Episode 13 : Running Up Debts
 

Crayg Rydorsson pulled out his small silver mirror and spoke with his demon, he wanted to know what the demon would want for full information on the bracelets and the instillation of the bracelets on some willing persons. The Demon Humzaar stated that this time it would be three babies or three virgins. "Hmmm.", said Crayg Rydorsson, "I know a orphanage nearby.". He along with Bobo Fettsson set out on their night errand. They entered the grounds easily and Crayg Rydorsson climbed the building wall to enter by a third floor open window. He went along the corridor and saw a sign marked girls and knew he now he had his target. He silently entered the room and found seven girls fast asleep. Gliding over to the first one he put his hand over her mouth and knocked her out with the flat of his sword. The girl beside her started to stir but he swiftly rendered her unconscious and likewise all the rest.

Crayg Rydorsson pulled out the mirror and the Demon Humzaar appeared. "Which ones do you want?", said Crayg Rydorsson. The Demon Humzaar pointed, "Hmmm, I like those three.". Crayg Rydorsson barricaded the room with the beds and turned to the first one he had knocked out and he had his way with her. He arranged the chosen three about him. Crayg Rydorsson began his sacrifice "In the name of the Demon Humzaar the magnificent I make this offering.", he screamed out at the top of his voice while holding two of the girls. Storm clouds gathered over the orphanage, lightning flashed and thunder roared. A wind picked up in the room and the nearby window burst outwards. The air rendered apart and out of the rend stepped the Demon Humzaar, 8' tall, green with an evil smile upon his face. The smell of brimstone filled the room. The Demon Humzaar grabbed the girls by the neck and stepped back through the rend in space. Blood sprayed out and covered Crayg Rydorsson completely from head to toe.

Bobo Fettsson heard the storm above and could hear in the distance the whistles of the city guard coming closer. Bobo Fettsson crossed the street and stood in the shadows. The first of the city guard appeared, Bobo Fettsson stepped out from behind him and in one fell sweep of his two handed sword lopped off his leg. The guardsman fell unconscious to the floor as good as dead. Bobo Fettsson stepped back into the shadows again. He could hear more guards close by and thought that this is going to get too close for comfort so he decided to leave.

Crayg Rydorsson picked up the last girl and repeated the ritual. Now there came banging upon the dormitory door and hands trying to force the door open. Again the Demon Humzaar walked upon the world, Crayg Rydorsson practically threw the girl into his hands saying "Got to rush.". Blood sprayed the room and Crayg Rydorsson again. Crayg Rydorsson jumped from the remains of the window, as the door was finally pushed in, then the screaming and cries started from the room above him. Crayg Rydorsson, tied to use the skill adrenal landing, but failed and landed awkwardly, he lay there stunned on the ground. The city guard were in the grounds of the orphanage. "There he is over by the stairs.", they shouted and advanced upon Crayg Rydorsson position. Crayg Rydorsson just having got his wind back sprinted around the corner and down into the street beyond. The city guard took pursuit. Crayg Rydorsson lost two but two kept doggedly to his tail no matter what turn he took.

Bobo Fettsson caught a glimpse of Crayg Rydorsson running parallel in the alley beyond and moved down the alley leading to him. Crayg Rydorsson pulled out his shortsword. The fastest city guard a weathered sergeant named Felix, was upon him in a flash, there was the clash of arms and Crayg Rydorsson stood there his arm holding his guts in from the slash he had just received. With his dying breath Crayg Rydorsson pulled out the mirror "Save me.". The Demon Humzaar smiled, "Three more virgins.". "Done.", was all Crayg Rydorsson could say as consciousness left him. The arm of the Demon Humzaar whipped out caught Crayg Rydorsson and pulled him into the abyss. The brave Felix slashed at the demon's arm but bounced off. With a pop Crayg Rydorsson vanished and fell into darkness again. The air of the alley was still. From the corner of his eye Felix saw Bobo Fettsson quickly look around the corner his falchion dripping with the blood of the other city guard. Felix sprang upon him, again the clash of arms and in an old battlefield manoeuvre, learnt long ago, Felix sent his sword through his foes side puncturing both his lungs. His lungs swiftly filled with blood. Bobo Fettsson expired having no pet demon to call upon.

Later that night Harry Mata was watching the old cemetery outside of Middleburg when the sky opened and out dropped the unconscious form of Crayg Rydorsson and the remains of three female forms. Crayg Rydorsson awoke as before in the cemetery just outside Middleburg surrounded by the dismembered bodies of the girls slain by the Demon Humzaar. The blood upon him was dry and his clothes had a massive slash across the abdomen. His abdomen similarly had a massive scar. Alive but indebt to a demon. A figure come toward him out of the darkness. Crayg Rydorsson who was still disorientated from his experience, however he recognized the figure as Harry Mata. Lucky for both that they recognized each other otherwise or there would be yet one more body to have been found in the cemetery in morning. They went down to the shoreline where Crayg Rydorsson stripped, and washed himself and his clothes. They boarded Harry Mata's small boat and rowed past the border guards and entered the dock area of Middleburg.

Harry Mata headed for the Snarled Tackle a local tavern where even 6' 6" northern barbarians don't walk alone and where fights are settled with a short knife thrust in the dark. Entering the tavern some patrons looked up and mumbled "That looks like Crayg Rydorsson.", "Yep, your right you know.". They went to a table in the corner where a Captain Volt sat in his usual seat. Drinks were served, payment never requested or offered at this particular table. Captain Volt was an infamous northern pirate or more correctly privateer exempt from the law. His speciality is moving people off shore at short notice, for a fee.

Captain Volt spoke of the Ibn-Fatwaani and how it had left on its normal circular route between Middleburg, Tornburg and the Eastern lands. Crayg Rydorsson inquired on passage its availability and cost for one of such prominence in the community of Middleburg. Later that night Crayg Rydorsson and Harry Mata went back to the Coven House. We spotted two groups of watches at the front and back of the Coven House. Each set of watches had a priest and a guard, they watched and waited as watches do.

Crayg Rydorsson entered the next building and knocked on the door of the room the party had first used to gain entry via a portal to the Coven House. The door was opened by a old man in his night shirt, "What do you want at this late hour?". The reply Crayg Rydorsson made was to in one swift motion disembowel the old man where he stood. The old man slipped to the ground without a sound and Crayg Rydorsson and Harry Mata entered the room and shut the door.

They tapped on the wall and after a couple of minutes were able to get a response in the form of a portal appearing and Serra Ibin Raaviat standing there, inquiringly, "Yes?". Crayg Rydorsson spoke that the Coven House was being watched. The other members of the party involved in the fatalities of yesterday were able to identify various members from the Temple of Lumina. Watch was kept during the remainder of the night and in morning the decision was made to vacate the building and move the statue with the scrying device to another location.

We noticed that more priests had appeared and that they looked like they would be entering the building shortly. The portal was opened and, using leaving, the statue appeared in the old man's room. The portal sealed as the front door burst in and the priests of the Temple of Lumina entered in search of the persons responsible for the carnage of yesterday. The raid took place under the watchful eye of someone who seemed very experienced in this field. There were no casualties from traps and in the end the leader of this group went off annoyed that the party had managed to avoid him. Grimwold Mindbreaker cast mind typing and determined that this man was human, a bounty hunter and 19th level, someone not to be messed with. Serra Ibin Raaviat found out later that he was a noble warrior in the employ of the Prince of Middleburg.

Meanwhile in the room next door there is a full length mirror. Standing facing away from the mirror was Crayg Rydorsson and in the mirror was not the reflection of Crayg Rydorsson but there stood the image of the Demon Humzaar, munching on a severed forearm. The Demon Humzaar looked up and with a wicked grin said, "So Crayg Rydorsson do you desire the implantation of the bracelets of Sultan Kush'wahari, Hmmm?". There were two pair and the group decided that they would go to Harry Mata and Garack seeing they represented the fighting element of our group. "Give me your wrists.", whispered the demon and licked his lips. They held out their hands and moved them into the mirror and withdrew them a minute later. They stood there white and fatigued and the Demon Humzaar licked his lips which were covered with fresh blood. "Must not let the blood go to waste.", he muttered. Harry Mata and Garack could feel no pain in their wrists but could feel the strength flowing through.

Serra Ibin Raaviat spoke, "In my research last night I discovered that the bracelets belonged to an Eastern Sultan Kush'wahari. He had made a group of Alchemists forge the bracelets for 47 members of his personal bodyguard. Once this was done he had them killed so that the secret would not be passed on to his enemies. What Sultan Kush'wahari had not planned upon was his bodyguard turning on him, which they eventually did, took his empire and had it fall to ruin about them. The bracelets then passed on to many wrists mostly in the Eastern realms but at least two came westward.".

Serra Ibin Raaviat turned to the Demon Humzaar and wanted to know what the demon would require to attach the silver right hand of Sabritee Jafnari. The hand that acted as a times five mace. "Hmmm.", the demon spoke, "Let me have my way with you and give me a powerful magic item and this will be yours.". "Will I be barren after or with demonspawn?", spoke Serra Ibin Raaviat. "Well one or the other.", spoke Humzaar. "No deal.", said Serra Ibin Raaviat, "The price is too high.".

Grimwold Mindbreaker used his spells to investigate the surrounding buildings and determined that the building opposite had a vacant room on the second floor. Harry Mata went over and saw upon the door a sign which read that the room was vacant inquire below for renting. Harry Mata went to the room below and was met by an old lady who wanted to know his business. He stated he wanted to rent the room above, she replied two silvers a month rent, he passed over the silvers. She asked for references, he passed over two silvers more, she passed back the key. Harry Mata went back upstairs and opened the window. In a rush of magic, using leaving, the statue appeared in the room along with the magic wielding party members, others party members came into the room in a more conventual manner.

Two days passed. The halfling in this time had returned to the remains of the Restless Pig only to find that the earth under the building had been excavated and the bolt hole where the halfling had hidden the monkey's jewels was no more. The halfling was mortified, and took a sip of wine to console himself of the loss. Vernon Zarck had been doing some investigation at the Library and had been able to ascertain that the silver coins were to summon either an Ice Demon or a Snow Demon and that this could be accomplished by either putting the coin in water or by use of the Staves and Wands skill which Vernon Zarck had mastered for this item. Vernon Zarck hissed softly to himself and passed each person one coin, only Harry Mata returned his, and the halfling complained that the remainder should not all be in the possession of Vernon Zarck, but everyone ignored the halfling.

 

 
(c) 1997 One Night in Middleburg Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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