Part 9 - Run in with the Devil
In the spring of 655, Friar Brain pays a visit to Pulton. He speaks with Lorenzo inquiring if he or his companions had heard from Maxim Theurge recently. It seems that he and his entourage were heading back to his home in Rome when they were ambushed. Everyone was found dead except for Maxim, who has gone missing.
The group then made the week long journey to Maxim’s home in Payern. There they spoke with his servant who was running the household in his absence. Maxim had not returned. They looked about, but saw nothing of interest.
They then travelled for four days to the location where Maxim was ambushed. They could see signs of the melee that took place, but again no clues of significance were found.
They then traveled southeast for five weeks, arriving in the city of Rome. It had been roughly 450 years since they last walked the streets of the great city. They could not help but notice how much it had declined since they lived there during its glory days.
They visited Maxim’s home there and convinced the servants to allow them to look about. In one room, they noticed a collection of urns. The centerpiece seemed to be missing. A servant explained that it was an Egyptian urn that had been stolen about three months prior.
Exploring the city, they happened upon a church that contained symbols of the Lodge of the Rose and Cross. They spoke with the priest there and after some coaxing, were able to get him to reveal that he was a member of the order.
He knew nothing about Maxim Theurge. He said that the Temple Brotherhood was very powerful in Rome so the few Nephilim that lived there kept a low profile. When asked what other Secret Societies were active in the city, he said that the Sisters of Isis had a strong presence. He told them to seek out a woman named Vespa in the Red Light district.
They sought out Vespa. When she realizes they are seeking her out, she tries to escape, but eventually they corner her. She initially denied knowing anything about Maxim Theurge, but after threatening to reveal her identity to the Temple Brotherhood, she admitted she stole the urn. She was instructed to do so by her Order, and send it to a fellow member who lived in Vezelay.
Doma was a Sister of Isis and she lived in Vezalay, so the only reasonable assumption was that she was the one who had ordered the urn stolen. With that, they said farewell to Rome and began the long journey home.
On the way home, they decided to stop by the town of Payern and pay Friar Brian a visit in order to update him on what he had learned. When they arrived at his home however, they found the front door smashed in and the interior in shambles. There were dried blood stains everywhere. They searched the home for clues but found nothing.
Inquiring with the neighbors as to what happened, they learned that a group of men stormed the house killing everyone inside. Their leader was described as a well-dressed man, likely wealthy. Two were very large, hulking men in long robes. There were five knights each wearing a different and unique type of armor.
They arrived back in Pulton in early summer. They only stayed for a day before continuing on to Vezelay.
Once in Vezelay, they met with Doma. She told them that Hupert was paying her a considerable sum to acquire the urn. The urn was Maxim’s Stasis. Hupert was also the one who told her about the manuscript they had, and had told her that they were the ones who revealed her servant as a witch. It appeared that Hupert was behind a lot of their problems. She also told them that Hupert lived in Viscillia.
They made the four day journey to Vascillia. They found his compound and scouted it out. Ka-Vision revealed that eight guards were present, each carrying Orichalka weapons. Furthermore, there was ninth individual who exhibited a high level of Khaiba.
They stormed the compound. Kristin encountered the man who was radiating Khaiba. He was a hulking figure with thick leathery skin and sharp claws. He fought like a man possessed by a beast, but Kristin was able to slay him.
When the assault ended, all but two of the guards were dead. One escaped and the other was taken prisoner. They interrogated him and learned that Hupert had travelled to Pulton to deal with some enemies there. They knew he was referring to them.
They travelled as fast as they could to reach Pulton, but the journey still took 10 days. As they scouted out the outskirts of the town, they ran into Nuge the hunter. He explained that Hupert had rounded up most of the townsfolk and was keeping them in Lorenzo’s home.
They marched into town to Lorenzo’s home. They were met by eight guards and two more of the large mutant men. They slew the guards with ease. The mutants proved more challenging, but they too were defeated.
As they were finishing the battle, Hupert emerged from the town inn with his five knights. Hupert wielded the Bronze Blade of Gilgal. The knights were skilled fighters and their armor was super-naturally tough. Kristen attacked Hupert, but he struck her down with a single blow of his weapon.
Lorenzo was killed by one of the knights, but Janu incarnated into the body of one of the knights. William was able to slay Hupert, but Hupert’s Nephilim incarnated into Nuge and the fight continued. Quinton was able to apply magic healing on Kristin and keep her alive. William slayed Nuge and Janu killed the last of the knights.
In the end, the town’s people were freed, and Lorenzo was given a hero’s memorial. Janu’s new Simulacrum was a knight named Hexald, which he would remain with. Quiton found a collection of notes on Hupert regarding his magic studies. He learned that Hupert had learned Summoning rituals that bound spirits to armor, making the armor much stronger. This was why the knights were so hard to kill.
In the days that followed, things settled back to normal and the rest of their days in Pulton, which would last another 30-50 years were uneventful. During that time, each succumbed to age and a hard life, going into Stasis to await their next awakening.