Episode 3: Hymn to the Golden Lady (Sorcerer: Into the Kl'au)

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Another session log for our game of Sorcerer & Sword.

On the Caer Hyvel…

Krenzi and the Invader are crossing the ridge of Caer Hyvel after their visit to Hichtepunt on the Deenskewâl. Having gathered a bundle of Skunkblum, the Invader is manic.

They hear a voice speaking, and spot the hunter Thomas Begenhof speaking to an unseen companion. Krenzi strikes Thomas with a stone, and impresses the hunter with his derangement.

They hear a cry, and find Timmy kneeling beside a body. Krenzi recognizes the corpse as a charcoal burner named Tûk Stokken, but there is a huge row of puncture wounds crossing Tûk’s neck and collar-region, as if he was bitten by a massive animal, and his body is descicated and emaciated.

Thomas notes the freshness of the kill and gathers up Timmy under his cloak to hurry away. He urges Krenzi to follow.

In Kl’austed…

While Chaser and Tulasa exit the Kirk with Jacobus after their clash with Adacius, they notice burns on their hands were they touched the Lord Inquisitor. Chaser tries to tell Jacobus that Adacius has gone mad, or worse.

Adacius, meanwhile, barricades himself inside the Kirk and begins kindling fires using old hymnals and broken benches. When they see smoke issuing from the Kirk, Tulasa and Jacobus rush toward the door to break it down while Chaser goes to one of the Skaalruters to get a handaxe. Once they gain entry, they see Adacius pouring spirits all over himself, warning them to stay back, so he can burn his sins away.

Tulasa gathers some hymnals and throws them outside while Jacobus tries to stop Adacius from hurting himself. Adacius hurls Jacobus aside and throws himself into burning brazier, engulfing himself in flame.

Tulasa draws his sword to end the spectacle, but Chaser throws his overcoat over Adacius to smother the blaze. Tulasa uses his sword to open the Infinite Stacks instead, dragging Adacius in while flames crawl up the walls of the Kirk and the wooden beams begin to strain.

Chaser struggles to persuade Jacobus that what they are doing is good, but the Lieutennant splutters in unreasoning shock after seeing Tulasa open a door in mid-air. Chaser drags Jacobus into the Stacks as well. As they enter, a curator of the Stacks appears to welcome his master, Tulasa.

At the Abandoned Farm…

Wind blows through the cornfield, making the leaves rustle in a way that sounds like a voice. The voice introduces itself as A Senhora de Ouro—the Golden Lady—and invites Ghanna to sing a hymn in her honor. When Ghanna declines, “the Golden Lady” reminds her that Ghanna and her companions came here as strangers and are currently under her protection.

Seeing this from the cottage, Duke approaches after asking his mercenary team to keep alert. “The Golden Lady” recognizes him, and calls forth her steward, Niehege Eywa. Eywa appears at the edge of the corn, looking like a younger version of Duke himself.

Invading the Infinite Stacks

Krenzi arrives in Kl’austed with Timmy and Thomas after nightfall, to find the Kirk burning. The Felkiezers and Avga Akh’s riders work alongside the Klavs to carry water from the Fuorjen to fight the fire.

The Invader takes Krenzi into the Infinite Stacks, whose door is hidden in the blaze. Krenzi comes out of the shadows to see Chaser speaking with Adacius. The curator takes Tulasa asside before he sees Krenzi.

Adacius apologizes to Chaser. When Adacius spots Krenzi, he confesses that the torture Krenzi endured was not as a prisoner of the Sultan of Deltoss, as he thought, but a secret Inquisition operation to test the limits of human pain and humilation. They pushed Krenzi too far, and he renounced his faith.

While Adacius speaks to Krenzi, Chaser takes Jacobus aside to steer the Lieutennant’s understanding of the situation. Jacobus has regained his composure, and he goes to Adacius to pray with him to fight off this fiendish mood. Adacius asks Jacobus to give him blood to drink or kill him, but Jacobus continues to kneel beside the Lord Inquisitor, praying more fervently.

Growing bored, the Invader begins pulling out books from a large stack beside him, making it unstable, alerting the Stacks to his presence…

Niehege’s Tale

On the edge of the cornfield, Duke Ahwe and Niehege Eywa take stock of each other and share stories about their past. Eywa tells how he lost his beloved Ourora while fighting side-by-side at the battle of Vale Verde—241 years ago. Heartbroken, he ventured into Deenryk to restore her. When he summoned her at last, she came in the form of miraculous corn seeds.

Duke asks about Eywa’s miracles, and Eywa confides that they were Ourora’s doing: Her maize and its syrup bring healing. They have traveled, putting down roots in one place after another, departing from each place when Ourora’s miracles begin drawing unwanted attention.

Eywa notices Silionna eavesdropping, and recognizes her. In a revery, she tells Duke that it was Eywa and not Duke that she has been remembering in her dreams. Eywa recounts how he was fleeing after an incident when he came across a village massacred by Inquisitors who were hunting for him. Among the charnel, he found Silionna, barely clinging to life. Ourora used her power to heal the girl, but left her in a coma. Eywa took her and left her under the care of a convent in Adûnibad, paying them handsomely for their discretion.

Duke and Ghanna suggest that Eywa pack up and flee the Kl’au, but Eywa says Ourora cannot release the seed corn while she is starving for her need. Eywa asks Duke and Ghanna to sing hymns to her with him, offering her worship. Ghanna scoffs, but Silionna bows low before the corn. Duke joins in the singing, planting Maiven in the earth before him and weaving in lyrics to sate her need as well.

As the sun begins to rise, snowflakes drift down from the steel grey sky.

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