from Underneath was a war galley. It was speculated that this could be owned by an important person, so that the issue of disappearing children might involve someone high up in one of the royal courts. There was also some talk at the dock about ‘children who could work magic’. Godric, Gregor and AElfraed stayed at the dock to make sure that the ship departed without picking up a cargo at the last minute, while the others headed to the orphanage. Godric and Gregor ran there after the ship left. The Sweet Azalea appeared near the orphanage and a crossbow bolt hit Gregor, (fortunately without much damage), further indication of displeasure aboard that the party had prevented the crew from making their ‘good profit’. After a girl came out to fill some buckets with water, Jayden decided to help her and the party went in after them. They were then confronted by the headmistress. It appeared that the ophanage was not involved with the matter of disappearing children, although the headmistress knew about it. She scorned the talk of children performing magic.

At some stage Mistress Marta got to hear about this talk of magic-using children. She also dismissed it. By now the night had passed and the daylight of Torsdae was beginning to appear.

Jayden’s Diary - Entry 2

(Haligdae X Halig-Monath CMXCII AS)

Look, I have tried very hard to drink this away, just ask Ælfræd. However it seems I have completely failed, not at the drinking, the Lord knows I am good at that, but drowning my increasing curiosity in the murders occurring in Ongus.

I will admit a 100 Florin reward might have had some influence on my peaked interest but it is not that alone. People I knew have been violently murdered and my friend is now homeless and parentless. But there is something more than just compassion at work here, I am intrigued. Who would do this and why? The “clues” found, excluding the coin, are just too obvious. The feathers found under two of the bodies point to the circus and specifically the flying man. As I said too obvious. Of more interest is the placement of the bodies in holy sites.

Summary of the murders to date:

Date Person Clues Body Found Ref
VI Halig-Monath
Ælfræd Ælfgarson
Decapitated, signs that he had dressed rapidly, a square coin found found in his shop C36
VII Halig-Monath
Bryony, Ælfræd’s mother (herbalist) Ripped open and mutilated Saint Bartaman’s Church D18
VIII Halig-Monath
Chestnut seller A number of internal organs have been removed. Feather found under the body. Saint Handel’s Church F1
IX Halig-Monath
Teacher Terribly mutilated. It is clutching a large feather in one hand Selentine Temple C22
XI Halig-Monath
Mutilated and thrown from the top of the stump, missing its heart. The body was dragged up the side of the stump and dropped as we past. Next to the Great Stump (which also operates as a temple to the ancient gods – the old faith). H1

The arrival of a strange ship in the harbour provided a welcome distraction. Turns out it was a capsized barge and Gregor righted it without much effort. After a bit of an investigation it seems that at some time the “boat” had been tied down and weighted and held underwater. The “boat” was discovered to be Mungoden and the coin was identified to be Mungoden also.

After midday the majority of my friends and I reported for duty and were put under command of Ayden (oh for the love of all things holy). Anyway, I guess it could worse. Our job was to walk the streets, not something that was completely unfamiliar to many of us. We were ordered to patrol Long Market, Byway and Great Oak.

The Earl Mancaster sent us to the Swan to speak with the Mungoden barman. He explained that it was likely Mungodan Priests, probably the “Volucreth”. The barman told us that were every they were hiding they would want to be warm.

As we returned to Old Fort we passed through the district Castra along Ducks Road, we noticed a building producing a lot of smoke. Keiran was sent to the Earl and returned with a small army. A nasty battle ensured and the two Volucreth priests were killed.

The Murder of Ælfgar

The last conversation that Ælfræd Ælfgarson would ever have with his father Ælfgar was a request by the older man to leave the house for the night so that he and Ælfræd’s mother could celebrate their anniversary. To encourage his son to leave the house Ælfgar gave his son 3 Florins.

Ælfræd joined many of Ongus’ residents in the town square watching a Chaubrettain circus, the Circus Magnifique, which stunned those watching with a display of aerial acrobatics and the appearance of an aurora. After the circus the majority of the friends retired to the Swan Inn to enjoy the rest of the evening while discussing how the flying man flew. Sadly sometime in the night Ælfgar was murdered.

Early the following morning Ælfræd is arrested for the murder of his father, Ælfgar was beheaded, an action that Ælfræd was clearly incapable of. This interruption to breakfast is most unwelcome. Even has Brother Godric takes up Ælfræd’s case a lawyer, Master Stanslaw, his retained to defend Ælfræd (by Wolfrick Boniface, Eadweard’s father) for the princely sum of 120 Florins . However also by this time the chief investigator has already concluded that was most unlikely that Ælfræd had murdered his father. Most worryingly Ælfræd’s mother is missing… During Brother Godric’s investigation of the crime scene he found a silver coin, not one he was familiar with.

Before Ælfræd could be brought to trial, Brother Godric is called to investigate the grisly murder of Ælfræd’s mother, who’s body was found brutally slashed in graveyard of the St Bartimans (on Close Candle Close) at about 3am. Godric went immediately to the Swan where Ælfræd has spent the night with Jayden and Keiran, who vouch for Ælfræd being in the Swan all night.

Jayden and 3 others vouch for Ælfræd’s innocence at the trial the following day and Ælfræd is found not guilty.
By the time Ælfræd arrives at his home he finds goods missing. He tracked them down and also finds that his father had been indebted to the guild however he is able to recover 75 Florins. The building however has been ceased by the guild.

By the following morning there had been another murder and Brother Godric was called again. The man (although that was difficult to discern) was dumped in St Handel’s churchyard. Alhin, a doctor, was already on the scene and examining the body. The man murdered was a chestnut seller who plied his trade in Great Oak and was last scene about 11pm the night before.

Keiran, who was first commissioned to distribute pamphlets advertising the circus and then collect them because the church objected to them, was employed to post bills advising of a reward for information leading to the murderer or the murderer him/herself.

About midnight a 4th body is discovered in the ruins of an ancient Selentine temple, spreadeagled and with the chest cracked open. Ayden and Eadweard were first on the scene and were led to the body by a boy (Besel) who worked nearby at the cheesemonger. The body was identified as belonging to a monk. Again Brother Godric was summoned to the site…


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