The Crows of Westerland

The Buried Graveyard
In which the heroes find what lies beneath the city

Varna, Friedrich and Annegret go to the guild house of Corrick’s Crushers, a powerful and old mercenary company based in Marienburg. There they wish to investigate the Crushers, as an old dagger with their seal decorating it was found in the wreckage of Varna’s home. Friedrich has a friend in the Crushers, an old war dog named Theodor Jaeger, sometimes called “Teddy the Terrible” to his chagrin.

Theodor was reluctant to share much with the three, but after some convincing he did impart some information. Theodor had heard rumour coursing through the guilds that the Elven district has quickly grown defensive, fearing that someone from outside their ranks had attempted to kill their own, and that the Elves were questioning outsiders thoroughly.

Annegret had questions about the Crushers’ traditions concerning their dead. Theodor told them of their rites; that when a Crusher dies, it is often in the fields of war, where reclaiming the body in whole and sending it home for full burial can be difficult at best. The Crushers have taken to reclaiming a small part of their fallen brethren, perhaps a finger or an ear, encasing it in salt and having it sent back to the Crusher’s home for burial in the Gardens of Morr. What is left is then buried at the battlefield at a makeshift graveyard, often blessed by one of the many priests of Morr that travel with the Crushers.

When pressed, Theodor could recall that there was one of these graveyards inside of the city itself, made during one of the many battles that was fought inside the city’s limits hundreds of years ago.

When leaving the guild house, the three find a fierce Wood Elf woman questioning the guards at the front gate and brandishing a ring bearing the mark of the Crushers. She told of her friend, who was killed by something that could only be described as a reanimated skeleton, and that it wore the very ring that she had with her. The three imparted what secrets they’d learned about the Crushers, and that they too were also victims of the risen dead. The wood elf resolved to travel with the three, telling them that her name was Anquet.

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A Crown of Ravens

It is late into the night when Varna, wine in her veins and a newly inked contract in her hip bag, comes home from a business meeting. She sees the door to her home cracked open and thrown from its hinges. Inside, her cousin and his wife and children lay dead, their broken bodies scattered around a terrible hole, a puncture wound ten feet across, is broken through the stone tile of the house’s floor.

Annegret tends to the Gardens at the temple of Morr, as all Initiates do, when she can feel the wamth of the rising sun against her face. She looks heavenward and sees ravens circling in the sky above the Elven district. She knows this as a sign of Morr and without a second thought, leaves the temple and travels across the city to find out where the crows want her to go.

Annegret is led to Varna’s house. Varna is at first puzzled by this new arrival, but upon realizing that a priest of Morr has come, allows Annegret entrance to her home to assist her with last rites. It is during the last rites that Annegret examines the hole at the center of the main hall and realizes that whatever had created it had dug up from beneath the house, not down from the house to below.

A crowd has started to gather outside of the house. People start to whisper and gossip amongst each other, some shout inquiries, while others still cry out about some paranoid scheme or another. The crowd parts and hushes at the arrival of Althenian Brightknife, an old friend of Varna’s family, and powerful member of Marienburg’s merchant elite. After taking in what has happened, Althenian tells Varna of a sword-for-hire that he has used on occasion and tells her to go hire him as her body guard on his behalf.

Annegret leaves soon after, taking this news to Brother Erasmus Greerson. Upon hearing her tale, Brother Greerson takes Annegret to his chambers and shows her his journals, including details of a skeleton given life through dark magic. He says Annegret should join the Elven woman, for it must be Morr’s will. Before Annegret leaves, Brother Greerson gives her a gift: an old and well-crafted mace.

Varna travels to another part of the city, a bustling part of the shipping district that houses an inn called the Butchered Boar. Here she finds Friedrich, a scoundrel and bounty hunter. He seems to want nothing to do with her but, upon discussion of gold, quickly joins her cause.

Varna, Friedrich and Annegret meet again at Varna’s home and investigate further. In the wreckage they discover two things: an old and battle-worn dagger decorated with the crest of Corrick’s Crushers, a well-known mercenary company; and a coin that dates back to before the independence of Marienburg. The three start to puzzle out what has happened as Annegret wonders if the Crushers have their own burial rituals.

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