Three men went to Dunnsmouth (S01/P03)

Third Part of Session 01

After they all were awake and decided that “night time” was over now, Jasper began to feel hungry and so they started their “day” with a meal (none of the characters had eaten much since the morning, but the events had driven them on and on). In the meanwhile Cormagh studied the church chronic (he was the only one of the three who was able to read and write). The latest entries turned out to be the unintelligible scribbling, but older entries of Father Iwanopolous told the characters that this”Twilight” is already lasting for years (and that non of the remaining inhabitants seemed to care much about it). After they found a register with all the souls of the Parish (from the time Father Iwanopolous took up his duty) they went through it and memorized who still has been here here 5 years ago. They checked the chronic for entries about vampirismn or other strange events beside “the Twilight”, but found none (they only thumbed through the chronic, so), while they sized up their situation and counted the silver from the log box.

All in all, Cormagh considered this to be enough to “call it a day and stay near the pier to wait for the Madlein.” His point of view was that they came to earn themselves 800sp, and now they already had 800sp and two heads worth 400sp in total. He had a point there and only Angus seemed to have second thoughts about stealing from the church (but eased his mind that he could always donate 50sp to his local church…). Jasper agreed with Cormagh this was a good plan, but he still wanted to see if they could find the other two “…and perhaps we find out what is wrong here along the way”. Cormagh just shrugged and Angus was not in the spirit to argue (the fact that he used the booze as painkiller might have had something to do with it. Or the fact that the players were intrigued enough by what they had seen so far that they wanted to go on).

Their plan for the “day” was to leave anything they would not need really need to carry around (their tent, the bedrolls, etc.) at the church, so that this would become their base of operation for now. The silver from the strongbox, they shared equally among themselves. A quick search has revealed to them a long wooden box with gardening tools, and there they stored their belongings (together with the sack that contained the two severed heads). Everything else (including the skiff) they would take along and go back to the flooded area they had crossed on their way to the church “the other day”.

Jasper: “But what if somebody comes here and steals our stuff?”
Cormagh: “IF somebody comes here steals from us, I will start stealing from the people here, too!”
Angus: “…starting? Haven´t we just looted their church…?”

Cormagh answered with an open ended “Well….”, the other two smiled and shook their heads before they packed up to move back to the flooded area and began to follow its northern edge. On their way back, they came past the ruin of the old guesthouse again and checked it once more , but their was still no sign of any occupation. While they inspected the area, they noted a feint gleam in the fog to the north (after what might have been an hour or more they spend following the edge of the water, but that was just a guess as they had no method to measure the passing of time). They followed the shine, and the water grew more shallow, but not so shallow that they would need to pull their skiff again. At least, not before they heard the first sounds through the mist: quick, repeated strikes, like somebody would use an hammer on something. The noise disappeared and re-appeared as they came closer and after a while they came across small stone cottage with a crude wooden door, but with a burning oil lamp outside, hanging from a nine-inch-nail in the door frame. From the sound of it, somebody was working with hammer and nail on the other side of the house.

With a quick look the three assured another that they would try to simply call out and greet, and see what happens. Their call was not answered at first, but the hammering ended. From around the house came a tall, lean guy in erstwhile good, black clothes that were now stained with earth and dirt. In his left, he held up another lantern and in his right, he held a hammer. Surprise was clearily written all over his face (that was framed by curly black beard that has obviously had been cut with a knife instead of a razor, same as his hair), but he just said “oh… strangers… a moment please…” before he put down the hammer in front of the door and turned out his second lamp. The characters introduce himself, and the stranger introduced himself as “Johan van Kaus, the undertaker”. The characters had noted immediately that the man was speaking with a strange, thick accent but were unable to say where it was from (I tried my best to mimic a mix of English accent while speaking like I would have a numb mouth). Jasper asked him where he would be from “as your obviously not from around here”, and earned himself a rather miffed response by the undertake, who explained that “I have been hear since my childhood, and we van Kaus simply speak like that!”. The small faux pas was quickly forgotten as the PC explained why they are here and Johan was shocked to hear that “robbers and murders” would be on the loose around Dunnsmouth.

During their (otherwise polite) conversation they learned that Johan was mostly busy offering his service to those already dead “see, the graveyard has been flooded. So many coffins and corpses are now floating around in area, it would not be very christian-like to leave them like that. And a lot of them are from my family, and I won´t leave a van Kaus behind like that. Oh, no sir! I will stay till I refurbished enough coffins to give them all a proper burial at sea instead”. Furthermore, Johan made for them a simple map of the area (by crudely scrimshawing it into a part of broken coffin lid) and told them who would be living there. The characters also learned that it might be wise to stay away from the Samsons, and that if they would be looking for help they would better ask one of the Duncasters. And of course, that Johan was the last of the van Kaus in Dunnsmouth. As they parted, Johan murmured something to himself about “…robbers and murders” before he went inside his cottage, turned out the light and barred the door from the inside.

To be continued…

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Three men went to Dunnsmouth (S01/P03)

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