Friday, March 16, 2012

Puritan Encounters (Wermspittle)

"Puritans and Dogmatists rage and hew and burn their way through the heavy patina of phantasmagoria and the elaborate detritus of uncounted dreams that have accumulated, coagulated, taken root or festered within the dark spaces and closed-off sections. They are ill-suited to navigating the in-roads and by-ways of a composite reality that is far too negotiable, all too malleable, changeable and inconstant. Where others once grew gardens, they now sow thorns and ashes. The Forking Paths and Cold Roads mock them in their exile, their fall from grace, their damnation that they would inflict upon others rather than face in the silence of the night."
As quoted from 'Less Than That.'

Rigid. Ruthless. Righteous in their relentless pursuit and prosecution of heresy, blasphemy and any vestige, hint or taint of what they judge as evil.

Puritans have ridden long and hard through wasteland, wilderness and war-zones to bring the blazing wrath of their Burners and their intolerance unto a place that none of them knew even existed...a place that was just a sour gleam in the eye of their leader. A place that mocked his resolve and taunted his convictions and haunted his dreams. A place he came to know as Wermspittle.
Puritan Encounters in Wermspittle
  1. (2d4) shave-headed and spear-wielding Novitiates in coarse woolen robes riveted with a few scraps of armor salvaged from battlefields where their Masters fought against the unbelievers and blasphemers. By decree they are only allowed to take pieces from the fallen of their own faith, however one of them has dared to adorn himself with a single filigreed wermhide greave taken from an accused heretic burned at the stake. So far he has kept the thing wrapped in rags, but should any of his fellows find him out...it would go badly.
  2. A single heavy war horse is loose in the street. Its reins have been cut and the saddle is lop-sided, almost ready to fall off. The creature is wild-eyed and lashing out at everything that comes near. A Butcher leaning against a post offered four pounds of salt or 40 silver marks to anyone who'd be so kind as to put the poor beast out of its misery and help drag the carcass back to his shop before anyone notices or gets ideas of their own.
  3. (1d4) Silent Observers are marching at double-time in order to reach their station in front of one of the local brothels. They wear masks beaten by their own bare hands from thin sheets of iron taken from the harnesses of soldiers they have ordered executed. Each one wields a potently-spiked morningstar.
  4. (1d6) Extractors clad in heavy studded and layered robes tightly corseted and painfully girded upon them by their overseers. Each one carries tongue-tongs, curved probes, flensers, and a set of manacles that they can use as a flail when not locked in place around the limbs of their victims. Dour and taciturn, they glare disapprovingly at everything around them. But still they hold their position, awaiting orders. They intend to stand here forever, if need be, in order to prove their loyalty and fidelity.
  5. (3d4) Heavy Bruthem-hide armored Burners, each one carrying an iron pry-bar and a bastard-style axe (can be used one or two-handed). There are only three burner-units, no matter how many troops are milling around. The locals are eyeing these crews suspiciously. Their burner-units could be worth a good deal to certain discrete purchasers, and no one wants to see these fools set fire to a bar or tavern. (Base Chance of 70% for a Riot to break out once the Burner crews actually set to burning anything or anyone.)
  6. A now 10 HD Withering Mist is in the process of draining the last least bits of life force from a pair of Deserters who've shed their armor and thought that a pair of swords and some grim determination would be enough to get through the alleys of Wermspittle. Nope.
  7. A courier in reinforced burlap and riveted leather comes running hard along the street. He is carrying a sealed pouch full of official orders for the various units who are supposed to be taking up their designated positions up ahead. The kid is all of 14-15 years old and scared out of his wits by the things he's seen since coming to this place. He's so distraught that he trips and tumbles into a tangled pile. Perhaps someone might offer to help the lad out? Besides the plague-masked Goule or the Refugees from Sankatta who remember the Puritans all too well as the ones who burned them out of house and home...
  8. (1d4) Penitent-Masters in barbed chain-mail (barbs turned inwards), wielding heavy hammers or maces carved in the grotesque likeness of screaming souls, as studied first-hand.
  9. An officer of the Wrath-Riders, a distinguished and respected (i.e. feared) member of this Crusade is screaming obscenities and frothing, literally foaming, at the mouth as he begins to melt into a Loathsome Mass. Someone did a bit more than just slip him some White Powder...
  10. (1d2) Questioners in black leather harness and stinking, ragged over-blood-spattered robes crawling with vermin. They wield entire consecrated arsenals of torture instruments hung all about their persons. Their ritual lack of hygiene has been difficult for them; they are infested with Gore-Worms and will succumb to the creatures' influence and degenerate into Worm-Feeders on any roll of '1.'
  11. (3d6) Stakesmen in padded armor are setting-up (1d4) stakes to receive victims within an Abandoned Property. The Feral Children watching them have not seen fit to warn them about the old cess-pit beneath them, nor the pocket of methane gas that they know is down there, nor the Gobbling Grout (a large Type IV no less) that is placidly wallowing around down there.
  12. (3d6) Wrath-Riders in heavy plated-hide armor and wielding bastard swords and/or flails are standing guard over the few heavy war-horses they came here on...it seems that every time they attempt to leave a token guard, one or more horses disappear. When they contracted with a stable-keeper they lost six horses before they discovered that he was selling them to the local Butcher. The group is agitated, angry, and morale is dropping fast. To make things worse, their leader has disappeared. He went to confront the Butcher and demand an accounting.
  13. A dead Burner hangs from a lamp-post. A Maiden-hair rope was used. A Midwife has already collected the seed in order to make an Alraune.
  14. (2d6) Medium Infantry in heavy studded leather armor wielding three-tined spears (tines snap apart or shut when triggered by wielder) and light hammers or maces. One is a Cleric (level 1d4). They rode into this forsaken place in armored wagons that are gone now. The teams of oxen are gone. All the tack, barding, harnesses--it's all gone. They don't want to discuss it.
  15. (1d4) Mounted Wrath-Riders in heavy plated-hide armor and wielding bastard swords and flails are attempting to patrol the local area, only they keep running afoul of Drab Jellies, or (3d4) Changeling Gangers who keep slopping buckets of offal crawling with Gore-Worms at them.
  16. (2d4) Consecrated Conquistadors in their piously-polished cuirasses, armed with Gonnes and sabers are stumbling out of a brothel, drunk and smiling. Until a Silent Observer spots them. One of the  Conquistadors shoots the Observer in self-defense. They hastily sell the body to one of the locals, then walk off joking about the 'fortunes of war.'
  17. (1d8) Redeemers in soot-blackened chain-mail with large shields and wielding heavy serated-cleavers are chasing a small coterie of disrespectful Toaders who are leading them into a trap master-minded by a Vilg. The Vilg expects to curry favor in Latterkamp by delivering some fresh meat to the Goules. Too bad the Butcher it is working with intends to betray the Vilg and taint the meat with some Achromic Powder left behind by his son who was cut down by the Puritans when they first rode in. To make an example. The Butcher intends to make an example as well.
  18. (2d4) Light Infantry in padded armor and wielding hammers and javelins have captured a Blatherer that they have placed on a painful chain leash. The Blatherer refuses to shut-up. It is telling them everything it knows about the local customs, the Butchers, the Goules, the Loathsome Masses, all of it. The troops are getting nervous. Three have puked on their fellows just listening to the ultra-graphic descriptions that the creature is regaling them with...at least one of them is seriously considering desertion. He'll not get very far. There is a clutch of (4d6) Harpies watching them from one side and a flight of (2d4) Gargoyles keeping an eye on them from the other.
  19. (1d6) Wrath-Riders have been stacked neatly onto a meat wagon. They all seem to have succumbed to wine spiked with a particularly potent vintage of Black Liquor. A couple of burly Butcher Boys are dutifully assisting them to their final resting place. They're not dead yet...
  20. The Iron Masked Inquisitor stands at the landing of a stairway jutting out of the rubble. The rest of the building has collapsed into rubble. There is a Weak Point beneath his position. He is watching it with an unwavering gaze that would do a mad man honor.

2 comments:

  1. These ache with the setting and suggest a lot more about the further edges. Each one feels like a short story. Pungent and potent.

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  2. We're still experimenting with how we develop tables that reveal the setting in conjunction with the prose bits...the last couple of prose pieces were a tad 'meta' in some ways (They were written 3 moths ago...), so we're inclined to break that sort of thing up a bit more, limit it to only 3-4 paragraphs maybe, and then do a table to take it farther, like we did this time around. But it all depends on the reaction/response we receive. If this approach works for our readers, we'll do more.

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