Dangerous Beauty

Chapter Two: That Rabbit's Got a Vicious Streak a Mile Wide

Eisen, early spring

Our heroes sojourned to Eisen, on the theory that it is full of monsters and Ailsa enjoys fighting monsters. Also because a Sidhe lady told them to go there, and there was no compelling reason not to.

Arriving in Breisach, a small port town in Wische, the general opinion is that this place was a dump. The general opinion is not wrong. Whilst drinking in the “most dangerous tavern”, which failed to be particularly dangerous by virtue of none of the locals really wanting to get into it this soon after the war, the subject of a local bounty came up; it appeared that the locals were being terrorised by a great beast that screamed at night and left mutilated “things” in its wake. The bounty wasn’t particularly high, but the heroes went after the beast anyway, because why not.

(Fabiana had plenty of reasons why not.)

Investigating the latest scene of the beast’s attacks, the party discovered a farmhouse that appeared to be suffering from an extended case of rotting, and several cows that also seemed to be rotted rather than eaten. Ailsa tracked the beast to its cave, where Fabiana waited in her carriage and the others ventured in, to discover a giant rabbit, summarily dubbed a rabboceros.

A fight ensued! The rabbit failed to drastically maul anyone, and was slain. Upon returning to Breisach, the heroes described the effects of its bite to the mayor, who seemed extremely distressed by this news, going so far as to offer to have the beast’s pelt and head tanned and taxidermied to the party’s requirements for free if it meant getting them out of town.

From there, our heroes journeyed to Siegsberg, because they had heard of the Eisenfurst’s illness and the disappearance of his youngest son and figured “hey, rescuing a prince, that would be a feather in our cap”. Fabiana managed to get them an audience with Gisela Inselhoffer, the regent for the Eisfenfurst, who accepted their claim that they wanted to be of help, and gave them as much information about the missing prince as was available. To wit: Karl Thomas Steiner, his guardsman, had been travelling with him, and the pair never reached their destination; Steiner sent a letter to the Eisenfurst explaining that they had been attacked by bandits, but never returned to Siegsberg.

The party decided to investigate the road that Steiner claimed they had been attacked on, and encountered a small group of bandits who were extremely startled at the sight of a carriage bearing down on them with Ailsa sitting on the roof calling out for Prince Hans, and were therefore as helpful as possible. They directed the party to a smaller road leading into the nearby forest, saying that there was another group of bandits there who may have waylaid Steiner and the prince, but that they hadn’t, since they tended to try to avoid the notice of the Eisenfurst.

In the forest, the party made a highly conspicuous camp to attract the attention of Hannelore Falkenrath, the leader of the bandit group they had been directed to. She arrived, intrigued, and was persuaded to accept favours from Joachim in return for information. Said information was that there was a ruin further along the road that she and her fellow bandits (who were intimated to be largely women) had seen the pair travelling toward, and that they had seen Steiner leaving at a run, but that they didn’t know precisely what had happened to the prince.

The ruin turned out to be a Syrneth ruin! Creepy doors that opened when a panel of light was touched, with a bing noise; rooms that lit up on their own when entered; that sort of thing. There was an open door leading into a room full of weapons; in that room was also a pouch containing a dozen discs of an unknown metal, inscribed with consecutive numbers, although the 10 was missing. Aisla picked up the 6, and throughout the course of exploring the rest of the ruin discovered that it did not appear to want her to leave it behind.

Further exploration revealed a bedroom with a set of Syrneth armour, a laboratory containing a dozen or so books in Syrneth text with anatomical pictures, and a room full of strange black, flat rectangles and glowing oblong crystals that emitted a phrase in the Syrneth language when jostled.

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